Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Writing Book #2 - Harder or Easier Than Writing Book #1?

I don't know about anybody else, but writing Book #2 turned out to be painfully hard for me. 

 I had no idea. 

 When I finished "Whimsey: A Novel," I was exhausted. 

 Then came that roller coaster ride that reviews bring. 

 I was not prepared for this. 

 Those first few negative reviews hurt, of course. The snarky reviews? Whoa! What's with that?! 

 If I were to say now that they don't still hurt, a year and a half later, well - I'd be lying. But, they don't hurt as bad as they did. 

 And, as I've said time and time before about books - they're not all written for the same audience and not everyone is supposed to fall in love with every book they pick up. 

 The fact that so many people discovered and fell in love with Whimsey makes the others seem more insignificant than they felt originally. 

 I started writing the second Whimsey pretty quickly after publishing the first, but it just wasn't working. It was, basically, sounding pretty much exactly like the first one, just focusing on a different character. Not good. How much back story is too much? With not enough, will I lose new readers wondering what the hell I'm nattering about? 

 So, I moved away from it and started working on an entirely different novel. One that's a bit darker and one that I think I'm going to love. 


 My mind and my heart kept wandering back to Whimsey. 

 So much so, that I found myself with my toes in the sand and my eyes on that gorgeous Whimsey sky where it meets the ocean and you can't tell where one ends and the other begins. Vibrant shades of blue, green, turquoise, indigo, azure, sapphires and emeralds topped with frothy white suds that mirror the clouds.

 And now, I've moved back. 

 I'm sitting on Aunt Zoe's front porch and I'm seeing things a little more clearly. Drinking a cup of coffee, scratching some words and seeing some scenes. Feeling a little mix of nostalgia about being back and hoping I find this refuge to be as magical as it was the first time around. 

 I'm wondering how Earlene's doing and can't wait to see her again, and wondering if Willie Nelson will find his way back or if he's completely forgotten about the gal who knew all the words to all his songs, but could never seem to find her shoes . . . 

 Anyone out there want to chime in and let me know if writing Book #2 was this terrifying for you? And if so, how'd you handle it?


bo parker said...

Kaye, I know what you mean. I never considered a second Joe McKibben story; had actually written a few chapters with different characters and a more humerous tone. But I could not escape the feeling that there was another part of Joe's story to be told.
It's been four years since the first book, partly because of health issues and a move to North Carolina. However, a great deal of time has been spent working on how to present what Joe wanted to say without it being "second verse, same as first."
Good luck on book two. Whatever the final story, your voice will come through loud and clear.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Bo, Thank You!!!!! Words from someone else going through the same things are comforting, and I appreciate yours. AND - I am looking forward to reading your next Joe McKibben novel. Good for you for hanging in there, my friend.