1. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Is it a good idea to give up writing halfway through a sequel? (There is more of a point ahead).

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Cave Troll, Feb 22, 2016.

    So as some of you know I have finished one full novel (approx. 122+K), and have edited the crap out of it in addition to adding a little more of a better introduction for a character. Currently have approx. 35 pages written into the sequel, but for a while now I just feel like I am wasting my time. Like is it worth even pursuing this to it's conclusion? Would anybody even read it? These are but two of the many questions crossing my mind. Topping it off with all the negative reaction to present tense angle. And I have no clue if the style and formula are worth a damn, because well haven't got an answer to that either. IDK. Feel like I put a ton of time and effort into something that will end up in the bin. Though I am sure the way it is written would receive the same negative response like the present tense thing. Not sure what to do, or if I should do anything at all considering my predicament.

    What say you? Thanks.
     
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  2. HistoricalScience
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    HistoricalScience Active Member

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    I don't think any writing is a waste of time if you are trying to be a writer. If you toss it in the bin then you can still hold onto the lessons you learned writing it. I have outlined a good portion of my sequel and the thing that holds me back on that project is that it's success is completely tied with my first book being published. If the first book never gets published then I have this whole other book that will most certainly never be published. When I am completely done with my first book, I plan to work mainly on another book that stands alone while still outlining/working on the sequel when the mood strikes so that in case my first book does generate any interest to a publisher than perhaps the direction of the second book may be a factor in their ultimate decision. Who knows. I'm starting to ramble so I'll leave you with this: just write whatever you want to!
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2016
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  3. peachalulu
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    peachalulu Contributing Member Reviewer Contributor

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    First did you want to do a sequel because you had more ideas or did you do a sequel because that's the trend? Maybe you have nothing more to say but you're trying to force it? Not every story needs a sequel. But if you are genuinely feeling the story - could be the present tense thing is giving you trouble. It's not a tense for everyone. It does give a momentary confidence for it's immediacy but since it's a hard tense to manipulate it can really pull back your tone and leave you stumped as to why things are sounding so flat.

    After writing in a lot of third and switching to present I made some discoveries and tried to make every negative work to my benefit. Because it can sound flat I would use it for more subdued characters - a robot, a disgruntled worker on the moon, a blackmailer etc. I would make it's terseness work for me.

    You could take one scene and rewrite it in a different tense and see if it works better or you feel better about it.

    Also never be worried about whether something is worthwhile. A lot of work will never be published - that doesn't mean it's not worthwhile - usually it means it's not trendy or the publishers won't take a chance. And even if you feel it's not good enough for you - that happens with writers all the time. I have books ( I've written ) that will never be read by anyone but me. At the time it felt like a waste - in hindsight I needed the practice.
     
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  4. Caterwaulings
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    Caterwaulings Member

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    It honestly depends if you want to go trad or not. In my experience, and the experience of my traditionally published friends, agents/editors are FAR more interested in a first book with potential for series then multiple books. Why? Traditionally published books can be heavily influenced by the editors/agents you work with. It is possible that they will want you to change some key elements--and maybe you will find those ideas to be fantastic. Writing another 122+ book that could need serious changes due to the changes in book one might be reaaaally frustrating.

    If you are going indie then YES write the sequel. For indie it is important to get your books out ASAP for the sake of building traction/a strong readership.

    Best of luck!
     
  5. Commandante Lemming
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    Commandante Lemming Contributing Member Contributor

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    I would say the bigger question is what you want to write. If you're still interested in writing the sequel and the plot is still something that won't leave you alone, keep writing.

    If you're burned out on the storyline, take a month, try writing something else - whether a short story or another concept or whatever - and see if the old one starts gnawing at you to come back. I did that and it gnawed at me, so I went back and was more invested in it than I was before.

    Really it's a matter of what feels good to write.
     
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  6. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Thanks everybody. :)

    I kinda started the sequel, because the first half is just so long (and it is not easy to find anybody willing to publish anything in the 100-150k range). It literally picks up where the first left off. Still have no intention on writing a third/multiple running series.

    I chose present tense, because damn near everything is in past tense (same applies for the first POV choice, over third POV).

    Perhaps I am in a bit of a rut, due to my insecurities based on the style, POV, and tense choices. Though to be fair it just doesn't seem right to make it fit into the standard chapter based mold of traditional novels. It is sort of more like an FPS style adventure in written format the way it is written. And from what I have heard back on it, no one has mentioned having a problem with the style so far once the extra character labels were added ( should have done that from the start, cause it can be really confusing otherwise). Which comes to the next bit of it. The basic format itself is radically different from the traditional way that multi-pov is written.

    To sum it all up, the story plays out almost like a screenplay in my head ( and it is sorta written that way). And the tense while hard to keep straight all the time, feels more engaging as opposed to making futuristic timeline in the past tense. Like I said it is hard to find anyone willing to look at longer works (100-150k), hence sequel.

