In the interim between completing Book One and now, I’ve been making little notations about interesting and entertaining people, places, and things I’d like to work into a second book. I can be otherwise engaged in a seemingly unconnected activity, when WHAMO! I get an idea that must be immediately written down—or forgotten!
I’ve jotted random memos to myself on the back of envelopes, on cash register receipts, paper napkins, and the palm of my hand. Surprisingly, it didn’t take all that long to type up all these ideas and put them into a single document, all safe and sound.
So now I have a compact list of activities, situations, possible scenes and settings, new characters to introduce, and potential plot twists. The next step is to organize them!
Good thing I have a large screen iMac. I can have two or three documents open at the same time as my mind flits back and forth between items and ideas. And flit they do! Sometimes I feel like I’m watching a tennis match on my screen; my eyeballs are certainly getting a good workout.
Continuing on with characters is fun, albeit challenging. There needs to be enough back story so a reader who jumps into Book Two without reading Book One is not totally lost. Adding new characters first requires writing a personal history of each one, complete with name, age, physical description, vehicle they drive, family and friends, etc.
There were nine main characters in Book One, two or three minor characters, and a dozen or so bit parts. I killed off two of the main characters. Two more of them are not necessary to Book Two, so I’m down to five that will return. That’s manageable. Then it looks like I’ll be adding another two to four with integral parts, so I’m back up to nine major players to juggle and balance. Plus the minors and the bits.
I’m now in the process of adding the key players to my community of fictional people. These people will become my new best friends for the next few months, and I will soon know every single thing about them. This really is almost too much fun!