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Messages - Bryant

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Well, I'm not sure I'm comfortable letting the series sit for a period of time while working on something else. I'm not the fastest writer, so the length of time between book one and book two could be fairly long. Even with a good outline, character dossiers, and lots of notes, I'm not sure if I would be able to pick it up and still convey all of the ideas I had at the outset. Alternatively, trying to sell a series to a publisher leaves me with trying to deal with a smaller number of publishers, as Elhers mentioned.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: what does kelsier look like?
« on: January 31, 2008, 06:57:56 PM »
I think Nobles in the Mistborn world fall on the killable side of the line.  Do their young children?  I don't think so.  Did Kelsier kill noble children on purpose? I don't remember.  Moral justification aside, I think the question of craziness on Kelsier's part rests on that point.  Did he indiscriminately murder anyone of noble blood? Did he target Skaa servants of the nobility?  The more indiscriminate he was, the crazier he gets in my opinion.
I don't believe he killed any children. As for the servants, if I recall correctly, while he didn't specifically target them, or go out of his way to kill them, he didn't care entirely all that much if they got in the way, and they had to be killed to achieve his objective. I could be off on that, though.

With quite a bit more thought, I've realized that the story doesn't technically need to be a trilogy - and really, might be weakened by making it so.

I've started the writing, and I'm estimating that it'll probably be about 75,000-100,000 words in length, which had me thinking - 700/800 page books aren't exactly unheard of, and I think I could tell the story I have in mind quite comfortably with 175-200k words.

So I suppose now my question goes from "Would the book I'm writing be hurting it's chances of publication by being part of a series" to "Would the book I'm writing be hurting it's chances of publication by being about twice the size of the average novel?"

(Of course, I feel quite arrogant in even assuming the first book I actually finish writing will even be worthy of publication on it's own, much less have troubles with length or being part of a series.)

Brandon Sanderson / Re: The coolest sword ever...Nightblood
« on: January 31, 2008, 05:19:36 PM »
I dunno. Surtr of Norse mythology has a cool sword. He uses it to set the entire world on fire, minus Hodmimir's forest, and kills a god or two.

I think the sword that ends the world might be a bit cooler than the others.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: what does kelsier look like?
« on: January 31, 2008, 05:15:09 PM »
I haven't decided if Kelsier is crazy or not yet.    If, however, you base your statement that he is not crazy on the idea that he is somehow justified in his killing, I have to disagree with you.

You give as his justification (and proof of his sanity) the  fact that the nobles murder all the time, skaa as well as each other, and that they would kill him if they caught him. Tit for tat.  They do it, therefore he does it. 

Unfortunately, if he uses the "they do it therefore I do it" justification for his perpetration of the exact same behavior, he loses any ability to argue that the noble's actions are wrong, since he must also be wrong by the same argument.

So, the nobles engage in murderous behavior and by that behavior become wrong.  Kelsier engages in the same behavior and expects to be right.  This fits the classic, "do the same thing, expect a different result" definition of crazy.

Of course, this assumes that killing noblemen is equivalent to killing skaa.  That they are both innocents.  If it could be shown that Kelsier only killed nobles that he knew to be guilty of murder themselves, it would be different.  Good arguments can be made for vigilante justice in a society like the one he lives in.  It's been a while since I read the first Mistborn so I could be wrong, but I seem to remember that Kelsier was pretty indiscriminate.

I would not argue that Kelsier is 100% morally justified in his killings. However, he is the product of an environment where the noble class has actively persecuted the peasant class, both by directly ordering their deaths, or upholding with real conscience the continuation of the killings. A military officer may not completely agree with what his command officer is doing, but as he has chosen to be a part of that military structure, when he is killed by enemy forces, they are justified in their actions.

The nobles have put themselves in a position where they are targeted due to the society that have helped uphold. Perhaps to be morally righteous, Kelsier should not kill the nobles with reckless abandon, but it is certainly not a sign of insanity to due so, nor is it even really a sign of truly poor moral character.

And it isn't really a circular argument, because of, quite simply, the question of "Who shot first?". Even ignoring all of the degradation the skaa continually suffer, the nobles started it. If there are two groups of people, and one group starts attacking the other, am I in the wrong if, while fighting back, I injure people who were with the group, but had not necessarily been the ones to attack me? Perhaps more caution should be taken, but they had involved, and continued to involve themselves with a hostile force.

Books / Re: How many books to do you read?
« on: January 31, 2008, 09:26:26 AM »
I'm usually only really reading one book at a time, and I'll pile through it fairly fast. I usually go through a full length novel in a week or so, with some exceptions. The Baroque Cycle novels probably took me 2-3 weeks each.... and then Elantris and the two Mistborn books I went through in a day or two each.

