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

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Your search for the tag 'wheel of time' yielded 18 results

  • 1

    Interview: Mar 24th, 2014

    Question

    The Way of Kings was around 1000 pages. Words of Radiance is almost 1100. I've done the calculations and using extrapolation book 10 will be 280,000 pages long (assuming geometric growth). Of course, that is only really a problem for the printers (who have to find a way to bind them), but do you think there are any limits as to how long a book should be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, in some ways The Wheel of Time is a single novel, and can be read that way, and is actually eligible for some awards this year as a single completed novel. If there is an upper limit, it's longer than The Wheel of Time was. I don't think I'm likely to hit it with The Stormlight Archive. On a more serious note, when creating a book of this length, what I have to ask myself is, what is the purpose of the length? Why am I doing what I'm doing? I like to be conscious as a writer. In this case, as I mentioned earlier, I do view each book in The Stormlight Archive as multiple books unto itself. You can pick up The Way of Kings and read it with break points at certain places to make it into a trilogy of books. In Words of Radiance, they're even more distinct. It's like you're picking up a collection, an omnibus that is called Words of Radiance, that is really three books, plus a short story collection, plus an art book. For me, length is a way that I can tell you these smaller stories are all connected in a larger story, which is in turn connected in a larger story. It allows me to create a type of art that I can't create in the shorter form. Yes, I'm sure there is a boundary. I would personally think it's far beyond what I'm capable of achieving in my lifetime.

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  • 2

    Interview: Jan 28th, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time

    The final item I want to talk about is a little more tricky. Others have been posting about this online, and I thought I should mention it. One feature of the Hugo Awards is a rule that exists to make certain a longer work which is serialized has a chance at an award if the serialized version was overlooked. In short, if no smaller piece of a large work has ever been nominated, the larger work is eligible once completed.

    That means the Wheel of Time, as a whole, is eligible for a Hugo Award in the novel category.

    This is both awesome and a little frightening. I'm certain I don't have to make the case to you why I think that Robert Jordan's masterpiece deserves award recognition. It was the driving force in fantasy for over two decades, deeply influencing an entire generation of authors. Beyond that, I believe it has great literary merit. Robert Jordan did incredible things with worldbuilding and character viewpoint. He was one of the most skilled writers of this genre who has ever lived.

    I'm quite close to this topic, howeveróprobably too close to speak without deep bias. I try to avoid campaigning too much for my work to gain award attention, instead limiting myself to posts that explain what of mine is eligible, then letting the pieces speak for themselves. The Wheel of Time puts me in a strange position, then, because I'd want to talk all day about how awesome Robert Jordan isóyet at the same time, I've now been involved in the series on a fundamental level. So...yeah. Conflict of interest.

    So, I'll stop here, by posting Guy Gavriel Kay's toastmaster address at the World Fantasy Awards the year Robert Jordan died. He made some wonderful points.

    Some Words of Caution

    Now, above, I said this eligibility is something both awesome and frightening. Let's get into the frightening part. I've posted about my love and respect for the Hugo Awards. This award has a great deal of history and integrity attached to it. It is a Fan-voted award—but I use that capital letter intentionally. It's not voted on by fans of a specific work, but Fans of the genre. People who want to see science fiction and fantasy progress, succeed, and improve.

    I have little doubt that the Wheel of Time community could "buy" this award for their series. In so doing, they would make the award meaningless. The Hugo Award works because such a large portion of the voting audience takes it so seriously. This award really is what we make of it. It belongs to us.

    And so, I give a charge to the Wheel of Time fans who might be reading this and considering the Hugo Awards for the first time. We want you to be involved. We love new blood, and new enthusiasm. However, agreeing to nominate and vote for the Hugos is a responsibility that should not be taken lightly. If you decide to join in—and I sincerely hope you will—please nominate liberally. But when it comes time to vote, please vote only in categories where you have read the majority (preferably all) of the nominees. And please vote only for the piece you work is the best work. Don't vote by author; vote by work.

    This doesn't mean you have use anyone else's criteria for determining the "best" work. Follow your heart. For some of you, that will mean voting for the work that is the most fun. For some, it will mean choosing the one with the most literary merit. Personally, I try to find the work that walks a line between the two, having a solid and engaging narrative but also advancing the genre or doing something impressive with it. (Redshirts, last year's novel winner, is a good example of a work that does this for me.)

