Friday, February 26, 2010
Is it drafty in here?

So today I was going to pass along some news about the book in a blog titled, "Why I don't talk about Book Two."

The blog was proving rather difficult to write until I realized it was really two blogs. So today we're just going to get the news, and I'll talk about the other stuff later.

Here's the news: I've finally finished my latest draft of The Wise Man's Fear.


Oot is shown in order to give a sense of scale. And because my baby is frikkin adorable.

This manuscript is about 200 pages longer, and about 500 pages different than the last one I took a picture of. I've fixed plotting, tweaked characters, cut scenes, added scenes, re-written, re-organized, re-read, and re-re-organized sections of it so many times that I couldn't even begin to give you a number of versions it's been through.

Now last time I posted up a picture of a manuscript on the blog, people got all twitterpated. They saw that big stack of papers and said things like, "Yay! That means the book will be out next month!!1!" and "Wow! How are they going to bind something that big?!?"

So before we all go leaping to a bunch of unfounded and erroneous conclusions, let's talk about a few things.

First, this manuscript is printed in....(wait for it) manuscript format. That means it's one-sided, double spaced, and printed in courier new font. That's what makes it look so big. Typesetting the book comes later in the process. That's one of the many, many steps that comes later.

That said, The Wise Man's Fear is going to be bigger than The Name of the Wind by at least 100,000 words or so.

Second, let's discuss what a draft is. A draft is a version of a piece of writing. Almost always it is an early or preliminary version. You can have things like a rough draft, which is... well... rough. A second draft, which comes after the first draft. Or you can have things like a final draft, which is... well... final.

Is this going too fast for anyone?

This is not the final draft of book two. If it were, I would have said something like, "This is the final draft of book two." But I didn't. So it's not.

But it isn't a rough draft either. The one I turned in several months ago was rough. There were some bad plot holes, some logical inconsistencies, pacing problems, and not nearly enough lesbian unicorns.

This draft is tighter, cleaner, and all around better. I'm really pleased with it, but it's not quite perfect. Not yet.


What this *doesn't* mean.

The book will not be out next week. The book will not be out next month. Right now there's no publication date. Remember when I said there wasn't a publications date? There's no publication date.


What this *does* mean.

The book is a big step closer to being done.

The book is way better than it was before. That last draft of the book was okay. It had some great parts, some parts that were "meh" and some that were "huh?" Overall, it averaged out to about 70 percent awesome.

Which isn't bad, but I'm not content with a C-minus book. This draft is way better. I'm guessing about 90-92 percent awesome. Way better. But still not perfect.

I'm working on the book, even if I don't constantly talk about it here on the blog. More about this in the upcoming blog: Why I don't talk about Book Two.


What happens now?

This manuscript goes to my editor, Betsy. She reads it carefully, maybe twice. She makes notes, then we talk about what she thinks might need to be changed/tweaked/fixed.

Then, depending on how much work we think it needs. We put it into the production schedule. That means we'll have a publication date. Which I will tell you. On the blog. With words.

Then I do another set of revisions. Or more likely, several smaller sets of revisions, as I'm a freak like that. Luckily, these next sets won't be nearly so extensive as my last round.

In metaphorical terms, the last round of revisions was like an organ transplant. Invasive, complex, labor intensive, and with a long recovery time. The revisions I do after this will probably be more like cosmetic surgery. Or an appendectomy at worst.

But first, I get to relax. I've been working on this fucker nonstop for months. And now, finally, I get to take a break while I wait for Betsy's feedback.


I'm pretty excited to be seeing more of you too, Oot.

You see folks, Oot is one happy baby, all laughs and smiles. But in order to get this revision finished, there have been times over the last several months when I've spent weeks at a stretch working 10-14 hours a day. That's not counting e-mail, dealing with translators, and writing the occasional blog.

That means on some busy days, I only get to play with him for half an hour or so. If our sleep schedules don't match up, some days I don't get to see him at all while he's awake.

