Thursday, June 22, 2006

Editing Acacia

Right. So now for some work. Geez. I'm into the second installment of editing packets for Acacia: The War with the Mein (Acacia, Book 1). By the end of it I'll be about 400 pages into the book. The good news is I really like the thing and my editor does too. The other news is that, damn, this is a big book! If it was a normal-sized novel I'd be done already. Instead I'm about halfway through. So much has happened and so much is left to happen. There will probably be two more packets before we get to page 800... I remember reading an interview with Neal Stephenson after he'd finished his Baroque Cycle (Quicksilver, The Confusion, and The System of the World). He talked about how exhausting the editing process was. I understand what he meant, although his project was quite a bit larger than mine - three books, each of them about 800 pages!

You know, there was talk as I was writing this about splitting it into more than one volume. We decided not to because there is a very clear narrative arc that wraps things up by the end. Splitting it would've been asking a lot of the reader to come back for the second part. Fantasy readers are often willing to do that, but with my first entry into the genre I wanted to deliver as complete a story as possible. It just happens to be a monster of an arc. I'm not complaining. I do believe the book delivers and that the length comes from the fact that there is a long, action and drama filled story in the pages.

And... I do have an idea for another book about this world. It would be just as big and just as full of serious issues. Officially, I'm waiting until the editing of Acacia is finished, but once it is we'll start talking about the next book. As tired as I am, I still excited about that prospect.

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5 Comments:

Blogger Steve Allan said...

I can't wait for the book. Any hope for a preview at Bowdoin?

10:38 PM  
Blogger David Durham said...

Steve,

Thanks for that. A preview at Bowdoin... I don't know. I won't be reading at the Stonecoast residency this time. But maybe we could work something out.

Best,

David

10:04 AM  
Blogger Gerry said...

David, I have finished my reading of Acacia! Though I had taken a month off, picking it back up was a great ride to the end. The novel really moves along in the second and third books and is hard to put down. I can see that there is another novel or two coming along about these characters. Without giving too much away, let me say that you keep the reader guessing all the way till the last page! Nice work my friend!

11:40 AM  
Blogger David Durham said...

Gerry,

Good to hear the book worked for you to the end. Thank you for reading it. No small task considering the length of the thing! You know, of course, that this means you'll be thanked in the actual hardback edition. For whatever that's worth...

3:36 PM  
Blogger Gerry said...

OMG! To get a mench in your thank-yous would be a world class tickle!

4:21 PM  

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