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      Oathbringer Spoiler Policy   11/13/2017

      Oathbringer is out! Let's make our policy on spoilers clear! 1. You must preface topics with Oathbringer spoilers with the prefix [OB] in the front 2. You are only allowed to post spoilers and spoiler topics in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board, Cosmere Theories, and some select work-related forums. 3. For posts in the Oathbringer Spoiler Board you do not need to use spoiler tags inside a topic marked [OB]. For Cosmere Theories, you also do not need to put spoiler tags inside your topic if the topic has [OB] in the title. However, for Cosmere Theories, if you are adding Oathbringer stuff to an old theory without the [OB] tag, those must go in spoiler tags and you must make it obvious outside the spoiler tag that the spoiler is regarding Oathbringer content. 4. For select things that do require talking about OB spoilers, in Events, Coppermind, and Arcanum forums, those are allowed but keep OB spoilers in spoiler tags 5. Avoid and minimize spoilers in topic titles--even though those two boards will not appear in the Recent Topics ticker, topic titles still appear in Recent Activity and the forum home.  6. You aren't allowed to post Oathbringer spoilers in places other than listed, even with spoiler tags.  It will be nine months and then the Oathbringer board will be re-merged with the Stormlight board and you will not need to tag these spoilers. If you'd like to move something in the Stormlight Archive board to the Oathbringer board, to update it with new Oathbringer information, Report the post and we will happily move it to the Oathbringer spoiler board. Part-by-part Reactions Though the Oathbringer Spoiler Board will be very spoilery, very fast (maybe don't come there until you've read the book, as people do have copies that bookstores sold early), you'll have these five topics for reactions if you want to nerd out: Part 1 Reactions
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      Full Book Reactions For parts 1-4, they will not include the interludes immediately following it. On Discord All Oathbringer spoilers on Discord will be exclusively in the #oathbringer_spoilers channel for the nine month spoiler period and nowhere else.

sheep

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sheep last won the day on October 5 2016

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  1. Detail Process Young Kaladin is based on my "Kid Kal" character design:
  2. I think of hand-painted book covers as throwbacks to the cheap pulp sci-fi or fantasy paperbacks I used to read as a kid. They're more charming and unintentionally hilarious rather than cringeworthy to me. Sure, they can be cheesy and really really dumb, but there's some nostalgia appeal to them, especially when medieval fantasy or futuristic space characters have big puffy 80's hair on the women, and gelled curtain hair for the men. Just look at this cover. It's so crazy. The Wheel of Time series has the same cheesy covers. Though to be fair, I get books for my eReader, so I don't have to publicly carry around these crazy covers that no one but me thinks is charming. At least it's slightly better than the bad stock image photoshops that many teen novels get. I wouldn't say I'm the old grump who yells at kids to get off the lawn or stop throwing cricket balls through the window, but the more fiction (books, movies, TV, etc) I consume, the less patience I have to tolerate blatant stupidity. I can deal with some of it, if the work has other redeeming qualities, like other smarter characters, or the stupid character smartens up, but my dislike of it is mostly due to the fact that my tastes have changed over time. I used to like the cartoon series "Spongebob Squarepants" when I watched it as a kid, and thought it was hilarious. But when I watch it as an adult, I don't enjoy it anymore, because the show runs off Spongebob and Patrick acting incredibly stupid and getting Squidward (the only sane character) into trouble. Spongebob is on the extreme end of stupid character that Kaladin doesn't come close to, but both of them trigger my reaction to dislike. It's hard to explain, but it pretty much comes down to factors that determine whether I enjoy a work of fiction changing over time. When I was younger, a story ending where the main character gets the guy/girl and teaches the bratty football captain/cheerleader a lesson in humility was enough for me to enjoy it. If I read the same story now, I would be rolling my eyes all the way through. We all look for different things when we consume fiction, and we all get different things out of it. I don't think any less of people who like Kaladin as a character, but his story arc doesn't create the same emotional response in me as it does for others. I think he's still an interesting character, and I don't hate him, and that is why the art section down below is "Kaladin Time" this week. It isn't explicitly mentioned in the series, but the Alethi characters are brown skinned and dark-haired like Polynesians or south/southeast Asians, and ever since I read that WoB, it's hard for me to picture any Caucasian actor or celebrity as an Alethi. My brain just doesn't compute. However, I've seen a few posts by people in the SA Tumblr community who think that Luke Pasqualino who played d'Artagnan in BBC's production of The Three Musketeers would make a decent Kaladin. I've done a couple of Eshonai pieces scattered in the first few pages of this thread, if you are bothered to look for them. I haven't done any proper Parshendi designs that show the differences between their different forms, since I've only drawn Eshonai and Shen/Rlain and they cover themselves up with Shardplate and uniform. So far, I distinguish Warform Eshonai from Stormform Eshonai by glowing red eyes. Bridge Four being in a band was so weird for me to imagine that I tried to balance out the "this would never happen" weirdness with a dose of realisticness. Lopen would be one of the few Bridge Four members who would willingly join the band, since he is the unofficial team mascot and comic relief. But he is limited by what instruments he could play. I enjoy reading lots of things so outside influences always show up in my art. A lot of the silly stuff (and the serious stuff too) I do was inspired by other things I've seen or read, and I try to point them out in the text descriptions beneath the art. Because the truth is that I am not really that creative or original as people think I am. I am just good at melding inspirations into something new-ish. As Adolin hasn't had enough vision difficulties to have impacted his daily life (he doesn't absolutely need to read when he has secretaries to do it for him, probably more of them than before since most of them are now widowed and in need of work) I don't see him getting the written version of the Breather Episode when there are more important things to worry about in Urithiru. And whilst he can't read glyphs, and may or may not be near or farsighted, he isn't colourblind at least. The wineshop menus label the wines by colour, so there's that. If you ever want to take a break from epic fantasy, there is a genre called "slice of life" that focuses on the everyday activities of characters in a fantasy universe. It's not highly dramatic, but sometimes it's good to read something where the fate of the world isn't at stake. It's surprisingly nice to have a book where no one dies. Something I have noticed about fantasy fiction (and other genres too) these days is the vocal movement of readers who thirst for and demand protagonists and settings to represent them, who reflect them in terms of identity, whether it be gender or race or sexuality or a combination of the above. People want to see themselves in the books they read, they want to see protagonists struggling with similar conflicting circumstances, they want characters whose difficulties reflect their own. It must be another weird personal quirk of mine, because most people want to read characters who are just like them, and I personally do not care. I do not need to relate to a character in order to enjoy a story. I don't need characters to be just like me. In fact, if there was a character out there just like me, I probably wouldn't read it. Because it would be so familiar as to be boring. When it comes down to it, I read fiction for the escapism. Everyone knows what their own life is like, but through fictional media can a person experience the alternatives. So when I see people who complain that there are no protagonists that perfectly represent them, and that a series or the whole genre of contemporary fantasy sucks because of it, I think it's kind of silly. I don't care who or what the protagonist is if the prose and plot are creative and well-written. All the people who demand authors write relateable characters, and refuse to read stories where they are not, are missing out on really good books with original characters who might not be human or even alive. Black Beauty and White Fang had great animal protagonists and Caves of Steel had a robot android MC. Just to be clear, I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting a protagonist to be relateable, I'm just wondering when it became such a vital component of having an enjoyable reading experience. It has never mattered that much to me; the real factor for what I consider a readable story is having a likeable protagonist, and other than that, I have never felt unsatisfied because I could not see myself in the character outside of the most basic human urges of securing life, love and the ability to pursue one's happiness. So I have to wonder why it is so important to other people to have relateable characters when it has never been that important to me. Am I the weird one? The characters I do like to read are the pragmatic type, grey morality antiheroes or antivillains, mostly because they are nothing like me. The choices they make and the actions they carry out are ones that I have never made, nor will I ever be placed in a situation where I have to, because their ethics and environment are nothing like modern day Earth. That is what makes them interesting - they get to do all the things I will never do. I am not overly disappointed that they are not so common as goody-goody protagonists, but it is a character type that I do enjoy reading if they happen to appear - they are mostly found in niche subgenres like grimdark or military fiction. If you have trouble finding fantasy protagonists that are outside of the mainstream young male of modest means and supernaturally exceptional skill at sword fighting or underwater basket weaving, you should look outside of mainstream fantasy. Mainstream fantasy is defined by what publishers think will sell to the masses, and what the masses want to buy. If you are disappointed by the route that the future SA books are taking, you might try to emotionally distance yourself from the series instead of focusing on the things you want to happen but most likely won't happen, or are confirmed to never happen at all. Focusing on it will only make the disappointment feel worse. Reading fantasy should be for enjoyment, and you can't enjoy something if you are fixated on a story not being what you expected it to be, rather than enjoying it for what it is. You have said in the past that if you had known that Adolin would only be a supporting character and never be promoted to main cast, you would not have gone so deep down the rabbit hole. Well, it's not too late to un-rabbit-hole yourself and take a break and do other things. It's a weird thing to say on an SA fansite, but it works for me, and so I don't get disappointed about how the series was supposed to be released at the rate of a new SA book every 2 years. Dragons are the fantasy equivalent of the super hightech aliens of science fiction stories, who come and deliver a couple of beatdowns to teach puny humans some humility. They tend to be plot devices thrown in to create a conflict and cause the humans to work together for a common goal. So my opinion of dragons depends on how heavy handed the plot is (sometimes it's a moral lesson to respect nature) and how developed the worldbuilding is. In a magical land where magic exists to make giant 20-tonne flying lizards ignore the laws of physics and aerodynamics, and there are people who go around saying they don't believe in dragons? There better be a good reason for that. I like word humour in fiction, and fantasy comedies too, but that is one of the rarest of subgenres. What I do not like is bad puns and unfunny comedy, and that is most of Shallan's immature cringey toilet humour. Kaladin's reaction to her jokes is a realistic reaction. After Shallan tries to joke Kaladin before she takes his boots, his reaction is blank faced "what", more because it's not funny rather than not getting the joke. I think if you looked deeper into it, and saw that Shallan really isn't funny but she tries anyway because she believes it makes her life marginally less sucky, it is surprisingly similar