Oh, there is some slight definition to it…
You know how long it needs to be (same length as its prequel).
You know who the lead characters will be; heck, you’ve even got their names all picked out and shined up to a reader-friendly glow.
You know the genre; i.e. no zombies popping up at the wedding if there were no undead during the courtship.
You’ve even got your major characters’ personalities already established in your head. By this point they’re probably living, breathing souls camped out on the couch inside your head. You not only know what makes them hot and handsomely bothered, you know how they take their coffee.
Beyond these parameters (which are a little more wobbly than you can imagine; you are, after all, the author of the whole mess and if you really want to put an undead guy in there, you can… of course, all hope for Book Three is probably out the window, along with any prospects of the straight-lace romance publishing house ever knocking on your door again. So you’re left asking yourself: Is a zombie really worth it?), all the normal basics a romance writer relies upon are missing.
You’ve already been there and done that.
How the lover’s meet.
First fast and dirty sex-capade.
First night of making sweet love.
First “I love you.”
All these bulwarks of a romance novel are denied the writer of a sequel.
You, you fine maker of best-selling jell-o, are denied your bowl.
The best advice I can give the first-time sequel writer is this… Wear an apron. Things are going to get messy.
Acclaimed author of 17 novels (my dogs and mother adore me), World traveler (I’ve felt the Sahara Desert between my toes… still gobsmacked over the stars in the Sahara) And survivor (of three dirty-fighting gremlins named Anxiety, Panic and OCD)… My name is Chloe Stowe. Hello. If you’ve found your way here, you’ve most likely arrived on the coattails of my blog, The Words and Madness of Chloe Stowe. Started in 2012, my daily rantings now number in the thousands. Ranging from humorous to moody, poignant to absurd, these tiny tidbits of thought began as a way to get my name “out there.” It has long since morphed into an effort just to “be there” for anybody out there struggling with words or madness, like me. Quick biographical sketch of me? Nerd turned nut at nineteen. In my sophomore year at Auburn University, I was taken out at the knees by severe panic attacks. Chronic anxiety soon joined the dogpile, followed shortly by OCD tendencies. Oh, it was ugly. I eventually had to quit school and soon quit life, as well. I spent a good chunk of my 20’s not able to leave my room. Twenty years later, it’s still can get ugly in my head. Thanks to meds and doctors, however, I am able to lead a better life, now. I still can’t work outside the house, but I can live and smile and write. So, here I am. Broken, but stubbornly present. I hope my voice proves company to someone lonely out there. Thanks for reading! Chloe Stowe