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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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Speaking of the Breaking, how did Dragonmount survive all that rearrangement of geography?
Note that Shayol Ghul used to be a subtropical island. The Tar Valon area was moved, but as an entire piece, so the mountain, the island, and the river stayed in the same places relative to each other.
Oh, yes, just to settle an argument that seems to be ongoing, Egwene saw a bat, guys. After Falme, she could recognize the long sweeping wingstrokes of a raken or to'raken, and she knows a bat when she sees one. Bats really do flutter, to confirm those who have pointed this out.
As far as I know, only one person other than myself asked a plot related question. That question was if it would be possible to complete the cuendillar chain on the south(?) harbor.
RJ answered that the joining chain link (which would not yet be cuendillar) would have to be closed around the existing chain and then turned to heartstone, but the new link could not be touching the old at the start of the change.
Laughter reigned for a time, but RJ, as always, was waiting for her. He proceeded to tell how he needed a literary device to show the strength of the women who would inhabit the tower; something that when seen from far off on the horizon would inspire awe. He thought about making the home of the Aes Sedai a large, black hole in the ground, but since that is something you would almost fall into as you walked up to it, it just did not have the same power as a tower.
Then he rhetorically asked her if she had actually read any of his books and seen the women in them. She explained that yes, she had and she used the term she did, since she was quoting from the prologue of Knife of Dreams. He said he knew the quote, he did write it after all, but again, had she actually read the books to see what power the women in the books did wield? Much laughter ensued at the good-natured banter between him and the audience.
To: Les Dabel, Ernst Dabel
Sent: Tuesday, September 28, 2004 9:53 AM
Subject: SCRIPT #2
Dear Les and Ernst,
Here is Script #2 with my comments added in. There aren't many, this time, and they all have to do with dialogue. Some of that is too stilted, now, especially for Siuan. Moiraine speaks without any contractions, but Siuan is much more casual in her speech. And there is at least one place where someone says something that isn't needed, and in Bannerman Steler's case, is actually wrong.
Sorry to have been so long with this.
Mike Miller has shown me his artwork for the spread showing all of Tar Valon, and I must say that it is beautiful. I'm talking to him about getting my hands on it after you guys are done with it.
Take care, guys. All my best, Jim
Just one question, though I'm expecting a RAFO: Will the White Tower, the physical structure itself, be destroyed at the end of The Gathering Storm or any other point in A Memory of Light?
Sorry, but...well, RAFO. I'm under contract not to give things like this away.
We do know that Egwene has foreseen a strike by the Seanchan on the White Tower. We don't know how this will happen, though, or even if she's interpreting things correctly.
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.