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Quaithe from Asshai

Mistakes in the Books

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In the first printing of ADWD there were a lot of mistakes. Granted subsequent prints corrected these mistakes. However, those mistakes removed me from the world immersion experience. 

Do we know if George is working with his editors earlier to catch and correct any errors in TWOW? Or is he sticking with a month or so before the book is printed? 

I hope he works with his editors far in advance to catch any errors.

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4 minutes ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

In the first printing of ADWD there were a lot of mistakes. Granted subsequent prints corrected these mistakes. However, those mistakes removed me from the world immersion experience. 

Do we know if George is working with his editors earlier to catch and correct any errors in TWOW? Or is he sticking with a month or so before the book is printed? 

I hope he works with his editors far in advance to catch any errors.

For whatever reasons, it doesn't seem to be his MO, since the World Book and Fire&Blood also had many errors, errors of spelling, errors of continuity, errors of names and dates, etc.  So, my guess is that Winds will be the same.  I'm not sure if the high level of errors started with Dance, I think so, but it seems that this is the new GRRM normal, unfortunately.  Just my opinion.

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The errors are purely a result of the extreme turn arounds. AFfC and on, up to F&B, have been published within three months of delivery, more or less -- not really the amount of time one normally wants. F&B had more time, but had some issues related to the source material that slipped people by. That said, F&B has relatively little in the way of errata compared to TWoIaF because it had an extra few months before it went to the printer.

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25 minutes ago, Ran said:

The errors are purely a result of the extreme turn arounds. AFfC and on, up to F&B, have been published within three months of delivery, more or less -- not really the amount of time one normally wants. F&B had more time, but had some issues related to the source material that slipped people by. That said, F&B has relatively little in the way of errata compared to TWoIaF because it had an extra few months before it went to the printer.

George has been writing WINDS for 8 years now. Dose he sends whatever he finishes to his editors to catch and correct?

Quick turnaround is not an excuse for ADWD or TWOW whenever it comes. I'll grant him the last two or three chapters as they, theoretically, had less time to be edited. But, for the rest of the book it is not excusable to have glaring errors. His editors are getting a salary to catch such errors, George's refusal to use them through out the writing process is  baffling. 

Waiting 8 years for a book is bad, waiting 8 years getting a book riddled with errors is horrendous. 

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Editing can happen in batches, but the thing is George is often tweaking things all the way through the process. Since he works in Wordstar, edits have to be manually implemented by him, and if he's already changed the text, well... 

In fact, that's why up until relatively recently he'd print the whole thing and they'd do line edits on the printed copy. No doubt it'd be easier if he used Word, but he has developed a personal workflow with Wordstar for nearly 40 years and isn't going to change. But really, the publisher is the one who decides whether they want to turn it around in 3 months or 6 months. If they work on editing for longer, there'll be fewer errors, but that means a later book. Maybe they'll decide to take longer with TWoW, but I expect people will complain that it doesn't have a 3 month turn around of earlier books.

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7 minutes ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

I'll grant him the last two or three chapters as they, theoretically, had less time to be edited. 

But the last two or three (or whatever) chapters are not necessarily the last ones to be written. 

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7 minutes ago, kissdbyfire said:

But the last two or three (or whatever) chapters are not necessarily the last ones to be written. 

That's why I wrote "theoretically".

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Posted (edited)
25 minutes ago, Ran said:

Editing can happen in batches, but the thing is George is often tweaking things all the way through the process. Since he works in Wordstar, edits have to be manually implemented by him, and if he's already changed the text, well... 

In fact, that's why up until relatively recently he'd print the whole thing and they'd do line edits on the printed copy. No doubt it'd be easier if he used Word, but he has developed a personal workflow with Wordstar for nearly 40 years and isn't going to change. But really, the publisher is the one who decides whether they want to turn it around in 3 months or 6 months. If they work on editing for longer, there'll be fewer errors, but that means a later book. Maybe they'll decide to take longer with TWoW, but I expect people will complain that it doesn't have a 3 month turn around of earlier books.

He can start editing whatever he has now rather than after the entire book is delivered. 

The current sample chapter, Arianne II, has a glaring error: "Mistfall" instead of "Mistwood".

George admits that he's a slow writer, why not complement the slow writing with error free writing?

F&B was a better read because of fewer glaring errors. ADWD on the other hand was not.

