So earlier this month, I started to catch up on certain things in my life. I turned in a story that’s three months late. I caught up on reading my backlog of e-mail (well… most of it). I got back in touch with people I’ve been meaning to e-mail for months.
And at the beginning of the month, spring started to arrive here in Wisconsin.
You would think this would be a cheerful thing for me. Birds singing. Flowers budding. All that Disney shit.
But you’d be wrong about that.
For one thing, you’re thinking of the wrong sort of spring. In Wisconsin, spring really just means the snow melts. Everything is brown and grey and muddy. It rains. The trees stretch their bare, black branches into the slate-grey sky like they’re auditioning for a part in a particularly emo T.S. Elliot poem.
Yeah, eventually things green up. It gets warm. Trees bud. But that’s in May. That’s *late* spring. Early spring is depressing as fuck.
The other reason spring isn’t very cheerful for me is that in my head, spring isn’t a beginning time. Spring is an ending time for me. Maybe it’s because for 20+ years of my life, I lived by the school year, rather than the calendar year. And May (Which again, is spring in Wisconsin) is the end of the school year.
Whatever the reason, spring is a melancholy time for me. I don’t think, “Yay! A new year is starting!”
No. I think, “I was so busy this winter that I didn’t take time to make a single snow angel. I didn’t build a snow fort like I wanted to with Oot. I didn’t even make a snowman with him. I don’t think I even made a snowball this year.”
It’s a depressing thought.
Luckily for me, Stevens Point got about three inches of snow last week. Then last night, on Saturday, we got about four more. Good wet packing snow.
It’s nice to get a second chance. Especially when you don’t deserve it. To ignore such a gift would be reckless to the point of arrogance.
So today I took a couple hours and focused on the important things.
(Click to Embiggen.)
Those of you who live in the uncivilized backwaters of the world might not know what Sarah is doing back there. But anyone here in Wisconsin can tell by the tracks in the snow….
We’re making snowmen. Snowpersons, rather. A whole snow family.
The one in the middle is Oot, pretending to be a snowchild with his corncob pipe. Or, as he refers to it, his smoker.
If you have trouble with snowman gender identity, let me clarify by pointing out that the one on the right is me, while the one on the left is Sarah. You can tell because the one on the left is more cheerful, and looks better in her hat. While the one on the right is more full of shit.
And no, I’m not speaking figuratively. I’m talking about this:
Can’t see it? Let me get you closer….
There’s a herd of deer that regularly hang out in our backyard. This is one of the many nice things about living in central Wisconsin. Some deer poop in your snowman is a small price to pay. It’s as inoffensive as rabbit poop. The two are virtually indistinguishable, truth be told.
The other way you can tell the difference between snowme and snowsarah is that snowme has an icicle beard….
Next time, I think I’ll go for the pine beard, as the icicle one is hard to see.
If you can’t tell which one is the real me, it’s the one on the right. I have better posture than snowme, and I’m more full of shit. (Figuratively.)
Also, for those of you who are curious, that is my favorite coat. (Well… I only have two, but it’s still my favorite.) I’ve had it for over twenty years. That’s why it looks a little the worse for wear….
Anyway, to wrap things up, here’s our whole snow family:
And with that I will leave you.
May you all have a relatively pain-free tax day. May you all have ample opportunity to make snowmen, and more second chances than you deserve.
So earlier today I took a break from catching up on my e-mail. There were sounds of intense tickling happening in Sarah’s bedroom, and Oot was doing one of his best laughs: sort of this helpless throaty chortle that means you’ve *really* got him going.
I don’t know if Sarah realizes, but he gets that laugh from her. When something happens that strikes Sarah as really funny, she does this deep, throaty laugh. It’s like the sound a donkey would make if it was suddenly turned into an cartoon stereotype of an overweight geek. It goes heah heah heah.
It is in no way a dignified sound. But it is my favorite laugh ever. It’s full of genuine amusement. And whatever it lacks in dignity it makes up in honesty. True laughter is rarely dignified.
Anyway, Oot is doing his version of this laugh, which means she’s probably managed to get his ribs. She’s good at the ribs, I’m a leg man myself.
I would like to digress slightly to say that I’m a master-class fucking tickler. Seriously. I’m amazing. I could teach a class on tickling. I could do a TED talk.
