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Found 60 results

  1. I'm looking for inspiration for designing a magic system with philosophical underpinnings, a la Sanderson's cosmere, and I've come to the conclusion that the best way to find it is to read books (shocker, I know). I've read all of Brandon's cosmere books, which I collectively consider one magic system with many interpretations, as they all share the same philosophical foundation, namely Plato's Theory of Forms. I also stumbled upon the Prince of Nothing series and the subsequent Aspect-Emperor series by R. Scott Bakker, which has a magic system focused on leveraging logic and/or creativity to overwrite reality. Now I'm reading Dune while I wait for the third book of the Aspect-Emperor, which didn't arrive with the other three, to be delivered so I can read that. But beyond that, I'm starting to run dry on fantasy series with interesting magic systems. I've read all the cosmere books (of which I am now an avid fan), the Wheel of Time, R. Scott Bakker's series, and Harry Potter, though the last one is a bit of an interesting case in regards to magic systems. If anyone has any recommendations for fantasy series with interesting, unique systems of magic, I'd love to hear about it. P.S. I'm not sure if this is where a post like should go, this just seemed like the "miscellaneous" forum, so if any mods know of a better place for it, I would not object at all for it to be moved there.
  2. The Figeri Collective is quite the place. It is perhaps the most odd and unnatural planetary system that the gods have ever created, permeated on hundreds of levels by other realms of spirits, fae, gods, and monsters. Beings older than time, eldritch creatures, and spirits beyond these worlds all inhabit the places you call home, spreading their influence throughout the ethereum. However, with so many gods and monsters vying for power, existence becomes difficult for the likes of mere mortals. Normal people become pawns to the greater beings, used and exploited to accomplish goals far beyond their sight. In many ways this is simply the norm: injustice is justice, in a sense. But there is one god in particular who does not stand for this: Death themself. While gods, monsters, creatures, and horrors fight among each other, they often imprison human souls for any numbers of purposes. Death cannot bring life back to those wrongfully slain, but strives constantly to see that these souls are rightfully delivered to the Pillars of Judgement to go on to the afterlife they deserve. But it is not within a god’s rights to impede on another's' domain even for the cause of justice, which is why they bring mortals into their influence: to act in a god’s stead and carry out their bidding throughout the Collective. Death’s champions are known as the Reapers: those who gather and guide lost souls to the Pillars. The way to the afterlife is filled with monsters and malevolent spirits hungry for the souls of the dead, and the Reapers must destroy the hordes to pave the way. Most act as guides for the constant flow of souls traveling to the afterlife; some search for the lost; a few even infiltrate other gods’ domains to retrieve those who have been wrongfully taken. Your story begins at the foot of the Inverted Mountain. The final examination to join the Reaper Corps begins at sundown, where it will be your task to climb to the top and reach the Veins of White Iron. The slopes and cliffs are littered with monsters and malevolence, however, and many have perished here before. It is a dangerous journey, but those who survive will select their ore and forge themselves the most deadly weapon in the Collective: a Reaper’s Scythe. From there you will become a proprietor of justice: a Reaper, guiding souls against all odds to the afterlife. @Ookla the Myopic (Wizard), @Ookla the Perpetual (Bookwyrm), , @Ookla the Implosion (Tani), @Enter a username (Not an ookla - finally), @Ookla the Omniscient (Pancake Boi), @Goob (Amazing Goob)
  3. Alright! It is TIME! Let's DO THIS! Oh, wait, you have no idea what I'm talking about. Last year, I came up with a cool idea for a book. and I decided to write it. And never got started. But then I decided to really apply myself and actually write it. Aaaaaand I never got past the prologue. But now, on my third attempt, I finished the prologue, and the first two chapters, and I'm still going strong. So I decided to share it with the amazing and supportive Shard community. I'm very bad at writing, so I'd appreciate feedback. I hope that you enjoy my crummy novel skills! Chapters will hopefully be posted on Thursdays. My goal is to write two chapters a week, but I might only post one due to revision and stuff. We're starting out with the (very bad) prologue, so tune in this Thursday to see the (revised) chapters One and Two. So yes! Welcome to... Heroes of Home Peak By NerdyAarakocra That blurb on the back of the book that explains stuff Prologue Chapter One Canil Chapter Two El'nar Chapter Three Canil Chapter Four El'nar What will happen to El'nar? Will Canil's plotline actually start? What about the magic system? Find out next time in NERDY WRITES BAD FANTASY! *Outro music*
  4. From the album Duality

    It's been a while since I've posted anything in here. But I'm pleased to announce that I'm back at it! haha. Went to Dragonsteel 2022 and was seriously inspired. I started sketching up this idea while I sat in some of the sessions, and have been chipping away at it evenings and weekends ever since. You can also check out more of my fan art at my website. I'll be adding more art from Brandon and other authors over time, but for now it's aaaaaall Stormlight stuff :P Artist thoughts: Yeah, I know Szeth doesn't don a black outfit when he goes all Night-shade-y. And I know that the sword is the only thing leaking black smoke. But by golly, it fit the theme! I wanted to do my own take on the blades, rather than running with the canon designs. Would love to know what y'all think!

    © Vivid Sketch LLC 2022

  5. As an LDS teenager, I love fantasy and basically any book I can get my hands on, but so many modern fantasy books are full of sex, pornography, and dirty jokes. Are there any recommendations you guys have on CLEAN Fantasy?
