Mick7655

Did Brandon not want to focus too much on the history of Roshar, or do you think he’s holding back for future books?

10 posts in this topic

The history doesn’t seem as deep as what Martin has done with A Song Of Ice And Fire, unless I missed something...

Is this just not a topic of interest for Sanderson?

Edited by Mick7655
0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I believe it's save to say Brandon has the history of Roshar planned out in detail, but reveals it in the books as the story demands. If we had known about the origin of humans on Roshar from the start things wouldn't have been nearly as intriguing, don't you think?
There are seven books to come and a lot left to discover.

Edited by Winds Alight
4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember he mentioned somewhere that he had like 150k words of worldbuilding for Roshar. Also considering how unique the environment on Roshar is I'm assuming Brandon would want to ease us in. I would suspect as the story begins to span all of Roshar instead of mainly Alethkar we'll get to see more of his world. 10 400k+ books is plenty of space for gradual worldbuilding. ;)

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

ASOIAF has had five books so far to explore that world's history, plus multiple guides and 'histories'. Brandon has had three books so far out of a planned ten and no secondary sources other than the occasional WoB. Why do you expect that we'd get everything right at the start of the series instead of spread out?

In fact, given that we've got two books in the back half of the series that are planned to have Taln and Ash as the flashback characters, it's pretty clear that he is saving a lot of the really juicy history for later.

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree with OP that Roshar's history isn't as deeply explored. (well, okay, I haven't read ASoIaF yet, but I have a sense for it and I think the same could be said in comparison with other series) I DO think he has much more planned than has been revealed... But I also think Brandon is simply less interested in mundane historical detail than some other fantasy authors. He'll insert a fact or an anecdote here or there, but Brandon doesn't tend to pepper his stories full of one-off mentions that may or may not matter down the road. I feel like this is true of his worldbuilding in general.

Concerning the distant past (>1500 years), this is mainly because of Desolations, the Recreance, revisionist history, etc. Much has been lost and forgotten. From a narrative perspective--he can't reveal too much because the mystery of it matters to the plot.

Concerning the more recent past, I think some of it is because it matters to the plot. Some of it is surely that he just doesn't care to go into it though, if I had to guess.

One thing I've noticed with WoBs is that Brandon is hesitant to canonize details when he thinks the story may come back around and deal with that topic later. I imagine this is true of the writing as well. Story and characters are king to Brandon. We already saw a few minor retcons with Dalinar's past in Oathbringer. I think Brandon likes to leave himself room to breathe when it comes to details (like history), because he doesn't want to come up with a great idea that has to be scrapped when it turns out he previously threw a few lines in that prevent it from working.

So he has more of the history worked out than he has shown, but he's not showering us with the details in case they need to change. (And he isn't super interested in getting into the weeds in the books anyways.)

Just my opinion/interpretation. :)

3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From what I remember (although I've only read the main books), ASOIAF's worldbuilding is mostly just genealogies and wars, and is only focused on one part of the world: Westeros.  Westeros is basically just Medieval Earth with a few bits of magic added in.  

Whereas Roshar's worldbuilding is much more fantastical, so it has to dedicate most of it's space to explaining things like highstorms, crustacean flora/fauna, various human and non-human races, tons of different countries/ethnicities/cultures, many different magic systems, etc.  

Edited by Scion of the Mists
5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Jofwu said:

We already saw a few minor retcons with Dalinar's past in Oathbringer.

Oh what parts did he retcon? I didn't know that and now I'm curious.

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Use the Falchion said:

Oh what parts did he retcon? I didn't know that and now I'm curious.

These are likely the references Jof is referring to. I don't know specific examples though. 

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

So, any questions?

Questioner

Well, I was kind of wondering, you've got this whole culture of, exactly that: people asking you questions about your stories outside of the stories.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

I was wondering, is that something you developed or decided on? Or--

Brandon Sanderson

That I inherited from Robert Jordan. It had started happening a little bit, but it was really a thing that Robert Jordan fostered in his fans, that I got very used to doing. And so, I just kept doing it. I do warn my fans: I change my mind. And so, um, the things I say--they call them the Word of Brandon--Word of Brandon is level below what's in the text in hierarchy, because I will change my mind, and I will get things wrong when I don't have my notes and stuff. And so-- But yeah, but you can find collections of things I've said. And most of them are still true. Once in a while I'm writing a book, I'm like, "No, this just doesn't work out." But you know that--that just happens with everything.

Like I'm writing Oathbringer, right? And I've mentioned things in Dalinar's past before that are from my outline of Dalinar's past. I sit down, I write the flashback sequences, I'm like, "Oh no. Continuity error," right? And so we just have to go with fixing it in this book and then say, "First book's got a continuity error, guys." Because once you actually sit down and write out somebody's life across thirty years, you can't get them sometimes into places where you had noted stuff. So, it's--I wish I could be like 100% accurate on all things. It just doesn't work out. Even the books like Mistborn, that I wrote all three in a row, and then we edited them, and then sent them out--still had continuity errors, so. Ehh.

Ad Astra 2017 (May 5, 2017)
Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Only one chapter left to write in Dalinar's flashbacks. This one will answer many questions you might have had about his past.

Benn

Were there any surprises for you as you wrote about his past? I know you like to discovery-write your characters

Brandon Sanderson

After writing Dalinar in book one, I had settled most of this. But yes, there were still some surprises.

General Twitter 2015 (July 15, 2015)

 

1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think it's a bad comparison that doesn't do justice to either series. They cover different aspects of 'history'.

A Song Of Ice And Fire is mostly about kingdoms and generations of intrigue, usurping, dueling and assassinating each other. Not much magic in there or natural history, but still it has such great detail in the aspects of what it includes that it's good in its own way. Maybe more 'realistic' too, if that is the right word to use.

Sanderson's Cosmere (because all of the involved books are interwoven together and maybe you shouldn't disregard that easily) expand over millennia. And they may not be as detailed when they come to kingdoms and generations of rulers (which I think is too early to judge anyway) but it has depth in the magic system and natural history where  A Song Of Ice And Fire doesn't. Don't forget that we have so many races on Roshar, some coming from other planets, some of them descendants from Aimians, some of them native Listeners, who in turn are descendants of Dawnsingers... There is a lot there we haven't seen yet.

That said, I think the notion of 'winners write history' is very strong in Alethi society and Hierocracy 'deleting' bits that didn't match their narrative has played a big role in what history we are exposed to, as we follow the main characters. It's so interesting isn't it?

Edited by insert_anagram_here
2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, Extesian said:

These are likely the references Jof is referring to. I don't know specific examples though. 

 

Cool thanks!!

0

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.