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Your search for the tag 'the last scene' yielded 148 results

  • 1

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    Jdieu

    Hello, just to say I LOVE your books, I was wondering how long you will continue the saga, because I read in the prologue of the first book that the battle lasted about ten years? And it's only been about two up to the sixth book.

    Robert Jordan

    It will last several more books, until I reach the last scene, which has been in my head since the very beginning.

    Tags

  • 2

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    J Cool ET

    You seem to have a great grasp of history; what is your background? Do you know how the Wheel will finally turn, yet?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, I've been reading history as a hobby since I was five or six, and yes, I do know how it will turn, and how it will end.

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  • 3

    Interview: Dec, 1993

    Question

    Do you currently think it will be seven or eight books total, also will the books continue to remain as 'chunky' as The Fires of Heaven and The Shadow Rising?

    Robert Jordan

    At present I am indeed hoping to complete the cycle in either seven or eight books. I am 90% confident that I can do it in seven, 95% confident that I can by eight. The thing is, as a famous manager of an American baseball team once said: "It ain't over till it's over." I know the last scene of the last book and the resolutions of all the major story lines. I have known these things since the very beginning. It is just a matter of getting there. And I am afraid the rest of the books very likely will be as large as Shadow and Fires. Sorry. I've been thinking about asking the publisher to include a shoulder strap. At least I haven't topped a thousand pages in hardcover yet.

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  • 4

    Interview: Oct 17th, 1994

    Daniel Rouk

    I asked how far along he is [with A Crown of Swords].

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan said he didn't really know, as he is constantly writing and cutting parts. He writes from the beginning of the story to the end, and then cuts and edits large chunks, pulling together threads. He doesn't even think about a working title, but lets the story determine it.

    He says there will be at least three more books, maybe four.

    Jordan knows the very last part of the final book, but doesn't know how long it will be till he'll put it in.

    One humorous story mentions the quote saying he will continue writing until the day the nails are put into his coffin. One elderly lady apparently told him that she was a lot closer to that than he was so he had better hurry up.

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  • 5

    Interview: Oct 17th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    How many books?—"I don't know. Two, maybe three, maybe four. I know the last scene. But after I write the last scene that is all there is for these characters." (No Eddings sequels) "Maybe a series in another Age."

    What other books?—"More books planned than I have years to write them."

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  • 6

    Interview: Oct 20th, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan said he didn't give Randland a name because he always found it unrealistic for a fantasy world to have a name. After all, we don't have a real name for our world. He also said he always left something unresolved at the end of each book. He says we never have everything wrapped up in our lives, so why should his characters? He considered leaving a hook at the end of the last book and never resolving it. : - < > (screaming in anguish)

    Footnote

    This is the first of several mentions of the 'hook'; some believe this has to do with Aviendha's visions of the future in Towers of Midnight.

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  • 7

    Interview: Oct 23rd, 1994

    Brian Bax

    Since I lived in the sticks, I decided to differ from the norm and went to the signing thinking there wouldn't be a vast crowd, I was wrong sigh. I did manage to get all of my books signed which was great. I talked with RJ, but he appeared to be very distant which is understandable considering his position. What was really neat was that I was able to talk with Mrs. Jordan for 20 minutes. First off, she was an angel. She talked a lot about things that her husband couldn't since he was busy signing books.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    It turns out that she's an editor for Tor, not only for her husband's work but for others as well. She said that The Eye of the World took four years to write because he had to create all of the countries in Randland first. As has been mentioned by others on the net, his first idea for the series is going to be the last scene; his next was the breaking down of Rand's door in The Eye of the World. The rest has been ad lib. from there.

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  • 8

    Interview: 2010

    Paige Madison (8 November 2010)

    What was your first reaction after you find out how the story ended?

    Brandon Sanderson (8 November 2010)

    Satisfaction. It ends well. It didn't knock me off my seat, like some things in outline, but it was wonderful.

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  • 9

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    I know the last scene of the last book, I've known it from the beginning, I just have to get there.

    Fast Forward

    Well, let's talk about getting there. Let's talk about the process. Let's take a look at Lord of Chaos from the moment you start it.

    Robert Jordan

    All right.

    Fast Forward

    Because you are walking toward a final scene, and because you aren't sure how long it's going to take to get there, in terms of the events that are going to happen, the people that we are going to meet—let's talk about how you wrote Lord of Chaos, and the discipline you placed upon yourself to generate this 700 page book. How did you go about putting this last novel together?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, first off, along with knowing what the last scene is, there are certain events that I know I want to happen. Certain things that I want to happen, both in relationships between people, and in the world, if you will. I picked out some of those events to see if I could fit them in from the position everyone was in, the position the world was in at the end of the last book. I then began to roughly sketch out how I would get from one of those to the next. And then I sat down and began writing, in the beginning eight hours a day, five or six days a week. And—I do my rewriting while I am doing the writing. When I hit the end, I only allow myself to give a final polish. I keep going back while I am writing and rewriting the previous stuff. By the end of the book I was doing twelve to fourteen hours a day, seven days a week. I did that for the last five months of Lord of Chaos, except that I did take one week off to go fly fishing with some brothers and cousins and nephews up in the Big Horn and Yellowstone. It was terrific. It kept my brain from melting.

    Fast Forward

    The more intense schedule—was this a more difficult book to write and get to the end of, in terms of the amount of time you had to spend than some of the others in the series?

    Robert Jordan

    No, not really. They're ALL like that. The only difficulty this time was that I perhaps went to the seven day a week and fourteen hour day a little sooner that I would normally. Partly that's because each of these books takes MORE than a year to write. The publisher likes to publish them once a year, though. With the result that with each book I've slipped a little bit more beyond the deadline, and I DON'T LIKE being beyond the deadline. So the further beyond the deadline I get, the more I want to put the pedal to the floor and get done.

    Fast Forward

    Does having to put that much time in per day affect your focus, your ability to work? I mean, do you ever get the feeling when you turn something in that if you had another month to do it you could have put more of a "shine" on it, or are you satisfied with the product when it is turned in?

    Robert Jordan

    I'm satisfied and I'm not satisfied. It doesn't have anything to do with the time. The effect of the time is that I have to work to disengage my mind so that I can go to sleep. I have to read somebody else who will engage my thoughts. Charles Dickens is always great for that. If I don't do that, I will lie there all night thinking about what I'm writing, sure that I will go to sleep in just a few minutes now, and then it gets light outside, and I haven't been to sleep yet. What happens is that I get this DESIRE to keep writing. Once upon a time, before I was married, I used to write for thirty hours at a stretch.

    Fast Forward

    Good Lord.

    Robert Jordan

    And then I would sleep for nine or ten. I didn't do this all year round, it was just when I was working on a book. When I get going, I want to keep going. And about the other thing, I ALWAYS think I can make the book better. I'd probably spend five, six, ten years on a book if I was left to myself, trying to polish each phrase. So it's just as well I do have deadlines to bring me into the real world.

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  • 10

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    Dear Carolyn,

    I was beginning to think you had joined the Navy or gotten married or something. It's good to hear from you again. I suppose I'll just jump right in.

    1. I have never signed books in San Diego. San Francisco, yes. Los Angeles, yes. San Diego, no. At one time, I did hope for eight; now I don't think so. I certainly hope (Please, God!) it doesn't go to ten books, but I have stopped saying anything except that I will write until I reach the last scene of the last book, which scene has been in my head from the beginning. I will not write one word more in this world than I need to reach that scene.

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  • 11

    Interview: Nov 21st, 1994

    Robert Jordan

    The series was a series from the beginning, the only question being how long it would take me to conclude the major story lines in the way I wanted, include the major points that I wanted, and reach the final scene, which was in fact the first complete scene to come to me.

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  • 12

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (11 July 2011)

    Today, I've been working on the tactics for the Last Battle, looking to make them as authentic as possible. A lot to keep in mind here.

    CHRIS EDWARDS

    Do you have a tentative time frame for when A Memory of Light will be out? Trying to figure out when to start my re-read.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Sometime next year. Hard to say specifically; depends on how long Harriet takes to edit.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Enough people are asking that I'll go over the A Memory of Light release timeline again here for you.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Goal: Turn in in the first draft November 8th. Following that, editing and revisions. Those are the uncertain part. 3-6 months are likely.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    So, best case for the book out is March. Worst case is November next year. (Harriet has asked Tor for more time to edit this time.)

    LOUISE LEWIS (12 JULY)

    Didn't I read somewhere that Robert Jordan already wrote the last chapter?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He did. It's great.

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  • 13

    Interview: Apr 23rd, 1995

    Interviewer

    Meanwhile Jordan continues to work on the next volume of The Wheel of Time series with no idea when he'll finally wrap the whole thing up.

    Robert Jordan

    I know where I'm going.

    Interviewer

    You do?

    Robert Jordan

    I know where I'm going. I know the last scene of the last book. I could write it now. I could have written it before I started this series. I know how all of the major story lines are going to resolve. I just have to get there. And I'm not sure how many books it's going to take. There are going to be several more books. There are going to be some more books. There are going to be a few more books. But not too many.

    Interviewer

    No telling how many volumes The Wheel of Time will eventually get. But with Robert Jordan as the author, you can bet that we're in for some very interesting reading.

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  • 14

    Interview: Jun 17th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    The story of TWoT evolved during a very long period, in part beginning in the middle of the seventies with the idea of the Breaking of the World, before he found the "final scene in the final book" and began to actually write The Eye of the World. The main impetus from the beginning was the notion of "men breaking the world" (my emphasis), and that men able to channel must be killed, controlled or stopped at all costs for 3,000 years. This led naturally to a society where women had great power and respect.

    As an example of this, he puts forth Davram Bashere's reaction to Faile being a Hunter of the Horn. His initial negative response does not come from that Faile is a girl, but that she only is 17 years old. Her gender is irrelevant to the issue.

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  • 15

    Interview: Jun 17th, 1995

    Robert Jordan

    With the final scene in the final book (which he eloquently said did not have to be identical with Tarmon Gai'don), all major plot lines will be resolved, and most minor ones. Some minor plot lines would still be unresolved, as a way to let the world continue to live and breathe. The surviving characters would still have lives to go on with, even if more "boring" ones. Robert Jordan though stated clearly that if he was going to write another book(s) in the WoT universe (something he thought was not going to happen), it would be placed at least 1,000 years apart from the events in the current books. There would not be any spin-off stories, or stories written by other authors set in the WoT universe, either.

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  • 16

    Interview: Oct, 1994

    Dave Slusher

    Okay, and in our last few minutes . . . well, it almost defies actually talking in specifics about the books. But, at this point, do we know when the series is going to wrap up?

    Robert Jordan

    No, not really. What I know is that we're heading for a final scene that I have known from the beginning. I could have written it before I wrote the first book. And it would be very little different from what I would write today. I know what has to happen—those major events, those mountains I talked about—I know what has to happen between now and that final scene.

    I really don't know whether it's going to be another two books, or another three, or maybe even another four. I don't know. I'm not going to make any promises to anybody, or any suggestions to anybody, about how many books. I've done that in the past and seen it taken as promise: "Jordan said. Jordan said, it's going to be this many books." Well, no I didn't, I said it might be. But by the time it gets out into print, and on the street, it's Jordan promised. Well, Jordan didn't promise, and Jordan isn't promising, so there.

    Dave Slusher

    And by the time the final conflict happens and the books are wrapped up, will that pretty much tie up most of the loose ends?

    Robert Jordan

    The loose ends for the major plotlines, yes. I deliberately intend to keep a number of the minor plotlines open. There is no point in anyone's life when everything's all neatly wrapped up. There are always loose ends. But the major plotlines will be resolved, certainly.

    Dave Slusher

    All right. Well, thank you very much for speaking with us. And again, we've been talking with Robert Jordan, author of the Wheel of Time series. And the newest book is Lord of Chaos. And thanks again for being with us.

    Robert Jordan

    Thank you for having me.

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  • 17

    Interview: Apr 5th, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    The length of the series: He's given up guessing how long it will be. He knows the final scene, and he knows how all the plot elements will work out: who will be married, who will be dead, what plot elements will be left unresolved. (Subtext: somebody will get married, somebody will get killed.)

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  • 18

    Interview: Jun 21st, 1996

    Robert Jordan

    There will be a few more books, some, not a lot, hopefully fewer than seven more.

    He knows the final scene of the last book, all the major events he wants to have happen and who will live and who will die. When he starts a book, he decides which of these events he wants to try to do and then writes it so they happen.

    He will tie up all the major plot lines, but will leave a lot of the minor ones unresolved. He finds it too unrealistic for a series to end with all of life's problems solved. Expect the series to end with the major problems solved, but a lot of people will still have tumultuous lives ahead of them.

    Tags

  • 19

    Interview: Jun 26th, 1996

    Compuserve Chat (Verbatim)

    Lyndon Goodacre

    First, I'd like to thank you for such a great series. The Wheel of Time is probably the best I've read... My Question: Do you know roughly what will happen between now (Book 7) and the last scene of the last book, or are you making it up as you go along?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes and no. I know the last scene of the last book. I know the major events I want to happen between now and then. I know who will be alive and who will be dead at the end of the series. I know the situation of the world. I know all of those things, but I leave how to get from one point to the next free...so that I can achieve some fluidity. I don't want it too rigid, which is what I think will happen if I plan in too great a detail.

    Tags

  • 20

    Interview: Jun 27th, 1996

    AOL Chat 1 (Verbatim)

    Scandium2

    How much longer do you anticipate the series will go on? I have heard ten, but is anything definite yet?

    Robert Jordan

    It will be at least ten books, yes. There will be some more books, not too many, and please God, not so many as I've already written. I am, in truth, writing as fast as I can. I want to maintain the pace of the story until I reach the final scene, which has been in my head since before I started writing The Eye of the World.

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  • 21

    Interview: Aug 4th, 1996

    Question

    Are you going to conclude each plot? Little and big? (He really doesn't like when authors do this!)

    Robert Jordan

    No. I plan to leave some things left unanswered (Asmodean??? Arrgh!) I do not like it when other authors clean every little thread up. It is too clean. It isn't very realistic of problems, especially problems of this magnitude. They just don't always get solved. Also, I plan to leave the very last scene with a big hook leaving you with a great big question. (After he said this his wife looked at him and said, "Really?")

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  • 22

    Interview: Oct 18th, 1996

    AOL Chat (Verbatim)

    Question

    Is Book 8 the end? If not, is there a plan for when the end will be?

    Robert Jordan

    Book 8 is not the end. There will be at least three more books and I am sorry for that. I have known what the last scene of the last book would be for quite a long time, 10 or 12 years at least. I just want to get to it without speeding up my pace.

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  • 23

    Interview: Jun 28th, 1997

    Gurney

    How much of the series do you plot out beforehand, and how much is written as you go?

    Robert Jordan

    Before I began writing the first book, I knew the beginning, I knew the last scene of the last book, I knew ALL of the major events that I wanted to happen, I knew how all of the major relationship would go, I knew how people would be affected by those relationships, I knew who was going to live, I knew who was going to die. You can see, I knew a good bit, including that last scene of the last book and how all of the relationships were going to end up. I have left myself the freedom to change the way that I go from one point to another, depending on what seems best at the moment. You might say it's like sketching in the larger out line of the story and leaving the details to be variable.

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  • 24

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1997

    Joel from Arizona

    When you first started writing the Wheel of Time did you have a set plan for the whole series or were there some things you just thought up as you stumbled upon them in your writing?

