Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Finished the Maze. Again.


This has been about the 132nd time in my life that I thought I was done with a little book called THE MAZE RUNNER. It's amazing how many loops this story has gone through on its journey to publication. It'll be a fun topic for future writer's conferences.

Anyway, with great relief, I emailed the manuscript to Krista today. I have no doubt that the last 2 weeks have been the most grueling I've ever had in terms of pure nitty gritty working on a book. I'm not asking for pity - I enjoyed it for the most part. But it was intense.

You'd probably be somewhat impressed if someone wrote 15,000 words in 2 weeks. If not, you have an avocado for a brain. But not only did my manuscript increase by 15,000 words, it was done in bits and pieces, here and there as I went through Krista's notes, page by page. No wonder I had a head ache every night!

But I'm really surprised how much I enjoyed doing it. Some days were tougher than others, but the lessons I learned from Krista are just amazing. And the book is much, much better now.

The very first version of MAZE was 68,000 words long. When I turned it into Krista in September, it was 87,000 words. The one I submitted today is 102,000. That means the book is 50% bigger than its original version. That blows me away.

The biggest difference is DEPTH. The basic storyline hasn't changed that much. But the depth of the characters, the depth of the worldbuilding, the depth of the dialogue and scene development, the depth of everything is just more... in depth. How's that for articulatregery? I just made that word up, and yes, you have permission to use it.

Ah, I feel so good. Tomorrow my family and I head off to Georgia for a 2 week vacation with Georgia Grandma and the rest of the Dashner Crime Family. I've sworn off any booky type work unless Krista gets back to me with more revisions, in which case I will abandon my mother and work like a... worker bee. (Mmmm, more good articulatregery. Oh, and just kidding, Mom.) But I think it will be mostly R&R.

Well, I hope all is well, and for your personal safety, I truly hope you are not a turkey this time of year. See ya again soon!

P.S. A big congratulations to my awesome agent, Michael Bourret. He was recently promoted to be the Vice President of his agency, Dystel & Goderich. I'm honored to be his client!

16 comments:

Q said...

I am so excited to read it.

Cheryl said...

I'm glad you went for depth because that's my favorite part of books!

I finished Hunt for Dark Infinity today, btw. It was great! I loved what you did with Mistress Jane and Tick's mom. Now I want to read the third one! When does it come out, again? What?! Another year or more!? Sheesh. Fine.

Congrats on finishing-finishing The Maze Runner. I'm sure it will be awesome!

LexiconLuvr said...

Way to go James! I'm thrilled about Maze Runner and can't wait to read it. Boy do I wish I could pick your brain though after all that revision(addition?)

Congrats!

Brian said...

Where are you going in Georgia? I have a lot of family there.

tapestry100 said...

Congrats, James! I'm becoming increasingly more excited about reading this.

J.N. Future Author said...

Sweet! That so cool that the book has increased that many pages!

I heard from certain sources *coughsavagecough* That they were really hard on you, so im glad you were able to finish mostly intact!!!

It was so wonderful to read it te first time! I can only imagine what it is like now that it has been polished and cut like a gem!

Jaime Theler said...

Congratulations on finishing it...again. And on doubling it. How hard to do it in bits and pieces. I can't wait to read it. Enjoy your vacation.

Clint Johnson said...

Let me get this straight: you take a book to your editor, and she demands you make it LONGER!

I hate you, James. I want to be you (i.e. hear: You know what this book needs? Another 20,000 words!), but I still hate you.

Hope you and the family enjoy your well-earned time off.

Amy Carpenter said...

Have a great vacation with your family!

Luisa Perkins said...

Congratulations! So excited to read the latest and greatest.

Gavin said...

With all the lessons you learned from editing THE MAZE RUNNER, you should add more to the Q&A section. I can't wait to see what your editor taught you that would make your writing better than it already is.

Irish said...

Congrats on finishing the book (again) and enjoy your rest! Sounds like its well deserved.

Danyelle Ferguson said...

Happy Thanksgiving, James!

Macotar said...

finished the 2nd installment James. Excellent, better than the 1st in my opinion. The characters have really fleshed out nicely. We are almost done with recording as well. I hope you will like the results.

LouMac said...

Congrats on finishing The Maze Runner. Kudos to you! That is awesome! Have a good vacation. I have family in Georgia. (an uncle)
Where are you going?

Make sure you have wonderful holidays!

James Dashner said...

Loumac and Brian: My family lives in the suburbs of Atlanta, in a town called Duluth.