ChickenLiberty

Deducing RoW character groupings

118 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Okay, so the idea of this is that rather than replying with full guesses, everyone just replies with any info on the subject they can find, and I'll add it to the main topic. There's enough information now that we should be able to piece some things together with a lot of certainty. In making assumptions here, we want to make assumptions that narrow down the possibilities more than they decrease the likelihood. I've numbered all of the WoBs I'm using in a spoiler at the bottom. Essentially all of these use RoW update 5 ([1]), so read that if you haven't. When I reference that update, the connection includes more than just the group format.

What we know about the group format:

Spoiler

Group 1:

  • Most involved, and the core arc of the book
  • 3 very involved PoVs
  • 1 character with only a few viewpoints
  • 1 character with hardly any viewpoints, maybe just an interlude

Group 2:

  • Very involved, but narrowly focused
  • Not in Parts 3 or 5
  • 2 PoVs

Group 3:

  • Not as much depth
  • Only in Parts 3 and 5
  • 2 PoVs

"Through line" interlude PoV: [2]

  • Essentially what Szeth had in WoK, Eshonai had in WoR, and Venli had in OB

Deductions:

Spoiler
  • Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Venli, and Szeth should each be included [3]
  • Szeth
    • Is very unlikely to be the main interlude character, as he already was in WoK
    • Is either a minor PoV in Group 1 or is in Group 3, as his role in this book is comparable to his role in WoK, but should still be included as a PoV [5]
  • Venli 
    • Is a major PoV in Group 1 or is in Group 2, as she has a lot of viewpoints [18]
    • Is more likely to be in Group 1, as her flashbacks start in Part 3, and Group 2 is not in Part 3 or 5 [1]
    • Her group should be in Alethkar [14]
    • The reading from her viewpoint was given at a time when Group 3 had not been written [1][14]
  • Lift  [12]
    • Is either the very minor PoV in Group 1 or not in a group, as interlude characters have only been very minor viewpoints in the past
      • Brandon said the reading "is going to be Lift's interlude for Rhythm of War," which strongly implies that she only gets one interlude
    • If she is in a group, that group is in Urithiru
    • Since Lift's group would need to be in Urithiru, and Venli has a very high likelihood of being in Group 1, in Alethkar, Lift would not be in Group 1, and thus she probably does not have a place in the given format
  • Dalinar
    • Is either a minor PoV in group 1 or is in Group 3, as he had stuff being written after Group 2 was complete [1][6], and will have less viewpoints than he will in the next book [17]
    • Is more likely to be in Group 3 because that group was finished between the two Reddit updates [1][2]
  • Rysn is not one of the main characters [10]
  • Jasnah is either a minor PoV in Group 1 or is in Group 3 [9]
  • Navani
    • Is in Group 1, as her viewpoints were being written when that was the only group left to write [2][4]
    • Should be a major PoV based on Brandon's wording, as he said that he's "been enjoying writing Navani recently." The "been" indicates that she has more than just "a few" viewpoints throughout the book, unlike the minor PoVs. [1][4]
    • Might be the "main" character, as she was Brandon's favorite to write in late November [4][11] (This doesn't affect her group placement)
  • A minor Group 1 character will get a story from Wit in Part 4, as Group 3 is not in Part 4, and Group two will have many viewpoints in Part 4 because that is during their climax [15][16]
    • Since we know Jasnah and Wit will interact, and Wit will tell a story to a lesser PoV character in Group 1, this might suggest that Jasnah is in group 1, but it is entirely possible that this refers to two different scenes
  • Nobody other than Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Szeth, Eshonai, Jasnah, Adolin, and Navani are allowed more than just a viewpoint "here and there" until SA Arc 2 [27]
    • When he said "Eshonai" here, he probably meant Venli, as he claimed that OB would get a "moderate amount of... Eshonai," which we know was actually Venli
  • It is extremely likely that Adolin will be a PoV because we know that we will see Maya in RoW (unclear whether this refers to her in Shadesmar or just as a Shardblade) [7]
  • We will get an Adolin viewpoint while he is with Shallan, and this could mean that they are in the same group, or it could mean Adolin has a viewpoint when they are all together at the beginning. Either way, Adolin cannot be in Group 3, as Group 3 doesn't get viewpoints until Part 3, and Dalinar is taking up a spot in Group 3, so Adolin and Shallan can't both be in that group. [1][19]
  • NEW INFORMATION: Adolin and Shallan should be in a group together, as Brandon himself chose a scene depicting just them together in Shadesmar for the Bulgarian cover art [29]
  • Adolin will certainly get more than 2 viewpoints, and will have a "decent chunk" of the book, which is strong additional evidence that he is not one of the minor Group 1 PoVs. Brandon also said that Adolin will not get as many viewpoints as the questioner might like, which provides weak additional evidence that he is not one of the major Group 1 PoVs. [30]
  • There was supposed to be a Syl viewpoint in OB, and Brandon said in October that he hopes to be able to put one in RoW--her chapter header symbol has even been made. [31] Syl should be in the same group as Kaladin.

