I have been pretty quiet on Facebook, Twitter and this blog over the past couple of weeks. Reason? I have started my second novel. Well, actually, it is the third start on my second novel, which makes sense if you have ever sat down to write a novel.
Here's my explanation:
I started a second novel about five months ago that is a sequel to the first. I put that on the back burner for one reason. Sequels are bad ideas unless you are already published. Publishing houses don't buy that idea, which means that agents don't accept it, which means that first-time writers should put those novels on the back burner.
I started my second second novel, and it glided onto the page. I loved the character, and I loved the setup of the story line. But I put it on hold because the subject matter is SO different from my first novel, and what I intend to write in the future. Again, an experienced author can get away with that. James Patterson can almost simultaneously release one of his thrillers and release a second book about the tensions of being a middle schooler. One is adult thriller, the other young adult. A newbie can't get away with that, so my great character and setup ... which will be a young adult growing into a real world with real challenges ... will wait for a later date.
Now I am starting the third second novel. It will fit snugly into thriller/mystery territory. It will use areas with which I am familiar ... the Seattle area and Northern California to a small extent, Los Angeles and the surrounding area to a much larger extent. I have written five chapters, and I believe it is a solid setup. I have been spending the past few days gathering and tossing out plot ideas ... you know, those middle-of-the-night reveries when great ideas interrupt sleep. Now I will sit down and begin building on that solid foundation. There are no twin story lines in this one, no single character existing in a fantasy world while the other resides in the real world. It will be easier to craft than the first one, but no less challenging.
So it is time to put the first principle of being a novelist into action: Put your ass in the chair and begin creating. I love doing that. It will be a great ride.