Saturday, March 5, 2016

Sequel Complete!

I always think it's fascinating to read about the process of other writers and make comparisons. Every writer is slightly different. Pansters and Plotters. Morning writers versus late night scribblers. People who prefer writing and others who prefer editing. So I thought I'd share a little.

I finished writing my first sequel!

That's cat-me up there, cranking out 27K in two months to finish this sucker! (Yes, it still took me since June, but I took two months off for Pitchwars and another month off when Boy left for college and the rest of the time I was just lazy.) So the follow up to Grudging is done. And the sequel ups the anti on the plot stakes. It puts the characters in worse positions than before. Basically, it says you're screwed to the characters from all directions! And it let me explore the world building from the side of the witches this time around--so Yay! new characters and new situations. Who knew I could manage such an awesome challenge?

Of course I'm anxious to hear what my critique partners say about it. I'm not sure if they will find the pace fast enough or the situation as dark as I believe. I might have missed big plot holes. 

While they read, I'm still giving it another once over and correcting small consistency issues. I think the hardest part of writing a sequel is to remember all the bits and pieces of history and behavior that you gave the characters in the first book. It's not easy to get the voice right again in the second book and have the characters carry forward in the same way. Oh yeah, I said that Teresa's parents were dead in the first book, gotta strike out this sentence where she worries about them. Oh and Claire used to talk to inanimate objects, better remember to have her keep doing that. 

Because I write so slowly, my first draft tends to be pretty much polished and finished. They don't change much as a whole, though I tweak parts here and there. Which means I don't have much editing work to do until those notes come back.

And Bonus!, the word count came in under 100K just as my super smart editor asked. Yeah, I'm pretty curious to hear what he thinks of it, too. And he likes the title I dreamed up. I get to keep that! (You should follow him on twitter.)  

And you want to know the weirdest thing?

The people behind the scenes at HarperCollins have already loaded Faithful up on Amazon and Goodreads and who knows where else. Before I even finished writing the sucker you can preorder it! How awesome is that?

It will be several months until it actually goes to my editor and many more before the cover art comes out or I find out if my editor likes it. My agent will read through it first also.

Meanwhile, I'll change gears and go to work on an older YA fantasy that needs a fresh opening. Fingers crossed it can go out on submission this year. Then over the summer, it will back to work on the final book for the Birth of Saints series.

Not only doesn't it have a title yet, I haven't a clue where it will go! That's what makes it exciting! 

So what are you working on as we roll toward spring and will you still be working on it this summer? Have you ever written a sequel and what part did you find most difficult? 


  1. You are a badass! I am trying to plot out a sequel to my WIP because I'd like it to be a two or three book series. I have trouble with sequels, coming up with something as fresh as the first book. Any tips or tricks?

    1. I guess for me there was an obvious loose-end threat remaining at the end of the Grudging. I let the characters focus on that as I unfolded the rising of a bigger and more dangerous problem. That problem to be the focus of the third book. Sorry I can't be very specific. It would ruin the surprise. Spoilers and all. :-)

  2. Awesome! Congratulations! It's so cool to write a story and then to write the next to see how it's different. Good luck with all the historical bits, I find that's really hard for me, too.

  3. That cat is really funny!
    Congrats on finishing!

  4. Congrats on hitting the finish line!

  5. Yay! Congrats! Must so feel so good to be able to officially say you've written a sequel.
    Achievement Unlocked: Sequel Master!