Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Second Novel in a Series Again

With Soul Forge submitted to my publisher for editing, I've begun working on the sequel to Relic Tech, the second novel in The Crax War Chronicles.

Relic Tech was the first novel I'd written. Back in 1998, I sat down and decided that I was going to
My Publisher, Gryphonwood Press
write a novel. I taught myself, basically by reading and studying other novels. I picked up a 'how to' book by Orson Scott Card, but that really only gave me the very basics. I studied storytelling, pacing, characterization and much more by reading and rereading books.

Sure, being an English teacher, I knew the had a lot of experience in novel writing theory. But reading is different than writing. Reading is sort of like driving a car whereas writing is designing and building that car. While reading, I studied how the parts of other cars were designed and built, and how it all came together. I compared and contrasted different authors and their novels and their techniques, and applied what I learned to my own writing style and stories.

After I finished Relic Tech, I outlined the next novel in the series and wrote the first two chapters or so (after sending out Relic Tech to publishers). After the first two chapters and outline, I put those files away...actually I didn't open them up until two weeks ago--they hadn't been touched since 2003. I remembered a lot, but not everything, and I'm glad I did that the outline and first chapters. It's given me a running start.

Something to remember: Since then I've written another novel (Flank Hawk, which is actually my first novel that found a publisher) and two sequels to it (Blood Sword and Soul Forge) and about a dozen short stories. That also means I've learned a lot about writing, especially as I'd spent a year studying and learning how to write a sequel (detailed here: Writing a Sequel).

So, as I am working to get the sequel to Relic Tech under way--still figuring on that working title, as there's a lot that goes into a title--I am having to revise, which is proving both interesting and a bit slower than I'd like.

Still, I am making progress, and progress is a major part of the battle.

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