    Pick your own criteria, but read before you vote. The last thing I want to hear about is a ballot box filled with people who listed "The Wheel of Time" or some of my solo works, but nothing else.

    Conclusion

    That said, if you are eligible to nominate and you weren't considering The Wheel of Time, do be aware that that it is eligible. It is certainly deserving. I can't think of a series in our genre since Tolkien that has inspired so much devotion, passion, imitators, and discussion—all without ever receiving a single Hugo nomination. This is our last chance to fix that.

    I'm personally very curious to see what happens if it does get a nomination.

    Brandon

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  • 3

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time, as a whole, has been nominated for a Hugo Award for best novel. I am thrilled, honored, and excited—and when Harriet heard the news, she lit up as I've never seen her do before. Thank you.

    Congratulations to all of the other nominees! I have a few things I'd like to say about this nomination. First, I'd like to speak to Wheel of Time fans themselves. Secondly, I'd like to speak to those who are criticizing the nomination.

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  • 4

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    To The Wheel of Time Fans

    Thank you for your enthusiasm. I'm certain that Robert Jordan is smiling at you right now. However, I do want to reiterate what I said earlier when I got wind that the WoT fandom was considering a campaign to get the Wheel of Time nominated: be careful. Please don't let the Hugo Awards become a shoving match between fandoms.

    "But Brandon," you might say, "everyone says the Hugo Awards are a popularity contest. Shouldn't we prove how popular Robert Jordan is?"

    Well, yes and no. The Hugo Awards are a popularity contest—but they should be a fiction popularity contest, not an author popularity contest. The Hugo Awards were founded in the 1950s by dedicated sf/f fans who saw mainstream literary awards ignoring science fiction and fantasy. This award was founded to combat that, to show off the brightest and best fiction the genres had to offer. It was done in an era long before the internet, and Worldcon attendees were chosen to be the voters because of their dedication to the genre as a whole.

    When I first started voting for the Hugos many years ago, a long-time fan impressed upon me the importance of my responsibility. Each work must be judged independently of its author, and must be judged against the competition in its category. We, as fans, use this award to proclaim to the world the fiction we are proudest of.

    I love the Hugo Awards. They tend to run a great balance, consistently recognizing fiction that is both popular and thought-provoking. They have a grand tradition, and are one of the things that make me proud to be a member of science fiction fandom.

    We want you to vote. We want you to be part of the process. But let me speak frankly to you: if you don't intend to read and investigate the other nominees and participate in a wide variety of categories, you are doing the awards a disservice. I would rather have the Wheel of Time not win than have it be given an award as part of a thoughtless shoving match.

    In this, I wish to hold up George R. R. Martin as an exemplar. He wants dearly to someday win a Hugo for best novel, a distinction that has eluded him. I've heard him speak about it. The thing is, he could win the award in a heartbeat; he has by far the biggest fanbase in our community. If he asked them each to pay for a Worldcon supporting membership and vote only for him, he'd win by a landslide.

    He's never done that because he knows that this award has only as much integrity as we give it. So long as you are willing to vote superior works by other authors above works by your favorite authors, you are doing the award justice.

    Now, I firmly believe that the Wheel of Time is worthy of a Hugo Award. Don't let my strong words suggest otherwise to you. But I can't say for certain what I will vote for until I read the other nominated works, consider the category with an open mind, and make my decision. I also intend to continue being part of these awards for many, many years, rather than joining only once to vote on a single contest.

    I sincerely request you do the same. Join with us, participate, and investigate all of the nominees in all of the categories. Then vote for the works you think are the best of the nominations. It is only by holding ourselves accountable as honest and responsible voters that we will maintain the prestige of this award.

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  • 5

    Interview: Apr 21st, 2014

    Brandon Sanderson

    To Science Fiction and Fantasy Fandom as a Whole

    I have spent some time reading responses to the Hugo nominations, and wanted to reach out to you. I find it unfortunate that some of you, including prominent voices in fandom, are responding with anger or frustration about the Wheel of Time nomination. Some don't like a series being nominated for the novel Hugo. Some don't like WoT fandom reaching in and participating in the award. And others downright dislike the Wheel of Time as a work of art.

    I would like to address some of these concerns that I see recurring in the discussions.

