Tag Archives: Memory

Wheel of Time: The Beginning of the End of an Era

Brandon Sanderson posted this week that he has finished the final draft of A MEMORY OF LIGHT, the last book in the Wheel of Time series.

My own journey through Randland started when I was 16 years old, so I’ve been awaiting the conclusion literally half my life. I have followed Sanderson’s career and methodology much like he followed Jordan’s, so I owe a great deal to both men.

http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/1101/Today-I-got-up-and-I-did-not-have-a-Wheel-of-Time-book-to-work-on.

 

 

“Wheel of Time” conclusion is being split into three books.

wheeloftimeThose of you who have been following along already know:

After Robert Jordan’s wife read the first Mistborn book, she was so impressed she asked Brandon Sanderson to finish the Wheel of Time series.

This initially meant completing just one book, A Memory of Light. However, as Brandon dug his nails into it for real and began to work 16 hour days, he found himself estimating that 400,000 words wouldn’t even nearly finish the book. He and Tor would much like to get Wheel of Time fans a book in 2009, and finishing the WHOLE story (now estimated to take about 800,000 words) will not be possible in that timeframe.

Solution? Split the book.

You can read Sanderson’s own notes on this project and this difficult decision here. I’ll warn you; I think he manages to ramble more in that article than I do, and that’s saying something. But if you’re a Wheel of Time fan, it’s all good stuff to know.

For those who are RJ fans and aren’t yet familiar with Sanderson’s work, be it known that I consider Sanderson the better author.

I find the results intriguing

statisticsI don’t think I’m likely to get many more votes, although if you want, you can still vote here for my next project. Let’s tally the current results, though:

2 votes to rewrite Perfect Justice.
2 votes to write The Dragon Thief.

::blink:: Okay, I’ll come back to that.

1 vote apiece for Manifest Destniy and Second Chances.

The coolest thing about these results is that each story appeals to at least one person, even among a small group of people. Had one story monumentally dominated the poll, I’d fear that the other ideas were stale.

I honestly had expected Second Chances to win, for no other reason than that’s the story I’m the most excited about at the moment, but only for two reasons: 1. It’s the freshest idea, and 2. I’ve recently begun work on it. The others have either been sitting idle awhile or else not yet begun. You can see how circumstances colors a writer’s perception; just because a story is freshest in my mind doesn’t make it the most appealing to audiences in general.

So of the two which pulled ahead, both surprised me. The Dragon Thief, unlike some of the other titles, has no overt philosophical, religious, or political implications. You can see how the other stories play with themes like justice, fairness, religion, good & evil, memory, experimentation, and so forth. The Dragon Thief is nothing more than a straight-up fantasy story.

But that’s what appeals to some people, which is a Really Good Thing. Excitement begets excitement, and seeing that two people wanted to read that story first has made me much more excited about writing it than I was before.

What about Perfect Justice? That story fills an odd place in my heart; that girl you almost dated in college, still love deeply but no longer romantically and aren’t in touch with anymore — something like that. There’s a lot of baggage associated with rewriting it, yet it had so much potential I can’t ignore it. For one thing, it’s the only submission so far to win me a “send more” reply. For another, many of the problems with it were obvious to me shortly after writing it.

I’m dragging my feet on rewriting it because — flawed or not — I already wrote it. And it’s easier (to me) to write a story from scratch than to rewrite one that’s already on paper. It’s like completely remodelling a house vs. building a new one; changing where the walls are placed is actually a bit more complex than just building brand new ones on a new foundation. (Or so I imagine.)

There are a lot of decisions to make, too. Do I begin with the text I already have and just mass edit, cutting whole portions to make room for new scenes? Or do I begin like a brand new story, starting from the first page, referencing the other version only for the best ideas, lines, and descriptions? A mix of both?

Either way, I’ll be constantly checking for continuity and cohision, and it’s likely I will still miss some things. Just imagining doing this begins to make my head spin as from a complex chess problem.

So which of the two winners shall I write first?

The Dragon Thief. Mostly because I want to see how it turns out. When I need a break from it, I’ll plug away at a new version of Perfect Justice, and vice versa. You’ve gotta give the people what they want.