Writing Book 2 - A Recap

Katherine Longshore 2 Tuesday, August 07, 2012
As Donna mentioned in her post yesterday, this week the Muses are revisiting some of our favorite blog posts from the past year.  If you've been following us for a while, you'll know it's a kind of a tradition.  We started blogging together in August of 2010, so this is a little anniversary for us.  A way to look back.

I have a difficult time looking back over my own blog posts.  I see a lot of faults in them.  I could have said something differently.  Or my opinion has changed slightly.  Or I (finally) think of a brilliant last line.  I can picture exactly where I was when I wrote them.  In the house, in my life, in my process.  And it's not always pretty.  I don't really have any favorites.

But I'd like to share with you one that I find particularly relevant this week.  Wayyyy back in January, our featured theme was Book 2.  I've been thinking a lot about this recently, because I hit "send" on my final revision of Book 2 yesterday.  And while trawling through old blog posts to find one to upload today, I discovered this:

I'm sure if you ask any published author about the sophomore novel, he will cringe or laugh hysterically or roll his eyes or start to gag and sweat.  It doesn't seem to matter if it's a second stand-alone, the second in a trilogy, a companion novel or the second in a five-book series.  That Book 2 is like the monster in the closet.

The crazy thing is, Book 2 is not my second book.  It's my fourth.  I believe Donna and Veronica can say something similar.  And Talia?  Well, I can't wait to read her post this week.

I suppose there is something about the second book for publication that gets the inner editor working overtime.  It certainly gives my inner procrastinator a full-time job.  Because there is a large degree of fear that accompanies the sophomore novel.

Fear of failure (Book 1 was a fluke. I'm going to disappoint my agent/editor/readers.)
Fear of deadlines (I'll never make it. If I squeeze all the work in, it will be hackneyed and rushed.)
Fear of self. (I'm procrastinating like crazy!)
Fear for characters (I won't do them justice.)
Fear of the business (What if the first book doesn't do well?  What if the series is cancelled? What if I never sell another book and die unloved and alone hugging my single venture to my chest with chocolate-stained hands?)

Fear can be immobilizing. It certainly gives my inner procrastinator a lot of tools to work with.  So every day, I have to move to the edge, look over, cross my fingers and start.  I can't tell you how it will end.  I still don't know.  At some point in 2013, when Book 2 is on the shelves, you'll have to come tell me.  But until then, I have to give my inner procrastinator a run for its money.

Fast Forward - My fears have not changed.  Not in 8 months, not in three revisions, not in all the growth I've undergone as a writer.  I don't know if they ever will.  Perhaps - like waiting or rejection or the roller coaster - it's just part of the life of a writer.  This book was a tough one to write.  And even harder to revise.  Because I wanted to do the characters justice.  It's been wonderful spending time with them.  And I hope - come summer 2013 - you'll feel the same.


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