I then keep a book that I'm rereading in the restroom, which will last me a while. I don't read the newspaper  ;)

Books / Re: How has your views on WoT characters changed over the years?
« on: January 31, 2008, 09:24:24 AM »
I have a general disdain for the majority of the female characters, largely because of the way Jordan writes them, particularly Egwene and Nynaeve. I can't really stand either of them. Elayne gets on my nerves when she's in the ANDOR IS MINE mindset, even after events had proven that the only reason she held onto it was because of Rand and his actions. Beyond that, she's not too bad. Aviendha is OK, and Min isn't that bad either. On the whole, though, they all seem incredibly 2 dimensional as characters. Perhaps part of it is that I found the majority of their PoV chapters to essentially be fluff, and never paid too much attention to them - especially during the later part of the series. I'll admit I largely just skimmed those chapters in every book past 6.

I like Rand, in the sort of disconnected "I wish I could have insane powers and blow stuff up" way. Mat, in my opinion, is probably the most fleshed out of any of the characters, with the exception of Rand - who isn't fleshed out in a way that really lets you relate to him. Mat you can look at, and see an ordinary guy thrust into extraordinary circumstances, who rose up to the challenge. Rand, you see a somewhat ordinary guy thrust into extraordinary circumstances, who then became even more extraordinary than the circumstances themselves. You can't really relate to that.

Hm. Part of me screams "No! I want to finish writing the story I have in mind, while it's still (relatively) fresh!", and another part thinks that it would do me good to keep things a bit more diverse, so when I revisit a series, I can look at what I did right with the first book, and also what I did wrong.

The prospect of writing a single series is daunting enough, though. Thinking of writing three different ones without concluding the others first is downright scary.

Hmm. Well, that gives me a lot to chew on. I certainly appreciate the advice. Thank you

Music / Re: What are you Listening to?
« on: January 30, 2008, 03:32:57 PM »
At current, really digging Buckethead & Friends - Nottingham Lace.

Mostly I listen to 80's metal and rock,  though I do listen to quite a bit of rock and metal from today. I've also got a tad bit of rap and trance/techno on my playlist, but out of my nearly 20,000 songs, they probably make up less than 1,000 of them. And then half of the rap is "nerd rap" - which is quite fun.

Writing Group / Stand alone novels vs series, and first time publication.
« on: January 30, 2008, 12:14:02 PM »
I'm somewhat conflicted. I feel that I have an idea that I would enjoy writing, and would potentially sell well, and would really like to pursue it. However, the story I have in mind is not one that I feel could be told well with only a single novel, at least without reaching a ridiculous length.

I don't know a whole lot about the publishing world, and having a book published, though I do know the bare basics, and what I do know makes me pause before I begin writing in earnest. I don't want to hurt my chances of being published by my first work being only the first part of the story.

Does it hurt my chances? Or ultimately, if the book was worth being published, it would happen, first portion of a trilogy  or not?

Brandon Sanderson / Re: Warbreaker: Free Ebook
« on: January 30, 2008, 06:21:53 AM »
Think I might have found a typo. In the scene where Vashir speaks with Bebid the priest in the cafe on page 64, it reads "let them to a little Awakening themselves" - which I believe should be do. Another one is on page 114, with "Lightsong stood suddenly, grabbing the cap off his head and tossing it asked". I'm guessing this should be askew.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: So..what should Brandon do next?
« on: January 30, 2008, 06:14:27 AM »
I would suggest going with an epic for several reason. One, commercially, it would be a good move.  Authors deserve some monetary reward for their hard work, and you're in a unique position to really appeal to an audience you otherwise would not be able to. Awe a lot of potential fans with WOT12, and then give them more with an original epic. Half a dozen books is tons of room to tell a story, and short enough that you don't have as big of a danger of rehashing everything or putting in tons of filler.

However, since I would assume (I'm no writer - my attempts never evolve beyond a chapter or three)  an epic of such size would take longer to prepare, perhaps releasing Dragonsteel to "tide over" the fans in between mistborn/wot and your next project would be a good idea.

I have to say, I'm anxious to read Dragonsteel (As well  as your other unreleased works!), so that's partially influencing my opinion of sooner rather than later on it's release.

Books / Re: column: EUOLogy: On Pullman and Censorship
« on: January 29, 2008, 02:54:37 PM »
I'll preface my post with this: I am an atheist. I am not even a "spiritual" atheist, as friend White is. Largely, I simply don't understand the concept of religion, beyond that it offers hope. The trappings included, as well as the certain moral dogmas involved are really beyond my comprehension. However, I believe that people will follow a religion that closely matches their moral compass, rather than following a religion first, without forming a moral compass of their own. In this, I can see why someone would choose a specific religion over another, but not as to why to worship in the first place.

