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An Hour With Harriet

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.

The Bell Tolls

2012-04-24: Some thoughts I had during JordanCon4 and the upcoming conclusion of "The Wheel of Time."

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WoT Interview Search

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Your search for the tag 'tom:wip' yielded 113 results

  • 1

    Interview: 2010

    Terez

    This is a collection of WoT-related tweets only. For a complete catalog of Brandon's tweets, visit the Twitter Portal at Brandon's website. The catalog of tom:wip tweets (that is, Towers of Midnight: Work In Progress) is a little more sparse than the amol:wip catalog, where I pay more attention to the conversation with the fans.

    Brandon Sanderson (28 September 2009)

    Today's work: Write the wind's scene in Towers of Midnight. (As I've noted, I'm not going through the books in order, but by viewpoint.)

    Tags

  • 2

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (5 October 2009)

    Tossed the section from Towers of Midnight I wrote on Friday. I knew at the time it wasn't working, but sometimes you need to finish so you can redo it.

    Tags

  • 3

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (1 December 2009)

    1200 words of Towers of Midnight written today. The ball is rolling again, and the exhaustion caused by the tour is wearing off.

    Tags

  • 4

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (22 December 2009)

    Two things are slowing me. First, I feel Towers of Midnight will need to be longer than The Gathering Storm. Second, a major plotline needs an overhaul.

    Footnote

    Brandon later indicated (as many fans suspected) that the overhaul was Mat's plotline.

    Tags

  • 5

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2010)

    Q: Why has the Towers of Midnight progress bar been stuck at the same number for so long?

    A: Been doing revisions. Plan to do a blog post soon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Problem: I want the book to work on its own, and not feel like "All of the stuff that didn't go in The Gathering Storm thrown together."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This book needs to be at least as good as The Gathering Storm, if not better. Either way, it's probably going to be longer—consider yourself warned.

    Tags

  • 6

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (22 February 2010)

    Today's work: Re-reading Perrin chapters from The Path of Daggers.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'd totally forgotten about the scarf-in-the-mouth moment. Ha. Wonderful. (And no, this isn't meant to be a clue about anything.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I just feel it important to often re-read Jordan's original writings to make certain I don't let the characters voices stray.

    Tags

  • 7

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (23 February 2010)

    Man, it's been too long since I read through the WoT straight through. Elyas snuck up on Gaul? Totally forgot about that moment.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That might be the most challenging part of writing these books—the need to constantly be re-reading the originals to keep myself accurate.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Even then, I miss things. Witness my Bashere/Tenobia goof from the last book. Thank heaven for Maria and Alan.

    Tags

  • 8

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (15 March 2010)

    Twelve more chapters to go in current Towers of Midnight revision. It's going very well. I hope to have this section in Harriet's hands by Jordancon.

    Tags

  • 9

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (12 April 2010)

    Also, I want to say that YES the manuscript for The Way of Kings went in to Tor. A tad late, but it is done. Back to WoT!

    Tags

  • 10

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (26 April 2010)

    I am revising a chapter of Towers of Midnight while I wait for my assistant to bring me papers to grade. Deadline to get the book in has been set: August 17.

    Tags

  • 11

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (29 April 2010)

    Just cut about four pages off of a chapter of Towers of Midnight. Sorry. It's for your own good.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To respond to questions: Towers of Midnight is still on schedule, though it will be very tight. I need to turn it in early August at the latest.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Whew. That chapter was very full of fat. Trimmed a lot.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    About two hundred pages of Towers of Midnight revised; two hundred more in this part before I can write new material. Right now, one hour off for dinner.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hope to get five more chapters revised tonight. That will place me in a position to do a new chapter tomorrow.

    Tags

  • 12

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (3 May 2010)

    Back to work on Towers of Midnight! Had a stomach bug over the weekend that slowed me down a little, but I'm fine now.

    Tags

  • 13

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (4 May 2010)

    Finally back to writing new material for Towers of Midnight. Started a new chapter tonight.

    Tags

  • 14

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (5 May 2010)

    Towers of Midnight was at 320k words. Dropped to 275k after merciless cutting of bad chapters. Now back up to 280k. Makes progress bar tough to estimate.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Getting ready to send a chunk of Towers of Midnight to Team Jordan. First, need to see if I spelled anyone's name wrong. I'm looking at you, Gallenne.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Grr. Why do I always spell 'damane' as 'demane' instead? I've only written it a hundred times or so.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's off. 400 pages (about 80k words) sent for first reactions from Team Jordan. You can count this as the first step in turning in the book.

    Tags

  • 15

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (6 May 2010)

    Very pleased with progress on Towers of Midnight during the last few days. Wish I could post specifics.

    Tags

  • 16

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (11 May 2010)

    One of the chapters I cut from Towers of Midnight is going back in. (After some heavy revisions.)

    Tags

  • 17

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (12 May 2010)

    Always pleasant to read back through chapters you wrote months ago and find they're actually pretty good.

    Tags

  • 18

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (15 May 2010)

    Yes, Wheel of Time Fans, I am indeed up a 4am working on your book. This section I'm editing now turned out really well.

    Tags

  • 19

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (20 May 2010)

    Now at work on some last tweaks before sending the next chunk of Towers of Midnight to Team Jordan.

    Tags

  • 20

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (24 May 2010)

    Writing new material for Towers of Midnight again today. Really need to update that progress bar, eh?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here's a better way to show you progress: I have sixteen scenes (some long, some short) that need to be written before the book is done.

    Tags

  • 21

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (26 May 2010)

    For those keeping track, I have finished 2/16 last scenes I need to complete before Towers of Midnight is done.

    Tags

  • 22

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (28 May 2010)

    Whew. Chapter done. Very tired. It was a scene you’ve been waiting a long time to read. No, not that one. And not that one either.

    Tags

  • 23

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (31 May 2010)

    Also, just sent Towers of Midnight version 7.0 to Team Jordan. Getting close to a complete draft now. Eight scenes left to write.

    Tags

  • 24

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (1 June 2010)

    Back at work on Towers of Midnight. I managed to get two of the shorter scenes done yesterday. Six more left. They're longer ones, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Doing some reading in Crossroads of Twilight to catch up on something I need for the chapter I'm writing tonight. Let the speculation begin.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jumped to first quarter of Knife of Dreams to continue research. Almost have what I need.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This chapter is starting to work now. Last one I'll write before turning to a chunk of revisions.

    Tags

  • 25

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (2 June 2010)

    Done. Whew. Last new writing on the book for a while, probably a week or two. Four or five scenes remaining. Must revise/prepare first.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I went ahead and moved the Towers of Midnight bar on my website up to 90%. Five scenes left to write, but a TON of revision on top of it.

    Tags

  • 26

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (4 June 2010)

    Done with this group of revisions on Towers of Midnight. Now, the dreaded spellcheck.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, spellcheck done, revisions sent in to Team Jordan. Things are looking very good for the Towers of Midnight deadlines.

    Tags

  • 27

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (7 June 2010)

    Working on Towers of Midnight. Changing the text based on Team Jordan's first round of comments on the finished portions.

    Tags

  • 28

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (9 June 2010)

    Whew. 300 pages of Towers of Midnight edited today. 8.0 draft 1/3 of the way done. Should go back to Team Jordan by early next week. Maybe sooner.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nine more chapters to revise this time through. Hopefully, they aren't all as tough as this last one.

    Tags

  • 29

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (11 June 2010)

    'He stood there waiting for one of the Forsaken to leap out of the flames in the marble fireplace, or the earth to swallow the Palace...'

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is the kind of awesome line I love the WoT for. You miss it the 1st time, but years later, it blows your mind.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    About 150 pages of 450 pages worth of my WoT rereading is done. The next sections I write will be the last new material for this book.

    Tags

  • 30

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (14 June 2010)

    Hum. Slow going over the weekend. Maybe I need to find some more Magic cards to motivate myself.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just began writing on one of the last chapters I need to do for the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Blarg. This chapter I'm revising is really rough. Needs a structural rewrite.

    Tags

  • 31

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (19 June 2010)

    That chapter of Towers of Midnight I just wrote ends with a cliffhanger. Sorry about that. I pick it up soon, though, so you won't have to wait long.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I promise this cliffhanger chapter isn't the last one in the book. In fact, it's closer to the front.

    PETER AHLSTROM (28 JUNE—FACEBOOK COMMENTS)

    This wasn't the final chapter of the book, which he wrote a while ago. This was the last chapter he had left to write, and it happens somewhere before the end of the book.

    TEREZ (8 JULY)

    Are we to assume that the end of Towers of Midnight will NOT be a cliffhanger? You seemed eager to reassure us. Or RAFO?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO. It was just that chapter I was talking about.

    Tags

  • 32

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (23 June 2010)

    Okay, two new scenes left to write on Towers of Midnight. (Along with a lot of revision still to do.) I will write one of them tonight.

    Tags

  • 33

    Interview: 2010

    Tragoul (29 June 2010)

    Do you try to write straight through a book from start to finish or do you write random bits and then put them together?

    Brandon Sanderson (30 June 2010)

    I usually write straight through, sometimes by plot line. But some books—like Towers of Midnight—don't let me do that.

    Tags

  • 34

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (28 June 2010)

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I have begun writing the final chapter for Towers of Midnight. Expect an "It's done" post later today.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...it is DONE! 359,000 words, 1800 pages in manuscript form. Nobody tell Tor. They asked me to try to keep it shorter. WHOOPS.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that I'm mostly joking about the length. Tor does prefer books shorter than 400k, but they've always let me write as long as needed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And, just to warn you all, I WILL do my standard 10% cut on this book. So expect the final length to be around 320k or so. (The Gathering Storm was 300k.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Either way, the first draft of Towers of Midnight is done. We are now confirmed for an on-time release late October or early November 2010.

    Tags

  • 35

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (1 July 2010)

    Joke from Harriet and Maria in margins of Towers of Midnight manuscript. Re: sealing the Bore. DON'T call BP.

