Time to sit down and talk about some things. I hope this doesn’t get too rambly for you, but I’ve been getting a lot of questions about TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT and THE WAY OF KINGS, so I thought I’d give you some updates regarding what’s been happening over here at Dragonsteel Entertainment HQ. (Also known as my basement.)
First off, TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT. The progress bar has been stopped at 82% for about two months now. Why is that? Well, mid-to-late December, two things happened. First, I decided that I couldn’t work any further on new material for TOWERS until I did some substantial rewrites to the book. This happens frequently with my novels; it’s not something to worry about. I did this twice on HERO OF AGES. The more complex the book and the series, the more often I find myself doing midbook refining drafts like this one, making certain I’ve got the voice, motivations, and plot sequences right.
TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT is going very well. I’m very pleased with how it’s turning out, and I’m confident it will be ready in time for a release later this year as promised. It will be longer than THE GATHERING STORM, which is another reason the progress bar stopped. I’m just not sure how long the book will end up being, so a percentage is harder to judge right now. The actual length of the book right now—after putting together all the pieces I’ve been working on over the last six months—comes to 291,294 words. THE GATHERING STORM was around 300,000 words. I estimate this one at around 320,000 or so after revisions and edits. (It might get as high as 350,000, then get sliced back down. I always trim a lot off books in later drafts when I tighten up the language.)
I figured that since I was doing revisions, and since getting to “100%” at 300,000 words would give the wrong impression, I’d just let the progress bar sit for a time. As long as I turn in the book by this summer, it will still be ready for a late fall release. So there's no need for anyone to panic yet.
I’m afraid I can’t say much about what I’m working on in the book. Out of respect for Harriet’s wishes, I need to remain tight-lipped. I know it’s not very satisfying to hear, “All is well, please keep waiting.” But . . . all is well, please keep waiting.
I put that progress bar up so that you can keep track of me, and because I feel that readers deserve to see how things are going on my books. It’s just how I like to do things. But don’t let it become too much of a crutch to you, an absolute indication that things are moving or not moving. I’m always working, and these last two months have been no exception. (Arrival of my second son notwithstanding—I sent out a newsletter about that, and if you didn’t get it, you might want to drop me an email through the form on my website and ask to sign up. Be sure to let me know what city/state/country you live in so that I can let you know when I’ll be stopping by on tour.) If you didn't get it, here are the details on Meatloaf's arrival:
A baby boy has come to the Sanderson family. Dallin Matthew was born on January 19th, weighing in at 9 lbs. 2 oz. He joins his two-year-old brother Joel as heir to Brandon's literary legacy. (Though Joel has only recently started speaking much English. He used to talk and talk and talk, but apparently in an alien language with inflections that sounded maddeningly familiar. Anyway, Joel's favorite word in English is "cars.")
Emily, Brandon's wife and business manager for Dragonsteel Entertainment (her official company title is "Queen"), is adjusting to being the mother of two boys. Joel is helping her out by learning not to throw things; I haven't seen him throw anything off the second-floor balcony in weeks!
Here's a link to some pictures of Dallin. (Photos by Faith Jennings.) Isn't he cute?
The other thing that happened in December to slow me is that production from Tor started to get anxious because they didn’t have THE WAY OF KINGS (book one of my new series, The Stormlight Archive) in final form yet. So I had to spend a lot of time working on another draft of that book, along with getting some of the interior artwork done.
Talk has already started to float around the internet about KINGS. I’ll start posting more about the book in the upcoming months. I wanted this update to be focused on the Wheel of Time.
Remember, I do often make little notes on my Twitter and Facebook pages (the two are mirrored) about what I’m doing and how it’s going. So if you’re salivating for info, you can keep an eye on one of the two. There’s not a ton of information there, but there is some.