Just in case you missed it on the Twitter machine, I finished the rewrites to Goliath, the final book in the Leviathan trilogy, last Tuesday.
This was a tricky series, requiring much more research and infinitely more art direction than anything I’ve ever done before. The fact is that each of these books took more than a year to write. They only came out a year apart because a) I started the first one a long time before it found a home at Simon & Schuster, b) and S&S have been kind enough to let me turn in this third one a bit late.
But it’s done. w00t! Time off!
And now onto your imaginary questions. (I’m in a fake dialog-y mood these days.)
So these are the “rewrites”. How much did you change?
Well, I turned in the first draft in October, the day before Cassandra Claire’s wedding and three days before my giant tour started—so, um, kind of at the last possible minute. That first draft may have been a BIT rushed. In fact, it was 3,000 words shorter than the rewrites I just turned in, mostly because the ending now has three whole new chapters. (To point out the obvious: Endings are rushed when writers don’t have enough time, because most folks write their books more or less in order.)
The first draft also had missing sections in other places, with labels like [MORE CRAZY STUFF HERE] and [FINISH DESCRIPTION AFTER KEITH DRAWS IT]. Those are all replaced with real writing now . . . I hope.
So “rewrite” means “just add more stuff”?
Well, no. That’s the most noticeable aspect of this particular rewrite, but not the most important. The most critical thing I did was to look at the character arcs (particularly the relationship between Two Very Important Characters) and make sure they were consistent, dramatic, and had their own beginning, middle, and end.
Also, there were special concerns because this is a Last Book. Like, I made sure that all the characters who have appeared across the series have at least one more shout out each, so we know where they all are at the end. I also tried to hit each of the underlying themes of the series (loyalty, duty, destiny, friendship, uncomfortable allies, mixing of technologies, the importance of truth, the importance of lies, and the badness of war) in ways that felt conclusive.
Wait. Last book? But there’s only been three! Don’t you know the secret meaning of trilogy?
Um, right. What I meant was that the three Leviathan novels are done. There’s still the Manual of Aeronautics to come. This book four, which may have a different title, will be a Spiderwick Field Guide-like large-format book of Keith’s art.
It’s going to be awesome, with big, full-color deck plans of the Leviathan, cutaways of the Stormwalker, and lovely portraits of many beasties, machines, and uniforms. Finally you will know what color everything is! There are also a few how-to diagrams, like Huxley Semaphore and sliding escapes.
It comes out in October 2012.
That’s ages away. When does Goliath come out?”
Well, it was supposed to be released October 4, 2011. But that has been changed to . . .
SEPTEMBER 13, 2011! That’s right, it’s coming out three weeks earlier!
Cool! Um, but if you were late, why is it coming out earlier?
I don’t know. I just work here.
So how long is Goliath?
It is 94,000 words, and I don’t know how many pages yet. For comparison, Leviathan was 79,000 words and Behemoth was 85,000 words. Inflation!
That means you did more pictures, right?
Well, Leviathan had 50 images, Behemoth had 55, and Goliath has 56 confirmed so far, and it should be more.
(These counts includes the end papers, spot art, and full-page art.)
Will you be spoiling some of these pieces for us?
Yup. Probably March 1 for the first one, and every first of the month after. So that’s (*counts on fingers*) seven pieces of pre-released art in all.
Plus we’ll obviously spoil the cover, which should be fairly soon. (I have seen a rough version and you haven’t. Neeners to all!)
What are you doing next?
That is the subject for another blog post. (Soon, baby, soon.)
Um, I’m out of questions.
Yeah, I’m sure you are, because you’re not even real. But if the many fine commenters on this blog have more questions about Goliath, etc., they should ask them!
Note: I probably won’t answer spoilery questions, except in cheating, non-useful ways that only drive you more insane! But feel free to ask them.
