Horror/Fantasy World-building question?

I've finished writing a vampire novel and had it reread by my mother. She says there should be a sequel because I only give off the 1 main character's point of view and literally nobody else's.  Trouble is the ending in book one pretty much wraps a perfect happy ending.  However, I really want to write a sequel based on the POV of my main character's friend, BUT there are no vampire hunters (mainly because every single human in my world is oblivious to even the thought of vampires existing). And I really DO NOT want to copy off of Twilight or Underworld (werewolf tribes/wars).

Got any ideas?

2 Answers

  • Zac Z
    Lv 7
    1 month ago
    Favorite Answer

    I'm sorry but I both disagree with your mother and dewcoons.

    "there should be a sequel because I only give off the 1 main character's point of view and literally nobody else's" - No. I mean, no! It's actually pretty normal to experience a story through the eyes of one character. There absolutely doesn't HAVE to be a "sequel" from another point of view.

    It wouldn't be a sequel (hence the scare quotes) but a retelling of the same story from the point of view of another character. I am aware that Meyer did that with her "Midnight Sun" which was a retelling of "Twilight" from Edward Cullen's view (as if "Life and Death", an almost identical retelling of "Twilight" just with genders swapped hadn't been enough); and James did a retelling of her 50 Shades books from the guy's view.

    Not sure if this is a fad but IMHO this should only be done if the perspective of another POV character is justified, e.g. by putting the story in a different light. It can be interesting to have specific scenes told by different characters who might view the situation very differently or reveal motivations or events hidden from previous POV characters.

    Another retelling I know of, "Ender's Shadow" by Orson Scott Card retelling the events of "Ender's Game" and the start of the so-called Shadow series, was well-received so it can be done succesfully.

    But mostly I'd think it's just lazy writing, a way to make a quick buck from a fan base that will buy just anything (as in the case of the Meyer and James books).

    You'll also notice if you compare the books of Meyer and James with the one from Card that the latter had already been an experienced writer (he'd been a published writer for over 20 years when he published "Ender's Shadow") whereas that wasn't so much the case for Meyer and even less James (the latter following up her surprise first-time success with the very same story, just told from another point of view).

    I would say that you should only do what your mom suggests if it's needed to tell the story well. This doesn't seem to be the case from your own admission ("book one pretty much wraps a perfect happy ending").And by the way, there is no reason that you have to choose a close third person (or even first person) narration; you can tell your story as an omniscient narrator and give other characters' perspectives in the very same novel.

    As for dewcoons, I disagree with this statement: "Usually having more POV characters increases the quality of the novel as you have more people care about or cheer for."

    Sure, getting to know several characters well might make you care (or cheer) for them more, but that's not a given. And it having more POV characters certainly doesn't automatically increase the quality of a novel.

    A good writer can make you care for more than just one character without having several POV characters.

    Take teenager favorites Harry Potter and Twilight. Readers care for Hermione and Ron, for Dumbledore and Hagrid, don't they? Yet, the novels are written from the point of view of Harry. And countless teen girls went crazy for their Edward even though the novel was written from the point of view of Bella.

    I just realize that I implied that Meyer is a good author. That's not what I meant to say, necessarily, but she hit the nerve of her target audience and made them care for more than just one character.

    In essence, following up a self-contained story with a book telling the very same story seems redundant unless this second take considerably adds to the original story.

    Frankly, not every book needs sequels. This is something that is a bit of a bad trend in fantasy (and I say this as a lover of fantasy fiction).

    There's nothing wrong with stand-alone novels.

    My suggestion is: make your novel as best you can and leave it self-contained. If you really don't want to let go of the side character you're mentioning, why not write an independent story set in the same world that centers around this friend. It could be the story how that character ended up in the place we find the character at the beginning of your first novel.

    I think it would even be better to go for a completely new, unrelated story but if you can't let this friend character go, telling an independent adventure might be an option.

  • 1 month ago

    So what you may want to do is go through your original novel and see if you can rewrite some of the scenes so that they are told through the POV of other characters.  Often by doing this you will find threads and ideas that will allow you to expand your novel.  Usually having more POV characters increases the quality of the novel as you have more people care about or cheer for.

    Also a "sequel" does not have to take place after the original novel.  There are many novels that cover the same events from a different point of view or a different location.  You can follow another characters whose story intertwines with the original, but has parts of the story not told in the original novel or adventures that are separate but come to the same conclusion.

    Also by increasing the role of other characters (including their POV in the original novel) you can then write your sequel about one of them instead.  Your main character may have come to a happy ending.  But you can still tell a story about some of the other characters.  Given them their own ending.

Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.