 

Edited by Quaithe from Asshai

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I don't know what the reason was for the feeling that Dance had to go from final copy to published as fast as humanly possible, or why the same types of things happened in the subsequent side books, but with the show ending in a few months there will be no legit reason for rushing any books out that haven't been fully and properly proofread.  I know George has his own particular mode of writing, but good grief, publishing used to be done practically by hand and they managed to avoid this kind of stuff.

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The samples George posts on his website are essentially drafts and not final versions. They have not gone through the full editorial process. Much like chapters George reads at conventions. I suppose he could ask the publishers to do the full work on it, but he doesn't. 

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7 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I don't know what the reason was for the feeling that Dance had to go from final copy to published as fast as humanly possible, or why the same types of things happened in the subsequent side books, but with the show ending in a few months there will be no legit reason for rushing any books out that haven't been fully and properly proofread.  I know George has his own particular mode of writing, but good grief, publishing used to be done practically by hand and they managed to avoid this kind of stuff.

George can send all of the finished chapters to his editors now, and continue writing the reminder of the book. Make the writing process a dynamic one; his editors read and correct the book as it is written. When the last chapter is delivered, they can do final edits which can be done effectively in 3 months. Sitting on finished chapters-riddled with errors- for years is unfathomable. 

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1 minute ago, Ran said:

The samples George posts on his website are essentially drafts and not final versions. They have not gone through the full editorial process. Much like chapters George reads at conventions. I suppose he could ask the publishers to do the full work on it, but he doesn't. 

TWOW is the most anticipated book for the publisher. I don't see a reason why they don't want to work with George on editing it as it is written rather than after it is delivered, especially that the publisher want to release the book as soon as humanly possible.  

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3 minutes ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

TWOW is the most anticipated book for the publisher. I don't see a reason why they don't want to work with George on editing it as it is written rather than after it is delivered, especially that the publisher want to release the book as soon as humanly possible.  

I think the reason is that George has trouble letting things go and he is constantly rewriting and writing up until the last second, this probably accounts for some of the level of errors.  I tend to think it's better to finish the book in toto and send it off, than to do it piecemeal, a chapter here and there, that seems like it would increase error and continuity issues.  But, there is no reason why when the manuscript is 100% finished, that it shouldn't be properly edited, reviewed for continuity, grammar and spelling, it's really unconscionable that such a high profile author as GRRM's books are put out in a semi edited state.

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15 minutes ago, Cas Stark said:

I think the reason is that George has trouble letting things go and he is constantly rewriting and writing up until the last second, this probably accounts for some of the level of errors.  I tend to think it's better to finish the book in toto and send it off, than to do it piecemeal, a chapter here and there, that seems like it would increase error and continuity issues.  But, there is no reason why when the manuscript is 100% finished, that it shouldn't be properly edited, reviewed for continuity, grammar and spelling, it's really unconscionable that such a high profile author as GRRM's books are put out in a semi edited state.

But early chapters in the book are typically set in some way or another. He can edit those chapters.

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, Quaithe from Asshai said:

George has been writing WINDS for 8 years now. Dose he sends whatever he finishes to his editors to catch and correct?

Quick turnaround is not an excuse for ADWD or TWOW whenever it comes. I'll grant him the last two or three chapters as they, theoretically, had less time to be edited. But, for the rest of the book it is not excusable to have glaring errors. His editors are getting a salary to catch such errors, George's refusal to use them through out the writing process is  baffling. 

Waiting 8 years for a book is bad, waiting 8 years getting a book riddled with errors is horrendous. 

George has established that his writing style is that of a gardener.  As he writes his complex and layered story he allows new ideas to influence previously written/unpublished material.  I doubt that he submits chapters months or years before he finishes a manuscript because the content of those chapters is likely to change when he writes later chapters and thinks of characters, settings and events that might change how he imagined earlier chapters.

His process is HIS process regardless of  how us fans think he should approach writing so it doesn't really matter if you or I think that there might be a better way for him to write his books.  The story has been amazing to this point so I'm inclined to just let him write the way he has always done it, even if it appears slow and/or inefficient.

Quality over quantity or something along those lines.

Edited by White Ravens

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On 1/6/2019 at 9:12 PM, Ran said:

Editing can happen in batches, but the thing is George is often tweaking things all the way through the process. Since he works in Wordstar, edits have to be manually implemented by him, and if he's already changed the text, well... 

In fact, that's why up until relatively recently he'd print the whole thing and they'd do line edits on the printed copy. No doubt it'd be easier if he used Word, but he has developed a personal workflow with Wordstar for nearly 40 years and isn't going to change.

