Category Archives: Lectures

Brandon Sanderson – 321 – Lesson 2 – Conflict Is The Most Important Building Block

In the second lesson from Brandons Sandersons 2014 class he takes on the important factor of conflict. With plot, character and environment you can make a story feel real. Without conflict you get nowhere. He goes through plot, character and environment and how they affect conflict.

“Conflict is what holds everything together”

Story is when a character want something but can’t get it. That’s also conflict.


What is it about. Some genres have loose formulas. Others are more open but you have to have an idea of what you want.


Character need to have two of three traits. Sympathetic, want to protag and competent. A sympathetic character usually have something happen to them (Bilbo Baggins) or they do something nice to make them likable. Wanting to protag means that the character wants to confront the dark lord (Harry Potter) or at least actively go after their goal. A competent character knows what they are doing (James Bond).

Example: 2 of 3 means that a character can be competent and sympathetic but don’t want to protag.


What are different from our world. Is there magic? Are the gender roles reversed? Something should be different.


You should tie in plot, character and setting in the beginning as hooks for the reader. What’s special about each one. At minimum 1 of each but character should have 2.

Brandon Sanderson – 321 – Lesson 1 – Architect vs Gardener

From Brandon Sandersons lectures in 2014. The first lesson is about the different types of authors. The Gardener and the Architect.

The Gardener

This type of author wants to write the book from front to back with little help of notes. The result is often very good a realistic characters. They are written as the do what they do. Everything fits into what the character should do and nothing is forced. But the problem is that the endings are not as good and well built. You usually have 6-7 times the drafts that the Architect have.

The Architect

This type on the other hand are the reverse of the Gardener. The stories are well-built. The drafts are often not in the double digits. But the characters can often feel forced. A character can some times do things that may not feel like their personality. But they have to do it to fit the story.

Which to choose?

Most authors falls in between these to archetypes. Garderners use a few milestones. Architects use many milestones but characters are written more fluidly. Most authors lean towards the Architect type as the writing becomes easier. But there are many gardeners out there to. One is mentioned in the lecture.