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A Dance With Dragons

No, it's not done.

Yes, I am aware that more than a year has passed since my last update. A lot of you have been emailing me to point that out. Thanks, but really, I did know. Unlike many of you out there, I got my copies of the Song of Ice & Fire calendar, so I knew what date it was.

No, I'm not planning to update the update, for reasons stated in the update itself. Until such time as I can write, "It's done," it will remain the last update... aside from what I may say here from time to time, on my Not-A-Blog.

I made a lot of progress on the book in the first half of 2008. So much so that I was optimistic that I would be done by the end of the year. Unfortunately, I did not make much progress on the book in the second half of 2008. Indeed, I made some regress. (That Sansa chapter I talked about finishing, for instance. It's still finished, but my editor and I decided it belongs in THE WINDS OF WINTER, not A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, so it's been moved into the next book. Sansa will not appear in DANCE.)

Some of the reasons were literary, arising from problems in the narrative itself. I'm not going to discuss them here, because I really do not like talking about questions I am still wrestling with on a work in progress. It never helps. Art is not a democracy, and these are problems I need to solve myself. Having a few hundred readers weigh in with their thoughts and opinions -- which seems to be what happens whenever I post here about DWD -- does not advance the process. I'm sorry, but that's true. I know that many of you would like to help me, but you can't. I have editors and I have two capable assistants, and that's sufficient. I'm the only one who can dance this dance.

Some of other reasons for the delay have nothing to do with the book itself. They're extra-literary, arising from other things in my life. I could sketch out some of them here, sure, but what good would it do? Those who are inclined to understand would send me messages of sympathy and support. Those are not so inclined would dismiss them as "excuses," or even "feeble excuses." A few will even go so far as to accuse me of lying.

That's the part that really bothers me. For the record, I have never lied about anything having to do with A DANCE WITH DRAGONS or the series as a whole. I have been wrong, yes. I have been wrong lots of time, especially when I've tried to predict how long it will take me to complete the book, or when it will be published. Being wrong is not the same as lying. Since the very beginning of this series, I have been guilty of being over-optimistic about how long it would take me to finish the next book, the next chapter, or the series as a whole. I cannot deny that. I have always been bad with deadlines... one reason why I did my best to avoid them for the first fifteen years of my career. That's an option I no longer have, however. Or at least will not have until A SONG OF ICE AND FIRE is complete.

That's the main reason why I no longer want to give any completion dates. I am sick and tired of people jumping down my throat when I miss them.

This latest flood of emails has worn down my resolve, however. So in hopes of quieting it, once more I will step into the breach --

I am trying to finish the book by June. I think I can do that. If I do, A DANCE WITH DRAGONS will likely be published in September or October.

(Yes, I am aware that I have previously said that I hoped to finish by the end of 2008. And before that, I said that I hoped to finish by June 2008, before I went to Spain and Portugal. And before that, I said I hoped to finish by the end of 2007. I know, I know, I know. No, I was not lying. I was wrong. And wrong again. And wrong before that. This time I hope that I am right. But you know, I can't swear that in blood. I write one chapter at a time. One page at a time. One word at a time. And then the next.)

That's all I have. But it's more than Amazon has, or anyone else.

The INSTANT that I finish the novel and put it in the mail to Bantam, I will post that fact here, just as I did for SUICIDE KINGS a few days ago. Until and unless you read that announcement here, believe nothing you hear from any other source.

Thanks for your continued support... and for your patience.


Feb. 20th, 2009 05:02 pm (UTC)
Take you time, it's worth waiting for.
Greetings Mr. Martin!
I have never left you a comment but I follow your blog because I am a huge fan of the song of ice and fire. It is awesomely amazing! Actually when I started to read it, I didn't know it was more than one book, or that the series was not yet complete. I'll admit I was upset at my friend who gave me the book (but not you!)but only because he didn't tell me!
Well, When I reached the end, I put them all aside and started checking for updates on the next book. After some time I started game of thrones again, and thought maybe it will be ready by the time I've read through the series again. It was! And I was very happy! Feast for crows was as good as the others! I put them aside and read some other books. I read and enjoined Fever dream, not your usual vampires! After sometime I picked up game of thrones again, and thought maybe the next one will be ready by the time I finishes them again.... And you know what? I'm reading feast for crows for the third time now, and it was even better this time than the first two times I read it!!! Every time I reread my FAVORITE books I catch something that I missed before. Sometimes a half hint in a sentence, sometimes a tiny bit of foreshadowing, sometimes just a really beautiful / ironic image.
There is just so much in each of these book. Surly this must have taken a lot of thinking and hard work, writing and rewriting and rewriting again, and you know what? It shows in the quality. I am SO THANKFUL to you that you are not just whipping them out to appease those people who give you a hard time and accuse you of lying. I really want Dance with Dragons to be as good as all the others, so please don't rush, fill it with all the rich details and images it deserves, and don't stop until YOU are happy.
Also I would like offer some of my own personal opinions;
1)You are entitled to a life. What you choose to do with that life is up to you sir. If all you want to do is sit on your bum picking your nose, I say have at er! If you want to watch football do so and enjoy it! You see I also have a life, and I have more things to do than just read your book, there are in fact other books I can read while I wait for you to finish the next one. It is not a big problem to me if you have a life of your own
2) You are under no obligation to write only for my pleasure, if you are inspired to write a book that is not a part of my favorite series, please do so and post about it, because I may enjoy that book as well.
3) Inspiration cannot be forced. Just trying harder is not an option. Rushing things makes them crappy. You are a brilliant author, you don't produce crap because you know this.
4) I am generally a nice person but if people bugged me they way they have been bugging you I would get seriously pissed off.
5) on lying, it would be nice if we could predict the future wouldn't it? Trying can sometimes get us into trouble. Don't worry about it. I know the truth (which is that you do not have powers to see into the future and know when the book will be finished.)

So to sum up. Enjoy your life and take your time. I am really looking forward to reading Dance with Dragons, and it is worth waiting for!
Also you won't see my blog on here, because I am over on blogspot. I'm at moonbeamdisco.blogspot.com You are more than welcome to check it out if you want to know more about me!!
S. Brykczynski


George R.R. Martin
George R. R. Martin

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