July 2023's Writer's Support Thread

Yes and no.

Yes: He’s technically very skilled, in that he is very fast at churning out complete books with reasonable plots and decent worldbuilding. Definitely has a process that works for him.

No: Those books feel kinda janky and unpolished. The dialogue doesn’t flow. His characters aren’t particularly good(with a few exceptions). His worldbuilding is often delivered like he’s writing an RPG player’s handbook, and his combat scenes often feel like they’re a video game tutorial that’s explaining the mechanics to you.

It’s not surprising at all that the best things he’s ever written were the last three Wheel of Time books, because those books had strong pre-existing characters with vast amounts of sample dialogue and the world-building was already introduced and set, and that covers up a lot of his weaknesses.


I do, yeah. Not because he impresses me with the style and power of his prose alone, which I’d say of e.g. Patricia McKillip, China Mieville, Susanna Clarke, or pre-brain-fever Mervyn Peake. But I consistently enjoy Sanderson’s books, and think he’s especially great at turning a magic-system conceit into a fleshed-out world and gripping plot.


what books of his have you read? what do you not like in particular?


@KZV has given a very articulate response I share. I just read The first Mistborn and I ended up using wildpower to say I have read it as people in my circle was into it.

I find it BORING and uninspired very technical and all that but he just pick Dnd manual and make a carbon copy.

The dialogue flows like concrete and people are npcs in general.

He wants to make a Rpg but do books instead.

Edit Sorry If I offended someone. I was asked why… Sorry.


I had a bit of a surprise rough day yesterday so I was pleased to be able to put up the Honour Bound demo as palate cleanser. Sifting through the initial comments is really interesting and I have a lot of food for thought. Looking forward to carrying on with writing tomorrow though!


I have to write a bullying scene and I got triggered by it and that makes me feel even more stupid. I should be able to write a dumb scene… I feel like I am a cry baby.


For what it’s worth, I upset myself with a tiny storyline in Blood Money that I doubt anyone remembers and had to change it. Sometimes things hit harder than we expect.


Hey, it happens to a lot of people. I have to stay far away from ‘heavy’ topics too on bad days, and there’s a bunch of topics I simply do not write about under any circumstances (like suicide, people on an emotional / mental downward spiral, bullying, etc.) You’re a lot braver than me facing your demons like that.


Almost everyone has been bullied at some point in their lives, no matter how tough they are, and they still feel that anger, shame and fear when they remember it. It’s natural to be upset about it. It’s not just a dumb scene, it’s a recreation of something bad that happens to real people. Would you call your readers crybabies for feeling upset when they read your scene? I bet you wouldn’t, so give yourself the same understanding.


Thank you all for make me feel better.


Hi all. This is a very brief dip into the forum, as I’m currently hard at work. My Heart’s Choice game is currently in beta, so my writing is in the most important stage: the edit. It’s always amazing how people can see things you miss a thousand times.

There have been some really nice ideas from people, and this evening I’m trying to cram a massive update (several thousand words) to help with oft-cited areas, as well as stamp out all of the bugs, typos, and sometimes single character that are the difference between making something work, and making something go kablooey.

It’s almost 9pm, but I have tea, some birdsong outside, and a will to get things done. And sometimes that’s all you need as a writer to keep going.


Hey, good luck with the beta edits! It’s been an intense time for me each time I’ve done it so I definitely relate. I hope the big updates go well!


I tried writing a bullying scene but found myself struggling.

Idk if it’s my ASD causing me to attempt to overly rationalize why person X would do Y to person Z, or what but it’s genuinely difficult. I know people can be cruel to others for basically no reason, but trying to write and wrap my brain around that gives me a headache. Then there’s how far is too far, and yeah, I left that scrapped.


I’ve rewritten the start of The Graveyard Watch due to a decision to focus on the “University Course” aspect of the story which also includes introducing some other students. They are very bare bones at the moment but I think its a step in the right direction.

Sometimes when you’re struggling it pays to take a step back and relook at it with fresh eyes.


I realized a few days ago that I wasn’t really happy with what I’d written so far (thank goodness it wasn’t that much yet!). I was trying to convince myself to power through and hold off on rewrites, but after a productive brainstorming session with hubby, the bit I had written doesn’t fit the story anymore.

Thankfully, I think I have a much stronger plot now. I’ve taken a step back from writing and instead have dived heavily back into the planning phase. It’s definitely for the best! My planning notebook is steadily filling up with ideas and I can’t wait to put them in place.

I’m considering the bit I had already written and coded as practice. I know I’ll be able to reuse a lot of the coding so I can’t even be too disappointed about it.

The very best part is, I have a whole week of vacation next week to work on my game. I have some more tinkering with character skills and jobs to figure out, and I’m thinking about doing some character studies for the ROs, so I can’t reliably theorize how far I’ll get this month.

I guess my goal for July is to get through this planning phase and start writing again!


I know others have said it already, but thanks for the article links! Very fascinating reads, lot of good points to think about, especially handling complex relationship dynamics from a game developing perspective.

I am also continuing work on my next chapter. I’m really excited to share it, but it’ll probably be another few months before it’ll be ready.


A blank page in the middle of the story
Written all caps:

Begone. There is only death from here.

How is that for a warning?


Appeals to my innate human desire to touch the thing. It’s like those warnings for long-term nuclear waste.

This place is a message… and part of a system of messages… pay attention to it!

Sending this message was important to us. We considered ourselves to be a powerful culture.

This place is not a place of honor… no highly esteemed deed is commemorated here… nothing valued is here.

What is here was dangerous and repulsive to us. This message is a warning about danger.

The danger is in a particular location… it increases towards a center… the center of danger is here… of a particular size and shape, and below us.

The danger is still present, in your time, as it was in ours.

The danger is to the body, and it can kill.

The form of the danger is an emanation of energy.

The danger is unleashed only if you substantially disturb this place physically. This place is best shunned and left uninhabited.

I have an unbridled desire to touch the thing, because I was told I shouldn’t.


I’ve always felt like that text sounds like the introduction to a D&D game, because it’s the kind of thing you’d read outside the ancient prison of an undead wizard king or something.


I hope you all don’t mind me posting a qualm, but I feel I can’t be the only one who really struggles with understanding what to do for the rising action section of plot? I know the intended origins for a story and the intended series of outcomes, but how to link these two things together with substance in the middle seems to be extraordinarily difficult in comparison to doing basically anything else.

This has been an ongoing frustration for me, and it can be kind of debilitating to feel like I am going to move forward aimlessly yet also lacking a full idea how to come up with realistic ‘points’ or ‘markers’ to fill the content of what I want to accomplish. :thinking: I’m sure this has been the subject of conversation before, but still my own frustration regarding this brings me here to ask for some sage’s advice.

(It’s not that I want to have like, every single minute detail planned, but rather just not knowing what to do next feels overwhelming).