When NOT To Write Book 2 Before Book 1

Word of advice: Don’t write 2 before 1. And don’t attempt to write it like 2-3-1. Start with 1. Sounds obvious, right?

To recap: An episodic series is one that has a different story in each book. An overarching series is one storyline stretched out through two or more books. (For more, check out this post)

I really don’t know what goes on in my head sometimes. The first draft to Preserving The Past 1 wasn’t even finished when I decided to go ahead and write the sequel.

The first draft, written during Camp NaNoWriMo in April, was finished. I was so happy; it was the very first time I’d ever finished a draft to something other than flash fiction. The second draft, which I attempted to write during Camp NaNo in July, went kaput about halfway through the month.

And now I’ve turned the duology-that-used-to-be-a-trilogy-that-used-to-be-a-duology into a standalone book with two parts.

But I’m not touching it until November. Absolutely not. And I’m never writing the second book before the first book again…erm, sort of.

In regards to an overarching series–nope.

In an overarching series, each book is a puzzle piece of a bigger picture. The events of Book 1 basically create the events of Book 2, and the events of Book 2 create the events of Book 3. And if you go further, #3 creates the events of #4, #4 goes to #5, etc.

Yes, it’s a good idea to know how the story ends so you’ll know how to set the beginning up. But don’t try to write the final end yet.

It’s okay to have an idea of how you want the story to end and there’s nothing wrong with writing it down…I’ve written down planned endings before.

Yet because stories tend to change a bit during their development, the ending will likely change, meaning you can’t count on it to be the final curtain just yet.

Start with 1. Always start with 1 and definitely don’t write Book 2 before #1 is finished!

(Now, as for an episodic series, that’s going to be put to the test next April, when I tackle Take My Hand, the second book in the Matthews Family trilogy) (I know, I’m crazy)

Tell me your thoughts below! Have you ever tried to write a series out-of-order? If you haven’t, would you ever try it? Why or why not?


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