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Dancing in Circles?

((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.


( 161 comments — Leave a comment )
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Jun. 27th, 2010 09:52 pm (UTC)
Great News!
Great News in more ways than one!

Book closer to finished.
GRRM happy with the progress and ordering of chapters.
Arya still alive in the following book! Here's me hoping that having an Arya chapter already written for the following book means you aren't getting rid of my favourite character too soon!
Jun. 27th, 2010 09:57 pm (UTC)
Interesting news. Intriguingly, I note you don't mention the two Cersei chapters that you'd previously mentioned as having written for TWoW which you'd been considering moving up to ADWD. Does that mean we can take it that Cersei is in ADWD then? Or is that far too spoilery an answer? :-)
Jun. 27th, 2010 11:18 pm (UTC)
Cersei is still in DANCE... at the moment.
(no subject) - werthead - Jun. 28th, 2010 12:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 27th, 2010 10:02 pm (UTC)
Dance Away
I'd rather get Fred Astaire than Fred Flinstone. Dance away.
Jun. 27th, 2010 10:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the update! ... Light at the end of the tunnel!
Jun. 27th, 2010 10:29 pm (UTC)
Interesting update
It's good news for me, since I'm more interested in getting on with the next book than having it be the longest book in the series. Also, it is nice to know that some chapters for Winds of Winter have been written.

Out of curiosity, how many chapters have been written so far for Dance with Dragons? Or is that too much info to reveal at this time?
Jun. 27th, 2010 10:33 pm (UTC)
I think I've come closer to understanding what you meant, exactly, by "Dornish knot."

In any case, this is gonna be one fantastic read, I can tell!
Jun. 27th, 2010 11:19 pm (UTC)
That's Meereenes knot. Dorne is simple by comparison.
(no subject) - bungeebot - Jun. 28th, 2010 04:32 pm (UTC) - Expand
Knot - trilambdas - Jun. 28th, 2010 05:10 pm (UTC) - Expand
knots inquiry - youngyinzer - Jun. 29th, 2010 01:57 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: knots inquiry - werthead - Jun. 29th, 2010 11:58 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 27th, 2010 10:52 pm (UTC)
I think that's good news all the way around!
Jun. 27th, 2010 10:56 pm (UTC)
Hmmm, so Winds of Winter has at least one Arya and Sansa chapter...I guess that takes the suspense out of any life-or-death situations in Dance with Dragons. Perhaps that was the spoiler I was warned about.
Jun. 27th, 2010 11:20 pm (UTC)
(no subject) - squirrellyguy - Jun. 28th, 2010 12:31 am (UTC) - Expand
Jun. 27th, 2010 11:12 pm (UTC)
Oh i think we'll make do just fine with a few chapters less...
We all trust you to work out the details and get it just right.
And kudos for giving an update, i know how much you dislike them, must have been tough.

don't believe global warming - WINTER IS COMING. (did i just invent a new T-shirt?)
Jun. 29th, 2010 02:16 am (UTC)
Re: Oh i think we'll make do just fine with a few chapters less...
speaking in wes is dangerous. though i agree, and yes thank you. as to the tshirt, dancing with politics is dangerous. it could be viewed as simply piggy backing or something but global warming is rather heated and something people can jump quickly to conclusions or such things off of. on either side. so while some people get angered by the notion its us when its clearly the sun others get angry at any apparent denial of it. environmentalists may often be accepting people but not always. i say this as a person with a lot of anarcho-primitivistic inclinations who is beyond greatly concerned for the environment and pretty much just thinks were screwed. yet i also briefly doubted the warming in part though i never doubted the were terrible to life on this planet part. sorry if i come off poorly. it depends where you live and most people would be fine with such a shirt. but people can read a few words and presume a lot about your juxtaposition from their "knowledge" while being ignorant of your intended allusion.
Jun. 27th, 2010 11:15 pm (UTC)
I love these kinds of updates, just as a means of peering into the guts of the giant-multi-pov-epic-novel writing process. Thanks!
Jun. 27th, 2010 11:40 pm (UTC)
AWESOME! I can't wait to be done. The book doesn't need to be supper long for me to enjoy it. Can't wait till its finished and on the shelves!
Jun. 28th, 2010 12:27 pm (UTC)
Re: awesome
Well, I for one am certainly hoping it'll take longer to read than the duration of my evening meal! :o)

Seriously though, always good to read one of these updates, even if it's about something new that's been taken out rather than something new that's been added. Thanks for posting these & good luck with the remaining chapters!
Jun. 28th, 2010 12:25 am (UTC)
Very good news indeed!

Does this mean that the Meereenes knot is close to finished, or have you put that aside for a bit?

Is it too much to hope that aDwD will come out around the same time as the HBO series?
Jun. 28th, 2010 12:49 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update.

I love seeing the writing process develop for ASOIAF. It has been one of the joys of waiting for the next book.

