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2012-04-30: I had the great pleasure of speaking with Harriet McDougal Rigney about her life. She's an amazing talent and person and it will take you less than an hour to agree.

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

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  • 1

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Terez

    For a complete catalog of Brandon's tweets, visit the Twitter Portal at Brandon's website.

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Happy New Year, all. It is official—I have begun working on A Memory of Light, fourteenth and final book of The Wheel of Time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have updated the progress bars on my website with this year's tasks. I'll try to be better about keeping them current.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The first step is to re-read the entire Wheel of Time. Towers of Midnight had some small continuity errors—mostly me forgetting who knows what.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We fixed them for the paperback, but it is a sign that I'm starting to forget details. That means I need to re-read Mr. Jordan's work.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I fully expect this re-read to take until April. I need to divide my time among reading, outlining, and studying the notes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    By the way, I did get a Nook for my birthday. So I'm in the process of getting e-copies of the WoT uploaded.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Since people are asking, the continuity errors were things like Grady telling Perrin about the Cleansing as if for the first time, but...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...there's a line in Knife of Dreams where Perrin notes that they'd mentioned it to him. We don't see the conversation, but it's there in narrative.

    AJ ZAETHA

    Need a devout reader of the Wheel of Time to watch over what you are writing so they can be like: "He died in book five." "oh."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The thing is, I had eight of those for Towers of Midnight. They all missed these too. It was the time crunch that did it to us, I think.

    BENJAMIN PEACOCK

    No biggie, but did you fix for ebook by chance?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, it should be all fixed for the ebook.

    MICHELLE ANDERS

    Also the fact that Min's viewings aren't always around Aes Sedai when they are supposed to be.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm working on the assumption (as she's said before) that she doesn't always pay attention to them, as there's so many of them.

    CHRIS NUCCITELLI (7 JANUARY)

    Is there a list somewhere of the continuity changes made for the Towers of Midnight paperback?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not yet. Many things fans pointed out weren't actually errors, but the Theoryland thread caught most of the things we changed.

    Tags

  • 2

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Yes, I will be live tweeting/blogging my re-read. Should have some fun things to post about the WoT as I go.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some are asking if my tweets/blogs will have spoilers for WoT books. I'll try to keep those to a minimum. But there will be some.

    MATT HATCH

    Have you considered using a hashtag for your WoT re-read tweets? Would make it easier for fans to follow and participate.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, but I always forget to put in the hashtags...

    MATT HATCH

    Pick a hashtag. We can always retweet the stuff you forget to tag. That's what HCFFs are for, right?

    MATT HATCH

    Want to join in the re-read fun? @BrandonSandrson is tweeting as he goes. Use this hashtag #wotrr to follow and comment as it progresses.

    KARA-NOEL (4 JANUARY)

    I want to do the #wotrr with you! What book are you on??

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm still on Book One. Basically, I'll do 10% of a book a day minimum.

    ANNE SOWARDS (5 JANUARY)

    I am feeling a crazy urge to re-read Robert Jordan's The Eye of the World. I blame @BrandonSandrson and his #wotrr tweets.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The end of the series draws near. An end of an Age of fantasy reading for many of us.

    JASON ROSTAR

    Does it take you longer to read WoT now than when you first read them? Do you read more carefully since you're 'working'?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, much longer.

    MATTHEW TIDMAN

    The problem with trying to read through The Wheel of Time series for the first time is that it's so huge it's just daunting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First book stands very well on its own, and first three make a solid trilogy. You can read to either point...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...and there decide if you want to continue on. It feels less daunting that way.

    JAIME CALLAHAN

    I've never read any of the Wheel of Time books. I think this might put my fantasy book reader street cred in danger.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. It's okay. They're fun, though. (I might be biased.)

    Tags

  • 3

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Man, I love the prologue of The Eye of the World. Some of my favorite writing in the entire series. Great insight into Ishamael's personality pre-madness.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People like to talk of Rand's character development. Elan -> Ishamael -> Moridin is almost as interesting to me. His outlook has evolved so much.

    JUSTIN LEE

    Has it really evolved? he's still the megalomanical favorite/topdog he's always seen himself to be.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, he's really changed a lot. He's a fatalist now, as I mentioned to @dragonmount. He knows far more.

    JASON DENZEL

    How would you compare Ishamael's motivations from when he was Elan vs when he was Moridin?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Elan is actually more selfish. He still thinks he will rule, that the Dark One will take over the world and create a new one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Moridin has been through madness and touched the mind of the Dark One. He is far more fatalistic, and actually less selfish.

    TEREZ

    And therefore...less predictable? :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I was wondering if anyone would pick up on that quote in relation to my tweet.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    In TGS 39, Verin tells Egwene that the Dark One looks for selfishness more than any other trait in his leaders—namely, the Chosen—because it makes them predictable.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    Is it wrong for me to have been under the impression that Moridin isn't "mad?" I've thought he was less mad than he was...

    AUSTIN MOORE

    ...as Ishamael. Mad being crazy not mad being evil because obviously he's evil.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Moridin is less insane than Ishamael was. Much as Rand is less insane than Lews Therin was.

    AZRAL HANAN

    You say Moridin is less selfish. Is he now a Dark Buddha wanting to end the suffering of existence in the nirvana of oblivion?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's not that he's unselfish. But compare his lines in The Eye of the World and Knife of Dreams and Towers of Midnight to see the difference.

    Tags

  • 4

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Derek Daniels (3 January 2011)

    Never did figure out what it is exactly that killed Lews Therin in the prologue. Thoughts after reread?

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    It's a toss up between getting consumed by holding too much Power and getting struck by that bolt of energy from the sky.

    Tags

  • 5

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Amy Farmer (3 January 2011)

    Out of curiosity, why aren't you starting with New Spring? Useful continuity stuff there.

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    I like reading New Spring when it was released. Feels better to me there.

    Tags

  • 6

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    The first wind is in the Mountains of Mist; I've always assumed this was a nod to Tolkien's Misty Mountains.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Look in The Way of Kings on the full map of Roshar for something similar.

    SHECKY X

    Well, his Charlestonian background makes the "Two Rivers" the Charleston area, so the "Mountains of Mist" may be...

    SHECKY X

    ... the Smoky Mountains, upstate from his home. (FYI: the Charleston area is defined by the Ashley and Cooper Rivers.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nice note. I'd never known that.

    LYNN OLIVER

    Listening to WoT on audiobook, first time through series. Book one seems heavily influenced by Tolkien so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, book one is very Tolkien influenced. Very. Book two less so. It's almost gone by book three.

    Footnote

    The Way of Kings map doesn't have the Misted Mountains labeled, but they border Shinovar on the east.

    Tags

  • 7

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Reading this book, I'm reminded of how deeply Dragonsteel (one of my foundational, yet, unpublished works) was influenced by the WoT's start.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Actually, of the three fantasy epics I wrote during my early years—Dragonsteel, Elantris, & White SandElantris was the least WoT-like.

    TEREZ

    Elantris in a way reminded me of King's Eyes of the Dragon, with the fairy-tale-like writing style.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I love Eyes of the Dragon. Might be an unconscious influence.

    Tags

  • 8

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Reading the start of The Eye of the World reminds me that there's an extra person in the cover art. (More obvious in the secondary, inside piece, I think.)

    RINA

    In the cover of The Eye of the World there's only Moraine, Lan, and one boy to the side. Am I looking at the wrong one?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There are two covers. One ended up on the inside flaps. The outer one wraps around, though, and I think he's in both.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here's the secondary cover: http://bit.ly/hZu0Uw

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    HCFFs already know who that person is, but it's a fun Easter egg to know that there's a story behind that extra figure.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    By the way, HCFF stands for "Hard Core Fan Freak" for those asking. They're self named. It's what many uber-wot-geeks call themselves.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mr. Jordan wrote a large chunk of The Eye of the World with a fourth Two Rivers lad going along with Perrin, Mat, and Rand. Was to be a major character.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Harriet talked him out of it, pointing out that the fourth lad never did anything useful. @theoryland, do you guys have a good thread on him?

    TEREZ

    Nah, nothing to talk about really. But here is RJ saying that: http://bit.ly/RJ-BN2000

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've asked Harriet if she could dig up any of the old manuscript with the fourth ta'veren in it, but she's not certain they have any.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She said she thinks he was Dannil, but couldn't remember for certain. Many think he was Ewin—a good guess and a possibility.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Cover art was commissioned when he was still a main character, and it was too late to change it when he was removed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Looks like the fourth ta'veren was Dannil, in another form: http://bit.ly/h0iDIO (Look for Liandra's question.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Jason from @dragonmount says: "RJ once told me that Daniell's heroics ended up being done by the other Two Rivers boys."

    AZRAL HANAN

    What role would the so-called 'Fourth' ta'veren have played if he had been written into the story? Could you elaborate?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'd like to see the original drafts if I could. I do know RJ said his part was split among the other three.

    RINA

    Is the fourth boy (Dannil)'s name pronounced [dan-nil] or [daniel]?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I say the first.

    Footnote

    Some fans think this is a BS story made up as an inside joke between RJ and Harriet about the cover art, mostly because the concept of three heroes seems to work better with the mythology that RJ used to develop them.

    Tags

  • 9

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    Ha. Thom showing up at night, and people grumbling, makes me smile now knowing about the unwritten prequel involving his arrival.

    SKYLA GRIMES

    Weren't there two other planned prequels that never made it? Will they ever see the light of day?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes. But they probably won't be published, I'm afraid.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those asking, I'm not allowed to talk about the prequels yet. It's unlikely they'll be written. If they aren't, I'll see what I can say.

    Tags

  • 10

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    First laugh: "She asked the Wisdom for directions this morning," Ewin said, "and called her 'child.'" Rand and Mat both whistled...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If Mat could go back in time, he'd thump himself fawning over Moiraine in The Eye of the World. Then he'd fawn over Moiraine, but pretend he wasn't.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "Strangers and a gleeman, fireworks and a peddler. It was going to be the best Bel Tine ever."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. From @ltnolan0347: "Trollocs and Aes Sedai, Dragon's Fang and Padan Fain. Worst Bel Tine ever...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Another thought: Cenn is right more often than wrong in these early chapters. Unexpected, as I think of him as a blowhard.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    "...the ramp with a thump, while Mat and Perrin announced loudly that the Taren was not half as wide as they had heard."

    Tags

  • 11

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    WoT statistics: Egwene appears for the first time about 7% into The Eye of the World. She is the first person to fold her arms beneath her breasts.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As much as we like to talk about Robert Jordan using that phrase, I think that's the only time it appears in The Eye of the World.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Amusing that, after all they've grown, Egwene and Rand's interaction in The Eye of the World 3 has many similarities to their interaction in Towers of Midnight.

    LAYLA MESSNER

    Took me a moment to realize this phrase did not refer to Egwene's breasts ;) RT @BrandonSandrson: "Amusing that, after all they've grown..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. You just about killed me with laughter on that one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    It bears remembering that of the group, only Egwene left the Two Rivers for adventure. The others were forced. (Or felt they were.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is very important for her character. In a way, she was the only one who chose this life intentionally. At least at first.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Aha. First braid tug I spotted was at the 30% mark.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (6 JANUARY)

    I wonder if Rand and Egwene dancing in Baerlon counts as a fulfillment of her Winternight promise to dance with him on Bel Tine.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    I'll admit, the Tinker scenes had me wishing—as a youth—for a Perrin+Egwene hook up. I never wanted her for Rand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 JANUARY)

    "I'd like being your Warder." Rand to Egwene, near the end of The Eye of the World.

    Tags

  • 12

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    E.G. Hornbostel (3 January 2011)

    Brandon, does Lan still sharpen his impossible-to-dull heron blade in the electronic edition of The Eye of the World?

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    I actually have Robert Jordan's original word files; I need to get the new ebooks.

    Footnote

    It's actually not a heron-mark blade. Just a Powerwrought blade.

    Tags

  • 13

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    And, here we have mention of Anla the Wise Counselor. For those not in the know, there is theorizing on her: http://bit.ly/f8s2T4

    FELIX PAX

    At least one...problem with that link...in "To Sail Beyond the Sunset" RJ refers to Robert Heinlein in The Great Hunt.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Didn't know that. Thanks.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Will we see any more of those awesome references (Anla, Mosk and Merc, all the other tidbits) in the last book?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There were some in my [WoT] books that I don't think have been caught yet.

    Tags

  • 14

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Back to reading The Eye of the World, all. Posts to follow. I'll try to keep it at a steady stream, not a flood.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    WoT Easter Egg: there's an easily overlooked line in the prologue of The Eye of the World which gives huge foreshadowing of things Rand can do in Towers of Midnight.

    TEREZ

    I always thought the fact that Lews Therin could sense that there were no people around for miles was interesting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I should have guessed that you'd be the only one who would pick out the right line, Terez.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Easter egg in the prologue has to do with Lews Therin sensing the lack of people around him for miles and miles.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    Regarding yesterday's Easter Egg, Maria mentions RJ was preparing a blog post on the concept.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those who missed it, it has to do with Lews Therin sensing nobody was nearby when he made Dragonmount.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And before you ask, no, I can't say more. Sorry. Suffice it to say that what is in the books stands as enough of an answer, for now.

    TEREZ

    My original(ish) post on the ability to sense for people: http://bit.ly/safegates in '06. I was a noob(ish) then.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Interesting theory. What do you think of it now?

    TEREZ

    I think it still holds up (despite a few details I missed), but I think it's not what you were getting at. :)

    Footnote

    Most think this has something to do with the 'one with the land' thing. (See the Fisher King tag for more info.)

    Tags

  • 15

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Diana Brewster (4 January 2011)

    Do you use Ideal Seek for your WoT research? http://dposey.no-ip.com/IdealSeek/

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    I have my own e-copy in word format of the entire series, to empower me to use searches. I've been to Ideal Seek before, though.

    Tags

  • 16

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Yes, early WoT is very Tolkien influenced. But several original things really stood out to me when I was younger.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    1) The magic. 2) Strong female protagonists. 3) A woman 'wizard' figure who was far more human than others I'd seen. 4) Tam lives.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Though I like Gandalf, Dumbledore, Belgarath, & Allanon, I prefer Moiraine as a character. (Actually, Allanon always just annoyed me.)

    HARRISON ISRAEL

    I always liked Allanon :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's okay. I'm fond of him. But he still annoyed me.

    HAMLETISDEAD

    Can you share what it is about Allanon that annoyed you? I can list a few, but the main reason was his decision making...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mostly the air of mystery and withholding information. Often a problem with people in his role, but he seemed more-so.

    BRYCE NIELSEN

    What about Polgara? :P

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Polgara was awesome. Belgarath was pretty cool too, but Moiraine always feels slightly more real than either one to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But that's modern Brandon. Teenage Brandon might have thought differently.

    CHRIS WOOD

    But which of those early wizards was your favorite? I liked Belgarath, but Eddings was one of my first series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As a youth, I often listed Eddings as my favorite author. It wasn't until I was older that WoT took over completely.

    CHRIS WOOD

    I agree, I still read Eddings and suggest him to people who are "new" into fantasy, but it has gone down my list too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There is a perfect age to read Eddings, where he resonates best. As you age, something about his characters and plots...stiffens.

    JENN HOGAN

    I am in agreement but I love Belgarath's humor and his devotion to family and his God and his brothers.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Belgarath was interesting also in being an amalgamation of a trickster figure and a wise mentor. By far one of Eddings' most round.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Both him and Polgara. They're both also more powerful than Moiraine. But there's just something about her. True wisdom.

    JOHN STOCKTON

    I was thrown by your "when I was younger" remark until I remembered this series started 20 years ago. Wow.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I started when I was 14 or 15...

    YELLOW

    The WoT names always annoyed me because they're so close to real names. Any chance of dropping a Blixbop into A Memory of Light?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mr. Jordan did this intentionally, to hint that the WoT world was our world in the future (and the past.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's part of the 'feel' of the world. They are close to real names because they ARE real names, just many years removed.

    TADBO

    The females in The Wheel of Time are among the most two-dimensional in the history of fantasy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I disagree. Case in point: Tolkien's female protagonists. (Which was the comparison I was making.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But even beyond that, you have to remember, this is a society with some skewed gender relationships because of the way magic works.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But Moiraine is hardly two-dimensional. Neither is Nynaeve. They can be annoying, yes, but that's not the same as two-dimensional.

    TADBO

    They scheme, they argue, they tug on their skirts and stamp their feet, or they fall at Rand's feet. Really?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Aviendha is very distinctive. Tuon is very distinctive. Min is very distinctive. Many of the Aes Sedai act as you say, but...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...I see this as an intentional effect of the society they live in.

    ZEERAK WASEEM

    Don't you get annoyed with the females in WoT? The female lead I prefer is Aviendha, the rest are full of themselves.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, I didn't say they didn't annoy me at times. I said they were strong, and I'll add that they are interesting.

    TADBO

    Final note. I would argue that Jordan's female protagonists are MAIN characters, whereas Tolkien's are mainly supporting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Tolkien point is valid. However, remember what started this conversation. I was saying things about the WoT that impressed me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One was a large cast of female main characters, something a lot of fantasy by men I'd read was lacking.

    TEREZ

    WoT females are caricaturish, sometimes stereotypical, but not two-dimensional. (This from a female.)

    TADBO

    Yes, caricatures. A better description than two-dimensional.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, different people read things differently. If WoT's women didn't work for you, I understand why, though I don't feel the same.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You're not the only one to feel that way.

    TEREZ

    The fact that I see them as caricatures helps me to enjoy them as characters more. It's RJ's own type of dry humor.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I view them more of products of a society where social norms are different, and women have something 'machismo'-like.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It makes them act similar in places, even though when you see into their souls, there is something deeper.

    TEREZ

    In my opinion this is also true, but the caricature part is an important aspect of accepting ALL WoT characters as they are.

    TEREZ

    They, like the story itself, are ubertropes. There is more to them than that, just as there is more to the story.

    FELIX PAX

    It's as if RJ's sense of humor was written for a theater company on stage. Bombastic, perhaps?

    TEREZ

    I think the word you are looking for is 'exaggerated'. But yes, stage-acting a very good comparison.

    TADBO

    I don't know if I ever saw it as 'dry humor'. The Aes Sedai scared the crap out of me in high school.

    TEREZ

    Well, maybe now that you're a big boy... ;) RJ said he'd rather hunt leopards...

    TADBO

    True enough. XD

    TEREZ

    I mean, have you SEEN the map of Tar Valon? It's supposed to be funny, people. And serious at the same time, of course.

    JAMES FURLONG

    Haha! Just clicked on, never noticed THAT before. Hoho!

    HBFFERREIRA

    LOL Never noticed it before either.

    KAREN BASKINS

    LOL! In nearly twenty years of reading WoT, I never took notice of the Tar Valon map. Thank you for the laugh. I needed that. :-)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've wondered about the map for Tar Valon. That...well, that can't be an accident. I've never asked Team Jordan, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Needless to say, it wasn't something I noticed when I was a teen.

    TEREZ

    Someone asked RJ about it. Sort of. His answer was hilarious.

    RICHARD FIFE

    Ya know, for some odd reason, I never really saw the map of Tar Valon. Now I'll never unsee it...

    TEREZ

    Indeed, it cannot be unseen. :)

    MATT HATCH

    ...wow, this really changes how I view the siege, harbor, and the iron chain becoming cuendillar.

    TEREZ

    You are such a perv, boss.

    MATT HATCH

    Showed my wife the map. Her immediate reaction: "Oh, Jim Rigney." Big smile.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You'd never seen that before?

    TEREZ

    He had. Was just inspired by the moment to show it to his wife. And he'd never seen the quote. :)

    MATT HATCH

    I'd seen it...it was a while back; I remember thinking "really???" This reminded me and the quote made it hilarious.

    TEREZ

    Could give a whole new meaning to 'Rand had daydreamed over Master al'Vere's old map...'

    TEREZ

    '...half the boys in Emond's Field had daydreamed over it.'

    NICHOLAS BROWN

    To the blind... what am I seeing? I see a fish or a submarine. Is there something else?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hm. How to do this without going places I don't care to go... Maybe a link will suffice. http://bit.ly/gMSLt6

    Tags

  • 17

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Ha! Want a twenty-year-old typo? My e-copy (RJ's original) reads: "Everything depended on whether or not the Trollops were still there."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    What to say about Narg? In my mind, he's always been a hyena. I can't shake that image, though there are no hyena Trollocs.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (5 JANUARY)

    Also, dashing my dreams of RJ typos, it turns out the original e-copies of the early WoT books were lost in a hard drive crash.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maria says she thinks that what I'm using is a file scanned from print. Trollop/Trolloc makes more sense now.

    Tags

  • 18

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    I love that RJ gave Rand such a personal, powerful internal problem at the start with questioning his relationship to Tam.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Though it's easy for us to say "Of course Tam's your father, silly" this issue was deep and meaningful for Rand and served as...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...a wonderful way to make the book about more than the action. It also foreshadows Rand's later identity crisis with Lews Therin.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "I don't know that you are worth it, sheepherder, no matter what she says."—Lan, to Rand, walking with Moiraine to help Tam.

    Tags

  • 19

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    James Powell (4 January 2011)

    Does having written for the Wheel of Time change the way you engage with it as a reader now?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Yes, a great deal. Though I don't know if I can explain it in 140-character bursts. :)

    Tags

  • 20

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Azral Hanan (4 January 2011)

    Will there be more revelations about the metaphysical cosmology of the WOT universe...eventually?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    The encyclopedia should have some.

    Tags

  • 21

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Austin Moore (3 January 2011)

    Has Demandred even been doing anything important besides building an army? (guessing it's in Murandy)

    Brandon Sanderson (3 January 2011)

    He's been doing lots of important things.

    AUSTIN MOORE (4 JANUARY)

    Why do you think RJ straight up said that Taim wasn't Demandred when he could've just said RAFO and kept everyone guessing?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think he was tired of people all looking in the same place.

    Tags

  • 22

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Austin Moore (4 January 2011)

    Anymore "unnoticed" things we should look for that could help for the last book like there was for Towers of Midnight?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    I'll let you know as I'm building my notes.

    Tags

  • 23

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Omar Subedar (4 January 2011)

    Who is your favorite member of the Chosen?

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Moridin. Followed by Demandred. Followed by Lanfear.

    OMAR SUBEDAR

    As for Moridin, I never liked the fact that he thought that Dark One winning would be THE end. I mean, according to...

    OMAR SUBEDAR

    Robert Jordan, there are no beginnings or endings to the turning of the Wheel right? Only relative beginnings and endings.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Moridin believes that if the Dark One wins, there will BE no Wheel. It will be broken. So in that way, there are still...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...no beginnings or endings. There is nothing. Some, including Cadsuane, believe this is a very real possibility.

    Tags

  • 24

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brian Mavity (4 January 2011)

    I am going to have to pester @BrandonSandrson on my loony theory of Shaidar Haran being Asmodean 2.0. Who's with me? I have a decent case!

    Brandon Sanderson (4 January 2011)

    Lol. Wow, I've never heard that one before.

    BRIAN MAVITY

    Your "lol" saddens me. You know, there's enough evidence that you could get away with adding it to the last book!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Only problem is RJ said that Asmodean's soul was outside the Dark One's reach, though he wasn't specific as to why. (As I remember.)

    Tags

  • 25

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Deadsy (5 January 2011)

    Can you just re-read books 1-5 over and over so we can keep talking about Moiraine?

    DEADSY

    If not that, perhaps I can try to force you to dwell on later mentions of Moiraine, no matter how unimportant.

    DEADSY

    ...and it took me a long time but I've narrowed the "something" about Moiraine down to the fact she rarely uses contractions.

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    Let me know what you find. One thing to note—RJ didn't use contractions in narrative, but I do. A stylistic difference.

    DEADSY

    I noticed it in The Great Hunt with Moiraine and Siuan. Siuan uses them left and right because she's not uppity enough to say "do not".

    TEREZ

    It's a good point, and probably part of that Cairhienin reserve. Or at least, it helps portray it.

    Footnote

    Deadsy had mentioned before that she found something 'off' about Moiraine. Also, not much later the graphic novel version of New Spring was released, and in it was a correspondence between RJ and the Dabel Brothers, and he mentions that Moiraine never uses contractions.

    Tags

  • 26

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Steve (5 January 2011)

    Do the WoT eBooks include proper italics and chapter icons?

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    I'll let you know. I'm not using them yet (I'm using converted Word files) but I've asked for them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. I love bureaucracy. Me to Tor: Hey, I need the wot ebooks. Tor: Just buy them and we'll reimburse you. It's easier that way.

    RYAN MAXWELL

    You should tell Tor that you need the audio books too. It would be a shame to pass up free books lol.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I already have those. Got them from Tor back when I started on this project. :)

    Tags

  • 27

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    People (mostly my editor) complain about my capitalization of magic-related terms. (Push and Pull in Mistborn.) I learned from RJ.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll admit, keeping track of which terms are upper case while writing these can be hard. Warder, for example, is capitalized.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. I love @GrammarGirl. She says: "Refer your editor to the section on capitalizing Platonic ideals: http://j.mp/18T09Z

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    When younger, I thought Rand's first Channeling was lightning in Four Kings. It wasn't until later that I caught the Bela thing.

    TEREZ

    No, 'channeling' is NOT capitalized. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's the one I most think should be. We always have to search/replace it after I write a book.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Why did you use the word 'magic' in Towers of Midnight? It never showed up in WoT before that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ used the word a couple of times in the series.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    Did he? Because I remember being jarred out of the narrative when I saw it mentioned in Towers of Midnight. Seemed really incongruous.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, a couple of times. Mostly in earlier books. In Aviendha's vision, though, it was supposed to be incongruous.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is (presumably) many, many years in the future. Language and usage has changed.

    Footnote

    The word 'magic' was actually only used once (in The Eye of the World Chapter 33). Brandon used 'magics' in Towers of Midnight Chapter 48 in Aviendha's POV, but he also used 'magical' in Faile's POV in Towers of Midnight Chapter 16 (neither word appears anywhere else in the series).

    Tags

  • 28

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    This now reads interestingly: "With all his heart & desperation, he silently shouted at Bela to run...tried to will strength into her...

    ZEERAK WASEEM

    The Bela thing?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand heals Bela of her fatigue before Moiraine can.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Since people are asking, Rand's first use of the Power is healing Bela of her fatigue. He feels the effects later in Baerlon, I think.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Are there any Theorylanders/Dragonmounters who can confirm this for me? Maybe give some specifics or a thread for people?

    ADAM PETTY

    Didn't Moiraine bring that to his attention at the end of The Eye of the World or The Dragon Reborn?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think she did, but either way, I missed it first read-through.