    Footnote

    The BP oil spill was fairly current news at the time.

    Tags

  • 36

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (2 July 2010)

    Thank goodness for Maria and Alan. Every time I start to think I know the WoT world pretty well, they prove that I've got a long way to go.

    Tags

  • 37

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (5 July 2010)

    Time for everyone's favorite draft, the one where I cut 10-15% of the book, line by line. Towers of Midnight is at 362k words. Can I get it under 310?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    14.5% cut from the first scene of Towers of Midnight. In reply, I'm hoping to have this done in ten days. Faster, if possible.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    8.9% cut from next scene. Trust me, as I warn every time I post about this process, you DON'T want these words. This makes the book better.

    Tags

  • 38

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (6 July 2010)

    Back at work. 14% or so cut from the next scene. These are various parts of the prologue, if you're curious.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    12.6% cut from the next scene. Two more to do in the prologue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    3.5% and 8.2% from next two [scenes]. Many are asking if I can, someday, show what I cut. Maybe someday.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This book belongs to Harriet, so releasing anything—even lists of cut words—must be done carefully. Easier to show you with The Way of Kings.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hello first paragraph of Chapter One. I guess I'm not cutting any words from you....

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sigh. For those complaining that you don't want me to cut the book at all, the next chapter GREW by 1.7%. Added more than I cut.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    14% cut from next one. Editing is not much fun. Maybe I need to buy more Magic cards to motivate me. Open one pack per five chapters? Hm...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    760 words cut from the next chapter. It's a big one, though, so that's only 12%.

    BRIAN CARBIN

    Ever thought of doing unabridged i.e. not cut spec-eds of your books? It worked for King and Feist.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thing is, none of these edits are forced on me. These are edits I want to do. If I were ever forced to cut, Maybe.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For @ramhiser and others wondering, I run a spreadsheet to tell me how much I've cut. I find if I measure, it makes me more rigorous.

    Tags

  • 39

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (7 July 2010)

    12% and 15% on the next two chapters. The one coming up is one of the ones that needs the most work. Joy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lots of repeated description, passive language, and unneeded dialogue tags. Also, some distracting character ponderings.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, major overhaul to that chapter is done. 8.5% cut, though that's only a weak indication of the gutting—then rebuilding—it was given.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    2% added to the next chapter. (Sigh.) 12% cut from the one after that. 5500 words total cut so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Back to editing. People are asking what chapter I'm on, but the chapters don't have numbers yet. Order isn't 100% nailed down yet either.

    Tags

  • 40

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (8 July 2010)

    9% on the next chapter, then 15.5% on the next. (Which is one of my favorites, but needed a mighty trim anyway.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Last for the night: 8%, 10.5%, 12% cut from three chapters. We are about 15% of the way through the draft. Going slower than I wanted.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    1/2 of 1 % cut from the next chapter. Stated that way, it doesn't seem like I've been doing anything for the last hour. (Had to add a lot.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    9.8% off the next chapter. That's more like it.

    Tags

  • 41

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (9 July 2010)

    10% cut from the next chapter; last for the night. Need some sleep.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Angry email today from someone telling me to stop 'whining' about Towers of Midnight's length. Not whining, dude, just trying to push myself hard to edit.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The goal of this revision is to cut, not to add. I'll do either one to help the book, but I set goals for myself and try hard to meet them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The final book will be the length it must be. But during this edit, my mindset HAS to be "Cut" or I'll get lazy and let bad language slide.

    Tags

  • 42

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (10 July 2010)

    Short night working tonight. 7.31% cut from the next chapter. Have to get up early tomorrow. Can't work as late as normal.

    Tags

  • 43

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (12 July 2010)

    9.2% off of the next (very long) chapter. This revision is looking good so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    4.6% off the next chapter. With some additions. In answer to a question: I am editing in order, not by character thread.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    12.8% and 9.2% cut from the next two chapters. All goes well so far. Still a lot of work to do. (This is the 1/4 mark in the revision.)

    Tags

  • 44

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (13 July 2011)

    15.3% and 12.3% cut from two chapters last night. 10k words cut so far. (Forgot to post this before I went to bed.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Latest revision stats: 20%, 5.6%, and 8.4% cut from what will probably be chapters 25, 26, and 27 in Towers of Midnight.

    Tags

  • 45

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (14 July 2010)

    Chapter 28 is the longest in the book, I think. I just cut 12.5% from it, and it's still 8k words long.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Off to bed. 12%, 18%, 12% cut from latest chapters. Book is under 350k words now. About 35% through the revision.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    14.3%, 14.7%, 13.7%, 15.2% cut from the last four chapters Really getting into the groove of editing now.

    Tags

  • 46

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (15 July 2010)

    18%, 11%, 13% cut on next three. Whew. This is getting grueling. I'm gonna need to buy more Magic cards. (What? The logic works in my head.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    17% cut from the next chapter.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    15% and 17% cut from the next two chapters, which means one more and I can open one of those packs of magic cards. Onward!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Whew. 9.5% cut from that chapter. I WOULD have to end up doing one of the longest ones in the book this time. Now, Magic cards!

    Tags

  • 47

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (16 July 2010)

    Another beast of a chapter done. 12% cut. Why is it I write such long books, again? Anyway, one more chapter, and I get another pack.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    13% on the next chapter. And, because I wanted to push on, I managed to do another. 16%. About halfway through the revision now.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (17 July 2010)

    21% and 16% cut from those two chapters tonight. And I'm going to open a pack of cards. ;)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Two chapters edited today: 22% and 14% cut.

    Tags

  • 49

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (19 July 2010)

    5.5% cut from my first chapter edited today. Need to work hard the first part of the week, since ComicCon will steal a few days later.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    15% cut, followed by 9% on the next chapter.

    Tags

  • 50

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (20 July 2010)

    11% cut from the next chapter. At about 60% done now. Maybe a little more.

    Tags

  • 51

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (21 July 2010)

    By the way, 9% cut from the last chapter. That was a tough one to revise.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, that was brutal. 71% cut from that chapter, the remaining bit spliced onto the end of the last chapter.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    In revision, I'd decided to do what this chapter did in another chapter, and did it better there. So this one got gutted.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First airport chapter cut by 10%. One of my favorites in the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    15% cut from the chapter I edited on the flight.

    Tags

  • 52

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (22 July 2010)

    10% cut from the next chapter.

    Tags

  • 53

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (23 July 2010)

    Blarg. This chapter is giving me all kinds of grief. Maybe I should just cut the whole thing. (Kidding.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    By the way, 17% cut from the first chapter I did today and 7% cut from the next one. 75% done, about 34k words cut from the book so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, 1% cut from that chapter. I had a request from Maria to add in a large chunk, which was the right suggestion.

    Tags

  • 54

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (24 July 2010)

    12% off next chapter.

    Tags

  • 55

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (25 July 2010)

    Little note on Towers of Midnight: Last night's chapter cut 11%. 22 scenes left to do. Goal is to have it done by Thursday.

    Tags

  • 56

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (26 July 2010)

    Okay, 16% cut.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    8% cut from Chapter 80. In other news, the chapters have numbers now. 94 chapters in the book plus a multi-scene epilogue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Chapter 81 is a heart-wrenching one. Maybe the one in the book I'm most proud of, despite its contents. Anyway, 18.5% cut from it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Chapter 82—13% cut. I do think that some of these chapters may be combined before the end. I doubt the final book will have 94 chapters.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    12.2% cut from the next chapter.

    Footnote

    The 'heart-wrenching' scene was Aviendha's second trip through the crystal columns.

    Tags

  • 57

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (27 July 2010)

    Chapter 84: 13.5% cut. On a roll today, though perhaps it's because the end of this stage is in sight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    8.3% cut off the next chapter. I think that means I did 8 chapters today, which is a record.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Another 8.3% on the next chapter.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    All is coming together. Exchanged emails with Team Jordan. I suspect the final book will end up around 60 chapters, after combining scenes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, 9.6% on the next chapter. 7+Epilogue remaining.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    After what may be known as the Great Chapter Melding of 2010, I merged many shorter chapters together. Towers of Midnight is now 70 chapters long.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This feels like the right number to me. It may change by one or two from here, but I think we're close to final.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Q: Has the chapter you mentioned earlier (the painful one that is one of your favorites) changed numbers now?
    A: Yes. It's #60 now.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Several of these last chapters are ones that need a lot of revision. So tonight is not going to go as quickly.

    Tags

  • 58

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (28 July 2010)

    Chapter 66 increased in size by 2.5%. (Really, more like it increased by 10%, then I cut the chapter down.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Whew. 67 edited. That took a lot of work. A lot added, a lot cut. End result: Cut by 7.8%. 3 chapters and epilogue left. (About 100 pgs.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Heh. Line from Towers of Midnight said: "And Rand did such and such." Brain keeps reading "Ayn Rand." Did Goodkind sneak over and rewrite my manuscript?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    5% cut from the last of the three 'Needs special attention" chapters I just revised, added to, and edited. Gets easier from here out.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    These are manuscript pages, so in print, that would be more like 50 pages.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Typed in new wordcount for chapter. Excel spreadsheet responds: Chapter size increased by 748%. Uh, think I left a number off somewhere...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    After a typo fix in the spreadsheet: Chapter 69 cut by 15.2%. 50 [manuscript] pages left to revise.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Before I left, I almost got chapter 70 done. Finished now, 4% cut. I've been over it often in other drafts, and didn't need as much a trim.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Onward to the epilogue; it's 6k words long.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    12% cut from first scene of the epilogue. Five to go.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    6.8% cut from the next scene. Four to go.

    BRANDON

    Well, look at this. One last person in the epilogue I forgot to name. Glenn Bergevin. You're in. 7% cut from the scene you are in.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    13.9%. Two short scenes left.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    12.2%. One more to go.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...13.4% from the last scene. Book length is 320,286 words. 42,614 words cut. 11.7%. About 5k more than Knife of Dreams; 4th longest in the series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hold off on celebrating TOO much, though. Needs a spellcheck, and a spot fix some problems Team Jordan has mentioned about earlier chapters.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Then it gets sent to a secret cabal of beta readers (no, you can't join them. Sorry.) I spot fix problems they find, then a last quick draft.

