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Pat Rothfuss XVII: Games, Bets, and Minecraft


Ser Scot A Ellison
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20 minutes ago, Rhom said:

Which is kinda what he said he had ready to go wasn't it?

So what do we think happened.  He thought he had it and turned out he didn't?  Just never had it but thought it would be easy?

I'd guess he said it as a selling point knowing there would be obvious overlaps between his target audience and fans of GRRM. Promising the series is already done would be a big selling point (not sure the exact year he made the claim but I guess there had already been the wait between aSoS and aFfC)? 

maybe he thought he could deliver on that maybe not, but I don't find myself willing to believe much that he says when it comes to the progress of his books.

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28 minutes ago, Rhom said:

Which is kinda what he said he had ready to go wasn't it?

So what do we think happened.  He thought he had it and turned out he didn't?  Just never had it but thought it would be easy?

No clue.  Shot off his mouth?

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34 minutes ago, Rhom said:

Which is kinda what he said he had ready to go wasn't it?

So what do we think happened.  He thought he had it and turned out he didn't?  Just never had it but thought it would be easy?

In my role as armchair psychologist, backed up with a lifetime of experience struggling with mental health issues as well as his long track record of massively over-promising and then failing to deliver, I'd say he probably had an outline of some sort and having finished his first book thought it'd be easy to get the other two done. And then comes the enormous weight of expectations after Name of the Wind brought him acclaim, fortune, and fame, add in difficulties that only become apparent once he actually starts work - I mean GRRM is a very experienced writer and still found massive unexpected problems and structural issues with his plans that necessitated basically a complete rewrite so I can't imagine Rothfuss fared any better - and then the panic sets in, the need to live up to being "Pat Rothfuss, mega genius, fantasy darling, hottest new thing to grace the shelves of the fantasy section since ever etc." not to mention all those brags and promises that increasingly look like lies, and now it's not such an easy task to finish it after all. Perfectionism in my experience often warps in to procrastination, because there's no such thing as good enough and working on the thing just feels like failure. Except playing the role of beloved writer with legions of fans worshipping you is really cool and affirming, and admitting he's running in to difficulties like certain other well known writers would be humiliating so he keeps making those promises, telling people it's all gonna be great etc. because the coyote doesn't fall if he doesn't look down, right?

 

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4 hours ago, Rhom said:

Which is kinda what he said he had ready to go wasn't it?

So what do we think happened.  He thought he had it and turned out he didn't?  Just never had it but thought it would be easy?

Yeah, absolutely the latter. 

He said they were "good to go" and that there was no more writing to do in an interview back in 2007. 

Five years later he tried to retcon that statement with:

Quote

whenever people asked about book two, I told them the same thing: that I already had a good solid draft, and that it would be out in a year.

He then admitted that:

Quote

 

When I finally sat down to work on the book, I realized the draft was *much * rougher than I remembered. ...... It was pretty shabby when I took a close look at it.

and

There are whole chapters that were nothing more than this:

Chapter 31: [need title]

(Something happens with Ambrose here.)

That’s how bad parts of it were.

 

 

TL;DR:

It's fairly clear that he told what he thought was a white lie when he said they were done because he was sure he could finish. Not so much. 

 

 

 

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12 hours ago, Rhom said:

Which is kinda what he said he had ready to go wasn't it?

So what do we think happened.  He thought he had it and turned out he didn't?  Just never had it but thought it would be easy?

I think he had a draft, but changed things so much in writing that the draft became obsolete. Like a character gets a new backstory, somebody survives a disaster instead of dying because it'd be awesome to have them in a scene later, Kvothe makes a decision that takes him to some other situation than initially planned, and before you know the setup provided by one novel doesn't even resemble the outline of the next two.

And maybe the draft was kinda crappy in hindsight anyway, so the few elements that could have been salvaged, should not be salvaged. 

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Just to list an example, I think he said somewhere, maybe in the foreword of Slow Regard or even before that, that Auri wasn't in the initial draft. Seems like he dug an enormous hole for himself just from that given how he built up the mystery around her.

 

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On 6/12/2022 at 12:33 PM, Rhom said:

Which is kinda what he said he had ready to go wasn't it?

