Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The Conversation

Now that book one is finished, well as finished as it can be right now, it’s time to pick up and start a new project. You’ll notice on the sidebar that Craving Copper is currently at 15,000 words. This is the sequel to Iron Thirst, and it’s already been started. I was working on it before I decided to go back and revise Iron Thirst. It is the most logical choice.

Then there is a new idea. Something that I have been mentally chewing on. A complete departure from Iron Thirst. This is the idea that I was talking about last week. It is the one talking to me and pulling at me. The problem here is that it scares me. This book is going to take me down some dark paths, some very unfamiliar terrain. On one hand, I am excited. On the other, I am terrified. Even though it is the project that is talking to me, I’m not sure I am ready yet.

But more on the fun side. I’ll give you a dramatization of what’s been going on.


Craving Copper stands arms crossed, toes tapping, clearing his throat in exasperation.

“What?” I ask.

“I think I’ve been more than patient.”

“You have, and I appreciate that.”

“Do you? It’s hard to tell since you started a whole new book. One that has nothing to do with us.”

“I know, I know. It’s just--,” I stare at my toes unable to look into the eyes of the betrayed. “He’s the one talking to me. You haven’t really opened up.”

I can feel the anger radiating from him.“You do realize that the only reason why I shut up is so that you could go back and clear up the unfinished business with Iron Thirst. You said you’d be right back. You promised!” He actually stomped his feet matching each syllable.

Dear God, don’t let him cry. Wet pages are so hard to deal with. “It’s not that I’ve forgotten you. You are very important to me.”

Through wet eyes, he says, “But, shouldn’t you write about us right now. While all the voices are still so clear. Think of the tone.”

“I plan on writing about Fee and Blake and Bristow for a long time. I have ideas for at least two more books. Complete outlines.”

“So, are you bored with us?Is that it? Do you like this, this, Touch of Light better?”

Good grief. Books are just as sensitive and insecure as the writer. “All right, listen. Don’t be jealous of Touch of Light, I mean, that’s just a working title anyway. You have to take some responsibility for yourself.” He starts to interject, but I hold up my hand. “Let me finish. You can’t just blame it all on me. You shut down first. Say it was Iron Thirst, but you know as well as I do that if it was not perfect, you would never see the light of day.”

“So,” sniffles and wipes nose, “you’re saying that if I open up, if I talk—you’ll listen?”



“I owe you that.”

“Thank you.” He gives me a joyous hug.

So after a little tough love, we are all in agreement. We’ll see what happens.


  1. You need to write what's speaking to you. But for me, I think working on a sequel (beyond a basic outline) before book one has an agent makes me nervous.

    Both of my books could have sequels, but I don't want to start them unless I know for sure that the first book is going to sell. Otherwise, I'm wasting valuable time on a possible dead project that I could be spending writing a new story that could actually land me an agent. Just my two cents.

    Good luck!

  2. Thanks Roni!

    I'll probably end up writing it even if Iron Thirst doesn't sell. I may not spend the months perfecting it unless the first one does, but it's just such a fun concept. I really enjoy the story and the characters, and the hand full of friend I've shared it with do to. So even if it's just us passing back and forth a pdf, it will exist.

    The other story is coming along nicely, though. It's not as light-hearted, so I wouldn't call it "fun." But I am enjoying it.

  3. Wow, that was emotional.

    I don't have an answer for you Aj, but I have my own story.

    My novel was always planned as a series. It ended not being quite the series I thought it would be - my characters apparantly had that same conversation, only without me present. The series was to be of 4 different women, at different ages. While waiting impatiently for my first novel to attract an agent, I discovered that the four novels could have the same main character; could follow her journey and encompass the entire tale I wished to tell.

    While writing the sequel, I discovered the first novel really needed to be split into two, and expanded upon, and I was really glad it took so long to find a reputable agent.

    So I have to ask; was Iron Thirst supposed to result in a sequel, or was it a complete plot when you started? Do you think writing on the sequel would assist you in editing your first novel, or would it only make you want to add things to what you already consider complete?

    A lot of writers go off into another project, and sometimes gain perspective in the original, or even write a better second novel that is entirely different that the original idea. Your first project taught you a lot about the craft of writing, maybe you need to try those ideas out on a fresh sheet of paper.

    And here's the real kicker: if you start a new project and can't focus on it because your other characters clammor for your attention, you can always go back to them. There's always the possibility that you're trying to explore new ideas, and the old characters are holding you back because the new ideas are out of character.

    I guess I'm saying only you can decide what to write. Go with your creative heart. You'll figure out what's best. Practice makes experience, right?


  4. Thanks Donna.
    Iron Thirst was designed with a sequel in mind, in fact it is more of an open-ended series. I have outlines for books 3 & 4, and ideas for a fifth.

    When I started the sequel back in August, it did force me to go back and revise Iron Thirst.

    Since I posted this, Touch of Light is winning out.It feels like that is the story I need to tell right now. It is much deeper, and heart felt rather that just a fun read. The humor is still there, but not as often or as heavy. And it on a much darker subject matter.

    I'll go back and wrap up Craving Copper when it's done. I feel that I will need that light-hearted type of story once this one is done. :)

  5. Well, good luck with your writing adventures. I think anything that makes you want to try something new - or just keep revisiting old character friends - is exciting.

    I can't wait to feel that urge to write something, write something NOW. Again. If you have stories perculating away, waiting their turn, go for it. It's an awesome feeling to still love writing!!!