Prism Book Alliance® would like to thank Ria Fritz for stopping by today. Please give them a warm welcome.
Title: Chasing Falling Stars (Quicksand, book 2)
Author: Ria Fritz
Publisher: Self Published
Cover Artist: Self-created
Genre: Science Fiction
Release Date: 11/19/2016
After being suspended from the Protectorate for two months, Wynette Brown receives an ominous text message from an old enemy. When the prediction in the message comes true, she knows it’s no accident. The gears of Tioria’s seedy underworld are turning in new and dangerous ways.
She soon finds herself thrust back into a conflict she thought was over – and this time, her family may be in danger. Kirin reappears to offer her help, but Wynette struggles to navigate their budding relationship as well as her friendship with her colleague Laris.
In this sequel to Rising From the Sand, Wynette and her friends must decide who to trust and what to sacrifice as adversaries reemerge with new tricks up their sleeves.
Using Characters to Write a Sequel (and Not Just a Clone of Your First Book)
Today is the release day for Chasing Falling Stars, Book Two of the Quicksand Series! I released Book One, Rising From the Sand, in September 2015, and began writing Book Two almost immediately. Book Two ended up sitting untouched for over six months, but in the end, I think that’s a good thing: it allowed me to really ponder what I wanted to do with a sequel, especially when I had left so many romantic and conflict-related loose ends at the end of Book One. Tying up those loose ends while introducing fresh plot lines and characters proved to be difficult, and I spent many hours writing and deleting line after line. But at the very least, it provided excellent practice for tightening my writing and removing extraneous scenes, no matter how much I liked them.
When writing Chasing Falling Stars, it was really tempting to go all-out with new characters and ideas that had not made it into Rising From the Sand. Even minor characters tried to worm their way back in at times, seeking to be part of the action. I didn’t want the new faces to drown out the old ones, though, no matter how much I loved my new ideas. Supporting characters like Plutonia and absentee love interests like Kirin risked being shuffled off to the side, essentially becoming an afterthought instead of a continuation of their lives. As the series continued, I could end up with a revolving door of supporting characters, never developing any of them enough to have readers deeply care about them.
What I quickly figured out, though, was that I had to strike a careful balance. I ran the risk of having Book Two be quite bland if there weren’t enough new characters. If it was another adventure centered around Wynette, Laris, Plutonia, and Kirin, then what new forces would add strain to their friendship and force them to grow?
I had to create fresh contrast and conflict, and much of that came from adding Galanta and Endel to the mix. Both of them are colleagues of Wynette, the main character, but they act more responsibly than her and provide key moments of tension and character development. Though I wasn’t able to develop them quite as much as I liked in the span of 55,000 words, they’ll be back in Book Three, and Endel in particular may appear in a spin-off prequel I’m working on.
Then, of course, there was the introduction of a new main character who drives much of the plot. I won’t spoil anything, but I will say that this new character allowed me to delve into Wynette’s character in ways I never expected. Words of advice for writing a sequel: when in doubt, introduce one major character that helps drive the plot. (It’s even better if you can blur the lines between hero and villain!)
Of course, heading into Book Three will bring its own host of adventures. I’m currently mulling over a huge shift in plot and tone for Book Three, and while I like where it’s going, I have to make sure it allows the characters to continue to develop. If it’s not character-driven, then I’m not writing the kind of fiction I like to read – and if I’m not allowing my characters to continue to bond and struggle with each other, then I have made them into tools for telling a story, or merely a means to an end.
I’ll be careful to not let that happen, though, and I can’t wait to see what feedback I get for Chasing Falling Stars. Happy reading, and wish me luck!
About the Author
Ria is a queer cat lady who loves science fiction, fantasy and action stories. She lives in Illinois with her two cats. She is currently publishing the Quicksand science fiction series as well as the Maywitch web novel, which you can read on Wattpad or at Riafritz.com.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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