Book #2 is Hard: The Challenges of a Sequel (Now with gifs!)
So, you’ve written a book. Sweet! Publish that bitch, and feel awesome. You’ve done the hard work, made some characters, put them through some shit, and squished it all together in a readable, cohesive format. Smell your pages, look at your shiny kindle/nook file, and relax. Job well done.
Aaah… Let’s take a minute.
….Mmm, the taste of victory.
Wait a minute… oh crap, that’s a series. So, I have to write another one?
OH CRAP. I HAVE TO WRITE ANOTHER ONE!
So, that’s a thing. Sequels, I mean. When you write a series.
I kind of forgot about that. Siren Snow got done, and I was just happy to get it out. I thought I’d just plot out my next book, and write it, and chug along, and it’d all be hunky dory.
Sounds easy, right? Of course! Pfft, all you need to do is plot some stuff, work out the threads from the last book, and then write it. Duh.
Seriously though, this sequel is a bitch. It was easy the first time. I could introduce stuff as I went, and it was a new world and I was starting from scratch. Everything was new and shiny, and we were all just along for the ride, experiencing it all for the first time. We were getting to know characters, exploring a new literary universe, and we found out things as we went.
As I’m finding with book #2… Not so much. I have to catch people up without barraging them with info dumps. I have sew the threads of new ideas, while making sure I don’t forget anything important from the last book that’ll crop up in this one. Oh, and new characters. I have to weave new characters in.
And make sure my heroin isn’t a totally different person.
And that stuff is believable within the time frame.
And no one’s forgotten.
And everything that was left open in the last book is at least addressed in this one.
And time skips… I have to address a time skip and have it not just be a black hole of info blob I give later.
So yeah, suffice to say, writing a sequel is NOTHING like writing the first book in a series. I feel like there’s an obvious answer to all this, some simple scientific way to approach it that’ll make it flow easier in my brain.
Let me be honest for a moment: I’ve been floundering and struggling with this damn book for like, a fucking month now. I, for the life of me, cannot find some way to make the beginning of this book work. Like, seriously. I think I may have shot myself in the foot with the end of the first book. Honestly, I think it’s mostly that I’ve got an entirely new character to ease in. In my head, I already know his story, and how he’s going to end up in the long run, but it’s like trying to fit in an extra pea in a pod. …Or something.
I just wanna run away.
But I think I’ve found a solution!
Turns out, I just had to wait. No really, that’s it. I had a writing epiphany half asleep one morning, and I realized I was rushing it. I was wanting so much just to pick up with this damn book and have it come out as easy (more or less) as the first one. But you can’t really do that with a sequel. It’s an entirely new animal. There’s an entire universe to consider before you even write down ‘chapter 1’. I had to let it sit. I figured out that… Well, it’s a long story, but I figured it out. Finally.
There is no magic way to make writing work, or come out of your brain smoothly.
Moral of this very strange, gif filled post: If you’re struggling with something, especially writing, and it just wont come to you, wait for inspiration. Don’t force it. Writing is an art, not a science.
((Also… damn you Maegan for getting me hooked on gifs. :p ))