I’ve read multiple lines that all say the same thing:
The second novel is much harder to write than the first
I breezed through the first draft of my second novel, Red Sky Warning, spending almost one less month writing it than I spent on the first book, Come the Shadows.
Great, right? Commence back-patting.
But the hip-hip-hoorays were short-lived. Only when I dove into the editing did I see the true nature of the idea that the second novel is harder than the first. Writing is more than just the first draft. It’s a process with many stages, layering onto the piece everything that makes it a good read in the end, and frequently ripping out a bits – large and small – in the process. In those changes the work truly takes flight, but it’s work, plain and simple.
I am finding that, contrary to what I hoped, editing the second book is far more challenging than the first. Come the Shadows was an inspired idea while Red Sky Warning is a much more cerebral exercise of continuing that story. I knew how I wanted book two to end but not exactly how I wanted to get there.
I took a few other ideas and added them in. Some of them I am now having to take out. The overall story has worked out very well, and I think it is a great follow-up piece, but it needs…refinement… that the first book did not need, or at least did not require to the same degree.
So yes, I must agree with the statement that it is much harder to write the second novel than the first, but what an experience! I know my craft grows and with challenge comes improvement. It will only get better (even if it won’t get easier) from here.