iamnotabookworm, Goodreads (about book #1)
Published: April 3, 2018
No planet. No hope.
Quinn Neen and his friends have survived the uprising and the ruthless Fosaanian leader’s attempt to kill them, but the galaxy is still hurtling toward war. With just a few days before Quinn starts his mandatory military training, he plans to spend the time with Mira, the Fosaanian girl he’s in love with. When a mysterious message forces them on a journey to an isolated planet named Reyet, Quinn’s plans quickly change.
A coup on Reyet throws everything into chaos, leaving Quinn and Mira evading enemies they know, and some they don’t, including the planet itself. Now, time is running out for Earth, Fosaan, and Reyet, and there may be no place left in the galaxy that’s safe.
The Challenge of the Second volume
A second book in a series is a huge challenge, especially for someone like me who is not very good at plotting out things in advance. I only had the vaguest of ideas of what I wanted to happen, though I did have a one page outline. When I sat down to write it, the outline just didn’t live up to its promise. I’m a pantster rather than a plotter and I don’t think up my best ideas until I’m actually writing.
I do have three tips to share, learned the hard way, which seems to be the story of my writing career. J
1. Make a spreadsheet of characters and settings from book one, along with any unusual elements that you might want to use in book 2. It’s amazing how much I forgot, and how often I had to go back to book 1 to figure out what I wrote.
2. Carefully evaluate the secondary characters from book one. They served their role then, but you’re probably going to need to add some new characters in book two, so which book one characters make the cut to carry over? Basically, ask yourself who gets the rose (s)? You have to be somewhat ruthless, I’m sorry to say, unless you are better than me at managing an expanding cast of characters, all of whom demand their space on the page and exciting stuff to do.
3. Make a list of the most exciting or dramatic parts of book 1. Your readers are going to expect at least that level of drama in book two, if not an even greater level of drama. Figure out before you start writing how you are going to match or top those elements. Second books are often not as widely read or loved, for many reasons, some of which you can’t control, but keeping it up to the dramatic level of book 1 is something you can control.
But mainly, the main goal is to just get a draft down on paper. I always remind myself I can’t edit blank pages. The hardest part of writing is overcoming your own brain. So don’t let that tricky brain stop you. Just write on, write on!
About the author:
Dee Garretson writes for many different age groups, from chapter books to middle grade to young adult to adult fiction. She lives in Ohio with her family, and in true writer fashion, has cat companions who oversee her daily word count. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, watch old movies, and attempt various kinds of drawing, painting and other artistic pursuits.