This week's guest has visited the blog before when he wrote about his efforts to revise one of his novels. Setting himslf apart from the usual trend of paranormal and romance stories that fill the YA shelves, Gordon L. Rottman has written a western called The Hardest Ride. He is now working on a sequel to that novl. Here are his thoughts about what makes a good sequel. It's good advice, and I'll definitely keep it in mind while writing my sequel to Cry of the Sea.
Gordon L. Rottman:
What makes a good sequel novel? Much has to be considered. Character changes and additions. Changes to settings and the situation. Is it a continuing story or a new story? And so on. Here’s some advice to make it work.
I could talk a great deal about developing the sequel for The Hardest Ride, Ride Harder, but it’s pretty involved. I’ll mention a couple points.
When I wrote the novel I had no idea that Marta, a fiery 16-year old Mexican girl with a strong will and ability to express herself even though mute, would steal the stage from Bud, an out of work drifter. It meant the novel became more popular among women than guys. It wasn’t just a Western.
In the sequel Marta plays an even larger role and it begins with Marta being, well…very Marta. Things will soon be in complete turmoil, but she’ll prevail. She also finds her future jeopardized after being robbed of her hard-earned money, recovering it, and getting robbed again. To get the money back again they must face an even more dangerous opponent than in the original story.
In the original, Bud picked up a sidekick, who regrettably was lost to us. In the sequel, Flaco will be “replaced” by two sidekicks, playing different rolls. Readers are already familiar with the likable Musty, while Samson Long Shadow infiltrates his way into sidekick-ness.
Simply put, your goal, while giving the reader more of what they liked in the first book, is to write an even more engaging story.
Gordon Rottman lives outside of Houston, Texas, served in the Army for 26 years in a number of “exciting” units, and wrote war games for Green Berets for 11 years. He’s written over 130 military history books, but his interests have turned to adventurous young adult novels—influenced by a bunch of audacious kids, Westerns owing to his experiences on his wife’s family’s ranch in Mexico, and historical fiction focusing on how people really lived and thought—history does not need to be boring. His first Western novel is The Hardest Ride to be followed by more.
The Hardest Ride--A Western novel, Hartwood Publishing (e-book, paperback, audiobook)Peacemaker Award Winner- Best Western and Finalist- Best First Western Novels Spur Award Finalist- Best Traditional Western Novel
Available at Amazon
Tears of the River--A YA survival e-novel, Hartwood Publishing
Available at Amazon
D. G. Driver
Author of Young Adult books Cry of the Sea and Passing Notes.