  6. Some spoilers for Perfect State follow. This morning I finished reading Perfect State, another good novella by our beloved Bandersnatch. There were things I liked about it and things I felt were kind of meh, but all in all I greatly enjoyed it. In particular I adored the central concept of the story: the concept of a world where brains are removed from fetuses and plugged into elaborate virtual realities specially formulated to match their personalities and desires. Which brings us to this simple thread. Assuming that Perfect States match the idealistic fantasies that we all daydream from time to time, what would your personal State be like? Personally, I think that my State would basically enable me to be the Doctor from Doctor Who. I would live in a vast and procedurally generated setting with joint fantasy and science fiction elements, which I would explore with some kind of magical ship that enables me to traverse through time and space. I'd arrive on planets just on the cusp of war or some natural disaster, and using only my wits and inexplicable charisma would save the day, earning the praise and admiration of the masses before running back to my ship and setting sail for another distant part of the cosmos. ... Ahem. What would your Perfect State be like? If there were a world programmed entirely to enable you to be the hero of your daydreams, what would it look like?
  7. The gay male protagonist. Bane of mainstream literature. But things are better now™. *sigh* LGBT literature is still very much- actually hold that thought. The existence of that term alone shows the problem: that LGBT literature is a separate thing from straight literature. We rarely have fantasy, mystery or sci-fi whose main character happens to be gay, we have gay fiction which happens to have a fantasy, mystery or sci-fi setting, rarely. Mostly it's just romance. Written by women. *sigh* It's mostly erotica, basically not even aimed at the same gender. There are gay authors: Adam Silvera, TJ Klune, Will Walton, Benjamin Alire Sáenz,... well-known LGBT authors. Special thanks to Richard Morgan who finally wrote a non-romance with a gay male character as the main protagonist. Also Robin Hobb. Gay characters are almost never the main protagonist in the mainstream literature. Gay literature is still a niche genre and generally not taken to be a part of mainstream literature. When gay characters do appear in the mainstream and they're not badly written, they're usually secondary characters or at most, the deuteragonist. These authors are then treated like the bastion of LGBT literature and everyone else would remember their example for the next ten years as completion of the required dosage of gayness they can handle on their reading list. They will then cite these books everytime some poor sod mentions we need more representation, "wasn't that one book from 5 years ago with that one gay character (who probably dies later on) enough?" And these authors too, even after all this time, are in the minority compared to those who simply ignore that gay people exist. These are the books most likely to have a lot of romantic subplots. Love triangles, ahoy! "But we need romance in our books!" "Why do we need to have a gay character?" "what does it add to the character?" Female gay characters are, of course, fine. I mean there's also less gay female characters because it's not as daring and "female lead" is still something that can be used to sort books but at least people aren't directly opposed to them. Gay male characters on the other hand are an insult and a threat to masculinity everywhere *long exhale* So we have Ranette and Drehy filling the quota of gay characters in the Cosmere and they're tertiary characters. So far, we have maybe-promises from the author regarding gay characters in the future. On a completely unrelated note, how many love triangles have we had in the Cosmere so far again? This post is my anger and this post is my logic: Also check out this comment by @The Awakened Salad which addresses the question of why a character would "need" to be gay:
  8. Hey I'm Noahdon. In real life my name is Noah so if nothing else, I am here on 17th Shard to claim one of the best screen names in the fandom (though I think the Rosharans may dismay at the asymmetry, I couldn't resist the poignant pun). I got into Brandon Sanderson in 2018 by listening to Michael Kramer and Kate Reading read The Way of Kings on a 10hr road trip to visit my significant other over break. I was happily surprised that after the 20hr round trip there was still so much story to be had and I was hooked. Wanting to see how the fantasy names were spelled I picked up a hard copy of book and started lurking on Coppermind and 17th Shard forums. I expertly avoided many spoilers and learning about the expansive Cosmere I was goaded to finish all of Brandon's published works within it so I could start making more solid connections in my brain. Brandon and all of the other epic fantasy authors I would pick up after sparked my love for reading again as an adult. After listening to the audiobook in bed my significant other was became interested in Shallan and I was able to convince her to start reading as well. We now have a thriving SFF book club that meets over Zoom and I have someone to discuss my theories with. However, she has not finished all of the Cosmere yet, so after listening to Shardcast I knew there was a larger community I could engage with. So hello everyone! Happy to be here! Other than being a Cosmere and all-around nerd, I am also into Brandon's Writing Excuses Podcast and have started my own novella. I am a musician so naturally, I'm chasing after Hoid and plan to write music with some investiture magic inspiration at some point. I also am a DM and tabletop RPGer. Can't wait to hear your theories and talk fantasy with y'all!
  9. I'm back with another fantasy trope that I am attempting to make more realistic, this time a personal and just all around favorite... Dragons. I believe it's common knowledge at this point that in reality, Dragons would not be able to fly with their current wingspan as in most depictions (And possibly all), and so, I have tried to calculate what an appropriate wingspan would be for Dragons. Now first off, Dragons like Larkons which are the size of birds are probably fine. The ones I'm focusing on are medium dragons (Human size) and Large dragons (Think GoT) Now, for Medium dragons, I took the weight of a 6-foot crocodile, which weighs about 2000 pounds (In reality, it's 2400, but I'm removing 400 for physical differences as well as having a little wiggle room with us being gods of our stories and being able to play around a bit.) Using this equation to calculate wingspan, Wingspan = Weight^.03326; X 2.43, I have determined that a Dragon of this size would have a wingspan of 30 feet, while a Large Dragon weighing 12,000 pounds (Weight of a T-rex) would need a wingspan of 55 feet. So dragons would look a little more like butterflies, where most of them are just wings with their 'little' body in the middle. And these are without including the weight of the wings themselves, and how easy it would be for a dragon to take off with wings that big. I put this here so one, people can check my math and tell me if and why I'm wrong and give me something more accurate for me to use, and two, so we can all talk about how these dragons would work in fantasy because the science behind dragons is quite fascinating. Also, if anyone can, could some draw a dragon with the proportional wingsspan so people an have a visual reference?
