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The Broken Eye Update #3

The Broken Eye Update #3

I promised a while ago that I would give you an update on the progress of The Broken Eye. Then, I broke that promise—by giving you an update early! But, this is epic fantasy, a genre fraught with fan-angst about whether your author is working on the next magnum opus or just tooling around the Caribbean, spending your reading bucks and releasing action figures to fund his or her lavish lifestyle.

So. Here’s another update: I have finished the first, second, third, and fourth drafts of The Broken Eye. Content edits are done. The book is out of my hands and into production. (We still have copy edits and one last look to go, so if you see me posting on social media about “edits” that’s what I mean.) The Broken Eye is slated to release on the week of August 26th in US/UK/AUS. (US releases are on Tuesdays, and if I recall correctly, UK releases are on Thursdays.)

I believe (and my editors and agent agree!) that The Broken Eye is my best work yet. It is also my longest. By far. I promised Orbit—contractually—that this book would be 155-160,000 words. I like to think that I’m good at a fair number of the many skills necessary to be a successful novelist, but one thing I’m apparently not so hot at is “estimating the length of a story.”

Me, two years ago: “Oh yeah, this book’ll be about 150 thousand words. But I might go a little long, so let’s say 155 or 160.”

Actual length: 306,000 words, not counting glossary or appendices.

Word Count

Orbit has been gracious to me in that they are not splitting this book into two books. The length may, however, cause some problems with translations—different languages can add up to 30% to the word count.

Now, we like big books. (And we cannot lie. You other readers can’t deny, a book flops open with an itty-bitty font, and a map that’s in your face, you get—sorry! Sorry!) We all love a big book, but we’ve also all probably read the big book that goes nowhere. I hope you’ll agree that The Broken Eye isn’t THAT book. Despite how long the manuscript already was, when she first read the book two drafts ago, my editor’s first comments were that I needed to add more about X, Y, and Z.

What’s next for me? I’ll take a few days off. (Yeah, only a few. I get depressed if I’m away from writing for long.) Then I’ll work on The Way of Shadows graphic novel for a few days.

And then I’ll dive into the next Lightbringer book. When will that one come out? I don’t know. I will note that in the last ten years, I’ve written a book every two years… and while the time between books has remained the same, I’ve doubled the length of my books. And, I think it fair to say, I’ve added a level of polish and skill I didn’t possess before.

And yet still, you must wait. I know waiting sucks, so I’m doing all I can (hiring an assistant, working six days weeks, working while on vacation) to minimize your wait as much as possible without compromising the finished product. And that last clause is important. I have to live with these books forever. A few years from now, no one will care that it was two years between books rather than 18 months. They—and I!—will care if it’s not as good as it could have been. This tension of wanting to please fans and wanting to get it right is something every author has to negotiate for himself or herself.

I will continue to let you know how things are going every so often with update posts like this for the next book (probably titled The Blood Mirror). I’ll write my next writing update in April.

p.s. Anyone want to buy a few pallets of action figures? Yacht maintenance is expensive!

p.p.s. No, Dinkheisel. There are no action figures.

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47 Responses »

  1. Wait wait wait .. 26th of August – that’s nine months ! How am I supposed to survive this long without knowing what will happen to Gavin and the Band ? Nah.. as long you don’t kill Kip I will forgive you.
    Looking forward to it!

    Best regards,

  2. Quality is more important than Quantity!

    And yes, in German the books are much thicker… but I need a new doorstopper anyway ;P

    Looking forward to August!

  3. There is too much I want to say, but it can all be summed up in one simple action:
    *tears of joy*

  4. “Now, we like big books. (And we cannot lie. You other readers can’t deny, a book flops open with an itty-bitty font, and a map that’s in your face, you get—sorry! Sorry!)”

    This quote made my entire flipping day. I actually sang it in my head while reading it. It has been printed it out and hung on my pc, and I have continued to sing it repeatedly, much to the humor of my colleagues. No dancing though, because that would be just so gauche. ;)

    Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

  5. Good news! And take your time, 2 years between books is nothing compared to what Mr. George Martin has been putting us through for the last 2 decades now lol. And good to hear that it’s a long book that has warranted it’s length….unlike Wise Man’s Fear. Anyway looking forward to picking it up next summer!

    • did not realize until you said it here that Wise Man’s Fear did not warrant its length…but then it clicked that that’s why I’m not as excited about that series anymore….

      • Am very much looking forward to the book. Wish it would arrive faster, but that is not really of my business.

        I would not agree on Wise mans Fear. I very much enjoyed it… repeatedly. :)

      • You know, I think I feel the same way. There really was a notable lack of awesomeness in WMF that was not present in NoTW, and I think it might just have been too much filler. Just didn’t grab me the way the first one did.

