Book Two and a Reading in Duluth

Okay. In keeping with my tradition of slapdash scheduling. I’m going to be doing a reading/signing/Q&A session next week up in Duluth. It’s at the local Barnes and Noble on Tuesday the 12th at 7:00.

More details are over on the tour page. I also created a facebook event, if you want to use that to invite your friends without having to go to all the unpleasant work of actually talking to them.

If y’all would help spread the word a bit, I’d appreciate it. I hate doing these things on such short notice, but I only found out last week that I’d be up in the Duluth area.

And now, a piece of fanmail:

Dear Mr. Rothfuss,

As you are no doubt aware, in your April 28th blog post, you mentioned that the manuscript would be done by September.

I’m guessing you are furiously trying to put the finishing touches on the manuscript, but us fans would love an update about how the work is going. I really enjoyed your August 16th post about what revision work actually entails, and always enjoy getting a view of what your day to day work is like.

Thanks for updating the blog so frequently, it makes the waiting a lot easier, and we love hearing from you.

-Asa

Asa,

I did actually get the manuscript to my editor on schedule. She’s probably reading it even as we speak. Um. Type. Or rather, as you read what I have typed. In the past.

You know what I mean.

That means I get a little bit of a vacation while I’m waiting to hear back from her. Or rather, it means that I would get a bit of a vacation if I wasn’t still obsessively tinkering with the book.

Yesterday, for example, I re-read 87 pages of book two.

(Note that these pages aren’t the length of a paperback page or a manuscript page. They’re my own page layout that I use for editing.)

Anyway, I spend yesterday re-reading these 87 pages of the book. As I read, I try to winnow out the extra verbiage, making the book quicker and easier to read. My philosophy is that if I take out everything that is merely meh, all that’s left will be the parts that are really super-wow. That means that the book will be, in the parlance of our time, good.

Sometimes while I was reading I would get an idea for a different part of the book, and I’d skip off to another part of the book to make the change.  Sometimes I would make a change that necessitated making a few other changes throughout the book to maintain consistency.

But mostly I was just word-winnowing.

So yesterday I re-read 87 pages of the book. Pages that I’ve already read at least 100 times. It took 8 hours during the time that is, theoretically, my vacation.

At the end of those 8 hours, the book was 600 words shorter. I hadn’t trimmed a scene. I’m long past that stage. All the chaff scenes were gone months and months ago. These days if I want to tighten up the book, I have to hunt out little bits and phrases. Lines of dialogue that don’t sparkle. Non-essential snippets of description. Single superfluous words.

As I was going home, I wrestled with a familiar thought. Specifically, I wondered if I was insane.

Again, I’d spent an entire day making changes to the book that nobody would ever really notice. And I have to ask myself, is it really worth it?

Then I did the math.

A paperback page holds about 340 words, less if you use a lot of dialogue. (Which I do.) So by trimming 600 words, I’d effectively made my book about two pages shorter.

I’m guessing a quarter million people will read book two. In the US anyway. Last I heard, that’s about how many copies of NOTW have been sold.

That means, taken all together, I’ve spared my readers 500,000 pages of *meh* text.

Let’s assume it takes about a minute for a person to read a page. Roughly.

500,000 minutes = 8333 hours = 347 days.

That means, taken all together, I’ve saved my readers a full year of meh reading. That’s not counting foreign translations, book club versions, and people who read the book multiple times.

When I think of it that way, I guess it doesn’t seem so crazy. Which is good, because I don’t think I could stop being obsessive like this even if I wanted to.

Later all,

pat

This entry was posted in appearances, book two, Fanmail Q + A, RevisionBy Pat108 Responses

108 Comments

  1. AndyB
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:39 PM | Permalink

    Wait. Are you suggesting that you are concerned with saving your readers’ time? Seriously?

    Bwahahahaha!!!!

  2. Mr. Browncoat
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:42 PM | Permalink

    You, sir, are a Big Damned Hero in my eyes precisely for this type of thinking.

  3. Andres J.
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    Pat, congratulations on delivering the manuscript. I was expecting a more pompous announcement, but then I remembered that you’re not the pompous kind of person and it made sense.

    • AmusedToDeath
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:08 AM | Permalink

      This.

      Funny though. Thousands of people walking around going “fuckdamn, it’ not in on time, it’ not in on time, it’ not in on time…”, going completely nuts over some crackpot rationalizing over an author not telling his fans once again what he has already told them.

      Nice to see it confirmed though. Makes me happy.

      Thank’s Pat, you made me happy, again.

  4. spikyc
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    Cutting out unnecessary stuff is always good. I’m certain book two will be every bit as good as book one. We all have full confidence in you. Thanks for putting in the time for us :)

  5. Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:43 PM | Permalink

    Have you sold screen rights yet?

  6. Luithien
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    Duluth is so close…yet so far away from the south suburbs of the Twin Cities for a Tuesday drive. Sigh.