    JO KENEBEL

    Actually doesn't Moiraine confirm it later, she says something like "I had suspicions from the first...then there was Bela..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I was asking for confirmation on his sickness, not whether he channeled. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    On the subject of Rand's channeling, a lot of people are bringing up the event on the ship outside of Shadar Logoth.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll talk about this when we get there. I've read a lot of theories on this one arguing for both sides. I've never made up my mind.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wotfaq on Rand channeling: http://bit.ly/fBBrCz I've read enough questions from theory-types on the second one to make me question.

    TEREZ

    Like what? Seems pretty straightforward to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...Linda to the rescue. Once again, 13th Depository has an exhaustive look at all this: http://bit.ly/gYgU7Z (Thanks @einarjh.)

    TEREZ

    She doesn't question it either. :D I have not seen a case against it. Also, Vin using up her 'luck' reminded me of that. :)

    MATT HATCH

    Brandon, come on over. We'd love to "entertain" your theory against Bela. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My theory against Bela?

    MATT HATCH

    Thought "theories on this one arguing for both sides. I've never made up my mind" meant you were undecided on Bela...

    MATT HATCH

    ...as the first instance of channeling. But now I see you were speaking of the sickness.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The ship is what I was talking about. I remember reading, in the early days, some people trying to refute that one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The reason everyone misses the first times Rand channels is because the sickness after the lightning is so much more memorable.

    HBFFERREIRA

    The mast swinging and killing a Trolloc, right? I remember thinking ta'veren during my re-read.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's what I thought for a long time too. Might still think it. I want to watch it this read.

    LUCKERS

    Re: Rand's first channelings—do you know of the theory that Rand channeled to bring them to the Eye...

    LUCKERS

    Compare the last few moments before they reach the Eye with when Rand heals Bela of her tiredness.

    LUCKERS

    If that is one of the first channelings, it's not on any list. Always intrigued me. RJ was so subtle sometimes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll watch for that, Luckers. Thanks for the heads up.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    Okay, we come to Rand using the One Power to swing the boom on the ship and hit the Trolloc. The argument against this one...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...is that the Power doesn't actually seem to move the boom. The boat shakes for some reason, which swings it down.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    In the other two cases, Rand does something actively. In this, it seems more accidental. It's enough of an argument to make me wonder.

    TEREZ

    Who says Rand didn't shake the boat with the Power? Besides, the aftereffects are what make us sure.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    I agree. He jolted the boat which dislodged many Trollocs and the boom swept the one attacking him away.

    JOHN IN PUEBLO

    Are you saying him being ta'veren caused it to move?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm saying I've been made to wonder. The biggest point against it is the sickness he feels after.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 JANUARY)

    So, Rand on the rigging really must be an after-effect of channeling. But it doesn't HAVE to mean he did it on the night with the boat.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It could have happened in the days between, and... and I'm sounding like @theoryland, aren't I? You guys are a bad influence on me.

    TEREZ

    If you actually hung out @theoryland you would never put such an unsupported theory forward for fear of our scorn. ;)

    TEREZ

    Sometimes, Occam's Razor is your friend. Alas.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. You want me to think your theories are all well-supported? You think I haven't heard @theoryland's Avi theory?

    TEREZ

    Hey, that was MY theory. And it was way more supported than yours! hmph... (though I didn't believe it really)

    MATT HATCH

    Ouch. I should get Jenn to do an Asmodean panel at JordanCon. I need an outlet for my glossary disdain.

    TEREZ

    While all of us in the apathy camp think the glossary reveal was JUST PERFECT TAKE THAT YOU CHUMPS.

    MATT HATCH

    Of course you were happy, because it was the apathetic way to reveal it...I really need that panel, Jenn!

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Tell Shannan. I think we have room for another theory panel.

    TEREZ

    Also, Moiraine clearly says that early unconscious channeling always comes in response to a desperate need.

    TEREZ

    We know it was smooth sailing after they left Shadar Logoth, so no opportunity to make Rand channel.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Where did you get the idea that this was my theory? Just something I was curious about. :P

    TEREZ

    Just from the fact that you were, you know, defending it. :p I know you said you had read it back in the day though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Unfortunately, I don't really GET to have theories any more, since I can just look up the answers or ask Maria. :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And the theories I do have I don't really get to post about, since they will influence the series end. Maybe once A Memory of Light is done,

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll pick a few things the notes are silent on, explain that they're silent, then jump in with some good, old-fashioned theories.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That won't stop me from making random comments as I read, though, so maybe those count as my theories.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I am keeping a list, though, to get answers on as I go. Already got a few, actually....

    TEREZ

    That would be awesome. In the meantime, feel free to defend silly theories. It gives us something to do. ;)

    Tags

  • 29

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Felix Pax (5 January 2011)

    Did RJ specifically state in his notes that the three Aiel Dreamwalkers were clueless about the 'breaking of the seals'?

    FELIX PAX

    I ask, because those same three Aiel Dreamwalkers are implied to know the final use of Callandor early in the series.

    Brandon Sanderson (5 January 2011)

    Before I reply, expand on that question, if you will. Humor me.

    FELIX PAX

    It's Amys, Bair, Melaine reactions to Egwene's words in Towers of Midnight Chapter "A Vow" (Egwene POV) I'm wondering about.

    FELIX PAX

    Quotation: "but his words were those of madness. He said he is going to break the seals on the Dark One's prison."

    FELIX PAX

    Amys and Bair both froze. "You are certain of this?" Bair asked. "Yes."

    FELIX PAX

    "This is disturbing news," Amys said."We will consult with him on this. Thank you for bringing this to us."

    FELIX PAX

    My question is if all the Wise One sit around the Heart of the Stone, repeatedly, and look at Callandor.

    FELIX PAX

    Should not the Wise Ones have knowledge about the breaking of the seals? They already know about Callandor's use.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll say this. RJ's writing, notes, and outline were very present in that entire sequence. Much less Brandon there.

    Footnote

    Felix is a little notorious for being insane, so don't worry if you don't get it.

    Tags

  • 30

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Ryan Lawler (6 January 2011)

    I'm a bit ahead on my #wotrr but I am confused by Byar's actions in The Eye of the World chapter 38. He seems to "noble" for deceitful actions...

    RYAN LAWLER

    It also seems out of character for Byar to release suspected Darkfriends who killed Whitecloaks. Insight on his reasoning?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Byar never was noble. What he does there is more telling of who he is than anything he says or claims.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He wants them dead. Trick them into an escape attempt, then get them executed.

    Tags

  • 31

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Austin Moore (6 January 2011)

    Who was the Lord of Chaos that Demandred and Taim both mention? There has been tons of debate.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Really? I thought that one was obvious. What's the debate about?

    Terez

    It's Rand. Look in the BWB re: Feast of Fools.

    Austin Moore

    Why was Demandred and Taim saying, "Let the Lord of Chaos rule" if it was Rand? Sorry just read through series once so far :(

    Terez

    Here's a quote for you:

    The Feast of Fools
    Celebrated in Tammaz (in Arad Doman and the Borderlands) or Saven (everywhere else), the exact day varying according to locality. A day in which all order is deliberately inverted; the high perform lowly tasks (running errands, serving at table, etc.) while the low do no work and give orders to their usual superiors. In many villages and towns the most foolish person is given a title such as the Lord/Lady of Unreason/Misrule/Chaos or the King/Queen of Fools. Not an honor sought, but for that one day everyone has to obey whatever orders, however foolish, are given by the chosen one. (Called the Festival of Unreason in Saldaea; the Festival of Fools in Kandor; Foolday in Baerlon and the Two Rivers.)

    Matt Hatch

    I've always enjoyed this theory about the Lord of Chaos. It's fun.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a good theory for people to be reading.

    Terez

    YAY. OMG, that theory has been on the rocks for years because of contradicting tour reports.

    Terez

    Also, your tour quotes were vague enough to allow it but most people didn't see it that way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't say the theory was true, just that you should study it. :) But I would like to see those tour reports.

    Terez

    Yes, yes. :) Also, your vague(ish) wording. And the contradicting RJ reports.

    Footnote

    Adding to Brandon's implications here is Sorilea's comment in reference to the balefiring of Natrin's Barrow, in The Gathering Storm Chapter 27: "We felt the world warping from here, but did not know what had caused it. We assumed it to be the Dark One's work." (Similar to the ripples Perrin and Faile experienced in Knife of Dreams.) This opens up the possibility that people have no idea really what they're talking about when they assume that the warping of reality is due to the Dark One's touch, just as Alviarin had no idea what she was talking about when she assumed that the rotting food was the Dark One's touch (Knife of Dreams, Prologue).

    Tags

  • 32

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Austin Moore (6 January 2011)

    Yes or no, the place where Asmodean died is significant to why he can't be resurrected?

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Ha. You want me to clear EVERYTHING up? I have to leave @theoryland something to talk about.

    Tags

  • 33

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Nynaeve is a divisive force among WoT fans. Yes, she likes to call men wool-headed. Next time you read, though, watch her actions.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She often speaks in a way influenced by her culture. But if you watch her body language and intent, she's a very different person.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    An excellent example of this is her conversation with Rand in The Eye of the World 16. She very reasonable, empathetic, and treats Rand as an adult.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, she calls all men wool-headed. If you want to understand Nynaeve, see these comments as kin to a Seanchan "May she live forever".

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sure, she means them. Kind of. But mostly, they're just things you say when you are part of her culture.

    LEAH DEHNEL

    Its not just Nynaeve though, there's not a main character who is a woman who doesn't voice these sentiments at least once...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's why I argue it's cultural. Makes sense in a culture where men who have magic are a danger, but women are a resource.

    MIGNON FOGARTY

    I find Nynaeve very annoying. She's such an irrational pill.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. I can't help seeing her, even still, as a big sister.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    "Dresses were not made for stalking."—Nynaeve, trying to sneak while wearing one. Gender roles are fascinating in the WoT. For example...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Harriet edits so we're careful to use non-gender-specific terms. Fisher instead of fishermen, as that's the preferred WoT usage.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The world has blatant sexism on both sides, and yet, at the same time there's far more gender equality than found in most cultures.

    Tags

  • 34

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Austin Moore (6 January 2011)

    So what exactly is different about the outline you are making this time compared to for The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight? Besides...

    AUSTIN MOORE

    ...them being different books.

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Afraid I can't answer that without giving too much away.

    Tags

  • 35

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    At the 35% mark we have Mat speaking the Old Tongue for the first time, books ahead of him getting memories stuck in his head.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always found this a very curious event. Of the five Two Riversers, Mat's powers are the most subtly foreshadowed in the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Unless you count the short exchange between Lan and Perrin about wolves in a much earlier chapter.

    KRIT PETTY

    I thought that Mat's Old Tongue was a small way of RJ letting you think maybe Mat was the important one, not Rand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, I think you're right on that count. It was certainly meant to make us think.

    LEE DAVIS

    The speaking the Old Tongue is from his bloodline though, not his memories in that case, isn't it?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, but it's still foreshadowing. He's the one who does it, not the others.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    In The Eye of the World, is Mat remembering the Old Tongue from his own past life or from his ancestors?

    TEREZ

    Good question. He seems to have confirmed Old Blood for the Old Tongue, but the Aemon memory?

    FELIX PAX

    That's what my belief is, Aemon. Mat Cauthon is the reborn soul of Aemon. Aemon's Old Tongue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It isn't made clear. It could be either. The implication is his bloodline.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Aemon connection is certainly implied strongly.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (7 JANUARY)

    "A metal tower?" Rand said. "I'll bet there's treasure inside," Mat said. "A thing like that must have been made to protect something..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is the start of Mat acting tainted, which always makes me sad. It will be a while before I can read him as himself again.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First time one of the boys thinks, "I wish [insert other boy] were here. He knows what to say to women" happens at the 48% mark.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (10 JANUARY)

    I love that in the scene in Four Kings, the fact that the innkeeper is thin seems almost as ill an omen as a flock of ravens.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I wonder if Mat wearing the scarf around his head here is foreshadowing intentionally, or by coincidence, of the scarf on his neck.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Either way, there's some other strong foreshadowing there of events in Towers of Midnight, though I won't say specifics to avoid spoilers.

    ADAM DOWARD

    I've been wondering for ages is Mat going to wear an eye patch? Or will he wear a strip of cloth like Gemmel's Grymauch?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not sure what I think of the "start chapter, flashback to what has happened since last chapter" narrative style RJ prefers here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't think he does it as much later. In these first books, he seems more worried about characters going chronologically off of each other.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that I do like flashbacks, and think that Chapter 33 is interesting structurally. I don't know if it fits just right, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A good point: Some note that the erratic timeline here does help reinforce the sense of sickness from Rand and Mat's growing paranoia.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, it's fun that Mat is getting paranoid and crazy because of the dagger—except when he's thinking about food or a nice bed.

    Tags

  • 36

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Amusingly, as a young man, I was annoyed at Nynaeve and Moiraine. But I didn't bat an eye when the boys ran off alone in Shadar Logoth.

    KAT R

    How old were you when you first started reading WoT books?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    14 or 15. It was right around my birthday, so I don't know if it was before or after.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Speaking of Shadar Logoth, Harriet tells a story involving it. Tor wanted to print small teasers of The Eye of the World to distribute and hook folks.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Harriet, the editor, insisted that the booklets go all the way to Shadar Logoth. She thought that would be sure to draw people in.

    Tags

  • 37

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    First non-Rand viewpoint is Perrin, at about the 38% mark. RJ's juggling of viewpoints is something I didn't see until I was older.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many a new fantasy writer, fresh off a WoT book, plans and plots a huge epic with twenty viewpoints. That can be overwhelming to start.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Both WoT and GRRM ease into it more than you realize. In most cases, it's better to build to complexity.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'd forgotten that Perrin nearly decides to drop his axe in the water as he swims. But he keeps it, almost against logic.

    VARGA TAMÁS

    Are there actually clues in WoT that you did not find so far? That's cool.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I always find new things when I reread.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Good suggestion: @Terez27 says if you have a WoT question, and want to see if it's been asked before, you can direct it to her first.

    AARON J

    Skipped your tweets when you warned against spoilers; are you on a #wotrr binge at the moment? Can I read without worry?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For the next four months, I'll be doing the reread. Spoilers will be present, but hopefully vague enough to not ruin things.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But I'll be posting about the reread almost every day.

    Tags

  • 38

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (6 January 2011)

    Lan to Thom, as they prepare to flee: "You can ride with us, or ride to Shayol Ghul, gleeman." Well...actually...

    LUCKERS

    I'm curious, do you think RJ intended Thom as a red-herring for who brought the Trollocs on Winternight?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think he wanted us to wonder about Moiraine, honestly. Just a little. I don't think Thom was a red herring, but maybe.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think "Wow, someone BROUGHT the Trollocs?" was the surprise. We didn't know they had anyone on the inside, so to speak.

    Tags

  • 39

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Luckers (7 January 2011)

    Pillow Friends = Friends brought together by an interest in the various types of pillows that exist. Right Brandon?

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    Ha. I'll say that's something I missed on my first few reads.

    Tags

  • 40

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    I've been reminded by @Darth_Andrea that I never did tweet this awesome WoT fan art: http://bit.ly/fwaQ3n

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A note on that fan art—I don't think @Darth_Andrea made it. She just tweeted it to me. Find the artist at the deviantart link at the bottom.

    BRANDON KESTER

    Does anyone else find it hard to believe that neither Robert Jordan or @BrandonSandrson has won a Hugo Award?!?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's sad that RJ never won. I don't even think he got nominated, not for a Hugo or a World Fantasy award.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Does anyone have a transcript of Guy Kay talking about RJ at the World Fantasy awards?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here's that speech I wanted: http://bit.ly/h9XuPp This should be read by every fantasy fan, WoT reader or not. (Also: G.G. Kay is awesome.)

    Tags

  • 41

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2011)

    I love that in our second Perrin viewpoint ever, he's already grumbling about being made a leader—right after expertly taking charge.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hm. Never noticed that before. First time Perrin sees Elyas's eyes: "Some memory tickled the back of Perrin's mind." Thoughts?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Perrin later dismisses this premonition as simply "Oh, I was thinking of wolf eyes." But I wonder. Was he a Wolfbrother in past lives?

    TEREZ

    RJ said that Wolfbrotherness is a soul trait. http://bit.ly/eVwO6u So, possible, though it wouldn't be a recent life.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, that depends. I know a lot of fans believe that in most cases, lives are once per Age, with the soul going somewhere between.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I can't remember if RJ ever said anything on this.

    TEREZ

    Yeah, but Birgitte lived several lives in this Age. I always assumed it was because she can't channel (shorter lifespan).

    Tags

  • 42

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (8 January 2011)

    Much has been made of the blue flash when Thom fights the Fade. I can't say what it was, but it's not what most seem to think.

    Tags

  • 43

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Shannon Alexy (10 January 2011)

    Do you include the chapter Ravens on your The Eye of the World reread or not since it's not part of the original publishing?

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    I'll read it, I just have to dig it out. I can't remember where I stuck it.

    Tags

  • 44

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Luckers (10 January 2011)

    I wonder if Whitebridge is made of spinglass. Does anyone have an answer?

    TEREZ

    I always took 'spinglass' to be a WoT way of saying 'spun glass'. Very fragile. Also...

    TEREZ

    'The man opened his mouth to protest as citizens always did; they seemed to think Aiel were made of spinglass'.

    TEREZ

    Obviously fragile is what he's getting at. Now, if you could do it like cuendillar...that's different.

    TEREZ

    Per Moghedien I get the impression there are many forms of cuendillar. Maybe iron is easiest.

    LUCKERS

    That's a good point—I missed the spinglass = fragile reference. As for cuendillar... perhaps.

    LUCKERS

    There is an argument in the same vein towards Callandor being cuendillar.

    TEREZ

    Well, people argued Callandor=cuendillar because it stopped balefire. But if Perrin can do it... :)

    LUCKERS

    There was also Osan'gar's comment during the cleansing that though the Choedan Kal would be destroyed...

    LUCKERS

    ... he'd still have Callandor. Of course he could have meant to balefire Rand and attack Narishma. Still, weird.

    KRIT PETTY

    Callandor is the most powerful sa'angreal without the Choedan Kal. He might just be noting the fact.

    LUCKERS

    It's the expectation that he would have Callandor after he balefired the hill which is significant.

    TEREZ

    He didn't say he was going to balefire the whole hill. Elza got his hill, though. ;)

    TEREZ

    Strongest Rand could manage with fat man was man-thick. He could sweep it, but it's not necessary.

    LUCKERS

    I did make that point, but it's weird, risking Narishma's response to the attack.

    LUCKERS

    Rand was distracted, why not kill Narishma first, then Rand. Also Osan'gar links the balefire to...

    LUCKERS

    ... Rand's death—"But still, he could take Callandor after al'Thor was dead."—as if it's a result.

    TEREZ

    I read it as him seeing Rand as the only real threat.

    LUCKERS

    Which is weird, in itself. Callandor circle responding to reversed webs—a scary, and impossible thing for someone from the Age of Legends.

    TEREZ

    True, but he might have figured out the ter'angreal thing like Demandred, and he was at point blank range (for balefire).

    RUTH HINCKLEY

    So if the cuendillar Egwene makes is white, why are the seals half black? Saidin-made? Different type of cuendillar?

    TEREZ

    re: black/white, I always figured this was why Elayne couldn't get the colors right with the stone ring (no man).

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    @WoTLuckers @Lironah @Terez27 Now that's an interesting conversation. Re: cuendillar.

    TEREZ

    lol, now I get to catalog the whole conversation because Brandon said it was interesting.

    Tags

  • 45

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Pop quiz: What is the first thing that makes Perrin hate his axe? (It's something I've always found very interesting about him.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's not Whitecloaks, though that's a good guess. Perrin thinks if the ravens attack, he'll kill Egwene & save her from a worse death.

    LORI ELENA MELE

    Ah, I'd forgotten about that. Elyas goading him about it didn't help either, as I recall.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, Elyas all but taunted the truth out of him.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Regarding how Elyas goads Perrin in that scene: I'm sure he knew exactly what Perrin was thinking, and wanted to make him confront it.

    TEREZ

    Well, yeah. Perrin didn't say anything about what he was thinking. Elyas said it all, exactly what he was thinking.

    TEREZ

    Both his true motivations—choosing her death—and the motivations he feared (which were stupid, of course).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No. Elyas claims that he thinks Perrin hates Egwene. Which is dead wrong, and Elyas knew it.

    TEREZ

    Right, that's what I was saying. Both his true motivations and the stupid ones. Elyas mocks him for the latter.

    TEREZ

    And then spells out what he really wanted: 'One clean blow of your axe, or the way the animals we saw today died?'

    TEREZ

    It's not that Perrin was thinking he hated her. He was hating himself for wanting to help her, which was dumb.

    TEREZ

    Which of course led to a philosophical conversation similar to Second Amendment debates. Which was ongoing, of course.

    TEREZ

    Did the axe make Perrin more likely to kill? Than before? Than with the hammer? What about the sword, and the spear?

    TEREZ

    I see it as Elyas very blatantly pointing out the flaw in Perrin's logic. He didn't hate her—that was exactly the flaw.

    TEREZ

    Didn't hate her, but he hated the axe, and that was a good thing. Never stopped. (Another good cover @torbooks)

    Tags

  • 46

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    Curious: First mention of the Fisher King concept happens when Rand is dreaming, still half-sick, in the back of Bunt's wagon.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Is this our first Lews Therin moment? Bunt wouldn't have mentioned it, and neither would have Ishamael. Unless it's actually something Thom said.

    TEREZ

    I assumed was a True Dream, including Thom's connection to the queen, and Rand & Tam with the sword.

    TEREZ

    But the first Lews Therin moment was in chapter nine when Rand recognized Shayol Ghul (and maybe Ishamael too).

    MATT HATCH

    I'd say Ishamael recognition is a fact in chapter nine. There are some nice comparisons with the prologue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, you probably have a point there. Though you might argue that this is a shade of Lews Therin speaking to him, for the first time.

    TEREZ

    I might, but I wouldn't. :D It's more interesting to me the other way, and Rand didn't dream Lews Therin's dreams much.

    TEREZ

    He remarked on the strangeness of it in The Path of Daggers before Lews Therin came back (after having been chased away by Cadsuane).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wait. What?

    TEREZ

    I remembered it wrong. Lord of Chaos 19: 'Lews Therin's dreams. That had never happened before, not dreaming the man's dreams.'

    TEREZ

    In A Crown of Swords 41 while Lews Therin is gone, Rand still hears the voice in a dream.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, I see what you're saying. (I think.) Is your argument this: "Lews Therin doesn't talk to Rand in dreams. Therefore, this isn't Lews Therin?"

    LUCKERS

    I think deep down her argument is probably more 'Lews Therin doesn't talk to Rand at all'. ;)

    TEREZ

    Whether Lews Therin really talks to Rand at all or not, this would be quite atypical & strange. As Thom? Why?

    LUCKERS

    Why would Lews Therin speak as Thom? The moustaches baby, the moustaches.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Curious. So who do you think is speaking to Rand the Fisher King words, if it's not a Lews Therin memory?

    TEREZ

    It's a dream. Why does there have to be a 'real' ;) person involved?

    TEREZ

    But I do appreciate the hint. :) [That is, the hint that Lews Therin was also one with the land, and was aware of it. This might be what Brandon was getting at with his Easter egg thing.]

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't normally dream things that happen to be word-for-word true prophecies. Rand's not a Dreamer. He got the info somewhere.

    TEREZ

    Now I'm going to cry. :( Why can't Rand be a Dreamer?? So chapter nine was completely fabricated by Ishamael? That is weird.

    TEREZ

    None of the other dreams influenced by Ishamael were anything like that. How did he create all of those people in Tar Valon?

    TEREZ

    Why would Ishamael first prevent Rand from reaching Tar Valon, and then force him to go to the Tower? Makes no sense. :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. I'm not sure if you're being serious or not. Is there some theory on Rand being a Dreamer that I should know?

    TEREZ

    I'm being serious. There's a hint Asmodean's warding might prevent True Dreams. Also...

    TEREZ

    Egwene was guided to it, but Rand had no one to guide him if he was a Dreamer. And everything in The Eye of the World nine was true.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Either it's Lews Therin, it's something someone told him in the real world, or it's Ishamael giving him the info.

    TEREZ

    Maybe he had heard The Karaethon Cycle from Thom at fireside on the way to Baerlon, though. Would make sense.

    TEREZ

    Well, not on the way to Baerlon, since he mentions them for the first time in Baerlon. But maybe on the Spray.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll entertain an argument that it's basically 'known' information, or that Thom mentioned it.

    LUCKERS

    Did you see my cultural idea? That it might be Rand's subconscious—like the way everyone knows the Dark One's name?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But it really seems like a memory, and we've never seen people mentioning it, while naming the Dark One we see.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll look up answers on this one for sure; right now, I'm just speaking by instinct. But I read the Fisher King concept as...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...coming from Lews Therin/Rand's subconscious and being fed through Thom's mouth as Rand's mind fit it into the dream.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm also pretty sure Rand's not a Dreamer, though he does have uncommon power over his dreams.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But he does not see specific prophecies in his dreams (other than a few debatable moments) nor enter Tel'aran'rhiod spontaneously.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But I'll look into it. I rebel against it because Dreaming is basically Egwene's thing.

    TEREZ

    Also, didn't Perrin pretty much just show her that it wasn't HER thing any more? :p

    TEREZ

    And yeah, I know his prophetic dreams only happen in Tel'aran'rhiod. But I just want a male Dreamer dangit!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Perrin does something different. Also, Egwene was caught off guard and had been spending a lot of time lately doing other things.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It would be unwise to assume that Perrin is better at Tel'aran'rhiod than she is because of that moment. He had just spent weeks training...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...specifically to fight like that in Tel'aran'rhiod, while Egwene has been forced to fight other fights and let herself get a tad rusty.

    TEREZ

    haha, yeah I know. I have argued much the same against Egwene-haters. I did enjoy that moment though.

    TEREZ

    Why do all the prophets have to be female? Foretelling I can see because of the taint, but the rest? Except Perrin.

    TEREZ

    The Thom dream used to make me think I was missing something, or maybe a deleted scene. Very odd.

    TEREZ

    Also, even with the taint seems like we should have had a male Foretelling by now, or a dreamer. Something.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, out of fondness, I'll let you know that I DO know of at least one male (other than Perrin) who can see the future.

    TEREZ

    lol. The male Aelfinn?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Dang. You're too clever. Okay, then, I promise you there's actually a man—human—who meets your requirements.