    On the Wheel of Time Being Nominated as a Single Novel

    On the first point, I wish to emphasize that the Hugo rules were intentionally designed to allow works like this to be nominated. Serials are such a part of our collective culture in sf fandom, and I promise you that the Wheel of Time is indeed a serial. It focuses on a single group of characters, a single plot and narrative, and the books each pick up exactly where the previous one left off. Yes, it took a long time to complete. Yes, it is large. However, Robert Jordan always considered—and spoke of—the Wheel of Time as a single story. The length of time it took to write that story is irrelevant as far as the Hugos are concerned.

    A Game of Thrones season could be nominated collectively as a single entry into the dramatic presentation category. Connie Willis's Blackout/All Clear could be nominated as a single work, though broken into two volumes. Indeed, this is similar to how Dragonflight and Ender's Game could both garner short fiction nominations for their original forms, then be nominated for best novel in a later year once the story was expanded.

    The Wheel of Time is eligible. These are your awards, however, and if this aspect of them is bothersome to you itís quite possible to get this changed by participating in Worldcon and the Hugo Awards as a whole, making your voice known and advocating a revision. Your passion, therefore, should be directed at making that happen, rather than against the work that was nominated.

    Attend Worldcon. Go to the WSFS Business Meeting. Blog about it. Bring your friends. We need people involved at this level of fandom.

    On Wheel of Time Fandom

    This brings us to the second two points, which I feel are the more important ones in most of these discussions. In regard to Wheel of Time fans participating, I want to tell wider fandom that I vouch for these fans. I offered words of caution to them above because I think they need reminders as they are new to core sf/f fandom, but I feel that you need to know that Wheel of Time fans are our people.

    They have organized much as the fans back in the 1930s did, holding conventions and starting fanzines/websites. They attend Worldcons and their local literary conventions, though many of them have only started doing so in the last four or five years as they've realized the richness and scope of established fandom.

    I charge you: do not reject their enthusiasm. I spoke honestly with them, and I wish to speak honestly with you. I have yet to attend a Worldcon where someone—either on panels or at the parties—didn't ask what could be done to bring new blood into our fannish community. For years, we have worried about what to do. Now, as fandoms like that dedicated to the Wheel of Time have begun to discover both Worldcon and the Hugos, I feel we stand at an important confluence.

    Welcome the Wheel of Time fans into our community. Welcome the next group of fans in too. Give whatever it is they're passionate about a try. You might like it, and if not, you'll still probably like them.

    On the Wheel of Time as Literature

    I understand that you may not personally enjoy the Wheel of Time. There is nothing wrong with that—it is the nature of art that some will disdain what others love. However, as I've read bloggers and fannish personalities speaking of a Wheel of Time nomination, some have unfortunately called it "shameful" or "embarrassing." Worse, some of them have attacked the fanbase, calling into question its intelligence for daring to nominate the Wheel of Time—in essence, for daring to have different taste from the blogger posting.

    You can't beg people to come and participate in fandom, then tell them not to vote on your awards because you don't like their preference in books. Indeed, attacking the fans of a work rather than criticizing the work itself is crossing a very big, and important, line.

    For many years, we in fandom have had to suffer these kinds of dismissive, hurtful, and destructive attitudes from those who attack us because we like science fiction. Do not side with the bullies. Do not hold your own opinion in such high regard that you dismiss all others.

    It is not shameful to like the Wheel of Time. No more than it should be shameful to be the kid who read Dune in middle school while others snickered. We should never have to feel embarrassed for honestly expressing our taste in fiction. No more than we should have to feel embarrassed to be the one at work who attends an sf con, much to the amusement of your co-workers.

    If you have said these kinds of things about the Wheel of Time or its fandom in the past few days, I challenge you to take a long, hard look at your tone and what youíre implying. Ask yourself if you really want to belong to a world where only one kind of opinion is valid, where only your taste is acceptable.

    Because in my experience, these are the sorts of attitudes that science fiction and fantasy fiction have spent their history combatting. So if you donít think the Wheel of Time should win, vote for something else. But while you're doing it, be kind. Treat these fans the way you want to be treated as a fan—and as a human being.

    Brandon Sanderson 4/21/2014

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  • 6

    Interview: Jan 17th, 2015

    Question

    Revisiting the Wheel of Time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert uncomfortable with people writing in his universe. Changed his mind in the end. Harriet and Brandon presented a united front to publisher. It shouldnít happen b/c of Robertís wishes. Harriet and the estate may change their mind but he probably wouldnít write them himself.

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  • 7

    Interview: Jan 17th, 2015

    Question

    What about a WoT movie?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Could happen but TV show more likely.

