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Re: [mythsoc] Slow Authors was: George R.R. Martin news

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  • Daran Grissom
    Writing, is not a science, but it can be a process. I also could never write under a contract, I tend to freeze up when someone gives me a time limit But
    Message 1 of 7 , Jun 24, 2003
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      Writing, is not a science, but it can be a process. I also could never write under a contract, I tend to freeze up when someone gives me a time limit But these writers have chosen to work under contracts. They made a promise to have a book done on such and such a date. If it was the publishers fault, they writer needs to correct them the next time. All professional artists work under a time limitation of some kind, usually a financial one. If an artist dosn't't produce new works they don't get paid. I would also like to point out that if you couldn't't set an objective time limit for someones writing, many never pass even remedial English courses, much less the more advanced fiction writing courses that I think many of the people on this list have taken. I know there is a difference between academic writing and commercial writing, but the time limits are longer they're setting the due date. I have no problem if an author can't say when the next series in his or her work will be published, I have been patiently been waiting for the next book in the Mode series by Piers Anthony for over six years. He tells you right up from (OK, actually in the back flap) that he makes no promises as to when his books will be published. This as opposed to Robert Jorden who still tells fans that he publishes one Wheel of Time books every year, to year and a half, a goal he has not met for at least the last four books in his series.
      Of course I have every sympathy for tragedies and unforeseen events in the writers life. Because I am a fan I make sure that I have fairly good idea of what is going on in their lives, and when something of that nature comes up, I make allowances. J.K. Rowling for example: Between book four and five got married, got pregnant, became the wolrds most popular children's writer of all time, and moved into a castle. Yeah, I can see why that would cause some delays. Also, were I her I would have gone back and rewritten the book myself, after all the media coverage she got with Goblet of Fire.



      SusanPal@... wrote:In a message dated 6/23/2003 7:17:22 PM Pacific Standard Time,
      darancgrissom@... writes:

      > In any case my point is, they should set more realistic dates for when the
      > books are published. I believe they think that fans will wait, and stand
      > stoicly by as the release dates are pushed back again and again, because they're
      > books are as good as they are, but if you set a date, you should stick to
      > it. That's just common courtesey
      >

      Writing isn't a science; it's an art. I've written three novels. The first
      took a year and a half; the second has taken over ten years (I'm trying to
      revise it this summer!), and the third (which is being published second) took ten
      and a half weeks. Even if you're working from an outline, it's impossible to
      predict when you'll hit snags in the process, or when life will throw you a
      curve-ball -- illness, family problems, a sudden move or job change -- that
      interferes with your productivity. And neither inspiration nor composition is a
      tap that you can simply turn on; there are various disciplines to make those
      mysterious states more accessible, but they're still definitely mysteries.

      Granted, my process is unusually variable (which is why I'll never be as
      famous as the others we're discussing!). The personal lesson I've learned from
      all of this is that I'll never write another book under contract, because that
      kind of pressure does very odd things to my process. But I have a cushy day
      job: people who write for a living don't have the luxury of only selling books
      they've already written. And the pressure of public expectation can be a
      HUGE stumbling block; I'm sure that's much of what caused Rowling's delay.
      Writers aren't machines. They're people.

      And that's only the writing half of the equation. Throw the vagaries of
      publishing into the loop -- since editors are overworked, underpaid, and as
      subject to delays and distractions as writers are -- and things get *really*
      unpredictable.

      So please don't beat up writers whose books seem to be taking too long. I
      guarantee you that they're even more upset about it than you are!

      Susan


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