Anyway, I come in to Sarah’s bedroom and lay down on the bed all casual-like, ready to produce some bespoke tickling.
Then Sarah looks at me with lust in her eyes and says, “You smell so good. It’s making me stupid.”
To understand her statement, you have to realize that I am the next stage in human evolution. My pheromonic musk is developed to the point where it’s practically a weapon. In the best of circumstances, I smell masculine. And on a day when I’m staying home and have skipped my morning shower…
Well…. suffice to say that you know there’s a man in the house, even if you can’t see me.
On top of that, I’d been writing. I don’t know why, but when I’m writing, my man-smell gets particularly strong. It’s like my body is trying to establish its dominance over reality itself.
The effects of this pheromonal cocktail vary, but with a select section of the female populous it has two profound, complimentary effects.
1. It delivers a message directly to the woman’s hindbrain, saying: THERE IS A MAN NEARBY, AND YOU MUST MATE WITH HIM.
2. It immediately drops the woman’s intelligence anywhere from 10-50 IQ points, which makes it hard for them to realize that mating with me is *obviously* a bad idea, while at the same time rendering them more vulnerable to my not inconsiderable charm.
You have to admit that evolutionarily speaking, this is a winning combo.
Anyway, Sarah says that, and we laugh. Then, after giving Oot a good tickling, I ask her if I can post her comment up on facebook.
She agrees, and I go to amuse the internets.
But here’s the problem. I can’t find a way to accurately portray what she said.
It should be easy. I know exactly *what* she said. Eight words. Two independent clauses.
But it’s not easy. The trouble lies in the punctuation.
Let’s start with the most generic way of doing this.
“You smell so good. It’s making me stupid.”
Punctuated like this, her statement feels choppy and wooden. More importantly, the statement feels matter-of-fact and emotionless.
But if you try to spice it up with an exclamation mark….
“You smell so good! It’s making me stupid.”
There’s a reason exclamation abuse is a crime. Punctuated this way, Sarah seems hopelessly manic. Like she was hopping up and down, excited. That’s not right at all.
You can’t do it the other way, either….
“You smell so good. It’s making me stupid!”
Then it seems like she’s excited that she’s stupid, which gives the wrong impression on every conceivable level.
And neither of those options address the other problem, that having a full stop in the middle makes it feel like she’s making two separate, unconnected statements. That’s simply not the case, she’s making one complex statement.
Here’s how I’d like to punctuate it…
“You smell so good, it’s making me stupid.”
But that’s a comma splice. I’m not opposed to them entirely, I’m no slave to grammar. But when you’re relaying one line of dialogue and it’s grammatically incorrect…. That’s just not classy. It’s sloppy writing.
Technically, you could fix this with a semicolon….
“You smell so good; it’s making me stupid.”
In some ways this is the right thing to do. A semicolon is the official way to show two independent clauses have a close relationship to each other.
Here’s the problem: Semicolons are for wankers. Seriously. You can go your whole life without ever needing to really use a semicolon.
Unless you’re an academic, of course. If you’re an academic, you’ve got to use semicolon to impress other wankers with how much of a wanker you are so you can get your paper published. You know, that paper you wrote detailing your in-depth Marxist interpretation of the last eight lines of John Donne’s “The Flea?” The paper where you used the word “moreover” twenty-seven times in eleven pages?
Most importantly, a semicolon looks really strange in a piece of casual dialogue. People don’t speak using semicolons. Unless they’re wankers.
A lot of time, I’ll default to an ellipsis. Because I love ellipses.
“You smell so good… it’s making me stupid.”
But it implies too much of a pause in the middle of the statement.
What about an em dash?
“You smell so good— it’s making me stupid.”
Nope. Just looks weird.
And don’t even think about using an en dash, you little fuckers. That’s *not* what an en dash is for….
In the end, the only way to make this piece of dialogue “sound” right to the reader is through use of interstitials.
“You smell so good,” she said, looking at me with half-lidded eyes. “It’s making me stupid.”
That’s not quite right either. We need some foregrounding *and* an interstitial….
Sarah looked at me lustily. “You smell so good,” she said, her eyes half-closed. “It’s making me stupid.”
There. That’s just about right. That conveys her tone and mood in the appropriate way.
What’s my point?
Well, first off, let me say that I never promised there would be a point here. Sometimes I just idly muse about shit. Sometimes I just tell stories. Sometimes there’s no point.
