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  • Writer's pictureCherish Michele

Overcoming my Sequel Troubles

Three times.

That was how many times I started Rage, Eagle: Battle for Trizen, only to realize about one hundred pages in that something wasn’t right. Something just wasn’t clicking. I thought to myself, ‘Why am I not connecting with my own words?’ Then, after a while, that question simply turned into, ‘What is missing?’ I spent weeks pondering that first question, and it wasn’t until I really started diving into the latter, that I realized the root problem that I had been running into. The problem that had been blocking my brain from being able to move forward with the story: limiting myself on perspectives.

Now, here’s the thing. To me, book one being told solely through the main character, Erina Harker’s, perspective worked because the novel’s main focus was her and her transition from one phase of her life to another drastically different phase. Another reason I made that decision to have the entire book told through her perspective is because of the severity of what had already happened to her and what goes on to happen to her throughout the book. I wanted to isolate the readers into her mind because the way Erina sees the world is pivotal to understanding exactly how her mind works. Moving forward with this baseline connection that gets established with Erina from page one all the way until the end is what I felt was necessary for the series as a whole.

But that was book one. What was right for book one wasn’t right for book two. When I really sat back and thought about it, and studied my outline, I came to the realization that there needed to be a shift in Rage, Eagle: Battle for Trizen, because the story’s main focus wasn’t on Erina’s development anymore. While that remained important, of course, and was still a major part of it, it wasn’t the focus. As the title suggests, this novel is about the war between the Harkers and the Elites. Not even just the war itself, but the effects of this years-long build up of animosity…

On both sides.

The moment that that lightbulb went off in my head, I knew that I would be doing myself and all of my readers a disservice by not showing both sides of this war. Showing one half of the coin was not what was needed anymore. So I got to work. I expanded my outline and added characters/plotlines that didn’t originally exist. I won’t go into too much detail, because I want you, dear reader, to read the novel and see for yourself. Only if you have read Rage, Eagle, though. If you haven’t, then what are you waiting for? Available on Amazon, Apple Books, Kobo, and more, the story awaits you.

Anyway, I say all of this to say that if you are reading this and you also happen to be a writer, know that it is okay to switch gears one time, two times, three times, however many times it takes for you to feel right. You may feel like you want to stop or just scrap the story idea completely, and sometimes that is the answer. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been there, done that. But when it’s an idea you’re very passionate about that has some real potential, then don’t give up. It will all click eventually. Writing can be stressful. Writing can be draining. Above all, though, writing is rewarding. To have a blank sheet turn into a page full of words that you put together, and that you are proud of, is a feeling incomparable to anything else.

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