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General Reddit 2016 ()
#2 Copy

emailanimal

[Brandon] must have had enough of chuckles every time someone referred to Bavadin as a "he" over the past few years.....

Brandon Sanderson

Bavadin has several male personas, and has often appeared as male for one purpose or another, so it's not that much of an issue. She has more female personas, but some of the male ones are quite popular.

This won't be relevant for a long while, but as a service to the community, let me say this: try not to get too hung up on gender, race, or even human appearance where Bavadin is concerned. There are some peoples who worship entire pantheons where every member is actually her.

Argent

There are some peoples who worship entire pantheons where every member is actually her.

I think that's hilarious.

I've been meaning to ask a similar question for a few days now, I am glad someone else did and you replied. Bavadin is now instantly super interesting to me!

Brandon Sanderson

Bavadin is awesome. One regret of finally moving on from White Sand (and doing the graphic novel, instead of doing an entire trilogy myself) is because I won't get to show her off as a character for a while. It should still happen, mind you, but I have enough on my plate right now that I just can't do it all.

Argent

Eh, it's alright. The more we wait to see her, the more practice writing you will have when you do write her, and the more awesome she will be to us :) Are we going to see her in White Sand first though, or elsewhere?

I've also been talking with a couple of friends about Ambition, who happens to be a Shard I love unconditionally just because of his?her? mandate. So I should ask - how tight-lipped do you intend to be with information about it? Can we prod for a little bit of trivia, or is it too early for that?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to be pretty tight-lipped for now. Let's at least let White Sand finish first--you will find her in there, though her touch on the story (directly) is light. She prefers to allow her personas to become the focus of attention.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

 For the White Sand graphic novel, is it going to be a book for each novel?

Brandon Sanderson

It’s actually three books for the first one.  Because graphic novel--turns out my longwindedness, even trimmed down, takes a lot of pages. So once we finish those three, if people like them, we’ll do the second.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#4 Copy

Rah179

How significant will the White Sand be to the cosmere? Any hints on the Shard that resides there?

Brandon Sanderson

Moderately. (Its magic has some cool ramifications for off world use, and several characters factor prominently into the Cosmere.)

Phantine

Is there more than one magic system in white sand?

Brandon Sanderson

Only one in the current outline.

WeiryWriter

Does the one magic have more than one variation? Because I got the impression that there was something going on on the Darkside? Though I guess the Sky Colors (I think that's what they're called, I read the draft you send out early 2014 so my recollection is a little fuzzy) don't have to be related to magic. Or you could have written them out if they were...

Brandon Sanderson

In intended the colors on Darkside to be more a matter of the ecology than the magic--though, on that planet, magic and ecology are very closely tied together. (Well, I guess most of the magics are.)

General Reddit 2016 ()
#6 Copy

Botanica

Hey Brandon, may I ask if the red-haired woman on the Dayside map is a kind of depiction of one of Bavadin's personas?

Brandon Sanderson

She is not. Isaac designed that border without any explicit instructions from me, so while he might have an idea of who it is, it isn't someone specifically relevant to large-scale cosmere workings.

Manchester signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

I wanted to ask, at the beginning you mentioned that you had twelve books written before your first book was published, can you tell us, or are you allowed to tell us how many have actually been published?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I can actually go down the list for you. It is somewhat interesting, I think, for people. My very first book was a book called White Sand, and it was basically kind of a Dune rip-off. Your first book is always  a rip-off, right, of somebody, as a new writer? And that doesn't count the one in high school, which was a SUPER rip-off, like a major rip-off, it was basically a Tad Williams meets Dragonlance. Full blown with elves and things-- Yeah it was totally--

White Sand is the first one I finished, and I actually then went and wrote a science fiction book called Star's End.  And then I wrote the second half of White Sand, because I just stopped and said "This is long enough to be a novel" and then I wrote the rest of it and called that book two, that's actually the only sequel in there I wrote. And then I wrote a comedy, where a lot of the thesis of that comedy came out in Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians ten years later, so that one's kind of half been published. White Sand and Star's End are not any good, they have not been published. And then I wrote something called The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, which was really weird and sci-fi-y and stuff, and that one hasn't been published because it's really bad too. And then book number six was Elantris which was pretty good. Book number 7 was Dragonsteel, which became my honor's thesis as an undergraduate and half of that book ended up in the contemporary Way of Kings, the Bridge Four sequence was all from Dragonsteel and I ripped that out when I re-did Way of Kings.