    Tags

  • 59

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (29 July 2010)

    Okay, new draft off to Team Charleston, and I can go sleep now. Tomorrow: More spot fixes.

    Tags

  • 60

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (30 July 2010)

    Document in the hands of beta readers. Time is counting down to our deadline. Hope they read quickly...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, I stayed up way too late (about 6:00am) getting the Towers of Midnight document to beta readers. Feeling worn out today. Will read for writing group.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many are asking about how to become beta readers. Well, it's different for my own books than it is for WoT...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For WoT, Harriet's in charge; the betas are people she trusts and knows. For myself, it varies by book. Usually people I know, though.

    Tags

  • 61

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (2 August 2010)

    Onward. Need to get a tweaked draft of Towers of Midnight to Harriet tomorrow. Two weeks left on our deadline to get the final, final draft to Tor.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Going through Towers of Midnight and adding chapter names/icons (both chosen by Harriet) and combining chapters at her direction.

    NICK CASSANOVA

    With the newly combined chapters, which is the sad chapter that you had said was number 60?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Don't know yet. I have to check with Harriet on a few more combinations before I will have a final chapter total.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Today's task: Going through Towers of Midnight and giving italics/cap letters to in world terms. (And taking away caps from others that I got wrong.)

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Ditto. (Re-tweet)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Working on epigraphs for Towers of Midnight right now.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Q: Now that the chapters have been changed around, what is the new number of chapter 81? (The one you said was one of your favorite?)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A: That is now chapter 50. It should remain there.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Good question: @graphicbin_sean asks "Who chooses the scenes for the cover art for WoT? How about Towers of Midnight?"

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A: Harriet usually picks. I picked the scenes for Towers of Midnight and A Memory of Light, though, as we had to get them painted before Harriet read the books.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Who writes the [glossary] entries at the back of every WoT book?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maria does those.

    Tags

  • 62

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (9 August 2010)

    Okay, up bright and early (well, for me) and starting work on the Towers of Midnight final draft. Need to do 10% of it today at the minimum.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A visit from an old friend from out of town slowed me, but I'm back on track. 1% down so far. Going to be a long week...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    5% done. At least that much left to go today.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, 6%. Hit a little patch that needed some extra work, thought, and rewriting. Pleased with it now.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    9% done on the last Towers of Midnight revision. Looking good, though Peter tells me I should try for 14% a day if I want to hit Monday's goal.

    Tags

  • 63

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (17 August 2010)

    Today's 10% done; will keep going. (Note, these percentages aren't cuts, like last time. This is how far through the book I am.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, 12% done today. Will go to bed now. Trying to sleep a little earlier/rise a little earlier this week.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Towers of Midnight update: 15% of the final revision done, despite Limeboy climbing in my lap and insisting that I show him Spongebob on the computer.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    17% of the revision done so far. (5% so far today.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    19% done so far. (7% today) Had a bit of a slow down with a scene I needed to add, but am through that and moving onward.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Question from Peter on Facebook: Is this final revision final? If you're adding scenes, won't there be more touch-up?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A: After this is turned in, the book goes to copyedit & proofreads. Small things can be fixed/changed then. You could call those 'drafts.'

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't see them that way, as this is my last full read-through the book. Maria will do the copyedit approvals. I may still tweak, though.

    Tags

  • 64

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (11 August 2010)

    Just hit 24% edited so far on the Towers of Midnight final revision. Whew. Still an hour or so left to go today.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    27% done on the revision, 3% finished so far today.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    30% done, 6% today. Approaching the 1/3 mark. Time is running out, though. I foresee a long day next Monday, pushing through to the end.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    33.5% done as of this last scene. 1/3 down. Producer Jordo is on his way home and I'm back at editing.

    Tags

  • 65

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (12 August 2010)

    By the way, got to 37% last night before I crashed. Back up and working on it again now.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    41% edited so far in the book. Halfway point in sight. Might hit it tonight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Quick note. 46% done.

    Tags

  • 66

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (13 August 2010)

    Okay, guys, I know this is tragic to hear...but your book needs a new scene. Out of rewriting mode. Into new writing mode. (Sigh.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    New scene done. (Wasn't very long; added it to the end of another scene.) Onward with editing.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...small drum roll...50%. Took me four days. At this rate, taking Sunday off, I will be done Tuesday instead of Monday. We shall see.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ending tonight at 51%. Spent some of my time going back and looking over the new scene, giving it a few drafts. Night, all.

    Tags

  • 67

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (13 August 2010)

    Back to work on Towers of Midnight. Canceled Writing Group tonight to get more time. Goal for today is to get to 66%.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hm. This scene needs better description. Well, off to the Big White Book to do a little research on how the area should look...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those following along, the scene that I cut from Towers of Midnight, then found a way to add back in, is now in chapter 30.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    At 53% so far today. Man, I need to step it up, eh? Not sure what is causing me to go so slowly today. Only 2% so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, at 55%. Much better progress through this hour.

    BOB GIBSON

    How do you determine that a book needs another scene, especially so late in the process?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just instincts. Something needed to be added to properly pace the narrative.

    BEL'SHAMHAROTH

    I don't suppose you'd be willing to give us a hint on what was so important that you needed to add a new scene this late?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (14 AUGUST)

    It's less that it was super important, and more I felt a new scene would smooth things.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, and at 62%. Not sure if I'll hit that 66% mark or not.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, 64% will have to be the end for tonight. 5am. Seems like a good time for bed.

    Tags

  • 68

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (14 August 2010)

    What am I doing? I'm most certainly NOT adding two more quick scenes to Towers of Midnight. Why do you ask? (Hides under his bed, keeps typing.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, completely rewrote a section of a climactic scene that I wasn't satisfied with, and two new scenes added to enhance it. Much better.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hope Team Jordan doesn't kill me for adding this so late. Note, none of these were added 'just because.' I really felt the book needed them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha! Just looked at the new Beta reader file, and it includes a suggestion for a new scene...doing exactly what I just added on my own today.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, new scenes are looking good.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    So what do the beta readers do? Are they pretty much editors like Harriet and look to see how book flows or what?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Betas are like a test audience. Like the kind you'd pre-screen a movie for before releasing it.

    Tags

  • 69

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (16 August 2010)

    All right. Sunday's over, and the last push has begun. Book is due ASAP. Let's get this thing done.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    75% of the final rewrite of Towers of Midnight is done.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    78%. Normally, 4:00 would be time to go to bed, but I took a nap today to get me ready for the long haul. Onward we go, then.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    At about 85% from the work over night. Is that the sun? Hello.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    At the 90% mark on the Towers of Midnight final draft.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Still here. 93%. Going a little slower than I was earlier in the night, but still determined to make deadline.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    94% And a thunderstorm rolls past. (looks upward.) Thanks. Very narratively appropriate.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    95% done. Note: though it seems I'm coming down to the wire, know that if I weren't confident the book were right, I'd have pulled it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I went into this revision knowing that we were almost there. I wouldn't release the book at almost, though, regardless of consequences.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    96% I am feeling very good about the things I have fixed in this draft. This is going to be a great book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    97% done. The end is in sight, folks.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    98%.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    99%.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ladies and gentlemen...last draft is done. Towers of Midnight is set for an on-time release, November 2nd.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And it is off. Last draft sent to Team Jordan for a final review. They will have some final questions/tweaks for me when I wake up.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will do those tonight after I wake up from crashing, then will send the book to Tor so it is in by the time people get to work tomorrow.

    Tags

  • 70

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (17 August 2010)

    Okay, back up. Now for the "epilogue" of finishing the last draft—looking through last moment comments from Team Jordan on what I changed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And at 1:00, my tireless assistant Peter (Ahlstrom) just left the office (my basement) for home. His copyedit of Towers of Midnight is done.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...six hours later...all of the final notations by Team Jordan are done. And now, everyone's favorite activity. The Last Spellcheck!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Going over Table of contents...adding glossary...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And the file is off to Tor. Final version crept up to 328,000 words (with the new scenes) and is 57 chapters + a prologue and epilogue.

    Tags

  • 71

    Interview: 2010

    Brandon Sanderson (19 August 2010)

    Okay, back at the computer after a few days of relaxing and spending time with the family. Working on a blog post about Towers of Midnight.

    Tags

  • 72

    Interview: May 7th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right. I've had a few weeks to rest after the marathon working of Feb, March, and early April. So, it's time to start thinking about the future. The Gathering Storm is turned in. (Quick answers on two questions: First, I don't know if there will be an electronic copy released. Tor doesn't own electronic rights, these belong to Harriet, and I don't know what she and her agent have decided yet. Second, there should be an audiobook released, very close to the initial release of the hardcover.) With The Gathering Storm done, it's time to look at the projects on my plate.

    PROJECT ONE: A MEMORY OF LIGHT PART TWO (The working title is Shifting Winds, which WILL change.)

    I've gone ahead and added a progress bar for this one. As I've said before, I've got a large chunk of it written—but that writing needs quite a bit of work. I pulled a lot of the cleanest, finished sections to use in The Gathering Storm. The progress bar says 49% completed, but I'd actually put that closer to 25%, if we look at work to be done and not just raw pagecount.

    Obviously, Shifting Winds is the most important project for me to finish. It will be getting the largest share of my attention during the next year, and I'm going to do everything in my power to turn it in a little earlier than the previous book, perhaps even allowing for a release earlier next year than November. (I don't know if getting it in early will help that or not, but I'll try.) My self-imposed goal for finishing Winds is November 3rd, so I'll have the rough draft done and turned in before I leave on tour.

