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Patricia Kay’s Sequel Checklist

question and answer iconsPatricia Kay’s Sequel Checklist

Questions to ask yourself about your sequels:

Is a sequel really needed here?  Would a simple transition to the next scene do the job better?

Is the sequel written in the right point of view?  Would it be more effective if it were written from the point of view of another character?  Important point to remember: if Jane is the character whose point-of-view you’ve used in the scene in question, then it probably isn’t necessary to have a sequel to the scene in HER point of view.  Her feelings and thoughts should have been amply represented in the scene.

Is there more than one character in the sequel?  If so, why?  Since sequels are concerned with emotions/feelings/thoughts and not actions/dialogue, then why would you need (or want) more than one character?  Important point to remember: Learn to write sequels that are short and feature only the character whose emotions and feelings the reader needs to know at that given point in your story.

Does the sequel start with the reaction to the scene immediately preceding the sequel – or if not immediately preceding, close enough that the reader won’t be confused?  Is the reaction clear?  Will the reader understand how the character feels?  Remember that sequel is aftermath.  Does the reaction start with emotion, then move to logical thought (or at least what the character believes is logical thought)?

Is the dilemma presented concisely?  Will the reader understand what it is?  Does the character mull over the pros and cons?

Is there a clear decision made based on the reaction to the dilemma?

Does the decision reached in the sequel lead naturally to the next scene?  Remember that sequel is a bridge and should set up the next goal- oriented action scene where the character may or may not stick to his decision, based on the conflict presented.

If there’s a flashback in the sequel, is there a smooth transition from the present to the past, and back again?  Will the reader be confused?  Is the flashback really necessary, or could the information be better presented in a few simple lines of narrative?  Does the flashback add tension or dramatic impetus to the story, or does it slow down the story?

Copyright 2014 Patricia A. Kay

No duplication is permitted without express written permission of the author.


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