If you’re finally finishing that novel, you’ve probably already been asked the dangerous question: “Is there going to be a sequel?” Ooooh….
It’s hard to say good-bye to a good story. You fell in love with it, your friends fell in love with it, and now that it’s coming to a close it doesn’t seem right just to set it down and leave it forever. It’s really no surprise that so many books and movies have sequels if you think about it. But it’s also a well-known fact that sequels are (almost) never as good as the original. The freshness is gone, and sequels always feel as if they were tacked on as an afterthought. They don’t feel as canon as the original, and they’re usually not nearly as creative. So what do you do when it comes to your own stories?
There’s no right or wrong answer here, but it is a good idea to stick with your initial plan. If you already had a cool idea for a sequel since you started writing, then it’s probably still a good idea. But if the craving to write a sequel has come only after announcing to all your friends and family that the story is finally finished… maybe it’s best just to let it go. Spend more time editing the story, and think about what was it that you loved so much about it. Let it inspire you! You have bigger and better things ahead, so don’t keep living in the past of that one glorious novel. Write a better one that’s even more glorious!
Another thing to consider is the impression that you want the story to make. Sequels are almost always a step down from the original, and will leave a worse taste in the reader’s mouth after he or she finishes it. You want to leave people wanting more–that’s how you keep them reading your materials!
The next time someone asks if you are going to write a sequel, don’t be afraid to say no. Instead, let the story continue to resonate in the hearts and minds of the readers while you move on to prepare something even better. You won’t regret it!