I'm not mentioning this to get sympathy. I'm mentioning it so you can better understand my life. I'm mentioning this so you know what exactly goes through my head when someone sends me an e-mail or posts on my blog, saying, "Just finish the book for fucksake!"

So.... that's the news. The book is going well. There are parts of it that I'm so proud of that I almost can't help but talk about them here. It's coming. Be patient. And rest assured that I'm not just lounging around, doing whippets and eating the cotton-candy underthings off nubile young catgirls.

As for myself, now that the book is out of my hands for a couple weeks, I'm planning on catching up on some family stuff and playing Bioshock 2 until I puke.

Oh, and I'll be catching up on a few blogs I've been meaning to post, too. Tune in on Monday and I'll be announcing some of my upcoming appearances for convention season.

There will also be a chance for you to get me to come do a reading/signing at your local bookstore if you live in the right part of the country. Specifically in between Chicago and West Virginia...

So stay tuned....

pat

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posted by Pat at 242 Comments



Monday, September 7, 2009
Musings on Movies and Music

I've talked before about my movie daydreams. It's a fun thing to think about mostly because we haven't sold the rights yet. That lets me imagine it the way I hope it will be, without any irritating reality getting in the way.

If a movie does get made, it will be probably be terrific in the traditional sense of the word. The truth is, the more I think seriously about who I would cast in the movie, the more I realize that I'm really not qualified to make those sorts of choices.

Sure sure, there are actors that I really enjoy and admire. But just because I like an actor doesn't mean they'd be right for the movie adaptation of my book.

I think what a lot of people forget is that there's a huge difference between enjoying a role an actor has played in the past, and being able to predict whether an actor will be right for a role in the future. I love James Marsters as Spike, But that doesn't necessarily mean there's a good role for him in the book.

Casting is profoundly speculative. Predictive. Not predictive like poker. We're talking weather forecast predictive. Voodoo predictive. Even with my caveman knowledge of the movie world, I respect the hell out of the casting directors who can do it well. And though I enjoy daydreaming, I haven't fooled myself into thinking I could do their jobs.

(That said, I still stick to my choice of Neil Patrick Harris for Bast. That is an opinion that fire cannot burn from me.)

The same is true with cinematography. And special effects. And a lot of the other technical elements involved in working in film. Those are highly specialized skills and I would be an idiot to think I could do them better than the professionals.

Now don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I wouldn't want to be involved in the movie. I know the book better than anyone. I know the characters and the world. What's more, I understand how stories work, and story transcends medium. Story trumps all. That's where I'd be helpful.

Still, these days when I daydream about the movie, I don't think about the big picture. It's more fun for me to think of little things that would add to the movie. I like to think the powers that be would let me amuse myself with some small things in order to shut me up while they re-write the screenplay to turn Kvothe into a lesbian, shape-changing unicorn.

I think a lot about music in the movie. Not the score, mind you. That's another specialized skill. What I mean is that I think about who we could put on stage when Kvothe is in the Eolian. I think about who would play the troupers from the early part of Kvothe's life. I think about how cool it would be to have some really awesome musicians doing cameos in the movie.

I'm not talking about celebrity walk-ons, like Britney Spears. I'm talking about modern-day troupers. People who spend so much time making music that it's practically a superpower.

I'm talking about people like this:






I want them in the movie. How could I not?

I just stumbled onto this clip, and I don't know anything about the musicians other than the fact that their names are Cecilia Siqueira and Fernando Lima. They're Brazilian. And they're obviously awesome.

Extra minion points for anyone who can dig up some contact info on them. The Brazilian edition of Name of the Wind came out just a little bit ago and I'd love to send them a book.

Later all,

pat

P.S. There's no news about the book. If I had news, or a release date, I would post it up in a blog.
No blog = No news.

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posted by Pat at 136 Comments



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