But if there *is* a point it’s probably this: When you’re writing, there are no small choices. Or perhaps it would be better to say that writing is nothing *but* small choices. And all of them have the opportunity to effect your story in a disproportionately large way. Punctuation can change the tone of a sentence. The tone of a sentence can change the feel of a scene. And the feel of a scene can change your impression of a character’s personality.
A secondary point is that this is why my revision takes so long. When you think all these little things to death, you tend to fidget with a text a *lot.*
I hope you’ll forgive me for bringing it up again, but I’m a little excited about the project. Plus the clock is ticking, and a few things have happened since my original post.
Actually, a LOT of things have happened, but I’ll just hit the high points here…
First I want to thank everyone that stormed over to the Torment Kickstarter and signed up. The folks running the show tell me that the day I announced my involvement and posted up my blog was the second biggest day of the kickstarter so far.
I can’t thank you enough for that. It’s not often I get to look cool, but you guys made me look cool.
Also, your comments in that blog were delightfully supportive and encouraging. A few were kind enough to make me weepy.
So… yeah. Thanks for being lovely humans. And double thanks for proving that the internet is peopled with something *other* than wankers, whiners, and people that type “first.”
2. The Stretch Goal
The kickstarter has flown past 3.25 million, which means I’m officially going to be helping write a piece of the game.
After I was officially part of the team, I started to think about what I was going to write. And my thoughts kept coming back to what I really liked about some of those older games. Specifically, the companions your character travels with as you move through the story.
How cool would it be, I thought, to write the dialogue and story arc for one of these secondary characters?
So I called Colin and asked him how he’d feel about me writing a companion.
He asked me if I had any ideas for a character.
I told him I did. I explained the character.
He said it was weird. Not the sort of character that normally gets written into games.
But he also said I could do it.
So now I’m excited. I get to write a companion for the game.
I can’t tell you anything about her except that it will almost certainly be a she.
And she’s not going to be the usual sort of thing, because this isn’t going to be your usual sort of game.
They’ve added some new stuff to the Kickstarter since my last post. You can be a Beta or an Alpha tester now. (So if you’ve ever wanted to be a beta reader of mine, now’s your chance.)
I’ll also be doing a comic for the game, because comics are another form I’m looking to experiment with a little more, and it gives me a chance to work with Nate Taylor again. I’ll be using that story to introduce my character, and flesh out my little corner of the world. Plus writing comics is easier for me, as the artist has to do most of the heavy lifting.
If you’re interesting in adding stuff like being an alpha tester and/or getting some of the comics being written for the game by me and other folks, you can increase your bid over on Kickstarter.
5. The Final Days
As I mentioned before, the kickstarter is about a day and a half from being over. Right now we stand at about 3.6 million, making us the second-highest game ever funded on Kickstarter.
If we can hit 3.99 before it ends, we’ll be *the* highest funded game ever. I’m thinking we can do it if we can just get the word out to enough people…
So if you’re interested in getting in early, now would be a great time to jump on board. Supporting the game now is much better than doing it later, because if you buy in now, that money goes toward making a better game. Plus it’s cheaper to buy now. Plus you get the chance of cool extras and add-ons that won’t be available after the kickstarter closes.
Yeah. There you go. That’s my final pimping of the Kickstarter.
It’s officially hitting the shelves today (Tuesday, April 2th.) The paperback version of The Wise Man’s Fear.
Or rather, it’s what *I* call a paperback, but what everyone else calls a “mass market paperback.”
I’ve probably seen 80-90 different versions of my books come out in various languages and editions at this point. So by now I probably should be kinda blase about the whole thing….
But the truth is, I still get excited.
This edition I’m particularly glad to see, because when I was a kid, paperbacks were the only books I bought and the only books I read. This is the edition that will be easier for people to afford, and easier for people to carry around with them.
But in addition to that, when I picked it up and flipped it open, I got to see something cool:
You’ll have to click to embiggen if you want to read the text, but the opening pages of this edition are full of the nice things people said about the book in their reviews and blurbs.
Truth is, I don’t remember getting the vast majority of these blurbs or reviews.
That might seem a little odd, but you see, the month before The Wise Man’s Fear came out, I was doing promotion round the clock: interviews, podcasts, getting ready for my book tour….
Then when the book came out, I spent three weeks touring. I think I had something like 22 events in 21 days. I didn’t have the time or the energy to obsess about my reviews.
