Right now, I’m planning on ten books split into two five book arcs. I do a lot of planning. By my nature as a writer, I like to plan things out–I feel the endings of my stories are better if I’m pointed toward a goal all along.
So I do have a lot I’m planning for the books, and have rough outlines for each of them. You can imagine books one through five being one arc, focused on Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan, Eshonai, and Szeth. After I finish book five, which will have a distinct ending for this sequence, I will probably take a break from the series for a few years. Then I’ll come back, and we’ll have a second sequence of five books focusing on characters like Jasnah, Lift, Renarin, and others.
I talk about the ‘Front Five” and the “Back Five” for two reasons: Honestly I do want to be wary of not being too daunting to readers who are jumping into this thing. They might think, “The Wheel of Time was ‘promised’ to be six books and it ended up at fourteen. If you promise six, how long is this one going to be?”
But it’s also because I want to start preparing readers for the break that’s going to happen at book five. I’m going to stop writing the series for a few years, and then the “Back Five” (as I’m calling it) will focus on some different characters than the front five. So I have a lot of good reasons to be preparing people for what’s going to happen there. Our expectations are a very big part of our enjoyment of all different kinds of entertainment mediums.