... Different in the way it's conceived
... It takes shape differently
... It comes into the world differently
... And it reacts to the world differently and the world reacts differently to it!
I'll also add that, just like with my firstborn, I took such great care with my first published novel. I went to great pains with every single detail and nuance of publishing _The Watchman of Ephraim_, taking nothing for granted. I had no experience having a child before my son Jared was born, just as I had no experience publishing a novel before _TWoE_, so there was so much excitement and anticipation and not a small amount of anxiety.
With my second novel, as with my second child, Ryan, I naively thought that the experience would be similar to my first experience ... and just like with my first child, it bore NO RESEMBLANCE to the first experience!
+ I was more relaxed writing _Signs of War_. I learned so much about how to tell a story in novel form.
+ I already had a core of characters to start with and a storyline established. Writing a series gives you those advantages.
+ I knew how to create the cover, front matter and back matter and how to format. After all, I did it all once, so I should be an expert, shouldn't I?
+ I wrote generally at a faster pace.
- I learned that with a series, the writer must balance the need to give new readers, who may have not read the previous book(s) in the series, just enough background on characters and storyline without boring the stuffing out of those who have.
- I thought because I had written one novel, that I would just naturally get better at eliminating typos, grammatical errors and the like. Well, I didn't make most of the errors that I made writing _TWoE_ ... BUT ... I made new ones! <sigh>
- I was too casual with my deadline with _Signs of War_. That's because I thought it would close at the same tempo as _The Watchman of Ephraim_ did. Well ... it didn't and I ended up missing a window of time that my main editor had available. That caused a chain effect of delays to transpire. I was supposed to have the book to her by no later than August 8th. If I would have kept that deadline, _Signs of War_ would have been out by my target date of September 11th - just in time to leverage the additional interest that _The Watchman of Ephraim_ was garnering (because of the plot). Instead, _SoW_ took two additional weeks to complete. That caused my editor to take an additional month to edit and that in turn led to further delays on my end, making final changes, formatting and publishing it. In the end, _Signs of War_ was released almost six weeks later!
- The eBook, paperback, and hardback publishing of _Signs of War_ did NOT go as smoothly as I thought it would! I thought, "I've done this before," so I wasn't quite as careful as I was the first time around. Boy oh boy, I should have been. A series of minor but careless imperfections has kept me from publishing all editions even to this writing. The hardcover edition is STILL not published, pending one more proof that I should receive in about a week.
I think the one thing that I feel I must improve on most is SCHEDULING. Ideally, I would like to have a pre-release phase where I could allow pre-ordering. I'd also like to get the novel into the hands of at least a dozen reviewers BEFORE releasing it to the public and have all the editions released on the same day.
Just like with having children, all that stuff though goes away when I took my first look at my son Ryan ... and then Jordan ... and then Noah. They are all blessings, as are every one of my published works.
All praise to Him!