Lessons for Writing a Second Novel


Lessons for Writing a Second Novel

It’s peep frog season along the back roads of Vermont where I live.  They’re always a welcome sign of springtime and new life. Spring Peepers—male chorus frogs, sometimes called pinkletinks or pinkwinks, are in full harmony—singing like sleigh bells in the marshy wetlands as evening falls, calling for a mate.

The call for creation comes in many forms and perhaps male pinkwinks are a metaphor on writing a second novel.

A second book has an expectation beyond a debut novel. People who read the first will want a repeat of the aspects of your story and writing style, and they will be disappointed if this new story fails to deliver.front banner

There are cautionary tales about authors who change genre, or write far afield from previous work. Readers cultivated so carefully will  look elsewhere for what they want, what they once found in that debut novel.

A wise writer pays attention to critique and comments, culling through what worked well and what seems problematic to readers. Of course, opinions are always subjective and as any writer knows, staying true to a voice and a story trumps most factors.

I am deep into a new story, There Were Wolves in Poland, about a young man named Asa Gray Toothman who drifts in life, looking for family and reason. As I write, I add layers to each of my characters—bones, and skin, and hair so that they seem as real as someone’s favorite sister, or the guy next door. A dash of suspense, a little romance, and a thoughtful story with elements of darkness and light—with one significant difference—the writing has to surpass the quality of my first novel.


Read more  by Marie White Small. . . STONY KILL, “A heartbreaking  and beautiful love story to family and reconciliation”  Amazon, Barnes & Noble,


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