    Again thanks everybody. :)
     
  7. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    *passing @Cave Troll a hanky*

    Here you go, a fully grown adult man can have a little weep and it won't put you in the realms of Crusie monkey men, I promise...

    What on earth were you even depressed about?!

    You wrote like over 122 K of words, just pat yourself on the back, print it out and bury it in some dark place. Then you can tell yourself it's like fine wine and will have improved reading after some maturing time. Or maybe you'll just look at it with fresh eyes a few months down the track.

    Hmmph, I feel so cheated! I thought I was meant to wallow in misery here next to you and all I'm getting is a shaky moment of insecurity. So not only have you made me weird but now you're making me feel bad for being lazy!

    What kind of wallowing pit is this anyway?

    I need to go to sleep!
     
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  8. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    With all the bad writing I have been exposed to, I feel re-engaged to continue through the hell of war. That's right insecurities aside, I have a war to to win with this darn sequel. The world needs more 'metal meets the man' type of fun, as well as bad military humor. There is more than that throughout both, but c'mon everybody loves intense action/violence and dark humor. :p
    '
     
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  9. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    Oh, don't forget the romantic subplot love triangle (maybe square) thing!

    I'm thinking Captain Graxis eventually realizes he is in love with Marckus who is already in love with Mother whatshername. While trying to get to Terra, he has to deal with a sexual identity crisis and jealous lovers, on top of trying to escape an evil government.

    When they all get to Terra, they are overwhelmed by hordes of cyberkinetic bot creatures. Marckus is captured and used for breeding purposes. He meets a sympathetic bot who is inconveniently asexual and falls in love with 'it' as well. Stuff happens or don't happen but epilogue rolls in...

    Turns out asexual bot presses a convenient secret button that powers down all the bots, sacrificing itself for Marckus.

    The war is won, the galaxy is at peace.

    Graxis and Mother whatshername decide they're sick of fickle Marckus and on the rebound, they hook up. Marckus is literally left holding the baby. He gives birth to a scientific miracle that would be a human/cyberkinetic half bot that will become the new superior species that take over the Universe....

    I know, pretty compelling stuff. No need to thank me for the inspiration. I offer it for free on the net and I was bored of doing real work again. ;)
     
  10. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    Not even published and already have my own Harry Potter slash being made. :p
     
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  11. LinnyV
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    LinnyV Contributing Member

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    oooh, I learn something new - slash fiction. :)

    Go write something useful and get published then. But let me know when you do, I'm now invested in the fate of your threesome.
     
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  12. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    :superlaugh:Will do my best.
     
  13. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    In your OP, are you referring to the sequel you're working on when you say "Feel like I put a ton of time and effort into something that will end up in the bin." Or are you referring to your completed novel?

    Am I picking this up right? You're happy with your finished novel, but are wondering if it's worthwhile writing a sequel?
     
  14. Cave Troll
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    Cave Troll Bite the bullet, do your own thing. Contributor

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    @jannert No, I had invested a lot more time into the first novel, 33 (now 35 pages) into the sequel is maybe a 1/6th the amount as the novel. I was having an overall insecurity about my own writings. I don't think I am the first to be hard on my own work, nor do I think I will be the last. Was having what one might call 'first time writers jitters', or something like that.

    Short answer is that I was having anxiety about whether my novel (and later the sequel) would be good enough to get published/read. Still not sure on which direction to take when it comes to publishing, and still unsure of how to market it in general. Writing it is the easy part, selling it seems impossible.

    9 months is a fair amount of time for writing a novel, I think. (plus all the notes and research that went into it, on top of editing and rereading it multiple times to make sure the story was straight) :p
     
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  15. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    OMG. Yes, I can understand those bouts of self-doubt, for sure. I wasn't sure if you were having a general self-doubt, or just doubting the wisdom of writing a sequel.

    I wish it was easier for writers to promote their own work. Some have less trouble than others. Me? I love to write, but really can't be arsed trying to sell it. I wish I had a personal selling fairy, who would come along and do all the non-writing work for me.

    I think you're probably fine. If you've had betas who have honestly liked your novel, you'll know you've reached people with your story. I think that's all we can go on, really.

    I remember having one of 'those moments' while I was standing in the middle of a giant 3-story bookstore in Glasgow. I looked around me and was immediately crushed by all the competition. I remember thinking: Just what the world needs. Another damn book!

    Then I got over it. :)
     
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  16. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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  17. doggiedude
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    doggiedude Contributing Member

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    OK ... That last message didn't quite work

    and I look at all those books and think .... If all of these people can find a publisher then so can I! Not to mention how awful some of the those books are.
     
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  18. tonguetied
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    tonguetied Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think Stephen King took a long time between some of his Dark Tower stories, he waited for his inspiration for each one IIRC. I agree with the idea of taking a break for awhile, didn't Ginger Coffee tell you to take a forumcation? That probably got you in trouble with your wife! :)
     
  19. jannert
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    jannert Contributing Member Supporter Contributor

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    Spoken like a glass-half-full person! :)
     

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