149 thoughts on “Goliath Is Done!”
i read these books so fast and get soooo absorbed in them i dont hear anything or notice time going by like i’ll be on page 5 and when i see what page im on later im on like 97 and i swear it’s only been five minutes.
i wish i could have Bovril
I have a question. In chapter 3 of the hardcover version of Leviathan (I don’t know if it’s the same in paperback) Deryn says that her guidebook was called the Manual of Aerology, but I’ve also seen the Manual of Aeronautics, so…which one is it?
YESSSS! I’m so pumped. But OBVIOUSLY, the real question here is; When will the Kindle-edition be available!?!?!?… Or maybe that doesnt matter, I’ll just read the book the day it comes out, and then re-read it the day the Kindle-edition comes out. (Yup, that sounds just about perfect.)
Oh, and congrats on finishing the trilogy and all that other stuff.
And, if Deryn and Alek don’t declare thier love for one another, I will seriously throw something, I promise. :DDD
Um……I’m done 🙂
omg thank you so much for moving it to sep 13 2011 but is ther any way u can get it out march 6 2011 plez plez plez that would be awesome if u did is ther any way possible or at least put a sneek peek maby 2 chps long
Oh my Spanish guitar players. GOLIATH COMES OUT ON MY BIRTHDAY! Please excuse me while I weep happy tears. This is honestly the best birthday gift ANYONE could veer give me. THANK-YOU SO MUCH.
YAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i LOVE behemoth and leviathon… i finished leviathon in like 10 hours then ordered behemoth off amazon with overnite shipping the minute i was done.. im soo excited for behemoth but im sad that the series will be over 🙁 I hope they make this series into a movie (with 3 movies not some dinky single movie where the end it after the first book). Also Scott do you think you could release the 1st chapter early?? ONe last thing, I really hope Deryn tells Alek shes a girl really early in the book and not like in the very last chapter so then you can havw that element through the whole book! Although you can’t really chane that now.. well hope you already did it! I’m gunna go start readin the Uglies now!!
I am FREAKING OUT!!!!!? Leviathan is my all-time favorite series after the Hunger Games and Gregor the Overlander. (you should read them if you haven’t already) I have waited for this for TOO LONG!!!!! Thanks SO MUCH for publishing it early!!!!! (and sorry for all the caps and exclamations?)
(sigh) I’m not even finished with Leviathan(can’t pronounce that word for my life) yet. But I’m taking my time this time, i usually read too fast for my own good, so that i won’t have to wait for Goliath. Poohey, i want it really bad!!! are there any ARC’s? I also want everyone to realize that deryn is a girl so that they can be all: “ohhhh my barking spiders!! a GIRL is better than ME at something!? O_O
OMG!MORE THAN A MONTH!I CANT WAIT!
I LOVE YOU SCOTT WESTRFELD
im gonna get damn pissed if alek and deryn get together in like the last chapter!god dont let it be like that:(
I am soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo happy that GOLIATH is coming out so soon, but I am rlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlyrlrylry sad that the BEST SERIES OF ALL TIME is coming to an end. I know this is a trilogy, but Scott, plzplzplzplzplzplzpplzplzplzplz make an exception to the definition!!!!!!!!!!!!!
P.S. sorry for being overdramatic ;D
hey EVERYONE PLEASE READ this post. this is a spoiler for some and a great theory for others. in the book behemoth Lilit kissed Deryn and said she was curious but i think she had a hunch that deryn was actually a girl so she kissed him to see if she was really who she said she was and found out she wasnt so thts why she said she knew more than she thought
how come the message lizard says the book comes out on the 20th if its coming out on the 13th?????
I AM SOOO F&^KING HAPPY!!!! I THINK IM GUNNA GO INSANE!!!!!!!!!!!
I’m so excited!!! Scott has done a masterpiece in my eyes!!! 😀 I CANNOT WAIT!!! YAY 😀
u rock man this is awsome it comes out the day after my bday!
I have never read any of the books, but I was just on Rick Riordan’s website
looking for when his next book is coming out (the Son of Neptune. I totally love the Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series) and I was looking at his book recommendation list and I saw this series. I googled it and read a summary and it looked totally awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
i am your BIGGEST fan i wish that GOLIATH was out now ive read Leviathan 2 times and Behemoth 4 times!!!!! i canttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt wait
Could you please send me a copy of Goliath… please?!?! I MUST read this book NOW. I can’t wait any longer…..