to Renarin being clearly unfit to be a soldier, but still going ahead with training. Still, Renarin and Shallan would be a "earn your happy ending" style plot instead of a "meant for each other" plot. While Brandon did okay with Vin/Elend or Rao/Sarene, I'm still not sold on any of the romance subplots of SA. Mostly because Brandon has such a hands-off "interpret as you will" writing style when it comes to romance. The Harry Potter wizarding world economy is all sorts of nonsense. Seemingly half of wizarding Britain works at the Ministry of Magic, so no wonder there are barely any worthy careers when wizards easily live to 150 years old. Wizarding Britain has a population of 10,000, and they have 13 professional Quidditch teams, or 1 team to every 780 people. Say a team is 7 players with 7 understudies, it means 1.82% of the British wizard population plays professional Quidditch. Then you add in managers, referees, support staff, and then the number gets higher and even more ridiculous. There are plenty of blogs and websites where fans poke holes in the worldbuilding logic. If you have ever read the classic children's books Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and its sequel Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, it runs off the same crazy logic that requires you to not think too hard or you'll ruin the fun of the story. The last book is actually self-aware enough that a character is shushed when he asks too many questions. If and when you rant, it is always good to put a notice saying "rant ahead, be warned". That way people who don't like rant, or think rants are too negative when they involve a favourite character and they take it personally, can skip to the end or ignore the post. On Goodreads, reviewers post a warning because some of them do use salty language, and that is not something everyone wants to see. And the entertainment value of a review comes from how self-aware the writer is, because it is always more entertaining to see a bad book get roasted in a funny way than to read "it was the worst book ever", which is no better than the "best book ever" type reviews in terms of usefulness. The line between a good rant and a bad rant is knowing the difference, and pointing out specific points of absurdity instead of being general and saying "the whole book was pure trash". What is about the WoB's that ruined Kaladin for you? I didn't know he had clinical depression until I read a few discussion threads which mentioned it, but I'd noticed reading on my own that he was moody and emo most of the time. I thought it was just an extension of his teenage edginess, since his mood swings were introduced as part of his character from the first flashbacks where his surly and sullen temperament was contrasted to Tien's happy personality. It never crossed my mind that it was mental illness level depression. Long series with years and years between the first book and the last book's release are the worst at delivering a satisfying ending after years of speculation and hype. There are a number of series that had the flattest endings when they had the potential to be so much better. I read so many of them when I was younger, and I can barely remember the names of the books or who wrote them, but my lasting impression was how disappointing they were - that is how bad they are. It is worse these days because a lot of publishers don't want standalone stories, they want authors to delivery a trilogy or they don't get a contract. So it leads to filler, padding, inconsistent pacing, and unenjoyable story. Reckoners is not that bad for a YA trilogy, but focus on the gimmick of "superpowers, one weakness" and action scenes overpowered the focus on the characters. I remember picking up Calamity and when I read it, I realised I had forgotten who the heck Mizzy was and I didn't go back to Steelheart/Firefight because I didn't care at all. I really liked Lirael when I first read it, and on subsequent re-reads. It is only recently that I realised why. One of my favourite themes in fiction is when characters undergo a skill progression with applied hard work and perseverence. No instant expertise (that is a massive NO), but skill acquired from practice or honed talent. That is what I find satisfying and fulfilling in a character arc. I liked the Old Kingdom series because no character stood out as annoyingly stupid. If they behaved erratically, it was justified. Yes, it's stupid for a villain to brag in front of the heroes, but it was established that Rogir was always vain and prideful. I'm glad you liked Prince Sam, as I thought you would. If you liked him, you might like Prince Khemri from Garth Nix's scifi standalone novel A Confusion of Princes. The MC is not an introvert, he's a prince instead of an underdog hero, and also develops a sibling relationship if you like reading about that. It's more space opera than hard sci-fi, which makes it more of a fantasy IN SPACE. And all protagonists have the potential to be well or poorly written, whether they are introverted or extroverted or somewhere in between, depending on the skill of the author. If an extrovert is annoying and develops a hatedom, it is not specifically because they are an extrovert, but because the author goofed somewhere. In the series I was talking about, I hated the extroverted protagonist because the author was bad and kept throwing in random plot elements to keep the story going and draw out the tension (which made the last book in the series a disappointment) in a way that writing guidelines warn against. If your plot gets boring, the last thing you should do is throw a ninja through the window to spice up some action, but that book was filled with it such contrived plots. I've been thinking about which books I've read had extroverted protagonists actually, and I don't think they are as rare as you make it out to be. They're mostly in character-driven stories, and it is never explicitly mentioned that they are extroverts, and it is not focused on as a defining character trait as that makes a character one-dimensional, and most people are a mix of traits. But it is not so impossible to find if you keep your standards relatively generous. Art Time One Hundred Spheres My favourite part about SA's magic system is how the investiture makes everything glow. It means that everything is an opportunity to use some dramatic lighting that makes everything look like a Dutch golden age painting with high contrast symbolic sunbeams. It sounds like such a trivial and silly reason to like a series (on the same level of watching the Transformers movie for a certain eye candy actress) but after fiddling with the light levels, a piece looks +5 with a cherry on top when it glows. Young Kaladin is based on my "Kid Kal" character design a few pages ago. I really like this one, because it's my attempt at portraying a Kaladin without his self-assured "I'm always right" attitude grates on me after a while. It was interesting to convert my adult Kaladin design to a Kid Kal design, making them distinct and different, while still retaining the important and recognisable elements. The skin and hair colouring is the same for both, but Kid Kal has shorter hair, rounder and larger eyes, and a softer looking face without the big ol' Chin of Justice that Adult Kaladin has. It's the standard set of techniques that many cartoonists use to differentiate young characters from old ones. Detail You can see here that Kid Kal shares the big nose and no lips of my adult Kaladin design, and that he has the monolid Asian-ish eye fold thing. I try to avoid making Kaladin look too pretty or too handsome, because I think his physical "appeal" and charisma qualities come from his being super serious, intense, and taller than most people around him. Process Now you can see how a piece where the lighting hasn't been accounted for looks unfinished and rough compared to the final copy. This is what makes digital works so much easier to learn to do compared to old master oil paintings. Mother Davar I've wanted to do an illustration of this scene for a long time, but it's a massive massive spoiler. To me, a Shardkilled corpse is one of the creepiest things to imagine, and I don't think any artist has ever drawn one, or drawn Shardkilled grey limbs. I've always thought sclera contact lenses (those coloured contacts that cover up most of the eyeball, including all the iris and the white bits on the side, look it up) that actors in horror movies and cosplayers of demon characters use are some of the most unsettling special effects over (but they are really effective). Detail In case someone points out: Shardkilled corpses don't bleed, but there was blood from the other man in the room who was killed by Lin Davar. Shallan at age 11 was too young to wear a safe sleeve, so her left hand being bare is canon compliant. I think it was one of the later flashbacks at age 13 or 14 where Shallan is proud to wear her new first havah gifted by her father. Again, Asian eyelids and Asian features but with Caucasian pale colouring this time. If you have ever watched The Lion King, the part where Simba tries to wake Mufasa up and says "Dad, please wake up, let's go home" gets me every single time. Hearthstone Just some concept sketches of a small town in a lait. I later checked and I got the houses wrong. The roof is so long that the eaves almost touch the ground, like the old thatched peasant houses in medieval Russia and Finland which were designed to shed snow and be comfortable when snowed in for several weeks at a time. The icicles make it look like Santa's elf village to an Earth person, but it's all made of dried mud. Hearthstone 2 Kal and Laral hang out and talk about life and try flirting when neither of them know what flirting actually is. Some people think it would be cute if Kaladin and Laral got together in the end, but IMO, Kaladin was only into her because she was the only girl he really knew in town, and vice versa for her. Kaladin is a massive grump, and Laral was not a cheerleader type like Tien and Shallan are, and I don't think she would be able to tolerate depressed Weepings Kaladin where his emo level goes past 9000. Still, childhood romance like the one in Bridge to Terabithia always guarantees an emotional response, and tragic romance is one of the best ways to tug on my heartstrings. Detail Chouta Poster ...Basically a burrito in a cone. Don't know why I did this, maybe because I realised I don't draw food items that often. Obligatory Silly Stuff Stormlight Archive: Graphic Novel Edition Kaladin Stormblessed and the Road to Superhuman Powers This is what SA would look like in a manga/comic book format. While I used the frame style and shading of a manga volume, I cannot draw in an anime style (my attempts at such are just pathetic) so I set the text to read left to right like in a comic book page. This is a parody of a manga page from One Punch Man where the protagonist gets his superpowers from training really hard every day for years. In this version, it's Kaladin the Bridgeleader, with Lopen, Rock, and Moash from left to right. To continue the explanation of why I draw Kaladin the way I do, I tried to find a balance between youth and authority. Kaladin is an adult and acts like a adult (most of the time), and is treated like an adult by his colleagues and superiors. But it's also pointed out that he's also ridiculously young for his position, so my character design tries to balance this. He's in charge, gets taken seriously, but he's not 35 years old (as some other artists have drawn him. I get why they do it, because he is as jaded as a middle-aged divorcee, but it just doesn't work for me), and even if life has taken a dump on him, he's still only 20 years old in Roshar years. It is also in-canon described that Alethi have black hair, but I never colour characters with straight black hair, usually brown in different shardes of dark. This is an artistic choice because flat black doesn't show depth that well in paintings where you want to give an illusion of depth and atmosphere. If you ever look at people who have black hair, their hair isn't a uniform flat black anyway. The hairs are different shades from exposure to sunlight, so you will see a mix of dark brown. In multipanel comics or sketches, drawing flat black is acceptable because they are intended to be only black and white for ease of printing, and the visuals come through contrast of line and negative space.
  3. Here's a Word of Ben about it: Source: Q&A Session with Ben McSweeney For those who don't know, Ben "Inkthinker" McSweeney does a lot of the interior artworks for SA, and also did the character pieces for the Mistborn Adventure Game. I personally think designing 30+ sets of Shardplate in the Alethi army is overkill. Sure, they look cool and awesome, but the basic structure of the armour and power boosting abilities are the same for everyone. The only real difference from set to set is the shape of the pauldrons or helm. I would be more interested to see a catalogue of Shardblades with notes on what Radiant Order the original owner/spren was associated with.