    Tags

  • 73

    Interview: May 7th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    PROJECT TWO: ALCATRAZ FOUR

    I committed to Scholastic for four books, and I will need to (sometime) think about writing the final volume. Book Three is turned in and coming out this fall. Usually, I write these two years ahead. So I turned in Book Three in fall of 2007, then didn't turn one in Fall of 2008, since I was working so hard on A Memory of Light. But I hate not doing what I say I'll do, and I will need to write this book sometime. Scholastic probably won't start bugging me about it until July or August. But it will have to be turned in by the end of the year or I'll be in breach of contract.

    So just a warning to all of you WoT fans out there—I'm sorry, I've put Alcatraz off for much longer than I should. You'll see me take a break this fall for a month or so and work on the final Alcatraz book. My goal is to be writing this in September/October when(hopefully) I will have a rough draft done of Shifting Winds. That way, I can work on new Alcatraz material while using the other half of my brain for editing on WoT. This shouldn't be a problem at all. Normally, I'm working on two books at once—I'll be writing new material on one, then will be editing another. Writing and editing take different types of attention, and I can usually only write new material for four to six hours a day. I can use the other hours for revisions on another book.

    Tags

  • 74

    Interview: May 7th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, that's it, right? I think I've talked about everything. Now, some of you may be wondering what this means. Is there going to be no solo Brandon Sanderson book released in 2010?

    Well, maybe.

    As early as last summer, Tom Doherty began asking me if there was any way I could get Tor a novel for a 2010 release. He doesn't like going years without releases, and he worried that my readers would feel dropped in favor of the Wheel of Time readers. Plus, he really wants to see something more from me.

    When he first mentioned it, I laughed. He was asking me, essentially, to finish the entire Wheel of Time book by spring of 2009, then write him a solo book by fall 2009. Even then, I knew it wasn't going to happen. A Memory of Light was too big a project.

    However, now that A Memory of Light has been split, Tom has asked more and more often about getting a Brandon Sanderson solo book to release between the WoT books. He's very worried about there being a period of three years during which I don't release anything of my own. And so, with his questions, he got me thinking. Was there anything I would feel comfortable releasing? Liar turned out poorly, Scibbler isn't epic enough, Warbreaker 2 isn't written. What else is there?

    The answer was simple. The Way of Kings.

    The Way of Kings was the book I had just finished when I first got offered a book deal for Elantris. I originally signed a deal for Elantris and for Kings. (And because of that, you can still find an Amazon entry for Kings—which has some amusing reviews posted by readers with too much time on their hands. Note that the book was never released, so these are all just made-up amusing reviews.)

    Yes, the original contract was for Kings—but I decided that Kings needed to be put off. Kings is a great book, perhaps the best I've ever written. But it just didn't FEEL right to release after Elantris. The Way of Kings is a massive war epic of legends, mythology, and magical revolution. It's intricate, complex, and was a bit daunting for me when I thought about readying it for publication. Just to give you an idea, Mistborn has three magic systems, Kings has well over twenty. Mistborn has six main viewpoint characters across the trilogy; Kings has dozens. I wrote about 30k of background material for Mistborn. Background material for Kings is over 300k.

    Difference in scope is only one of the reasons Kings wasn't the right follow-up to Elantris. After a stand-alone novel, I felt that I wanted to publish a trilogy, perhaps two, before I offered my readers the first of a big, multi-volume epic. I also worried that the initial draft of Kings just wasn't good enough—because my skill wasn't up to making it good enough.

    Working on the WHEEL OF TIME has forced me to grow immensely as a writer, however. Over the last year, the more I thought about it, the more I itched to dive in and do a revision of The Way of Kings. If I could effectively use all I've learned, I might be able to make the book become what I want it to be. And so, I told Tom about Kings, and he eagerly offered me a new contract for it. I've warned him that it might not be ready in time to come out next year, but I'm going to give it a try.

    Kings needs a solid rewrite. I've been tweaking it over the years, worldbuilding the setting and so forth. I've been planning, working on, and revising this book for eight years. I think that if I do a rewrite now with my current writing abilities, it would turn out very, very well.

    Maybe.

    The thing is, I can't be certain. Maybe it won't work as I want. Maybe I will just have too many things on my mind. Maybe I'm not up to doing this book yet. But, because of the pleading of Tom, my readers, and (most importantly) my own heart, I'm going to give it a try.

    As I said above, writing and revising take different parts of the brain. I can only write new material for a certain number of hours a day, usually around four or six. But I can revise all day long. Perhaps it's the difference between mental heavy lifting and mental long-distance running. Either way, in order to give this a try, I've hired a full-time assistant, Peter Ahlstrom, to do all the things in a day that normally take my time away from writing/revising. Usually, when I'm not revising, the 'non-writing' hours of the day are spent doing all kinds of tasks associated with being self-employed. Peter is going to be handling all of this, theoretically freeing up a few hours each day during which I can revise The Way of Kings.

    This will not take my time away from writing Shifting Winds. If it starts to look like it will delay that book, I will stop working on Kings—not because of any criticism I may get from readers, but because I feel a debt to Mr. Jordan and this project I have agreed to do. I like to keep my promises.

    I explain all this because I want you WoT readers to understand that I do have a life beyond the Wheel of Time. I have obligations, both to publishers and to myself. I feel very strongly that the time has come for me to show readers what I've been working on behind the scenes for many years. And so, on my blog I will spend time talking about projects other than the WHEEL OF TIME.

    I like to be open. I like you to be able to see what I'm doing, and so I feel I should be up-front with you about what I plan. I've shelved a lot of books for THE WHEEL OF TIME, and rightly so. But there are two projects I WILL be spending time on this year—Alcatraz 4 and The Way of Kings. I plan to add progress bars for each of them, and link the titles here so those who come to my site later can read this explanation.

    Sorry to be long winded . . . again. Occupational hazard.

    Tags

  • 75

    Interview: May 18th, 2009

    Clayton Neuman

    Have you written the long-awaited Tarmon Gai'don (The Last Battle) scene yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's going to be the third book of the series. The first two books are about bringing all these plotlines that have spread out over 11 books back together. I'm working on the second third, so I'm at the point where you can spit across the line and hit Tarmon Gai'don, but I haven't actually written any of it yet.

    Tags

  • 76

    Interview: Jul 7th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    (Also, WoT readers, I haven't forgotten you and am not ignoring you. WoT13 is going very well, and I'm excited about the progress. We're on target for a November next year release, at the latest. I wish I could give you details about the books, but I'm under some pretty tight restrictions about what I can say. Once The Gathering Storm is out in November, I think I'll be more free to talk about what's in the next book.)

    Tags

  • 77

    Interview: Aug 20th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gearing up to dive back into the Wheel of Time next month. To those of you who only check the blog for WoT news, I appreciate your patience with me. I do try to incorporate things into the blog directed at you. I'm sorry there isn't more of it. This is partially because of the strict nondisclosure agreement I'm under. I fear saying much of anything because of how good the WoT community is at pulling meaning out of casual statements. And they're right a shocking amount of the time. So I've held myself back. That, unfortunately, means I often end up posting things like this:

    "Gearing up to write the next WoT section; emailing Mr. Jordan's assistants about clarifications on some issues. Can't say which ones. Sorry."

    That was posted to my Twitter/Facebook earlier today. (And note, if you're starved for posts, know that I do update my Twitter and Facebook pretty much every day. You can read them on my main blog too; check the left-hand sidebar on the blog page.) Anyway, I don't post such vague things to be annoying or teasing. I just feel compelled by Mr. Jordan and Harriet's wishes to restrain myself. If I tell you what I'm asking about, you'll be able to guess what I'm working on—and from that can guess what is in the second book, and from there guess the contents of the first book. Perhaps I'm too paranoid. But once the first book is out and you all know its contents, I'll let myself be more open about what is in the second book in posts and tweets.

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  • 78

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anyway, I like to be very up-front with readers about what is going on. Waiting for novels can get frustrating because of how long the process takes, and because . . . well, it's an artistic endeavor that relies on the creative output of (usually) a single person. We artists can be flakey.

    Or, put more appropriately, the artistic and creative process can be erratic. I don't think George R. R. Martin is flakey, for instance. An artist has to know their process, and work within its bounds. It takes him years to write a book; that's just how it goes. That's pretty good, considering the genius of his prose. If he wants quality, he has to have the freedom to work as he needs to. Writing books is not like building widgets. Forcing it doesn't work.

    Coaxing it, however, can be effective. For me, taking a break to do something different—like the Alcatraz books—has proven essential. I don't think it slows down my other books; in fact, it speeds them up, as it keeps my creative process working. Other writers call me prolific. That's only because my diversions (Like Warbreaker or Alcatraz) have so far been successful as publishable projects, where taking four months off to go golfing wouldn't be. But, that's a tangent.

    Anyway, I don't think forcing the process can work. However, I think being open about what is happening with readers—giving them transparency and a concrete view on what I'm doing—can be very helpful. When I take a diversion, you'll know what I'm doing, and the progress bars (hopefully) will show you exactly what I'm doing and when.

    For now, A Memory of Light 2 (we'll see what it ends up being named; I've chosen what I like for the title, but the final decision isn't mine) stands at having about two hundred thousand words written. There is about 100k left to go. (A little over that.) My goal is to have that done by January 1st, to put us in the same place next year as we were this year for having a book ready by the fall.

    The caveat for all of this, however, is what I mentioned above. It can't be forced, only coaxed. I won't release a WoT book just to be releasing a WoT book. This is the end of the greatest epic fantasy series of my generation. It needs to be treated very carefully. If I have to take more time on it, I will—regardless of the screaming from publisher or readers. But I don't anticipate that happening. It looks good so far.

