Tangled Up In Blue

 So, what's got me all twisted up? Writing a sequel. That's right. I've written two novels in my life, one of them is on submission, and now I face the daunting task of a sequel. But that really shouldn't be so bad, should it? After all, I've had ideas for Book 2 running circles in my head for months, so this should be just as easy as Book 1. Right? Hehehe, silly writer. You're so cute when you're naive!

So, what's the problem, you ask... let's talk shop. Meet me after the jump.

Alright, so here's the deal. Originally, I saw this overreaching story arc being a trilogy. I wrote Book 1 and edited the hell out of it. Somehow, I managed to land an agent (woo! Liz is awesome!), melted my brain doing more edits and now we're in that nebulous, nail-biting process that is submission. So, I thought I'd spend that "downtime" (yeah, right) with the sequel. Crank that bad boy out and let Book 1 fly on its own. Well, while Book 2 has had some moments that just really flow, the further in I get, the more it stalls. But, I subscribe to the "get your ass in the chair and fucking write" theory, so I kept going. More stalling, more feelings of "what the hell is wrong with this? where am I going wrong?" This week, the gears have been grinding like sweaty chicks with implants in a club scene. Yesterday, I looked at the manuscript sitting there in Word and just heard the metallic snap of the machine.

I took a walk. I let my mind wander, gently breezing over the characters, the situations, the nuances of plot. And like proverbial lightning, it struck me:

I'm writing the wrong book.
Most of the ways I want to torture  challenge my protagonist are deep, soul-wrenching things. But she's not ready for this. The reader hasn't built up any attachment to some of the newer characters, so their impact is lessened. The protagonist hasn't grown in such a way that she can handle what I want to thrust upon her. This is too soon. These plots and storylines? Not Book 2 material.
So, this changes the landscape considerably. For one, I'm no longer looking at a trilogy. Nope. Eve's story goes beyond just three books. (Plus, there are stories I want to tell from the POV of other characters.) But, for another, that begs the question: what the hell is Book 2 going to be about? Can anything be salvaged from the draft I have going right now? Well, sure. My opening will be great in a few books. A couple of scenes are appropriate for Book 2, so they can be absorbed. But for the most part, I'm starting from square one again. Hell, I don't even know what the working title for this one will be as "Mourning Sickness" does not fit at all.
Yesterday's walk helped clear my head a bit. There's still a tangle of plot threads and stories that I need to sort through and put into some sort of order, but there are fewer knots.
Today is a day for imagining. For brainstorming. For letting creativity live and thrive.
And how could it not? I started using Pandora and the first station I made was based on Daft Punk, Bollywood and Gorillaz.
Yeah. It's a good day.