My theme for the A to Z Blogging Challenge this year is a mishmash of books, movies, writers and TV shows that have in one way or another taught me something about writing and helped me be a better writer. Some inspired my own stories and a few taught me what not to do. Each post is a one minute lesson on writing. Don't forget to visit the IWSG blog for some inspiration on writing.
The Way of Kings is the first book in Brandon Sanderson's Stormlight Archives with the second titled Words of Radiance. And both those titles are the names of books referred to within the book. Pretty cool. The world in this series is subjected to desolations which are some kind of collapse of the planet and society which occurs every so many hundred of years and throws civilization back to the stone age and kills 90% of the people. One such period is on the way.
If you're not familiar with Sanderson, he is one of the most prolific fantasy authors I know. He writes fast and his books are terrific. If I had to pick one author to read, it would be Sanderson. I'm going to stop fan-girling now. In this series, rumored to be ten books long, the first book weighed in at slightly over 1000 pages and the second one at 1100. And every page was interesting. The characters are heroic but flawed, the history behind the story doled out piece by piece, and the fantasy world
introduced a piece at a time. Sanderson starts with a handful of characters, all heavily involved in their own dramas and parts of a widening war and then draws them all together. Some meet during the first book but by the end of the second most of the main characters have joined forces, The stormlight is actually part of the magic used by people within the book. It's very unique, dangerous and pretty cool. Sanderson also keeps multiple projects going at the same time. Steelheart is the first book in his YA science fiction series, The Reckoners. It's awesome!
Lesson: If your story telling skills are good enough, your characters interesting enough and your plot complex enough, you can write a story that's very, very long. (If you're Brandon Sanderson). If you want to write long books or keep multiple projects going, you need to work hard at writing. Being prolific can really help your career. If you're going to read 1100 page books, it's easier to do on a Kindle than hold that huge book. And a clever, fitting name for a book rewards readers as if they've learned a secret by reading the novel that those who haven't read it can never know.
Some quotes from The Stormlight Archives
“Strength does not make one capable of rule; it makes one capable of service.”
"Too many of us take great pains with what we ingest through our mouths, and far less with what we partake of through our ears and eyes.”
“To lack feeling is to be dead, but to act on every feeling is to be a child.”
“The purpose of a storyteller is not to tell you how to think, but to give you questions to think upon.”
Do you like reading long books? Who is the most prolific writer you know? Do you have trouble picking a title for your books or know a book with a very clever title? Can you tell by this post who my favorite fantasy author is?