  10. Okay, to be begin with, I’ve thought of this world with two magic systems. They are Chronomagery and Deulchemy. If it isn’t obvious Chronomagery deals with time control, and other time related things, whereas Deulchemy is a bit more random. I got a lot of inspiration for some parts of the world from Era 2 of Mistborn and from Max Gladstone’s Craft Sequence, because those are two of my favorite series. And if you have read either of them you’ll definitely see the inspirations from them. Anyways, so far I’ve thought of the world, and I’m already spinning ideas about world building in my head. This is my strong suit, I’m great at building up the world, but I’m not good at setting up an interesting conflict using the world. As of right now, all I have is just a rough draft of the prologue, and considering I’m only a sophmore in highschool who didn’t pay a lot of attention in English classes. Please, if you notice anything that is incorrect grammar wise, make a comment of the Doc and I’ll fix it! Also, writing tips would be much appreciated. Now without further ado, here is the link to the draft of “The Bringer of Death”
  11. Hell, everyone! MasterGhandalf here with my second-ever NaNo project (I sat out last year due to various real-life issues; in 2017, I posted the first volume of my ongoing space opera/Arthurian re imagining Realm of the Stars). This year, I'm doing a project I'd been toying with for a while in my long-time favorite genre, high fantasy. This one is deliberately supposed to be evocative of "classic" fantasy, but with a twist - where a lot of high fantasy takes it's inspiration from Lord of the Rings, this one is inspired by "The New Shadow", a sequel to LotR that Tolkien wrote about a chapter of late in life and then abandoned. Basically, the idea is that the "dark lord" figure rose again and was defeated for good about a century ago, but his legacy and a few of his minions are still out there, while the "good guy" kingdom has started to crack around the edges, with noble ideals giving way to ruthless ambition. Just because the dark lord is dead doesn't mean evil is gone for good. And of course, when human evil and supernatural evil meet, bad things are in store. And it's deliberately designed to have a lot of the fantasy tropes I personally love - intrigue! Adventure! Epic quests! Cool magic! Dark elves (long a guilty pleasure of mine)! If that sounds cool to you, strap in. Feed back, as ever, is appreciated.
  12. Greetings fellow Sharders, just came in from watching a video from a youtuber I follow by the name of Shad. He released a video today of an interview he did with Brandon, covering various topics, such as the intersection of realism and fantasy, a few various questions, such as who Brandon's favorite super hero is, various pop culture items, publishing and self-publishing, and the announcement that Shad is going to be doing some consulting for Brandon in regards to various Medieval things, like swords, combat, armor, etc. I just wanted to make a thread to see what the thoughts are of anyone else who has watched the video and to discuss the contents therein. Video Link
  13. Hey all! Some of you know me from the discord server the 'writers guild' and my frankly unsettling escapades there, others are unfamiliar with me and my talents. Here, I hope to take requests from people who need plants and animals and monsters and humanoids to populate their various worlds, and hopefully also have fun discussions with people who come here to talk about their creations. I'll give and ask for advice, and hopefully we all can enjoy or have with this thing. I hope it goes somewhere, but that's up to you all. I also hope that this keeps on going when I eventually have to shift my attention elsewhere, so... I hope you all enjoy it. Let's try to make this something interesting, alright? @Sherlock Holmes @AonEne @bees? @Blessing of Potency
  14. I was wondering if anyone could provide some input on the magic system in my novel. It's not fully fleshed out yet and I need some help developing it. The wizards in my novel have certain types of magic that they are born good at, and others that can be developed over time. There are also aspects of it that they can never master (example: A character who is born exceptional at influencing the elements. They struggle with telepathy, but they can still perform it to some degree. However, they are never able to shapeshift). My question is: What could be a determining factor of the magic they can and can't do? My friend had the idea that it could depend on genetics and ancestry, say someone who's ancestors were from Antarctica had power over heat and fire. Or we had an idea that maybe wizards with different powers came together in clans a long time ago and they all migrated to different places, meaning that where you're from could determine your power set. I'm just trying to come up with a better plan for my magic system, since it's not very together at the moment. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
  15. I am starting a rough draft for a book and would appreciate feedback. What I have now is about half a prologue.
  16. Heyo, I don't talk much around here but I've got a lot of writing going on in the background... checking out my site ( would be great and I'd love someone to give me some feedback on the worldbuilding I've done for the book I'm finishing planning... The works that I would really like feedback for are Unkown Cultures and maybe Sanctuary. See my site for details; I hope it's not too confusing... Thanks for paying attention this long! Edit: Here's the links for the ones I need, I've realized it's a lot easier this way. The Forgotten Sanctuary: Unknown Cultures:
  17. Hi, I'm new. Writing a fantasy that among other things, involves a roguish wolf being handed the guardianship of the magical forests after he proves himself worthy despite his baser nature. I'm wondering when more wolves will be given the title of hero separate from the humans they hang around.
