Sunday, September 26, 2021

Writing Update: To Sequel or Not to Sequel?

Hey, guys! It’s been a while since I posted a writing update, so here I am to talk about some of my latest projects. I’ll try not to get too in depth, especially since some of my projects with great aspirations never made it past the querying stage… *looks longingly at two novels I set aside*

That being said—stories! I love ‘em. The fun thing about being a writer is that you don’t have to stick with one story. Once you’re past the proofreading stage, it’s time to move on to the next project. The main question then becomes, what next? And of course, should I write a sequel or not?



WATER SPRITE: Definitely a Sequel

The title is not going to stay, guys. It’s just the best I have right now. I decided to rewrite this book as a novel in verse and completely fell in love with the style. I hope my critique partners like it as much as I do. Speaking of critique partners, if anybody’s interested in helping me tear this novel apart, I’m looking for readers (see 7 Facts about Critique Partners and Current Stories for more info).

As for the plans for a sequel, it won’t be so much a sequel as much as a companion novel. Technically, if you look at it chronologically, it would be a prequel. Why would I be writing this one second? I’m not. I once tried my hand at this companion novel before, and it was a complete flop (I tried writing the novel by hand and hated every second of it). So I set it aside, wrote a different story, and now I’m coming back with a completely different approach.

Even though my current writing order is book 2, book 1, book 3, I particularly like these stories because each one has standalone potential. It’s not so much a trilogy as a collection of books with some crossover.



I still hate this title. Especially since it’s something that carried over from draft one but no longer applies to the latest draft. *shrugs* Titles are hard.

Anyway, whether or not I write a sequel depends on two factors: 1) how I end the book and 2) whether or not I can find a literary agent to represent it. Now you might be wondering, you already sent it off to your critique partners, shouldn’t you already know how you’re ending the book? Hahahaha! No. These things change.

Also, yes, I can totally write a sequel without a literary agent, but from a career standpoint, I don’t want to spend 2-3 years on a project that will never see the light of day when I could be working on something else that might have better success at getting published. Besides, even if the first story does get picked up for publication, it will probably undergo even more changes.

But how do I know what will happen? I don’t. That’s why I want to wait and see.



Hey, wait a second, I’ve never talked about this story before. It’s still in the writing process. Keep it secret! Quick! *cue screaming*

Since this spring, I’ve been trudging my way through a short story with a twist on one of my least favorite tropes: the chosen one. Can I pull it off? We can only wait and see…


There you have it! A glimpse at what I’ve been working on and what I plan to be doing in the future. Some of it depends upon the publishing process, but not all of it. I always look forward to future stories. There are so many plot bunnies out there just waiting to be written.


Let’s chat! Readers, do you prefer standalones or series? Writers, which do you like to write? What’s your least favorite trope?






Similar posts: “Would You Rather?” Writing Tag, How to Balance Multiple Writing Projects, and Writing Update: Between Publications

Sunday, September 19, 2021

Don't Judge a Book by its Author, Or Should You?

Hello, dear readers. I’m baaaaack!

Boy, I’m glad I took a summer hiatus. Having two jobs has kept me incredibly busy, especially since as summer came to a close. That and Ive been dealing with some family stuff. I haven’t had the time to write. 

I feel like the world is more political now than when I was growing up. Or maybe as a kid, I just didn’t notice the political atmosphere. *blech* Either way, it seems that everybody has an opinion on just about everything.

Readers’ opinions of authors are no exception. Some authors are likened to heroes while others are despised. When did art become about writers and not the books themselves?

Sure, buying an author’s books or checking them out from the library supports the author. As an indie author, I get it and often enjoy supporting fellow writers by buying their books. But where do we as readers draw the line? In short: it’s complicated. Here’s why.

Side note: I’m not going about to write about politics. Personally, I like to keep my political opinions separate from my author profile. I will occasionally write about controversial topics, but this post is not one of them. As a result, I will be writing about some real examples and some hypothetical ones.



The Dangers of Hero Worship

You may have heard the adage, “never meet your heroes.”

Now, I haven’t met many authors, so I can’t say I’ve had negative experiences meeting them. Actually, the authors I’ve met have been inspirational. (Hi, Lisa!)

At the same time, though, I’ve seen the dangers of hero worship. People, even those you admire, will at one point or other let you down. That’s not to say that you can’t admire certain authors, just that it’s not wise to put them on a pedestal. Authors are people too.


Authors with Different Beliefs from their Readers

Here’s a tricky one. What do you do if you believe one thing and you come across a book by an author who believes something different? As a Christian, I come across this situation quite often, from authors who are atheists to others who are Mormon. I don’t read much Christian speculative fiction because I tend to find the genre rather limiting (see Controversy in Fiction: Christian Fiction).

I don’t take my beliefs from fiction, either, though there are times when reading will challenge me. Without reading other perspectives, how would we grow?

“It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” –Unknown (often mistakenly attributed to Aristotle)


Amazing Writing, Terrible Lifestyle

I remember one time I was sitting in a book club, and some of the other readers were talking about one author (I can’t remember which one) who was an absolute dirtbag, but they liked his books. For that very reason, I respected my fellow readers for their discernment and their ability to acknowledge that even though they didn’t like the writer’s lifestyle, they could appreciate his work.

I know there are several painters whom I’ve shared a similar opinion, but I can’t think of any writers off the top of my head.


Separating the Author from the Book

I like reading the acknowledgements in a book and the author’s bio, but that’s generally where I stop. I read so many books that reading about each and every author would take up a lot of time. If I’m really into a book or another, I may look up more info about the author, but it’s rare.

Generally speaking, I try to focus on judging the book for what it is, not for who wrote it. Yes, an author’s beliefs can influence their writing, but I also take on the idea that once a book is published, it doesn’t wholly belong to the writer anymore but to the reader.


Let’s chat! What’s your take on judging a book by its author? Have you ever met any of your favorite authors in person?




Similar posts: 7 of my Go-To Authors; Let’s Agree to Disagree: Reader vs. Author Opinion; and Controversy in Fiction: Christian Fiction