So, what I’ve been doing lately is writing on Stormlight 2. And Stormlight 2, if you’re unaware with what’s going on in the Stormlight series, I conceived the series as ten volumes, two five book arcs, with each volume focusing on a character by giving them a flashback sequence. So if you’ve read the first one, Kaladin, one of the main characters, there’s a sequence of flashbacks that kind of inform how he came to be where he is at the start of the book. And I intended that for each of the ten primary characters because I kind of began them all in the middle of their stories, which is what happens when you’re writing a book. The beginning of a story is not the beginning of a book. It’s impossible to tell the beginning of a story because there’s always something more that could come before. So you start with people who have passions, who have lives, who have things going on and then I wanted to use these sequences to bring you back up to where they were when they started.
This was a method I thought I would use in order to help divide each book and help me envision each book as a stand-alone volume in the series. Because one of the challenges of writing a big series like this is you don’t want them all to blend together. You want them each to feel distinct, to have their own climaxes and their own story because when they start to blend together, it can be detrimental to the series in the long run. So in my original outline, I spent a lot of time figuring out what everyone’s story was going to be, but I didn’t actually have to do them in a certain order because they all are flashbacks. It means I didn’t have to have the flashbacks in certain parts. And so I wasn’t sure whether I was going to do Dalinar or Shallan for the second book, I always knew I was going to do Kaladin for the first book. And I ended up deciding on Shallan, in part because I want to get into her story because of things that are happening in the plot but also because I wanted Dalinar’s sequence to come later.
Now, I’m not promising that characters all survive that long. It’s entirely possible, just so you know, that I would kill someone off and still show their flashback sequence. Because the flashbacks aren’t them having a flashback, the flashbacks are- it’s not them sitting there and remembering that, it is simply a non-linear way of telling their story. So just so you know, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Dalinar survives til book five.
Are you telling us you're going to kill one of our viewpoints?
I'm not saying. I'm just saying, that I reserve the right, the outline, you know? I don't like giving spoilers. I like keeping people guessing.