Writing a Sequel is the Hardest Work of All

TBCI’m currently working on the sequel to The Terminarch Plot, and as I found out when I wrote This Broken Earthwriting a sequel may be the hardest work I’ve ever done as a writer.

Usually I write one-offs or novels not intended to produce a sequel.  I wrote The Transgression Box with the intention of writing more of Dornin’s adventures, but didn’t.  I then wrote This Broken Earth because I had read Hugh Howey’s Wool which was serialized and since I liked that idea I wanted to do the same.

I did, but found myself under the gun for sure when I promised to release one book at a time every six months.  I followed through, but it was the most difficult thing I had ever written.

Well, now I’m in the middle of working on the sequel to The Terminarch Plot and even though I spent six months on the background material I’m finding myself being bogged down by it.  The chapters that flew out of my brain and onto the page in the first book are having a harder time getting there.

Not to mention the fact that life is hitting me pretty hard right now.  I have some employment issues up in the air (Oklahoma is under the worst budget cuts to education in its history) and I’m finding myself thinking more about writing a satire novel about it all instead of writing the sequel…as I write to basically unwind my torrid life.

The Point: I think that unless you think of a novel series as one big novel then you probably won’t be as motivated to finish the series as you were if you plan out each novel one at a time.

I’m remedying this, however, as I now have a plan for my protagonist, a plot line that runs throughout the series instead of just to the end of the next novel.  This has made it easier to get over the writing humps and bumps in the road.

Remember that a good novel has to have several sub-plots along with the main plot, and it has to be unconventional and off-the-board.  I think I have that covered now, and since I didn’t before I have a better direction for where the series will go and how many books I have to write in order to complete it.  I love the universe I’ve created, and spending time there is something that I love to do and it still has that magic that keeps me coming back to it.

Look for The Terminarch War to release in July instead of June as it was intended originally, and hopefully it will be as action packed and thoughtful as the first one.

Also, I’ll have a video posted on the YouTube channel with more observations as well.  Look for it tomorrow!

Published by Roger Colby, Novelist, Editor

Roger Colby is a novelist and teacher who has taught English for nearly two decades. He is also an avid reader of science fiction who feels, like many other sci-fi readers, that he has read everything. He writes science fiction for the reader who is looking for the next best thing, something to excite them into reading again. This blog is his journey as a writer and his musings about writing. He also edits manuscripts for a fee and is an expert at helping you reach your full potential as a writer.

5 thoughts on “Writing a Sequel is the Hardest Work of All

  1. Great article, Roger. I hear you. I am also in a “sequel” situation (my first time), and I like how you put words on it.

    Thanks for a heads up on The Terminarch Plot sequel. I’ll be watching for it!

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