Did you, in Wheel of Time, at any point, want to just change something?
You know, when I got The Wheel of Time, when I was offered it... one of the things they were looking for-- that Harriet (Harriet was Robert Jordan's widow. She was his editor first, then she married him. And we always joked that's how she made sure her editorial advice got taken. So, she discovered him, basically fell in love with him, and they got married. It's actually a really cool story. She was Tor's editorial director. She was the person who edited-- found and edited Ender's Game. Glen Cook's Black Company. She is amazing as an editor. And she discovered Robert Jordan, as well.) So, she was the one looking. When she called me, she found me when read Mistborn. I didn't know I was being considered, it's not like I sent in an application or something. She came to me, and she said, basically, after she decided she wanted me for sure, she said, "I need somebody to be the writer on this. That means complete creative control." Now, she was going to edit it, and her word was gonna be final. Which is not normally the case with an editor. But in this case, what Harriet said, she told me, "Whatever you feel needs to be done, do it, and sell me on it. And if I'm sold on it in the writing, then we keep it. And if I'm not, then we'll talk about how to revise it and fix it."
Because the notes and the outline were very free-form. Robert Jordan was not an outliner. He just had chunks and little bits of scenes here and there, and interviews with his assistants where he said "I'm thinking of doing this, or this thing that's completely the opposite, and I might just do a third thing that I can't decide on yet." Like, there was a ton of that. Going in, one of my mandates to myself was, when we did have something from Robert Jordan, we wanted to be sure to keep it. When we had something firm from him. And in that case, we kept basically all of it, except where it contradicted itself. Because his notes sometimes, he would change, he would be working on Book, like, Nine. And he writes a note for what he wants the ending to be. And then by Book Eleven, he's like, "I want this to be the ending." And those two, we don't know which one he would have settled on, so sometimes I'm just like, "I'm gonna strike this out and do a different thing." Like, he wanted to use the Choedan Kal in the ending. Both of them. But one, he destroyed. So, that note was from a previous... he'd written that before he decided to destroy it. Stuff like that.
In the end, there was only one thing I wanted to change that I didn't, and that was the spanking scene. With Cadsuane and Semirhage. Which, you know, I'm not big on the whole spanking thing, but he said write it, and I'm like, "All right, Robert Jordan, I'll write it."
What was your favorite bit that you added?
Probably Aviendha going through the glass pillars, or Perrin forging his hammer. Those were both things that I felt the story needed. Perrin, there was very little on. He didn't leave any notes for Perrin, basically, at all. And so, Perrin, throughout the whole thing, I basically had to do. But Perrin was my favorite character, so I was very excited about that. He left a ton on Egwene. She was the one he'd almost finished her whole plot through the whole thing, and he was about halfway on Rand and Mat.