Dramaquill's All Things Writing

June 11, 2013

Sequel nearing completion

Just plotted out the last five chapters of my sequel
The finish line is in sight
Never give up

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July 17, 2012

Will Anybody Want to Read my Sequel?

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As I continue to struggle with creating any form of decent writing, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the projects I’m currently avoiding.  My biggest avoidance at the moment is the sequel to my first suspense novel.  This is a book that I’m very passionate about finishing.  My characters need me to let them tell the rest of their story.

And yet, as each day goes by, I do not write anything.

The other night I sat down to watch Bunheads, a new Amy Sherman-Palladino series on ABC Spark.  I was drawn to the show for several reasons.  Amy created The Gilmore Girls, one of my  all-time favorite shows.  Amy’s dialogue is snappy and her characters embrace uniqueness.  One of the leads in the series is Fanny, played by Kelly Bishop, formerly Emily Gilmore of Gilmore Girls fame.  The studio that I co-own teaches ballet and pointe and a variety of other dance classes.

I knew I’d love this show.

As of last night, I’ve now seen five episodes of Bunheads.  Much to my surprise, I’m not really loving it.  Although it contains the same type of quirky characters and quippy dialogue, it somehow plays like a poor second cousin to Palladino’s Gilmore Girls.  I’m hoping, with time, that it will find its way into my heart, but it’s going to take work.  I don’t know how much longer I’ll hang in.

That got me to thinking about my sequel.

My first suspense novel, “When Love Won’t Die”, has been very well received.  I’ve had lots of great reviews and just as many inquiries as to the status of the sequel.  Most of my followers can’t wait to get their hands on the next book.

But what if it’s a poor second cousin to the first book?

What if people don’t really like it?

I know what you’re probably thinking.  Bunheads and “When Love Won’t Die” are completely different.  Obviously one’s a TV show and one’s a book.  But they do have something in common.  They are both another product of their creator.  They are both going to be compared to other works by the same author.

So do I quit writing the sequel for fear it won’t be as good as the first book?  Will anybody want to read my sequel?

Yes, I really do believe they will.

Why?

Because I’m going to make sure that the writing is even better than the first book.  I’m using many of the same characters, but for those who have read “When Love Won’t Die”, they will see more complex, interweaving sub-plots and lots of character development.

Bunheads isn’t a sequel to the Gilmore Girls.  Unfortunately, many viewers will compare Kelly’s Fanny character to Emily Gilmore and the new young lead, Michelle, to Lorelei.  I know I have. But they shouldn’t.  This is a new series.  It’s not a sequel to anything.  Maybe I don’t really like it because it doesn’t revisit Stars Hollow and all the quirky characters I grew to love during the Gilmore’s seven year run.

So what has all of this taught me?

Once your stuff is out there, you develop a following.  Your readers will be inclined to compare your books to each other.  I don’t want to disappoint them.  Maybe that’s why I haven’t been able to work on my sequel. 

Or maybe, I just have to stop thinking so much and get my butt in the chair and write something…anything.  Finish the darn book! 

Amy Sherman-Palladino isn’t sitting around wondering whether or not she should create another series.  When The Wyoming Project didn’t make it into the 2010-2011 TV schedule, Palladino went on and created Bunheads.

Will anybody want to read my sequel?

I’ll never know if I don’t finish it. 

Do you have a project that you’re avoiding?  Join me and let’s finish them together.

To find out more about Amy Sherman-Palladino, read this article:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amy_Sherman-Palladino

To find out more about her new series, Bunheads,follow this link: http://abcfamily.go.com/shows/bunheads/

To purchase “When Love Won’t Die”, check out the following sites:
http://www.amazon.com/When-Love-Wont-Die-ebook/dp/B004AYD6YE

http://redrosepublishing.com/books/product_info.php?products_id=649
http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/When-Love-Wont-Die/book-p2VHGKHWAE6biZdRsFV_tA/page1.html

December 6, 2011

Nanowrimo aftermath

 
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Well it’s been nearly a week since Nanowrimo (the national novel writing month) ended and participation in the event has given many writers a rough draft of a new book or at least several thousand words toward such a project.

Did I win by writing 50,000 words?  Nope!  But I still won by participating.

