Steve C wrote:As for Book 3, I don't think there is ever going to be a Book 3. The 2nd book has a giant section that is skipped over. It described a story that I believe had been written but not published. I'm guessing it wasn't very good and had to be cut entirely. Events that were intended to be in the 3rd book were brought forward and threw the author off his stride. With that plus it's been such a long time since the 2nd book, I think the author has lost his voice for the story and gave up.
This is interesting. I had to check and A Wise Man's Fear was released in March 2011.
That's just 3 months shy of A Dance with Dragons.
In GRRM's case I would fully expect an announcement one day where he says he simply hasn't got the time to finish the series, especially now that the TV series has overtaken it and has/will give away the ending in a few short months (not that I would know as I don't watch it). GRRM has so many balls in the air that is totally conceivable, especially with his advanced aged and (apparent) poor'ish health.
My question would be, what has Rothfuss got going for him that is keeping him so busy?
You're right in saying that A Wise Man's Fear was completely disjointed in several sections and I would believe that he didn't like that part of the book and cut it out (although it's also possible that he was saving those stories for short stories a la The Slow Regard of silent Things). But then I also remember an interview with Rothfuss an age ago where he said that the Kingkiller Chronicle was going to be a stand alone trilogy and he had ideas and drafts of future novels set in the same world but telling a completely different story.
I'm not sure what point I'm trying to make anymore. I am just rambling so I'll finish with saying that I've never believed that Rothfuss is actually a good author. He knows how to paint a pretty picture and his descriptive writing is as good as anyone's I've ever read. But when it comes to plot, character development, logic and basically telling a coherent story... well, I've never seen that ability in him. This 'chosen one, god-like' personality that he has given Kvothe is juvenile at best and I think the Kvothe character is the very pinnacle of his ability to tell a good story.
Basically, I think he got extremely
lucky that The Name of the Wind turned out as well as it did and he has been riding off its coattails ever since.
I've got a bit of insight into the Rothfuss thing: I've read a fair bit of his blog, and also because Rothfuss comes to GenCon every year and has an "evening with Rothfuss" event, where he basically just answers questions, talks about whatever, or does readings from various things like "The Princess and Mr. Whiffle", (his "children's book" which comes with a "This Shit Is Not For Kids" sticker) or the humor "advice" column he wrote in college. (If you've got time, this one is hilarious, IMO
) and also occasionally talks about his writing process.
Book 2 had a bit of a rough process: Rothfuss had a ton of anxiety with the book, with suddenly being famous, and his meticulous writing style just doesn't lend itself well to deadlines. He tried to rush out the book, anyway, and his editor had to step in. (He relates that story here
, after the first section break).
But, I don't actually think that "big section" that Steve C mentions was actually a cut, though, assuming you're talking about the bit where he goes "on the trip I was shipwrecked, attacked by pirates, hit by a storm, and left penniless in a distant country, but that's not important right now". And that part I think was always meant to be skipped.
I think the point of saying "hey really interesting stuff happened, but I'm not going to tell you about it", is that he's trying to show that Kote is only telling the parts of the story that are somehow important to the overall story: that bit of the story is making the argument that all the rest of the story is important, even if it just feels like a random collection of events. If it were really a cut, he could have just written "and then I sailed to Severen and it was an uneventful trip".
And maybe there'll be a payout to the seemingly meandering events of Book 2. Rothfuss does seem to have a knack for small details of past events calling forward to later events, but we'll have to wait for Book 3 to see, I guess.
Plus, there's definitely an "unreliable narration" aspect to the series, and I'm hoping that Book 3 will have some revelation that makes it a lot more obvious what parts of the story are just Kote embellishing things.
And I actually do think Rothfuss is a talented author. There's a lot of cleverness to his writing, both in Kingkiller Chronicles and outside of it. And I don't just mean his prose (which I could take or leave, honestly: artful prose isn't my thing). There's a ton of little details and nuance throughout the stories: there seems to be as much hidden in two books of Rothfuss as there is hidden in a half-dozen books of Sanderson. (And I say that as a huge Sanderfan)
But he's someone who's good at writing, and not someone who's good at writing on a deadline. He's got too much anxiety, too much of a perfectionist, and apparently he tends toward depression. It's a vicious cycle where his writing takes awhile, so fans get angry and start sending toxic stuff at him, and so he gets more depressed and toxic himself, and that delays the writing more. He had a blog entry back when book 2 was being delayed
, and I imagine all of that is true, even more so, for book 3.
Also, sometimes he gets angry and becomes a bit of a toxic asshole himself. As much as I respect him as a writer, can sympathize with his struggles, and can enjoy listening to him talk, apparently, Rothfuss can really be an asshole at times. Both when dealing with fans (he's basically started treating anyone who as much as mentions Book 3 like they're one of the toxic assholes), and he's not always great with people who have different opinions than him. But that's a whole other rant
And, he's got other stuff on his plate, other than writing Book 3, too. Other than just "having a life", he's pretty heavily involved in charity work, he's got other bits of writing on his plate, and I know there's something of a TV deal in the works for his books, too. He's definitely working on Book 3 (there was even a leaked page, though his reaction to that is part of my above linked rant), but it's probably best if he continues to work on "Valve-time", "it'll be out when it's done".
Same for GRRM, for that matter. It's not that he doesn't care, it's not that he's sick and old, it's not even that he's so distracted by the TV show that he doesn't write anymore (though the television series can't be helping). It's mostly that GRRM's writing style just doesn't lend itself to quick work. He's never been a fast writer, even before there was a television show.