Author Topic: Book II - Where Did U Start?  (Read 12994 times)

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GeorgiaW

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Book II - Where Did U Start?
« on: February 03, 2009, 08:56 AM »
I am about to start Book II in a 4 book series.  How much time passed in your story when you started Book II AND did you resolve the ending to Book I when you started? Others questions I have are, did you bring all of your characters back? I want to focus more on some new characters that were mentioned briefly in Book I to add some new life into the series.  I have the outline and I actually think it is richer than Book I.  I am excited to get started.  Thoughts?

Cheers-
Georgia

Offline Rhonda

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 09:17 AM »
Well, I started book 2 about a month after book 1 ended. I brought back pretty much all of my characters, yes--at least the main ones.

Good luck on your writing! That's great--run with the energy!!

Offline Juliarts2003@yahoo.com

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 09:21 AM »
I picked up right where I left off - there were some unanswered plot lines in book 1. I have all of the same characters (except those who didn't make it to the end of book 1.) ;)

Good luck!
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Offline Debby G

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 10:54 AM »
If it were me, I wouldn't write Book 2 unless I sold Book 1 because:

If Book 1 doesn't sell, then it would be hard to sell Book 2.

And I think you may learn more by starting a manuscript with different characters, setting, etc.

And if Book 1 does sell, it might substantially change once the publisher suggests edits, and then Book 2 would have to substantially change.

Just my unsolicited advice.

If you still want to write Book 2, start it where you'd start any book: Where something really interesting is happening.
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Offline Juliarts2003@yahoo.com

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #4 on: February 03, 2009, 10:57 AM »
Good point, Debby G! I had a nice discussion with my agent about whether to start book 2 or not. In the end - she said to go for it - so I did.
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Offline Rhonda

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2009, 11:32 AM »
I actually hadn't assumed one way or the other about whether the first book had sold when I answered...I just took the question at face value. Hm. But yes, it can be something to think about, for sure--good point, Debby!

GeorgiaW

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2009, 02:33 PM »
If it were me, I wouldn't write Book 2 unless I sold Book 1 because:

If Book 1 doesn't sell, then it would be hard to sell Book 2.

And I think you may learn more by starting a manuscript with different characters, setting, etc.

And if Book 1 does sell, it might substantially change once the publisher suggests edits, and then Book 2 would have to substantially change.

Just my unsolicited advice.

If you still want to write Book 2, start it where you'd start any book: Where something really interesting is happening.

Very interesting point of view - valid.  I simply cannot see myself NOT writing or waiting until this ms sells which could take months or longer before starting another completely new story or book II in the series.  I also think that a good writer (hopefully I am) will be able to tell a story independent of the series in each book.  I plan to do that even though the complete backstory lives in book I.  Thanks to everyone for sharing.

Cheers-
Georgia

Offline Jen

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2009, 03:24 PM »
I have to say that I think Debby's advice is INCREDIBLY solid on this front.  Novels change SO much in revision that if you write book two before you sell and revise book one, you stand a good chance of (a) not selling book one and then not being able to do anything with book two anyway, or (b) selling book one, getting editorial input, completely changing some of the characters/plot/ending in key ways, and having to throw out what you'd written for book two and start from scratch.  I'm only saying this, because I've been there and done that for both (a) and (b)!  Before I sold my first book, I wrote a series of four books that ended up being good practice, but not commercially viable.  I don't really mind or regret having written them in any way, but when you write a series, it either sells or doesn't as a whole, and in a business where it can take MANY different projects to break in to the industry, sometimes the difference between moving on to a new project versus working on a sequel can be the difference between writing seven books before you sell one (which is what I did) and writing two. 

