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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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I can’t find anything to clarify this, either. I will just offer up anecdote: I have been reading WoT for 22 years, and went to work for its creator over 17 years ago. I could be said to live and breathe The Wheel of Time. But Terez has taught me much about WoT. It could be a TEOTWism, or Lan could have been thinking of some very specific things that Elyas shared that he found helpful.
I thought about asking how Elyas could teach Lan anything about the sword, too, but I figured the Blight bit was the most incredible. TEOTWism: this was stolen from the fandom for Steven Erikson's Malazan Book of the Fallen series. The first book of that series is called Gardens of the Moon, and in that fandom, details that are particular to the first book—details that cause continuity issues later in the series—are referred to as GOTMisms.
[Anyone got a hint as to where those references are??]
[One of the other people at the signing mentioned the 'bonds' that Moiraine tied to Rand, Perrin, and Mat early in The Eye of the World. Those were directional, and I speculated that maybe they were related, in a very small way, to the Warder bond.]
There were two plot related questions in the Q&A, both were RAFO'd: Did Aviendha's gateway in beginning of The Path of Daggers go back in time?
Heya. So. Kind of harsh question—you are reported to have inferred recently that the Black Ajah and Nynaeve etc. ability to...
...to be solid and channel properly during the Dream Battle in Towers of Midnight has an explanation. Is this true? I struggle...
... to believe that given the text and my communications with Maria, and was wondering if it was misquoted?
Aight. Literally as I posted the above to Brandon, Maria replied with that this whole issue is a Read and Find Out issue. I'm a douche.
Did anyone check out the ebook to see if any changes have been made to that scene?
Don't think so... been chatting with Maria about it and she's not indicated any changes.
Look for an email soon; there were changes. I'm having a difficult day; I didn't think that you might not have seen an ebook.
The differences were found and posted at Theoryland.
I found the bit with Luckers after I'd done the 2011 Tweets. By date, it fits here best, but the context is not necessarily significant; I can't insert entries anywhere but at the end of an 'interview' page, but I can edit previous entries, so here it is.
No the Amyrlin did not change five times in seven years. I didn't catch the error before the book was published, though the correct sequence is there in my master chronology. The line in The Great Hunt should have read that "four of the last five" were from the Blue. The correct sequence is: Kirin Nelway (Brown) 922-950 NE; Noane Mosadim (Blue) 950-973 NE; Tamra Ospenya (Blue), 973-979 NE; Sierin Vayu (Gray), 979-984 NE; Marith Jaen (Blue), 984-988 NE; Siuan Sanche (blue), raised 998 NE. The correction is being made in the body of The Great Hunt and in the glossary.
That is the problem with doing books this large; sometimes even with all best efforts, something slips through when I think it has been made right. So there haven't been any lies [in answer to "does the Glossary lie?"]. Not even the "distance and location." You should have heard the howl I let out when that glossary entry was pointed out to me. "No! No, I changed that before the bloody book was published!" I have been working from the start that the Warder bond could be used as a sort of direction finder by both. Either can sense the direction of the other, though it gets more vague with distance, until with long distance the most you have is a general impression of, for example, "somewhere sort of to the west." Not distance, unless they are pretty close, except by using experience, figuring how far you've gone and how much stronger the feeling is. How do you think Moiraine and Lan never had any worries about hooking back up when they were separated? There have been hints at it and oblique references in several places.
Actually, if everybody was like me, I'd probably start carrying a gun. But then, they probably would too. Sigh. Good God! I just thought of something. Women with beards! No, no, much better if I am the only me.
Slayer was a typo. It should have been Stayer.
Some possibilities I thought of are:
M W T W T W T
0 13 13
1 26 27
2 37 39 34 36 43 45
3 48 51 42 45 51 54
4 56 60 50 54 56 60
5 61 66 58 63 61 66
6 66 72 66 72 66 72
On the second answer: RJ indicated in Sweden in 1995 that he does use a 21-graded scale to keep track of channeler strength.
The first answer appears to be an Aes Sedai answer (avoiding the question). The real answer (at least, the answer that is consistent with the rest of the books) is that RJ probably used a bit of hyperbole in the scene where Mat was Healed in The Dragon Reborn (or rather, Nynaeve did, and she even caught herself...but RJ wrote it in such a way that left room for doubt whether she was amazed at her arrogance or at her potential strength).
The woman with the shielding talent, at least as far as we were shown in A Crown of Swords, was in the Kin (Berowin), and not one of those holding Nynaeve when they went after the Bowl (Falion, who got away, and Ispan, whom they captured). They were linked, and they waited until Elayne went upstairs with most of the Kin, then caught Nynaeve off-guard while she wasn't already holding the Power, and they (rightly) believed the remaining Kin wouldn't interfere. (Erica noted when I interrogated her about this report that these were all quick questions which he answered while signing books, so he was probably too distracted to explain properly—all indications are that he truly enjoyed explaining such things when he had the leisure to do so, and that he also would have gladly admitted to the hyperbole so long as he had time to address the rest.)
