On the Writing of Sequels

twofilmthumbMatthew and Epp 2: The Search for Blackbeard’s Gold is well underway…and I feel like I’m not getting anywhere.  Oh, the word count keeps growing (you can see it down under the most popular stories on the right), but I sort of feel like more should be happening plot-wise by this point.  Right now all I’m doing is touching base with my characters in a pretty odd way, bouncing in and out of their day, picking up their threads.  I guess this is normal, and very needed.  I’m not sure how much I’m supposed to remind you people about concerning the happenings of the first book, but I’m pretty sure a little refresher course is needed.  It’s just that I hate writing summaries along those lines, especially when I try to pass them off coyly as part of the new story.  I wind up with clunky transitions like, “Timmy looked at his dog and thought about how last year he and his friends had foiled an international ring of thieves in their attempt to steal priceless treasures out of the Louvre.  His dog was brown.”

There are times when I long to be able to use the Star Wars opening scroll.  Just three quick paragraphs of summary, there we are, here’s what happened, here’s where we’re at, and now we’re off to the desert to kill a giant talking slug on a flying Winnebago. But that format doesn’t work well with what I want to do.

Which leaves me with what seems an inordinate amount of words being spent doing little more than shaking hands with all my main characters (and some completely new ones that won’t get off the damned stage) and I’m kind of scared that I should be finding a faster way to do this.  One thing I’ve learned over the years, though, is that you can’t write afraid.  Trying to over think things so they seem “good” results in massive writer’s block and it’s best to let your story be what it’s going to be.  After all, it’s not like the stuff I’m writing is boring or anything.  Where Jonathan wound up alone is one of the more interesting things I’ve found myself writing in awhile.  And, while I do know the most basic bare bones of my story (I can sum it up in one word), the details remain a mystery and there’s really no way to figure out those details than to poke around inside the story itself via the writing process and see what’s what.

My only worry is that I got too comfortable feeling out of control while writing Probability Angels.  The creation of that book was, completely and utterly, out of my hands.  It was Matthew and Epp’s show; I was merely the stenographer.  I have to wonder if this book isn’t craving more discipline.

That came out kind of weird. Like my book needs a spanking.

Right.  Well.  Back to writing.