But even if you do sell the first book, it's likely that you'll underestimate the number of things that could change in revision.  Of my published books, there are three sets of two (three books and their sequels), and the process between revising book one for my editor and writing book two looked a little something like this:

Golden- I wrote the book AND a sequel before I sold the book.  My editor was excited from the get-go about the possibility of doing more books set in the same world, but her revision suggestions really shifted the focus of the first book so that it concentrated a lot more on something that was a much more minor theme in the first draft (cliques), and really upped the importance of certain characters and plot elements in the first book, to the extent that when it came time to writing book two, even though my editor said "It can be about anything you want, so long as you call it Platinum," there was NOTHING in the first sequel I'd written that worked with the revised first book.  So I threw it out and wrote a new sequel completely from scratch.  In terms of your other questions, for this particular set, the second book picks up 2-3 weeks after the first one leaves off and switches narrators.  I'm fairly certain that most readers would have preferred a book that stuck with the original main character and concentrated on the one issue (romantic pairing) left open-ended at the end of the first book, but I felt like it was really important to tell the other side of the story...

Tattoo- For this one, I wrote the first book as a standalone and didn't ever intend for there to be a sequel.  The ending of the first book ended up changing entirely in revision, and there's a twist in the last chapter that was actually my editor's brainchild- and THAT twist ended up being the basis for the book's sequel, FATE.  So if I'd written the sequel before the first book was ready to go to print, I probably would have had to throw it out, and I worry that I might have been more reluctant to really gut things in revision.  When I did finally end up sitting down to write the sequel, I had it in my mind that it would take place maybe six months after the first book, have the same tone, and follow a similar plot arc, just with new baddies and everyday traumas replacing the old ones.  Annnndddddd... this did not work.  At all.  I started the book four or five times, before I finally realized that I was basically trying to write the same book again, and that I needed to give myself license to make the sequel different.  The result ended up being that I started book two a full two years after book one ended, and the focus shifted from the theme of the first book (which is very much so "friendship") to focusing more on the main character outside of her friendships.

The Squad: I sold this one in a two-book deal, so I knew up front that there was going to be a sequel.  Because of overlapping deadlines (the two books released on the same day), I ended up writing the first draft of the second book after having done only one revision on book one, and (though I know some writers who enjoy doing this), it drove me a tiny bit insane, because right after my editor read book two, she decided that she loved the twist ending and that book one needed a big reveal in the last couple of chapters, too, and that, ideally, it would be a twist that would play an integral part in book two, even though book two had been plotted and written without aforementioned twist in play.  Everything worked out, and I'm super happy with how the books came out, but it was definitely a challenge at the time!  Oh, and in answer to your other question, book two started three weeks after book one, same characters (and same relative level of focus on each of those characters).  These were very episodic books, so they were structured kind of like episodes of a TV show- there was a "case" in each of the books, and that case was closed and all plot lines related to it resolved by the end of the relevant book, but some more general elements (the character's relationship with the main love interest, etc) stretched from book one to book two before they resolved (or came closer to a resolution).

Writing sequels is an amazing amount of fun, but it can be tricky business!  I have a good friend who says that as a writer, you never learn how to write books... you just learn how to write the book you're working on at any given moment.  I feel like that is especially true for sequels- every time I write a sequel (every single time, I swear), I have to figure out all over again how one goes about doing it- how the second book is similar to the first, how it's different, how it's *okay* for it to be different, how different is *too* different, how similar is *too* similar... and when you're having to balance all of those different things ANYWAY, I feel like it just adds a lot of complication to sit down and write the sequel before you know what the first book is going to end up being if and when it goes to print.  Even a change that seems small (say, your editor wants to see more character growth in your main character, or wants you to combine two of your supporting cast members) could completely change the sequel- if your character ends up in a different spot emotionally in the revised book one than the first book one, then their entire arc for book two could be out of character or redundant; if you get rid of a side character in book one and it just so happens that your original book two was largely concentrated ON that character...

There are just a TON of variables, and while there are some advantages to knowing where you want to go in book two, I think that can also handicap you, because if you write book two, it might impede your ability to really, REALLY revise book one in conjunction with an editor to make it the best book it could possibly be.

Offline Juliarts2003@yahoo.com

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2009, 03:32 PM »
...So if I'd written the sequel before the first book was ready to go to print, I probably would have had to throw it out, and I worry that I might have been more reluctant to really gut things in revision.  ...

