I recently read CROSSED, by Ally Condie, book two in her MATCHED trilogy. If you want to read my writing lessons learned from book one, click here. Like I mentioned in that earlier post, I absolutely love Condie's writing style. Mmm, mmm, good.
In search of a future that may not exist and faced with the decision of who to share it with, Cassia journeys to the Outer Provinces in pursuit of Ky--taken by the Society to his certain death--only to find that he has escaped, leaving a series of clues in his wake. Cassia's quest leads her to question much of what she holds dear, even as she finds glimmers of a different life across the border. But as Cassia nears resolve and certainty about her future with Ky, an invitation for rebellion, an unexpected betrayal, and a surprise visit from Xander--who may hold the key to the uprising and, still, to Cassia's heart--change the game once again. Nothing is as expected on the edge of Society, where crosses and double crosses make the path more twisted than ever.
Did I learn writing lesson from this book? You bet! Here they are (Warning! Avert your eyes if you haven't read this book yet and don't want to know any plot points):
- Brief references to important moments from book one--I've never written a sequel, but I recognized a great technique in Crossed. Condie weaved snippets of book one into this story. She didn't linger there for long. Just a reference, and a brief connection to how it mattered in book 2. For more help on writing a sequel, visit Janice Hardy's blog and type "sequel" into her search bar. Treasure trove.
- Add new characters--In Crossed, the main players remained the same: Cassia and Ky. But adding new players organically, with new goals and conflict, made book two fresh.
- Simple story goals become bigger--Cassia and Ky were forced apart at the end of book one. In book two, their goals started simple: find each other, and survive doing it. Bits of the story hint at a larger purpose for the two main characters. There was talk of a Rising, and the Pilot who would lead the Rising. It made me wonder how these two characters would fit into that storyline. Which brings me to my next lesson...
- Reluctant leaders--Cassia and Ky thought they were regular people, and for a while, I thought that too. Although they don't think of themselves as a leaders, other people look to them for guidance and information. The reader knew there was more to them than originally thought. I liked that it wasn't an "I'm a leader, so listen to everything I say" sort of thing.
- Bring on the love--For teen girls, and women like me who love love, the romance angle is huge. Yes, the characters were escaping a totalitarian government. Yes, they were fighting for survival. But the love story made reading about all that other stuff more meaningful. Who were they willing to fight for? That was what I wanted to read about.
Have you read CROSSED? MATCHED? What was your opinion? And what do you think of the writing lessons learned. Ever used any of these yourself? Please share!