Character grouping format as it can be determined from those deductions: 

Spoiler

- Character1 and Character2 are variable 

- Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Venli, Szeth, Navani, Adolin, and Jasnah must be included

- Since Szeth and Jasnah must both be included, at least one of them must be in Group 1

- Since Shallan and Adolin are in the same group, and Kaladin is the only other Group 2 candidate, Shallan and Adolin should be in Group 2

- Since Shallan and Adolin should be in Group 2, Kaladin is the only candidate left for the remaining major PoV in Group 1

- I include the references for each placement here, but if you are wondering about a specific character's placement (or lack thereof), I recommend reading the info and references about them in the "deductions" spoiler box above

Group 1:

  • Major 3:
    • Navani [1][2][4][11]
    • Venli [1][14][18]
    • Kaladin [1][3][6][7][9][17][19][27][29][30]
  • 1 of (Szeth, Jasnah) [5][9]
  • 1 of (Szeth, Jasnah, Syl, Character1, Character2) [1][3][5][7][9][19][29][30][31]

Group 2:

[1][3][6][7][9][17][19][27][29][30]

  • Shallan
  • Adolin 

Group 3:

  • Dalinar [1][2][6][17]
  • 1 of (Szeth, Jasnah, Character1, Character2) [1][3][5][9][19][29]

"Through line" interlude PoV:

  • 1 of (Character1, Character2) [1][2][3][6][7][9][17][19][27][29][30]

Beyond this, our reasoning has to become more abstract. This is where we have to consider what is the most likely to happen by including narrative reasons. Luckily, the template above narrows down our options quite a bit.

Candidates for Character1 and Character2:

Spoiler

 

  • Renarin - Future flashback character [22]
  • Moash
    • Actions in OB
    • We expect there to be a higher focus on singers in RoW, and he is working with them
  • Teft - Swore 3rd ideal in OB
  • Rock
    • Future novella [21]
    • He is very unlikely, as Brandon said Rock's narrative wouldn't work in RoW [24]
  • Rlain
    • Disappearance at the end of OB was important [20]
    • We expect there to be a higher focus on singers in RoW
  • Ash
    • Future flashback character [22]
    • Unlikely because most Herald stuff is being saved for SA Arc 2 [26]
  • Taln
    • Future flashback character [22]
    • Unlikely because most Herald stuff is being saved for SA Arc 2 [26]
  • Lirin - PoV of RoW Chapter 1 [13]
  • Herdazian general - Interlude in OB, and significant in RoW Chapter 1 [13]
  • Taravangian - Deal made with Odium
  • Vasher
    • a Warbreaker scientist appears in RoW [23]
    • He is unlikely to be more significant than just having an interlude because Brandon doesn't want to get to writing Nightblood until after SA5 [25]

Important pairings:

Spoiler

- Due to new information about the Bulgarian cover art [29], this speculation is somewhat redundant

  • Shallan/Adolin - They are now married, which makes them likely to end up in the same group, and Brandon said that we will get an Adolin viewpoint while he is with Shallan, and although it is not completely clear if this refers to RoW or a later book, it greatly increases the chance. [19] This may occur in the beginning, when all of the characters are together, but either way, Adolin would not be in group 3. [1]
  • Venli/Kaladin - Brandon said that the 3 major Group 1 PoVs form the core arc of the book. This makes me think that the 3rd spot should be either Shallan or Kaladin, as they already have big character arcs going. Since Group 1 includes Venli, this makes me lean much more towards Kaladin, as he already has unresolved points in his arc involving singers. [1] Looking over people's previous predictions, Kaladin being a major PoV in Group 1 also seems to be a general consensus.

Opportunity for additional simplification based on how Brandon changed the group format between the 3rd and 5th Reddit updates:

Spoiler
Quote

Brandon Sanderson

We have what I'm calling the Primary Arc, which focuses on four characters who are all together in one place, their plots interweaving. The Secondary Arc is three different characters, their arcs interweaving, but in a separate location from the primary arc. The Tertiary arc is the last two characters, in a third location.

Stormlight Book Four Updates (April 16, 2019)

[28]

This was the 3rd RoW update, and the outline he gave here was different: 4 characters in Group 1, 3 in Group 2, and 2 in Group 3. The simplest explanation for this change is that he decided to move someone from Group 2 to Group 1. Since he was out of his main outlining phase, I assume that he had a very good idea of the story at this point, so it is most likely that this switched character was a minor PoV. This made me want to try to see if I could predict who this character was, as they would be in a spot that we have not yet figured out. Since it's unlikely that a larger PoV changed here, I'll assume that Shallan and Adolin were both still in Group 2 at this point. The person that was moved would have to fit in their narrative. The possible characters are Szeth, Jasnah, and those in the list of Character1/Charcter2 candidates. Out of those characters, the only ones I could see as possible Group 2 members are Jasnah and Renarin (This is a big spot I need feedback; if you see others from the list that would make sense with Shallan and Adolin, please point them out). If this is accurate, it would narrow down our remaining unknowns in Group 1 to be:

Szeth and Renarin

Or

Jasnah and 1 of (Szeth, Character1, Charcter2)

It technically would only narrow things down if Jasnah was in Group 3. Note that this would not necessarily mean that Renarin is a PoV. It would just mean that if Jasnah is in Group 3, no other Character1/Charcter2 candidates than Renarin can be in Group 1.

