It may seem obvious, but the more books you write, the better you’ll get, and the higher your chances are of getting published too!
Writing your first novel teaches you so much, and often you feel as though you are a completely different writer by the time you decide to embark on a second. However, writing and completing the second novel is a huge learning curve as well, and there are plenty of useful lessons to take away from it too.
So what are the most likely lessons you’ll learn when writing a second book?
Practice makes perfect.
Your second book will be better than your first. Your third will probably be better than your second. The more you practice writing, the better you’ll become at it, so just keep on writing whatever you do, and you’ll see yourself improve day by day.
You shouldn’t be afraid to experiment.
Writing the second novel makes you a little braver. You know when to play it safe and when to push the boundaries. You’ll allow yourself the freedom to experiment more and find what works for you.
The more you plan, the easier it will be.
While some writers prefer to let their writing just ‘come to them’ and see where it takes them, most find that, at some stage, they’ll have to get organised and do a little planning. Creating chapter outlines and doing your research will make your life so much easier, your book more believable and will help you to ensure that there is a story to be told.
You’ll still have bad days.
Just because you’ve already written a novel, you won’t necessarily feel any more confident or self-assured about this one. You’ll still have days where you wonder what you are doing, where you feel wholly demotivated, where you read over what you’ve written and feel as though you are the worst writer in the world. However, you’ve been through it all before so you should be able to deal with it better and pick yourself up to get on with it faster too.
Your first draft will still be terrible.
Every first draft of every novel, whether it’s your first or your hundredth will still need a significant amount of editing to get it looking good. You’ve pretty much just got to accept this as part and parcel of the job and be prepared to go back and break down, reshape, rewrite, kill off, and start again before your novel begins to take shape.
Writing the second novel is just as exciting as writing your first, if not more so. Just remember that all writers, no matter how experienced and successful, are all on a journey and can learn more and improve more no matter how good they already are. If you keep writing and remain open to learning, you are bound to get better and your second novel will make you even more proud, determined and elated than your first ever did.
If you have written more than one book, I bet you can vouch for what is being said. Even though I have not done much work lately on my new story, I can honestly say that that first draft is not too great. And writing a fictional diary is a far cry from writing a memoir. But doing different genres of writing is a way of experimenting with different kinds of writing. Again, the time change is making me excessively tired, but I plan to work on writing whenever I feel up to it, even if it's only a little at a time. I do want to get somewhat better.