Brandon Sanderson Lecture #2 – Plot Part 1

Overall impression – Getting into the nuts and bolts of writing. The easy going Brandon from the Intro lecture is gone, now it’s fast paced with lots of information. Brandon actually speaks faster and faster as the lecture progresses. Great use of examples using Star Wars, Lord of the Rings and his books which I’ve not actually read.

Below is notes I typed while listening to the lecture. Some of it may not make sense to you if you haven’t listened to the lecture. These are merely highlights of what I picked up on during the lecture.

Most of the time books are not just one idea. Ideas don’t make a book, Authors make ideas work.

3 parts of Plot: Promises, Progress, Payoff.

Types of promises: (Intro to the piece) Don’t have to have them in first draft, but in revision look to make sure you include them.

Tone Promises – Sets the tone and style (Don’t start a wacky comedy book with a tragic incident)

Character Arc Promise – Character desire and what prevents them. (how the character is going to change) Iconic characters do not require an Arc. i.e. Sherlock Holmes, James Bond

Plot Promise – What type of story are you giving the reader. (adventure, romance, horror)

Progress is the most important part of the plot and the hardest part of writing.

Progress is in the complete control of the author. You want to create the illusion of progress for the reader. This is done by the story arc. (Why people are turning your pages) Progress must match Promises or Promises must match Progress.

Payoff is where you make good on all of the promise and progress. Talked a bit about twists.

Part 2 will be on twists and plot types in detail.

All lectures of Brandon Sanderson are now linked on the Storylines page if you wish to follow along in order.

3 thoughts on “Brandon Sanderson Lecture #2 – Plot Part 1

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.