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.

Comic about Patrick Rothfuss Comic about Patrick Rothfuss

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.

  • edifanob February 27, 2009 at 7:56 am

    I read the whole post.And to be honest I appreciate to get view behind the curtain of an author.
    Maybe the most interesting piece of news I found in this post;


    “Before you begin a thing, remind yourself that difficulties and delays quite impossible to foresee are ahead. If you could see them clearly, naturally you could do a great deal to get rid of them but you can’t. You can only see one thing clearly and that is your goal. Form a mental vision of that and cling to it through thick and thin.”
    Kathleen Norris

  • gav ( March 1, 2009 at 6:51 am

    I have a completely different reaction to reading this news of delay than that of GRRM – I guess that understanding why there is a delay is much better than keeping silent.

    I’m sure it’ll be great when it’s done and that Pat’s trying his best to give his fans exactly what they want. A great bloody story.

  • aidan March 1, 2009 at 11:40 am

    I think you hit the nail on the head. Rothfuss appeals to his fans because he’s willing to come out and let them know what’s going on, rather than staying silent about his progress.

    Yeah, it’s taking him longer than expected to put out The Wise Man’s Fear, but we know why it’s taking so long and what he’s doing about it and that makes all the difference in the world.

    Respect for Rothfuss +1 with this post.

  • […] – April 13th, 2009: For a more recent look at the delays behind The Wise Man’s Fear click HERE. digg_skin = […]

  • Ryan Charlebois April 21, 2009 at 12:55 pm

    I must agree as well. I am content to wait for this novel to be finished and I do not want it to be rushed. People, there are always other novels coming out at different times. Get a new novel if your tired of waiting to pass the time. Cut the guy some slack and let him get his shit done

  • God of All Things April 23, 2009 at 9:32 pm

    I love this author. Not only does he write well, he also emotes to his fans. That is a rare thing. I know how difficult it is to write a book, especially the rewriting of a book. I use the word rewriting instead of editing because of what happens to the original piece in the process. Some things take longer than others, but all good things take time. Thank you Patrick Rothfuss for being a person, as well as an amazing author.

  • Chuck Hunt April 27, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Just remember Robert Jordan.

  • Delia May 19, 2009 at 12:45 pm

    Pat Rothfuss is simply the best writer there is in the fantasy genre to date. Period. End stop. In fact I think he would be brilliant in whatever genre he chose. We fantasy fan are simply lucky that he likes fantasy too and chose to gift us with his prose.
    If he wanted to take forever to do this book right, then more power to him. None of us are going to die if this book does not get on the shelves tomorrow; in fact some of us will move on, live and thrive.
    Look at it this way. We can tell our children and our children’s children (if we are so lucky) that we were there when “The Name of the Wind”, “Wise Man’s Fear” and “Third Novel Yet to Be Named” were first published. There are some people around who remember when “Lord of the Rings” appeared. Let us hope that Pat Rothfuss will travel in such august company.

  • marc lewis August 24, 2009 at 11:35 am

    Name of the Wind is a brilliant book (and believe me, I know what that takes), take your time.

    Best Regards,


  • Claudia August 25, 2009 at 7:12 am

    I knew I should of took my time with the name of the wind..*sigh* guess I have to reread it.

  • Douglas August 25, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    understanding the process of productive dialogue between two parties is something we are all familiar with as the democratic town hall meetings all over our lovely country are begging for a safe and sane, productive dialogue. I say POOP! I once, in an unproductive marriage counseling group of sessions, wanted to check into a hotel and hamer out the details of our infected relationship (yes, I have and share guilt) and get to the bottom of all our problems and move on…..all in one fell swoop. it dose not work this way….not in town halls and not in very personal affairs. it most cirtainly will not work as an excuse to fight or stopp hurty feelings felt by neglagent authors and bogus marketing agents….you just plain creep me out with your wordy pleas for us to be patient (telling us to shut up), kind in our critasisms( controling the dialogue), and excuses about a final and dependable release date for wise man’s fear (dodging and shucking for the pourpose of driveing up sales)…….stop it you bunch of stupid placating money grubbing shits……release the book for gods sake….make what you can and move on to book three already…..take that you liars!…..Ha!

  • Tom Tindall August 28, 2009 at 2:58 am

    I bought your 1st book, The Name of the Wind, through the Science fiction Book Club (Canada) and really enjoyed it. Please take the time that it takes for you to be reasonably satisfied with the final version of The Wise Man’s Fear. I am looking forward to enjoying the second book in this series. The first book really was a breath of fresh air that I had been waiting for, a new multilayered universe to enjoy being a part of as I read the book! THANKS!!

  • Romy Tuggle September 20, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Just finished “The Name of the Wind.” I am completely swept away. Take your time and make the sequels as good as the first! We will wait….

  • Ashton October 23, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    I loved your first book enough that I read it three times. Take all the time you need. I have never in over 20 years read a book more than twice.

  • Travis July 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

    Just finished The Name Of The Wind 20 minutes ago, had to check when book two was going to come out. Not gonna lie a little upset/anxious that i have to wait a year but considering i waited many years for book 12 of the wheel of time to come out i think ill manage, and to be totally honest with you, this book is absolutely fully entertaining. I cant remember a moment of bordom reading it, unlike book 5-8 of WOT. haha.
    Keep up the good work, I will be waiting for part 2

  • Stephen in Portland January 29, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    Patrick, you make the words flow so well on paper, people assume it flows from brain to hand to paper just as easily. Like Mozart was reputed to have done, pen to paper, no revisions necessary. We all wish. Take as long as you need to do it right.

    Another month, two tops, in a perfect world. In the interim, I will read TNOTW for like, the fifth time.

  • Lyndsey Michaele Poore Russell March 28, 2013 at 4:28 am

    I am a bibliophile. I read. a lot. Every genre. I particularly enjoy science fiction and fantasy; but, for a while there, I felt like I had read every book in the genre and any new book was regurgitation of the old. Not true Mr. Rothfuss. Your book has rekindled me love of the genre and is BY FAR the best book I have read in the last 10 years. And when I say I have read thousands, that is no joke (although it is probably in the 2 thousand range, so the term exact). It is nice to read a book that takes me more than a few hours to read. It is nice to read a book that makes me reread it over and over like some people watch movies. SO. Take your time on book 3. While I have read In the Name of the Wind four times (going on five, this month), I have only read The Wise Man’s Fear once. I can read it a few more times before I REALLY get antsy for the next one. As long as there IS a next one… well? Is there? I think I might go a little crazy if there wasn’t… ;)