Warbreaker by Brandon Sanderson

Brandon is one of the few authors we've ever seen be completely transparent with the iteration of a novel. If you follow the link below to his website, you can view the complete progression of Warbreaker across every draft.

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This is a work in progress!  It is part of an exercise I did in posting drafts of my novel, WARBREAKER, on-line as I worked on them. This book will change form as the writing continues.  Not only will it include typos, but there may be plot elements that are poorly represented, as well as setting, blocking, and dialogue issues! In short, please don’t judge my writing solely based on this work.  Give my finished, edited work a chance first.  You can find ELANTRIS and MISTBORN in bookstores around the world. 

FIRST DRAFT


Why, Vasher thought, does it always have to begin with me getting thrown into prison?

The guardsmen laughed to one another outside, slamming the cell door shut with a clang.  Vasher stood slowly, dusting himself off, rolling his shoulder and wincing slightly at the pain.

“They say you’re pretty tough,” said one of the guards.

Vasher looked to the side.  While the bottom half of the cell door was made of solid wood, the top half was barred, and he could easily see the three men outside as they opened his pack and began rifling through his possessions.

One of the guardsmen stood facing the cell.  He was an oversized beast of a man with a shaved head and a dirtied uniform that just barely showed the bright yellow and blue colorings of the T’Telir city guard. 

Bright colors, Vasher thought.  I’ll have to get used to those again.  In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers.  This, however, was Hallendren: land of Returned Gods, lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and--of course--color.

Compared to the Hallendren norm, these guard uniforms were actually rather drab.

“They said you beat down some twenty men in the brawl,” the guard continued, still standing in front of Vasher’s cell.  The man rubbed his chin.  “You don’t look that tough to me.  Either way, you should have known better than to strike a priest.  The others, they’ll spend a night locked up.  You, though--you’ll hang.  Colorless bastard.”

Vasher turned away from the guardsman, looking over his cell.  It was functional, if modestly unoriginal.  Only a thin slit in the top to let in light, stone walls that dripped with water and lichen, a pile of dirty straw in the corner.  He was, fortunately, the only one in it.  The fewer people he had to deal with, the better.

“You ignoring me?” the guard asked, stepping closer to Vasher’s cell.  As he did so, the colors of his uniform brightened just slightly, like he’d stepped into a brighter light.  None of the men had noticed the effect before, when they’d picked Vasher up from the bar floor.  This time, however, the guard paused, frowning.

He had just been confronted by an impossibility.

“Here, now,” one of the men said from behind.  “What’s this?”  The two were still looking through Vasher’s possessions--doing so right outside his cell, rather than in their guard post, as if to purposely provoke him.  Vasher had always found it odd that the men who patrolled dungeons tended to be as bad, or worse, than the men they guarded.  Perhaps that was the purpose.  Society didn’t care if such men were outside the cells or in them--just as long as both groups were kept away from more honest men.

Assuming that such a thing existed. 


FINAL DRAFT

 

It’s funny, Vasher thought, how many things begin with me getting thrown into prison.

The guards laughed to one another, slamming the cell door shut with a clang.  Vasher stood and dusted himself off, rolling his shoulder and wincing.  While the bottom half of his cell door was solid wood, the top half was barred, and he could see the three guards open his large duffle and rifle through his possessions.

One of them noticed him watching.  The guard was an oversized beast of a man with a shaved head and a dirty uniform that barely retained the bright yellow and blue coloring of the T’Telir city guard. 

Bright colors, Vasher thought.  I’ll have to get used to those again.  In any other nation, the vibrant blues and yellows would have been ridiculous on soldiers.  This, however, was Hallandren: land of Returned Gods, Lifeless servants, BioChromatic research, and--of course--color.

The large guard sauntered up to the cell door, leaving his friends to amuse themselves with Vasher’s belongings.  “They say you’re pretty tough,” the man said, sizing up Vasher.

Vasher did not respond.

“The bartender says you beat down some twenty men in the brawl.”  The guard rubbed his chin.  “You don’t look that tough to me.  Either way, you should have known better than to strike a priest.  The others, they’ll spend a night locked up.  You, though. . .you’ll hang.  Colorless fool.”

Vasher turned away.  His cell was functional, if unoriginal.  A thin slit at the top of one wall let in light, the stone walls dripped with water and moss, and a pile of dirty straw decomposed in the corner.

“You ignoring me?” the guard asked, stepping closer to the door.  The colors of his uniform brightened, as if he’d stepped into a stronger light.  The change was slight.  Vasher didn’t have much Breath remaining, and so his aura didn’t do much to the colors around him.  The guard didn’t notice the change in color--just as he hadn’t noticed back in the bar, when he and his buddies had picked Vasher up off the floor and thrown him in their cart.  Of course, the change was so slight to the unaided eye that it would have been nearly impossible to pick out.

“Here, now,” said one of the men looking through Vasher’s duffle.  “What’s this?”  Vasher had always found it interesting that the men who watched dungeons tended to be as bad as, or worse than, the men they guarded.  Perhaps that was deliberate.  Society didn’t seem to care if such men were outside the cells or in them, so long as they were kept away from more honest men.

Assuming that such a thing existed. 

If you're intrigued by this excerpt, check out Sanderson's website for the complete draft and support the man by buying his book!

Related Posts

Leave a Reply 0 comments