    Robert Jordan

    I knew the beginning, that is the opening scenes, I knew the final scene of the final book, I knew the very general line that I wanted the story to take from the beginning to the end. And I knew a number of major occurrences that I wanted to take place in a number of relationships that I wanted to develop. I left open how I would get from one major occurrence to the next to allow for fluidity in writing. I did not want to set anything in stone. Sorry for the pun, but that does lead to rigidity.

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  • 25

    Interview: Oct, 1998

    Waldenbooks

    The Path of Daggers is book 8 in the Wheel of Time series. Do you know how many more books there will be? Has that number changed in since you started writing Wheel of Time? Do you have plans for a new or different type of series?

    Robert Jordan

    I believe—believe!—there will be three more books. I am trying to finish up as soon as possible, but I cannot see how to do it in fewer than three books. That isn't a guarantee, mind! In the beginning, I thought that there would be three or perhaps four books total, but it might go to five, or even six, though I really didn't believe it would take that long. It wasn't a matter of the story growing or expanding, but rather that I miscalculated—brother, did I!—how long it would take to get from the beginning to the end. I've known the last scene of the last book literally from the beginning. That was the first scene that occurred to me. Had I written it out 10 years ago, and then did so again today, the wording might be different, but not what happens. It has just taken me longer to get there than I thought.

    I do have another series perking around in the back of my head already. Books generally have a long gestation period with me, so this is not at all too early. There isn't a word on paper, yet, of course. It will be different cultures, different rules, a different cosmology. Nobody likes to redo what he's already done.

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  • 26

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1998

    John Meyer from Plano, TX

    Mr. Jordan, I first wanted to say thank you for such a great series. My question is how long has this story and or series been running around in your head, and do you feel you have the ending picked out?

    Robert Jordan

    I started thinking about what would turn into the Wheel of Time more than 15 years ago, and the first thing that I thought of that was really solid was the last scene of the last book. I could have written that 15 years ago, and if I had, it would differ from what I would write today only in the words. What happens would be exactly the same. So, I've known where I'm going from the start.

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  • 27

    Interview: Oct 19th, 1998

    The Man from Ganymede from WoTism

    How far in advance did you plan the later novels like Lord of Chaos and A Crown of Swords? Did you know the series would be this long when you started?

    Robert Jordan

    I did not know the series would be this long in the beginning. When I first went to my publisher, I told him, I know the beginning, and I know the ending, and I know what I want to happen in-between, but I'm not sure I know how long it will take me to get from the beginning to the end. Now, don't laugh, but I said to him, "It's going to be at least three or four books, and it might be as many as five or six."

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  • 28

    Interview: Oct 25th, 1998

    Robert Jordan

    He said the book-signing tour will run through November 22nd. He'll spend two days fishing in Canada, and then return home to Charleston for Thanksgiving. (He said he finds being on tour exhausting, and always spends the following several days doing nothing at all.) After Thanksgiving, he'll start in on the next volume.

    Someone mentioned the Internet-based rumors about him suffering from heart attacks / other forms of poor health. I couldn't tell from his expression whether RJ was amused or annoyed: Probably both equally. He replied that he's in good health with a resting heart rate of 71 beats per minute and good cholesterol.

    He told quite a few people that the series would be requiring a minimum of three more volumes, perhaps more—and pointed out that he'd had to find time to work on "New Spring" and the Guide, in addition to The Path of Daggers. He also pointed out that, so far, the books have always been published within a month of completion, which he called "instantaneous for the publishing world". He stressed that he wants to reach the end (the final scene that he worked out 15 years ago), and would like to be "as compact as possible". (He said "Don't laugh.")

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  • 29

    Interview: Oct, 1998

    Sense of Wonder

    The Path of Daggers is Book Eight in the Wheel of Time series. Can you tell us how much is still to come, and if you know yet how the series will end?

    Robert Jordan

    I've known the last scene of the last book from the beginning. That was the first scene that came to me. Had I written it ten years ago, and then again today, the wording might be different, but not what happens. It has just taken me longer to get there than I thought. At the onset, I thought that there would be three or perhaps four books all together, but it might go five, or even six, though I really didn't believe that it would take that long. It wasn't a matter of the story growing or expanding, but rather that I miscalculated—Brother, did I!—how long it would take to get from the beginning to the end. I am trying to finish up as soon as possible, but I cannot see how to do it in fewer than three more books. That isn't a guarantee, mind!

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  • 30

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1998

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    steves55

    Mr. Jordan, do you outline your books before you begin writing them?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, and no. At the beginning of a book, I make a list of the major events that that book will cover. I've known from the beginning all the events I wanted to cover and the last scene of the last book in detail. I could have written that one fifteen years ago. I know exactly where I'm going, you see. The list that I make always has to be pared down though, because I always believe i can fit more into a novel than I can find room to fit.

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  • 31

    Interview: Nov 11th, 1998

    jude74

    Do you have a set amount of books planned for the series and if so, how many?

    Robert Jordan

    No, I dont have a set amount of books planned. I believe it will take at least three more books to reach the ending that I have known for more than 15 years. I knew what I wanted to do in these books, what I wanted to say, and how it was all going to come out, before I ever started writing them.

    jude74

    Wow! 15 years!

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  • 32

    Interview: Nov 15th, 1998

    Michael Martin

    He went on to repeat what he has said before—knowing the end, knowing all the major events, yadda yadda. However, what he did said that was new (at least for me) was that the order of events was not set, and that he allowed some fluidity for them. He made a remark about a cousin of his (who is an engineer) who came over and saw all the notes and work and asked why RJ hadn't created something called "critical flow charts" or some such. RJ replied that the nature of the story was too complex for such linear breakdown.

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  • 33

    Interview: Nov 20th, 1998

    John Nowacki

    Regarding today's signing at Olsson's in DC:

    Fairly small crowd, as expected. Very few questions asked (that I overheard), though RJ did repeat the "I've known the last scene since..." bit at least four or five times.

    He also told one fellow who wanted a photograph that he didn't mind having his picture taken, but he insisted on keeping his clothes on. Someone in the line said "Damn!" rather loudly, and RJ looked back and said that he hears that a lot. Well...

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  • 34

    Interview: Nov 1st, 1998

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    Neptune

    Has anyone asked how many books he expects the series to go to? If not, how many?

    Robert Jordan

    I am only asked that question by about 300 people a day. The answer is that there will be at least three more books. At least. As I said earlier, I know everything that I want to happen and I have known the last scene of the last book for fifteen years. I also know that I cannot get everything that I want to happen into less than three more books. So that's where we stand at the moment.

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  • 35

    Interview: Aug 30th, 1999

    Question

    ...how many books?

    Robert Jordan

    There will be at least three more books. I say at least because I've known the last scene of the last book for—

    Question

    Can you tell us?

    Robert Jordan

    I certainly will not, I haven't told anybody. Not even my wife and that's very difficult. I could have written that scene more than fifteen years ago. That's how well I know it, exactly how this all ends.

    Question

    How did you know you were going to take us on this journey?

    Robert Jordan

    I didn't know I was gonna take you along. All I knew was I was gonna write some stories and it helps when people would read them. And the rest of it, I don't really think I take any blame for that.

    Question

    How do you know that you could've written this fifteen years ago, this last scene? What are you going to do for the next, I think, three books? We're up to eight, we'll get these three...

    Robert Jordan

    I'm going to do quite a bit, I hope. Don't expect me to give you any details, that's for certain. Details and you'll read the next book and say, "Oh, I know that, I know that one, I knew that one, I knew that one. Damn he's getting boring. I think I'll go out and read somebody else." So no, I'm not going to tell you what's going to happen.

    Question

    How long will I have to be in love with you before then?

    Robert Jordan

    Could you repeat the question?

    Question

    I think the question that we're most asked as book-sellers is, "when is the next one coming and how many more will there be?" And frustrated fans of yours, Robert, say, "but I'm ready for the next one," and we patiently explain the problems with writing one—

    Robert Jordan

    The trifle problems, yes... It takes longer to write it than to read it. As I said, at least three more books. If I can finish it in three, I will. I'm not promising. I simply know it's going to be... I cannot do it in fewer than three. And as for how long till the next book, I hope to finish it by next May and the way as things have been going, well my English publisher and my American publisher have both been having books out within two months after I've handed in the manuscript. They pay a lot of overtime.

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  • 36

    Interview: Mar, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    I've known the last scene of the last 'Wheel' book since before I started writing the first book, and that's unchanged. I thought 'The Wheel of Time' was going to be five or six books. I didn't think they'd be this long. I was doing this like a historical novel, but I had more things to explain, things not readily apparent. In a normal historical novel, you can simply let some things go by because the reader of historical fiction knows these, or has the concept of them. But this is not the medieval period, not a fantasy with knights in shining armor. If you want to imagine what the period is, imagine it as the late 17th century without gunpowder. I had to do more explaining about cultural details, and that meant things got bigger than I had intended.

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  • 37

    Interview: Mar, 2000

    Question

    Is it possible to know how many volumes the Wheel of Time will be?

    Robert Jordan

    Sigh! At least three more. I know I’ve said that before, but it’s still the case. When I started this, I really believed I could finish it all in four or five books. Maybe six, I said, but I didn’t think it would take that long. By the end of The Eye of the World, I was pretty sure it would have to be six, and by the end of The Great Hunt, I knew it would be more. I have known the last scene of the last book since before I began writing, so I know where I’m heading, but as to how long to get there, I am just putting my head down and writing as hard as I can. Two minutes left in the game, four points down, and we’ve got the ball on our own five-yard line; they’ve been covering the receivers like a blanket and cutting off the outside like pastrami in a cheap deli, so we’re going to do it the old-fashioned way, straight up the middle, pound it down their throats, and nobody slacks off unless he’s been dead a week and can prove it. If you know what I mean. If I can finish it in three more books, I will, but I can’t make any promises on that, just that I will reach the end as soon as I can.

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  • 38

    Interview: Oct, 2000

    Orbit Interview (Verbatim)

    Orbit Books

    Do you know how the Wheel of Time will end?

    Robert Jordan

    Oh, yes. I have known the last scene of the last book since before I began.

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  • 39

    Interview: Nov 11th, 2000

    Candice from Greenville, North Carolina

    Do you ever feel under a lot of pressure to finish the books due to their popularity?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, sometimes. But I know where I'm going, I know how I want to finish it, I do not intend to speed up the pace to get there faster. In truth, the greatest pressure to finish it, I think, comes from ME. I won't really have done it until I finish it.

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  • 40

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    samugi

    With the storyline as it is now it seems unlikely that the new book will finish the series. How many more books do you feel will be in this series?

    Robert Jordan

    There will be at least three more books. I've known the last scene of the last book for 15 years, but I've always been overly optimistic about how much I can get into any one book, so hopefully three more.

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  • 41

    Interview: Nov 14th, 2000

    SciFi.com Chat (Verbatim)

    LadyJ

    Mr. Jordan, How much of the story is already planned out in your mind, and how much is supplied as you go along in the writing process?

    Robert Jordan

    I know the major outline of the story. Various characters' lives. Who lives and dies. The fates of nations. And I know the final scene. Minor details, or smaller details, I leave until I'm writing. It flows organically that way. I thought it would take five books, by the way. :) I was optimistic!

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  • 42

    Interview: Nov 27th, 2000

    John Nowacki

    Regarding this evening's signing at Tower Books in Richmond:

    The crowd was not very large, perhaps 50-75 people.

    Robert Jordan

    RJ showed up right at seven, and tried to head off some of the more common questions—he pronounced several names, made the usual remarks about knowing the last scene for the past fifteen years, said that even the most cursory reading ought to indicate who killed Asmodean (and that he enjoys people trying to figure it out), and that there will be at least three more books. He also said it would be fine for people to take pictures, but that "no male nudity" would be permitted. He said something to that effect at the DC signing two years ago, as well . . . a matter of great concern, apparently.

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  • 43

    Interview: Dec, 2000

    Orbit Interview (Verbatim)

    Orbit

    With so many plot strands now running through The Wheel of Time, will all of them be resolved at the very end or will there be some surprising conclusions earlier on?

    Robert Jordan

    Some plot lines will be resolved before the end, but all of the major plot lines will be resolved by the end. On the other hand, some minor plot lines will not be resolved. In fact, in the last scene of the last book, I intend to set a small hook for what some may see as future books. But I will walk away and not look back. One thing that has irritated me with some books is that, come the end, all of the characters' problems are solved, all of the world's problems are solved, and you might well sit the whole place on a shelf and put a bell-jar over it to keep the dust off. When I finish the Wheel of Time, I hope to leave the reader feeling that this world is still chugging along out there somewhere, still alive and kicking.

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  • 44

    Interview: Dec 12th, 2000

    CNN Chat (Verbatim)

    El-Loko

    Did you have the entire storyline, bar a few details, before you even started writing Book One?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes. There were a good many details I didn't have, but the story line, the major events; those were all in my head. I could have written the last scene of the last book more than 15 years ago. And what happens in that scene would not be any different from what I intend to happen now.

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  • 45

    Interview: Jan, 2001

    SFBC

    I've read your Conan books. I've read The Wheel of Time series, all of it to date. I'm almost finished with your last one, Winter's Heart. How do you do it? How did you come up with such a huge project?

    Robert Jordan

    I had a lot of different ideas perking in the back of my head about the distortion of information. Whether you are distant from an event in time or in space, it doesn't matter. The further you are from the event, the less likely you are to know it actually happened.

    At the same time, I was thinking about the source of legends, that some of them must be connected to actual events, actual people, but of course, would be distorted in that way by being passed orally for generations perhaps, before they were written down. Perhaps for hundreds of years.

    I was thinking about what it would really be like to be tapped on the shoulder and told you were born to be the salvation of mankind, and oh, by the way, you'll probably have to die in the end...There's no rule book, kid, and you can't get out of the game. You've been drafted so get in there and win one for the Gipper.

    And there were a lot of things perking around. The only odd point is, I guess, is that really at the same time, I thought of what had come to be the last scene of the last book and it seemed to me that it was very interesting, and I wanted to figure out how I could get to that last scene. After a number of years of poking this around in my head, I had a rough outline of The Wheel of Time.

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  • 46

    Interview: Apr 4th, 2001

    Robert Jordan

    He also mentioned some things about the variation in his readers. This group of Hell's Angels a couple of years ago who came to him when there was some question about his health, telling him that they'd desecrate his grave if he died before finishing the story.

    Around the same time something was asked about him knowing the final scene (or maybe that was even earlier), because Rowling [the Harry Potter author; at least, I think it was her that was mentioned here] had already written the final sentence of her work. Jordan came with the usual story about him knowing the scene since before starting the series. He doesn't have it written down anywhere. Harriet already knows the final scene, she's very good at getting things out of him (at least, that's what I think I recall), but no one else... And then later he said absolutely nobody knew it besides him.

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  • 47

    Interview: Dec 9th, 2002

    Question

    BEFORE you say "RAFO", and BEFORE you choose not to answer this next question, please consider the following and hear us out: You claim you've already written the ending of the series. You probably enjoy us squirming as we endlessly try to predict the outcome of the Last Battle. We've been patiently waiting for over a decade. Now that we're nearing the end somewhat, could you please, please answer this question: What is the last word of the last chapter of the last book? JK Rowling told the world that Harry Potter ends with the word "scar". Come on....we know you can give us something like that to chew on.

