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WoT Interview Search

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Your search for the tag 'prose' yielded 2 results

  • 1

    Interview: Apr 17th, 2012

    Michael Cathcart

    Can you see a similarity between [RJ's] style and your own?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Certainly, certainly. I mean, as an artist when you start working on your early works, you usually are very heavily influenced. And certainly my early works, my unpublished works—I wrote thirteen novels before I sold one, so it took me a little while to figure this all out—but my early works were very heavily influenced. I go back and look at my first novel I started as a teenager, and I'm basically kind of word-for-word copying him. And of course, later on you explore. And you take from what you've learned, and you try other styles, and you find your own style. Much of my style is deeply, heavily influenced by Robert Jordan, and in many ways I was reacting against some of the things I'd learned from Robert Jordan, trying new things. And what I eventually settled in as my style has pieces of that, pieces of other authors that I read during those foundational years, things that I felt were lacking in the genre that I wanted to explore and try out—all of this stuff mixed together in an amalgamation. But I would say Robert Jordan was probably the single greatest influence on my writing.


    Yeah. I mean when we talk about style—style usually implies the idea of the tone and rhythm of the prose. I think what you're talking about the kind of elements that you bring into play as you create a fantasy. Because the actual styles of fantasy writers are not that different. I mean, there is a kind of clarity, a kind of unfussiness about prose—just getting the story down, saying it clearly without a lot of fancy footwork, if you know what I mean.


    Yeah, there is that. Yeah, in a lot of what we're doing we try to write what's called Orwellian prose. George Orwell talked about this, where we try to make the prose a windowpane that you can look through and see the story on the other side, because really what we are is we're storytellers. You know, I don't think that's necessarily different from fantasy from other forms of popular fiction, but certainly fantasy does have its style. Though within it, it can be quite be quite varied. For instance, Robert Jordan was much more eloquent and beautiful at description than I personally am. And I tend to be much more direct and focused in my descriptions—a little minimalist—give a few little concrete details and then let the mind fill in the rest. And so, there are differences, but yes, compared to something like a more literary fiction, we certainly are far more Orwellian.


  • 2

    Interview: Apr 14th, 2012


    I was just wondering how overwhelming it was when you first took on the job of taking up the reins of the Wheel of Time. How much was it overwhelming—the amount of detail and layering that Jordan had set up in order to continue on with finishing off the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a couple of things that Robert Jordan did, like...there are many things he did better than I do, but there are two things that he did amazingly better than I do that have been really hard to try and approach. The first one is his mastery of description. I...prose is know, I do serviceable prose. I don't do beautiful prose in most cases. I occasionally can turn a phrase, but he could do beautiful prose in every paragraph, and that's just not one of my strengths. Pat Rothfuss is another one who can do that, if you're read Name of the Wind; it's just beautiful, every line. Robert Jordan I felt was like that, just absolute beauty.

    The other thing that he was really good at was subtle foreshadowing across lots and lots of books. And it's not something I'd ever had to do before, unless you count my hidden epic, and I had never had to try and approach that level of subtlety, and it was a real challenge to try and catch all of those balls that he'd tossed in the air and he'd been keeping juggling. In fact, I would say, one of the most challenging parts, if not the most challenging part of this, was to keep track of all those subplots and make sure that I was not dropping too many of those balls. And you'll be able to see when you read the books which of those subplots were really important to me as a fan and which ones I was not as interested in, because some of those, I catch less deftly than others, and some of them I just snatch from the air and slam into this awesome sequence, and some of them I say, "Yeah, that's there."

    And that's the danger of having a fan that does this. There were so many of those things. Fortunately, he left some good notes on a lot of them, and in some of them I was able to just slide in his scenes, and in others I had to decide how to catch that, and what to best do with it. But there's just so much. So much undercurrent going on through the whole books, through all of them, and so many little details in the notes that it's easy to get overwhelmed by it. Fortunately I have Team Jordan, Maria and Alan, to catch a lot of those things that I miss, but even with them there are things he was doing, that we don't even know what he was planning to do, that we just have to leave as is, and let it lie rather than trying to wrap it up poorly, because we don't know how he was doing to do it.