After additional discussion:

Here's my reasoning for each candidate:

  • Jasnah: Likely because she is related to Adolin, and Shallan is her ward
  • Renarin: Likely because he is related to Adolin, and his corrupted spren may connect to the Sja-anat Ghostblood mission given to Shallan
  • Herdazian general: Possible. We don't really know anything about him, so he can't exactly be ruled out here
  • Lirin: Unlikely because he fits in way too well with Kaladin
  • Moash: Unlikely because he fits in way too well with Kaladin and Venli, or he's probably separate from the other characters
  • Teft: Unlikely because he fits in really well with Kaladin as part of Bridge 4, or as the person flying Dalinar
  • Rlain: Unlikely for the same reasons as Moash
  • Rock: Unlikely because Brandon said his narrative didn't fit in RoW
  • Ash/Taln: Unlikely because Brandon wants to save Herald stuff for the back 5
  • Taravangian: Unlikely because he's really old and should just stay in one place
  • Vasher: Unlikely because Brandon doesn't want to write Nightblood until after SA5
  • Szeth: Unlikely because he fits in well with Dalinar, or he would be most useful in the war in the same areas that Kaladin is useful (except as a surgeon of course)

This would make it:

Szeth and 1 of (Renarin, Heradzian general)

Or

Jasnah and 1 of (Szeth, Character1, Charcter2)

 

Character grouping format if all proposed simplifications are accepted (the above simplification is very tentative):

Spoiler

- Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar, Venli, Szeth, Navani, Adolin, and Jasnah must be included

- Character1 and Character2:

  • 2 of (Renarin, Moash, Rlain, Lirin, Herdazian general, Teft, Taravangian)

 

Group 1:

  • Major 3:
    • Navani
    • Venli
    • Kaladin
  • 1 of
    • A
      • Szeth
      • 1 of (Renarin, Heradzian general)
    • B
      • Jasnah
      • 1 of (Szeth, Syl, Character1, Character2)

Group 2:

  • Shallan
  • Adolin

Group 3:

  • Dalinar
  • 1 of (Szeth, Jasnah, Character1, Character2)

"Through line" interlude PoV:

  • 1 of (Character1, Character2)

 

This format leaves 103 total possibilities, which sounds like a lot, but is actually very small. I know this doesn't seem very simplified, but if you pick who you think Character1 and Character2 are, six or less possibilities will be left.

WoBs:

Spoiler
  1. RoW update 5
  2. RoW update 6
  3. RoW focus on the 5 flashback characters
  4. Navani is the most enjoyable to write recently (Nov. 26 in Arcanum)
  5. Szeth has role a similar size to his role in WoK / He starts out in prison because Dalinar said to
  6. Dalinar being flown to a different part of the world by non-Kaladin Windrunners - written soon before Oct. 15
  7. We will see Maya in RoW
  8. Jasnah/Wit interaction in RoW
  9. Jasnah has a couple of viewpoints
  10. Rysn will not be a main character, but will have an interlude
  11. A non-flashback character is the focus of RoW, and it was his favorite to write
  12. Lift has an interlude that takes place in Urithiru / Rock seems to be somewhere else
    Spoiler

     

     

  13. RoW Chapter 1 is a Lirin PoV in Hearthstone, and Kaladin is there
  14. Venli has a chapter that takes place in Kholinar - (transcription not allowed)
  15. A character with only 1 PoV in Part 4 gets a story from Wit 
  16. Group 2 climax in Part 4, Group 3 near the epilogue, and Group 1 in the normal spot
  17. Dalinar will get less in RoW than in SA5
  18. There are a lot of Venli viewpoints
  19. We will eventually get a viewpoint from Adolin while he is with Shallan
  20. Rlain's disappearance in OB was intentional
  21. A Rock novella is planned
  22. Future books' flashback characters
  23. Scientist that was in Warbreaker will be in RoW
  24. There wasn't room for Rock's narrative in RoW
  25. Nightblood won't be written until after SA5
  26. Most Herald stuff is being saved for SA Arc 2
  27. OB update 2
  28. RoW update 3
  29. Brandon chose Bulgarian cover art of Shallan and Adolin in Shadesmar
  30. From an anonymous user:
    Spoiler

    Anonymous: You would be willing to tell me in which arc to expect Adolin? Is he one the two characters who aren't getting more than one or two viewpoints?

