I finished my work in progress in the wee hours of the morning, The Wælcyries Murders.
What a fun novel!
The novel, according to conventional wisdom, should not be—it’s a sequel to a book I haven’t sold yet, which, according to some, isn’t a good idea.
Like much of the advice written on the Interwebs, a person has to be very careful not only consider the source, but also the context.
One reason it’s not a good idea is that your first book may never sell. Your agent or editor may also suggest changes to the first novel that render the second one invalid. Thus you’ve wasted your time.
Or have you?
I learned so much writing this novel. It took me six months to write. What did I learn in six months?
- I learned that there are tricks and techniques to writing your first novel so the second novel in the series gels and flows with the first
- I leaned about advanced characterization beyond a self-contained novel
- I learned how to write a sequel
- I learned new things about world-building and continuity
- I learned that even well respected writers and industry can over-generalize
Out of all of these points, the most valuable to me is the characterization I learned. What’s my main character’s motive, beyond solving the mystery? How does she grow? Where do the other characters fit?
This is my fourth novel I have written; with the caveat the first novel was a pure writing exercise with no basis in publishing reality. So, it’s more novel number three. I will repeat this to myself until it is true. Heh.
The first book in the series could never sell.
I can guarantee that if I do sell a book, and my publisher asks for a sequel, the process of producing that creative work will be much better. I learn by thinking about things and doing in an iterative process.
Next post I talk about the wok itself and the other things I learned.