I think one of RJ's main points in that scene was that Mat, not being able to see the weaves, wouldn't have any idea what was going on, and therefore neither should we, really. RJ even called our attention to this phenomenon in the battle between Moghedien and Nynaeve at the end of The Shadow Rising:
"A man who came in then, or any woman unable to channel, would have seen only two women facing each other across the white silk rope from a distance of less than ten feet. Two women staring at one another in a vast hall full of strange things. They would have seen nothing to say it was a duel. No leaping about and hacking with swords as men would do, nothing smashed or broken. Just two women standing there. But a duel all the same, and maybe to the death."
The scene in A Crown of Swords was a way of exploring that phenomenon. Presumably Nynaeve was strong enough to break the shield, but it was close enough that it came to a fight much like the Moghedien fight. Meanwhile, Nynaeve says aloud that Falion and Ispan are linked, and she chastises the Kin for not helping her. That tells us all we need to know.
Sometimes people have found things that are typos, and sometimes people have found a place where a change or correction that I had intended to be put into the book was not before it was published. I always try to get those corrected as soon as possible after they're found. And, while I don't like having them there, I'm glad when someone points one out to me.
As for inconsistencies, I'm afraid inconsistencies are a failure to read the books correctly. Every time somebody has come to me with an inconsistency, I have been able to point out in a return letter where their mistake was.
No, he doesn't. He sometimes tries to clear up misconceptions that people have gotten. (He does admit that there have been times that he has made mistakes [put down a wrong eye-color (probably a reference to the Faile/Moiraine gaze at Perrin in The Dragon Reborn) / blinked and missed an editor's typo], but this is not what he's talking about.)
But he does try to use things that have been there a long time, and he likes to plant seeds, so that things don't fall out of the blue sky (the major reason I love WoT so much). Giving us the little tidbits of information that don't mean anything now, but that in three books will come around again. The question about how many of these seeds there are got RAFOd.
Was Erian Boroleos meant to disappear during the battle at Shadar Logoth or was that a mistake?
Erian Boroleos was not meant to disappear. In my notes, she is placed guarding those with Cadsuane who cannot channel and not too pleased about it (there are reasons why she was chosen out for this, which I won't go into here), and there is even a note (under CHECKS AND CORRECTIONS, a category I use to make sure that I haven't blinked at the wrong time) to make sure of mentioning her in passing. It didn't happen, for which, mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. I was so certain that I had done it, that I didn't find out I hadn't until the paperback came out, but a correction will be made.
In Winter's Heart, Min doesn't recognize Birgitte, but they were in Salidar at the same time. What is the story there?
No story at all. In Salidar, Min knew Birgitte as a adventurer, you might say, but not until Caemlyn did she realize that Birgitte was, in fact, BIRGITTE BY GOD SILVERBOW!
For Perrin WT, I don't think about how many pages I do in a day. I don't believe I've ever really tried to estimate it. The way I work, frequently going back to rewrite something done earlier, makes it very hard to count pages per day. I have misspelled characters' names now and then; when I am typing very fast, sometimes my fingers get dyslexic. I believe my grammar is very good, though I sometimes use constructions that I doubt any English teacher I ever had would approve of. First you learn the rules. Then you can start learning when and where you can break the rules.
For the ever-popular Anonymous, Fain might be said to be contagious in the sense that he corrupts those he is around long enough, but not in the sense that they then have something communicable. As for his influence over people, remember that Fain is now an amalgam of Fain and Mordeth, and Mordeth was a counselor, quite accustomed to and skilled in gaining the ears of the mighty.
And yes, Amico Nagoyin was Yellow, and Berylla Naron Blue.
I've noticed here and there that some of you have caught errors—sometimes mine, sometimes printers' errors—and commented on them. When you do that, would you please give the chapter where you found the error and also the edition—American, British, hardcover, trade paperback etc—as well as the title, and the printing if you can. You can find the printing number on the same page with the copyright notice. In the American editions, there will be a line of numbers at the bottom of that page, something like this:
15 14 13 12 11 10 9 8 7
The last number in that line on the right is the number of that book's printing.
In the British editions, the entire printing history is given on the copyright page, a list of which years reprints occurred and how many times during that year.
That helps me to find where the error is located, if there is one. For example, somebody said that he or she found Verin channeling saidin in Lord of Chaos. Check as I can, I cannot find that anywhere in the book, and neither can my assistant Maria. Maybe it is there, but I can't find it.
