Search the most comprehensive database of interviews and book signings from Robert Jordan, Brandon Sanderson and the rest of Team Jordan.
2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.
2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."
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On later Stormlight Archive novels will there always be one character we get to see flashbacks for?
Yes, and it should rotate to different characters. I have not yet decided who gets book two yet. It's really between Dalinar and Shallan and I go back and forth on whose story I want to tell next.
So, does that mean there's going to be 10 different characters that would be seen?
It's very likely there will be 10 different characters. The only caveat on that is that part of me really wants to do a second Kaladin book. And so I haven't quite decided who gets flashback books. You can probably guess from reading this book some of them who do. But there are some that don't necessarily absolutely need them, so Kaladin may get a second flashback book.
So, fingers crossed, fingers crosses, will Szeth get one?
Szeth will get a book.
YES! (laughter) We're all cheering.
Yes, Szeth will get a book. Shallan and Dalinar will get books.
UmÖI'm not sure on him yet. He's one that could, maybe not. I mean he's got some interesting things going on but we'll see how the series progresses first. There are characters who will get flashback books that you haven't yet met or at least not spent much time with.
Ok, fair enough. Do you have a scene you enjoyed more than the rest, and on the flip side, was their something that you did not enjoy?
I will say that I really loved doing all the interludes because they gave me a sense, when I was writing this book, of jumping to something new, which is part of what kept me going in all of this. Are they my favorite scenes in the book? No, but they were probably my favorite to write because it's like I get to take a break and write something whacky and looney, so to speak.
HmmÖis there anything that was harder? You know, revisions are always hard. In the next to last draft I changed Dalinar's arc very substantially, and that was a hard write. And, you know, Adolin was not originally a viewpoint character, so there was a lot of hard writing there. So, poor Adolin probably gets the badge for hardest to write. Not because he as a character was hard to write but because I was having to repurpose scenes and toss out scenes and rewrite them with Adolin as the viewpoint character and so on to add just a little more dimension to Dalinar's plot arc.
Dalinar and Lan, who wins in a swordfight? Both full Shardbearers.
Both full Shardbearers. Lan probably wins, I would guess. Lan is more pure swordsman than Dalinar. Dalinar spent a lot of time on things like battlefield tactics.
Book two has been renamed Words of Radiance, as it's Shallan's book. Dalinar's book will be Book Five. (Though I haven't promised he will survive that long. I reserve the right to do flashbacks for someone in a book after they have died.)
It WILL be Dalinar's book, however, not one of his sons.
Late 2013 is still possible. I'm about 2/3 of the way done.
Some other things that I had overheard and noted:
Shardblades can be willed down. We see this with Dalinar slamming the Shardblade down into the stone at the end of the Way of Kings.
This was a method I thought I would use in order to help divide each book and help me envision each book as a stand-alone volume in the series. Because one of the challenges of writing a big series like this is you donít want them all to blend together. You want them each to feel distinct, to have their own climaxes and their own story because when they start to blend together it can be detrimental to the series in the long run. So in my original outline, I spent a lot of time figuring out what everyoneís story was going to be but I didnít actually have to do them in a certain order because they all are flashbacks I didnít have to have the flashbacks in certain parts. And so I wasnít sure whether I was going to do Dalinar or Shallan for the second book, I always knew I was going to do Kaladin for the first book. And I ended up deciding on Shallan, in part because I want to get into her story because of things that are happening in the plot but also because I wanted Dalinarís sequence to come later.
Now, Iím not promising that characters all survive that long. Itís entirely possible, just so you know, that I would kill someone off and still show their flashback sequence. Because the flashbacks arenít them having a flashback, the flashbacks are- itís not them sitting there and remembering that, it is simply a non-linear way of telling their story. So just so you know, that doesnít necessarily mean that Dalinar survives til book five.Shallan Flashback
She did not, it was actually Syl. But he was in the process of breaking the bond, and so she was able to get some stormlight to him, but that is what really — Like you can imagine, this bond was really a strain for her to use at that point, so it was her, but doing what she did just about destroyed her, which is why you don't hear from her after that.
Is healing a universal stormlight power then?
Yes, within reason. Some are better at it, but it is a universal power.
With Dalinar, as a bondsmith, what does that mean his power-?
That is a good question! That is going to be an [RAFO card].
It's a cool thing, it's also a very dangerous thing.
Well [the Stormfather] controls the highstorms ... follow-up question: if he dies, does that affect the spren?
Dying, as long as the oaths are not broken, does not affect the spren in a very terrible way. There are effects.
Know which story?
The story about the pact, why he doesn't remember anything.
Oh. Not very many at all know that he doesn't remember. He's had to fake it.
I also heard he was part of your unpublished Dragonsteel.
And is that a series you are going to be publishing?
I will eventually rewrite it, it is not up to my current standards. I consider the events that happen in it basically to be canon. With some exceptions, like for instance when I originally wrote Dragonsteel the Shattered Plains were there and Dalinar was there and I split off Way of Kings into its own book. I took half of what had been Dragonsteel and made it into the Stormlight Archive and I split half of it off onto a separate planet. If you were to read it, you can check it out from BYU, half of it will be a less well-written version of the Shattered Plains sequence of Way of Kings and the other half is Hoid's story. And Hoid's story stuff is still kind of canon but the rest...
Are we going to find out in here, why Szeth and what the Truthless are all about?
That, you will have to wait for his flashback sequences in a future book. Each character gets a set of flashback sequences. I'm not going to promise that the characters live to the book where their flashback sequences are. You might have a character die and then get their flashbacks the next book to get more information on them. This will be Shallan's flashback, then the next book will be Szeth's flashback, then Eshonai, then Dalinar.
It depends on the day, and the time. Dalinar is clean-shaven through most of the books you have seen.
That's what I thought but he [man with the woman asking the question] thought not.
The audiobook reader just gives me an impression of a wizened person with a well-kept beard.
Let's see if I've got... if I've got enough internet...
I get the impression that Sadeas has a creepy mustache from the audiobook as well.
Beards are not in fashion in Alethkar right now.
Which is why Kaladin shaves it off.
Let's see, The Way of Kings, I've got the artwork I used as-- [shows secret canon drawing] So there is the concept art we used for Dalinar.
That's a hard question, I can't pick a favorite character. Dalinar is what I normally say, just because I've been working on him the longest. Honestly, I don't know. It's whoever I'm working on at the time.
Dalinar is a good character, I like Kaladin a lot too.
Kaladin has really worked out well. It's interesting because Kaladin-- the first time I wrote The Way of Kings, in 2002, did not work and I had to rip him out and try a completely different personality and things for him. So it's cool to see it finally working.
They did something similar.
Can the Unmade be bonded?
Wow...plausible. Er, possible, I should say.
If you came up with a Radiant-like ideal, for yourself as a writer, what would it be?
What a great question! (writes the answer in asker's book).
The Shardblade that Dalinar had at the end of Words of Radiance that he gave up?
Yeah, that he gave up.
It was not? So what happened to the Honorblade that the Herald had?
Nobody kno- Well, somebody knows, but it is not known to the main characters.
Can I ask if uh, Hoid-
If Hoid knows?
Hoid did not take it, but Iím not answering whether he knows.
How would he have ended that sentence?