Writing RIPPER Part Deux


So as many of you have seen from my previous blog entry, the sequel to Ripper, Renegade, is well on its way to coming out in April of 2013. I’ve finished the story, we’ve posted the beautiful cover reveal, and I want to share a bit about my experience writing a sequel.

What was DIFFICULT about writing a sequel:

1. I had to get over my nervousness. Once Ripper was on bookshelves, I felt so much pressure to “deliver” with the second story. I was very happy with the ending to Ripper, particularly with the cliffhanger. In the sequel, Jack is back and he’s worse than ever, and as I wrote Renegade, I felt very conscious about keeping up the pacing and energy of Ripper. I found, the more I wrote, as I relaxed, and just let his scenes play out in my head, that Jack’s energy just came out full force on the page. But I had to shuck all self-consciousness as a writer first and just continue the Ripper story.

2. Consistency!  Ah! This drove me nuts. I had to continuously read and re-read portions of Ripper to make certain that I was being consistent with plot elements, and back stories. It’s really important to keep the storyline as consistent as possible in order to keep the world as real as possible to your readers.

What was EASIER about writing a sequel:

1. I already knew my characters. I read somewhere (I really wish that I could remember the article!) that working on a new novel is like wandering through a city to get your bearings. To truly know the city you have to meander down alleys and streets, backtrack, move forward again. During Ripper I was constantly “reworking” scenes as I got to know my characters better. I found myself during the editing process thinking “level-headed Simon would never do that” or “you need to make William even more of an ass here.” While working on Renegade, I already knew my “city” so to speak. I knew exactly what Simon would say or do in a scene. I knew the layout of Whitechapel Hospital like the back of my hand.

2. Writing Renegade, was easier also because I was no longer writing about an actual historical occurrence. With Ripper, I had to constantly refer to a timeline that I kept by my laptop with the dates and times of the murders. I had to work my fiction story, as much as possible, around the actual events. With Renegade, all I had to worry about was being consistent within my own fiction story, there were no historical constraints.

3.    The sequel was even more fun! Truthfully, I had more fun writing Renegade. The stage had already been set in Ripper and so the love triangle could heat up, the dynamics between Abbie and Jack could go further, and I even added an additional opponent for Abbie—a lamia named Seraphina, who I am quite fond of. She is a terrifying and fascinating Byronic character—I’ll post more on her in the upcoming month.