To write or not to write...a sequel or a series

A couple of weeks ago it hit me - I knew what I would write when this novel is done - and immediately I began scribbling  in another journal like a madman.

To those outside the writing world, that may sound incredibly strange.  ("Once this is done? As in, you're already doing another one?  And the first one...isn't...done?")   But I have a feeling a pretty  decent group of writers out there are doing the same thing as I.

On a totally different subject (that actually does tie in quite well, come to think of it - hey, it's getting late, I'm not thinking rationally and haven't had coffee in 8 hours now, so you can't hold it against me) I finished reading Belong To Me this evening. And, at the very end of the book, in a letter from the author, to be exact, I read that Belong to Me was a sequel.  

What?  I thought to myself.  I just read this for two days, and there's a whole entire other book before this one? Humph!  ('Course my next thought was, "Well I have to get that one right now!") 

After I tweeted about it and then bitterly complained to my husband  that I had just read a sequel and missed out on who-knows-what since I had yet to read the first one, I wondered -

1)   How many writers out there do the same thing?  (Start off from the very beginning knowing they are writing a series, or know from the start that they will be writing a sequel)

2)  How common is it for writers to have sequels or series' in their minds as they are writing their first novel? 

I had mentioned my idea (of the "next" one) to Lovemuffin, giddy and proud of myself - to which he had replied (with his usual mathematical wisdom - everything is facts, facts, facts) "Well how to you know anyone will want to read from _____'s point of view?" (The noun has been blanked to protect the innocent. Or not yet fully written, as the case may be.)

To be honest, I had actually pushed the idea aside until tonight.  I do, after all, have quite a bit of work ahead of me for I'll Love You Until yet, anyway - but reading Marisa de los Santos' little note at the end told me that maybe the next one I had in mind will work, after all.  

Just had to ask those questions and quickly share the little dose of enlightenment I went through about an hour ago. =)

Always sharing my love of life, writing and coffee,

coffeelvnmom (Jessica)


Kristen Torres-Toro said...

Hi, Jessica!

First of all, congratulations on an idea for your next book! I've always wondered how that feels--to have an idea for the next project before the first one is comlpeted. My mind doesn't work that way and it's nervewracking because there's always this nasty voice that says "this is it! you won't get any stories after this one!" Which is never true, but it's not fun....

I guess that's my answer to your question. Right now, I only write stand alone books. I'd be willing to write a sequel or a series, but I just haven't had the idea for it. Maybe one day. I have a feeling it's a whole different animal!

Happy weekend!

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Thanks for your input Kristen! =)

Sierra Godfrey said...

I too am working on my second one, while finishing up editing my first one. My first one is finished, but requires some pause and thought to make sure it's the best it can be.

I have about 4 more solid novel ideas floating around in my head but I refuse to give them full attention because I think there's a danger there--concentrate on making sure your first/current one is as good and strong as it can be, then move on.

As for a series, I have one that could be a series mainly because some of the characters were very strong--strong enough to warrant their own stories being told. But I haven't thought of a series from the get go. It's exhausting enough working on ONE. :)

Jessica L. Brooks (coffeelvnmom) said...

Totally agree about the exhausting part Sierra!

Kari Lynn Dell said...

I wrote the first book in what would have been a private eye series, except the first book just didn't fly. It was okay. It wasn't great. And neither my agent or I could imagine me writing that kind of story long term. Or short term, actually.

I'm right in the middle of that finishing the old, mind leaping forward to the new dilemma right now. But I don't consider it a dilemma. It's a blessing. Because,as Kristin said, it reassures me that there will be a next idea. Plus, I can't wait to dive in and play with my shiny new characters. Oh, the potential! It's like the first month of dating someone you really hit it off with. Somewhere along the line you know you'll get sick of each other and things will start to feel bland and boring, but for now it all tingles.

The trick is not to let myself play with the new characters until I've broken it off with the old. And I can't leave them in the lurch. I have to give them their due, because they've stuck with me for all these months and it wouldn't be fair to drop them like proverbial rocks just because I met someone newer and prettier. So I give the new book at most one or two scenes, maybe a few notes (very few. I suck at keeping notes.) By holding off, the desire to get to the new book drives me through the end of the old faster than I would have gotten there otherwise.

Hopefully, that end will come in the next week. And I can't wait. My new man is such an asshole. I'm going to have so much fun knocking him down to size.

KariLynn Dell

Jen said...

Good morning, Jessica!

I just happen to be in that happy little group of writers who gets an idea for another book while the first one is still in the works. I also happen to belong to an even smaller group of writers who has written the first three books of a series, is in the process of querying it to agents, started working on a new book and, just the other day, got an idea for another one.

Geez...sometimes I wonder what it would be like to just write one book at a time and focus all my attention on it instead of letting my crazy brain take me into five other directions!

Good luck with your new book :) And here's to more ideas!


L. Diane Wolfe said...

First, thank you for following my blog!

And about halfway through writing my first book, I had outlines for four more. So while I did not intend to write a series, it quickly evolved into one.

L. Diane Wolfe “Spunk On A Stick”