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Michelle West DAW books update

I have good news and bad news.

The good news first: DAW is buying three more Michelle West novels!

The bad news: the 1st of those three is actually the second plot arc of the book I've been working on for the last fifteen months.


Yes. The Michelle who cannot for love or money figure out how long it takes to tell a story has once again written herself out of the range of a single book. In June of last year, I wrote that I was tying up two plot arcs in House Name on the way to Terafin.

It took a little bit longer to tie them up than I thought it would, but not a lot. And I had said it was going to be 'one more book', so I kept on writing because surely I could fit the second plot arc in a few hundred pages.

Well. As long as we define a few hundred pages to be eight hundred or more (because I am not yet finished), the answer is, yes. But if we define a few hundred pages in a more consensual-reality way, the answer is: No.

This is, as usual, entirely my fault. This is not DAW, or DAW's fault, or something DAW insisted on. If I wanted to finish in one book, I would have had to cut several hundred pages, and my editor felt that this was not an entirely rational approach, given the pages I was suggesting I would have to cut.

And, of course, because it's me, the "shorter" of the two halves, which will be coming in March 2010 as City of Night (I have a scan of the artwork :D. I can't post it because it's not mine V.V. As soon as I have covers, or if Jody Lee does put it up on her web-site, I will send link), will be about 185-190k words.

The longer half, which is still called House Name, will be about the same length as Hidden City (which was mumble words), because in my panic about length I may have left out a couple of things that are probably necessary (which is what I do when I start to panic about length).

But the good news there is that I'm probably about two months from finishing House Name now that I can, you know, breathe again.

And if I say anything about how many books any particular arc or series will take me to write ever again, please feel free to kick me. Or mock me.

ETA: articles. Because articles are good.

Comments

( 45 comments — Leave a comment )
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manga_crow
May. 3rd, 2009 07:37 am (UTC)
Yay! More Books!
Ah well, if there's one thing fantasy fans have shown over the years, it's that we would prefer a complete story to a rushed, unfinished one =)

(of course, this is the same fan base that practically cheered when Brandon Sanderson announced that he was turning Memory of Light into three books, and some of us have been waiting twenty years for the conclusion to that series, so the evidence of our insanity is strong^^)
msagara
May. 3rd, 2009 08:30 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay! More Books!
(of course, this is the same fan base that practically cheered when Brandon Sanderson announced that he was turning Memory of Light into three books, and some of us have been waiting twenty years for the conclusion to that series, so the evidence of our insanity is strong^^)

There was no way he was going to be able to tie everything up in one book. And given that he's handling a whole legacy, in his position I would have gone for 3 or 4 or 5 -- whatever it took to actually finish it properly. I really admire the research/reading he's done, and I really, really admire the respect he's showing both Jordan's original work and Jordan's readers.

But, ummm, I don't think Sanderson said in advance it was one book. I think Jordan might have said that -- but Jordan told us, in person when he came to sign at the bookstore, that it was Six Books. So...
Re: Yay! More Books! - manga_crow - May. 4th, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yay! More Books! - lyssabits - May. 3rd, 2009 11:38 pm (UTC) - Expand
nightsinger
May. 3rd, 2009 07:48 am (UTC)
Hooray, more books!

Seriously, I don't think a lot of people care how many books or pages or words it takes to tell the story; tell the story how YOU think it's best told, and we'll love it.
mizkit
May. 3rd, 2009 10:06 am (UTC)
And if I say anything about how many books any particular arc or series will take me write ever again, please feel free to kick me. Or mock me.

Or simply quadruple the number you propose. :)
twiegand
May. 3rd, 2009 10:52 am (UTC)
You're writing long? Again? And the world is still round. Just keep writing, please. I do have one request, though. That you finish the story before we retire to watch grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Thank you.
suibhne
May. 3rd, 2009 10:56 am (UTC)
The more, the merrier! I truly think your fans know you tend to run longer than you think you will and from our perspective we just get more books out of it. I love that you tell the story the way you need to tell it, rather than trying to hack it up into whatever is expected. Yay for more wonderful books on the way!
(Deleted comment)
msagara
May. 3rd, 2009 07:44 pm (UTC)
And you scoffed at me on the DAW blog when I suggested that I doubted you'd be able to finish the House series in a single novel. HA! I say. HA!

That wasn't scoffing. That was the Dire Look of Doom.
hhertzof
May. 3rd, 2009 12:15 pm (UTC)
And if I say anything about how many books any particular arc or series will take me write ever again, please feel free to kick me. Or mock me.

I always take your estimates with a grain of salt (or a whole box), so don't worry. More books is not a bad thing and I am very patient. :)
arouraleona
May. 4th, 2009 05:12 am (UTC)
I agree with this; more books - especially from a good author - is not a bad thing!
estara
May. 3rd, 2009 12:26 pm (UTC)
Yay!
First of all, yay for more of your books in this particular series (although Kaylin is also close to my heart)!

