Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Fears of Repeating Oneself

So, it's been a while.

My life for the last two weeks has been more than chaotic and I haven't even had much time to write, let alone blog. I managed to start another new book in that time (which I am not working on since I have to finish my sequel) but that was about the height of my creativeness this week in between working and trying to get a full nights sleep.

Anyway, enough about that.

I am filled with two strong feelings every time I pull up my working manuscript for Human Nature. One is excitement; I get to bring back my characters, make them go through new trials, and develop them in ways I never did before. My other feeling is fear. It took me three years to make Only Human what it is and even that seems like it could still use some work. In that time I came up with idea after idea, only to trash them and go with something else. I'm working within a different time constraint with Human Nature. Now I have people who want to read a sequel, people who will forget about the book if I don't have another one done in time and scariest of all, people who have an expectation about my writing. If it's not the same or better as the first one, it will be a disappointment.

I developed characters to a certain extent in the first one but the second book takes it to a whole new level. Connor/Drew isn't just Mr. Impenetrable, he has feelings, thoughts, and wants. Abby isn't the same scared, naive girl she used to be, she realizes there is more danger than she thought and feels a responsibility for helping out the others around her. Zack isn't a robotic bully, he has a purpose to his life and things that hurt him in the past. Callie isn't just a friend, she is a friend willing to die to protect Abby. Abby's Dad isn't dead, he's out there somewhere.

The above ideas fascinate me while terrifying the inner writer. They have to continue to develop, they have to seem real but...how?

I liked Abby in the first book, I want to LIKE her in the second book. There were times when I wrote her not going quite as far as the new Abby is willing to go to protect the people around her. Not only has she grown in learning, she's met Drew. What he is and what he believes, much like her friend Callie, has become a part of her.

There are things that always seem to make their way into my book. Main characters getting injured and having to be patched up by another character. It always sneaks its way in! Male MC protecting the girl verbally/physically at at least one point during the story. Little cliches work their way into my writing because it's what I like. Unfortunately, if done too often, especially in the same series, it's going to just be repetitive and boring.

Human Nature is a fresh start, a new book to continue the story but add new twists, new characters, and new cares. The last thing I want is for it to become an updated version of Only Human because I'm now three years older.

Anna Leigh

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