    • nakomiKF
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 11:11 AM | Permalink

      I’m seriously debating driving all night monday evening and through tuesday morning to get there from Utah… it’s only 23 hours and a handful of minutes, after all, and I feel this is a worthy cause to skip school.

      Although I highly recommend visiting the Utah/Nevada area. Lots of fans!

  7. ksenour
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    But in a way, didn’t you also deprive the world of 347 days of reading your book? I mean, if I could spent 347 days reading your books… I’d be a happy camper!

    (kidding, kidding. Thanks for the update!)

  8. Freelancer
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    Obsessive? Absolutely. Insane? Not in the least. Excellence approaching perfectionism is always scoffed at by the barely competent. Don’t rate yourself on that scale. It’s your story, you do with it what you will. Make it what you’d want to read multiple times, for pleasure rather than work. We, if we have an ounce of gratitude, will remember that because of your efforts, we will never have to read it in the form you’ve had to.

    By the way, love the math. A determined geek is a force of nature.

  9. Silchas
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:48 PM | Permalink

    Just imagine how many trees you’ve saved today. Given how many fans you have, and how they each buy dozens of copies, this has to add up to an appreciable number of trees.

  10. saintburns
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:57 PM | Permalink

    I see that you’ve set up some sort of random event in Duluth. Sadly I live nowhere near Duluth.

    However Omaha Nebraska is only a short 8.5 hour drive from your current city of residence. Plus it’s a big city, which means lots of fans!

    Consider it.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:02 PM | Permalink

      Considering it’s a mere 8.5 hours, why don’t you drive over here to see me?

      • saintburns
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 12:11 AM | Permalink

        You say that now, but I have the feeling that if I actually just randomly showed up you would be slightly less thrilled.

        Plus I have college T.T

        • SavvyP
          Posted October 8, 2010 at 12:41 AM | Permalink

          I say we drive out there then remind him it was his idea. I mean, I would. If I didn’t have work and classes to think about.

          • saintburns
            Posted October 8, 2010 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

            But Savvy you’re not in Omaha right now so we can’t! But we’ll take my car, it has better gas mileage….and fall break is at the end of next week….and since I’m going to be driving nine hours home anyway I could just change it up to a nine hour drive somewhere else…

      • ginger20
        Posted October 21, 2010 at 7:08 PM | Permalink

        so mr rothfuss the book is done we are just waiting for it to go on the shelves

  11. Thomas Witherspoon
    Posted October 6, 2010 at 11:58 PM | Permalink

    I appreciate you cutting out the “meh.” I firmly believe that the reason I loved book one so much was because there wasn’t a single paragraph that didn’t have me on lockdown. It seriously grabbed me and held on better than any movie and any other book I’ve read. If you left some “meh” in there for us, well it just wouldn’t be like you to do that. Every sentence is filled with meaning, or wit, or adventure. Usually all three. Greatly looking forward to book two.

  12. p-rice
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:01 AM | Permalink

    I can’t wait until the second book comes out, but I was wondering if you would ever consider visiting (and doing an event) in the Seattle area. I know several local bookstores always have your book on their staff picks shelf, so you have a large number of Northwest fans that would love to get to meet you.

    • Melody
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:21 AM | Permalink

      You’d get all your Vancouver, Victoria and elseplace in British Columbia fans too :D

      • Liam
        Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:58 AM | Permalink

        I second this motion.

        …though you should also just come up to Vancouver :) I personally guarantee that you will love the city.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:04 PM | Permalink

      I’ve already done a bunch of events in Seattle. I’ve been to Vancouver too.

      Where were you guys?

      • Liam
        Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:25 PM | Permalink

        Well I’ll be damned, you have indeed been to Vancouver.

        I tried to figure out why I never noticed this, since I’ve been reading your blog religiously ever since I finished your book. Turns out you were in Vancouver literally *AS* I was reading your book. …eerie…

        It must be that such proximity to your overwhelming aura of kick-assery subconsciously drew me into the bookstore to buy your book. This is the only possible explanation.

      • p-rice
        Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:19 PM | Permalink

        Living under a rock. I didn’t read your book until April of this year, by suggestion of my friend.

        Hopefully you’ll come back.

      • Revan
        Posted October 7, 2010 at 10:08 PM | Permalink

        Mr. Rothfuss,

        Will you be coming to the Northeast anytime in the foreseeable future? I am sure that there are plenty of us up here who would appreciate time with their favorite author, especially considering the rarity of your visits.

        Respectfully,
        Cadet Hilyard
        USMA Class of ’14

  13. Grimes
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:10 AM | Permalink

    I live near A Duluth. Just not the one you are referring too :(

  14. picklefish
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:17 AM | Permalink

    “Specifically, I wondered if I was were insane.”

    this is the ONLY rule in grammar I know. “If and Wish go with were.” please don’t hate me.

