Guest post: Kristie Cook

15 Dec

A big welcome back and thank you to Kristie Cook for today’s guest post. I’m happy to be a part of the virtual tour for her second book, Purpose.

Writing (or Not Exactly Writing) a Sequel

When Ms. LL (Lavender Lines) and I first discussed my writing a guest post, she suggested the topic of the challenges and perks of writing a sequel. And I thought, “Good idea! I’ve done such a thing!” But here’s the truth: I didn’t really, truly write a sequel.

See, when this story first came to me, it started with this pivotal scene that is now about a third of the way through Purpose. Yes, Purpose, as in the second book. That’s where I started. But then I needed to know how the characters arrived at this major point in their lives.

I thought, at first, that I was indulging myself by writing about the love story that led up to this scene. I didn’t expect it to ever become something real. But as it flowed out of my brain, important backstory and mythology was revealed. I couldn’t find a better way to include it all in what I’d thought was the real story.

And, even better, that part of the story was pretty good stuff. I made it Part I of the original Purpose. After many rewrites, revisions, editing, etc., though, I eventually realized I had two books with a nearly perfect (though terrible cliffhanger) place to split them. Thus…Promise was born. And Purpose was…left.

Promise didn’t need much work to finalize it into a complete book. I just needed to wrap up the loose ends that I could into more of an ending. Purpose, however, was only the length of about 2/3 of an adult book. I had some more writing to do.

There were advantages and disadvantages of this approach to the “sequel.” The best part was realizing I had all this room to play with. I could suddenly explore and include ideas that I’d previously dismissed because, with the original Purpose, I’d already reached an astronomical word count. Since I needed more word count now, I could explain the mythology and magic more. I could really bring the reader into the experience. I could even add whole new plot elements, twists and turns and even new characters.

Then there was the big disadvantage – I had to build all this into an existing story with a beginning, middle and end. It wasn’t writing a real first draft, which is like hopping on an open road, flooring the accelerator and just going. Writing until it’s all said and done and then going back and improving it. No, this was like trying to parallel park a dump truck into a space barely big enough for a Mini Cooper – I kept bumping into the boundaries of what was already there.

I suppose writing any sequel will be like that, however, at least to a certain extent. Once you set the rules of your world, you have to stick to them throughout the series. So there are always boundaries you’ll bump up against. I also felt similar pressure that any author writing a sequel feels – that we’re just not going to do it good enough for the fans. That we’ll disappoint them.

Hopefully, I haven’t disappointed anyone. I do feel Purpose is the better story, if I’m allowed to say that. I love Promise for its own reasons, but this second book…the one I first started writing…is the one that grabbed my heart and soul. I hope it does yours, too.

Thanks again for stopping by Kristie!

Oh, and make sure you guys pop in again tomorrow for my review of Purpose and a giveaway. And make sure to head over to Amazon and pick up your own copy of Purpose.

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5 Responses to “Guest post: Kristie Cook”

  1. Lisa Adams December 15, 2010 at 9:58 pm #

    Love hearing about how stories evolve. Thanks!

  2. amymckie December 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm #

    How interesting! I love that you started with what is essentially the sequel.

  3. Michelle Gregory December 16, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Kristie’s right about bumping up against boundaries set in the first book. i’m finding that as i write my own sequel to my first fantasy novel.

    great interview.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Tweets that mention Guest post: Kristie Cook « Lavender Lines -- Topsy.com - December 15, 2010

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Kristie Cook, Colleen McKie. Colleen McKie said: Today on the blog: a guest post by @kristiecookauth. http://wp.me/pAWn2-Be […]

  2. Purpose Release Day… | Author Kristie Cook Official Website - September 10, 2014

    […] Guest post about writing a sequel at Lavender Lines. […]

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