Monday, December 12, 2005

Second Book Syndrome

Okay, so a writer friend, Kelly Parra, suggested that the problem I'm having with my proposal is "second book syndrome." I'm not sure how exactly she defines it, but I think she's on to something. Don't get me wrong, my first book was hard. I cried, ranted, gnashed teeth and ate so much chocolate I'm surprised there wasn't a world shortage - but still some of the basics were there in the beginning.

Not so with this one. I am now on my third attempt. #1 was shot down by my agent (with darn good reason). #2 was shot down by me (see #1) Finally, I moved on to #3 with a different approach to things - basically, the same approach I used for the first book, and this one is the first I am truly happy with (although I've only got one chapter written)

For me, the solution was simple although it took agonizing for weeks to arrive at it. Basically, I tried to write big city and I hate big cities. I tried to write a heroine who I had nothing in common with and I didn't like her much either. Although it suited the story fine and probably someone else (who liked big cities and somewhat wimpy heroines) could have written a great story with the premise alone.

Not me. So for #3, I returned to my redneck roots - after all, that's what got me my first sale. I moved the story to a small bayou town and recreated my heroine - kick-ass and all.

Seems to me that in trying so hard for my proposal, I forgot the first rule of writing - Write what you know. So it's back to the bayou - and would someone please pass me a beer?


Kelly Parra said...


I use second book syndrome as a generic term that fits everyone differently. With me, it's been doubts that I can pull off another book! lol! Which also connects with not even having sold the first one.

Good luck with this new book idea, they can be real ass-kickers. ;D

Jana DeLeon said...

Hi Kelly! I hear on the doubts I can pull off another. I said to Ally (Sarah) in Reno "I sometimes wonder if that was the only good idea I had." Then she gave me a hug and said "I'm so glad I'm not the only person who feels that way.

So apparently it's widespread. Doesn't get the proposal written, but it does help calm my nerves some - which hopefully, will lead to the proposal getting written.

Good luck to you, too!!!

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