    • somesylvie
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 11:38 AM | Permalink

      Pat was correct, actually. The “were” only comes into play with the subjunctive, which in modern English is pretty much only limited to the contrary-to-fact conditional. For instance, “If I were insane, I would wear spaghetti on my head,” implies that the speaker is actually sane, and is just discussing how things would be different if that were not the case. Pat is questioning his sanity, which is a whole different beast.

  15. HarmoniumGuard
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:58 AM | Permalink

    I completely understand the tightening phase. It can be tedious but rewarding.

    Could we get a little more about your page layout for editing? As a writer I’ve been struggling with finding the perfect format for edits. I’d love to hear yours.

  16. tetlowgm
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:25 AM | Permalink

    Reminds me of the story that Steve Jobs used on his engineers when working on the original Mac. He calculated the time people spent booting their Macs and said that you would be saving 12 lifetimes every year if 10 seconds was shaved off of the boot time.

    http://www.folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=Saving_Lives.txt

  17. Merus
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

    “Again, I’d spent an entire day making changes to the book that nobody would ever really notice. And I have to ask myself, is it really worth it?”

    As someone who appreciates an economical turn of phrase, I assure you that someone will notice. Although I do love to waffle.

  18. nr
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:44 AM | Permalink

    Just out of interest, how does it actually work to keep working on it when you’ve already given the editor your ‘final’ as such? Do you just track your changes and then give the updates to your editor as you go for them to slip in??
    Was just a’wondering…

    • Widow Of Sirius
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 8:43 AM | Permalink

      Most times, when editors have a book they’re going “This is superfluous; this doesn’t even make sense; this was HILARIOUS but why was it included?” etc. so it’ll just be a combining of changes at the end.

  19. cynrtst
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:50 AM | Permalink

    I actually don’t mind a longer book, unless it really is meh, then ok.

  20. Feathers McGraw
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 4:12 AM | Permalink

    Those things are actually what make your book so much more readable than others. I have read it a few time and if it consisted of a lot of landscape descriptions and wrinkled brows I would have had to fight to get through once. So whatever you’re doing, keep doing it.

  21. Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:05 AM | Permalink

    Agree with Feathers! One of the most appealing things about NOTW is that a I/we/the readers can feel just how much thought has been put into the structure and style of the book; every little word seems to count towards the greater end goal of the story. Which is nice. If you are insane, we don’t mind =]

  22. FunkyMunky
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:06 AM | Permalink

    Well, I do love these updates you give us about the book, and I think that to further our understanding of what exactly you go through you should post the pages you looked at and the changes you made :)

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:11 PM | Permalink

      Hmmm…. I couldn’t do that without spoilering parts of the book, unfortunately.

      I could try to dig up a page from book one though…

      • Alexandra
        Posted October 10, 2010 at 12:09 AM | Permalink

        I love the editing process.

        If you have the time and inclination, seeing a snippet or two of culled superflous words would be educational.

        I guess a visit to Melbourne, Australia is not on the calendar yet?

  23. dwaith
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:55 AM | Permalink

    I smell a “Director’s Cut” of the book following the first release complete with out-takes, author commentary, meh, and a gag reel!

  24. sicsempersteve
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:11 AM | Permalink

    As a mental health professional, I would ask you to ask yourself the following questions: Does my obsessive behavior impede or interfere with the day to day living of your life in a comfortable and satisfied manner? Or: Am I truly able to stop my behavior without feeling compelled to repeat it in such a way that my overall physical health or mental well being is compromised? If you answer yes to the first one and no to the second–you might want to see someone.

    You’re a hell of a writer Pat, but between your stories of abusing GPS units, saran wrapping doors, etc on top of trying to edit this behemoth of a book AND be a good first time Dad, if you wanted to book some time on a couch somewhere just to sort that stuff out, I’d be for it.

  25. suzieqbear
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:19 AM | Permalink

    Love the meh statistics. Not that I’d mind reading an extra 2 pages, mind you, but since I’m sure I’ll already have to force myself to read slowly to absorb every word instead of just plowing through for the gist of the story- long is good, and no meh is good meh.
    Plus, even though some people are rude enough to whine at you, you know you could put out one book a decade and they’d still buy it again and again. The last good thing my ex-husband did for me was randomly pick your book out at the store because it looked like it may be long enough to keep me quiet for a bit. It worked, I love it, I bought several copies for friends.
    So damn it, enjoy your obcessive vacation, spend some well-earned time with your family, and get some rest so you can continue creating and sharing your magic with us when your done.

  26. guessingo
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:34 AM | Permalink

    Would you consider a job as a political speech writer? Imagine how much time you would save people if you pull out all the BS in political speeches?

    We could cut the State of the Union down to 20 minutes. We can fit it in at the half time show of Monday Night football.

  27. Corgyll
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:48 AM | Permalink

    Don’t cut out too many words, I remember how sad i got when i finished NOTW.
    Just woke up, had something else to write but it’s gone now.

