“The CARI Strikes Back” or “Bleeders 2: Judgment Day”

It became clear about halfway through Bleeder that this would not be the only book. It is the “Fellowship of the Bleeders,” if you will and we all know that the trilogy couldn’t have stopped there. Not that I’m comparing it to Tolkien! Just saying every journey has to start somewhere.

“So,” you say (I seem to have this idea that people like to respond to blog posts aloud, like the teletubbies), “When are you writing the next couple books?”

“When I work up enough courage to start on them,” I pussyfoot.

“Why do you need courage?” you ask.

“Because,” I answer, “Bleeder is honestly a pretty darn good book! And I’m scared that my next one will be a clunker.”

“It won’t,” you say, and so does the rational voice in my brain. 

“I know,” I answer. And I do! I know it won’t be a clunker. In my head. I know that creativity will once more abound and my imagination will be shooting out great ideas and when the spout starts to sputter, my husband will lay a game-changer on me. (I am LOVING the mixed metaphors right now!)

But there is that little inkling in the back of my soul that’s like, “What if that was it? What if that is the only good and original idea you’ve ever head? What if your characters all stop talking to you? What if they stop making decisions and you have to make them instead? You will write and write and write and end up with 70,000 words of nothing.”

You see, when I started Bleeder, I wasn’t expecting anything. People hear the plot and say, “How did you ever come up with all that?” and the truth is, it started with one sentence. That sentence became an idea. That idea became a person. That person became complex. And so did the world she lived in. And then I had a story. A good story. But I was never expecting it to be good. 

So now I have expectations and, to be honest, they scare me a little bit. I’m no longer writing just to see if I can do it- now I know I can do it. I’m writing because I want people to go on an adventure and see the world differently and examine themselves and maybe even have their hearts or their minds changed just a leeetle tiny bit. About real things and not just book things. 

That one first sentence is getting scarier and scarier.

Any writers out there? How did you start your second book? 


2 thoughts on ““The CARI Strikes Back” or “Bleeders 2: Judgment Day”

  1. Scott J. Clemons says:

    While I haven’t started a second book, I have plowed 1/4 of the way through a rewrite of my first book. If I had to throw out a wild guess about something I know nothing about–as of yet, at least–I’d say you start the second book the same way you started the first: by writing.

    And maybe it will suck. There’s probably a much better chance of it being bad than good. For me, I’ve found that throwing myself into the thing is totally unscary (most of the time) as long as I am not married to the idea of getting it 100% perfect on the first try.

    • Laura Lee Anderson says:

      Love it! Thank you for the encouragement! It’s good to remember that the first draft truly did suck. And now it’s good. It’s much easier to write a sucky first draft than it is to anticipate brilliance (or even just “pretty-good-ness”). Maybe I just need to read Bird by Bird again… 🙂

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