  6. A) Sir Mixalot would be so proud! You should have a poster done with the two of you for high school libraries (I teach high school and think it would be a hoot)
    B) So excited about this book, and looking forward to the tour for the book this summer! (especially since you had to cancel your last visit to Seattle to finish writing said book)
    C) I think I’d like to stay married, so I’ll have to pass on the action figures. But I do know a few yacht mechanics who might be able to cut you a deal.

    Thanks for the update, and good job!

  7. A Sir Mix-a-lot reference, and a release date? Sweet! Thank you for the update, I look forward to the book.

    Separately – thanks for posting a list of other writers you suggest, it helps me to find other books to read while I’m waiting for your next one.

  8. Quality is more important than speed!

    And yeah the german edition will probably be split in two, because it will have even more words and has kind of a tradition and therefore is to be expected. But to be true, there is a limit to booksize that’s praticable. (And I’m starting to get really fond of my ebook reader, no size problems at all ;) )

    By the way I don’t mind waiting when I know it’s something worth waiting for. Just like the german saying “Vorfreude ist die schönste Freude” or ‘The greatest pleasure lies in the anticipation’.
    (But still nice when books get out quite regularly :) )

  9. 306,000 words is more than worth the wait of over 9 months. And putting out a new book every two years despite doubling the length says a lot about your ability to put your stories to paper and your ability to keep us readers/fans engaged throughout the duration.

    Action figures… Would… Be… AWESOME!

  10. Give me a Night Angel action figure, gosh darn it!

  11. So, this holiday I’m planning/hoping to get a Kinde Paperwhite… Guess I’ll be buying your book, since I absolutely must own a physical copy (for the possibility of a book signing). AND I’ll be probably getting the ebook since I’m not sure I really feel like lugging around such a big book when a kindle will be so much lighter.
    Looking forward to this next book!

  12. Appreciate the updates Brent.

    Good things take time end of story, I’d rather the brilliant quality of work you do than rubbish being pumped out every 12 months.
    I understand the pressure of fans can be immense, such are fantasy novels, I get totally immersed in the story. I re-read the black prism before reading the blinding knife to refresh my memory, an enjoyable experience.

    Regards a huge Aussie fan

  13. Thanks for the update! My kindle will be much happier with another Weeks book to keep the other books company!

  14. By far my favorite author, you are! Kudos on works that are entertaining and unique. Who’d of ever thought that I would anticipate a book release? You’ve successfully solidified my GEEK status. Keep up the amazing works please.

  15. Ohhh I cant wait :D but i know how long it takes to write a book. so Ijust startet to write a FanFiction :D -I hope it doesnt bother you- I just thought that I do that and then see how mutch of it does appear in yours. Oh and its in german…

    I hope that “the broken eye” will be translated into german fast. Good luck with the sales :D and thank you for your epic storys!!

  16. Hahaha, the length of your book against your estimate is hilarious! xD

    At least there will be plenty of story to read through once the book is out. I’m so giddy that now we have an actual date to look forward to–eeeEEEEEEEEEEEeeEEeeEeeEee!~!!!

    In the mean time I bought Black Prism in Spanish so I could kill two birds with one stone–practice a foreign language while keeping up with my daily dosage of Brent Weeks.

  17. Is that Scrivener?! I love that program! It’s so awesome to see my favorite author using this program! <3

  18. So of course I am a huge fan of both the Night Angel series and the Lightbringer series. I have been looking fora poster of some kind of either series. Preferably both. Are they in the works? And I will be waiting on August 26th for sure to pick up that book as soon asi can get my hands on it.

  19. I’m just thankful that you do post status updates and do give what information you can about releases.

    Walking the fine line between over-committing and under-delivering is hard, but your fans appreciate the effort taken to keep us informed. 9 Months is a long time to wait, but I look forward to when this baby comes out…

  20. You are the best author ever in the entire continuum of authors, because I know you could oh-so easily leave us out in the cold throughout your process like a majority of authors tend to do, but you don’t. You update us.

    I’m so excited. Aiiiiiiii.

  21. So excited!! Between Lightbringer and The Night Angel Trilogy, these are some of my favorite series ever. Thank you so much for your hard work! Your books are truly amazing…

  22. enough about the book, lets get back to those action figures.

    Seriously though, my addiction to buying the night angle related products is starting to act up ..

  23. “Now, we like big books. (And we cannot lie. You other readers can’t deny, a book flops open with an itty-bitty font, and a map that’s in your face, you get—sorry! Sorry!)”