  28. Mickey
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:56 AM | Permalink

    Dear Bearded Master,

    I can’t think of a single comment that has been properly negative about your work, apart from some purile whingeing about the wait for WMF of course. So I’d like to make a very general shoo-ing motion at anyone who thinks you aren’t burning massive amounts of chi trying to get all the ducks in a row to get book two onto a book shelf near them.

    This is your book, your time, your talent and (probably) your obsession. So don’t let us get in the way of that. No fan has any right to expect anything of their hero/idol/secret fetish object other than what they are willing to give, and you are already giving so much back to your fans !

    Write, edit, re-write and cut & paste as you will, when you will. I for one ain’t going nowhere until all three books are released, moviefied, comic booked and I can buy my kids a lunch box with a picture Kvothe on it.

    • Mickey
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:59 AM | Permalink

      Oooh ooh ooh, forgot action figures, articulated and poseable, with accesories !!!

    • Little My
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:08 AM | Permalink

      hee! A Kvothe lunch box. Yes.

    • Widow Of Sirius
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:22 AM | Permalink

      Screw the kids, I want a Kvothe lunchbox. It would sit happily on my desk and my students would think I was mildly insane until I made them read NOTW for class. Which I totally will if I ever get my secret desire of teaching a SciFi/Fantasy Lit class in high school :D

    • Dianadomino
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 4:25 PM | Permalink

      Hee! I like that “Dear Bearded Master” part.

      I admit to being curious about NOTW and Kvothe accessories, especially those such as t-shirts which we have been taunted with. Maybe it’s information that is given on a need-to-know basis.

      I could argue that I need to know, I have a scad of people who would love to receive NOTW or Kvothe t-shirts for Christmas.

      Any clues O Great Bearded Master?

      XOXOX

      Diana

      • Mickey
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 5:11 AM | Permalink

        El Beardo Grande seems suspiciously tight lipped on the matter, despite a number of subtle prods (and some just plain indecent pokes) during recent blogs.

        Perhaps all part of a master plan to bring us all some xmas merries ? One lives in hopes…

  29. Posted October 7, 2010 at 8:30 AM | Permalink

    As Asa said, “Thanks for updating the blog so frequently, it makes the waiting a lot easier, and we love hearing from you” proved correct. This blog was both funny multiple times, informing and encouraging, and man alive does it make it easier to wait knowing what stage of the process you are actually at!! As I read what you wrote on this one, i was reminded of the Author, Ursula K Le Guin, who does not waste words at all in his Earthsea series. Never have i read a book with so few words, and yet that told such a complete feeling story. I love that you try to trim the words down, as I have read a few books recently that could have used a VERY large amount of word trimming!
    I simply can’t wait for the finished good! Well….technically, I suppose I can, but I would rather not!
    Oh, and you may not answer this, as it’s in teh comments section, but an idea for a future blog maybe,
    How often do the revisions you make to book 2 force you to make notes and/or do preliminary work on book 3? For instance, while you have been working on book 2, how often do you have to put stuff down on paper for book 3 to make sure you don’t lose an idea and such?

    I know I speak for all of your fans when I say we look forward to all the blogs between now and the release of book 2 almost as much as you looked forward to little Oot’s birth! :P

  30. MLBurt
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 8:52 AM | Permalink

    It’s this kind of stuff that makes me, at least, appreciate you as an incredibly respectful author.

    When you’re writing something that will be read by someone, you’re basically saying to that someone “Here. I want you to take up your time, your energy, and your emotional devotion by reading this and loving it and becoming a part of it.”

    And by obsessively making it the absolute best it can be, it’s like there’s a little addendum where you go “And I spent a few years of my life making it as good as I can for you. Every day. Hope you like it!”

    To compare it to cake baking: “Here. Would you like some cake? I heard you really like cake. So I made your favorite kind. I also put on the best icing we could buy. I also put on a bunch of decorative candy. The really expensive kind, because no one likes cheap decorative candy that tastes awful. Also there’s another kind of really good gel-icing that writes out the words ‘I Hope You Enjoy This Cake!’ on the top and embroiders the sides. Also there’s a cherry filling. Also, here’s a big hug. A nice, big hug. I kind of look like a young Santa Claus.”

    What I’m basically saying is, those days of revision are the reason there’s so many of us. Because everyone can tell when they’re reading a book that’s been polished to a blazing shine. It’s more than just reading a good book for the sake of it being a book; it’s realizing that someone out there laboured over this thing and produced a real thing of beauty. And you can’t help but appreciate that and want to be a part of it by reading, even if you don’t realize it.

    • Posted October 7, 2010 at 12:10 PM | Permalink

      This made me laugh…

      • Walnutbutter
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 1:36 AM | Permalink

        Did it come out “Ho! Ho! Ho!”?

