Thanks to a discussion with fellow Apocalypsies members, I thought it would be a good idea to share my experience while writing the follow-up to a series. It’s not easy and it usually results in tears, self-loathing, and panic. So, I’ll give you the rundown of what I went through:
• Wrote a 5-page outline from beginning to end on what I wanted in my story.
• Called all my friends and explained the story in great detail, just in case they cared.
• Divided the outline to where each paragraph equaled a chapter. (30 chapters/ 30 paragraphs)
• Played around on the internet, read a really bad romance novel, and felt better about my writing abilities.
• Reread book 1 and listed character traits for continuity purposes.
• Expanded each paragraph to a page worth of information, backstory, and descriptions, etc. (30 paragraphs/ 30 pages.)
• Cried and called my family for encouragement.
• Read more trashy books.
• Expanded the outline by adding 3 more pages to each section. (30 pages x 3 = 90 pages)
• Did happy dance with my cat.
• Called everyone I knew and told them how awesome I was, just in case they cared.
• Reread all my prep work and HATED it.
• Cried myself to sleep, unsure if I could top the previous book.
• Slept for two days.
• Consulted agent for wisdom and weekly pep talk.
• Read books from good authors and wished them bodily harm. Took notes.
• Read book 1 again with newfound awe as to how I actually finished it.
• Reexamined my outline, going chapter by chapter and spent 3 days on each section. (12-15 pages each)
• Spent 30 days rewriting the first 5 chapters because it was to info dumpy and I hate recapping stuff from the previous book.
• Questioned my writing ability and fished for compliments from my friends.
• Got a spark of inspiration halfway through the story and wrote incessantly for 3 weeks.
• Spent 3 more weeks debating on how the book should end.
• Cried some more.
• Ended the story with a cliffhanger, causing my agent to squeal in girlish delight and having friends cuss me out after reading it.
• Rewrote the original outline because it was completely different from what I actually wrote.
• Passed out for a week and dreamt of how book 3 should start.
And there you have it—how I survived the journey through the dark wilderness known as book 2. It was pure torture, but BOY was it worth it. That’s something every writer can look forward to, the big payoff of seeing your project through ‘till the end. I hope this helps those who are also writing a series. You’re not alone.