October 13 – Writing a Sequel

Goal 1: I will work on my writing every day.

I got a lot of information from my muse about her past that I think will be useful when writing my story. My concern now is that I don’t want to just write the first one all over again.

Don’t get me wrong, I am using different characters, a different setting, and different antagonists. My problem is that the concept hasn’t changed. So if the basic premise is the same, how is the new story different from the first one? Even worse, since I am still in the editing process for the first one I don’t know how much I will be able to carry forward from that one to make the second one better.

The overall concept is that a modern-day Valkyrie falls in love while trying to stop Ragnarök. This is the same for both books, but I am writing about different Valkyries. I haven’t figured out yet who is behind the plot to start Ragnarök, so that is one of the problems with the sequel (and the original, for that matter).

I’m thinking about the concept because I have been reading Story Engineering, by Larry Brooks. I am counting reading books on writing as time spent toward Goal 1, for the simple reason that I really need to work on some of these basics in order to improve my writing. I have read several books already, but I guess the things they are trying to tell me haven’t registered in my brain, so I am going to continue to work on this. I am even thinking about doing some of the writing exercises.

So back to my thoughts about the sequel. The danger of writing sequels, as most of us know from the dreck that has come out of Hollywood, is that many sequels don’t live up to the promise of the original. The audience doesn’t want the sequel to be as good as the first one, they expect it to be better. That’s a tough thing to do.

The best way to do sequels is by having the entire series thought out ahead of time. That’s what I’m trying to do with my Immortalis Rex series. I am trying to develop an outline that covers the entire seven or eight book series before I start writing. I want to make sure that each of the major characters has consistent development and that there is a consistent plot that carries through the entire series. And since the series will cover the entire span of human existence, including some centuries (or even millenia) into the future, you can understand why I’m concerned about getting it right.

I have a lot of thinking to do about my Valkyrie story. I may need to reread the first book and figure out exactly what I want to do in the edits so I can work out how I want to write this sequel. I’ll let you know next week how I’m doing. If I can’t get this done in time, I may have to do something else for NaNoWriMo.

Goal 2: I will participate in NaNoWriMo in November.

As I said above, I am plotting, planning, and most of all, thinking. Wish me luck!

Goal 3: Diet and exercise to lose at least 10 pounds by the end of this round.

Dieting, but not nearly enough exercise. I need some more hours in the day!

My next check-in will be Monday, October 17. See you then!

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1 Comment

Filed under Fiction, NaNoWriMo, ROW80

One response to “October 13 – Writing a Sequel

  1. If you want some ideas about series writing, I suggest looking up the few posts Janice Hardy (http://blog.janicehardy.com/) made about working on her Healing Wars trilogy. She had to work on the whole bit about how to keep the middle book from sagging. Some of those posts might have bits of insight that might help you even though you’re working on a much larger series. I know that if any of my WIPs turn into series, I’ll be revisiting the posts. She also has many great writing nuts-and-bolts type posts and has a Real Life Diagnostic feature (http://blog.janicehardy.com/2008/01/real-life-diagnostics.html) where a reader can submit a sample with a few key questions and she’ll analyze it on the blog as a teaching tool for everyone.

    Best of luck with your series. It sounds like it could be neat. And rah rah on the health goal. That’s excellent! 😀

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