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So the first draft of the sequel to Rider’s Revenge is done and sitting for a while so I can come back to it fresh, hate everything about it (or maybe just half of it), tear it apart, fix it, and send it out to my betas for a reaction.

It’s hard to write a sequel, because I know that anyone who reads it will be coming from Rider’s Revenge and expect some continuity and a smooth flow from the first story.  Which means I can’t exactly rip the book apart and go off in some completely new direction.  There is an issue that needs to be resolved and that has to be the focus of the book.

While the draft is sitting, it’s by no means fully out of my mind.  I keep thinking about the story lines and how they flow and work with one another.  (SPOILERY TALK FOLLOWS)

Like Badru.  He’s lost everything now.  His entire identity is gone.  And he has to deal with that.

But at the same time K’lrsa is moving forward because she needs to save her family.

And then there’s the politics running through the story.  Just because K’lrsa can see the harm that comes from trading with the Daliphana doesn’t mean that everyone agrees with her.  Some think that the benefits of trade–like medicines and metals–outweigh the decay in their old way of life.

And then there’s Herin and Lodie seeing one another for the first time since Herin sent Lodie away.

And K’lrsa’s mother and brother reacting to her taking off with no word about where she was going or why.  (Turns out maybe it wasn’t as obvious to them what happened…)

All these separate threads have to come together to make a cohesive whole.

Every time I write a novel I think of it as weaving the various story threads together.  If you think of them as different colors, then there has to be a balance between the different threads.  You can’t have a batch of blue in the top left and then never see it again.

But at the same time the colors all have to work together to form something beautiful and worth reading.  So not only must there be balance but they also all have to create a whole that is more than each individual piece.

So as I sit here waiting for enough time to pass until the next draft, I mentally weave the different threads of story together in my head and ask myself if I like what they create.  After a first draft, the answer is almost always no.  But that’s what revision is for.