Thursday, May 12, 2011

The Obstacle Course

Writing is simply the written form of communication, and if we can talk, then we can write. Sounds easy, right?

Well…writing is not that easy. It can be a real challenge—something like completing an obstacle course, but what makes the course even more challenging is that we all have different obstacles in front of us.

To write, we have to endure the false starts of dead-end topics, hurdle over self-doubt, leap over the big writer’s block, climb up the proverbial tower of grammatical rules, take a few wrong turns in a storyline, crawl through the long and tedious tunnel of the editing process, and then we have to sprint toward the end because this, like everything else in life, is being timed.

Right now, I’m trying to get over that second-book hurdle—and wondering how to make it “feel” different from the first novel in the series. So…I’m stuck in revision land with lots of helpful notes from the editor. Now I understand why the second book is so difficult: Writers have a tendency to replicate style, characters, and plots, but readers want something fresh and different every time.

So…do you have any advice for someone trying to jump over that second-book hurdle? And do you have any obstacles standing in your way right now?


  1. That's so funny. I just wrote about this today. I don't know that I have any helpful advice... just let your characters continue to grow and change. If they evolve, then the world around them will take on new aspects. (In theory). Good luck! Let us know how it works out for you!

  2. Second book hurdle. I got over it by switching genres and then back to the first genre. This worked for me.