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Messages - jnktoburen

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Lost in all the hub about length and timeliness is the fact that Brandon is not getting paid more for the extra work. He's doing it because the story needs it. Dude, you rock. I'm not sure how money works in these things, and I bet he gets a portion of sales, so 3 novels as opposed to 1 (especially #1 bestsellers which they are likely to be), should turn a sizeable profit.

Anyway, I'm glad that they have a plan, and we have at least a concept of what will occur. We should all thank Brandon for killing himself on this. At least he's not pulling a Pat Rothfuss (Who said -- my book isn't done. It will be done when I say it's done. Now kindly go sit on tacks. -- or something marginally less tactful.) Brandon actually seems to care about deadlines and other people's expectations. Kudos to him.

BTW... There's no way anyone should claim they didn't see this coming.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: A Memory of Light
« on: February 23, 2009, 11:02:18 PM »
Its the way he keeps track of the males, some of which may only have joined him to escape the madness.

All of the male Forsaken were sealed with the DO (sans Ishmael) prior to the counterstroke that tainted Saidin, so they wouldn't have joined him to escape the madness.

I've thought about the Eye a bit as I've been rereading the entire series. The Eye was distilled, pure Saidin, somehow created after the breaking. Remember, an already hurt Someshta was sent to guard the Horn and the Dragon Banner in the vision that Rand has through his ancestors eyes while in Ruidean. Present-day people assumed the Eye was probably meant to be used in the last battle - but as Moiraine says - "But, the Horn is supposed to be used at the last battle, and the Eye was concealing it." Thus the Eye had to be used prior to the last battle. The world faced some extremely dire circumstances in that first book. The trollocs coming out of the Blight were about to overrun the borderlands. Had Rand not used the Eye to destroy that army, the light might not have had a chance. And based on what Rand did, I'd say the Eye functioned as a massive Sa'angreal. So in some way, we might argue that the last battle has begun (and that it actually is a war), and that the first move of the shadow was countered by Rand. The subsequent events are simply more skirmishes leading up to the final battle.

The sad part is, we may never know exactly the purpose and point behind the Eye of the World.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Brandon's Book Tour
« on: November 13, 2008, 03:28:13 PM »
Another think Brandon said was that Way of Kings would definitely be his next project, and that he would try to put out a book every year or two, taking time off to write stand-alones occasionally during that time period. He said his focus would be on WoK and that if he did something else during that time it would be for a break. The possibilities he mentioned for those stand-alones included another story set in the Elantris world, and (don't get jumpy now) a story set in the Mistborn world.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Brandon's Book Tour
« on: November 12, 2008, 04:57:12 PM »
Got to meet Brandon last night in Pittsburg. Not many people there (about 20) so I was excited. Brandon was extremely gracious and as always very transparent. I was bummed that so many people obviously hadn't read his blog or his forum posts, because many of the questions were variations of those he's already answered here and there. Regardless, it was an excellent time.

He read a section from Way of Kings. He prefaced it by saying this exact scene may not make it into any final cut of the books, but something akin to it probably would. There were many names and references to which I was unfamiliar (obviously), but the scene is a dance, and an assassin wearing white (much to-do about the fact he was wearing white), is on his way to "visit" the king who has retired for the evening. The interesting thing that came out of the reading was a cultural moray followed by the people who have sent the assassin - that an assassin should wear white, because you should give the person you are about to assassinate the chance to see you coming. Seems a tad counterproductive, but I liked the principle.

When asked a question about the formations of his magic systems, Brandon answered much the way he has on his posts - but added some detail about the magic in Way of Kings. He has said that he likes linking science, specifically physics, to something arcane or magical and thus creates a very realistic, visceral system. Way of Kings uses the 4 known forces - gravity, magnetism, the strong atomic force, and the weak atomic force, as the "science" behind the system. He marries that to an arcane power derived from oath making (and I'm assuming  breaking), to form his magic system. I have absolutely no idea how that works - that why he's writing it and I'm reading it - but it sounds much more intriguing than the "additive and subtractive" magic system found in Goodkind's series.

The two hours flew by, and I found at the end I hadn't said half the things I'd wanted to say, but couldn't help walking away from the experience feeling like I'd just sat down and had coffee with a friend who happens to be a best-selling author.

