I take two hours off for my family every day. And then I write fourteen hours.
When I do research, I cast my net very widely and then snatch what feels right out of that. Occasionally I’ll read a specific book for a specific book, but usually I’m trying to increase my general understanding.
Normally, I have a lot of alpha readers on my books. These are people that, once I finish a novel, I let them look at it and give me a reader response.
When I write my books, actually, I’m known for very logical rule-based magic systems. I write with one foot in fantasy and one foot in science fiction.
My job is not to save ‘The Wheel of Time’, to fix ‘The Wheel of Time’, or anything like that. My job is not to screw it up.
I am a writer who works from an outline. What I generally do when I build an outline is I find focal, important scenes, and I build them in my head and I don’t write them yet, but I build towards them.
You know, I was a nerdy kid going through high school, and then I got to college and that all vanished. I mean, a lot of my good friends – when we were in high school, we would never have been able to hang out together because we were in such different cliques or whatever. Now, who cares?
I love to do what I do. So, I do work long hours.
Fantasy has had some problems with being too repetitive, in my opinion. I try to read what other people are doing – and say, ‘How can I add to this rather than just recycle it? How can I stand on Tolkien’s shoulders rather than stand tied to his kneecaps?’
The more limitations you put on a character, often times the better a character you’ll make them, the more interesting the story becomes because the character can’t simply wave a hand and make something happen. They have to work within the framework.