  4. Thanks! I've always wanted to be solid. It's heaps better than liquid, and gas blows. I should clarify that what I meant was that I preferred the original ending to WoR where Kaladin kills Szeth with a hit to the spine to the new edited ending where Szeth is hit in a less vital point and "dies" when he hits the ground. The original ending felt more in character, and the new one felt more OOC, especially as you pointed out, Szeth was a legitimate danger and an actual murderer compared to the unintentional murderer by negligence that Elhokar is. There are many moments through the whole book where Kaladin says he wants to kill Szeth. All of these were building up and foreshadowing Szeth getting killed by Kaladin. I won't say that Shallan doesn't have moments of plot convenience, and how everyone who didn't like her ends up respecting her by the end because she's clever, funny, unexpectedly honest, good at getting what she wants through personal charm or magic, or a combination of the above. But Kaladin's sudden ability to learn how to change the direction of gravity was accelerated beyond disbelief to me. When I first read it, I didn't know about all the whole Cosmere-verse stuff with the three realms, and I didn't recognise that Kaladin saw into the Cognitive Realm until much later. But it was never explained in-story, and Kaladin didn't think about it again, so I felt unsatisfied by it. It is likely that Kaladin will go to the Cognitive Realm again in the future books and my response will retroactively shift as a result, but as of now, his accelerated learning is a moment in the book when my reaction is like "Really? Is that it???". Your mileage may vary, of course. I don't get the hate for Kaladin's headband. Brandon Sanderson didn't like it, which is why Michael Whelan changed it for the cover of WoR, but I think it's pretty cool. It reminds me of Rambo and also martial arts movies full of angsty young men trying to prove themselves to the world, so it fits Kaladin. Is it too goofy looking or something? Urithiru also had glass windows. Everything is built on giant scale and flat glass windows are pretty difficult to make without industrial processes - in the old days they were made with lots of little panes set into a lead frame instead of big sheets of plate glass that modern skyscrapers have, so it must have been Soulcast. If the Cosmere didn't have magic to explain things, I would have said ANCIENT ALIENS. Kaladin's (and most characters') appeal differs from person to person. I would have liked him more if I read his story when I was younger, but preferences change over time with life experience. When I read about Kaladin being hotheaded and shooting himself in the foot because he acted without thinking, a part of me cringes. It overshadows awesome moments he might have later on. I think I just focus on the insignificant details too much. Yeah, it's a photo that I put some blurring filters on because I didn't want to draw all the gym equipment. It gets tedious after three or four treadmills. I blurred and used some pixel noise in the background, and painted the foreground and dumbbells to blend it with the cartoon character art. The grunge filter is some layered textures. I used a parchment and a concrete texture set at low opacity, but you can find a lot of different ones that give a similar effect on google. Sites that sell flooring tiles often have good high res photos of their products that you can layer on in Photoshop. Like this one, for example. A pet peeve is something (usually small and insignificant) that annoys you personally. I think you mean "head canon" there. Lirin and Renarin have glasses, which means Alethkar has optometrists or some basic oculists who are qualified to test eyesight and fit glasses to customers, if only in the big cities to rich people who can afford the service. Which Adolin can. So it is likely that Adolin doesn't have bad eyesight, or least not bad enough that he requires glasses to be able to function normally in his daily activities. He might have mild hyperopia/farsightedness where things that are far away look normal, but close up is blurred. But we will never know, because slice-of-life moments where Adolin goes to the optometrist, or Kaladin and Rock go grocery shopping at the commissary for the evening's dinner stew are charming and humanising but add nothing to the plot. A lot of WoB's that happen at conventions and signings only become fandom knowledge if someone records it or posts the answer here or on the Coppermind wiki or another site. Not everyone is a Sharder, involved with the fan community, or bothers to copy down spoken answers into text to post online. Finding WoB's is difficult because it only works if you know what you are looking for. Many of them can be found in a Google search, if you know the keywords in the question, so if you've read it before, you can find it again. It is the new or obscure information that is almost impossible to find. I don't judge or dismisspeople who don't know information that isn't published in a book, but for the better known information that answers many repeatedly asked questions (Dalinar's Shardblade switch, was X character really Hoid, why doesn't Kaladin fix his forehead scar, does the Stick have magical powers) it would be good to have a place where this information can be read and sorted through. Does it all come down to a difference in personality and attitudes? I have no issues talking to people, or new people I have never met before. It's kind of fun, but I know that 95% of these people aren't people I could maintain a long-term friendship with, and of the few that I can, long-term doesn't mean forever. People change, and trying to maintain a relationship with someone you have less in common with than when you first met them is not that enjoyable when all you have to talk about is stuff you did a long time ago, when you liked one another more. Sometimes you just have to let things go and downgrade a friendship to an acquaintanceship and make new friends. Perhaps I am more blasé about relationships, but while it is disappointing when it happens, I don't consider it a rejection on the level of having my feelings stomped on and shredded. I am more easy-going in nature, and you are more... intense. If people have rejected you for some unknown reason, it might be because you can get emotionally invested in things and way more passionate than other people, so a casual conversation that started out as friendly turns into an unexpected heated discussion. Not everyone wants their conversation to derail into a debate, and if you have very strong opinions, it may come off as aggressive or as if you are ignoring opposing opinions that might be equally valid. The solution to that is to chill and not to take things personally, but then again it is the same sort of advice like "Just go outside and talk to people" that natural introverts get that doesn't help them much at all. So another solution is to be more judicious with what you say and remember your audience. A friendship involves one or more other people! I don't know if that helped. But if you can detach yourself from the negative emotions of rejection and try to figure out why people might like or dislike you, you could understand why things happened. Even extroverted characters can be introspective and self-aware. And now I think I am beginning to understand why people don't' see as much into Adolin's character as you. True, hardcore extroverts are rare, because most people, including me, have a mix of both traits, and anyone who strays too close to either end is in the narrow bit of the bell curve, statistically. Adolin's personality is taken at face value - he has friends, he likes hanging out with them, it's sad when they don't want to hang out with him. And it isn't developed further unless it is to set him up as BFF's with Kaladin and Shallan. I myself cannot even imagine being so extroverted that my whole identity is defined by what other people think of me. Sure, I understand what crowd hype is, and to feel pleased when you have made a good impression on a large group of people who think of you as lively and interesting. But I cannot comprehend a person who so deeply needs interaction with others that their life becomes meaningless without it, and I would not be the only person. It is such an extreme that it would be like someone who is agoraphobic to the point where going outside gives them anxiety, and making eye contact with a late night supermarket cashier sends them into a paranoid panic. And if I am being honest here, it is something that few people relate to, like they don't relate to extreme extroversion. That is why such characters are the side character of a cast ensemble in a TV show, like Joey from Friends or Barney from How I Met Your Mother. It is a personality trait that could be explored, but in a supporting character, it doesn't take the overall narrative forward. I totally understand the "book hangover" feeling when you finish a big series with a well-developed character cast and world and when you start a new one, you cannot help but compare and feel like it isn't as good as the last one, until you get fully immersed in the story (which may or may not happen). If I only read the same few books, I would not have discovered other books as good or better than the old ones. And I think it's better to return to an old favourite after a break where I read other books. I get a fresh enjoyment upon my return, and it stops me from being tired of the same character or character archetype. You criticise underdog farmboys with magical swords for being repetitive plot device characters, but you prefer to read only extroverted protagonists. It is not so different. I disliked the dragons and thought they were all selfish, manipulative lizards. Which is cool, since many other fantasy stories portray them as majestic creatures you can't argue with, like beautiful vegetarian elves. The dragons were useful in fighting off the invaders who did the Forging in the first trilogy, and it turned out that the Skill came from Elderling descendents, which is useful. But I would rather live in a world with no magic if it meant there were no selfish dragons who do more harm than good. So many stories are about magic returning to a mundane world (Westeros, for example), and it is rare that characters decide that magic is more trouble than it's worth and get rid of it. Renarin would not have thought that Shallan is funny or witty. In the Boots chapter in WoR, Shallan makes a joke about "vesture" and "virtue". Renarin would have been silent for a minute to analyse (the habit of his that makes girls think he is awkward and unsettling) and then commented on how the two words are pronounced similarly but mean different things, and killed the moment. I don't know if you read WoR in French or English, but it was not really funny to me because they're not that close when you say it aloud compared to how it looks on the page. Renarin would not have responded to Shallan's teasing and baiting, and he has the patience and composure that Kaladin lacks. I still think he and Shallan could have made a better long-term couple than Shallan and Kaladin, but it would take more work to set it up and sell it. Obviously it won't go there since there's Adolin, but if Adolin carks it before SA5 , Shallan could be the Navani since Vorinism has a love of symmetry. I loved the HP universe as a kid, but now I can see all the little holes in the world building. This is where the trend of a more scientific approach to worldbuilding in fantasy has stepped into the niche for all those readers who want something more solid for their backstory - authors like Brandon who have so much extra detail that he spends hours at signings answering questions about it. When I think about Harry Potter, it's kind of ridiculous that their economy runs off gold coins, and there is a rule of magic that says you can't create food from thin air, but you can take a tiny sliver of carrot and enlarge it until you have a carrot the size of a house. But somehow the Weasleys are so poor that Ron only has a sad corned beef sandwich on the train, while Harry buys everything on the snack trolley. I like to rant on Kaladin because I like to rant. I can take the rant to any and every character if I wanted, like Renarin or Navani or Shallan, and characters from other books and series and other authors. I love ranting and I like rant reviews on Goodreads, because they're the most entertaining ones to read compared to the boring "This book was great, 5/5". As long as it is done in a tongue-in-cheek and self-aware humourously sarcastic manner, it doesn't devolve into tiresome complaining where you have to point out, "If you hated it so much, why did you keep reading?". It's a fine line to walk, and I like to keep practicing at it. I dislike Kaladin's narrative more than