Monday, March 31, 2008

Duty to The Fans...

So, I hope you all are satisfied.  My wife has begun using you all as an excuse to feed me vegetables instead of reasonable, healthy food like Kraft Mac and Cheese.  Today, I was given a salad for lunch, and when I complained she said "It's my duty to your fans to make sure you live a long and healthy life."  Honestly.  The things I suffer for you people.

I actually don't mind salads when they're produced properly.  Properly meaning with iceberg lettuce used as a vehicle for getting dressing, croutons, and bacon into my mouth.  But these 'salads' that Pemberly makes barely have any lettuce in them at all!  They've got all this colorful junk like carrots and peppers and broccoli.  Really, who puts broccoli in a salad?  It's bad enough when you have to eat that stuff cooked.  (As a good friend of mine often says in reference to salads: "That's not food, that's what food eats.")  And, the lettuce in these salads of hers is rather suspect.  It's not a good, nutrient-free iceberg at all, but some sort of weed or something. 

(Note: I'm mostly being facetious here.  I do like her salads; they're just not the sort of food I'd make myself.  You should know that when Pemberly and I went to register for our wedding gifts at Target, I did take the little scanner thing and register for two objects for me.  An XBox and a pack of Kraft Mac and Cheese.  Never did get that XBox, but I got like thirty boxes of mac.  Opening our wedding gifts was rather amusing, as often they'd have a box of Kraft tied to them in some way.)

I'll stop whining now and will try to post some kind of useful update tomorrow....

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Weekly Updates + New A Memory of Light Book Page

Here's our weekly (kind of) update of an html Warbreaker chapter and a Mistborn 2 Annotation!  Those of you who are reading the annotations, I hope to eventually be able to get back to doing two of these a week, but I want to post responses to NEW SPRING and KNIFE OF DREAMS first.

Warbreaker html: Chapter Eight
Well of Ascension Annotation: Chapter Twenty-Nine

We've added a new A Memory of Light Book Page on, it's pretty much empty right now.  I'm working on combining all of the different FAQ pages for the book and my involvement in The Wheel of Time and linking them here.  Eventually, we should have a Portal for the Wheel of Time like we do my other books, where we'll have links going to the various information on my site about A Memory of Light. 

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Defining Surreal

People ask me if working on this book is surreal.  Before, I always said yes, but I don't think it really hit me HOW strange this is until these last few days. 

Yesterday evening, I pulled out the electronic versions of the novels that Mr. Jordan's assistant sent with me when I left Charleston.  I combined them all into a single word document to use in searching.  (It clocks in at 9,300 pages and about 3 million words, if you're curious.)  Using Microsoft Word's search features, I can call up all sorts of useful information from the entire series at the touch of a few keys.  (By the way, thanks for sending those electronic files, Alan!  You thought of this a full three months before I ended up needing them.  I guess that's the sign of an excellent assistant.)

In compiling this document and setting a few bookmarks at important points (mostly the beginning of each book) I hesitated at the copyright statement of CROWN OF SWORDS.  He's a book I read over ten years ago, a book by an author I idolized.  A distant and unapproachable figure, a hero himself, the one spearheading the epic fantasy movement of my era.  And now I have a copy of the original file he typed and I'm working on finishing his last book. 

That, my friends, seems to DEFINE the world surreal to me. 

I was shocked the first time the people at Tor called this a collaboration.  By publishing terms, I guess that's indeed what it is--a collaboration, where two authors work on a single novel.  But to me, the term just felt strange.  Collaborating with Robert Jordan seemed to set me too high in the process.  I'm finishing the Master's work for him, since he is unable to.  I kind of feel like Sam, carrying Frodo the last few paces up the mountain.  Robert Jordan did all the work; for most of these twenty years, I've only been an observer.  I'm just glad I could be here to help for the last stretch when I was needed.

For those of you who wondered, I HAVE read Knife of Dreams and New Spring, but I haven't yet posted blog reactions to them.  I read faster than I could keep up on the blog.  (I've often noted that I'm really not that great a blogger.)  I'll post reactions to these books as I go.  For now, I need to get back to Book Twelve.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Crossroads of Twilight

All right, I have to establish something before I get into my discussion of this book. First off, I’ve never been one who complained about the length of these books or the lack of motion in them. Like many fans who feel as I do, I would go along with others in conversations, giving a non-committal grunt when they lapsed into bashing the Wheel of Time for having grown too slow. But inside, I always thought “I think they’re still as fun to read as they always were. Beyond that, why are you reading them if you always complain about them?”  Anyway, it often wouldn't be worth arguing to me.  (I still would sometimes on forums, however, and soon learned that that wouldn't get me anywhere.)

