Writing a sequel

Some of you may know that I began writing the sequel to Mother of Creation in August. If you follow my Twitter, you know that I am a little over 20,000 words in and that, between my full-time job, the things in life that keep me sane like friends and family and reading, and all the other obligations of adulthood, I have been making somewhat halting progress. My word count will lunge forward one week, and then plod the next two. This is, I’m sure, normal.

(At least, I tell myself it is normal. If it isn’t then there isn’t much I can do about it, in any case.)

Writing the sequel has been an interesting challenge for a lot of reasons. I wrote Mother of Creation four years ago. While I have certainly continued editing and working through the text since then, I have changed as a person since I wrote the first book. My relationship with the characters has also changed. That said, I have a pretty clear idea of the overall plot of the Creation Saga. The devil is, as they say, in the details. Getting from point A to point B is a bit like driving down a mountain road drunk. You know where you’re going and how to get there, but you’re not sure how much control you have over the vehicle, and you might wreck and die. Also, the brakes are failing.

When writing the first book, I didn’t have these panicky feelings of “oh I’m going to fuck this up.” Part of that is because it’s hard to hit my stride with this book. And that is because, over the course of the four years that I have been working my way back around to the Creation Saga, I have written several very vivid scenes from all over the timeline for this second installment. Like I said, my views on the characters and their responses have changed a little bit in the interim, and whenever I hit one of these scenes I have to stop, backtrack, and figure out a few things. Does the scene still fit? Usually, this is a yes, but it might need some heavy chopping or a change in POV or some tweaking in language to make it to conform to previous chapters I’ve written more recently.

I know this challenge is making me a better writer. I’m certainly not worried about finishing this book, and I’m confident it will be a great one. But in the interim, writing this is a little more like pulling teeth than usual.

But hey, I’m like a fifth of the way through.

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