Q&As with Christopher: the Eragon Movie, Favorite Trope, and Webcomics

Eragon movie, Carvahall, film clip
Composite image courtesy ClipArtix.com and Eragon’s Guide to Alagaësia.

Welcome to October 2017’s Q&A with Christopher! These questions were drawn from Christopher’s AMA on Reddit and have been posted here for those who missed it. Today’s theme is all about the Eragon movie. Don’t forget you can ask  your most pressing questions on Christopher’s Twitter and Facebook accounts! Who knows, the answers may just appear in the next Q&A . . . .


Average_Gav: How did you feel about the movie adaptation for Eragon?

Heh. Well, I’m glad it was made, since so few books ever get made into movies, and it introduced millions of new readers to the Inheritance Cycle. That said, the movie reflects the studio and the director’s view of the story, whereas the books reflect mine, and everyone is free to enjoy them on their own merits.

True story: I was supposed to have a cameo in the the final battle. Was going to get dressed up as an Urgal and Eragon was going to chop my head off. Alas, I was touring for Eldest at the time, so it never happened.

rangerthef***up: Was there no way to retain some control over the direction the Eragon movie would take? Or was that simply not on the table?

That time around, no. It was their money, so they were the ones in charge. If another adaptation ever gets off the ground, though, you can rest assured I’ll retain as much control as possible.

Kitbixby: How close are we to seeing a remake of the Eragon movie or a new video game?

If I knew, I’d tell you. Let’s just say there have been a few inklings of interest in Hollywood, but Hollywood being Hollywood, it could be a long time before we get a reboot. Or it could happen tomorrow.

norseburrito:If a reboot happened would you want to play a larger part in the telling of the story?

You bet. I would write the script, produce, etc. (Assuming my other projects let me the time, of course.)


beckbat: What’s your favorite fantasy trope to write? Your least favorite to read?

Favorite trope? Young farmboy sets out to avenge his family, of course.

Least favorite to read? . . . No specific trope is bad in-and-of-itself. Even the cheesiest idea can be fun to read if handled well.

GamesWithArty: How did you fight the procrastination monster and motivate yourself to finish your book?

Persistence and sheer terror. Deadlines are wonderfully motivating.

Morvick: Which aspect of writing do you enjoy the most? (World-building, scenes or relationship development, imagining the anatomy of a dragon? Etc)

Plotting and world-building are incredibly fun. That said, there’s a unique pleasure to actually writing a scene and seeing it come to life before me. I love language, and when everything clicks in my brain, and I can feel the music in the language, it’s a wonderful, beautiful thing.

rocklio:  I notice that your books are quite hefty. How did you tackle such long Second Acts?

No real secret to it. I just ask myself what would happen next, given what happened before. And then I try to determine, of those subsequent events, which will actually be interesting to read about. Lots of minutiae can be skipped.

SnowGN: I’m curious how you went about creating your variation of Old Norse that you used to create the Inheritance Cycle’s Ancient Language. What resources did you use and how did you keep track of your progress? Did you maintain a separate word file to keep track of your own rules, the phonetics, the system behind your language? How did you know when to depart from the limitations of this old language and create your own unique twists on it?

Honestly, the process was pretty haphazard. Creating a language is such a massive, daunting undertaking, one could easily spend decades at the task (as did Tolkien). Since I wanted to actually finish the Inheritance Cycle in a reasonable amount of time, I didn’t go to quite those lengths.

To begin with, I chose ‘brisingr’ as the word for ‘fire’. After that, I started messing around with various words from Old Norse, modifying them and inventing my own rules for how they should be spelled and arranged. As you suspected, I kept copious amounts of notes and files, and even then I sometimes got mixed up with a word here or there. For example, Eragon wasn’t the one who made the mistake when blessing Elva — I was! I just decided turn that mistake into a plot point.

As for the other languages, I didn’t base them on anything. Dwarvish was probably the most fun (I love the sound and feel of it), but they were each enjoyable in their own way.

AssassinCaleb: How did you keep your characters and events consistent throughout the series?

Lots and lots of notes. In fact, over the past three years, I’ve had my assistant built a personal wiki for me, which has proven invaluable for my latest book. I actually got the idea from Brandon Sanderson (thanks again, Brandon!)

nectarhoff: Like many other writers here Eragon was a super important book for us. If you were just publishing it today as an unknown author, what would your major considerations be?

Social media and self publishing are much more popular than when I started out. Heck, basically no one was reading ebooks back in 2002! In some ways things are a lot easier because of the new technology. In other ways, it’s a lot harder to get attention.

I think keeping a firm grip over how you present yourself in social media is super important. Offending readers really ain’t a good idea. After all, they’re the ones who put food on the table for authors!


theonlyalterego: Lets say you have a weekend of complete isolation coming up, what book(s) will you take with you? why? Slightly related, what book(s) have affected you the most philosophically?

Probably the book I’m editing/rewriting, because I really need to get through this latest chapter. . . . Failing that, I’m in the middle of reading The Seven Pillars of Wisdom by T. E. Lawrence.

Too many to list.

Itazu_Dragon: What webcomics are you currently enjoying?

Schlock Mercenary

Also, no longer running, but Nimona and Digger.

Enjoy this article? View the rest in our Q&As with Christopher series!