Wednesday, August 15, 2012

42. Writing the Second Sequel

Writing the third book in the Pandora’s series--the “threequel,” as I call it-- is turning out to be a very strange experience. I’ve posted about how I wrote the first draft of Pandora’s Genes straight from my subconscious; and in contrast, how I carefully plotted out the young adult books I did for a series. This is different. I started this novel, which I’m calling PANDORA’S PROMISE, many years ago without any very clear idea of where it was going, except that it began as a direct follow-up to the first book’s sequel, Pandora’s Children.


I began writing as I advise in my post on how to keep going when you’re stuck, by writing a minimum of one sentence a night. As often happens when using this method, that one sentence often became two, three, or even a page or more. I wrote these sentences and pages over several months, and when I finished I had quite a pile of papers, which remained in my filing cabinet till a few weeks ago. When I decided to write the threequel, I pulled those pages out and started reading, but soon gave up. There was  so much material that I realized it would be easier to just start inputting, making changes as I went.

In the meantime, since I first wrote those pages, I had also made a start on two other science fiction novels, both of which had very strong ideas that I could not forget. Both were post-holocaust young adult novels. One took place in a traditional post-nuclear-disaster world (as opposed to the Pandora’s World, in which the disaster is recombinant DNA run amok); the other  was set in an unspecified future, blasted world.I never finished either of these books.

Once I started writing Pandora’s Promise in earnest, a couple of funny things happened. First, I very early on discovered that the societal ideas from BOTH the unfinished novels fit perfectly into my threequel. I believe my subconscious had been working on these ideas all these years, and perhaps it had given me the ideas in the first place for the Pandora’s world.

Second, I was astonished to find out that I had a lot more material than I recall having written. I am nearly through inputting the pages and I already have more than 25,000 words and nearly 100 pages. Typing these pages has been fascinating, because there is so much action and excitement, most of which I don’t remember at all.

I haven’t even started looking at the material from the two unfinished novels.
There is a lot of hard work ahead. I’ll need to go through all the already-written material to see what can be used in Pandora’s Promise, and will of course need to make many, many changes in the material that is now in my computer. I’ll probably need to re-read both Pandora’s books, to make sure I don’t put something in the threequel that directly contradicts the things I’ve already presented in the first two books.

But I’m looking forward to this work. Overall, I’m  very pleased with Pandora’s Promise so far. I find myself getting excited as I write and as I think about it. I have not felt this way in a very long time.

Note: I may not continue to write this blog every week as I get deeper into the threequel. If anyone reading this feels strongly that they would like me to continue weekly,  please email me or leave a message here. If you have any questions you’d like me to answer, let me know.


  1. I found that sometimes happened when writing poems. Two unfinished ones would just dovetail nicely -- and usually unexpectedly -- into one.

    1. That's very cool to hear, and very good to know. Thanks!