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Writing Books/Sequel writing


Hi, Susan.
       I have just a couple of simple questions.

In writing a novel with a sequel, how difficult is it for you to keep a flow from one book to another.
I just self published one book and am doing a sequel but am finding it difficult to start the second book although I have completed chapters of it.
I know where I want to go but the first chapter is very elusive.
Have you got any pointers for me in this area?
         Many thanks.

Hello Lee:

How difficult it will be to establish flow from one book to the other depends a lot on the story. What kind of a story is it, a family saga? a historical novel? If you did not end the whole thing off with the first book, why not? What made a sequel necessary or desired?

Perhaps the first chapter of the sequeis not coming easily to you because you are not certain where the second book should begin. This is not so critical in a sequel; if you have established a following with the first book, your readers will likely pick up with you at whatever point you choose. Will the second book stand alone? That is, can it be read and understood on its own, without the first book? If so, use the same criteria to choose for the first chapter that you chose for the first book.

A good fall-back-on rule for beginnings is to start a few seconds before everything changes for the worst, if you want to grab the readers' attention.

Happy writing!

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Susan Rand


I can answer questions about the elements of fiction and non-fiction writing: how to get started, writing techniques, re-writing, etc. I will NOT write for you, do critiques except from my website at, or give you ideas. I will not answer home-or-schoolwork questions in any category. If English is your second language, please say so, and I will make an exception. Please submit no more than one or two questions at once, as I tend to go into detail in my answers.


I wrote my first book in 1957 and have been writing and studying writing since. I have a BA in Written Communications, and have taught writing both privately and through adult education for 15 years. Have also edited (fiction books) for an online publisher and edited/wrote more than 100 articles for a teen sex education site. Currently writing web content and mentoring beginning writers.

BA degree in Written Communication

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