Sanderson’s Warbreaker and Writing Motivation

***Spoiler Alert!***

Jump to the /end spoiler tag if you don’t want to ruin Warbreaker for yourself. You aren’t supposed to know that these two characters meet until deep into the book.

The door slammed open. Vivenna jumped, putting a hand to her chest.

Vasher walked in. “Start reaching for that sword when you’re startled,” he said. “There’s little reason to grab your shirt, unless you’re planning to rip it off.” – Page 480 of Warbreaker (Hardcover)

***/End Spoiler***

Brandon Sanderson is an amazing author, and I love the light-hearted comedy in his works as well as the evocative, embroiled plots. In particular, I love reading about the training period that characters go through and the kind of mentor-mentee relationship that builds as a result. I don’t want everyone to praise Sanderson, for fear that inflating his ego will change the quality of his work, but he probably has a good sense of his own capabilities/greatness anyway.

He and a bantering group of genial, professional authors operate a useful and motivating writing podcast known as Writing Excuses, covering all sorts of writing topics in 15 minutes or less. A recent show talked about something that I’ve been struggling with in particular:

How do you know if you should abandon a story and move on to something else?

The response: New writers should avoid [abandoning their stories]… You need to learn to finish things. If it’s your first or one of the first things you’re writing, learning to finish something is more important than writing something awesome… You’re gonna hit the hard bits and think you’re no longer in love with [the] story.

Work through it. I take these words to heart. I have many stories, many many UNFINISHED stories. The name of the game is to make it to completion. Got it? Do it. Go win.


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KT is an avid foodie/gamer/SFF reader with expertise in a variety of bizarre fields. Her love for technology, science, and internet media is only matched by her fondness for music, language and art. Karen is an aspiring writer with a meandering past. Her law and engineering books make wonderful counterweights to her fiction collections. She hopes to one day publish a novel, most likely in the young adult genre, but the future is an open book.

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