Any character POVs finished for this volume yet?
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:00 am (UTC)
As always, I love getting a glimpse into your process. If you were ever to write a book chronicling your chronicling of this series, (after finishing the series itself, of course) I would snap it up in a second. Indeed, I wouldn’t trust any other writer to set so dark and perilous a journey as you’ve had in writing it, onto paper.
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:26 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update George. It really gives a sense of how complicated this whole process is. Reading the books it seems like one is reading history, set in stone....as a reader you forget that the author is not a chronicler but an inventor. With so many characters and plot-lines I can't imagine how complicated it would be to keep all the balls in the air. The fact that the book does seem like history and it's impossible to imagine the story playing out any way other than the way it does is a tribute to you. So keep up the good work!
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:54 am (UTC)
Thanks for the update! I know fans will be overjoyed to hear the book is near completion. :)

I myself just started to read this series, so I really have no idea what half this entry is saying. But good news nonetheless!
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:09 am (UTC)
I love spoilerish vagueness.

And going in circles is just the thing that happens before breaking free of circles.
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:12 am (UTC)
I can't wait to read it! I was hoping it wouldn't end with just Dance!
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
I'm glad to hear you are making progress and getting things where they need to be to make the story right. So have you straightened out all the Mereen business or is that still in a knot? Good luck with the writing. Hopefully this shuffling will help inspire you to get things moving along.
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:26 am (UTC)
Man...as I'm writing my own stuff, having more than a couple POVs can be tough.

But what YOU do, sir, is sorcery....or insanity. Take your pick.

And take your time too. I couldn't do what you're doing so I've got no right to tell you you're taking too long :)
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:28 am (UTC)
Finished Book-->Publishing Time + Valyrian Steel
I don't know if you get paid out different percents on royalties from the UK to US, but i guarantee every single one of us will be ordering the UK edition (seeing how it usually comes out a few months earlier). I'm guessing at least half of us will express mail it, and the a quarter of us will get it read it within 72 hrs... i'm already planning a "family emergency" for clinicals.

How long is it gonna take to publish once ur done? I mean do u really need a editor... u edit enough books on ur own, i'll proof read for u don't worry.

*****Valyrian Steel***** i'm about to order Damascus Longclaw on WWW.VALYRIANSTEEL.COM (check it out guys) .... but...

with Valyrian Resin you were explaining how the guy made it had rights to ur books not HBO, and there for couldnt make figurines in the likeness of the HBO cast...

Is it the same deal with V.Steel? I read on their website that u are pretty hands-on in terms of helping designing the swords and what not... telling them if thats the right size, right look-- But when i watch Game of Thrones is the Longclaw on my wall gonna look nothing like the Longclaw on TV? I know, i know... but it's a 600 dollar commitment that's the only reason i'm asking really... (You can get stainless steel one with Damascened pattern for 200)
Jun. 28th, 2010 05:34 am (UTC)
Re: Finished Book-->Publishing Time + Valyrian Steel
Yes, I'm afraid it's the same deal with Valyrian Steel.

Their license predates my deal with HBO. The producers have hired an armorer to design the weapons in the show, and he wants to do his own designs.

Only Valyrian Steel has the right to produce full scale replica weapons in metal for the collector's market. HBO will have the right to produce inexpensive plastic replicas of their designs for sale in your local toy store.
Jun. 28th, 2010 03:00 am (UTC)
I must admit I hope that you finish Dance soon since I just had one copy of Throne fall apart from being re-read (fortunately, I had a second copy). And Storm isn't much better. A new novel to take the abuse of being read so many times would help. ;)

Soon as in... this year or next. :D
Jun. 28th, 2010 03:38 am (UTC)
That's really good news...from my POV. I recently finished Feast and couldn't really grasp the significance of the chapters on Arianne, and I suppose I won't until I read Dance...which makes me excited because it's coming closer to DONE!

Don't get me wrong...I understood fully the significance of Dorne and the sand vipers and the vastly different traditions and environment and how it relates to the Targaryens, but it was like a short story which only led to a single sentence with a vague message concerning Dorne's activities across the sea. I liked the story, but will most likely have to reread those chapters immediately before starting my read of Dance.

My meaning is that moving another such story to Winds will most likely make Dance as a book in it's own right less of an anticlimax and have a more satisfying ending.
Jun. 28th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
Most dancing is in circles. (Or squares. Or lines...)
A slow dance may take longer to get you back where you came from, but it's the journey not the destination right?
Jun. 28th, 2010 04:04 am (UTC)
I love checking in and finding these ADWD updates!

I read one comment which said they hoped it would be released in fall...but that can't be possible, could it? Even if you finished today, isn't it usually at least six months before a book hits the shelves?

I'm obviously not complaining. I just thought it was odd that some are hoping for a fall release. That's just not possible at this point, is it?
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George R.R. Martin
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