The Process of Writing a Book 2

There were a few major differences when writing a second book versus writing the first one. If you’d like to read about the first book’s writing process, we wrote about it in 2021.

By the time we sat down to plot and write Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests, we’d gotten a contract for the first one, done several editing passes with beta-readers, wrote a dozen or more short stories, and talked about the second book the entire summer.

Jen had written Crushing It and I’d written the fourth Elizabeth book, both of which altered the shared world of the Aetherverse to a point where we now had nine books, and a dozen short stories worth of lore.

As much as consistency in story was important, Jen realized we needed to keep track of how we wrote things. Was it Aethercreature, Aether-Creature, or Aether Creature? Not to mention the impressively hard to find rules of Canadian English (looking at you, ‘practise’!). She created a spreadsheet with a list of things we needed to keep consistent. Something I wish I’d thought of after my first book.

The other major hurdle was the sheer quantity of content. Every time one of us took a shower, we’d have new ideas. (Yeah, boohoo. I know.) We had a couple pages of random ideas, scenes, and plotlines. We even had a list of fun quotes we wanted to integrate.

Take all that and having to use everything to start building the overall arc of the series.

We weren’t really thinking about this as a series while we were writing, which means we had to go back into Assassins! Accidental Matchmakers a few times to add foreshadowing and little plot details. (One which won’t come up until book 4!)

This book had the same excitement of the first but felt a lot more like a giant puzzle where every piece was a square.

We managed to corral all the information and looking at the outline now it looks really clean and easy to follow. (Thanks to Jen for updating it as we deviated.)

It’s impressive how every book has a different feel and despite doing it almost the same as last time, it feels like a different process.

It keeps us on our toes and honestly I love it.

Éric

Cover art by @pinkpiggy93 on Tumblr and Instagram

Monsters! Incidental Wedding Guests by Jen and Éric Desmarais is available for pre-order now!

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