After that was a re-write of White Sand, with better writing nowadays, and that one we're turning into a graphic novel, that one's good enough to read-- The biggest problem it has is its a little too bloated.  The story-- It's like 300,000 words with 150,000 words of story. And so we are going to condense it-- into a graphic novel, so you will eventually see that one. The next one was called Aether of Night, that one didn't get published, it's really two decent books that don't work well together, like one half is a Shakespearean farce about a guy who takes his brother's place on the throne, they're twins, it's mistaken identify, yadda yadda; the other half is this dark brutal war book with an invasion going on, and the two halves never really translate well. People read this and they're like, that chapter is hilarious and fun, and OH MY GOODNESS, and yeah, so-- Maybe someday I'll do something with that.

After that I wrote a book named Mythwalker which became Warbreaker. I ripped out the good parts of that and wrote Warbreaker later on. Then I wrote a book called Final Empire, which is not Mistborn: The Final Empire, because then I wrote a book called Mistborn, and neither of those books were working very well. And then I wrote a book called Way of Kings and then I sold Elantris and I said "I want to take these two books that weren't working very well, and I think if I combine them--" because Mistborn had a cool magic system and the Final Empire had this whole thing about the Hero who failed and the Dark Lord took over and mixing these too ideas turned into a great book and that became Mistborn: The Final Empire.

And basically everything from then I've published, Warbreaker came next which was a re-write of Mythwalker. The Way of Kings, the one you hold, is a complete rebuild, I started from scratch, and added the Bridge Four sequence from Dragonsteel and some of these things... The only good one in there, that wasn't published, is White Sand I think, and I think it is going to make a really nice graphic novel because the story is really solid, the characters are really solid. I just wasn't a good enough writer to know how to condense where I needed to.

Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

...the Diem had been investigating, does that make sense? One of his former faces. So you're not supposed to be able to spot him. Like early on I was really planning Hoid to be-- When I write the parallel novel you'll be able to see "Oh" these things that he had his fingers on. But that's why in Elantris he's barely even in the book. Same thing with Mistborn. But then people really liked it and I was having a lot of fun with it and so in Warbreaker I expanded his part. And I'd always planned for him to be a big part of Way of Kings when that came along. *audio obscured* But in the graphic novel I think we're going to give him an expanded role, just because people are expecting it so much.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#9 Copy

Questioner

Do we see Hoid in this [White Sand Volume 1]?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. *inaudible*

Questioner

Aw! Is he Hoid though or is he hidden?

Brandon Sanderson

He's hidden, but the further the book progresses the more obvious it will be that it's him.

Questioner

Cool.

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know if he's done the obvious things yet. I can't remember where this one cut off. I'll have to go back and look because you won't be the only one who asks that.

Legion Release Party ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

So the difference between the White Sand novel and the White Sand graphic novels, what was the thought behind changing Ais's gender?

Brandon Sanderson

There were a couple thoughts. The main one was, I just thought the character was more interesting. A lot of my early books, you'll notice I did a thing where I'm like "I want to make sure that I'm doing the female character really well." And you can see the problem in that sentence, and that is really how I approached it, I'd say "Well I want to make sure I do the female character really well." And I think I did do the female character pretty well in some of those early books. But you'll see a consistency to them, and this is just coming aware of your biases.

Now, there is nothing wrong with writing a book intentionally and saying, "You know what? Because of the way I want to write this book in this world, I'm going to make the cast almost all one gender or the other. It's when you're doing it consistently on accident, that there's a problem. And I had to kind of sit down and say, "Did I do this because I thought it was best for the character, or did I do this because I love Inspector Javert and I just wanna have to have Inspector Javert in my book?" And that's where the character came from, quite obviously.

And I sat down and said, "If I were going to build this character from the ground up to be my own character and I were trying to throw away all biases, what would be the best for the character?" And Ais being female was not a "I need more women in the book," it was more of, "If I'm throwing away these biases and building the characters, what works the best?" and I just really liked how that character came out when I was rebuilding. Yeah, anyway, we'll go with that.

Mistborn: Secret History Explanation ()
#11 Copy

yahasgaruna

So assuming that the other novels in the White Sand trilogy were meant to be the same length, that means White Sand will take about nine years to finish?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there's a big "IF" in there. We don't know how the book will be received in the first place. If it IS well received, and people want more, I will sit down with the person who adapted my book and see if we can take my notes and do them justice in an adaptation for another graphic novel.