Now I'm the person who has become the visible face for the Wheel of Time series, and now it IS my job--in my opinion--to defend them.  So, I want to talk about Book Ten and say straight out that I really do think it's as enjoyable as the rest of the books in the series.  (By my own admission above, however, I am biased.  I'm both a long-time fan of the series and the person working on book twelve.)

I know that readers feel that this book was too slow. The novel has one and a half stars on Amazon (and one star is the lowest possible.) I realize this, logically, but I have trouble seeing it myself.  Perhaps people’s complaints with this book has to do with the sense of narrative style. Mr. Jordan chose to jump back in time and show the timeframe in Book Nine over and over again from different viewpoints. However, this has always been one of the features of the series, and I--as a writer--was very interested in the format of this book. Rand’s cleansing of the taint formed a wonderful focus around which everything in this book could revolve, much in the way that he as a person pulls at threads in the Pattern and forces them to weave around him.

I particularly enjoyed Mat’s sections in this book. I find myself growing more and more interested in his plot, and am picking him as my favorite character of late. I really enjoy his interactions with Tuon, and they have an interesting relationship, as both know that they’re fated to marry. (Or, at least, he knows and she’s very suspicious.)  As a side note, however, I feel that the covers for this one and book nine are reversed.  Book Nine was more important to Mat, and this book is more important to Perrin.  Yet the covers imply the opposite.  I digress.

In truth, I have a lot of trouble understanding what people found boring about this book, yet at the same time exciting about Book Ten. The two--like all of the recent books in the series--very much seem to be chapters in a much longer book, all blending together and flowing as one.  Perhaps it comes from us not being able to actually SEE characters react to the cleansing, as they don’t know what happened yet--they only know that something big happened. But, then, that’s an issue in book ten--and the complaints in reviews rarely, if ever, mention this item. In the end, I guess it has to come down to people’s dislike of the Perrin/Faile plot. (But, once again, Perrin has always been one of my favorites, if not my favorite, characters in the book. So, his sequences are always fun for me.)

This plot is interesting because it offers Perrin a chance to change in a different direction--and, I think, in an important direction. His wife’s imprisonment forces him to face some of the darkness in himself, and it is what finally spurs him to give up the axe. Those are important events--he needs to be forced to admit that he has begun to like fighting and killing. Confronting that aspect of himself is what will give him the strength to lead into Book Twelve.

Anyway, I didn’t intend this to be an extended defense of the book, but that’s what it came out to be. It’s now been over a week since I finished it, and while there is much more I could write, I think it’s time to let the blog post end for now. The big news is that I’m done with my read through. In fact, I officially began writing on Book Twelve this afternoon.

There was a powerful moment there for me when I got to write those words “The Wheel of Time turns. . . .” Mr. Jordan, despite his preparations for the book, didn’t actually write those words that have started each book in the series. I guess he figured he didn’t need to, since they’ve been the same since book one. He knew that his time might come soon, so he focused on more important scenes.

That left me being able to write the opening paragraph to chapter one. (Though, of course, there will be a prologue. While those words won’t start the book, I decided that they would be the way that I started work on it.)

It has begun.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Warbreaker + Annotation

Remember, the sale of ELANTRIS hardcovers ends today!  Sometime during the day on Saturday (though, realistically, it probably won't get done until Sunday or Monday) we will be changing the price for the personalized hardcovers.  (They'll go up from $22 to $25.)  So, get yours today!

Whew.  It's surprising how busy things are, considering that it's the slow season (my books generally come out in the falls) for me.  Mixed with the fact that I'm not writing right now, just reading, one would think that I wouldn't feel so busy.  The thing is, when writing, I can really only do a certain amount in a day.  Like a lot of authors I know, I kind of have a cap (it's between 2k words and 4k words, depending on the day and the book.)  Once I hit that, my writing reserve is low, and I have to stop for the day and let my subconscious work out how I'm going to write the next section.  What that means is that I can generally get up, write for half of the day, and be done--and then have time to do email, blog posts, and other business items. 