Kaladin the character. Sure, his depression can be painful to read, but what I really am not fond of is all the bad things that happen to him to make him bounce from plot point to plot point like the pinball on the flippers of fate. This is mostly a personal preference thing. I did not like Lemony Snicket's "A Series of Unfortunate Events" for the same reason, because each book left me wondering what sort of bad things the author would force onto the poor orphans in this episode, and made me incredibly frustrated because their lawyer and guardian was made intentionally stupid so bad people could keep trying to steal their inheritance. Sure it keeps the plot moving forward and characters going in a new direction, but it is only because the author keeps introducing freak accidents and sudden deaths of the one foster parent they actually liked. And if it is only good things that the author gives instead, then you get Mary Sue characters common in wish fulfillment-heavy Asian light novel and web serial novels. Gosh, I now realise I am probably very picky. At least I have read widely enough to realise what I like or dislike about novels and can now pick the ones I know I will enjoy instead of attempting to slog through. The longer the narrative buildup is, the more people expect in the eventual payoff. And if the payoff is falls short, it colours the whole book and readers are disappointed, even if the rest of the story is well-written with compelling characters. Brandon is pretty good at managing buildup and momentum to payoff, which makes reading his 1000 page doorstoppers easy to fly through, but sadly not every author is as good at this. I have been disappointed a number of times in other series, but no matter how much I rant, I still think Brandon is one that guarantees satisfaction. Except with the Reckoners trilogy, but let's just ignore that. I thought you would have disliked Lirael since she is an obvious introvert who even tried to Honor Chasm herself. She gets better, obviously, and is not so annoying once her dog tells her to stop whining and get over it, but it's pretty clear she's not a happy neurotypical standard protagonist. That is why I enjoy Garth Nix books. You get presented with what seems like a straightforward growing up story, then your expectations don't pan out, but the ending is still satisfying and bittersweet. Sabriel never really rescued her father, after all. Also the character from "Bloody Jack" wasn't a caricature as much as she was a victim of fate and circumstance. The story would end after Book 2 if she got away with her crimes and settled down into obscurity. But it became a cat and mouse situation where the author kept milking the series and making the protagonist go on the run like Valjean to Javert. It wasn't just her extroversion and big mouth that was getting her into trouble, but rather eavesdroppers at the wrong place and wrong time that reported her, and other contrived situations like an accidental distinctive tattoo reveal. You know, (in)convenient bad luck. Johnny Rico's actor has a rectangle head and he looks like Ken doll. There, I said it. Art time Elhokar and the Symbolheads This is based off the Elhokar character design I did a few pages ago. The crown is the same one on the House Kholin glyphpair. Elhokar wears a different glyphpair (I'm assuming it's his personal glyphpair) of a crown and a sword, which is what I put on the shoulder patch. I wonder what they use signet rings for when it's the women who read and write all the messages. In the old days of Earth history, people used wax and signet stamps so they knew if other people were tampering with their mail when the letters arrived with the seals broken, but in Roshar, they have spanreeds linked to one other fabrial pen, and personal code passwords to authenticate users. Detail If you watch scary movies, they always have a jump scare when someone has a bathroom cabinet over the sink with a mirror that opens and closes. This drawing was inspired by that. Process Elhokar's Garden I'm taking artistic liberties with the timeline, but this is the time in between the 4:1 duel and Kaladin getting released from prison, where Elhokar sulks about how cool Kaladin is and how it made him look bad. I imagine that Elhokar likes to go to his fancy feast islands to drink alone and whinge about his first dahn privilege and how much his life sucks. And then Dalinar comes to talk to him and Elhokar gets mad because "You're not my dad, you can't tell me what to do!". Full image The Feast Rough concept sketch based on book description. I drew the dining platforms as Asian style pagodas. But I think they're too small because it should be able to fit a dining table and a quartet of musicians. Still, I am happy with the overall aesthetic, which is supposed to be ostentatious and a obvious waste of a rich man's money. Kind of like the old Victorian folly which is supposed to look cool rather than have some practical purpose. Szeth the Assassin This was me just messing around and experimenting with the aesthetic of Alethi interior design. Soulcast buildings are made of solid pieces of stone and decorations have to be carved out of them, and because of highstorms, windows are weak points in the structure. I've mostly drawn interiors to have big arches and columns because it is symmetrical and looks regal for the inside of a palace. Detail Costume design by Ben McSweeney. I follow canon descriptions and illustrations where they exist, and Szeth had a chapter header picture in his interude PoV chapters. The only time I disregard official description is when it is nothing like how I imagined it (Dalinar on the cover of WoK. Actually I don't think Michael Whelan's covers are offical canon after all) or it would not be practical or time efficient or sanity retaining to do so, such as the Kholin glyphpair on the front and back of Kholin army uniforms. In a painted piece, it looks really weird to copy-paste the vector file. Drawing it manually looks much, much better, but it is not something you want to draw over and over unless you don't mind going Taln crazy. Obligatory silly stuff Kaladin Stormblessed and the Power of Rock So Kaladin on the flute was sad and pathetic. You know what, let's throw away all attempts at realism and just crank the awesome up to 11 because why not. Why bother to make sense if you could be awesome instead? That's Kaladin. KALADIN THE ROCKSTAR. Oh, and he wears leather pants.
  5. Adolin is so handsome that when Kaladin sees him for the first time saving the prostitute in WoK, he mentally remarks how handsome he is. And that is workaholic bridgeman pre-Chasm adventure Kaladin who wouldn't even admit that a lighteyed girl was pretty just because she was lighteyed. Adolin must be next level Zoolander-style really really ridiculously good looking or something. @maxal and I disagree about the hair, which every artist and reader envisions differently. I even made a big chart for all the alternatives because no one ever draws the same thing. The interesting thing about hair and character design is that hair that covers the forehead makes someone look younger (see "The Justin Bieber") and showing the whole forehead looks older and more mature ("The Dalinar"). That is why I draw something that covers half the forehead but stops before the eyebrows - Adolin doesn't get treated as a full adult by a lot of people, including his father and Sadeas, but he is still in charge of half an army. There's a balance between youth and maturity there. I draw Adolin's hair like #1, and maxal prefers #2, which is the messier version. Adolin's hair is described as a "stylish mess" and while the tousled look comes from drawing in the hairs one by one, it is time and effort consuming. #1 is much easier to do in quick cartoon pieces where all the individual strands can be shorthanded into chunks, like in this stylised depiction. I also draw Adolin with Asian-ish eyes, without the eyelid fold that Earth Europeans have. In Alethkar, Adolin is of mixed ethnicity (Alethi and Riran), but in Roshar, it is only the Shin people out of all the nations who have the eyelid folds. It is only in the painted pieces that I can show the eyelid detail. Anyway, that was my summary of how I draw Adolin and why I do it like that. Very little fanart by other artists matched my own mental image, so I made my own pictures. Okay, here you go: I have seen a lot of SA art over the ages, and I can see the influences from other artists in the piece you commissioned. Dalinar's uniform design is from Exmachina. Excepting the scarf, Exmachina's Kholin Army uniform is more detail canon perfect than mine, because I don't draw the giant Kholin glyphpair logo on front and back. I thought it was too busy and it really sucks to draw consistently for a multi-panel comic strip. The Shardplate design looks like Gavilar's, drawn by Ben McSweeney. Some thoughts that other people have already pointed out about the piece is that Dalinar, according to Brandon Sanderson, doesn't have a beard and has a darker skin colour. The Shardplate is plain grey with a high chin-length collar as matching the book description in Ch.12 "Unity" and Ch.28 "Decision", but the side that isn't holding the Shardblade doesn't have the same pointy bits on the shoulder and elbow as the other arm. If Roshar is so big on symmetry, would suits of Plate be symmetrical from side to side? It would be pretty bad to have a right-handed Shardplate when you are lefthanded. And one other thing - the fontface that the text "Dalinar Kholin" and "Shardplate" is written in is the font "Deutsch Gothic", a German-style blackletter font used in WWII propaganda posters. Which is a weird choice to me, but maybe I'm the only one who cares enough about typography to notice. The official font used in the maps and the text "Roshar" is the font "Stonecross". Overall, I think it's a decent character piece that sums up the most important aspects of Dalinar Kholin. But I can tell that it wasn't drawn by someone who is overly familiar with SA, since the official title is "The Stormlight Archive" rather than "Archives". If the artist you commissioned is someone who has never read the series and had to work off reference material created by other people, it must have been a very confusing experience. Shardplate is difficult to draw for the first time when seeing Ben McSweeney's detailed and intricate sketchbook illustrations. If you liked the artwork, and it fits your mental picture of the character, I think my opinion of it is really unnecessary. That "SIGH" written there gets me every time. I used that as a reference for Adolin's hair length, and it looks like Ben McSweeney has the same thoughts about it as I do. One thing that most people forget is that because Adolin's hair is blond and black, it is only natural that his eyebrows are blond and black as well. I am reasonably certain the rest of his hair is the same mixed colouration.
  6. Some WoB's about Dalinar and Dalinar's appearance: Source: 2014 interview. Source: SLC Convention, 2014. As a side note, Gavilar is the one who had a beard, not Dalinar. Since Alethi aren't Earth people, I can't think of any celebrities or actors who could match my mental image of Dalinar when I read the books. Anyone IRL who naturally had the tan skin dark hair combo of the traditional Alethi look without resorting to spray tans and hair dye would have to use contact lenses to be a lighteyes, and coloured contact lenses look really weird up close. I always imagined Dalinar to have a combination of Arab, Polynesian, indigenous Amerindian, and Central Asian features. One of Brandon Sanderson's influences for Dalinar's backstory comes from Mongolian legends. Source: Reddit thread from 2015. That was what I used for my interpretation of Dalinar when I did a character design for him. Most people draw him in a very similar way, as a brown guy who wears blue. It's only the small details that differ from artist to artist. Young Dalinar: Basic character design: Animated Dalinar: I imagine it would be difficult to find someone with that perfect combination of features, since Alethi are a fantasy ethnicity that doesn't exist on Earth. And then there are problems with people who look the part and can't act, and non-Anglosphere actors who don't speak the same language, or even English at all. Well, at least with our imaginations and homemade fan art, we can pick and choose all the things we like without having to concern ourselves with reality.
  7. I gave myself a Sharpie tattoo a while ago. With this design and turned it to this, with washable marker for guidelines and permanent marker for linework. Here was the thread about it where two other people did it. It lasts about a week before fading to grey, but it's possible to keep tracing over the fading lines for touchups and keep it going forever. I think I am too much of a pain weenie to get the real thing.