    Sanderson: Adolin is not one of the characters who will get one or two viewpoints. He will have a decent chunk in this book. Not as much as you personally would like, I bet--but certainly more than one or two viewpoints.

  31. Syl had a chapter icon made and was supposed to have a viewpoint in OB. Brandon hopes to be able to put one in RoW.

 

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Posted (edited)

Okay, so far, I've found quite a few WoBs related to this, and I've connected the information in them to the group template. If anyone can find any other related WoBs, please post those, as each one can narrow down the possibilities significantly, and they've already been narrowed down quite a bit already.

Although WoB information is the most useful, there is still information beyond that. If any of you guys are good at telling how the narrative needs to proceed, please post any info on that. If we don't look at that information, we probably won't be able to figure out the final placements or who Character1 and Character2 are.

Also, if anyone can point out any connections between the WoBs that I did not make yet, that would be helpful.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Brandon recently did a livestream on Periscope with The Dusty Wheel, where he mentioned that the "focus" or "main" character (paraphrased) of this book is not Eshonai or Venli. This is a biok of their flashbacks, certainly, but the character we follow in present day is different.

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Posted (edited)

So I've updated it some more, and now I'm considering locking down Kaladin as the group 1 3rd major PoV, but I wanted to know if other people think that there's enough evidence. I'm not sure because this evidence is more nebulous than what I have used previously in this post. 

Brandon said that the 3 major group 1 PoVs form the core arc of the book. This makes me think that the 3rd spot should be either Shallan or Kaladin, as they already have big character arcs going. Since group 1 includes Venli, this makes me lean much more towards Kaladin, as he already has unresolved points in his arc involving Singers.

What do you guys think?

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Posted (edited)

23 hours ago, asmodeus said:

Brandon recently did a livestream on Periscope with The Dusty Wheel, where he mentioned that the "focus" or "main" character (paraphrased) of this book is not Eshonai or Venli. This is a biok of their flashbacks, certainly, but the character we follow in present day is different.

That was a subject of much speculation here.

Navani, Rlain, Adolin, and Teft were all put forward with in that order as candidates.  A cross reference WoB favored Navani(although it is circumstantial evidence).

37 minutes ago, ChickenLiberty said:

Brandon said that the 3 major group 1 PoVs form the core arc of the book. This makes me think that the 3rd spot should be either Shallan or Kaladin, as they already have big character arcs going. Since group 1 includes Venli, this makes me lean much more towards Kaladin, as he already has unresolved points in his arcs involving Singers.

Agreed.

Edited by Karger
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7 hours ago, ChickenLiberty said:

So I've updated it some more, and now I'm considering locking down Kaladin as the group 1 3rd major PoV, but I wanted to know if other people think that there's enough evidence. I'm not sure because this evidence is more nebulous than what I have used previously in this post. 

Brandon said that the 3 major group 1 PoVs form the core arc of the book. This makes me think that the 3rd spot should be either Shallan or Kaladin, as they already have big character arcs going. Since group 1 includes Venli, this makes me lean much more towards Kaladin, as he already has unresolved points in his arc involving Singers.

What do you guys think?

Yeah this seems likely considering what we know about Kaladin and Shallan at this point.

 

So all the characters start off together right? Is it reasonable to assume that they're all in Alethkar at first then since we know Kaladin and Venli are there? If that's the case then it's possible that the Adolin pov with Shallan could happen in this part of the book and they're not actually in the same group.

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1 hour ago, Callsign Radiant said:

So all the characters start off together right? Is it reasonable to assume that they're all in Alethkar at first then since we know Kaladin and Venli are there? If that's the case then it's possible that the Adolin pov with Shallan could happen in this part of the book and they're not actually in the same group.

Good point. I had forgotten about that. The good thing is that it still rules out Adolin as a group 3 member, since group 3 doesn't get any viewpoints until Part 3.

I'll fix that explanation.

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This isn't really strong evidence, but if we know that Jasnah and Wit will interact, and we know that Wit will be telling someone a story, those two things could be the same scene. Like I said it's not great evidence because Wit can obviously interact with multiple people, but if these two things are the same scene then that would put Jasnah in group 1. That would also follow the pattern of Jasnah having very few pov chapters. 

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2 hours ago, Callsign Radiant said:

but if we know that Jasnah and Wit will interact

Do we know that?

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2 minutes ago, Karger said:

Do we know that?

It's in one of the very long list of wobs in the first post. Even knowing that it doesn't prove anything for sure as I explained but I thought I'd mention the possibility anyway.

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2 hours ago, Callsign Radiant said:

This isn't really strong evidence, but if we know that Jasnah and Wit will interact, and we know that Wit will be telling someone a story, those two things could be the same scene. Like I said it's not great evidence because Wit can obviously interact with multiple people, but if these two things are the same scene then that would put Jasnah in group 1. That would also follow the pattern of Jasnah having very few pov chapters. 