  18. Welcome to the thread! If you're just here for the stories, just skip on down to the spoiler tags; they're compressing things so that I can fit updates into the first post as well as posting them below, without interrupting potential discussion. I'm trying NaNoWriMo this year; while I played with it previously I never made a serious attempt, and the one novel I have finished took me upwards of five years for a measly 60,000 words - not because I can't write quickly, but because (among other reasons) I was learning. So here begins my first real attempt at writing a novel in 30 days, begun at the stroke of midnight on November 1st. Myth Taken, aka The Story So Far (does not count towards NaNoWriMo): And the first writing for NaNoWriMo is an aside story in the same setting. The Primals are likely to get very little direct exposure and this struck me tonight during my shift, so I had to get on with it: Interlude: A Fable November 1st. Words: 1000 on the dot. Remaining for Day: 667. There will be another update after work tomorrow, but pretty good start for the first hour of NaNoWriMo. Chapter 1 - November 2nd Chapter 2: November 3rd. Possibly not the only update today - I hope not, as it's only 1048 words and I'm falling a bit behind, but my arms are bothering me. November 4th, morning: 725 more words. I have to head off to work now, but I'm feeling much better than I have over the last few days. I'm falling behind but I still think I can pull this off. Updates up to the afternoon of November 5th: November 5th, evening. November 6th and on, sadly, will have to go in future posts, as we've hit the size limit. If you see any mistakes, please let me know - I may not have time for much editing on the fly, but I'll do what I can. Also, I'm more than a little prone to depression, so if you like my work, let me know; it can make a world of difference to know that people actually care about what I'm doing.
  19. Hey ya'll! Taking a break from Oathbringer to share with you my upcoming project. I promise this isn't a marketing campaign. I was directly inspired by Dalinar in his plight to convince the world (tried to be vague and not spoil anything). when making this project. I was in a rough place and going through some mental health problems mixed with a breakup. I ran away to a barn and ended up writing a full album. One year later, this has over 25 features and I'm so proud of it. "Rise of the Giant King" is about the return of an evil tyrant. Nobody believes the messenger that the Giant King is actually real. Let me know what ya'll think and if you want to be a part of the next leg of this journey I have a million things planned from kids' books to RPGs.
  20. I work in the social media space but I'm actively pursuing fantasy writing in film (hard pursuit much?). One thing that I love as a writer is seeking visual inspirations that make me ponder. Only, most hubs like artstation, Pinterest, and DeviantArt are a mix of amateur and pro work. To remedy this, I've launched an Instagram here: There are other Instagrams like this but I'm stylizing mine much differently. // Each week will have a subtly different theme. Right now it's "Mysterious" but will have "Desert", "Magical", "Cold", "Dark", "Sci-Fi", etc. // I post 3 pics a day, every 2 days switching focus. Mon & Tues are characters, Wed & Thur are environments, Fri & Sat are scenes and concepts. I'd love to know your thoughts and what best would help YOU be inspired via my efforts. I'd love a follow. Let's have a conversation.
  21. Greetings, Sharders and creators! The King of the Kobolds here, speaking from an undisclosed pocket universe. (Don't try to track me. I have more Cerberi standing watch than you could count.) In this post I brought up a potential project for the worldbuilders among us. The project aims to create a functional fantasy setting through collaborative effort, with various members working together to flesh out different regions of a magical world. There are no requirements save a zeal for creation and an active imagination. There are few rules, save for the following: Try to stick to the C.O.P. system whenever possible. For those unaware, "C.O.P." stands for cool, original, and plausible. Obviously plausibility has different meanings for different people where fantasy is concerned, but unless everyone wants to create a deliberately ludicrous Wonderland let's try to be reasonable. (Bear in mind that a deliberately ludicrous Wonderland is not off the table, should everyone want one.) Once regions are available and you have claimed one, please refrain from spreading your creations to adjacent lands without the consent of their claimers. This is just to prevent one person from creating a race of indestructible vampire dragons that take over the world and leave no room for anyone else. Have fun, or else. To join, just state your interest below. Here are a few questions for us to ponder before getting started: Will magic be abundant or rare in this new world? Will the climate and background ecology resemble that of Earth, or will it be entirely different? What kind of biomes do people want access to? I've contacted a cartographer who might be available to help with maps, and I'm sure it'd be helpful to this individual to have an idea of what regions are in the highest demand. The world of Diaemus rises! EDIT: SOME IMPORTANT LINKS: Diaemus Wiki Early Climate Map of Diaemus The Three Most Abundant Races of Diaemus A Color Guide to Lumuoles, Magical Microorganisms Rachnyx Document Discussing the Theory of Lumuoles Other Diaemus Project threads: Biology (List of species, guidelines for wildlife, etc.) Cartography (Geographic and political maps of Diaemus)
  22. Hello everyone, Long time reader here, first time poster. I'm a huge fan of Sanderson (which everyone here is), and he has greatly inspired my writing I just wanted to reach out to the community and announce I have self published a book on Amazon, and would love for everyone to check it out. It is Kindle exclusive, but the app is free to download. The book is called: Sky Pirates (A Goblin's Tale) Vol. 1. It is about a crew of Goblins who believe they are sky pirates. When their captain, a Human named Finnegan, gets sick, the crew gathers together to try and cure his illness. It is currently on sale for $0.99 until Jun 14th, and all the proceeds made during the sale are going to the charity Worldbuilders, a charity founded by author Patrick Rothfuss. The link below provides more information regarding the charity. The link below will direct you towards my book. While I want to sell as many copies as possible (What author doesn't?), my goal is to be able to donate as much money to Worldbuilders as possible. Please check it out. For $1, you will get to read my fun story about Goblins, and donate to help change the world. Thank you all for your time, and enjoy!
