August 31, 2011

Excited and Confused: ROW80 Check In

Late to post, but good news to share. Depression Cookies was just honored with a Silver Award for Realistic Fiction in the 2011 Readers Favorite book awards. In addition, we were named a Finalist in the Chick Lit category.

After a week of questioning myself and my character, this was a nice reboot. But the pressure is on... Depression Cookies was also a Finalist in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Awards. I don't want to sully the story by not putting out a quality sequel.

As a reader, do you have much higher expectations for the sequel? I've often commented about sequel-syndrome, how sequels often disappoint (especially the second book in a trilogy).

This leads me to the worries I've been having about writing my character again. I am so attached to her, yet I understand the need to age her slightly and allow her to grow up. An early reader I really trust warned me that her voice, thoughts, reactions need to age. But I hestitate to age her too much. I'm nearing 40, and I still have 15 year old thoughts running through my head. Granted they are balanced with older, more mature thoughts. I want her to age, but I think her inner musings won't change drastically.

If you are attached to a character, how much to do want to see him/her grow? If the character changes too drastically is something lost?

Brief progress update:

- Sequel is moving along, but had to rework the first two chapters due to an inconsistency between our chapters. The joys of co-writing. I worked on the sequel two hours today alone. No major word count tallies, but I felt good about the progress.

- Making great progress toward my editing goal. Still hope to be done by Friday.

- Homework. Check. Sign up for SITS 31DBBB challenge. Check. (although I'm finding the forum aspects confusing) Leave encouraging comments for fellow ROW80 participants. Check. Book Reviews, so close.

Overall, I feel great about the week.

Goals for the upcoming week:

- Finish Sequel

- Two book reviews

- Finish editing and request more chapters

- Read my book club book by Wednesday, September 7th.

Hope my fellow A Round of Words in 80 Days particpants feel good about their weeks, too. Let me know! If you stop by, I'd love some thoughts on my questions above.


Christine said...

Congratulations on the award!

As for sequels, I'm happy to have a continuation of the story. In all the sequels I've read, I haven't been disappointed as long as the story stays true. In one series, by the time the author was on the 29th book in the series it as almost like the author just didn't care any more - there were huge gaps in the story, it was predictable and sloppy. It seemed like the author was just over it. That has been the only time I was disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on the award and placements! So now you've set the bar high for yourselves. :)

About the sequel syndrome- have you considered re-questioning your character(s) with the mindset of "this is a new character"? Of course, it's not technically a "new" character, but if you do character questionnaires and worksheets, maybe a revised list of answers would help. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Interesting question. I love sequels, but I am sometimes disappointed. It may be that I have such a vivid idea of the character that I want him to sort of freeze where he is--I want more story, but no mistakes or growing pains or character flaws that come with maturing, or bad things happening to him. (In other words, I want a sequel, but I want it to be the same as the previous book.) That's a bit unrealistic on my part as a reader. The author's vision and mine will never be the same.

Congratulations on the awards. Sounds like you're doing great.

Em said...

Huge congratulations on the awards! It must be such a confidence boost but I can see the pressure to live up to the brilliant start quickly follows.

I always hope sequels are going to be atleast as good as first books. You care more about the character as you know them and usually you have your own opinions about how you want them to grow and age. Having said that you can't please everyone!

I hope you have a great week and meet all your goals.

Anonymous said...

First of all, congratulations! That is so fantastic! Good job on goals, too.
Regarding sequels, I remember my mother telling me when she turned fifty that she felt no different inside than she had at fifteen. One’s essential personality doesn’t change, but one does see some things through the lens of the experiences one has gone through in the intervening years.
I don’t think you will have sequel problems. The ones I find disappointing are those that feel thrown together, as though the author didn’t trust the audience to wait for a well-crafted sequel.
I hope you have a lovely rest of the week!

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the award - I love realistic fiction, I'll definitely have to check out the first book. I'm in your WF campaign group and just stopped by to say hello and check out the blog.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this is fantastic news. Congratulations!

I understand the pressure regarding working on the sequel. As a reader, I love checking out sequels to books that I've loved. The only thing that really disappoints me is when there are inconsistencies in the story. I think it's realistic to imagine that while your character has aged, there will be some thought processes that mature and some that don't. I'm 24, and although I've changed and grown a lot over the years, there are some core parts of my personality that have been the same since I was in high school, things that I don't imagine will change any time soon.

Anyway, congrats again, and have a great rest of the week!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks everyone for commenting! You've given me a lot to think about, but overall you've eased my worries about moving ahead with the sequel. I thank you and Krista (my aging yet staying herself character) thanks you!

Christine said...

You've also been awarded the Liebster award!


Anonymous said...

Laura says:

Wow! Congratulations on the award outstanding!! And I'm sure Krista will evolve beautifully without forgetting what makes her such a special character!

Tia Bach said...

Thanks, Christine! I'll post soon accepting my lovely award.

Laura, Krista and I both thank you for the encouragement!