YouTube Weekly Updates 2021

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Name YouTube Weekly Updates 2021
Date
Date March 8, 2021
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Entries 11
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#1 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The book [Skyward Three] is not going to be called Nowhere, I'm pretty sure. I've tried to push my publisher, and they're just like, "We don't like that title." And it's okay. I let them in the YA space really talk about titles and choose titles. So, who knows what it'll be.

Fourth book is probably gonna be called Defiant; that's where we're kind of moving for the fourth book. Third book, no idea  yet. I will keep you updated on that.

#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Skyward Three is still scheduled for November of this year; that'll be my next big launch. We should have novellas in the Skyward universe coming out just before that, so watch for those. The first one of those just got its first draft done; I'm coauthoring those with Janci, a good friend of mine and an excellent writer.

#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

In the comments last week and weeks before, we had a lot of questions about the Dawnshard audiobook. Where is that? I can't tell you when, but it should be coming out sometime this summer. We're looking which publishers to put it with, and things like that. We actually already recorded the audio; we had Michael and Kate do that. (I think it's both of them; him doing Lopen and her doing Rysn.) Regardless, we have that audio; we are ready. It's gonna take us a little bit, because we want to find the right distribution place. But it's coming.

#4 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

In the comments, I saw that one of you was asking about my prewriting process [for Wax and Wayne Four]. In short, for this one, what I did is: there were three big steps. The beginning was, I wrote down Character, Setting, Plot together in a document, and I then did a subheading for each of the main characters. For this book, it'll be Wax, Wayne, Steris, and Marasi. And I said, "All right; what are their character arcs? How do they change? What do they want in this book? What's going on with them?" And that was the first pillar I wanted to hit; I wanted to make sure that everybody was working and that I knew where they were all going and where they would end. Because this is the last book of that sequence, and I want the ending to be spectacular.

Next part was setting. In this, mostly it was developing the magic system, making sure that the things that I'm doing with it, the new ideas that are coming in and developments, are in line with the general goals for the Cosmere and for Scadrial, and that everything that I wanted to do worked within the bounds of the magic, and bouncing that off of my team and making sure that I was explaining things well, why things worked like they did.

And then the last part was to construct the actual plot. This is: what is happening, what are people wanting to do? How am I weaving in character arcs to this large construct that is the plot of the book?

#6 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Last time I asked you what you guys were most interested in regarding art books for the Stormlight Archive. And 66% of you prefer the guidebook style. You can look last week if you want to know. This is what I thought you would say. It’s the one that I thought would be most interesting, an in-world guidebook that features a lot of art but also is kind of like a coffee table book you can put out that you can give to a friend who hasn’t read the Stormlight Archive and they’re like, “What’s it about?” Well, here is some cool artwork with some in-world descriptions.

I kicked around some ideas with Isaac on this. We’ll probably start working on this. Again, this is probably not for four years or so. But we will start working on this. It looks like you guys are excited. We did get 20,000 responses from you, so that’s really good. And the overwhelming majority of you, 76% of you, said that we would buy all three if we put them together. And I chatted with Isaac, and right now we’re going to take the first two on this list, because we think that we can make the coffee table art book and the guidebook kind of combined into one. But what we can’t really combine in that is the encyclopedia-style book, which we’d actually want to be alphabetized, and things like that.

And so what we’re going to do is we are going to start kind of working on these two things together but as separate books that we would sell together and sell separately. But probably do a Kickstarter for the two of them together, and then later on you can just buy them individually. So like, a larger art book/guidebook as one, and then an encyclopedia-style sort of companion book, and things like that. I really think these will work well matching the first five books, because we will probably have to do separate ones after book 10 that would cover that era of Stormlight, the 6 through 10.

#7 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I also wanted to get back to you on the results of the poll from last week [about the complexity level of a potential Stormlight board game], which I really appreciate you guys, again, responding. This is something we had that was kind of a conundrum for us. I don’t have another poll or anything for you today. I just want to talk about this one.

This one was tighter of a poll than the previous one we’d done. This one, our results were mid-30% being the winner for a medium-sized game. And if you want to go look at the previous post, we kind of defined what that means. So that’s what we’re going to move forward with. We’re going to be looking at companies and ideas. Again, this is a long, multi-year process, and we’re only probably going to work on one of these at a time. I don’t think that any of you want us to release five Stormlight board games in the period of a year or two and be like, “All right, now buy them all.” We’re going to start with this kind of medium-scale one.

The other thing that we will investigate, so lowest on the list was really hardcore game, and very light game, the faster game. Most everyone wanted something kind of more in the middle. And so–. Not everybody. There definitely were people who wanted the very complicated game. And that’s not off the table some time in the future, but we aren’t going to pursue that quite yet. We want to do things right and do things well, and we want to just take these one at a time. And so legacy game and pen and paper RPG both were in the low 20s, kind of neck and neck. I think maybe legacy game won by a percentage point. However, we don’t want to have two board games in the mix at the same time. So I will probably investigate doing a pen and paper RPG also, because I think that’s distinctive enough. And so those are the two things that we’re going to start working on.

#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

But let’s talk about Cytonic. For a long time I called this book Nowhere. Why did the title change? Well, I always had that as a working title. And in YA in particular I really like to let my publisher have a lot to say with the titles because it’s a genre that I don’t publish in as much and don’t follow quite as much. I do read a decent amount of YA, but I don’t follow the marketing trends. And one of the reasons I use a publisher is to rely upon their expertise. And they really felt that Nowhere as a title was off-putting for a certain demographic of the audience. And so we went back to the drawing board. This book is really about Spensa and her powers, and I thought, “You know what? This is going to make for a good title.” So we went with that one.