    Robert Jordan

    First off, a small correction. I have NEVER said that I had already written the last scene of the last book. I HAVE said that I COULD HAVE written the last scene of the last book in 1984, and that if I had done so and now chose to write it again, some of the wording might have changed, but what happens in that scene would be the same, now as then. Given that, as envisioned in 1984, the last scene would have ended with the word "world". Today, it might end with word "turns." Now what does that tell you? Not much, I think. I mean, you can extrapolate at least part of the final sentence of Harry Potter, at least part of what it will say, from JK Rowling's "last word." For me, it only means that I have to be careful how I end the next book, or some of you might think it's the last.

    And, oh yes. I do like seeing you squirm.

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  • 48

    Interview: Nov 6th, 1998

    Therese Littleton

    You've said before that you know where this series is going to end.

    Robert Jordan

    I've known the last scene of the last book for 15 years. I could have written it easily 15 years ago, and it would be only changes in the wording, not in what happens, from that to now.

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  • 49

    Interview: Nov 6th, 1998

    Therese Littleton

    So will the male-female duality be resolved? Or is this a "read and find-out" question?

    Robert Jordan

    Read and find out. What I consider the major story lines will be resolved. There will be a number of minor story lines that will not be resolved, for the simple reason that there is no point to any real world where everything is resolved. That's always something that has irritated me about some novels—that you reach a point at the end of the book, and everyone's problems have now been solved, and all of the world's problems have been solved. I get the feeling I could put these characters and this world on a shelf and put a bell jar over them and go away. There's nothing left there alive.

    That's the way it's going to be. I even intend to set a small hook in the last scene.

    Therese Littleton

    Wow... you're going to drive people crazy!

    Robert Jordan

    I know, I know. I've been thinking about getting some of those Groucho glasses with the mustache.

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  • 50

    Interview: Apr 7th, 2001

    Question

    Someone asked the regular question about the amount of books to come and why it's taking so long.

    Robert Jordan

    There are a number of storylines that I want to tell, a number of stories that I want to tell. Basically I think of this as a story of people surviving the upheaval of their culture. ... You know, when I began I knew the beginning, I knew the end and I knew certain major events that I wanted to happen in between, so that I would arrive at the proper conclusion, the conclusion of the story that I wanted to arrive at. And it simply wasn't possible to get everything in there as quickly as I thought. The people must all undergo changes. The cultures must undergo changes.

    Question

    Could it be possible that it will never end?

    Robert Jordan

    Uhm, no, there is no possibility that it will never end. I will wrap up all of the major storylines, I will wrap up some of the minor storylines. Other minor storylines will be left hanging, and I'm going to do worse than that. I am going to set a hook in the last scene of the last book, that will make some people who don't believe what I say, think that I am setting up a sequel. What I am doing, what I will be doing, is trying to leave you with a view of a world that is still alive. One hope that some fantasies have is that when you reach the end of the book, or you reach the end of the trilogy, all the characters' problems are solved. All of the things that they have been doing are neatly tied of in a bow, all of their world's problems have been solved. And there's no juice left, there's no life left. you think 'I ought to set this world on a shelf and put a bell-jar on top of it, to keep the dust off.

    When I finish the Wheel of Time, I want to do it in such a way that you will think it's still out there somewhere, people still doing things. This story has been concluded, this set of stories has been concluded, but they're still alive.

    Question

    mumble-mumble on the tape, but the answer should give you a general idea of the question.

    Robert Jordan

    No, I will not continue writing it, I will be going on to something else, and nobody else will continue writing it, because I have an automatic contract set up that if anyone tries to sharecrop in my world, their kneecaps will be brought to me. [laughter]

    Question

    What will you write next?

    Robert Jordan

    Another fantasy novel, or a set of novels. More compact, I hope. That's...I've been working on it, you might say, in the back of my head for five or six years. A different world, a different set of circumstances; different cultures, different rules, no connection really, at all, to the world ... I'm writing about now. [Heh, seems even Jordan might want to have given Randland a name in the beginning so that we could refer to it as something other than Randland.] I want to make things different. [strong] I don't like doing the same thing again. It's a trap that writers find it very easy to fall in to. Fans say, 'tell me the story again, tell me more of the story', and the writer wants to do a different story. But the fan who loves this story says, 'tell me this story again.' [loud] 'I want the story again, daddy!' [laughter] So you tell the story again. And it is very much like telling the story to your child, because if you always tell the same story when the child screams, 'tell me the story again, daddy', you find out you can never ever tell a different story, that that is the only story that will be accepted. And I won't do that. I hope you come along with me, when I go on to different stories. But if you don't, I'm still gonna write the different stories. [laughter]

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  • 51

    Interview: Apr 8th, 2001

    Robert Jordan

    He was talking about the ending again, and that nobody knows it except for him. But this time he once again said that not even Harriet knows it.

    Aan'allein

    If it wasn't for the fact that others also had heard him say last Wednesday that Harriet did know the ending I'd really be doubting myself now.

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  • 52

    Interview: 2002

    Working to an Ending

    Robert Jordan

    Each time I sit down with certain events, certain things that I want to put into a book, because I'm working to a scene, to an ending that I have known since 1984/1985. I could have written the last scene of the last book in 1985, and if I had done so and set it aside, well, the wording might be different from what I would use today, but what happens would be exactly the same—I know where I'm going. But each time I sit down to write this book and I realize at some point in it, if I put everything in this book that I want to put in this book, they're going to have to sell a shopping cart with it, or at least a carry strap and some wheels. I write books that come out in 700 pages and up in hardcover, and that is, if I were putting everything in that I thought I was going to put in, they would be 1500 or 1600 pages in hardcover. So telling the story has taken longer than I thought it would.

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  • 53

    Interview: Dec 23rd, 2002

    Ben P. Indick

    Do you have a notion of when The Wheel of Time will be finished?

    Robert Jordan

    I can't exactly say. I can't get as much story into one book as I'd like, but one of the first things I came up with was the final scene of the final book. About 1984. I knew exactly where I was going.

    Ben P. Indick

    Couldn't later events alter that final scene?

    Robert Jordan

    Possibly, but I'd be surprised. You see, my characters don't write the book. I do. I am an Old Testament god, and they do what I want them to do.

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  • 54

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2003

    Question

    When you first started, did you know how it was gonna turn out?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes I did, yes I did. But did I plan every single detail? No! I knew the last scene of the last book. It hasn’t changed in 18 years. I know where I’m headed. It’s been difficult to get as much story into any book that I thought I could. It’s why this has not been five books. I told Tom Doherty it would be, back when I got the idea: I don’t think it will be more than five, at most six. I know the major things, and I know them from the beginning, but how I get from A to Z, and the minor things that will happen along the way, I don’t plan in detail before. It’s much more organic that way. I think it would become very wooden if I planned every detail. Sometimes the main thing that happens is not a battle. Sometimes it’s that two people meet, and history changes. History changes because these two people met, and now the future will go a different way than if they did not meet.

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  • 55

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2003

    Question

    When you first started, did you know how it was gonna turn out?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes I did, yes I did. But did I plan every single detail? No! I knew the last scene of the last book. It hasn’t changed in 18 years. I know where I’m headed. It’s been difficult to get as much story into any book that I thought I could. It’s why this has not been five books. I told Tom Doherty it would be, back when I got the idea: I don’t think it will be more than five, at most six. I know the major things, and I know them from the beginning, but how I get from A to Z, and the minor things that will happen along the way, I don’t plan in detail before. It’s much more organic that way. I think it would become very wooden if I planned every detail. Sometimes the main thing that happens is not a battle. Sometimes it’s that two people meet, and history changes. History changes because these two people met, and now the future will go a different way than if they did not meet.

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  • 56

    Interview: Jan 16th, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan showed up around 7, and gave a little speech. He said there will be at least two books, and that he will not write a word more than he has to. He talked a little bit about what his next series will be, which he is calling Shipwrecked or Fantasy Shogun for now. I got the impression that he would like to finish WOT so that he can start writing the next thing already. He said he has known the last scene of the last book since 1984.

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  • 57

    Interview: Jan 17th, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    "How many more books will there be? There will be at least two more books. I apologize for that. I cannot finish it in fewer books. I will try to finish it in two more. I have known the last scene of the last book since 1984. I know where I'm going. The problem is...[my tape is once again inaudible and this was one of the few parts of his speech I could not hear, sorry gang]. That's about it."

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  • 58

    Interview: Jan 21st, 2003

    SFRevu Interview (Verbatim)

    Ernest Lilley

    You've said a number of times that you had envisioned the final scene in The Wheel of Time saga even before you started.

    Robert Jordan

    The scene was part of what made me realize the book. I had thought of how to open it, and then how to end the story. So from there it was a matter of figuring out how the people in the first scene become the people in the last scene, because they are quite different.

    Ernest Lilley

    It seems like a tremendous job to keep herding the characters towards that scene. Some people's characters have a mind of their own.

    Robert Jordan

    My characters do what I want. When it comes to my writing I'm an Old Testament God with my fist in the middle of my characters' lives. They do what I want them to do. The difficulty has been that the story turned out to be larger than I thought it was, quite simply. I thought I could put x amount of the story in the first book and I couldn't. Then when I started The Eye of the World I thought I'd be able to put more of the story in it...and I couldn't. It simple was a matter of size. These are fairly large books, seven hundred pages in hardback. It would simply make the books too large for anyone to carry without a shoulder strap.

    Ernest Lilley

    So it's not that the plot weaves in other directions than you expected, but that it's richer than you realized.

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, exactly.

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  • 59

    Interview: Jan 23rd, 2003

    Zeynep Dilli

    As soon as he came in, he answered some "FAQs" in a loud voice down the line:

    Robert Jordan

    He gave the correct pronunciations for Nynaeve, Egwene, Seanchan etc.; touched the Question That Won't Die as "someone figured it out correctly using evidence prior to Winter's Heart"; said "There will be at least two more books. I hope two. I apologize for that" and repeated the usual "I knew the last scene since..."; said that the next book would be coming out as soon as possible after he finishes writing it, and laid down the ground rule for picture-taking: "Men must keep their clothes on. I never try to tell women what to do, but men must keep their clothes on."

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  • 60

    Interview: Mar 29th, 2004

    Sci Fi Weekly

    How has the Wheel of Time series evolved from the first book, The Eye of the World, through subsequent novels?

    Robert Jordan

    It's a continuous story. I've known the last scene in the last book for about 20 years. I know exactly where I'm heading. I try to make each book better than the preceding books. I don't think you can say that it has evolved so much as grown in the direction I wanted it to grow.

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  • 61

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    Norfolk, MA

    I know you've said you think you can finish in two more books, but there seems to be so much that needs to happen before the Last Battle. It seems like we're still in the middle of it all. Is that a fair assessment?

    Robert Jordan

    No, we're not in the middle. I hope I can finish in two more books. But you ought to realize that I will not be giving you an absolute completion. That is, the major storylines will be completed, but some of the minor storylines are not going to be completed, so that when you finish the last book, you will still have a sense that this world is alive and kicking and things are going on out there. It's always disturbed me to read a book where at the end all problems have been solved. And I get the feeling that this whole world needs to be kept under a bell jar somewhere to keep the dust off.

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  • 62

    Interview: Jan 6th, 2004

    Germantown, MD

    I know you have always said that you have known what the ending will be since you started writing the series. Does that mean you know what will happen in the end, or do you actually have it written out now?

    Robert Jordan

    I do not have it written, but the final scene of the final book has been in my head for almost 20 years.

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  • 63

    Interview: 2005

    The ending of the Wheel of Time

    Robert Jordan

    I don't think I feel any additional pressure because I will soon be starting the final book of the Wheel of Time. It's possible that I do, but I look at it in this way: I thought I was signing up for a 15K run, and somewhere along the line I found I was in a marathon. Now, I think I've made a pretty good showing so far. You know, if you're running a marathon, it doesn't matter if you've run a good time for the first 20 miles. The only thing that counts is when you cross the finish line. When I finish the twelfth book, I will have crossed the finish line. And, as I said, maybe there's the possibility I will enter another 15K in the Wheel of Time universe, we'll see if we make it a 10K. And then again, maybe I won't, we'll have to see. But I would finally cross the finish line, and to me that means a lot.

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  • 64

    Interview: Sep 2nd, 2005

    Question

    Someone else asked a question about the development of characters. Something about that Mat is his favorite character and that he has forgiven RJ for leaving out Mat for a whole book. (laughter of all the people) And then about how characters grow in RJ's perception/imagination as the series progressed.

    Robert Jordan

    Not so much growing in my perception. I had a thought about how I wanted those people to grow. The first vision that came to me was the ending of the last book. The next things that came to me was Emond's Field. And I realized the book was going to take these people to turn them into those people you see in the last scene in the last book. So I knew how I was going to change them. Not all the mechanism of the changes but I knew how I was going to change them.

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  • 65

    Interview: 2005

    Evo Terra

    When you have an idea for those first five novels—and obviously you didn't have five novels totally storyboarded out; I would imagine you did not...

    Robert Jordan

    No. I had the major events. I had the opening events in the Two Rivers, I had the final scene, I've had the way things were going to wrap up, and I had major events in between those two. And I thought I could tell that story—get from one event to another—and change these people in the way they needed to be changed so that the people in those first scenes would become the people in the last scenes. I thought I could do that all in five or six books, but even with The Eye of the World, I had certain things I wanted to do in that book, and I realized before I reached the end, I could not do them all. And that was the book took four years to write; it was the longest of them all, because I realized as I was writing it that I had more to work out than I had thought in the beginning.

    Evo Terra

    When you were exploring these new things that needed to be worked out—obviously you focus much on character development and tell the story of the people there—but were there also events that kind of cropped up which kind of seemed like a good place to take the story, and that's also caused some of the diversion?

    Robert Jordan

    No. I've stuck pretty much to the events that I had listed, although in some cases I've done away with some because I realized there was a better way to do what I wanted to do, to effect the change in the character. There was a more economical way to do it, and something that perhaps made more sense in terms of the story, the way it was going.

    Michael R. Mennenga

    Now, since you have basically...you had a beginning and you knew where the end was, and you said you had these points in here. Don't you feel as though maybe you may have locked yourself into a path that you could have explored different directions or different paths? Do you have any regrets to locking yourself into that and not giving yourself the freedom to go where the story takes you?

    Robert Jordan

    No. No, because I knew where I wanted the story to take me. If you're a writer, you do that; you control it. I like to say I am an Old Testament God with my fist in the middle of my characters' lives. If you just sit down and start writing and see where it takes you...well, God knows if it's ever going to take you to a story that's worth anything.

    Michael R. Mennenga

    You like to know where the end is before you get started, huh?

    Robert Jordan

    Yes, I do.

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  • 66

    Interview: Sep 4th, 2005

    Matt Hatch

    Skipped [transcription of] question: Asked Harriet how often she was RAFO'd.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    Never she says, but she says she doesn't want to get it from him, she wants to read it, and so he says he doesn't tell her, because it would affect what she does as an editor. Harriet says she knows the general gist of the final scene of the last book in the series.

    Robert Jordan

    Jordan jokes about RAFOing Harriet regarding the meal he wanted for dinner, RAFO.

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  • 67

    Interview: 2012

    Austin Moore (23 September 2011)

    You recently said you were just over 60% finished with A Memory of Light; how much % will RJ's ending take up when you put it in?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 September 2011)

    I'm guessing about 10%.

    Austin Moore

    Is it gonna get slid right in or are you going to adjust it some to fit into how you're leading up to it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The ending scene will work fine, no changes. I've targeted things that way, as I didn't want the ending scene to change.