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  • 79

    Interview: Oct 21st, 2009

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    On October 27, Book 12 of The Wheel of Time, The Gathering Storm, goes on sale nationally. Completed by Brandon Sanderson from notes and partials left by Robert Jordan, it is very good. I was its editor, as I was editor on ALL the Wheel books, and Maria Simons, Jordan's right hand for over 12 years, and Alan Romanczuk, Jordan's left hand (just because you can't have two right hands unless you are ... Shiva, is it?) have worked very closely with Brandon as well. We three—Harriet, Maria, and Alan—have really worked as Team Jordan on this book, and will do so on the following two, which will complete the Wheel. Book 13 will be titled Towers of Midnight, and Book 14 will be A Memory of Light.

    Even Jordan couldn't have written everything he left in one volume, although he thought he could. But you recall that he thought he could write the entire Wheel in six volumes.

    Try The Gathering Storm. I think you'll like it a lot. I do.

    Best,
    Harriet McDougal

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  • 80

    Interview: Oct 8th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Finally, progress on Towers of Midnight is continuing at a fair pace. As always, there are sections that turn out beautifully and sections that don't. (The latter get thrown away and rewritten, the former get kept and rewritten. That's just how this goes.) I'm feeling very good about my deadlines on this one. It's going to be tight, but I think you'll get it next year as planned.

    One of the things I felt could be improved on from The Gathering Storm is my use of names. Robert Jordan had a distinctive way of using names, and I think that some of my names for the book didn't quite hit the right mark. We're talking about very minor things—people who are named and don't appear, or maybe who speak one line or another. Anyone more major than that generally had a name already (or if they didn't, I pulled a name from one of Mr. Jordan's unused names files).

    The thing is, a good epic fantasy like this uses dozens and dozens of new names in a book. I wanted to take a stab at approaching the naming in the way Mr. Jordan did. During my very first ride with Harriet, coming back from the airport two years ago to her home in Charleston, I remember her talking about some of Mr. Jordan's names. One came from a street we passed, another from a person he knew, and another from a word he saw on a sign. His goal was to hint at our world far in the future—or perhaps far in the past—by giving occasional hints to our world through legend, story, song, and name. Hence we get names like Thom or Artur, which are direct adaptations of names from our world.

    Therefore, for Towers of Midnight I've been using a list of names from our world as inspiration. I chose the list of donors for the charity event that TarValon.net did last spring, and I've been posting the names on Twitter and Facebook as I choose them. So if you're curious about this, you can watch and see who gets chosen. I'm certain someone out there is keeping a list of them all as well. (I've got one here, and may post it eventually.)

    I don't want to make it seem like I'm playing favorites or soliciting praise in order to get people into the Wheel of Time, and so for now I'm using this list ONLY. If we decide to do another charity event, I'll let you know. If you don't want to find out about the names, I won't post them here on the blog, but those who do wish to know can follow along. Remember, these are very small characters, often just mentioned by name but not seen. I'm adapting all the names, so the name I post is not what will appear in the book—it's just the inspiration for what will appear.

    Still, I think it will make some people very happy and will allow me to try a method that Robert Jordan used in making these books. Perhaps it wasn't so conscious for him as it is for me, but one of my duties in writing these novels is to try—to the best of my abilities—to maintain the proper feel of the Wheel of Time. I think this will help. We'll see; I've got Harriet and Team Jordan backing me up, and so if any of the names stand out to them, they'll vanish and get replaced with something more appropriate.

    (And, as I've said before, remember that the Wheel of Time turns, and people are constantly spun in and out of the Pattern. Those who are alive today could very well live again during the Third Age, and so it's not so odd at all for people who loved these books during our time to get pulled into Rand's ta'veren web and spun out again during the events of the Last Battle. . . .)

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  • 81

    Interview: Jul, 2009

    Ryan_G

    I have a very specific question about The Wheel of Time series. One of my favorite characters has been MIA for way too long. I'm assuming Moiraine Damodred returns to the playing field. I'm just wanting to know if it will be in the upcoming book or further on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is exactly the sort of thing I've been asked by the Jordan estate to stay quiet about, I'm afraid. (Sorry.) Some things the fans are expecting will happen in this book. But some things had to be saved for the next two volumes. And of Mr. Jordan's instructions were quite surprising, when seen in the light of what everyone expects will happen.

    That's really not an answer, is it? Well, let's just call it a RAFO.

    Tags

  • 82

    Interview: Oct 27th, 2009

    Question

    How much writing do you think you'll get done during the tour?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I bought a brand new Netbook just yesterday...the goal being to do writing on the plane rides and in the car while the driver is driving me around. How much do I think I'll get done? My goal is to get up to about 90%...I'm not sure if I'll make that...we'll see...get to the 90%. What am I at right now? 70? (pause while he signs a book) Okay, let's not say 90%, I just added that up. Let's say 80%. Thirty thousand words is going to be tough to get. As I was thinking about that, wait a minute, fifty thousand words is a good month on its own, so if on tour I get half that I'm going to be happy.

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  • 83

    Interview: Nov 13th, 2009

    Question

    How's Towers of Midnight coming?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Towers of Midnight is 70% done.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Harriet's answer: "If I can quote Robert Jordan, I can assure you without fear of contradiction, that Towers of Midnight will be on the shelves very shortly after Brandon finishes writing it."

    Brandon Sanderson

    "This is a very, very...there's a lot of work involved. People assume that when I was given the outline, I was given a point by point outline. RJ wasn't like that. He wouldn't show it to Harriet until he'd done twelve drafts. We got this in a state of incompleteness. The creative process isn't as neat and orderly. Things were in dozens of files."

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Brandon would say "what order do you want it in?" and I would say "Brandon, you're the writer. It's foolish for the editor to take over the part of the writer. And vice versa."

    Brandon Sanderson

    He dictated some and the assistants transferred it into notes, scoured their memory for anything he'd said and put that in the notes. And then all the files... "this was all handed to me and told 'ok, let's write a book.'"

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  • 84

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2009

    Question

    Will we see what's going on at the Black Tower?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll see whether that fits in or not.

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  • 85

    Interview: Nov 15th, 2009

    Question

    When are books 13 and 14 due out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is three-fourths of the way through Towers of Midnight, and he expects to turn that in in January. He hasn't been able to write as much as he had hoped during this 26-city tour, so that is putting him back a bit, but he is still confident he can get it in close to on time. It took him 16 months to write The Gathering Storm, and some of that writing ended up being allocated to Towers of Midnight. He expects it to be published in the fall of 2010, or at the latest March of 2011.

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  • 86

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2009

    Question

    Please tell me all you can about the potential novella that fills in holes? What holes? Who? Where will it be published if written? Is this material that you really wanted to include in Towers of Midnight or The Gathering Storm but just couldn't fit in? How does this match up with your feeling about not writing other stuff in the WOT world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are about 50,000 words of secondary plots that Sanderson wants to include in Towers of Midnight. He's just not sure all of it will get into the book. If something gets cut, he'd like to get to his fans on his website.

    This lead to quite a bit of discussion about Towers of Midnight. It will be a very different book from The Gathering Storm. The Gathering Storm was very intentionally focused. Brandon felt strongly that a 'hit' wasn't good enough, that The Gathering Storm needed to be a home run. (At the table, we all thought it was a home run.) Towers of Midnight will need to catch up many plot threads and will be much less focused. This will have its problems and it will be a big struggle to find the right balance—they aren't there yet in the writing process. Brandon mentioned a few plots as examples which strongly suggests they will be in Towers of Midnight—Loial, Lan, Fain, Taim, Logain, Elayne, if Mat does what fans think he will, etc.

    kcf

    My impression is that the novella, will actually be a series of prologue-like scenes that just don’t make it into the final book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This also lead to lots of discussion on the Encyclopedia. It will include lots of spoilery stuff that doesn't make it into the books. But, there are several examples in the notes where RJ specifically says that certain plots will not be revealed. Someone asked about Merilille—the Aes Sedai in Caemlyn who ran away with a Sea Folk apprentice. It was implied that this may be a thread that goes unresolved.

    Footnote

    The novella was to be about Pevara and the events at the Black Tower. Brandon later decided that the novella probably wasn't going to work. He got two chapters into Towers of Midnight and the rest into A Memory of Light.

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  • 87

    Interview: Dec 18th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Next year, I will be spending a lot of the early months blogging about The Way of Kings. A lot of people have been asking about it, and Tor has nudged me to begin speaking about it more. There WILL be more info about Towers of Midnight too, but I'll probably be holding off on that for a while. I know you're hungry for more information. I'll give you what I can, but I've been asked to be more secretive about these books than I normally am, and (as I have said before) I feel it is respectful to keep to Harriet's wishes.

    (Progress on Towers of Midnight is going well, but this is—in many ways—a much BIGGER book than The Gathering Storm. There are a lot more viewpoints and plots to wrangle, including many people who were not seen in The Gathering Storm. The Gathering Storm was very focused by intention and design. Towers of Midnight is going to feel very different, as we're going to be expanding the scope a little to include all of the things we need to see to get ready for the Last Battle. That's making the editing and revision process of what I've done go more slowly than I would have liked.)

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  • 88

    Interview: Dec 19th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    I asked if the pacing would be the same in Towers of Midnight as it was in The Gathering Storm and he said that The Gathering Storm was like books 1-3 and Towers of Midnight would be like 4-6. I'm not sure if this is new or not but thought I'd post it.

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  • 89

    Interview: Dec 11th, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, and a quick note. Towers of Midnight is going very well. I had a good week of writing on it, and I'm more and more certain it will be in on time. If that's the case, we'll see it October next year.

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  • 90

    Interview: Dec 1st, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Finally, it looks like Amazon has put up a new page for The Way of Kings—and this time it's for the real thing, unlike the old page with its hilarious reviews. The page count they list is optimistic (the text would have to be tiny; depending on how the book is designed I expect the final count to be north of 800 pages), but the rest of it, including the release date, should be pretty much right. Assuming I get my revisions done on time and to my satisfaction! Right now I'm back hard at work at Towers of Midnight, which I'm guessing will come out more toward the end of November 2010 rather than exactly a year after The Gathering Storm. Anyway, there will be more here on The Way of Kings in the months to come. Stay tuned.

