Plot: Setting Up the Sequel, #Preptober Day 31

Happy Halloween! Today’s the last day of Preptober, so in case you missed my previous posts, be sure to take a look at the Preptober page to catch up.

Let’s talk about setting up your sequel.

Even if you weren’t planning on setting up a sequel, you may find this info useful. After all, cliffhangers are great for sprinkling throughout your manuscript to keep readers turning pages.

As mentioned yesterday, your resolution needs to be satisfactory, no matter what kind of book you’re writing. It should tie up any loose ends, give a sense of closure, and help set up any additional stories you want to write with these characters or in the same universe.

Sequel setup is usually done with a cliffhanger. This can be literal (a character hanging off the side of a cliff!) or metaphorical (a character that appears to otherwise be in danger, a new quest that needs to be embarked upon, a new puzzle to solve, one piece leftover from the original case that can’t quite be understood, etc.). Action and adventure stories often set up the next quest, while mysteries usually set up a new case for the sleuth to solve. Romances may not typically end on cliffhangers, but could conceivably set up additional steps in the relationship (marriage, a new baby, moving to a new home) or more conflicts that threaten to tear the lovers apart.

What kinds of cliffhangers could you leave your readers with? Feel free to get spooky – it’s Halloween, after all! And you never know what might be lurking just around the corner, or down that dark alley…

The End?

Though Preptober is drawing to a close, tomorrow is the first day of NaNoWriMo, the main event we’ve all be prepping for! Join me on the NaNoWriMo website to find out more about my writing project as it progresses during the month of November, add me as a writing buddy, or join my Facebook group for friendly advice, encouragement, and a dash of competition. I’ll be hosting weekly virtual write-ins there from 2-4 PM (PST), so pop in and join me.

Want to write a book with me?

Share your book’s title, or tell us how your prep has been going so far in the comments. Or, post about your progress on your blog, and be sure to use the hashtag #Preptober when sharing on social media so we can find each other.

Don’t forget to grab a free copy of my Preptober Prompts Printable, which you can print out for personal use during NaNoWriMo and beyond.

See you tomorrow for the first day of NaNoWriMo!