Monday, October 18th, 2010

The Magician King: Interim Progress Report

In the interests of authorial transparency, a quick update on the work in progress.

Weeks on leave from Time: We’re now entering week four. I could get used to this. I could post the amount of salary I’ve lost as a result of this leave, but that would just be depressing.

Confidence: High. If it were low I’d be too freaked out to post. Of course historically, for me, feelings of euphoria during the creative process have often preceded really awful moments where I realized I’d made a critical miscalculation about something I was writing, that required months of brutal work to fix. If I fall off the grid in the next week or so, that’s probably why.

Soundtrack: Still the same. Beta Band, Robyn Hitchcock, Metric. Plus some Mountain Goats. When I’m done I will never want to listen to any of these bands again.

Word count: 113,321. Which actually isn’t that much higher than when I posted about this a week and a half ago (it was 105,850 then). But these words are of significantly higher quality than those old words. Those old words were crap! We will not speak of htem.

Basically what I’ve been doing is, I’ve written about four-fifths of the plot, and I’ve been trying to get ready to write that critical last fifth. But I can’t do it till the first four-fifths are really working — all the characters make sense as people, all the scenes connect up in a coherent arc, I have some idea how the little details I’ve planted throughout are going to pay off, and so on. So I’ve been going over and over those first sections, getting them ready.

The feeling is approximately the same as when you were a kid, and you had one of those toy cars with a friction motor inside, where you had to repeatedly vroom it over the same section of floor until the engine was good and revved up, and then you would let it go and watch it take off and scare your cat or scuff the wainscoting or disappear under a couch or whatever.

That’s what I’m doing, except it’s with this novel. I’m must about finished vrooming it. I’m about to let it go.

13 comments on “The Magician King: Interim Progress Report

  1. Jaimie says:

    I’m nearly at the 4/5 mark in my 2nd novel. And I’ve realized that my villain (who is my favorite) makes no sense, not to mention everyone else, and so how can I write a proper ending when the foundation is awful? I might do what you did / are doing. I’m tired of writing scenes that haven’t been earned yet.

  2. Jeanne says:

    I’m excited to hear you making those vrooming sounds.

  3. Chris says:

    Go, man, go! Go go go!

  4. Dennitzio says:

    As someone currently listening to my son ruining the hardwood floor with friction motor cars, I understand the metaphor all too well.

    I would contrast it with my writing style, which is more like the slightly less-scuffalicious inertia/flywheel vehicle where you rev it up with only one hard push and just let go-and it goes on forever until it crashes into the toilet.

  5. K.M. Walton says:

    Congrats on being so close. I just hit send about ten minuets ago on my middle grade novel…to my agent…after completing a fairly deep re-write.

    I hope your release comes soon…

  6. M Blockley says:

    I laugh, I cry, I go back to my Tenure and Promotion reading. LG, you have preserved the transparency of my college friendships in the sullen stuff of pixels and I honor you for it.

  7. Leverus says:

    @KM, Jaimie, any other writers in this thread: forza!

  8. M says:

    i had one of those…

  9. Jean-Daniel Breque says:

    Vroum! Vroum!
    Go, man, go!
    Yr obedient French translator, counting on you.

  10. K.M. Walton says:

    Just looked up forza. Very witty indeed.

  11. […] it’s nice to know that Grossman is making progress. Hopefully that means the book will be out next year and I can judge for myself. Tagged with: […]

  12. Ben says:

    How long is The Magician King in comparison to The Magicians?

  13. Martin says:

    I thank you for leading me into reading when i was locked up, well R.J Rowling to. Kept me out of trouble, never thought i would love reading.

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