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  • 91

    Interview: Feb 24th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    First off, Towers of Midnight. The progress bar has been stopped at 82% for about two months now. Why is that? Well, mid-to-late December, two things happened. First, I decided that I couldn't work any further on new material for Towers until I did some substantial rewrites to the book. This happens frequently with my novels; it's not something to worry about. I did this twice on Hero of Ages. The more complex the book and the series, the more often I find myself doing midbook refining drafts like this one, making certain I've got the voice, motivations, and plot sequences right.

    Towers of Midnight is going very well. I'm very pleased with how it's turning out, and I'm confident it will be ready in time for a release later this year as promised. It will be longer than The Gathering Storm, which is another reason the progress bar stopped. I'm just not sure how long the book will end up being, so a percentage is harder to judge right now. The actual length of the book right now—after putting together all the pieces I've been working on over the last six months—comes to 291,294 words. The Gathering Storm was around 300,000 words. I estimate this one at around 320,000 or so after revisions and edits. (It might get as high as 350,000, then get sliced back down. I always trim a lot off books in later drafts when I tighten up the language.)

    I figured that since I was doing revisions, and since getting to "100%" at 300,000 words would give the wrong impression, I'd just let the progress bar sit for a time. As long as I turn in the book by this summer, it will still be ready for a late fall release. So there's no need for anyone to panic yet.

    I'm afraid I can't say much about what I'm working on in the book. Out of respect for Harriet's wishes, I need to remain tight-lipped. I know it's not very satisfying to hear, "All is well, please keep waiting." But . . . all is well, please keep waiting.

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  • 92

    Interview: Feb 12th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am working on two major projects right now. The first, and probably of most interest to most people watching this, is the second of the three books that will complete the Wheel of Time. I have a large chunk of the actual writing done, and right now I am fine-tuning some of the character viewpoints and things like this to make sure they feel right. The soul of the Wheel of Time, the reason I love it so much, is because of the strength of characters, the strength of the viewpoints of those characters. And I want to make sure I'm writing them as they should be, as they really are. The goal is to have that book out by November of this year, which is still likely that it will happen. It will depend on how long it takes me to do the revisions, but we're looking like we'll be on target.

    The other book I'm working on is called The Way of Kings. It is a book I've been working on for about ten years now. It is the start of a longer epic, a story I've been wanting to tell for a very long time. I did that over the summer last year. I'm very pleased with how it turned out, and that is coming out in August.

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  • 93

    Interview: May 3rd, 2010

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Brandon's assistant Peter here. He's hard at work on Towers of Midnight, which you know if you've been following on Twitter or Facebook. And I've been doing a lot of behind-the-scenes work for The Way of Kings release (the book is being composited as we speak and is due back from proofreading on Friday). So we're a bit behind on updates.

    The most recent Mistborn 3 annotations cover Allomantic secrets including atium Mistings and the kandra coup and Sazed's decision. I've got the next four annotations queued, which should tide you over until we've got the KINGS proofs approved and I can line up the rest.

    There are three new episodes of the writing advice podcast Brandon does with Howard Tayler and Dan Wells that haven't been mentioned on the blog. First up is a talk with Isaac Stewart, interior artist for the Mistborn books and one of the artists for The Way of Kings, about the visual elements of storytelling. Next up is breaking the fourth wall, again with Isaac (who is also half of the team behind the webcomic Rocket Road Trip with Warbreaker map artist Shawn Boyles). And finally is Living with the Artist which features Sandra Tayler, Dawn Wells, and Kenny Pike talking about what roles they play in their spouses' careers, among other things. (Kenny is a former student of Brandon's whose wife Aprilynne's book Wings hit #1 on the New York Times list. Who Sandra and Dawn are should be obvious.)

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  • 94

    Interview: Apr 28th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    We also got a few comments on Towers of Midnight, in particular the following: like most Robert Jordan book names, the meaning of "Towers of Midnight" is twofold—it is a real place or thing in the world, and it is also a metaphor for what is going on. So while the Towers are part of the Seanchan government, there will be other "Towers of Midnight" metaphorically speaking. He also informed us that the book is sitting around 310,000 words right now, and while he has some more to write, he expects the final draft will be right around that length too. As far as I can tell, he is still hopeful for the release, although it might (big might!) get moved back to November. He will try to make sure it doesn't get bumped back to February, which is the next month something would come out since December and January are just bad months to release books.

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  • 95

    Interview: Apr 28th, 2010

    Maria Simons

    The Towers of Midnight panel should have been subtitled "Maria says nothing." She actually went in with a thick stack of RAFO cards and handed them out liberally. Jakob Ro was again moderating, though, and discussion amongst the audience was fine indeed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Also, Brandon poked his head and smiled as we talked. Finally we all turned to him, and he said that all he could say is that any characters you didn't see much of in The Gathering Storm get more face time in Towers of Midnight. He then disappeared.

    Richard Fife

    What was somewhat sad, though, was that in the panel, almost no one really cared to talk about Perrin, and the few that did only got to in moments aside from the main discussion. People were far more interested in Mat and the Tower of Ghenjei, Lan and Malkier, The Black Tower (which someone claimed Brandon had mentioned at a signing that he didn’t know if it would make it into the book), and pretty well anyone but Perrin. As I said: poor Perrin.

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  • 96

    Interview: Apr 22nd, 2009

    Richard Fife

    So, next panel was Team Jordan, which I also gophered. Alan and Maria, RJ's assistants, Wilson, Harriet, Brandon, and Tom all offered us some good logic and reasoning behind the split, what to expect in the writing, and told us that while they would not mind seeing the prologue e-pub'd over at Simon & Schuster, the agent is currently in England, and any exact details will have to wait. The reasons for the split are much as one might expect: the whole of A Memory of Light is starting to look more like it might be 900k words, so three 300k books just made more sense.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Also, Harriet promised us (to many applause) that we will not get just one very satisfying climax in The Gathering Storm, but TWO! The whole A Memory of Light has 6 total, and they have organized the material and action to give us two in each book. To this effect, though, do not expect to see absolutely everyone. They had to save some stuff for book 2 and 3, so if the character/plot you are wanting the most isn't in book 12, it likely will be in book 13. More on exactly why later.

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  • 97

    Interview: Apr 22nd, 2009

    Richard Fife

    After that, I went, like a proper hobbit, and had second breakfast with—ready for it?—Tom, Harriet, and Wilson, amongst a smattering of others, including a few Tor.com readers/posters. That was great conversation as well, but hey, when is it not? After that was done, I sat in on another Brandon Sanderson panel, and now, finally, for "How is A Memory of Light being organized?".

    Brandon Sanderson

    OK, I’ll start by saying Brandon did not tell us any names/characters who are going to be where, so I will have to be as vague as him. Although, I think I saw a chart somewhere that will give us an idea, if someone wants to be investigative.

    So, the story as stands at the end of Knife of Dreams has four "plot arcs" that are more or less related through "geography, fate, thought, etc." At the end of each of those arcs was a giant chunk of joined material that was "Tarmon Gai'don" and made up roughly 1/3 of the story. Brandon started writing these plot arcs like four separate novels with the intent to intersperse them. He had finished the third arc and hit 400k words when they decided they had to split it.

    So, what they are doing: the first two plot arcs he wrote are going to be MOSTLY included in The Gathering Storm, as well some set-up/teaser of the other two. Then, in the second book (Working title The Shifting Winds, by the by, but we were promised it is going to be changed) is going to continue from that set-up/teaser of the third and fourth plot arcs, and including the final setup of the first two so that everyone hits at the same point and is ready for Tarmon Gai'don. Book three (working title is Tarmon Gai'don, but it might be A Memory of Light), will be, yes, Tarmon Gai'don. So, there ya go.

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  • 98

    Interview: May 25th, 2010

    Patrick

    How much did you struggle with the need to give the fans what they wanted (i.e. Mat, Perrin and other favorite characters) with the desire to keep to the relatively tight thematic narrative with Rand and Egwene?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've had to balance those things, for sure. I spoke a little of this above; it's a lesson I've had to learn as a writer across my career, not just with the Wheel of Time books.

    The best stories—stories the fans are going to like more in the end—are the ones where the author stays true to his or her vision. That's not always what the fans say they're going to want.

    This is particularly poignant with me, because I am a fan on this series. I had to balance letting the fan inside me say, "Ooh, ooh, I want to see this, I want to see this," with what was going to make the best story. I had to preserve Robert Jordan's original vision for the books, while adding what I could add to the narrative. I couldn't, therefore, dally too much with fan satisfaction moments.

    For instance, I intentionally kept cameos from minor characters to a minimum. The little voices inside my head screaming, "Ooh, wouldn't it be cool if?"—I had to be very careful about those. When the time came to divide the book, the balance of which characters got major viewpoints in this volume really came down to the narratives I felt would go well alongside one another.

    Note that if there are missing characters in The Gathering Storm, you will likely find them in Towers of Midnight. I didn't think who got cut and who didn't get cut was a really large-scale issue. It just came down to what made the best story.

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  • 99

    Interview: May 25th, 2010

    Patrick

    The Gathering Storm appears to be the most thematically-oriented book in the WoT series, with several readers rhapsodizing about the parallels between Rand, Egwene, and others and how they deal with issues of pain and responsibility. Is the upcoming Towers of Midnight shaping up to have some interesting thematic parallels similar to The Gathering Storm and if so, would they be extensions of what we saw in The Gathering Storm or something completely different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The reason I divided the book the way I did was because of the way that I felt the themes would play well with one another. Towers of Midnight certainly has its own themes, and you will be able to notice them. There will be some carryover. But it's going to be a different book. We need to expand and look wider about the world to catch up with other characters we haven't seen for a while. And there are quite a number of them.

    So, it's a yes and a no. The themes will be there, but there will be a lot more going on around them, so they'll be diluted in favor of scope. I've had to be careful not to make Towers of Midnight simply a "jump back in time and catch up" book. I don't want to do that. It does move forward.

