Right then. It’s got to be said. The second time around is tougher than the first.

I’ve been plugging away on the second book in my Dragon series for an eternity and, hopefully you’ll be happy to know, I’m very nearly finished. I’ve been working along trying to get the story down but I’ve had to step back into this one, fiddling with bits and pieces, a great deal more than I did during the first book. Almost every time I sat down to write I found myself dealing with the on-going needs of updating what I’d already written as I polished the detail of how all these bits fit together.

Now it’s something said by a great many people that there is such a thing as the ‘difficult second album’ where the follow up to that first effort, that initial passion piece that was always your dream, has to match up with its predecessor. You’d had the original in your head in different forms for an age, even before you’d figured out to really do something with it. You’d spent an eternity working on what you had and as the years passed by, you just kept on fiddling until finally, you know what? It was time to launch.

Fast forward and onwards to book two. Now though, you don’t have that freedom to drag your feet over the project. This time you haven’t been mulling for years before you start. Instead, you start working on the second effort and all of a sudden you find yourself confronted by the reality of what needs to happen to get the next one done. Previously, it’s just been about fun, up to a point, and hasn’t actually been ‘real’. In my head I had the image of what it may be like to be a writer but that was just pie in the sky. Now I was speaking to people who’d read the book and were looking forward to the next one. I needed to get the book out so my “fans?” could see what else I had in mind for the characters.

Now I’m absolutely not saying that I don’t like the new landscape as a writer, it’s just a different type of challenge. I’m pushing against the clock to get everything done and ensure that I stay on the job, not just slacking.

This past year as I’ve been working on the sequel to The Circle of Fire, I’ve struggled with what the story has been becoming as I haven’t had all the ‘mull’ I had during book one. I was more confident in the whole that I had in mind and now I’m just moving much faster.

This last weekend I had something of an epiphany in terms of the shape and flavour of the end of the book and suddenly I’m feeling a great deal happier about what will be the end product.

I have a big smile on my face as I push to the line and now I’m looking forward to starting on book three.

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