For me, I had a basic idea for The Hidden Sun. However, I tend to be more of a “pantser” because as I write, ideas will come to me that I’d not thought of before, or even really considered. Looking back, those are some of my favorite things I’ve written. (Example: the first part of Chapter 10 and the Epilogue.)
I remember thinking at one point in time while writing my first book, “How in the world is this going to end?” Fortunately, I figured something out.
For the follow up, The Waxing Moon, I decided to do more of an outline. I spent a good deal of time figuring out the characters and sequence of events. I still had those moments of inspiration as I wrote, but overall, I stayed true to my outline. When I finished, I discovered something unsettling: Whereas The Hidden Sun was just shy of 100,000 words, The Waxing Moon was barely over 60,000. I didn’t want there to be such a difference, so I created a second outline to continue the story.
|A possible idea of what the cover may look like.|
Great idea, right?
Well, really not so much.
My beta readers picked up right away what I’d done. My good friend Randy even said, “It was like you wrote a book, then wrote another one.”
So, I went back to the drawing board—sort of.
During this time, I was getting a lot of feedback from readers about The Hidden Sun. The reviews were overwhelmingly positive. While reading through them, I got an idea for a subplot I could interweave into The Waxing Moon. In the end, I chopped off the last part I’d written and I went back and wrote the subplot. I was very pleased at the end how it added to the book.
So what about the part that I chopped off? Let’s just say I have a good head start on writing the next book in the series, The Zealous Star.