Like Claire, I'm finding myself backing away from my original NaNo goal this year. I very optimistically said I wanted to complete a rough draft of WALKING IN SHADOW. Did I really expect to have a completed manuscript at the end of it all? No. What I hoped for was a bare bones story where I at least had the main events hammered out, with some fillers needed here and there, etc...
Yeah, I'm not sure that's going to happen.
I'm not altogether ready to say I'm not going to meet the 50K goal--even though I'm at about 1K total so far (talk about optimism!), but I am willing to finally admit that if I don't hit 50K it will not be the end of my world. And it doesn't mean the month will not be productive in other ways. For now, I'm going to keep striving to get words on the page, realizing and giving great credit to the fact that I have A LOT on my plate. No beating myself up, in other words. I have two jobs. I work hard. And I'm trying to do as much promotion as I can for BY THE PALE MOONLIGHT. Add to that the fact that I'm friggin' tired from getting BTPM out there on the market to begin with. From September until now, I've been working non-stop with revisions, etc... Yeah, I'm pretty much worn to the nub at the moment. If I take a day off--or two or three--to help recharge the proverbial batteries, no big.
At any rate, on to the topic of this post. SEQUELS.
I'm wrestling around with a couple of things right now as I dive into WIS full force. One being backstory.
Ah, backstory. I tell you what, if you think backstory is a pain in the arse in a first book...it's even worse with the second in a series. Where do you put it in? How much do you put in? Are you going to annoy the hell out of the people who read the first book if you put too much in? Will you confuse the hell out of new readers who have no clue what happened in the first if you don't provide enough information for them in the second? It's a fine line to walk and I'm finding that the more I ponder the beginning of this book (Nope, haven't written it yet), I'm undecided on how much to throw in.
I have been told by a well-known agent *cough* that my opening to FAKING IT was completely without backstory... that it was the complete opposite of what most authors do in their beginnings. Rather than err on the side of too much, I went the extreme opposite. I think you could say I may have done the same thing with BTPM, though I don't believe it was to the same degree. At any rate, I hate backstory. I don't like to include it -- probably because when I first started writing I threw in every last bit of backstory I possibly could (yes, including the kitchen sink). I was chastised, and dang it, I paid attention. Well. (g)
I have to admit I sort of enjoy books where the author gives "credit" to readers who have followed along with the series up to that point, and use backstory VERY sparingly. And I have to admit that I get a little tired of constant backstory rehashing in long-running series. My goal with WIS will be to walk a very fine line between just enough/no backstory at all. It's what I prefer. Perhaps I'm crazy?
One of my friends suggested I start off book 2 with the ending scene of book 1. *blink* Isn't that cheating?! That's how it feels to me. (g)
What are your preferences with series?
At any rate, I am giving great thought to the opening for WIS. I hope, if I can get something on the page, to share it over in exercises at Compuserve. Here's hoping I can wrangle this nasty backstory stuff. :)