    Rand and Egwene will be there. But the themes are going to be different because of the different mix. We are going to see a lot more of Perrin, and we are going to see a lot more of Mat. And what's going on in their plotlines will influence theme in a different way.

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  • 100

    Interview: May 25th, 2010

    Patrick

    Is it still the plan to publish Towers of Midnight in late 2010 and A Memory of Light in late 2011, or are those dates likely to change?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Towers of Midnight is still very likely for late 2010. You'll have to ask me next year about A Memory of Light. Everything I've got is focused on Towers of Midnight right now, and it's going to be very tight, but I think we can do it.

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  • 101

    Interview: May 25th, 2010

    Patrick

    Speaking of Towers of Midnight, without giving anything away, what can fans expect from the novel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As I said before, if there is a character who fans didn't see in The Gathering Storm, chances are they are in Towers of Midnight. What else can we expect to see? Things are getting worse and worse. The Last Battle is approaching, and it's coming quickly.

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  • 102

    Interview: Jul 27th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Over on Twitter and Facebook I've been posting scene-by-scene statistics for my line edit of Towers of Midnight (which you can see on the sidebar of my site is 85% done). I'm going through and tightening the language, with a target of trimming each chapter by ten to fifteen percent. What does that mean in practice? I can't share examples from this book, but in this week's Writing Excuses podcast episode Dan, Howard, and I talk about how to do this sort of tightening revision using the first book I ever wrote, back in 1994. Some fans have urged me not to cut, or to release an "author's preferred text" edition at a later date; trust me, the version you'll see on the shelf is my preferred text. Every book I've published has gone through a similar ten to fifteen percent cut, and not because a publisher or editor demanded it. This is an integral part of my writing process, and listening to the episode will show you exactly why.

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  • 103

    Interview: Jun 28th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    And if you've been following me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that today I finished writing the final chapter (or rather, the last chapter I had left to write, which is not right at the end of the book) of Towers of Midnight. Now it goes off to Team Jordan for feedback, and I start into the revisions that will be required before the book can go into production less than two months from now. It's going to be tight, but we'll pull it off.

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  • 104

    Interview: Aug 23rd, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now to the main announcement, which appeared on my Twitter/Facebook feeds last week: Towers of Midnight, book 13 of the Wheel of Time, is finished. All of the drafts are done, the final revisions made, the book turned in. (And for those who don't watch Twitter/Facebook, we're hoping to eventually post a weekly "best of" or something here on the website for you to read through.)

    Getting the book done on time (or, well, close to it) took a lot out of me. I was basically worthless Wednesday and Thursday of last week recuperating. And I'm not a guy who often needs to do things like that. However, I feel that the book turned out very well. The publication date is set for November 2nd, and at this point, there's basically no chance we'll miss that. So go ahead and preorder and make your plans to come see me on one of my upcoming tours. Things look good.

    Now that it's done, I can sit back and look at the book as a whole. As I said, I'm very pleased with it. For months I've been telling people that I feel that in many ways, it's even more true to the Wheel of Time than The Gathering Storm was. I hope to maintain the pacing that made people enjoy The Gathering Storm, but at the same time Towers of Midnight has a much expanded scope than the previous novel, showing a larger picture and getting back to many characters who were ignored or had reduced parts in The Gathering Storm. Though we are jumping back in time for a few viewpoints to catch them up, it does also continue Rand/Egwene and other characters who had a large focus in The Gathering Storm.

    I hope that you enjoy it. There are some scenes in it we've been waiting to read for a long, long time. Scenes that made my heart break to write, and others that bring a smile to my face every time I look through them again.

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  • 105

    Interview: Aug 10th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    Before the 21st I'll have turned in the final revision of Towers of Midnight, which I'm currently working on. You can follow my progress on Twitter or Facebook; the deadline is August 16th and I need to finish over 10% of the book each day until then. I did the first 12% yesterday. This final draft mostly focuses on issues the beta readers noticed.

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  • 106

    Interview: Sep 13th, 2010

    Patrick

    Okay, you knew they were coming! Did you really think you could get away with not answering at least one WoT question!?! And no, you can't RAFO us! The Gathering Storm impressed through its tight thematic focus on Rand and Egwene's tribulations and what they went through to resolve them. You've said that Towers of Midnight has been a tougher book to write due to its more expansive nature and larger cast. For you (and avoiding spoilers!), what was the biggest difference in the writing process for the two books, and the biggest challenge?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The biggest difference is that in The Gathering Storm I took two tight narratives and built them both to an enormous crescendo. In Towers of Midnight I had to make each chapter have more of an impact. In Towers of Midnight there are these amazing scenes, chapter after chapter—BAM BAM BAM, this incredible scene you've been waiting for, this other incredible scene you've been waiting for, this majestic scene you've been waiting for—but at the same time we're showing the scope around the world. Now, the book has one of those tight narratives that builds to an enormous crescendo that I'm very pleased with. But a lot of the rest of the book is this sequence and that sequence and this sequence and that sequence, so it's a very different book. Book twelve felt more like books one, two, and three to me. Book thirteen feels like books four, five, and six. This expands the vision and goes back to places we've been before.

    It was a wonderful process. I actually think that Towers of Midnight is a better Wheel of Time book than The Gathering Storm was. But it made for a much more difficult write, because tying all of these elements together was a big challenge. Tying two narratives together is challenging, but then suddenly when you have eight narratives and have to make sure that they thematically work together, and all of that, is that much more of a challenge.

    We'll see what readers think. In these books I am particularly beholden to the Wheel of Time fans. I feel these books are for them. So I won't really know if I've been successful until they read it. But I feel very pleased with the book.

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  • 107

    Interview: Oct 26th, 2010

    Luckers

    Got any fun anecdotes from behind the scenes of Team Jordan for us?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Other than Butt Trollocs?

    Here's a typo from Towers of Midnight for you. I wrote: "Butt Trollocs are cowards at heart." Beta reader highlights and asks: A new tribe of Trollocs? :)

    I don’t know. They’re fun people. Alan makes really really bad puns a lot of the time, which is quite amusing. Watching their commentary on the drafts as we’re passing them back and forth (and they’re writing out their thoughts and responding to each other’s thoughts) can be a hoot and can be frustrating at the same time.

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  • 108

    Interview: Oct 12th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART TWO: BUFFERS AND MY WRITING SPEED

    Because of this, and because of my writing style, I need a little bit of a break before I tackle it. I pushed myself very hard to get both Towers of Midnight and The Way of Kings ready for publication this year. Even then, it was only possible because I had written a sizable chunk of Towers of Midnight while working on The Gathering Storm AND because I'd already finished an early version of The Way of Kings.

    People have mentioned before that I am somewhat prolific. Some of this is an illusion. For a while now, I've been warning people that we've been chewing through my buffer at a frightening rate. Once upon a time, I would turn in a book three years before it was scheduled to come out. This gave me a lot of wiggle room. If a book wasn't working, I could shelve it and think about it, then get back to it. Working that far ahead prevents most big crunches.

    However, the books I've been working on lately were a little more high profile than previous ones—and high-profile books get released when they get turned in, not three years later. So, though I took eighteen months finishing The Gathering Storm, it looked like I finished it very quickly. (I turned it in during the summer of 2009, and it came out in the fall of 2009. Warbreaker came out that same year, though I'd turned it in back in 2006.) The very long write of that book was invisible to a lot of readers because books I'd written years before continued to come out while I was working on it.

    The buffer is gone now. I'll talk more about that later. However, I want to mention something else that helps me be productive—and that's allowing myself deviations to keep myself interested. I've told people before that I wrote the Alcatraz books to give me a break between Mistborn novels. If I'm able to refresh myself on other projects, I don't get burned out on the big epics. (Which are my true love, but can be very demanding on me mentally.)

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  • 109

    Interview: Nov 16th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    He mentioned that doing Towers of Midnight and rewriting/editing The Way of Kings the same year was quite intense in terms of time. He is still committed to getting books out quickly and regularly, but The Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight in one year was more than he wants to do on a regular basis.

    He is going to take three months to reread the series and plans to have A Memory of Light done by end 2011 for a release in early 2012.

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  • 110

    Interview: 2012

    Mateo (13 October 2011)

    How many drafts do you normally write for an epic novel like A Memory of Light? Just curious as to how long the process takes.

    Brandon Sanderson (13 October 2011)

    The Gathering Storm had twelve drafts, I think. Towers of Midnight nine.

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  • 111

    Interview: 2010

    Towers of Midnight

    This entry is a collection of tweets by Brandon announcing the names of the fans who won the charity contest to get their names in Towers of Midnight. Also named in the book were Matt Hatch, webmaster of Theoryland (innkeeper at The Dusty Wheel); Melissa Craib, webmaster of Tar Valon (innkeeper at The Seven-Striped Lass); and Jason Denzel, webmaster of Dragonmount (innkeeper at The Happy Throng). Also included were Kate Nepveu, an old rasfwrj fan and blogger for Tor.com, and Anthony Aziz of TarValon.net, who won the JordanCon 2010 auction. According to Linda's article on the subject, Padra was named after Tricia Erikson, a JordanCon publicist who passed away recently from cancer.

    I missed these tweets by Brandon (date unknown), but Linda kindly shared them with me:

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, one more. Joel Derby, you're dead too.

    Also, Nick Okamoto, I used your name in Towers of Midnight this morning. Congrats.

    Need to name two men who die gruesome deaths in Towers of Midnight. Tim Riddell, William Reeves, RIP.

    Also, John Sloan, you survive.

