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Brandon's Blog 2010 ()
#51 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I started working on THE WAY OF KINGS fifteen years ago. I wrote the first version of the book in full back in 2003. It was always planned to be big. You don’t grow up reading Robert Jordan, Tad Williams, and Melanie Rawn without wanting to do your own big epic. When I showed it to my editor back in ’03, he thought it was too ambitious to be published, at least as my second novel.

There are thirty magic systems in this world, depending on how you count them, and around six thousand years of history I’ve mapped out. There are dozens of cultures, a continent of enormous scope, and a deep, rich mythology. However, when I say things like that, you have to realize that very little of it will end up in the first book. The best fantasy epics I’ve read begin with a personal look at the characters in the early books, then have a steady expansion into epic scope.

I’ve spent many years thinking about the epic fantasy genre, what makes it work, what I love about it, and how to deal with its inherent weaknesses. And so I’m trying to make use of the form of the novel (meaning how I place chapters and which viewpoints I put where) in order to convey the scope without distracting from the main stories I wish to tell.

Anyway, I don’t jump between dozens of characters in this novel. There are three central viewpoints, with two or so primary supporting viewpoints. I intend the first book to be its own story, focused and personal. I don’t want this to be the “Wow! Thirty Magic Systems!” series. I want it to be a series about a group of characters you care about, with a lush and real world that has solid and expansive depth.

In other words, I promise you a variety of magics, mythology, history, and cultures . . . but not all in the first book.

Bands of Mourning release party ()
#53 Copy

Shadow Guardian

If an Awakener were to go to Roshar and were to bleed the color from a gem would that gem still be able to store Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Bleed the color from a gem… Um ye-ye-ye-yeah. This would interfere with its function on Roshar. It would probably still be able to hold Stormlight…

Shadow Guardian

Might not be able to be used for Soulcasting?

Brandon Sanderson

Yea-- It's going to… You know what no it would just change it. It would just bleed the color from it and turn it into a dusty quartz or something like that. That's probably what it would end up with, a dusty quartz. Because the molecular structure doesn't matter as much as the color for Roshar. So yeah you would probably still be able to hold Stormlight because a diamond can but I don't know, quartz might cut it. You'd probably end up with something that's not going to work so well.

Questioner 2

What about a fabrial that needs a specific--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah a specific-- A ruby wouldn't work any more, and it would let go whatever is captured inside.

BookCon 2018 ()
#54 Copy

WeiryWriter (paraphrased)

So in the Way of Kings Ars Arcanum we get a really good explanation of the different kinds of fabrials. Then in Words of Radiance we get a new kind of fabrial, one that attracts certain substances, but they weren't discussed in the Words of Radiance Ars Arcanum. And they are not in Oathbringer's either.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yeah, so this is actually something Isaac has been bugging me about. There is no reason they were not included other than me being lazy.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#56 Copy

gossypiboma

When communicating over spanreed, do you have to compensate for the curvature of the planet? For example, would communicating with someone on the other side of the planet result in upside down writing?

Brandon Sanderson

Spanreeds auto-compensate when you activate them. Meaning, once you tap them on, they will follow the same pattern in relation to the writing board as the other one.