We'll see how things go. I'm hoping they come out faster than one a year, but I can't promise anything, as I really don't have much experience with this. My only mandate to the publisher was that we do them as graphic novel collections, instead of individual comics, as I didn't want to risk a repeat of the Wheel of Time comic situation (where one issue came out, and then a LONG delay came before the second appeared.)

yahasgaruna

Hah! As one of the people who've had the fortune to read a copy of the White Sand manuscript you sent, I have to say I find the likelihood of it not being a hit close to zero.

So we're getting at least 3 graphic novels, with a possibility of more depending on reception right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's correct.

Aurimus

Hold on, so there are 3 GN books being made from the 1 manuscript? nice!

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. The book is long enough, that the script turned out to be quite long. I don't know if they're planning an omnibus eventually or not.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

In the new novella for the Stormlight Archive. <Edgedancer.>

Brandon Sanderson

Mhm?

Questioner

When she gets the cart over the edge of the ledge, it mentions that there was black sand on the ground? Was that Hoid, or...?

Brandon Sanderson

That was not Hoid.

Questioner

Was that due to what she did, or...?

Brandon Sanderson

That was Wyndle.

Questioner

Okay, he left black sand?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, his, uh-- he decayed into dust. 

Questioner

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

And so...

Questioner

Okay. Wondering if it was related to White Sand.

Brandon Sanderson

There's something going on there. But no, it is not the white-- it is not sand. I should be careful about use the word sand, particularly black sand. But I was just thinking of Wyndle with that one. 

Questioner

Okay, okay.

Brandon Sanderson

That is a false positive on the cosmere connection.

Oathbringer release party ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

Are you planning on doing more graphic novels, outside of the White Sand series?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there's a couple of things here. Like, we don't want to do another one 'til White Sand is done. They come to us and said, "We wanna do more!" because White Sand sold so well. We're like "No, you finish what you have, then we'll look at doing it." So, we're exploring other options, but we won't start any until what we've started is finished. I really wanna do the story I had for Mistborn, the video game, as a graphic novel with Ben McSweeney.

Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
#14 Copy

Questioner

Mraize's Basement Emporium. Is that more like a trophy room or a "In case of emergencies" room?

Multiple people

Or a bank vault?

Or a weapon's vault?

Or both?

Brandon Sanderson

So, yes...

I mean, he can't use the Aether, right? ...He can't use the Aether, he doesn't have an Aether. But the sand, the sand does stuff. So a handful of sand is a really useful amount of sand to have if you're not a sandmaster. Because sand reacts to Investiture. So if you let it fade and you take it somewhere, as soon as Investiture goes kinetic, it'll turn white again. So you'll be able to use it to tell who's using Inve-- it works just like a Seeker, like bronze pulses...

So having white sand, having sand around is really good. If you can keep the little beasties that are growing on the sand around, they will react to basically the Investiture equivalent of radiation. So that's handy.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#15 Copy

Questioner

White Sand, I know you're working to convert it into a graphic novel, how close is that graphic novel going to be to your initial--

Brandon Sanderson

Alright, so the question is about a book called White Sand, which is one of my unpublished novels. I wrote thirteen during the days when I was trying to break in. Several of them were good but not great. One of them was great, and that was Elantris, the one I published. There were a lot of practice novels in there and some that, with some revision, could be very good. One of those, the best of them, is called White Sand, and some of the fandom have read that. I mean, if you really want to read it, it's not up to the par of my current books--so read all of those first--but if you've run out of stuff to read you can email me and I email to people, just in my web form. But the book is actually pretty decent, it's got one major flaw, which is that it's really about 100,000 words of story stuffed into about 200,000 words of book, right. I hadn't quite learned how to do pacing quite as well, and the characters aren't quite as complex as the ones that I write now. So we are doing a graphic novel adaptation of that, because I felt that we can trim and add a little depth to characters and it'll be a great book, and it felt like it would be a lot easier for me to do that, working through scripts in a graphic novel format, because you naturally just trim, than it would be to rewrite the entire book. 