When I'm reading, though, there's nothing to stop me from just reading straight through all hours of the day, as opposed to stopping and doing other work.  That, mixed with the urgency I feel to get to work on actual pages of AMoL, has made me keep reading and pushing long after I would have stopped for the day if I were writing.  Ah, well.

Here is a Warbreaker HTML chapter for you:  Chapter Seven

Here is a WELL OF ASCENSION annotation for you:  Chapter Twenty-Eight

Monday, March 17, 2008


First off, we've posted a new Writing Excuses Podcast: Flaws vs. Handicaps.  Secondly, a reminder that the ELANTRIS hardcover sale ends this Friday.

Now, a response to WoT Book Nine.  As fans, we waited a long time for this book: The book where Saidin was to be cleansed.  True, we've waited longer for the final book in the series, but I remember this one providing a very nice sense that the series WAS indeed moving.  The cleansing of the One Power really did deserve its own book, and the battle at the end was a nice focal climax, tying together several different characters and plot lines into a single awesome event. 

I often wondered, when reading the early books as a youth, if Saidin WOULD get cleansed.  I worried that the end of the series would come and the taint would still be in force, leaving the Asha'man to deal with being hunted and Gentled.  As both a reader and a writer I found it immensely fulfilling to get this book, as I knew this event would change the series drastically.  That's exciting because of the possibilities it opens up--possibilities for conflict and storytelling.  How will the Aes Sedai, and the world, react to the realty that men channeling is no longer a terrible thing?  I think the fact that we didn't get to see this reaction in Book Ten (as hoped) lead to a lot of the disgruntlement people felt with that particular volume.

However, we're here to talk about Book Nine.  Reading it as an author and the one who is going to help complete this series, I see things differently now.  I love how the events of cleansing the male half of the power drive this book.  By having Rand announce up front what he intends to do, Mr. Jordan creates an expectation and a kind of narrative 'time bomb' for the readers.  Will it happen?  Won't it happen?  This is very different from what authors normally do--my first instinct, for instance, would have been to keep Rand's plan a secret for a large chunk of the book, then have a dramatic reveal. 

Yet, that would have had a much different effect, narratively, and I like how Mr. Jordan did it here.  The plotting method I mentioned above would work for the first or second book of a series, but for book nine, I see the initial declaration as a move of honesty on Mr. Jordan's part.  In a way, it's saying this:  "Look, I know you've followed this series for a long, long time.  I'm here to promise you that something incredible is going to happen here in this book."  The joy for us as readers turns from trying to guess the plot to instead anticipation of what we hope will come at the end.  Instead of "What will Rand do?" (A mystery plot) we get a "Will he succeed?" (an action adventure plot.)  That made this book immensely satisfying, and allowed him to use Rand's plans as a focus for the entire book.

The other item I'd like to note here is that we get Mat back, which is very nice.  As I've often said in these reaction pieces, I feel that this series is much larger than just one character--even Rand.  The pleasure of the books lies in watching the interweaving and growth of the various participants.  That said, Mat is a nice counter-balancing force for the stories, and he adds a lot to them.  An edge of humor, a feeling of a guy who is still--somehow--an underdog rather than a powerful political or militaristic force unto himself.  The three male leads work very well together, and when we have a book with all three of them, I think it helps the pacing and flow a lot.  Perrin can be deliberate and thoughtful, Mat spontaneous and glib, and Rand almost more of a force of nature than a person. 

Anyway, I finished off NEW SPRING today and will begin Book Eleven this evening. 

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Reader Mail: AMoL progress bar

To start off, I wanted to mention that the personalized ELANTRIS hardcover sale will end this Friday.  (March 21st.)  The books will still be for sale, but they'll jump from $22 to $25.  So if you've been planning to get yourself a copy, this week would be a good time!

Now, onto the body of the post.  For a while, I've been thinking that I'll probably have to give up officially on answering all of my email.  Following the WoT news, it has grown increasingly difficult to find time to respond to everyone who has been so kind as to contact me.  We shall see.  For the time being, I got an interesting email the other day, and I thought others my be curious to hear my answer.  The email was as follows:

Will you be posting a progress update of sorts on your page? I understand there is a large refining and editing process to overcome and publishing and distribution, but I think I speak for a lot of us when I say that knowing it's finished would be a tremendous load off our shoulders. Any plans for a method to let us know about your progress?

