The Bujold Nexus

August 2005

Subject: (news) The Sharing Knife
Date: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

As of Friday August 12th: 38 chapters, 217,000 words, one year and two days from first sentence to last in first draft (I began last Aug. 10), no contract no deadline no problem.

After the falling face first into my keyboard phase, there will next be a long, quiet, private phase, likely several months, while people other than me do their jobs, starting with the postal service. At some point in the future there will no doubt be publication information, but I cannot answer questions about that now. Note that "finishing the first draft" does not eqate to "finishing the submission draft"; there is still my least-favorite part of novel writing to get through, namely, the revision pass, when I become most reclusive and cranky.

It is highly probable that since this book is not pre-contracted, there will be a longer than usual time between finishing and publication, so breath-holding is contraindicated. However, I figure I wrote a double-length book, so I'm due a double-length break, for starters. The New Bathroom Project beckons at of the corner of my eye, after the annual office cleaning. Alas, not all my neglected paper correspondence has aged past the point of my being obliged to make some reply. Tho' I was able to get rid of about half the stack that way, yesterday. A sort of false progress.

As ever, The Unstrung Harp by Edward Gorey strikes the keynote:

"The next day Mr Earbrass is conscious but very little more. He wanders through the house, leaving doors open and empty tea-cups on the floor.
From time to time the thought occurs to him that he really ought to go and dress, and he gets up several minutes later, only to sit down again in the first chair he comes to. The better part of a week will have elapsed before he has recovered enough to do anything more helpful."

I do love that brilliant little classic.

What a long, strange trip this one has been. The worldbuilding is different from anything I've done. I had several experiments going at once with it (multiple variables -- bad scientific design, that). One was to see if I was a happier camper and more productive writer without the outside pressure of contractual obligations, to which the answer seems to be a notable yes. Making that one stick is going to be the hard part: all publishers want multi-book contracts these days, it seems. Another was to see if I could write a romance-fantasy-adventure that kept the relationship stuff central, without the romance being crowded off the stage by more urgent concerns; the answer will have to wait on the book being read by many, but I suspect it may be "Kinda". Or "Well..." Another was to fight my backbrain less, see "camper", above. This has certainly made the writing more fun, although aided by the book's episodic structure, which I have likened to a python that has swallowed a litter of pigs, one after another. Not sure if it would work in something more tightly plotted.

The Sharing Knife does seem to be digging in its claws as the title. I'm growing quite used to it."

bests, L.

Subject: (news) Bujold library talk August 10th
Date: Thu, 04 Aug 2005

My public outing for August is an author talk at the Plymouth Library (a suburb of Minneapolis) on Wednesday evening, Aug 10 at 7 PM. Link here:

Directions and such are under the link to the library.

I'm planning the usual informal Q&A; I hope enough folks show up with some good Qs.

Ta, L.

© 2005 by Lois McMaster Bujold

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Last updated: August 20th 2005