So we're doing a graphic novel, I'm doing it with Dynamite, who has put out a lot of really solid adaptations, it's one of the things that they do very well. They've been a blast to work with. Their illustrator is excellent, their schedule, they've been very regular on their schedule. I told them that I really would like to have the entire book done before we release anything, because, I don't know if there's any Wheel of Time fans here, but the Wheel of Time comic book had issues, with release times. So I'm a skeptic, because I know about that whole thing and so we're going to try and get the whole book done. So it's going to be a little while before we actually release it, but theoretically once it's done we should have the whole thing, or at least a sizable chunk of it finished already. So the big difference is going to be trimming that down. We'll also probably do a little bit more stuff with the cosmere than I originally did in it. 

Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#16 Copy

Phantine

Actually, another AA question - will the white sand graphic novel have an illustrated AA? IIRC the draft I read didn't have one. Would be neat to see how Khriss categorized things at the beginning of her career.

Brandon Sanderson

This is an excellent suggestion. There isn't plans for one now, but I could see including one in the third volume.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#17 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any plans <for, like, having any of your novels made into graphic novels>?

Brandon Sanderson

"Would I like to have any of my novels made into graphic novels?" We're actually doing one right now. I've hit-- I've kept away from doing this for a while because I didn't want to just give people the same story. So <I kept thinking>, "Oh, I'll write a side story for something." But then that requires so much time for me, that if I were going to do that I'd just release it as a novel. So we <caught> this kind of weird place where I wasn't sure what to do. But then my agent pitched taking one of my books that was unpublished during my days that I was trying to break in, that was pretty good, and had a good magic system, but needed a lot of editing. And said, "Why don't we do that? Because we can edit it during the same time that we're preparing the graphic novel, and then do a graphic novel version." And that turned out really well. We got another writer to help me and do the writing-- someone who knew comic books. And the script turned out fantastic, so we sent it in as being turned in. They've done 5 out of 6 issues. And it will be 18 issues, but they'll issue them in 6-issue clumps. They actually will only be graphic novels, there won't be-- And there will be three of those. So the first of those should come out next year. The first six. It's called White Sand. If you want to read the book, I do send that book out to people who just write to me. Because I don't think the book as it stands is good enough to charge you for. So be aware that if-- But it was written about the same time as Elantris, and it's just a little worse than Elantris.

Arched Doorway Interview ()
#19 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The graphic novel we are working on right now is White Sand, which is one of my early unpublished novels. We felt we could adapt that to take the poorly written stuff out and leave the awesome stuff.

Rebecca Lovatt

Do you have any updates for the progress of that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's going really well. We just got a sample of the cover art for the first volume. I think they are collecting 6 chapters in a book, and there will be 18 chapters total. So three volumes, and I think we are almost done with the first six. One of the things that I told them is that I really want to be far along in this project before we release anything. Because The Wheel of Time fans got burned on their comic.

Rebecca Lovatt

I think that there have been enough instances of things like that, so I want to be able to produce something complete and say, "Look, we've got this much of it done and this much more to do. We've at least got the first 6 chapters, a complete book you can read."

Brandon Sanderson

Or it's like, we've got all this and it's only six months to the last one, it's not 2, 3, maybe 4 years.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#20 Copy

Yata

If I may ask another thing, did you decide what come earlier in the Cosmere's Timeline between Elantris and White Sand ?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand is earlier. I was pretty sure on this, but I wanted to be able to glance at the timeline and make sure I hadn't made any changes. (And I haven't.) It's pretty solidly locked into that place because of certain events around the cosmere, so you can assume it won't change.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

You said thirteen failures, right, with The Way of Kings being the thirteenth?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. My thirteenth.

Questioner

Are there any other [unpublished books] that you had-- that turned into published books?

Brandon Sanderson

Any others that ended up being published? Yes. White Sand, which was my first book, I rewrote as book number seven or eight and I eventually  turned it into a graphic novel. Big chunks of book nine turned into Warbreaker, and books eleven and twelve - one was called The Final Empire and one was called Mistborn. Remember how I told you about two ideas mashing together and what made the story finally work? The best parts of those books turned into a new book, the magic system of one merging with the lore of the other is how it worked out. So, um, I did not publish any of those books as they were written except for Elantris. The Way of Kings I started from scratch when I rewrote it, and Mistborn I started from scratch when I rewrote it. But certainly ideas that were part of that ended up in those books.