It's a good question.  As many of you may know, I have progress bars on the front of my website showing how far I've gotten on whatever project I'm currently engaged in.  I've got one now listing how far along I am in my re-read of the series.  (Finished CROSSROADS OF TWILIGHT, by the way, and am now reading A NEW SPRING.)

Will I do this for Book 12?  I'm planning to, but with a few caveats.  The thing is, it's hard for me to judge how long this project will take.  It's unlike any book I've ever worked on.  With my own novels, I've gotten to the point where I can sit down and plot them and know roughly how long they will be before I start.  (I generally shoot for about 200k words in length for my epics, 50k for Middle Grade books, 80-90k for a YA novel.)

I don't know how long AMoL is going to be, though.  That's going to present a problem for running a progress bar of how far along I am.  (The current program we have is percentage based, and I won't know what percentage is done if I don't know how long the novel is going to end up being.)

Right now, my goal for the book is 300k minimum.  Looking at the material Mr. Jordan left behind and the story that needs to be told, that's a realistic size to start with.  This wouldn't make the book the shortest in the series, though it wouldn't be the longest either.  It would be right in the middle. 

I'm expecting it to go longer than that, to be honest.  Mr. Jordan himself often said of this book that it would be as long as it had to be, even if Tor had to invent a new binding for it!  From what I've seen of the material, I don't think that's going to be necessary--I think he was responding to worries of the fans that he wouldn't tie the novel up in one volume.  From his outline, writings, and other work on the project it looks to me that he was planning it to be in the 300-400k range. 

So, I'll probably start the progress bar assuming the book will be 300k long, then update it later when I have a better idea of its length.  I will be needing to go and touch up the sections that Mr. Jordan wrote.  (They are in rough draft from.  As I've mentioned, I intend to leave them as pristine as is possible for the novel, with as minor editing as is possible while still maintaining the integrity of the novel.)  Therefore, I'll start the bar at 0%, and once a section of pages is touched up or written by me, I'll update accordingly.

(For you trivia buffs, the longest book I've ever written was 306k long.  It was THE WAY OF KINGS, which was the book I wrote right before MISTBORN.  The first draft of WELL OF ASCENSION was second, topping out at 258k in first draft form, though we cut it to about 245k before it went to press.  So yes, AMoL is going to be the longest book I've ever worked on.  Though, since Mr. Jordan left large chunks of writing for the book--including much of the beginning and ending--I don't know that this will technically be the longest book I've written, assuming you count only words I myself wrote.)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Warbreaker + Annotation

New Warbreaker HTML chapter!  And, as some of you may have noticed, the front page of my website has a bright shiny new gemstone linking to the Library itself.  As always, any new posts to the Library will referenced on the blog, but now you can easily access that section of the website whenever you want. 

As usual on Warbreaker days, I've also added a new Mistborn: The Well of Ascension annotation for those of you following along.  This one's a little short, I'm afraid.  I'll try to post another one sometime this week, but right now I have to get back to reading WoT 10. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Path of Daggers

I found this volume a very quick read.  Perhaps that's because of its slightly shorter length, but I also think it's because I'm settling into the newer system Mr. Jordan had for changing viewpoints.  We've slid into the "Large chunk from a viewpoint, then very little from them for a long while" system.  With novels this complex and lengthy, there are really only two ways to handle the viewpoints.  The first is to switch very quickly, like George R. R. Martin prefers.  This gets you a sense of fast pacing and lets you keep readers informed about characters by coming back to them frequently, but never for very long.  The other is to do big swaths from one viewpoint.  This slows the feel of the pacing, but you don't have to worry as much about readers keeping track of everyone, since you have time in each viewpoint to give lots of reminders about what is going on, then leave that viewpoint long enough that it doesn't matter how much readers remember--you can just remind them when you come back.  A middle ground between these two extremes would probably be possible, but I'd worry about readers being able to follow what is going on, since you never stay long enough to give reminders, but you don't come back quickly enough to count on them simply remembering.

Jordan's middle books followed the quick-moving method, but he's eased into the longer swath method here, which I think was a wise move.  In truth, what we're doing in these later books is reading six or seven DIFFERENT books, but reading them in a serialized method. 

