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Talking About the Dance

Spain
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.

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Comments

( 266 comments )
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brbckrider
May. 20th, 2011 01:27 pm (UTC)
I have NEVER had to wait for a book this long and then thought, "Well, that book sucked. What a waste of my time." It's always worth the wait.
undercrust
May. 20th, 2011 01:33 pm (UTC)
This is outstanding news! Congratulations GRRM and to your talented team of professionals. I've already got my order in, and fortunately enough I've had lots of practice with the supposedly-hard part...waiting ;)
kinra
May. 20th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
I for one am extremely glad you did that Canadian book tour. It was a pleasure to meet you in Toronto, and chat for a bit about games and things.

That said, it looks like the show is turning out terrifically (I'm definitely digging it, and Peter Dinklage is the best thing I've seen on television in a while) and I'm about as excited for Dance as I can be, so, congratulations and thanks again.
arya
May. 20th, 2011 01:41 pm (UTC)
Spoiler request from any BWBers who might be in the know:
"The next largest chunk o' chapters belongs to an old POV character who has been missing for a couple of books, but now returns to us... rather the worse for wear.

Is Catelyn getting a POV again, or does this mean Davos ISN'T dead?!?
mugsy86
May. 20th, 2011 01:55 pm (UTC)
Skepticism remains
I'm not buying it -- you knew the rapture was coming, and you purposely delayed so that we would never see the book. Now the book will never be seen. In case I'm wrong, could you e-mail the finished manuscript so that I can read it before tomorrow? You understand the time pressure -- thanks!
steveoh77
May. 20th, 2011 02:00 pm (UTC)
Well Done!
George,

Thank you for the "tale" of writing the tale. I'm sure that will be valuable insight for any aspiring writer.

I hope to see you in Indy.
andabereczky
May. 20th, 2011 02:04 pm (UTC)
Thank you, George, for all your efforts. I'm absolutely certain that all the meanies will swallow their words after they read this amazing book. Can't wait till July 12!
mamculuna
May. 20th, 2011 02:11 pm (UTC)
Yayyy!!!!
redbeardsghost
May. 20th, 2011 02:12 pm (UTC)
Thank you for your insight into the process. I'm looking forward to meeting you 7/16
Eric Vogeler
May. 20th, 2011 02:19 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!
Congratulations again, George. Would love to see you in Salt Lake during your promotional tour. Wishing you the best!
ser_jesse
May. 20th, 2011 02:23 pm (UTC)
George you are the best. Sure I ranted and raved and cussed you out a couple a times. well maybe more than a couple, but then I would set back and say, "My man George has already written the best books i've ever read, he knows what he is doing." then I would go on TOTH and yell at people that where not as patient as I.

anyway, I"m going to speak for alot of people and say how much we appreciate all your hard work and GREAT goddamn story telling abilities. It was also really cool and interesting you breaking down the last 10 years of this big ass monkey. Thank you. Christ, even reading that made me put ESPN on puase, and they were actually talking NHL playoffs for once. Once again thanks for the wonderful story so far and I can't wait for July. Yipeeeeeeeeee.
Markus Finster
May. 20th, 2011 02:28 pm (UTC)
I'm sure it was worth the wait
I've been waiting impatiently for this book for years... then came a point where I thought to myself: "It'll be done when it's done."

So I'm glad I'll have it in my hands in a few weeks.

Congrats un wrestling down Kong, Mr. Martin!

Markus

PS: So, when will Winds of Winter be done? Kidding!
jenwmowry
May. 20th, 2011 02:29 pm (UTC)
Thank You
Thank you for being so forthcoming about the Dance process. As an avid reader and huge fan, it is really exciting to hear how it all came together. I have no doubt that Dance will have been worth the wait! And congratulations to you, it must be a wonderful feeling.

paulsmack
May. 20th, 2011 02:35 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the insight!
Its very interesting to see how DANCE progressed and I trust that you made some wise decisions.
Ilea Ulery
May. 20th, 2011 02:42 pm (UTC)
Congrats!
I am so happy your done with Kong, and content with how it turned out. We have all been waiting a long time for this novel, and I'm sure you've done an amazing job! Thanks for all of your hard work, I'm sure dealing with jerks for fans wasn't easy.
eli_moi
May. 20th, 2011 02:44 pm (UTC)
Hi! I'm fairly new to A Song of Ice and Fire, but I wanted to say that from book 1 I put you, as a writer, and your story, up there right next to the Lord of the Rings. I can't think of a better way to express how highly I rate your work.

Thanks for sharing with us the process you went through while writing these books. Sometimes, we fans, wonder why is taking so long for the next book to come out, and here is the answer: it is extremely complicated to write a good book and writers (no matter how good) are only human.

Best of luck!
h3salthea
May. 20th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Congrats!
..I remember reading the last book of 'Dragonbone Chair' and seeing it referred as 'the book that ate my life'..

I belive you defintely understand that.

I only started reading the books a week and a half ago, finished Feast last night. *grins*

I am SO looking forward to 'Dance' now. Reading your blog is fantastic, speaking as an artist who discusses her work more or less the same way...thank you for blogging your thoughts this way.

...and thank you for the fantastic, epic journey we've all been on so far...
mmc12
May. 20th, 2011 02:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you
I wanted to thank you for sharing these process notes, even if I'm not going to read them myself till I've finished the book. (I'm squinting so I don't see the top of the page while I type this.) We aspiring writers and dedicated readers are grateful you took the time to share these thoughts with us!
RedMan Man Man
May. 20th, 2011 02:52 pm (UTC)
You and the series.
Greetings from Spain Mr. Martin,

Myself and some friends have been wondering some things about you and the HBO series those last weeks...
Are you feeling any pressure for the publication of the next book? I don't mean fan neither hbo pressure, I mean personal and professional pressure, since the series are giving a huge push to your novels...
Considering the fact that HBO "probly"(if the series continue going on) will be releasing one season per book and per year... you 've got 4-5 years to write the manuscript of the Winds of Winter so the guys at hbo can start the script for the series... It seems that you'll need to rush it.

If I were you I would feel in pain. Whatever you feel, please continue writting as good as you had been.

In my humble opinion the series are giving you an awesome box of fans. And... I think that you'll get more books sale as soon as 1st season ends...(there is people that is buying GOT thanks the series.. but there is still people who is just watching the series and skiping the book) people will be anxious and will get The clash.
Anyway, and what really matter, by the end you'll be having a lot of new fans angry and anxious. Those are really good news for the old fans... I wish you the best of the best.

Please... excuse me for my terrible english... I'm trying to improve while reading your books in English... Kindle does miracles while learning it.

Farewell.

bronn_stone
May. 20th, 2011 03:00 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the insight into the guts and gears of the creative process. I hope to read that masters thesis some day.
Fergus O'Shea
May. 20th, 2011 03:02 pm (UTC)
Does it not freak you out, George, when you spend 5 years writing something and it only takes, like, a few days to read through the whole thing!?
han_solo_fett
May. 20th, 2011 03:03 pm (UTC)
Congratulations!!! You are a Homer of our days!!!
gi_jules
May. 20th, 2011 03:07 pm (UTC)
Thanks for all the hard work! =D
hyacinths_arte
May. 20th, 2011 03:16 pm (UTC)
I want to be that student, studying all those old manuscripts. I want to write my own book on how a master writes. May I?
trutwijd
May. 20th, 2011 03:24 pm (UTC)
Thanks!
Great stuff - love these kinds of posts even though they are completely unnecessary. I'm also excited that Roy will be reading lots of Tyrion for this book, any idea how long it takes for the audiobook to be recorded and released?
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( 266 comments )

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