Shortly ago, late this night, Brandon has completed the first draft of Oathbringer, the third Stormlight Archive novel. This draft weighs in at a tiny word count of 461,233 words--which, as a comparison, is longer than Way of Kings (which was 387,000), Words of Radiance (at about 400,000), and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (at 455,000 words). So, you know, it'll fit right in your pocket. Brandon says, of course, there is much work to do and that it will be out November 2017. In the process of editing, generally the word count is trimmed quite a bit as prose tightens.
What's next for Oathbringer? Peter Ahlstrom, Brandon's assistant, explained on Reddit the process:
So, when Brandon hits 100% he'll take a few days to polish Part 4 and 5 a bit, then turn it in to the editor. Parts 1 and 2 are fully edited now, so Brandon will start revisions right away. When he has revised Part 1 it will go to the beta readers. I'm envisioning 6 weeks to beta read the whole book. Then final revisions could take another month.
After that, copyedit and its approval will take two months. During this time the artwork will also be finalized as best we can get it. Some final artwork revisions will be done during the next step.
First pass proofs and their approval take another two months. During both copyedit approval and first pass approval I will chase down remaining errors. There will be a second and third pass proof probably. But these are not for finding new errors, only for looking to make sure the previously marked errors were fixed correctly, so in total maybe two weeks. Then the book goes to press.
Tor will also most likely start printing an ARC at the same time the first pass proofs come. These ARCs will go out to reviewers maybe three weeks after my the first pass approvals start.
So that's the process! There really is much to do still. (An unrelated, but interesting fact in that Reddit thread is that Brandon sells twice as many ebooks as print, which is pretty insane, I think.)
Needless to say, after Edgedancer I can't wait to see what is in store in Oathbringer. If it ends up being longer than Words of Radiance--which I imagine it easily will--I can't wait to have an even bigger epic doorstop. Er... I mean, blunt force weapon. Er, I mean... paperweight! All of those things and more. It will be very multifunctional, I'm sure.
Edited by Chaos