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Everything posted by Yezrien

  1. I'd like to play the Devil's Advocate and point out that sharing your book online could also be a good thing. If people like it, you could generate a following. Your own fandom. Publishers like that. If you can show them that the thread with your book has 800,000 page views, that's major currency. Even if you can't publish this particular book, you can still parley that success into a deal for your next project. Moreover, the real concern is that publishers will shy away from a story that's "already published," and I don't think that'll be the case. It sounds like you're talking about a first draft (or a similarly early draft), which is guaranteed to be very different from the version that you would ultimately publish. And don't underestimate the value of feedback. This is a good community. We're supportive, and we try to be helpful. If you can learn a few things about your own strengths and weaknesses, that's priceless. Like you said, the odds of getting your first attempt a novel published are a million to one. But if you make the most of that first novel as a learning experience, that's how you make the odds a little better for your second book. No pressure, obviously. I second Condensation's recommendation: post a couple chapters. See what people think. See if they ask for more.
  2. I see what you're saying, but sovereignty also has a slightly different meaning, related to independence. It can mean rule over others, like dominion, but also self-rule. When one people is ruled by another, they have been deprived of sovereignty: self-determination, and freedom from the wills of others. The American Revolution and the Irish War of Independence, for instance, were fights for sovereignty. Not just to remove British sovereignty, but to acquire their own. To have sovereignty is not necessarily to rule over others, as a sovereign. When we use the word today to refer to "sovereign states," it simply means autonomous.
  3. Maybe someday we'll learn that "Autonomy" is like "Passion." It's just Bavadin's way of putting a good spin things, and the shard's true (or at least more accurate) name is something a bit more sinister, like "Exclusion" or "Sovereignty."
  4. To further clarify, "sentient" comes from a Latin root meaning "feel," just like "sense." In science fiction, "sentient" is usually used to mean "alive." A computer can demonstrate very sophisticated behaviour, but you wouldn't call it "sentient" until it starts to feel emotions. "Sapient" comes from the Latin word for "wise." (Homo sapiens means "the wise man.") It refers to person-level intelligence. For example, dogs and cats are most likely sentient, but not sapient. You wouldn't call them sapient until they start doing calculus. There's a lot of confusion because people often say "sentient" when they mean "sapient." These animals sound a lot like spren that bond Radiants; they also gain sapience from bonding a human, and grant magic in return. My advice would be to focus on the story you want to tell, and let that determine how the magic works. For example, if you want to write a story about a war, like The Stormlight Archive, you should probably focus on how different animals fight, and what kinds of combat magic they could bestow. Who are your human characters, and what to the Centers mean to them?
  5. I was just skimming through Pawn of Prophecy, the first book of David Eddings's Belgariad. (I do this from time to time; these books are a guilty pleasure for me.) And I stumbled upon THIS: Yep, "it's the way of kings!" It's probably just a coincidence... but we do know that Brandon is an Eddings fan. He's read this book. So maybe, just maybe, this is a little Easter egg. (How topical!) After all, this quote seems relevant to a lot of Rosharan history -- especially modern Alethkar.
  6. Maybe the cut broke the skin, but it can't drain Stormlight unless it touches flowing blood. This is looking more and more hemalurgic. Also, what about Navani's "something beyond Shadesmar" theory? She's almost figured out that there's a Spiritual Realm, and that she can potentially use it as an unlimited power source. Holy crem, fabrial technology is about to storming explode!
  7. I hope Lirin isn't too proud to bond a spren and get Progression. He could really put the surge in surgeon. Also, I love this new Fused. Cool powers, clever combat skills, awesome appearance, great setup for a recurring antagonist. I love the image of Kaladin holding the severed head like Yorick, watching it turn to dust.
  8. Fair enough. Just keep in mind that "life is easy" usually means "story is boring." So it might be best to do the shattering sooner rather than later. But I do look forward to seeing that twist.