#9 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I have actually—I can’t tell you too much, I don’t want to give spoilers—but the last section of this [The Lost Metal], I basically am doing it in chunks, and I’m kind of doing it by character like I kind of do in a Stormlight book, because this is going to be a bit longer than the previous Wax and Wayne books. And so I have been focusing on one of the characters and writing that character all the way through, and so I’m almost to the end. And that’s kind of exciting.

I like doing that because climactic moments invigorate me as a writer. They’re really exciting to write. I’ve been pushing toward an ending for a long time. I like to do lots of set-ups and payoffs. And this style of writing let’s me have multiple pushes toward the end, so to speak. I get to finish the book basically three or four times, depending on how many viewpoints I’m doing. Sometimes in Stormlight it’s more than that. But I’m pushing toward the ending of one of these viewpoints, which, just like I said, is very exciting. It’s a lot of fun.

#10 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

This week we just had go live the cover of Lux, which is the new Reckoners novel. This is an audio original. There will probably be a print edition at some point. But this is right now an audio original. You can only get it on Audible. We’re doing a preorder push for it right now.

What is going on?

Well, I sold to Audible three Reckoners novellas that I was co-writing with my friend Steven Boles. And he’s a really great writer. And we’re doing these as part of the Mainframe Project. You can read more, if you’re really interested, in the Mainframe stuff in my State of the Sanderson from last year. This is the second of these that have come up together. And while working on this, Steven and I decided just to make it a full novel. Instead of three novellas, we just did a full-blown Reckoners novel with a new crew of Reckoners.

So you don’t have to have read any of the other books to jump into this one. It is a new jumping off point. It connects to the other books, but it is a little bit parallel with the other books and then passing them up and continuing on and continuing the story.

#11 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I was reading the comment section to one of my previous updates, and someone had been a little confused about how I was writing this book. They're like, "Wait, so the entire last third of the book is all Sanderlanche?" Not quite. So, in order to explain it to you, how Wax and Wayne is progressing, this is a mostly spoiler-free visual aid that I have created for you. This is not how it will actually be published; this is how I have been writing it.

We're gonna start at the bottom here. Part One of the book, which was roughly... The whole book is gonna be 150,000 words; Part One was roughly 30,000 words of that. I write two separate narratives with two characters each. And I wrote those together; I just alternated chapters between the four characters. (The four characters for this book being Wax, Wayne, Marasi, and Steris. And some of those characters get more viewpoints than others; Steris gets fewer viewpoints, generally, than the others.) But the idea is that I kind of just wrote them all together, but they were in two separate storylines.

That then, as we hit Part Two, I brought everybody together and did it as one big narrative of four different characters, and I was alternating between them. And then I wrote this through.

And then I hit a point in the middle of the book, right about at the central point (right around 75,000 words) where I realized I was splitting the characters up again, and I wanted to go and write each narrative on its own for a while. What this gets me is: writing-wise, this is where we are, right here [in Part Three]. This is where I've taken the character groupings: one character's off by themselves, two characters are together, and one character's got a short little bit of viewpoints. (That's Steris, who's got a few viewpoints off in a third location.)

And what's going on here is, it's much easier for to take the book and to write, for instance, all of this [one character, 30K-ish words] because this character is split off from the others and just really drill into this character's character arc and narrative arc. And then, it gets to the end and I get to have a climax section that will be at the end of the book.

Then, I'll actually go write Steris next, which has a little mini-climactic chapter of her arc.

And then I'll write these characters right here [two characters, 40K-ish words], which is where I'll end. I will write that all the way through to the climax of their character arcs and narrative arc.

And then I will weave these all together. This, like I said, gets me some advantages. One is that I get to write the ending, essentially, from three different perspectives three different times, and I really like writing endings. This just makes it more engaging to me as an author. It is less oppressive for me to keep all of this stuff... like, if I were jumping between these three different narratives, it would be much more difficult to keep a tight focus on what's happening with them. This [Part Three] is how I write Stormlight books. This [Parts One and Two] is how I write Skyward books and things like that that have fewer narratives. So this book is half like one of those and half like a Stormlight book in the way I'm approaching just structurally creating the thing.

What the disadvantage of this is is that the pacing really needs to really be looked at in that part when I then interweave all these viewpoints. Because you'll read them; they won't be split up in chunks. You will read them interwoven, where it's jumping between the different narrative plotlines. And the issue there is, I will naturally create a narrative, for instance, for this character [one character, 30K-ish words] that has its own stops and starts and slowdowns and scenes and sequels, as we sometimes talk about in writing terms. And I'll do the same thing for this one [two characters, 40K-ish words]. And then I' have to weave these together in a way that the pacing feels right. And this is a lot of what the 2.0 revision of a book like this is about, is making sure that it just feels right as you're going through these, jumping between viewpoints and what-not.

I have just actually finished this part [one character, 30K-ish words]. I wrote the climactic moments of this sequence this week. I'm actually gonna write Steris next, and so that'll be 10K. And then I will do the last portion for the last month that I'll be working on this. We'll see if it goes long or if it goes short. The first viewpoint group ended up being just right smack where I expected it. I am pretty good these days at guessing how many words a given plot arc that I'm planning will take. For instance, Steris's might take a little less than 10K.

Event details
Name
Name YouTube Weekly Updates 2021
Date
Date March 8, 2021
Entries
Entries 11
Upload sources