Monday, March 12, 2007

Writing Order /= Publishing Order

So, I just finished my 10th novel and started my 11th. My 1st, which is also my 4th came out last year, and my 9th will be my 2nd. You with me so far? My 11th may well be my 3rd, but I'm hoping that my 12th won't be my 4th, because there are several earlier books that I'd like to see sell and go to print before that and I might try to slip a 12th in before I write the 4th that's currently sold.

It's moderately complex now, and likely to get crazy over the next couple years, and that's ignoring that some of the books were written concurrently. When you add in proposals and partials (which could be characterized as quantum manuscripts) it gets really loopy. So I thought I'd put it all down here as a memory aid and to illustrate an earlier discussion about why you can't tell anything about writing speed from publishing speed.

Currently complete and projected novels in writing order:

01. 1990 Uriel
02. 1991 The Swine Prince
03. 1992/1993 The Assassin Mage
04. 1998/1999 WebMage
05. 2001 Winter of Discontent
06. 2002 Numismancer
07. 2003 The Urbana
08. 2005 Chalice book 1
09. 2006 Cybermancy
10. 2006 The Black School
11. 2007 MythOS
12. 2008 Codespell
1?. 200? The Eye of Horus (might go in front of Codespell)

Currently complete and projected novels in tentative publishing order
01. 2006 WebMage
02. 2007 Cybermancy
03. 2008 MythOS
04. 2009 Codespell

But any of the following could end up in print between #2 and #4

Winter of Discontent
The Urbana
The Black School (goes to my agent in March)

Plus there are proposals which could get written at any time
Chalice books 2-4
The Eye of Horus (proposal)
The Shadow in the Blood (proposal)

And partials which may or may not ever get written
Outside In
Ave Caesar (mystery)

As always comments are welcome as are questions, riddles, and non sequiters.


Naomi said...

I would like to note for the record that The Black School is amazing, and I want someone to buy it pronto so that Kelly will write The Eye of Horus (and Book III, whatever it's called) immediately.

*taps foot, checks watch, sighs*

Naomi said...

And you know, this is one of those interesting writers' group problems that I hadn't ever really thought about before joining one.

You get to read other people's work-in-progress. Sometimes, their WIP is damn good. So good that what you really want to do is to stay up all night reading it so you can find out what happens. Except you can't do that because they haven't written it yet, and you've only got the next twenty pages.

You don't have that problem with a book you buy at a bookstore. You can just go ahead and read it. (Although I have a friend who once took Mirror of Her Dreams on a two-week camping trip and had to wait until he got back to civilization to get hold of A Man Rides Through.)

Kelly McCullough said...

Thanks for the praise, Naomi. You raise an interesting point about writers groups too. A corollary would be the fact that novels under contract usually move through a group more slowly than they need to for deadline purposes, so often we get to read the first half of a book in group, but might have to wait until publication for the rest.