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Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Made it at Last!

For the last month or so I've been worrying over the completed draft of River Dark, my sequel to my children's historical novel Candle Dark that is set in the Blists Hill mine in the Ironbridge Gorge. Worrying because although I was happy with the first draft I knew the beginning was wrong. I have never written a sequel before, and did not know how I would handle back story. I always avoid back story in my novels, but this was different, I had no choice. But how to do this? I began by introducing a little of what had gone before in the conversation of the two main characters in the first two pages and thought I had done this very skilfully, but this was slowing down the story. I was 'warming up my engines' instead of plunging straight in. I knew I would have to be ruthless, cut out the first two pages and just introduce the exciting hook from the very first word, after all I'm writing for ten year olds, and let the back story take care of itself. I could always include this gradually as I went along. It seems to be working! 

44 comments:

Kittie Howard said...

Carol Anne, anything you write is going to turn out beautifully!

Christine Rains said...

Sounds like you're doing wonderfully. You know to always start with the hook right away!

The Desert Rocks said...

Sounds amazing. My husband's favorite movie is How Green was my Valley. So sad but so heartfelt. I'm sure your book is starting out wonderful.

Aubrie said...

Great idea to move your hook closer to the beginning!

Sharon K. Mayhew said...

WTG, Carole Anne! I've been thinking about this too, as my mg novel is going to be a series. :)

DeniseCovey _L_Aussie said...

Carole, this sounds like a good way to start your sequel. Tricky.

Denise

Carole Anne Carr said...

Kittie, I do wish I could find a publisher who will think the same kind thoughts as you do. It would help if I started submitting stuff, but can't do this until all the sequels are completed. :0)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, Christine, had managed to do this with all the original stories and have now overcome my fear of sequels. :0)

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, Eve, unfortunately I want to work on my grown up novels too, but I must be patient and concentrate on the sequels.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi Aubrie, particularly with children's books nothing else works - should have remembered that this is how it works in a sequel too.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, it is similar to working on a very big puzzle, Sharon.

Carole Anne Carr said...

It is very tricky, Denise, working on a sequel, very complicated.

Clarissa Draper said...

Writing for children and writing sequels are both difficult. I'm sure you've done good though.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, Clarissa, hope you find a great writing partner.

Susan Kane said...

I have always wondered how authors can handle the sequel. But JK Rowlings had no difficulty, so it must work itself out.

Peaches Ledwidge said...

I like the picture. Moving the hook closer to the beginning is a good idea.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, Susan, she had lots of practice with her series, hope to become proficient myself in time.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hope it works, Peaches.

Helen Ginger said...

Sounds like you've found the right way to introduce backstory. Jump in with the new story!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hope it is going to work, Helen. :0)

Maria said...

Always good to have the hook as soon as possible I think - I'm unhappy with my novel opening. Usually, I make a good start but in my heart I know its all wrong.I need to brainstorm it.

Your story sounds interesting.

Carole Anne Carr said...

Yes, Maria, you know instinctively when something is not working. And I am not as interested in a sequel as I am in the original story - must pull myself together!

Crack You Whip said...

Sounds amazing. I think you will have no problems!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks so much, CYW, it's a struggle but won't give up.

The Golden Eagle said...

Hooray for your writing progress!

Deniz Bevan said...

Congratulations, Carole! We visited Blists Hill again two weeks ago when we were in the UK - I've got a post coming up soon with photos!

FOLKWAYS NOTEBOOK said...

Nice to hear your approach to handling your back story, I am not a writer but am always fascinated with writing and its concepts. -- barbara

Carole Anne Carr said...

Thanks, G.E. I need all the encouragement I can get!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Deniz I shall be looking forward to that very much!

Carole Anne Carr said...

Barbara, last time I looked at the beginning of the book I knew I hadn't pared it back sufficiently, hope I have it right this time. I shall be posting the beginning hopefully for a few comments. :0)

klahanie said...

Hi Carole,
And the looks of delight on the faces of the ten year old children, will tell you all.
All the best and may you have a lovely and hopefully, drier weekend.
Hugs, Gary x

Carole Anne Carr said...

Hi Gary, the forecast for our region is good, hope it is the same for you. x

Joyful said...

Congratulations on your success! I'm your new followers ;-)

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