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Topics - Armadius

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Brandon Sanderson / Skaa Rebellion (possible spoilers?)
« on: April 25, 2008, 02:13:05 AM »
Hey folks,

1) Some of you might remember me... maybe? Either way, I know I dropped off the face of the planet sometime last year. Awfully sorry about that. Anywho, I'm about halfway through The Well of Ascension (I stupidly didn't re-read Book 1 before starting Book 2) and I was just wondering about the history of skaa rebellions prior to the Lord Ruler's overthrow. If memory serves, there were some vague references to a rebellion on the Southern islands or somesuch... Does anybody have any other knowledge on the issue? (My apologies - I have a nasty habit of having too many questions about the obscure, undeveloped plot points in most books I read.)

2) I know how intensely thread resurrection is frowned upon here, but as I said earlier, life got just a touch too busy and conequently, I sort of disappeared a little while ago in the midst of an interesting thread (to me, anyway) about religion. I think I left some questions unanswered. If anybody endorses/encourages/permits it, I'd be happy to pick it up again. If not, I'll just let it rest.


Brandon Sanderson / For Brandon - A few more questions
« on: January 21, 2007, 03:45:36 AM »
Sorry that last thread got so radically off-topic; hopefully this one won't. I have a couple more questions, if you don't mind.

1. Were any aspects of Elantris at all biographical? In my case, at least, my writing is often unintentionally reflective of my own experiences. Is this the case for you as well?

2. You might get this a lot, but why did you become a writer in the first place? Did you ever see yourself doing something else instead?

3. I'm overjoyed to hear that you're probably doing a sequel to Elantris. I was wondering, though, if you plan to discuss anything further about the religions you mention less in the book. I think both Jesker and the Jeskeri Mysteries receive too little attention for how interesting they could be. It would be interesting if we got to learn more about the origins/tenets of both. It's rankled ever since the first time I read the book that something which seems so significant as Jesker is left so undeveloped.

Rants and Stuff / Religion (Potentially sensitive)
« on: January 17, 2007, 11:58:12 PM »
I've got a couple questions. First, would you say your religion influences how you portray religions in your novels? I have a friend who remarked after reading Elantris that there seemed to be a parallel between Sku-Keseg, Shu-Korath, and Shu-Dereth and the real world. Did you model these religions after anything in the real world?

Second (and feel free not to answer), I noticed in your religion rant that you said you'd be happy to explain at length why you think the Mormon church is "right". I'm always interested when people try to back up their religious leanings, so please, go ahead. Why do you think Mormonism is correct?

Brandon Sanderson / Magic Systems?
« on: January 17, 2007, 06:43:44 AM »
In my spare time, I do a lot of fanfiction writing and I juggle some random ideas that spring into my head. Anyway, I've been reading through some of the commentaries and annotations of Elantris, and it says quite frequently that one of the things Brandon prides himself on most are the unique magical systems used in his work. I'm also reasonably proud of my own magic systems; I tend to get extremely bored with either less in-depth or simply less creative magics, considering how omnipresent they are in fantasy. I've been wondering if one of my new ideas has been done before, or if it sounds like a good idea to any of you. If so, I'll probably write something using it. If not, well... I can't really blame you. I'm not actually too fond of it myself, but I felt like seeking commentary regardless.

Has anybody ever considered a system of magic based on emotion? This seems interesting to me for a few reasons. For starters, emotion is, almost certainly, the most driving factor in human existence; everything we do is guided by feelings and emotions. Because of this, I think something as central to fantasy plotlines as magic - which often winds up being one of the (if not the only) guiding force(s) in fantasy cultures - could be powerfully intertwined with something like emotion. That way, the driving force in individuals/characters (emotion) is linked strongly to the driving force behind a society or government (magic). The possibilities for how effectively and realistically a society could be developed with this are nearly endless.

The other thing I like about this is that it provides a lot of openings for unique characters.  I'm a fan of very character-centric fiction, and I like when there's a wide array of characters in a book. One of the things I enjoyed most about Mistborn is how the magic system allowed for a cast of characters each with unique skills; one of the pitfalls of many fantasy books is that they become centered too much on a single character who has extraordinary talents. While I don't object to this sort of writing, it's ghastly how overdone messiah-type characters can be. It's important to bear in mind that a book with only one main character is often profoundly unenjoyable.

Anyway, how this ties back into my idea... this more strongly links certain aspects of a person's character with their magical aptitude. Too often, magic winds up being an attribute that just floats on its own, with no rhyme or reason behind it. There is often no explanation for why a magical being has the particular talents he/she does. Granted, sometimes a character's personality does seem to correspond with their magical talents (Breeze in Mistborn being generally manipulative and preferring other to do his work for him, Ham actually being the polar opposite of what one would expect from his talents, etc.), but magic still seems to be a random factor at best. If magic were driven by emotion, this would no longer be a problem. Frequently morose people could perform certain feats better than others, but would suffer in areas of magic driven by a sense of contentment. This also relates to another thing I enjoyed about Mistborn: the way Allomancers "snapped". Certain traumatic events could very, very strongly influence a person's abilities with magic if it were tied to emotion.

Just an idea, for now. Let me know what you think of it.

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