May 21st, 2014

Burp

Writing Excuses 9.21: Sanderson's Third Law

Writing Excuses 9.21: Sanderson's Third Law

From http://www.writingexcuses.com/2014/05/18/writing-excuses-9-21-sandersons-3rd-law/

Key points: Sanderson's third law is that a writer should expand what they already have before adding something new. Dig deeply, don't build widely. Beware of multiplying magic systems, villains, and characters. But don't just sink one hole, dig a few deep holes and some shallow ones. Think about ramifications, and variations. How do people react to new things? First ask how is this going to affect the characters and the conflict? Then look at how this culture and others adapted to it. Look at the energy budget, the economics. How can it become a commodity? How can it be misused? Books are about immersion, and making the story feel real. As an author, your final goal is to entertain. Sanderson's Zeroeth Law is err on the side of what's awesome. Pick what's fun.
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[Brandon] Howard. You have a writing prompt.
[Howard] Okay. You have a magic system in which you are actually digging holes. The depth of the holes versus the breadth of the holes versus where you are digging governs the output of your magic.
[Brandon] All right.
[Howard] Go, and cast dirt.
[Brandon] Maybe you'll find Sheloby or whatever his name is... This has been... How do you say his name?
[Dan] Shaiya.
[Brandon] Shaiya? He's [garbled]
[Howard] I don't even know why we're saying his name.
[Dan] Because he was in holes.
[Mary] Great. Now we're doomed.
[Howard] Oh, he was in holes.
[Mary] Doomed. So doomed.
[Howard] We could stop now, right?
[Brandon] This has been Writing Excuses. You might have a few excuses, but go write anyway.
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