The time has finally come to begin the second draft of book two. How do I know? The pressure, I feel like an overheating boiler, all vibrating rivets and whistling jets of escaping steam, because the book is taking up more and more of my thinking time, becoming more distracting by the day. I feel like my hat is on too tight. The more I try to avoid it and think about something else, the worse it gets, I can’t stop thinking about it. I can’t wait to tear into it. That’s how I know I’m ready. It’s not because I think it’s about time, or that my schedule says so, it’s because I can’t do anything else, I don’t want to work on any other project. Even writing this is tougher than it should be.
Along with the pressure is a sense of heightened anticipation. This is an exciting time, because I’m going to get to read the book properly, cover to cover, for the first time, as if I’m my own first reader. Of course, it’s not quite the same experience because I remember how the story goes and how it ends and I think I remember all the twists, I certainly remember the most memorable scenes. But that’s not the point, whenever I do this, and I’ve done it a few times now, there is genuine anxiety mixed in with the excitement. There is always the danger the book is not as good as I remember, or worse, I’ll discover I’ve been kidding myself and I really can’t write all.
There are two things I need to do. Number one, make the book better. I’ve done this before with other projects, and it mainly involves cutting a lot out and clarifying what’s left. Number two, is take note of were book two overlaps book one, so I can tie the two together. I’ve never written a sequel before, so this is something new, and right now I don’t know how it’s going to work. My initial idea is, as I go through book two, to write down every fact (to check against the first book), everything I want to foreshadow, every linked plot point. Then, once I have that list, use it to go through book one. It might work or I might find a better way, I’ll have to see.
I thought it might be fun to post my progress on twitter. Partly to give my reader something to look at, but also a way of maintaining my own momentum, just as it’s easier to keep going to the gym with a buddy, it must be easier to keep going with someone following me. Well, that’s the theory anyway.