And what you can learn from him (as a writer)
What do you require from fantasy books? Good pacing, complex characters, grey areas, shocking twists, camouflaged Easter eggs, different magic systems and a world like the real.
Brandon Sanderson does all of it and more.
His career involves him completing the Wheel of Time series when its original author, Robert Jordan, passed away. Concluding it gave him expertise in the writing arena.
With more than 25 books in circulation and 20 million sold now, Sanderson must have some magic with him for this phenomenal achievement!
On a personal level, he made me excited about the fantasy genre again. I love to get lost in his carefully constructed worlds and words.
I have read his Mistborn series and have begun the Stormlight Archive, carefully analyzing them on my way.
Here are some learnings you’d want to know.
Stay regular, no matter what
What is common among the authors George R. R. Martin, Scott Lynch, and Patrick Rothfuss, except for the fantasy genre and the best-selling tag?
A Game of Thrones, The Lies of Locke Lamora, and The Name of Wind — the series penned by them, respectively — have been left incomplete for years. Even decades.
Unlike these three fabulous craftsmen, Brandon Sanderson has never disappointed his fans this way.
The one trait that defines Sanderson is his regularity. He gives regular updates about his books and even sends out excerpts in emails! His new releases reach the audience almost on the promised date, which is amazing.
So, be it writing online or offline, defeat writer’s block, and rock the market!
Have a readable prose
Some proses are beautiful; some are cringe.
Brandon Sanderson’s writing level in the initial books has the reading level of middle school kids (which serves its purpose well). His books are easy to read.
His writing is clear and concise, perfect for his genre. There’s good banter between the characters. The descriptions aren’t flowery, but they aren’t as dry either.
Make your prose enchanting and flawless to read. Here’s how you can.
Be on the path of improvement
Sarah J. Maas is an author I avoid.
She has penned the (famous) Throne of Glass and the ACOTAR series. The first book of the second series didn’t impress me at all. Only due to its fame I gave it another shot, and DNF’ed it.
Maas, as an author, hadn’t matured or improved, ruining the pleasure of reading.
Mistborn by Sanderson had a few flaws that made me cut its stars. Stormlight Archive left me breathless — it was that good and flawless. The prose, character development, scene building, and conclusion had been upgraded to perfection.
With time, Sanderson has improved vastly.
That is expected of you too.
Conclusion: Have hope!
Most of us won’t make a living with writing as a craft, and we know it.
Never lose hope. Love writing, and acquire some of Sanderson’s traits like consistency, clarity, and self-improvement, and who knows, maybe your name will top the best seller list next.
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5 Reasons Why Brandon Sanderson Made It in The Writing Business was originally published in The Writing Cooperative on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.
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Author: Saanvi Thapar