    The beat of the song started playing in my head while reading that. And 2 years between books? Damn…on one hand torturous. On the other: damn, that’s pretty fast when you look at the size and scope of the book(s). But that’s ok, that just gives me time to do to The Blinding Knife what I’ve already done with The Black Prism (and multiple movies, and lots of songs. Sure, college studies took a hit, but priorities right?); re-read it until I’ve committed at least 75-80% of it to a sizable chunk of gray matter.

    The only downside is; if the book is a good book (and I think Mr. Weeks certainly exceeds the definition of “good”), I end up reading it from cover to cover in about 2-3 days…c’est la vie!

  24. Oh! and by the way…any news on a possible real life version of 9 Kings? *wiggles eyebrows*

  25. We love big books. Two years between books would be fine. Well says the person who has only discovered your work this year.Thank you so much for the update.

    Kyle, you sound like someone in for the long haul with A Song of Ice and Fire as well. I know it’s nearly been two decades.

  26. Awesome news, cant wait for the end of august :D

    And No one here has mentioned that Brent gave a “working title” for the 4th book! “The Blood Mirror”. Maybe its common knowledge, but its the first time I’m seeing it! Now to ponder what the title means for the story..

  27. Guess ill finish the last wheel of time books damn they arnt that good but it will have to do

  28. “And then I’ll dive into the next Lightbringer book. When will that one come out?”

    I’m hoping after another Midcyru book.

  29. Oh, I gotta say I am looking forward to this! It is so nice to have an author post their tentative release dates and not just ballpark it (or not give it at all)! I have to say I was surprised at just how much I liked the Lightbringer series. Do not get me wrong, I liked the Night Angel series but Lightbringer blew that out of the water. I read a lot of epic fantasy and it is so nice to see a decently constructive plot, with enjoyable characters and so much detail in the world itself. . . and the great thing is none of it is overloading, none of it feels like filler.

    Kudos to excellent writing! These are the sort of books people should be looking forward to.

  30. I was first introduced to Mr weeks while walking around the book store looking for a new read. I saw the way of shadows and picked it up, gave it a glance shrugged and said to myself “at least it’s long.” I took it home and read the first chapter and fell in LOVE. Before I knew it it was 3am and I had to be at work by 5. I don’t care if it takes 4 years the books are always worth the wait. Also I was wondering if there were any plans on revisiting the night angel series? I’m sure I’m not the only one that wants to know what happens to kylar/eleens child. Either way keep up the amazeing work.

  31. woot! its worth the wait i can feel it! :) Book Tour 2014!

  32. Let ME illustrate the Way of Shadows Graphic Novel. I can do it.

  33. It’s great to hear the book’s finished, and, more importantly, that you’re satisfied. I appreciate your dedication to your craft rather than your bank account. I remember after reading The Blinding Knife, and a week or after having emphatically thrusting it into the arms of my friend, we couldn’t help but agree that it outshone the first one. My words were: “It’s mad, if the second one’s that much better than the first, then I’m scared by how the prospect of how good the third one is going to be.”
    I’m sure you won’t dissapoint ;)

  34. My brother shoved the first “Shadows” book under my nose,
    When I glanced at it, wizards, magic and Kung Fu like stunts, I groaned inwardly, “oh God, nooo!”
    BUT then I started to read it, hmmm not too bad and slowly it drew me in!
    Wonderful yarn, great imagination and twists and turns mixed with the unfamiliar world that characters like Dorian and the Sisters inhabit. Add in the young and vulnerable with nasty monster God Kings and we have a heady mix!

    Thank you Brent.

  35. My fiance bought me the first two Lightbringer books for christmas. I was excited because we both loved the Night Angel Trilogy and I was like sweet deal! Then I started reading them. I was floored. I opened the pages and was swept away by them immediately. Carried away at lightning speeds upon waves of adventure, intrigue and mystery. I empathized with people, not characters, so exquisitely were they crafted I could not tell the difference. I was enslaved. I got up early to get ready for work so I would have as much time to read as possible before I had to leave. I read on my lunch break. I would rather read than eat! I sometimes even snuck a few pages in at work just to finish an epic chapter. I read as soon as I got home. My fiance laughed at me. I just finished both books in four days and my heart is still racing. The work is brilliant, intoxicating, breathtaking! There are a lot of wonderful authors in the world, many that I respect and admire. It takes quite a bit to get around my naturally critical nature and make it onto my list of favored authors. But you have done it! And you also managed to be the first author on my list from this century. Well played Magister Brent Weeks. Well played.

  36. I just realized that since I almost always buy your books in Graphic Audio format, I’m probably going to have to wait until like, June 2015 to get to enjoy the full Broken Eye story. It’s unfortunate, but they did an amazing job with your last two books. (I didn’t really care for their treatment of Night Angel, but Perfect Shadow was great.) Still, I am very much looking forward to this year now.