And after that, I just wanted to sleep and spend time with Oot.
So a lot of these reviews were new to me and gave me all sorts of happy feelings.
They also reminded me of something else I did back in 2011 when I finished touring. I went through the 500-600 e-mails that readers had sent me while I was away.
Those were the real reviews I read about my book, and so many of them amused and delighted me that I started cutting and pasting them into a word file, thinking I would eventually post them up here in the blog…
It seems that time has come. So here are the ones I could dig up on my computer, in celebration of the paperback release….
* * *
I had a passionate love affair with Wise Man’s Fear. Seriously, I was calling my husband Kvothe for 2 weeks. Still do on occasion. He loves it.
My husband and I were sorting out a lot of issues, learning to understand each other… to love each other again. I was ready to give up and call it quits and it was about this time I finally got my hands on your second book. It was as if I learnt how to live again, how to feel, how to imagine, how to create. The few minutes spent with Kvothe each day taught me to love myself again.
That’s once of the nicest things anyone has ever said about my writing.
Ok, you know when you find The Shoes? The ones exactly that colour of red. The ones with the slightly rounded toe – not too pointy, not too round. The heel is the right height and shape. When you wear them they make you feel gorgeous and sexy and confident and you can take on the world. They are just wide enough to fit your hideously wide foot and just long enough so that they don’t rub your heel until it’s bloody every time you wear them. You know when you put that shoe on, it feels like…it’s perfect. It fits like the proverbial glove. That’s your writing style for me, Patrick. I’m so glad I found you :-)
I’m not much of a shoe person, but I know where you’re coming from. Extra points for including the u in “colour”
For the week leading up to the release of The Wise Man’s Fear, I slept with The Name of the Wind under my pillow. For the three days that it took me to finish The Wise Man’s Fear (and for an additional two days after I finished), I slept with that book directly under my face, as I stayed up so late reading that I was too tired to relocate it beneath my pillow. Now, the front and back covers of both books have face-shaped curvatures in them. Thank you again for a wonderful read. Yours Truly, Lexa P.S. The Wise Man’s Fear smells delicious. It definitely meets my all-good-books-must-smell-like-heaven standards.
Nice to meet a fellow book-smeller Lexa. And no, I’m not being sarcastic.
I missed my train stop when Kvothe was fighting Carceret at the First Stone. You know how long it’s been since I missed a train stop? I’m a veteran city dweller. That’s just not done man.
Don’t worry. We’re not judging.
The Wise Man’s Fear has the absolute best texture to its pages. Kudos!
I agree. Thank my editor for that. (This is mostly a hardcover issue.)
Your characters are 3-D and lifelike. I can just imagine Denna gliding through the doors of a Hilton daring the world to comment while Kvothe watches her meet a senator from the corner of a building, a bag of McDonalds forgotten in his hands. Or Elodin flouncing into a lecture hall in an ivy league college, bewildering his students with impossible questions….
I have gotten about seven hours of sleep over the last three days because I have refused to put down Wise Man’s Fear. I’ve failed a test, gotten no work done, missed a class, and shunned my friends. You may have heard of me.
Hell. I’ve *been* you.
My name is D– and I am currently deployed to an undisclosed location in Afganistan with the U.S. Armed Forces. I just wanted to simply say thank you. Your two books have given me an opportunity to escape from here while reading for just a minute.
Glad I could help, even if it’s just for a minute.
Thanks for putting homosexuals in WMF that are not queens or craven pedophiles, an odious habit of many fantasy writers.
My pleasure. Thanks for noticing.
I finished reading the new book tonight (er… this morning), and I just wanted to let you know: I’ve been sad lately, and it’s kept me away from playing music. Your book made me want to play again.
I have just received my copy of The Wise Man’s Fear in the mail. I have not opened the book, yet already I feel the need to apologize to you. I am sorry. I know this is your baby, I know that you have been working on her for years and that you love her dearly. I wish I could feel the same, and that I could show her all of the respect that she deserves. I want to my time with her, but I cannot. I am using all of my patience to send you this message. My first time with this book is going to be fast, it is going to be dirty, and it is going to be all about me. Again, I am sorry. I promise that the next time, and the next time I read this book that I will be gentle and caring. But not this time.
Congrats. It’s rare someone pulls of the hat-trick of “creepy” “funny” and “true” all in the same e-mail.
