Today I am featuring Heather Topham Wood with a guest post, dream cast, and creative writing prompt, it's sure to be a fun time! Stick around for all of it!
Don't forget to drop by the kick-off post and enter the HUGE giveaway!
Tips on Writing Sequels
Over the span of my three-year career as a novelist, I’ve written multiple sequels. I tend to go through phases where I’m all about the standalone books and other phases where I plot out a series arc. I found myself falling into certain traps when writing my sequels and I thought I would share some of my most common mistakes.
Don’t Bore Your Readers
Avoid the information dump in the beginning of the novel. Of course, you want your book to be checked out by as many people as possible—regardless if they read your first book. However, summarizing the action of an entire novel in the first few chapters is a common mistake when writing a sequel. Instead, work in tidbits about the first novel throughout the sequel.
Leave Things Open
I’m a big fan of the finite when it comes to my reading preferences. Although I enjoy series, I like each book to have a clear cut beginning and ending. The main conflict for the first book should be resolved enough to satisfy the reader. However, you can leave a sense of openness at the end of the novel where a new conflict is likely to arise in the lives of your characters.
Don’t Write a Sequel Just to Write One
Think about the movies. How many unnecessary sequels are made because of the success of the first movie? A few examples: Teen Wolf Too, Dirty Dancing 2, Sex and the City 2, Hangover 2, and almost every Disney movie ever made. Only write a sequel if it makes sense to the story arc.
You’ll be surprised at how many things you forget between now and when you wrote your first novel. Read your first book again and go over your notes. You want to make sure things are consistent including the setting, character descriptions and character development. Last thing you want is a blonde character to somehow end up as a redhead in the second book.
Dream Cast for Falling for Autumn
I went back and forth on many of these, but I think I narrowed my choices down. Falling for Autumn features college football player Blake Preston and the sweet and vulnerable freshman Autumn Dorey. My choices are based on who I felt would be best at portraying athletic (but sensitive) Blake and the actresses that could pull off Autumn’s girl next door vibe.
Blake Preston-My top two would be Zac Efron and Chris Hemsworth
Autumn Dorey-Elizabeth Olsen and Shailene Woodley
Lexi (Autumn’s best friend)-Mary Elizabeth Winstead
Casey (Autumn’s friend)-Kaley Cuoco
Darrien (Blake’s roommate)-Michael B. Jordan
Delia (Blake’s sister)-Ashley Benson
Imagine your life is now a book. In 100 words write the blurb for it.
Heather Wood thought she had it all: a loving husband, two beautiful children and a budding career as a freelance article writer. But her grandmother’s unexpected death shook her to the core. She returned home and was reminded of the past. A past where she dreamed of being an author and sharing her musings with the masses. Heather didn’t realize she was about to embark on a journey that would bring her heartache and triumphs, but in the end make her realize she could thrive in any role—including the roles of wife, mother and author.
Heather Topham Wood’s obsession with novels began in childhood while growing up in a shore town in New Jersey. Writing since her teens, she recently returned to penning novels after a successful career as a freelance writer. She’s the author of the paranormal romance Second Sight series and the standalone novels Falling for Autumn and The Disappearing Girl.
Heather graduated from the College of New Jersey in 2005 and holds a bachelor's degree in English. Her freelance work has appeared in publications such as USA Today, Livestrong.com, Outlook by the Bay and Step in Style magazine. She resides in Trenton, New Jersey with her husband and two sons. Besides writing, Heather is a pop culture fanatic and has an obsession with supernatural novels and TV shows.
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