Right now, The Lies We Lead is around the 60,000 word mark, putting it firmly in the “Novel” category, although if I were to wrap up the first draft in, say, 10,000 words, it would make it the shortest novel I’ve written in a few years.
But, as seems to have been the case with this book ever since I set out to write a short story of less than 10,000 words, the story has grown and a new aspect seems to be emerging to it. And if I follow this emerging plot line through I could well end up with the longest book I’ve written in recent years.
And it would be a book where the second half is a different animal to the first half.
The first half—that is, what I’ve written so far—is primarily about secrets, lies, more secrets and then all those secrets finally coming out. The second half would be much more focused on the perils my core group of characters face as they forge ahead with their new careers, and in particular the challenge they have set themselves.
Which made me think. Isn’t the second half of this story actually a second book? A sequel?
The more I consider it, the more I think that is what I’m going to do with this story and these characters. Not only does it let me move away from the theme and tone of the first book into something different with the same characters, but it will also give me the scope to introduce new characters just for the second book.
This is something I did with A Good Man / A Tortured Soul. The tone of the two books was markedly different, and the second book had a much larger ‘cast list’ than the core group of the first book.
Of course, the other advantage of this approach is that it allows me to release the first book sooner—The Lies We Lead can be ‘out there’ for everyone to enjoy while I’m busy working on the second book, which at this point I think may even have a title for—The Truths We Live.
What do you all think of this idea? Do you prefer books that wrap up the story in one hit, or do you like to see sequels (or even multiple sequels?). Leave your thoughts in the comments.