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  • 8

    Interview: Jan 17th, 2015

    Question

    Were you ah, [?] dictionary type thing with Jordan and Harriet? (maybe about getting it signed)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not done very much of that. It was supposed to be Harrietís thing. But she wonít tour again.

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  • 9

    Interview: Mar 12th, 2015

    tbk50 (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon. I must say, I had never heard of you until I read the last three Wheel of Time books. I loved your writing style and found the wrap up (well three books worth of wrap up) immensely satisfying. This prompted me to check out some of your other work and I'm currently listening to Mistborn on audio book during my daily commute and am loving it. So not a whole lot specific to ask that you probably haven't been asked already (though I would love some interesting facts on your completion of the Wheel of Time series), but more of a thanks for making reading awesome, can't wait to read/listen to the rest of the Mistborn Trilogy!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    My pleasure! Hope you enjoy the trilogy.

    Facts about the WoT. Let's see... Of the viewpoints in the last books, I had the most to do with Perrin, as RJ left very, very little about what to do with him. The one I had the least influence over was Egwene, where he left a lot of material.

    In both cases, I had a wonderful time. In some ways, it was more fulfilling to take the master's vision and see it applied in a way that I could see he specifically wanted. In other ways, it was very satisfying as a long-time fan to be able to fill the holes with things that I wanted to see happen in the series.

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  • 10

    Interview: Mar 12th, 2015

    NoFortress (Reddit)

    Wheel of Time question here. My understanding is that the title A Memory of Light refers specifically to a particular scene that actually happens at the end of The Gathering Storm. This has always bothered me that the title does not match up to the scene it references. Could you comment on this and how you decided to title the books?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    The answer from the other poster is, in part, the correct answer. (I wrote most of TGS hoping I'd be able to publish the entire thing as one book.) However, philosophically, I always envisioned "A Memory of Light" to not mean any specific moment, but instead, the idea that the shadow was so strong upon the land that light had become but a memory--yet a very important one, driving people to seek it again and fight in the Last Battle.

    Because of this, it felt as if the final book of the three was the right place to use the title. Beyond that, I'm pretty sure RJ would have wanted that title on the final volume of the three.

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  • 11

    Interview: Jan 24th, 2015

    Question

    Which book was the hardest to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which book was the hardest to write. /A Memory of Light/, the last of /the Wheel of Time/ books by a LARGE margin is the hardest book Iíve ever written because the last /Wheel of Time/ book mixed with a lot of war scenes that--I donít have the history in warfare that Robert Jordan did so all this stuff I had to do, there was a lot of research and a lot of going back and forth with Alan Romanczuk with Team Jordan. It was by far the hardest.

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  • 12

    Interview: Jan 24th, 2015

    Question

    The first seven or eight Wheel of Time books had a sort of dictionary that was co-wrote with Jordan and I think Theresa Patterson..Do they plan on doing thatÖAre you going to have any input on that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are doing a final-- a redo. Itís a more extensive encyclopedia written by Harriet, Robert Jordanís wife. I had very little, not very much.

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  • 13

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2015

    Question

    So if you had a character in Wheel of Time who was in the cosmere, who would that be? Jain Farstrider?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh Jain? Thatís a good choice! Jain makes a lot of sense. I was going to say one of the Aelfinn or Eelfinn, Ďcause they cross dimensions already. That would be the most likely. But you could totally make an argument for Jain or one of the Heroes having fallen through the portal. I intentionally didnít put any cosmere references into the Wheel of Time. It felt like hubris to do that. The cameo in the Wheel of Time for me is the sword that Robert Jordanís cousin gave to me out of Robert Jordanís collection, so I wrote my sword into it. So if you look, itís not too hard to find, youíll find Rand gets a new sword. Thatís my sword. *laughter* I got it hanging on my wall with a little plaque that says ďLet the Dragon ride again on the winds of timeĒ and then Robert Jordanís name and his lifespan underneath. Itís very cool. Itís a katana out of his collection, itís really cool.

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  • 14

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2015

    Question

    So what are your thoughts on the Wheel of Time pilot?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time pilot? IÖ thinkÖ See this is kind of on the record because of the recording. I think the actors and the director are to be praised for doing so much with so little time. I donít think it should have been made and I donít think it is a good direction for the Wheel of Time to be going. But that is in part because I know Harriet was not pleased with it.