  23. Hi, I sent this letter to Brandon, but I think it unlikely that I might get a reply. I would not expect you to read all of it, but I thought some of you might be be interested in the Sexuality section of it in reference for his future work. A heads up, it discusses all of Brandon's published works: Dear Brandon, I came to you having finished the Wheel of Time series and was feeling a hollow space within me that needed to be filled by more fantasy. Therefore, let me make it clear that I owe you a huge debt of thanks for your work on WoT and the Cosmere. There were a few topics that I’d like to discuss - in the same way how you feel the need to get a story down on paper, I would like these thoughts out of my head. Sexuality: The main point that I’d like to focus on is the heterosexual relationships of characters. I admire the romantic bonds that your characters forge whether they come from hardship or circumstance and personally I dismiss much of the claim that they are passionless or platonic. However, I would urge you against skirting around when sex actually does happen. It does not matter whether you claim to be a bit of a prude, you yourself mentioned in your Dumbledore EUOlogy that writing characters having a jovial time from is a natural part of any believable world; sex is much the same. The need for relaxation and good cheer amongst friends is as human an experience as two sweaty people lying in bed pleasuring each other - either from passionate love, casual abandon or respect founded on pressured times. Fantasy is primarily drawn from Western medieval-renaissance influence which itself was frequented by the casualness of farmhands with milk maids, easy lovers’ induced by Mediterranean festivities or young nobles dallying with maidens keeping secret from their father that they may not have an intact hymen anymore. Sex extends down to more disquieting interactions between noble and peasant girl that then need to portrayed in a negative light. Despite the control of the Church, people were just better at hiding it. It is one of the only drawbacks that I see in organised religion today: it clings to the dregs of social acceptability from centuries past. It was useful as a social construct when rural families had little knowledge of contraception to stop diseases when they could not afford multiple partners over a lifetime, however, with how far we have advanced in technology the prohibition now seems outdated. Raw primal desire is just something we cannot get rid of - as anyone who has gone through teenage years well knows. This may be prying, but I feel that some of your reluctance on this topic may come from what you have shared of your upbringing, in that was a sexual conservative one. You had to wait, of course by church and choice, until you could share with your wife something that you never let out. As such, it is a very personal and closeted topic for you to broach fully as it stirs too many feelings close to your home. However, you have said that you want to push the boundaries of what is expected in writing. We know that epic fantasy was weighed down by the preconception of Tolkien and Jordan of no sex. It seems only natural that if you want to push you and your books to new places, expanding that sexuality is the logical way to go. It may not reflect with your personal views or you may worry that it will reflect badly in your community. So what. What you put into your book is pushing your artform and your art is capturing the human nature. If you want to see under the skin of what makes a human graceful, an artist draws nude pictures; if you want to see beneath the skin of what really makes a human tick, you write in their deepest primal urges. You may say ‘All my batch of fantasy contemporaries are doing this, so I don’t want to do what they’re doing’. Yes and no. While in the last 15 years sex has been rising to the pages, it just seems to be making a big splash when surrounded in an ocean of meekness. I’m not asking you to go as visceral in sexual details as GRRM, for that is his style and how he plays with sexuality. If I wanted to see more of that kind, I would go read more GRRM. In fact, you started to move in a more positive direction with Warbreaker; it should not matter if the novel’s concept concerned was trying to get with child. However, that withstanding, every other novel feels like a Drab: a incredibly complex biological organism with divine proportions of engineering living an intricate life yet it fails to look quite right - it is missing its Breath. There are numerous examples I am sure you are familiar with, the most popularised one that of Vin and Elend sleeping in separate rooms before they are married, despite having been in a relationship for years and that you hint at their desire for each other’s body parts. Only after they are married is it mentioned that Vin will wear a top off in a tent. Again, I think this is an issue that stems from your personal life, that you never allow characters to engage in sexual matters before marriage. As I have mentioned in previous paragraphs, there are reasons for this hesitance and why it is limiting. Perhaps removing this limitation is the first step to opening yourself to your characters previously unseen natures. Start by creating a mere sentence that notes a main character coming out of a door tucking their shirt in. All the while, we can see inside the room where a random/side character is laying in bed with the sheet pulled over their chest. A simple casual occurrence, with no need to make a big deal out of it. Warbreaker was approaching this yet was still tamer. As you have claimed in the past, writers draw out their material from their own lives. This does not mean you have to jump in a time machine back to your college years and experiment with one night stands. But by talking with people of different life experience, sexual morality, a woman outside your community and your author friends who have written sexual passages will prepare you to slowly progress into writing sexual nature. As I have said, your task as an artist is to relate and expound the emotions that are in our lives. It means when a character describes the love of his life, there should be descriptive language of how the light of her eye dances with flashes of white and violet, the reddening of her cheeks as she runs to meet him in breathless excitement and the soft slope of the marble white skin down her back. The aim is to emote the perception of grace and beauty to the readers, the same feeling they would have when looking upon a master artwork. Moments such as these you know are excellent in order to slow the pace of the story. But similarly, one must be able to deal with eros, something which is so common between the butting