The year of the sequel

To date, 2015 appears to be the year of the sequel for me. This is a good thing. I’ve never been able to write sequels, or series. And yet, every bit of marketing advice out there says you must. I’m not sure I agree with that — I think it’s more important to write things that you love.

However, last fall, I asked the brilliant Kristine Kathryn Rusch about this. The advice she gave me was priceless: If I want to engage my butterfly brain, each book must be unique. You can’t just write the same story over and over again, or even really continue the story from one book to the next.

Since I started following that advice, I’ve been able to write more series characters. Each book is unique. I actually enjoy the challenge of that, while keeping the characters and their voices true.

So what exactly does that mean? Let me explain.

Warning – lots of pictures under the cut.

Story Inspiration Sunday

I blog about what inspires me both here and over at Book View Cafe. Feel free to comment either here or there.

There are lots of things that inspire me to write, like fashion and weird photography and poetry and food and things.

For the month of August, I’ve been doing a challenge. Basically, it’s writing 3000 words per day, every day, for the first 20 days of the month, so I’ll finish a 60,000 word novel in August.

Sounds crazy, right?

But I’ve done it so far. In the first ten days of August, I’ve written 30,000 words.

What’s my inspiration? How do I sit down at my writing computer, day after day, and come up with things?

One of the things that’s made this challenge easier for me was a talk given by the brilliant Matt Buchman. He’s been a project manager for 30 years, and he gave a presentation on applying some of those principles to managing your inner writer.

As I do a lot of project management for my day job, I was really interested.

One of the questions Matt asked was, “Why do you write?”

I actually didn’t find that question, by itself, that useful. Why I write is personal, and quite frankly varies from project to project. Instead, I had to break that question into two questions: “Why do you write” as well as “Why do you share.”

Me–the second answer, is both obvious and entertaining, and has been a huge part of my inspiration for getting my butt in the chair and writing 30,000 words this month.

And here’s the hint:

love boat