The Second Novel Is Definitely Different from the First

Of course, any second novel an author writes will have different content than the first. If it didn’t, that would be a problem, wouldn’t it?

This is more about the experience of writing a second novel than the actual text. Certainly, it’s possible to have a better feel for yourself as a writer when you’re banging our a new book as opposed to your very first one, but subsequent books are on a different level.

So, what do I mean by that? The first time someone does anything, there’s a learning process. Writing 100,000 words spread out across hundreds of essays or articles is one thing, but compressing it all into the same book on the same topic is another. The second time around, you (hopefully) know what you’re doing. You may have learned some tricks, like knowing what to look for when you edit or figuring out the best way to format. Chances are you’ll know what you like and what you don’t about the process, and if you made any mistakes the first time, you’ll know not to make them the second.

I can only speak for my own experiences, because it’s not like I’ve lived yours. During the writing, editing, and preparation of my first novel, I was learning as I went along. I feel like the process took forever and that perhaps I was doing something wrong, because it was a never-ending cycle of write-edit-write-edit-write-edit and so forth.  On top of that, I had to feel my way through publicizing it, along with managing every other detail.  It all got finished, but even though I collected advice from far and wide about what to do, it was still my first novel, and you don’t know what it’s like to write one until you actually write it.

As for this second one, I feel like things are going more smoothly and faster, such to the point that I’ll soon worry that I’m forgetting to do something. I wrote the same amount of text (100k+) in a shorter length of time, the editing is going more quickly, the proper formatting is already in place, and I know what I’ll do differently this time about marketing and distribution, amongst other things. Hopefully, none of this is attributable to cutting corners (which I wouldn’t do on something of this level of importance) and I can thank past experience this time.

I suppose it’s true what they say: the more you do something, the more you know how to do it. Writing a book isn’t exactly like practicing shooting 200 free throws before a game, though. Novel writing is quite a lot of work for anyone, even the most talented authors. You really do have to try it before you know what it’s like, and only then can you take that experience with you to future literary exploits. If your situation is anything like mine, it may be just a little easier the second time.

About Joe

Joe is a writer; that should be perfectly evident to you by now. If, for some reason, it is not evident to you, you should probably contact Joe and tell him that he's not trying hard enough. Joe is an author and freelance writer from New York. He has a B.A. from Boston College and has blogged for a number of years. Joe released his debut novel in 2012, and also has penned a number of short stories.