TheKilla88: This summer I saw some of your handwritten manuscripts for Eldest and Brisingr on display in Seattle at the fantasy exhibit in the EMP. I was wondering how often you hand wrote your drafts as opposed to typing on the computer, and why you would choose the hand write over type when typing might be faster.

Cool! I’ve never made it to the museum myself. One of these days . . . Anyway, I don’t write my fiction by hand these days. For whatever reason, my brain seems to work better with my fingers on a keyboard. However, I do all my plotting by hand — something about holding a pen activates different creative pathways, which is useful when working out the basic structure of a story.

SillySturridge: Hi Chris! Looking back on your Eragon books (Which I loved by the way) what mistakes, if any, do you think you made?

Heh. Too many to list. Every author feels that way, I think. However, I did the best I could at the time, and I’m very proud of how Eragon turned out.

As for specific examples . . . I probably would add another scene or two between Eragon and Saphira in Palancar Valley, when Saphira is little. And also another chapter from Nasuada’s point of view, when the Varden travels from Farthen Dûr to Surda.

Hope you enjoy my future books even more!

appaloosa706: Have you ever considered writing a series about one of the characters from the Inheritance Cycle? If so which one?

Yup. Already have a book all about Angela plotted out. 😀

Derundann: So, after the deal Eragon made with the Menoa tree, when Menoa released Eragon and Saphira, Eragon felt pain in his lower stomach. Why? Did Menoa a) take something from Eragon b) put something in Eragon c) or was it just a random thing? Also did Galbatorix really die? Please, if it doesn’t spoil the future stories, tell the truth.

1) Good question — can’t tell you the answer, though. Spoilers! You’ll have to read Book V to find out.

2) Yes, Galbatorix is dead.

Gletchillar: Hey Christopher! You said in an earlier post the glowing orbs that fly away from Galbatorix where spirits, why did he have spirit around himself? And will we find out more about who Angela actually is in book V?

Well, I never went into it during the Inheritance Cycle (the right opportunity didn’t present itself), but Galbatorix was inspired by Durza to enslave a number of spirits for himself. One more reason Galbatorix was so much more powerful than your ordinary Rider/magician. Unlike a Shade, though, the king was in full control of the spirits; they had no chance of ever controlling his mind.

AedanStern: My questions are what you think is the greatest thing that Eragon has learned on his journey and what your favourite quote from the entire cycle is.

The greatest thing Eragon learned . . . I think the answer has to be self knowledge. Only by understanding and mastering himself was Eragon (and Saphira!) able to not only defeat Galbatorix but his own doubts and fears.

Favorite quote? From Brisingr: “Die puny human!”


Loiko: I have always wanted to write fantasy but  struggle with coming up with names and creating an interconnected and logical world. Is there any advice you could give me?

All you need to do is make one assumption — one leap of logic — and then build from there. In my case it was: what if living creatures could directly control energy with their thoughts/minds? Everything else in my system of magic flowed from that initial question.

Or how about this: what if a young man found a dragon egg? . . . Trying to work out the implications of that simple question took me well over a decade.

Ask yourself questions and then try to answer them as honestly as possble. It’s the only way I know how to build a story or a world.

Helesta: Do you have any editing advice?

Don’t give up! No one gets it right the first time! Read stuff out loud, have other people read it, and cut/rework anything that causes you to hesitate even the slightest amount. That little feeling you get that something’s not quite right, but you keep on moving because you want to finish that next chapter? . . . Pay attention to that feeling! Nine times out of ten, your gut is telling you something important.

All the best with your writing! I know it’s hard, but if you keep plugging away, eventually you’ll make it.

MP_ROB_31B: Hey Christopher! I just finished a RE-read of your series and it seriously helped with my own writers block! Who did you ask to proof read/ assist with the original edit of Eragon? I’m nearing the end of my own story and want to start making corrections.

Family and friends to start with. Look for people who are avid readers and who like the genre you’re writing in. They tend to make good editors.

Other than that: actual editors, librarians, local authors, etc. Basically, be persistent, and don’t give up!

Good luck with your writing!


v-tanabata: What’s your favorite snack to eat while writing/brainstorming/reading? What do you do for fun, besides reading and writing?

Tea, coffee, crystallized ginger, black chocolate. Not all at the same time.

Lift heavy things, draw (I did all the interior illustrations for the series), play video games, hang out with friends, travel, watch movies, etc.

Telanstus: What is your favorite food?

Favorite food? Hmm. Hard to pick, but bacon wrapped dates stuffed with cream cheese are pretty high on the list. That and coffee ice cream.

GamesWithArty: How do you feel about your homeschooling experience? Did you enjoy it? Do you feel that you’ve missed out on something?

I had a wonderful experience with homeschooling. As I said in my bio at the top, my mom is a trained Montessori teacher, so she was able to give my sister and me a top-notch education. Plus, being homeschooled allowed me to graduate from high school early, which is what gave me the time to actually write.

Liked this article? Be sure to check out the rest of our Q&As with Christopher series!