Writing Process - Drafting

WFC Panel: How to Write that Difficult Second Book

wfcfinal 011This was the final panel I attended at the convention. As someone who has actually started eight novels, including a sequel in a planned trilogy, I thought it would be really interesting to find out how others found writing after their first one.

Panellists were: Mark Barnes, Laure Eve, Snorri Kristjansson, Alison Littlewood, Lou Morgan, and Den Patrick.

My Notes

– The first book is generally for you. The second is likely not; you have six months to complete a second one in the deal.

– It’s terrifying in that this one will definitely be read by people.

– It can be easier as you already know what it’s kind of all about. But the deadlines require prioritising!

– You have to worry about continuity aspects for things ___ years later.

– Writing the second book really shows you issues from book one you didn’t notice.

– You have reviews which challenge you to be better. Even those reviews where you can say “No, that’s wrong” are helpful because they give you conviction in your work. Having a first book out there gives you more confidence in your writing ability anyway.

– It’s better to have a recap in book two. It’s better than prior readers can skim/skip it than have new readers be completely lost.

– Like Pearl Jam, release 3 means 2 makes more sense. Same with book 2 for book 1, in theory.

– And the final thought:

“Velociraptors are party guys – they hang around in threes.”

That means there’s a difference between writing a novel and telling a story.
Don’t ask me why I’ve written those two comments together; they obviously linked at the time. 


And that was the end of the convention panels for me. I headed to the bar, in theory, for a few last hours just because it would be a waste to miss any last minute opportunities.

Do you think the second book is easier or more difficult to write?

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