Thursday, March 18, 2010

I'm in love

...with my novel's sequel.

When I sit down to pound out a novel, which usually happens for NaNoWriMo each November, it just sort of flows out of my fingertips of its own accord. The beginning is me getting in touch with my characters, the first third is me exploring the plot I'd set out in my head (sometimes very, very loosely. Very.) The middle is where I'm wondering how I'm going to make what I'm doing now connect with the end (which I usually DO have in my head by the first few chapters) and the end is a lot of work to pull it all together.

Not this time.

I've never had the need for a sequel before. Everything else I've done ended neatly in 100k or less. But not my first novel, my baby. I wasn't ready to let that one go. And so to convince myself to finish the darn thing, I allowed myself a sequel. Amazing how easily the 'The End' came after that. Of course, that meant I got to sit down and play with my characters anew.

That was four years ago.

Any idea how much my writing has changed in the past four years? Let's just say (incredibily understated) lots.

With the baby novel now sitting in quarantine for one last tweak, I'm tearing into this partial rough draft of the sequel to see if there's anything here I can do without that would allow me to cut setup from the first novel. So far: 637 words. The sequel has its redeeming moments, but it needs a (again, incredibly understated) lot of work.

Know what I love though? I know the characters. All of them. Very well. I know the world and the tech. I know the feel of the novel. I had an ephiphany that showed me a fresh beginning, middle and end, the twists and how it all fits together. It's nothing like writing a fresh novel from the ground up.

After countless revisions on my baby novel it feels so good to explore and create with these characters agian. I've missed them. It's about time we had fun together. We deserve it.

Does this mean I'll start leaving room for more sequels in other novels? Not likely. It's a whole different challenge.

But that's a post for another day.

4 comments:

  1. This sounds really cool! I have never written a sequel, though I have occasionally mapped one out in my head. (I kind of have to, you know, finish one before I can get that far. :D)

    And characters quickly become old friends. It's always fun to play with them!

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  2. How interesting, Darla! Mz writing has changed a lot, too. Good luck with the baby novel and its sequel!!!

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  3. Those novels...they grow up so fast...

    Glad to hear about the sequel! I've never finished a sequel for one of my novels, but I have tons of ideas, most of which will probably never make it onto the page...

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  4. Odd. I'm working on a sequel too, but to me it does feel exactly like making a fresh start.

    Maybe that is partly because I wrote the first with no thought of a sequel at the time. Yes, it is a continuation of the story, but it is emphatically its own story. And it's got a lot of new characters too (well, I killed so many off in the first one!)

    But, yes, it's great to bring old friends out to play again. Good luck with it, and I hope the enthusiasm sees you through all the hard slog.

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