How to make incredible and likable sequels?


Soooooooo . . . . I’ve been asking myself about a question recently and decided to brought it up: How to make incredible likable sequels? It just to two parts stories, a trilogy, but to several parts of the story as well. Like six sequels in the Harry potter franchise.

Why would I ask this? Because I am currently making a sequel, there’s no surprise to that. My original series is my MASSIVE and AMBITIOUS work ever. So I’ll be gladly to know the answers to stop my curiosity from wondering.

Everyone has different opinions and experience, so go ahead to give your answer, please :slight_smile:


My goal was just to write a standalone book in the same verse, because the first one did not do well, and I really just love the verse.

So I changed the way the novel was structured to one main POV vs the multiple ones; opted out for a tighter story, with less time jumps; and switched a light hearted style to emotional and sad.

I am planning on half the length of the first book.

Also, in hindsight, I should have mopped up the complicated words that are teen-unfriendly, but I can’t seem to write without an occasional ‘relentless’ and ‘filigreed’


Multiple POV creates many story-lines like game of thrones, which is a good thing. It shows the person’s perception to his/her own surroundings.


Do you want your books to have a continuing arc, like Harry Potter vs. Voldemort? Or is the sequel another standalone book with the same characters – or even a book in the same universe with different characters?


It does, and it also makes it harder to read and to relate to the characters.


I was pantsing my novel and did not intend for a sequel at first, but it ended up that way!

My goal going into the second book was to make it even better than the first! More twists and turns, more big doscoveries! To keep everyone on their toes! So far, I have a fairly decent readership and everyone is loving the sequel, so I think I’m doing something right!

I think my main thing was also not to be too repetitive. If people read the first book, they should know the major events. Sometimes I reminded them of small things they may had missed, but I spend more time expanding on the story and characters than reiterating what had happened already! My readers seemed to appreciate that as well!

I wish you luck and I hope I helped a bit! :blush:


I plan to write 6 books in my Daybreak Chronicles series.

I’d have to say that, in agreement with @LightenTheShadows, you have to create books that aren’t repetitive. Each book has to A.) offer someone new and exciting and B.) have a reason to exist. You don’t want to fall in the trap where you have a perfectly good first book and there seems to be no reason why the sequels were written.

In my series, the first two books explore the main characters struggle, the next two books are from a new casts’ perspective, but the old cast are very important still (think Borderlands). The 5th book is a prequel before all the events occurred and the 6th is a equal which marks a definitive end to their world. Here I have a reason for each book to exist.


Yeah, mine is kind of a Harry Potter type thing where the series focuses on beating the one thing, but each story has a different arc and I don’t spoonfeed my entire first book back to my readers in the sequel! Like, I expect them to know who the main characters are, the major plot points from book one, etc, and I don’t re-introduce them in book two


The thing is, I think people are less inclined to actually click on a sequel; of course, the majority will read it, but it has to live up to the quality of the first. Perhaps you could create a Book Two in your main story, and that would do the trick?

Of course, that might not be helpful.


Think about Toy Story 2. In the first Toy Story Woody overcomes his jealousy and Buzz learns who he is. In the second movie Woody comes to term with his fears of Andy growing up and leaving him behind. Woody may have learned that he can share Andy’s love, but improved himself by building off of what he learned in the first film and using it to correct the flaws he still had. That brings up why so many sequels don’t measure up, because they don’t have a point. You know the prequel Star Wars movies wanted to tell the story of the fall of the republic and why Darth Vader came into being. The problem was that it had characters that were not necessary and added very little, an unconvincing romance, and Jedi who make really stupid decisions that were needed to move the plot along. Here’s a story challenge for you: Why do we need your sequel? What are you going to build upon for your characters?


My upcoming series will have a continuing arc, mostly relating to the MC, but I also want to establish subplots regarding the other characters. Like in every RPG games.


Awww, thank you! And gladly you’re doing well with your unlikely sequel. In my book 2,there are tons of reference regarding book 1 because The Dragonslayer (Book 1) is one heck of a beginning.


That’s a nice way to put on books. My main-story will have 7 while there are 3 or 5 prequels.


Thank you! I just, personally, hate it when authors go over everything that happened in the first book as if it can be read a standalone novel when it still can’t! I hate it, so I don’t don’t with my own sequel! Sometimes I give small hints to remind people, but it’s not like in the HP books.

Like, I love HP, but I’m not a huge fan of Rowling’s writing a lot of the time and she always explains Harry’s past and such every two seconds and it kind of ticked me off so I promised I wouldn’t do that :joy:


If the first book is interesting enough and left the readers more questions than answers- ahem infinity war ahem- then the story will continue on a sequel.


I ended on a cliffhanger. Part of the book was confused and questions were answered, but it also left s big question hanging in the air.

I know a lot of people don’t like it, but - though my readers were mad at me - my own readers got fake-mad not real mad and couldn’t wait to ge their hands on the sequel! I know people don’t like it but, personally, I’ve gotten no negative reactions from it.

So, that could be a thing that could be done as well?


That’s simple, the reason why I’m building up sequels is because of answers. Stories can be taken as “finished” when it comes to reaching the conclusion of the story. In Harry potter, for example, in the first book he took his adventure in Hogwarts and met the big bad, Voldemort, in a few minutes. After defeating him, harry went back home for a summer vacation. Yet, it is not the end because of Dobby, who warned harry not to go into Hogwarts, thus that raises the question- a new calling for adventure in the sequel.

Also Rick riordan’s “Heroes of Olympus”, it is basically a new sequel to Percy Jackson- because of a new calling. Making a new calling is necessary when it involves more lore, more conflicts within the characters situation, and how their actions imply to the consequences in the future. Unless a sequel has no point at all when it has so many hated holes in the story, I’m looking at you The last Jedi!

My point is that making a sequel is like a whole package of biography of the characters; how they live and what they had done, that has been stretched out into different pieces to make a story-line to tell a tale from the past, present, and even the future.

Aside from magic, thrilling action, and the enchanted world around them, my characters’ development is very essential for me because they are the ones who grow and how they start their journey due to what they want and need in order to do something. Other side characters exist because it depends how the MC interacts to them- like an rpg game. The question why do you need a sequel is more likely a question why do I need a sequel? Because there are so much going on in their lives that I, as a story-teller, want to tell.


Holy crap, I type so long :joy:


Perhaps. As long as you have a story to tell.


I definitely have that! I think people might be enjoying the sequel even more than the original, but I’m not sure! :blush: