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Dancing in Circles?

  • Jun. 27th, 2010 at 1:32 PM
((Some of what follows may be vaguely spoilerish. Don't read if you hate spoilers).

A DANCE WITH DRAGONS just got a little shorter.

What's happened is, I've decided to move two completed chapters, from Arianne's POV, out of the present volume and into THE WINDS OF WINTER. This is something I've gone back and forth on. Arianne wasn't originally supposed to have any viewpoint chapters in DANCE at all, but there's this... hmmm, how vague do I want be? VERY vague, I think... there's this event that would of necessity provoke a Dornish reaction. The event was originally going to occur near the end of the book, but in one of my forty-seven restructures I moved it to the late middle instead. And the timeline then required that the Dornish reaction happen in this book and not the next one, so I wrote the two Arianne chapters and was going to write a third... and a chapter from another POV that would be a necessary complement to them, and...

But no, I've restructured again, and put the original precipitating event back close to the end of the book. Which means the Arianne chapters can be returned to WINDS, where I had 'em originally. It also means that I don't have to write that third Arianne chapter and the complementary chapter from the other POV... not yet, anyway... which moves DANCE two chapters closer to completion. (The move did mean I had to revise two chapters from another POV, which took place after the event in last week's draft, but now take place before said event, but fortunately that was just a matter of tweaking a couple of lines).

I suppose this is a good news/ bad news situation.

Bad news for those who want DANCE to be really, really, really long, as long as STORMS OF SWORDS or longer. This move makes DANCE four chapters (two written, one partly written, one entirely unwritten) shorter.

But it's good news for DANCE, since I'm now two chapters (the ones I hadn't finished) closer to completion. And hey, it's even good news for WINDS OF WINTER, since I now have four chapters done for that one (an Arya, a Sansa, and two Ariannes).

This, of course, is assuming that I don't change my mind again tomorrow and put everything back the way it was last week.

I am dancing, boys and girls, I'm dancing as fast as I can. But some days it does feel as if I am dancing in circles.
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( 164 comments — Leave a comment )
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[info]reynardine wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 07:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update, George!
[info]oxalispescaprae wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 07:42 pm (UTC)
I guess everybody tell you this everyday, but hey, i say it, and is: Waiting for Dance with dragons is just one of the few things i wait, everyday, that makes me really happy.

go!! (and good luck)

The bad part of all of this, is that i must wait for translation, i´m from spain. v.v
[info]emil_miljkovic wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
Well, you can always read it in English if you can't wait for the translation.
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[info]madbard wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
Dude, its been years. Do you really expect us to remember what "Dornish" means?


(Okay, fine, it's adjectival for the southernmost region of Westeros, and every word you wrote about it is burned into my brain forever. But you have no right to expect us to remember.)

[info]infinite_hiatus wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:29 pm (UTC)
Until he said Dornish, I had no idea who Arianne was. :-)
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[info]prokhozhyj wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 07:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the information :).
[info]crazyoda wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 07:54 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the update It's much appreciated and don't worry about circles as long as you keep on you'll get there soon enough :)
[info]tiredmommy75 wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 07:59 pm (UTC)
Take your time Sir. We'll take quality over quantity any day. Thanks for the update!
[info]sheppeyescapee wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Agreed. Nice icon btw, yum.
(no subject) - [info]tiredmommy75 - Jun. 28th, 2010 01:19 am (UTC) - Expand
[info]danicia wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:02 pm (UTC)
I think it's good news all around, if it makes sense to /you/ to shift the chapters. I think that following what you want will make a better read for us all. I don't care if DANCE is as long as STORM. I just want it to be awesome. Of that, I have no doubt.
[info]inter_connected wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Not so bad news
If ADWD gets released this year I will be ecstatic, the fall does not seem too far away from now. I am sure many people write complaining that it is taking too long, but just keep repeating the size of ADWD
considering it is already over a thousand pages long, it is about three times as long as the average fantasy novel, and your writing is certainly ten times better than the next fantasy writer, so it can be expected that these novels are taking three times as long to write.

As long as ADWD is released with the GRRM seal of approval, it will be well-worth the wait and I am sure people will want to read it over again.

It is interesting how fate brought together the greatest master fantasy writer and the greatest master actor of our time. I always thought that actors were overrated, but Roy Dotrice's performance on the audiobooks was so amazing that for the first time I saw that a good actor can display as much expertise, experience and creativity as any great artist, musician or writer. It would be a treat to hear him again on a another audiobook. May you both be blessed with a very long life.