I think that with readers, expectation is a big deal.  If you go into these later books expecting to read a book which focuses on a couple of main characters, you might be annoyed.  However, I'm expecting an engaging epic which shows me a lot of different smaller stories combining to make the larger one.  In that, I'm very satisfied.  I think Jordan did a marvelous job with these.  (Though, I do remember Book Ten maybe going just a tad father than I like with the numbers of side viewpoints.) 

Two things to note on this book in specific.  First off, I love how the sections with Rand push him into his wild attack against the Seanchan.  It shows how powerful and dangerous Rand is, yet at the same time gets across that he's still vulnerable and capable of being defeated.  I've been waiting and waiting for him to use Callandor again and it was very fulfilling to see him pull it here, then have trouble using it.  This is, as I recall, the first book which ends by Rand suffering a defeat.  (Even if the Seanchan don't think they won either.)

Secondly, I'm reminded of how annoying the Sea Folk are.  They seem to be a burr in the side of pretty much every group of major characters from here to Book Eleven.  That's nice, in a frustrating way.  It's less that they themselves are annoying and that they represent a kind of impotence to the White Tower.  I'm a little bit sad, personally, to see the Aes Sedai growing less and less in control as all of these other groups of channeling women show up and seem to have it together far more than the White Tower.  (However, I wonder if this is just due to the fact that we see a lot more through Aes Sedai viewpoints.  Perhaps the other groups wouldn't seem so 'together' if we saw as much from their eyes.)  It also presents a lot more room for growth, which is nice for the narrative.  The Aes Sedai have to pull themselves together and become what they were in lore in order to face the dark days that are coming.  I just wish that so many of my favorite characters weren't getting bullied so often by the Sea Folk or the Kin. 

(Or, maybe this is all due to the fact that I think the Sea Folk totally took advantage of the whole Bowl of Winds thing.  If they hadn't helped, the entire world might have starved and dried up.  But instead of doing the honorable thing and helping in order to fight the Dark One and save lives, they insisted on an outrageous deal.  They got to keep one of the most powerful artifacts in the world, AND got a whole bunch of privileges over the White Tower.  They should be ashamed of themselves.  Of course, on their side, if you CAN get away with it, then why not?)

Also, one more note.  I was really glad to read Winter's Heart and get Mat back!  (If you're following along, I've actually finished Winter's Heart and am now reading Crossroads.  I hope to finish both that and New Spring by the end of the week.)

Monday, March 10, 2008

Two New Podcasts

The new episode of Writing Excuses is up, and I really enjoyed this one.  I thought we had an informative discussion about using heroes in your stories.  I expect these to get better and better as Dan, Howard, and I learn to play off of one another.  Our goal with these is to be quick, informative, and conversational.  (And, if possible, occasionally amusing.)

We also did a shorter tribute podcast to Gary Gygax, one of the co-creators of Dungeons and Dragons.  This one isn't focused on how to write, so we made it a bonus episode rather than one in the main line-up.  It's interesting because both Dan and I were pretty late to the Dungeons and Dragons party.  I started with RPGs by playing Palladium system, and it was my favorite for a long time.  I did play a chunk of AD&D, though I spent much more time with TSR products when it came to their novels. 

All of this, however, goes back to Gary and his revolutionary ideas.  The Vice Presidential Action Rangers have lost a great man.

Thursday, March 06, 2008


HTML Warbreaker: Chapter Five
Mistborn 2 Annotation: Chapter Twenty-Seven

I have finished PATH OF DAGGERS, but I still haven't done a blog post on CROWN OF SWORDS, so we'll do that one first. 

One of the things I went into this series wondering was if I could pick out why some readers grew frustrated with the series around books seven and eight.  I went into this book during this particular read-through expecting it to be one of the weaker ones in the series, and yet, I found it to be one of my favorites. 

Those of you who read my initial Dragonmount interview will recall that the scene in this book where Nynaeve overcomes her Block at the bottom of the river, while Lan races to save her, is one of my very favorite in the entire series.  I felt that the foreshadowing of the events here worked perfectly, and the character growth for Nynaeve over the last few books has continued to grow her as one of my favorite (if not my very favorite) viewpoints to read. 