I have no idea. This definitely increases the chance, but Wit has had multiple scenes in each book. Then again, the only PoV character he talked to on-screen in OB was Shallan.

I think that this would be a good connection to keep in mind when making the final placements.

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1 minute ago, ChickenLiberty said:

I have no idea. This definitely increases the chance, but Wit has had multiple scenes in each book. Then again, the only PoV character he talked to on-screen in OB was Shallan.

I think that this would be a good connection to keep in mind when making the final placements.

Yeah that's what I was thinking, it's an interesting thing to keep in mind and could be a factor and it's not solid.

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Here's my take: 

Group I:  Kaladin, Venli, Rlain (main character) (pursuing various objectives in Alethkar).  Why?  Because this is a book about interactions (or at least war) between Humans, Listeners, and Singers.  These three are the best suited to tell that story.  Also, I recently re-read the Rlain chapter in OB.  He would be an interesting radiant.

Group II:  Shallan and (Navani or Lift) working to uncover secrets in Urithiru.  Why?  Because that is where Shallan's arc is taking her.  Lift can help explore and/or Navani can help with the fabrial aspects.

Group III:  Dalinar and Szeth, questing somewhere else.  Why?  Because they have to do something, but they really need to wait for book 5.

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2 minutes ago, Grahamfactor said:

Here's my take: 

Group I:  Kaladin, Venli, Rlain (main character) (pursuing various objectives in Alethkar).  Why?  Because this is a book about interactions (or at least war) between Humans, Listeners, and Singers.  These three are the best suited to tell that story.  Also, I recently re-read the Rlain chapter in OB.  He would be an interesting radiant.

 

I do like the idea of Rlain being the main character; however,  I feel that evidence points towards Navani as the main character. Brandon said that the main character is the character he enjoys writing the most and this WoB seems to support that.

Quote

Questioner

In the characters of Stormlight, who's the most enjoyable to write about?

Brandon Sanderson

I like them all for different reasons. I really have been enjoying writing Navani lately, so she's been the most enjoyable. But it changes.

Starsight Release Party (Nov. 26, 2019)

 

 
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Posted (edited)

20 hours ago, Grahamfactor said:

Here's my take: 

Group I:  Kaladin, Venli, Rlain (main character) (pursuing various objectives in Alethkar).  Why?  Because this is a book about interactions (or at least war) between Humans, Listeners, and Singers.  These three are the best suited to tell that story.  Also, I recently re-read the Rlain chapter in OB.  He would be an interesting radiant.

Group II:  Shallan and (Navani or Lift) working to uncover secrets in Urithiru.  Why?  Because that is where Shallan's arc is taking her.  Lift can help explore and/or Navani can help with the fabrial aspects.

Group III:  Dalinar and Szeth, questing somewhere else.  Why?  Because they have to do something, but they really need to wait for book 5.

 

20 hours ago, RenarinKelsier said:

I do like the idea of Rlain being the main character; however,  I feel that evidence points towards Navani as the main character. Brandon said that the main character is the character he enjoys writing the most and this WoB seems to support that.

 

 

This type of discussion is much better suited to this thread:

_________________________

 

I went ahead with locking down Kaladin's place, and I changed how I'm showing why stuff was crossed out to be using color, so let me know if that works. I think the next step should probably be figuring out who Character1 is, as that has the potential to narrow lots of things down. If anyone sees other likely candidates that I missed in that list, or if you can think of anything to help support or refute any of the ones on the list, please post those ideas.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Posted (edited)

I wouldn't double-post, but I think that this info is separate enough from the last thing, and it was big enough that it caused a bunch of stuff to get narrowed down. Surprisingly, this information was from an OB update.

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

Hello, reddit. I figured I'd pop back in and give you a new update on your book. (I can't believe it's been six months since the last one.)

I'll give a slight spoiler warning to everything below this paragraph. I'm obviously not going to say anything story-wise that would spoil the book. However, I'll be talking a little about the structure of it and what's going on with the draft. I can see some people, very sensitive to spoilers, being concerned about learning anything at all about the book. For you who fit this description, let me just say that I'm approaching the halfway point, but I'm not there yet. The book is going very well, and I'm pleased with it.

Now, on to a deeper discussion of the novel. The first thing I did for Stormlight 3 was work on the flashback sequences for Dalinar and Szeth, as I hadn't yet decided which one would match this book. Through this process, I decided on Dalinar--a decision contrary to my original outline from the start of the series. This didn't concern me; the decision was made based on how the series had developed, and it's always good to expect some things to change during the actual writing. (For example, much of Kaladin's plot from book two was originally slated for book three.) Being too slavish to an outline isn't ever a good thing.

This decision made, I sat down and wrote Dalinar's flashbacks in their entirety. By the end of them, I was completely convinced these were the best paring for this book. That meant, as this was "his" book, I wanted Dalinar viewpoints to show up in all five parts of Oathbringer. You see, Stormlight Books have a kind of strange format. I plot them in this bizarre fashion that likely makes sense only to me. But I'll try to explain.

