Right now, I have two sci-fi/fantasy novels out–Ethereal Squadron and Star Marque Rising. My next novel, Knightmare Arcanist, comes out in June (excitement!) but that one has been written and finished for a long time now. So, for all my current writing, I’ve been working on sequels.
Enjoy the memes.
And sequels are harder than the first, by far.
I should clarify. Some sequels aren’t difficult–if you write an “episodic series” (where every book is a stand alone novel, but technically takes place in the same universe) then each story has a different main character, a different tale. And while some side characters might come back, it’s basically a fresh start every time.
A “true series” has the same characters continuing their story from the last novel. That’s what I write. A continuation that creates a larger narrative arc.
For Ethereal Squadron (#2 – Company of Monsters), Geist travels to the Russian Empire in the hopes of saving Russian sorcerers (and perhaps Grand Duchess Anastasia). In Star Marque Rising (#2 – Star Marque Vendetta), Demarco concocts a scheme for vengeance. Both are deeply tied to the first novel, and continue mere months where the last left off.
The challenge is making sure the novel stands on it’s own, but still completes its role in the series. I don’t want to bore the reader, but I also have to remind everyone what happened in the last installment. Lots of balancing acts!
In case you haven’t noticed, I really like memes.
I really dislike sequels that go all over the place. I like consistency.
Fortunately for me, I make outlines. Lots of outlines. I know exactly where I want Company of Monsters and Star Marque Vendetta to go. Now I just need proofreaders who will go back for continuity checks…
With me luck!