So, the five year gap that was supposed to come after ASoS. It would have been great because it would have given some of the characters time to grow and learn. Characters like Sansa and Jon and Bran and Rickon. But also characters like Dany and Myrcella (why would Cersei let Myrcella be crowned after Tommen dies? Maggy's prophecies are obviously coming true, so she'll do everything she can to keep Myrcella from being crowned, I think. So how does Myrcella get crowned? She crowns herself! Thinking that she can save the realm or something, maybe with Aegon's help. But for this, she'll need some agency of her own, and I think that would have come if she had had time to grow up). I think a lot of the problems Martin is having in finishing TWoW are coming from his characters being too young to do things he thought they would do in the plot.
Now, Martin scraped the gap because he found himself writing too many flashbacks. Stories at the Vale, Braavos, KL, Slaver's Bay, Dorne and the Wall work well with the five year gap, but Brienne, some of Tyrion's stories and maybe some of the Cersei's stories with how the High Sparrow comes to power don't work well with the five year gap. But I think these stories could have become novellas like the Dunk and Egg books. Fitting, given Brienne might be related to Dunk. I think scrapping the five year gap was a hUGE mistake, and that novellas would have worked very well.
Anyone wants to start a petition for Martin to renounce AFfC and ADwD and start afresh with the novellas and the five year gap in place?