Since publishing my first novel at the end of April, I haven’t had time to do much in the way of writing; at least not in terms of writing a second novel. Leaving aside the personal circumstances that (as usual) have been constraining my time and ability to focus on my fiction writing, the other factor that had been preventing me from starting any meaningful work on a second book was my indecision concerning what story I want to tell next. I began outlining two stories at the same time until I could make a decision about which of the two I wanted to proceed with. Fortunately, that decision has now been made.
While it might be assumed that I have chosen to prioritise the stronger of the two potential stories, that isn’t actually the case. In the end, I decided to put the better idea on the back-burner, until such time as I feel that I am capable of doing the story justice. What I’ll be working on, instead, for the next few months is a follow-up to my debut novel. This choice consequently means two things: The Exercise Of Vital Powers is no longer a stand-alone novel; it is now the first instalment of a series that will run for at least five books. (More details about this series will follow in a later blog post.)
I plan to start writing book two in earnest next week, and hope to have an unedited “final” draft completed before the end of the year. I will probably post regular updates of my progress as I go. And to pre-empt any questions or concerns about whether it’s a good idea to use (what was originally intended to be) a stand-alone novel as the basis for writing a five book series, I will just point out the following: I unexpectedly did a lot of world building for The Exercise Of Vital Powers (most of which I didn’t utilise) so I have plenty of scope for writing further stories in that world, which will allow me to make use of all the hitherto unused material.
As someone who often dislikes unnecessary sequels, I have to admit that I am surprisingly excited about the prospect of writing additional tales in the world I created. And the best thing about doing so is the opportunity for more character development of my two protagonists, both of whom I grew very attached to while writing The Exercise Of Vital Powers. I’m really looking forward to writing these characters again, even if no one else is.
Thanks for reading,