Today I have guest blogger Aimee Laine with me. Aimee has just released the second book in her Mimics of Rune series, Surrender. The first book was entitled Little White Lies. Aimee has been very busy since that first release in July 2011, starting a whole new series, The Games of Zeus and a series under her young adult pen name of Emi Gayle. With all those series in the works, I asked Aimee to give us some perspective on the challenges of writing them. Take it away, Aimee!
Book two. Book two. Book two. It’s just not the same as writing book one. Book one is new where everything the writer does has no future impact, necessarily.
But if one writes one of those ‘firsts’ and then add in the second, that’s where things get interesting.
Everything from book one has to match in book two. And, as the old saying goes, ‘it’s all in the details.’
Were the bedroom walls seafoam green or blue? Was the door on the left or right? Did the main character have blonde hair or black? Blue eyes or brown? Readers see these inconsistencies – like with movies. We’ve all see the ‘errors’ reel. The one where the person is facing left at the start of a scene and right when the camera pans back to them. Oops!
Those details can make or break book two.
Book two may be a new plot or a continuation if in a series. Characters may change or the point of view may change. The key to being successful with the second story is making it just as new and fresh as book one was.
That’s the super hard part.
As we all know, sequels in movies tend not to be the better story. In writing books, readers expect that book two will be better than book one. So from an author’s point of view, we have to make sure we come up with new twists and turns, new conflicts, we add characters to add depth and generally start over without starting over.
But … if a writer loves his or her characters enough, if those characters can come alive, then book two will win over the hearts of readers from book one as well as new readers who might pick up the second.
These are all things I had to think about in writing Surrender, book two in the Mimics of Rune series. Luckily for me, the two main characters changed … from Charley and Wyatt in book one to Lily and Cael in book two. That change gives me an automatic newness, but all the consistencies have to be there from book one and hopefully I, along with my editors, have caught all those! Luckily for me, my characters are shapeshifters — Mimics specifically — so if I made a mistake on hair or eye color, I might have actually had a reason!
What do you think about second books? Do they make or break a series for you?
Thanks for visiting today Aimee!