About Gawyn's duel with Sleete, and the usage of real swords, she said she would have to look into that, since I had believed that normally practice swords are used. She said that perhaps sometimes they have to use real swords to keep their edge, so to speak, but will look into that.
With novice swordsmen, the practice sword is very good because they can swing away with abandon and be swung at and at worse get a bruise. But there comes a time when a person must practice with a real sword, and not just shadow fencing. How does a sword feel when it hits another sword? How quickly can you come back from that? Practice with the weapon you are going to use in real combat is necessary. This is especially true if you are with an army in the field; you’re not playing at keeping in shape, you’re trying to make sure that you are at your absolute top form to keep from being killed when you come up against someone else with a pointy blade. These Warders are very, very good; they trust themselves to fight with real swords without damaging each other.
So, often they practiced with practice swords, but sometimes they practiced with real swords. There is a type of practice with real swords in the books. We see it in New Spring: the Novel, where Bukama “took the other two a little distance away with talk of some game called “sevens.” A strange game it seemed to be, and more than dangerous in the failing daylight. Lan and Ryne sat cross-legged facing one another, their swords sheathed, then without warning drew, each blade flashing toward the other man’s throat, stopping just short of flesh. The older man pointed to Ryne, they sheathed swords, and then did it again. For as long as she watched, that was how it went. Perhaps Ryne had not been so over-confident as he seemed.”
It’s not the same as when Gawyn faced Sleete and Marlesh, but it is experienced swordsmen practicing with real swords.
[note from Mato: had some trouble hearing this next question, take its answer as just a generic "RAFO, not a typo. There were other typos. < insert example >"]
Was Sulin really with Rand or—?
The Gathering Storm begins sometime in April. It ends around the end of June/beginning of July. However, Perrin advanced very little—only about two weeks. Mat advanced a bit more, but was still about a month behind Rand and Egwene (this gets an asterisk as a MAFO), but Mat traveled to Caemlyn about 30 days before the end of the book—he emphasized 30 days and asked if I understood the significance of that—I said that I do. (Interpretation: Mat will open Verin’s letter very early in Towers of Midnight).
Tuon's timeline jumps around the most. In Knife of Dreams, she ended about a month ahead of everyone else. There were probably (MAFO) about two weeks between her meeting with Rand and the launch of the attack on the White Tower.
That sounds about right to me.
Moiraine words the Third Oath, "I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or another sister." (New Spring 11) This ...wording of the Oath is supported by the reswearing of the Oaths by Pevara and Seaine (The Path of Daggers 26), and the BWB (24), among other sources.
Egwene words the Oath, "I vow that I will never use the One Power as a weapon except against Darkfriends and Shadowspawn, or in the last extreme of defending my life or that of my Warder or of another sister." (The Gathering Storm 43) The 'Darkfriend clause' is supported by Sheriam (The Great Hunt 23), Alanna (The Shadow Rising 31), Niall (The Dragon Reborn Prologue), Rand (The Fires of Heaven 2, 41), and also implications by Moiraine (New Srping 2) and the BWB (14).
RAFO, or error? And, if error, which is the correct wording?
I do wish I'd had was more time to polish the book. There was no more time; that book had to come out last year. The drafting process was so quick—I did 17 drafts of that book across the space of just a short number of months. Anytime you do a draft, artifacts show up. You say the wrong thing, or you're thinking about one scene while writing another, and shift the tone the wrong direction. Or you just delete a word here or insert the wrong word.
If I have one feeling about weaknesses the book has, it's that there are a few little rough edges that I would like to have smoothed out. We're catching a lot of those for the paperback release.
Number one, let's talk about the blademaster issue. I'm not at liberty right now to say what's in the notes and what isn't, but I can tell you I'm drawing from the notes when I'm writing. I don't know why certain things weren't mentioned before in the series.
Maintaining the Wheel of Time continuity is an enormous task. There are so many questions like "What was Bryne's rank during the Aiel war?" where I ask Maria and Alan and just trust their instincts. There are other ones where they're not even sure.
Much of the time, when we run into issues like this, it's just me making a mistake. I do apologize for that. I promise you, I have read these books a number of times, but I don't have the type of mind that memorizes facts and repeats them back offhandedly. I have to do a lot of reading each time I write a chapter, and I often make mistakes. A lot of the time, these mistakes come because I HAVE been reading the series for so long. I've got these long-seated impressions of characters and events in my head that go back all the way to my teenage days. And they're not always right. (I didn't learn to pronounce some character names until I was well into my 20s.) Sometimes, I just assume I know something when I've been wrong about it all along. Those are the dangerous ones, since I don't think to look up items like that.
