A Sequel, You Say?

“This needs a sequel!”

It’s a comment that shows up from time to time here on ficly. Initially, my response has always been to bristle at the sentiment. Mostly, this is due to my own defiant and contrary nature. If you want a sequel, I would think, you write one. You can’t tell me what to do!

Now that I think of it, however, I have come to the conclusion that this is one of the highest compliments one can pay to an author. Rather than seeing it as a demand, I’ve come to view it as indicative of something very positive that has gone on. The story, however brief, has engaged the reader on some level, whether intellectual curiosity or emotional attachment. This engagement creates the desire for the story to continue, a curiosity to see what will develop next and how.

On ficly, this is a hoot. It gives the author license to sequel their own work or (my preference) provides impetus for another author to jump on with a continuation. More importantly however, the principle can easily generalize to lengthier work outside of ficly. If you can encapsulate enough in this small space to get that kind of engagement you can do the same thing elsewhere. Here it means they want a sequel. Out there it means they’ll actually read the second page. Whether you’ve written a 5 page short story or a 500 page tome, the reader has to have sufficient connection to the material to compel them to read that next page.

To put it in simpler terms, pack it in there, and leave them wanting more.

7 comments Posted 2010-03-31 Author: THX 0477


  • Mr.Gabriel

    Should Ficly be capitalized? Just saying.

    I must agree, asking for a sequel is one of the best compliments. It means we WANT MORE.

  • blusparrow (LoA)

    Ya I have found it to be the best compliment! like the last sentence =) fits well

  • Luke Nicolaou

    I like it when people claim they want a sequel, because it means I have pleased them in some way with the story :D

  • Stovohobo

    I consider it a compliment, and I use it in comments more often than I should—just because I don’t seem to have much creative juices left over for sequeling anymore. Maybe Spring break will cure that.

  • ElshaHawk (LoA)

    I often feel like Stovo.
    However, sometimes the story is not in a genre I feel comfortable with or has a setting and characters that I could not begin to capture. I want to read more about them to get a feel for them, or the genre itself. So either I am humbled to be in the presence of such mastery, or the story must go on in the writer’s own voice.

  • The Elk Mechanic

    This needs a sequel. ;)

  • THX 0477

    And yes, I realize the conundrum of sorts that I titled the blog ‘This Needs a Sequel’, and y’all couldn’t sequel it if you wanted to, since it’s the blog.