Sunday, 23 December 2012

Bone Season's Greetings

The above pun is duly credited to David Mann.

It's 23 December, Gangnam Style has hit 1 billion views, and the world hasn't quite ended. As you can see, my blog has had a long-overdue makeover in preparation for the Very Big Year that is 2013. The header provides a very tiny clue for the cover of The Bone Season, and is designed by my very talented friend Leiana Leatutufu. Watch out for a meaningful change in the lantern colour sometime in January.  

I've just discovered that Blogger does pages – this epiphany came after about two years of using it – so there's now more information on The Bone Season, links to articles and news, and a direct link to Bloomsbury's official book website. There's also a new search bar, Google Translate option, and a label cloud on the right. I hope this makes the blog easier to navigate. I had a little bit too much fun with the Google Translate app earlier, seeing how The Bone Season translates in each language. Though I highly doubt they're correct. (I love the Swedish word for "season", säsong). I will be moving my blog to my own domain next year – I'll let you know in advance when I go ahead with it.

My house is in full-on Christmas mode at the moment, so I'm going to keep this post short – enjoying the festive season vicariously through my 9 year-old brother. We're having a relatively quiet Christmas: a meal at home, unwrapping presents, and a visit to my aunt and uncle's house. For the first time ever, I'm more excited about New Year. I'm over the moon to have been invited to the ABA Winter Institute in February, which I'll be attending with the celebrated American novelist Gail Godwin and the team from Bloomsbury USA. This will be the first time I'll have to talk eloquently about The Bone Season outside the cosy Bloomsbury headquarters at Bedford Square, so I'll be frantically planning my spiel on the plane.          


QUESTIONS 
 
How much of each Bone Season book do you have planned out? (Tyler Wahl

As discussed in this post, I don't like to be too rigid with my planning. I think it sucks the life out of writing if you're staring at a plan and typing out each chapter. I have a solid idea of what will happen in all seven books, with the plots of Books 2-5 pretty much all set out (as well as the end of Book 7 and a skeletal plan for Book 6), but I've left plenty of room to play around with fresh ideas. To me, writing is about having fun and experimenting as well as Being Very Serious and Literary. I like seeing where the story takes me. 

Did the plans have to change much as a result of edits made to The Bone Season? (PGW)

This is a really good question. I did have to change them, yes – but in a good way. I made some structural edits to The Bone Season that meant I had to push back some of my ideas to later books. When I first wrote The Bone Season I wasn't sure if it would be published, or if it would ever have sequels, so I crammed a lot of big ideas into the first book. With new authors, publishers tend to be more comfortable if the first book can stand alone, but with the potential for more. I did this with The Bone Season, but when I got the deal for a series, it meant bigger ideas could come in later books. I think the first book works much better with these changes, and that because of them, the series will be better paced.  

Will any other global cities be present in The Bone Season, besides London and Paris? (Mohsin

There are several cities mentioned in the first book. I won't give away too much, but yes, it's very likely that the action will go to other cities – it's a fairly international story. I love travelling and exploring new cultures, and I really enjoy the challenge of creating futuristic versions of cities.  


Have a lovely Christmas! My final post of 2012 will be on New Year's Eve.

Samantha

21 comments:

  1. Thank you. It's a worry of mine that if I ever do get into print, all the plans I have for future instalments will have to be changed beyond recognition because of edits.
    It's incredible that you went to Paris to do research. I bet while you were writing the Bone Season, you never even dreamed that you'd eventually go to Paris on a research trip!!!

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    1. Oh, no, I highly doubt you'd have to change all your plans. Also, remember you don't *have* to follow editorial advice from your publishing house – you have the option to refuse any changes you don't like! At the end of the day it's your work. Generally I'd listen to editors, though – they know what they're doing.

      And no, I didn't! It was great to get some inspiration there. Really helped my plans for Books 3-4.

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    2. That is true but like you say, they know what they're doing, even when it comes to your own writing! Were there any edits you initially had trouble accepting, or even refused?

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    3. Surprisingly, no. I agreed with most of the changes. There were a couple I refused but mostly I think they've made the story much better. My editor Alexa really understands the story and the characters, so I trusted her to suggest appropriate changes.

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    4. That's really good! I've read about some horror stories - for instance, one author I read about was asked to make some edits that she didn't think were appropriate, and her publisher eventually asked for the advance back and dropped her.
      In other news, you have a Wikipedia article! So jealous, that is my life ambition.

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    5. Wow, that's awful. Guess that means the publisher didn't really care about the book, though – probably best that she didn't go with them.

      And I know, I saw that – it's all very surreal...!

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  2. Samantha, I recommend moving your blog to wordpress and hosting your own account... particularly important for someone like you who is about to rapidly expand blog readership... google can take down this account at any time, or fold, or....

    best to own your own readership assets

    all the best in 2013, mac

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    1. Hi Mac – I have my own domain name now, planning to move the blog there early next year. Thanks x

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  3. Thanks for answering. Nice update to blog. Yes, move to WordPress. They have easy to understand features. Unfortunately, .com is not available for your name, but it is available for samantha(-)shannon, and you already have .co.uk

    Have a Great Christmas!

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    1. Yes, I'll be moving it to .co.uk. I'll move it soon.

      Happy Christmas!

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  4. Thanks for answering my question about planning. In the past, over-planning has hampered some of my other projects, so I'm trying to strike the right balance of planning and experimentation with my current series.

    Hope you have a very Merry Christmas, Samantha! Looking forward to 2013!

    (P.S. Saw The Hobbit last night, absolutely phenomenal!)

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    1. You're welcome! Best wishes for the New Year. (And yes, The Hobbit is fairly mind-blowing.)

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  5. Merry Christmas, Samantha! :) Your blog look great now.

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  6. Merry Christmas, Sammy!

    Do your skeletal plans of Book 6 involve one of the MC's killing another MC at the top of the Astronomy Tower? Just wonderin'.

    And I completely agree with your plan-too-much-at-your-own-peril theory. I got so caught up with the planning of one of my novels that by the time I was happy with it and ready to write, it had lost its spark. That was 6 months ago, and the spark is only just coming back now.

    Anyway, happy new year too!!

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    1. Sadly no Astronomy Tower. Although there is, in a slightly abstract way, astronomy.

      Happy New Year! Thanks for all your support. And I hope the spark for your novel comes back and lights a FIRE of inspiration. x

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  7. Hi when you say that you have the skeletal plan and you know the plots for books 2-5 yet you left plenty of room to experiment with new ideas, what does it mean? and when you that its an international story what does it mean?

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    1. I explain my planning process in a bit more detail here: http://www.samantha-shannon.blogspot.co.uk/2012/10/foreign-rights-and-planning.html

      And by 'international story', I mean it deals with situations that will affect the whole world at some point in the story. It's hard to explain without giving away the plot...!

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  8. is there a scion new dehli or scion bangkok or scion seoul or scion new york? is so are we going to see these scion ctonrolled cities apart from london and paris?

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    1. There will definitely be other Scion-controlled cities, yes, but most are European. Sadly I've never visited Asia, so I don't think I'll be able to write about New Delhi/Bangkok/Seoul – I like to visit places before I write about them so I can do justice to the setting. But if I visit Asia that could change!

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  9. Very great writing : "Bone Season's Greetings", I appreciate your nice presentation. Thanks :
    Send DHL online

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