Anyway, with every printing of the books, Maria goes back in and fixes continuity. It happened when Robert Jordan was writing the books (though not nearly as often as it will when I'm writing them, I suspect). So what can I say about that? Well, Harriet is putting together a comprehensive encyclopedia that will become the definitive answer to these sorts of questions. Until then, I'm letting Team Jordan handle it.
But that's how I was reading him, and perhaps other people read him differently. And my particular biases on the character were manifest. Does that make sense? That's how I've always seen him.
But, one thing that I have to warn Wheel of Time readers... In me you get some interesting things writing the Wheel of Time book. What you get, which I hope is an advantage is someone who has read the books through multiple times, who's read The Eye of the World nine times, who is a very deep, big fan of the series. But what you're also getting hand-in-hand with that is someone who starting reading the Wheel of Time when he was fourteen...and on occasion has used his line edit privileges not for good.
Like, there are certain things that are embedded in my imagination that I have not realized until working on these books that I was wrong all along, one of which you may notice in The Gathering Storm was the length of the bridges into Tar Valon. Which, I had a conception of them, and I didn't look it up because I'm like, 'oh, I know what that looks like,' and so I started describing it and nobody called me on it, and then it comes out and fans are like, 'these are like a mile long, you can't really see the other side, you know, in the way you described it.' And I looked at it and then I read the Big White Book, I'm like, "Holy crap, these bridges are a mile long!" That's enormous! That's not how I imagined it at all. But that's how it is if you look at the maps.
These are some of these things where if I even had an inkling that it would be wrong, I would have questioned it. And in other cases, you'll get things like Talmanes, where I have always been reading him a certain way. And in my head, I'm like, this guy is way...you know, Mat's just not noticing the smirk that this man has in his eyes. That's how I've always read him, and so when I write him that comes out. Is that how Robert Jordan intended it? Well, I'll leave you to decide whether he had the line, 'he actually has a smirk inside,' or if it's just all along me reading him this way that makes me write him that way.
But does that give you some examples of understanding? This is one of the things, the issues we kind of slightly have to deal with me writing the Wheel of Time books is, you know, you can get some advantages. Mat, and Rand, and Perrin, and Egwene...these are my high school friends. I feel like I know these better than I know most of the friends I know in my life right now because I've known these people longer. Really, I mean, you know. You get that, and so hopefully their voices are very close to what Robert Jordan was writing them as, but you also get the preconceptions.
In reverse order: The editorial mistakes were basically because of the fast turnaround time between when I finished the book and when it was put out. We're working to get those fixed for the ebook and paperback editions, but really, deadlines are to blame there, which is one reason we're slowing down for the next book.
What you're seeing with the surprises, as you described them, is that not all of those are mine; I'm writing some of them that Robert Jordan left instructions on how to write, and the way I plot and reveal is going to be manifest in the way that I approach it.
In response to your first question, I'm given complete creative freedom in these books. Partially because Harriet trusts me, and partially because that's what a writer needs in order to be able to write a book like this. That said, I've mentioned before that I feel a strong compulsion to try to do the books as close to the way Robert Jordan would have as I can, taking into account my own writing style. I'm not trying to make these Brandon Sanderson books; I'm trying to make them Wheel of Time/Robert Jordan books, but I'm also not trying to imitate him since that would turn out as a bad parody. In the end, I'm allowed to do whatever I feel needs to be done to achieve the storytelling the story demands. I do have to convince Harriet, Maria, and Alan that it's the right thing to do. And in some cases that's an easy thing to do, and in some cases it's a harder thing to do. But in all cases I get to write it first and then let them read it. And if I don't manage to pull it off, then I say, "Well, let's try something different."
Okay, this one has me all confused. Can you expand this and explain? I should note that we have asked for a correction to one section in this chapter (I'll include it a bit later). Somehow I'm also missing where Merana says that every sister knows when each one arrived (I do see the bit about knowing how long each was novice and Accepted). Here's the change we asked for (it hasn't been made in the mmp I'm holding; I don't know if it was elsewhere):
At present reads: Alanna had been six years a novice, Merana only five, but more importantly, Merana had been Aes Sedai ten years the day the midwife laid Alanna at her mother's breast. Should read: Alanna had been six years a novice, Merana only five, but more importantly, Merana had been Aes Sedai above thirty years the day the midwife laid Alanna at her mother's breast.
One of the tricks of working with this is, I basically have five editors, with Harriet at the top, and then there's Maria and Alan right below. And then Moshe my editor is giving us reads...because we can't use my normal alpha readers for this, which are my writing group, because they'd all have to be part of the NDA and that's just too many people. And so instead we brought on Moshe to just give me an alpha read, a dry alpha read. And then my agent also gives me dry alpha reads, because they all are interested professionals and part of the NDA and things like that.