When I did some asked-for revisions on my first book is when I quit working on the sequel - for that very reason. However, what I've already written still makes sense & I will definitely use it if whomever takes book 1 wants a book 2!


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Offline Rhonda

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2009, 04:12 PM »
Jen gave some FANTASTIC feedback about this. Thank you!

GeorgiaW

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #10 on: February 03, 2009, 05:20 PM »
I have to say that I think Debby's advice is INCREDIBLY solid on this front.  Novels change SO much in revision that if you write book two before you sell and revise book one, you stand a good chance of (a) not selling book one and then not being able to do anything with book two anyway, or (b) selling book one, getting editorial input, completely changing some of the characters/plot/ending in key ways, and having to throw out what you'd written for book two and start from scratch.  I'm only saying this, because I've been there and done that for both (a) and (b)!  Before I sold my first book, I wrote a series of four books that ended up being good practice, but not commercially viable.  I don't really mind or regret having written them in any way, but when you write a series, it either sells or doesn't as a whole, and in a business where it can take MANY different projects to break in to the industry, sometimes the difference between moving on to a new project versus working on a sequel can be the difference between writing seven books before you sell one (which is what I did) and writing two. 

But even if you do sell the first book, it's likely that you'll underestimate the number of things that could change in revision.  Of my published books, there are three sets of two (three books and their sequels), and the process between revising book one for my editor and writing book two looked a little something like this:...

Jen - first of all, I could not have asked for a more personal and detailed perspective.  I never in a million years would have thought that a total stranger would have taken so much time to give me such a complete and honest response to a question that has the potential to make or break my next - well - few months or years.  Thank you from the bottom of my fast beating heart. 

While I probably don't need to respond I will since it is very cathartic for me and I am really more thinking out loud than responding to your note.  So, feel free to ignore my comments.

One of the things I have learned in the very short time I have been writing full time is that I need to learn how to detach from my stories/plots/characters.  I need to not love them so much, be able to let them go and move on when necessary.  When writing this story, I did not realize how lucky I was.  The ideas came faster than I could write them.  Sure, I had writer's block at times but from start to finish the entire 118,000 word project was completed in 4 months (writing and editing - 4 complete edits) and I have 2 children under 5.  I also had a client during 3 of those months whose account I serviced at least 3 days/week.  I cannot let this story go.  It is not finished. 

I have tried to conjure up ideas for other stories to begin writing and I have 2 other characters that I have come up with but I do not have stories to tell about them.  The magic is just not there.  I don't suppose I am unique in feeling this way.

For Book II, I had already decided to change the focus and tell the story from a different point of view and so that there is more of an ensemble cast of characters rather than just Grace my heroine.  I had also decided to focus on the trial of her boyfriend who had been arrested at the end of Book I which would change the environment to the courtroom and bring more of a legal thriller aspect to the read as opposed to Book I which has a lot of focus on the otherworldly nature of her transition from human to angel and her interaction with otherworldly beings. 

I want to keep writing while ideas are fresh and I am excited and not feel stagnant.  I don't want to feel like I should NOT write because I have not sold my ms or that I am waiting for the phone to ring.  I feel like the longer my work remains unsold (I only started looking for representation in the past 2 weeks) I feel I will be writing from a place of sadness and desperation.  At the very least, I need to write for practice.  Anything I don't use, I can save for later or personal amusement. 

At any rate, I am going to save your post, and read and re-read it.  I so very much appreciate it and hope that you can hear how much so from my keyboard!

I would PM you but I don't think I can because of board settings.  If you would like to stay in touch - I would love it.  Having a mentor is very important to me.  My email is gameface 10314 at yahoo dot com without the spaces. 

Thanks-
Georgia

Offline Debby G

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #11 on: February 03, 2009, 05:25 PM »
That was really interesting hearing about how Jen's books changed with editorial input!