Well done, Brandon.

The brief history of Brandon Sanderson's writing is fabulous. Thanks for being so transparent with your process. Many people assume that great writing springs unbidden from the minds of masters we cannot hope to emulate - you have shown us otherwise.
(My Honors Thesis was also a fantasy novel. It too is in my university's library. It's almost embarrassing to read it now - 400 pages of ack. Although - I felt like a rock star with the way all the faculty treated me. 10 years later they still introduce me as "the guy to wrote the fantasy novel." Of course, then I feel embarrassed when  people ask - what did you do with that? Answer: nothing. I got married and got a real job right after college.)

I think all these explanations posted in this thread are neat. But I think they're beginning to detract from the trilogy. The element of mystery and unknown is key in Fantasy. It lets us fill in the blanks. Plus, too much foreshadowing/spoilering can and will affect the way we read future books. My 2-cents. Regardless, thanks for letting us into your world, Brandon. We wish you success so we can selfishly continue experiencing your art.


I understand your pain. I really do. However, Vin and Elend's fates fit the end of the story. Preservation sacrifices itself to stop Ruin. We see this concept throughout the story.

Now if they just died at the end in a dagger-in-the-reader's-heart kind of way, then yes, we'd all have problems with the ending, but that is not what happened.

Another thing we have to understand is that HOA is a different story from FE and WOA. BS does a masterful job of crafting 3 completely separate stories within his trilogy. (MAD PROPS, DUDE!) Most fantasy/SF writers write one long (sometimes painfully long, sometimes ridiculously long to the point I don't care any more) story and divide into as many books as it takes to tell the story.

Vin was the main character in FE (a very well-done archtypal hero story). Elend and Vin (or is it Sazed and Vin.... maybe we should just say Vin, Elend and Sazed) are the main characters of WOA. Certainly the POV is more scattered than in FE. WOA deals with Idealism and the nature of belief as well as the way they can both be so easily manipulated - too clever! Finally we have HOA. By this time we cannot say that the story is about Vin anymore (there are several main characters - I can't say who had the most screen time). If we read the story trying to force it to be about Vin, then we are doing the story a disservice. When we get to the end we'll be disappointed. But, when we read the story for what it is, then the ending makes perfect sense.

Excellent story, Brandon. You dealt with prime metaphysical forces, you quantified them to an extent that your readers could understand how they worked, and then you crafted a story around how these forces collide and eventually marry - because, in the end, they need each other to survive. Seriously. Wow.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hero of Ages, job well done
« on: October 14, 2008, 08:27:57 PM »
Gotta second VegasDev's suggestion.

Let's all love on BS a little, and get some of those extra details we all love.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hero of Ages, job well done
« on: October 14, 2008, 04:58:08 AM »
Really outstanding discussion.

It comes down to preferrence. There will always be ending readers. There will always be those who'd never want to know the ending first.

Happily, we all get to enjoy the book in our way. We all get to "win".

Well, I'm 150 pages in... back to it!

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hero of Ages, job well done
« on: October 13, 2008, 10:29:03 PM »

I guess we'll just have to disagree. Somehow - and I know that it's tough for you to understand this - I actually enjoy stories more when I know the end. Who knows, if I hadn't spent several years peeling stories apart and examining their every nuance from several different critical perspectives, I might feel differently. As I've said, I don't relish my position, it simply is what it is.

I have not only peeled the grapes. I have looked at myriad ways of peeling, examining each method and comparing the results to actual eyeballs. Checked responses with mood and backdrops. Then done it all again, but this time looking at it from a Feminist POV.

Wow... that really was a excellent illustration on your part.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hero of Ages, job well done
« on: October 13, 2008, 09:51:29 PM »
You ending-readers is why I put the endings in the Alcatraz books that I did.

Hint: It makes fun of you.

That's hilarious. I haven't read the Alcatraz books yet. I probably wouldn't read the end of those anyway - but now I definitely won't.  :)

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hero of Ages, job well done
« on: October 13, 2008, 09:48:54 PM »
Hogwash. That's like saying you'd watch the last 5 minutes of The Sixth Sense, The Usual Suspects and Fight Club and not have your experience ruined. If you read the last chapter and find out a character dies before the end, chances are you will build an emotional wall so that you don't get attached.

