Brandon Sanderson shows us how he writes a first draft

Warren_Paul

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Was browsing posts on facebook earlier and came across a video posted by Brandon Sanderson where he recorded himself writing the first draft of a chapter from his WIP Stormlight Archive 2 novel.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NHlPczUmjrQ

An interesting video to watch, kind of, if you have the patience. ;) At first I thought it wasn't legit, but then realised it was listed on his official facebook page so thought it must be.

I was quite surprised to see how much trouble he has actually writing. It seemed like he didn't even know what he wanted to write in that scene at all and was completely making stuff up as he went.

It made me wonder how many other people write like that? I know personally, I have an idea of what's going to happen in every scene -- not word for word -- but I have a plan I follow in my head. Although that plan tends to change quite often as more ideas come to me. It just seemed interesting that the way he was writing it came across like he didn't have a plan at all.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Guilty as charged. I often have no notion of what is going to happen. A scene i wrote today has totally stunned me. I had no plan for it, but it is exactly what i would hve planned if i had known about it. Ian Rankin was also refreshingly the same.:)
 

Mouse

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Yep, same as springs. I haven't got a clue what I'm writing every time I sit down to write.

Can't watch the vid, what with my crappy internet and boggled eyeballs.
 

Dozmonic

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He writes very different to how I write, that's for sure. I have no idea what I want to write, so I start playing with ideas before I play with words. This means that, sometimes, I can write a lot faster when it comes to actually writing the scene. Often a scene won't play out at all how I had it in my head and I have to see if I want it to go how I've written, how I thought, some compromise or something totally new :)
 

Anne Lyle

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Doing the maths, he writes about 85 words in the first five minutes, which is about 1000 words per hour. Thus it looks really slow and hesitant to an observer, but it's a decent rate of productivity given that he writes full-time!

I think I write somewhat differently to that, tbh: fewer deletions and retracing of steps, more longer hesitations as I decide what to write next - or rather, how to write it. Action scenes flow fast, but serious, complex dialogue scenes (e.g. full of political intrigue, or with more than a couple of characters) can be painfully slow!

I also wonder if he was slower and more hesitant than usual because he was conscious of being observed?
 

Judderman

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He actually looks to write fast. Consider he has written many books and if he is still playing with ideas as he writes that is impressive.
 

zmunkz

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I know this is an old thread, but many thanks for sharing. I've watched all his lectures on youtube (posted by the user writeaboutdragons), but this is just as instructive to see him actually at work.
 
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