        • Pilot
          Posted October 8, 2010 at 6:54 PM | Permalink

          I definitely feel the same way. You’re fantastic Pat. :D
          I can’t wait for book two. I’m so excited.

          • bbtilove
            Posted October 22, 2010 at 11:02 AM | Permalink

            Waiting is hard! But there’s always a good side….as the release date for #2 approaches, it will be necessary to re-read Book 1, in preparation.
            Much joy!

  31. Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:00 AM | Permalink

    I really appreciate the revisions. It’ll make my reading experience more enjoyable. I don’t care so much about the saved time, just about the overall enjoyment…and even if ONE change doesn’t make a big difference, all the changes added up do contribute a ton to the quality of the work.

    If I was being paid to write this comment, I’d totally edit it because it’s very verbose. But I’m working for free here….

  32. Constance
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:03 AM | Permalink

    I’ve read NOTW at least 3 times full over. Some of us really don’t mind the extra time spent. Really. Your wordcraft is incredible.

  33. Widow Of Sirius
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:33 AM | Permalink

    I agree with just about everyone has said: THANK YOU. YOU ARE DOUBLEPLUS AWESOME.

    As I think I’ve mentioned, I’ve read NOTW about 5 times (if you count listening to the audio book in full once – holy GOD did that take a long time), and it’s only that few because I loaned it to a friend and she didn’t return it for 2.5 years. There’s a reason for my intense re-reading: It’s amazingly written, and there hasn’t been a time yet where I didn’t notice something new that added to the story.

    So making book 2 that much more epic? Okey dokey fine by me. I wanna revel in the glory of your words for years to come.

  34. Kyndig
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 10:00 AM | Permalink

    I love these blog updates.

    Yesterday, my girlfriend accused me of being a pathetic fanboy because I’ve purchased anything and everything that holds the name Patrick Rothfuss, and I agreed. I’ve never fanboyed over anything before, so this is an untrod path. Skeery.

    I grew up reading R.A. Salvatore, Terry Brooks, David Eddings, and a slew of others, but I never got to actually see how they lived, what they thought, or what they loved and hated. This blog is an interesting stalker window that I find myself strangely engrossed in. I know you, but you don’t know me. Creepy… and neener neener.

    1) I’m interested in how the edit process works now that the book has already been turned in. Does your editor threaten disembowelment each time you send back another 87 pages of edited-edited-edited-edited material?

    2) We’ve acquired a fascinating community here. Have you thought of setting up a forum as well as the blog? It would be a great way for your fans to discuss various things, keep in touch, and grow the community. It’d allow us to wallow in our fandom even further! Although, if it somehow killed the blog, I’d protest. Seriously. With signs and shit.

    Thanks,
    Lurker# 24961.8

    • Brock
      Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:42 AM | Permalink

      I know what you mean. Have you checked out Pat’s garbage lately? Fascinating stuff. That guy eats lots of baby food for some reason.

  35. OccamsRazer
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:14 PM | Permalink

    A part of Pat was forever corrupted in engineering school. I offer the geek math in this blog as evidence. By the way, your background in engineering (albeit short) is what convinced my dad (a Chemical Engineer whose right brain was destroyed by a surprise attack from the left brain while studying for a Physical Chemistry final) to pick up your book, and against the odds, to enjoy it. Thank goodness your right brain and left brain appear to have reached some kind of accomodation. If you are indeed insane, I’m sure this uneasy truce is somehow responsible.

  36. kseal
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 1:36 PM | Permalink

    Careful what you wish for Pat! You may wake up one morning (or rather evening), and find a crowd outside your door!

  37. Dedale
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:02 PM | Permalink

    I was wondering something,
    I’m thinking about buying the name of the wind in english before buying the wise man’s fear (as I only read in french) and I’d like to buy the english edition as it is easier for me to get books from England than America (and I like the cover better by the way). Will the wise man’s fear come out at the same time in England and America ?

    • Dedale
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:04 PM | Permalink

      (I mean because I want to have the same edition for my book 1 and 2)

  38. gkidd1985
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:16 PM | Permalink

    Is it possible that an excerpt will be posted up at some point in the near future? That is other than the one we’ve already seen.

  39. Moose
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:50 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat,

    Random question. I was wondering if you were a musician. I ask this because I myself have played the guitar for about six years. I had noticed that none of the thoughts that Kvothe expressed concerning his lute(different instrument I know, but similar) were any that I had ever felt myself or heard expressed from another musician. They were the only thing in the book that struck me as inorganic. In particular was his conclusion that three strings was too few to play on, and the bit where he puts his lute out in the sunlight because he feels the lute could use some(something like that?). You can play just about anything on three strings. In fact in some cases it makes things easier, a prime example being the video you posted on a blog one day of a guy playing a guitar with three strings. You seemed quite impressed with it. And it’s not to say that it didn’t sound good but as far as difficulty goes, it was nothing special. These things just made me wonder what you were drawing from when writing about Kvothe’s feelings towards music and his lute. Anyway just a question :)

    • Moose
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 2:56 PM | Permalink

      I forgot to mentioned that prolonged exposure to sunlight can damage instruments such as these(not that it was prolonged).

