Please welcome my guest author for today, author of The Chosen and the recently released sequel, The Numbers, as she talks about the challenges of writing a sequel. Make sure to check out the information on her series below the post.
The Number is the sequel to The Chosen. Initially when I started writing my first novel, I thought that it was the hardest thing ever. When you write a novel, obviously it isn’t the same as writing a short story. You need to really develop your character and refine your world building skills. And then you need to take your simple little idea and write about it for a good 60-80,000 words. For the aspiring writer, it’s a mountain to climb and once you reach the peak, it’s an exhilarating accomplishment.
And then you start writing the sequel.
I had a clear vision of how to end The Chosen, but for the life of me, I had no idea how to start The Number. There is a time gap of five years between the books and I found myself asking: How do I fill the reader in what’s happened to all of the characters during that time span? That’s a long time and my characters have all been doing something. They haven’t just stayed in limbo.
I thought that maybe I should sort of do a countdown. Like, highlight an event that happened five years ago, then four years ago, etc. until we meet our characters in “real time”. But as neat as the idea was, I scrapped it. I liked knowing the timeline for my own personal notes, but it just seemed like I was forcing a beginning. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I needed to tackle this as if I was meeting an old friend again. You don’t just come out and dump information at one time. What happened during the years you haven’t seen your friend is told gradually. You tell a little bit in one meeting and then a bit more in another meeting and so on and so forth. I felt like my characters needed to take their time to tell the others what has happened to them during the five years apart on their own time.
Of course figuring out how to start The Number was only part of the problem. Nobody tells you that all that world building you did in the first book is going to be put to the test in the sequel. My advice: If you’re going to be writing a sequel, be sure to take notes on every little detail. Luckily for me, I had already started on a binder full of details about my world when I started with The Chosen. It really helped during the process of writing The Number because I wasn’t constantly flipping through the first book to figure out a description of a character or place.
Despite the pressure of getting things right, the sequel is still fulfilling to work on. You and your readers already know the characters and if your readers are grabbing the sequel then you know you’ve written characters people want to be invested in. And as a writer, I think it’s fun to keep the adventure going, especially when you know that your characters’ stories aren’t done being told.
Kaia disappeared for five years. Now she’s back and her planet is on the brink of war.
The new “Numbers” program, created by the Tueors’ leader, tracks and isolates demigods. Kaia’s friend, Catrina, refuses to take part, and that makes her the most dangerous Number of all.
It’s Kaia’s duty to gather and protect the treasures of the gods. But neither the treasures nor Catrina are what they appear to be.
As the day a dire prophesy foresees draws near, will Kaia reverse the gears of fate, or will everything she’s ever loved be burned away by the flames of war?
Author Website: http://sheenahfreitas.com/
Twitter: @SheenahFreitas (http://twitter.com/SheenahFreitas)