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Talking About the Dance

Kong is dead. That is to say, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is complete, and moving inexorably towards its July 12 publication date.

Yes, I know. Old news. I've announced that before. And since finally completing A DANCE WITH DRAGONS some weeks ago, and announcing it here, I have been working on... drum roll, please... A DANCE WITH DRAGONS!

That's the way it goes with books. You finish, and breathe a sigh of relief... and then you get back to work. There's always more to be done. Your editor reads it and gives you notes. You make revisions, corrections. A copyeditor goes over the text, finds errors, points out contradictions and inconsistencies, raises queries. You fix some, stet others. Friends and fans gulp down the book, and find mistakes your editors, copyeditors, and proofreaders all missed. You fix those too, as time allows. Then there's the appendix to prepare. And then the appendix needs to be edited, proofread, corrected... and on and on it goes...

But now even that is behind me. Copyediting, appendix, proofs, corrections, all that stuff. The book tour has been planned (a few details yet to be worked out), the marketing plans are in place... and I can finally say that Kong is not just merely dead, but really most sincerely dead.

Now that the dust is settling at last, I thought I'd take a deep breath and look back at what a long strange trip this has been. If the process interests you, read on. But beware -- past this point, there may be some SPOILERS lurking amidst my discussion. Read on at your own peril.

Read more...Collapse )


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May. 20th, 2011 04:25 am (UTC)
My husband and I can't wait to read the final product!
May. 20th, 2011 04:27 am (UTC)
...now I'm picturing GRRM with that monkey in one of his old horror stories in Dreamsongs. O__o

But congrats, Mr. Martin! I'm horribly excited in all of this, and looking forward to the new POVs.

(I can't wait to find out if Barristan is indeed a keY player in that Mereneese knot...)
May. 20th, 2011 04:33 am (UTC)
Congrats, George.
May. 20th, 2011 04:36 am (UTC)
Congratulations. Great and very informative post. Keep an eye on that cute little monkey, because they grow up quickly.
May. 20th, 2011 04:39 am (UTC)
Very excited to know that we'll have it soon enough, and I'm sure it'll be fantastic.
May. 20th, 2011 04:40 am (UTC)
amazing storie! Thank you, sir :)
Ignacio Llerena
May. 20th, 2011 04:43 am (UTC)
My hat, head and neck off to you. You're an inspiration sir.
May. 20th, 2011 04:45 am (UTC)
I am pleased. Now re-reading All That Came Before so when I snag a copy of DANCE I'll be current.

Thank you for writing this.
May. 20th, 2011 04:48 am (UTC)
Congratulations, and thanks for the insight into the process.

I could tell you who they are, but then I'd have to kill you.

Well, I think you've made it possible to identify most of them anyway, except for the completely new one(s), of course. I'd lay out the deductive reasoning involved, except that I'd then have to fear for my life. ;)
May. 20th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
What a ponderous report %)
Thank you and congratulations!
May. 20th, 2011 04:51 am (UTC)
Once again, congratulations! The amount of blood and sweat that you put into your books is amazing, sir. I only wish that one of the new POV characters would be Syrio, but he's offscreen somewhere drinking fruity drinks with umbrellas in them on some beach across the Narrow Sea ;)
May. 20th, 2011 04:53 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing the saga of the saga, George. :-) As a PhD student with the completion of my thesis still hanging over me, I empathise deeply. I look forward to enjoying the fruits of your hard work in July!

Although Sansa is my favourite character, I think the decision to leave her until Wolves makes sense; her storyline had lots of forward momentum but didn't leave us in suspense. One question, though: does the lack of a Brienne POV mean no resolution on her cliffhanger from Feast? If so, it can only mean more tortured speculation until Wolves - and at least we'll hopefully have some resolution on the Cersei front in the meantime. ;-)

Thanks again for writing this huge post. It's great to have this extra insight into your writing life. :-)
May. 20th, 2011 04:55 am (UTC)
The proof, as always, is in the pudding. And you make some fine puddings...
May. 20th, 2011 04:57 am (UTC)
Looking forward to it!
May. 20th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
...and so it begins.
May. 20th, 2011 04:58 am (UTC)
Congratulations George. I'm fascinated by your "process" posts, because when I read the books in this series (the 2nd or 3rd time, not the first), I try to imagine the work that's gone into the book. You've set yourself quite a task with this series, but you've been up to it. Good luck, and hopefully you can have more fun on the next one.
May. 20th, 2011 04:59 am (UTC)
this was fascinating, thanks, george! and congrats on what i'm sure will be one hell of a read. :D
Nigel Bradley
May. 20th, 2011 05:01 am (UTC)
Thanks for sharing the tale--a lot of us "do" like to hear about these little things. I hope you'll look back at the journey in later years with fondness.
May. 20th, 2011 05:05 am (UTC)
May. 20th, 2011 05:09 am (UTC)
I did my homework... hopefully completely.
Unless the dead have been brought back to life... there can be only two returning POVs a little worse for wear which are (ironically given my opening line) Catelyn or Theon... who could both be described with dead as an adjective. (Undead vs. Possibly Dead)

Now, I put my money on Catelyn, because we have seen her, most recently in Brienne's last POV, I believe. Also, Theon is likely out, not just because the doubts of his continued life, but also because it says 3 ironborn POVs are returning, and we have Victarion, Damphair and Asha to account for.

Of missing POVs in Feast that are not outright dead, or dismissed above, 3 were promised to return in Dance (Daenerys, Jon and Tyrion) Leaving only Davos Seaworth unaccounted for, and I don't see how the hint of "worse for ware" could apply to him. Is Davos at the Wall with Stannis? It's great if his POV comes back.

So really, the fingers point at Catelyn Stark.

7 gods and old gods, I sure hope this post is not too spoler-y given GRRMs warning that the comments likely would contain spoilers...
May. 20th, 2011 07:16 am (UTC)
Re: I did my homework... hopefully completely.
But! He said the character had been missing for a couple of books. That most likely rules out Catelyn, who had POVs in book 3. Theon, on the other hand, has been missing since book 2 so I'm guessing that's who he's referring to.
May. 20th, 2011 05:11 am (UTC)
Quite an interesting process Mr. Martin. I'm started to get excited once again, and looking forward to this even more!
May. 20th, 2011 05:17 am (UTC)
Thank you for writing this. It's always nice to hear what a writer is going through as they're working.

And good luck with your new monkey companion!
May. 20th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
Congratulations - I don't doubt it'll be worth the wait.

And here's hoping that that Kong this time turns out to be more Donkey Kong, so that you only have to jump over some barrels this time.
May. 20th, 2011 05:18 am (UTC)
Thank you for the very fascinating look into your writing process, sir.

My wife and I are very much looking forward to July (she's already called dibs on reading it first but this woman can kill a one thousand page book in about four or five hours).

Not certain if you hear it often but thank you for the hard work.
May. 20th, 2011 05:19 am (UTC)
Congrats George and thank you for giving us this look into your process. I am looking forward to devouring Dance when it arrives!
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George R.R. Martin
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