Hi, I really enjoyed your work. Your prologues and epilogues could win awards, if there were awards for prologues and epilogues.
I would like to wish you a BIG congratulations on the book! CONGRATULATIONS! I was one of those whiney fans ‘Whens the book coming out. How soon. When? Wahhh Wahh Wahh.’ I regret every word. The time you have spent on such a masterpiece of work was well worth it and I, as a whiney fan, have been quieted.
Greetings from the sunny (AND 120 degree) Middle East. I just wanted to tell you how much I enjoyed your second book, The Wise Man’s Fear. I dragged it all the way back from Washington, DC with me on a 17 hour flight back to Bahrain. I also brought it to Beirut, Lebanon. It was well worth it, but now I see the advantage for using a Kindle. In short, I loved it. I also wanted to let you know that in a very, VERY serious meeting with NAVCENT Brass, I snickered (for the 40th time) about, “I liked Shehyn’s little hat.” It was just loud enough to get noticed by a full bird colonel. Well, I thought you’d want to know what you were contributing to the global war on terror.
There were many more. Too many to print here.
I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who has sent me a message over the years with a kind word about the books. I can’t reply to all of them, but I do read them, and they make me smile….
Well, actually, let me tell you a story that consists of several stories. And it’s *about* stories.
This should not surprise anyone, really. This is what I do.
* * *
Back in 2009 I attended Gen Con as author Guest of Honor. It was one of my first GOH gigs, and at a convention I’ve been attending off and on for most of my adult life.
That said, I was still a pretty new author in 2009. I only had one book out, and had only been published for two years. People came to my signings and panels. I had fun. But honestly, I wasn’t a very big deal.
Wandering around the dealer’s hall, at one point someone came up to me and said, “What makes you so honorable?” When I gave him a baffled look, he pointed down at the ribbon on my badge that said. “Guest of Honor.”
“Oh,” I said. “I write books.”
“Oh,” he said. And walked away.
* * *
After taking a break from Gen Con for a couple years, I headed back in 2012. I wasn’t GOH or anything, and was mostly going to play some games and hang out with friends, including my new bestie Robert Gifford of Geek Chic.
But in 2012 I’d been published for *five* years. And I had *two* books out. I’ve hit #1 on the New York Times. I’ve been hugged by Felicia Day. I’m not really a big deal, but I’m certainly a bigger deal than I ever was before….
The difference was most notable when I walked around the dealer’s room. People would stop and say, “Are you Patrick Rothfuss?” And we’d stop and chat a little bit. One particularly memorable couple came up to me and said, “That’s the best Pat Rothfuss cosplay we’ve ever seen! The beard looks so real!” and asked to get a picture with me.
I won’t lie, it’s kinda fun. One of the main reasons I go to conventions is to meet up with my readers. My readers are lovely people.
Still, I was surprised at how *many* people recognized me. Artists, dealers running their booths. Catgirls.
On Sunday, a tall dark stranger came up to me and said, “You’re Pat Rothfuss, aren’t you?”
“Yup,” I said. We shook hands and I read his badge. “Nice to meet you Colin,” I gestured to the vast panoply of geekery around us. “How do you fit into all of this?”
“I write games,” he said.
“Role Playing stuff? Computer games?”
“Both,” he said. “I worked on Planescape back in the day…”
“The computer game?” I asked.
“Planescape Torment?” I asked.
He nodded again.
“You are fucking kidding me,” I said. “I was just talking to someone about Torment. That was one of the best games I’ve ever played.”
He looked at little surprised at this, “Wow,” he said. “I….”
“The narrative was brilliant,” I said. “It’s been ten years, and I haven’t known a game to come close to it.”
“I mean you had honest-to-god open-ended character development that was an integral part of the main narrative,” I said. “Nobody else has ever pulled that off as well. It was amazing.”
“I still remember the interaction you could have with some of the NPC’s,” I said. “You actually had to be clever talking to them. You could offend them and piss them off. The writing was solid and smart. You had a branching narrative that still felt cohesive and engaging. I’ve never seen that handled so well except for maybe in the early Fallout games.”
“And the dialogue,” I said. “It was great. How the hell do you manage to write things like that? To keep track of all the different ways a conversation can go…?”
