Tag Archives: Trilogy

I’m still eating chocolate — So how about a free copy of the novel “Surrender”? Guest Post by Author Aimee Laine

***If you are looking for Write a Story with Me please check back tomorrow.***

I win!  While Jennifer is out gorging herself on chocolate, I’m here to talk about writing a second book. Not a first second, but a second second.
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If you’re going ‘huh?’, then I shall explain.
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One can write many, many, many first books. First of a series. First of a trilogy. First of a set of books in some set of 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, etc. These are still all ‘firsts’, no matter how many you’ve written.
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But if you take even one of those ‘firsts’ and then add in the 2nd, that’s where things get different.
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First off, you have to know if it’s a series 2nd or a sequel. One is very different than the other. In a series, you might change main charaters, the first book’s plot was fully resolved and/or a new conflict arises, and all books may be standalones. In a sequel set (like a trilogy or epic), the story continues, the plot has not been fully resolved and if you didn’t read the first book you will very likely be lost.
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Secondly, no matter which you are writing, you have to decide how much it matters if the readers have read book 1 to understand book 2. In a standalone series, it might be useful to have read book 1, but not necessary. There are often hints toward a first book, but not the outright retelling or recapping of the plot.
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Now, let’s say you’re writing in a series, where every book builds, this is even trickier because if someone is keeping up, adding in the backstory takes away their need to read book 1. But … you don’t want to whole heartedly confuse them (in case you can make them love book two enough to want to buy book 1) so you have to add little drips and drabs for clarity but not too much.
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What’s the balance?
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That depends a little on the writer, a little on the editor and a little on the reader.
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Are you willing to anger readers by forcing them to read book 1? You could. Not all will get mad. Some will go, ‘uh, but oops … I started in book 2, guess I need to read book one’. Others will turn away from the series altogether.
The reality is, you’ll never satisfy all readers, so, it comes back to what YOU as the writer wants to say. Some books literally have no book 1 backstory. Some are full of it to the point that by book 3 or 4 or 5 the reader is bored to tears with the same repeated description of characters already well known.
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So writing a book two is even more subjective than first books! Crazy, huh?
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I will say, though, that the key to clarity is having someone read book 2 who has not read book 1. Then, right there, they can tell you where they needed a little more backstory and you can determine how best to fill in the blanks and to what level.
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Writing a book 2 is far harder because of this logistical aspect, but as a writer of 3 book 2s, now (two standalone series, Surrender which JUST released this month, Silent Echoes which releases in March, 2013 and 1 trilogy book 2 – Day After, the second in the 19th Year by Emi Gayle) I find it even more fun because I get continue on with characters I’ve already fallen in love with, get to experience more of their life and get to enjoy them all over again.

So all that being said, I have a book 2 giveaway for you, and you can decide if I’ve managed to confuse or entice you to read book 1.
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Just answer this in the comments of Jennifer’s blog, today or tomorrow, and we’ll randomly choose one person for an ebook of Surrender as well as a signed bookmark!
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The question: “What else do you think has to go into a 2nd book to make someone want to read book 1?”
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I look forward to reading your responses!
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Visit Aimee’s blog:  http://www.aimeelaine.com/blog/