Tuesday, April 05, 2011

On Writing Sequels

I've written a manuscript and have been querying agents with little success. I've outlined a sequel and a third story, because (it may surprise you to hear this) I think my book is excellent, believe it will be published soon, and I want to have a sequel ready when publishers start beating down my door :)

Ok - seriously: I am beginning to think that writing the sequels is not a valuable use of my time. Thus far I've found two blog posts, one from an AAR agent - who agrees with that for a number of reasons.

When I was researching agencies yours seemed particularly friendly towards advising new authors - and I wanted to get your take on this. I want to write a new manuscript: should I write the sequel in the hopes that the first may be published . . . or is it time for me to set this plot line aside and start with something fresh and new?

I do think I’ve written on this before, but as I’ve discovered firsthand, it’s not always easy to find the exact old blog post you want to read. It also never hurts to repeat yourself, and, believe it or not, sometimes my attitude/opinion changes and a new blog post will need to be written to reflect that. In this case, though, my attitude will not change.

While it’s great to outline your sequel or series, I do not think an author should ever write the sequel or full series until she’s under contract. A huge piece of finding an agent or selling your book is based on the marketability of the idea, and the last thing you want to do is spend a significant amount of time on an idea that won’t sell. You can always go back and write the sequel after you’re under contract, but in the meantime, moving in a new direction with a new book and/or series idea is the smarter move. That way you have two fresh, new things to shop around, both with series potential.