So what do we think happened.  He thought he had it and turned out he didn't?  Just never had it but thought it would be easy?

Blame it on taking some advice from Kevin J. Anderson way to far.

 

Anderson: I read your story on the plane home. You're an incredible writer. I know you've written a trilogy. You should really show it to my agent. Is the first book ready to show around? (Hint: your answer to this question is "yes, of course it's ready." And if it's not ready, you work your ass off over the weekend and you get it ready.)

Rothfuss: You see? He knew what I was hoping for, but he didn't have any idea what sort of a writer I was. And he also knew what it was like to be a spooked new writer who finally gets the chance to show his novel off. That's why he wrote that parenthetical to me.
So I e-mailed him back and said, verbatim, "Yes, of course it's ready." Then I worked my ass off over the weekend and mailed it off to his agent on Monday.

And Matt eventually accepted me as a client. Then, eventually, we sold it.

 

Interview from the Pat's Hotlist

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12 hours ago, Lord of Rhinos said:

Blame it on taking some advice from Kevin J. Anderson way to far.

 

Anderson: I read your story on the plane home. You're an incredible writer. I know you've written a trilogy. You should really show it to my agent. Is the first book ready to show around? (Hint: your answer to this question is "yes, of course it's ready." And if it's not ready, you work your ass off over the weekend and you get it ready.)

Rothfuss: You see? He knew what I was hoping for, but he didn't have any idea what sort of a writer I was. And he also knew what it was like to be a spooked new writer who finally gets the chance to show his novel off. That's why he wrote that parenthetical to me.
So I e-mailed him back and said, verbatim, "Yes, of course it's ready." Then I worked my ass off over the weekend and mailed it off to his agent on Monday.

And Matt eventually accepted me as a client. Then, eventually, we sold it.

 

Interview from the Pat's Hotlist

And the lesson is never listen to the man who makes a living writing Dune fan fiction.

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17 hours ago, sperry said:

I like that I can drop into this forum once every couple of years and we're still talking about Rothfuss being a fraud. Makes it feel like I never left :grouphug:

The more things change, the more Rothfuss still hasn't made any progress on his next book.

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16 hours ago, Lord of Rhinos said:

Blame it on taking some advice from Kevin J. Anderson way to far.

 

Anderson: I read your story on the plane home. You're an incredible writer. I know you've written a trilogy. You should really show it to my agent. Is the first book ready to show around? (Hint: your answer to this question is "yes, of course it's ready." And if it's not ready, you work your ass off over the weekend and you get it ready.)

Rothfuss: You see? He knew what I was hoping for, but he didn't have any idea what sort of a writer I was. And he also knew what it was like to be a spooked new writer who finally gets the chance to show his novel off. That's why he wrote that parenthetical to me.
So I e-mailed him back and said, verbatim, "Yes, of course it's ready." Then I worked my ass off over the weekend and mailed it off to his agent on Monday.

And Matt eventually accepted me as a client. Then, eventually, we sold it.

 

Interview from the Pat's Hotlist

So if I'm reading this correctly, but possibly with some confirmation bias, it seems my guess wasn't too far off. He had an outline and a mostly finished story (which may or may not have deviated significantly from the outline already at this point), then rushed to complete the first book without necessarily making it compatible with his future plans. Which means the first book was out and its setup set in stone, and the future plans were made irrelevant. The existing draft was obsolete, because it assumed a different setup. And then he had no good ideas for what path the story could follow, now that plans had to be changed. Wise Man's Fear did not successfully stake out a new path for him either. Cue a massive writer's block that has yet to be resolved.

Or put in simpler terms: His eagerness to publish (which, to be frank, could have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity) caused him to paint himself into a corner.

I wonder if he has ever considered just starting over, although it could be that the original draft had some deal-breaking problems of its own that would have seen him painted into a different corner instead.