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  • 15

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2015

    Question

    So what about the things you left out when you finished-- What was the one thing you wish you could have gotten in there most?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most that I wish I could have gotten into the Wheel of Time? My favorite sequence that got cut, writing-wise, was the sequence where Perrin travels in the Ways and defeats Machin Shin with the Ogier. Itís a beautiful sequence, it came out really well. The problem is reading the book you donít miss it because it was a big deviation. So Iím not sure if I wish that one would have made it into the book. I tried to get Rand engaged, and that one I think-- I think as a whole a lot of people are confused when they come to me and wish that they could have known a little bit more about that relationship and I tried to have the three-- I tried to write a scene where the three women weave a bridal wreath together to give to him and Harriet did not like that scene because she thought it might contradict Rand later wondering if any of them would follow him, which is a scene that Robert Jordan wrote. I didnít think it contradicted but since we had that scene from Robert Jordan and since Harriet-- sheís the boss, I was happy to cut it according to her wishes. I miss that one.

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  • 16

    Interview: Feb 20th, 2015

    Question

    Is there anything-- Is any of that going to be in the Encyclopedia coming up and are you doing anything with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am not doing anything with it. It is all Harriet. In fact when Robert Jordan and she signed the contracts for it it was always going to be her project and not his.

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  • 17

    Interview: Sep 1st, 2016

    Question

    Can you give any example or examples of some things that you got to hear in (???). What that something that you did, or was that actual (???)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question, I'll go through a few of these things for you, that one was me. One of the things that was awesome, but also a little bit difficult to- anyway, it was awesome to be able to come as a fan, having read the books for twenty years and be thinking about "wow, I wish this would happen", and then say "wow, I'm gonna make that happen". But as I was doing it, I was also realizing it was dangerous, because there was a real danger for putting in fanservice type stuff, not in the traditional meaning of fanservice, but like the fanservice of Na(???) showing up in the last battle or things like this, like little fan jokes. I found that I had a lot of temptation to put those in, and so I had to tread this really careful line where I was saying "what do I as a fan want to make the book more fulfilling", not just as a joke. One of the things that as a writer I've always wanted to see was gateways used for more than they were used and the books were never bringing up that point, you know, teleportation, instant travel has a lot of ramifications. One of the things I kind of put on myself was that I didn't want to create a lot of new (ways/weaves?), because I knew if I did, I'd really risk taking it to far away from Robert Jordan's vision, so I said "let's stick mostly to the weaves(?) he's used, and see if I can use them in more different ways. This whole idea of taking the magic and digging deeper into it rather than going wider with it. And so a lot of the stuff with gateways is me. A lot of- so for instance, I also went in and said to Harriet "every book that Robert Jordan's done, almost all of them, has added a new character who's become a main character or at least a side character. If we don't do that for these last books it's gonna feel weird to people. So I would like to take one of the (???) and bring them to prominence, and make them a viewpoint character and do what Robert Jordan's done" and so that's what (???) came from and though there's nothing in Robert Jordan's notes about this little bit of, about his profession, take him and play with him, and do whatever you want. And that was almost a little pressure valve for me, to put more "Brandon-y" sort of things, goofy magic system stuff with that, and that pressure valve allowed me to, not really knowing my writing style, I was able to make the rest of it be a little more Robert Jordan-esque, if that makes sense. You see that pressure valve with Perrin and the (world dream?), the world dreams(?), because, as I've said before, Robert Jordan didn't leave much on Perrin, Perrin is a big, empty... big blank slate for these books. We knew where he ended up at the end and that was it. So Perrin was the other sort of "do whatever you want, Brandon" sort of thing. He left a lot more on the other characters. So if you're reading Perrin scenes or if you're seeing him play with gateways, you're seeing me kinda let Brandon leak out a bit more. And this was done intentionally, I'd say that was my pressure valve, but also... when I was given this, Harriet sat me down and said "you are the author now. I didn't hire a ghostwriter on purpose. I didn't want somebody who was just going to be Robert Jordan, because that would make a bad book", in her opinion. "Robert Jordan can't finish this, so you have to do it and yes, we want to stay true to his vision, but you are the writer now." And she was very clear on that, and I always remembered that and how much that meant to me, being... you know, she was the ultimate authority, but I had creative control to do whatever I felt the books needed, and her job was to rein be back if she though I went too far, and make sure the voice was consistent and things like that. So I got to do a lot with these books that I don't think a ghostwriter would be able to do.

    Footnote

    [I'm guessing this refers to Wheel of Time writing]

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