  8. A Rosharan travel poster. "Tvlakv's Unclaimed Hills Caravan Tours" - Cheap prices, mediocre service. This would look good on my wall. Detail:
  9. There are some older cosplay pictures on the second page of this thread, including a Shardblade made of foam, hot glue and plaster. The blade length is only around 1m long, so definitely not to scale. I drew the details of Iyatil's mask to look like it was made of layered sections, like the overlapping wings of a dragonfly. The official book description said it resembled a carapace, so in reality it's probably more smooth and flat like a turtle or a beetle shell. But that doesn't look as cool. The Ghostbloods logo can be pretty much anything if the vague description of "three diamonds" is all there is to go on. You can throw them together in a surprising variety of designs that may or may not resemble modern Earth corporate logos. Ghostblood Logos I went back and forth between "cups up" and "cups down" before settling on the "up" positioning of the terraces. The up position means that the tower doesn't have to look so disproportionately huge and squat, and advertising posters are supposed to show off buildings as looking impressive and imposing. A fat unicorn horn just doesn't look cool when typical posters that I was trying to copy tend to show grand deco buildings like the Chrysler building or the Empire State. It's interesting that the infographic you posted had Taipei 101 as one of the example buildings. I actually looked at images of that same building to draw the Urithiru poster, and pictures of Chinese pagoda architecture too. They all have stacks of upward curved roofs and it gives an exotic look. Urithiru Concept You gotta hand it to those ancient architects. They must have fabrial segways or something to cross from one side of the ground floor to the other. Music is a feminine art in Vorinism, so most men (especially bridgement) would not have the inclination or leisure to learn how to play an instrument. I don't think the Bridge Four band would be very good to listen to. They're the kind of band that gets peanuts thrown at them at open mic night. Scroll all the way down to see it. I have read Shogun before (and played Total War: Shogun), and know a little bit about feudal Japan and pre-gunpowder and Early Modern history, and my conclusion is that Alethi culture isn't any one culture, or even two cultures from IRL Earth, but influenced by many in small ways. Generals or battallionlords of highprinces haven't been pressured into killing themselves if they are beaten to the chrysalis by the Parshendi. Lighteyed nobles don't slap each other with gloves and aim to kill when they demand satisfaction. Whilst they value honour enough to fight about it, as Adolin does, they don't go to the death, unless they are compelled by the King. So the real question is: do Alethi value honour, or the appearance of having honour? I think that is the difference between Dalinar and the Knights of old and the modern Alethi. It's also interesting to note that in IRL history, people fought in pistol duels well into the 1800's when their honour was insulted. It looks like Alethi mostly choose pragmatism over honour, or at least the top ranking lighteyes with something to lose. I doubt they buy into the Tranquiline Halls/Rosharan Valhalla business either. So darkeyed Alethis also follow some sort of honour code system where arguments are settled by physical confrontation. I wouldn't say that Alethi values mirror the Japanese honour codes, but they don't resemble feudal (pre 1400's) Europe 1:1 either. In a real feudal situation, brightlords like Amaram would not be so blasé about throwing kids recruited from his fiefdom into the frontlines as cannon fodder. Large landholders made their incomes from rents, and products produced or grown on their land, and the whole feudal system tied the workers to the land with carrots and sticks -- rights and privileges for registered tenants, punishments for those who ran away and got caught. An IRL medieval European Amaram would be resentful of his liegelord Sadeas for conscripting his untrained peasants rather than hiring mercenaries when his professional armsmen fell short of the levy. I wrote a couple of boring mini-essays comparing Alethkar to medieval/early modern Earth European history, if people are interested in reading my thoughts. I've always been more interested in the culture, history and economy aspects of worldbuilding in fiction than theories about magic systems and faster-than-light travel. For anyone who really enjoyed Shogun, there's a political fantasy version written by Raymond Feist and Janny Wurts called "Daughter of the Empire" with a "death before dishonour" society that is way more intense than Alethkar's. They even have a fantasy version of ronin. The first panels in my process pictures are always rough outlines in basic blocks and simple shapes not that far from stick figures. Learning to draw means being able to see things in front of you and around you, take them apart in your mind, and then put them back together adding colour and detail until you get a finished picture. People look at the finished picture and think it's too hard, too complex for them to do something similar. But the first step, and the basis to creating art, is not hard, technical skill-wise. You need to train your mind, and that is done through endless repetition and observation. That's the hard part. If AU Adolin ever ends up in a management job where appearance and reputation matter a lot, would he wear fake glasses? Or would it go too much toward making him look intelligent? He avoids being a know-it-all in front of people, but Adolin has always had a problem with people underestimating his abilities. Glasses help with the perception. But fashionable glasses. Personally, I'm a bit conflicted about the existence of WoB's. They are great because you can clarify things that you didn't understand from the books, and get some extra tidbits of information to fill in the months and years between book releases, but it makes a division between people who are extremely well-informed and the more casual readers who only read the book and don't bother with the "extra experience" from participation in the fan community. Only a limited amount of people get to see Brandon in person to ask questions, and not all the questions get posted somewhere that is easily accessible and searchable (the official Theoryland website is out of date and the search function for 17S can be inconvenient to use when it puts a time limit between searches) so most of the information is concentrated within a small pool of people. I am not complaining about Brandon answering questions, but I do wish that new worldbuilding material not from the official Cosmere books was put in a separate book like the Pocket Companion or a "Worldhopper's Guide to the Cosmere" in a way that was accessible to everyone and not exclusive to small groups of people. I would pay money for that. I don't mean to sound salty, but it's a good reason why many authors don't do Q&A's as often as Brandon (then again, few authors have huge series in one universe). And informal interview answers (JK Rowling's, for example) have a tendency to ruffle feathers if they happen to be on fan-divisive subjects. You can't make everyone like you, and you can't be friends with everyone. That is why trying to be friends with everyone you meet is unnecessary - it doesn't mean you have to be rude, but if you find that your personality is incompatible with someone else's, it doesn't mean that there is something wrong with you, and you don't have to feel bad about it. Sometimes relationships stay at an acquaintance level rather than being true battleforged friends, and that's okay. If it upsets you because not being able to form a meaningful friendship on a level of true empathy and understanding with everyone you meet feels like a rejection, you need to chill out. I would not say that I am as much of an extrovert as you are, and I do enjoy company, but I value most of all the true friendships I have among a very few people. They are the ones you work to maintain, but forming them is organic. It just happens, when you "click". Or whatever they call it these days. The lesson is to not take things so personally. You will be happier that way. And downvotes will slide away from notice like tears in the rain. That was unexpectedly poetic. For someone who is described as so extroverted, Adolin has remarkably few friends, real or fake. He courts girls for two weeks before getting dumped, and doesn't really have a chance to get to know them. He drinks wine with fellow lighteyes, but they only hang around because his family is rich and influential. He mentions feeling sad when Kholin soldiers die during the chasmfiend hunt, and after the Tower happened and the Cobalt Guard got decimated. For someone who cares so much about his friends and former bodyguards, it was disappointing that his friendships were more informed than apparent on-screen, since it was just one passing line about how he missed them. And even in WoK, there was barely any interaction. Adolin doesn't go out to the pub like Kaladin. He spends most of WoK and WoR with his family taking care of family problems. You may dislike this alternative character interpretation, but maybe Adolin is less extroverted than you think. If he valued friendships so much, it seems strange that out of all the "friends" he has or had in the series, he confides his troubles with his Shardblade more than anyone else. I know that you have disagreements with Brandon saying that Adolin is less complex a character than the rest of the cast, but the fact that a lot of his personality traits are informed sort of matches up to his role as a supporting character rather than a main protagonist. His insecurity issues with girls are never explained since the dumping happens off-screen, and played for humour. If it really mattered for characterisation rather than a contrived plot point that left him open to being set up with Shallan (see: trope), it would have been more than an off-hand mental note. I do like Adolin as a character since he is purposefully written to be likeable, but from the beginning I had always picked up on the fact that he was the literary equivalent of an hors d'oeuvre and Kaladin was the entrée. Out of his family members, Adolin seems closer to Navani as a parent figure than his actual father, who is his commanding officer. He can talk about personal problems with Navani, like the Dalinar going crazy thing, and was familiar enough to warn her off seducing Dalinar because it looks bad. It didn't work, but the attempt counts for something. Compare his relationship to Renarin where he pressured his brother into taking Salinor's blade and Renarin never asked about the screaming in his head, even though Adolin is an internationally famous Blade expert that even rural, sheltered Shallan knew about. Compare his relationship to Jasnah where he was more interested in flirting with Shallan instead of being worried that someone just killed his cousin and his other cousin Elhokar was almost assassinated the previous day. Is it a cultural thing, or do Alethis just have their priorities out of whack? Malta growing up and turning out to be a genuinely good person was a immensely satisfying ending. It made the contrast to how selfish and self-centred the dragons were, and they never got any better. By the end of the Rain Wilds series, I started hating all the dragons and it would have been unbearable if the human characters were as terrible. Malta as the sane voice of reason is something I never expected in the first Liveship book. Oh, and by the way, the third trilogy has some "pat the dog" moments when Fitz gets recognised for his service in a most satisfying way. Life still manages to screw him over, but at least he gets one good thing. And by that time in the timeline, he is an old man with wisdom not to be as stupid as he was as a young man, and he has a magic combination that makes him more powerful than almost everyone. I'm still waiting on the third book because the second book ends with the worst cliffhanger. I could see Shallan/Renarin being a thing if the author had wanted to go that way. It wouldn't have been the instant attraction of "he's hot/she's hot" that Shallan/Adolin had, but Renarin has hidden depths and Shallan could have been the one to help him reveal it to the world after telling him to stop moping and get on with his life, the way she did to Kaladin. It would have taken more work to get it to happen in a feasible way, using a contrived Chasm Scene/Stuck in the Elevator situation, but it could have happened. Honestly, I care more about an author developing a relationship in a meaningful and thoughtful way rather than disregarding predictable plotlines. I don't care if Designated Protagonist gets together with Strong Female Lead as long as it's well done and not a series of sappy coincidences that YA and Harlequin romances are filled with. Movie HP and Book HP are two completely different things, you must remember! The movie was written and directed by a bunch of different people, so of course characters are inconsistent from movie to movie and lack the development of the book counterparts. And HP is a series that doesn't have the meticulous and almost scientific worldbuilding that Sanderson and other newer fantasy authors have with all their research on axial tilt. It doesn't hold up if you look too deep into it. It seems super weird that most people got together with someone in their Hogwarts year group. But according to Rowling, the Wizarding World of the UK is only 10k people, and marrying a Muggle is awkward since they have the Statute of Secrecy stuff (the reason why Harry got into so much trouble for doing magic outside of school). And in-canon, Lily and James Potter got married and had Harry when they were 20 years old, pretty much straight out of school. There are a lot of things I don't understand about HP, and it would only ruin my enjoyment if I thought too much about it. My favourite horse books as a kid were The Black Stallion (1941) and Misty of Chincoteague (1947). They're the