I split each book into five parts, which group together to form three chunks plotted like individual volumes of a trilogy--with a large, over-arching plot that ties into the five-book arc of the initial sequence, which in turn is half of the complete ten book arc. Each volume, then, has a complete trilogy's worth of arcs and climaxes for the primary characters (Kaladin, Shallan, Dalinar) while also having a self-contained flashback sequence, at least one secondary novelette about a character that hasn't had viewpoints so far, and a related short story collection. The "main character" for the book gets, beyond their flashback sequence, a role in each part of the story.

So this means a slightly larger plot for Dalinar, and a slight scaling back for Kaladin and Shallan. (Don't worry; both will be in the book around as much as Kaladin was in Words of Radiance.) Now, the plotting for Oathbringer--as I mentioned--is broken into five chunks, which combine into three chunks. (I call them books here for lack of a better word, as the novel--like each other in the series--is a trilogy bound in one volume. Don't be confused. This doesn't mean I'm splitting the book for publication, only that it is plotted in a way with divisions between the story arcs.)

"Book One" of Oathbringer is all of Part one, plus the interludes. "Book Two" is parts two and three, plus two sets of interludes. "Book Three" is parts four and five, plus interludes. Of these, part two is going to be the biggest oddball, as I'm putting another novelette (separated into six chapters) in here as I feel I need a glimpse at another character. So it's going to have the least focus on primary viewpoints.

I've finished all of the flashbacks, all of the viewpoints for part one, the novelette for part two, and part of the other novelette (the one that will take the place of Szeth from book one or Eshonai from book two.) This, so far, puts me at about 180k words written--with 130k of that being part one in its entirety, and the rest being scenes listed above.

If that sounds confusing, I apologize. These books are somewhat involved to write, and more complex stories demand some outlining that gets a little crazy. However, I did whip up a visualization of the viewpoint structure, which I've posted below.

Stormlight Three Visual Outline

This doesn't give an exact view of scale, as--for instance--part one will likely be the longest of the five. Part Two looks the most full, but it's likely to have only three or four chapters from each of the primary characters (well, one chapter from one of them) so it should actually be shorter than part one. Part Five isn't cut off; I know it will be short, as it was in the other two books.

Next up is to do a revision of part one. (I don't often do revisions in the middle of a book, but with books this long, it's helpful for me to keep the plot under control and maintain continuity through the parts.) From there, I'll write Dalinar for part two, interweave with the appropriate flashbacks and the already-finished novelette, then look at the detailed plotting of the other three viewpoints in the part. I hope to bring this part in at around 70k words, bringing the total book to 200k and getting us to roughly the halfway point.

If this makes your head spin, then don't worry, you can ignore it. It is important to me that these books, though epic in scope, retain a tight view of the primary characters through all volumes. You will see a lot of Dalinar, Kaladin, and Shallan. You will see a moderate amount of Szeth, Eshonai, Jasnah, Adolin, and Navani. There will be a few surprises regarding other characters who have slightly larger places in the plot, but in general, anyone not on one of the above lists isn't allowed more than a viewpoint here or there. (Until the second five books, where our primary characters will shuffle. So you Renarin fans will have to be patient.)

I'm determined to maintain momentum in this story without letting it veer too far away from the primary plot. I feel that a careful outline and a consistent structure are the methods by which I will achieve this.

Thanks for your patience.

Stormlight Three Update #2 (Jan. 19, 2016)

I put the relevant paragraph in bold. In this paragraph, he at first talks about specific character stuff for OB, but then he says how it will extend for the rest of SA Arc 1. Characters other than Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan, Szeth, Eshonai, Jasnah, Adolin, and Navani won't get a large number of viewpoints until SA Arc 2 (he says Eshonai, but it's clear he actually means Venli, since Eshonai died in WoR). These are the same characters we were sure of so far, so we must be doing something right. This rules out Character1 and Character2 in Group 2, which leaves only Adolin and Shallan, which rules them out everywhere else.

Like I said in my previous post, our focus now should be on Character1 and Character2, but we're getting pretty close to figuring out the whole thing.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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I feel that Moash and Rlain are particularly strong candidates for this book considering the singer focus. I can see Moash contrasting with Venli well, a human siding with the fused and a singer siding with the humans (assuming she does join them this book which seems likely). But Rlain could find the missing listeners and also show a different facet of the human/singer dynamic. 

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What do we know about groups interacting? Because Szeth swore to be Dalinar's Vassal, so he is very likely going to get new / altered commands at some point in this book

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Posted (edited)

4 minutes ago, GoWibble said:

What do we know about groups interacting? Because Szeth swore to be Dalinar's Vassal, so he is very likely going to get new / altered commands at some point in this book

All we know about groups interacting is that they will be together at the start of the book, and what some groups are doing will imply interesting things for another.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Posted (edited)

I've been trying to think of any more information we can get out, and... somebody tell me if I'm going insane regarding this next bit of reasoning.

