Last time I talked about scenes being the driving force of the plot. The action took place in those scenes, and because of that action, a change took place over time. Skipping from scene to scene would be very intense – always action and no reaction. So this time I am going discuss what is called the sequel in writing. The sequel refers to something that takes place after, or as a result of an earlier event. One of the ways you can look at the sequel is to divide it into three parts : The reaction, the dilemma, and the decision. Let’s look at each of those parts.
The reaction: This is where your character shows their emotional responses (feelings) to what has happened in the action. It presents as internal and subjective reactions of that character. The character weeps, or screams, perhaps they stew, and may even lose friends, etc. The character hurts, and hopefully you as the writer brings along the readers, so they hurt for that character. The reaction may take place quickly, or it may happen over time.
The dilemma: This is when the character begins to puzzle through their options as to how they will deal with problems posed in the beforehand scene. The character thinks about a new plan of action. This part can take a sentence, even a paragraph or two.
Lastly, the decision: Obviously, this is when the character chooses a plan as to how to deal with the action that took place in the scene. This decision then leads to the next scene where the new action takes place.
Some tips for writing a sequel – if the main character is alone, show their reaction by thoughts, body language, and actions. However, if there are two or more characters use dialogue, as well as thoughts, body language, and actions.
To sum up, the sequel is the time when the character(s) take stock of what has happened. It is important to remember that scenes are long, but sequels are short. Scenes are active, while sequels are thoughtful and allow the character(s) and the reader to take a breath. If you approach your story with the idea that you will be interspersing sequels with your action scenes, your story will flow and keep your readers continuing to turn the pages.
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