Lock In, Locked In

Which is to say it is done. Exactly 76,000 words.

What next? I spend the next few days (although not Thursday, that’s Thanksgiving) combing through the text, tying off various loose ends, reconciling plot points, making obscure bit less of obscure, and punching up dialogue. I am also trying to decide whether to add a few more bits to it here and there. Indeed to read the whole thing through in one go to figure that out. Which is to say I don’t expect it to stay 76,000 words exactly. I expect it to creep upward slightly before I ship it off to my editor on December 2nd.

And then I get the rest of the year off! Whoo-hoo!

For those wondering where Lock In fits in terms of length of my books, it’s about the same length as Fuzzy Nation or Redshirts (with the codas. Without the codas it’s considerably shorter). The Human Division, for comparison, was my longest book at about 130,000 words. Yes, I know. All of those are novelettes compared to a George RR Martin book. Honestly, I think I would go insane trying to write a book that long.

I’ll talk more about this book at some point in the future, but for now I will say I’m pretty happy with what I’ve got here. This is in many ways a different kind of book for me, and I was curious if I was going to pull it off. I think I have. I hope you think the same when you see it next August.

(Also, for those who are hoping this means a full bore return to Whatever starting tomorrow, no. Please note I’m spending the next few days buffing and polishing. But I expect you’ll see me being positively garrulous in December.)

32 Comments on “Lock In, Locked In”

  1. bonixxnina – NAIROBI KENYA – The very good things in life always come after a hard work and determination. That's is a real testimony that i am now confident to brag about. Being a last born in a family of seven, the same as EQUITY KENYA CEO Dr. James Mwangi, i feel honored and its my firm believe that i will go to high places. The reason why i am putting that across is due to the fact that being a maasai born, a community that has recently been listed by UN as an endangered community, i am actually the first one in my village, tikondo to ever get the required cut out marks require to join a university. currently, i am taking bachelors of science degree in biology and i am double sure that this is one of the gateway to the world of cosmopolitan researche. I have recently, worked as an enumerator with farm concern international on the loitoktok region and this is one of the scales i am sure will still a company me. However, i must point out that i am a man of integrity, who loves peace, a leader and by summing up, working under minimal supervision is one of the early learnt virtue in life. I take this chance to thank you for reading my page.

    i salute you my boss!

  2. You might go insane writing a Martin-esque epic, but I’m sure you’d finish the bloody thing.

    Congrats on the birth of your latest novel!

  3. I’m curious if you think readers are becoming more amenable to shorter length books; I know I find myself gravitating towards them these days (with notable exceptions). Shorter books, shorter video games, shorter movies, shorter shorts. Sign me up.

  4. Enjoy your books, just put “Mallet” on order. Thank you for the hours of entertainment.
    Is it too early to ask about “Human Division 2” ?

  5. On the other side of the hill, there are authors who would love to be able to compress their stories as succinctly as you do. I remember reading a comment in an interview with Peter F. Hamilton that Reality Dysfunction was twice as long before it went to the editor.

    Happy Turkey Day, John! Get good and stuffed…wow, that sounded better in my head.

  6. December: take GRE. Christmas. Apply to grad school if GRE score doesn’t suck.

    January-June: ??? (I guess I could work on my own writing…)

    July: Skin Game comes out (thanks, Jim Butcher!)

    August: Lock In comes out (thanks, John!)

    Only 6 months of being entirely bereft!

  7. I find George Martin pretty much unreadable due to the length of his books.
    Even Neal Stephenson wrote better when he wrote shorter.


  8. “This is in many ways a different kind of book for me, and I was curious if I was going to pull it off.”

    That is one of the things I enjoy about your writing. You change up your approach frequently. I have always assumed that you do that partly to keep it fresh for you too.

  9. Hell to the no, Mr. Scalzi. I expect you to spend the next day or two recovering in (or from) a turkey-related coma. Then, maybe, spend a few days refining the novel. Happy Thanksgiving, and congratulations on finishing!

  10. Congratulations! Here’s to the new book! **clinking glasses**

    As for the GRRM comparison… well, at least we know that with your books most of the characters (if not all) will *still* be alive at the end… **eg**

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Looking forward to the new novel. And another second and THANK YOU for the reasonable length. Everytime I read a hardcover novel that is thicker than an inch or so, I get frustrated that the author didn’t have the time, ability or interest to trim down to their best work. Their story would have been so much better had it been better focused. When there’s more to say/other characters to explore, I say write a sequel or even a short story. I used to wonder if some folks got paid by the word, their books just kept getting longer and more muddled.

  12. Do you know the details about the audiobook version? I have such a hard time with anyone other than @wilw reading them that I read the ebook version of the OMW books rather than listening to them.

  13. Virtual churros?

    Might make a good award show, especially if hosted by a virtual Lalan Councillor.

    Now, what would we award it -for- ?

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