A Little Chat about Sequels…

23 May

So… I’m writing the sequel to Every Last Kiss.  And it’s hard.  Really hard.  Don’t worry, I’m pushing through it, but why is it that a sequel is so hard?  I mean, as a writer, you lay all the ground work in the first book of a series.  Why should the second book be harder?

Why you ask?  (You didn’t, but I’m pretending that you did)  Let me tell you.

First, I have to reintroduce my characters and the backstory so that new readers who might not have read Every Last Kiss (I know, hard to believe, right?  Kidding) will not be lost.  But I have to do this in a way that doesn’t bore the rest of the readers who read the first book.  Hurdle one.

Hurdle two… I’ve gotta let my characters grow… a little, but not too much.  I have to leave room for even more growth in the next book.  And that’s hard for me because I want them all to be perfect little characters RIGHT NOW.  I love them. And I want their lives to be easy and smooth. But as you might guess, that can’t happen.  I”m sorry, lovely characters.  I’ll make it up to you in book three. Maybe.

Hurdle three… Everything’s gotta be bigger in a sequel.  The stakes need to be higher, the conflicts need to be more… conflict-ier.  And no.  That’s not a word.  But I’m a fiction writer- I lie for a living. I can totally make up a word if I want to.   Point here is that I have to remember to put more oomph into this book.  It’s got to be bigger on every level.

Hurdle four… I have to release more information about the unrevealed mysteries from book one, but still leave enough mystery to go around for book three.  I think this is the hardest of all. 

So, to recap, writing a sequel is really hard.  Like, pull-your-hair-out-by-the-roots and bang-your-head-against-a -steel-door hard.   But I love it.   I wouldn’t have it any other way.  If it were easy, then I doubt the end results would be worth much, right?  That’s what I’m telling myself, anyway.  And I’m totally rocking it.  I just started writing chapter eight and let me tell you, you’re in for some surprises. 

And hey- while I’ve got you here, I just want to say THANK YOU so much for the outpouring of support and just all-around awesome reception that I have received from you guys for Every Last Kiss.  It is like music to a writer’s ears to have readers take time out of their busy day and send a note, telling me how much they loved my book.  It makes all of those middle-of-the-night writing sessions totally worth it.  Thank you.   From the bottom of my heart. You guys are completely awesome. 

And while I’m thanking, I also want to thank my girls, Wren Emerson and Michelle Leighton.   Thank you for the ranting sessions and brainstorming and late night texts and really, just for being great friends.  I really appreciate it. 

And if you guys haven’t checked them out, stop reading this and go do it– they’re awesome writers and you will love, LOVE  their work!

Everyone have a great week!!

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3 Responses to “A Little Chat about Sequels…”

  1. Emma May 23, 2011 at 4:34 pm #

    Hi Courtney!

    I am so excited about reading the sequel. I’ve never wrote anything myself so I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it must be to write a first book, never mind the follow up to it.

    Your post has really opened my eyes to what authors must struggle through trying to throw in just the right mix to a sequel!
    All I can say is please stick at it, I know it will turn out brilliant and be totally worth it at the end!

    Emma
    x

  2. Bill Talcott May 23, 2011 at 10:42 pm #

    I think I understand what you are going through. I too am writing a sequel to the one and only book that I have published. I guess you could say it is actually a prequel. I found that I became obsessed with how my characters came to the point that they are at in the first book. I’m also outlining the story in a way that will allow you to read either book first. Although reading them in the order that I’ve written them will give you that WOW! effect when you tie things together. Coming up with an end to this prequel was difficult. I had a good idea as to how I wanted to end it but this past weekend things really came together in my head and I now have an ending that I can’t wait to write. Thanks for sharing this topic.

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