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Them’s The Breaks


So anyway, I wrote the first quarter of The Iron Jackal and then threw it in the bin and started again.

Just goes to show, no matter how long you’re at this game, you can still get things wrong.  It’s terrifically hard to be objective about a novel that you’re writing; you’re just too close to it. So perhaps the time I took writing the first draft of All Fall Down was a blessing, because when I came back to The Iron Jackal I just thought, well, it’s just not as good as the last two. And after attempting to tweak it to get it right I decided to do the decent thing, which was to blast it to pieces with a cannon and start over.

As my longtime readers know, I binned an entire novel and rewrote it from scratch when I wrote The Weavers Of Saramyr. And I had a nightmare with The Fade which also involved binning half a novel. Now I’m only down to a quarter, which means next time it’ll only be one-eighth, and by the time I’m fifty I’ll be abandoning novels three sentences in. So things are looking up, but unfortunately the Quality Control Monster that looms over my shoulder as I write has rapped my knuckles good on this one.

The good news is that I’ve reworked a whole new plot and it’s much better than the original one. I’ve also salvaged some of the best bits of what I had (and other bits that may well make it into Book 4 of the Tales Of The Ketty Jay) which will cut down on the time it takes to write a new draft. The bad news is that publication will probably get knocked back by a few months, meaning it’s likely to arrive late next year instead of the planned release date of August. But I’m gonna do my damnedest to make sure it hits the shelves in 2011 and doesn’t slip into 2012, and barring any more mishaps that should be eminently doable. It will also probably undergo a title change, as the Iron Jackal in the original story isn’t, er, isn’t actually in it any more.

There’s a saying in the publishing world: Better a good book late than a bad book on time. Creativity is a slippery business, and sometimes you just gotta make the hard call. You’ll thank me in the end. Honest.


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