  9. Thank you! I do my best. We're all in the same boat, after all, us aspiring authors. The least I can do is pass on the best advice that I've been given. I think you're assuming that "conflict" means "action," but these are not the same thing. Conflict is any obstacle that stands between a character and their goal. It is anything that threatens you, or threatens something you value. For example, when Aurora and Lacy realize they've left their ticket in the carriage, and the guard won't let them into the parallarity gate without it, that's conflict. Their whole journey is suddenly at stake. The problem is that the conflict is resolved too easily: they basically get the guy to bend the rules and let them in by saying "please." If the guard was a little more stern, then Aurora and Lacy would have to get creative. They'd have to talk their way through with some clever bargaining, or an elaborate lie. Or maybe sneak past the guards and slip through the gate illegally. In other words, they'd be forced to do something interesting that reveals a lot about what they're capable of, and what they're willing to do to get what they want. In other words, conflict is character development. The friendly banter is nice and fun, but we reveal our true selves when there's trouble. So true. I can't even commit to writing a first draft until I have that chapter-by-chapter (or scene-by-scene) breakdown, but you still never really know how it's going to go until you get into the actual writing.
  10. Very interesting stuff so far. The prose is pretty solid, the map is delightful, and I'm intrigued by the elemental heavenly bodies. Normally I'm skeptical of any magic system based on the four classical elements, but you seem to be approaching it in an interesting new way. Right now I think your biggest problem is a serious lack of conflict. These scenes have either no conflict at all, or conflicts that are resolved very easily. The result is a general feeling of mawkishness. Like what the fanfic community refers to as "fluff." You might be thinking that you don't need conflict yet because it's still early in the book, or because this is targeted at younger readers. I assure you, both of those assumptions would be wrong. Even if the main conflict of the book hasn't started yet, a scene still needs its own conflict. That's what gives it drama, emotion, and structure. It's what makes it a scene, not just a series of things that happen. Consider the fact that none of the POV characters have been seriously challenged yet. Nothing has been immediately at stake. This is just a first draft, so everything is forgivable. But think about this as you go forward. Conflict in every scene. Problems that put the POV character to the test. It'll seriously level up your writing. Regardless, you certainly have my attention. I look forward to seeing where the story goes!
  11. I've thought along similar lines about oathbreaking and shard-death. That's why Radiant-spren are "killed" when the Radiants break their oaths; the nahel bond makes the human and the spren into one being, so when the human betrays the ideals that their spren represents, that's the same as the spren betraying its own essence, becoming its opposite and cancelling itself out. I don't think it's a stretch to think that a shard might be killed or splintered in a similar (albeit larger) method.
  12. How exactly are the four forms related each other? I see two possible explanations: It's exactly what it says on the tin: Occultists get their power from dark gods, druids from nature, etc. They all use the same access techniques, like gestures, but to draw from different sources. In cosmere terms, the spells, gestures, and materials are the focus for this planet, but that focus is being used to channel investiture from four different Shards. They're actually all the same system, drawing on the same power source, but divided into four specializations or schools based on culture. In cosmere terms, the magic's abilities are shaped by Connection and various cognitive forces.
  13. Sounds interesting. Is there anything you can tell us about the story?
  14. This is an interesting interpretation of "a new thing, but old of design." Maybe some version of the Everstorm has always existed, but it was only recently (post-Honor) that they were able to bring it to Roshar. I have long been a proponent of the "Everstorm has a Spren" theory. It's Roshar. Everything has a spren. Even if the Everstorm doesn't have one now, it probably will soon.
  15. Heady stuff, as always. Very vivid diction. I can't wait to see this 14-line poem. I believe Brandon also starts at the end and works back. Dan Wells's seven-point plotting method works on a similar principle: first identify the climactic resolution of the story, then you create a beginning that's the polar opposite of that to maximize the dramatic transformation of the story arc. (Then you connect the dots between those points with a series of revelatory plot twists and intense pinches.) Anyway, I'm glad that as you work backwards to discover the path of the plot, you're also considering the path of the reader. The learning curve for this story is going to be Mount Everest. The complementary opposite of this momentous, arcane climax is a beginning that's accessible, ant it'll take a lot of hand-holding to get the average reader from A to B.
  16. I like the theory that Odium seemed smaller the second time because Dalinar was so much more invested, on the verge of "Ascending." Odium seemed smaller to him the way your childhood home seems smaller when you visit it as an adult. Not small, not smaller than you, but smaller relative to you. It's also possible that Dalinar was able to subconsciously sense some of the forces that bind Odium, which made him feel less threatening.