Eventually I shut up long enough for him to tell me he liked my books. We traded e-mail addresses, and he offered to show me what the dialogue trees looked like when you’re writing a computer game.
I was happy as a kid at Christmas.
* * *
A couple months later, in November, Colin and I chatted a bit.
“We’re going to be writing a game that will follow in Torment’s footsteps,” he said. “Good character. Good story.”
“I’m tingly at the very thought,” I said.
“Want to help write some of it?” he asked.
“Oh shit,” I said. “Yes. I’ve always wanted to take a poke a writing a computer game.”
“Cool,” Colin said.
“No,” I said. “I want to, but I can’t. I have to work on Book Three.”
“We don’t want you to write *all* of game,” Colin said. “Maybe just a side area. Subplot. A piece.”
I made a miserable noise. “I can’t.” I said. “My editor would be pissed. My readers would be pissed. I’m already behind schedule.”
“That sucks,” he said.
“Yeah,” I said.
I’m paraphrasing a bit, you realize. But the sentiment is dead-on. When I said “no” I felt like a kid who had to stay inside and practice the piano while all his friends got to go eat ice cream and have awesome sex on the moon.
* * *
Colin: You sure?
Me: I really can’t. Revision is going slow. I should keep grinding away.
Colin: Fair enough. I understand.
* * *
I bring in Colin McComb, Jerry Holkins (From Penny Arcade), and Veronica Belmont (From Sword and Laser) to talk about videogames and storytelling on Storyboard.
It ends up being one of my favorite episodes so far, probably because everyone is passionate and outspoken. Colin, Jerry, and Veronica all know so much more than I do on the subject, and that’s great.
(Sorry. It’s embedding ugly. Just click over to Youtube.)
Colin mentions the upcoming Torment game. They’re going to launch the kickstarter tomorrow. They’ve got a lot of great creative people on the project.
During the panel, I get a little crotchety about modern games. I make some noises along the lines of, “Video games are pissing away the storytelling opportunities available to them. There’s bad writing. Foolish mistakes. When I was a kid….”
Jerry steps in and says, “We’re at the helm now. If we see these things we don’t like, it’s our fault. [...] We can’t just point at it and expect the universe to fill it.”
It’s startling to hear. But he’s right, of course. I know he’s right.
They raise over $2,000,000 in less than a day. It seems like I’m not the only one who remembers those old games fondly.
* * *
I realize the story I’m trying to write for an anthology isn’t working out. It’s my second attempt to write a story to fill this obligation I agreed to more than a year ago. I’m months overdue, and I feel like an asshole.
I need to get this story done and out of the way so I can get back to working on book three.
Though honestly, those revisions aren’t going that well either. It feels like a grind. It’s going slow.
* * *
I’m at the Tucson Festival of Books, eating Pizza with Sam Sykes, Kevin Hearne, and Diana Gabaldon.
Sam Sykes says, “We’re at our most creative when we’re at play.” Then he tells a story about a famous director who would send people home for the day if they were taking their job too seriously.
And he’s right, of course. I know he’s right.
* * *
Coming home from Tucson, I think to myself, “Fuck it. When I get home, I’m going to start a new story for that anthology. Something fun.”
* * *
I decide I’m going to write a story about Bast.
I have no idea what the story will be about. I have no plan. I have no plot in my head. Honestly nothing.
When I teach, I stress that writing is not merely a communicative process. People think writers are effectively engaging in transcription. We have something in our heads, and we just write it down. That’s how people think stories happen.
But that’s not how it works. Writing can be communication. But most of the time, writing is a generative process. The story comes into being as it’s being written. It’s about discovery. Assuming you have to know what happens before you sit down to write is a rookie mistake.
So I sit my ass down. I decide I’m going to take my own advice. I’m going to write even though I have no plan. I’m going to write and see where it takes me.
I’m going to be irresponsible. I’m going to play.
At the end of the day, I’ve written 4,500 words.
* * *
I write 16,000 words. Good solid words. That’s not even counting the crap I trimmed out and threw away. I finish the Bast story except for one or two small scenes. It will be a great fit for the anthology.
I feel great. I’m excited about writing again. I think about revising book three and it sounds fun. I want to get back to it.
If you don’t know how much 16,000 words is. Let me put it in perspective for you.
If I wrote 16,000 words every week. By the end of the year I would have produced over 800,000 words of text.
That’s twice as long as The Wise Man’s Fear.
