Saturday, January 20

Hi, everybody.

Just so you can't say you heard it somewhere else first:

I delivered a draft of CAINE BLACK KNIFE the week before Christmas. I've been keeping a lid on it because I still haven't heard an official reaction from my editor.

But my agent liked it.

I'm not thrilled with this story, as it stands. The individual scenes are better, I think, than anything else I've done, and the structure is ambitious, to say the least . . . but the ambitious structure has necessitated some internal compromises that I'm unhappy about. Which I know means fuck all to any of you, but the point is that this particular delivery is not yet cause for celebration. Once my editor, the estimable Chris Schleup, has had a chance to help me whip it into shape, I'll be considerably more cheerful.

Meanwhile: [a subdued] woo-hoo . . .

24 comments:

Shevchyk said...

Outstanding! Well, less so on your being somewhat dissatisfied with the manuscript, but if it's ambitious, then at least you're living by your credo of balls to the wall for glory.

Out of curiosity: Does your current publishing contract stipulate any kind of required date of manuscript delivery?

MWS said...

Yeah, but that passed years ago; I signed for this book at the same time I signed for SHATTERPOINT.

Chris said...

Haha. Eeeeedddddgggiiinnnngggg towards daylight!

But seriously, this is fuckin' awesome news Matt. I cannot wait to read it, and I know from odd comments and asides that you've sweated blood into this one, so my sincere congratulations to you.

I'll buy you a drink of something to celebrate if you make it up to Saratoga! (c'mon, Gabe G, Gabe M, Scott n' Jen, Bob, Gary, Summer, me... it will be the end of the world as we know it...)

Derek J. Arsenault said...

Great news! CBK is still at the top of my list for most anticipated books.

Ankit said...

Reading this made my day! Thank you :)

Azrof D said...

Matt, while I am not a successful writer, I am among the many who would enjoy being such. As one of the multitude I have done extensive research into the "psyche of submitting a draft" and from what I understand very, very few writers ever stand totally satisfied with their work. Their dissatisfaction often drives them to learn new techniques for future books or to move on and write future novels, completing thoughts that they did not yet have the time (or sometimes skill) to complete at the time.

And while I do not know the details, I feel confident that if you were willing to submit a draft - it is at a point where the message you wish to convey is in place and the overall plot has been established (along with lots of great action) and that, my most esteemed author, makes the bibliophile in me rejoice.

Keep doing it. Hell, write more short stories. You kick ass.

gabe said...

Dude, I wasn't going to say anything, I swear!

MWS said...

I started leaking the news a while ago; I just got tired of not talking about it.

Samantha said...

Whoooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!
I've had to replace my copy of hereo die 3x now I've read it so much (along with my roommates, mother, sister, ex boyfriends...blah, blah, blah.) This news has made my day!
- Samantha

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
MWS said...

Um . . . no offense, but sign your comments. Even complimentary ones. As I've said several bazillion (in round numbers) times --

ANONYMOUS POSTS ARE NOT ALLOWED ON THIS BLOG.

Period.

Thanks, though, anyway . . .

Rob Locke said...

A little hint-dropping: I know lots of people who'd buy/re-buy a rerelease of heroes die and blade if they had new covers reflecting their new "Acts of Caine" titles...

*crosses fingers*

Rob Locke said...

Were you still considering rereleasing Heroes and Blade with new covers to go along with the "Acts of Caine" moniker? I know plenty who'd re-buy (my own books have seen better days).

Rob Locke said...

Holy.. sorry for the repost. I'm new! Without any confirmation I thought I lost everything i wrote!

MWS said...

I'd LOVE to see a re-release of HD and BLADE in a high-quality collector's edition kind of thing; I'd be happy enoough to get mass market reprints with cover text proclaiming them to be "Act One" and "Act Two" of "The Acts of Caine."

However, these decisions are up to Del Rey, not to me. Last I heard, my editor and a couple of the publicity folks had been backing the re-release, but the Powers That Be were frowning upon the expense.

So we can only wait and see -- but given that the Powers That Be are, well, the Powers (if you get what I'm saying), the signs are not so good.

oneiromorphe said...

My desire to see where you would go from Blade of Tyshalle only continues to grow. Thank you for giving me hope that I will eventually see it.

MWS said...

Um . . . it's not gonna be how you think.

It's as different from BLADE as that book is from HD. Maybe more so.

Though we'll see . . . still haven't heard from my editor.

gamecreator said...

Congrats on the delivery. Sorry to hear she doesn't quite have your eyes.

About the "I'm not thrilled with this story" thing:
1. Were you thrilled with either HD or BoT at this stage?
2. How long ago did the story you're not thrilled with develop into that story? I thought you promised somewhere that from then on you'd have an outline done first, no matter what, before you started writing the book. Doesn't that also include the story? (I know sh*t about writing so perhaps excusing the question is due to be asked for.)

MWS said...

Well, eckshullee . . .

In this particular case the premise (and the story I wanted to tell) was too complex to outline. While trying to outline it, I found myself just writing the novel. And I very shortly discovered that the plot as I had conceived it didn't make any bloody sense; I'm just not smart enough to account for all the parameters of the worlds I ahve created.

So my only option, at that point, seemed to be to set the starting conditions, then let the story develop naturally from there.

Ended up, plotwise, working out pretty well; my issues are structural (having to do with my possibly-failed attempt at a juxtaposition strategy), and may very well not bother anyone but me.

At this point in the process, I was very happy with, and proud of, HEROES DIE. With BLADE, I was exceedingly UNhappy, and generally convinced it would be a disaster; BLADE underwent a great deal of revision and structural tinkering.

So the answer is: it varies with the book.

Shehzad said...

Woo freakin' whooo!

Bookmanjames said...

Excellent!!! I came here specifically to see if/when there would ever be more of Cain. Funny story ( at least I think so ) When I first got hold of Heroes Die, Cain reminded me a bit too much of Fabio for me to open the book up. A coworker told me that I'd be crazy not to read it. Well, I'm still crazy, but it is the hardest-core, hardcorest, well the best read of its kind that I have read to date. Thanks for continuing the series. I have been a bit worried that the StarWars money is too good to pass up.

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Anonymous said...

This is great news, Matt, I could use a little Cain in my life.
Cheers,
Claudia

Anonymous said...

This is great news. I read Heroes and Blade, and enjoyed both thoroughly. I'm looking forward to CBK.

Also, though this'll sound kinda weird, it's reassuring to know that few novelists are satisfied with their final products. I think I may want to pen a novel, but I'm still unsure as of now. I'll graduate from high school in a little under three weeks, so I've more than enough time to decide what it is I want to do with my life.

What little experience I've had writing has given me a great deal of respect for those who can do so for a living. I've received all positive reviews of my stuff, but it never seems to be complete. It's as though I cannot, for reasons unknown, ever transcribe my thoughts and ideas, for such abstractions defy mortal attempts to confine them to a two-dimensional prison of such absolutes as black ink on white paper. No matter the scene, it always feels like it could be--should be--better.

I'm writing the same story in two totally different worlds. The first is set in what resembles a sci-fi; the latter is more of a fantasy. Plot details, from minor to major, are ever-changing, contradicting that which was written before. I don't understand why it is that I can't seem to stick with a single sequence of events. I feel a need to make it as close to perfect as is possible, which, I suspect, is the source of my discouragement.

Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated, as you've undoubtedly perservered through something akin to my situation. If this is the wrong place for such a post, I apologize. Should you find the time to read this and deem to respond to it, you can reach me at chewbaruuk@gmail.com or myspace.com/chewbaruuk.

humbly,

Ryan B. of WA