Wednesday, April 1, 2020

The Insecure Writer and Writing Your Second Book



Today is April's contribution to Alex Cavanaugh's Insecure Writers Support Group.

What makes me an Insecure Writer this month?

Not knowing if I have a second novel in me or not. 

Those of you who follow this blog regularly know that I finished the first draft of my debut urban fantasy at the end of 2019. I’m now in the editing stages and, though the process can be frustratingly slow at times, I’m confident it will be finished sometime this year. 

I’ve been studying various aspects of marketing and selling books for the past couple of years, and one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is that it’s quite advantageous to complete at least two books in your series before you release the first one. The idea is that allowing too much time to pass between releases will cause your fans to forget about you. If you’re a slow writer like me, that’s a real concern. 

Note: I’m not talking about rapid release marketing, the perils of which I discussed in my previous post

So, I’ve already begun work on the sequel to my still unfinished debut novel. Crazy? Perhaps, but I’m having fun with it, allowing myself to work on whatever chapter appeals to me at the moment, without the pressure of having to show any of it to my critique partners. I’m happy with the results so far, but will this book be as good as the first? 

That’s a fear all debut writers face. Will I be able to do it again, or did I only have one book in me? 

Optional April 1 question: How am I and the family coping with the current crisis? 

As is the case with most of the rest of you, my entire family is stuck inside the house pretty much the whole day, which means boredom is a constant danger. My son is so bored he actually spent a couple of hours cleaning his room yesterday. Talk about the approach of Armageddon! 

We’ve been reduced to the point where we consider any trip away from our house as a sort of mini-vacation. Here are a few vacation pics of our trip to the local pizza place. 

Excitement is in the air!

Success!

Back home again, ready to recover from our trip

Our next planned outing is driving to Costco to gas up our car. The family is stoked! 

Take care everyone, and stay safe!


ChemistKen


26 comments:

  1. Now that made me laugh!
    Don't think about it too much and just keep writing that second story.

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    1. We've all gotta laugh at times like this. Take care.

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  2. Good luck with revising your book. I'm also writing a new book.

    Boredom has gripped us big time, so has the anxiety and fear regarding the Covid-19 pandemic. My prayers for you and your family's safety.

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    1. Have you been stressing over the new book, or are you an old pro at this writing thing by now?

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  3. LOL! Our next big trip is Lowe's on Friday. I can't wait.

    The second will be better because you will have grown even more as a writer.

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    1. Hopefully, I haven't used up all my good ideas already.

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  4. That's pretty funny--the mini vacas. It's just husby and I and we're pretty good together so no boredom, no issues. Good luck on the next book!

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    1. I can keep myself busy with the writing. Unfortunately, my wife doesn't have any hobbies at the moment to keep herself busy.

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  5. Take Out Vacation! I think you've hit on a perfect plan for making the most out of this isolating time.

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    1. My tutoring sessions have gone down, so at least I have more time now.

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  6. I don't think it's crazy to start sequels early. I've mapped out some ideas for Books 2 and 3 and it's actually been helpful to have them in mind and know anything I need to sneak into Book 1. I think it's a great idea to at least have an idea of where the series is going right from the beginning.

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    Replies
    1. I agree with you. Thinking about the next book has already allowed me to drop little foreshadowing bits in the first book.

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  7. This is crazy hilarious. I wish all family outings were this much fun. :-)

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  8. I can totally relate to the excitement of leaving to do anything. I'm a slow writer like you and not sure I have a second book in me. So I would write book 2 before I tried to publish the first book in a series.

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  9. Ha! We just got a pizza for dinner on Friday and I can totally relate. By "got a pizza" I mean husband called in the order and picked it up from outside the restaurant-handing over the money like two pizzas were an ounce of something super illegal-and brought it home, all by himself. Still the most excitement we've had in weeks :)
    Regarding the second book, I believe you've got it in you. Being excited about using foreshadowing in the first book tells me there's plenty of creativity bubbling under the worry. Good luck, and I hope you and your family stay well!

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  10. Whatever happened to people remembering what they have already read? It's the newspapers's fault ever since they started the cliffhangers at the end of their weekly posts. I would give my eye-teeth for a big fat hamburger and a big big plate of fries!

    Stay safe, Ken!

    https://joylenebutler.com/phyllis-zimbler-miller-covid-19-when-words-are-all-we-have/.html

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  11. Oh yeah. I love those vacation pics!!! Our family outings are like that, too. Getting the mail at the end of the driveway is not just thrilling for our dog anymore.

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  12. Hey, Ken, a trip to Meijer for grocery pickup was the highlight of Hubs' day. Mine was a trip to the doctor after a televisit wasn't enough. It's the little things, right? I hope you stay safe and enjoy writing the sequel. If it's fun, go for it.

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  13. Basically just shouting to neighbors from across the street here. In other words, status quo.

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  14. Love the photos!!! We have to go for groceries tomorrow, maybe we'll take pics of our vacation! :)

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  15. I think it's a good idea to start the sequel. Just don't let it take over and push the first book aside. I've had that happen a few times. ^^;;

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  16. I hadn't even known I was going to write a series when I published Hurricane Crimes. Hurricane Crimes came out in 2013, and Seismic Crimes came out in 2016. After that, they were one year apart. Except for this last one. Two years. I think readers will wait if they love the first book enough, but starting it is a good idea. It'll give you a break when you need to refresh your mind and eyes from editing/revising.

    Stay safe!

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  17. So the approach of Armaggeon is what it take to get kids to clean their rooms, sigh. Also, isn't weird to have to 'plan' each outing. Thanks

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  18. I think many authors, after the first novel, questioned whether they had a second novel. I think it's part of the journey... LOL
    What a fun family outing!
    Stay safe!

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  19. I am writing two novels together sort of for my series which may end up being a trilogy rather than five books. You could write a few short stories or flash fiction in your story world to create an anthology to release in between bigger novels. I plan to do that too.

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