Monday, April 16, 2012

Writing Sequels or Series

As some of you know, I am in the process of writing the second book in the Whisper Cape series, Reflections, and I thought I’d share some of my journey with you.

First, writing the second book is not as easy as I thought it would be. Keeping facts consistence from one book to the next with settings, locations, existing characters, and making sure I haven’t changed their personalities is a bit of a challenge. There are times when I have needed to read over several scenes from Whisper Cape to make sure I didn’t accidentally change something. Adding new characters is easier, in my opinion. There’s not much you can screw up there—everything about them is new and fresh.

I tend to let my characters tell the story and drive the plot, which can take me to places I hadn’t intended, but most always welcomed. Adding new locations and doing research is always fun. I enjoy the research part, exploring countries I’ve never been to but would love to visit so that I can give firsthand experience of the local customs and landscapes justice. But when it’s not possible to actually go there, I do rely heavily on Google Earth and other websites. It was easier with Whisper Cape, which is set along the Oregon Coast, albeit a long but manageable drive from my home. The story occasionally ventures away from there, with visits to the Sectory to meet some of the members of the Sectorium and of course, let’s not forget the scene in Bora Bora, which I’ve actually had the pleasure of visiting. So I had the experience of learning what those places are like. It is a different story with Reflections.

With Reflections, though, my characters are taking me to new locations I’ve only dreamed of visiting and I’m having a blast researching. Reflections is Gerry’s and Maia’s story and it’s no secret that Gerry is from Scotland, so it’s only natural that he takes us on a journey back to his roots.

I love when a book takes me away to wherever the characters are at the time. So when I write, I like to describe the area so that the reader feels like they are actually there. I only hope I can make the second book as fresh and as exciting as the first and give all the new locations the imagery they deserve.

If you've ever written a sequel, please feel free to share your experience. 

Now it’s time to get back to writing.  

Thanks for reading and feel free to comment.



  1. I look forward to visiting Scotland through Gerry's eyes and I can not wait for Reflections. You did an outstanding job with Whisper Cape and I know Reflections will be just as good because you are a fantastic writer. Your words flow smoothly across the pages.

  2. Wow! Thank you so much. No pressure, right? LOL

  3. Scotland! Yay! This is another great post; one I can relate to as I work on the final installment in the Resistance series. I feel your pain--writing sequels is tough! Continuity errors await at every turn and I recall spending weeks of my writing time (when writing The Gates) just re-reading Amaranth until I wanted to chuck it out the window. Something I've found helpful, especially now as I tackle the 3rd book, is to use a large dry-erase board to label plot points, character arcs, history, facts, etc., so I can change them and track as I go.

    I can relate to your thoughts on the research process as well. I've written about places I've had the pleasure of visiting (minus Paris, unfortunately!) and it really does make it a million times easier. Yet, it's so fun to spend time researching locales around the globe you've never been, getting in touch with some of the locals, and learning how to bring that particular area to life on the pages for your characters and your readers.

    Enjoy the rest of your researching (and writing) process, and best of luck with this fun sequel!


  4. Yeah, Scotland. So, Rachael, I say, since we both need to research Scotland, I think we should just get together and take a trip!! Sounds like the logical things to do.


    1. Sounds like a plan! ;) I hear it's beautiful out there.

  5. Hi, Regan. I wish you all the best with the follow up.
    As you know, I'm Scottish and the place reeks of research.
    I know I may be telling Granny how to suck eggs, but try to narrow down your research to specifics, as you may be distraced by other events etc you will find. Watch the variation of accents through places and times.
    I will eventually do indepth research for a novel based on my short story Nobody's Inn (inside Short Shocks 2)
    The novel centres on Draugar - a celtic legend. That's for later though.
    I have two free stories on Smashwords: Dead Beat and Nobody's Inn - both set in Scotland.
    Wishing you all the best and big hugs.



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