I've done two series. I originally conceived my Supernatural Rubber Chicken series as a middle grade series, but my editor thought it worked better as a chapter book series. I think she's right. So it did change substantially once it got into the publisher's hands. As a middle grade it probably would have been four times as long, the characters would have been older, the humor would have been less wacky, and the sentences and words would have been longer.

My other series was THE BAND YA trilogy. The proposal was conceived and sold by a packager as a trilogy about six Caucasian members of a rock band on the East Coast. I changed it to five members of a rock band, only three of whom were Caucasian, in San Diego. And I changed one of the protagonists into an antagonist. After I wrote the first book, my editors had me tone down the sexual parts and make things much less over-the-top and make it more serious. So I'm glad I didn't start the second book until the first one was edited.
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Offline LindaJoy

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2009, 06:19 PM »
I usually pick up close to when I left off, but it depends on the book. For my DEAD GIRL trilogy, each book continues immediately. But for the 6th THE SEER that I'm writing now, I needed some time to pass, so it started up 3 weeks later and jumps into a problem right away.

I started off with my most popular two characters and as I'm writing the 4th chapter now, there are a lot of characters that haven't been mentioned yet. I bring back only the characters that are important to each story, although I'll purposely weave in some information about past books which return-readers will enjoy.

I focus the story on its action and avoid getting bogged down with lots of explaining by imagining that I'm explaining things to a new reader.

Jen's quote about each book being it's own learning experience is true, that's what makes things interesting, because every book takes on its own shape and I usually discover some surprises along the way I didn't expect.
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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #13 on: February 03, 2009, 08:15 PM »
I want to keep writing while ideas are fresh and I am excited and not feel stagnant.  I don't want to feel like I should NOT write because I have not sold my ms or that I am waiting for the phone to ring.  I feel like the longer my work remains unsold (I only started looking for representation in the past 2 weeks) I feel I will be writing from a place of sadness and desperation.  At the very least, I need to write for practice.  Anything I don't use, I can save for later or personal amusement. 
 Georgia

Listen to your gut. I have no novels published but I think all writing is good writing practice.
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Offline Kiki Hamilton

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #14 on: February 03, 2009, 10:01 PM »
Wow.  What a great conversation.  I've seen other threads discussing sequels and the challenges of writing them and if you should write them before book 1 sells but I've never seen such fabulous details as Jen's post.  THANK YOU!  I'm 2/3 of the way through the sequel to my 1st YA novel that is not yet sold.  I have a completely different YA novel that I've started and is waiting for me when I finish my sequel, but given what I've just read, I think I might switch gears and start working on the standalone until my first book sells. hmmmm. decisions decisions....well, thanks for all the good food for thought.
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GeorgiaW

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #15 on: February 04, 2009, 04:36 AM »
I usually pick up close to when I left off, but it depends on the book. For my DEAD GIRL trilogy, each book continues immediately. But for the 6th THE SEER that I'm writing now, I needed some time to pass, so it started up 3 weeks later and jumps into a problem right away.

I started off with my most popular two characters and as I'm writing the 4th chapter now, there are a lot of characters that haven't been mentioned yet. I bring back only the characters that are important to each story, although I'll purposely weave in some information about past books which return-readers will enjoy.

I focus the story on its action and avoid getting bogged down with lots of explaining by imagining that I'm explaining things to a new reader.

Jen's quote about each book being it's own learning experience is true, that's what makes things interesting, because every book takes on its own shape and I usually discover some surprises along the way I didn't expect.

Thanks Linda.  I just came across your work yesterday! Your perspective is very much appreciated. Also Kiki - perhaps you and I should connect as well! I am posting my contact info if anyone is interested!

Now that the ms is completed, I will be blogging more frequently and linking to authors (I have some already) whose work I admire so if you have any links you'd like me to add, please feel free to let me know.  I also use Google Adsense. 

Cheers-
Georgia


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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #16 on: February 04, 2009, 05:54 PM »
This thread has inspired me to move on from my series and begin another project.  I've already written two books in the series and have outlined the third.  I started briefly on anothe project but lacked the motivation to plow through to the finish line.  I am not sure how passionate I am about the story and have been mulling over creating an entirely new character for a new book. 