    Brandon Sanderson

    However, he left a TON of 'after the end scene' type stuff that is probably epilogue material. That I'll need to modify.

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  • 68

    Interview: Mar, 2006

    Robert Jordan

    Before I start a book I always sit down and try to think how much of the story I can put into it. The outline is in my head until I sit down and start doing what I call a ramble, which is figuring how to put in the bits and pieces. In the beginning, I thought The Wheel of Time was six books and I'd be finished in six years. I actually write quite fast. The first Conan novel I did took 24 days. (I wrote seven Conan books—for my sins—but they paid the bills for a number of years.) For my Western, I was under severe time constraints in the contract so it was 98,000 words in 21 days—a killer of a schedule, especially since I was not working on a computer then, just using an IBM Correcting Selectric!

    I started The Wheel of Time knowing how it began and how it all ended. I could have written the last scene of the last book 20 years ago—the wording would be different, but what happened would be the same. When I was asked to describe the series in six words, I said, 'Cultures clash, worlds change—cope. I know it's only five, but I hate to be wordy.' What I intended to do was a reverse-engineered mythology to change the characters in the first set of scenes into the characters in the last set of scenes, a bunch of innocent country folk changed into people who are not innocent at all. I wanted these boys to be Candides as much as possible, to be full of 'Golly, gee whiz!' at everything they saw once they got out of their home village. Later they could never go back as the same person to the same place they'd known.

    But I'd sit down and figure I could get so much into a story, then begin writing and realize halfway in that I wasn't even halfway through the ramble. I'd have to see how I could rework things and put off some of the story until later. It took me four years to write The Eye of the World, and I still couldn't get as much of the story into it as I wanted; same with The Great Hunt. I finally reached a point where I won't have to do that. For Knife of Dreams I thought, "I've got to get all of that into one book: it's the penultimate volume!" And I did. Well, with one exception, but that's OK. That one exception would probably have added 300 pages to the book but I see how to put it in the last volume in fewer.

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  • 69

    Interview: Nov 26th, 2008

    Question

    Will it be split into two books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As I've always said, this isn't my call. Harriet and Tom will decide this. My gut instinct says yes, but I don't know how that process will proceed. I think that the best thing I can do for the Wheel of Time readers is FINISH the book, no matter how long, with as much speed as I can manage while still maintaining the highest of quality. That way, even if the novel gets split, readers can be reassured by the fact that the book IS done and that it is not going to continue on endlessly.

    One of my biggest fears is that readers will assume I'm artificially inflating the length of the book in order to keep the Wheel of Time going and bring in more cash. I promise you in all sincerity that this is NOT the case. I'm writing a single book, following the outline where I can, filling in holes where I must. We are not going to keep you juggling forever. I will finish this book as quickly as I can, so that even if the first half is released on its own, you can know that the second half is done and coming soon.

    Remember. Robert Jordan DID write the ending himself. I just have to get us there.

    Tags

  • 70

    Interview: Dec 17th, 2008

    Question

    Robert Jordan has talked many times about how he knew the last chapter of the last book very well. Are you able to tell us whether or not he wrote that chapter before he died, or will that be something you'll be putting to paper? If so, does that chapter in particular hold any particular challenge or significance for you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I talked about this above. He did write down the last part of the book. I have it. It will appear in the final novel.

    Tags

  • 71

    Interview: Dec 3rd, 2008

    Brad Wilcox

    Fortunately for fans, the author wanted to give them the ending they deserved, one written by him. During his last days, the writer began dictating onto a recorder how the prologue for the final book would play out, and feverishly scribbling down the ending he had kept stored away in his mind for the past 17 years.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    "Jordan worked hard, 9 to 5, generally seven days a week," Rigney recalls through an e-mail. "He loved what he was doing, of course, but that W-word prevails."

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  • 72

    Interview: Oct 21st, 1994

    AOL Chat 2 (Verbatim)

    Question

    How many books will the Wheel of Time series be?

    Robert Jordan

    As many as it takes to reach the last scene, which has been in my head since the very beginning. And not a book more. Sorry.

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  • 73

    Interview: Oct 1st, 2009

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    I had not heard of Brandon until. . . it was the week of my husband's death. A friend was visiting. She put in front of me a print-out, and it was the eulogy for Robert Jordan that Brandon had posted on his web site. Brandon's eulogy was really beautiful, and very loving. And I thought, gosh, this guy. . . he knows what the series is all about.

    And I got on the phone, called Tom Doherty and said, "Send me one of Sanderson's books." And he's a bit darker than Robert Jordan, but the series, as everyone knows, is heading towards Tarmon Gai'don, which is the battle with the Dark One that will decide the fate of the world. Tom said, "Okay, I'll go for that. We'll go for Brandon."

    You made it clear that you would love to do this. And that was wonderful. That's what I needed to hear.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The next thing was for me to fly to Charleston. Harriet drives me to her house. You know, I'm fanboying all of this. And you said, "Do you want some dinner?" And my response was, "No, I want the ending. I want the ending and I want to know who killed Asmodean."

    And you're like, "Oh, all right. Well, here it is." And you handed me that, and kind of waved me into the den, I guess it is, or the sitting room. "Head over there, go ahead, go for it."

    And so I was over there poring over the materials. And I flipped right to the ending and read because Robert Jordan had always said, "I have the ending in mind". And all the readers, all the fans had known this. And we’d listen to interviews and he'd been saying for years, "I know the ending. The last scene is in my head." And so I got to read that last scene before dinner.

    Then I retreated to my cave, and crawled in.

    HARRIET MCDOUGAL RIGNEY

    Yes, he did. And put up a 'do not disturb' sign.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And wrote furiously for a number of months.

    HARRIET MCDOUGAL RIGNEY

    This book had taken shape, particularly for Brandon. And he said in the conference call, "Look. Here's what we're gonna do." And it made perfect sense.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The amount of material he left behind is what makes this book possible.

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  • 74

    Interview: Nov 7th, 2009

    Question

    Are you ticked you know the ending? (The fans, Brandon, and all of us Storm Leaders laughed!)

    Brandon Sanderson

    "I'm excited." Brandon, in having Robert Jordan's notes on the whole series, has even seen the "handwritten note of who killed Asmodean" [I didn't know Robert Jordan knew my name!] A moment with a somewhat quizzical look on his face, Brandon went on to say that he does feel a "sense of loss that I didn't get to read a new Wheel of Time book last week."

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  • 75

    Interview: Nov 13th, 2009

    Question

    I am struck by how alike this is to Tolkien. Have you ever talked to Chris Tolkien (since he took over for his father using his notes)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but I'd like to.

    We're in a little better shape. Jim actually finished scenes. We have a lot more to work with. He wrote the end himself! He left landmarks to follow from here to the end. Not specific details, just "strong stuff" to get us to the end.

    "There are no characters that we don't know how they end up."

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  • 76

    Interview: May 5th, 2010

    Richard Fife

    That was the longest RAFO I've ever been given. OK, so last question. So you know the ending now, straight from the bard's mouth.

    Wilson Grooms

    I do.

    Richard Fife

    Do you recognize it from those first musings twenty-plus years ago?

    Wilson Grooms

    As with a lot of things in the books, it had morphed some. So, a couple weeks before he died, he explained it to me in excruciating detail 'cause the two of us can talk for a while. There was extreme detail on the last scene: who was standing and who was not. What was going on. Who was casting glances at who. And where there was laughter. You are . . . OK, there's enough hints. And who was casting a suspicious eye at someone when they were riding away. But other than that . . . hehe, yeah. But it had morphed and changed somewhat. He knew the ending, but there was some beautiful additions, it had . . . I don't know.

    Richard Fife

    Matured?

    Wilson Grooms

    Yeah, matured. That is a very good term for it. It was not simplistic. And the reason Harriet said to do this is, well, did you sit in on the session yesterday with Larry? [about the expanded universe]

    Richard Fife

    No, I'm afraid I missed it.

    Wilson Grooms

    Alright, well, there was discussion of the outrigger novels by Jason Denzel and he handled that very beautifully. I wasn't on the panel, but I added this, and I'll give it to you too. The big reason that there are these three books, the three books to finish the main sequence, is that a couple weeks before Jim died he asked me who he thought could finish the books.

    Now, all along, while he was talking about this piece of work, as we were fishing, one of the things he would say, and other people in the family had heard it too, was, "If I die, and somebody tries to finish this, you will kill them. And if you don't, I will come back and haunt you and them. Because this is my work, and nobody is going to finish it but me. And if I go too soon, that's it." And we'd do that in laughter, but he was serious. This is his work.

    So when he asks me, two weeks before he died, "Who do you think could finish it?," it set me back on my heels. Now, with that he told us that he wanted the work finished, really wanted it finished. So even though Harriet was devastated by the loss, we all were, we felt obliged to finish this work for him. That doesn't mean there will be outriggers or what-have-you. There may be. But the big thing here is now about Harriet, and if at the end of this, if she is still having fun, who knows where it goes.

    Tags

  • 77

    Interview: Sep 13th, 2010

    Patrick

    As the overall story arc is nearing its conclusion and a panoply of plotlines are approaching their culmination in Towers of Midnight, is there added pressure for you as A Memory of Light draws nearer and you need to close the show with a bang?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You phrased that very well. I don't know if I can add anything more to that; you've got it. Now, the nice thing to keep in mind is that I don't have to write the ending. The BANG has already been written by Robert Jordan, and as a reader I found it extremely satisfying when I reached it. And so I feel very confident that the ending of the next book is going to be what everyone has been hoping for and wanting—without being exactly what they expect. I think the ending that Robert Jordan is just wonderful. So at least I don't have to worry about that. But I do have to make this the best book that I can possibly write, and it's going to be a challenge. It's part of why I've decided that I have to slow down, as I said earlier, and just take my time on this one.

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  • 78

    Interview: Oct 26th, 2010

    Luckers

    When you first started work on the Wheel of Time what was the first thing you looked up in the notes/material?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Asmodean's killer. After that, I read the ending.

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  • 79

    Interview: Apr 16th, 2011

    Richard Fife

    We've actually heard Brandon's impressions of what he thought of the ending when he first saw it and read it and heard it. But I can't say I've ever really heard anything beyond 'wow' from either of you. So when Robert Jordan was giving you the ending in those last months, what were you thinking about just how he had brought it together, and how the twists were, and general feelings?

    Maria Simons

    Wow.

    Alan Romanczuk

    I was speechless. But I don't have many feelings.

    Harriet McDougal Rigney

    And I've known the ending for many years, and at the time I first heard it, I said, "Okay, so how're you going to get from here to there?" But that's because I'm an editor, and that's kind of a Darkfriend.

    Tags

  • 80

    Interview: Jun 4th, 2011

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sanderson admitted he was one of four people who knew the ending that Jordan had written for the Wheel of Time. And I think I can put money on who the other three are...

    Footnote

    One would assume that this would include Harriet, Maria, and Alan, but we have been told that RJ's cousin Wilson also knows the ending.

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  • 81

    Interview: Aug 29th, 2011

    Reader's Question

    Which character in The Wheel of Time was the easiest to comprehend, which one proved to be hardest to conceive? How did it feel like to be one of the first people to know how the Wheel of Time series will end? Can/will you tell us the closing sentence of The Wheel of Time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perrin was the easiest, for the same reasons as I called him my favorite above. Mat was the hardest for me to write, because his humor is so different from my own.

    The ending has already been written by Robert Jordan, and as a reader I found it extremely satisfying when I reached it. And so I feel very confident that the ending of the next book is going to be what everyone has been hoping for and wanting—without being exactly what they expect. I think the ending that Robert Jordan wrote is just wonderful. But in another respect I'm a bit sad, because I won't get to experience the ending for the first time when a new Wheel of Time book comes out in the bookstores like everyone else will.

    If you do a search online you can find a few words that Robert Jordan said about the closing sentence of the Wheel of Time before he passed away. It's out there in an interview. I won't say whether it's going to stay that way or not, because essentially what he says is "This is what it would be if I wrote it right now, but it often changes" and things like that. He wrote it, not me, so I don't feel right giving a spoiler on that. But if you look around, the interview is out there where he said some words on it.

    Footnote

    RJ did say in a 2002 interview that if he had written the last scene in 1984, the last word of the series would have been "world". In 2002, he said it might have been "turns".

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  • 82

    Interview: Aug 31st, 2011

    Reddit AMA 2011 (Verbatim)

    keebler980 ()

    I read somewhere that RJ said the final story wasn't set in stone, and was fluid depending of circumstances, feelings, etc. Are the notes that he left older notes from the beginning (original thoughts), or newer notes from right before he passed (changed from his feeling in the beginning of the series)?

    FOOTNOTE—TEREZ

    RJ never actually said that; see the tags for 'the last scene' and 'how will it end?' to see what RJ did say about it (mostly that the outcome was entirely set in stone, but some of the details on how to get there were not).

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have both. There is a lot of flexibility, because often he implied things like: "I'll do this, or maybe this. The tone I'm looking for is this. Make it feel that way."

    Some are hardfast. He wrote the last scene of the series, for example.

    defiantburrito

    Did RJ leave notes intending that somebody else would finish the series? Or are they notes to himself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the notes were to himself. A large chunk are things he dictated on his death bed in the last weeks, after changing his mind and asking Harriet to find someone. (Originally, he had not wanted anyone to finish it for him.) Some of those dictations are directed more at me.

    Tags

  • 83

    Interview: Nov 30th, 2009

    David Lenberg

    Wow. Wow, it sounds great. Now, I know that there are 30 million copies of the Wheel of Time that have been sold worldwide, so the series itself is a massive phenomenon. What's it like to come on board? You're a well-known author in your own right. What's it like to come on board and write a sequel in a series like this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, it's really like becoming stepfather to 30 million people at the same time. The fans, number one, have been great. And they know that before Robert Jordan passed away, he asked his wife to find somebody because he wanted the series completed. And so, everyone knows that this is according to his wishes, which I think helps a whole lot. But at the same time, I feel a deep responsibility to not make these books about me, but to make them about Robert Jordan and about the Wheel of Time. I mean, I was handed a lot of very fascinating notes. In some cases, Robert Jordan had completed scenes for the books. In other cases, he had dictated on his deathbed some scenes that were to happen. He had millions of words of notes about the world and the characters and the setting, and I've been given access to all of that and asked to put together these last concluding volumes.

    He'd been promising people for years and years and years that he knew the last scene of the very last book. And he actually wrote that before he passed away, and I have that in my possession. And so my goal is really to get us there without screwing it up. To step out of the way, to let the characters be themselves, and to let the world continue and the story continue as people have loved for so many years. And make sure that. . . I don't want them to see Brandon, I want them to see the Wheel of Time. And so, that's been a real challenge, to get out of the way, so to speak.

    David Lenberg

    Right, so it can be a seamless experience for the reader.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's my hope. I mean, I haven't been trying to mimic Robert Jordan's voice. I worried that if I tried to do that, it would come across as parody. You imagine a stand-up comedian getting up and doing their Jimmy Carter or whatever, and I worried that would be me doing my Robert Jordan. And so instead I've tried to adapt my style to the Wheel of Time. Having read it for so many years, I know how the Wheel of Time should feel. And so I don't sit and ask myself every sentence, what would Robert Jordan write? Because I can't do that, I can't replace him. Instead, I sit down and say, okay, how would I approach making this feel like the Wheel of Time? And so far, the response I've generally gotten from readers is, you know, if they pick up and they really study and they watch the first few pages they read, they'll say, you know, I can tell the difference. But once they get a little bit into it and start to feel the characters and the setting, and the plot takes a hold of them, they're able to just let that go and they don't notice it any more, and the rest of the book just feels right. And that's the best compliment I think I can get on this book.

