Wednesday, 3 April 2013

IWSG Post 1 - On Writing Sequels


For some reason this is my first time participating in the Insecure Writer's Support Group, which takes place on the first Wednesday of every month - thanks to the Ninja Captain Alex J. Cavanaugh! Possibly I was too busy being insecure to blog about it! But today I'm here to talk about the often difficult and discouraging process of writing sequels.

Writing a sequel is hard work - even harder, I'd argue, than writing the first book! I'm working on Book 3 of the Darkworld series so it's been the target of my writer's neuroses for the past couple of weeks. Progress is fine, but because the first book hasn't been published yet, those old annoying doubt demons keep whispering that if no one buys the first book, then they won't be interested in any sequels...

I'm sure I'm not the only writer who suffers from this insecurity! My experience with trying to promote The Puppet Spell has been like shouting into an empty room, which probably hasn't helped  much, but for every reasonable part of me that says that this time I have a far better support network, another unwelcome voice in my head insists on trying to bring my confidence down. It's the real-life version of the demons that constantly plague the protagonist of the Darkworld series. Maybe subconsciously the demons are based on writer's insecurity!

I think everyone has doubt demons - the important thing is to ignore them! Ultimately I'm writing this series because I want to - not because I expect a ton of raving fans eagerly anticipating the next book (although that would be nice!). I love the characters. I love writing the action scenes. And I think it's the best series idea I've had - so I'm going to strive to make each book better than the last, even if by Book 5 I'm the only person left to read it!

13 comments:

  1. Welcome to the IWSG. I've never tried writing a sequel - mostly because none of my characters make it to the final pages (that's only just an exaggeration BTW) - but if you have the story to tell, you've got to do it. Fingers crossed you sell the first book!

    Annalisa Crawford, One of April's IWSG Co-Hosts

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  2. Welcome to the group! I haven't purposely written a sequel, but I know when I finished it looked a bit like one. I I think even with stand alone books people have the same feeling. And you're right, we should ignore that or how will we know we actually have readers who love us? Good luck!

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    1. Definitely - it's all about confidence!

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  3. I can't imagine writing one, let alone the sequels-- hats off to you!

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    1. Cheers :) I blame my inability to let go of an idea!

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  4. I'm still working on my first book, although I've already added hooks for subsequent books in the series -- assuming I ever get around to writing them. Either way, it's important to keep writing. Not only will your craft improve, but once people begin to discover your books, you'll have others ready to sell them.

    Welcome to the ISWG.

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    1. Very true - that's why I always try to have several projects planned. Thanks for the welcome!

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  5. Publishers love sequels! As a published writer, I can't tell you how often I've been asked when my sequel will be done. Luckily I finally finished it. But what a shame I hadn't thought of it before the first one was published. There is only positive ramifications associated with sequels, Emma. Your sequel is going to look very appealing in your query letter.

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    1. True - I find that sequels only work for me when I pre-plan them before I start the first book. Thanks for commenting! :)

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  6. Keep the faith! If you're writing because you love the characters, that will shine through and the readers will love the characters, too.
    Good luck! :-)

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  7. I've never written a sequel, but as a reader I know a lot of writers struggle to keep characters moving forward and developing in interesting and compelling ways.

    I think that's essentially the trick you've got to master - good luck with it!

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