I mention these things not to spur a religious debate - they often turn ugly, and while I may not understand why you follow your beliefs, I certainly respect them, and don't wish to demean the discussion by arguing over who is right about the existence of a Supreme Being. I was raised religious, so I doubt I will be converted by any arguments made, and by the same token, I doubt anything I say would cause you to turn to an atheistic viewpoint. -  but rather to let you understand where my perspective comes from.

Now, for the issue at hand, I certainly believe that parents should be informed about the content of what their children might watch. It is a parent's right to raise their children as they see fit - regardless of whether or not others agree with their parenting decisions (Within reason, of course. Abuse, etc, is obviously not something that falls under the discretion of parenthood).

However, I disagree highly with calls to remove the books from library shelves, etc. With libraries in specific - I am a tax paying member of society, and as such it is a resource available to myself, as well as practicing members of various religions. As an atheist, I do not feel books containing quasi-atheistic ideals (And I would argue that the "theology" that Pullman portrays is a hyperbolic caricature of real atheism) are fit to be removed. If I had children, I would not feel that that would be a sufficient reason for them to have a chance to pick up the books and read them while browsing. Municipal libraries are a government entity, and as such, should not exclude content because of religious context. The separation of church and state exists for many reasons (Including protecting the Church from the Government, which has shown itself to not exactly be a stable and well performing force over the past decade!), and is quite applicable when dealing with a government funded library.

Part of it is a personal opinion, as well. I believe that most children who will read books for entertainment are the more intelligent of the crop, and are likely able to make informed decisions for themselves long before we believe them to be capable of doing so. I do not believe that any child secure in their faith is going to be converting to atheism after reading a fantasy novel. If reading a story, even a well written one, is enough to cause the conversion, than undoubtedly other factors could easily sway them as well, ones that they are likely exposed to on a daily basis. I myself turned from Christianity to Atheism during junior high, while attending a humanities class. The teacher was very devout, and never pushed any students towards atheism, but our studies were heavily focused on religion, both today and in ancient culture. I came to a personal conclusion that, fundamentally, Christianity is no different than the worship of Ra, Zeus, or Quetzacolt. This conclusion was not the result of the teacher pushing us in that direction, or some novel espousing atheism. It was made based on opinions I had formed from many sources over several years. I would highly suggest that we give more credit to the children that would be reading these books in the first place - I would argue that they are not going to change faith based on a fantasy novel.

I also disagree with the call to remove it from book store shelves. By all means, call for a boycott of the book, refuse to buy it, etc - but also be courteous and realize that other people who do now follow the same belief system as you could want to buy the book, and having it removed is an inconvenience to said people. At the age where you would be censoring your child's input, you should be there to buy their books with them. You should know what they're reading, and understand what is in it. Calling for a blanket ban on the book, in my opinion, is shirking your responsibility as a parent, removing yourself from a personal inconvenience directly dealing to raising your child, and then forcing it upon everyone else. We are uninvolved in what beliefs you would like to teach your child, and whatever censoring you would like to place upon the material they read, and as such, it should not become a matter where we have to deal with these issues. If you do not believe that your child should read these books, then it is a matter that you should enforce, rather than trying to have it enforced on everyone.

Ultimately, I just feel that trying to have the book removed from libraries and stores is an extremist reaction to  something, and that instead it should be a personal decision: Do you let your child read the books/watch the movie? If not, that is your own prerogative.

Brandon Sanderson / Re: How did you find out about Brandon Sanderson?
« on: January 29, 2008, 01:10:15 PM »
I'm a bit ashamed to say the WoT announcement was the first time I learned of Brandon. I decided that I needed to read his stuff before the 12th Wheel of Time book was released, but ended up putting it off for some time - and now I really wish I hadn't. I finally bought Elantris and the two Mistborn novels about a week ago. I sat down and started reading Elantris, and was roughly halfway through before I stopped to finally go to sleep - I had only planned on reading for an hour, but it had turned into three. The next day, I finished it.

At first, I was a bit sad, or even almost outraged - Such a rich world, and no sequels? Instead, a trilogy entirely separate? What a waste!

Then I started Mistborn, and completely forgot any half-complaints I might have had about Elantris being a stand alone novel. I wasn't able to put either of the novels down, and I just finished The Well of Ascension about an hour ago.

Now I'm about to start on Warbreaker, and begin twiddling my thumbs until this October.

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