Q: Is it hard to write a trilogy?
Q:what is your favourite book out of the Leviathan series scott?
Is it the 13th of September or the 20th of september???
Neeeeeeeeeeeed too know!!! Love these books…I like how they relate too ww1 but with completely different things like the walker that was so cool to read about
I…I……I Freaken Want It! >:o
Awsome book series! But i would like to know if you are going to write more books on the topic of the fight between the darwinist and the clankers or are you just going to drop the topic and go to something else? and what is the the release date sept 13 or 20?
TOMORRROW IS THE AWESOME DAY WHEN IT COMES OUT!!!!!! XDDD
ugh i’m so depressed WHY DOES IT HAVE TO END!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! it was my favorite sieries i donk know what i’m gonna read now 🙁
FFFF YES finally, my library should get it as soon as possible, or I will give them threats of raman related torture
OMG I just finished Goliath I am extremely upset that the book series is over and way to throw us off a cliff with that ending I DEMAND MORE lol…still best books EVAH 🙂
So new book done yet?
How about now?
wait. wait O _O it’s 26! IS THERE STILL A BOOK OUT THERE FOR ME?!? I might be able to buy ’em on Saturday D:
> .> I can has hard-cover?
can’t wait to read goliath
GO PERCY JACKSON (random)
GO SCOTT WESTERFELD
I was just on Rick Riordan’s website looking for when his next book is coming out (the Son of Neptune. I totally love the Percy Jackson and the Olympian Series) and I was looking at his book recommendation list and I saw this series. I googled it and read a summary and it looked totally awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!( IDK I already wrote this, but whatever)
I just read Leviathan and Behemoth they are AWESOME. (hee hee)
It is the best book ever!!!!! Hey scott is there going to be another book?
I started Leviathan on a Friday night, could not put it down, and finished it on Saturday . THe book was so good i went and got the next one which I also finished in a matter of days. I loved the books and could not put them down. I am now reading the Uglies and this book is so good that ti can’t stop reading it!!!!!!
Thank You so much I could not find a enjoyable and fun book for a long time and now i am trying to save it so that i can enjoy it. THank You so much
My mom had asked for recommendations and she found this and it was the happiest day of my life!!!!
Thank You so so so so so so so much!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!(:
I have a question too?
???? Would it be possible to write a follow up about what happens to Alek and Deryn i loved the romance and i really want to know what happens?
could you post the first um 20 chapters for me to read im a big fan and started reading it cause a friend read it (i was low on books at the time) so i started it and loved it please post the first 20 chapters
Alek and Deryn had better get married or something, or I will write fanfiction while sobbing when I should be writing essays for school! I WILL DO IT.
I cant wait till I read it. Good job on the book. awesome fan.
thank you so much
Almost done with Goliath!
This is probably the best series I’ve ever read!
Is it weird for me, a boy to be reading this?
Now that I think of it, why couldn’t the darwanist use the fleccette bats against kappas?
Please make some kind of series spanning off this one! This is to goo an idea to waste on just 3 books!
I seldom drop responses, however i did some searching and wound up here Goliath Is Done! westerblog. And I actually do have 2 questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be just me or does it look as if like some of the responses look as if they are coming from brain dead visitors? 😛 And, if you are writing on other places, I’d like to follow anything new you have to post. Could you make a list of all of your shared pages like your linkedin profile, Facebook page or twitter feed?
xD lol i love the series great job! please make more books thoughhhh >.< i hate to have a great book series and it end real early. But anyway, please consider making more of these ( i know it takes a while but its worth it xD).
I'll be getting the field guide thing too! c:
I got your second book at 10:30 am started reading at 11:00 and finished at 7:45. (do I read too much?). Why do you have so many “accidents” in your book “BEHEMOTH”? The revolution goes good but they should have had the leviathans marines disembark and join the revolution but of course disguised.
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