Yes, the progress meter over there to the left is on fire. I’m at 87% on THIRD SHIFT. Does that mean it’ll be out next week?

Nope. It means it’ll hopefully be out by the end of January. What I’m getting down is the roughest of drafts. Spurred on by NaNoWriMo, I’m aiming to have 50,000 words compiled by the end of November. Most of the story will be there when I’m done. But it will be an unreadable mess. There’s a lot of rearranging to do, key scenes to re-write, and probably tens of thousands of words to scrap altogether. I’ll be working hard straight through December and into the first of the year to get a final draft together, and then a few weeks of rewrites and beta feedback before anyone should be allowed to see it.

At that point, all three SHIFT books will go to Random House for their editorial suggestions. While I’m working on the third and final act, I’ll also be doing edits on the SHIFT series. Next year is going to be hella crazy. I have five trips planned right now, which means lots of airplane rides and hotel stays. I’ll be writing and editing with every spare moment. You’ll be able to keep up with the progress via the blue bars to the side, but keep in mind that they are for rough drafts. Which you would be horrified to see.

17 Responses to “Before you go and get excited…”

  1. Louise van Hine says:

    Hugh, in my humble writer’s opinion you have nothing to excuse or explain. You write like a house afire, and the fact that you actually show your writing progress on your blog is a very bold action that most authors would refuse to do. Carry on!

    Now if only George RR Martin felt such compunction…

    • Narciso says:

      I was writing my review of Second Shift at Amazon a few hours back, and if I remember properly, the counter was at 83% and now it is at 87%.
      Given the writing speed of GRR Martin, to make such an improvement would take like 3 months! You would get bored if he used a progress meter :)

  2. Louise van Hine says:

    Not even, Hugh. His current book was supposed to be out in 2008 and didn’t make it to print till spring of 2012.

  3. Shahin says:

    Thank you for the update. It would be hard to make The Second Shift last until the end of January. It is like having a bag of Doritos when you are very hungry; it is hard to stop eating until the bag is gone (I did that once and I learned my lesson). Will try to resist temptation. Have a nice holiday season.

    • Nora says:

      oh I was just thinking this exact same thing. Exactly like a bag of Doritos, opened them up and poof they were gone! Upside, my brain can’t get fat. Glad to hear I that more brain Doritos are on their way!

  4. Bill says:

    Just finished Second Shift and am pleased to find out Third is not that far away. The Marvel ending is spectacular! I’ve been reading via Kindle (kindle apps) for years now and when I find an author I read thru as much as I can. Wool was a great find and has led to so much else. Molly Fyde was another. But hurricane was great for many reasons as my folks have a house in Bluffton and I just lived thru Sandy a few weeks ago. Because of your book I knew enough to fill the tubs. For that I thank you!

  5. Bless you for posting this. I was starting to think those amazing words came off your fingers in the first draft. I still need 6 or 7 drafts to be half as good as you, but still. It helps to know you have to do at least a couple revisions!

    • Rachel says:

      I was thinking the same thing! I just finished my NaNo project and I wasn’t as elated as I thought I’d be knowing the slog of revision waiting for me in December. Glad to know even one of my favorite authors feels the same way.
      Good luck, Hugh!

  6. Jonathan says:

    Hugh,

    Thanks for all the updates and the wonderful stories! You create fantastical worlds with characters deep and thought provoking enough to make everything seem tangible.

    Quick question, why is there a delay in getting your books into the iBookstore?

    Hope all is well, have a very Merry Christmas!

  7. Scott says:

    I know the feeling well. Tons of rewrites, edits, scrapped words. Rough drafts are about one thing, and one thing only: getting it all out like there’s no tomorrow.

    You know…just in case. :)

  8. I just finished the Wool Omnibus, and imagine my glee at seeing you already have more up! I downloaded the next segment immediately.

    As a fellow self-pub author with her first novel coming out in February, I swooned over your story. :-)

  9. Gregor Jolly says:

    Hi Hugh,
    Continuing to enjoy your brilliant books. Keep up the great work.
    Based solely on the inspiration from yourself, I entered NaNoWriMo this year having never attempted anything like it before, I now sit with 50,400 words I never had a month ago. A great experience.

    Looking forward to 3rd shift!

  10. Eric says:

    Just finished Second Shift. Just like your other books I couldn’t put it down until I was finished. I honestly don’t see how you crank out these stories so quickly! I’m very much looking forward to DUST…and anything else you happen to write in the interim.

    :)

  11. Sierra says:

    i hope one of those trips will be to Philadelphia!

    it’s fun following your progress! everyone here is well-engrossed in Wool. just spreading the wealth. =)

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