Goodreads Fantasy Book Club, Questions and Answers from Brandon Sanderson, January 2011Edit
Tigre_azul wrote: "Since this is Robert Jordans', how much of this does Brandon get to "play" with, to add him in it? It Appears that Brandon does a good job of reading his critics and answers questions that have been left undone. I read a lot of complaints about Mat after the last book. I don't think that will happen as much this time. The "surprises" seem to have a lot of Brandon in them. Last note. Why did it seem there were more editorial mistakes in this book than I would have expected?"
Brandon: In reverse order: The editorial mistakes were basically because of the fast turnaround time between when I finished the book and when it was put out. We're working to get those fixed for the ebook and paperback editions, but really, deadlines are to blame there, which is one reason we're slowing down for the next book.
What you're seeing with the surprises, as you described them, is that not all of those are mine; I'm writing some of them that Robert Jordan left instructions on how to write, and the way I plot and reveal is going to be manifest in the way that I approach it.
In response to your first question, I'm given complete creative freedom in these books. Partially because Harriet trusts me, and partially because that's what a writer needs in order to be able to write a book like this. That said, I've mentioned before that I feel a strong compulsion to try to do the books as close to the way Robert Jordan would have as I can, taking into account my own writing style. I'm not trying to make these Brandon Sanderson books; I'm trying to make them Wheel of Time/Robert Jordan books, but I'm also not trying to imitate him since that would turn out as a bad parody. In the end, I'm allowed to do whatever I feel needs to be done to achieve the storytelling the story demands. I do have to convince Harriet, Maria, and Alan that it's the right thing to do. And in some cases that's an easy thing to do, and in some cases it's a harder thing to do. But in all cases I get to write it first and then let them read it. And if I don't manage to pull it off, then I say, "Well, let's try something different."
Cory wrote: "Jet wrote: "There are some channelers who have lost strength in the Power (Siuan and Moiraine), is this something that can be Healed?" You have to still/gentle them again, and then have them "healed" by a channeler of the opposite sex...thats why when nynaeve healed logain, he regained all his power"
Brandon: That is a common theory. I do believe Robert Jordan RAFOed this very question, which is why I feel I need to RAFO it. It should be noted that Siuan doesn't want to try this, for various reasons.
Carrie (Care) wrote: "Brandon, I would love to know if we finally found out who Gaidal Cain was reborn as (or had a brief mention of him) in ToM? I really thought it was obvious, but after talking to some friends I guess it wasn't. I realize you might not be able to say who it is, but if you could just let me know if we did hear mention of him in ToM, that would be awesome."
Brandon: I know what you're talking about. I won't confirm 100% or not, but the phrasing was intentional.