Monday, February 25, 2013

Cindy Borgne and The Difficulty of Sequels

I'm thrilled to have Cindy Borgne with me today. She's got her sequel out and is talking to us about her experience. This means a lot to me as I try and finish the first draft of my sequel. I learned a lot from her suggestions.

The Difficulty of Sequels

“Visionary of Peace” is the first sequel I have ever written and it took me two years to finish it. This is double the time I would have preferred. I had two different versions that I tossed out before I felt I was headed in the right direction. The biggest problem with sequels is that it’s so easy to recreate the same thing. I didn’t want to do that, and struggled with it because my characters seemed to want to repeat a similar pattern. As I went through the process, I discovered some ways to keep things fresh.

1. Add new characters or groups. Perhaps, remove a character or two if possible.
2. Bring out different and unexpected things about your characters. This will give your characters an unpredictable nature and also could add some twists.
3. Try different locations. This was hard in my case because the story takes place on Mars and most of it looks the same. However, there are the polar regions on Mars, which I hadn’t explored in the first book.
4. Think about your plot. Was the first book about revenge? Then maybe you could switch it up. My first book (Seer of Mars) is mostly about escape. So I switched it around. The second book is about searching for some missing data that is vital to stop a war.
5. Bring in different types of challenges for your characters.
6. Concentrate on how your characters are going to grow. How did they change based on the first book? The good and the bad.

I also found that the theme will most likely stay the same. A good example is the movie “Toy Story” the sequels work well, even though the toys still have the same problem of not wanting to be thrown away. This is because they brought in different challenges and situations for Woody and the gang.

In the case of my books, I found the anti-war theme continued along with how stubbornness pays off even when you’re going against a powerhouse.

Speaking of challenges, it was a good one for me to complete a sequel. I was too stubborn to give up on it.

Cindy's blog
Seer of Mars: (Vallar 1) 
Visionary of Peace: (Vallar 2)

Both books are also available in paperback on Amazon.

Visionary of Peace (book 2) blurb:

Ian Connors had planned to use his visions to spy on Marscorp in order to maintain peace, but flashbacks and nightmares make it impossible. Since two years of peace have passed due to a stalemate, Ian decides to try and live a normal life, until one day he has a vision so horrifying he has no choice but to become the seer he once was or Vallar will have no future. While he struggles to regain his ability, the Marcs plot to capture him alive in order to complete a deal for their return to Earth.

Seer of Mars (book 1) blurb:

At sixteen, Ian Connors has only one real friend and no hope for the future. He also happens to be the secret weapon of a powerful military faction bent on conquering all humans who have colonized Mars. His job is to use his psychic ability to uncover secrets or hidden bases of other factions. Ian not only uncovers a valuable hidden mine through his visions, but also Kayla, a woman he sees himself with in the future. The only problem is she's on the enemy side.

Ian heads out into a battle to save Kayla. Instead, he discovers the death and destruction his visions can bring when in the wrong hands. Ian vows to never let anyone use him again. His goal is to escape and live in peace, but his superiors monitor him closely and defectors are known to mysteriously disappear. Deep down, he longs to be with Kayla. Despite his age, inexperience and few allies, he refuses to give up. He must outwit a cunning admiral and save Kayla from his own people or he will remain a pawn and forever separated from those he loves.

And, it's free for Kindle TODAY ONLY. Click Here.


  1. Glad you stuck it out and found a storyline that worked. Changing locations really works. And for me, jumping ahead twenty years every time really shakes up the cast of characters.

  2. I'm presently reading "Visionary of Peace", and I can definitely see all of the hard work that went into it. It may have taken two years, but I think that time is well spent because "Visionary" reads like a masterpiece of science fiction. I just hope Cindy is richly rewarded with great book sales.

  3. Yes, stubbornness is a valuable asset for a writer! Those are great tips, Cindy.

  4. Thanks for having me on your blog today, Charity.

    1. It was great having you! Good luck with the release!


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