Search This Blog

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Writing The Second Book Blues

I'm never entirely certain what to blog about but today I actually have a topic to discuss. Its miraculous, isn't it? LOL

Just recently I was e-mailing back and forth with my CP. (Thats critique partner for those of you who do not speak writer-ease.) For me, that is the person with whom I share my work before it is submitted to publishers for consideration. It is, in this case, her job to tell me if there is something that isn't really working in my writing. I suppose this could, sometimes, just be grammar but in my case I find it more helpful to discuss plot and characterization. It's not that grammar doesn't matter--it DOES--but I find I'm more likely to have a book rejected on the basis of plot and characterization than an improperly placed tense or misused word.

My critique partner has recently begun a really fantastic Young Adult High Fantasy series that I think you will all enjoy reading immensely when it comes out and you can be sure I'll be showing it off here when the time comes. (YAY!) She's contracted the first book and is now on a deadline to write Book 2 and Book 3 for the publisher.

The plot is there, the characters strong, and the writing outstanding, as I would expect from her--Really, she makes my job so easy.

For me, writing the second book is never easy.

For me, I get The Second Book Blues. I've faced them quite a bit. See the titles featured above--Love Beyond Sanity (available from Eirelander Publishing), Summer's Wolf (available from Liquid Silver Books), and Driven (not yet available from Decadent Publishing.)

Each time I have gone to write the second book in a series, I have found myself stumbling. It's as if I never wrote the first book at all. I don't know the characters, I can't recognize the plot, I feel as though the world has ended with Book 2.

Why is this? Its because of the big D in the writing world: Doubt.

When a plot bunny first appears to a writer it's like a gift from the heavens. You have a story--and not just a story but a SERIES--that you can adequately write and someone has BOUGHT it. Hallelujah. You love it. You love the characters. You love everything about it. Miraculously, the publisher loved it. They contracted it.

Now what? Now you have to make something AGAIN. You have to do not just as good a job as you did in Book 1 but you have to do it in Book 2. What if you can't? What if Book 1 was just a fluke? What if you're not really a good writer? You just managed to fool everyone in Book 1?


The good news? It passes somewhere in the middle of the Book. You are a good writer--or at least as good as you ever were (LOL)--and Book 2 is, in my opinion, often better than Book 1.

So I need a favor. I'm writing a Book 2 right now. When I freak out tomorrow--can someone remind me of this?


  1. OMG Rebecca I am going through that right now ... LOL! perfectly timed blog-thanks!!

    ~Amanda Jayde

  2. Deal! I am in the middle of my book 2 at the moment and it is a little more depressing than the first - maybe it reflects that point?