Regards, Joe
[info]pica_scribit wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:06 pm (UTC)
Speaking as a fellow writer, you have my complete sympathy. I know all about the need for and consequences of shifting plot around. I just hope you're enjoying the writing as much as we enjoy the reading.
[info]kittycat22 wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:09 pm (UTC)
ROFL @ icon. That's brilliant.
(no subject) - [info]rupoe - Jun. 28th, 2010 05:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - [info]lightingitup - Jul. 8th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC) - Expand
[info]geg wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:21 pm (UTC)
I love reading updates like this
has me anticipating the final product all the more
[info]hippoiathanatoi wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
I think the Dornish segment of Feast provided two of the best chapters you've written, not just in that book, but in the whole series. The opening to "The Captain of the Guard" -- in the Water Garden, the scent of ripe blood oranges in the air as they fall, one by one, while a sad, weary prince sits there with a letter he will not open until night -- is certainly the most beautifully poetic passage in the books as far as I'm concerned, while the close of "The Princess in the Tower" sends a shiver up my spine every time I read it.

So, suffice it to say, I'm excited by the fact that we'll have more of Dorne in time. You had hinted at it a few months ago, of course, when you mentioned the Dornish sands as a locale, but I didn't quite dare to hope.

(I reserve the right to envision a younger Salma Hayek as Arianne, instead of Apollonia, however!)
[info]lord_varys wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:20 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah, I like really like the atmosphere of the introduction of Dorne as well. Especially the character of Doran, who seems to me the only smart and compassionate father figure (Ned was compassionate, but not smart politically) Westeros has left (Tywin, Robert, Stannis, Balon, and Mace don't have much to offer in that field).

Let's just hope he lives to see some of his hopes come true. Goat is ugly, especially if you keep drinking wine, but he is strong...

Oh, and just a random question: Did Egg ever visit the Watergardens (and his great-aunt Princess Daenerys) while he and Dunk visited Dorne? Somehow I think Dunk&Egg; would have made a great couple in the pools ;-).
(no subject) - [info]woodbyrne - Jun. 27th, 2010 11:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
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[info]aliciaaudrey wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:32 pm (UTC)
So now you've given my husband and I just enough fodder for us to debate the various possible actions that could occur that could provoke enough of a Dornish reaction that it would absolutely require Dornish POVs.

Said discussions (spoiler free) sound rather like this:

Me: "it must be blah! Only blah could provoke such a strong reaction!"

Hubby: "But wait. Wouldn't blahblah (alternative version of thing I suggested) also provoke a very strong negative reaction?"

Me: "But would Arianne necessary have anything to say about it, personally? And wouldn't the other people mostly affected by that be very far from Dorne?"

Hubby: "Maybe...but THIS basically unrelated thing happening SOMEWHERE ELSE involving OTHER PEOPLE! could ALSO provoke a strong Dornish reaction!"

And on and on.
[info]shg_esteve wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:34 pm (UTC)
You can dance in circles as much as you want, as long as the circles do move somewhere (as it seem they do) that's ok ^.^
[info]boatillo wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:37 pm (UTC)
Just so long...
As you are happy with it! I am willing to keep waiting and re-reading the four published (with the TV show coming it will be even easier to wait!); just one caveat to the waiting though, by some year the series must be ended properly. I've introduced the books to many friends and coworkers, but I've had even more avid readers refuse to begin the series after they find out that it has not reached a conclusion - one reading SoS right now is angry with *me* because the series isn't complete! Hah!

Part of your style that I enjoy the most in this series is your willingness to re-hash as little backstory as possible within each new novel. A competent reader will remember enough from previous books and you sprinkle in just enough to help a times. I am honestly struggling through 'Wheel of Time' right now, the seventh book probably has 300-400 pages of pure backstory before anything new happens! It drives me crazy when writers do this!
[info]markwise wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2010 06:47 am (UTC)
Re: Just so long...
You are going through the slow part of Wheel of Time right now. It picks up again with books 9/10. THE GATHERING STORM is awsome and worth the wait.
(no subject) - [info]werthead - Jun. 29th, 2010 11:56 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - [info]ethos2 - Jul. 8th, 2010 04:02 am (UTC) - Expand
[info]inizitu wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
All the best dances involve going in a circle at least once. =)
[info]pearl_gemstone wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2010 07:09 am (UTC)
It should be illegal for your lj icon to be that awesome. Was browsing through the comments and it jumped out at me. Just thought I'd share.
[info]gonzo21 wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
Forgive a newbie question, but I'm only just reading the books for the first time now.