Brandon's Blog 2018 ()
#22 Copy

Isaac Stewart

White Sand has an interesting background. Many of you know that it was the sixth novel Brandon wrote–Elantris–that was picked up by Tor and published as his first novel, but by the time Tor released Elantris in 2005, Brandon had written more than thirteen novels. Mistborn, which came out a year later in 2006, was Brandon's fourteenth.

But White Sand was Brandon's first novel. His third novel–Lord Mastrell–was a sequel to it. When Brandon wrote his eighth novel, right after the infamous Dragonsteel, he went back to White Sand Prime and Lord Mastrell and rewrote them both from the beginning, combining them into the White Sand we now give away for those who sign up for the mailing list. I believe this was also the novel that got his agent Joshua's attention, and while Joshua didn't offer representation just yet, he did offer some suggestions for a revision. Brandon also had a list of things he wanted to accomplish were he ever to have the chance to return to White Sand and revise it. But when Elantris came out, turning around and revising an old novel was just not in the cards.

When Dynamite proposed a three-part graphic novel several years ago, Brandon met with Team Dragonsteel and laid out his vision for White Sand. We pulled out his revision notes along with Joshua's commentary from so long ago. We re-read White Sand and made our own notes, and together as a team we fleshed out what Brandon would have liked to have done were he to revise White Sand today without the luxury of rewriting the book from the beginning. We clarified character motivations, we strengthened character arcs, we changed the gender of one of the main characters, and we brought in stronger elements from the cosmere at large. Together, under Brandon's direction, and with Dynamite's help, we crafted this into the canonical version of White Sand.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#24 Copy

Iceblade44

The original White Sand was the first of a trilogy so i was wondering what is your plan for the other two books? Writing them as books, graphic novels, or are you just to busy to actually do anything about it right now?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll decide when the graphic novel is done and out. Basically, we have to gauge fan response. If sales are good, and fans want more, we'll likely do them as graphic novels.

When I write more in Taldain, I intend to construct a new story, taking place after the events of the trilogy. (Whether or not we actually do graphic novels of the other two originals.)

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#25 Copy

Ravi

I'm curious how you were <feeling about whole process of> the graphic novel. <Specifically how you felt about the whole thing translating,> because I have the draft. 

Brandon Sanderson

Uh-huh.

Ravi

<You were kind enough to send me that.> You know, you were very descriptive.

Brandon Sanderson

<And it didn't translate well?>

Ravi

Not so much-- although I did see <glimpses of you popping through>.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so, I focus on the positives. <But there might be some things I might not agree with.>

Ravi

I think that's fair. Of course.

Brandon Sanderson

And I-- what we came up with was the < a list of a few things>... *inaudible* Like the only one that really bothered <me> was... where is the big battle?

*searches through the graphic novel*

<The big splash page> right there. I'm like... <when did this turn into> white people verse brown people? You've read the book. This isn't about white versus brown. This is, again, how did we end up with white versus brown? Why aren't these people wearing armor? These guys are the ones that are outcasts and these are the high society.

And so when I got this stuff, I was like, "Uhh..." These panels where they'd done earlier where they have the skin tones and the <the clothes for the Darksiders>, I'm like, "Really good!". But then when that one came together I was like, "Oh great, oh great, here we go." And when you put the whole thing together, some things came out really cool. Like I think the Darksiders turned out cool. The Darksiders were awesome. The magic turned out really great. But again, I'm like, "Where's the armor? Where's the cultural markings? Where's that stuff?".

But yeah, yeah. The thing is, the guy who's drawing them is Asian, right? So <he should, you know?>... alright, so that's my thing. But again, you've read the book. Like, where's <that detail?>... But that's-- when you give the story to someone else you have to let them <do what they will>.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#26 Copy

WeiryWriter

Current status of the White Sand graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

We have chosen a writer and the writing is quite good. We are very pleased with it, the person who's adapting the story. We have not chosen the artist yet, we have had several that have been sent to us. Each of them are doing an application with their art and we are now choosing among them. So if there's-- We are looking for professional comic book and graphic novel illustrators and so if there happened to be one of you out there who has done professional work in this field and has done--you have to be willing to commit to doing a lot of work and you have to work with Dynamite and things like this. Then you are more than welcome to contact us, but I think we are close to picking somebody.

Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

I was just wondering, in terms of the White Sand graphic novels, are you gonna keep those as graphic novels throughout? Or are you gonna jump into some more novellas and short stories that coincide with those?

Brandon Sanderson

Right now, we're just trying to finish the... graphic novels. Next one's out in February, I think is the date they finally picked...