Second, I buy you for the way you write so why would I think it was bad news that you're now able to tell the story in the way you want to tell it (otherwise you wouldn't have the words there, I believe). I do love me a Jody Lee cover, but while I will check any book with her cover for the blurb, I don't buy all of them, because some of the writers just aren't to my taste.

Third, the only thing I would like to have clarification for now, is if any of the new books thematically come after the Sun Sword series or if you are filling the Hunter gap up to Sun Sword with all of them (so I know where to put them on the shelf ^^).
estara
May. 3rd, 2009 12:29 pm (UTC)
Re: Yay!
Addendum: Fourth, yay for the DAW people and editors who are willing to add to the number of books as needed!
Re: Yay! - msagara - May. 3rd, 2009 03:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yay! - estara - May. 3rd, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yay! - motteditor - May. 3rd, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Yay! - msagara - May. 4th, 2009 01:50 am (UTC) - Expand
falcongirl
May. 3rd, 2009 12:47 pm (UTC)
Wait.. MORE Jewel books?! YAY!!
-T
morgie
May. 3rd, 2009 02:42 pm (UTC)
*ahem* To follow the crowd...

Yay! More books!

also....

Yay! More /Jewel/ books!
bondo_ba
May. 3rd, 2009 03:05 pm (UTC)
Congrats on selling the books. Seems like you had quite a story to tell!
rolanni
May. 3rd, 2009 03:40 pm (UTC)
It took a little bit longer to tie them up than I thought it would, but not a lot. And I had said it was going to be 'one more book', so I kept on writing because surely I could fit the second plot arc in a few hundred pages.

LOL! No, I'm laughing with you. Really.

Honestly, I don't know how Grownup Writers figure out how long the story's going to take. I wish I had this superpower; it would be really useful for when I become a Grownup Writer.

In the meantime, Fledgling was supposed to be one book and morphed into two. The book I'm working on now has already been upgraded from 100,000 to 120,000 and I'm looking at another upgrade to 150,000, and crossing my fingers...

msagara
May. 3rd, 2009 04:42 pm (UTC)
In the meantime, Fledgling was supposed to be one book and morphed into two. The book I'm working on now has already been upgraded from 100,000 to 120,000 and I'm looking at another upgrade to 150,000, and crossing my fingers...

I am so very happy to hear this. I mean, not happy -exactly-, but it makes me feel less alone. I know that Kit Kerr's first four Deverry books started life as a short story as well. I always want to ask how people figure out how long a story will be before they've written it.

The only way I keep things short is by limiting myself to a single viewpoint. And even then I've been told that my short is not short.
starlady38
May. 3rd, 2009 04:12 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry, that sounds like all good news to me. Except for March 2010, but I know there's no way it could be in print earlier. ^_^

So, because I'm slightly confused: The House War is now going to be (at least) five books instead of four, now that House Name is two books? And new post-Sun Sword material starts in the book after House Name?

OMG, I'm so psyched.
msagara
May. 3rd, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
So, because I'm slightly confused: The House War is now going to be (at least) five books instead of four, now that House Name is two books? And new post-Sun Sword material starts in the book after House Name?

Yes. Exactly that. I am almost finished book three (as in: almost finished, not as in: I think all this stuff should fit in one book). But! I did start the first post-Sun Sword book while I was waiting to hear back from my editor. I'm not very far into it, but, yes.
andpuff
May. 3rd, 2009 04:48 pm (UTC)
1. Yay for three more books.

2. This is me not being surprised. *g*

All we can do is tell the stories we have to tell; we're just VERY lucky that our editor agrees with that.
msagara
May. 3rd, 2009 08:00 pm (UTC)
2. This is me not being surprised. *g*

All we can do is tell the stories we have to tell; we're just VERY lucky that our editor agrees with that.


Well... you were working full-time with me when my short story became four novels, so your lack of surprise is, well, not surprising.

And yes. I feel very lucky. You'll appreciate this part, though: After we'd discussed the split, and where (I held off sending Jody Lee any of the book until I'd finished the arcs because I wanted her to have the strongest emotional moment possible in the text), she then told me about all the things she really thought the third book needed.

I mentioned that they were not entirely trivial to add -- i.e. not short -- and she said "Yes, but now that we've split the book, you have the room to work with".

And I'm looking at both halves, which are by far too long for the rest of the market at the moment. But when she's in editing mode, she really doesn't care about the length at all; just the story.

Edited at 2009-05-03 08:12 pm (UTC)
burger_eater
May. 3rd, 2009 05:22 pm (UTC)
Congrats on the three book contract.
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