Thank you ladies for your insight!

GeorgiaW

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #17 on: February 05, 2009, 07:04 AM »
Thanks everyone.  After a few days of feeling sorry for myself and completely unspired, I have outlined a new story that I am super excited about and will begin writing today! I am so grateful for all the help and support!

Cheers-
Georgia

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #18 on: February 05, 2009, 07:38 AM »
Georgia, I was right where you were, a couple of months ago. Last year, I finished a manuscript that is the first in a series. I love the characters, the world, everything about it. But, it's not agented and while I really hope and pray that it will find a home, it's just that--a hope. Right now that manuscript is submitted to the Delacorte contest, so I have about 4 months to work on something else while I wait to see about the contest. I started working on the sequel and then I came across a different thread about sequels, on this message board. And, I changed my mind. I stopped at chapter 1 of the sequel and started a new project. For weeks, I felt guilty and traitorous. Like I'd abandoned my "baby". Even though my crit partners are loving my new manuscript, I just felt so-so about it and I realized it was because I felt like I'd given up on my first story. This week, I've finally let those feelings go and am enamored with my new characters.

While I'd still rather have my first manuscript be my debut manuscript, in all reality, since it's harder for a new author to start off with a series, that might not be possible. I had to come to terms with letting my first love, my first characters, sit on the sidelines and wait, at least for awhile.

I completely understand not wanting to start something new. When I wrote my manuscript, all three of my boys were under the age of six and I worked night and day on it, finished the first draft in 3 months, and then ... a year later, I still have it--unsold. But, now it's revised and polished and I have that hope it will impress someone at Delacorte (the kind of hope where every time you open the mailbox, you dread seeing your SASE sitting inside, and every day it's not there, the hope burns a little brighter). But, I really think I'm doing the right thing by starting this new project.

Offline Debby G

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #19 on: February 05, 2009, 08:22 AM »
I'm glad my we've hopefully helped some people.

I also usually fall in love with my manuscripts as I work on them, which is a good thing, I think, because it's a nice reward for all the effort that comes with drafting and revising and the heartbreak of publishing or not publishing. But I think it's like having children: You can't imagine loving anyone as much as you love your first child, and then your second comes along and you realize there is plenty of room in your heart to love another one just as deeply. Okay, maybe I love my children a little more than my manuscripts, but just a little.

I have a YA on submission that I love so much because it explores a lot of issues that fascinate me and has a lot of dry, mocking humor that i find a lot of fun. Soon to be subbmitted is a tween story that I love so much because the main character fascinates me and it has a lot of sweet, silly humor that I find a lot of fun. And I've recently started working on a YA that I love so much because its structure fascinates me and it has a lot of dark humor that I find a lot of fun. Three different manuscripts and I love them all.
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GeorgiaW

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #20 on: February 05, 2009, 08:35 AM »
Georgia, I was right where you were, a couple of months ago. Last year, I finished a manuscript that is the first in a series. I love the characters, the world, everything about it. But, it's not agented and while I really hope and pray that it will find a home, it's just that--a hope. Right now that manuscript is submitted to the Delacorte contest, so I have about 4 months to work on something else while I wait to see about the contest. I started working on the sequel and then I came across a different thread about sequels, on this message board. And, I changed my mind. I stopped at chapter 1 of the sequel and started a new project. For weeks, I felt guilty and traitorous. Like I'd abandoned my "baby". Even though my crit partners are loving my new manuscript, I just felt so-so about it and I realized it was because I felt like I'd given up on my first story. This week, I've finally let those feelings go and am enamored with my new characters.

While I'd still rather have my first manuscript be my debut manuscript, in all reality, since it's harder for a new author to start off with a series, that might not be possible. I had to come to terms with letting my first love, my first characters, sit on the sidelines and wait, at least for awhile.

