Now that the initial flurry of publishing Above Ground has died down (and the subsequent post-publication I-hate-my-writing stage has passed) my thoughts have turned to writing the sequel.
Ideas keep bubbling. The excitement is returning. What can I do to the characters THIS time? How can I raise the stakes? How can I give the readers who’ve enjoyed Above Ground more of what they love?
Even though I’ve jotted down every idea and drafted a rough outline, I cannot bring myself to sit down and begin writing.
It took me over three years to write Above Ground. In that time, I’ve learned where I went wrong. I’ve learned how to write better and faster. I’ve learned that I CAN write a novel.
But what I haven’t yet learned is if I can write ANOTHER novel. A sequel doesn’t count: it’s the same characters I love, the same stories, the same threads.
Can I write something unrelated? Can I build a new world and fall in love with a new cast of characters?
The idea of starting afresh terrifies me.
5 Reasons Why Not To Write A Sequel
Only people who like Above Ground will want to read the sequel.
Diversifying my offerings will introduce my work to new readers.
Creating a new world, plot and cast will improve my skills.
It will prove that I can write unrelated novels.
Most importantly, because it terrifies me.
Yes, those waiting for the sequel will most likely throw rocks at me. But I believe that a writer who only sticks to writing what they find comfortable will never grow. And I want to be the best writer I can be.
And when I do go back to write the sequel to Above Ground, the story will be all the better for it.