May 5, 2014

Monday Pep Rally: Second Book Syndrome

Since we've all gotten so used to getting our thoughts down in 140 characters - and it's fun to keep the conversation flowing - we've take the Pep Rally to twitter! Every Monday, we host a twitter chat and we'd love you to join in. Just keep an eye out for the #MisfitPepRally hashtag!

Happy Monday, everyone! I've been thinking a lot about second books in a series/trilogy lately, because of Certain Things going on in my own life. (And yes, those Certain Things are writing a second book in a trilogy. How did you guess?)

A lot of readers talk about a nasty little affliction called Second Book Syndrome, which is when you love the first book in a series, but the second doesn't live up to expectations. This might be because the author didn't plot out the whole series well enough, or because they didn't have enough time to write book 2, or because of nerves...all I know for sure is that no author wants to fall victim. 

So what makes a great second book? To me, it's a lot of things together, that all stem from moving forward. I want plot development! And not just rehashing of what went on in book 1. I want character growth! And not letting characters stagnate, even if we liked where they were in the first book. I want new intrigue! I want change! It's scary, as an author, to go away from the formula that made people like book 1, but for me, without change, there might as well not be a book 2. 

Personally, I've read lots of great Book 2s lately. Siege and Storm, by Leigh Bardugo. Star Cursed, by Jessica Spotswood. Crown of Midnight, by Sarah J Maas. All these have developed the characters and plot in ways that are true to the story but bring so much more, and make me grabby-hands for book 3. 

What about you? What do you most like to see in a great Book 2? What are some of your favorite second books?


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