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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. 28th, 2010 04:35 am (UTC)
You'll find...
No worries, take your time. Soon that second left foot will return back into a right.
Jun. 28th, 2010 04:51 am (UTC)
You finish when you finish.
Hopefully the business side does not interfere too much with your enjoyment of telling a story.
Jun. 28th, 2010 05:47 am (UTC)
This is an incredible update! I miss all the characters, if I could have things my way, the books would never end. I would love Dance of Dragons to be as looong as possible, but 4 chapters doesn't sound too too bad :)
Jun. 28th, 2010 05:48 am (UTC)
I was never very good at dancing either... especially not in circles. I only grow dizzy.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 28th, 2010 08:41 am (UTC)
I don't know why some or you sers and ladies are worried on book's length.
Previous books were superb, this one will probably be.
Who cares if it contains 200 or 1000 pages.

It's quality, not quantity.

Keep the good job George.
Jun. 28th, 2010 11:55 am (UTC)
Thank you for the update, we all appreciate it, and i'm sure we will all prefer quality to quantity

I have a question regarding the creative process if you don't mind.

When you first started A Song of Ice and Fire, did you have a start, middle and end already planned out, or just a general concept? and how does that initial plan compare to where you are now?
Jun. 28th, 2010 12:33 pm (UTC)
This is most excellent news! Though for me the greatest news is that Sansa and Arya (more Sansa for me, I'm one of those minority readers who prefers Sansa over Arya) survive to Winds of Winter. =D

Thank you for the exciting post!
Jun. 29th, 2010 02:42 am (UTC)
i find it great that fans are thrilled when characters survive a book and dare not get too optimistic about series end
Jun. 28th, 2010 12:41 pm (UTC)
Well, I'm glad things are slowly, but surely working out for the book. And while I hope to read the book soon, I just want it as well written as possible. And we have the HBO show to coming so that will keep me occupied for a bit. =)
Jun. 28th, 2010 12:51 pm (UTC)
Very good news, indeed. Thanks for the update.

Regarding TWoW....there's a Sansa chapter, you say? Sansa, not Alayne?

How wonderful. ;D
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:25 pm (UTC)
Keep dancing like there is nobody watching. As corny as that saying may be, it's what you need to do.

This is a really big project to tie up and say goodbye to. None of us want you to rush it. Although I'm sure we'd all prefer the pace of a good old Irish jig as opposed to a Vienna waltz.
Jun. 28th, 2010 01:53 pm (UTC)
take as long as you need.i realize that we all are in a circle too.only that we not dance.
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:01 pm (UTC)
Good News!
Great news! Looking forward to getting/reading DANCE whenever, and however, it's finally finished. I'll leave all the decision making in your skilled hands.
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:11 pm (UTC)
Hey, for what it's worth, I'm really happy to know there are going to be Sansa chapters (and Arya, and Arianne... but especially Sansa) in Winds of winter. The Sansa hate I'm spotting here and there in the comments is a bit disheartening, to be honest :(

Anyway, if you feel taking those chapters out of Dance will benefit the book, these are good news! Quality>quantity, I say!
Jun. 28th, 2010 02:42 pm (UTC)
Length of Books
I am one of those people that would want DANCE to be as long as possible. I'd even be ok if it came with onion-thin pages, microscopic text, a thick spine sewn together, and an oak stand to set it on. But I certainly do appreciate your never-ending pursuit of the best story possible (thanks, btw).

Now, you mentioned that, given your changes, DANCE will be shorter than STORM, most likely. Do you have a sense yet how long it will be compared to the other books in the series? Are we talking FEAST length? Or more like CLASH?
Jun. 28th, 2010 06:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Length of Books
I'm with you. I would not at all mind a book that was 5,000 (more would be preferable ;D) pages long printed on onion-thin paper.
Jun. 28th, 2010 03:16 pm (UTC)
Too bad for Arianne. I like this character, she's hot. We'll have to wait a long while i guess before being able to read her story then. Well, as long as i can get my hands on Daenerys chapters this year, i'm fine anyway :)

Thanks for the update, i wish winter was coming, Tokyo is damn hot these days :p
Jun. 28th, 2010 03:24 pm (UTC)
I just LOVE to Dance :-) So excited for ADWD and so excited for GOT series. Thanks for updating us, you rock!
Jun. 28th, 2010 05:17 pm (UTC)
I think I hold with everyone else on the board. If you keep the book up to the same quality as your previous works? Take all the time you need! I'd rather wait for a good book than quickly receive a stinker, and you've always come through with wonderful stories so far.

Just do what you do so very well.
Jun. 28th, 2010 05:38 pm (UTC)
Hello Mr. Martin,

I only read these comments in the hopes that you will reply to a post and maybe provide further insight to what you have already divulged. You pick and choose what post's you will and won't comment on. My hope is that this is one of those post's you reply to.

A Song of Ice and Fire is widely considered to be the greatest fantasy series ever written. Are you aware that you are considered one of the greatest writer's of the genre? And does it affect the way you have approached the latest books?

And finally, I have been checking your blog for years now, anticipating the day when you post A DANCE IS DONE. Never once have I grown impatient or angry. I love these books, and hope you know how much your work is appreciated.
Jun. 29th, 2010 12:04 pm (UTC)
Re: Dancing
GRRM did mention these issues in this podcast interview:

Jun. 28th, 2010 05:40 pm (UTC)
Keep it up!
Mr. Martin,

I've been one of your nay-sayers in the past. And frankly, the 5 years of delays between books just makes no sense to me.

That said, It seems like you're really stepping up your game, and making a greater effort to do. your. job.

Knowing that your time, energy, and resources are once again being devoted to the source of your aclaim (and rightfully so) provides me (and others, I'm sure) with a reason to maintain optimism that we'll get to fully experience the wonderful world you created.

Keep crackin sir.
Jun. 28th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
I literally only heard about your series a month or so ago from a friend and I quickly became addicted. I finished A Feast for Crows two days ago and I was really bummed to learn that Dance isn't out yet. I'm really looking forward to it! Thanks for your awesome stories. They've provided me with hours of entertainment. :D
Jun. 28th, 2010 06:09 pm (UTC)
Best wishes George, we all await with the best interests for you and the story. Thanks for the great news!
Jun. 28th, 2010 06:44 pm (UTC)
Like others here, I'm thrilled that you're dancing at all, even if in circles.
Jun. 28th, 2010 07:00 pm (UTC)
Thanks for writing these books at all. I'll be ecstatic to get them whenever they come out.
Jun. 28th, 2010 08:49 pm (UTC)
Dancing in circles...
This brings to mind an old saying that I've edited for this post.

When in fear or when in doubt,
DANCE in circles, scream and shout
"F*! It, F*! It, F*! It",
And in the end it will all work out.
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George R.R. Martin
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