I often hear people whining about how Robert Jordan takes so long to come out with a new novel.

I've been reading novels far longer than I've been actually talking to people about them. I got used to waiting 3 to 5 years for sequels a while ago. I'm amazed when an author comes out with a sequel or a new work in a shorter time than that.

I was happy to hear that Larry Niven and Jerry Pournell took 10 years to come out with The Gripping Hand because they wanted it to be perfect, and didn't want to rush it. I'm fine with that. I want the book to be it's best.

I'm surprised that Jordan hasn't pulled a Bill Waterson and burned out under all the pressure, frankly. He's been turning out enormous books under high pressure, and it turned out to be a different story than he thought at first.

The only way that the author of the Harry Potter novels, J. K. Rowling manages to turn out a book a year is that she's already storyboarded them all out and knows exactly how the story is going to go. But then, they're kids books (at least, for the first 7), so we don't expect quite as much.

Novels cannot be held to the same standards as computer software and movies. In fact, we'd be better off if software standards were as stringent as those for novels, generally.

But who's willing to wait for quality, neh?

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