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  • 84

    Interview: 2001

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    How long did it take you to formulate the Wheel of Time series before you started the first book? Had you had this ruminating in your mind?

    Robert Jordan

    Extending back to the first clear thought I had that I can say led into the Wheel of Time was maybe 10 years before I began writing. I'm not saying I knew 10 years before I began writing what it was going to be, or that I was actually on to something that would become the Wheel of Time.

    I thought I had a story set in my head, a set of stories, fixed. And when I began writing the Wheel of Time—The Eye of the World in particular—I realized I didn't have as much of it as clear as I thought I did. There were things that I needed to work on. So The Eye of the World took me four years to write. I guess you could say, in a way, it was about 14 years of development to get the thing set.

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    Did you ever think it was going to turn into this epic series?

    Robert Jordan

    No. The story is the same story that I set out to tell. I knew before I began writing what the story was. There were details of how it worked that I didn't have fixed that I thought I knew and suddenly realized I didn't. But, I knew the beginning and the end and the things that I wanted to happen in the middle. I literally could have written the last scene of the last book before I began writing The Eye of the World. The problem has been over-optimism.

    Rochelle O'Gorman

    In what way?

    Robert Jordan

    Well, when I went to the publisher with this at Tor Books and I said, "Look, this isn't a trilogy that I'm talking about. It's going to be four or maybe five books." I said. "It could be six. I don't think so, but it could be." And I really believed that. But the over-optimism has been, "How much of the story can I get into one book?"

    With every book I start out thinking I can get more of the story into this book than I actually turn out to be able to. I suddenly realize that I have to stop here or I'm going to have to write another thousand pages to really make it fit together. Or I realize that I'm going to have to take some things and do them later or I'm going to write a 2,000-page hardback, which they really would have to sell to people with a shoulder strap.

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  • 85

    Interview: Jan 21st, 2003

    Robert Jordan

    About the end of the book, as we all know, Jordan explained that he has always had the series’ ending planned. However, he was also careful to mention that he didn’t want all of the minor sub-plots to be neatly tied up at the end of the series. I think he may have been implying that such sub-plots might also make for great (long) short stories and mini-epics.

    Regardless of whether or not this is true, it is clear that much will still go unanswered and leave us much to debate about, even after the series is through. In reality, every situation does not get neatly tied up and patched at the end, and after so much conflict in Jordan’s fantasy world, he doesn’t want something that unrealistic to happen there, either.

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  • 86

    Interview: Dec 15th, 2011

    Zas (Terez)

    Robert Jordan often said that he intended to plant a 'hook' in the last scene, a teaser for an unresolved issue. Was this 'hook' something he planned to explore in the outriggers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and he actually wrote that part. You'll see it when the book comes out, and it's one of the lines that will go in unchanged. Sorry!

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  • 87

    Interview: May 24th, 2004

    Chiara Codecà

    How many more books will you write for the Wheel of Time series?

    Robert Jordan

    I hope that there will be only two more books in the main sequence and then two prequels, the first prequel, New Spring, is already published. I said “I hope” because when I started out I thought it was only going to be five books, then it grew on it’s own.

    Chiara Codecà

    So when you began The Wheel of Time you knew where you where heading?

    Robert Jordan

    I know exactly where I'm heading. I've known the last scene in the last book for about 20 years.

    Tags

  • 88

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (15 December 2011)

    Scene I'm working on needs to be trashed and rewritten from a different viewpoint. Ah, well.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Okay, the scene is working much better now. Basically, a half-day lost, but it is worth backing up if something isn't working.

    JOE LAVOIE

    When you say a scene isn't "working" what does that mean? Bad mojo, doesn't feel right, or its there a technical reason?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    All three, actually. Mostly, it just feels wrong.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And it is fixed now. Hard to judge my wordcount today, since I spent time fixing, but I'm opening a pack of Magic cards as a reward.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Current length of A Memory of Light: 335,000 words, same size as Towers of Midnight. And I haven't finished yet, nor have I added in RJ's ending.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Even with edits, this will be the longest of the three WoT books I've done. Don't worry about it being split, though. That won't happen.

    DANIEL ANDERSON

    Is RJ's ending ready for primetime? Or do you have an outline of how it is supposed to go?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I should be able to put it in without changing anything other than a quick smoothing of the language.

    SISTER INFANT

    Will there be any indication in the book as to when RJ's ending starts? Like a footnote from you or Harriet or something?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No, but I will tell you once the book is out, after you've read it.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    Hello! Just wondering, was the Borderland Tower sequence in Towers of Midnight (with Malenarin Rai) originally part of RJ's prologue?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    He wrote most of that scene himself, actually.

    JOHN ANDERSON

    Cool! Are you allowed to say whether it was part of his prologue (which I gather you split and distributed over The Gathering Storm/Towers of Midnight)?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes, it was.

    JOE KOGELMANN

    What was the logest of all the WoT books? How many words?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Longest ones have been around 390k words. Books Four and Six. I forget which was the longer.

    STEPHEN HART

    Any chance of reading these alternate scenes once A Memory of Light is released; on your website maybe? Kinda like DVD deleted scenes...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Maybe.

    GREG LINDSEY

    Why do you suppose Wikipedia is inaccurate, saying Towers of Midnight [is] 325,998? Should it be edited? Are those word counts reliable?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Likely, theirs is without the glossary, which I just noticed mine has in it.

    BRYAN

    but but but...Wikipedia says Towers of Midnight is 325,998 words! Who to trust, Wikipedia or the author!? *brain explodes*

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just noticed my edocument has the glossary attached. Maybe that's the reason for the difference. Mine is pre-copyedit too.

    DASUGO

    You usually go through a vicious edit phase right?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Yes. I tend to cut 10%, but Harriet's suggestions have usually added about that much, and we've balanced at the end.

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  • 89

    Interview: 2012

    Brandon Sanderson (20 December 2011)

    Still hard at work on A Memory of Light. Today's scenes involve lots of loud noises.

    MARK HOWARD

    Just curious, have you read the end scenes that RJ wrote? Or are you waiting till you get there?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I read them as soon as I got them. I needed to use them as a target 'goal' for the book.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Now, on to a scene that finally, at long last, fulfills something Min saw long ago...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've finished all characters except Rand and Mat. (Note, I'm not writing in order; other characters have already-written scenes after this.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Now, I have to finish Mat's climax, write a few more Rand scenes, then add in RJ's ending material. Then we're done. Very close now.

    PATRICK

    What are your thoughts on ending the WoT series that Robert Jordan started so long ago? :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Solemnity.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    After a few hours with the family, am back at work on A Memory of Light. It's slightly possible that I'll finish it sometime during the night.

    JENNIFER LIANG

    Would that make tonight A Memory of Light Eve?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Yes, I guess it would.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    You can follow along, if you wish. I have twenty small points on my outline left to hit. Maybe 10k words or so. I'll tweet as I pass them.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    First scene out of twenty finished. (Note that I'm using 'scene' here liberally to mean a point on the plot outline.)

    FRANK KWIATKOWSKI

    Can you tell us who has the last chapter?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Afraid that would spoil too much.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Note that as I approach an ending, my writing speed goes up, as I get momentum. 10k tonight is not impossible. (Though most days I do 2-3.)

    BRENT WEEKS

    Good luck!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thanks!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Two out of twenty scenes done. Eighteen left, and A Memory of Light will be finished.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Three out of Twenty of the remaining scenes in A Memory of Light have been finished. (If you're just now seeing this, check back to my last few posts.)

    MARCUS ENGSTROM

    How long was it after the first two books were finished until they were published?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For the first one, about a year. For the next, about six months. This will probably be closer to the first than the second.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene four was slightly shorter than the others. 4 out of 20 finished so far tonight.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene #5 finished. 25% through the ending of A Memory of Light. Feeling good about these scenes. All is going very well.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Some of you have asked if I got the Magic cards you sent me off of my Amazon wishlist. I did! I'm waiting to open them until I'm done with A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    A few of these scenes are pretty emotional ones for me. It's been a long, long road. I started reading the WoT twenty-one years ago.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just finished scene #6 out of the 20 remaining in A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene seven is done. Thirteen more to go. This one...this one was tough to write.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've apparently inspired a drinking game with this on both Twitter and Facebook. I'd join in, but: 1) Mormon. 2) BUSY WRITING END OF WOT. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene #8 is a tricky one. I know how it has to go, I just need to do it carefully. Getting close to having it right.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene #8 is finished. This is going well. I often build momentum like this during a powerful book ending, and this one is very powerful.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    We shall see. We've still got three or four hours before I'd normally turn in for bed. If I start to get sleepy, I'll call it for the night.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    No sense in pushing on if the quality starts to flag. Knowing myself, though, I'll be too excited to be tired for a while yet. Onward!

    LOCALPCGUY

    Glad to hear things are ending well! I can't wait to read it. Think I have time for a full re-read before A Memory of Light?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Depends on how quickly you read. :)

    DAVID MACKAY

    Cannot wait, but I agree. Is it really going to take a year to edit and publish?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've done a dozen drafts each of the previous two books. That kind of thing takes a little bit of time...

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I just did something to Mat that I've been gleefully waiting to do for three years.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Don't stress the thing I did to Mat too much. It's a little (and fun) thing I've wanted to see him do for a long time.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I have finished scene #9 out of 20 I need to write before A Memory of Light is done.

    AVI DOBKIN

    Best of luck to @BrandSanderson as I turn in for the night. I'm giddy for A Memory of Light.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Hopefully, you will wake to find the book finished.

    CHRISTINA BOULARD

    It's almost 3:30am here and I SHOULD be in bed, but I feel like I need 2 stay up and cheer you on and also to witness THE END!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ha. Well, there are still hours left to go, I suspect. I started at...what, 9:00 here? I'm to 1/2 and it's almost 2:00?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    For those asking, it's almost 2:00 am here. The night is still young.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just finished Scene #10. Halfway there!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I don't expect it to go longer than those. After editing, I'm pretty sure we'll settle at 350-360k words. (About 10% longer than Towers of Midnight.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Brace yourselves. I just finished the last Mat Cauthon scene that, in all likelihood, will ever be written.

    FRANK KWIATKOWSKI

    General writing question: after The editor edits, is it typical for an author to add/rewrite, or only the editor?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Only the author rewrites or adds. Never the editor. (in most cases.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    The fourteenth scene was Mat's, and now I've finished the fifteenth scene. Five more to go, and A Memory of Light is done.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Just finished scene #16. Four more to go. Guess I'm not stopping tonight, eh?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene #17 is finished. I was a tad on the longer side for the ones I'm doing here, as are the last three. 5:00 am here.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I keep flashing back to times I've read the WoT books through my life. Looking back, you could call Rand/Mat/Perrin my oldest friends.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene #18 is done. Two more to go.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Scene #19 is done. Deep breath. I'm beginning the last scene I will write in the Wheel of Time, then will add RJ's ending.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    I've been listening to Pandora as I do this, but am wondering if I should pick a specific song to listen to as I finish. Suggestions?

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    My choice for a song to play as I write the last few paragraphs here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-0G_FI61a8

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Ladies and gentlemen, A Memory of Light—the final book in The Wheel of Time—has been finished.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Now I'll open a metric gigaton of Magic cards that have been sent to me by fans, sleep for a day, and rest until next week.Then: revisions!

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    As for when the book will come out, Tor should do an announcement soon. Revisions will take a good six months. So fall, I expect.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Another common question: How many revisions will I do? The last two took about a dozen. (On non-WoT books, I do about seven or eight.)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Also, it's going to be tough to give direct replies to questions right now, what with like 1000 people tweeting/facebooking at me. :)

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    But lots of people are asking about outriggers/prequels. The answer is still the same. We'd rather not risk exploiting RJ's legacy.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It is a step I don't think we want to take. Better to stop while we're ahead. I'm sorry, but they probably won't ever happen.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    And now, yes, I will go to sleep. 7am here. That's 10 hours of solid writing after a full day of solid writing, so I'm beat.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    Thank you all for the good wishes. May you find water and shade.

    BRANDON SANDERSON (AFTER A NAP)

    Ah. Good morning, all. (Yes, it's five in the afternoon here.) Checking email, and...INBOX EXPLOSION. I guess I was expecting it. :)

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  • 90

    Interview: Jul 22nd, 2011

    Shawn Speakman

    With Robert Jordan basically having turned in that ending, how do you as a fan, how do you feel about how everything wraps up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was really satisfied with it. It was the first thing I read out of all his notes; when I got to Harriet's house for the first time, I read that ending, and I was very satisfied. I really... I think it ties up well.

    Shawn Speakman

    Great.

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  • 91

    Interview: Dec 7th, 2000

    CNN Interview (Verbatim)

    Michele Dula Baum

    Jordan does have his detractors. Disgruntled fans—and not a few critics—question his verbosity, and many have wondered whether he could be losing control of the story.

    Robert Jordan

    "No, I never feel that it's getting away from me," Jordan said. "I certainly am telling it in more detail, in which case, I think it's good that I'm telling it in more books than five. Trying to compress it into five would have made it not as readable or enjoyable."

    He insists that he has known what will happen in the last scene of the last book before ever setting down a word. And while he will not speculate on how long it will take to get there, Jordan does have definite plans for life after the "Wheel of Time" has finished turning.

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  • 92

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    After some more stuff I didn't hear very clearly, he told his "I could have writing the last chapter 15 years ago" story.

    The next person asked if he typed, to which Jordan replied, "If I wrote it longhand it would take 8 years between books."

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  • 93

    Interview: Dec 5th, 2000

    Robert Jordan

    The next question was about the tying up of all threads, to which he said it was not going to happen. He then told how he didn't like it when in most books all the sub plots are tied up and that you could put the world in a bell jar and put it on a shelf. He wants his reads to imagine his world still living after the series is finished. He said that he was going to set a hook at the end of the last book and walk away.

    He again stated that he only worked on one book at a time.

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  • 94

    Interview: 2012

    Twitter 2012 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Brian Condon (25 January 2012)

    Just wondering if there will be any sort of way RJ's ending will stand out, or if it just flows with your work.

    Brandon Sanderson (25 January 2012)

    I think those who know our different writing styles will be able to pick out the differences.

    BRANDON SANDERSON

    It depends on how closely one watches the prose.

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  • 95

    Interview: Dec 8th, 2007

    Jason Denzel

    Robert Jordan has talked many times about how he knew the last chapter of the last book very well. Are you able to tell us whether or not he wrote that chapter before he died, or will that be something you'll be putting to paper? If so, does that chapter in particular hold any particular challenge or significance for you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I spoke of this above, actually. I don't know for absolute certain, and I'm not sure how much I could say if I did know. However, what I've heard indicates that of all the parts of the book, the ending is the one that is the nearest to completed, if not done itself.

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  • 96

    Interview: Sep, 2000

    Tahir Velimeev

    Of course, one of the most frequently asked questions—how will the saga end? And by the way, does the author himself know what the finale of this incredible fantasy saga will be?

    Robert Jordan

    How it will all end, I have known this for fifteen years—from the moment I started writing the first book, The Eye of the World. But I will not reveal any intrigue and tell you everything in advance. Why would I? Read and find out for yourself!

