Dear Brent Weeks,
People often praise poetry as the tightest form of writing. I find the elegance of a master poem in the design and execution of your scenes. Your writing is often praised for its pacing, described as non-stop action or impossible to put down but such descriptions distract from the unique talent that’s actually behind much of my obsession with your work. While I love your action and your magic, I thought you were at your best in moments with neither. Marissia and Karis silently sharing whiskey in a storm. Andross discovering a dragon and different kinds of intelligence. Corvan walking away from a wife, or three. The list goes on. And so few rely on dramatic cliffhangers or a change of focus towards the end to “trick” the read into engagement.
For a non-stop action page-turner, your chapters are surprisingly topical. They depict a specific scene and then they end. They don’t lean on teasing future drama. Rather than end a scene with a gun raised and our hero staring down a loaded barrel, the scenes end with triggers pulled, blood running, and the tip of the iceberg of consequences beginning to crush the survivors. And I love you for it. Your chapters redefine “In late, out early.” By not extending your scenes into two chapters via cliffhangers or otherwise, you get more done, faster, which in turn makes the suspense more sustainable. Nobody knows how to end a chapter like Brent Weeks.
Thank you for the choices you’ve made to tell the stories I’ve read. Thank you for the sacrifices. It means the world to me.