Hello acronyms. But then whoever may be interested in this knows already what the title is about.
In this last update GRRM explains that when you mess with the timeline you’ll always get your ass handed back to you, whether you’re Erikson or Martin.
He says he doesn’t want advices, so I won’t give any, nor I’ve read AFFC yet but I know what the general public thinks and that’s what got me worried reading that update. The problem is that the longer the wait the more people expect a kind of payoff. That’s why these long series always improve on rereads when you don’t have to wait years from one book to the other. A relaxed and balanced pace is not bad, in a general context. But if you waited 5 years for that book, then every page you turn is one page less from whatever expectations you have. Without some sort of payoff you’ll finish the book with a big feeling of dissatisfaction even if the book wasn’t that bad. Preparatory work spread along 10 years of wait just can’t work.
In the case of AFFC we got a book that was criticized exactly because it seemed to go nowhere and was mostly about setting the pieces back up again. It was a valley after a peak. So if this following book, 5 years later, only fills the gap and doesn’t deliver anything special, the risk is that the already weakened balance breaks completely.
Taking back chapters to move them on the following book may be a disaster if those chapters make the plot move onward. Especially since the actual release of the next book is so remote that it may as well just not exist.
So my advice (to the publisher) is to think more about delivering the best book possible right now, than sparing the good stuff for later.