  37. I found the Night Angel series all at the same time some years ago. When I discovered your current series, Black Prism/Blinding Knife, the latter had just come out in hardback. Normally, I’m paperback only but I had too much momentum from Prism to wait. Admittedly, I’m champing at the bit just as much as everyone else, but I’m more than willing to wait.

    My reading pace is about 500 pages a day, if not more, and I’ve no restrictions on re-reading either, so some of my favorite books are those that really require sinking your teeth into them. I cannot envision anyone being less than sated when presented with your latest book, for if your previous works are any indicator, we shall be filled to the brim and beyond with all that could be desired, or wished for.

    It feels so poor to only be able to say thanks, but I will be continuing to purchase any and all bound literature bearing your name, in the hope that my, and everyone elses contributions shall enable the continuation of your career. Argh, the run-on sentences.

    Thank You!


  38. Hey Brent,

    I have been a dedicated fan ever since my college housemate mentioned The Way of Shadows during one of our impromptu book club meetings in the hallway late at night. We spent plenty of hours talking about how awesome the story was and yelling about the latest character you killed off. I am a lover of great works, including The Dark Tower and The Wheel of Time. I place The Lightbringer right beside these giants on my bookshelf. I am as excited and thankful to you as all your fans for the update on The Broken Eye, but there was something else in your post that moved me to comment.

    “And, I think it fair to say, I’ve added a level of polish and skill I didn’t possess before.”

    I know you don’t need my approval or nod of recognition but I want you to know that I’m giving it to you. I used those exact words to explain to my college housemate why he needed to read the Lightbringer, “Dude it’s amazing, it’s Night Angel with polish.” It seems to me that you have always known your voice, but with The Lightbringer, the rough edges of the story flow and event depiction are gone. Your action scenes explode visually in the reader’s mind with clarity and sequence. Your characters have become more than an extrapolation of their backstory, they have reached a life-like state that I have only found before in Steven King’s and Robert Jordan’s writings. And I am not trying to detract from you with that comparison, because though the animate quality of your characters is comparable, the characters are still shaded uniquely by your own voice.

    I wanted you to know that I don’t simply see The Lightbringer as “better,” I acknowledge and respect the changes you’ve made as a writer. And I admire your ability to take the building blocks you developed writing The Night Angel and so creatively twist a story around them that the whole thing becomes completely unique and interesting. That belies more than just a creative soul, but the intelligence and ingenuity of a true master artist.

    So, although you clearly already know it yourself, I want you to know that your readers also recognize the strides you’ve made as a writer in just two series. I can’t wait for the next one!

  39. Wah! I just re-read The Black Prism. I have my finger on the Buy Now button for The Blinding Knife, and now I find out that not only is The Broken Eye NOT being released until August, but there’s another book after that? And, dare I wonder, yet more after THAT? Did I mention I put on hold finishing The Wheel of Time (it’s only been twenty-two years…) to read The Black Prism again? Well, at least you know I’m a stayer, but still… Wah! It’s my party, and I’ll cry if I want to… ;-)

  40. Wow that’s a fast turnaround.

    With some authors, it’s easy to see his they crank out books so fast.. But 2 years a piece for these and especially the batshit crazy sub-9 years for the middle 8 Malazan books blows my mind,

  41. Hey Brent don’t worry to much about length your book is going to be 100000+ words shorter than the new Sanderson book! I’m excited for both books! I still need to read the blinding knife!

  42. I’m quite thankful to have found The Night Angel trilogy after several had been published. I didn’t have to wait for each book! Brent, you created an outstanding world and characters.

    But you did exceed that trilogy with this new series, Lightbringer. I just finished The Blinding Knife at 3:00 am a couple of nights ago. I stretched it out as long as I could but in the end had to stay up late to get to the end. The Blinding Knife was a better book than Black Prism, which in itself was tremendous. Not easy to improve with the second book, as several readers pointed out with Patrick Rothfuss’s second book–which was good–versus his wonderful debut novel. I’m a writer too, so understand–to some degree–the challenges of creating, maintaining and storytelling with a new world.

    The Blinding knife contained incredible detail, unpredictable (but quite satisfying) twists, and your deft skill at bringing the characters alive. Plus, I’m a sucker for a love story imbedded in fantasy/sci fi, so you had be hooked there. The cards were an excellent invention, nicely done (and played, as others have said).

    Thank you for bringing forth this creation.

  43. From all the bibliophiles in South Africa: Brent Weeks is an amazing fantasy writer.

    After Night Angel Trilogy blew my mind the Lightbringer series is doing it all over again!! amazing work, respect Brent Weeks.

    Looking forward towards the release of The Broken Eye with much anticipation.

  44. i want action figures. what is going on whats available and from what books? are there series of them?

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