Don’t Save Anything for the Sequel #JFWriteTip #jfxxxvi


The other night at the bar (you’ll soon discover that most of my stories begin this way) I was telling a buddy of mine about an idea I had for a screenplay. It’s the tale of an adulterous wife, and I get to the part where she finally sleeps with the other man.

“Yeah!” my buddy said, highly enthused. “You can ratchet up the tension till that point. Then, in the sequel, you can show how it affects the husband and how he deals with —”

At this point I had to shut him up while giving him the Nick Young face.


Son, whet?

Number one, I was confused as to why he would think the story would just end with the woman embarking on an affair, but secondly, and most importantly, I’m not thinking about a sequel. Hell, I’m try’na get Part One done!

I think this is a mistake a lot of writers make, whether we’re talking about screenplays or novels or whatever. They’ve got an idea for an epic scene or character, but they want to wait to use it.

For why tho?

K.M. Weiland, of Helping Writers Become Authors, says:

Don’t save the good stuff for a sequel. Hook your readers now, so they’ll want to read on to the next book. If not enough plot stuff is happening in this first book, then you either need to move some of the sequel’s events into the first book—or you need to consider that perhaps this first book is more properly backstory and that the series would actually be better off beginning with what you planned to be the second book.

She is right.

Why save something that has the potential to make your story better? Why not just include it, and then, during the editing stage, if you discover that it’s a darling that must be killed, maybe then you can file it away for a possible sequel.

The lesson to be learned is this: Don’t save anything. Put your good ideas into your story. If what you write ends up being a success, and the opportunity to pen a sequel is granted, trust me, you will have more than enough good ideas for it.

Okay, I’m off to begin writing this screenplay. Here’s hoping it turns out good!

About Jay Fingers 45 Articles
Angst a bit like John Lennon. Author. Editor. Thinker. Cafe enthusiast. Sampler of spirits and fine BK bites.

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