If I can maintain my sense of play. I could easily write a book a year.
A book a year *plus* all the other things. Fun little stories. Poems and songs. Maps.
* * *
I call Betsy, my editor. She’s glad to hear the writing’s going well again.
She’s not surprised that a fun side project has helped refresh me. She’s knows how writers’ brains work. She knows more about it than I do, actually. That’s her job.
She’s a great editor.
* * *
I send Colin an e-mail. Then I decide to call him, instead because I know we’re getting down to the wire.
“Do you still want me?” I ask. “I know it’s kinda late.”
“We’d love to have you,” he said. “We can add you as a stretch goal.”
“How much writing are we talking about here?” I ask.
“Maybe 10,000 words,” Colin says. “More if you like. Less if you need it to be less.”
“Could I maybe help with some of the character arcs too?” I ask. “I’m pretty good with character. You could use me as a sounding board if nothing else, and ignore me if you think I’m being an idiot.”
“Um…. let me think,” Colin says sarcastically. I can hear the smile in his voice. “A chance to chat with you about stories and character development. I think the answer to that is…. yes. “
I want to for so many reasons. But still, I hesitate.
“We’ll pay you of course,” he says. He names a number. “I could get you more, if you need it.
“That seems fair,” I say. “I don’t want to put the squeeze on you.”
Then a knee-jerk instinct kicks in. “However…” I say in my best used-car salesman voice. “I do run a charity….”
“You mean Worldbuilders?” he says.
“Oh,” I say, pleasantly surprised. “You’ve heard of it.”
“Of course I’ve heard of it,” he says.
“Well,” I say slowly. “This year we started accepting corporate sponsorships….”
“I can make that happen,” Colin says. “I’ll talk to the boss, and one way or another, we’ll make it happen.”
“Okay,” I say. “You’ve got me.”
* * *
So there you go. Pretty soon, within just a couple of hours, they’re going to be announcing my involvement in the project.
I’m not going to lie. I think it’s going to be an awesome game, and I’m not just saying that because I’m writing a piece of it.
If you’re on the fence, here are a couple reasons to consider jumping into the kickstarter.
1. If you’re planning on buying the game eventually, it’s cheaper to buy it now.
2. If you know you’re going to want to try it later, chipping in early means they’ll be able to make it an even better game. More development money means more content.
3. If a healthy number of my readers rush over and jump onboard, I get to look kinda cool to the developers. They’ll think things like, “Oh, maybe we didn’t make a horrible mistake bringing that Rothfuss guy in.”
4. You have to give these guys credit for supporting Worldbuilders. That’s mighty damn nice of them.
5. This is the first step in my extended master plan. If this goes well, it means we’re *much* more likely to see a Kingkiller game. More importantly, a Kingkiller game I’ll be able to have a direct hand in. Personally, I think that would about a thousand flavors of awesome.
Later Space Cowboys, I’m off to sleep. I’ve got a story to finish tomorrow….
Last night I had the most kick-ass dream that I was living through the zombie apocalypse. In my dream, I saved Oot from zombies and brought him back to my house. Since it was the apocalypse, and night was coming, I was prepared to look after him indefinitely.
But just as the sun was setting, you knocked on my door. You had run across several states (in a mere evening), and you were shaggy, but gloriously so. You imperiously held out your hand, I returned Oot to you, and then you turned around and the two of you marched off into the sunset. The experience of being in your presence left me invincible against zombies for several days.
Needless to say, I was rather angry when I was woken up.
On a different note, if I were actually living through a zombie apocalypse, your books would be in my survival kit.
That is all,
* * *
My name is Patrick Rothfuss, and I approve this message.
Okay folks, convention season approaches, and I’ve got a lot of stuff coming up this year.
So I’m going to list my current schedule here for those of you who might be unaware of the fact that I actually post my Tour Schedule up online. Or for the people that are unaware that I post my upcoming events on my facebook fan page.
Or for those of you who are… y’know… just kind of lazy.
A lot of the events I’m going to are conventions where you can see me on panels, get your books signed, and maybe see me do to a reading.
Generally speaking when I go somewhere, especially somewhere new, I try my hardest to schedule an out-of-con signing so that folks who don’t want to go to the con (or who can’t afford it) can still catch me when I’m in town.