type of old-fashioned wholesome classics with children whose parents let them run around in the woods with pocket knives and pellet guns, as long as they're home in time for dinner. A lot of newer YA novels set on IRL Earth don't have that. It's always disenfranchised foster home runaway teens and secret government child soldiers these days. I think we could rant on and on about Kaladin for days, for various reasons. But hate the player, not the game. You have to admit that Kaladin, due to choices he made and freak incidents of circumstance, is in the thick of the action most of the time, and the plot moves forward because of the things he does. He may be the irritating Boy who Lived that even the storms couldn't kill, Chosen by Destiny to potentially be the Champion everyone was hoping for, but without him SA would be closer to a political fantasy with secret society after secret society all planning in circles. I don't know if you have read political intrigue fiction within the genre of fantasy, sci-fi, or historical fiction, but unless they are paced very well, they can get pretty boring until the inevitable Plot Avalanche bit happens. Without Kaladin, WoK would be even more tedious to new readers than it is already - just go on Goodreads and read those low star reviews on people complaining how long the buildup took. The problem with Kaladin, in my eyes at least, comes down to how he is a pawn of the author and all the good and bad things thrown at him in his life were all contrived plot points to put him at the right place at the right time rather than an organic movement from Plot Point A to Plot Point B. Where had those words come from? Convenient how this one sentence from five years ago conveniently pops up at the right place for Kaladin to save the day. "There", and that's all it takes. Well, that's convenient. For a plot-driven story, this author contrived convenience serves to move the plot along, because otherwise WoR would be 1800 pages long and we'd have to slog through more chapters of Kaladin moping along. But it annoys me and confirms in my mind that Kaladin has plot privileges and that any time he gets into a pickle, he will get out of it at the right time and right place after he has gotten the mandatory morality lesson. The hero rises triumphant yet again, and I don't feel any sense of tension because I know he will be thrown an Awesome Moment in the Plot Avalanche. In these times where I get annoyed, my solution is to read other books. Instead of over-dwelling on what I dislike, why not read things that I like? Because I did not like the revised ending with Szeth's fight in WoR. Brandon corrected it because he thought it was out of character for Kaladin to do what he did, but in my reading, I thought the new version was more OOC. It didn't matter in the end because of you know what, but I'm still hung up about it. Acting OOC to further the plot is one of the no-no's of rational fiction. I didn't think the scene was as awesome as everyone else thought it was. I thought it was kind of sad. Szeth came to a realisation that the Knights Radiant were back and his whole life as Truthless was a lie as he was dying. If you know something of stage operas, one thing they like doing is sing a melodramatic sad song while they die, and when they finish the last note, they drop dead. That's how contrived I thought the ending of WoR was, with You Know Who at the right place at the right time to rescue Szeth before he became completely braindead. Maybe I'm too picky because I'm complaining about fantasy fiction being unrealistic. I don't mind fantasy elements in fantasy. It's just a personal preference for characters and the invisible hand of author-involvement to be more consistent, and if foreshadowing and Chekhov's Guns are around, they could be a bit more subtle. And with Kaladin as a character, he is anything but subtle. I dislike when the readers know the answer to the mystery that the Multi-POV cast haven't figured out yet because they didn't bother to talk to one another and compare notes. It's justifiable and acceptable if everyone is questing all over the continent, but if magic mirrors, scrying glasses, and Magic Telephones exist in the universe, I'd be tearing my hair out in frustration. I dislike withholding information for stupid reasons also. I dislike zombie stories for this reason, because there is always, ALWAYS, going to be someone who gets bitten and hides it from the rest of the group until it's too late. Especially when everyone knows there's no cure, and the consequence of a bite is ALWAYS turning zombie. I don't actually mind introspective characters, as long as they are well-written. The better written ones tend to be self-aware and I can better understand how they make decisions, act, and react within the plot, even though I might not personally agree with their values or ethics. On the other hand, I don't think being an extrovert makes a character automatically more interesting, solely because of their rarity value. In one series I read, there was an extrovert character whose character flaw was that she liked people and attention too much and it always got her into trouble because she was a wanted criminal. It was a part of her personality like Kaladin's depression, and she couldn't change it, so it always led to her cover getting blown just when she thought she was safe. I can't re-read it because of how much frustration I remember feeling in certain parts pretty much the whole series. For the curious, the series is "Bloody Jack" by LA Meyer. Art time Thaylen fashion folio page Inspired by Dan dos Santos' fashion pages from WoR. In the story, his name is Dandos Oilsworn and he is the dead artist whose book Shallan read as a kid. Shallan brags to Jasnah in WoK that he was her art instructor. Thaylens are island people travelling merchants. The ships' sails are modelled after Chinese junks. I thought that it would fit the Rosharan setting better than a full-rigged ship of the European colonial age. Roshar only has one super continent, so ships can get around just hugging the coastline. Full-rigged and classic European square-rigged vessels were built for exploring and travelling months over open ocean from continent to continent. Rosharan ships in contrast only go from harbour to harbour and stay in port during highstorms. So as much as I like the beautiful sail arrangements of the Cutty Sark or the Horst Wessel, Kharbranth and Thaylenah are more likely to be filled with simple three sail junks. AU Buddies poster I don't have any good reason for drawing this other than not wanting to draw yet another uniform. Adolin wears nothing but uniform because DA CODES. Kaladin wears nothing but uniform because he doesn't own any other clothes. In a modern AU, everyone gets to wear street clothes. Shallan is so small. Proportions-wise, I try to keep things consistent from picture to picture, so everyone follows canon description but everything still fits on the page. So I draw Kaladin at around 6'5" (195cm), Shallan at 5'6" (168cm) and Adolin at 6'1" (185cm). Of course, only Shallan's height was explicitly given, and I'm not sure if a Rosharan foot is the same size as an Earth foot, since their years and seasons aren't the same as ours. It's as weird as the historical cubit measurement which is the length of a forearm, or hands for measuring horses. Multiverse Crossover: Science Fiction Edition Renarin, Kaladin, Adolin I honestly think it's kind of silly when people finish reading the most recently released Cosmere book and think there's nothing else good to read. There are plenty of other books out there with great lore and worldbuilding and twist endings. And sometimes they are standalone novels, which is refreshing when you can wrap up a storyline in one go and not have to be anxious about waiting for the next book in the series to come out. Brandon is good with release deadlines, but other authors are not. So standalone single stories are definitely satisfying in comparison. Renarin as Paul Atreides Dune "Teenage boy inherits title after his father is killed in a betrayal planned by a rival house. He develops magical powers to mathematically predict the future in order to save the world." Sounds familiar, doesn't it? In-canon, the Atreides are descended from Greeks and living on a desert planet makes everyone tanned, and some people get magic blue eyes. Genre - space opera Detail Kaladin as Hiro Protagonist Snow Crash "World's greatest fighter has a menial and stressful day job with an unpleasant boss. He also does cool things to save the world." Hiro's boring job is delivering pizza, but failure at getting it to the customer in under 30 minutes is as fatal as a failure during a bridge run. And his name is actually Hiro Protagonist, seriously. In-canon he is half Japanese, half African-American. Genre - dystopian cyberpunk Detail Adolin as Johnny Rico Starship Troopers "Wealthy young man and his father fight giant bugs in powered armour. They also want to save the world. Would you like to know more?" Powered armour is the science fiction version of Shardplate, and giant alien bugs is the scifi version of non-human species with odd cultural habits and valuable resources worth taking. Starship Troopers is also the mother of Space Marine stories. When Shardbearers start worldhopping in the future of the Cosmere, they will be magical Space Marines. Genre - military sci-fi Detail In-canon, Johnny Rico is Filipino. In the movie adaptation, Johnny is a blond-haired, blue-eyed Argentine, and the powered armour is really lame and definitely not a robot suit the way book described it. I kinda wanted all the crossovers to match with story and character appearance as much as I could. That's why there's no Shallan; there really aren't that many classic sci-fi stories with red-headed female leads that are more exposition than action. I really like drawing costume designs. So if you have read the books, and think the aesthetic I tried to capture for each image is on point, then I have succeeded. If you haven't read the books, they are generally well-regarded as staples of their subgenres, if you are into science fiction. They are not YA novels, so be warned. Bridge Four Garage Band Kaladin on flute, vocals by Shen the parshman, with Lopen playing the triangle. It's kind of ambiguous whether or not this is an AU, since they're all in Kholin army uniforms, and the timeline is all sorts of messed up since this is a Parshman form Parshendi rather than the Warform that Rlain gets later on in WoR. Suspend your disbelief in the name of humour. My Favourite Villains Jakamav, Amaram, Taravangian, Tyn Rough concept sketches because I just love all their costume designs. Everyone has a distinct look and I chose certain details and elements that I thought fit their character, and it's just so much fun to do them instead of the same Kholin Army uniforms over and over. If you've ever watched Hong Kong kungfu movies set in historical periods, there's a contrast between the traditional characters who wear the loose shirts and pyjama-like pants and slippers of native clothing, and the wealthy "modern" characters who wear Western suits and gowns. They're all Chinese, but the people in Western three piece suits want to show that they represent "enlightenment" and "progress" and "modernness". Some cosplay props A quiver with fake arrows. Just wooden sticks with foam fletching. They stay glued inside the quiver so they don't knock about, so there's no point in making arrow heads for them. And a real arrow being made. It's a wooden dowel from the craft store painted green. With some foam pieces that are painted and hot glued on later. Props are a big part of doing cosplays, and it's an easy way to elevate a cool costume to an awesome one. If you cosplay a character that normally carries something or has some sort of accessory in-canon, and you don't make it, you run the risk of looking like you're missing something. It just means you have to be careful about what characters you choose to do, because some things are just way beyond budget or skill-level for many people. Usually these are things that involve electronics and wiring for moving parts that light up or glow, or expensive materials like thermoplastics for sci-fi style guns and armour. And if you make these cool props, people at conventions always ask to hold them or touch them so their friends can take photos, and children can get grabby. The response most of the time is a big "NO" because these things are a work of love, held together by hot glue, duct tape, sweat, and tears. Obligatory Silly Stuff SA AU: Kaladin and Adolin at the gym "If you can lift a bridge, you can lift a dumbbell" That headband. Late post because I've recently been too busy and tired to have much time for recreational art.
  10. Jasnah Kholin illustrated poster with Shardblade and Soulcaster. Full image: Detail: Process: Alternate posters:
  11. Has anyone seen the movie or read the book "Starship Troopers"? "Kill 'em all" is a meme line from the movie. The basic plot of story is a rich kid joining the army to kill alien bugs in powered armour. Pretty much plateau runs IN SPACE with nuclear Shardplate. I actually drew the mech suit to look similar to Adolin's Shardplate. The helmet's face opening is designed to resemble the shape of his helm visor. Well, I thought it was funny.
  12. Does anyone know if the Fashion Folio pages from Words of Radiance are canon representations of Rosharan ethnicities? Or does it have an "artistic license" factor, like how the Michael Whelan Way of Kings cover art isn't supposed to be an exact depiction of any scene. Interestingly, the Alethi man looks Eurasian or Central Asian, and the Makabaki/Azish man looks Middle Eastern. It makes a pretty useful reference if you are working on a more detailed "Peoples of Roshar" infographic. And I did a homemade "Thaylen Fashion Folio page". With ships because Thaylens are the merchant people of Roshar. I would really really love it if SA#3 has more Fashion Folio pages. It's awesome worldbuilding material. It doesn't even matter that the tiny script-font text is impossible to read on an eReader. I just like looking at the pretty pictures.