...So, right now, I'm gonna finish the graphic novels. I'm not gonna do other graphic novels until that one's done. I have a few cool things that I would like to do with graphic novels. I wanna make sure that we get the one done that we're doing, which will be three parts, White Sand. And then, when that's done, then we'll look at doing other stuff. I don't know, I probably will do some novellas set on Taldain eventually. But for right now, it is just the graphic novel.

But if you want to read the original novel of mine that I'm adapting with Rik Hoskin to become the graphic novel, we send that out to people. We used to just send it when you asked us, but that got to the point that my assistant was getting a hundred emails a day. So now, you just sign up for the mailing list, and it will all get sent to you. And if you don't want to be in the mailing list, you can just unsubscribe then, right? But that way, you can just get the novel. It's okay. If you're curious about early Sanderson, it was book number... eight... But if you want to read early Sanderson, it's good, but it needed editing. It needs to be, like, 50-75,000 words shorter than it is. Which is what we're doing to make it a graphic novel, we're just kind of slimming it down.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#29 Copy

Jamester86

So something I've noticed in the fantasy genre that I love is that my 2 favorite authors (Sanderson and Rothfuss) don't use the traditional fantasy medieval setting (that I love) of castles, knights, feudalism etc. Now there are plenty of great authors that do (GRRMartin comes to mind as one that does it right), BUT the truth is, a good story eclipses all minor details like setting. An example I always give is that Patrick Rothfuss could write about brushing your teeth and it would make a fascinating read, and Sanderson would make an intriguing plot with amazing characterization throughout the dental hygiene experience. But I digress.

My question (If Brandon would be so kind as to show up, and if not, if anyone has any insight) is why; why doesn't the cosmere have any traditional medieval fantasy settings? Mistborn has keeps, but the society is not the traditional technology and setting of the medieval time period, nor do any of the other worlds given us.

Brandon Sanderson

There are both in-world reasons and writing reasons.

The writing reasons are obvious. I grew up on a steady diet of fantasy in a faux-medieval setting. I felt that some of these stories were really good, and enjoyed them--but at the same time, I felt the genre had been there and done that. In some ways, GRRM doing fantasy with the eye of a true medievalist provided a capstone to this era of fantasy.

When I sat down to write, didn't want to write what I was tired of reading. Dragonsteel (which never got published) was bronze age, White Sand was industrial, and Elantris was (kind of) Renaissance. (As you noticed, Mistborn is somewhere around 1820's. I modeled a lot of the society around the fascinating culture/industry of canals as shipping lanes that happened in England right before railroads took over.)

The other big reason, writing wise, is that I feel some of the magics that I enjoy dealing with in my settings need a certain near-industrial mindset to be interesting. The stories I want to tell are about people applying scientific principles to magic--and about the commodification and the economics of magic. Those are early-modern era stories.

The in-world reasoning I have is that on some of these planets, those eras existed--but the books are taking place when the stories of the worlds start smashing into one another. In addition, however, the Shards have an influence on this, because of things they saw happen on their own home planet.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#30 Copy

Questioner

So a lot of your books are very cinematic in nature and lend themselves very well to other forms of media and I was wondering if you had to choose what would you do-- video games...

Brandon Sanderson

I would want to do all of those.

Questioner

All of the things?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I would love to do a big cross-media sort of deal. Whatever I can get away with, right? So we're doing a White Sand comic book right now, you probably know about that. White Sand, my unpublished novel, we're doing a graphic novel of that. I'm working hard to get the movies made, I will do anything I can get made. Just because I love storytelling in all its different weird varieties.

Questioner

There's the Mistborn dice game, do you know of anything for The Stormlight Archive? If they're ever going to do something with that?

Brandon Sanderson

I think the thing we are going to do with Stormlight Archive-- We're going to try a chasm assault board game. Where you put together chasms and bridges and things like that. That's what we think would work really well. We have a developer-- well game designer who wants to do one of those so we're going to work with them and try to get it made.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#31 Copy

Argent

In the White Sand graphic novel, quite a few of the elements of the environment (e.g. rocks, clouds) look like faces (link). I find it hard to believe this is just a quirk of the artist, so can you tell us anything about why Taldain seems positively riddled with faces?

Brandon Sanderson

The faces are intentional. (Though they turned out more blatant in places than I'd have liked.)

