Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Writing the Sequel

What have I been working on? Top Secret - Shh! Not really. When I finished The Girl Who Remembered Horses, I never intended to write about Sahara's future world again. Truth be told, creating that world was difficult for me. I don't consider myself a fantasy writer, and most of my novels have been set in the contemporary world that I'm quite familiar with. It was a bit of a struggle to create a believable society in a post-apocalyptic world that readers could still relate to.

But according to this recent review from the UK, I pulled it off okay: Still, it was a surprise when readers, upon finishing the book, immediately clamored for more. "What comes next?" they asked. "We can't wait to find out!"

While this is, of course, a great compliment to a writer, it also feels like a huge responsibility. Can I revisit Sahara's world convincingly and give my readers another great plot? Can I satisfy all the horse lovers, dog lovers, and post-apocalyptic fans that each took something of their own from the story?

Then of course, there are the practical considerations. Where do you start a sequel? Immediately after the end of the last book? One year later? Five years in the future? Maybe a writer should even choose another character from the book, and tell their story, instead of our original heroine, Sahara.

Well, enough teases and conjectures. I am working on a sequel. It is (at the moment) told in Sahara's point of view. And although I have a vague plot rolling around in my head, I am very much a Pantser (which is a writer who writes by the seat of their pants.) So I cannot tell you much more than that.

I did tease one family member recently, who chided me with "what's going to happen?" "I believe I'll make it a Choose Your Own Ending story," I joked. "If you think Sahara and Evan become romantically involved, turn to page 33. If you think a band of marauding raiders come down out of the mountains and steal the horse, go to page 47. If you think all of the dogs die from distemper, or a huge epidemic wipes out most of the food supply, please see page 55."

But I jest. The truth is that I am working on it. I am also working on edits for a brand new book coming out June 1, 2012 (counting the days) called Six Degrees of Lost. You can read about it on Goodreads right here:

But my work-in-progress right now is a sequel to The Girl Who Remembered Horses, and I find that I am quite enjoying myself - becoming immersed in Sahara's world again. She is a great character, don't you think?

For those of you who have written sequels - do you have any tips you could share?

Readers - what do you enjoy, or not enjoy, about reading sequels?


Sandy Williams said...

ha ha I clicked for comments hoping someone else had advice for writing sequels! I don't! It's crazy hard, especially since you have to make the book readable for people who didn't read the first one! I'm hoping I pulled it off. Gotta wait until October to see.

But I'm so happy you're writing the sequel! Hurray!


Linda Benson said...

Ooh, Sandy, you have a sequel coming out to The Shadow Reader? That's awesome, girl!

Yes, you touched on the other reason they're so hard to write. Putting in enough information for them to make sense to new readers who haven't read the first book, but not so much that you duplicate or bore your original readers. Gasp! It's difficult. But then, I've always enjoyed a challenge.

Good luck with your new book, Sandy. I'll let you know when mine is ready to go.

Patricia said...

Glad to hear this, Linda! You're listening to what your readers want and I'm sure they'll be happy about that.