  13. Mraize, Veil and Iyatil of the Ghostbloods secret society. Some more Mraize sketches Veil
  14. I like Art Deco, and Art Nouveau too, but I would have to switch up my character designs a bit for them to fit the Art Nouveau aesthetic - human proportions and anatomy-wise, it's close to realistic. And it uses a lot of geometric shapes in the backgrounds and borders inspired by IRL Earth plants and flowers, which wouldn't translate to Roshar, so I would have had to figure out what to substitute. I was lazy, and didn't want to outline a bajillion rockbuds. That's why I went Art Deco. And the fact that someone else has done Art Noveau SA, but no one has done Art Deco. I like a lot of old art styles; there was an old-fashioned engraving poster set I did a couple of pages ago. Hoid the ability grabber? Sharders get triggered when someone says that Reckoners-verse is Cosmere, but if Hoid was secretly Calamity... I had trouble picturing Urithiru's scale because I had difficulty imagining the building itself. It's supposed to be like cups stacked on top of each other... are the cups' openings facing down, or facing up? Which changes the angles of the terraces and the silhouette of the whole building. I don't think any other fan artist knows, since I've seen it both ways when someone bothers to draw it (which is rare). All I see is "inspiration boards" using paintings of the Tower of Babel ripped off Google. Everyone has room to improve, no matter their current skill status. There is no level cap in art. THE GRIND IS FOR LIFE. In my experience, if you take a break from doing one thing because you think you're good, the skills deteriorate when you come back unless you're brushing up on a regular basis. I used to be pretty good at coloured pencils but didn't use them for 2-3 years and when I picked them up again, I was scratching at the paper and thinking to myself that it was harder than I remembered. It was a weird but humbling experience. The tips I posted are usually the same ones an art teacher will give to students on their first few drawing lessons. Unless it's an art theory/history class, which means you get to discuss art and write essays about it, but you don't get to make things of your own. If you keep all your notebooks, 10 years later, you will have an insanely effective source of nostalgia cringe. It's like looking at old yearbook photos with ugly bowl-cut hair, but worse. I've always found it interesting how different people show their interest in the same book series. We all find different things to enjoy in the Brandon-verse, from analysis and discussion to generating creative content, but somehow we're all here on the Shard. The text that comes with the picture isn't super serious artist statement stuff. It doesn't point out secret Satanic messages hidden in a 6x6 square of pixels in the corner. The art can be viewed perfectly fine without text - I personally think art shouldn't require text for a viewer to get it, unless it's a comic strip or something. I just type stuff for context, and to show where the designs come from Brandon and where they come from my imagination. It's kind of like the production notes in the DVD extras of your favourite movie. You don't need them, and other artists don't bother, but I like them, and that's why I make them. Drawing fruit bowls and life drawing in general forces students to analyse their environments and break down a scene in front of them into its most basic components. Sitting there, you end up realising how all those earlier lessons on perspective, shape, colour, form and shadow end up tying together. Those skills are pretty flexible and can be used for drawing other things. Whereas when you draw dragons from your imagination, you only really get good at drawing dragons. If Adolin was better at school subjects with applied mathematics, like chemistry or physics or statistics, he wouldn't be able to get away with playing the dumb student. Those types of subjects, at least once you get past the high school level, you either show you get it, or you don't and they politely suggest you transfer to something better suited to your aptitudes. I just can't see Adolin the Actuary or Adolin the Accountant. He would be able to do it if he applied his obsessive Kholin singlemindedness to it like he does with duelling, but I don't think it would make him happy. I think Adolin would be better at vocational subjects than academic ones. When I was in school, there was woodshop class, sewing, cooking, and architectural drafting. Trade skills can be as useful as book learning, no matter what Jasnah and Shallan think. In my mind, I have mostly separated authors as people from the works they create. I want to read the stories in a fictional universe without bothering about an author's personal life or what they do that isn't related to their writing. That's why I can still enjoy Ender's Game without reading too deeply into Orson Scott Card's personal beliefs, which have ruined the series for other people. Compared to other authors I follow or have followed in the past, Brandon is probably top-3 in terms of fan interaction. There are couple of authors I know of who have forums set up by their publishers where they post in person and answer direct questions, but the vast majority of authors just post updates for book signings or sales of their books and merch, or advertise their newest book. I hold Brandon on a expectation scale compared to all other authors, and compared to them, he is an absolute machine. You compare all Brandon interactions to how often he has replied to posts in the past, and get disappointed if he doesn't answer as many questions now as he did a year ago. It's a mindset thing, I think. Brandon doesn't create expectations; everyone creates them in their own heads. That's why they are so different from person to person, where some have none and some have them up way too high. And you have to keep in mind that the time he takes to write detailed answers for people is time that he isn't spending on his newest book. You just need to chill, gancho. Not getting an answer from an author isn't the end of the world, and neither is getting a downvote. Life is less stressful if you don't try to analyse yourself or other people when things like that happen, or take it personally. I've always found that trying to fit in is easier if you make it organic rather than worrying about downvotes or upvotes or whatever. Why does it even matter? They are just coloured arrows. Shallan wouldn't have needed Tyn to turn her lying and secretive. She's got plenty of that on her own. I always thought that Tyn was another female role model teaching realistic life lessons that Shallan never got in her sheltered past life. Just like Jasnah wanted to teach Shallan a lesson in that alley in Kharbranth, and show her how power is all about perception with the Thaylen sailors when she wanted to draw the lucky giant squid thing, Tyn's presence was a continuation of that, a way to toughen Shallan up and prepare her for journey as a Radiant. The same way Lirin and Kaladin amputated that girl's fingers in the first flashback chapter in WoK was a lesson about what it means to save people. If Alethi culture is as warlike as warlike cultures on Earth, there's the possibility that an Alethi commander won't accept defeat unless there is absolutely no one else left to fight, total war "to the last man" style. It's the death before dishonour type mentality, where even though the Kholins lost two thirds of their men at the Tower, they didn't "lose" because there was still one third left to throw at either Sadeas or the Parshendi. The difference between the typical Alethi commander (Dalinar included) and Adolin is that men and soldiers are tools to use to achieve a means, and Adolin thinks of his men as real people with human lives and families and other nice things. I would expect that any mental breakdown that Adolin gets as a result of losing a "for real" battle is more due to the senseless loss of life rather than an ego-blow of being a big fat loser, and any typical Alethi who sees Adolin beating up walls in Shardplate or carving holes in the floor with his Blade afterwards would assume he's doing it because of his shaken ego. He projects the confident image, and people assume he's confident, but in reality he has really sensitive feelings. I found it interesting that Adolin's mental dialogue pointed out that Jakamav's termination of friendship in WoR shook him up worse than all the Shardplate shenanigans fighting for the gemheart, and they could have died from that if something went wrong. Kaladin is the weird one where the people he has accepted into his "sphere of protection", such as his squad in Amaram's army, or fellow cage slaves, or Bridge Four are real people worth protecting. The people who don't fall into his protection bubble are the ones he doesn't care about, and aren't real people to him. This would be the lighteyed cavalry who died in the side carry chapter, Gaz's boss Lamaril, and Elhokar until the end of WoR. Kaladin would call Shallan's ability to have people want to take care of her and keep her safe "lighteyed privilege". And the funny part is that he himself falls for this ability after their adventure in the chasms. As a character trait, I find Shallan's ability mildly Mary Sue-ish, but it is mostly justified by her magical powers, since I personally don't find her as funny as other characters keep telling me that she is. It has the effect of making her interactions with other characters and gaining their trust so easy that a lot of tension is lost when Shallan can just talk her way out of bad consequences. I liked that Navani was not immediately won over by Shallan's sweet talking that Dalinar and Adolin and presumably Elhokar (who gave her the pardons for her guards) were at first impression. By the end of WoR, Navani was cold to Shallan multiple times and it was only those last 2 weeks that the chasm thing happened and she warmed up. Two weeks with Shallan and Navani supports her over two decades of being Adolin's aunt? Ugh, please no. I thought that Malta and Reyn were kind of questionable as a couple at first, because Malta's introduction made it pretty clear she was naive, didn't think about consequences when she spent her family's money on things they couldn't afford, and was easily taken advantage of, when she went to that dodgy dressmaker. This stereotypical bratty teenage girl which would be perfectly translated to modern Earth is exactly the kind of person who shouldn't be getting into relationships with anyone, let alone some guy who is half a decade older and wants a serious long-term relationship where Malta just wants to flirt and have pretty things bought for her. If they didn't get character development, their relationship would have ended up as a trainwreck. Fitz's problem was that his character development took decades and he is an old man by the Fitz and Fool trilogy, and Molly wouldn't have waited for him to grow up. Adolin is the only guy other than Kaladin or Renarin who is in the same age-range as Shallan. When Jasnah set up the betrothal, Shallan didn't care which brother it was, and would have been grateful to have Renarin because he was still a prince and a Kholin. Who knows what could have come of that? Shallan might dislike Renarin for his weirdness, but she'd still be polite and flirty with him because that is expected for her. The male with the closest age to Shallan was Tien, who would be one year older if he was alive. More open-minded readers would expand the net to include everyone, not just guys or Alethi/Vedens or even humans, to be potential future partners. But Shallan is Vorin, and I don't think Vorin church ardents would accept a marriage contract with them. The Ron supporters out there say that he is the heart of the group, helping Harry feel less weird about being the Boy Who Lived celebrity, and Hermione being the Muggleborn class prodigy. He is the only one fully brought up in the magical world, while Harry and Hermione spent all of their early childhoods and their summers iin the Muggle world. In the first book, Ron takes on the magical chessboard for them, and when Hermione angsts over one of the puzzles, he yells at her "ARE YOU A WITCH OR NOT". So he does bring something to the group, and is a good friend when he doesn't get hit by the puberty hormones starting from book 6. He and Hermione or even Hermione and Harry could have ended up dating given enough time, but the problem with the ending to HP7 was how abrupt it was. One chapter, not enough buildup. In comparison, Ginny had a bit more buildup and character development for her relationship with Harry. She got over her crush, the Tom Riddle mindcontrol thing and dated other people, and continued calmly with her life. Cho Chang was an emotional rollercoaster. After the war, I think Ginny's personality would have suited Harry much better, if the whole deal where Harry looks like James and Ginny is a redhead like Lily doesn't freak you out. Cornelia Funke is a German author and "Dragon Rider" took a few years to be translated into English. The books about animals I suggested a few posts up are 20-50+ years old, and they should have translations out there, but maybe not