    Brandon Sanderson (28 September 2009)

    Most readers know that Robert Jordan looked to real world names and places as inspiration for names in the WoT.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    In order to help maintain this feel, I’m doing the same. For Towers of Midnight, I’m looking for inspiration in the list of names from a fund raiser.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First name: Adam Hahn. Congrats. Now, know that I may adapt the name, and may use either the first or the last, depending on what strikes me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Second name: Alfred Granger.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Next, Adam Sampson and Adrienne Hotard.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    @howardtayler—lol. I actually used the Adrienne part. Beautiful name, with a very 'WoT' feel to it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (29 SEPTEMBER)

    Laura Negin, you ended up as a village near Tar Valon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (30 SEPTEMBER)

    Alec Breen, Alejandro Uso, your names just got picked to appear in Towers of Midnight. Also, Alisa Harris, I don't think I mentioned you yesterday.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (6 OCTOBER)

    Recently adapted names: Fitzgerald Clark, Eric Mazsone, Han Zhang. You guys just joined the ranks of the Younglings.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 OCTOBER)

    Maksim Zhukov, your name came up next.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nicole Nimry, I trust you won't mind joining the Green Ajah?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (8 OCTOBER)

    Farah Sadaoui, into the book you go.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (9 OCTOBER)

    Jennifer Kaiser, your name just got chosen.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (6 NOVEMBER)

    Kine Lohne Finsas, I just used your name in Towers of Midnight. And I'm sorry for dropping a Trolloc on your head.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 NOVEMBER)

    George Zell, I just used your name (or a version of it) in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 DECEMBER)

    Paul Postuma, I named a door after you in Towers of Midnight. [?]

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The door will make sense in the book’s context. Remember, I usually keep posts about unpublished WoT books intentionally obscure.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sarah Kainec, how good are you with a spear?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    @Galadriena You're Sarah, then?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well then, your earlier reply was perfect. Watch for the name Kainea in Towers of Midnight...

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Her tweets are protected, so I couldn't include them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 DECEMBER)

    Brent Welborn and Brian Lehnen, I hope you don't mind dying bravely in battle.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Christopher Helmke, you survive. (For now.) Duty is heavier than a mountain...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Dustin Durham, Ed Sorrentino, Eddy Knapper, see my previous post. That goes for you too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Timothy Brown, you're an Asha'man.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Steven Connelly, Rhett Petcher, you have fallen in battle.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Robert Barett, Sean O'Connell, you survive this day. (Barely.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Last name for now is Sigrid Andersson. Hope you're a good horseman.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (8 DECEMBER)

    Amir Yoeli and Stephen Antill, peace favor your swords. One of you saves an someone’s life; the other Heals his broken leg.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Deep Bhandari, did your parents name you with the expectation that you'd end up in a fantasy novel? Hope you look good in black.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (15 DECEMBER)

    Ifeyinwa Eboh and Eva Snyder, I just handed you spears and put you into Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH 2010)

    Paul Jarr, your name just came up for a scene in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 MARCH)

    Yes, that post yesterday does mean I'm writing new material for Towers of Midnight. Revision isn't ALL done, but enough done to be filling in scenes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scott Reid, hope you've been practicing with your Two Rivers longbow.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 MARCH)

    Susan Moore [?], you just made an appearance in the Wheel of Time. Congrats.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (4 MARCH)

    Andrew Sparks, you are in Towers of Midnight. You are not human, however.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 MARCH)

    Varkey Titus and Tina Wagner [?], welcome to Towers of Midnight. Your names got drawn.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (18 MAY)

    I will be posting more names of people who got into Towers of Midnight. (These are people who participated in the WoT charity drive a few years back.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First name: Scott Bartlett. Congrats.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Shawn Montgomery, how are you with a longbow?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Kine Elandra Bjørnsdatter Haug. You're in the book too. (Note, I WILL be changing these names to fit...)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Leslie Annis is next. Many of these names are going places I put placeholders in the text. In some, I use a name from Mr. Jordan's files.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Judith Bélair-Kyle, you are in the book, as is Jonathan Sim.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lyford Chris (Or is it Chris Lyford?) Either way, you are in the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mark Comer, you're in too. Congrats.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Gregory Frenette, I choose you! (Read in Pokemon voice.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jaswant Singh Ranu and James Hirsch, your names came up next. Almost done naming for the day.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jeremy Naus, Kevin Orr, you two came up next.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, done with names for now. Next, spellcheck. (Wince.) After that, next section goes to Team Jordan.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (24 MAY)

    David Redbord and Nicholas Votrobeck, if you look closely at Towers of Midnight, you may find that your names appear.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (26 MAY)

    By the way, Maura Tirasso and Reo Meyer, I just used your names in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Miguel Barriga, Michael Lashia Yang, Pingtjin Thum, Rebecca Joseph. All in Towers of Midnight. Two of you have been eaten by Trollocs. Sorry about that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rick Proska [Proska Flats in Saldaea], Robb Kremer [Kremer Road in Saldaea], Shannon Berndtson, Sharon Mettler, [?] I used your names. (Or a variation of them.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Andrej Gadzo: Tai'shar Malkier.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (27 MAY)

    Rosalia O'Reilly, practice your weaves.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, in case you're thinking I'm naming a lot of names, remember—each new WoT book has added (on average) around 200 named characters.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (31 MAY)

    Oh, and Karen Clarke and Lisa Sommerfeld, you are spear sisters. Congrats.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 JUNE)

    Michael Cuellar, you are in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Michael Trostler, hope you look good in a black coat.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jonathan Hamm, get yourself a black coat too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 JUNE)

    Eric Boettger, you are in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Heidi Soderquist, welcome to Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JUNE)

    Joshua Turner, you're in Towers of Midnight. Found a person I forgot to name.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (9 JUNE)

    Robert Soelter, your name just went into Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (14 JUNE)

    Martin Bergman, you are in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (24 JUNE)

    Bryce Koronko, I named a game of dice in Towers of Midnight after you.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Christopher McClintock, you are in the Band of the Red Hand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 JUNE)

    Landon Williams, Bryan Kralle you both just got entered as last-minute substitutions in Towers of Midnight for terrible names I'd made up and didn't like.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 JULY)

    Just realized that, amusingly, I gave a name to an extant, unnamed WoT character. Therefore, I retconned a WoT fan into an earlier book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Robert Jordan often picked names for the WoT based on names in our world. I didn't do this in The Gathering Storm, and it felt wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He did it because the WoT world is our world, in another time. Thom, Mat, Elayne, etc. My names were immersion-breaking.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is working much better, trust me. They will all be changed to fit the world.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (23 JULY)

    What's this? Someone in the draft I forgot to name? (I often mark these with a *** mark, indicating I'll name them later.) Well, well.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Myles Harvell, you are in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (28 JULY)

    Well, look at this. One last person in the epilogue I forgot to name. Glenn Bergevin. You're in. 7% cut from the scene you are in.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (29 JULY)

    Norm Miller, a cook needed a name. You're in.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    William Klock, I needed another name.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (11 AUGUST)

    Steven Lussenburg [?] and Edward Givens, found a couple of final unnamed people. Really thought I'd filled those in. They are now you.

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  • 112

    Interview: Dec 2nd, 2010

    Virginia

    Now that…obviously no one can fill the hole that Jim Rigney did. I mean, no one can take his place. But we have Brandon now, and you're working with Brandon, but now it's a long-distance relationship. How is that working out? And he's such a maniac for work; I cannot imagine how any human being gets the amount of writing that he does done, and all the other things that he does.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I'm convinced he's a robot. [crosstalk]

    VIRGINIA

    He's an android, yeah; he's an android; I'm sure of it. He's a big cuddly android, but I think, you know…really suspect!

    Maria Simons

    He's pretty amazing, I mean…but the work ethic he has is just incredible. I mean…The Way of Kings and Towers of Midnight, the same year. It's amazing.

    VIRGINIA

    I know! And Alcatraz too, I think…and a tour! Two tours!

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh yeah! Two tours, and a couple of cons—or more, actually, than a couple. But the long-distance thing…you know, living in the future makes it easy, and we actually, here, all of us, um…older farts in Charleston made the jump to digital editing for Towers of Midnight which made it a lot easier than The Gathering Storm when we were still doing everything on paper.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Oh, wow! I didn't realize you guys did that all on paper!

    MARIA SIMONS

    Oh yeah…oh yeah.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I can't even imagine how complicated it would be to do it on paper.

    MARIA SIMONS

    It was pretty, uh…it worked. We got it done, but we made [?], and it was still kinda complicated because I had no idea how to do some things, and I have to email, and Peter—Brandon's assistant—would tell me how to do it. Peter's great; Peter is fabulous, and…

    JENNIFER LIANG

    I know; I heart Peter.

    MARIA SIMONS

    I wish I could have been at DragonCon, just so I could have met him.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, me too.

    MARIA SIMONS

    But, um…you know, it's…it works. You know, we've got email, we email back and forth; occasionally we do the phone call; occasionally we actually get together, and it's...

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Yeah, probably the most difficult thing is the time difference, and…not only is he, what, three hours behind us, but Brandon does so much of his work, ah, in the evening, and in the early hours, and consequently doesn't get up at five in the morning…

    MARIA SIMONS

    That's usually when he goes to bed.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    …and so, if he has to ask us something quickly in the middle of work, or if we have to ask him something quickly, you know, we might have to wait for one or the other to wake up and get to the office.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah. [laughter]

    VIRGINIA

    He might as well be in New Zealand, as far as the time overlap.

    ALAN ROMANCZUK

    Exactly.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah. But, you know, we made it work.

    VIRGINIA

    Cool. Well, I think Peter's probably got Dream Job #2.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Yeah.

    VIRGINIA

    Oh, I dunno, how do you keep up with somebody who's like that? He's just…I mean, just talking to him in person—and I'm sure that probably Robert Jordan was the same way—I think it's a little overwhelming. There's so much creativity going on, and you can see that the mind is working so fast, it's almost like two or three different things going on at one time. And you know it's not, but it just almost seems that way, and you can almost get a little overwhelmed just trying to keep up with the flow of ideas, you know.

    MARIA SIMONS

    And that's very true, with Jim, and especially Jim and Harriet talking together sometimes. [Alan laughs] You know, it would be like, "Wow. What…what? Wow." Because they're just so incredibly bright, and it was just…very cool.

    Tags