I just got feedback from my CP on my latest manuscript, which means I’m diving into another round of revisions. She gave me some great advice about world-building, but her best tip was to not hold anything back. I thought I’d put everything I needed into this draft, but I was still holding on to a couple ideas for potential sequels. (I made sure this one could stand alone, but I’d love to spend a couple more books in this world.) My CP told me to put it all in the first book.
“You’ll get more ideas for sequels,” she said.
Right away, I knew she was right. I could — and should — put more of the confrontations I’d been saving into this book. As I started figuring out how to work those in, I came up with even more ideas to raise the stakes for my characters. So my advice to other writers who are saving ideas for sequels is: don’t. At least, not in the first draft. If you wind up with too much going on, you can always scale it back. But it’s hard to know what to cut until you have everything in front of you.
So whether you’re writing an epic seven-book saga, a duology, or a standalone, don’t be afraid to put everything on the page.