But basically, even looking only at Harriet, Maria, and Alan, what would happen is on The Gathering Storm, I would send in some scenes, and then I would start working on the next ones. And I would get deep into the next ones, and then some papers would come. I'm like, oh revisions. So I'd go back and start doing revision. And then another group of papers would come from another one of them that had revisions that were different. And then another group of papers would come that were a third group of revisions. And in some cases, they've all caught the same typo, but then I have to end up searching for it three times because I can't remember if I've changed that typo or not. And then I can't find it. I'm like, oh I guess that's one I caught, but really sometimes I didn't catch it, I'm just on the wrong page or something. Anyway, I have three sets of paper all from different people making different revisions, and sometimes they disagree with one another on what should be changed, and they're not seeing each other's revisions.
Meanwhile, I'm on tour trying to fly around and carry all of these. You should have seen me on the airplane one of these days where revisions were needed the next day, and I'm flying on a six-hour flight in coach. And I'm cuddled like this between two people in the middle seat, with six hundred pages around me, trying to find all three pages that are editing the same section, and realizing that one's in my suitcase. This was absolutely a nightmare to do.
And so this time, I'm like, let's go all digital, I'll have them all on my computer, it will be so much easier. But Harriet had never done digital revisions before. None of you had, I don't think. And so the idea was we would have one person do a revision, and then they would hand the file off, and that person could go through and a revision and add their comments, and then the next person would be able to do it. And that would have been wonderful in a perfect world. Unfortunately, we didn't have time for that because we were so crunched for time. And so what would happen is they all would be working on their own machine because they all needed to be reading at the same time, they couldn't wait for the other person. And so then they would all three send me documents digitally, which is easier to work with than trying to dig out all fifty pages of each. But at the same time, then I have four documents: my document, and three documents with revisions in it, from different versions of Word or Wordperfect or Open Office or whatever it is. I basically would just send them all to Peter (Peter Ahlstrom, Brandon's assistant) and say, "Peter, meld these somehow."
Peter deserves kudos.
I would like to say, at the beginning of the editing process on the last book, Brandon was 7 feet, 3 inches tall.
Oh yeah, I also asked about the Tel'aran'rhiod fight (that was actually during the walk to the restaurant) and if the Black Ajah shouldn't have been more blurred out. See discussion at Readandfindout.com.
Oh boy, you’re fishing for Nakomi!
No, actually I'm not; somebody else submitted that question.
Okay. I would have to have the timeline in front of me.
Yeah. I think they asked because there are certain contradictions in the timeline and that’s why...
Oh yeah. There’s a mistake in Mat’s timeline.
And that was in The Gathering Storm, right?
No, there’s a mistake in Towers of Midnight. Mat sees sunshine when he shouldn't, or vice-versa. The reason for that being, Mat's timeline was the big one we were playing with, and we were moving him through the book to different places to decide where various things were appropriate, and where we settled on, both Alan and Bob Kluttz—who are really detailed timeline people—both stamped this timeline and said 'There are no flaws in this except there is an error in The Gathering Storm', which we have now changed. But we let a typo creep through—that one was more of a typo because we moved a scene from some place to some place else—and so there is a cloud typo. It is recorded on Twitter—I don’t know if you saw it—where someone pointed it out to me and I said 'We will get that changed.' Maria now is aware of it.
If it was recently then I didn’t get it, because I’m behind.
Okay. But Bob Kluttz does have an official timeline...he was one of the beta readers. The betas have all kind of come out now. I didn’t want people being jealous of them before the book came out, but...
Too late. I already knew about Linda. And I was jealous.
Yeah. I went to Bob because Bob is a master of timeline—one of them; there are many out there—and Bob’s job was to keep me honest on the timeline, and he did a really fantastic job, but we did miss one typo at least.
She doesn’t see it. We talked about this in editing when we were looking at it. It’s Graendal’s viewpoint; she’s summarizing; she doesn’t actually see it. We actually didn’t change it, because I just thought that was, ‘That’s what’s going on; it’s in her viewpoint; she doesn’t see the weaves.’ So, that isn’t an error. Maybe it’s not the clearest writing around, but I felt it was sufficiently clear when I looked at the passage. It got flagged by Maria.
Actually, we did asked for this to be changed for e- and future editions. It should now read "Aran'gar shrugged, but focused as if laying down a thick and complex Compulsion on the unfortunate Ramshalan's mind." The answer is the same, though, really; she saw nothing.
Brandon said remembering thinking it was odd at the time when he read it but asked for an email and find out for that question.
[Julien] also asked if Rand had quit smoking since we hadn't seen him smoking tabac recently.