    • Little My
      Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:31 PM | Permalink

      He’s not a musician. He’s discussed this before but when I go hunt for the relevant blogs, I can’t find one. Maybe it was in one of the online interviews.

    • Joan
      Posted October 8, 2010 at 7:52 AM | Permalink

      Have you ever tried to play ‘Waiting While it Rains’ or ‘The Lay of Sir Savien Traliard’ with 3 strings? I guess that’s almost impossible ;)

      • Moose
        Posted October 8, 2010 at 1:21 PM | Permalink

        Haha hard to say considering I’ve never heard those pieces. The basic melody of just about anything can be played on three strings, granted it wouldn’t sound nearly as good as the full part but someone like Kvothe could manage *shrug.

  40. Tager
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 3:56 PM | Permalink

    Being obsessive is what sets you out from other writers pat, this way everything we read will be amazing, nothing lacklustre and overall making it a more enjoyable experience.

  41. Barrett
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    Pat, I’m curious to know what word processor you use. Is there a particular one you find beneficial to your methods of writing and organization?

  42. Posted October 7, 2010 at 6:29 PM | Permalink

    I am sure your book will be marvelous due to the your obsessive perfectionism. However, your math rationalization is…well…nuts.
    You are editing this thing obsessively because its a part of you and you want it to be perfect and marvelous.
    Just saying.

  43. Chad Wheeler
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 7:44 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat, I’m extremely excite for your second book. On a side note, could you get George RR Martin to write the 5th book of his Game of Thrones series? Maybe HBO will get him to work faster, but I’m not convinced that anyone can. He seems very set in his ways. I’m scared he is going to get alzheimers and leave me in a state of utter sadness/anger/suspense/annoyance/ wellllll you get the picture. Haha, but ya your writing is amazing. Looking forward to reading your next book.

    • Brock
      Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:37 AM | Permalink

      Martin takes forever to write a book. He does all sorts of side projects in the middle; contributions to anthologies and the like. I’m just glad I didn’t start reading his stuff until a year before feast for crows came out. If I had started on the first day it was released, which is about how it’s been with Name of the Wind, I would have died from anticipation.

  44. Baldsilver
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 8:50 PM | Permalink

    it is definitely worth it to get rid of the ‘meh’ reading, i used to think that every little bit an author included had to be relevant, so over thought the random clauses, then realized that it was just ‘meh’reading, though i suppose that now you will have to include some ‘meh’ reading so that we dont read into every little sentence, vicious cycle.

  45. Kitty
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 9:43 PM | Permalink

    Ah, man. Here I am in Southern Minnesota wishing I could make it to Northern Minnesota next week. Pesky kids and job that need me around… And I have a brother in Madison whose hospitality I could’ve taken advantage of during Mad-Con (or Wiz-Con or Cheese-Con or whatever it’s called) if not for said pesky kids and job. But, rest assured I am keeping an eye out and I’ll make it to one of these events eventually. By the way, you’ve turned me into a Brandon Sanderson fan as I’m awaiting book two. I just picked up The Way of Kings. Holy crap. I think I’ll have to tell pesky kids and job to take a hike so I can hunker down and read, read, read.

  46. Sedulo
    Posted October 7, 2010 at 11:32 PM | Permalink

    Random Happy Belated Birthday to Oot!

  47. Posted October 8, 2010 at 8:40 AM | Permalink

    Thanks Pat for the Way of Kings plug.Great book but I’m done and I need another to tide me over till I can get my hands on Wise Man”s fear.

  48. Tuor
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 10:47 AM | Permalink

    at least you guys have a prayer…im way down here in texas (yes they teach us how to read)wondering if i will have a chance to meet =(

  49. LuvMyMave
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Also, by saving 500,000 pages you may have also saved a tree!!! I guess that makes you environmentally friendly. :-) Good for you.

  50. stephanie
    Posted October 8, 2010 at 3:20 PM | Permalink

    Dear Pat,

    Were you my busdriver yesterday? If yes, I thought you were super-friendly and a good driver! I didn’t even care that you weren’t wearing the obligatory uniform.

    Best regards,
    Stephanie

  51. tone
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 5:14 AM | Permalink

    Hi Patrick.

    I love your posts on revisions. It’s what I’m doing these days, too, but revisions of a slightly different kind: translating Norwegian text into English, pruning and hacking away at it in the process, and then bringing the Norwegian version up to speed. Bewildering and not a little frustrating, I’ll tell you. However, re-writing the book sentence by sentence makes for a very hostile environment for darlings, which is splendid.

    I don’t think you’re insane for niggling. In fact, I think it’s admirable that you keep polishing and polishing.

