It seems like every other day we hear about how The Wise Man’s Fear (originally supposed to have been released in the Spring of 2008) has been delayed again. It hasn’t even been two years yet since The Name of the Wind was first published, but fans are already getting testy about the delays. Rothfuss has pulled back the curtains a bit on the process and explains why a novel we all thought had been written years ago, is still on the road to being published.
Whatever release date you’ve heard for book two is simply untrue. There is no release date because the book isn’t finished yet. I’m working on it right now. Or rather, I would be working on it if I wasn’t writing this blog.
Yeah. It sucks. I wish it was finished too. My life would be really great right now if book two were done.
I’ve been avoiding writing this blog for a while. It’s not fun to write, and it’s not going to be fun for most people to read. The truth is, I’d much rather work on the book.
Hey, what’s this? Rothfuss actually cares about the book
as much more than we do? I’ve always been taught that authors are nothing more than particularly articulate machines!
The Wise Man’s Fear won’t be out for a while. This won’t come as a surprise to many of you. Especially those who know not to trust everything Amazon says. Plus, I’ve been pretty open about the fact that I’m still working on revisions.
You see, even if I finished the book today and it was perfect, it couldn’t be on the shelves by April. It takes a long time to get a book into print. Months and months. There are a lot of steps.
Since many of you will be disappointed by this news, I figure the least I can do is explain why it’s taking so long.
Somehow I expect DAW would make an exception with Rothfuss’ novel (similar to the rush job that Tad William’s Shadowplay got), but it’s important for a novel like this to go through the proper editing steps, otherwise we’ll end up with a typo filled mess similar to Shadowplay – no offense, Pat!
Over the last six weeks, I have written roughly 60,000 words. Pretty good words if I do say so myself.
To give you a bit of perspective, there are entire novels that are only 60,000 words long. Stardust, for example. Coraline was only 30,000 words long. (I mention these two because I just listened to an interview with Neil Gaiman.)
That means that since the beginning of the year, I’ve already written an entire novel’s worth of text.
The Name of the Wind is bigger than that. It was over 250,000 words. The Wise Man’s Fear is looking to be even longer, maybe more than 300,000 words.
Why did my book need these 60,000 words? Well, I realized part of the book wasn’t as well-developed and satisfying as it needed to be. It needed more action, more tension, more detail. It needed to be re-worked, expanded and generally betterized.
It took 60,000 words to do the job. My book effectively ate an entire novel’s worth of text. A short novel, admittedly. But still, it gives a sense of perspective.
This is something that fans of authors who write big doorstopper novels need to remember. Terry Brooks might write a novel a year (at about 100k), but writing at that pace it would take someone like Martin or Rothfuss 3-4 years to complete a novel. But then there’s Steven Erikson, who’s an absolute beast and can knock out a 400k novel every year. Must’ve sold his soul to the devil, or something.
Two years ago, I was a part-time teacher. I was poor, obscure, and pretty content to stay that way. I learned to write as a happy, carefree nobody. No deadlines. No editors. No stress.
Since then I have somehow become an international bestselling author. I’ve paid off my credit card debt. I own a house. I own a car. I get fanmail and invitations to conventions.
And, honestly, for big parts of this time I have been pretty miserable.
The reason for this is Psyke 101 simple. Stress is caused by change, and the last two years of my life have been nothing but change.
No kidding. Considering Rothfuss was able to match $58,000 in donations made by his friends is a pretty good indication as to how his life has changed in the past two years.
In concrete terms, there’s not much you can do to speed book two along. Ultimately, nobody can write it but me.
That said, it would be nice if everyone was conscious of the fact that I am a person, not a whirling machine that does nothing but churn out EFP.
It would also be nice if folks avoided bitching to me about the delay. It’s really counterproductive. I actually do read all my e-mail and the comments on my blog. When someone goes out of their way to snipe and bitch at me… Well, the best possible outcome is that it makes me tired and depressed.
At worst it makes me think things like, “You little fucker, I’ll be damned if I write you a book! I’m going to play Spore for 15 hours just to spite you!”
Now I’m not saying you can’t be pissed. Feel free. And I’m not saying you shouldn’t express those honest emotions. Don’t keep it bottled up. It’s not healthy.
What I *am* asking is that you don’t bring your frothy rage round here to my house. Screed away on your own blog, curse my name on a discussion board, punch your pillow. By all means, vent your spleen. Just don’t vent it at me. It makes me hurty inside.
Sounds familiar, eh?
I’m going to hold a lottery, and the winner will get to have their name in book two. Maybe your name, or your mom’s, or your kid’s. Your choice.
I’m still working out the mechanics. But it will be free, and it will be open for everyone. When I get all the details worked out, I’ll make an announcement here on the blog.
This is my way of apologizing for the delay. It’s also my way of thanking you all for being gracious and patient with me. This I appreciate more than words can say.
Now this is all just a Coles Notes version of what Rothfuss has to say on his blog (check out the whole thing HERE), but I feel for the guy. My stance has always been that I’d rather read a book when it’s ready to be published, rather than an inferior product sooner.
Famed videogame designer Shigeru Miyamoto (the guy behind Mario) said it best:
A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.
Best of luck, Pat. I’ll be there waiting for you on the other side.