What is a sequel seed?

I would like to introduce you to the concept of the sequel seed. I am going to, very briefly, explain what a sequel seed is and how to use them.

A sequel seed is something that is organically part of the story that can, in time, be nurtured into another story. A story that grows out of the previous story or stories.

A sequel seed is not a loose thread leftover at the end of the current book. Wrap up your loose ends as well as you can. After all, a satisfying finish is the very best way to leave readers wanting more.

Sequel seeds take after their parent story

Seeds are the way stories reproduce. While the child story born of good seed stock often looks a little different, it tastes the same. Which is a poetic way of saying a good sequel retains the magic of the first story while telling a new story.

What makes for a good sequel seed depends on the story. Just as pomegranate seeds and wheat seeds are different so too are the seeds for your story different to those of other stories.

Let me give you an example. Take Star Wars (Episode 4, A New Hope). The story is about blowing up the Death Star. Other things happen including the death of a mentor character at the hands of an evil space wizard samurai. However, victory is achieved and the surviving heroes celebrate. Good ending. The story is done.

However, the Empire still exists and is not going to stand for that sort of thing from rebel scum. The next two movies are the natural consequence of the first.

This is also why the Star Wars prequels and sequel trilogies did not get the same level of fan appreciation. There were no seeds tying the stories together. This is also why, in my opinion, the Staw Wars Stories stand-alone movies are much better.

A good story contains its own seeds

There is a reason fan-fiction is popular. Good stories are full of seeds that can be used to grow fresh stories in a familiar setting. This is the same underlying narrative process that makes a fantasy series popular. Rich world-building lays out a field of tall ripe sequel seeds.

Field of wheat

Types of sequel seeds

There are, I think, many distinct types of sequel seeds. Which is something that I plan to revisit. My intention is to explore the different types of sequel seeds in depth.

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Can you think of any specific examples of sequel seeds found in the wild? Do you disagree with me? Do you use seeds in your own writing? Talk to me about it in the comments. I love to get feedback of all kinds.

dandelion seeds

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