I’d heard that sequels can be hard to write. I didn’t know if mine would or not. I’m still finishing the editing of my first book and am getting ready to publish soon, but the sequel is now almost a third written.
Initially, I plotted and outlined as much as I could. The ending was sort of eluding me. What exactly was the main conflict? What was the nature of the item that complicated her life? Not having the answers, I did what I always do. I write what I can.
As I was writing the first section, my characters started interacting with their world. Things started happening that I didn’t expect, but that I could work with. Challenges appeared, and new villains emerged (though they didn’t know at the time they would be the villains).
I had a few spots in the plot/theme that I wasn’t sure how to fix or fill in properly. I knew as I got writing, it would present the answer for me. I never fully know how things are going to turn out until after the second draft is done, anyways.
Well, today everything fell into place. In many ways it was more like writing the second half of the first book and not a whole separate book, and in other ways everything is new and fresh with familiar characters. While the plot is related, it’s not exactly a continuation. That gives me freedom in the writing.
I was writing some new details into scenes I’d already thought I’d finished, as I was clearing up a plot point, and that got me on a roll. Then I added new scenes, and those new scenes handed me my ending. New characters were added, needed characters, and depth and backstory were added to familiar characters a bit. It’s like watching my characters grow and evolve before my eyes. Why was he so gruff in the first book? Here’s the answer. Will he find healing? At some point, now that I know why he needs it.
What about her, my main character? Well, I remember how hard it was to grow up different. I remember how confusing some things seemed. I know how she’d feel in similar situations, and what kind of support she’ll get. I have some ideas how people around her might react, and who will help and who won’t help. After all, growing up takes a while and is full of challenges. Add magic into the mix and things can get confusing for her really fast.
Well, now that things are worked out, the rest of the writing will go quickly in comparison. I intended to spend a little time on a second story, too, but the sequel grabbed me and hung on. I’ll spend some time with the first story this afternoon and do some more editing and proofreading, too. Almost there!
I’ve been writing stories for myself for years. Now, I’m a published author. No genre is off limits, though I have some favorites.