Rand's character progression is also deftly handled, though he is going the other direction, in many ways.  He is becoming harder and harder as he suffers more and more (the beatings in the last book didn't help either.)  Part of me wonders if this character progression, which I find marvelously done, is part of what drove readers to complain about these later books.  If that is the case, then they are missing one of the great aspects of the series, in my opinion.  Rand is particularly heroic in how he faces so many difficult challenges, being beaten up physically and mentally, yet continues on despite it and even retains a large measure of his inner nobility. 

I object to complaints about pacing.  I thing the pacing across the series has been even, and I certainly didn't find this book to be any slower than previous volumes.  However, perhaps that's because I'm able to read these all through without any wait in-between.  One thing that is happening is that as the series grows longer, the viewpoints per character grow less and less frequent.  There are enough main characters with important plots that we can't spend an entire book focusing on just two or three of them like we did during the early books.

This series, as I've said before, is meant to be read straight through.  I think, perhaps, that waiting two years for this book and then only getting a tiny slice of the overall story might be what caused complaints from readers.  It's not that the writing quality went down (I think it goes up as the series continues) or that the pacing grew slower.  I think that the problem is readers not grasping the entire vision of the story, which is difficult to do when you don't know how many books there will be or how long it will be until they are done.

I point as a counterweight to these complaints that when you CAN read the entire series straight through, the viewpoints work so well together that the books become an even greater masterpiece.  The story is so complex and interconnected that you can often get your payoffs chapters and chapters away from the places where they are introduced.  But they're all the more sweet for the complexity and delicate touch.

Anyway, that's all I can really say here, as this one and PATH OF DAGGERS are quite well blended together in my head now.  (As I think they were meant to be.)  I'm on to Book Nine tomorrow.  I should begin work on Book Twelve before the end of the month at this rate.

Monday, March 03, 2008


Well, I've finally given up on doing my own taxes.  For the last ten years, I've always been able to do them myself, but now things are just getting too complicated for me.  Time to let the experts handle it. 

There are a lot of strange tax issues wrapped up in being a writer.  For one thing, there are the taxes related to your foreign sales.  Some countries let you fill out a waver and prove that you're paying taxes in your home country, which--via tax treaties--lets you get away without paying income tax in the foreign country.  Other places force you to pay taxes on your foreign income to that country, but then in the U.S. they allow you to take the amount paid as credits on your income tax here.  Then, there are all of the messes having to do with self employment taxes, exemptions for business expenses, and a whole lot of other hoopla. 

Other than that, my life has been rather serene lately.  My job (so to speak) for these few weeks is to read books--and not just any books, but ones I have loved since I was a youth.  That's rather remarkable to me still.  It has been a very peaceful experience, though the stress of trying to finish a book that millions of people are waiting to read looms back there inside of me as well.  Completing this work is going to be like no other project of which I've been a part.  Always, writing and reading were similar--yet separated--activities for me.  While writing, I am fully in "creation" mode.  While reading, I'm in "experience" mode.  Yet here, with the task of writing Book Twelve laid before me, creating and experiencing become muddled.  For once, when I read a work and think "oh, I wish that this would happen" it is possible to MAKE it happen.  However, I know that I must hold myself to the rigors of character and story, doing only what is functionally appropriate for the story.  Still, there is hope.  If I want a face-to-face meeting between certain characters, there is a chance that it will fit with the plot.  If I wish for a certain world aspect to get a little more explanation, then there is opportunity for that. 

This project is not 'mine' for it is much larger than me.  And yet, I've always said that the strength of novels as an entertainment medium--as opposed to movies or other forms of expression--is that a novel can better reflect the vision of a single person.  That can be good or it can be bad.  However, in no other popular entertainment form can one person reasonably be in charge of every aspect and piece to the degree that one finds in novels.  This leads to a completeness of vision in the medium, I think.  My job in this case isn't to create that vision, but to 'catch' the same vision that Mr. Jordan had, then shepherd the final project so that it best reflects what he would have wished of the book.  I feel that it's very important for the integrity of the book that it not have a schizophrenic vision--mine voice must blend with Mr. Jordan's, so that different passages will not fight with one another or stand out.  The story comes first, the experience that the reader has. 

So, I read and find myself saying "I wonder if I could make this particular thing happen?" That is followed with "is that what Mr. Jordan would do?"  Finally, I come around to "What is best for the story?"  And I think that last one stands the most tall.