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

We have what I'm calling the Primary Arc, which focuses on four characters who are all together in one place, their plots interweaving. The Secondary Arc is three different characters, their arcs interweaving, but in a separate location from the primary arc. The Tertiary arc is the last two characters, in a third location.

Stormlight Book Four Updates (April 16, 2019)

 This was the 3rd RoW update, and the outline he gave here was different: 4 characters in Group 1, 3 in Group 2, and 2 in Group 3. The simplest explanation for this change is that he decided to move someone from Group 2 to Group 1. Since he was out of his main outlining phase, I assume that he had a very good idea of the story at this point, so it is most likely that this switched character was a minor PoV. This made me want try to see if I could predict who this character was, as they would be in a spot that we have not yet figured out. Since it's unlikely that a larger PoV changed here, I'll assume that Shallan and Adolin were both still in Group 2 at this point. The person that was moved would have to fit in their narrative. The possible characters are Szeth, Jasnah, and those in the list of Character1/Charcter2 candidates. Out of those characters, the only ones I could see as possible Group 2 members are Jasnah and Renarin (This is a big spot I need feedback; if you see others from the list that would make sense with Shallan and Adolin, please point them out). If this is accurate, it would narrow down our remaining unknowns in Group 1 to be:

Szeth and Renarin

Or

Jasnah and 1 of (Szeth, Character1, Charcter2)

It technically would only narrow things down if Jasnah was in Group 3. Note that this would not necessarily mean that Renarin is a PoV. It would just mean that if Jasnah is in Group 3, no other Character1/Charcter2 candidates than Renarin can be in Group 1.

Like I said, this reasoning is really weird, so if anyone's confused about something here, thinks I missed a character that could fit this, or if you agree, please give feedback.

Edit: Or if I'm just being insane.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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Ok, I don't think that you are fully insane yet, but I think that Lirin or one of the Heralds might also be a good canidate for this group, but Lirin is unlikely. If Dalinar can somehow pull Ash or Taln into group 2, then they could work. Maybe part of the group arc is restoring Taln?

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19 hours ago, ChickenLiberty said:

I've been trying to think of any more information we can get out, and... somebody tell me if I'm going insane regarding this next bit of reasoning.

 This was the 3rd RoW update, and the outline he gave here was different: 4 characters in Group 1, 3 in Group 2, and 2 in Group 3. The simplest explanation for this change is that he decided to move someone from Group 1 to Group 2. Since he was out of his main outlining phase, I assume that he had a very good idea of the story at this point, so it is most likely that this switched character was a minor PoV. This made me want try to see if I could predict who this character was, as they would be in a spot that we have not yet figured out. Since it's unlikely that a larger PoV changed here, I'll assume that Shallan and Adolin were both still in Group 2 at this point. The person that was moved would have to fit in their narrative. The possible characters are Szeth, Jasnah, and those in the list of Character1/Charcter2 candidates. Out of those characters, the only ones I could see as possible Group 2 members are Jasnah and Renarin (This is a big spot I need feedback; if you see others from the list that would make sense with Shallan and Adolin, please point them out). If this is accurate, it would narrow down our remaining unknowns in Group 1 to be:

Szeth and Renarin

Or

Jasnah and 1 of (Szeth, Character1, Charcter2)

It technically would only narrow things down if Jasnah was in Group 3. Note that this would not necessarily mean that Renarin is a PoV. It would just mean that if Jasnah is in Group 3, no other Character1/Charcter2 candidates than Renarin can be in Group 1.

Like I said, this reasoning is really weird, so if anyone's confused about something here, thinks I missed a character that could fit this, or if you agree, please give feedback.

Edit: Or if I'm just being insane.

Ok, so Jasnah and Renarin definitely could both fit in with Shallan and Adolin. There's the obvious family connection with both of them. Then with Renarin there's an opportunity to get more from his POV after the Glys reveal, but also Shallan did have that conversation with Sja-anat in OB so I can see that there could be a link there. With Jasnah, she obviously already has a connection with Shallan and at the end of OB I think Shallan said something along the lines of her being ready to be Jasnah's ward again. I only have the audiobook so I can't find exactly what she said but I'm pretty sure something like that was mentioned. I don't know exactly how the wardship would work with Jasnah being queen and the war going on but it could still be a factor. I suppose the thing is that the character would need to fit in group 2, but not perfectly because they were moved to group 1. So maybe looking for too many connections between this character and Shallan and Adolin is misleading? I don't know, hopefully all that made sense.

1 hour ago, GoWibble said:

Ok, I don't think that you are fully insane yet, but I think that Lirin or one of the Heralds might also be a good canidate for this group, but Lirin is unlikely. If Dalinar can somehow pull Ash or Taln into group 2, then they could work. Maybe part of the group arc is restoring Taln?