    Footnote

    In retrospect, it seems most likely that RJ did in fact pare down Thom's earlier conversation about the prophecies (in The Eye of the World Chapter 13, or in another place), not wanting to give too much away. The dream in Chapter 34 should have been a recollection of what Thom had told him. It's possible that Brandon was correct and it had something to do with Lews Therin, but I find it unlikely for many reasons (some covered in the conversation). Also worth noting is that in the previous chapter, during Rand's fever dreams, Thom mentioned the Black Ajah, which had not previously been mentioned to Rand on screen. Also, this hint from Brandon was the first of many concerning the male prophet; the other clues make it pretty clear that Moridin is a Dreamer.

    Tags

  • 47

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Luckers (10 January 2011)

    By the way about my question re: Moridin's sexuality, my friend now thinks Moridin is in love with the Dark One... :S

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    I didn't catch the Moridin question first time around. Would you ask again?

    TEREZ

    He asked if Moridin was gay since he's evil but doesn't appear to be interested in taking advantage of his pets.

    LUCKERS

    What she said. He seems very asexual in general. The thought came after reading the Moghedien/Shaidar Haran/Moridin scene.

    LUCKERS

    It's also not just that I think he should be raping them because he's evil, it's just there is a complete lack of interest.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As for your Moridin question, it is a good one. I'll look into it as well. I haven't seen anything either way in the notes.

    Tags

  • 48

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (10 January 2011)

    "He was sure he would never get another chance to see a Queen, and he hoped he would never have another to see a False Dragon"—Rand

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. I had in my head that Elayne picked up her swearing habit while traveling—but here she is, already speaking oaths to burn Rand's ears.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    What to say of Rand falling into Elayne's garden in Chapter 40? As a youth, I rooted for Elayne and Rand quite a bit. Until I met Aviendha.

    JERA PERTH

    Never Rand and Min? Seemed the coolest choice to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I like Min, but remember, when I first read this book it was the only WoT book. In my mind it was "Egwene or Elayne?"

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I loved this sequence as a young man. What could be better than the hero of the book accidentally falling into a princess's lap?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, because of lighter-fare fantasy novels, I thought Elayne would join him immediately and pretty much only be Rand's love interest.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's amusing to look at myself twenty years ago, reading The Eye of the World when no others in the series were out and trying to guess where it would go.

    Tags

  • 49

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (11 January 2011)

    I'm now onto the last part of The Eye of the World. I've mentioned before that I, personally, find this the roughest part of the entire series.

    FELIX PAX

    Worse than books between Lord of Chaos and Winter's Heart? Really?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, honestly. I've mentioned before I don't have the problem with those that others do.

    DOVI JOEL

    Do you mean roughest as in not well written? I love that part, I find it so epic (especially when the Creator talks to him). [Note: this is Dovi Joel's assumption.]

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    None of it is poorly written. In fact, some of the scenes—such as the Ways—are wonderful.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's just that it seems like we have a different book, with different goals, starting on us here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The climax for The Eye of the World doesn't completely click for me. I like the Ways, I like the Blight, but the entire package feels too sudden.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We spend the entire book with Tar Valon as our goal and Ba'alzamon as villain. Now, the Eye is the goal and two Forsaken are villains.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Personally, I think this is due to RJ planning books 1-3 as one novel, then discovering it was too much and creating a break-point.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To be fair, I feel I had some of the same problems at the end of Mistborn. Powers manifest that I could have foreshadowed better.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One of the great challenges as a writer, particularly in fantasy, is to learn that balance of foreshadowing vs. pacing.

    BONZI

    And I would think, foreshadowing effectively vs. giving away too much.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, exactly.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (11 JANUARY)

    For those curious, I'm reasonably sure books 1-3 were one novel at first. Tom Doherty, CEO of Tor, told me in detail of RJ's WoT pitch.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He pitched a trilogy, but the first book ended with Rand taking the sword (that wasn't a sword) from the Stone (that wasn't a stone.)

    MICHAEL REYNOLDS

    The sword in the stone!!! How on Earth did I miss that? :shame:

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. I missed it the first time too. And things like Caemlyn, Egwene, Gawyn, Galad, Merrilin. I at least got Artur Hawkwing...

    MICHAEL REYNOLDS

    Ever feel like RJ removed any possibility of borrowing from any mythology ever again? He seemingly hit 'em all buffet-style.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Actually, I've felt that very thing.

    JAMES POWELL

    I'd heard that one reason that WOT is so long is that Tor asked RJ for "more books", and he thought they meant "more WOT".

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's not actually true, from what I know. Tor never pushed RJ for more books. He was allowed to what he wanted, as he wanted.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People are noting George R.R. Martin expanded A Song of Ice and Fire also. RJ and GRRM are similar types of writers: http://bit.ly/e59ox0 Search for 'gardener.'

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm am more of an architect than a gardener. I do more 'gardening' on character, but I plan world and plot very extensively.

    FELIX PAX

    Did RJ have a cluster of concepts, themes or concepts written down in his notes? Mindmaps? To create his story's "garden"?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, many.

    FELIX PAX (17 JANUARY)

    What do you think of the literary method of foreshadowing by saying something is impossible to do or will not occur?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think it can work very well. RJ certainly did it quite a bit. You need to be somewhat subtle with it, though.

    Tags

  • 50

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (11 January 2011)

    You know, Lan's backstory is a lot like Superman's.

    HBFFERREIRA

    Isam = Bizarro?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    Does Lan still have the locket from his mother? It was never mentioned again after The Eye of the World.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That is an excellent question.

    Tags

  • 51

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2011)

    It's interesting to see how much Loial adds to these scenes. His personality is a balancing factor; calm, knowledgeable, not arrogant.

    SHIVAM BHATT

    And yet, Loial disappears in the end game. Please bring him back for the finale!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The Wheel Weaves as the Wheel Wills, and I do as I must.

    KYLE WEST

    Is it hard for you to still enjoy the series now that you are "behind the scenes"?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think I enjoy it more, now, actually. Though I am a little sad not to be able to read new WoT books when everyone else does.

    Tags

  • 52

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2011)

    Reading about the Green Man makes me think of the Jordancon costume contest. Look for him in these pics: http://bit.ly/fovZdi

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    One of the Forsaken attacks Lan. Nynaeve's response: Charge in with a knife. That always amused me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, the foreshadowing in this sequence is brilliant. The Green Man speaks of things that become important thousands of pages away.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, I'm not going to tell you what the VOICE at the end of The Eye of the World was. Lots of people like to ask, though.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand, at the end of Eye of the World. "Oh, I won't ever touch it again. Not if I have to cut my hand off, first."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The book ends with a short Moiraine viewpoint. That makes four VPs in this book by my count. Rand, Nynaeve, Perrin, Moiraine.

    Tags

  • 53

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Thomas Grossnickle (12 January 2011)

    What philosophies have influenced WoT? I feelt a bit of the Hindu Creator, Preserver, & Destroyer ...

    THOMAS GROSSNICKLE

    ...with Lews Therin an avatar of preservation and Rand the Destroyer...

    THOMAS GROSSNICKLE

    Who destroys the world when it is beyond preserving, only to create it anew.

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2011)

    I see a lot of that too. I'm convinced RJ blended something from most major philosophies and mythologies into the books.

    Tags

  • 54

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Jonathan Ruholl (17 January 2011)

    Some friends and I are making a tournament bracket for monsters (194 total). We have three Darkhounds vs a Myrddraal. Thoughts?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    New or old Darkhounds?

    FELIX PAX

    Huh? Is there a meaningful difference between new or old Darkhounds?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    :)

    FELIX PAX

    So readers should expect new nasty winks from the Shadow, aye? It's as if Osan'gar is alive again making creatures.

    FELIX PAX

    At least during the Age of Legends, Aginor (later named Osan'gar) did create new devilish creatures.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, and they no longer have Aginor. But I wouldn't say that means there won't be anything new.

    Footnote

    Brandon is probably hinting with that last that Aginor had nothing to do with the new breed of Darkhounds. The new ones can do the Terminator II thing and reform after being chopped to pieces, and the prevailing theory suggests that this is because Slayer has been creating them in Tel'aran'rhiod, so they have some inherent properties of the Dream World. They probably cannot be killed by anything short of balefire. The old Darkhounds are nearly as tough—Moiraine used balefire to kill the ones that chased them in The Dragon Reborn—but Perrin managed to kill one after shooting it a few times.

    Tags

  • 55

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    On to The Great Hunt today. #Superstars slowed me down over the weekend, but I'm ready to jump back into it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The The Eye of the World prologue is the series' best, but the one in The Great Hunt today (the 'Darkfriend social' as fans call it) has always been a favorite too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This scene is the first one that made me start to try to figure out who was a Darkfriend and who wasn't.

    SHIKHA SINGH

    There are no Ogier mentioned at the Darkfriend social. Does that mean there are no Ogier Darkfriends?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RAFO.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's much discussed, but if you haven't noticed: Darkfriend social has Aes Sedai, then we learn Moiraine had been mysteriously absent.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ was very sneaky. This sent the WoT fandom into huge circles of wild-goose-chasing, many thinking Moiraine was a Darkfriend.

    BENJAMIN VAN HOESEN

    Do writers really think about the fan conspiracy theories that much when writing? Seems like J. K. Rowling did a bunch. Do you?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ certainly did. I do on occasion. Depends on the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "Most of the men at Fal Dara accepted Rand...some seemed unable to forget his being an outlander. Masema was the worst of those."

    TEREZ

    heh. Because Masema thought he was an Aiel! But yeah, the host of series-running characters introduced early...

    TEREZ

    ...is well-played. Many in The Eye of the World, more in The Great Hunt today. I have wondered if Bunt was RJ's choice or yours for 'Apples'.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Someday, I may answer that question.

    Footnote

    RJ said in the 2002 Wotmania/Dragonmount Q&A that Ogier can be Darkfriends, but he did not confirm that there are any.

    Tags

  • 56

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    Moiraine's plan was for Rand to take Illian first. She's the only Aes Sedai I know to say he needed to go off on his own for a while.

    AARON CASH

    I have considered and contemplated this thought, I think Moiraine remembered that to truly control saidar you must surrender.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's a very good way of looking at it.

    Tags

  • 57

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Emil Schuffhausen (17 January 2011)

    I have six chapters left in The Eye of the World, should catch up by tonight. What scene are you most looking forward to in The Great Hunt?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    I love the ending. Probably that.

    TJ

    While doing your #wotrr, notice the metaphors. Loved RJ's style there. Not noticed in new book. Great though. Halfway so far.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Every time I try to do a Jordan-esque metaphor, I fail, so I remove it. It's an aspect of his style I can't imitate, I'm afraid.

    TJ

    Aw man, I believe you're not giving yourself enough credit, but I'll respect it. Thanks again!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll keep an eye on it. Maybe I'll figure it out. But often it's better to do things in my style rather than to poorly imitate RJ.

    JAN CARRICK

    Will you attempt to move closer to RJ's descriptive style in A Memory of Light? You were close in The Gathering Storm, but departed from that in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm afraid I knew from the beginning that I couldn't imitate RJ's style. I try in some ways, but I am not him.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will write the book the best way I know how, but will not be trying to imitate RJ. I WILL strive for character voice accuracy.

    JAN CARRICK

    Well, the descriptive style is a central feature of WoT. I don't think being more descriptive would constitute imitation.

    JAN CARRICK

    I'm asking because your narrative style was much closer to RJ in The Gathering Storm. I was surprised to see you move away from that in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, I see. You don't mean "Describe in the way RJ did." You mean "Please describe more."

    CHRIS B.

    Do you take notes, besides twittering, during #wotrr?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many.

    MATT H.

    Can you put all of your notes online somewhere? Come on, that's easy...right?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Lol. Those would have so many spoilers in them it would cause several people's heads to explode.

    Tags

  • 58

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Shikha Singh (17 January 2011)

    Nynaeve knitting in Fal Dara is just not her. All later books are on how she can't sew and yet...

    SHIKHA SINGH

    ...in The Great Hunt she knits. Is there any explanation in RJ's notes as to why?

    Brandon Sanderson (17 January 2011)

    There might be an explanation for that, but it would be buried so deeply that...yeah. I'll let you know if I happen across it.

    BRANDON

    Remember, though, there are three million words worth of notes.

    Tags

  • 59

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Oh, Rand. You're such a...a...well, teenage boy in some of these chapters. Also, a wool-headed fool.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hide in fear, paranoid that the Aes Sedai want you...then the moment you think Egwene might be in danger, out you go, sword in hand!

    Tags

  • 60

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    I often equate writers and stage magicians, using misdirection, foreshadowing, and false leads to keep a plot interesting.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If you want a great example of this, watch how RJ hides a certain traitor in The Great Hunt in plain sight, yet keeps you misdirected.

    Tags

  • 61

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Much has been made of Moiraine thinking of Mat: "He is not necessary with the Horn gone." (This is long before he's blown it.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think it's a lot of fuss over nothing. Her plan was to have Mat, eager for adventure, draw Rand into carrying the Horn south.

    Tags

  • 62

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Foreshadowing some probably missed in The Great Hunt chapter seven. Prophecy of the Shadow found in the prison: "Which hand shelters? Which hand slays?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    (For further reading on that foreshadowing I mentioned, look for a chapter titled "The One He Lost" in The Gathering Storm.)

    Terez

    Ah yeah, I remember reading it now. Seemed to me to be more of a poetic connection than a real one, though.

    Terez

    I phrased that badly, but I don't know if I would have put it in the 'foreshadowing' category. Maybe 'retroshadowing'.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The connection there is poetic. The foreshadowing isn't of that moment, but more the concept.

    Footnote—Terez

    I think I pretty much figured it out before he responded—it makes a good deal of sense in reference to his Lews Therin dilemma and the dilemma of his harem. I tweeted about all that but Brandon responded to my first tweet, so I spared you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is other foreshadowing in the books that I'm not telling you about because it references A Memory of Light.

    Terez

    I will hopefully catch some of those, though I'm bound to catch a few red herrings as well. :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I just passed a big one in The Great Hunt.

    Terez

    haha, and you know I will be scouring the pages of your vicinity looking for it. :D

    Terez

    My first guess: Mat is immune to Fain's dagger. (chapter seven) Second guess: foreshadowing of Cyndane's importance in A Memory of Light.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope and nope. It's a very innocent line, and I won't tell you more than that. You'll spot it once you read A Memory of Light.

    Terez

    Third: Slayer's role in A Memory of Light. Fourth: Perrin puts on a crown and speaks in High Chant. (the crown at least seems likely)

    Footnote—Terez

    Brandon was responding to my first two guesses, not the third and fourth (as you can see by clicking on the link for his 'nope and nope' tweet, which should show the specific tweet he responded to). He almost certainly saw guesses three and four, but he didn't comment on them.

    Matt Hatch

    Readers, let's go HCFF on an "innocent" comment by @BrandonSandrson re: an A Memory of Light foreshadowing in The Great Hunt, discuss! http://bit.ly/gMZvLI

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've seen someone post on the innocent comment before, FYI. In fact, it was recent.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And Terez has sniffed at it before, I know.

    Terez

    Do you mean sniff as in turn my nose up at it? Or as in I got in the ballpark? Important distinction.

    Terez

    Also, I do not sniff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Sniff" as in I've seen you poke at the line before, and ponder if it has meaning.

    Footnote—Terez

    I don't think that Brandon follows me around on Theoryland, and knowing that I haven't really 'sniffed' at much in these chapters, I think it's most likely he is referring to my fourth guess: the line about Perrin wearing a crown and speaking in High Chant. The update to the glossary entry on Saldaea in Towers of Midnight seems to be another hint in that direction, and of course, Min had a viewing of a Broken Crown for Perrin in way back in The Eye of the World. In order for this to be fulfilled in A Memory of Light, both Tenobia and Bashere will have to abdicate or die (as it was also confirmed in Towers of Midnight that Faile is second in the line of succession).

    Tags

  • 63

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Unless I'm missing one, our first Egwene viewpoint in the series is the way into The Great Hunt. She is our fifth viewpoint character.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Point to @RajivMote: I DID miss an Egwene viewpoint. In "Ravens," the new first chapter of The Eye of the World in the Young Adult repackage of the WoT books.

    ERIN KELLY

    Sixth, if you count Bors and the five seconds of Moraine at the end of The Great Hunt.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I already counted Moraine. Not Bors, though. I'm talking Viewpoint characters, which means characters who commonly have VPs.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Fortune prick me, a Domon viewpoint. Don't know if I'll count him as the sixth VP character, though. We don't return to him frequently.

    HADNAN KADERE

    But you counted Moiraine who only shows up once in The Eye of the World, once in The Shadow Rising, and twice in The Fires of Heaven.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She's got a ton of VP time here at the beginning of The Great Hunt.

    HADNAN KADERE

    She has exactly five VPs in The Great Hunt. She has exactly nine in the whole series (not counting New Spring). That's only three more than Fain.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've been asked who was behind the plot to see Domon dead in The Great Hunt. It was Hamlet, obviously.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (19 JANUARY)

    I'll count Fain as our sixth viewpoint character (or, maybe he's fifth and Egwene is sixth.) I love the scene where they find the dead Fade.

    TEREZ

    Your Inquisitors in Mistborn always made me think of that Fade. Sorry if I've said that before; I can't remember, lol.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes I think there's got to be some kind of unconscious thing going on there on my part. (Re: Fades and Inquisitors.)

    Footnote

    Bors/Carridin had four POVs, while Thom only had four before A Memory of Light, and Domon also had four, but all four were in The Great Hunt.

    Tags

  • 64

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (19 January 2011)

    One reason the WoT's world works so well is that there's a logic to the magic and the magical (yet non Power-related) abilities...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, RJ didn't try to tie it all up too neatly. For a very big world, with lots of history, this helps keep it from being stale.

    ZELDAAR

    Speaking of magical non-Power related abilities—whatever happened to sniffers?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Still around. Hurin was in The Gathering Storm.

    Tags

  • 65

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Luckers (19 January 2011)

    Re-reading The Gathering Storm—I know I'm a silly Cadsuane lover, but I really don't like the The Gathering Storm Cadsuane and Tam scene.

    LUCKERS

    Not because Tam gives Cadsuane the verbal slap down, but because Cadsuane's stupidity in this scene cheapens Tam's victory.

    LUCKERS

    What should have been Tam's greatest moment is merely cathartic for those who hate Cadsuane.

    LUCKERS

    I know that she was off balance with worry about Rand—but even so, Tam defeating Cadsuane in her prime is a brilliant moment lost.

    ASTRIDA FITRI N

    You mean you wished she had clever retorts?

    LUCKERS

    No, actually. I think in the face of Tam's accusations Cadsuane would have openly agreed and accepted his reprimands.

    LUCKERS

    Cadsuane has never been afraid of facing the truth.

    ASTRIDA

    In short, her response to Tam's verbal attack was out of character? Hmm, I would have to reread the scene myself.

    LUCKERS

    It was out of character, yes. Cadsuane's been mostly out of character since the beginning of The Gathering Storm.

    LUCKERS

    In my opinion, of course. :D Still, i feel The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight between them were to be the books were Rand came to equal Cadsuane.

    LUCKERS

    Instead Cadsuane was made less, and it makes Rand's achievements and shut downs of Cadsuane seem small and petty.

    LUCKERS

    He did not even have a mission like Cadsuane did. As I said—cathartic to those who hate Cadsuane, but not good scenes.

    ASTRIDA

    Re: Cadsuane's oddity in The Gathering Storm. Maybe you could point this out to @BrandonSandrson, and see what explanation he could offer you.

    ASTRIDA

    Maybe Cadsuane's strength of character was sacrificed for plot's sake, or for that scene's sake. Just maybe.

    LUCKERS

    I actually did ask @BrandonSandrson about Cadsuane. And Harriet. Got a fairly similar response from both.

    FOOTNOTE

    For those unfamiliar with Twitter, this is the point at which Brandon was made aware of the conversation, as his name was invoked.

    LUCKERS

    My question was: "I think one of Jim's strongest talents was the writing of strong women, and arguably the strongest is Cadsuane...

    LUCKERS

    ...She is the character that fans seem to either love or hate. I’m curious as to your thoughts about her, and her role in the story."

    LUCKERS

    Harriet's answer was "Cadsuane has an important role, for sure."

    LUCKERS

    @BrandonSandrson's was "The fact that people are so passionate about her means that Robert Jordan wrote her the right way."

    LUCKERS

    If Cadsuane's strength of character was sacrificed for plot it's bad writing, and I don't think Brandon would do that.

    LUCKERS

    I think this might be a downside of @BrandonSandrson having been a fan beforehand. The exultation of likeable characters over...

    LUCKERS

    .....unlikeable characters. Egwene in the Tower is endemic of this. (though, I loved that anyway @BrandonSandrson. I'm a hypocrite).

    LUCKERS

    I seem to have been on a negative line of thought tonight. Be aware I love your work on WoT and my quibbles are just that.

    ASTRIDA

    I like her, though Verin intrigues me more. God forbid that I should call that scene "bad writing", but I feel that for Tam to dominate the scene, Cadsuane was made to respond that way.

    LUCKERS

    I disagree. Something along the lines of this would have worked. ... (follow link to see a bit of fanficciness from Luckers) http://tl.gd/88d5tl

    ASTRIDA

    If @BrandonSandrson wasn't a fan, though, he wouldn't handle the books with deepest care like he does. Professionally, still, but not affectionately. :)

    LUCKERS

    I agree absolutely that @BrandonSandrson's fanhood serves him well—I would not have seen the series written by...

    LUCKERS

    ...someone who wasn't a fan, and the depth of his devotion to this series is VERY clear.

    LUCKERS

    This is but one point where is was disadvantageous (in my opinion) against a sea of advantages.

    ASTRIDA

    Agreed. And a non fan would treat the greatest fantasy story of the decade as a mere job (whatever the results of @tordotcom's sff poll, I don't care. I'm muley that way).

    LUCKERS

    I'm curious what you think about my portrayal of that scene?

    ASTRIDA

    Ok, having compared the original with yours, I must say...yes, the original scene portrayed Cadsuane as being much colder than she necessarily is. Then again in defense of Brandon (why would he need it of me? I'm too full of myself), I think Cadsuane in that scene was someone who felt that she wasn't being respected and valued despite all her efforts for Rand. But yes, the verdict is: that's out of character.

    Brandon Sanderson (19 January 2011)

    Ha. I'm afraid that I didn't have a chance to follow all of that. I'm not going to object to Luckers having...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...strong opinions here, though. I don't see him saying anything that I can disagree with, except that we see things...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...differently. Poor Cads was at her wits end in some of those scenes. She was pretty sure she'd doomed the world.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that the fan/non fan as writer argument is a good one, and one I've mentioned myself. This is what you get.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I try hard to not let those things influence me unduly—but if they do, I (by definition) won't be able to notice.

    LUCKERS

    Lol. I would have been surprised if you had got through all that. We went a bit crazy.

    TEREZ

    Curse you Luckers, now I have to document all that because Brandon commented on it! lol...

    LUCKERS

    Hahaha. I'm so gonna look like a douche by the time you're done Terez. *sigh*

    LUCKERS

    My problem with the 'doomed the world' concept is that I reckon Cadsuane would still be there with a stern...

    LUCKERS

    ... frown as the world burns. Indeed we see her willfully risk the world at the cleansing. There is...

    LUCKERS

    ...the matter of degrees obviously. I dunno. My love for the old woman may be leading me astray. *sigh*

    LUCKERS

    And I am very much aware that most the fandom disagrees with my opinions on Cadsuane. She's just my girl. :D

    TEREZ

    Among the older members of the fandom, many agree, actually. But @BrandonSandrson 's explanation re: her growing exasperation...

    TEREZ

    ...was the explanation I came up with for myself at the time (though I still lean toward 'out of character' a bit).

    TEREZ

    That's the price for me documenting all that: my opinion. :p For example, Wetlandernw and Freelancer from tor.com agree.

    Tags

  • 66

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (20 January 2011)

    Grolm make me think of the plush grolm Baby Meatloaf has. (It was a hand-made gift. There's a pic on my twitter feed somewhere.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ah, nice. @Terez27 dug up that picture I posted of Baby Meatloaf w/his stuffed grolm. Aubree [Pham] was the one who gave it to him, I think.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Here he is: http://twitpic.com/1hvhsi Man, he had curly hair back then.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, Rand. Lady Selene isn't suspicious AT ALL.

    MIKE RENTAS

    Did RJ ever explain her trick? I know she enhances her appearance, but is there an element of light Compulsion to it?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As far as I know, she didn't use Compulsion.

    JOSH ROBERTS

    Memory's vague on this but why doesn't Lews Therin recognize Selene? Mirror of mists? Lews Therin not aware yet?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So far as I know, Lews Therin wasn't 'aware' yet. At least, not enough for something like that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (21 JANUARY)

    Lots of responses Re: Rand and Lady Selene. Let me say this. Yes, Rand is being a wool-headed fool. But I remember being that young.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I remember when I realized the prettiest girl I knew was also a huge jerk. It was a stunning revelation. Yet it took two years to make.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Rand is not the first teenage boy to have trouble seeing the obvious in a situation like this. In fact, it would be odd otherwise.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Egwene to Elayne on their first meeting in the White Tower, right before meeting Min: "Rand seems to meet a lot of girls." Yup.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First Min viewpoint is at the halfway mark to The Great Hunt. I'm always amazed by how many viewpoints we get before Mat gets one.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have to look back a long time, back almost twenty years, to remember that originally, I saw Mat as a side character—and this is why.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always felt that Thom should be more surprised, excited, or...something to see Rand again here in The Great Hunt when they meet.

    Tags

  • 67

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (25 January 2011)

    I've always wondered if it'd be viable when traveling the Ways to leave night, sleep in a random location outside, and go back in.

    TEREZ

    Maybe time in the Ways is compressed as well as distance? I can't recall if we have enough detail to say.

    RUTH HINCKLEY

    We have plenty of evidence that time is compressed. People seem to move slower when looking out from inside.

    TEREZ

    Good point. So then it depends on how big of a hurry you are in, I suppose.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I always feel that the chapters Egwene spends as a damane will last longer than they do. The pain feels like a full book's worth.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Another example of RJ's excellent use of foreshadowing is how he depicts Ingtar all through The Great Hunt. This often impresses me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Climbing the wall to escape: "Ingtar cursed when Mat tossed the Horn of Valere...Mat snatched it up,'it isn't even scratched.'"

    BRANDON SANDERSON (26 JANUARY)

    Yes, I have finished The Great Hunt. I'm spending a little time outlining now. Lots of work to do there.

    Tags

  • 68

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (1 February 2011)

    Sorry to vanish from Twitter the last couple of days. Tor has requested Alloy of Law revisions by the 14th, so I need to get those done.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's sooner than I'd have liked, and I'm still creeping my way through The Dragon Reborn when I have spare moments. Will continue the #wotrr soon.

    Tags

  • 69

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Krit Petty (24 February 2011)

    My coworker has The Way of Kings cover for his desktop background. He's read it two times. Wants to know if WoT is worth his time.

