When to Know What to Write: Emerald Barnes

Today I'm pleased to welcome author Emerald Barnes to my little corner of the cyber-world. She's the author of "Piercing the Darkness", which is available at Amazon, Smashwords, and Createspace.  

She's talking with us today about something that all of us struggle with from time to time... writing the sequel! What do you do if the voices in your head are telling you to write something other than the sequel to the book you've just released? I imagine for each author the answer is a little different.  Today, Emerald shares with us her thoughts on how to know what to write and when to write it!

How do you know what to write and when to write it?  

I had this problem not long ago.  I was contemplating how best it was to write a sequel to my novella, "Piercing Through the Darkness."  

But as of right now, my heart and soul just isn’t in it.  I don’t want to force it, so I’m going to write it when my head isn’t full of vampires and werewolves and their story.  It’s tough sometimes because if you’re like me, you probably have a lot of stories racing around your brain, and there are so many things you want to write.  And, there’s certainly not enough time in the day to write constantly!     

But, I’m of the firm opinion that you write the story that you can’t stop thinking about. 
I tried this.  I tried forcing a novel because I wanted it written for my readers.  They wanted more to the story of "Piercing Through the Darkness."  I do too, but right now, my head is focused on something else. 

When I started out writing the sequel, I couldn’t get it right.  I have three different beginnings, all of which are NOT what I wanted for it.  In fact, it was so bad that I had to set the book aside.  I can’t force myself to write it right now because I won’t like it.  And if I don’t like, I don’t think anyone else would either.  And the last thing I’d want to do is disappoint my readers. 

But, as an author, if we want to write something that has the emotions we want to come across in our novel, we have to write what is more pressing in our head.  The readers will be able to tell what is going on if it feels forced and feels as if we don’t even like it. But most importantly, don’t try just to please your readers.  You have to think about yourself as well.  It sounds selfish, I know, but really, if you love what you’re writing, your readers will too.  If they’re waiting for that sequel or novel they’ve heard you talk about, chances are, they’re willing to wait until it’s perfect. 

I have a few friends who are waiting for me to finish a novel I wrote five years ago, but it’s still not perfect, and the timing for it isn’t right for me to finish.  I have so many other stories worming their way into existence, and the other has to wait. 

How do you know what to write and when to write?  Do you write the story you can’t stop thinking about, or do you do it differently?

Emerald can be found online at the following places:

And today it's "double your fun", because you can also check out my guest post on her blog! To see what we're talking about over at Emerald's place, go here!

Happy reading and writing!



  1. I'm a firm believer in paying attention to the story that won't leave you alone. There's power in that persistence, and as writers we need to strike when the iron is hot! For me, it's all about balance. If I work with the story that's hounding me, I can also spend a bit of time on another pressing story, if for just a few moments at a time. Even if the work on that one isn't what I want it to be, the productivity keeps that story fresh in my mind, and hopefully ripe for when its time comes!

    Thanks for stopping by Emerald!!

    1. It is about balance. I've gotten to where I write out notes for the sequel and maybe try to write a scene here and there. However, right now, I've got my main focus on my current WIP.

      I enjoyed being here! :)


  2. Timing is always important in writing, and perhaps especially so when it comes to sequels. When you've fallen in love with Part 1, it can be tempting to start in on Part 2 right away. But sometimes the story just isn't ready, and trying to push it out before its time would be doing everyone involved -- writer, reader, and the story itself -- a huge disservice. A good author is a patient one. And in the meantime, there's usually another crowd of story ideas clamoring for their turn. Nothing like a different exciting project to help get you through the wait. (:

    Thanks for the thoughts, Emerald! Thanks for hosting her, Amy!

  3. I'm in the same boat. I've got the beginning of a sequel to my second novel, but it's on the shelf. It's not what I'm excited about now (which is a story called Stevie One), so it has to wait.

    Sequels in the movie biz are determined by market projections and contracts. If you're the writer of the original and you're not excited about writing the sequel, they'll hire somebody else to write it. But this isn't the movie biz, and things take however long they take.

    As Rooster Cogburn says, "There is no clock on my business!" :-)