heads of young and vibrant characters. Let us say, for example, Renarin grew jealous of Adolin for having an exotic and beautiful girlfriend (I avoid using Kaladin as I imagine that he has grown to like Shallan through their shared experience and then realises her outward attractiveness later on. Therefore, his is a merging of love and lust). The young prince on guard duty would notice the way Adolin caresses Shallan by circling the point underneath her wrist, the drop and swell of the breast due to a lower cut dress as Shallan unconsciously leans in towards Adolin across the table. Then there is lust of a minor noble character meeting his barmaid interest for a weekend morning vigorous and enthusiastic coupling. Slightly more challenging is a more domineering relationship such as that I might relate below between Jasnah and Shallan. When writing of lust, the danger to avoid from a lack of sexual experience before marriage is that you do not create the sense that the reader should be joining in on some gigglish teenager ignorance of a taboo. The less dangerous yet still important caution is to avoid making females incapable of displaying lustful actions - to do otherwise is to debase them to the traditional Victorian roles of ‘stiffly lie there and take it’. Your stories are known to have grit in them, whether it be the harsh world of Mistborn, the gruesome imagery of Bloody Tan’s menagerie or strong and broken characters like Kaladin. This realistic aspect would only be compounded with a realistic representation of sex. Just as violence needs to be shown in an oppressive regime, a high stress situation may likely bring people closer together. An unconventional relationship that blossoms out of respect is likely the undone challenge that you would relish, yet I would only appreciate if you are willing to commit to showing its full romantic development. Below are some more encounters from the Cosmere were this issue cropped up: With Wayne and MeLaan, I was getting slightly excited that you had written your first sexual premarital experience. And yes, well done that they managed to get their tops off, but it is a little simple-minded that Wayne and MeLaan were just kissing under there. When I first saw the words ‘neckin’ and ‘snogging’ I thought it was a joke, that others characters were trying to pass off a euphemism to protect Marasi or Steris’ innocence. But no, all parties seriously believed the two were just touching lips. Firstly, the amount of time that it took the train to travel to Ironstand and its protracted fight sequence gave plenty of time for foreplay then a passionate rebound shag reaching at least third base. Wayne’s personality and environment leave him with little inhibitions; the same for an immortal being who has had centuries to try every trick in the book. I thought it unlikely, but I had a faint thought that for the first time a lesbian relationship between main characters might occur. This possibility came to me from the gradual respect that Shallan and Jasnah grew for each other as two capable scholars. There is also the Shallan’s adoration of Jasnah in the student-teacher position that many fans were quick to wonder if it represented bisexual feelings. Jasnah herself finds herself seems so free from men and previous attachments that once we start to see cracks that mark her as a human, we can wonder if she might allow Shallan’s attentions to become something more. It would create a perverse moral quandary to explore if Jasnah were to take it up: if it is an abuse of the pedagogy relationship and would it require secrecy. I am not disappointed that this did not occur, maybe the opposite as Jasnah is one of my favourite characters. You would have received an angry email about how you did not know what to do with a strong atheist character if she had turned out to be dead. Fortunately, once Shallan failed to stumble over her corpse, I suspected that she lived, as I suspect that mere assassins could not kill Jasnah - even if the encounter tempts the dangerous waters of character resurrection. I thought Jasnah’s disappearance might have been unnecessary so that Shallan would be all alone, as I did so enjoy Jasnah and what she could have added to Navani and in the Shattered Plains by taking command of the royal court. For the first book and a bit, the dynamic between the two was what made Shallan interesting, compared to the second book when it focused on Shallan’s past. In the end, I do appreciate the growth that Shallan underwent. To bring it back to the point, you have said that you do not concern yourself with whatever orientation that characters have. I agree that making a big deal out of it would be the wrong direction. Yet you do not abstain from romantic relationships in your books. It makes it a perfectly acceptable precedent to trial other kinds of relationships. Please do not make Adolin into another Gawyn. The Trakand prince, despite his struggle to find his position in relation to Egwene, died still not able to reconcile that his love for Egwene needed him to put aside his pride and be her shadow. His selfishness lead to his death and failure, thus letting Egwene sacrifice her life so freely. That inability earned Gawyn one of the most hated positions among WoT fans. I fear that I can see you setting Adolin on that same tangent. He worries that his place will be overshadowed by having a Knight Radiant for a wife. However, I hope that I am mistaken. Although Adolin is boastful and proud, he does seem a better rounded person than Gawyn. Adolin was drawn to Shallan because she was something unconventional and exotic to him. I hope their dynamic leads to the couple working together as a fighting duo rather than the diametrically opposed Jordan couple. Blushweaver and Lightsong. God I was sad that they never got to consummate their relationship. Again, I hope that your personal stance had nothing to do with that they did not get to have sex because they were decadent unmarried gods. Blushweaver was set well to be one of your most erotically entrancing characters in your entire cosmology. I do admire the two’s articulate flirting - it does represent the most realistic building towards a relationship that I have so far. Blushweaver’s reproach to Siri, “Find someone else’s bed to climb into, you little slut”, left me laughing for quite some time and endeared her to me. I wonder if it would have been more tragic if Blushweaver and Lightsong ended up in a cell together in the end, Lightsong reciprocates Blushweaver’s desires in the face of the situation and they end up having sex on the cell floor or if as it happened, Blushweaver never really knowing that Lightsong really did care for her in the way that she wished. Hopefully they are up there in the