    Brandon Sanderson (25 February 2011)

    I think it is, very much so. Tell him that the WOT is not a quick read, meant to be rushed through.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some books are a feast to be consumed quickly and ravenously. The WoT is a long, stately dinner with many courses.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always liked the title of The Dragon Reborn. I think it's one of the best in the series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is because it is interesting to those who haven't read the WoT, but interesting to those reading it for different reasons.

    STACY WHITMAN

    Every time I see the Young Adult book EON: Dragoneye Reborn, it makes me wonder if she ever heard of Robert Jordan.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yeah, I thought the same thing. Not to mention that "The Dragon Reborn" is actually a full-blown trademark.

    Tags

  • 70

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (28 February 2011)

    Still working away at The Dragon Reborn. Will be going to the dentist for checkup soon. I might get some reading time in there.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So, I got recognized four times today while out. Feels strange. If it happens so often to me, I wonder how often it happens to a real celebrity

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Dude in the next dental stall, I apologize for how your hygienist jumped when she heard my name...then left you with mouth open as she ran over.

    TYSON PERNA

    Do you mind it, or do you prefer to be left alone?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I honestly don't mind; it's just a little strange.

    ASTRID (28 FEBRUARY)

    You probably need to think of an alias. How about Sander Brandson, or San Branderson... *grins*

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I've half been tempted to write a book as "Sand Branderson" before.

    JUSTIN RAY (28 FEBRUARY)

    Wondering if you have tried the audiobooks, and if they do not suit your purpose, why?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I have; I like them. But I like reading on the page better.

    KENADAK (28 FEBRUARY)

    Could you please indicate with a hash tag what book you're on during the #wotrr #TGH as it were.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (1 MARCH)

    I give indications now and then. I can't add a hashtag for each book as I already feel I'm low on characters for my tweets.

    Tags

  • 71

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (28 February 2011)

    You know, I remember thinking Nynaeve was jumping at nothing when suspecting a certain Aes Sedai following the Gray Man attack.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    Any clue you can give us on who sent the Gray Man to kill Egwene and Nynaeve in The Dragon Reborn? I've always wondered about that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll get you an answer to that someday.

    MIGNON FOGARTY (1 MARCH)

    I'm finding Nynaeve less annoying as her character develops.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She's always been my favorite of the Elayne-Egwene-Nynaeve group.

    Tags

  • 72

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (1 March 2011)

    Finally, the first Mat viewpoint comes almost 1/3 into The Dragon Reborn. It just doesn't feel like the Wheel of Time to me until Mat is himself.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Amanda on Facebook points out that it was good RJ waited to give a Mat VP; if it had been earlier, he'd have felt less awesome.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This is a good insight; dagger-tied Mat was frail, paranoid; that might have tainted perception of him strongly if we'd had a VP.

    DARTH ANDREA

    I have always felt that in The Eye of the World Mat was just baggage, in The Great Hunt he was a McGuffin, but in The Dragon Reborn his story truly starts.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Agreed.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Siuan to Mat: You remind me of my uncle...died pulling children out of a burning house... Will you be there when the flames are high?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This feels like a perfect place for him to step to center stage, as this is the book where we lose Rand for the first time.

    KURT MADSEN

    Wait, we lose Rand!?!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He's not in the third book very much. He comes back in the fourth.

    JUSTIN BRADY

    Do you have any insight into how at the start of The Dragon Reborn, Rand appears more 'mad' than he was at the end of The Great Hunt?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He is doing a poor job of dealing with having killed a person for the first time.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Brandon might be speaking from the notes, but I rather thought it had more to do with the fact that he was proclaimed against his will by the heroes of the horn, and by his battle being broadcast for all of Falme. He was trying to resist saidin and failing, trying to figure out what to do with it and failing, and Callandor was calling him in his dreams. Who knows what else was in his dreams. He was channeling tainted saidin, and suffering from the unhealing wound given to him by Ishamael (presumably with the True Power). Turak played a part in the downward spiral, but I don't think it was really the catalyst. (Though knowing Rand, it was probably a convenient thing to dwell upon so as to avoid having to dwell too much upon the rest.) And of course, Turak was not the first person he killed, though Rand apparently didn't realize he killed Aginor (this has actually been debated) and the men in Four Kings.

    J MICHAEL SCHMIDT

    I hear you loud and clear! I love when [Mat] first learns about his Luck. Was RJ method writing it feels real watching Mat?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    RJ was a 'method writer' in many ways. He very much got into a character. Harriet tells stories about it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    @josephpeavey asked me to share a story about RJ "Method writing." Well, Harriet had a great one...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    She says she'd catch him slinking into the house, walking with a different mood. She knew he'd been writing Padan Fain that day.

    Tags

  • 73

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (1 March 2011)

    You know what I'd like to see? A massive, fan-annotated WoT project, like the footnotes at http://bit.ly/7vrgs7 only more extensive.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    The guys at EWOT said they were going to do this, which makes the most sense because they've done all the detail work on the individual chapters already, but it's slow going with only two people on the job. It will no doubt happen one day, but alas, not soon enough to aid Brandon on his quest.

    ZARAKAND

    Any chance your blog will start posting copies of your tweets and replies to questions? I loved reading those and miss them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 MARCH)

    It will continue to do that; I haven't been tweeting a lot lately, so we haven't been posting them. There will be more.

    ARKU (1 MARCH)

    Will there be a signing with Harriet in Utah anytime soon?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 MARCH)

    She is planning to come to Utah for the A Memory of Light tour.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 MARCH)

    Baby Meatloaf is very helpful when doing a WoT reread. He keeps bringing me various objects and toys to, you know, use in reading.

    Tags

  • 74

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (1 March 2011)

    Notice the resonance between the dreaming ter'angreal and the silver arches in The Dragon Reborn chapter 22. A hint of things to come in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (2 MARCH)

    Reading Egwene's prophetic dreams in The Dragon Reborn and smiling at the ones about Mat that recently saw fulfillment. What a long wait. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To think, I read this book when it was first published. I was 15. I'm 35 now. I just got to have a hand in seeing the fulfillment.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's so strange to read these early books, where Egwene is still thinking of Rand half-romantically. And Galad full-romantically.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wow. The Dragon Reborn chapter 27 has a cool little foreshadowing for the end of A Memory of Light that I'd never noticed before.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, Wondergirls. After severe punishment for leaving the Tower without permission, what's their first thought at hearing the Black Ajah is in Tear?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (3 MARCH)

    You know, I've always been amazed Mat didn't end up causing more trouble with that letter from Siuan he was given...

    Tags

  • 75

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (11 March 2011)

    The scene of Perrin at the forge in Tear is one of my outright favorites. People often ask if killing characters is tough...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...Yes it is. But writing the Towers of Midnight scene with Perrin and the hammer he got here in Tear was more emotional for me than most deaths.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 MARCH)

    I have finished The Dragon Reborn (finally) on my re-read. Next up, my favorite of the books. The Shadow Rising.

    Tags

  • 76

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (14 March 2011)

    Man, this Shadow Rising ebook cover really is full of awesome, isn't it?

    MICHAEL GIGLIOTTI

    Mat looks so dark; it's a very stark contrast to his personality.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That was one of my first thoughts too, but he does get grim once in a while. Particularly after being killed...

    BRANDON SANDERSON (20 MARCH)

    Another one for the "Huh, never noticed that before" file. Some Aiel tell Mat is death for him to enter Rhuidean. And they're right.

    TEREZ

    Are they?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    By Mat's perspective. Though he's not 100% sure.

    MANAR

    Wait. No. Mat does not die in Rhuidean, does he? I thought his death came when Rahvin strikes him with lightning.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Mat thinks it counts. Of course, that whole Rahvin thing isn't something he remembers...

    Tags

  • 77

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (14 March 2011)

    You know, chapter one of The Shadow Rising reads a LOT like the prologues in later books. Lots of side viewpoints, scattered about.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've always liked how these set up a book. I do think they fit best as prologues. (Some of my favorite writing is the Knife of Dreams prologue.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Love or hate Faile, remember this: She got Perrin to grow his awesome beard. Almost as cool as Rand taking the Stone, that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Last #wotrrr tweet for the day, and it will be a longer one. (Slight spoilers.) Thought I'd point this out, as it has often struck me. (I doubt I'm the only one.) There is a lot of symbolism to the bubble of evil sequence at the start of The Shadow Rising. Perrin's axe tries to kill him—pretty obvious there. We see through the next books how that happens in a non-bubble-of-evil way. We also see that the way he grows single-minded in some pursuits, including fighting with that axe, has dangerous implications. Interestingly, it's Mat's gambling that tries to kill him—that and the Amyrlin. Another great thematic bit of foreshadowing, though Mat—being Mat—doesn't have an arc of discovery in the same way as Rand or Perrin. The best one for me is the fact that in Rand's case, it's his own reflections that try to destroy him. He only wins when he figures out how to absorb all of those reflections into himself.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (15 MARCH)

    "In a moment...he would become the Dragon reborn again. For now, he only wanted to sit, and remember a shepherd named Rand al'Thor."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's good to have Rand back in this book. I remember reading The Dragon Reborn for the first time and begin confused as why he wasn't in it much.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (16 MARCH)

    In a way, all of Mat's trouble with the Finns can be traced back to Egwene telling him about the stone doorway.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Honestly, Egwene, what did you THINK would happen? Telling Mat about that is like telling a kid there's a surprise in the cupboard.

    Tags

  • 78

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (15 March 2011)

    I think I either need to speed up the re-read or continue working on the book as I read. I think I like the second option better.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll be shooting for 60 pages of reading a day while trying to finish at least one scene a week. The variety is more appealing.

    Tags

  • 79

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (18 January 2011)

    Another reason why I find Nynaeve one of the WoT's most rational characters: compare her and Lan in Tear to Perrin/Faile or Elayne/Rand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As I often post, the way Perrin/Mat/Rand/Egwene view her distort our perception, but the facts prove her side of things more often.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Nynaeve can be very irrational at times, and I don't think it's a matter of distorted perception. A perfect example from her own point of view, in Lord of Chaos: 'Fire and Spirit' (one of Harriet's lovely double-meanings):

    Unable to look at Elayne, she started walking again. "You had every right to laugh. I... " She swallowed hard. "I made a complete fool of myself." She had. A few sips, Theodrin said; a cup. And she emptied the pitcher. If you were going to fail, better to have some other reason than that you just could not do it. "You should have sent for that bucket and dunked my head until I could recite The Great Hunt of the Horn without a mistake." She risked a glance from the corner of her eye. Small spots of color rested in Elayne’s cheeks. So there had been mention of a bucket.

    "It could happen to anyone," the other woman said simply.

    Nynaeve felt her own cheeks heating. When it had happened to Elayne, she had dunked the girl to wash away the wine. "You should have done whatever you needed to... to sober me."

    It was quite the oddest argument Nynaeve could remember, with her insisting she had been a total fool and deserved whatever came of it, while Elayne made excuse after excuse for her. Nynaeve did not understand why it felt so refreshing, taking all the blame on herself that way. She could not recall ever doing that before, not without hedging as far as she was able. She very nearly got angry with Elayne for not agreeing that she had been a childish buffoon. It lasted until they reached the small thatched house on the edge of the village where Logain was kept.

    "If you don’t stop this," Elayne said finally, "I vow I’ll send for a bucket of water right this instant."

    Nynaeve opened her mouth, then closed it again. Even in this newfound euphoria of admitting she had been wrong, that was going too far. Feeling this good, she could not face Logain. Feeling this good, it would be useless anyway, without Moghedien and the bracelet she definitely felt too fine to put on.

    And of course, all that was to justify the rough treatment she gave Elayne in Tanchico.

    LIRA LEIRNER

    Surely Egwene's more rational even than Nynaeve, even in the way she deals with Gawyn despite KNOWING she'll bond him.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Looking at Egwene/Nynaeve's interactions in these early books, Egwene still has a lot to learn. She gets there.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    They have very different perspectives, though, which often brings them to arguments. Nynaeve sees people; Egwene sees goals.

    DAN HIRDLER

    Nynaeve the rational one? In her relationship she has the power. Leaving Lan at Land's End was iffy. Her need for respect is childish.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, she DID save Lan's life in what she did. He'd have been dead before the Last Battle started if not.

    LISA

    I'm still sad Lan apparently dies. He was my favorite character.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Out of curiosity, which of the reasons people think he will die is the one that has persuaded you? I've not said either way.

    LISA

    Confession: I stopped reading at book seven. My friends said he hadn't come back, so I/we assume he's really dead, not fake-dead. [?]

    Tags

  • 80

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (18 March 2011)

    This Thom scene in The Shadow Rising chapter 17 is an absolute gem of writing. Wonderful characterizations, excellent motion, powerful reversals.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Guys, when I talk about how to write a great scene, THIS is what I mean.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Notice that the Siuan mentions that the Blight is retreating in this chapter. Hmmm... Wonder why...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I remember reading somewhere that some think this was an effect of the Eye of the World's usage. Hmm...

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    Brandon is probably hinting here that it rather has something to do with the Fisher King prophecies.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thom, speaking of how future ages may see him: "Not a gleeman—but what? Not eating fire, but hurling it about like an Aes Sedai..."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Will you believe that, in my youth, it wasn't until around that moment that I caught the Thom/Merlin connection?

    OWENSMTO

    Don't feel too bad. I didn't catch the Mat/Odin connection until very recently. And Perrin is Thor, it seems. heh.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I believe there's actually a Slavic god of the forge named "Perun" or something along those lines.

    NATHAN ANDRUS

    Thom/Merlin connection? I don't see it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Look really closely at Thom's last name.

    Tags

  • 81

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Lira Leirner (18 March 2011)

    When Egwene dreams of Perrin, Faile and "a Tinker", why didn't she know it was Aram although she knows him personally?

    Brandon Sanderson (18 March 2011)

    The dreams aren't always that specific. She might not have seen a face, or recognized it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'd have to look at the specific passage to know which it is.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    [after looking at said passage] That is an oddity, I'll admit. But dreams are not always clear, as I've said. I lay my bet on his face simply wasn't clear.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There are good reasons for that—for example, Aram's place in the Pattern may not have been as set as Perrin's.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A fuzziness to accompany the uncertainty, so Egwene couldn't recognize him. After all, she doesn't describe the face.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I think Brandon might have been trying to drop hints about the dream of Egwene being saved by a Seanchan woman (the sword is as solid as the stone, but the face wavers). Sometimes fuzziness in dreams doesn't mean any uncertainty; Bair and Melaine couldn't see Aviendha's, Elayne's, and Min's faces in the dream where they were on the boat with Rand, but Nicola's Foretelling confirms that they are the three. (Foretellings are absolute, while dreams show only possibilities that can often be prevented.) Perhaps a better question is, why didn't Egwene remember anything about Perrin being a Wolfbrother in The Dragon Reborn?

    Tags

  • 82

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    NOTE—TEREZ

    This conversation starts off with some of Brandon's thoughts on the lack of female ta'veren in the story, which apparently inspired some knee-jerk posts on Twitter and Facebook about sexism in WoT. Which inspired a mild overreaction on Brandon's part, and so on, which led to a lot of discussion on semantic distinctions and the like. But it was fun. The greater (and latter) part of the conversation took place when Brandon happened to be on an airplane with a choice between reading WoT and hanging out on Twitter where some HCFFs happened to be online. [That is, people who have spent the last ten years or more (in this case) thinking about WoT more than most things, and who in this case included a gay man and a (quasi? pseudo?)-feminist.] It is, for the most part, what some might perceive to be politically biased, so I offer an apology on behalf of all of us for what might appear to be PC-ness and conservative-bashing.

    Brandon Sanderson (11 March 2011)

    I remember the first time I heard the Egwene/Nynaeve/Elayne trio called the "Wondergirls." I'm pretty sure I was in Korea at the time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've often gotten questions from people asking if Egwene was ta'veren. Obviously not, as Siuan would have seen the glow of it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    People seem to wonder why all three boys, and not a single one of the girls, are ta'veren. I've assumed this was to confuse the Shadow.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To make it difficult to track down Rand and kill him before he grew powerful, the Pattern made three ta'veren to keep everyone guessing.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, it can be argued that the Pattern doesn't do such things—it simply IS. Still, I've liked that as part of the explanation.

    JONAS MUILWIJK

    Why the hell would the Wheel want to confuse the Shadow? :S The Wheel is good nor bad, so it won't choose a side.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Think of it this way—yes, the Pattern simply IS. But evolution simply IS as well. And some times, species evolve to...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...have many offspring in order to increase the chances of survival. Likewise, we have three ta'veren. A survival mechanism.

    TIM MARGHEIM

    Weak analogy? If evolution==Pattern, you'd need "Evolution IS, and evolution itself has DMs." Pattern doesn't have species.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha ha. I didn't say Evolution==the Pattern. I was showing an amoral, natural function could create something similar to three ta'veren.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Man, people sure are quick to accuse RJ of sexism on my Twitter feed & Facebook. I think any who do this are blatantly wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's okay to not like the books, or to think RJ did a bad job with characterizations. I disagree, but everyone's tastes are different.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But he took great pains to create many strong female protagonists with a variety of strengths, and gave them their own stories.

    KATELYN HECKETT

    I've picked up some funny male bias in the books (lots of "breasts", no male equivalent, etc.) but wouldn't say RJ's sexist.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, I've noticed a few of those too.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, there are (More than a few) sexist people in the WoT. And the culture has been influenced by the male/female interactions of the Power.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, if you look at the time devoted to female viewpoints—and the plots of those characters—the "RJ is sexist" theory erodes.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Warning: Long update on this topic. As a nod to those who truly know feminist literary theory, I'll make a less "Twitter friendly" argument. Robert Jordan, by creating a world where the women and men are very aware of gender roles, spent a lot of time delving into these topics. I'm convinced he was aware of male privilege, and though biased—as all of us are—sought very hard to overcome his own biases by creating evocative female characters with plot lines that do not center around the obtaining of favor or romantic interest from male characters. He also sought to create a world where women were not defined by how they were viewed by men, but were instead defined by their intelligence, determination, and accomplishments. In this way, though he exposes some small masculine biases in various areas, he was extremely progressive as a dominant male writer of his era, and should be regarded as anything other than "sexist" for his efforts. /Scholarly Brandon

    BRANDON BALLENGER

    Agreed. Hey, how much more "Scholarly Brandon" is online? Seen your postmodernism in fantasy essay, besides that?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not a ton. I've had to walk a fine line, as I'm not enough of a scholar to trust myself digging too deeply.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've got a Master's, so I can talk the talk—but when others spent their time in research, I spent it practicing writing.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think I have an essay or two on my website. Search for "Sanderson's First Law" and my religion essay regarding Elantris.

    TEREZ

    I didn't read all of the conversations you had about it on Twitter and Facebook, and I didn't really have gender roles in mind so much as other things. I understand what you're saying about how his world requires certain gender imbalances—I addressed that sort of offhandedly in my post by saying that the 'in practice' roles in WoT are often not what you would theoretically expect considering the circumstances. And while RJ often made comparisons to various time periods in the real world in reference to technology in particular, I'm not talking about that—I'm talking about the theoretical result of the history of the WoT world. Many of the gender imbalances are logical, but many are not, which is why they don't feel realistic at all to many readers.

    The main problem I had with your comments is that you said that anyone who accused RJ of sexism for whatever reason was 'blatantly wrong'. You sort of trivialize those things that we are 'left with' after cutting away the complex and subjective debate over gender roles, but those things we are left with are so pervasive in the novels that they give an overall impression of an old-fashioned and often casually sexist man behind the curtain. This is a big turn-off for some people, and while I feel that those who cannot overlook it are missing out on one of the greatest stories of all time, I understand that it is a legitimate complaint.

    As for the female nudity...just no. :p I mean, I know you read all the interviews at one point. 'No Male Nudity' (NMN) was not quite as popular as RAFO, but it was definitely one of his favorite stock answers (especially in reference to movie questions—it was his 'one rule') for a good few years. He was pretty blatant about his preferences there, and while I'm sure he had several cultural influences in mind, in the end it's pretty clear that he just enjoyed writing about naked women more than he enjoyed writing about naked men.

    I agree that it's wrong to judge RJ as a person anachronistically, but at the same time, I think it's wrong to make such a blanket statement about the veracity of our claims of sexism in WoT. It's there, and it's real. I agree that some people take the criticism too far without considering certain things—I've had these debates (on non-WoT forums especially) many times over the years—but it seems to me more constructive to criticize the exaggerations, or to criticize each argument on its own merits, than to denounce any and all claims of sexism in WoT in one fell swoop.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (14 MARCH)

    The "Blatantly Wrong" comment was for those who don't really know feminist theory or gender studies, and who were commenting that sexist characters and culture implied a sexist Robert Jordan. I thought better of it later, however, for the people who actually know what they're talking about. Hence the more scholarly comment directed toward people like yourself. I do not deny that there are things to talk about here. Remember, just like with the word "Racism," there are two meanings of the word "Sexist." There is the knee-jerk usage by people who intend it as an insult. And then there is the more thoughtful, careful usage by people who make a study of such things. In their hands, 'sexist' means showing one's biases and a lack of awareness of certain aspects of male privilege or gender sensitivity—using this word to describe someone is not an insult, but a description of bias. (The types of biases that we all have, and can't totally expunge—though we be aware of and try to compensate for them.) My first comment was directed at the first crowd; my second comment at the second crowd.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    For the record, I'm hardly well-read in feminist theory. I've read far more in queer theory (and most of it since then, for unrelated reasons), and queer theory is often tied up with feminist theory, but even there I'm far from an expert, and so my familiarity with feminist theory is along the lines of a vague acquaintance. I understand the distinction Brandon is making, and it's a good one, but I don't think of it as having much to do with feminist theory.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (20 MARCH)

    And, looks like I have Twitter on my flight again this time. So much for getting anything useful done...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Re: NMN. I'll give you this point in regards to Rhuidean. No good reason for Aviendha to be nude when Rand/Mat don't have to be.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As for the Aes Sedai ceremonies, they still feel very similar to sacred feminine ceremonies I've read before.

    TEREZ

    Sure, but most of the female nudity comes in the sweat tents and baths, etc. Though the baths in Fal Dara were egalitarian.

    TEREZ

    The descriptions of how Aviendha squats in the sweat tent, for instance, are really quite vulgar if you think about it.

    TEREZ

    But you don't see anything like that in the bath scene at Baerlon, for example. And even ritual nudity can get vulgar...

    TEREZ

    ...like Amys at the sister-bonding ceremony in Winter's Heart. I mean, come on.

    JAMES POWELL

    There's certainly lots o female iffy WoT nudity, but also quite a lot of male nudity—especially Rand being ogled.

    TEREZ

    Yeah, Rand does get ogled once at least. But it's a matter of balance in my opinion.

    TEREZ

    Greatest Cadsuane line ever: 'I’ve already seen more of your hairless bottomcheeks than I wish to...'

    TEREZ

    '....but if you want to flaunt them in front of all six of us, perhaps someone will enjoy the show.' :)

    JAMES POWELL

    I'm not saying that the nudity issue is balanced—clearly, it's not. But at least some effort was being made.

    TEREZ

    Yeah, @BrandSanderson and I have gone round a bit on this already. We all recognize that some effort was made. Just saying...

    TEREZ

    ...that these things were the product of RJ's heterosexual male preferences, and therefore inherently sexist.

    SETH BAKER

    Based largely upon the male characters being prudes. Doesn't that cut the other way for M/F sexual experience?

    TEREZ

    Not really, since the root cause is still RJ's brain. And Mat. Is far from a prude.

    TEREZ

    But we're at the same time not trying to make RJ out to be particularly sexist. He wasn't, especially for his Age.

    JAMES POWELL

    *nods* I'm more saddened by the almost complete lack of gay WoT characters—but that's just my personal bias.

    TEREZ

    No, it's not just your personal bias. It was RJ's. If there hadn't been lesbians you probably wouldn't care, eh?

    JAMES POWELL

    I actually found the whole issue of some women being "pillow friends", but then growing out of it and mooning over men, quite off.

    TEREZ

    Right, and the fact that the ones who don't grow out of it are for the most part evil bitches.

    LIRA LEIRNER

    There are SOME implications of being gay being equally as normal, as outlined here http://ow.ly/4imXS

    TEREZ

    Oh, we know. But it's a half-hearted implication. Not even close to half really...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, at least there wasn't the "Gay=pedophile" implication that some fantasy of the era made...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, being Mormon, perhaps I'm not the best qualified to speak of someone's treatment of LGBT issues.

    LUCKERS

    Are you sure the nudity doesn't play a practical role in the ter'angreal? I note that in both the...

    LUCKERS

    ...Accepted rings and the final test the woman must be nude. Strange, two separate rituals taking the same form.

    LIRA

    And Moiraine, too. I think it's probably the rings. The other testing ter'angreal all require nakedness.

    LIRA LEIRNER

    Aviendha doesn't have to be naked when she goes through the columns. Although I thought they could have told...

    LIRA LEIRNER

    ...them to take off their clothes once they're in Rhuidean; don't see needing to taking them off before.

    TEREZ

    It's not a requirement of the ter'angreal according to them, but a sign of station (humbling).

    TEREZ

    Also, with Aviendha, there was the practical aspect of giving up her cadin'sor.

    TEREZ

    It's the same with the raisings at the Tower—they never wear those clothes again if I remember correctly.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I suspected I was half wrong when I posted this, and I was—the Accepted get their new dresses right after the test, but in New Spring, Moiraine and Siuan wore their Accepted dresses to swear the Oaths.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I think Terez's argument is that women end up in these situations suspiciously more often than men.

    TEREZ

    Essentially yes. And that the description is more gratuitous. RJ could have chosen to write male nudity rituals.

    LUCKERS

    Mmm. True, but as I've argued in the past re: lack of gay men—we've been more exposed to all female...

    LUCKERS

    ...organisations and rituals. the one exception, I suppose, is the sweat tents, but again that occurred...

    LUCKERS

    ...organically. The Wise Ones were planning, and the sweat tents provided a social medium.

    LUCKERS

    By the way, my original point was simply that Moiraine and Aviendha's nudity may have served a practical purpose...

    LUCKERS

    ...when going through the ter'angreal—Mat and Rand didn't go through that ter'angreal after all.

    LUCKERS

    It's strange that the Aes Sedai and Wise Ones separately built nudity rituals around similar ter'angreal. Necessary?

    TEREZ

    Organically? You say that as if the scene wrote itself. RJ chose to use female sweat tent scenes, female nudity.

    TEREZ

    Even if the nudity does have a practical purpose that doesn't change the fact that he chose to write it that way.

    TEREZ

    He chose to develop the female organizations, and he chose to show lesbians outside those organizations rather than men.

