But I have done enough to share a couple of things I’ve run across even so early in the game. Please bear in mind this is the first time in my life I’ve ever attempted to write a sequel, which means I’m feeling my way along and learning by trial and error. Still, what I’m learning might prove helpful.
If you’re currently working on the first book in a series, here are some activities you might want to do to make writing the next book easier. Some of these are things I did automatically when writing The Nightmare Affair, and some are ones I wish I had done.
- Lay the groundwork in book 1
Mostly, what I do is drop little details and clues here and there of ideas, character motivations, events, etc. that I might want to explore in the next book. If writing a book is like weaving a tapestry, these are threads I intentionally leave sticking out. They’re small, small enough that none of my critique partners or beta readers will complain that I didn’t explain the significance of that thread. Again, these are minor, minor details. The best example I can think of is how J.K. Rowling mentions the locket in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, one whole book before it becomes significant.
- Keep a timeline of events
- Keep a glossary of all names of people, places, and things
- Write Chapter Summaries
So there you have it folks. Be sure to stick around for the website reveal and query letter contest!