Brandon says that if he can't get two rivers tabac he would rather not smoke anything and Rand has been a busy guy lately. He compared it to being used to really good French wine and then having only bad American wine available, in which case Rand would rather not consume. Rather funny.
I'd say it's split between a couple of things. First: Keeping track of all of the characters. (Like remembering which Aes Sedai are with which main character, and which members of the Black Tower are which rank.) Got one of those wrong in the book, by the way. Second: Making sure everyone's voice (the characters) is correct. That's the most important thing, and I spent a lot of time on it.
Brandon, is the hardest part of writing the WoT keeping up with the 12,000 and some odd major and minor characters?
You got it exactly. That is TOUGH. Obviously, I can keep track of the mains. But those minor characters...It takes a LOT of work to make sure I'm getting them all.
It shows, I guess the best compliment I can give is that half way through The Gathering Storm I forgot that Jordan hadn't written it.
I take it as a great compliment when people say that, while reading The Gathering Storm, they forgot Mr. Jordan hadn't written it.
I find it EXTREMELY humorous that there are at LEAST two separate charaters (maybe three I think) that have my given name or a variant thereof. :P
What is it?
In one or two threads I have been wondering for a while why Erian Boroleos (Green) wasn't assigned to one of the circles that were defending Rand while he and Nynaeve were cleansing saidin. (See Pam's Winter's Heart notes for the details; IIRC it has been placed under the header 'possible screw-ups') So I asked RJ when I had the chance:
Me: "Could you tell me if Erian was present in the battle near Shadar Logoth, when Rand was cleansing saidin?"
[looking up] Who?
Erian, one of the captured Green sisters who swore fealty to Rand. Did she take part in the battle, or was she somewhere else?
Oh. Yes, she was there. RAFO.
This could either mean that Erian did something special that we don't know about, or that RJ forgot about her while writing the last chapters. On the other hand, possibly RJ thought I meant Elsa (who was definitely there). Perhaps Erian wasn't there but went to Tear with Alanna instead. I guess we'll find out in a year or so...
No, that is correct. Rand caused the bruises, so balefiring Semirhage would not make them go away. Balefire only removes paradoxes caused by the direct actions of the one who is balefired. And the bracelets remained after Rand balefired [Semirhage and Elza] because they weren't really part of Semirhage or Elza.
(comment regarding the thread on Dragonmount where some are arguing that by balefiring Graendal's palace, the Compulsion disappeared since there'd never had been a palace in the first place, and others are arguing that it doesn't work that way, objects don't have threads).
Everything has a thread, not just souls. Even a stone in a wall has a thread in the Pattern.
I don't think the a'dam can. However, if the Aes Sedai believes that the person is a Darkfriend, they can channel against them.
So conditioning their mind right, can do it. (The oaths have a provision for Darkfriends, though some editions left this out.)
Oh, you mean the fat man with... no, wait that was Rand....
Yeah, Moiraine’s one was an ivory woman.
Yeah, yeah. You know, that’s a good question, because it’s odd, the notes specifically said she got the angreal as one of her wishes...
Ah, so it’s definitely not the angreal Lanfear had? People have asked, I think because both were bracelets.
No, it’s definitely a different angreal. But yes, if she had another angreal, why would she ask for one?
Maybe the Finns took her original one. I mean she was naked when they found her, so they took...
Yeah, maybe *looks dubious*.
Or maybe it’s still in Cairhien with the rest of her stuff.
Yeah, but it would still be odd, that she’d ask, if she had another. Yeah, so, I don’t know, sorry.
They know of angreal. That’s in the notes. And yes, as far as I know a damane should be able to use one. I mean damane are essentially in links, and women in links can still use angreal, but this is a good question, because, it’s odd then that we haven’t seen them use them.
Maybe they were thought too valuable to risk in an invasion—though that’s odd, because that would be sort of where they are needed most.
Yeah, I’m not sure... that is strange. But they definitely know of angreal.
*nodding before I finished* MAFO. That was something I was going to look into myself, because it stumped me during my last re-read. I never got round to it... you haven’t seen the size of the pile of notes, they are huge, and most of my time... I have to give over to things that are involved in what I’m working on. Sometimes though, I do just go into them purely for fan interest.
I would love to have an afternoon alone with the notes. *another fan nods fervently*
It is my understanding that Rand put that warding on when he was getting ready to leave Tear. As for Be’lal . . . well, he was one of the Chosen; what need had he of an angreal to go up against an untrained sheepherder? That’s my best guess, anyway.
I thought that had already been answered. Did Jim not answer this?
No. Everyone thought it referred to Carlinya being da’covale to the Empress. But no, it hasn’t been answered.
