I’m spine-tingly close to finishing reading The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. To be honest, I’d rather leave this blog and go read – but it can wait until the bus trip tomorrow. Or perhaps before bed tonight.
This morning I was thinking about the thick plotting in The Name of the Wind. Not thick as in dense or stupid, but thick as in many-layered. In my first novel, Vengeance Will Come, I have quite a few points of view, but there is really only two major plot lines – two main goals, with a few minor goals running in parallel.
In contrast The Name of the Wind has only one point of view, most of the story is told in past tense, but it is jam-packed with a plethora of goals, intrigue, wonder and danger.
Spoiler alert: I’m about to share some I can come up with in the next 5 minutes.
- The story opens with Kvothe (aka Kote) “hiding” in a backwater pub. Is he hiding from danger, fame or infamy?
- What does he know about the “demons” on the country roads?
- There’s something different about Kvothe, the young boy, who is exceptional in learning. What is it and why?
- What is the name of the wind, and will Kvothe ever learn it?
- Will he get to go to the university?
- His family, his entire troupe, is killed. Why, exactly? What part of his father’s song was so dangerous to the Chadrian?
- We see Kvothe struggle to survive on his own – first in the wilderness, and then in the city. He must avoid his also-homeless arch-enemy and the cruelty of the constables. He battles against hunger, sickness, isolation and trauma. Will he ever reclaim who he was before tragedy struck?
- He gets admitted to the university, but how will he pay his tuition and have enough to live on? Will his pride be his undoing?
- He makes enemies among the Masters (teachers).
- He is banned from the Arcanum for recklessness after being tricked by a privileged peer. Unwilling to be beaten, the two of them will be continually at each other’s throats.
- His tuition fees keep increasing because he antagonises some of the Masters. How will he pay back the dangerous money lender? Will he finally go too far and be expelled?
- He has a love interest, but there are also other suitors for both of them. Will they find true love with one another? What secrets does his beloved have?
- The demons are back…why?
As you can see his battling to have his desires met (attend the university, music, get revenge on the Chadrian); battling his own stubborn character and those around him; wrestling with people he doesn’t get on well, and love interests. There’s just so much going on!
I wish that the book had been less engaging – so I could have studied it more. It would make a great study in wish fulfilment, and balancing success with failure.
And about Vengeance Will Come…
I’ve got 34 things on my TODO list (most relate to checking the timing of scenes) and I am working my way through merging chapters together to make them longer.