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  • 97

    Interview: Mar, 2012

    Samuel Montgomery-Blinn

    Something which just occurred to me was that, other than editors, advance reviewers, etc. the first people who will get their hands on the conclusion to The Wheel of Time will be the audiobook narrators—including Kramer, who has been a constant voice in the series. You've written that the final words in the series are Robert Jordan's—can you give away whether the final voice on the audiobook might be Kramer's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha! I can't give you something like that. I'm sorry. Nice try, though.

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  • 98

    Interview: Aug 1st, 2012

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan was a great man, and was the single greatest influence on my development as a writer. What I have done these last five years has been an attempt—a sometimes flawed but always earnest attempt—to show my appreciation. This entire genre owes him an enormous debt. My debt to him, and to Harriet, is greatest of all.

    Mr. Jordan, may you rest in the Light. Everyone else, take a breath and get ready for the end. May you find his final words as satisfying to read as I did when I first picked them up five years ago. The very last scene is his, touched very little by me, as are significant chunks of the ending at large. I have achieved my goal in writing the books so that they pointed toward this ending he wrote, allowing us to include his words with as little alteration as possible.

    Once again, thank you. May you always find water and shade.

    Brandon Sanderson
    Written July 30th, 2012
    Posted August 1st, 2012

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  • 99

    Interview: Aug, 1996

    Hailing Frequency

    The last time Hailing Frequency had the privilege of interviewing Robert Jordan, he had just released the fourth volume of his vast fantasy tale, "The Wheel of Time." At the time, we asked him to give a brief summary of the story thus far. He laughed—it had already grown so complex that no easy summary was possible. Now with the release of A Crown of Swords, "The Wheel of Time" has grown to seven volumes. Since each new volume has leaped to the top of the Waldenbooks bestseller lists almost on the day of its release, it would appear that a remarkable number of readers are already familiar with the story to date. So rather than ask the impossible once again, we decided to ask Jordan about the project as a whole—its origins and its overall shape, as the author sees it from somewhere in mid-course.

    Robert Jordan

    "The Wheel of Time" is in effect a recreation of the source of legends. I gathered together a lot of legends, fairy tales, and folk tales from around the world and stripped away the cultural references, so that just the bare story was left. The I reverse-engineered them.

    You might recall a game: I've heard it called "Whispers," I've heard it called "Telephone"—a child's game. If you remember, the last child in the row stood up and said aloud, and what actually happened is what's on the piece of paper. So I've reverse-engineered to try and get back to something like what the piece of paper says. King Arthur is there, but most people don't recognize him right off. And there are a lot of other myths and legends too, although King Arthur is the most easily recognizable. As a matter of fact, I was shocked that some people didn't realize that Arthur was in the books until they read the third volume.

    The story begins with The Eye of the World. That's the first book. And it begins in a very pastoral setting, with people who are very...well, innocent is the word. They are rural, they are themselves pastoral. And I tried to make the beginning almost Tolkienesque, as a homage, and as a way of saying, "This is the foundation that we're all jumping off from." But it begins to change, because I'm not trying to do a Tolkien pastiche in any way. And as we leave that pastoral setting, things begin to change. You begin to move away from the style of Tolkien. The characters begin to learn more about the world. They become more sophisticated, in the sense of having more knowledge, and thus they see the world in a more sophisticated way. They're not as innocent, as time goes on, as the books go on, as they were in the beginning. And so the tone of the books changes slightly with their worldview.

    As to where the books are going—I know that exactly. I've known it from the beginning. I've known from the beginning what the last scene of the last book was going to be. I know how I intend to tie up the major threads. I know who's going to be alive, who's going to be dead, who's going to be married to whom, all these things. I know the details. I could have sat down six or seven years ago, and written the final scene of the books. And there wouldn't be a great deal of difference in what I'd write when I actually do reach that point.

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  • 100

    Interview: Mar 15th, 2003

    M. L. Van Valkenburgh

    As for an ending to his series, Jordan's had it in his head for nearly two decades.

    Robert Jordan

    "I've known the last scene of the last book since 1984. I just can't put as much in to one book as I want. And various events have to happen before it can end," he says.

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  • 101

    Interview: 2012

    AreYouReadyToReddit (August 2012)

    A question I had, if you're still answering. I believe you said on your blog that the "very last scene" is Robert Jordan's, and touched very little by you.

    Could you please specify what you mean in this? (Last scene of the main story arc, last section of the epilogue, last section of the last chapter, etc)

    Thanks for all the work you have put into the series!

    Brandon Sanderson (August 2012)

    It's the last scene of the book. RJ had a large influence on the ending as a whole, but when I say "Last Scene" I'm referencing the final 1000 word section with the words "The End" following it.

    AreYouReadyToReddit

    Cool, thanks! : )

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  • 102

    Interview: Jan 3rd, 2013

    Goodreads

    The publication of the final Wheel of Time book is a big event for fantasy readers, many of whom have been anticipating the end of the series since the first book in 1990. As a longtime fan yourself, how do you feel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's really a weird experience. I discovered fantasy when I was 14, and the Wheel of Time books were the first series that started when I started. I have been following it all through, and it's also one of the few series that continued with me: I enjoyed it both as a youth and as an adult. Wheel of Time has always been there through my whole career, so I understand completely how [fans are] feeling about it.

    But it is also a weird experience for me as a fan. I read Robert Jordan's ending in December 2007, so part of me has had the Wheel of Time done for five years now, and the rest of the world is finally getting to catch up with me. I think that people are going to feel a lot of what I felt when I read that last scene; I was very satisfied. I loved the scene, but there was also this deep sort of sense of, "Wow, it's actually over." The series has been going for 23 years, and we have joked in Wheel of Time fandom for 22 about when the ending would come. It's a reverent feeling, it's an excited feeling, and it's also a sad feeling.

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  • 103

    Interview: Jan 3rd, 2013

    Goodreads

    Endings can often be the hardest part of a book to get right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Since Robert Jordan wrote the last scene, that actually made this whole project mountains easier. I had a target to shoot at. While I didn't have a ton of written material from Robert Jordan that I could actually put in—there are about 200 pages worth of scenes and notes that needed to become somewhere around 2,500 pages [Books 12-14 by Sanderson total 2,556 pages]—a lot of those 200 pages were summaries of scenes he wanted. Robert Jordan wrote by instinct. He was what we called a discovery writer, so what was handed to me was a big pile of half-finished scenes or paragraphs where he wrote, "Well, I am either going to do this, this, or this. I was thinking of this, but it could be this." Yes, cracking an ending is hard, and the Wheel of Time had a lot of loose threads. My job was to take all those threads and weave them into an ending, which was a real challenge.

    When I was handed this project by Harriet [Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's wife and editor], she handed it to me as a collaborator, not as a ghost writer. It's not like building a shelf from Ikea, which is good, because otherwise my creativity wouldn't have been engaged. She handed me full creative control for the first draft, and then we went into the editing phase where we really worked on it to make sure that it fit her vision and Robert Jordan's vision for the series. But going into it, nothing was off-limits. So I wrote them like I write any novel. Nothing is taken for granted, nothing is sacrosanct.

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  • 104

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    kcf

    Spoiler follow-up: What specific scenes in your writing proved to be the most memorable? What are a few of your favorites from the final three books in the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perrin forging his hammer is probably my favorite that I worked on extensively. My favorite that Jim worked on extensively would be Verin's last scene. Rand atop Dragonmount at the end of The Gathering Storm is a pretty big one for me. In the last book, my favorite would have to be Lan's charge right at the end, which is a scene that I worked out years ago, that I pointed a lot of things toward, and specifically in this book built a lot of things around. For a fun scene, getting Mat on the back of a raken was a pure joy for me to be able to do.

    What other scenes really stand out to me? Robert Jordan's last scene, which I've mentioned before, is a great one because it's become the focus, for me, for the entire sequence that I have written. From the beginning, that was the ending that I was working toward. So I was very excited to be able to actually get there.

    That's just a few scenes; there are a lot of them in this book and the series.

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  • 105

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    At signings, I've often told the story of reading the last scene of The Wheel of Time. This might not be news to some of you. However, it's one of the questions I get the most. What did it feel like, some five years ago now, to read that last scene of the book as Robert Jordan wrote it?

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  • 106

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    Soon after I was tapped to help complete the series, I asked Harriet about the last scene of the book. (The one that Robert Jordan had, over the years working on the series, promised fans he knew in detail.) She told me that he had indeed written that scene—and though there were large swaths of unfinished portions of the ending that he hadn't had time to work on, he'd been determined to get that last scene on the page.

    You can imagine my excitement. I flew out to Charleston for the first time in late 2007—before this, I hadn't read any of the materials, as Harriet preferred that I come get them in person. After a long flight from Salt Lake City to Charleston, Harriet picked me up at the airport and drove me to her house in the city. We got in at nine or ten, I recall, and she had soup warming on the stove. She asked if I'd like some. My reply was, "If it isn't too much trouble, I'd like to read the ending please . . ." Holding my enthusiasm was somewhat difficult.

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  • 107

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I spent the next hours late into the night sitting in a chair beside Robert Jordan's computer (it had been moved, by coincidence, out of his office and into the sitting room) reading his ending to The Wheel of Time, then poring over the rest of the notes. I remember Harriet passing by once and asking—with a satisfied smile—"It's good, isn't it?"

    And it is. As a Wheel of Time fan for nearly 20 years at that point, I found myself supremely satisfied. The ending is the right one. Somewhat unexpected, somewhat daring, but also very well done. I knew that whatever else happened—whatever mistakes I made—at least this ending would be there, as Robert Jordan intended. We've put it in almost untouched, with just a few edits here and there at Harriet's direction.

    You're going to love it.

    Brandon

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  • 108

    Interview: Jan 9th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of people are asking what it feels like to be done. That's an odd question to consider for a couple of reasons. In some ways, the Wheel of Time was "done" for me when I read Robert Jordan's last scene back in 2007. The work wasn't done, of course, and I had a very long road ahead of me. And yet, I'd read the ending. We managed to get it into the final book virtually unchanged, with only a few minor tweaks here and there. The sequence (it is more than one scene) that I am referring to most of the time when I talk about this encompasses the entire epilogue of A Memory of Light. Once you get there, you can know you're reading Robert Jordan's words, though of course there are other scenes scattered through the book that he worked on too.

    So that was one ending, for me. Another came in January of last year, when I finished the rough draft of this book. Still, there was a great deal of work to do, but I was "done" after a fashion. From there, I transitioned from writing a new Wheel of Time book to doing revisions—and for the last time ever.

    Another ending came for me when I handed the book over to Maria from Team Jordan to handle all of the final tweaks from the proofreads and copyedits. That happened late last summer, and with some regret, I stepped away from the Wheel of Time. Like a parent (though a step-parent in this case) waving farewell to a child as they leave the home, I no longer had responsibility for this book in the same way. I was done.

    And yet, I wasn't. This month and next I'll be touring for the Wheel of Time. That will probably be the final ending, seeing all of you and sharing in your mixed joy and regret at the finale of this series. Over twenty-three years ago now, I picked up The Eye of the World for the first time, and my life changed. A lot of you have similar stories.

    I know how you feel. I've been feeling it for five years now, ever since I read that last scene. There is no glossary in this last Wheel of Time book. We wanted to leave you with the memory of that scene, as Robert Jordan wrote it, for your final impression of the Wheel of Time.

    I'm happy I can finally share that scene with you. After five years of waiting, I can talk about it with others and reminisce without having to worry about what I'm spoiling. I hope to chat with as many of you as possible in the upcoming months. For those who can't make it, I'll post some responses to frequently asked questions below.

    May you always find water and shade.

    Brandon Sanderson
    January 8th, 2013

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  • 109

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Daniel (7 January 2013)

    At 11:52 PM on 11/6/13, I finished reading The Wheel of Time. To Robert Jordan, you, and all of team Jordan...Thank you.

    Brandon Sanderson (7 January 2013)

    It has been an honor. The epilogue as it stands now is the sequence I read 5 years ago—the last part that RJ left for us.

    Footnote

    This was clarified elsewhere. RJ didn't write the entire epilogue, but it's implied he wrote most of it, and certainly the Rand POVs at the end (this was RJ's 'last scene').

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  • 110

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Ed Huyck

    What were you thinking when you wrapped up the final chapter of the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I felt like a person who had just run a mental marathon. I was tired, I was satisfied, I was excited, and I was saddened. That was five years of my life writing, and twenty-something years of my life reading and working on it. It was really bittersweet. But you have to remember that that was tempered for me, because the ending that Robert Jordan had written—I had read that years ago. So in a lot of ways the series was already finished to me, and had been finished since 2007 when I read the ending.

    That last chapter was his chapter. There were only minor tweaks that I put in; there's one scene that I added from a certain character's viewpoint. But basically, that whole ending sequence, the last chapter, and the epilogue, are Robert Jordan's. So it was more a matter of finally putting it in with the rest of the book. Now, it's finally done. The capstone that was finished five, six years ago can finally be slipped into place and the book can be complete. So all of those emotions were mixed together.

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  • 111

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Ed Huyck

    How extensive were the notes that you had to work with? Were all of the plot lines tied off, or did you have to find conclusions on your own for some of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Since Robert Jordan wrote the last scene, that actually made this whole project mountains easier. I had a target to shoot at. While I didn't have a ton of written material from Robert Jordan that I could actually put in—there were about 200 pages worth of scenes and notes that needed to become somewhere around 2,500 pages—a lot of those 200 pages were summaries of scenes he wanted. Robert Jordan wrote by instinct.

    He was what we call a discovery writer, so what was handed to me was a big pile of half-finished scenes or paragraphs where he wrote, 'Well, I am either going to do this, this, or this. I was thinking of this, but it could be this.' Yes, cracking an ending is hard, and Wheel of Time had a lot of loose threads. My job was to take all those threads and weave them into an ending, which was a real challenge.

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  • 112

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Ed Huyck

    Are we going to be happy with the end of A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The ending was written by Robert Jordan, and as a reader I found it extremely satisfying when I reached it. And so I feel very confident that the ending of the book is going to be what everyone has been hoping for and wanting—without being exactly what they expect. I think the ending that Robert Jordan wrote is just wonderful.

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  • 113

    Interview: Jan 9th, 2013

    Geek's Guide to the Galaxy

    Robert Jordan's epic fantasy series The Wheel of Time, launched in 1990, quickly became one of the most popular series in the history of fantasy, though as the story continued year after year, swelling into many mammoth volumes, some fans wondered if the tale would ever be finished, especially after Jordan's death in 2007. But this month sees the release of A Memory of Light, the 14th and final volume, completed by author Brandon Sanderson, working off Jordan's notes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "The last thing that Robert Jordan wrote is the last chapter of this book," says Brandon Sanderson in this week's episode of the Geek's Guide to the Galaxy podcast. "I felt when I first read it that it was a satisfying ending. I felt it was the right ending. It's been my guidepost for all the work I've done on this."

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  • 114

    Interview: Jan 9th, 2013

    Terez

    There was some discussion about Brandon's suggestion that RJ wrote the entire epilogue, since we knew from his tweets while he was working on it that he had to modify the epilogue material, and we knew from Peter that Brandon wrote the Cadsuane scene (and possibly others; this has never been clarified). In the comments on this post on Facebook, Isabel asked some questions and got some answers from Peter. The last quote is from Dragonmount, in response to some fan assumptions about how much had been written by RJ.

    Isabel (9 January 2013)

    One question: regarding the Cadsuane scene. It is said that this was added by you. Is that correct? Was Cadsuane's fate in RJ's notes?