Oh. Oh, okay. Well, I will RAFO/MAFO it. You can email Maria and me about it, but I may have to RAFO it.
The raven is a symbol of the Dark One as well as the Seanchan; Carlinya was killed fighting the Black Ajah.
From dinner re: balefire philosophy:
Talked to Brandon at the Stormleader dinner last night. He had a few things to say on this topic:
1. The bruises on Min's neck were not an error. After consulting with Team Jordan, it was determined that indirect effects remain. Rand was the one who strangled Min, not Semirhage directly, so the bruises stayed.
2. Brandon knows of two ways to destroy cuendillar. But he would not confirm if the Domination Band that Rand was wearing was made from cuendillar. He said it was not relevant to what happened.
3. The bracelets did not disappear when Semirhage and Elza were balefired because they were not considered to be intrinsic to their person. It would be the same if someone was holding a book and was balefired, the book would drop to the floor.
-first- Rumors: he said that rumors are just rumors. About Trolloc attacks, specifically, he said that "Trollocs have been attacking, or invading in various places for months" and that rumors abound in all sorts of forms about them.
With regard to the White Tower attack—I prompted this one a little, and he said that they are simply rumors which have coalesced from multiple rumors together, nothing related specifically to the real attack adding that "in the Wheel of Time rumors sometimes have a tendency to double back on themselves" turning into truth eventually.
As for the horse riding in Caemlyn, I asked him specifically about Rand seeing Mat and Thom on horses in Caemlyn, but Mat in Chapter 8 was not taking his horse into the city, and he responded by saying that Rand didn't see Mat in this specific scene and assured me that all that would work out in the rest of the book.
He did admit that there has been one "hitch" found in The Gathering Storm as per chronology that will be changed in upcoming editions. If I remember correctly he said Mat is roughly two weeks behind where he was meant to be and explained that Mat's position in time at the end of The Gathering Storm was supposed to be two weeks earlier than it was portrayed as being.
Well—this is something I'd like to understand better—and hear it verbatim. I'm not sure I understand what is being said by the reporter.
This means that something currently in The Gathering Storm needed to be retconned to get the timeline to work and will be changed in future editions of The Gathering Storm. Unfortunately, there wasn't time to get it changed in the paperback that's coming out this month. I'm guessing the change will affect only a sentence or two.
Retconning was a last resort that they really didn't want to have to take, but it was unavoidable.
Team Jordan has a very detailed chronology that looks in many respects similar to Steven Cooper's chronology, but Steven's is a bit off in a few areas. Certain beta readers helped verify it was nailed down.
And Terez: It doesn't have to do with Sulin. Actually, they decided Sulin needed to be retconned earlier. You can find out in the paperback of The Gathering Storm how that was worked out.
Padan Fain's power has morphed through time, going one way and then another (Shadar Logoth to the Dark One and back), which is why Moiraine was able to sense him at the end of The Eye of the World, but no Aes Sedai were able to sense him during his time in Tar Valon. He gained much of his power battling the Fade throughout The Great Hunt. Padan Fain is also now a powerhouse in the series.
Sure, this is information we all know, and it's not canon as it's not in the books, but it was cool hearing people in the know say it.
My progress bar is not updated because I'm lazy—I need to tell Peter to update that when I post. I'm 50% through—maybe more like 55% of the way through the final revision of the last book. So, the final revision, here's how the process goes for those who are curious: I turned in the book like January 1st. At that point, that was first draft. Usually, I don't do revisions from editorial revisions on the first draft. I actually go through it a second time and do a second draft, and that's what I turn in. If I can get the time, I turn in a third draft. This time I turned in a second draft, so I did first draft and I said, "Okay, wait two weeks and let me get ahead of you in the second draft," and I was just sending them chunks as I finished the second draft. There's not time on this book to do the whole thing straight through and then send it, and things, and so they then start sending back things, and I start the third draft immediately, and we keep doing that until we get to this one which is seventh draft, I think is where we are right now—somewhere in there—like I've been, some of them I would do two drafts while I was waiting for things back on theirs.
Anyway, and they just kept feeding me sixth draft sort of stuff that [had] been sitting on my computer, and they finally got the last of that to me last week which means that Maria and Alan and Harriet are all done, and it's all on me just to finish the last tweaks that they've requested in the book, and that's what this draft is, is the last tweaks. Things that they say, "Hey, we need this little thing fixed; we need to add this thing to this scene," or all that little stuff. Nothing major is happening in this one. I did add one new scene in this draft that I felt we needed but it's kind of a short one—it's only like five pages—um, but yeah, so that's where we are. My hope is, and goal is, to be able to turn it in next week some time. I dunno how viable that is. I'm probably way past 55% as I think about it, because I've been working each night. I was at 50% on like Wednesday, so I'm probably around the two-thirds mark, or something, right now, and then that will be it; it'll go to copy-edit and proofreads, all of which are handled by Team Jordan, of which I don't do anything unless they come up with a major continuity error or something like that. Somewhere in there, it will hopefully go to our lovely beta readers to make sure that I didn't put people in two places, so...that Sulin doesn't end up in two places at once. They missed that one though, so you can blame all of us on that one.
