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One of the great things about Dune is the way it works well as a standalone story with a satisfactory ending that, while leaving room open for more, gives a sense of completion to the story.

When he wrote it, did Frank Herbert plan for Dune to be a standalone story, or was it always meant to be part of a wider series with notes and chapters meant for Dune being saved for a future book and a clear multi book arc defined for his main characters in the same way as Robert Jordan, JK Rowling or Brandon Sanderson did/do?

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    I believe I remember it being mentioned in other questions that Dune, Dune Messiah and Children of Dune were originally intended to be one book. But no idea if he had pre-planned any of the rest to any degree. Feb 19, 2020 at 13:11
  • Something that counts against the books originally being conceived as a series is the time between the books: Dune (1965), Dune Messiah (1969), Children of Dune (1976), God-Emperor (1981). Heretics and Chapterhouse came out within a year of each other and were probably conceived as a whole (with an intended third book). Feb 20, 2020 at 9:34
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    Although this is very late, for what it’s worth Brian Herbert wrote out the books beyond the sixth based on notes Frank Herbert left behind. Apr 10, 2020 at 6:35

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It was always meant to be a wider series. From Frank Herbert's forward in Heretics of Dune:

Parts of Dune Messiah and Children of Dune were written before Dune was completed. They fleshed out more in the writing, but the essential story remained intact. I was a writer and I was writing.

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