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Sunday, November 24, 2013


The Disintegration sequel (working title so I can make the label: The Fall of the Midnight Scorpions) is underway and the words are flying onto the page. I know I was hesitant to begin this one for a while, but all of my misgivings are gone. Despite having a touch of the flu (I could barely stand on Thursday, but went to the doctor and got a prescription for Tamiflu, good stuff), I wrote like crazy this weekend and I hope to keep plugging away at a good pace.

When I first started Defying the Skies, I mentioned here that there's a certain ease and familiarity that comes with writing a sequel. The characters and universe are already established for me, though I do try to provide a basic recap for new readers. That's been one of the [fun] challenges, actually — how do I re-set the stage without making it a giant infodump or a rehash of what already happened? What key details need to be mentioned right off the bat?

Chapter One is the longest introductory chapter I've ever written (I don't want to call it a prologue, but I guess an argument could be made). In my defense, 1) a lot happens, 2) there weren't any logical places for a scene break, and 3) only about a third of it is recapping stuff from the first book. Chapter Two admittedly has some more recapping, but it kicks off the main plot for the rest of the book, so I'm going to leave it for now. I really hope I've struck the right balance in refreshing the main plot points from the prior book vs. moving things along in the current book, but hey, that's what editing is for, right?

I know there's a good chance some (a lot?) will eventually be snipped, but I'm satisfied for now and raring to write more. I'm still itching with all the IDEAS that I want to put in this book and I'm hoping that fuel takes me far. Vroooom!


  1. That sounds like a successful sequel start!

    It is really hard to try and relate enough of the story that new people can follow along without continuing readers rolling their eyes and giving up. I read through a series recently (one that's been about a book a year for a few years) and every once in awhile, the "oh by the way this happened" info dump was kind of frustrating.

    1. It's tough! One thing I hope will help is that the second book is from a different POV, so there's some additional information peppered throughout, as opposed to a straight infodump. (I hope....)

  2. I love your working title! Congratulations on getting off to a great start!

    I need to write a sequel some day soon. I want to learn how to set things up. I've had attempts that I never finished. I'm rather prone to just diving into the next story with no set up at all. o_O There's a balance to it, you know. Sounds like you're doing a good job. :)

    1. If I ever do learn what I'm doing, I'll be sure to let you in on all my secrets. ;)

  3. Remember the Babysitters Club books? I think it was in the second chapter (usually when they'd get together for their first meeting of the book) and it would go on for pages of recapping. The further in the series you got, the more recapping. In EVERY BOOK. At one point I'd just skip the entire second chapter (a cardinal sin, I know, lol).

    If you have a third of your admittedly-long introductory chapter being recap, I'd say that's a lot of recap. While readers unfamiliar with the previous book might appreciate it, it also can leave them in the dark about other things that happened and would inspire the "But wait, what happened about this thing? And did they do anything about that other thing?" While at the same time your readers who *do* know the previous book would be impatient because they know all this already.

    My advice would be to pare down the recap even more. Treat your sequel like a sequel. Think J. K. Rowling. She didn't have all that much recap in her books and just picked up the story and ran with it, and trusted her readers to keep up. And they did. There are a ton of other series authors I could name, but then it'd just be redundant. =)

    Just my two cents, tho.

    1. Hahaha, oh yeah, those notable Chapter 2s. I started skipping them.

      I'll see what happens when I go back and edit this section. As I said in my reply to Jennifer, there's a lot of other stuff threaded in with the backstory, so it's not as easy as a simple hack-n-slash. I'll have to make the call on what's *really* relevant and what's looking more like filler.