Okay, now for what you've been waiting for!
Today the super ninja blogger, Alex J. Cavanaugh, honors my blog with his presence. Like Alex, I had only planned on one book, but I feel that since we are in the age of sequels, it would only make sense to go on!
I've been delving in the ventures of sequel writing and have found it daunting on so many levels, so I turned to Alex and asked him for his professional Alex advice:
Elizabeth asked if I could provide some tips on writing the second book in a series.
Writing CassaStar was easy. Well, maybe not easy. My original concept sucked and I had to rewrite the story from scratch. I still knew where I wanted to go with it though, and the characters were very clear in my head. The story just flowed. I polished it, the manuscript was accepted, and book released. I was done!
And then a scary thing happened - readers began to ask about a sequel. When I began this journey, I only envisioned one book. That’s all I thought I had in me. I believe my exact thoughts were “Oh, crap!”
All right, where do I begin?
The first book ended with Byron about to embark on a new career and journey. I decided to continue with that idea only jump ahead twenty years. Byron would’ve grown and changed during that time. This gave me a fresh start with the character.
I recently read a post on themes and realized that influenced my direction as well. The first book’s theme was friendship and trust. The next one needed to echo that theme.
Finally, I thought about the question posed by almost every fan - why were there no women in the book? I did have a reason, so not only was an explanation in order, but the second book needed a female character. I then created a strong female lead opposite Byron.
So, if this were an actual post offering tips:
- Who do you want your characters to be when the story begins?
- What theme do you want to follow?
- What do you readers want?
Does that spark any ideas? And if so, please share, because now I have to come up with a third book!
Thank you Alex, it is refreshing to hear how other authors go about in their writerly adventures. And I find those 3 questions so thought-provoking; it's a fantastic start to get me going. You're one fabulous friend!
So, how do you go about writing sequels? What are your pitfalls? Any advise for those who have the sequel blues?