It’s a strange thing, revisiting characters from a previously-written book.
Unlike the fantasy series I’m working on now, I never planned to make this one into a series. It was one book, one idea, stand-alone and done. Until it wasn’t.
The idea came to me as we were in the car, at a stoplight, doing nothing of importance. I keep a notebook in my purse for just such occasions, and I was glad to have it, jotting down several pages worth of notes while my husband drove.
That’s how a lot of books come to me, really. Out of the blue, fully-formed ideas. Still needing a little brainstorming and a lot of polish, of course, but substantial enough to start with. Then they fall into the order I have planned for book writing, stewing in the recesses of memory while I work on other projects. This one’s been simmering for close to two years, now we get to see if it’s ready.
In case you’re wondering, I’m talking about Born of the Moon. The book takes place several years after the end of Death of the Sun, when it turns out there’s still quite a bit of interesting story to tell. I started writing last night and I hope to have the first 20,000 words of the book knocked out by the end of the month. I’d like to have the whole thing finished and ready for early readers by the end of summer, but I don’t think that’s a very reasonable goal. It’ll probably be about the same length as Death of the Sun, which means if I’m able to keep a steady pace, I might have the writing done by the end of August.
It’s strange in a lot of ways to pull these characters back into mind, stir them to life again and see how they’ve changed. My writing has changed a lot, too, but writing a couple hundred thousand words between book one and book two can do that to you! A lot of my old standbys and methods no longer work, because of how I’ve grown in my craft. It’s a good thing, but it can make it hard to get into the groove, especially since it’s been several months since I sat down and just wrote. Editing isn’t quite the same, just reworking and reshaping words that are already there on the page.
Instead I’m facing empty pages, planning to fill them with 75,000 words of adventure I haven’t got entirely planned yet. I don’t usually work as a seat-of-the-pants writer, but it seems right this time, so we’ll see where that path takes us!