Sorry George, I waited too long. Don't think I will
bother with your next one. Too many other good books
to read to waste my time with yours.
--- Matt <gauvaine@...
> July 26th Folks. But he's still not done. He was
> adding, adding,
> adding, adding. The publisher has decided to split
> the book into two
> parts, with the story focusing on different
> characters entirely in
> one book, and then focusing on the others in the
> other, so that he
> can continue to flesh out and write the remaining
> chapters for the
> second book while FEast of Crows gets finished. Very
> ingenius on his
> part. Now we get to pay twice for one book. But it
> was coming in at
> over 1500 pages, with more still to be written. So i
> commend him for
> being honest and giving everyone their money's
> Here's the letter in it's entirety from his website:
> No, I haven't finished writing everything I wanted
> to include in A
> FEAST FOR CROWS. I have wrapped up a whole bunch of
> characters and
> storylines since the last update in January, but "a
> whole bunch"
> does not equate to "all."
> And I was facing another problem as well: the sheer
> size of the
> All of the books in this series have been big, mind
> you. A GAME OF
> THRONES weighed in at 1088 pages in manuscript, not
> counting the
> appendices. A CLASH OF KINGS was even longer at 1184
> pages, not
> counting the appendices. And A STORM OF SWORDS
> measured a gargantuan
> 1521 pages in manuscript, not counting the (etc).
> Any publisher will tell you that a book as big as A
> STORM OF SWORDS
> is a production nightmare, and STORM did indeed
> cause problems for
> many of my publishers around the world. In some
> languages it was
> divided into two, three, or even four volumes.
> Bantam published
> STORM in a single volume in the United States, but
> not without
> difficulty. Pretty much everyone agreed that it
> would be a really
> good thing if the fourth volume in the series came
> in somewhat
> shorter than STORM, so I set out with the idea of
> delivering a FEAST
> closer in length to A CLASH OF KINGS.
> Alas for good intentions. In hindsight, I should
> have known better.
> The story makes its own demands, as Tolkien once
> said, and my story
> kept demanding to get bigger and more complicated.
> I passed A CLASH OF KINGS last year, and still had
> plenty more to
> write. By January, I had more than 1300 pages, and
> still had
> storylines unfinished. About three weeks ago I hit
> 1527 pages of
> final draft, surpassing A STORM OF SWORDS... but I
> also had another
> hundred or so pages of roughs and incomplete
> chapters, as well as
> other chapters sketched out but entirely unwritten.
> That was when I
> realized that the light I'd seen at the end of the
> tunnel was
> actually the headlight of an onrushing locomotive.
> And that's why my publishers and I, after much
> discussion and
> weighing of alternatives, have decided to split the
> narrative into
> two books (printing in microtype on onion skin paper
> and giving each
> reader a magnifying glass was not considered
> feasible, and I was
> reluctant to make the sort of deep cuts that would
> have been
> necessary to get the book down to a more publishable
> length, which I
> felt would have compromised the story).
> The first plan was simply to lop the text in half.
> In that scenario,
> I would finish the last few chapters in as short a
> length (and time)
> as possible. That would have produced a story of
> maybe 1650 to 1700
> pages in manuscript, which we would simply have
> broken into two
> chunks of roughly equal length and published as A
> FEAST FOR CROWS,
> Part One and A FEAST FOR CROWS, Part Two.
> We decided not to do that. It was my feeling -- and
> I pushed hard
> for this, so if you don't like the solution, blame
> me, not my
> publishers -- that we were better off telling all
> the story for half
> the characters, rather than half the story for all
> the characters.
> Cutting the novel in half would have produced two
> half-novels; our
> approach will produce two novels taking place
> simultaneously, but
> set hundreds or even thousands of miles apart, and
> different casts of characters (with some overlap).
> The division has been done, and it think it works
> quite well. The
> upshot is, A FEAST FOR CROWS is now moving into
> production. It is
> still a long book, but not too long; about the same
> size as A GAME
> OF THRONES. The focus in FEAST will be on Westeros,
> King's Landing,
> the riverlands, Dorne, and the Iron Islands. More
> than that I won't
> Meanwhile, all the characters and stories removed
> from FEAST are
> moving right into A DANCE WITH DRAGONS, which will
> focus on events
> in the east and north. All the chapters I have not
> yet finished
> and/or begun are moving into DANCE. I think this is
> very good, if
> truth be told, since it will give me the room to
> complete those arcs
> as I had originally intended, rather than trying to
> tie them up
> quickly in a chapter or two so I could deliver the
> massively late
> Big FEAST.
> So there it is. I know some of you may be
> disappointed, especially
> when you buy A FEAST FOR CROWS and discover that
> your favorite
> character does not appear, but given the realities I
> think this was
> the best solution... and the more I look at it, the
> more convinced I
> am that these two parallel novels, when taken
> together, will
> actually tell the story better than one big book.
> And if there are those who don't agree, and still
> want their Big
> FEAST with all the trimmings set out on one huge
> table... well,
> there's an easy fix. Get both books, razor the pages
> out with an
> Exacto knife, interleave the chapters as you think
> best, and bring
> the towering stack of text that results to your
> bookbinder... and presto, chango the Big FEAST will
> live again.
> As for me, I am getting back to work. There's good
> news on that
> front too -- A DANCE WITH DRAGONS is half-done!!!
> (And before anyone asks, yes indeed, this
> development means that
> Parris was right all along. It will now probably
> require seven books
> to complete the story).
> George R.R. Martin, May 29, 2005
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