Beyond, making up for all that lost time. In conclusion, I feel that you have come some way since the innocence in Elantris and Mistborn and are spreading your wings. Mr Jordan started incorporating more sexual influences too before his passing. It is only a matter of time before this challenge takes you, but I would much prefer it now when you writing so much good and prolific work. Religion: On a different point, I have noticed that it does seem that the characters that hold true to religious beliefs come out on top. Do not get me wrong, I love a good pantheon in fantasy, but I hope this is not a permanent fixture. Sazed did not deserve to Ascend because he went through a crisis of faith and back, but because he was one of the few characters that has gone through trials and we still believe is morally good. That trial did not have to be a religious one and there were plenty of morally grey characters that fill the quota to hold both Ruin and Preservation. Preservation set up someone who cared about the world and this is the person who Saze is. In this, I feel the resolution of characters is sometimes too simple: religious characters are true and the simple good of deontology wins the day. Someone like Dalinar seems a little too pure for what is to come. I hope that when Jasnah confronts her uncle on the whole quandary of if time is worth praying to a Shard, especially if by the end of the Stormlight Archives Cultivation dies. As for The Diagram, the tone of their passages perpetuates that they are the bad guys, but really in the face of an apocalypse, I hope utilitarianism will be shown for its ideological worth. What would you do to save your own wife and children? A sociopathic force has a gun to their heads, do you deny that you would choose the random stranger to die instead. What if it were four random strangers’ lives, five? I think I know which you still would pick. At what number do you let the gunman pull the trigger. It is likely that you never would, not for all the other six billion of us. To protect what is your world, you would give anything. Death: I am sorry to compare you to GRRM again, but I feel the death of characters is sometimes muted because you save them all towards the ends of your books. You might be relying the deaths as ending bombs to give closure to the novel. Valued characters’ deaths spaced sporadically throughout the structure is part of the formula which makes GRRM’s deaths so well received and emotional. As you say, characters have to take risks and their consequences, but one of those big risks should end in the ultimate consequence in Act 1, perhaps our main viewpoint character. Perhaps Dox and Clubs’ deaths didn’t hit as hard as they were meant to, but the only other time can think of a character death midway through the plot is Parlin and you yourself admitted that he needed more done to him to give his departure justice, yet still he is not a primary character. When Karata died, the outrage at her demise was not the event itself, but that not enough attention was given to it. Simply her head gets cut off while running. Even an extra sentence of Raoden acknowledging the light going out of her eyes would have left the audience much happier with the departure of an invested character. Genre: I must say that I am not keen on Mistborn advancing technology to the later end of the 1800’s. I am a diehard fantasy fan and am not of that more common breed that can also stomach sci-fi as well. Give me the setting of magic, medieval times and curious creatures and you can sell me a story of whatever concept you want. However, I start to get discomforted by technology further late Renaissance/Galileo times. It starts to drift from high fantasy. I know of the pitched Mistborn ‘trilogy of trilogies’, but with the Wild West/Victorian feel of Wax and Wayne, we already are into low fantasy territory. The novel use of Allomancy still as a magic kept me through the prologue concerning guns and then the partners’ chemistry, but the magic is starting slip away from the story’s control (machine guns being chief among them). I occasionally appreciate an urban low fantasy such as Skulduggery Pleasant, but only if follows its own rules and genre. By the time we reach modern day and then sci-fi plasma guns and artificial intelligence, I fear that all will be lost that was the spirit of Mistborn. It may be a clever idea to transition a series from fantasy to sci-fi, but I worry if I’ll stick around for it. The implications that it has for the Cosmere are too great, as our shiny technology will inevitably reach the other Shardworlds and turn your anthology into a sci-fi collection. This narrative danger is seen in Sixth of the Dusk. And that worries me because when you started writing you said to yourself that you were going to be a fantasy writer. I would not be particularly interested in a war between the futuristic Scadrial versus high fantasy era societies - it would just seem cheesy. The only hope I can see is that all the future scientific discoveries on Scadrial will come Allomantic innovation, much as the Southerners have, as opposed to electrical currents and telephones. Even still, I can just see our own ideas of the future such as flying cars being excused by Allomancy while losing the feel of fantasy. That said, here’s a suggestion for a potential death in the Wax and Wayne series: a Hemalurgist could die via accidental electrocution through their Hemalurgic spikes, Tesla style, courtesy of Wayne’s beneficiary Sophi Tarcsel. This letter may appear a scathing criticism, but I love your books - these opinions may simply be more useful than the praise that would needed to fill another correspondence. I am hugely looking forward to more Stormlight and have pre-ordered Oathbringer. The cultures and biogeography of Roshar are a world unlike anything I have seen before in fantasy. Blue skin and crystalline fingernails, I’m looking forward to seeing to seeing a cross breed of Thaylen eyebrows and whatever eccentricities that you conjure. Best of luck,
