Sequel Breakthrough: Finding A Way Back In

I’ve taken a hiatus from working on the sequel to The Terminarch War to finish up the short story compilation.  I’m almost ready to publish that next week, and the progress on the third book in the Five Rims series is something that has been rather stagnant to say the least.

I just can’t get back into the story.

Have you ever been there?  I have created this rich world, spending nearly 6 months designing it originally, but after being out of it for a few months I’ve been having trouble writing in that world again.

At the start, I was working to begin right where I left off in the plot, but that has stagnated, and I feel like the characters don’t have as much life as I originally intended.  I was wracking my brain for weeks about it, mainly feeling down on myself for not working on it, but then something happened.

My wife gave to me a new laptop.

It started there, I guess, but the main reason I started working on the book again was because I needed a cooler background to replace that generic view of El Capitan.  I’m a sci-fi writer, for crying out loud.  I needed a better background.

I was surfing through Google images and found a wonderful art piece that is of a strange science fiction desert landscape where two cities are built into two giant boulders in the distance.  In the foreground is a man next to his horse and they are headed toward those cities.

As I told the MacBook to use this image as my desktop image, my writer mind began to go into overdrive.  I imagined that my main character had been mind-wiped and was now some kind of mercenary bounty hunter who was no longer the character from the previous novels.  As the reader progresses through the novel, it is slowly revealed that the main character of this new novel is the main character from the other two novels, and that he has to find and connect with a girl for a reason he can’t quite understand.  The girl is his love interest from the previous novel.

Got all that?  Well, I’m still working on it, but the point here is that sometimes we need a little perspective to break through that iron ceiling of less productive creative progress.

So, look at some images on Google, read another book, or write a bunch of short stories, but by all means don’t give up on that series.

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.

4 thoughts on “Sequel Breakthrough: Finding A Way Back In

  1. Thank you for this! I’ve completed the first draft of a series but I’ve had to take a break from writing to deal with another matter and I was wondering how I would manage to get back into the world of my story to begin the next book. Your advice is timely!

  2. Whoa, I was just thinking “Wonder if Roger (Colby) has posted anything interesting recently,” and – BAM!
    Sounds different. I’m intrigued.

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