I was like, "Whoa, a Wheel of Time book, I'm gonna just read this; I can't talk to anybody about it."
Yeah. So, anyway, it'll go to copyedit and proofreads, and hopefully some beta reads for three months or so, and then it'll go to the printers, and that takes about...it's about a three month process, and they'll ship 'em here, and we ship 'em out to bookstores, and then that's when it comes out.
One of the things that...okay, blasphemy: I've only read through the series once.
At least you've read through it once...Jimmy.
Anyway, in some of these later books, one of the biggest issues that I had was when the timeline got fractured, and there was a period of time when I was fully convinced that there was a Darkfriend impersonating Tam. It just had me really confused. What lessons did you learn from that experience as you're gonna carry forward into your future writing?
The timeline fracture in Towers of Midnight came because of the book split, and what needed to go in one book, had to go in...you know, and things like that, and after the fact of releasing The Gathering Storm, we had Towers of Midnight sitting there, and I hadn't finished Towers of Midnight completely, I'd written like...I'd basically, when we split it, I'd written one...like, Perrin almost all the way through, but not other sequences all the way through and things, and we released The Gathering Storm, and we had to like fix things in The Gathering Storm, when we were getting in that, we realized, "Oh no..." I mean, the timeline is fine, but it means that Tam has to jump back in time. And this was going to be a bit of a challenge even if the book were whole, because Robert Jordan had them off of time with one another at the start of The Gathering Storm; Perrin was several months behind everyone else. And so, once you start bringing people back together, you either had to...we either had to do some things like walls fall on them, which was famously how Jim got Mat back in sync with everybody else, when he'd been behind, is a wall fell on him, and then he left him for several months for him to heal, and then we come back, and Mat's like, "Man, I hated having that wall fall on me!" (laughter)
"Good thing that was three months ago; I'm better now!"
Yeah. And that was the way that Robert Jordan, since people get off track from each other...some of the things you kind of have to do. I had to get Perrin stuck in the mud for a while. (laughter) Yeah. And this is just to get everyone synced up, and the Tam sync-up, as a writer, I think what I learned is, I think of timelines a little differently. Like I, being deep in the series and working on it, I knew where everyone was, and I'm like, "Everyone will know that we're flashing back to Perrin here." But of course not everyone knows that; they're not all following the timeline; they don't know that we're starting this book two months before The Gathering Storm ended, so to bring them back on track, that's why Tam ended up in two places at once, because he wasn't in two places at once; they were off track from one another, time-wise. And I guess I would just take more consideration of the fact that not everyone is steeped in the timelines like I am, and knowing where everyone is, and things like that, and I would have tried to find a better cue for the fact that we've jumped backward in time.
"Three months earlier..."
Yes. "Three months ago..."
"...back when dinosaurs ruled the earth..."
That sounds like a question for Maria, I'm afraid. I don't have the notes handy to look into the discrepancy.
Email is probably best, or grabbing her at JordanCon. (Or sending the question with someone you know who is attending.)
Actually, the easiest way is probably to drop me an email through my website and let me forward it on to her.
Is there anything in any of your books that, after the fact, you wish you had done differently?
Yes and no. For example, I think that some of the explanations in Elantris for how the magic works at the end are not terribly clear. However, at the same time, it is the process of making mistakes like this that helps us learn and evolve as writers. Beyond that, going back and changing a piece of art to be something else kind of defeats the point of creating different works of art as one changes as a person. So I don't know if I'd change the mistakes.
As it turns out, there is an error in the Feruchemical table when Brandon put it in Mistborn 2. If you look closely, Determination (insert metal) doesn't belong in its group. The group that it is in is obviously more physical powers. Determination was supposed to be a mental metal, and Warmth was supposed to be in that Physical group. He just made a mistake originally. But it turns out that Feruchemy obeys different rules than Allomancy, so Brandon isn't retconning it, but saying that Feruchemy works differently now. Apparently there was going to be a table of Feruchemy at the end of Alloy of Law, but it wasn't ready because Isaac kept thinking like an Allomancer. Feruchemy has its own rules (for example, Brandon confirmed that pewter does steal Feruchemical health, probably because that second group of physical Feruchemical powers are also "physical", so pewter can steal them.) Hemalurgy also obeys different rules.