    Peter Ahlstrom (9 January 2013)

    Team Jordan said I could say that Brandon himself wrote the words of that little scene. Brandon is still being closedmouthed about what specifically came from the notes, but in general, Robert Jordan left quite a few notes on where people ended up at the end of the book.

    Isabel

    Am I right to assume that her implied fate wouldn't have been put in, if the notes say something different? (assuming there were notes on it)

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The notes about fates at the end were not contradicted.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    What Brandon was given from RJ specifically on the last three books was 200 manuscript pages containing some finished scenes (including the final scene) and some summaries of other scenes, some lines of dialogue here and there, some "I might do this, or I might do this," etc. It's definitely not the last 120 pages of the book.

    Footnote

    Brandon gave more information in the torchat.

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  • 115

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Diaz (13 January 2013)

    Is Rand leaving his friends (mainly Perrin, Mat, Loial & Tam) never to be seen again in the end, or does he contact them later?

    Brandon Sanderson (13 January 2013)

    I believe RJ wanted people to wonder and decide for themselves. What do you think happened?

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  • 116

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Filch (13 January 2013)

    Dude.... You have GOT to explain the whole pipe thing at the end!!!! WTF? HOW? (that's all I'm asking)

    Brandon Sanderson (13 January 2013)

    I will do a blog post soon about this and similar questions. However, I can't answer much because I don't know much.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He did not explain much about the epilogue, even in the notes.

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  • 117

    Interview: Jan 9th, 2013

    Question

    How much was already completed when you took over the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon referred to what Tom Doherty had previously said on the issue. He said there were about 200 pages when he took over. Also, the Epilogue in A Memory of Light was almost entirely written by Jordan with Brandon trying to bring everything else to that point.

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  • 118

    Interview: Jan 8th, 2013

    Question ()

    Will the audio of RJ's dictation of the final scene be released?

    Harriet McDougal

    That's a good question. I'll think about it.

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  • 119

    Interview: Jan 9th, 2013

    Question

    How much of the last books were completed, or do you have an idea of the percent before you took over?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fortunately I can fall back on Tom Doherty, who answered this question, so I don't get in trouble. And I don't usually—I get in trouble a little bit sometimes. [laughter] There are certain things that I have to be careful not to say, to get into spoilers and things like that, but Tom Doherty did answer this. There were about 200 pages of material that was done, and that did include lots of different things. It included completed scenes; it included dictations that he'd done while he was sick; and it included fragments of scenes, and in some places, some Q&As with Maria and Alan, where they would say "You said this about a character; can you go more in depth on that?" And then there's like a page of him talking about that character and that scene, and those 200 pages were given to me, and I have used that as a guide in writing the books.

    There were holes. There were some very big holes, which actually was exciting to me in some ways, because it allowed me to actually be part of this, rather than following a very strict "This happens, this happens, this happens." In fact, they weren't in order, which was also exciting to me, because I work from an outline, and Robert Jordan didn't. Robert Jordan knew where he was going, but he would often discover what was going on as he got the characters there. They call that a 'gardener'; it's George R.R. Martin's term for writing; it's how George R.R. Martin; it's how Robert Jordan wrote books; it's how Stephen King writes books. There are others of us that, we are more 'architects'; we build a structure, and then we work from that, and I was able to take all of these things and build a structure from it, and one of the gems in there was what is now the epilogue of the book you're holding, which was finished almost in its entirety—that whole sequence, with very minor tweaks by us—and that ending is the last scene that Robert Jordan talked about many times, that he knows how the book ends; he knows how the series ends. He did write that before he passed away, and that became like my goalpost; that was the thing I had to hit, was that scene, and everything leading up to that was to make that scene work. And so, when you get there, you can read...that epilogue is all Robert Jordan. Significant chunks of the rest of the books were too, but that one, you can just use as a marker, and say "Okay, this is his ending."

    Footnote

    There is some clarification on the issue of the epilogue here.

    Tags

  • 120

    Interview: Jan 7th, 2013

    Michael Chantry

    Hi, I'm Michael Chantry from Podunk [?] Idaho—[claps] someone knows the area. Thank you for the books; they're amazing. Thanks Robert Jordan for the books. I like them so much I actually named my second child Perrin. [applause]

    My question is to both Brandon and Harriet. I know you love this new book, A Memory of Light, that you've created for us, and out of it, is there anything that we... What is your favorite part? What did you enjoy most about it? If you can give us a chapter, a section...anything. I know you're going to say "the whole thing." [laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    (flips through book) [laughter] There's a 200-page chapter in this book. [hoots, buzz of talking] I felt it very thematically important, and my favorite part is right at the end of that chapter and the beginning of the next chapter, and the next chapter is actually very short, and so really, it's probably Chapter 39, but with the lead-in at the end of chapter 38.

    Michael Chantry

    And Harriet, do you have a favorite part?

    Brandon Sanderson

    (talks to Peter) 37 and 38? Okay, 37 and 38. Peter knows these things better than I do. [laughter]

    Harriet McDougal

    Well, I love the end of Chapter 23—the final sequence—and as you're aware from Brandon's other books, I mean a lot of the chapters will have a piece here, and then there's a two-line space and you jump five hundred miles away, and so on, but the last segment of 23 I think is just super. But there are an awful lot of things that I do love in this book; the scene I read for you is one of my favorites; there's more of it, but I thought, "Oh, I don't know; I think I'm getting on too long," because we hadn't quite timed it out. I think it's a wonderful book. [laughter, applause]

    Jason Denzel

    I know that the question wasn't directed up here to me, but I think I definitely need to say that—without being cliché—the ending, the epilogue, was far and away everything I could have hoped it was, and it was my favorite part of the book. It was just...I can't wait for all of you to eventually read it, and hopefully have the same kind of reaction that I did. It's pretty awesome.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can talk a little bit more about that, because...I told you the Asmodean story, but next under that sheet was this, was the...were the scenes that Robert Jordan had written for the book. And so, that included sections from the prologue, which got split into various pieces of the various prologues of the three novels; sections out of the book; and then this ending, the epilogue, and it's one of the most...one of the scenes where you're able to preserve, a sequence that's the most close to the way Robert Jordan left it. Because a lot of scenes he'd leave, he'd leave like a paragraph, and then it's like I have to expand that into, or I have to work a whole thing and then have that paragraph in.

    There's a famous scene, for instance, with Verin in Gathering Storm where he left, you know, the kinda...what you would imagine is the important parts, but it's only the important parts, and then it doesn't have a lead-in or an exit to the scene, and so I had to write up and then lead in to what he'd written, and then lead out of it, and that sort of stuff. And this, it's actually...we've got complete sequences that he wrote before he passed away. And so, when you get to that epilogue, you can know...there's some very non-touched-by-the-rest-of-us stuff that he had in a very good shape to be published before he passed away.

    Harriet McDougal

    And I should have thought of that, but as he read it in 2007—and so did I, and I had known some bits of it for years before that—but it really is splendid.

    Michael Chantry

    Thank you very much. [applause]

    Footnote

    More info on who wrote what in the epilogue.

    Tags

  • 121

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    John Martin (23 January 2013)

    Okay, the pipe lighting . . . Any real explanation, or are we just going to wonder forever?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

    I put it in as RJ instructed, and I know nothing more about it than fandom does, I'm afraid.

    James Starke

    Popular theory is that from his time with the Dark One/Creator/Pattern, he's able to manipulate The Pattern a bit.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a good theory.

    Jonathan B

    What's your opinion on how pipe lighting was or could have been done even if we don't have RJ's answer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. I agree with some of the fan discussions.

    Andrew Mudge

    Is Rand the missing link between the Pattern and the Creator himself, possibly even the balancer of light/dark?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's one possible theory.

    Mike Ball

    How did Rand light the pipe at the end of A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know no more on this than fandom does, I'm afraid. RJ did not explain.

    Terry Benton

    I still can't figure it out...how did Rand light his pipe? Is he in Tel'aran'rhioid? Is everybody??

    Dan Zambito

    Can you explain how Rand lit his pipe in the last scene? Did he discover a new power? Is he a new power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid I don't know anything more than fandom does about this. RJ did not leave notes on the matter.

    Tags

  • 122

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Kirsten Gesenberg (23 January 2013)

    Which scene is the "last scene" that RJ said he wrote first?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

    Pipe scene.

    Footnote

    RJ always said he could have written the scene in 1984, but he didn't actually write it until he was working on A Memory of Light.

    James Starke

    Robert Jordan wrote the entire epilogue.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Almost all. There were a few small inserts by me. Perrin was mine in the epilogue.

    Mike Cox

    I would like to know, how much of the last chapter was written by RJ and how much did you do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did Perrin and some of the in-between writing with Loial. RJ did Mat, Rand, scene exiting the mountain, and others.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are places where I tweaked bits, per editing, and places where I slipped in things he'd written to my sequences.

    Terez

    Was the last scene written or dictated?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Written down. As was the scene with Isam [in] the prologue.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Borderlander tower scene was dictated, I believe.

    Footnote

    More info on who wrote what in the epilogue here.

    Tags

  • 123

    Interview: 2013

    Twitter 2013 (WoT) (Verbatim)

    Aaron Oster (23 January 2013)

    If, hypothetically, there was a body switch in WoT, how would it happen? Would it be an actual switch or illusion?

    Brandon Sanderson (23 January 2013)

    There are far more reasons, worldbuilding wise, to believe it was real than to believe it was illusion.

    TJ

    Is Rand's soul in Moridin's body?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. Right to the point, are you? Let's just say that trickery is not likely in this case.

    TJ

    Can you confirm that Rand's body was burned at the end of A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, fine. Yes, I will confirm that Rand's body was indeed the one that was burned. :)

    Jonathan MacAlpine

    Why didn't anybody notice when a supposedly-dead Moridin got up and walked away?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say coincidence. But there aren't many of those in the WoT world.

    Siraaj

    Seems like a conversation between the Creator and Rand was missing where "switch" and Alivia's role in it are laid out—thoughts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe that RJ included everything he wanted in this sequence.

    Jason Cassidy

    Why did Rand switch bodies at the end and why is he going incognito now? Did not understand that part.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RJ wrote these scenes, and intended to leave them as is. I don't think me delving into explanations is what he'd want.

    El Brian

    Did the bonding between Rand, Nynaeve, Elayne, and Min transfer over to the new body?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, though I don't know how or why.

    Kamarile Sedai

    Why did the bond survive the body switch at the end of A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know. RJ did not explain this one to me.

    J Crosby

    How were Rand/Elan able to switch bodies?

    Sean Duffy

    How did Rand wind up with Moridin's body?

    James Starke

    Could you explain further about the body switch and how it was possible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is one that I'm not answering, I'm afraid. RJ wanted some things about the ending to remain ambiguous.

    Tags

  • 124

    Interview: Jan 4th, 2013

    Petra Mayer

    Describe for me the process. Tell me about how Robert Jordan worked on the books in the last few months of his life.

    Harriet McDougal

    Mostly by dictation. He began by saying something about the last book one Saturday night. And two friends were visiting us at the time—one who very luckily had worked in her past as a court reporter—so she began taking copious notes. I tried, but I was just staring at my darling and listening to the story pour out of him—I was no go at taking the dictation. She was, although she thought the hero that he was talking about was the 'Dragoon Reborn'. (laughs) Dragoons are big in Charleston history. And she took very good notes, and the other friend went out at midnight to buy a tape recorder. So from there on we were just recording him and going back with questions, and that's how he worked in those last months.

    Tags

  • 125

    Interview: Jan 4th, 2013

    Petra Mayer

    And I understand that he—the last scene, which I think you're referring to—he wrote that completely himself?

    Harriet McDougal

    Yes, yes.

    Petra Mayer

    Did he have that in mind the whole time? Because I have to tell you, when I got the book in the mail last week, I turned to the end and read the last scene. I'm that kind of person.

    Harriet McDougal

    (laughs) Yeah, I think he had it in mind the whole time—from before he started The Eye of the World. He thought very far ahead. I remember once we went out to lunch just after he'd finished The Eye of the World, and over lunch he wanted to talk about what would happen to a Maiden of the Spear who had a child. And that doesn't turn up until where? Book four?

    Petra Mayer

    I don't think so, yeah.

    Harriet McDougal

    But he worked far ahead. And he did have the overall arc of the story in mind all the time—think of the prophecies.

    Petra Mayer

    That's true, yeah.

    Tags

  • 126

    Interview: Sep, 2012

    Petra Mayer

    I know you can't give too much away, but what can we expect from A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, A Memory of Light is awesome. When I first got this, I had to say yes sight-unseen to the notes. I knew there was an ending, and so I flew out to Charleston where his wife lives, and I flew out there just weeks after this whole thing had come down; I was doing this, I had signed the contracts. It's a long flight from where I live in Utah, and I walk in the door to Charleston, and Harriet, bless her heart, says "Would you like some food? I know it's been a long trip." And I said, "No, I'd like the ending please." And I sat down, and that night I read Robert Jordan's ending to the series, and I was immensely satisfied. It was the right ending. It's what I've been writing toward all along. Having that means that I can get everything pointed toward it, and I think that it's a beautiful, perfect ending to this two-decade-long journey, and so, I hope you all enjoy as well. I really think you're going to be pleased.

    Tags

  • 127

    Interview: Jun 3rd, 2011

    Helen O'Hara

    Speaking of adaptations, of course, you've taken over Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series and sped up the pace of the story considerably, so as a long-time reader there, thank you for that!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Credit needs to be given to Robert Jordan; he started to speed up in Book 11 [Knife of Dreams]. In fact, I've read interviews where he admits that the focus was a little bit wrong in Book 10 [Crossroads of Twilight], which is the one that the fans complain about being the most slow, and he himself changed that for Book 11 and picked up the pacing. And I like spectacular endings. When I build my books, I start from the end and work forward with my outline. I write from beginning to end, but I outline end to beginning, because I always want to know that I have a powerful, explosive ending that I'm working toward. Endings are my deal: if a book or a film doesn't have a great ending, I find it wanting. It's like the last bite, the last morsel on the plate, so I get very annoyed with the standard Hollywood third act, because they seem to play it most safe in Act Three, and that's where I most want to be surprised and awed. That's where it's got to be spectacular. You've got to give the reader something they're not expecting, something they want but don't know it, in that last section.

    Helen O'Hara

    Does that go for something like your Mistborn Trilogy; did you start with the end of the trilogy or go book-by-book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I plotted all three backwards and then wrote them all forwards. I had a great advantage writing those books, because I sold my first book, Elantris, in 2003. The nature of how books are 'slotted' into release dates is that a new author doesn't get the best slot. They want to give each author a good launch, but they can't give them in the really prime slots. So we had a two-and-a-half year wait, and usually you have a year between books. That meant I had three-and-a-half years before Mistborn would be out, so I pitched the entire trilogy together and wrote all three before the first one came out.

    Helen O'Hara

    Is that something you have in common with Robert Jordan, because re-reading the prologue to the first book you think, 'This guy knows how it's going to end'.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He actually wrote the ending that I worked towards. The last pages were written by him before he passed away. He always spoke of knowing the ending, so I think we do share that. He was a bit more of an explorer in his writing than I am. He knew where he was going, but getting there he wove around a lot. You can see that in the notes I've been given; he jumps from scene to scene. So there's a difference there, but he really loved endings. And that ending is really great; I think fans are going to love it.