    LUCKERS

    He chose to write the scene with Rand naked and being eyed by a dozen women too. So what?

    TEREZ

    Again, it's about balance. The 'suspiciously more often' bit. I feel you are being overly defensive about it.

    LUCKERS

    Are we to presume he did it lasciviously? To titillate? This is what I meant by it happening organically.

    LUCKERS

    I'm not being defensive—rather I don't see the problem. The female nudity was never vulgar... it just was.

    TEREZ

    As I said, it's clear enough he just enjoyed writing about naked women and lesbians more than he enjoyed...

    TEREZ

    ....writing about naked men and gay men. It's fanservice, but I don't think he thought of it like that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've got to side with Terez on this one. It IS there. RJ did a LOT of things with great equality, but...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...when it came to nudity, he liked showing naked women more than men. I don't think it was vulgar, though.

    TEREZ

    Depends on your definition of vulgar. RJ was very good at avoiding vulgarity on the surface, but hinting at it.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I had this scene from The Fires of Heaven in mind, and it sums up many tweets I made on the subject which were omitted:

    Moiraine, seeming slight and small beside the others, also looked unruffled, although sweat rolled down her pale nudity and slicked her dark hair to her scalp, with a regal refusal to acknowledge that she had no clothes on. The Wise Ones were using slim, curved pieces of bronze, called staera, to scrape off sweat and the day's dirt.

    Aviendha was squatting sweatily beside the big black kettle of hot, sooty rocks in the middle of the tent, carefully using a pair of tongs to move a last stone from a smaller kettle to the larger. That done, she sprinkled water onto the rocks from a gourd, adding to the steam. If she let the steam fall too far, she would be spoken to sharply at the very least. The next time the Wise Ones met in the sweat tent, it would be Egwene's turn to tend the rocks.

    Egwene cautiously sat down cross-legged next to Bair—instead of layered rugs, there was only rocky ground, unpleasantly hot, lumpy and damp—and realized with a shock that Aviendha had been switched, and recently. When the Aiel woman gingerly took her own place, beside Egwene, she did so with a face as stony as the ground, but a face that could not hide her flinch.

    To call these descriptions 'gratuitous' is, of course, only in comparison to RJ's (incredibly rare) treatments of male nudity (and not in comparison to, say, GRRM).

    LUCKERS

    @BrandSanderson I still think that implies a little too much premeditation in the depiction, but I'm happy with your description.

    LUCKERS

    I'm not denying its presence, I'm denying the implications that the depiction is wrong. It flowed naturally...

    LUCKERS

    ...from the plot, and wasn't lascivious. I certainly don't think RJ worked to include it.

    LUCKERS

    Besides... if you wanna have a gay male character in A Memory of Light I'd not complain. :)

    TEREZ

    Okay then. Do you think that RJ's insistence that there be no male nudity in the films was 'organic'?

    Footnote—Terez

    I was wrong about the film distinction, though I do believe there is an older report somewhere mentioning this that I am missing. However, there is a 'no male nudity' tag for all the times RJ mentioned it at signings; it was a running joke for him.

    TEREZ

    That is where this little debate started, because it is essentially the proof of the point.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Well (though I'm on your side) it could be argued that's a marketing decision.

    TEREZ

    LOL. Many things could be argued. Some arguments are more logical than others, though. :)

    LUCKERS

    I didn't know about this insistence. That's a little... weird, honestly. No, ok, a lot weird.

    TEREZ

    See, if you had actually read my debate with @BrandSanderson we wouldn't have to catch you up. ;)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It's cultural, unfortunately. You can have female nudity and get a PG-13. But not male. Of course, that...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...leads us to the whole topfreedom debate, which ISN'T something I really want to get into.

    TEREZ

    It doesn't necessarily lead there. Again, I bring it up mostly for cultural awareness reasons.

    LUCKERS

    That's really stupid—but does make some sense. Also, I don't know if you remember Terez but for a while there were...

    LUCKERS

    ...some fairly rampant pockets of homophobia amongst the fandom—I had this discussion with @zemaille at WorldCon.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I had the same discussion with Linda before Luckers did, at the previous JordanCon. I think she was a little shocked by the number of people at tor.com who refuse to even recognize that pillow friends are lesbians.

    TEREZ

    There still are. It's mostly visible at tor.com—some staunch conservatives there.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Oh yeah!

    TEREZ

    Which is unfortunate considering Leigh's views. There is a ruckus every time she brings it up.

    LUCKERS

    *nods* And as sad as it is to think that RJ was wary of this—it's reasonable to avoid alienating your fans.

    TEREZ

    Well, if he was trying to avoid alienating THOSE fans he wouldn't have included lesbians either.

    LUCKERS

    Mmm. Lesbians have always been the safer homosexual depiction—which says a lot about our society.

    SETH BAKER

    In the end, you're indicting modern Western society, not RJ himself. He knew what you can't do and sell.

    TEREZ

    The first bit, yes. The second bit...I don't think that marketing was his only motive.

    SETH BAKER

    There're people who are not morally opposed to homosexuality, are fine with reading FF, but not MM for what it's worth.

    TEREZ

    And that is exactly the problem that is being addressed. Not judging RJ so much as ourselves.

    LUCKERS

    I hesitate to ask—but what's topfreedom? My mind went to an icky place. :S

    TEREZ

    LOL. I imagine it has to do with the fact that men can go shirtless but women can't.

    LUCKERS

    OH! That's... much nicer than what I was thinking. Hehe.

    LUCKERS

    I will say this, though—the complete lack of any sort of hetero-normative assumption in WoT gets RJ my vote.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I wish this plane would let me use Tweetlonger to jump into this with more teeth.

    TEREZ

    Feel free to jump in with teeth later. We're not going anywhere. :)

    LUCKERS

    Yes. More teeth would be awesome! But we aren't going anywhere.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    This whole issue—homosexuality, conservatism, and the WoT—deserves a serious, thoughtful post.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I just can't do that in 100 character bursts.

    TEREZ

    Cool. I am looking forward to it.

    LUCKERS

    I respect that Brandon. Still, post what you want—we understand it's not your full argument.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will say that there IS a gay male in Towers of Midnight, placed there on my part as I felt similar to you on this issue.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I was going to tell you who it was, but figuring this out is the sort of thing you guys love, isn't it?

    TEREZ

    YAY! But of course, then you have to be careful not to make him too throw-away....

    TEREZ

    I considered Androl earlier, when I considered you might do this. lol. But I will think on it some more.

    LUCKERS

    Oh. Hey! Awesome. Ok, now we have to figure it out.

    LUCKERS

    Hopefully not Denezel or Hatch—their wives would be furious. :D

    FOOTNOTE

    Jason Denzel and Matt Hatch, webmasters of Dragonmount and Theoryland respectively—they were recognized as innkeepers in Towers of Midnight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll note that references to his sexuality were cut merely because I moved the chapter with mention to A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I won't say if it's a new character or one I made a decision on, since there weren't notes either way.

    TEREZ

    And he seems to have ruled out Moridin, alas. But that would be sort of Dumbledore-y anyway.

    TEREZ

    (And yes, I have read @BrandSanderson's thoughts on Dumbledore. Just saying. And we're not talking kids' books here.)

    LUCKERS

    I'm beginning to think it somewhat strange that I'm the one defending RJ the heaviest given your points...

    LUCKERS

    ... and the fact that I'm gay. Does that mean my loyalty to RJ defies reason, or that I'm so used to accepting...

    LUCKERS

    ...the dribbles that are depictions of homosexuality in fantasy? A disturbing thought.

    TEREZ

    Nah, not weird at all. You're pretty anti-activist in a lot of ways. Overcompensation, of course. ;)

    TEREZ

    I believe you are sensitive to the right-wing idea of the Gay Agenda.

    TEREZ

    So you seem to have a reluctance to champion your own causes too loudly, internally as well as externally.

    TEREZ

    In some ways it's a healthy reluctance. In some ways, it's sad that it is necessary.

    LUCKERS

    Well the gays are plotting world domination—we discussed this in our last High Council. But that's another conversation.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You have good reason to defend him, Luckers. There ARE good examples. Arrela is one.

    TEREZ

    Seonid isn't bad either. Right? :D I think they might have been responses to the criticism.

    LUCKERS

    *nods* Arrela's love was beautiful. And your scene in The Gathering Storm was heartbreaking.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, gay men are few and far between. But it could be much worse. See: Eddings, or worse, Goodkind and Newcomb.

    SETH BAKER

    I'm with you on that. I got bored reading Goodkind because of how annoyingly ANTI-PC it was.

    SETH BAKER

    In the end, I want my stories to refrain from editorializing. Tell the story, and tell it to your audience.

    BRANDON

    Goodkind is...well, let's not go there. It's good, sometimes, to be anti-PC, as the world isn't PC.

    BRANDON

    But if you're going to delve in and editorialize, I believe it important to look at the other side too.

    TEREZ

    I haven't read Newcomb, but yes, Goodkind's inclusion was of the worst sort.

    TEREZ

    Again, few people think RJ is all bad on this. But the fact that we are so appreciative of his rather biased...

    TEREZ

    ...and gratuitous inclusion shows how far behind we are as a society.

    BRANDON

    Ha. Terez, you NEED to read Newcomb. If only because I want to see your head explode when you do.

    TEREZ

    LOL. Well, I will bring it along to JordanCon then, so you can observe. ;)

    BRANDON

    It is an incredible experience. Goodkind times 1000 in the anti-feminist department. And it seems unconscious.

    LUCKERS

    Goodkind disturbs me on more levels than that, but I do take your point—it was what I meant by accepting dribbles.

    BRANDON

    The thing is, [RJ] tried. And in the end, that's the most important thing can ask. The second is that they listen.

    BRANDON

    And I do think RJ listened. I think he grew more sensitive on this subject as time passed.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    RJ was in many ways very responsive to fan criticism, but he seemed to play the Eelfinn in that he liked to make jokes out of granting our wishes. A good example: Fans complained that characters never had to use a privy while in POV. RJ added a couple of references (including an 'if you must know' from Tuon), and he even threw in urine-tasting in Crossroads of Twilight. Clearly that was RJ getting a laugh on us. He made passing mention of male homosexuality in a couple of the later books (including New Spring), and while it wasn't quite a balance for his lesbians, it was an improvement. He also made public statements that homosexuality was all around not a big deal in Randland, for either gender. He made it clear that, in general, writing about male sexuality was just a squick for him, but he tended to be rather open and modern about his sexuality (even in the family-friendly context of WoT) and so the gender bias sticks out to many modern readers.

    TEREZ

    Agreed, as I noted before re: the response to criticism. Again, it's more about us than about him.

    LUCKERS

    Interesting thought—about listening and changing. Kind of beautiful as well—that fans can give back to authors.

    LUCKERS

    That RJ touched on it at all was good—especially when we remember when he was writing these books.

    LUCKERS

    It does well to remember just how much the degree to which homosexuality is depicted has changed recently.

    TEREZ

    This is true. I just feel that now is the time to blow it out of the water, for that very reason.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm curious if either of you read Rose of the Prophet, and what you thought of it. (Because of the gay male character.)

    TEREZ

    hmm, nope, haven't heard of it. I was told Deathgate was the only thing by [Weis and Hickman] worth reading.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    To explain, I rarely find myself overly desirous of reading new books since WoT occupies so much of my time these days, so I tend to go by friend recommendations and not worry much about whether or not I would actually agree.

    LUCKERS

    Do you guys realise how much Rand's early arc resonates with a gay teenager?

    LUCKERS

    A young man who—through no choice of his own—finds himself to be something hated and feared.

    LUCKERS

    Something judged to be morally wrong though no moral choice has been made on his part.

    LUCKERS

    The whole arc—the 'men's pride, men's sin' resonated very heavily with me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's FASCINATING, honestly. I'd never thought of that.

    TEREZ

    I bet RJ never thought of it either. :D But yes, it's a good comparison in many ways.

    LUCKERS

    All of this is why I never liked Mat in my first readings (when i was like 13). His reaction to Rand was...

    LUCKERS

    ...a little to close to home. And no I haven't read [Rose of the Prophet]—I will now though. (sorry for going on this tangent).

    LUCKERS

    It doesn't really matter to me if RJ meant the comparison—that he depicted something similar with such...

    LUCKERS

    ...visceral realism is the value of a great writer, because then the fans can take what they need from it.

    LUCKERS

    And in truth Rand's arc in dealing with it taught me how to. In fact its one of the reasons I love Cadsuane...

    TEREZ

    Because Cadsuane was Rand's faghag? No wait, that was Min! No, she was his beard...

    LUCKERS

    She doesn't feel sorry for Rand, or try to coddle him—she treats him like she would any other person...

    LUCKERS

    Her refusal to let Rand allow circumstance to victimize him was a powerful and subtle theme.

    TEREZ

    Indeed, that's why I like her. And why most people hate her. Because she should respect his authoritay!

    LUCKERS

    And I think it is the greatest service anyone in the books has done him. Even if Rand couldn't appreciate it.

    LUCKERS

    Re: Parallels between Rand's early arc and being gay...[from The Great Hunt]

    "No, I can't. I mean . . . I didn't do it on purpose. It just happened. I don't want to—to channel the Power. I won't ever do it again. I swear it."

    "You don't want to," the Amyrlin Seat said. "Well, that's wise of you. And foolish, too. Some can be taught to channel; most cannot. A few, though, have the seed in them at birth. Sooner or later, they wield the One Power whether they want to or not, as surely as roe makes fish. You will continue to channel, boy. You can't help it. And you had better learn to channel, learn to control it, or you will not live long enough to go mad. The One Power kills those who cannot control its flow."

    "How am I supposed to learn?" he demanded. Moiraine and Verin just sat there, unruffled, watching him. Like spiders. "How? Moiraine claims she can't teach me anything, and I don't know how to learn, or what. I don't want to, anyway. I want to stop. Can't you understand that? To stop!"—Chapter 8, 'The Dragon Reborn'

    That desperation is something I remember. Then this...

    He paused, frowning, thinking things through. Finally, he said quietly, "Rand, can you channel?" Mat gave a strangled gasp. Rand let the banner drop; he hesitated only a moment before nodding wearily. "I did not ask for it. I don't want it. But. . . . But I do not think I know how to stop it."

    —and finally...

    Mat hesitated, looking sideways at Rand. "Look, I know you came along to help me, and I am grateful. I really am. But you just are not the same anymore. You understand that, don't you?" He waited as if he expected an answer. None came. Finally he vanished into the trees, back toward the camp.—Chapter 11, 'Glimmers of the Pattern'

    Potent scenes. Especially Mat's last lines. *shrug*

    TEREZ

    Yeah, I knew exactly what you were talking about as soon as you mentioned it. Perrin isn't much better.

    TEREZ

    Perrin is just not as thoughtlessly hurtful as Mat is. He's more the silent disapproval type.

    LUCKERS

    Though Perrin does realise the hypocrisy, and feel bad, so I didn't mind so much. :)

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Yes, I appreciated Perrin's sympathy and tact—like when he said Rand is now a dreaded figure.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    For instance he suggested that while running was understandable, it might not be possible.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Of course, Perrin is coming to terms with being a werewolf, so understandable he knows how Rand feels.

    LUCKERS

    And with Perrin the parallel stops—Rand is a genuine threat, whereas homosexuality isn't.

    LINDA TAGLIERI

    Both Perrin and Rand loathe themselves because they feel they are a threat to society.

    LUCKERS

    Just got a rather abrupt tweet from someone who I think thought I was implying Rand was gay.

    LUCKERS

    Which clearly is accurate. The Harem are the red herring to end all red herrings.

    TEREZ

    LOL. Yeah, well...ignorance and prejudice go hand in hand (or so they say). ;)

    TEREZ

    You know you're gay when you need THREE beards to maintain your cover.

    LUCKERS

    Lol!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And...half of my in-flight WoT reread time was sucked up by a great Twitter conversation about gender and LGBT issues in the WoT.

    TEREZ

    Ohhhh, blame it on us will you! :p You knew as soon as you saw you had Twitter you weren't getting any work done. ;)

    LUCKERS

    Haha. Yeah—I've written a hundred and fifty words in three hours. Today was gonna be my productive day too. *sigh*/

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have a new goal: to get Terez and Leigh Butler to do a feminist review of Newcomb's Fifth Sorceress for Tor.com. How can I make this happen?

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Sadist.

    TEREZ

    LOL. If you can talk Leigh into it, I'm so down with that.

    LUCKERS

    Lol. A gay, a feminist and a Mormon walk into a bar—whereupon they have a deep and meaningful conversation about sexuality in WoT. #NoJokes

    TEREZ

    LMAO. It's funny, though...I don't really think of myself as a feminist. Just an equalist.

    LUCKERS

    I was just being funny with the no jokes thing—the reality of us three having that conversation struck me.

    TEREZ

    Not to mention, you were raised Catholic, and I was raised Southern Baptist. Now we need a Muslim...

    Tags

  • 83

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (22 March 2011)

    I just passed the Perrin/Faile in the ways sequence. Like Egwene in the leash, this one always feels longer in my mind than it is.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Funny, that we should find this—one of my least favorite sequences—right in the middle of my favorite book in the series.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (23 MARCH)

    Dannil just joined Perrin. If you missed it, he's (kind of) the one who was the fourth Two Rivers boy on the cover of The Eye of the World.

    Tags

  • 84

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (17 March 2011)

    In my mind, the redstone doorway in Tear looks like Delicate Arch. This is not rational, and not how it looks, but I can't help it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Delicate Arch, by the way, is a specific redstone arch in Moab, Utah. I'd post a picture, but my wifi wizardry doesn't allow Google.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The wonderful @17thshard grabbed a delicate arch pic for you all: http://3.ly/SwCv #wotrr (As did several others.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wifi on my flight is not free, but Twitter works, for some reason. WHAT WIZARDRY IS THIS.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So, the airline wifi provider has a "Free Twitter" thing going on. Nothing supernatural. Too bad. I was already building a magic system...

    BRANDON SANDERSON (25 MARCH)

    Beginning of Chapter 36 in Book Four. The Waste is described a lot like Moab, Utah.

    Tags

  • 85

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (25 March 2011)

    As of the middle of The Shadow Rising, Rand still depends on his sword, rather than channeling directly to kill Shadowspawn, in fights.

    Tags

  • 86

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (28 March 2011)

    Some of the later Sea Folk are so hawkish with their trading that sometimes I forget how pleasant Jorin and her sister are.

    Tags

  • 87

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (28 March 2011)

    I remember when I first read The Shadow Rising, I had NO idea what to make of Lord Luc.

    Tags

  • 88

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (28 March 2011)

    Perrin's growth as a character here between his last section and the start of Chapter 40 is very well done. Subtle, but powerful.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I like how in this case, RJ skipped some time, then jumped back and showed us the contrast. A cool way of showing growth starkly.

    Tags

  • 89

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (8 April 2011)

    By the way, I AM still doing the #wotrr. Been a little too busy to tweet regularly these last few weeks. Will get back into it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those following along, I'm right at the end of The Shadow Rising. Love this book. But man is it long. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, I've still been writing on A Memory of Light at the same time. But I had to do the Alloy of Law copyedit last week, which slowed me a tad.

    LACOBUS

    I started #wotrr same time as you and I'm just finishing The Path of Daggers! Sorry couldn't resist steaming ahead.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. I'll catch up, maybe. I spend a lot of time making notes and building the outline.

    Tags

  • 90

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (8 April 2011)

    You know, Nynaeve, it would have been 'wrong' and all, but I'd totally have forgiven you if you'd just offed Moghedien in the palace.

    REDHAIRBEAST

    What about Traveling? Cuendillar? And all the rest?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm not following you. What are you asking about?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Oh, you mean "If Moghedien died, we wouldn't have these things." True, true.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But at the same time...they keep just letting the Forsaken get away. Ah, well.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Now I'm imagining Nynaeve towing Moghedien out with her and bringing her to the White Tower for justice—only to find Elaida in charge...

    HERIDFAN

    How did Moghedien know about sad bracelets [Domination Band]? Semirhage said in The Gathering Storm that they were made after the Forsaken were imprisoned.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I believe Moghedien said she'd been doing some research about the Breaking and had learned about them.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    There's been some debate about Moghedien's strength in the Power since she and Nynaeve were equal in The Shadow Rising, but...

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    ...Nynaeve hadn't reached full strength as late as The Path of Daggers. Is Moghedien the weakest of the Forsaken?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Honestly? I'd have to look it up. I don't know off-hand how Cyndane fits into things now. Still powerful, but not as powerful.

    TEREZ

    Cyndane is still the strongest female; that was made clear in Graendal's POV in The Path of Daggers. Just weaker than Lanfear.

    SLEEPINGHOUR (9 APRIL)

    Yeah, I was mostly just curious about the considerable gap between Moghedien and the strongest female Forsaken.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    There was a lot of debate on RAFO.com on whether Elayne and Egwene are close to Moghedien since she's so weak.

    Tags

  • 91

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (8 April 2011)

    This might be old news, but people keep asking me about it. Yes there ARE Dreamers among the Forsaken. Male and female.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    One male AND one female Forsaken are Dreamers?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There are multiple Dreamers. At least one male and at least one female.

    Footnote

    This might have been in response to the previous conversation about Moghedien. She and Lanfear are the top candidates for the female Dreamers, and Moridin is the obvious choice for the men, since skill in Tel'aran'rhiod and skill in invading others' dreams seem to be concurrent with the Talent of prophetic dreams. See here for more details.

    Tags

  • 92

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (11 April 2011)

    The Fires of Heaven had middle-child syndrome for me. Books 4-6 are among my favorites, but I always had trouble remembering what was in 5.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I THOUGHT I knew. I'd say "Oh, it has such and such." But I'd find that was in 4. I'd try again, and end up with something in 6.

    RHABELLA

    Given the enormity of the disappearance of you know who, how is The Fires of Heaven not memorable?

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 APRIL)

    It's more that books 4-6 blend together for me in many ways.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You know, Rhuidean is one of those words my mind refuses to pronounce correctly. Fifteen years of doing it one way in my head hold sway.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Everyone is asking how I pronounce Rhuidean. I always want to say "Roo-i-dee-un." Actually, much like Druidea from Spaceballs. Huh.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    To note, that isn't the right way. #wotrr (Which, honestly, I always get mixed up, since I can't remember if the audiobooks are right or not.) I think it's Roo-i-deen. An HCFF out there can help. Did any of you hear RJ say it in person?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I really like Melindhra. #wotrr. Spoilers behind the link. Anyway, I like her a lot, probably more than I should. In the early years, reading the books, I was always annoyed when she died. I thought she was a great match for Mat. I DO like Tuon, of course, but remember, for those of us in the early days reading, she was still years off at this point.

    Tags

  • 93

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (11 April 2011)

    Working on a scene that RJ wrote part of. In some ways, those are the toughest ones. Most time consuming, at least.

    AUSTIN MOORE

    How much do you usually have to change of RJ's scenes? Just the first part and the last so it fits in well or what?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Depends on the scene. If I'm lucky, it's what you explained. But getting my parts to match can be a LOT of work.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That's especially true if it's a new character, without a viewpoint narrative I can study except for the unfinished scene.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some of the scenes need more, as they are first drafts RJ intended to revise. I try not to change too much, but some of the scenes were ones where he was careful to lay down important things—like motivation—first, but didn't work on setting very much. (I'm working on one of those now.)

    DAVEJUSTDAVE

    RE: reworking RJ's scenes. Ever get tired and goof? "As Rand reached for the Shardblade..er...Callandor"...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. No, I haven't done that. Usually when writing WoT I make sure I'm very steeped in reading it at the time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (12 APRIL)

    Scene I worked on yesterday is done. A Memory of Light is now at 2% done. (Assuming a 300k length, or about the length of The Gathering Storm.)

    DAVID WILSON

    How fast do you expect the % to increase? I'm not badgering, just curious :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My goal is 2-3% a week while doing the reread. Then to step it up a bit from there.

    FELIX

    On a more serious note, which book are up to your #wotrr project?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Book five. I've completed two scenes from A Memory of Light as well.

    Tags

  • 94

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (14 April 2011)

    Salt Lake Airport has been Brandalized. Three hardcovers of Towers of Midnight signed and one The Gathering Storm paperback. On my way to Jordancon!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wheel of Time drinking game! Each time one of the Wondergirls wanders off alone or in a pair and gets kidnapped, take a shot.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If you do, you'll take a shot every two or three books. So, uh, every few weeks. Okay, it's a bad drinking game. What'd you expect? I'm Mormon. :)

    BRENT WEEKS

    Awesome dual tweet there. Well done, sir.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    :)

    JOSEPH DYE

    Just wondering, do you have any magic underwear?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You do realize that what you just asked is somewhat akin to walking up to a Muslim and calling him a towelhead, don't you?

    JASON STEELE

    Being a fan of your work doesn't mean that someone shouldn't call out nonsense when they see or hear it.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm not sure what you're replying to, exactly.

    JASON STEELE

    Sorry, I was responding to your reply to @JosephWDye where you compared his question to calling a Muslim a towelhead.

    JASON STEELE

    I like your work, and I think that you are the best choice to finish WoT, but I was disappointed to find out you are LDS.

    JASON STEELE

    Where calling a Muslim a towelhead is more of a racist/cultural insult, what @JosephWDye said addresses a nonsense belief.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Asking, or challenging someone about their beliefs is a good thing to do. Ridiculing them is not.

    JASON STEELE

    I disagree. Some beliefs are so ridiculous that ridicule is the only appropriate response. And it's often effective.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Wearing a symbol of my faith is no more a nonsense belief than a Muslim wearing head gear or a Catholic wearing a cross.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The simile is exactly the same.

    JASON STEELE

    Again, I disagree. A keffiyeh or cross isn't understood to be magical in the way that the Mormon undergarments are.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    There is nothing magical about them. They are a symbol of faith. Faith may be a protection, true.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some may regard the garments as having innate protection, but some also believe a cross or Bible does.

    JASON STEELE

    Catholics believing that crackers and wine actually turn into flesh and blood would be similar, and also worthy of ridicule.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ridicule is an inferior way of dealing with these issues, as it will polarize and demean. Logic and common ground serve better.

    JASON STEELE

    I used to think that as well, but people of 'faith' don't hold their beliefs because of logic and evidence, and so...

    JASON STEELE

    ...it is next to impossible to demonstrate to them via those avenues that what they believe is false...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Many do not [hold their beliefs because of logic and evidence]. There are some who do, however. And I think faith should be founded in experience and evidence.

    JASON STEELE

    Then it wouldn't be faith, it would just be belief. Faith is belief in a proposition in the absence of evidence...