  17. I think the first step is to determine whether he really is OP in the context of the story. OP isn't an innate trait in a character, it's context-dependent. In a story about stopping ordinary bank robbers, Superman is OP. In a story about fighting cosmic superbeings, not so much. Using internal conflict as a character weakness only works if that's the main conflict of the story. See Lois & Clark, where Superman mostly dealt with relationship problems, which he is no better equipped for than a normal human. To help with this character, we need to know the plot. What is the main problem that Sage Myllen has to solve? And what are you doing to make it hard for him? (I'm concerned that the weakness isn't really a weakness because it's very easy to overcome. How hard is it to make sure there are no living things in a five-foot radius?)
  18. poll

    #TeamHrathen #GyornToBeWild
  19. This is so weird. I started my WoR reread today, and I read that prologue today, and I had this exact same thought. Today. Not only is this guy never mentioned outside of that one scene, but we don't even get a physical description of him. All we know is that he's wearing Gavilar's Shardplate. That makes me wonder if Brandon kept him hidden because he's someone we'd recognize. A Herald? Vasher? Probably not, but I'm just spitballing. It also opens up the possibility that the person Jasnah saw wasn't Tearim at all. If Tearim is known as the guy who wears Gavilar's Shardplate, you could hide anyone in there and people would just assume it's him. Just look at the WoK prologue. Szeth initially assumes the guy he's fighting is a bodyguard, not Gavilar; if he was better acquainted with the Alethi court, he probably would have pegged him as Tearim. I bring this up because of the context where we see this "Tearim." He's standing by while Gavilar discusses secret stuff with Amaram. Maybe he was actually part of that meeting, but he's someone who wants to keep a low profile. Maybe this is actually the infamous Restares.
  20. I think the question might be coming from a flawed understanding of what's going on on Voyager. The Doctor isn't really a sentient hologram, he's a sentient computer program. He's always inside a computer, either Voyager's or the mobile emitter. The hologram is just the input-output system he uses to interact with people; he could just as easily have used an android body, or just appeared as a 2D image on a screen. So awakening a lightweaving construct isn't really the best analogue in cosmere magi-tech. It would make more sense to ask if an awakened object, like Nightblood, could acquire the power of lightweaving, and use it to project an anthromorphic image of itself.
  21. Maybe, @Quantus! It's just the seed of a theory so far, but it would be interesting to develop it more and speculate on the implications for each Shard. But you've got me thinking about Ambition. We know Odium went after her first because her ambition would obviously make her a competitor, but maybe there was more to it than that. Maybe splintering Ambition somehow reduced competition throughout the cosmere. Not necessarily by making people less ambitious, but perhaps by making it harder for people with magic powers to reach higher levels. It's still possible, obviously, but maybe it's harder than it used to be. And maybe the difficulty scales up with your power level. So it's almost impossible for any Shard to grow stronger than baseline post-Shattering Shard-power. (Effectively guaranteeing that no one will ever become more powerful than Odium himself.) And Harmony's a loophole: he was able to rise beyond standard Shard-power because he was starting from a much lower power level, and he acquired two shards without ever having just one. Again, crazy theory. No real evidence that I can think of. I probably wouldn't have posted it in any thread but this one. But here we are.
  22. I've always had this crazy theory that Shards, and the splintering of Shards, have subtle cosmere-wide effects that no one's noticed yet. This theory is potentially strengthened by the recent revelation that every Shard is "invested" everywhere in the cosmere. I may have mentioned this before in a similar thread, actually. My hypothesis is that Ruin will someday be splintered (perhaps in an attack on Harmony, or perhaps by Harmony himself for various reasons), and this will alter the way entropy works in the cosmere, at least with respect to certain kinds of investiture. Specifically, the splintering of Ruin will make it easier for pieces of investiture to recombine after breaking apart, and this will make it much easier for splintered Shards (and ultimately Adonalsium itself) to be reassembled. (Although, now that I think about it, Ruin, by its very nature, might resist being reassembled, making a complete Adonalsium impossible. But then again, maybe Adonalsium without Ruin would be a good thing.)
  23. The first book Mistborn Era 3 will open with a bank robbery. A coinshot bank robber will be flying over the city with a sack of money under one arm, raining bills down on the people below. The actual first line of narration will be: "Cash fell from the sky."
  24. The epigraph says: I'd say there's some room for interpretation there. Maybe this legend about "consuming souls" is the remnant of a horrible ancient truth: Yelig-Nar corrupts the souls of his hosts, digesting them into voidspren. Maybe Yelig-Nar is the very mechanism by which this theory is true. Yelig-Nar is Odium's GI tract: souls go in, voidspren come out.