Monday, May 30, 2011


So, you've finished that manuscript. It's polished, you have a killer query letter, and you're sending it out to agents. What do you do now? You start something fresh and new, that's what you do.

Around the social medias where other writers hang out, I've come across writers who say they're starting the second book of the series they haven't gotten an agent for or haven't published yet. Not only that, but they have ideas for the third book that they will write after they finish the second. Don't do this.

Why you ask? Well, that storyline may not sell and you'll have wasted your time on a story that no one wants. That is, unless you're self-publishing the series. Then, by all means, keep writing that series. For those of you who are going the traditional route and are seeking representation, write a new story. Something completely different than the one you're querying. This way you'll have something else to offer should that fantabulous manuscript you're pushing on agents fail. Some wonderful stories never make it to being published. It has nothing to do with the writing or how wonderful the story is, but because of other reasons. Like the market is saturated with that type of story or the agent doesn't feel like they can sell it. So don't waste your time by writing the same story. Start fresh. With a new story.

When I recently started a new story after sending my old one out into the world, it took some time to fall in love with the new one. I still thought about the old one, lived and breathed it. The characters felt like dear friends I was abandoning and moving away from. The characters of the new story felt like strangers to me. It wasn't until I sent out a couple of chapters to my critique partners, that I felt comfortable with the new story. Reading their comments made me look at the wonderful new story I was writing. I'm now excited about the fun characters I can create and bring to life.

In life, everything is always changing. We can't wear the same shirt. We must change into something without stains or holes. So embrace that fresh start and begin a completely new story. One day, if that old story gets an agent or published, you'll get to go back to it, visit your wonderful characters, and write that series you love.

That's it until next time.

You can find Brenda on her blog: 
or on twitter:!/brendadrake


  1. This is definitely something to think about!!

  2. Thanks for stopping by and commenting, Jessi! :D

  3. YES! I remember someone telling me this too, may have been you. LOL We can all hope for a second in the series, but if it doesn't sell (or you are agent-less at the moment) no use putting energy into it ;o) I think it's okay to have ideas for the second and third though, just in case ;o)

    Great post!!

  4. I agree, Erica, I have ideas for the 2nd and 3rd for a series, but I just write a small summary of the idea in my 'future stories' journal so I don't forget it. :D

  5. This is totally why I write stand alones. Okay not really. but its always jsut fresh new ideas for me. I close the book, and that's it. It's actually kind of awesome =P

    But really, especially when you're doing something very different, it is hard to branch out to that, and have the confidence that it will be at least as good as teh first one.

    Also. Keep going on this one. I wants to read it =D

  6. Thanks, Kari, I'm having fun writing the new WIP! :D

  7. YES! work on Annika! I wants me some more Annika! And Max too!

  8. Thanks again, Cass, I'm so thrilled you want to read it! :D