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Interviews: Twitter: TOM Writing and Editing Process

Summary:

Entries

71

Date

2010

Type

Verbatim

Links

Brandon Sanderson on Twitter

Brandon Sanderson on Facebook

  • 1

    Terez

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

    Brandon Sanderson (28 September 2009)

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

    Tags

  • 2

    Brandon Sanderson (5 October 2009)

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

    Tags

  • 3

    Brandon Sanderson (1 December 2009)

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

    Tags

  • 4

    Brandon Sanderson (22 December 2009)

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

    Footnote

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

    Tags

  • 5

    Brandon Sanderson (12 January 2010)

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

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 6

    Brandon Sanderson (22 February 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 7

    Brandon Sanderson (23 February 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 8

    Brandon Sanderson (15 March 2010)

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

    Tags

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  • 9

    Brandon Sanderson (12 April 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 10

    Brandon Sanderson (26 April 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 11

    Brandon Sanderson (29 April 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 12

    Brandon Sanderson (3 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 13

    Brandon Sanderson (4 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 14

    Brandon Sanderson (5 May 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 15

    Brandon Sanderson (6 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 16

    Brandon Sanderson (11 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 17

    Brandon Sanderson (12 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 18

    Brandon Sanderson (15 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 19

    Brandon Sanderson (20 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 20

    Brandon Sanderson (24 May 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 21

    Brandon Sanderson (26 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 22

    Brandon Sanderson (28 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 23

    Brandon Sanderson (31 May 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 24

    Brandon Sanderson (1 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 25

    Brandon Sanderson (2 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 26

    Brandon Sanderson (4 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 27

    Brandon Sanderson (7 June 2010)

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

    Tags

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  • 28

    Brandon Sanderson (9 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 29

    Brandon Sanderson (11 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 30

    Brandon Sanderson (14 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 31

    Brandon Sanderson (19 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    PETER AHLSTROM (28 JUNE—FACEBOOK COMMENTS)

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

    TEREZ (8 JULY)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 32

    Brandon Sanderson (23 June 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 33

    Tragoul (29 June 2010)

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

    Brandon Sanderson (30 June 2010)

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

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  • 34

    Brandon Sanderson (28 June 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 35

    Brandon Sanderson (1 July 2010)

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

    Footnote

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

    Tags

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  • 36

    Brandon Sanderson (2 July 2010)

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

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  • 37

    Brandon Sanderson (5 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 38

    Brandon Sanderson (6 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRIAN CARBIN

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 39

    Brandon Sanderson (7 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 40

    Brandon Sanderson (8 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 41

    Brandon Sanderson (9 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 42

    Brandon Sanderson (10 July 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 43

    Brandon Sanderson (12 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 44

    Brandon Sanderson (13 July 2011)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 45

    Brandon Sanderson (14 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 46

    Brandon Sanderson (15 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    17% cut from the next chapter.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 47

    Brandon Sanderson (16 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 48

    Brandon Sanderson (17 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 49

    Brandon Sanderson (19 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 50

    Brandon Sanderson (20 July 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 51

    Brandon Sanderson (21 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 52

    Brandon Sanderson (22 July 2010)

    10% cut from the next chapter.

    Tags

  • 53

    Brandon Sanderson (23 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 54

    Brandon Sanderson (24 July 2010)

    12% off next chapter.

    Tags

  • 55

    Brandon Sanderson (25 July 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 56

    Brandon Sanderson (26 July 2010)

    Okay, 16% cut.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    12.2% cut from the next chapter.

    Footnote

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

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  • 57

    Brandon Sanderson (27 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Another 8.3% on the next chapter.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 58

    Brandon Sanderson (28 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    13.9%. Two short scenes left.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    12.2%. One more to go.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    Tags

  • 59

    Brandon Sanderson (29 July 2010)

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

    Tags

  • 60

    Brandon Sanderson (30 July 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 61

    Brandon Sanderson (2 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    NICK CASSANOVA

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    PETER AHLSTROM

    Ditto. (Re-tweet)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Working on epigraphs for Towers of Midnight right now.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    SHIVAM BHATT

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maria does those.

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  • 62

    Brandon Sanderson (9 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 63

    Brandon Sanderson (17 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 64

    Brandon Sanderson (11 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 65

    Brandon Sanderson (12 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Quick note. 46% done.

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  • 66

    Brandon Sanderson (13 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 67

    Brandon Sanderson (13 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BOB GIBSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BEL'SHAMHAROTH

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON (14 AUGUST)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 68

    Brandon Sanderson (14 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, new scenes are looking good.

    AUSTIN MOORE

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 69

    Brandon Sanderson (16 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    98%.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    99%.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 70

    Brandon Sanderson (17 August 2010)

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

    BRANDON SANDERSON

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

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  • 71

    Brandon Sanderson (19 August 2010)

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

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