How to Outwit Second Novel Syndrome

Ireland Research Photo
Ireland Research Photo

Last week on The Debutante Ball we talked about what we’re working on now. We’re all in various stages of drafting or revising our second novels. The writing never ends!

I got to thinking about the dreaded Second Novel Syndrome …

How to Outwit Second Novel Syndrome

Fog has descended on Lisfenora village thus reviving the myth of Grey Man, the dark faery who festers off shore waiting for its chance to ooze inland and snatch unsuspecting victims back out to sea. So is it figment or reality, the figure that DS Danny Ahern’s son insists he saw lurking near their house? Who is the lost boy left to die in a field of grass? What’s the connection between Merrit Chase’s heirloom necklace and a mute girl’s traumatic past? Will Danny, with Merrit’s help, find the mysterious John McIlvoy before a real-life grey man snatches another soul into his deadly gloom?

That’s my next novel in a quickly written nutshell. You can see I’m still thinking in terms of questions — open-ended questions create suspense. There’s an art to writing pitches and synopses, and this isn’t it. In fact, it reflects the state of my current (second) draft. The elements are there but, man, it’s messy. I need to work on flow, continuity, some character development, and the sticky nit-picky plot stuff that comes with writing crime fiction. And, of course, I still need to stitch it all together into a cohesive whole.

A long time ago, a writing teacher advised us aspiring novelists to PLEASE READ ON


3 thoughts on “How to Outwit Second Novel Syndrome

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