The Annotation Realization

So, I’m currently writing chapter 8, and it’s coming along well, though a little slow. I like what I’ve written so far, and it just feels good.

But, I really wanted to tell you guys about something else. Today, I went to Brandon Sanderson’s website and saw something I hadn’t really paid attention to before. He has annotations on most of his books. The first time I saw those I thought, “why would I want to read annotations?”

Here’s why:

In his annotations, Sanderson reveals what it’s like for a professional writer. It blew my mind. You see, I had, and still have Sanderson on this pedestal. To me he is a fiction god, especially when it comes to world building and magic systems. In my mind, when Brandon Sanderson writes, he sits down, types, hands it to his editor and they say, “All right, Mr. Sanderson, we’ll edit these typos and have it published next week!”

His books come so quickly! He’s a publishing machine! Surely his books don’t take much editing!

But through reading his annotations of the first Mistborn novel, I see that this isn’t the case.

He reveals that some scenes weren’t a part of the original manuscript, and were only created after the suggestion of an editor or agent. In fact, many scenes weren’t anywhere near what he originally wrote. Many of them were altered significantly after the manuscript had already been accepted.

It really was mind blowing for me. I never imagined a world where Sanderson needed help creating his books. But, he even stresses the importance of being a member of a writing group, and expresses his thanks to the people who suggest a new or different scene than the one he originally wrote.

And so, I’ve come to the realization that writing a book might be a one person job, but publishing and editing a book is a team effort.

I really look forward to reading more of his annotations. Every chapter seems to have undergone some sort of change, and it leaves me feeling hopeful that my writing isn’t as god awful as it seems sometimes. Just that it hasn’t been edited yet!

Anyway, I’m using this blog to hide from my novel, and that’s just not right. So, blogland, have a great rest of your day!




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