I don't see how switching to Word or any other word processor would help unless GRRM allows third persons to do edits of his books, which I think maybe even dangerous.

I know that because I write academic papers and even if there are co-authors there are places where they are not allowed to touch and I often I get very angry with editorial and language edits by the publisher. Sometimes they have even changed the meaning of sentences.  I prefer to implement the (suggested) changes by myself, which is slow of course.

 

On 1/6/2019 at 9:12 PM, Ran said:

 

But really, the publisher is the one who decides whether they want to turn it around in 3 months or 6 months. If they work on editing for longer, there'll be fewer errors, but that means a later book. Maybe they'll decide to take longer with TWoW, but I expect people will complain that it doesn't have a 3 month turn around of earlier books.

Three months is a short time for a book like that. I really hope there are people who really love these books also helping in this daunting task.

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[mod] Let's stick to discussing mistakes in the books, please. if your comment does not relate to mistakes, it's not appropriate here. [/mod]

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Posted (edited)
On 1/6/2019 at 7:22 PM, Quaithe from Asshai said:

In the first printing of ADWD there were a lot of mistakes. Granted subsequent prints corrected these mistakes....

Interesting. Is there a list anywhere of mistakes corrected in later editions? (I'd genuinely love to see it.) And, in the rush, did grrm manage to check and approve these corrections?

I seem to remember a remark of grrm's, quoted here, saying mistakes annoyed him very much because some odd things were written that way deliberately, and the mistakes spoiled the effect he wanted to achieve. (I think the thread was discussing the Lion's Paw/Claw mashup.)

ETA

I try to avoid SSM's and suchlike, considering that they just add to the confusion. So I'll put the quotes I found in spoilers. (Still looking for the forum discussion on this topic....)

Spoiler

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Category/C90/P75

Quote

February 29, 2000

Editing Process

Well, my books are edited by my editors -- Anne Lesley Groell at Bantam (US) and Jane Johnson and Joy Chamberlain at HarperCollins Voyager (UK). I do send them sections as I go along -- not individual chapters but sizeable chunks -- but the editing does not really begin until I deliver the finished novel. At which point they read the book and give me notes, and I revise. Then the manuscript goes to a copyeditor, who checks it for grammar, syntax, spelling, internal consistancy, and the like, and flags any mistakes. Which I then fix. Then the book goes to the typesetters, and I receive a set of galley proofs to check and correct. The typesetting process introduces new mistakes that have to be found and corrected.

All this takes time, obviously.

I have heard the same tales as you of writers who submit chapter one while still writing chapter two, but I could never work that way. I revise constantly as I go along, always honing and polishing. I may get a new idea while writing chapter fifty two which requires me to go back and change chapters three, nine, and twenty-one. If you lose the ability to do that, because the earlier chapters are already set in type before the later ones are finished, you're binding yourself in chains.

 

http://www.westeros.org/Citadel/SSM/Category/C92/P165

Quote

Reports from Signings, Conventions, Etc

May 27, 2005

 

I asked about the previous day's panel, when George had mentioned intentional mistakes. Was Sansa's memory of the Hound kissing her when he actually had not an intentional mistake? Why would she think that? He said it was in fact intentional, but he would not tell us why. I said he was mean, and he laughed at me.

Submitted by Marie

===

I have a few items from the Q&A session. You might know all of this already; I'm not too up-to-date with spoilers and information, but these items caught my ear.

<snip>

There was a long discussion about mistakes and inconsistencies. He used the eyes changing color example, and also mentioned receiving an email about horses changing sex. George gets frustrated when there's mistakes in the books--not just because mistakes can be embarrassing, though. He said there are inconsistencies in the books that are NOT mistakes. He believes in the "unreliable narrator" -- you can't always trust what people say because they might be remembering it wrong, or you get two different stories depending on who's doing the telling. He feels that mistakes such as eye color changes can distract from the planned inconsistencies, making them less effective.

Submitted by xnera

(I think grrm is being too modest by half...)

 

 

Edited by Springwatch

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My favorite is Arya walking up to the Wind Witch despite the gates of King's Landing being closed. 

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The mistakes really don't bother me so much - especially since the chapters have always been written from a POV character.  I just view it as that character misremembering a fact or forgetting a name, etc.  After all, it's not like any of us know everything or remember all details perfectly, and we've probably all heard friends, family, coworkers say something wrong/mis-state something but still understood what they were trying to convey.  

 

So, yes - as someone who loves the world, family trees, etc of Westerns, I'd love all that to be consistent and error-free; but, I don't think it's that big of a deal.  

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