Interesting that you bring that up. I saw the last 5 minutes of Fight Club accidentally. Had no idea what I was watching was the end of Fight Club (how could you?). Saw the movie some time later. Figured out pretty quick that I knew the ending already. Completely did not blow it for me.

I guess it's a big difference between how I enjoy stories and how others enjoy stories. Most people like the buildup and the surprise at the end. I'm into quality prose and story fabric. I'm more interested in the journey. Emile Zola wrote an amazing book called Germinal. The story is rip-your-guts-out powerful. The flow of the story in that book dumped you squarely into the end and even though the end is pretty hard-core, it was born from the story so naturally, the book could literally end no other way. I don't have a problem with characters dying. I have a problem when a story deviates from itself in order to shock the reader/viewer. It must make sense. If the ending comes out of left field, then the story must reflect the plausibility of this in some way. It takes a great deal of skill to craft a story that both surprises/haunts and yet leaves you feeling as if that was the only possible ending.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hero of Ages, job well done
« on: October 13, 2008, 08:40:41 PM »
And I would kill myself if I read the end of the book first. You miss out on all that buildup.

I understand how most people feel about reading the end first. And I certainly don't tell everyone else to do what I do. I read the end of books first simply because of a preference I developed while earning my BA in English.

I really get into stories. I love the flow and function of stories. Frequently, the ends of books won't jive with the flow of a story (at least in my opinion they don't), and then I feel jilted at the end. (The Matrix Revolutions is a great example of an end which did not fit the form of the story. They had the epic Hero thing going and then they took a hard right at Christianity before doing the Dune ending. It was bizarre.) Also, because of my schooling I really can't read without a critical eye anymore. Believe me it sucks in many ways, don't get me wrong, I wouldn't go back, but I can't just dig in and enjoy - I have to understand why I'm enjoying. Make sense?

Therefore, I read the end of books so I can "see" where the story's headed. If the ending doesn't fit or it's forced, then I'm not surprised. Plus, when I say "I read the end." I mean I read a couple of paragraphs to get the gist of the end. I don't get all the hard details. I think I got the gist of HoA. That's why I say BA has really tackled a monster. I can't wait to see how it all plays out.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Hero of Ages, job well done
« on: October 13, 2008, 07:04:38 PM »
I called Borders today and picked HoA up during my lunch hour. I skimmed the end. (Don't yell at me for reading the end of the book first. I always do that. I don't have the time to explain why I read the ends of books first, but my reasons are quite sound.)

Basically, I can't wait to read/digest HoA. This is a huge undertaking - I hope that Sanderson manages to pull this off. I sincerely hope that I'm not going to be repeating my reaction to Orson Card's Xenocide/Children of the Mind offering. Card bit off too much and under-delivered in almost every facet of those books. Sanderson has taken a huge bite. Now, can he manage it? Personally, I think he can.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The 13th and 14th metals?
« on: October 09, 2008, 07:07:04 PM »
I might be nuts, but I have the tools... I work for an ad agency.

I printed the chart using a high resolution color laser printer. The image is still a bit fuzzy, but I was able to tell a couple of things once I used a magnifer on the image.

The first of the unknown Allomantic metals, the pure metal appears to begin with a "Ch" or a "Cl". It does not have any letters that extend below the plane of the text (Like a "p" or "g"). Based on that I would say everyone else is correct, the unknown pure metal is Chromium.

Upon examining its alloy, I found the letters to be too fuzzy to make much out. Except - the last letter may be a capital "E". It may also be an "l". It's name is also shorter than the pure metal.

Now, most of the metals on the sheet in the smaller boxes are are all letted differently. They're all placed a few points further down in the box. Atium and Malatium are printed similarly to the unknown metals. Because the letters are pressed up against the top of the box, they appear even more fuzzy, and actually could be capitalized. But, that would be inconsistent with the rest of the text within the boxes.

Conclusion: I have to agree with the previous post. Either the metal/alloy combination is Chromium/Chromel or there is gibberish printed on those lines and we're simply misinterpreting.

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