I'm just wondering if you have any evidence or reasoning to think that these characters would fit? Really anyone is possible, but this seems to just be a guess. More of the heralds would be cool though.

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Posted (edited)

1 hour ago, Callsign Radiant said:

Ok, so Jasnah and Renarin definitely could both fit in with Shallan and Adolin. There's the obvious family connection with both of them. Then with Renarin there's an opportunity to get more from his POV after the Glys reveal, but also Shallan did have that conversation with Sja-anat in OB so I can see that there could be a link there. With Jasnah, she obviously already has a connection with Shallan and at the end of OB I think Shallan said something along the lines of her being ready to be Jasnah's ward again. I only have the audiobook so I can't find exactly what she said but I'm pretty sure something like that was mentioned. I don't know exactly how the wardship would work with Jasnah being queen and the war going on but it could still be a factor. I suppose the thing is that the character would need to fit in group 2, but not perfectly because they were moved to group 1. So maybe looking for too many connections between this character and Shallan and Adolin is misleading? I don't know, hopefully all that made sense.

Yeah, I definitely get what you're saying about how it would need to have not fit perfectly. I looked back at that update, and I noticed this:

Quote

Brandon Sanderson

That's the plan, anyway! I'm not 100% done with the outline yet, as I want to explore some viewpoints first to make sure everything is lining up the way I want.

Stormlight Book Four Updates (April 16, 2019)

It seems to me that this viewpoint that was moved is probably one of these viewpoints that he wanted to explore to finish up the outline. So maybe, this viewpoint made complete sense to him in his head, but he had an idea for a different way to do it, and only after writing it was he able to know for sure. What we may need to look for is a PoV that looks great in that spot from a character perspective, but whose narrative in the book would be better told from in Group 1. It could be similar to how Brandon originally intended Jasnah to stay with Shallan in WoR because that made sense considering their relationship to each other, but then decided that Shallan would experience more growth throughout the book if she had to go without Jasnah.

Edited by ChickenLiberty
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4 minutes ago, ChickenLiberty said:

Yeah, I definitely get what you're saying about how it would need to have not fit perfectly. I looked back at that update, and I noticed this:

It seems to me that this viewpoint that was moved is probably one of these viewpoints that he wanted to explore to finish up the outline. So maybe, this viewpoint made complete sense to him in his head, but he had an idea for a different way to do it, and only after writing it was he able to know for sure. What we may need to look for is a PoV that looks great in that spot from a character perspective, but whose narrative in the book would be better told from in Group 1. It could be similar to how Brandon originally intended Jasnah to stay with Shallan in WoR because that made sense considering their relationship to each other, but then decided that Shallan would experience more growth through the book if she had to go without Jasnah.

That sounds right. Do we have any ideas of what Shallan and Adolin will actually be doing? That might help. Shallan could have ghostblood things to deal with and Adolin could be looking into reviving Maya I suppose. It would make more sense to have a single/joint arc though since group 2 is meant to be narrowly focused. I know they're married but I assume they will be doing something and not just getting used to married life, especially since there's been a timeskip. Oh or the character could have just been moved to allow more focus on the Shallan/Adolin relationship potentially.

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On 4/11/2020 at 2:18 PM, Callsign Radiant said:

That sounds right. Do we have any ideas of what Shallan and Adolin will actually be doing? That might help. Shallan could have ghostblood things to deal with and Adolin could be looking into reviving Maya I suppose. It would make more sense to have a single/joint arc though since group 2 is meant to be narrowly focused. I know they're married but I assume they will be doing something and not just getting used to married life, especially since there's been a timeskip. Oh or the character could have just been moved to allow more focus on the Shallan/Adolin relationship potentially.

Here's my reasoning for each candidate:

  • Jasnah: Likely for reasons you said earlier
  • Renarin: Likely for reasons you said earlier
  • Herdazian general: Possible. We don't really know anything about him, so he can't exactly be ruled out here
  • Lirin: Unlikely because he fits in way too well with Kaladin
  • Moash: Unlikely because he fits in way too well with Kaladin and Venli, or he's probably separate from the other characters
  • Teft: Unlikely because he fits in really well with Kaladin as part of Bridge 4, or as the person flying Dalinar
  • Rlain: Unlikely for the same reasons as Moash
  • Rock: Unlikely because Brandon said his narrative didn't fit in RoW
  • Ash/Taln: Unlikely because Brandon wants to save Herald stuff for the back 5
  • Taravangian: Unlikely because he's really old and should just stay in one place
  • Vasher: Unlikely because Brandon doesn't want to write Nightblood until after SA5
  • Szeth: Unlikely because he fits in well with Dalinar, or he would be most useful in the war in the same areas that Kaladin is useful (except healing of course)

This would make it:

Szeth and 1 of (Renarin, Heradzian general)

Or

Jasnah and 1 of (Szeth, Character1, Charcter2)

Does my reasoning here work, or is there something I missed about someone that makes them not as unlikely?

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