Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Starting the Second Book

Last week I mentioned that I was going to start talking about working on the second book while waiting to hear back on the first.  I'm going to get to that in a minute, but first a programing note.  Since it's summer and the kids are all home, I'll only be blogging on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  If something important happens (you know, like the first book sells!) I'll break form and update you immediately, but for the next few weeks I'm a little swamped so it's twice a week blogging for me. 

Now, on to today's post.  Tackling the Second Book.  Let me tell you that this isn't easy.  First of all, the first book is still rattling around in your head.  It's not as if you write The End and then flip a switch and dump out everything you've created over the past year(s).  Honestly, I stumbled around for a bit before I really got in to Book Two.  And then the kids got out of school and everything fell apart. (You parents understand!) 

Second, you have to answer the question, What do you write about?  This might seem easy, but it's not so clear.  Take me for example.  I write Southern fiction with a bit of magical realism.  My first book is set in Kentucky.  It might not make sense for the second book to be set in Canada or Brazil.  From my understanding, your second book should be different, but not too different from your first.  That's a hard thing to figure out.  And something I'm still working on. 

Third, if like me you write without an outline you've gone from the relatively ordered world of your first novel to complete chaos.  This threw me for a loop and for me, it's probably the thing I struggle with the most. 

So this is what I'm going to talk about for the next three blog posts.  On Thursday, I'll go over how I made the mental switch from Book One to Book Two.  On Tuesday I'll tackle figuring out what to write about.  And on the following Thursday I'll talk about remaining true to your writing process. 

Keep in mind that this is just what's working for me.  What works for you might be completely different.  That's both the beautiful and frustrating thing about writing.  Until Thursday....


  1. So curious to hear what's working for you. Like I said before, I'm going through the same thing myself right now. I've started my next book (while on submission for the first) and it's been harder than I thought. The biggest problem I've had is getting my head out of that WORLD into a different world. If I'd started writing the sequel to the first book (it's part of a trilogy) it would have been easier, but I wanted to write a stand alone book to a) get some perspective and b) in case book 1 doesn't sell, I'll have something different to offer. It. Has. Not. Been EAAASSSYYYY!

  2. I know exactly what you mean. I thought writing the second would be so much easier than the first. Not So! And I'm not even out on submission yet! Agh, for the most part I feel like I've been beating my head against a wall. Glad to hear I'm not alone!