Edited by Kyll.Ing.
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On 6/14/2022 at 5:00 PM, Kyll.Ing. said:

So if I'm reading this correctly, but possibly with some confirmation bias, it seems my guess wasn't too far off. He had an outline and a mostly finished story (which may or may not have deviated significantly from the outline already at this point), then rushed to complete the first book without necessarily making it compatible with his future plans. Which means the first book was out and its setup set in stone, and the future plans were made irrelevant. The existing draft was obsolete, because it assumed a different setup. And then he had no good ideas for what path the story could follow, now that plans had to be changed. Wise Man's Fear did not successfully stake out a new path for him either. Cue a massive writer's block that has yet to be resolved.

Or put in simpler terms: His eagerness to publish (which, to be frank, could have been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity) caused him to paint himself into a corner.

I wonder if he has ever considered just starting over, although it could be that the original draft had some deal-breaking problems of its own that would have seen him painted into a different corner instead.

The only issue I have with the painted into a corner theory is that I just can't imagine what corner he could possibly be painted into. There's just so much blank canvas. The only things we know he has to do are kill a king, start a war, and become an emo barkeep. Everything else can be worked around. 

I think it's far more likely that:

1. He got kinda rich and kinda famous

2. This provided him the opportunities to do all kinds of cool shit

3. He had a couple kids

4. His personal life fell apart

5. Depression/Anxiety/ADHD

6. Book three took a back seat priority wise to 2/3/4, and 5 provided him justification for this prioritization

7. Several years went by without any meaningful amount of writing  

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I also think it's fair to note that even beyond narrative changes that require lots of rework and a draft that may have been bare in spots .... some things may sound good but trying to write them (and write them in a specific style and within parameters) is exceedingly difficult. I say this because of my impressions of WMF, which had certain things in it that I can readily imagine sounded cool but which stood out as awkward to me in delivered text form. Landing the trilogy plane with aplomb on some of that stuff might be even more difficult than setting up the landing with book two, which, again, I think he stumbled on a bit.

In this case I'm talking about being abducted by a sex goddess and having to escape ... and manbabies. There are probably more things and maybe even worse things than those two but they live as burrs in my head and rub painfully against my brain. I've often wondered how he feels about them and what else they impact.

Either way, my feelings for Pat are similar to my feelings for George. As a human, I respect their rights not to write or finish for any and every reason. But as a consumer, I have little respect for the diversions they spend their time on instead of the promised, implicitly or explicitly, end to what I and others have combined to pay them handsomely for. Quite mixed feelings on it and i just try to keep my head down and hope.

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I have avoided asking this question(s) so as not to not betray my potential ignorance but I've decided I'd rather learn than pretend to be more perceptive and empathetic than I am... what is a less inappropriate way for Kvothe to express the same sentiment as the "not all men" scene? Is there a way to express that or should he have just leaned into accepting and understanding her state of mind, especially considering that he knew the trauma which led to it? Or is there some other, more supportive, response?

I guess what I'm trying to understand is whether or not the entire premise is flawed or if it's a thoughtless way to choose words.

Being a man and perhaps more ignorant than I would like, that particular scene never stood out to me until I read about it online. I can appreciate the point and even get a sense of discord when I read it now ... but I've often wondered what better execution would look like (assuming he wasn't trying to convey Kvothe in that light) and I don't have great answers for myself. At least not answers that I feel great confidence in.

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52 minutes ago, Ser Not Appearing said:

I have avoided asking this question(s) so as not to not betray my potential ignorance but I've decided I'd rather learn than pretend to be more perceptive and empathetic than I am... what is a less inappropriate way for Kvothe to express the same sentiment as the "not all men" scene? Is there a way to express that or should he have just leaned into accepting and understanding her state of mind, especially considering that he knew the trauma which led to it? Or is there some other, more supportive, response?

I guess what I'm trying to understand is whether or not the entire premise is flawed or if it's a thoughtless way to choose words.

Being a man and perhaps more ignorant than I would like, that particular scene never stood out to me until I read about it online. I can appreciate the point and even get a sense of discord when I read it now ... but I've often wondered what better execution would look like (assuming he wasn't trying to convey Kvothe in that light) and I don't have great answers for myself. At least not answers that I feel great confidence in.

To use your words I think the entire premise is flawed. In my opinion it's an entirely inappropriate response in which the man is re-framing the situation around himself, centring his own ego's needs ahead of the survivor.

Edited by Poobah
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