I completely understand not wanting to start something new. When I wrote my manuscript, all three of my boys were under the age of six and I worked night and day on it, finished the first draft in 3 months, and then ... a year later, I still have it--unsold. But, now it's revised and polished and I have that hope it will impress someone at Delacorte (the kind of hope where every time you open the mailbox, you dread seeing your SASE sitting inside, and every day it's not there, the hope burns a little brighter). But, I really think I'm doing the right thing by starting this new project.


Thank you.  I guess in a way, as much as I want to sell this as a series, there are things that I know have yet to tell in this story.  I hate to "beat a dead horse" but I feel like my characters are sitting around waiting for me to give them something to do.  Ever see those commercials where the movie characters are waiting for the person to watch them on TV? I feel like that now.  I know there is more to the story, I purposely created holes and unfinished business if you well, unclosed loops, left doors open.  I love these characters, even the bad ones.  At any rate, I am moving on.  It's only been 2 weeks since I sent my first query letter out.  I know I am crazy! LOL! I am starting to write my next story.  I am starting to be OK with letting my other story go for now even though I woke up at 2:40AM last night (just when I thought I was over it) with a complete opening scene for Book 2 in the series and wrote feverishly before going back to bed and being unable to fall back asleep).  I am newly committed to my new characters and the new story.  I am a little shaky because I don't have the complete story yet but I am excited to get started.

GeorgiaW

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #21 on: February 05, 2009, 08:36 AM »
I'm glad my we've hopefully helped some people.

I also usually fall in love with my manuscripts as I work on them, which is a good thing, I think, because it's a nice reward for all the effort that comes with drafting and revising and the heartbreak of publishing or not publishing. But I think it's like having children: You can't imagine loving anyone as much as you love your first child, and then your second comes along and you realize there is plenty of room in your heart to love another one just as deeply. Okay, maybe I love my children a little more than my manuscripts, but just a little.

I have a YA on submission that I love so much because it explores a lot of issues that fascinate me and has a lot of dry, mocking humor that i find a lot of fun. Soon to be subbmitted is a tween story that I love so much because the main character fascinates me and it has a lot of sweet, silly humor that I find a lot of fun. And I've recently started working on a YA that I love so much because its structure fascinates me and it has a lot of dark humor that I find a lot of fun. Three different manuscripts and I love them all.

Wow - good luck with all of them.  Many of my non writer friends look at me sideways when I tell them how much my main character Grace cracks me up!

Bryan M

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #22 on: February 05, 2009, 05:15 PM »
I've already written the second book of a series and am working on the third.  It's a series in that they're all MG mystery/adventure and use the same characters, but other than that the stories are stand-alone.  So I didn't pick up where one left off or age the characters.  They're still in seventh grade but one story is set in the summer and another is set in the fall.  The WIP is also set in the summer though later than the first one, and with a different adventure.  Kind of like seventh grade kids going through life and getting into mischief/adventure wherever they find it.

Offline Duskydawn

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #23 on: February 06, 2009, 04:35 AM »
I'm SO glad I found this thread! Georgia, I know how you're feeling with the want to continue and biting at the bit -- there's been such great discussion and sharing here, it's really a blessing and a big help.

My debut novel is going through revision and I had two other books in a series in my mind, but I wouldn't pitch them or even touch the idea until the first goes through its rounds. (I was given the advice early not to continue a series for the imagine-all-that-could-change reason and I thought it was presumptive since I want to honor my editor's opinion and input before I continue the tale!)  So I outlined these sequel ideas, made some notes, even a scene or two to keep things fresh, and then threw myself bodily into other project ideas (there's always SOME hanging around)! Once I decided which to pursue, I've been writing that WIP wholeheartedly to keep myself distracted from obsessing over my hoped-for series...

And now this new WIP is getting some attention so I think I'll be totally renewed when the conversation can return to novel-under-contract's hoped-for continuation (or maybe start something new again)!

Cheers for asking and creating such a fantastic dialogue!
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 05:48 AM by Duskydawn »

GeorgiaW

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #24 on: February 06, 2009, 09:11 AM »
I'm SO glad I found this thread! Georgia, I know how you're feeling with the want to continue and biting at the bit -- there's been such great discussion and sharing here, it's really a blessing and a big help.