    Looking forward to book 2!

  52. Alexander the Pretty Good
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 9:23 AM | Permalink

    I’m guessing a quarter million people will read book two. In the US anyway. Last I heard, that’s about how many copies of NOTW have been sold.

    You need to check on that statistic. Since I read NotW earlier this year, I’ve been telling anyone who reads for enjoyment that they need to read Rothfuss. Because of my reputation for only recommending the very best reading material (some of which I have discovered reading this blog), the number of people who have read Name of the Wind must surely be in the seven figures.

  53. reveries
    Posted October 9, 2010 at 6:15 PM | Permalink

    Speaking as someone who adores writing – sometimes I think it keeps me sane – I wanted to thank you for sharing your process on editing with us. I was very active on my high school newspaper staff, and I still have fond memories of my Red Pen of Doom. :) I find it very fascinating, and it’s really sort of an honor (for me) that you interact so splendidly with your fans. :-) You are super gracious to offer us the tidbits into your life and your writing!

  54. allenca32
    Posted October 10, 2010 at 11:57 AM | Permalink

    Pat, Did you know that the Shed Aquarium has a show called Holiday Fantasea starting November 26th? And the beluga calf has a name now, Nunavuk. I bet Oot would love to see both!

  55. hairyscottishman
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 10:17 AM | Permalink

    I couldn’t help but notice a little nugget of Lebowski in this post. I guess I suspect as much by now, however the instance was powerful enough to make me register for wordpress solely for the sake of being able to thank you personally for making a passing reference to The Big Lebowski. it is yet another sign that you are indeed a gentleman, preferring only the finest of things in this life.

    Of course, there is the off chance that “in the parlance of our times” was in fact coincidental and not intended as an homage to said glorious film. If that is the case, sir, I wish the fury of a thousand weevils upon you. How dare you waste my time by baiting me to register and post on your blog. Wait, that was all part of your dastardly plan, wasn’t it?

    … you win again, Rothfuss.

  56. Ewan
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 1:05 PM | Permalink

    Just to ask, if anyone else would even enlighten me. “Book Club Version” is there a difference? What do they to your book? I’ve only ever read a BCA edition of NOTW. If it’s not your version, even if the slightest things have been changed I might cry.

  57. syndicate
    Posted October 11, 2010 at 5:53 PM | Permalink

    wow…dude, I hate to break this to you, but you are most likely insane; not just in the “colors are my bitches!” typical insane, but, sadly, probably far more so. I mean, even your justifications for your insane actions are…well…insane…
    perhaps it is this insanity that endears you to us (your fans) so steadfastly, but perhaps it is proof that it’s not just you that should probably seek help.
    Sarcasm aside (which is difficult), I do wish to register an opinion on your *meh* blocking, which is, have you considered that perhaps the book might need these tiny imperfections, these lows, in order to elevate the rest of the book to the highs you’re intending? I mean, if you’ve written 1200 pages of pure awesome, wouldn’t your readers become desensitized to the pure outrageous incredibletude that is your story? Is it not worthwhile to give that small break between the heart pounding greatness that is the rest of the novel? Or is it just your aim to give us all heart attacks (cause that’s cool too)?

  58. 0memiserum
    Posted October 12, 2010 at 6:56 PM | Permalink

    It is because you take such time and trouble that book 1 was as it was – of a piece.

    But, we might just, just enjoy a bit of meh – it makes the book longer – we start to read, we do not want the book to end because we love it.

    So a “bit” of meh, whilst it might be not what you want in your opus, might just not disappoint us.

    But, it is your creation to do with as you will. We will love it whatever.

  59. Shadow
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 11:04 AM | Permalink

    When I pick a book to buy I usually read the prologue or the first couple of pages of chapter 1. This said when I picked up NOTW and started to read…well let’s just say that when an employee tapped me on the shoulder and asked if I was going to buy the book, about an hour or 2 later, I was half way through the 3rd chapter and had completely forgotten where I was…. If you went through the same obsessive process with NOTW as you are now doing with Wise Man’s Fear (which I have no doubt that you did) I say obsess on!

    On a side note why would microsoft word want to put “me” where the “I” is in ‘ book to buy I usually read’?

  60. wolfprint
    Posted October 13, 2010 at 1:27 PM | Permalink

    Dear Mr. Rothfuss:
    I am said to say I think you have a mental illness called Obsessive-compulsive disorder also know as OCD. The fact is that your struggle to eliminate *meh* in a work that is no doubt nearly perfect is a sure sign. I doubt you have many fans here on Guam, but I did loan your book to my brother and he liked it and is now waiting for me to buy the next book. It is sad thing living on a tropical island: the beaches, the babes in swimsuits, having friends close by. Life here sucks so I turn to books. I would say like come over for a book reading , but nobody would care and mostly those who popularity is going down hill try to come here and yes get a feeling that people here still love them. Anyway since I am not in my right mind and certifiably insane I feel I am able to change my rant a bit. I tend to read good authors blogs and see what is up with new books. As I read this blog I missed two things, but maybe that’s because you new on the scene and do not have as big of a following as John Ringo, David Weber, George R.R. Martin, Eoin Colfer, Mercedes Lackey to name a few names. The two things are where are the HATERS posts did you delete them then track them done to do terrible things to them like telling them that you will immortalize in your book as the dolt or something worse so that if anyone hears their name they would think hey you are a dolt right. The other thing missing is all the scream fans saying I going to marry so and so from the book.

