Monday, August 18, 2008
I was very tempted to hold off on posting until I could officially declare that my first draft of THE MAZE RUNNER was complete. But I've held off too long on posting, so I'm taking a break to say howdy do.
Last week was incredible. If there was any doubt before (and there wasn't), it's now certain. I'm going to love being a full time author. I worked my tail off every day, breaking the long-standing record of words-in-a-week-by-a-Dashner. Not quiet as impressive as what Michael Phelps has done, but I think you'd agree, it's pretty close.
25,000 words. And that includes having to take time off to work on my acknowledgements, dedication, discussion questions, and glossary for THE HUNT FOR DARK INFINITY, Book 2 of THE 13TH REALITY. I should be seeing galleys of that book by the second week of September!
Still having fun watching the Olympics when I can. I don't think I need to say anything more about Phelps. I'll tell you what blew me away--watching Usain Bolt in the 100M. Holy cow. That was ridiculous. I did get a little misty-eyed watching the US take gold-silver in the women's gymnastics all-around. That was cool.
I have TWO events this week, and I've totally been an idiot and forgotten to tell anyone about them. The first one is tomorrow, TUESDAY, at 1:30 at the BYU Bookstore in Provo UT. It's part of their Education Week, and I'll be there a couple of hours. I'm not speaking at any schools beforehand, so it should be a good time to come talk to me if you have questions or anything. Come see me. Don't make me beg.
Also, and this one I'm very excited about and honored to be a part of: this SATURDAY is the big release party of Shannon Hale's RAPUNZEL'S REVENGE (co-written by her husband Dean and illustrated by Nathan Hale (no relation)). It's a very cool graphic novel. Very cool.
The event is from 1:00 to 5:00 at the Anderson Foothills Library in SLC UT. The address is 2100 East and 1200 South, or thereabouts. Google it. It'll start off with a panel with all the participating authors then there'll be readings, signings (including my books), a bluegrass band, dancing cowboys, all kinds of goodies. Sara Zarr, Jessica Day George, Ann Cannon, and some others will be there as well.
It's all put on by The King's English, the coolest bookstore in all the land. If you don't come, you are a loser. Unless you have a legitimate excuse, like vicious dog bites or you live in a different country.
People, can't you just SMELL autumn on the wind? It's just peaking around that hot, wilting corner of summer, and I'm so excited I can hardly stand it. The other night it really cooled off, and I felt like I should be dressed for Halloween, cooking a turkey, and watching Monday Night Football, all while wrapping Christmas presents. September through December. Best 4 months of the year, without question. Bring it on!
Let's see, what else. My new goal is to post on the blog three times a week. I should be able to do it now that I'm full time. Last week was an exception because I really wanted to devote every second to moving MAZE as far along as possible. And I also promise to be better about responding to comments and emails. This blog and those of you who read it are very important to me!
Do you realize that the one-year anniversary of THE DASHNER DUDE is in exactly ten days? If anyone has a good idea on how we should celebrate it, let me know in the comments. Our readership has grown at a steady pace, and I hope it continues. Thanks to all of you who hang out here once or twice a week. I really love getting comments, so keep 'em coming.
Clint Johnson asked if my words goal last week was all NEW material. The honest answer is no, there were significant sections in which I was technically rewriting/revising. However, I bet I changed at least 80 percent of it, so in some ways it was even more difficult than creating brand new material.
Let me tell you. My dialogue in the original version of MAZE was atrocious!!!!! Seriously, it was hard not to get depressed reading some of it. I mean, what about the stuff I think is good now? In two years will it embarrass me to read THAT? I mean, it was awful, awful, awful. I'd like to publicly apologize to the few of you who read the original. If you need new eyeballs, I'll help pay for them.
The lesson for all of us? Work on your dialogue. Read books about it. Work on it. Read it out loud, make sure it sounds natural. Make sure a human being would actually utter what you've put on the page. Differentiate your characters. I hope this rewrite makes up for how bad some of that old stuff was. Ick.
Anyway, that's probably enough rambling.
Back to work. By the time I go home, THE MAZE RUNNER first draft will be complete!
Posted by James Dashner at 1:07 PM