    JASON STEELE

    ...or in the face of contradictory evidence.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, your definition of faith is certainly one. However, I see it more as trusting in something that has been proven to you.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If my father says, "I will come through for you on such and such" and I trust him because he's proven [himself] in the past, that is faith.

    JASON STEELE

    You're conflating the term 'faith' here. I'm sure you don't have to be told that a word can have more than one meaning.

    JASON STEELE

    The meaning here equates to 'a reasonable expectation based on experience' That's not the same as religious faith.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I am aware of the different definitions. I was trying to define my definition, not say a blanket definition.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My definition of religious faith, for myself, is exactly what you said. An expectation based on experience.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As a member of the LDS faith, who has had ample proof given to me of God's existence—the only logical way I could believe...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I find it important to search for the real truths and to understand people who disagree with me, to see if I am wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I will not go so far as to say that there is never reason for ridicule, however, as I was able to think of a few exceptions.

    JASON STEELE

    Ridicule can be effective in demonstrating just how absurd the belief system is from outside...

    JASON STEELE

    ...just as all other religions are to the believer. As Heinlein said, "One man's religion is another man's belly laugh."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Proper ridicule could be appropriate, couched in a form of "Look, can you see how silly this sounds to the outsider?"

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, walking up to someone and saying "You are an idiot, and this is stupid" is hardly a good way to begin a dialogue.

    JASON STEELE

    Well, I just don't think that I owe much politeness to people who don't care in the least for logic and evidence, and are...

    JASON STEELE

    ...doing their level best to retard science education, repeal social advancements, and who look forward to the destruction...

    JASON STEELE

    ...of the majority of mankind with anticipation.

    JASON STEELE

    It's really amazing to me, having read your tweets for a while now that someone belonging to a group that was officially...

    JASON STEELE

    ...racist until you were a child, and which has done all it can to prevent homosexual marriage by backing prop 8 is so openly..

    JASON STEELE

    ...averse to those kinds of bigotry. And YET, you continue to identify yourself as LDS.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The greatest changes to good people are made through empathy and an attempt to understand.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, if I vanish, it's because I am landing and lose internet—not because I'm ignoring you. We could lose it at any moment.

    JASON STEELE

    No worries, I'm about to be off for a while as well. Again, I think your writing is great, and you seem like a great guy...

    JASON STEELE

    I just wish we could all outgrow this nonsense, and get on with the work of making the world a better place. Cheers, Jason

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We must continue to be polite and strive for common ground. The biggest problem with our discourse these days is...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...the justification where people on any side say "I no longer need to be a civil human being to these people because of X."

    JASON STEELE

    Come on Brandon. I think that the biggest problem with discourse today is that faith gets a free pass. If someone tells you...

    JASON STEELE

    ...that he believes something on faith, then he thinks that that is unassailable, and I don't agree.

    JASON STEELE

    I don't think that I am under any obligation to treat the enemies of culture with any politeness or respect...

    JASON STEELE

    These are the people who want to ruin science education, retard research into lifesaving treatments that could alleviate...

    JASON STEELE

    ...the suffering of literally millions of men, women, and children, prevent homosexuals and other minorities from exercising...

    JASON STEELE

    ...their basic rights, and in all other ways trying to roll back human progress to the bronze age. I will not stand idly by.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If you let your disagreements turn you into hatred and incivility, you become that which you hate, my friend.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    (Sorry to go Yoda on you. That last bit was on the heavy-handed side.)

    JASON STEELE

    I think we're both better than sound-byte platitudes. What I hate is people who enshrine bigotry and ignorance behind...

    JASON STEELE

    ...a shield of 'faith,' while working to destroy everything that the enlightenment has gifted us with.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some of the people you speak of are worthy of your contempt. Most are just...well, people.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The answer to your problems is teaching them to see the other. You cannot do that unless you can do it yourself...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Faith deserves to be challenged more than it does, and we should not be able to stand behind it as an iron wall.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I just simply believe that we all need to see one another more as human beings.

    JASON STEELE

    Anyhow, good talking to you, even if it is a real pain to do so in these tiny Twitter chunks.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Nice chatting with you too. Again, sorry for the Yoda. You have good arguments. But I think you're giving in to a simplistic...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...view of "Us against them" where "Them" are always trying to destroy everything that is good or virtuous.

    JASON STEELE

    Oh, and welcome to Atlanta (where I happen to live).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thanks! And thank you for reading. I'll do my best to enjoy Atlanta.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, we're landing. Signing off from Twitter, folks, and see you at JordanCon! I have Magic cards. :)

    Tags

  • 95

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (14 April 2011)

    Yes, Delta has free twitter again on this flight. I will try my best to get work done. Why is it so much more tempting while flying?

    LUCKERS

    Wanna have a detailed conversation about something? We already did sexuality in the Wheel.

    LUCKERS

    Seriously, its 4am here, I'm feeling loopy and sad not to be at JordanCon... I'm go for anything.

    LUCKERS

    Reverse the normal vibe. Ask me questions. :P

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Bad Luckers. Go to sleep, let him work.

    LUCKERS

    Hush.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Well, we could get into how timid a lot of us fantasy writers are about writing black viewpoint protagonists.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It is noticeable to me. I don't think it's intentional bias, and if it is, it's worry about doing something wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But you see a lot of black side characters (in film too) but few black leading men.

    LUCKERS

    Interesting point actually... a form of reverse-racism. The fear that you are going to step wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes. You can read up on something called "Racefail" in the sff community from a few years back, if you want.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Google it. You'll find some interesting points along these lines.

    LUCKERS

    I did so, and yeah I see what you mean.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I do wonder if it also has to do with not having racially integrated kingdoms (as makes sense) in fantasy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So, if you want to tell a story about one kingdom, it naturally follows that you end up with a lot of people of the same race.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Then, you add someone else to be racially diverse—but that person you add becomes, by nature, the outsider.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Which, of course, only reinforces the bias, despite attempts at being diverse. It's a tough nut to crack.

    LUCKERS

    That does make sense—though I like RJ's futuristic blending of races. Sharan, Tairen, Seanchan—the blend has no meaning.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I'm not so sure this is completely true; it's probably quite significant that the Empress of Seanchan, an empire despised mostly because of slavery, is a black woman (not because it's significant in the WoT world, but because it isn't). It might also be significant that the only other known slavery of the WoT world is in Shara, which parallels Africa in many ways, including the dark-skinned natives. The dark-skinned Tairens are unique in Randland proper for their feudalistic serfdom.

    LUCKERS

    For myself, I write fantasy set in modern times—I touch on race heavily but have avoided aboriginal issues.

    LUCKERS

    Which wasn't intentional.

    JAMES POWELL

    Often, when reading a book, I don't know what colour a character's skin is—it's rarely described.

    JAMES POWELL

    I suspect this is to do with "white" = "default". The best exception I've seen is @neilhimself's Anansi Boys.

    LUCKERS

    I don't think it's white=default so much as caution about giving offense...at least on my part.

    JAMES POWELL

    I often wonder if having one black character (amid a load of white characters) is worse than having none.

    LUCKERS

    It's funny, I never realised but I have no black characters in my book, and thinking about it it's likely...

    LUCKERS

    ...because I've no idea how to write an aboriginal viewpoint. I lack the insight—though that's wrong in itself...

    LUCKERS

    ...because there will be many black and aboriginal people with an upbringing similar to mine.

    LUCKERS

    Tokenism, and the perception thereof, is an issue. Brandon's revelation of a gay character in Towers of Midnight received...

    LUCKERS

    ...some very... heated... attention based on this.

    JAMES POWELL

    Yeah, but the revelation of a gay anything causes heated attention somewhere ;)

    LUCKERS

    This is true. My high school graduation was no exception. :P

    JAMES POWELL

    Oh aye? Did you ask for a Gay Diploma? ;)

    LUCKERS

    Made out with a guy on the dance floor... it was rather dramatic, but easier than explaining.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes. Tokenism is a real danger. And it's tough to do these things without stepping into this trap.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    On one side, you have GLBT readers emailing me and asking sincerely to be better represented.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Then, you have RJ saying to fans "Yes, there are gay characters. It just hasn't been right to mention it yet."

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    However, when the time is right to mention one, how do you keep it from feeling just like a token nod?

    LUCKERS

    On the other hand, from the perspective of a minority that has only very recently received airtime...

    LUCKERS

    ...seeing anything is kind of... well, nice. I can remember being young and avidly watching Dawson's Creek...

    LUCKERS

    ...for the characters who, by today's standards, are very much tokens.

    LUCKERS

    Avoiding a token nod: by not making it the main point. But even so, if he's the only one, he'll be seen that way.

    LUCKERS

    For all that she's a bad guy, Galina's lesbianism was the perfect non-token introduction.

    LUCKERS

    Lord of Chaos Chapter 53, her attentions to Erian....

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm curious. Did you ever read Rose of the Prophet? If so, what did you think of the gay character?

    LUCKERS

    Haha... you asked me this last time—but no. It's on my list now, but hard to find in Australia.

    LUCKERS

    She's also Mormon, no?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I liked them as a teenager, but haven't read them in years. If I remember right, however, the gay character...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    ...falls into the "safe gay friend" category that you see used so often in film, though he has a lot more depth.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The gay man is a major viewpoint protagonist, but his sexuality is very subtle. [Tracy] Hickman is LDS, but not Margaret [Weis].

    PETER AHLSTROM

    And Tracy Hickman is a guy.

    LUCKERS

    Really? *goes red in the face* I've been referring to him as a her for YEARS.

    LUCKERS

    Have you read R. Scott Bakker's The Prince of Nothing?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I keep meaning to read it. I think I even bought a copy. But I haven't yet.

    LUCKERS

    It's awesome. I raised it because it has a very poignant depiction character confused about his sexuality.

    LUCKERS

    Here's a question based on 'subtlety'—like the depiction of the black character, can an overly camp character work?

    LUCKERS

    In one of my early drafts I had a camp gay man, and I was accused of homophobia... it's kind of the same point...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As an aside, I really wish "homophobia" hadn't stuck as the term of choice in these matters.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I guess "homoinsensitivitia" didn't have the right ring to it.

    LUCKERS

    Fear of singularity in sexuality. Sounds like Star Trek jargon.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    This point came up in the flamewar that followed Brandon's revelation about the gay man on Dragonmount (referenced earlier by Luckers). I think that the connotations of the word are independent of the word itself, and would have likely stuck to whatever word we might have used instead of 'homophobia' (because 'phobia' itself doesn't always have connotations of hatred). In reality, there are many degrees of homophobia ranging from squick to hate, but those on the squick side tend to resent the word being applied to them as it implies a socially unacceptable prejudice.

    RI SCOTT

    On the gay character question, why do you think fantasy, in general, so badly underrepresents the LGBT community?

    RI SCOTT

    It's one thing that deeply bothers me about a genre I love so dearly.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    If I had to say, I'd guess it's not intentional. It has more to do with what I posted earlier—authors not wanting to do it wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    That, mixed with the desire to create sympathetic characters—and the most simple way to do that is create someone like yourself.

    RI SCOTT

    I always wondered if there was any marketability concern—that books would sell less with major gay characters.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maybe. But most writers/editors I know don't think that way. They write the book they want to, then figure out how to market it.

    LUCKERS

    I've had so much fun hanging out with you tonight, but its 5:30 in the morning and I need sleep.

    LUCKERS

    Have a blast a JordanCon. I'm really sorry I'm not there to meet you in person.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Good night, then. Sorry I've been a little distracted this time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Remind me again. You're over in Australia, right? If so, what city?

    LUCKERS

    Sydney. Same as Linda.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'll be there next year, if I haven't mentioned. You, me, and Linda need to hang out when I come.

    LUCKERS

    We will do this. I'm definitely going to be at JordanCon 2012 as well. Still, sad... have fun on my behalf.

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    It turned out that Brandon was planning on going to Australia during JordanCon 2012 (so of course Luckers changed his plans).

    Tags

  • 96

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (14 April 2011)

    When I was younger, I found the Siuan/Bryne side plot distracting. Now it's one of my favorites. Odd, that.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It might go back to the fact that, having the ending of the series in hand, I no longer feel anxious about waiting for an ending.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As RJ matured as a writer, the depth of romantic relationships grew. Mat/Tuon and Siuan/Bryne are more complex than earlier romances.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Not that I mind some of the early ones. Simple is sometimes good too. But it is a shift I've noticed in the books.

    LUCKERS

    I dunno—Nynaeve/Lan was done in much the same manner as Mat/Tuon. And is anything more complex than Moiraine/Thom?

    LUCKERS

    From their very first scene together, there was sexual tension. Read where Moiraine speaks of knowing the face of the man...

    LUCKERS

    ...she will marry, or when she tell Thom she will show him not all Aes Sedai are bad in The Shadow Rising. The subtlest of romances...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maybe complex is the wrong word. Nynaeve/Lan was very well done. But it also wasn't in the forefront.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, they both fell in love quickly and and easily—there are just lots of obstacles.

    LUCKERS

    True. Though the scene where Rand over-hears Nynaeve and Lan in The Eye of the World breaks my heart every time.

    SLEEPINGHOUR

    Rand/Elayne and Gawyn/Egwene hardly spent any time together before declaring undying love.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You hit on the two basic ones that sometimes I feel lack depth in the early books.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Of course, you could argue this has to do with the age of the participants more than anything else.

    Tags

  • 97

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (25 April 2011)

    Daes Dae'mar in the WoT always made me idly ponder a magic system where influence points between people were tracked magically.

    Tags

  • 98

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (26 April 2011)

    Something fun for the #wotrr: Watch Fain. Many of you know this, but it wasn't something I saw until I started reading about the WoT.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Where Fain goes, people start getting paranoid, and you can trace his taint on individuals through the books by how paranoid they get.

    HERIDFAN

    Do you mean people in immediate contact with Fain like Elaida or even people in the same town?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I'm mostly talking about Elaida and others who came in direct contact in this case.

    Tags

  • 99

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (27 April 2011)

    WoT update: I've been doing more writing than reading lately, but keep running into walls. Tossed a few scenes. I'll work it out eventually.

    Tags

  • 100

    Interview: 2011

    Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Luckers (2 June 2011)

    Heya. So. Kind of harsh question—you are reported to have inferred recently that the Black Ajah and Nynaeve etc. ability to...

    LUCKERS

    ...to be solid and channel properly during the Dream Battle in Towers of Midnight has an explanation. Is this true? I struggle...

    LUCKERS

    ... to believe that given the text and my communications with Maria, and was wondering if it was misquoted?

    LUCKERS

    Aight. Literally as I posted the above to Brandon, Maria replied with that this whole issue is a Read and Find Out issue. I'm a douche.

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Did anyone check out the ebook to see if any changes have been made to that scene?

    LUCKERS

    Don't think so... been chatting with Maria about it and she's not indicated any changes.

    MARIA SIMONS

    Look for an email soon; there were changes. I'm having a difficult day; I didn't think that you might not have seen an ebook.

    FOOTNOTE

    The differences were found and posted at Theoryland.

    Brandon Sanderson (3 June 2011)

    I need to do more #wotrr posts. I've been doing most of reading away from the computer these days; flying or working out. No Twitter handy.

    TEREZ

    It's okay; we still love you. ;)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Whew. Good to know. :)

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    I found the bit with Luckers after I'd done the 2011 Tweets. By date, it fits here best, but the context is not necessarily significant; I can't insert entries anywhere but at the end of an 'interview' page, but I can edit previous entries, so here it is.

    Tags

  • 101

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (6 July 2011)

    Working away at A Memory of Light. Doing a Rand viewpoint now. (Yes, to contrast Towers of Midnight, there will many of his direct viewpoints in this one.)

    ERIN KELLY (9 JULY)

    The end of Wheel of Time is very imminent. Next year, if @BrandSanderson is to be believed (I trust him).

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Next year for sure. I'm getting close to the 1/3 mark done with the last book. It's moving well.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Work on A Memory of Light should speed up from here out. I've done a lot of groundwork and outlining. Many scenes are all but finished.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I should be getting done about 1% a day from here out, though that's partially because I haven't yet counted some of that groundwork.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For now, I've updated the % bar on my website to 22%, reflecting the 66k words worth of chapters solidly and completely finished.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    "Men thought violence could solve anything. If she'd had a stout stick, she'd have thumped all three until they saw reason."—Nynaeve

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    (Note: that quote is edited for size.) Yes, I'm back to my #wotrr, now that outlining on A Memory of Light is done, though my focus is still on writing.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I now have over 20k of you jokers following me on Twitter. Wonder what % came hoping to see me post a line from A Memory of Light by accident.

    Tags

  • 102

    Interview: Jan 14th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've long been an insomniac. I think.

    Insomnia is a hard one to pin down for me. I'm sure that there is an official definition somewhere in the psychologist's handbook. I just define it as "Those times when I want to sleep but I can't." However, it seems to me that a lot of those times happen when I'm trying to go to bed at what other people call a 'normal' time. I'll lie in bed for hours, just thinking or daydreaming. (Er, nightdreaming.)

    Most of my life, this hasn't been much of a problem. In fact, I think it's led to a lot of the habits that turned me into a writer. Plus, if I'm having A LOT of trouble sleeping, I get up and do something else until I'm tired. That can take hours, but since I don't have a day job, I can sleep in if I want. No big deal.

    The longer I've done this, the more I've realized that I rarely get insomnia if I'm consistently going to bed later at night, like around three or for am. Perhaps it's the regularity of the schedule.. Or, maybe the hour is important, and my body just likes to sleep from four to noon instead of normal hours.

    The problem with this all is that it can be very difficult to get things done if get onto a schedule where you're sleeping seven to three, particularly if you have a family (which I now do.) My sickness last week (which I'm over with; thanks for all your good wishes) immediately sent me into a sleep during the day, be up at night schedule. Didn't get back on a slightly normal one again until today, when I managed to get up at 12:30. I spent most of last week either feeling really sick or feeling like I hadn't gotten anything done in FOREVER. So it was that somehow I managed to do a full-blown rewrite of ALCATRAZ 3, which was on my plate still (note the percentage bars on the website.) I'm happy to have managed to clear that away, though I do have to admit that I haven't gotten as deep into the Wheel of Time yet as I'd like to.

    My worry is that, when I start A Memory of Light in the next month or two, I want to be DEEPLY entrenched in Mr. Jordan's world again. More and more lately, that's meant getting everything else taken care of completely. I want to be able to read WoT in a way that will bend my style toward Mr. Jordan's—but, with that as my goal, I don't want to be thinking about other books of mine during that time, lest I let them be influenced too much by Mr. Jordan's way of writing. (Not that it would be bad for me to learn a few things from Mr. Jordan. I just don't want to do it unintentionally. Writers have the danger of letting their styles imitate directly what they're reading at the time, and while I intend to do this on purpose with A Memory of Light, it would be wrong to do this to my other works.)

    So, the second point of this whole rant? I'm about fifteen percent through a 4.0 rewrite of Warbreaker, which is the very last thing on my 'to do' list alongside writing A Memory of Light. I'm really digging the changes to the text so far, though I don't know if they're big enough for most readers to notice. Anyway, I should have 4.0 ready for download by the end of the week. Then, I'll start doing updates on my thoughts of WoT as I read it through some of the books for what I believe is the eighth or ninth time.

    New Annotations tomorrow, I promise.

    Tags

  • 103

    Interview: Jan 24th, 2008

    I'm going to start posting my impressions of the Wheel of Time books as I read through them again. This will just be me blogging my reactions as a reader and my thoughts as I approach the humbling task of finishing the Wheel of Time Book Twelve. As a reminder, I've read these books before, but it has now been some six or seven years since I've read through the entire series from the beginning. It used to be my habit to read through them all when a new one came out, but life got too busy and the series too long for me to do that with the later books.

    There won't be any spoilers of Book Twelve in these, though there will be spoilers to the book I'm currently reading. So, if you're not familiar with the Wheel of Time but are planning to read the books, you might want to skip these posts.

    Doing this makes me just a little wary. I like connecting with readers and offering posts like this to give you an insight into an author's mind and into the process. I feel that you, as the fans, have a great deal of ownership and stake in this project, as it is because of you that the Wheel of Time was so successful.

    However, I don't want my posts to serve as a catalyst to panic regarding my handling of Book Twelve. For instance, if I write that certain character is kind of bugging me in a scene, I worry that people will think that I'm making a criticism of Mr. Jordan's writing or that I'm criticizing that character in specific. I'm not doing either. I think Mr. Jordan's writing is fantastic—even as I read through again, I'm struck by how well he was able to weave so many different ideas together. I really do have a sincere affection for all of these characters—I've grown up with them, as many of you have, and they feel like siblings to me. Just as a sibling can be annoying, I feel that a character can be annoying. It doesn't mean I intend to cut them from Book Twelve or give them any less screen time.

    I thought, then, that I would make this post as an introduction. None of my posts over the next few months are intended to give any foreshadowing of book twelve. Please don't panic if I seem to be interpreting a character's motivations differently from how you view them. The materials Mr. Jordan left are quite extensive, and the final book's plot and characterizations were set by him. My goal with that book will be to as invisible as possible, and certainly don't intend to insert any of my own themes, agendas, or philosophies into it.

    I will collect these blog posts in a list, and you'll be able to find them on the A Memory of Light section of my website, once we add it.

    Tags

  • 104

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm hoping to be able to do more than one post per book, but I'd already started The Eye of the World when I finally got time to write this. I'll probably only do one post for the first book, then, which is a tragedy, since it has long been one of my favorites of the series. I also feel that it will be VERY important to writing Book Twelve. The Wheel turns; ages become new again and ideas return. I feel that the last book of the series should have numerous hearkenings back to this first book; that will give a sense of closure to this section of the Pattern and fit with the motif of the Wheel's turning.

    That's just my gut instinct, and I'm not promising anything specific or even referencing material from the Twelfth Book. I'm only speaking of my general feelings as a writer, but Mr. Jordan's notes are far more important than any of my instincts.

    As I read through this first book again, I was shocked by how well he had foreshadowed the later books in the series. This is the first time I'm reading WHEEL OF TIME all the way through as a professional novelist. I see things differently than I once did. I know how difficult it is to foreshadow across an entire series, and am frankly astounded by how well Mr. Jordan laid the groundwork for his future books. Min's prophesies are one great example, but equally potent is Mr. Jordan's use of mythology and story as a means of preparing the reader for events such as the Great Hunt, future interactions with the Aiel (and the People's relationship with them), and the coming of the Seanchan.

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  • 105

    Interview: Jan 26th, 2008

    As I read, I also found myself having a very odd reaction. You see, when I first read these books, I was a teenage boy. It's not odd, then, that I would empathize with Rand, Mat, and Perrin. Each previous time I read through the series, my major sympathies focused on them. I remember being frustrated by how much Nynaeve and Moiraine kept them out of the loop, ordering them around and not telling them anything.

    Now I'm older. It has been years since I've read through these early books. Strangely—almost traitorously—I find myself looking on Rand, Mat, and Perrin as . . . well, reckless teenagers. I'm still very affectionate toward them and interested in their stories. Yet, every time they do something dumb (like run off in Shadar Logoth without telling anyone) I find myself wanting to scream at them "You wool-headed fools!"

    Instead I find that . . . brace yourselves . . . Nynaeve is my favorite character in this book. I always found her annoying in a bossy-older-sister kind of way before. Now, she's the character closest to me in age, and I can see her motivations and feel for her plight. In my opinion, she's one of the most heroic people in this book, as she left the Two Rivers on her own (despite the recent attack) and tracked the others out further than she'd ever been before. Rand and the other boys have no choice but to do as told, buy Nynaeve could have gone home at any time. Instead, she stayed—all because of her determination to help protect those from the Two Rivers. She's trapped between the boys thinking she's bossy, but Moiraine treating her practically like a child. (Well, not really, but you know what I mean.) She's got it rough, but she keeps on going.

    I have to say, I'm impressed again with Mr. Jordan. It's hard to write these posts without sounding like a base sycophant. Yet, if you're an aspiring author, might I suggest that what he did here is something to study? He's managed to craft a book which not only appeals to the teenage readers who see themselves in Egwene or one of the boys, he's inserted characters who think and feel in a way that appeals to other audiences as well. I suspect this is part of why the books work so well. Perhaps after aging a little more and raising children of my own, I will find myself thinking more like Moiraine. (Though, to be honest, she's always been one of my favorite characters. Still is.)

    So, there you have it. Brandon's favorite character of this book: Nynaeve. And I still think that's really strange. Next week, I'll give my reactions to The Great Hunt.

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  • 106

    Interview: Jan 29th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm very interested in the way that Mr. Jordan expanded the viewpoints in this book. Here is where we first begin to see the scope of this story, in my opinion, as we start to get viewpoints from Moiraine, Fain, and numerous others. This is one of the things I've always liked about Mr. Jordan's writing—in fact, it may have been one of his greatest talents. His ability to craft a very intense, well-written, and engaging third-person-limited viewpoint. If there's one thing I could pick to learn from his writing, it would be how to do such a good third limited.

    I'm about halfway through the read right now, and like how quickly-paced this book is moving. Sometimes, readers get down on Jordan for his pacing, but I've found that these first books move at a real clip. I think the shifting viewpoints in this book is how I prefer it; I remember that later, he starts to divide the books in chunks, having a large section from one viewpoint, then moving to another viewpoint for a long time. We'll have to see how I feel about that when I get to it, but for now, I like having short chapters moving from viewpoint to viewpoint so I never lose track of anyone for too long.

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  • 107

    Interview: Jan 29th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mentioned before that I see things differently as I read these books through for the sixth or seventh time. I'm a writer myself now, and I look at the books from that standpoint. I can still enjoy them as a reader, but I think I enjoy different things as well. For instance, I love the sheer weight of conflict Mr. Jordan gave to his characters. I often say that stories are about conflict—characters are made interesting by conflict and a setting comes alive via the pressure points where different aspects of culture grind against each other. If you're an aspiring author, take note of the excellent variety of conflicts Rand has shown during the first book and a half:

    1) Servants of the Dark One chasing him.
    2) The Dark One himself (kind of) appearing in Rand's dreams.
    3) Rand's worry about his identity and whether or not Tam is really his father.
    4) Rand's worry about his relationship and love for Egwene
    5) His tension between Mat and Perrin in Book Two.
    6) His worry about everyone calling him a lord.
    7) His frustration that the White Tower is trying to control him.
    8) The danger of channeling and his place as the Dragon Reborn

    And that's just a few of them. There's a reason why this story has been so successful and has been able to carry so many books. Conflict. There's no shortage of it here. Anyway, I'm still enjoying Nynaeve's character, though I wish she'd get over her anger at Moiraine. In most things, Nynaeve is clever, but she's got a hole in her vision when it comes to Moiraine.