My debut novel is going through revision and I had two other books in a series in my mind, but I wouldn't pitch them or even touch the idea until the first goes through its rounds. (I was given the advice early not to continue a series for the imagine-all-that-could-change reason and I thought it was presumptive since I want to honor my editor's opinion and input before I continue the tale!)  So I outlined these sequel ideas, made some notes, even a scene or two to keep things fresh, and then threw myself bodily into other project ideas (there's always SOME hanging around)! Once I decided which to pursue, I've been writing that WIP wholeheartedly to keep myself distracted from obsessing over my hoped-for series...

And now this new WIP is getting some attention so I think I'll be totally renewed when the conversation can return to novel-under-contract's hoped-for continuation (or maybe start something new again)!

Cheers for asking and creating such a fantastic dialogue!
Happy to inspire and thanks for sharing - it was out of desperation...  :-) I only wish my next ms would start with the same excitement and enthusiasm as the first did.  I suppose there will always be something about the first time huh?

Offline Duskydawn

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #25 on: February 06, 2009, 06:30 PM »
Happy to inspire and thanks for sharing - it was out of desperation...  :-) I only wish my next ms would start with the same excitement and enthusiasm as the first did.  I suppose there will always be something about the first time huh?

Dunno. This is my 11th (?) manuscript and my 4th MG/YA manuscript.  ;-)  Each one is exciting in its own, new way!

Offline Tamilyn

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2009, 10:02 AM »
Jen, thank you for your amazing, generous advice!

Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Offline Kimberly Lynn

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2009, 10:21 AM »
I actually knew it would be two books from the beginning.  Weird.  :crazy

Offline Chelsea

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #28 on: March 12, 2009, 09:40 PM »
I agree with what Jen said (and glad that other people have the same problems I do with sequels, and get past them), especially after spending the last year and a half struggling to write a sequel to a book that only took me a month to write.  The first book wasn't selling, and I kept coming back to the same dilemma of "Do I keep working on a sequel that might be useless, or do I switch to something new, even if I'm not in love with it?"  Ideally, I'd switch to something new, but I just couldn't get excited about anything.  I restarted that sequel SO many times, and eventually I decided it was a waste of my time and I shouldn't have been working on it.

But then an editor got interested in book one and gave me some awesome suggestions for it.  One of his suggestions--the only one that was actually a change to the book--I really liked, and implementing this change in book one finally made the sequel click for me and it all fell into place.  However, since a lot of his other revision suggestions involved expanding ideas and world building in book one, I was able to draw on all my sequel attempts for material and quickly added 20k (and sold the book).  So in the end, my experience with trying to write the sequel paid off on the first one.

That said, having to restart a book a million times, whether it's what you want to be working on or not, really sucks and causes a fair amount of insanity.  So while in my case it turned out that the work I did for the sequel wasn't wasted, it might have been a lot smoother if I'd gotten through the revision process first.  And said sequel is only about a third of the way done, so I have yet to actually finish it.

P.S.  It starts exactly where the first one leaves off, but then skips a couple months.
THE RISE OF RENEGADE X
HARPER MADIGAN: JUNIOR HIGH PRIVATE EYE
THE TRIALS OF RENEGADE X (coming September, 2013)

http://chelseamcampbell.com/

Offline mkl1025

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Re: Book II - Where Did U Start?
« Reply #29 on: March 13, 2009, 07:56 AM »
I'm actually going to be the odd-writer out on this one. I actually wrote a sequel while my first book was on submission. In the beginning, I refused to write the sequel until the first one sold. Until the submission process dragged out six months. I loved the characters so much, and drafted the sequel to really be a stand-alone work should it need to be. By the time my first book eventually sold, I had two completed MS in hand. Of course, my first book changed quite a bit in revisions and I had to go back to the sequel and reflect those revisions, but it was comforting to have both done (even if #2 was just a rough draft) when signing the contract.

Just my experience, though!