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 Re: the cancellation of Elaine's "Reclamation"
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Posted - 18 Apr 2008 :  15:12:25  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message  Delete Topic
I've set aside this scroll as a handy reference source for details about the cancellation of Book VI of Elaine Cunningham's "Songs & Swords" series -- Reclamation. By now, you've likely heard the news that has been filtering through many online FR communities. To ease, somewhat, the disappointment and frustration we're all feeling at the moment, I think it would be best if Elaine's own words regarding the situation be made easily available. And thus, in so doing, we may possibly prevent any further confusion or mis-directed blame to occur.

What follows are direct quotes taken from the "Questions for Elaine Cunningham" scroll here at Candlekeep:-
quote:
Originally posted by Elaine Cunningham

GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENT

I've heard writers far more experienced than I admit that every now and then, they'll come up against a book that is far more difficult to write than they'd anticipated--including some stories they're never able to complete. For me, RECLAMATION was one of these problematic stories.

I rewrote the plot several times, changed the scope of the story, dropped characters and subplots and added new ones, changed Elaith Craulnober's role from a secondary character to a major character, wrote, revised, tossed out, lather-rinse-repeat. Despite all these efforts--and also because of them--I was unable to complete the book before the drop-deadline. After much consideration, the folks at WotC decided to cancel RECLAMATION.

I have absolutely no complaints about the way WotC has handled this situation. If a writer cannot, for any reason, meet a contracted deadline, the publisher has every right to cancel that book.

Yes, I'm disappointed. This story dealt with several issues I would have liked to resolve: the final mystery behind the moonblades, the identity of the child Princess Amnestria bore to Elaith Craunober, the fate of Kymil Nimesin, the royal succession of Evermeet. Elaith needed to face his past and move beyond it one way or another. Danilo needed to move beyond what my friend and current co-writer calls "a walking romantic subplot" and come into his own. Arilyn had residual issues raised by events in the last part of Dream Spheres.

But. With fourth edition around the corner, it just didn't make sense to push back the release date again. Upcoming 4th edition changes to the Realms will render many of the themes and concerns of this book irrelevant, just as the destruction of Halruaa pretty much guaranteed the irrelevance of the Counselors & Kings trilogy. Also, nine years have elapsed since the release of DREAMSPHERES, the last Songs & Swords book. Nine years. That's a long, long gap, even in as long-lived a series as Songs & Swords. ELFSHADOW, the first Songs & Swords book, has been in print longer than many FR readers have been alive. All things considered, itís probably time to move on.

I apologize to readers who have been looking forward to this story and who are disappointed by its cancellation. You have my heartfelt thanks for all your support, kindness, and friendship over the years.


quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Wooly Rupert

That's a grand disappointment, Elaine.

I hope that at some point, things may change, and Wizards will allow the publication of a book that many, many of us have waited a long time to read.


Last night I couldn't fall asleep, so I came downstairs and starting reading Writing the Mystery, a writing reference book with articles by many of the top mystery writers. Lawrence Block, whose work I've long enjoyed, contributed an interesting article about "ending a story." He concluded that there were three reasons why he occasionally stalled out:

1) There was something wrong with the story itself. It went off track somewhere, but he just couldn't figure out where and how.

2) There was nothing wrong with the story, but he just wasn't able to finish it at that particular time. On more than one occasion, he pulled an abandoned ms out of the file months or years later, read it, and immediately figured out how to procede.

3) There was nothing wrong with the story, but he was having a crisis of confidence and needed to muscle his way past it.

I'm fairly sure I'm facing a Number 1 problem, because I know what a confidence crisis feels like, since I'm obliged to push through them on a regular (weekly? daily?) basis. Maybe someday I'll wake up at o-dark-thirty sitting bolt upright and exclaiming, "Yeah! That's EXACTLY what the story needed!" And maybe I'll finish it to satisfy a personal sense of closure. But barring that if-if scenario, this isn't a matter of WotC "allowing" publication. If they'd received a finished ms on schedule, they would have published it already.

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

I'm sorry to hear of your trouble.

You've got what makes what irrelevant backwards.



Thanks for the kind word. As a writer, what I consider "relevant" are interesting stories, compelling characters, and carefully crafted prose. These are the things I strive for no matter what the project, with varying degrees of success. But as a FR writer, I also have to also consider the setting, which includes editorial decisions concerning directions for the world.

Many, if not most, FR readers judge a book's success not only by the story but also how it handles the setting, and by this measure, contribution/innovation is a criterion of relevance.

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Theophilus

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Faraer

I'm sorry to hear of your trouble.

You've got what makes what irrelevant backwards.