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  • 108

    Interview: Feb 2nd, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, on to the read-through. I'm far into Book Three, but I thought I'd stop and give some more reflections on The Great Hunt. I know that this book is the favorite of a lot of readers, and as I re-read it, I can certainly remember why. The ending was fast-paced and dramatic and contained several of my favorite scenes from the series.

    One of these is the experience of using the Portal Stone and letting us see all of the different lives Rand could have lived. I loved the variety of the scene and the power of ending each one with the Dark One's words. I win again. . . .

    I thought that would be my favorite scene of the book until I hit the climax with the horn sounding and the Dragon Reborn riding to battle beneath his banner. As many of you know, I am an endings guy. A great ending makes a book for me, while a weak ending can really ruin a story. This ending was a great one—plenty of powerful imagery and good conflicts.

    There's one interesting that happened when I was reading this book. I remembered and anticipated a lot of the moments in this book, one of the most important being Egwene's capture by the Seanchan. The strange thing is, I kept waiting and waiting for the event, and it never came. I'd remembered with detail the chapters and chapters of torture she'd gone through as one of the leashed ones.

    Finally, I reached the last fifth of the book and the capture came along. I was surprised to see that the time I'd remembered as filling 'chapters and chapters' was really only about thirty pages worth of material.

    This says a lot, I think, about the depth of the conflict in those thirty pages. What Egwene went through was traumatic enough for her that it left a strong impression on me. The fact that Mr. Jordan was able to do that in just a few chapters says a lot for his ability to give depth and power to a scene.

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  • 109

    Interview: Feb 5th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've mentioned that it's sometimes hard for me to remember which events happen in which book. Obviously, I knew going into this one that I'd be reading about the fall of the Stone of Tear—the cover gives a handy hint on that. However, some of what I'd THOUGHT happened here—the pages and pages of Egwene being held by the Seanchan, the training of the three in the White Tower—all was covered in the last book. (Man, he packed a lot into The Great Hunt.) And now, it turns out that another big event (Rand using the lightning to clear the Stone of Shadowspawn) is actually in the next book.

    So, I went into this one a little bit confused, trying to remember what exactly happened in Book Three. About a hundred pages into it, I suddenly remembered. This is the one where Rand disappears.

    As if in foreshadowing of future books in the series, where side characters become main characters, this is the book where we only get brief glimpses of Rand. I remember being annoyed by this when I was younger. Oddly—this is another change between my young self and my older self—I didn't feel that any more. I've grown, over the years, to see the WHEEL OF TIME less as Rand's story, and more of the story of the end of an age. It's the story of the entire world and the people in it, not just the story of one person. And so, I actually enjoyed reading the different viewpoints, which allowed me to get to know the world and setting better. Perhaps that's just the writer in me knowing that in another month or so, I'm going to have to write in this setting, and so anything that shows me more viewpoints, more characters, and more places is going to be well appreciated.

    All admit to a slight longing, however. Not for more Rand viewpoints specifically, but a longing to know him better. The man whom we read about at the beginning of this book has changed a lot since the end of the second book. That progress, that change, is trapped between books, lost to us. A friend recently explained to me that Mr. Jordan looked at Rand's changes during this book as a metaphor for the way he himself changed during his years in Vietnam. That same friend suggested that maybe showing those changes explicitly might have been too close to home for Mr. Jordan. I'd never heard that before, but it makes a whole lot of sense.

    My only other complaint about this books is Moiraine. She's always been one of my favorites, but she got on my nerves here. It's okay to push around Mat—he deserves it. Rand is fair game too; he can blow up cities. He needs direction. But why does she have to pick on Perrin? He doesn't deserve it.

    And, speaking of Perrin, my favorite moment in this book came when Perrin entered the blacksmith's shop near the end and worked the forges. Something about the beauty of the writing there, mixed with Perrin's inner turmoil of the surrounding chapters, worked for me. It was one of the most amazing moments in the series so far for me, and reminded me why I like Perrin as a character so much.

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  • 110

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2008

    This book is long—huge, actually. I'm curious to know if it's the longest of Mr. Jordan's books by wordcount. (Does anyone have a list of the wordcounts of all the books?) However, it didn't feel long to me, since we have so many characters to watch and follow. I've heard some people complain about the number of characters in the WoT books, but this is what makes the series work so well, in my opinion. You can justify a 400,000 word novel if you're letting us follow so many different viewpoints and storylines.

    The best part of this book for me, hands down, were the scenes where Rand gets to experience the history of the Aiel and the Traveling People. This actually illustrates what I was trying to say in the previous paragraph, but didn't quite get around to. These books work because no matter whose viewpoint you are in, Mr. Jordan is able to make them feel alive and real, and is able to make their motivations rational. (If, sometimes, evil.) These scenes in the past are a great example. We've never met these people, and yet they were as interesting to read for me as the main characters.

    I think this is the jump readers need to make to really enjoy this series. They can't get so attached to Rand, Mat, Egwene, and Perrin that they aren't willing to experience the powerful characterizations of other people in the world. Those who can't make this jump tend to complain about the series loosing focus. Those who do make the jump get a story with more complexity and depth than you find in some of the other fantasy series, which stick to the more traditional plot structures and characterizations.

    My second favorite parts of this book come with Perrin and Faile. Faile is often cited as one of people's least favorite characters, but again, I think this comes from not understanding what is going on. She's annoying at the beginning—she really is. She's childish and petulant. That's great: it means she has room to grow. And I think she does. This book starts off with her and Perrin having, in my opinion, a very immature relationship. By the end they've grown together and both have matured. Perrin by learning to be a leader, Faile by learning to work with him rather than just trying to hard to get him to let her be in charge. I think that's an important lesson that a young noblewoman like her needed to learn.

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  • 111

    Interview: Feb 13th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    First off, I'll be at Life the Universe and Everything this weekend. (That's BYU's science fiction convention.) I'll post my schedule below. Know that I'll be doing a signing on Friday the 15th. 3.00 at the BYU bookstore, and everyone is invited, even if you're not attending the con. (I'm pretty sure it will be in the bookstore. If you don't find me there, ask around.) As always, LTUE has free admittance to the public, and since both Orson Scott Card and Gail Carson Levine are going to be there, it should be quite the convention. I should also have a few copies of the Mistborn and Elantris hardcovers for sale with me, if you wanted to grab one without having to pay the shipping. Check the bookstore first, however, as they sometimes have remainder hardcovers they sell for six or seven bucks. (Though they do have a remainder mark, which mine don't.)

    My Panel Schedule:
    Thursday 10:00: Using history and folklore to enrich your world (M)
    Friday 9:00: Dialogue (M)
    Friday 2:00: Realities of NY Publishing
    Friday 5:00: Putting Romance in your Novel
    Saturday 9;00: Researching unusual subjects
    Saturday 10:00: LDS Beliefs & SF&F (M)

    NOTE: MY BOOK SIGNING IS ON FRIDAY AT 3:00, not on Thursday as originally planned.

    Also, as it's Wednesday, I've posted a new HTML chapter of Warbreaker. I've also posted a new annotation for Mistborn: The Well of Ascension.

    Thank you for all of your comments and responses to the bookplates idea. I'll mull it over and let you know what I intend to do. For now, I've got to focus on reading Lord of Chaos. (I finished Book Five last night—I'll do a blog post on it tomorrow or Friday.)

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  • 112

    Interview: Feb 18th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Here are a few short responses to The Fires of Heaven. This isn't very long, I'm afraid. I finished the book last week and am now much of the way through Lord of Chaos. The demands of the convention, however, kept me from being able to do a response to book five until now. (And forgive me if I spell any names wrong below. I wrote this rather quickly. I think I got them all right, but didn't have time to check them all.)

    As I've said before, reading through the WHEEL OF TIME this time, now that I'm a writer, has been very interesting. It seems to me that this series—particularly staring with Books four and five—were always intended to be read straight through as one. Though there are climaxes in each book, I also get a sense that each ending isn't really the end and each beginning isn't really the beginning. (Which, of course, is part of the overarching theme of the series in the first place.) I like how the books blend together, each having their own theme, but each also feeling like a continuation of what came before.

    Book five has a lot of very interesting events. I'm curious how Egwene's character is changing, in particular, and I find myself empathizing with her less and less—but find myself liking Nynaeve and Elayne (not to mention Aviendha) quite a bit more. Nynaeve, in particular, is growing quite quickly as a character as she realizes she can't use hatred of Moiraine as a motivation, and shifts more toward her desires to heal and protect. It is interesting to me that Perrin disappears in this book, much as Rand disappeared in Book Three. The series really begins to expand here, moving more and more toward an exploration of a wide variety of characters.

    Reading and expecting this to happen, I find myself very interested in what is happening with the "side" characters. I use quotes because if there's one thing this series has taught me, it's that there aren't really side characters and main characters in this series. It's about everyone. True, the ta'veren form the focus for what is happening to the others, but Siuan and Morgase's stories are in many ways as important to the pattern as those of Egwene and Elayne. My second favorite storyline in this one, actually, was indeed Siuan's story. We've had a lot of tales in this series about common people becoming important. It's nice to see that reversed and look at the lives of important people who are suddenly forced to become common.

    My favorite storyline in this book, however, is Mat's. He finally starts to shine. Almost against his will, it seems—which makes it all the more interesting. Those moments in the battle near the end where he keeps trying to escape, but ends up unable to abandon the soldiers were quite powerful and meaningful. I find it interesting—as many others have noted—that the final fight between Mat and Couladin happens off-screen. This seems an indication to me that Mr. Jordan felt that the affect of conflict upon the characters was more important than the conflict itself. Getting to sit with Mat as he works through in his head what had just happened proved for a very interesting scene, and allowed us flashbacks to the fight with Couladin itself. Obviously, this isn't a plot structure to use all of the time, but I felt that it was quite adeptly employed here.

    I'm eagerly awaiting the moment when the Wise Ones discover that Egwene isn't a full Aes Sedai. She needs to be brought down a notch or two.

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  • 113

    Interview: Feb 25th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've now completed my re-read of the first six WoT books. Perhaps it is my mind seeking organization where there is none, but I see these six books as having a rather interesting division. The first three each focus around a central event—the hunt for the horn, for instance, or the fall of the Stone. The second three change the direction of the series, moving to a much more complicated story. Each of these three middle books seem to contain a much larger number of plots, goals, and character motivations. These middle three, the second trilogy if you will, blend together far more than the first three did. It's like they all form one large book, with the lines between them far more blurred.

    I'm not sure if this is the way Mr. Jordan plotted them, or if it's simply the way the series evolved. Perhaps I'm just seeing something where there is none. However, as a writer, this division interests me. I find that as a reader, I am much more satisfied with reading these middle books, though I didn't by any means dislike the early ones. A series this long could not have lasted by telling stories only about one or two characters. Series that do such always feel like they have flat characterization to me. You can only focus so long on one character before you have to begin recycling motivations or pushing their character development into the realm of the ridiculous. By expanding the series beyond what it appeared at first—a simple hero's journey—Mr. Jordan created something more lasting.

    However, he also took a great risk in changing the series (either intentionally or by natural evolution) as he did. A great many writers do the easy thing, telling the same story over and over with different names on the front, having the same few characters go through the exact same stories over and over. That's comfortable for readers, but it does not challenge genre, and it is not the substance of greatness (in my opinion.) Instead of doing that, Mr. Jordan took a chance on expanding the plots of dozens of side characters, crafting a series that was about much more than it seemed at first. All three of these middle books blended together, but each one still felt distinct to me. The story is moving, progressing, growing—and the characters are much different people at the end than they were at the beginning.

    Perhaps I should focus more on what specifically happened in Lord of Chaos that I liked, but as the one who must—however insufficiently—continue Mr. Jordan's legacy, I find myself looking more at the whole than at the minutia. That, of courses, is important as well. But I think for me to be successful in completing this final book, I need to understand—really understand—what made this series great. I might not be able to write the exact words Mr. Jordan would have, but if I can get the SOUL of the book right, then that will not matter.

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  • 114

    Interview: Feb 25th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anyway, as for Book Six, it was a powerful read. Lews Therin was my favorite character of the book—his interactions with Rand are wonderful. We are left wondering just how much is insanity and how much is another man's soul in Rand's head. Each conversation gives us information about the setting, personality about Rand, and tension for the plot as we wonder about his sanity. Not to mention the occasional laugh at the exchanges, sorrow regarding Therin's tragedy, and a sense of mystery as Rand tries to find out just how much he can interact with Therin. Masterfully done.

    A second response comes with the ending. It's sometimes easy to skip over this ending in light of the dramatic occurrences at the end of Books two and three, and yet I found this to be one of the most tense of the entire series. It was very well foreshadowed and marvelously executed.

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  • 115

    Interview: Feb 29th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anyway, I'm back and working on WOT Book Seven (almost done, actually.) I hope to be through Book Eight by the end of the weekend. For those who have been wondering, I DO intend to read New Spring as part of this. (I'm reading it after book 10, where it was originally released.) I've also ordered copies of the audio-books to listen to, though I understand that some of their pronunciations are off.

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  • 116

    Interview: Mar 3rd, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Other than that, my life has been rather serene lately. My job (so to speak) for these few weeks is to read books—and not just any books, but ones I have loved since I was a youth. That's rather remarkable to me still. It has been a very peaceful experience, though the stress of trying to finish a book that millions of people are waiting to read looms back there inside of me as well. Completing this work is going to be like no other project of which I've been a part. Always, writing and reading were similar—yet separated—activities for me. While writing, I am fully in "creation" mode. While reading, I'm in "experience" mode. Yet here, with the task of writing Book Twelve laid before me, creating and experiencing become muddled. For once, when I read a work and think "oh, I wish that this would happen" it is possible to MAKE it happen. However, I know that I must hold myself to the rigors of character and story, doing only what is functionally appropriate for the story. Still, there is hope. If I want a face-to-face meeting between certain characters, there is a chance that it will fit with the plot. If I wish for a certain world aspect to get a little more explanation, then there is opportunity for that.

    This project is not 'mine' for it is much larger than me. And yet, I've always said that the strength of novels as an entertainment medium—as opposed to movies or other forms of expression—is that a novel can better reflect the vision of a single person. That can be good or it can be bad. However, in no other popular entertainment form can one person reasonably be in charge of every aspect and piece to the degree that one finds in novels. This leads to a completeness of vision in the medium, I think. My job in this case isn't to create that vision, but to 'catch' the same vision that Mr. Jordan had, then shepherd the final project so that it best reflects what he would have wished of the book. I feel that it's very important for the integrity of the book that it not have a schizophrenic vision—mine voice must blend with Mr. Jordan's, so that different passages will not fight with one another or stand out. The story comes first, the experience that the reader has.

    So, I read and find myself saying "I wonder if I could make this particular thing happen?" That is followed with "is that what Mr. Jordan would do?" Finally, I come around to "What is best for the story?" And I think that last one stands the most tall.

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  • 117

    Interview: Mar 6th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have finished The Path of Daggers, but I still haven't done a blog post on A Crown of Swords, so we'll do that one first.

    One of the things I went into this series wondering was if I could pick out why some readers grew frustrated with the series around books seven and eight. I went into this book during this particular read-through expecting it to be one of the weaker ones in the series, and yet, I found it to be one of my favorites.

    Those of you who read my initial Dragonmount interview will recall that the scene in this book where Nynaeve overcomes her Block at the bottom of the river, while Lan races to save her, is one of my very favorite in the entire series. I felt that the foreshadowing of the events here worked perfectly, and the character growth for Nynaeve over the last few books has continued to grow her as one of my favorite (if not my very favorite) viewpoints to read.

    Rand's character progression is also deftly handled, though he is going the other direction, in many ways. He is becoming harder and harder as he suffers more and more (the beatings in the last book didn't help either.) Part of me wonders if this character progression, which I find marvelously done, is part of what drove readers to complain about these later books. If that is the case, then they are missing one of the great aspects of the series, in my opinion. Rand is particularly heroic in how he faces so many difficult challenges, being beaten up physically and mentally, yet continues on despite it and even retains a large measure of his inner nobility.

    I object to complaints about pacing. I thing the pacing across the series has been even, and I certainly didn't find this book to be any slower than previous volumes. However, perhaps that's because I'm able to read these all through without any wait in-between. One thing that is happening is that as the series grows longer, the viewpoints per character grow less and less frequent. There are enough main characters with important plots that we can't spend an entire book focusing on just two or three of them like we did during the early books.

    This series, as I've said before, is meant to be read straight through. I think, perhaps, that waiting two years for this book and then only getting a tiny slice of the overall story might be what caused complaints from readers. It's not that the writing quality went down (I think it goes up as the series continues) or that the pacing grew slower. I think that the problem is readers not grasping the entire vision of the story, which is difficult to do when you don't know how many books there will be or how long it will be until they are done.

    I point as a counterweight to these complaints that when you CAN read the entire series straight through, the viewpoints work so well together that the books become an even greater masterpiece. The story is so complex and interconnected that you can often get your payoffs chapters and chapters away from the places where they are introduced. But they're all the more sweet for the complexity and delicate touch.

    Anyway, that's all I can really say here, as this one and The Path of Daggers are quite well blended together in my head now. (As I think they were meant to be.) I'm on to Book Nine tomorrow. I should begin work on Book Twelve before the end of the month at this rate.

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  • 118

    Interview: Mar 12th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I found this volume a very quick read. Perhaps that's because of its slightly shorter length, but I also think it's because I'm settling into the newer system Mr. Jordan had for changing viewpoints. We've slid into the "Large chunk from a viewpoint, then very little from them for a long while" system. With novels this complex and lengthy, there are really only two ways to handle the viewpoints. The first is to switch very quickly, like George R. R. Martin prefers. This gets you a sense of fast pacing and lets you keep readers informed about characters by coming back to them frequently, but never for very long. The other is to do big swaths from one viewpoint. This slows the feel of the pacing, but you don't have to worry as much about readers keeping track of everyone, since you have time in each viewpoint to give lots of reminders about what is going on, then leave that viewpoint long enough that it doesn't matter how much readers remember—you can just remind them when you come back. A middle ground between these two extremes would probably be possible, but I'd worry about readers being able to follow what is going on, since you never stay long enough to give reminders, but you don't come back quickly enough to count on them simply remembering.

    Jordan's middle books followed the quick-moving method, but he's eased into the longer swath method here, which I think was a wise move. In truth, what we're doing in these later books is reading six or seven DIFFERENT books, but reading them in a serialized method.

    I think that with readers, expectation is a big deal. If you go into these later books expecting to read a book which focuses on a couple of main characters, you might be annoyed. However, I'm expecting an engaging epic which shows me a lot of different smaller stories combining to make the larger one. In that, I'm very satisfied. I think Jordan did a marvelous job with these. (Though, I do remember Book Ten maybe going just a tad father than I like with the numbers of side viewpoints.)

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  • 119

    Interview: Mar 12th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Two things to note on this book in specific. First off, I love how the sections with Rand push him into his wild attack against the Seanchan. It shows how powerful and dangerous Rand is, yet at the same time gets across that he's still vulnerable and capable of being defeated. I've been waiting and waiting for him to use Callandor again and it was very fulfilling to see him pull it here, then have trouble using it. This is, as I recall, the first book which ends by Rand suffering a defeat. (Even if the Seanchan don't think they won either.)

    Secondly, I'm reminded of how annoying the Sea Folk are. They seem to be a burr in the side of pretty much every group of major characters from here to Book Eleven. That's nice, in a frustrating way. It's less that they themselves are annoying and that they represent a kind of impotence to the White Tower. I'm a little bit sad, personally, to see the Aes Sedai growing less and less in control as all of these other groups of channeling women show up and seem to have it together far more than the White Tower. (However, I wonder if this is just due to the fact that we see a lot more through Aes Sedai viewpoints. Perhaps the other groups wouldn't seem so 'together' if we saw as much from their eyes.) It also presents a lot more room for growth, which is nice for the narrative. The Aes Sedai have to pull themselves together and become what they were in lore in order to face the dark days that are coming. I just wish that so many of my favorite characters weren't getting bullied so often by the Sea Folk or the Kin.

    (Or, maybe this is all due to the fact that I think the Sea Folk totally took advantage of the whole Bowl of Winds thing. If they hadn't helped, the entire world might have starved and dried up. But instead of doing the honorable thing and helping in order to fight the Dark One and save lives, they insisted on an outrageous deal. They got to keep one of the most powerful artifacts in the world, AND got a whole bunch of privileges over the White Tower. They should be ashamed of themselves. Of course, on their side, if you CAN get away with it, then why not?)

    Also, one more note. I was really glad to read Winter's Heart and get Mat back! (If you're following along, I've actually finished Winter's Heart and am now reading Crossroads. I hope to finish both that and New Spring by the end of the week.)

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  • 120

    Interview: Mar 17th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, a response to WoT Book Nine. As fans, we waited a long time for this book: The book where saidin was to be cleansed. True, we've waited longer for the final book in the series, but I remember this one providing a very nice sense that the series WAS indeed moving. The cleansing of the One Power really did deserve its own book, and the battle at the end was a nice focal climax, tying together several different characters and plot lines into a single awesome event.

    I often wondered, when reading the early books as a youth, if saidin WOULD get cleansed. I worried that the end of the series would come and the taint would still be in force, leaving the Asha'man to deal with being hunted and gentled. As both a reader and a writer I found it immensely fulfilling to get this book, as I knew this event would change the series drastically. That's exciting because of the possibilities it opens up—possibilities for conflict and storytelling. How will the Aes Sedai, and the world, react to the realty that men channeling is no longer a terrible thing? I think the fact that we didn't get to see this reaction in Book Ten (as hoped) lead to a lot of the disgruntlement people felt with that particular volume.

    However, we're here to talk about Book Nine. Reading it as an author and the one who is going to help complete this series, I see things differently now. I love how the events of cleansing the male half of the power drive this book. By having Rand announce up front what he intends to do, Mr. Jordan creates an expectation and a kind of narrative 'time bomb' for the readers. Will it happen? Won't it happen? This is very different from what authors normally do—my first instinct, for instance, would have been to keep Rand's plan a secret for a large chunk of the book, then have a dramatic reveal.

    Yet, that would have had a much different effect, narratively, and I like how Mr. Jordan did it here. The plotting method I mentioned above would work for the first or second book of a series, but for book nine, I see the initial declaration as a move of honesty on Mr. Jordan's part. In a way, it's saying this: "Look, I know you've followed this series for a long, long time. I'm here to promise you that something incredible is going to happen here in this book." The joy for us as readers turns from trying to guess the plot to instead anticipation of what we hope will come at the end. Instead of "What will Rand do?" (A mystery plot) we get a "Will he succeed?" (an action adventure plot.) That made this book immensely satisfying, and allowed him to use Rand's plans as a focus for the entire book.

    The other item I'd like to note here is that we get Mat back, which is very nice. As I've often said in these reaction pieces, I feel that this series is much larger than just one character—even Rand. The pleasure of the books lies in watching the interweaving and growth of the various participants. That said, Mat is a nice counter-balancing force for the stories, and he adds a lot to them. An edge of humor, a feeling of a guy who is still—somehow—an underdog rather than a powerful political or militaristic force unto himself. The three male leads work very well together, and when we have a book with all three of them, I think it helps the pacing and flow a lot. Perrin can be deliberate and thoughtful, Mat spontaneous and glib, and Rand almost more of a force of nature than a person.

    Anyway, I finished off New Spring today and will begin Book Eleven this evening.

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  • 121

    Interview: Mar 21st, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Whew. It's surprising how busy things are, considering that it's the slow season (my books generally come out in the falls) for me. Mixed with the fact that I'm not writing right now, just reading, one would think that I wouldn't feel so busy. The thing is, when writing, I can really only do a certain amount in a day. Like a lot of authors I know, I kind of have a cap (it's between 2k words and 4k words, depending on the day and the book.) Once I hit that, my writing reserve is low, and I have to stop for the day and let my subconscious work out how I'm going to write the next section. What that means is that I can generally get up, write for half of the day, and be done—and then have time to do email, blog posts, and other business items.

    When I'm reading, though, there's nothing to stop me from just reading straight through all hours of the day, as opposed to stopping and doing other work. That, mixed with the urgency I feel to get to work on actual pages of AMoL, has made me keep reading and pushing long after I would have stopped for the day if I were writing. Ah, well.

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  • 122

    Interview: Mar 25th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right, I have to establish something before I get into my discussion of this book. First off, I've never been one who complained about the length of these books or the lack of motion in them. Like many fans who feel as I do, I would go along with others in conversations, giving a non-committal grunt when they lapsed into bashing the Wheel of Time for having grown too slow. But inside, I always thought "I think they're still as fun to read as they always were. Beyond that, why are you reading them if you always complain about them?" Anyway, it often wouldn't be worth arguing to me. (I still would sometimes on forums, however, and soon learned that that wouldn't get me anywhere.)

    Now I'm the person who has become the visible face for the Wheel of Time series, and now it IS my job—in my opinion—to defend them. So, I want to talk about Book Ten and say straight out that I really do think it's as enjoyable as the rest of the books in the series. (By my own admission above, however, I am biased. I'm both a long-time fan of the series and the person working on book twelve.)

    I know that readers feel that this book was too slow. The novel has one and a half stars on Amazon (and one star is the lowest possible.) I realize this, logically, but I have trouble seeing it myself. Perhaps people's complaints with this book has to do with the sense of narrative style. Mr. Jordan chose to jump back in time and show the timeframe in Book Nine over and over again from different viewpoints. However, this has always been one of the features of the series, and I—as a writer—was very interested in the format of this book. Rand's cleansing of the taint formed a wonderful focus around which everything in this book could revolve, much in the way that he as a person pulls at threads in the Pattern and forces them to weave around him.

    I particularly enjoyed Mat's sections in this book. I find myself growing more and more interested in his plot, and am picking him as my favorite character of late. I really enjoy his interactions with Tuon, and they have an interesting relationship, as both know that they're fated to marry. (Or, at least, he knows and she's very suspicious.) As a side note, however, I feel that the covers for this one and book nine are reversed. Book Nine was more important to Mat, and this book is more important to Perrin. Yet the covers imply the opposite. I digress.

    In truth, I have a lot of trouble understanding what people found boring about this book, yet at the same time exciting about Book Ten. The two—like all of the recent books in the series—very much seem to be chapters in a much longer book, all blending together and flowing as one. Perhaps it comes from us not being able to actually SEE characters react to the cleansing, as they don't know what happened yet—they only know that something big happened. But, then, that's an issue in book ten—and the complaints in reviews rarely, if ever, mention this item. In the end, I guess it has to come down to people's dislike of the Perrin/Faile plot. (But, once again, Perrin has always been one of my favorites, if not my favorite, characters in the book. So, his sequences are always fun for me.)

