Sorry for the blog silence for the last few days. Exciting things are happening here in Read Bree land, and I've been struggling to keep up with everything else. (And hopefully I'll be able to tell you all about some of those exciting things soon!)
Anyway, thank you for all of your sequel advice. So here's what I've learned so far:
1. Readers like it if the characters develop more and grow.
2. But readers don't like it if a character changes too much.
3. Some people like it when a sequel is told from another character's point of view, or is about a whole new set of characters in the same world.
4. Other people read a sequel because they want to know more about the main characters, and they would be disappointed if the story was too different.
5. Readers want more of the same of what they loved about the first book. They want to recapture what they felt/experienced when they read the book the first time.
6. Readers don't want the sequel to be "just more of same" over again.
7. Some readers like sequels because they like to spend more time in the "world" of the story. (Such as the Harry Potter/Hogwarts world.)
8. Other readers don't like it if the setting doesn't change enough from book to book. (Such as the Harry Potter/Hogwarts world.)
9. Many readers come back to a sequel because they love the sexual tension and romance from the first book and want to experience it again.
10. Some readers think it's not good to focus too much on the romance in a sequel.
11. Some readers think Friends is a great example of how to develop romance over a long period of time.
12. Other readers think Friends is bad example of how to handle romance over a long period of time.
13. Some people think the Pirates of the Caribbean movies are an example of stinky sequels.
14. Others recommend Pirates of the Caribbean movies as an example of fun sequels.
15. Pretty much everyone hates it when an author separates her romantic leads because of a "stupid misunderstanding" just for the sake of separating them. (Duly noted, my friends.)
So I think the thing I've learned most from this experiment is that we have a diverse, opinionated, helpful, and totally awesome group of readers here. I think I've also figured out that the key to writing a great sequel is balance. A combination, or a "somewhere in-between" of most of these comments.
Now I just need to actually find that balance and write it! Woo hoo, there's nothing like a good challenge. Alright, I'm pushing up my sleeves and getting to work.
But for now, I'm leaving you with this little teaser: Be sure to come back here on the 22nd (that's this Friday). Goodness will ensue!
P.S. The winner of our sequels giveaway is: Cinnamon! Email me at readbree(at)gmail(dot)com with your contact info and I'll send you your YA sequel (or any YA book) of your choice.