Anyone ever finish their first novel and knew you left it open for a sequel? Did you lose interest in the story after getting half way through the sequel?
I don’t know how many authors suffer from this dilemma, but I know that I do. I finished Horizon last May and published it. It was a great feat just to know that I finally finished a novel, but I wrote a book before that one. One that was never published due to lack of interest on my end. I stopped writing it because I felt it wasn’t ready yet.
I feel like that with Horizon. I’ve had readers ask me about a release date for the sequel Eversoul, but I have yet to even have the energy to want to go back to it. Yes, I’m writing The Temperament Scepter Series currently but that’s because I needed something fresh to oil those creative glands that grind in my brain occasionally.
I could’ve used the excuse of being in a very dark period of my life last year where depression and thoughts of suicide constantly egged me on. Thank God this didn’t follow through for me, and I found that a simple prayer and people brought me back on my journey. I actually recently started thinking of ways to return to unfinished novels and maybe it’ll help some of you like it has me.
1. Outline your while trilogy.
Outlining I have found has been a fantastic tool to stay on topic and gives yourself goals to reach each week. Writers always skip this step, but honestly, what’s eight hours out of your writing schedule going to do? Plus, of you tend to procrastinate this will nip that in the butt quick.
2. Let friends/family read it.
I have discovered from Horizon that letting loved ones be a part of the writing journey is a great boost. Yes, they may give you sugar coated feedback, but it will help you believe you can do. YOU CAN FINISH THE NOVEL! I know with Horizon my fiance loved the story when I handed her the first three chapters. That alone pushed me to finish the novel. Morale from others definitely helps.
3. Reread your finished novel.
I figured out that if you reread your novel, it will be the true test for whether you continue with a sequel now or later. If you discover no love, or interest for the story then do not continue with the sequel till it’s ready to be told. I actually started the Temperament Scepter a few weeks ago and I am ecstatic about it. I actually thought about the sequel to Horizon and got the flame back for that story now. It helps to move forward sometimes cause ideas can come to life from another story.
4. Have outrageous goals.
Alright, this is a funny one, but it helps me a lot. Nadine (my fiance) always criticizes me for my outrageous goals for books. That’s why I love her though. She definitely brings me back to reality so I don’t get cabin fever. I give myself about two months now to write an entire book. I always extend it because I know there’s times when I need to go outside and be social. So I’ve treated writing like a full time job. Eight hours a day, 10,000 words a day, or two chapters a day. This is my formula now. I have to reach one of these the goals before I out my pen down for the day. This has been huge for me cause I went from writing 3k-6k words a week to almost 20k words a week.
5. Money may talk, but it doesn’t love.
Remind yourself everyday why you write. Never let the illusion of riches and fame blind you. It’s a rare feat. Always write for the love of it because once it becomes a job, you’ll hate it just as quick as you started it. I know I said I treat it like a full time job, but technically it’s more of a meditation time for me. It brings positive energy into my life instead of the negative at my day job.
The ultimate goal for all of us is to be published whether traditional or self published. If you want it enough, you’ll reach your goal. Never let stress, negativity, or naysayers hold you back. You have the ball, so you have to decide if you will make the winning shot. No one is going to hold your hand and tell you how to write a book. I don’t care how many authors publish 66 page books about how to write a book, how to market a book, or whatever is out there now. If you read a how to book on writing faster, ask yourself these two questions: Are you wanting to write faster to earn money quick? Or are do you love the art of writing cause you enjoy the stories bubbling inside you?
Good luck on all of your future endeavors and I hope I’ll be the lucky one to read your first draft.