    Tags

  • 128

    Interview: Nov 5th, 2009

    Matthew Peterson

    Well, you've got so many things to tie up. And Robert Jordan, he knew that he was going to die. He knew that, and so he was writing as fast as he could. He got these notes. And you're working off of these notes, which is so great for the fan base, 'cause we get a feel for what Robert Jordan had in mind. I do have one question that everyone is asking me to ask you. [laughs] Are we going to find out who killed Asmodean?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. He left notes about who killed Asmodean. To be included in the book. Harriet's decided where it goes. I can't tell you which of the three books it's going to appear in. But it is going to be in there and he did write the ending himself, of the entire thing.

    Matthew Peterson

    Oh, okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which is just wonderful. It makes this book possible because I know what the ending is. He left a lot of material through the middle too, as well. But he left that ending. He'd been promising us for years that he knew the ending of the series. And he did. And he wrote it down. And so I'm really working towards the goal of getting to that ending and working with it in mind and so, yeah, you don't need to worry that the ending won’t be Robert Jordan's ending, because he wrote that himself.

    Matthew Peterson

    That is great to know. I didn't know that. Well, that is awesome.

    Tags

  • 129

    Interview: Feb 6th, 2013

    Asha'Gerard

    I asked if Harriet would explain how Rand lit his pipe. She was (as you would guess) evasive on the matter. I did my best to try to pin her down on it and the main points I got were:

    Harriet McDougal

    "That was exactly as Jim wrote it."
    "He wanted to leave you feeling that the next Age will be even stranger than the last."

    Asha'Gerard

    I asked if Rand now had some powers of the Creator & she again reiterated (maybe clarified?) that the next Age will be profoundly different.

    So I then asked if that ability is going to be exclusively Rand's & she spread her hands to give me a look that said "maybe, maybe not".

    The vibe I got from her is that she didn't really know what her husband meant for that to mean and she didn't want to say one way or another, but that is just my opinion so take it for what it's worth.

    Tags

  • 130

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Galgóczi Móni

    My sources tell me that you are a passionate pipe-smoker. One of my friends thinks that pipe-smokers see the world totally differently. Is this true?

    Robert Jordan

    I don't think so, but the idea is very good. I will use it someday, somewhere.

    Tags

  • 131

    Interview: Apr, 2003

    Galgóczi Móni

    When you first began writing the WoT series, did you consider that it would become so voluminous?

    Robert Jordan

    When I started all of this, I knew what the last scene would be. At first, I thought it would be five or six volumes. Every time I sat down to actually write the book, I thought about all of the events that have to happen throughout the story and which of these things have to be included in the actual book. And then when I started writing, I realized that many of the original plans wouldn't fit into one book, so they were carried over. As a result, we have published ten books and have two or three more to go. Although really, I can only hope for that, because anything is possible.

    Tags

  • 132

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    crovax33

    I asked Sanderson if we'll ever find out how Rand lit the pipe in the epilogue.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said that nowhere in Jordan's notes did it say how the pipe was lit, but that Harriet had a couple of theories, the main one being: with it being a new Age, there's a new way of doing things, and even some new magic.

    Tags

  • 133

    Interview: Feb 8th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Rand's pipe-lighting came up a few times, to which Brandon stated in no uncertain terms that it's just not explained in the notes, that it's something the readers get to answer themselves.

    Tags

  • 134

    Interview: Feb 8th, 2013

    Brandon and Harriet (paraphrased)

    When asked about the ending he said he thought Robert Jordan left it open so the reader could fill in what happened for themselves. Then he said that he thought Rand probably did go talk to Tam before he left but maybe not Lan.

    Tags

  • 135

    Interview: Feb 7th, 2013

    Question

    Loial is my favorite character in the series. Are his scenes in A Memory of Light written more by Brandon Sanderson or by Robert Jordan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon replies by saying he will need to keep this vague due to not wanting to reveal spoilers to those who have not finished reading. He will answer this individually when the person comes up to him in line. He is against readers "looking" for him or for Robert Jordan in the books. The epilogue was entirely written by Robert Jordan, except for one portion that Brandon wrote.

    Tags

  • 136

    Interview: Feb 3rd, 2013

    Giles Hardy

    Sanderson almost didn't take on the role. Not for lack of interest; rather, because he was too much of a fan.

    Brandon Sanderson

    "That was actually a consideration in this for me," he says. "I would not be able to read a Wheel of Time book when everyone else got to.

    "I balanced it with the knowledge that I got to go and read the ending he wrote. Because he did write the last chapter of the series himself before he passed away.

    "I got to read that basically before anyone else except for his wife and his assistants. Getting to read it a few years early was a pretty big advantage."

    Tags

  • 137

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    This is the last stop of the tour for Memory of Light. How do you feel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How do we feel? The last hurrah, the last stop on the Memory of Light tour. It's really kind of, honestly, a weird experience for me, because after today, I basically set down, you know, the mantle, right, that was handed to me five years ago. This is my last official event involved in the Wheel of Time.

    Now I will be involved for the rest of my life. I will go to JordanCon every year, which is only over in Atlanta, so you should all go. I just drove there today, from Atlanta, I know how easy a drive it is. I will be going to JordanCon, I will always be willing to sign these books, and talk about the Wheel of Time, but after today I take a big step toward fan, and away from author.

    And so it's a really . . . It's the culmination of a bittersweet experience, it has been five years of bitter-sweetness. It started with reading his last scene, that he'd written, and it comes up to here. Where after five years of a lot of hard work, I put down that burden and, I move on to other things, which is really, really sad. You know, it's kind of weird, because every other series that I put down, there's been that voice in the back of my head that said, well you could return to this, if you want to. In this one I can't.

    That's been made off limits to me by myself from the beginning. You know, Harriet and I, on one of the very first times in Charleston, we had this conversation about the other books and we both were very adamant about the idea of them not happening. And so, it's not, you know, it's not Harriet saying, no, it's me saying no too. I would not do these if the opportunity were even offered. And so, it's strange, because these characters I can never do more with. Everyone else I can. So it's a final farewell to Robert Jordan, and it's sad, but it's also awesome because the last book has been well received. I think it turned out very well. And the experience has been amazing.

    Tags

  • 138

    Interview: Feb 22nd, 2013

    Question

    When rand lights the pipe at the end, is he directly influencing the Pattern?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RJ didn't tell us. He wrote that scene himself, and he didn't say what it meant. I think that's what it is, but I can't say for sure, because RJ didn't tell me.

    Tags

  • 139

    Interview: Feb 13th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    And I . . . I tell this story a lot, but it's a fun story. I flew in. Harriet herself picked me up at the airport. I had been really nervous to meet Harriet—like, you know, really nervous. I knew Harriet . . . like, she was one of the big editors in the field, and authors have this kind of—even, you know, published authors—are sometimes kind of scared of editors, right? And Harriet . . . I don't know if you guys know . . . I mean, she edited Ender's Game, okay? She edited—and discovered—Robert Jordan, and she's behind the two biggest books in fantasy and science fiction of the last 30 years—Ender's Game and Eye of the World. So I was really nervous.

    And so I'm like . . . and then I meet her, and as you can tell, she's like this wonderful, just so nice, awesome person. It was such a relief. I'm like, oh good. I actually called Emily that night and I'm like, ahh, I didn't need to be worried. Like, take your favorite grandmother and mix her with a southern gentlewoman and you have Harriet.

    Harriet McDougal

    I've hidden the whips.

    [laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    And she drove me to the house there in Charleston, which is this wonderful house, built in the 1700s, right?

    Harriet McDougal

    Barely. 1798.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And we walk in the door, and Harriet had been cooking dinner, and it was a bean soup. I still remember all these things where she said, well I put some soup on, and I can warm it up, and would you like to have some food? And I said, I would like the ending, please.

    [laughter] [applause]

    Because I didn't know . . . You know, I just signed the contracts without knowing. You know, you guys work for Microsoft, NDA stuff, you got to say yes first, and then you get the NDA, and then you get to be a part of it.

    And so, I knew that there was an ending, because Robert Jordan had talked about writing the ending. I knew, and Harriet had confirmed, the ending had been written. And so I walked in, and it was like ten o'clock at night. But I got that ending, and I sat down in the front room—sitting room—and I read what you now have as primarily the epilogue of A Memory of Light. Almost all the epilogue was in there.

    Also contained in there were several big important scenes from the prologue, which we split among the three prologues. There were a couple of the really cool scenes in there. There was the Tower of Ghenjei. There was a place where Egwene gets a special visitor, and—I think it's called A Cup of Tea—that scene, but really it was the ending that I wanted to read.

    Harriet McDougal

    And there's the blank in the blank.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's the blank in the blank, yes, which is in the prologue of A Memory of Light—one of the prologue sequences. And I read all of this and read his ending, which you now have in your hands.

    And Harriet afterwards—she said, well what do you think? And I said, it was satisfying. That was my word for it. It was the right ending. I felt a huge sense of relief. In a lot of ways, there wasn't a lot there. There were 200 pages, and so it wasn't huge. But at the same time, it was a huge relief to me, because the ending had been done, and it had been done right. And my job, then, was not so impossible, because all I had to do was get from well-written book to well-written ending without screwing it up too much.

    And having that ending in hand is really what has made this possible, and made me able to work on these books in a way that I really feel conformed to Robert Jordan's vision for them, because I knew where he was going. And I tend to work from an ending—that's how I write my books, is I always have the ending in mind first. And so, that is the story of how you came to get A Memory of Light. And it has been an awesome and daunting and horrifying and extremely hard and wonderful experience all in one.

    Tags

  • 140

    Interview: Feb 13th, 2013

    Question

    All right, and second question. Without being too terribly spoilerific, what's the one thing you wanted to find out, and didn't?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is an event in the epilogue, that one of the characters performed something that seems impossible by our understanding, and Robert Jordan did not explain how or why.

    Question

    That's fair. All right. I’ve got my own fan theories, and they'll just stay there. Thanks.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh huh.

    Tags

  • 141

    Interview: Feb 13th, 2013

    Question

    I actually do have a spoiler question, and I don't know . . .

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, why don't you save that till afterward and come ask us.

    Question

    Okay. But I do want to say that your answer to his question there makes a whole lot more sense now—that you didn't know that . . .

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not know either.

    Question

    Okay.

    [laughter]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope, sorry. When I say he wrote the epilogue, he wrote the epilogue. And he left notes on a lot of things, but he didn't leave notes on the things he'd already finished, because we didn't need to know how to write those.

    Tags

  • 142

    Interview: 2013

    iwasazombie (March 2013)

    Hey Brandon! I'm the redheaded dude who was helping at the last two Midnight Release parties, and I am actually at BYU right now. I have two questions:

    I know you've said you can't answer these directly, so, rather than give the "official" answer, I was wondering if you could give us your "fan theory" on the answer, as if you weren't the writer.

    What do you think about Mat, Rand, and Perrin keeping certain "abilities"? I know you've said that they may or may not still be ta'veren, and Perrin thinks they aren't, but can Perrin still talk to wolves? Is Mat still lucky? Does Mat still have his memories?

    In your opinion, who do you think Nakomi was? Do you like the "Nakomi is the avatar of the Creator theory"? Do you think of her as the third member of the Christian godhead?

    Finally, Harriet was quoted as saying that she thinks Rand's special ability at the end was a "new magic"? Do you agree? Or do you think it is something else?

    Thanks for being awesome!

    Brandon Sanderson

    1. Perrin can still talk to wolves. That is certain. Also, Mat keeps his memories. These two are official, not theories on my part. What I can't give official on is the ta'veren-ness of the guys. I don't think RJ ever even says in the notes. Me? I think they aren't.

    2. I'm too close to this one. I can't say, unfortunately. I can answer as a fan for things I don't know because it's not in the notes, or for things I could theorize about before I came onto the project. For things I learned about while working, I don't have a "fan" perspective, only a writer perspective. Sorry.

    3. Harriet is more likely to be right than I am, but I don't believe it is a new magic. I think it is a result of Rand touching the Pattern directly.

    iwasazombie

    Awesome! So, I'm still unsure about Mat's luck. Would you say that's part of his "ta'veren-ness?"

    Thanks for the great answers. I'm more at peace now with some of the previous answers you've given.

    Brandon Sanderson

    My gut tells me Mat still has his luck, but not to the extent he once had. But I have no foundation for this in the notes.

    Tags

  • 143

    Interview: Feb 1st, 2013

    TsorovanSaidin

    The only other thing we asked him was about a certain lighting of a pipe.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said that he has no idea what the ending with Rand lightning the pipe truly meant. That was completely RJ. I asked him, based on my own theory, that what Rand did was a by product of him being almost a convergence of the Pattern. Since he wove with all three powers and wove the whole of the Age lace that he was now able to bend the Pattern and essentially "weave reality." Which would be more far helpful than the One Power. It may also explain why he's burnt out and not going crazy because of, he has a far better substation.

    TsorovanSaidin

    Pops! Forgot to add! Brandon said he doesn't know for sure but, that is close to his own theory. And they ARE releasing the complete encyclopedia on the series. He estimates by sometime next year.

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  • 144

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    laenare ()

    At what point did Rand begin planning his fake death? At least in Towers of Midnight or in A Memory of Light timeline?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He never planned to. It was a matter of opportunity.

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  • 145

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    SakisRakis ()

    I wondered particularly about, in the epilogue, Alivia leaving the supplies for the body-swapped Rand. I honestly had to go look up Alivia as a refresher upon seeing her name; was she included from Robert Jordan's draft, and if so, do you think he envisioned more involvement from her throughout A Memory of Light?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That scene was indeed one of the ones that Robert Jordan wrote before he passed away, and was include as is. He MIGHT have included her a tad more in other scenes, but the notes were blank on her save for this last scene, so I don't know. I know for certain that her helping Rand to die meant only leaving the items for him. It was a very small thing that fandom (perhaps by RJ's design) blew up into something much larger. The characters did too, to an extent.

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  • 146

    Interview: Apr 15th, 2013

    Reddit AMA 2013 (Verbatim)

    Giovanni13 ()

    Hey Brandon once upon a time you posted Final Fantasy X song "To Zarkanad" on your Facebook page and said it was perfect for the scene you were writing in A Memory of Light, so tell me if you remember which scene was that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was the last few scenes I was working on, Perrin after the Last Battle and a few of the Loial sequences in the epilogue, which were parts I had a hand in writing as opposed to putting in what RJ had written.

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  • 147

    Interview: Oct 9th, 2013

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Notes

    As I've said before, I signed the contracts with Harriet to finish this series before I was given the notes. Therefore, going into this, I knew very little of what had been done for A Memory of Light already. In fact, the only thing I did know was that Mr. Jordan had written down the ending—the one he'd been promising for years that he had in his head. (Though, being the gardener-type writer that he was, he always noted that the ending could change shape as his view of it evolved over time.)

    Eager, daunted, I flew to Charleston in December 2007 to meet Harriet. I knew her by reputation only—the editorial director of Tor Books during its foundational years, the woman who edited Ender's Game and who discovered Robert Jordan. I was rather intimidated. Turns out, Harriet is quite grandmotherly—in a southern gentlewoman sort of way. She's confident, capable, and has this air of knowledge about her. However, she's also kind, quick with a smile, and remarkably genuine. I don't know that I've ever met someone who so effortlessly blends self-confidence with compassion.

    Once I arrived at Harriet's house, I asked for the ending, which she gave me. I spent hours picking through the notes and reading—I was at it after Harriet retired for the night, though before she left, she pointed to the computer in the front room where I was sitting. "That's Robert Jordan's," she noted to me. "That's where he wrote many of the books, on that computer, that keyboard. We recently moved it in from the office into this room."

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