Well, it was about reflecting on the past this time . As some of you know that from time to time I like to touch base on some of the topics that come up in my writing journey. Most often it has been about writer’s block and once again it is. Only a little different in some of the specifics because it has to do with reflecting on the first book.
Well so there I was, a week or so after submitting the second book to the publisher, just waiting to hear how the new assessment comes out. I get a response form the editor that there are a few issues. Great, I love the insight and the ability to touch base on a few things before the overall adjustments before editing become overwhelming. Who wouldn’t be? Right?
The editor wanted me to reflect on the first novel a little to allow readers jumping into the new book as new readers a chance to understand what is going on. I myself am guilty of buying the second book in a series, not knowingly, and starting my journey from there. Only later if the story intrigues me do I go back and read the first novel. So it makes sense, right?
I did this same thing with the “Odd Thomas” series by Dean Koontz when I first purchased “Forever Odd” because the cover grabbed my attention from my mood that I was currently in.
The Writer’s Block sets in:
So now, back to the main point. So I was lucky enough to get this in on a Friday so it would not totally bother my compulsive behavior to get the changes made during the work week. I stayed up most of the night on a Saturday, however, working through the main points I wanted to address. Saturday I spent a good part of the day in between chores, and errands, working on removing half of what I put in the book to reflect back to book one. Sunday I went through it all day long for about 12 hours. That is where the writer’s block set in. I could not find myself comfortable with the information I was not only adding to book two, to bring a new reader up to speed, but I was having a hard time relinquishing this information. I was nervous that too much information with my “knowing” how the book and the series goes would somehow deliver a hint into something I wasn’t ready to reveal.
Well, first I went back to the first book and kind of browsed through it. Refreshing my memory a little about what was said and to make sure I was not adding anything extra that would not have been mentioned. This helped. A little.
Second, I went back through my new adjustments. I highlighted areas that I thought would have to be addressed in order for someone to understand what was going on. I also highlighted areas where I didn’t make the adjustments, and I felt like some reflecting needed to be added. After doing so my work finally came together and I broke through the ‘block wall’ of writer’s block.
Having narrowed down key areas in the second book I was able to focus on those and not the whole book at once. I could add some character’s reflecting on the past without destroying the mystery of the first or second book. I could browse through more easily if I thought of a new way I wanted to deliver the character’s reflecting into the past or what had happened since the first book ended. This made it a lot easier by taking the big picture and simply “zooming in” a little on the key elements or parts that needed work.
But I still have to admit, it was difficult and hope it covers some things. After all, I probably wouldn’t have read the whole “Odd Thomas” series if I didn’t understand enough about the past while reading he second book.
And that’s about it until the next “block” comes up.
Thanks for Reading,
Joshua Crane Dowidat