Writing and Me

Indie Authors: That Second Book!

Okay, where should I start? Let’s start with the truth- writing the second book is like treading water in a vat of pig shit. Or, should I say, treading water in a vat of pig shit that you love swimming in. We wouldn’t bother if we didn’t enjoy it, right? But crikey it is hard work.

Firstly, there is the dreaded self-doubt. Can I live up to book one? Will I do the characters justice? Am I creatively spent? Secondly, there is the story logistics. How many characters have I brought forward? How many must I add? Can I develop their character and narrative arcs further? Thirdly, there is the matter of time. How can I commit enough time to writing book two if I’m forever self-promoting book one?


… and breathe.

There is only one answer I have found to all of the above and that is to slog through it. Grit your teeth and hit the ground running. Bulldoze your way through if needs be, but don’t stop. It might not be pretty at first, but we all soon find our stride.  Anything worth doing is hard work, but hard work doesn’t mean it can’t be fun.


4 thoughts on “Indie Authors: That Second Book!”

  1. I always wonder if I’m creatively spent. Every poem I write, I feel like it’s probably my last one. As I was writing my first book, I didn’t know if I had enough in the mental tank to fill out a full novel. But I did. Then I started getting ideas for a second book. Like you said, the initial doubts that hit me were about if I was spent and, if I wasn’t, what the heck is going to happen with these characters and what new characters will be introduced? And which characters, if any, should I drop?

    It was quite a task getting those things wrangled and in some kind of order, but also like you said, it was a lot of fun seeing what became of my characters following the events of the first book. Since my second takes place four years after my first, I had to catch up with my characters and let them tell me what they’ve been doing and how they’ve grown together or apart and what other developments went on in those four years.

    Of course, the hardest thing is to figure out the type of feel you’re going for with the second book. Should it be similar to the first or should it be somewhat different or radically different? For me, I went off of a light-hearted thought I had that my second book was going to encompass everything that a good sequel should be: a semi-lazy repackaging of the Exact. Same. S**t.

    Oddly enough, the second book hasn’t turned out exactly the same as the first. I guess that’s a failure of my semi-laziness. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My 2nd book has the same tone as the first, but takes it a step or two darker. It starts literally 24 hours after the first left off.
      My biggest problem was characters. I had eleven previous, not to mention more that needed to feature in book two. I’m slowly working my way through that hurdle.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good luck. 🙂

        I know how hard it is to juggle characters. I made my first book simplistic in that way, limiting the number of characters, mainly because it was my first shot at writing at a novel and I wanted to start pretty basic. For the second book, however, I have a list of new characters, and I always have that list handy when I’m writing so that I know who’s available and where they are. I put a note beside characters who die so I can keep track of who shouldn’t be appearing anymore.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I have lots of death and the narrative allows for it, so a few characters are up for the cull! 😉

        I have a natural plot development where my main character (I write in first person present tense) is separated from a number of the characters and this has helped me a great deal. Phew!

        Liked by 1 person

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