08-03-2009 02:17 AM
Are there any useful exercises you could give to a writer who's trying to improve their technique? I've heard the one about four different people describing the same place, but I was wondering if you had any other good ones.
Try to describe an extended scene, with various things happening, four different times, once with a focus on visuals, once on scents, once using touch, once using sounds. See if you can evoke a different feel each time, using the same scene but different senses.
Practice both discovery writing and outline writing. Meaning, practice writing stories where you just go off on whatever strikes you, and practice writing a story where you spend a lot of time on an outline. Try to figure out which method works best for you when trying a specific type of story, and perhaps try some hybrids. Anything that helps you write better stories more regularly is a tool to keep practicing.
Try a dialogue scene, where you try to evoke character and setting using ONLY dialogue. No descriptions allowed. (This is best when you're focused on making the characters each distinct simply through how they talk.)
Finally, listen to Writing Excuses.
08-03-2009 02:23 AM
Any idea when you'll be releasing the full table of Allomantic metals and associated phonetics shown in your blog post about vinyl decals? (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/735/Allomanti
Very, very soon. It's at the printer right now. Should happen this month, if all things go well. We will start with the limited edition prints on the nice paper with the expensive inks, signed and numbered by myself and Isaac. Poster prints will come eventually too. And, of course, we'll also release in standard desktop sizes for free, for those who can't afford a poster.
And...I think that's it! Wow. Sorry to take weeks to answer all of these. I got to the end, however, which is progress. (The last time I did this, I didn't give a cut-off date for the questions, and got swamped quickly.)
Thank you again, Paul, for inviting me. And also for those who spent time reading my books and discussing them. I'm going to make a final attempt to put in an appearance in the Warbreaker thread here in a bit.
I hope to do this again. It was fun. Beyond that, I'll probably do something like this on my own forums here in the next few months. So if you've got other questions, you can save them up for then.