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

What's your release schedule for volumes two and three?

Brandon Sanderson

I think they are one a year.

Questioner

One a year?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I'm sorry... They take so much time. It's possible they can go a little bit faster cause they did the whole script up front.

Questioner

Are they still drawing 'em and coloring 'em?

Brandon Sanderson

They are still drawing them and coloring 'em, yeah. We basically released this one as soon as we had it done. I told them they couldn't release it by little issues, cause I wanted people to have more of a promise they would get the whole thing so I said "You have to wait until you have at least a third of it done", but yeah. I think they are counting on this one paying for them to keep doing what they are already doing, so.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#34 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not planning a 'regular' novel edition of White Sand, though I do still send the old (unedited and not-quite-canon-version) to people who write through my website form and ask for it.

I fully intend to do some stories set in this world, in prose form, eventually. However, I won't retell the story of the graphic novel. I'll make them their own thing. However, there's so much on my plate that I can't promise when (or even if) I will actually do that.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#35 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I'll be very interested to see what people think of the adaptation.

Questioner

What do you think of the adaptation?

Brandon Sanderson

I like it, it's so-- The big change of making Ais a women is great. That's the big change we made. It trims out a bunch of the fat. What we lose is some of the world building and behind the scenes mechanics of how the magic works, that trade off it's like-- It's faster paced and some of the characterization is much better. Worldbuilding and magic mechanics, we lose a bunch of because that's something you do in prose. There's pros and cons, but i think it looks great and I'm very pleased with it.

Questioner

Is it something that you'd consider doing with any other of your work?

Brandon Sanderson

See, here's the thing, I've never wanted to do it for a published novel because I figure people have already read that. I want to be giving them at least something new.

State of the Sanderson 2015 ()
#38 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Secondary Book Projects

White Sand

For those who don't know, this is a book I wrote around the same time as Elantris—but which I didn't ever sell. Once I was published, I considered releasing it, but felt it needed a solid revision before I could do so.

Well, that revision was delayed time and time again, until the point where I decided I probably would need to just rewrite the book from scratch if I ever did release it. An interesting opportunity came along a few years later, however, and that changed my perspective. You see, the comic book company Dynamite Entertainment had come asking if I had anything, perhaps an unpublished novel, that would make a good graphic novel.

This seemed the perfect opportunity to make use of White Sand. I didn't have time to do revisions, but another writer could take my words and adapt them (really, what the book needed was a trim anyway) into a graphic edition. We said yes, and started into the process.

I've said before, Dynamite has been excellent to work with. Rik Hoskin, the person hired to do the adaptation, is a fantastic writer—and he really managed to preserve the core of my story, using my own dialogue and descriptions, while cutting out all the chaff. The artist Julius Gopez, the colorist Ross Campbell, the letterer Marshall Dillon, and the editor Rich Young have all done a fabulous great job.

The novel is big (no surprise), so it's going to be released as three graphic novels. The first of these is almost ready, and we're expecting a release sometime next year.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#39 Copy

Questioner

White Sand?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand. So White Sand, if you're unfamiliar with it, it's one of the books I wrote before I got published and it's kind of good, but not great… We are doing a graphic novel adaptation of it, which is awesome. The person that we gave it to to do the adaptation, the writer, took my words and cut out all of the crap that it didn't need--which is why White Sand is kind of mediocre, it's half good and half just doesn't need to be there--and cut all that out, streamlined it and the art is going very well, but it's a slow process… Isaac or Peter do you guys have any idea?

Isaac Stewart

Umm... We've started on Chapter 5. So the book-- it's going to be three volumes.

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to be three volumes--

Isaac Stewart

And each one of those covers, basically, the ground of six six comic books.

Brandon Sanderson

..Just give us a release date, that's all I'm asking for. *laughter*

Isaac Stewart

We're somewhere in 5.

Brandon Sanderson

So they're working on the fifth part of the first chunk, which will be six parts. So, the first one will probably be soon. If you're going to wait until all three volumes are out, it's probably going to be a year or two.

Isaac Stewart

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

A year or two, right. So there you go.

A Memory of Light Raleigh Signing ()
#40 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

I’ve been fortunate enough to read White Sand and Aether of Night and I enjoyed them very much. Will they ever be published? I also managed to read Dragonsteel and I enjoyed that too.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

White Sand will definitely eventually be published. Aether of Night, not so sure on, because Aether is two halves of two books that didn't fit together. The two pieces didn't mesh. White Sand is part of the sequence and will be done. Dragonsteel is part of the sequence and will be done, but it will be very different now that the Shattered Plains have been used in Way of Kings.

Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
#42 Copy

leftinspace

Can you tell me how long it was from the Shattering of Adonalsium to the prelude of The Way of Kings when the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact?

Brandon Sanderson

Current timeline, which I have NOT canonized, is around 6,000 years... I have not finished with my outline document yet.

leftinspace

'Cause I've looked at the current chronology and it's very, very spotty...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes it is... the real trick is... making sure that I fit in, for instance, White Sand and things with the proper amount... because I haven't released that book series yet, I have to make sure while we're doing the graphic novel, that it fits the chronology, which is why I can't quite canonize things yet.

leftinspace

That one takes place before Way of Kings doesn't it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes

leftinspace

'Cause I know one of the worldhoppers from there shows up in Way of Kings...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, White Sand is one of the very earliest.

Manchester signing ()
#43 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand, being my first book, even though I re-wrote it... doesn't sometimes follow as much rigor with the worldbuilding scientifically as things like Roshar. When we-- If I were to ever write books in it, I would beef that up. But for right now, since the actual y'know-- I haven't actually released any of the books, I don't feel bad that some of it is a little more vague.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#44 Copy

Questioner

How did you like doing the graphic novel compared to normal stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

It was fun. The thing about it is, my main part in it was to write the book, 'cause its a prose novel that I wrote years ago, and then to look over things as my team was putting it together. They had a writer take my book and condense it down to the dialogue bubbles and things like this, and built it out and I would see a page and say "good". So I didn't really make a graphic novel I wrote a book that people who know what they are doing adapted into a graphic novel.

Questioner

Makes sense. Would you do more of it?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on how people react to this. If the fans like it and say "yes, this is a book we enjoy. Keep doing things like this." I will do more.

Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
#45 Copy

AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

I picked up the Easter Eggs for Mraize being a Worldhopper. It was actually the sand that did it, having been fortunate enough to read White Sand.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Now there’s something odd about that sand. What color is the sand in WoR?

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#46 Copy

Macen

I have read White Sand and Aether of Night, and I don't know why they're not published because I loved both of them.

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand is not published because I don't feel that for one, Kenton has the depth of character that I like to have nowadays.  He's more an old school character of mine where he just isn't, personality wise, doesn't have quite enough.  Beyond that I feel that White Sand as a narrative meanders a little too much.  I feel if I cut back about a thousand words and fix him, we would have a good book.  Aether is not published because I feel that I wrote two different books and didn't blend them together very well.  There is the kind of farcical, Shakespearean, switched places, silliness, and it's fun, but it's like a mistaken identity almost sort of stuff and romance and things like that mixed with these dark things are coming out of the shard pool and destroying the world.  And those two stories never meshed together well enough for me to want to publish them.  

Macen

So would you say it would take one more revision?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand one more revision. I'm not sure what I could do with Aether of Night because those two just don't work together.  White Sand we are trying to do as a graphic novel.  

Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
#48 Copy

Questioner

So, you know the White Sand graphic novel you made? Did you only sign, like, 250 of those? How many did you sign of those?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not sure how many. I sign them when people bring them by, but I'm don't know how many numbers there were.

Questioner

No, when you first printed it.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the numbered edition. I'm not sure. There aren't that many.

Questioner

I'm like, 199.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, there's 200 or something like that.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

You are releasing a graphic novel version of White Sand, which one is going to be canon to the Cosmere, the graphic novel or the novel you originally wrote?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh definitely the graphic novel. The book I originally wrote has its problems, and I never released it. The books don't become canon until I release them. This will be the canon release of White Sand. I don't think-- If the graphic novel does well we are not going to write novels, I'm going to do the second one as a graphic novel original. That's just how we are going to do it-- is my plan right now. There are things when we went back to it that we tweaked, for instance Hoid's appearance in the original novel was only a reference. He was mentioned by, what did I end up calling him, Eis? Ais, I had both names for a while, it was only a reference to one of his old cases, that's his only appearance. And we're like "Ehh people are going to expect more now". So we are writing in a better appearance for him. Stuff like that, I feel Khriss' character needs better development than the novel had, so we are working on that. Stuff, you know. Things you would do in a major revision.