If you’ve read as many books as I have or more, you might realize there are different ways of going about writing book sequels. I’m gonna talk about those types here along with some good old pros and cons.
Note that the examples just happen to be all fantasy books.
(Disclaimer: I named these types mah-self 😛 )
– The Abhorsen series style (by Garth Nix). Book 2 is in the POV (point of view) of another character. Maybe a secondary character from Book 1 or even a whole new character (as it was for the Abhorsen series).
Pros: For a writer, it’s fun experiments. It’s fun to write the story in another POV. Maybe the main character makes a cameo.
Cons: For a reader, it throws you for a loop. You’ve been rooting for character A this whole time and wanted to read more with this POV. But no, you need to get to know a secondary character or even a whole new character. The latter is worse, in my opinion. I feel stubborn about character A. “I’m only rooting for you!”
(A good writer can turn me around…like the Abhorsen series).
While I do not really like reading series where the sequel is another POV, I’m also a writer who likes writing in the POV of another character around the same story. I’m a walking-talking contradiction.
Same Character Year(s) Later
– Harry Potter series style (by…oh, you know who!). It’s called bildungsroman which is German I believe. It means the character is growing up or developing and you get to develop with them.
Pros: For a writer, I think it’s “easy street” (cue “Annie” musical). Just a year or so later. Not too much has changed so you don’t have to think so deeply. For readers, easy to follow and you feel like you are growing with the character which is nice 🙂
Cons: For a writer, personally I think it’s a bit boring and also pressure. Readers are now expecting the next story to take place a year or two later…and probably expecting you to write that in a few months 😛
Right After Book 1 (or a few months at most)
– Warrior Cats series style (by Erin Hunter). These books’ events happen almost right after another. 1 ends in battle, 2 starts with a few months after battle. 1 ends with “I haven’t decided”, 2 starts with “A few days after I made my decision…”. This style I think is popular in Young Adult novels where a lot of books tend to be shorter in length and longer in series. My personal observation, anyway.
Pros: For a writer, it’s good for those of you who are not good at or are not used to writing long novels with twenty-something chapters. With each book short and more like a novella, you can quickly make a series out of any long novel…and have a bunch of books with a bunch of cliffhangers.
For a reader, it’s exciting to read books one after another like that. I once read four Warrior Cats books in one afternoon. That was a reader’s accomplishment. Feels good, you know? I’m not crazy. Just a bookworm.
Cons: A reader must spend their money a lot and the wait for the next book can be hard. Because the books are shorter and often more cliffhangery (not a word), you want to get the next book and right away if possible. Bye-bye money.
So, did I miss any?