SECRETS OF WRITING A SEQUEL UNEARTHED: PART ONE
Posted on September 30, 2014
Well, in under a week I've managed to write almost 10,000 words of my section of the novel Unearthed, a joint project with Keith Robinson.
Chapter 1 was the hardest because it being a sequel I wrestled with how much backstory to embed in it. I tried to give just enough to remind readers what had gone before without it reading like a retread. Keith wisely told me to lose a fairly long paragraph of recap but saw merit in the other mentions. I counted that a victory as he is quite savvy and alert to excess.
At the end of the first book, our respective protagonists are in new worlds. We both found it exciting to spend some time in these new worlds before shuffling our heroes off to their next quest below the surface of Apparatum, so we expanded what was to be 2-3 chapters each to 4-5 chapters.
Chapter 3, 5, 7, 9, and 11 came together in no time and offered so much more dimension to the characters and the world.
Case in point: Both our characters have girls they secretly pine for and having the counterparts meet their opposite crushes was fun. It was clear from the first book that Nomi, Logan's crush, was a sweeite and could melt either boy's heart. Keith suggested we go another route with Kyle's gal, making her cruel and not at all someone you would be taken with. Rissa, the self-involved and tactless, was hatched. Some might wonder what Kyle sees in her. Logan sure does, but I can recall a particular girl in middle school who was absolutely beautiful to me but had a dead wrong personality. Despite that flaw, a part of me couldn't resist falling for her physically over and over despite her mean actions at times. It's sometimes hard to resist. Anyway, I modeled Rissa after that experience.
Antother detail we each played with was the new governing paradigm. Both our characters have vanquished the corrupt leaders of each world, but their temporary replacements threaten to be no better. Both Keith and I really seem to have it in for poliitcians. Mayor Trilmott makes things rough for Logan, while Soveriegn Durant puts Kyle through his paces.
I now have Logan underground, and he's experienced a moment of wonder. You know what I have to do after that, right? Next chapter will be chock full of peril, folks!
Next, I hope to talk about the cooperative back and forth Keith and I perform as we write. It sometimes scares me how in sync we are.