Thanks for the kind word. As a writer, what I consider "relevant" are interesting stories, compelling characters, and carefully crafted prose. These are the things I strive for no matter what the project, with varying degrees of success. But as a FR writer, I also have to also consider the setting, which includes editorial decisions concerning directions for the world.

Many, if not most, FR readers judge a book's success not only by the story but also how it handles the setting, and by this measure, contribution/innovation is a criterion of relevance.



I don't like speculate but if this criterion is applied across the literature isn't there a chance that Mr Greenwood's 3rd instalment could similarly be cancelled?


I don't see any reason why it WOULD be. The issue is my inability to finish the story, not WotC's willingness to publish the story according to the contractually agreed-upon schedule.


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Edited by - The Sage on 18 Jun 2010 15:15:50

The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
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Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2008 :  15:13:46  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Dalmar Amad

Hi Elaine Cunningham,

I'm devastated to read, that Reclamation was cancelled. Of all the realms' authors I've read, your books were constantly very good reads IMHO.

Beside Arilyn and Elaith, Bronwyn was the most interesting character of your books and I really loved Thornhold.

Hope to read something new of your doing soon. If not, I surely will read all of your FR-books again.

Good luck to you.

Dalmar



Thanks, Dalmar.

I'm not planning to give up writing. For that matter, I haven't given up writing in the Realms--I'm currently revising the script for a graphic novel adaptation of one of my FR stories. (That will go to the editor later today.) If I'm asked to write another short story for an upcoming anthology, I will. If an opportunity in 4E opens up that seems like a good fit, I'll definitely consider it.

At present, I'm working on a science thriller based upon recent studies on bacteria. My co-writer is a physician and a former research scientist, as well as an award-winning writer of literary short fiction. It's an interesting collaboration; we bring very different backgrounds and skills to the table, yet we mesh extremely well.

I spend part of my writing time on this project, part on solo work. On my own, I've been working on the first book of a new urban fantasy series, and over the next two weeks my primary focus will be writing a detailed outline for a book that's soon to be under contract.

What with one thing and another, I keep busy.



quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

quote:
Originally posted by Purple Dragon Knight

Cancelling a Cunningham novel.. to do space for some crap by some unknowns.


Just to reiterate, PDK, WotC would have published this novel if I'd given them a novel to publish. This is a clear-cut case of the publisher NOT being at fault.

quote:
Originally posted by ElaineCunningham

Purple Dragon, I WAS given more time on the story. A full year after the deadline. If I had another year, or two, I'm not sure the outcome would be any different.

I know corporations make a big, tempting target. Quite often, deservedly so. But my inability to finish RECLAMATION has nothing to do with anything the publisher did or did not do.

Over the past several years, I've had a string of illnesses and have been struggling unsuccessfully with a lifelong challenge--severe depression. I'm working very hard to get beyond this difficult and destructive period of my life.

There is no dark and hidden story, no heartless editor, no collective corporate villain. This situation is exactly as I have described it--repeatedly, and in more detail than I'm truly comfortable giving.

Reclamation is dead. Resurrection spells have been attempted, repeatedly, to no avail.

Please don't think I don't appreciate the sentiments you folks have expressed, but I think it's time for me to bow out of this discussion. I really don't have anything more to add, and I don't see any benefit to anyone in continuing in this vein.

Sweet water, light laughter,
ec



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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 18 Apr 2008 :  15:16:20  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
I'll lock this scroll for the time being. 'Tis only meant as an easy reference source, not a discussion scroll. Further comments about Reclamation can be posted in Elaine's "Questions" scroll that I linked to above.

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Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage
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The Sage
Procrastinator Most High
Moderator

Australia
31701 Posts

Posted - 18 Jun 2010 :  15:19:59  Show Profile  Send The Sage an AOL message  Click to see The Sage's MSN Messenger address  Send The Sage a Yahoo! Message Send The Sage a Private Message
Given very recent events re: Elaine's future Realms works, it's been decided that I should "unsticky" this scroll and allow it to fall away into the ether [and so as not to serve as a further reminder of what *might* have been]. Interested scribes looking for this information need only search for "Reclamation" in order to find it again

Candlekeep Forums Moderator

Candlekeep - The Library of Forgotten Realms Lore
http://www.candlekeep.com
-- Candlekeep Forum Code of Conduct

Scribe for the Candlekeep Compendium -- Volume IX now available (Oct 2007)

"So Saith Ed" -- the collected Candlekeep replies of Ed Greenwood

Zhoth'ilam Folio -- The Electronic Misadventures of a Rambling Sage

Edited by - The Sage on 18 Jun 2010 15:21:40
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