  24. Hello. Its been awhile since I posted on this forum. I decided to get back on here after reading Elantris and watching a couple of Sanderson's interviews that inspired me to keep on writing. It sounds weird but how Sanderson studied Robert Jorden, I am studying Sanderson's writing and consider him a mentor that I have never met (Can't wait to meet him for the first time in Toronto 2017). Being 100% honest I am writing to a dream of being published by a company like tor; its something that I can not shake away but deep down I love telling and writing stories. Writing for me at this moment in time is strictly a hobby, currently studying Computer Science at Sheridan College. One thing I know I need to do going forward is read a lot more books. And books of different genres. I am currently collecting all Sanderson's books, wheel of time books and stephan kings novels as well to start with. I also need to start writing more often and also find time to write even during crazy times like exams. Well getting to the point of this post here is my idea for a fantasy standalone novel(no title yet, names and such will change): Elass is the most powerful and wealthy kingdom in all the land compared to the Elraz Kingdom and The Old Kingdom. This is due to their king, well partly, who turned the kingdom around after a century of war, bringing happiness, power and wealth to the races. After the century war the people of Elass have been drugged(Aether Ore) making them happy and delirium, because the king couldn't of just flipped the tables without a dark side. The king is running out of Aether Ore and the next generation of children will be free from the delirium and have magic- which the Aether has suppressed. These people are banished by the king, because without the Aether in their blood they can feel and see the wrong things the king is doing. All historical records have been destroyed, the people of the Elass kingdom are not allowed to leave except for the king and the king's army who know the truth and some have magic to. Also magic has been banned from the lands making it hard for The Old Kingdom which is the most magical land. Elraz Kingdom has an understanding of one another and hope to destroy The Old Kingdom together. To achieve the spread of this Aether Ore the king has put it into there water source. The moment you are exposed to it it takes a hold of you, gives you happiness and strength when you are actually very weak and ready to die. Plus you can't live without it once you are exposed to it. Here is a prologue bit that I wrote that has new ideas that I want to introduce like loremasters: PROLOGUE “Are you alright, sir?” a scrawny, malnourished servant asked walking over to the prince’s nightstand with a worried look. Gently setting down the tray of food the servant stepped back to observe the prince in an attempt to figure out what was wrong. “Shall I get the leech?” Searing pain laced through the prince’s nerves. Something did not feel right, and it was not the prince's throbbing hangover. He grabbed the edge of the nightstand and pulled himself upright. There was a clang as the food tray hit the floor, eggs and apple juice painted the floor. His breath got trapped in his throat as he fought against crying out. Beads of sweat broke out on his flushed face as he pulled himself the rest of the way up and glared at the servant, panting slightly, with his left hand still on the nightstand to steady himself. “Your hand, sir!?” the servant shrieked. Fear pulsed over the prince as he to noticed a purple symbol glowing on his wrist. He stumbled forward letting go of the nightstand. With one foot in squashed egg his right foot snagged his bed clothing sending him to the floor. Not knowing what to do the servant just stood staring at the fallen prince still shocked at what had just happened. W-what's happening to me? The prince asked himself with no answer to follow up. This was not normal in the Kingdom of Elass, the prince was a human which meant the strange and unknown were not supposed occur. Humans were none magic folk unlike the elves and gnomes in the faraway kingdoms. The only magic that occurred in the human kingdom was with the Loremasters. The prince would be accused of using magic; making him an enemy in the eyes of his father and the public, even if he was the prince and only heir to the throne. The prince knew he would have to deal with that servant soon enough. He could not afford to allow the servant to gossip about this… event to others in the castle. Just another issue on top of another issue. At least this issue is far worse than yesterday’s issue of not being able to beat Sir Will in sword combat. The prince's father was so angry at him, said he had failed him as a son and disgraced his kingdom for losing to a mere knight. At this very moment though all that seemed little, there were ancient symbols still carving into the skin of the prince and the pain was unbearable. With one swift motion the prince threw off his nightgown and watched in horror as purple glowing symbols slowly curved their way up his right arm. So there you have. A bad plot followed by bad writing. I would love to hear your thought. What you think about the plot. How my writing can be improved and such. If this is not the place to ask such questions well, ignore what i asked and move on Also who here is excited for Stormlight 3?
  25. So... I am writing a fantasy novel and have run into a bit of a snag. I have this thing (definitely an outgrowth of reading too much Sanderson) to have as much of my worldbuilding as possible have a concrete backing in scientific fact. The problem is that I know nothing about astrophysics, biology, or anything that could really help me work out the permutations of certain changes to the world. Here's my current situation: The world I'm building is plagued by abnormally high temperatures throughout half the year (comparable to a constant heat wave) and similarly cold temperatures for the other half. They are mitigated by a short, two-week period of regular weather in between. During the Heatsurge there is week or so long period where the sun does not set, mirrored by a similar period during the Coldsurge when it does not rise. These events repeat in a constant, yearly cycle. The flora and fauna have all had to grow around these extreme conditions, with adaptability becoming even more important to survival. My questions are twofold: First, is there a way to make this astronomically grounded. Would something like the axial tilt have to change to keep the continuing cycle of Hot and Cold surges, or does that have nothing to do with it? Multiple astral bodies? I don't know, just throwing things out there... Second, how would the flora and fauna adapt to such extreme changes in temperature? I've been reading up on some animals' ability to survive temperatures below freezing using something called supercooling, but I feel I would need more of an adaptability factor here. This world's plants and animals have to be able to change throughout the year, as protection against one half of the year would likely be harmful during the other. Any biologically-adept people that can help me out here? The original idea for this came out of a desire of mine to create something fundamentally connected to the world that affected all the life within it, from biology to culture to business (similar to the highstorms of Roshar). Let's see if this can work! Hope you all can help me out! Thanks for your time!