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Complex worlds created and sustained …. but how?

By / July 29, 2012 / no comments

Whilst I was trolling over the interwebs I discovered a website called Writing Excuses and with the slogan, “Fifteen minutes long, because you’re in a hurry, and we’re not that smart”, it just had to be worth my time. Each week Brandon Sanderson , Howard Taylar , Dan Wells  and Mary Robinette Kowal upload a podcast and share their collective knowledge about how to write, and write well. The great thing for me, being an admirer of Sanderson’s work, is that it gives me an insight into how he creates such amazing books.

Brandon Sanderson

The podcasts can give readers of these author’s some interesting things to ponder when we dig into their books. Sanderson is known for his unique magic systems with strict laws to be obeyed. Elantris (his debut novel)  was praised for the ability he demonstrated to create worlds without info dumping on his readers, like many authors do. His bestselling series Mistborn is evidence of his attention to detail and an impeccable memory, or so I assumed. This leads me to the Way of Kings’ world. A world so richly filled with cultures, religions and mythology, with complex laws of people and nature. It seemed, to me at least, one of the most comprehensively and completely built worlds since Tolkien and Lord of the Rings (I know, big call) and it had me wondering, how does he remember it all? I have the answer for you … a STORY BIBLE!

Apparently there are many programs that allow you to have your own person ‘wiki like’ software on your desktop. Wikipad is what Howard and Sanderson use and Dan stands by Openoffice.  As a reader it pretty much means I’m assured consistency, but also the knowledge that Sanderson does indeed have it all under control. If you have read Way of Kings (Book 1 in the Stormlight Archives) you will no doubt be aware that the book is complex and rich in detail. Plots and subplots are mouth wateringly outlined for the next books, but there are also these strange characters that get very little page time and I have no idea why.

A story bible means that Sanderson (and you if you want to) can track all his characters, plots, subplots, word mythology and all things in the Stormlight world. Therefore we can all sleep well tonight knowing that Sanderson has our backs and he knows just what he is going to do to rock our socks off with the next book in the Stormlight Archives.

Feel free to comment with your ideas on how we can get our hands on this bible, as his website is displaying 0% next the Stormlight Archive Book 2. ☹

To save you digging through the archive:

In this podcast Sanderson talks about Way of Kings and answers some burning questions some of you may have had. For example, why THREE main POV’s and  the intense otherworldly setting.



“Written by Danica for Bestfantasybooks.com”


About the author


Blog editor, admin and founder of BestFantasyBooks.comYou'll find me on the BestFantasyBook forums and spending my spare time reading fantasy books and writing lists for this site. In fact, I have no spare time -- running this site IS my spare time!


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