    A side note if the fastest reader according to some can read a book at 25,000 words per minute how long would it take him to finish the new book?

  61. laissez-faire
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 6:23 AM | Permalink

    Being the semi-insane econ student that I am, I couldn’t help but be interested in your precursor efficency/ opportunity cost problem. First of all, let me say I love the book, best fantasy written in the last 10 years, blah blah, i love you, etc, etc.

    That being said, you saved your readers about 347 days of reading, or about 95.1% of a year. You estimate your readership to be about 250,000 in the US, or about .0083% of the US (using a 3 Billion population estimate, and ignoring people who share their books, I have a confession, I lent my book to a friend… I stole from you… I’m a monster).

    The US GDP is about 14.5 trillion (14500 000 000 000… dats a lotta zeros). You saved Amurica (accent intended) $1 203 500 000. So pretty much just over 1 billion dollars… Mr. Rothfuss, we salute you.

    That is around 1/40th what the US government spends per anum on the war on drugs.

    Or around 10 F-35 fighter jets/ 708 Bugatti Veyrons/ a bunch of whatever cool vehicle you like… / 60,000ish kidneys (estimated blackmarket price is like $20,000, it’s weird what economists do in their spare time… ) look youre saving lives!

    Or about 120350000 lap dances… but who would know the price of those… haha… cough uhm… yea.

  62. laissez-faire
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 6:26 AM | Permalink

    Crap all my estimates are high, i forgot to multiply the 1.2 billion by .95, regardless everything should stay pretty much the same… And yes I can do your taxes (they may also be 5% off).

  63. laissez-faire
    Posted October 14, 2010 at 9:41 AM | Permalink

    and by 3 billion population estimate i meant 300 million… so multiply all those things by 10… you’re even more impressive than my flawed math…

  64. D-Chan
    Posted October 15, 2010 at 7:23 PM | Permalink

    Dearest Pat
    Since THEY have got me working non-stop where I am now, I’m sure someone mentioned this before and I missed the post in my superfluous review of this post’s comments. just think about the 250,000 sheets of paper (each holds two pages evidently) saved. Given that I must get working again, I’ll save the statistics for next time.
    Cheers and thanks.

    D

  65. clarkbayles
    Posted October 18, 2010 at 11:58 AM | Permalink

    Robert Jordan, you are not! I am not sure he ever heard the phrase word winnowing.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.
    loved NOTW. cant wait.

  66. evandy
    Posted October 19, 2010 at 8:31 PM | Permalink

    Hey Pat, question for you:

    Speaking of the revision process: How many pages do you print out? I write computer software for a living (aka spend my life in front of a screen), but I really /HATE/ reading on the computer. Do you print everything out? Print some of it out? Have you ever tried an eReader? I must say, that I didn’t expect how much I would love my Kindle DX (The Big One, about the size of a hardcover page), and find myself liking it a lot.

    A short plug: Have you ever tried to read a book while eating a Really messy sandwich for lunch? When you are just starting the book? You know what I mean: The book doesn’t stay open, and if you hold it open you can only read one page anyways because the spine is stiff. Your hands are mucky and covered with food-ooze. And you need to turn the page AGAIN. Using a (clean) knuckle to hit the next-page button on a device that always stays flat… man, I can’t tell you how fabulous that is.

    Anyways, as an author who needs to read, annotate, edit, etc. a constantly changing manuscript, I was wondering what your solution is.

    Thanks for answering, if you’ve got time. Cheers!

  67. Effilcdar
    Posted October 21, 2010 at 9:13 PM | Permalink

    You need two versions. You need the short version that all the lazy people can read, that is trimmed down to the bare bones. Then you need a super, deluxe, extra large, jumbo version for all of your loyal followers who will be thrown back into torment as soon as they run out of new Chronicles to read.

    All I am saying is some of us want more description, more everything, from your book. I, for one, would jump up and down for joy if your hardcover edition was larger than that beautiful manuscript you photographed for us a while back.

  68. bbtilove
    Posted October 22, 2010 at 11:00 AM | Permalink

    Waiting is hard! But there’s always a good side….as the release date for #2 approaches, it will be necessary to re-read Book 1, in preparation.
    Much joy!

  69. chat
    Posted February 26, 2012 at 3:38 AM | Permalink

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