I am very, very far behind. According to my original schedule I was to have MW done by now. October was meant to be for editing Butcher once and rewriting the last third of Drums, as well as going over MW two or three times.
Unfortunately I'm still on MW. I'm at about 122K right now, with about half of the third viewpoint finished. That means I have maybe 25-35K left to go.
World Fantasy is in just 25 days.
It's time to hustle the bustle.
My current goal is to write 3K words a day for the next 10 days and see where I'm at. Everything is plotted and planned. There should be few hangups. This will give me 15 days to edit it to a point at which I'm satisfied with sending it to an editor.
It might also give me some time to work on Drums. Drums is only about 90K all said and done, so it's not overly ambitious to do some reworking before World Fantasy. I'm hoping to get to that because I really want to have three books--ready to be mailed out--to pitch over that weekend.
This is all assuming that an editor is interested in one or more of them. I have to admit, I'm nervous.
When I pitched to Moshe Feder back at the Denver Worldcon, I felt pretty good going in. Moshe is Brandon's editor at Tor, and Brandon had talked him up about me in the past. We'd also met at Worldcon 2006 in LA, however briefly. Things went smoothly, even though he eventually rejected the book itself.
I'm not going to have any base to work from at this con. A couple of my friends will be there, people who are a little more familiar with the publishing world and might give me a couple of pointers. However, I have the feeling I'll be flying solo for the most part. I honestly have a hard time approaching people. I get nervous, a little shaky, my thoughts whirl and my tongue boggles the words. Once I get in a conversation things tend to smooth out. It's the getting there that, ahem, gets me.
My second problem is remembering. When you go to a con with the intent of selling a book, you need to read up on editors and agents and who is doing what with which publishing house. This is all well and good if you can remember. See, we're talking about the guy who gets a kick out of his own plot twists and turns because he forgot they were there in the first place. I'm going to have difficulties keeping names straight, even if I do my homework properly.
I'm also out of touch. I honestly don't do a lot of reading these days. Dust of Dreams is still sitting on my bookshelf, untouched, because I told myself I wouldn't open it until MW was finished. I tore into the Black Company a month or two ago (I love my signed trade paperback of Chronicles), and I fell in love with Joe Abercrombie during the early summer.
This presents the problem of not really knowing what's being published, who the new names are, and how they compare to my own books. I really should have been considering this earlier, like, you know, this year... but I'm gonna throw up all the old excuses: family, job, friends, etc.
So in addition to being nervous about my pitches, I'm also worried about not being able to carry on an intelligent conversation with an editor or agent. I'm long past the days of being able to say, "I'm in Brandon Sanderson's writing class and I wrote a book."