Progress Report: 1 June 2012

It seems I live by the principle of my eyes being bigger than my stomach.

In online terms that means I either make great plans for getting offline so I can work incessantly, and then check Twitter every 15 minutes


conversely, determine to institute a fabulous program of blogging every day in a manner witty, wise, informative, profound, or edgy. You know. Like people do, who do that. Those people evidently will never include me in their number.

1) I’m still waiting to get my editorial comments on COLD STEEL from my editor, but this should not be construed in any way except that she has a number of manuscripts on her desk and has to tackle them in order of priority of publication schedule. I expect to hear from her soon.

2) Comments from beta readers are coming in, and I’m quite pleased on the whole. There are a couple of scenes I need to expand on, toward the end, but I knew that so this just confirms what I knew, and that is always pleasant. The reason the scenes got scanted is because by the time I was pushing to the finish of the novel I was so exhausted from the 14 months of wrestling with it and the sheer number of false starts and detours and wrong ways I had to correct that I just wanted to get to The End and then worry about revisions later. So that’s what I did.

3) When I mentioned to one of my beta readers that I felt bad that my readers were going to have to wait so long and patiently before it was published, she pointed out that I also have to wait: To talk about it. And since there are some scenes, and lines, and details, and Stuff that I really love, be assured that (for those of you looking forward to Cold Steel) that I am SUFFERING RIGHT ALONG WITH YOU. Kind of.

4) Next week I have a guest post going up on Monday (June 4) at A Dribble of Ink on diversity. I hope you’ll pop over and join the discussion, if one gets going.


I am doing a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) on Thursday June 7 at 8 pm CST (Central Standard Time) which is, uh, omg, like 3 pm my time. You know, I need to figure that out. ANYWAY, if you feel so inclined, please pop over. I’ll announce it again on Twitter and Facebook and here on Wednesday. By the way, Elizabeth Bear is doing an AMA on Tuesday June 5 at 7 pm CST. Also, my sons are concerned that because it is Reddit, no one will ask me any questions, so prove them wrong!


I also answered seven questions about beta readers for Donna Hanson’s blog series on beta readers/reading. I don’t have a date for that going up yet, however.

2 thoughts on “Progress Report: 1 June 2012

  1. Well, I don’t know what I’ve been doing lately but it hasn’t been coming over here and reading this blog, and I’m kicking myself about that.

    I’m commenting on THIS post because it mentioned the AMA, which I’m so upset I missed. I wanted to say thanks for doing it – I have such a hard time coming up with good questions to ask ahead of time, although in a forum like that, the answers often spur followup or related questions.

    It was cool to read about choosing to do Spiritwalker in first person to cut down on the complexity. I have never experienced anyone who writes books as complex as yours. It amazed me from the beginning in King’s Dragon, and gets my tongue all tripped up searching for a way to do it justice when trying to convince people to read it. FTR, just repeating “Dude, it is seriously the most amazing complicated set of interwoven plots EVER. I just don’t even. It’s amazing. It’s so complicated. All the plots, are like, criss crossing back and forth, like… it’s amazing.” (ad nauseum) doesn’t really work…. I did finally come up with something that works for people who saw the first season of Heroes – reading those books is like standing in the middle of the string web (
    I liked your explanation of what about Hugh was so successful: that he is so successful. If you ever read this, I’d like to know: did you realize that as you were writing him, or only upon looking back?
    I hadn’t thought about how physical all your characters are, nor how often you plunge them into different characters; the latter is something that especially interests me as I allow story rocks to tumble around in my brain, hoping they might become gems. It always seems that (published) authors notice these things and are intentional about what they’ve done right… and there are so many of them (like these three I just mentioned) where I go “OHH, that’s what made it like that.” – I tend to take things in but not realize how or why. (Isabel Myers-Briggs would say it’s because I’m an ENFJ) – it’s really good to have those concrete, clear explanations of “hey look, you liked this? here are some of the things that made it good. think about that if you ever try it.” So thanks!

    But I am really just writing now to gush. Because you need to know what your books do.
    Scrolling my eyes across the bookshelf after putting away your books is satisfying in the way of looking back on a large meal and being happy to glance over the table taking inventory of what you ate as you sit back and digest it. Having a glimpse into your creative process compounds that. I’m glad that you are so accessible.

  2. Della,

    thank you! I really appreciate your kind words. Since you mention Meyers-Briggs, I’m an INXJ (I am completely equal on the Thinking/Feeling axis).

    I like the string web metaphor. Sometimes people think I just randomly go off on tangents (and, okay, every once in a while I probably do) but in almost all cases each plotline eventually ties back into one of the main plotlines even if it may not seem to at first. I try really hard to write such that any secondary plot line could not be pulled out of the narrative because at least one crucial thing happens there, and if it WAS pulled out, then some connection would not be made that is necessary to something that happens later. So in that sense I guess it is like Hiro’s string web.

    I wrote Hugh consciously to be successful, the “golden boy” as it were, who however because he is a legal bastard (his mother had not married his father) will never have the same opportunities as his sisters. So on the one hand, he really is just about the best at everything, but on the other hand, he will never be good enough because of arbitrary legal reasons. Sanglant, of course, is another legal bastard; I continually contrast how the two men function in society, but one of the major differences is that Hugh is ambitious and thus will never truly be content because what he most wants will always be barred for him, while Sanglant is not ambitious and thus has the capacity to be happy with what he has.

Comments are closed.