But this weekend, March 9-10, I’ll be in Tucson for the Tucson Festival of Books. And this time I *won’t* be doing a signing outside the event because the festival is 100% free and open to the public. So if you’ve ever wanted to hear me talk about writing or get your book signed, this is a great opportunity to do so.
If you’re interested, here’s my full schedule (which is also available on the Facebook event).
Saturday March 9
11 AM – Signing for Mostly Books – Booths 127-130
12:30 PM – Signing for Mysterious Galaxy – Booth #301
2:30 PM – Panel: Beauty with a Bow and Arrow – UA Mall tent
4: 00 PM – Signing at University of Arizona Bookstore’s tent
Sunday May 10
11:30am – Panel: Worldbuilding - Koffler 218
2:00 PM – Signing at Poisoned Pen – Booth #230-231
4:00 PM – Panel: Epic Fiction – Koffler 204
Note: There will be half-hour signings after all of my panels, too.
(Yes. I still give hugs.)
I’m regularly sent messages that say “WHEN ARE YOU COMING TO MY CITY!” when I was there just two weeks earlier. So I’d like to remind all of you now: I have a Tour Page here on the website, and I also have Facebook Events for pretty much everything I do.
Did I mention that already? Yes. Yes I did. But it bears repeating because people constantly ask me what my tour schedule is.
But y’know, because I’m from the Midwest, I was raised to be extra accommodating, so I’ll list my upcoming events here anyway, for those of you who happen to be click-phobic or something.
March 28, 2013
Reading, Q&A, and Signing
Barnes & Noble Orange
791 South Main Street, Suite 100
Orange, CA 92868 Facebook Event
Yes, I will be at WonderCon. I don’t have any panels scheduled as I’m mostly just going to hang out.
And that’s everything we have firmly scheduled right now. As I’ve said, I’ll probably be scheduling non-convention events in Indianapolis, Columbus, and Kansas City. And more in England, too. Since I don’t get over the water very often. Those will be showing up… you guessed it. On my tour schedule.
Last, I have a request.
Can we *please* not have a hundred comments down below saying things like, “but when ru comign to Scranton?!?!!!”
Here’s what you should consider before you post a comment like this:
1. Generally speaking, I do these events out of the goodness of my heart.
I like to meet my readers, sign books, and talk about writing. I like hanging out with geeks and being part of the community.
2. I try to go new places every year so I can be available to people in different parts of the country. (And the World).
That’s why I’m hitting Arizona, Arkansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma this year. They’re all states I haven’t been to yet.
3. These events take a lot of time and energy.
The events I’ve listed up above are an expenditure of eight weekends of my life. Long weekends, most of them. Probably close to 35 days.
4. My time and energy are not infinite resources.
When I post something like this, what I’m doing is saying, “Hey guys. I’m willing to offer up 10% of my year making myself available to you. Let’s get together and have fun.”
Can you see how it might be disheartening for me to post that up and have the response be dozens of comments effectively saying, “I’m upset! I’m unhappy! I want more! I want more!”
Similarly disheartening comments include things like: “I have to work Friday night, can you do a second event on Saturday afternoon?” or “Columbus is 50 miles away! Can you come to Sulfur Lick instead?”
I know it comes from a place of love. I really know that.
And I know sometimes enthusiasm leads us to do silly things. I vaguely remember my mom telling me a story about how she once wrote a letter to the Beatles, sending them some song lyrics and asking them to record the song and send a copy back to her.
And I’m *very* aware that this is some serious first-world-problem shit I’m talking about here. I’m very lucky to have a readership as enthusiastic as y’all.
But I’m just being honest here. Comments like this make me weary. They make me think dark thoughts like, “Why do I fucking bother going to these lengths when all people do is bitch and moan and ask for more?”
Should you feel bad if you’ve made a comment like this in the past? No. Not at all. That’s not what this is about. There’s no reason you could know comments like that started rubbing me raw years ago.
That’s why I’m mentioning it here. So you know. Time and again, my readers have proven themselves to be gracious, lovely people. Especially the ones who take the time to read the blog. So I’m guessing if I let you know this bugs me, you won’t do it any more.
Oh sure, I’ll still have to deal with it on facebook and twitter (whenever I finally decide to join) but hopefully I won’t have to deal with it here in my own blog.
Okay, ramble over. I’ll see some of you soon in Tuscon, assuming my gimping, crutchy self makes it there despite the incoming storm.