When I started Surrogate Colony over seven years ago, I had no idea that there would be a day when it would be published; and that people would actually like it. It is immensely challenging to write a novel. There are just so many aspects to consider: genre, character development, plot development, hitting all the right beats, where to start, what point of view to write in, where to end, limited or omniscient point of view. The options and subtleties are endless and dizzying.
Then comes marketing it – finding reviewers, getting on social media, launching the book, and reaching out to your audience.
Now, I am writing the sequel to Surrogate Colony, and the challenge is overwhelming. I have to make sure the internal logic of the world I created in Surrogate Colony fits with the sequel, and I also have to be incredibly critical of my work. So, in an attempt to learn from the great literary minds out in the ether. I would like you, dear reader, to comment if you have anything to add to the list I composed below on the difficulty of writing sequels:
1) Sequels must be good enough to stand alone. This means that even if a reader hasn’t read your first novel, they should be able to enjoy it and have it make internal sense.
2)Sequels need to include more newness than what preceded them.
3) Sequels must include main characters from your preceding work and reference them in a way that isn’t burdensome or confusing to the reader.
4) Sequels must have an internal arc of change that logically follows the previous works.
5) Sequels must be similar enough to the preceding work to not alienate previous readers.
6) Must use similar genre conventions as the preceding work.
7) Keeping the balance between new and old information.
8) Keeping in check how much one references previous characters who have died off.
9)Whether to make the sequel into a trilogy.
10) The ever-present fear of people not liking it as much.