So I just wrote a post about writing a sequel or series. Well…
I noticed while writing my sequel, Mad Rush, the story didn’t pour out of me like it did with book one, Timber Point— and I couldn’t figure out why.
The other day I was reading a post about flashbacks– when I had one. A flashback. I was sitting in my recliner, my Chromebook on my lap, writing Timber Point. It was the point in the book when I first decided to turn it into a series. I remembered thinking… I could go so many ways with Shawny Daniels. The possibilities were endless of the dire situations I put her in. Because she’s a great protagonist with many flaws I knew how she’d react if she saw this or that. Or if this happened or that happened.
Somewhere between that moment and the day I started Mad Rush… Each situation I’d thought up had vanished from my mind.
So, when I sat down to write the sequel I went a totally different way. A direction I’d never contemplated before. And guess what? I struggled. The words didn’t flow as much as I would’ve liked. I got stuck in a few places and it felt forced when I finally got myself unstuck.
It just wasn’t working out the way I’d hoped and I couldn’t figure out why.
Then it hit me: “I’m writing book three, not two!”
Once I had this revelation everything became clear. The fog lifted, and I could see the entire book unfold right before my eyes. It was as though someone had taken a dirty pair of glasses off my eyes and replaced them with crystal clear ones. Everything was right in my writing world. And my confidence shot right back up.
Mind you, I was just about two-thirds of the way through the book when I realized this. It wasn’t easy to stop and start over. But, I figured, once I finish book two… book three is almost done.
So I sat down. I flipped open my computer, and boom– the story rushed out of me like a flood, pouring words all over the screen. And I knew– I was writing the correct story. The sequel I hoped I wrote the first time. Each day– and I only worked on it in the afternoon for a few hours– I had over two thousand words. In two half-days I’ve completed almost 5,000 words. No doubt I was writing the sequel now.
This story is writing itself, just as fast as Timber Point. I completed Timber Point in a day or two shy of three weeks. I think this one will take me about that long to finish, maybe less. Why? Because it’s the right book in the right order.
It’s funny that your subconscious knows when you’re going down the wrong road. As writers, the worst thing we can do is ignore that little voice, your inner author. Because if you listen… the world opens up and wonderful things happen to you. If you try to pretend you don’t hear it… you’ll struggle, you’ll force the words (which is never a good thing), the story just won’t sound right.
The moral of this story is this: As writers, it’s important to feel the stories we write. Let them grow organically. Let them evolve. The story will speak to you. You’ll feel it with your mind, your soul, your very being. If something feels off… there’s a reason. Instead of trying to force yourself through a sticky part, sit back and really think, “Why am I having this trouble? Did I zig when I should’ve zagged? The answer, you’ll soon find, is within your grasp. All you have to do is stop and listen to your “inner author”. That little voice that tells you when things are going well and when they’re not. I guarantee the story will end up stronger for it in the end.
Have you ever written something that you knew wasn’t right? What did YOU do?