Writing fiction is a matter of balance. You need to include action, dialogue, and narrative. You also need to include both action scenes and sequel scenes.
Not long after I started working on my novel, I tried to find information on crafting sequels. Maybe it isn’t a term that everyone uses, but I failed miserably. So I was thrilled the other day when I saw this post on 4 Ways to Write Sequels by K.M. Weiland.
In short, there are two types of scenes. In action scenes, your character has a goal, meets with conflict in trying to achieve this goal, and somehow fails. In action scenes there is a lot of movement and tension. They grab your reader and pull the reader into the story.
But you can’t have just action scenes. When you try to do that the pace of your story is frenetic and tiring. Besides, your character is going to need a new goal for the next action scene.
That’s where sequels come into play. The focus on your sequel is regrouping and coming up with a new course of action. These scenes are a time of reflection, re-examination and renewal. They give your reader time to sit back and breathe after the tension of an action scene.
But you can’t have just sequels. Too many sequels or sequels that are too long slow the story down. Your reader may very well lose interest and decide to read or do something else.
When I said above that you needed both types of scenes for balance, I didn’t even mean that the two types of scenes need to be equal in word count. This won’t work because certain failures require a split second decision about the new plan.
Let’s say that the goal of the scene is to sneak into X room and take something. The protagonist is almost there but knocks something over. Do they stand around weighing their options? Or do they sprint/duck/take cover? A sequel may be just a sentence. A sequel lets the character pivot, regroup, and, when the circumstances allow, breathe deep.
Be sure to use both in your writing.