— Patrick Rothfuss
Context: My book is different.
In case you hadn't noticed, the story I'm telling is a little different. It's a little shy on the Aristotelian unities. It doesn't follow the classic Hollywood three-act structure. It's not like a five-act Shakespearean play. It's not like a Harlequin romance.
So what *is* the structure then? Fuck if I know. That's part of what's taking me so long to figure out. As far as I can tell, my story is part autobiography, part hero's journey, part epic fantasy, part travelogue, part faerie tale, part coming of age story, part romance, part mystery, part metafictional-nested-story-frame-tale-something-or-other.
I am, quite frankly, making this up as I go. If I get it right, I get something like The Name of the Wind. Something that makes all of us happy.
But if I fuck it up, I'll end up with a confusing tangled mess of a story.
Now I'm not trying to claim that I'm unique in this. That I'm some lone pioneer mapping the uncharted storylands. Other authors do it too. My point is that doing something like this takes more time that writing another shitty, predictable Lord of the Rings knockoff.
Sometimes I think it would be nice to write a that sort of book. It would be nice to be able to use those well-established structures like a sort of recipe. A map. A paint-by-numbers kit.
It would be so much easier, and quicker. But it wouldn't be a better book. And it's not really the sort of book I want to write.
On the progress of The Wise Man's Fear in "Concerning the Release of Book Two" (26 February 2009) http://blog.patrickrothfuss.com/2009/02/concerning-the-release-of-book-two/