    This plot is interesting because it offers Perrin a chance to change in a different direction—and, I think, in an important direction. His wife's imprisonment forces him to face some of the darkness in himself, and it is what finally spurs him to give up the axe. Those are important events—he needs to be forced to admit that he has begun to like fighting and killing. Confronting that aspect of himself is what will give him the strength to lead into Book Twelve.

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  • 123

    Interview: Mar 25th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anyway, I didn't intend this to be an extended defense of the book, but that's what it came out to be. It's now been over a week since I finished it, and while there is much more I could write, I think it's time to let the blog post end for now. The big news is that I'm done with my read through. In fact, I officially began writing on Book Twelve this afternoon.

    There was a powerful moment there for me when I got to write those words "The Wheel of Time turns. . . ." Mr. Jordan, despite his preparations for the book, didn't actually write those words that have started each book in the series. I guess he figured he didn't need to, since they've been the same since book one. He knew that his time might come soon, so he focused on more important scenes.

    That left me being able to write the opening paragraph to chapter one. (Though, of course, there will be a prologue. While those words won't start the book, I decided that they would be the way that I started work on it.)

    It has begun.

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  • 124

    Interview: Mar 27th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    People ask me if working on this book is surreal. Before, I always said yes, but I don't think it really hit me HOW strange this is until these last few days.

    Yesterday evening, I pulled out the electronic versions of the novels that Mr. Jordan's assistant sent with me when I left Charleston. I combined them all into a single word document to use in searching. (It clocks in at 9,300 pages and about 3 million words, if you're curious.) Using Microsoft Word's search features, I can call up all sorts of useful information from the entire series at the touch of a few keys. (By the way, thanks for sending those electronic files, Alan! You thought of this a full three months before I ended up needing them. I guess that's the sign of an excellent assistant.)

    In compiling this document and setting a few bookmarks at important points (mostly the beginning of each book) I hesitated at the copyright statement of A Crown of Swords. He's a book I read over ten years ago, a book by an author I idolized. A distant and unapproachable figure, a hero himself, the one spearheading the epic fantasy movement of my era. And now I have a copy of the original file he typed and I'm working on finishing his last book.

    That, my friends, seems to DEFINE the word surreal to me.

    I was shocked the first time the people at Tor called this a collaboration. By publishing terms, I guess that's indeed what it is—a collaboration, where two authors work on a single novel. But to me, the term just felt strange. Collaborating with Robert Jordan seemed to set me too high in the process. I'm finishing the Master's work for him, since he is unable to. I kind of feel like Sam, carrying Frodo the last few paces up the mountain. Robert Jordan did all the work; for most of these twenty years, I've only been an observer. I'm just glad I could be here to help for the last stretch when I was needed.

    For those of you who wondered, I HAVE read Knife of Dreams and New Spring, but I haven't yet posted blog reactions to them. I read faster than I could keep up on the blog. (I've often noted that I'm really not that great a blogger.) I'll post reactions to these books as I go. For now, I need to get back to Book Twelve.

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  • 125

    Interview: Mar 30th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Here's our weekly (kind of) update of an HTML Warbreaker chapter and a Mistborn 2 Annotation! Those of you who are reading the annotations, I hope to eventually be able to get back to doing two of these a week, but I want to post responses to New Spring and Knife of Dreams first.

    Warbreaker HTML: Chapter Eight

    Well of Ascension Annotation: Chapter Twenty-Nine

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  • 126

    Interview: Apr 3rd, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, a response to New Spring.

    As I mentioned, I've finished reading through the entire WoT series again and have moved on to actually working on Book Twelve. (Two chapters writing are done as of right now, by the way. Neither were chapters that Mr. Jordan left any actual prose for, as I'm practicing with writing particular characters, and want to get a feel for writing them. I'm writing them and sending them to the experts in Charleston for feedback as I adapt my style to writing in the Wheel of Time world.) Anyway, I'm behind on these blog posts, and so while I read New Spring a few weeks back now, I'm only now doing a response for it.

    I've said before that I think Mr. Jordan's greatest strength as a writer was his ability to do viewpoint with such power. His second-greatest strength was probably his ability to plot on the large scale, planning for things that weren't going to happen for several books, leaving foreshadowing for novels that wouldn't be written for years. As part of that, he knew what happened in the past with his characters to a far greater extent than I think most writers do.

    New Spring seems to me an experiment in showing off these strengths. Here we have two characters from the main series shown many years before. I am impressed at how well Mr. Jordan was able to make these characters feel twenty years younger, yet at the same time show them being the same people. Both Moiraine and Siuan exemplified this, and it was interesting to read from a writer's viewpoint, as I was aware of how tough this must have been to pull off.

    What happens itself is less interesting only in that we already know most of it. (The classic problem with prequels, after all, is that you generally already know how it will end.) While I enjoy a good prequel, the feeling is different than it is for a main-line story. Reading a book like New Spring is more of a fan experience for me, as I get to see how Lan and Moiraine met, and we get a record of the infamous river dunking. Despite what the cover says, I wouldn't say this is the "New starting point" for the Wheel of Time. That's why I read it here, when it was written, rather than when it occurred in the series chronologically. Half of the fun of this book comes from having read the other books in the series first.

    It was strange to read a book from Robert Jordan that was only 120k long, though. I remember when I first saw it, years ago. I thought "Man, that's barely a short story!" 120k. Barely a short story. That would be a LONG book in many genres. Here, it's tiny. (Like many of you probably did, I can remember being annoyed at getting a prequel instead of the next novel in the series. Now I'm happy to have it, though, as it's one of our only glimpses into the world pre-Rand.)

    Anyway, it was great seeing Siuan being a punk. I think her character in this added the most to my understanding of the series as a whole. Lan was pretty much Lan, and while Moiraine was interesting, I found myself liking Siuan more. Perhaps because I really enjoy her storyline in the main series.

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  • 127

    Interview: Apr 13th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I'm back from my trip to Charleston. We got some really good work done and I'm excited to get back to writing. Expect that percentage bar to go up a couple more points this week. Just so that you know, I've decided to use 400k as the wordcount basis for the progress bar. I'm still not sure how long the book will be—it could be longer than that, it could be shorter—but that seemed an appropriate base line. I'll be able to tell you more as the process continues.

    Look for a Knife of Dreams blog post soon, as well as some regular updates. For now, a couple of links.

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  • 128

    Interview: May 2nd, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, after about a month of procrastination, I'm finally getting around to doing the final blog post in my series of "Wheel of Time read through" responses. Thanks to all of those who emailed me reminding me I'd never gotten around to writing a post about Book Eleven. Also, those of you at LJ, it looks like my blog-posting software skipped updating the post I did earlier in the week, so here's a link to it on my own website. You didn't miss much, just a little update explaining that I was done with the grading last week and had moved on to continuing A Memory of Light. (Also, forgive any typos in the following. I wrote it really fast, since I've still got a thousand words or so of A Memory of Light I need to get done tonight.)

    I find several things curious about Knife of Dreams. First, the pacing. This is the first book I remember feeling was moving directly toward an ending of the series. We resolve Elayne's plot to a large measure, Mat and Tuon get married, and Perrin rescues his wife. Those three things all complete major, multi-book arcs and set us up for Book Twelve. I've gotten some emails from somewhat snide readers who claim that they don't believe Mr. Jordan was planning to end the series with Book Twelve, but even if I hadn't seen the notes (which DO prove this book was to be the last) I would have believed in good faith that the ending was coming. Though I enjoy the more lethargic pacing of the previous couple books, Book Eleven's more breakneck resolution of concepts was also refreshing, if only as proof that an ending WAS coming.

    I'm not sure if Mr. Jordan is responding to comments on Book Ten by doing so much in Book Eleven. My instinct says that he wasn't. None of these plot resolutions felt rushed; they were simply all paced in such a way that book ten ended up being the 'middle' book in a lot of ways. It wasn't introducing new plots and it wasn't resolving them. It was, however, building for what happened in this book.

    It was strange reading Knife of Dreams this time as I felt a little like it is directed specifically at me. This book was, in a metaphorical sense, the 'pitch' toward me. It's the lead-in, and it was pitched quit well, directly on line. It's my job to hit that perfect pitch and send it flying.

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  • 129

    Interview: May 2nd, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the way of more specific responses to the book, I was very curious to discover that my favorite character for this volume was Egwene. I found it very compelling to read about her now that her power base has been completely removed from her. I remember the end of the previous volume, where she gets captured, thinking "Not again!" (Not that she'd been captured before, but after all the times Rand has been through that, I wasn't sure I wanted to read it again.)

    However, reading Book Eleven, I reversed my opinion. One sure-fire way to make a strong plot is to put a strong character into a position of weakness. In essence, the only thing she has as an advantage IS her strength, and she uses it to great effectiveness in this book. I believe this is the first place where she convinced me that she really is the Amyrlin.

    Mat and Tuon were fun to read, as always. Mat has been a real treat in these last books, and I enjoyed reading through again and looking to see what clues there are about Moiraine. (Though it's less mysterious to me now that I have the materials for Book Twelve.) It was good to finally get some resolution with Perrin, though I feel there is still a lot of emotional conflict there to work out. Beyond that, I guess the only response I'll give is that I think this book has my favorite of the prologues. The fight between Galad and Valda was superb.

    I'll try to post some annotations/Warbreaker chapters Saturday.

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  • 130

    Interview: Jun 30th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I finally got around to collecting links to all of the blog posts I did about the various books in the Wheel of Time. I've fixed up the page, and will soon be making the gemstone on the Wheel of Time Portal point to this. I thought I'd post the list below for all of you who are interested.

    ——

    In early 2008, Brandon re-read the entire series again in preparation to beginning work on A Memory of Light. Each time he finished one of the books, he made a blog post relating some of his thoughts and impressions of the book. As you read through these, there are a few important things to remember.

    1) This was not Brandon's first time through the series. He'd read many of the earlier books many times. He had been a fan of the series since its early days.

    2) These blog posts are not meant to be exhaustive. They're not reviews, nor does he touch on every topic important to a given book. Really, this was done just as a way to keep readers updated on his progress.

    3) He was giving reader response in these posts, not usually talking as the author of the final book of the series. That means (as he says in the introduction) if he finds a character annoying in one place, you don't have to worry that he hates that character or won't give them their due space in Book Twelve. Sometimes, writers want the reader to be annoyed with characters! Brandon loves each and every one of the characters in these books, and intends to treat them all with respect. (Also, he was very careful not to give clues about what is going on in Book Twelve in these posts.)

    4) Remember, Brandon is very fond of the Wheel of Time series. He approached these blog posts as one who loves the books and who is working on the final one. In other words, don't come looking for complaints about the series, because you won't find them here.

    5) Finally, remember that these were quickly-written blog entries. (And, again not official reviews or essays.) That distinction means that Brandon didn't spend a lot of time editing the content. They will have typos and errors, and the language isn't quite as smooth as it could be.

    That said, enjoy!

    Introduction to the Blog Posts
    Book One: The Eye of the World
    Book Two: The Great Hunt (Blog Post One) (Blog Post Two)
    Book Three: The Dragon Reborn
    Book Four: The Shadow Rising
    Book Five: The Fires of Heaven
    Book Six: Lord of Chaos
    Book Seven: A Crown of Swords
    Book Eight: The Path of Daggers
    Book Nine: Winter's Heart
    Book Ten: Crossroads of Twilight
    Book Eleven: Knife of Dreams
    Prequel: New Spring

    Note, you can also search for all blog posts with the Wheel of Time as a tag.

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  • 131

    Interview: Oct 29th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    I managed to get through my re-read of Knife of Dreams earlier in the week, with a focus on certain characters I'm writing on right now, and so I've found time to get a few thousand words in on the rough draft. Our percentage bar ticked up by 1% for the first time in a couple of weeks.

    Remember, each of those percents means 4k words, which for a lot of writers is an entire week's worth of writing. I have a goal of 10 during good weeks, but these last few weeks I've felt very good when I've managed half of that. Usually on tour, I don't write at all. It's just too grueling to be driving to a new city each day, signing and meeting people, then spending the days visiting other bookstores and signing the books on the shelves.

    Anyway, we're still inching away toward my goal of being to 400k words by the end of December.

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  • 132

    Interview: Oct 25th, 2008

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Memory of Light: I've had a couple of inquiries about the percentage bar here. I think I warned you way back in June that October would be a rough month for progress on the book, since it's hard to write when I'm on the road. But I'm still trying. Right now, I feel that I need to refresh my memory a little on the series, since I finished my read-through way back in March. So I'm re-reading Knife of Dreams at the moment. The progress bar doesn't reflect this, but I AM making motion through the book. I want to be careful to do the novel right. But I still anticipate being able to finish by the end of December. You may see the percentage bar tick up a few more points during the next few weeks of tour, but it's not going to go at the speed it did during August when I was pulling twelve and sixteen hour days writing because I knew that October was going to slow me down.

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  • 133

    Interview: Jun 1st, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Knowing that there was an ending, and actually having read it...but knowing there was an ending changed the entire series for me. When I was reading through it, it sometimes... I can see how sometimes people might have trouble with some of the middle-late ones, not knowing particularly when it's going to end and when the next installment will even be out. And it sometimes gets hard—it's hard to wait two or three years for a book, and by then there's such a large cast of characters—keeping them all straight and keeping track of them all. But when it's done, it's a completely different experience.

    DAMON CAP

    I think I agree with you there, because I think that's probably one of the reasons I was reading so much fantasy and books at that time, that those breaks made it difficult. Kind of like a television season hiatus. Like, you know, you have all these shows that get canceled because there is that long hiatus. I felt the same way. I kind of feel the same with Martin's stuff as well. So that kind of makes sense to me.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    With Jordan, a lot of us die-hard fans, we would have to read the whole series again every time a new one came out, which is how I got around to reading The Eye of the World like nine times by the time I was working on this project. Because when I'd been younger, I'd been hardcore enough to do that. When I got older, I just didn't have the time, so I'd have to read the new one. And even I, having read the first ones that many times would get lost sometimes when a new one would come out. When Knife of Dreams comes out and I'm reading through it, I'm like trying to remember how this person is related to that person. It's a completely different experience reading through all of them knowing that they're done.

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  • 134

    Interview: Jul 23rd, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    Though, oddly, I'm thinking I'm going to have to do another re-read of the entire WoT here pretty soon. It's been over a year since I finished the last read-through. (Whew. Hard to believe I've been at this a year and a half already.)

    In a small bit of WoT news (and in answer to a lot of emails I've been getting) I've been lobbying to Harriet for the chance to keep A Memory of Light for the final volume of the WoT. If you don't remember the backstory, we were planning all three of these final books to collectively be known as A Memory of Light. Each would have the title A Memory of Light with a subtitle. (Gathering clouds for the first one, which became The Gathering Storm.) Well, now that we can't use this idea (for various reasons) and the first third is coming out as simply The Gathering Storm I want to use A Memory of Light for the final of the three. I think it's a beautiful title, and it is something that Mr. Jordan left for us.

    Harriet seems agreeable, though nothing official has been set yet. Really, we need to get on the ball and choose a title for the second book. I'm working on that. (Though if you're passionate about the topic, you can feel free to email me.)

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  • 135

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2009

    Brandon Sanderson

    September first has come (well, and passed, by now) and I'm pleased to say that I met my goals. If you were reading the blog a few months back, you might remember when I explained that I needed to divert a lot of attention this summer achieving a couple of goals. The rewrite of The Way of Kings and the first draft of the fourth Alcatraz book. I not only had contracts to fulfill, but I needed a break.

    Well, Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens is finished as of August 31st. There's some revising to do, but that can happen on the back-burner as focus shifts back to The Wheel of Time. The break has been good for me; doing something different, as I've often said, refreshes me and helps me get work done. Just like the first Alcatraz book was something I needed to do to distract me between Mistborn books, work on this one has helped me take a breath and step back from the Wheel of Time (which had been dominating my life for fifteen or sixteen months.)

    It's time to move onward, however. I'm still waiting for a few bits of material from Charleston that I asked for, but that's all right since I think the thing I need to do now is re-read all of Knife of Dreams, and maybe spots of some previous books. I don't have the three months to dedicate to re-reading the entire series again, though I'm going to take the audiobooks on tour for plane rides.

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  • 136

    Interview: Oct 12th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART THREE: WARNINGS

    And so, we're entering the "refresh and work on side projects" stage of the writing process. I did this after The Gathering Storm, and I really need it now. I am therefore taking time off between now and January first. I get to write anything I want. It will probably be bizarre and unexpected; things that keep me fresh, things I haven't tried before.

    I ask your forbearance. I do believe that as a writer who has begun series, it is my responsibility to see that the other pieces of the story are written in a timely manner. However—and it may seem odd—I need to work on these other things to keep my next Wheel of Time and Stormlight installments good. It's how my process works.

    So, that's the first warning. I'm taking a break for three months. The second warning is that I can't promise I'll hit the final deadline on the Wheel of Time series. (The last one was supposed to be out in November 2011.) The problem is this: starting January, it will have been three years since I read the Wheel of Time series start to finish. That's too long. I'm starting to forget things. I won't feel comfortable starting the final book until I've done another re-read, and this is going to slow me down by three or four months. It's an unexpected delay I didn't fit into my original projections of how long it would take me to write the books.

    If I miss the deadline (which is more likely than not) it won't be by much. A few months, likely the same amount of time it takes me to do the re-read. But it is what must be done. So, I'd suggest that we set MARCH 2012 as the expected date of A Memory of Light. I suspect there will be some grumbling about this, but I feel I should let you know now, rather than later. It won't be an enormous delay, however. If my previous track record earns me anything, I hope it is the benefit of the doubt when it comes to me promising the release dates of books. I won't leave you hanging too long.

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  • 137

    Interview: Oct 29th, 2010

    James Rundle

    So is A Memory Of Light still tentatively scheduled for 2011?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's scheduled for next year, yes. I'm going to start working on it in January. One thing that's going to slow me down, though, and I have to warn fans of this, is that it's now been three years since I've read the series straight through. I read it straight through when I started, but it's been three years now, so come January I have to re-read the series. I'm starting to forget things and that's not good, so that'll slow me down by three months or so. My expectation is that it'll push the book back by three months. If I started it in January, I could have it done and out by November, but I just don't feel right about that, so more likely you're going to see it in February.

    James Rundle

    In 2012?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. There's still a chance you'll see it in November, but I have to re-read the series, and I want to take my time with the last one. You'll probably see it in spring 2012.

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  • 138

    Interview: Nov 6th, 2010

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Memory of Light may be ready in time for DragonCon, but Brandon isn't going to promise anything. He has to reread the series (again) before getting to work on it.

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  • 139

    Interview: Nov 8th, 2010

    Question

    Do you already have an outline for A Memory of Light? Is it partially built or do you have to do the whole thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's partially done. I have an outline, but Team Jordan hasn't read it yet. They will in March. I am also going to read through the entire series again before I start the last book.

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  • 140

    Interview: Nov 10th, 2010

    Question

    Talking about silly questions... Who killed Asmodean? More seriously, did you read again the whole series of the Wheel of Time before beginning to write the last book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did. I had been chosen in part because I was a fan, and I had read most of the books multiple times. When I was offered the project, I knew that I needed to re-read from scratch. And so, from January 2008 to about April 1st, I re-read the entire series, taking notes. And the weird thing to me now is that it's almost been three years since that. So I'm actually going to do that again, starting in January 2011; I'm going to read through straight again before I write the final chunk.

    I'm starting to forget things, and that's disturbing. You know, of all the people out there I can't forget characters and what's going on. So I need to do that again.

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  • 141

    Interview: Apr 16th, 2011

    Richard Fife

    So we know you're doing the re-read of the series right now, and Twittering about it frantically. But how else are you preparing yourself to write the mother of all conclusions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How am I preparing myself?

    Richard Fife

    And this actually is for all four of you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll go first but I think that others will have some things to say along these lines. I think one of the things we're doing is we're slowing it down a bit. We all got overworked last year, and getting Towers of Midnight out by the date that we had promised and that Tor wanted it has had detrimental effects on our ability to work at the beginning of this year. And so, we are going to slow it down a bit. One of the reasons for this is the re-read, but one of the reasons is we just worked too hard last year. And there are repercussions for doing that, and if we do that again, you're going to end up with a bad book. So, I think that's one of the preparations we're doing. We're building in more time for revision, is really what we're doing.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    I second that. Brandon is one of the world's fastest writers, but I am not one of the world's fastest editors. Last year was what Jim and I, well what I learned to do for Robert Jordan was curbside edits, kind of drive-by edits, but after a while that has a big cost. And there was no way, looking at the last book, that I could do my part of the work again as fast as I did last year.

    Richard Fife

    Alan? You have anything?

    Alan Romanczuk

    Preparation?

    (Mumbled conversation ensues between Alan and Brandon and something about battles...)

    Brandon Sanderson

    All I was going to say is, we're doing a lot of reading, all of us, in historical battles and the history of warfare in order to prime ourselves. I'm not going to tell you what specifically we're reading, but we are doing a lot of research in that area, particularly Alan and I.

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  • 142

    Interview: Jun, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    But mostly, I guess I just wanted to say that this is your last chance to read the series before the end comes. And so, read along with me. Read along with the other fans as we approach this final book, A Memory of Light, which will be coming out some time in 2012.

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  • 143

    Interview: May, 2009

    Question

    And when you started to work on the book, did you have to really go back and study the Wheel of Time books? Even though you knew them so well.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I had read Wheel of Time—I'd read the first book eight times, as I recall. And you know, I would re-read the series when a new one would come out often. And so, I had a good reading knowledge of the series, but that's very different from writing it. And so, January to March of 2008, I re-read the entire series, taking notes as the writer. A very strange process, I'll be honest, because half of me was reading this as a reader and a fan of the series. And as a reader and a fan—at least this is what I do—you have to extrapolate: "Oh, what if this happens? Oh, will this happen? Oh, could this happen?" There was the other half of my brain that was saying, "Wait a minute. You're the writer now, Brandon. What if this happens? Well, you know what will happen, and if it wasn't in the notes, you can decide if it's appropriate for it to happen." And so the two pieces of my brain were having a very interesting dialog, where the author side was saying, "That's not appropriate to the story even though you really want it." Or saying, "Oh yeah, we could do this." And the fan and the author coming together and saying, "Yay, we can do this," and then to allow for it, or there's a scene where we could do this, or even sometimes, he actually said do this scene, so I could anticipate knowing it was coming when no one else could. A very, very odd experience, but a very wonderful experience at the same time.

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  • 144

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    Are there any particular aspects of the book that you think will be especially challenging for you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The first is the depth of the setting. Though I've read these books several times, there is just SO MUCH to wrap your head around. Sitting here and thinking, I'm getting names mixed up and trying to remember just who is alive and who is dead. Obviously, I'm going to have to read the series through a few more times to get it all down, and I'm certainly glad for the Internet and the resources fans have created. I suspect you'll find me on Dragonmount occasionally asking for someone to look up an obscure fact or name for me!

    The other item of particular challenge is the worry that I'll disappoint the fans. I am confident in my writing, but. . .wow. This is like being the final man at bat in the last inning of the World Series—I'm the guy who has to step up and either strike out get a hit to win. All of my training, practice, and studies are coming to a head.

    I don't want to be the guy who ruined The Wheel of Time. I'll work very hard to make sure that doesn't happen.

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  • 145

    Interview: Nov 2nd, 2010

    Aidan Moher

    What did writing The Gathering Storm teach you that made Towers of Midnight a better book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Two things: First, how to juggle a large number of plotlines and viewpoints. (Something I'd failed at in drafts of unpublished books during my earlier years as a writer.) I couldn't afford not to do this well.

    Second, I believe I learned a lot about character viewpoint and narrative. (Most of this came from reading Mr. Jordan's books with a much more detailed eye than I'd done in recent years.)

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  • 146

    Interview: Nov 2nd, 2010

    Aidan Moher

    One of the perks associated with finishing The Wheel of Time is that you've read all of Robert Jordan's notes. Now that you know all the secrets (including stuff that won't even appear in the novels), how has your appreciation for the series changed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's been an interesting experience. So far as I know, I'm the only person in the world to have ever read through—beginning to end—the Wheel of Time, starting with Book One and continuing through until I reached the final scenes Robert Jordan wrote before he passed away. (Maria might have done it, but I don't think so—she pretty much has the books memorized by now, and seems to spot-read more than she reads straight through.)

    This is an experience others will start having in the coming years, and perhaps they'll agree with me that it DOES change the series. First off, you gain a better appreciation for Robert Jordan's ability to foreshadow. Second, the slow parts don't seem so slow any longer, particularly as you see books seven through fourteen as being one large novel.

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  • 147

    Interview: 2012

    Twitter 2012 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brandon Sanderson (14 March 2012)

    Tor dot com put up another of my Wheel of Time musings, this one on The Shadow Rising.

    LINDA MARESCA

    Hey, Do you know where I can get a Towers of Midnight dust jacket? I ordered the book used and it didn't come with one. :(

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I can probably mail you one if you drop me an email. I've got a few extra.

    JOHN MICHALAK

    Sitting in Starbucks & a guy here is reading The Great Hunt for the very first time. Pretty cool after all these years...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    :)

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  • 148

    Interview: 2012

    Twitter 2012 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Tyler Haberle MD (23 March 2012)

    Hi Brandon—huge fan and BYU alumni. Going to reread WoT; only made it through book 9 originally. Any recommendations?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 March 2012)

    I found that knowing an ending was done and out there made some of the slower books far more enjoyable.

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  • 149

    Interview: 2012

    Tom H. Brand (14 September 2012)

    Damn it @BrandSanderson Why didn't you finish the book 116 days early, so I could go straight from book 13 to book 14! #wotrr

    Brandon Sanderson (14 September 2012)

    Well, I WAS going to finish earlier,, but then I heard you were reading the books. I wanted you to have a true WoT experience.

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  • 150

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Terez

    Was the "innocent" foreshadowing in early The Great Hunt—that you mentioned on Twitter when you were doing your reread—do you remember that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I do remember it, and people have asked me this, and I can't remember what it was! (crosstalk)

    Terez

    And you don't remember what it was. And then there's the one in The Dragon Reborn Chapter 27.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Oh, I can probably remember that one.

    Terez

    Can I email you about those two?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you can email me about that one, because I can find that one. Because I know which one that one was, but I can't remember the other one. I feel so bad! It's like...

    Terez

    Well, was it Leane and Perrin, with the crown and the High Chant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mayyy-beee.....

    Terez

    Like, she said something about, "Next the blacksmith is gonna be wearing a crown and speaking in High Chant..."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ohhhhh, yeah! I bet it's that one, because...yeah.....

    Terez

    It's kind of an innocent foreshadowing....

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...No, you're right.

    Terez

    I think you kind of avoided my question, and then you later kind of...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I think it's that one, because it's Perrin becoming king.

    Terez

    Right. Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which finally happened in this book.

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