For those wondering just what the hell is going on with the second volume of “After the Burning”, well, lemme’ tell ya.
After completing the first work and spending months on rewrites/edits/proofing/etc., et. al., I immediately spent some time not writing.
Not all writers can just hammer constantly at the keyboard. I envy those that do somewhat, but real life interferes and I had stuff to do in that department.
Then, following that hiatus, I sat down, hammered on the outline for the series and the next book, started writing and…it crashed/n/burned. Not the overall story, but how I was telling it.
I had set out to tell Julian’s saga from a limited 3rd person perspective, and wandered away from that…and it just wasn’t working…at…all.
Having learned a hard lesson with a HUGE (emphasize the capital letters there) space opera that soared majestically off a plot cliff after 400 pages, I vowed never EVER to do that again…so I stopped writing…again, and rethought my outline and just how I wanted to tell the story.
So several starts/n/stops later, I tore up said outline, and rewrote a new one, sticking to my original plan of keeping us over Julian’s shoulder throughout.
(This can be extremely tough to do as you only know what she knows, and it is very easy to have events occur which seem deux ex machina, when in fact they were occurring in the background unbeknownst to the protagonist. So you have to keep an eye on the other threads, and make sure they don’t become too jarring to the reader when they rear their ugly heads.)
A great example of this type of writing would be J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. With the exception of her prologues, she stays on his shoulder throughout, and does so in a manner that I’m still in jealous awe of.
I gave that a bit of time to steep while more real life interruptus occurred, and then after a reading binge (I do those a lot) I went back to the beginning of volume two and started pounding the keys.
In a very short time I’ve passed 10k words, and the story is following the outline nicely.
So anyway, there ya go.