Does anybody happen to know how many more books there are expected to be in the series beyond the two mentioned here?
[info]manydills wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:08 pm (UTC)
The plan is for 7 books total. So, the two mentioned, then the last book (of which the title has changed a couple of times.. A Dream of Spring was book 7, last time I checked.)
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[info]anywhere_but_nj wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:47 pm (UTC)
The length doesn't bother me. I'll be expecting something around 1000 pages - if it's either more or less, it happens and I'll read it anyway. If people are going to be upset because it's slightly (or massively, knowing how your chapters are :P) shorter and the book is closer to completion...then I'd be beyond baffled and just give them a confused look.

Glad to hear things are falling into place. And, of course, that we're that much closer to getting the book!
[info]shesnotallthere wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:48 pm (UTC)
Your entries always make me very grateful that I was not born a writer.
[info]majkia wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
hoping it all works well and we'll see a pub date for DwD soon!
[info]fallenalexiel wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 08:57 pm (UTC)
Hang in there George; just when you think you've mastered all the steps, there are still some to learn eh? Keep dancing and certainly the circle will change.
[info]mishmarlayla wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:01 pm (UTC)
good news!!
I think, since its gonna arrange the book better, and also making it coming out faster :)
After dance will be out, there will be less pressure on the WINDS OF WINTER, and so things might flow even better.

I have a question but I have no place to ask you George so Ill do it here: Do you think the HBO show will somehow, change your view on some characters and how you going to continue their story to the end?
Just wondering.
I hope the show wont bother you too much, cause I think the books are more important, to end the saga that was started and in the heart of many fans (of course I'd like to watch the show, but it might do some effect on progress or on how things will end up :) )
[info]lord_varys wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:02 pm (UTC)
Since you seem to be in a talkative mood...
... first, it's good to get a confirmation that there will be further Arianne chapters in future volumes - after all, it was possible that all the 'new' POVs from FEAST were going to be one-way characters.

In any case, I just hope that this Dornish situation is not as much a cliffhanger as the whole Cersei situation in AFfC (although I fear it is).

Second, does this 'situation' has anything to do with the notorious Meereenese Knot?

Oh, and a more general question: Do you know how many chapters you still need to write to finish DANCE? From the situation as it is today? We only know of the two (?) yet unfinished Meereenese Knot chapters (if they are still unfinished) and the Epilogue, which is troubling you...

By the way, is this going to be a 'real' Epilogue from a new POV - as it was in STORMS - or just the last chapter of the book from a established POV. I actually liked the fact that you introduced the concept of an Epilogue in STORMS, and was disappointed that there was none in FEAST (but it makes kind of sense, though, to close the book with the reappearence of 'Pate').

I really start to think that writing this book must really be hell...
[info]vanillakokakola wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:29 pm (UTC)
i've been wondering for a while - do you anticipate that this is the hardest book of the series to write? do you think that as everything draws closer to completion it will be easier to pull everything together more quickly? no mereeneese knot, no shuffling chapters between books, no more restructuring the rest of the series (since once you reach closer to the end it will be structured), etc.

this isn't necessarily a panicky, demanding "when will the book(s) be done?!" question, just wondering whether the wait between all of the remainder of the books will be this long (again, out of curiosity, not a desire to complain), or if you anticipate that the writing process will slowly speed up as the loose ends become tied up.
[info]grrm wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 11:17 pm (UTC)
I sure HOPE this is the hardest book in the series to write.

(no subject) - [info]flowzilla - Jun. 29th, 2010 10:37 am (UTC) - Expand
[info]10zlaine wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:34 pm (UTC)
Dearest George,

The only bad news, as far as I'm concerned, would be your announcement that you've hit an interminable spell of writer's block.
[info]jpclemen wrote:
Jun. 28th, 2010 05:25 am (UTC)
Well, this appears to confirm that Sansa will still be alive, which *I* consider a downside. :-)
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[info]nutmeg3 wrote:
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:35 pm (UTC)
I can't believe you passed up an opportunity to tell us you're dancing with dragons. *g*

Seriously, thanks for keepping us updated, and I choose to be in the good news camp. :-)
[info]beirn_ie wrote:
Jun. 30th, 2010 01:40 pm (UTC)
thanks for the update :) It's good news, and makes the prospect of the new book even more exciting. Love to hear how it's going!
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George R.R. Martin
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