at your local library. When I was a kid I loved books about animals, and the selection for children focused mostly on pet dogs and pet horses in the English countryside, with other animals being rarer. Kid books about dragons seem to be a newer trend because they were never that common as they are now. Same with ninja, assassin, super spy, martial artist, secret organisation operative kid protagonists. Protagonists in the old days were just regular neighbourhood kids with homework and paper routes. I dislike "forced marriage with mutual dislike" type plots common in political fantasies and historical fiction. Outside of romance novels where the girl and the guy gradually get to know each other and fall in love for reals, the "realistic" plotline is something very depressing where both partners are miserable together and end up cheating or poisoning one another. Unless it is handled well as a secondary or tertiary plotline, it becomes very unpleasant to read and goes nowhere until someone dies. Cersei and Robert, ugh, no thanks. There's nothing wrong with a protagonist gaining new powers through hard work or an in-universe god. The problem of being boring comes from the lack of conflict and tension when the newly powered protagonist can easily win any fight he participates in. You aren't on the edge of your seat when it's a guaranteed win every single time, just like being a level 100 game character crawling the noob dungeons and every single monster you meet can be killed with a single click of the mouse and swipe of the sword. It becomes so easy that there's no effort, no fun, no sense of achievement. That's Kaladin when the main Big Bad Monster of the series (Szeth) just gives up and is killed. Up until then, Szeth was going around killing piles of Shardbearers in the Veden court, the Azish primes one after the other, and a bunch of other world leaders. To retain tension when leveling up protagonists, you have to have a balance, and either level up the villains as well, or introduce new villains with an increased difficulty as lots of superhero cartoons do with their Rogue Galleries. Or you go the opposite route (which I rant about) which is where the author tries to retain tension by de-leveling the protagonist and he loses his powers for an episode, or is gets the Idiot Ball and forgets he could fly or walk through walls. One of the key features of rational fiction is that the characters have to stay in character at all times, and all of the actions that occur happen because the characters did them, not because the plot demanded it happen. In rational fantasies, saving the world can happen. But it happens because the protagonist understood what the villain was up to and took steps to prevent him from blowing the moon up or spreading the zombie virus, and didn't stick around to listen to the villain's pre-world domination bragging speech where the dastardly plans are explained in full detail. There can be impulsive actions from characters, but only if the character was established as impulsive and the action doesn't violate any of the previous characterisation. Elhokar might order Kaladin arrested for execution after the duel, because he is petty and spoiled. Elhokar would not order all of Bridge Four executed as punishment because he is only petty and not sociopathic. Some authors would do it as a contrived plot point to make Kaladin darker and more vengeful, and that is what rational fiction seeks to avoid. If the trauma stick is applied, it not only has to have a purpose, but it has to make sense in the story and not just be author-guided bad luck like what happens to Fitz. I find reading rational stories really refreshing because I face-palm much less often, and it's a good thing to decompress with after watching a movie where you throw popcorn at the screen because the characters are just so darn stupid. And contrived plot coincidences get my eyes rolling. I don't have a problem with Kaladin saving Elhokar or saving Dalinar at the end of WoR. I just find it highly coincidental that Kaladin came to his moment of truth that Elhokar was Dalinar's Tien exactly at the right moment to stop Moash. And then he flies across the Plains at the right moment to catch Dalinar in the air and stop Szeth. With one liners each time. Kaladin is overpowered relative to everyone else. He can one hit kill pretty much everyone at this point. In the first book, a Shardbearer, a Chasmfiend, and an experienced Surgebinder were established as the three most dangerous opponents on Roshar, and by WoR, Kaladin has defeated all three. Sure, his power level makes him "awesome" but there's no conflict and no tension just like if he had been Merrin the Shardbearer. You expect Adolin to get a beatdown as the first step to spren awakening, but I am eagerly anticipating Kaladin getting a beatdown for humility in SA3. We're all horribly biased. I have a personal dislike of characters who know important things but don't do anything about it, like you dislike secretive characters. I feel that having important facts and taking no action can be as stupid as doing stupid things directly, and I have no patience for secretive personal "issues" being an excuse for such behaviour when these issues are so lightly touched upon that they sound more like informed excuses rather than a solid reason. We all dislike that flakey friend who sends you a text message saying "sorry didn't feel like coming today" when "I'm getting a new kidney" is so much better. That's why Renarin and Wit annoy me. Art Time SA Poster series The Ghostbloods Poster 1 The cut off characters on the top were supposed to be Wit, Taln/Talenel, and Amaram. All characters in the Ghostbloods plot arc. Poster 2 The Ghostbloods would make a pretty cool band name. This unintentionally turned out to look a lot like the Franconian coat of arms. Totally not on purpose, I swear! One thing that always bothered me was that the Ghostbloods logo was never properly shown. It's 3 diamonds, but how are they arranged??? So here are two posters where I fiddle with the size and shape of the logo and came up with two designs. They are more in the style of movie posters than the travel posters of the last Art Time post. This is the first time I've ever drawn Iyatil. I think the mask needs a bit more work. I drew it as a mask, because the first impression Shallan makes of her is thinking "weird mask". Only up close does it look like it's growing into her skin. But blending in the edges with her skin made it look like she had a weird scab or skin disease growing on her face, and not a mask, so I just kept the distinct carnival mask look. The Slave Wagon At first this was supposed to be another travel poster for "Tvlakv's caravan tours", and that's what the top half is - a stylised journey into the sunset, with romantic colours in a warm red and orange palette. But the bottom half got dark, because it's a freakin' slave wagon. I imagined a slave wagon to be a boxlike cage on wheels. The roof unclips into panels that can be slid down and locked into place over the bars during highstorms. The colouring on the bottom (the glowing windspren) was influenced by the Michael Whelan SA covers. So this is like a double homage to vintage travel posters and fantasy cover artists. Detail Syl is a silly windspren. In cartoon depictions I make her a faceless blobby thing with stubs for limbs, but in painted depictions, she is more like a little blue girl with Rapunzel hair. And yes, I am aware that the chull looks more like a turtle than a chull. A six legged turtle bug. Training Day This is kind of a mashup of the timeline, but whatever, artistic license!!! Normally I dislike drawing backgrounds because it requires a lot more planning to get the perspective right and the lines mostly straight (which sucks) compared to jumping straight into the fun part of colouring. But I wanted to draw the Kholin warcamp's training arena, because I have seen few artists drawing Alethi architecture, so there's few good pictures to make my mental imaginings more vivid. I drew the training arena to be a square of long rectangular blocks made of solid pieces of Soulcast stone, and that is why they're mostly the same shade of brown. The steps lead down into the sand, and the shallow pool/sandbox keeps it from washing away in highstorms. The doors lead to storage and bathing rooms, and one goes up to the roof. On a regular working day, there would be more people around, and random spectators, but I didn't feel like drawing them. Detail 1 Shallan and Adolin flirting, while Kaladin is a grump. Detail 2 Renarin's Shardplate training. Process The amount of extra planning, sketching and drawing that goes into pieces with backgrounds... But it makes it more atmospheric. Is it worth it? Who knows? I guess it gives me the reputation of being one of the most crazy obsessive Cosmere artists in the fandom. Not shown in this pic - drawing the characters in and adding all the shadows so that they blend into the environment, and adjusting the colours and lighting for a warm "storybook illustration on a summer day" look. Compare this look to my previous illustrated scenes in an animated series style a few pages ago. I like to mix things up. Jasnah in coloured pencil Since I mentioned coloured pencils higher up in this post. It looks way better in real life. Process 1. Outline - I use Sanford-Prismacolor Col-Erase pencil rather than traditional graphite. I've found that graphite pencils smear when you put colour pencil on them, and this leads to messy dark grey streaks in your colouring. The Col-Erase has wax in it, and blends better with coloured pencil. It's also washable and brushing it with water turns it into a watercolour pencil. Pretty cool stuff. 2. Base colours - Everything done super light. You have to be careful and keep a light hand. Never go dark too quickly, because the smooth look comes from applying light layer after light layer in a bunch of different colours for extra depth and dimension. Blending looks better in light layers. When you've saturated the paper completely (imagine going full force with crayons on paper) and it's fully covered in the wax and pigment blend, new colours won't have anywhere to stick, because the colour comes from pencil lead being scraped off onto the paper. 3. Going dark, and defining the shadowed parts of the face and hair. The face is something like 4 shades of brown, 3 shades of pink, and 1 burgundy red pencil that makes some really nice warm shadows. 4. Clothing and hair details. I don't use black or white pencil until the very end. The black to define the darkest points (the hair, the corners of the mouth, the corners of the eyes). The white is really great for blending out the colours and smoothing everything out, but you have to leave it until last because you can't add colours on top once you've blended. I haven't used coloured pencil in months, and now I understand why. I get sad every time I have to sharpen a pencil, and the lead breaks and I have to keep sharpening it and I lose a centimetre of length. Digital art doesn't burn through physical supplies that need replacement after use. A lot of the techniques from graphite and charcoal drawing can be carried over to coloured pencil. One of the most important skills is control. Learn to control your strength and apply only the lightest layers with even consistency, or else you get streaks of colour instead of an even flat base. Then you carefully build on from light to dark like making a 2D topographic map. The softer the lead, the easier it is to go dark too quickly. That's why I think graphite is the easiest medium to work with, because you can just get a set of pencils from H to 2B hardness and control suddenly matters a lot less. If I go outside and draw things, people passing by look at it like I'm doing magic or something. I think that's why I prefer going inside and drawing digitally. If I draw glowing people and giant fantasy swords on the computer, nobody is standing behind my shoulder judging me for being a weirdo for not drawing fruit bowls. Some random cosplay stuff Not SA, but I thought it was cool enough to be worth showing you guys. This is Juggernaut, a playable character from the game DotA 2. Sketch concept Armour pieces Gotta prime these and then spray paint. He has armour on the back and the front, in rectangular panels like the lacquered wood on IRL historical samurai armour. But cosplay is not historical re-enactments, so there's no need to do everything accurately with the same materials and techniques as the original stuff. Lacquered wood or plate metal armour is too heavy and expensive and hard to work with so everyone uses foam. And vambraces from another cosplay. The armour is made from EVA foam as a base, with the details cut out from thinner craft foam and hot glued on. The more complicated the armour, the more pieces you have to draw patterns for, trace, cut out, prime, paint and glue together. That is why Shardbearer cosplay is really rare, and none of it is as complicated as the official canon drawings in the books. Whew, this one was a long post.
  15. Full pic here: More Alethi Fashion Hesina and Lirin, Laral and Roshone, Inkima and Jakamav And bonus picture: Kaladin, Adolin, Shallan and The Stick at the beach.