Nanowrimo forced me to get back to working on my sequel suspense novel and because of the discipline of having to write something every day in November, I now have some 17,000 more words added to my book and a much clearer understanding of not only my ending, but also the areas I will now revise and rewrite to make the book its best.

Did I participate in Nano this year in hopes of finally winning with 50,000?  A part of me would have liked to have achieved such a lofty goal.

Am I disappointed that I didn’t cross the perverbial finish line so to speak?  Absolutely not!

All writers know that writing is a solitary job.  Having the discipline to stick with a long project like a book manuscript requires isolation from others (both online and off) and a real commitment to sitting down and fleshing out the story.  With all of life’s distractions, getting ample time to finish such a project can be extremely difficult.  Nanowrimo provides just the push that I need, especially at a time of year when life is busier with the impending holiday celebrations.

Thanks Nanowrimo for another great year!  You kick-started my first novel which definitely helped me on the road to having it published.  Hopefully, my sequel won’t be far behind.

May 29, 2010

The Creative Process…unpredictable

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Just recently I received the artwork for the cover of my upcoming suspense novel and I must say, I was thrilled with the entire look of it.  It completely captures the essence of my book and I think it will entice many to read the synopsis at the back and hopefully want to buy the book.

So, I had been working on a sequel to this novel, but due to some major revisions to the first book, a sequel may or may not be my next step.  Slightly derailed in my creativity for a few days, I sat down, literally with pen and paper, and began to write out some other plot ideas that had been festering inside my head.

It seems I have a completely new book, with a new cast of characters, ready and willing to pour out onto the page.  The character sketches and major plot points came together incredibly quickly and after two or three hours of writing, I now have a prologue and two full chapters and I’m quite intrigued on where this is all going.

The creative process is indeed unpredictable.  I was completely sure, and completely excited to finish the last third of my sequel.  My characters were still fresh from the rewrite of book one and the intricacies that had developed in the sub-plots and amongst the major players had me convinced that I’d complete the manuscript within a few days.

But my creative persona had other plans.

You’re a writer.  Don’t let yourself get tied into one idea or one project.  If the creative muse comes a calling with something new, open yourself to the possibilities of the creative process.  You never know what might happen.  Savour the unpredictable.

February 10, 2009

The Sequel – should I or shouldn’t I?

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I’m finished my adult suspense novel.  It’s been workshopped through my online critique group, read and critiqued by a couple writing friends and professionally critiqued by a published author from the same genre.

So now I’m crafting my query letter and getting ready for the first round of subbing.  I’m going to try agents first and see if I get any requests.  After that, I’ll target some publishers I’ve been collecting that seem suited to my book’s genre.

But something inside tells me the story isn’t over yet.  (In order not to spoil the ending of the first book, I can’t elaborate at this time.)

So I’ve begun a sequel.  Interestingly, it’s much easier to write than the first book.  I know the characters so well they feel like old friends.  The setting is comfortable and I can picture everything as if I’d lived there myself.

But I’ve read a lot of articles and posts that indicate publishers are not all that jazzed about sequels, especially from first-time authors.

So what to do, right?

Well, I’m going to run with this sequel idea and see where it takes me. 

What am I not going to do?

I’m definitely not going to mention it when I query agents and/or publishers regarding the first book. 

But I’m going to write it.  I feel the same adrenaline rush of brainstorming start to flow when I open up the sequel document as I did when I worked on the original book. 

I have no idea what will happen with the sequel.  Maybe half-way through I’ll run out of ideas and stop.  Maybe I’ll resolve things for myself by writing more for these characters and decide that I’m happy knowing the “rest of the story” but that it doesn’t qualify for a second book.

OR

Maybe I’ll have a second book ready when that agent or editor asks.

Sequels have a lot to live up to.  Look at the movies.  How many times have you seen “name of movie” 2 and thought, “That wasn’t as good as the first one.”

But many kidlit writers have found sequels to be their claim to fame.  Look at the Twilight series – kids are devouring it right now.  JK Rowling didn’t have trouble selling six sequels to the original HP book.

All I know is that I will definitely have to be honest and ask myself one question when I finish this 2nd book:  Is it as good as the first one?

If I can truly answer “yes”, then maybe I just might have something.

How many of you have a sequel brewing?  What are you going to do about yours?

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