|Martin Cruz, from Deadwood (Credit: Shawna Tenney)|
It's a new mystery, not a part two, a duology, a trilogy, or a series. It's fun to be in the world of Deadwood again, and so familiar seeing it through the eyes of Martin and Hannah. But I'm finding a new set of challenges.
I went looking for some sequel wisdom, and here are four rules I found.
1. "Plan ahead of time."
Miss Literati - How to Write a Sequel the Right Way - "Though some can get away with creating a sequel at the last-minute, it may be a better idea to plan ahead of time." Oh well. Too late for that. Hopefully I can keep my threads straight.
2. "Guts are mandatory."
Caragh M. O'Brien, Writing the Second Book: Not Any Easier - Caragh O'Brien, author of the brilliant Birthmarked trilogy and upcoming The Vault of Dreamers, didn't started planning her trilogy while editing book one, so she was able to avoid writing into a box -- but she still had a lot of work to do in creating new challenges for book two. Guts were mandatory for everyone too: "In fact, my earliest draft was such a mess that it frightened my editor, Nancy Mercado." The published book, however, improved on the first.
|Hannah Vaughan, from Deadwood (credit: Shawna Tenney)|
4. "Don't let acute sequelitis happen to you."
Nathan Bransford, All About Sequels - Nathan Bransford, former agent and middle-grade author of the Jacob Wonderbar books, says that Acute sequelitis means being too attached to your characters and world so that you write a sequel to a book when no oide dreams of a massively long series when the first book in the series doesn't work out."
As a writer approaching release of my first book, point number four is a little touchy, so I'm going back to number two -- Caragh's advice. Now that I think about it, I'm one for four on this list.
Guts may be mandatory, but nothing else in writing is.
From reading or writing sequels, what advice do you have? I could use it...
About Kell Andrews: Kell Andrews writes picture books and middle grade novels. Deadwood, her middle-grade contemporary fantasy about a cursed tree, comes out from Spencer Hill Middle Grade in June 2014.