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Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#51 Copy


Is The Way of Kings your biggest work planned or do you have something on the shelf that's bigger?

Brandon Sanderson

Well...depends. Dragonsteel is plotted at seven books. And I plan two more trilogies, eventually, in the Mistborn world. But Kings was always planned and plotted to be the big war epic, focusing on large numbers of characters across a large number of books. Mistborn will span hundreds and hundreds of years, though, so it could be 'bigger' by some definitions. Dragonsteel also is in the running, but for reasons I can't really explain without giving away things I don't want to.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#52 Copy


When will second book of Legion be out on Audible?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably, I think November 1st is the scheduled release date and I think Audible--I can't promise this--but I think we are going to do the same thing we did with the first one, which is it will be free on Audible for like the first two months because they are short enough that charging a full credit for them is kind of, you know, they are one-third of a book, right? But you can't really split a credit into one-third credits. So if you do want to go buy Legion off of Audible, the Audible version is very nice and I think they sell it for five bucks or something, don't use a credit just go spend five bucks on it. And the second one--we did that one free for the first few months, and I think we may do the second one free for the first few months also.


Are they planning to go that for Infinity Blade, like for an Audible release?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't think there are plans right now, but the fact that you are interested makes me think maybe we should ask if they are interested.

Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
#56 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Sixteenth - there's a rumor about a second Elantris book.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, that's coming someday, but Stormlight is the priority. Current schedule: Firefight is done, Rithmatist 2 is next, Stormlight 3 after that (working title might still be Stones Unhallowed if he can get it out before Rothfuss finishes Doors of Stone)

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#57 Copy


Can you say what "small projects" you're thinking about working on for the rest of the year before picking up Stormlight in January?

Brandon Sanderson

I've just done a quick draft on some chapters on Alcatraz 6, which isn't ready yet, but is coming along. And I'll be looking over Secret Project again, as well as doing a draft of the Wheel of Time deleted scenes for the Unfettered 3 charity anthology.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#58 Copy


Starting with the Cosmere, and now with Apocalypse Guard, it's clear that you love shared universes. If all of your works were in the same universe, what would be the most fun crossover to write?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmmm... It's probably the cosmere all-world mashup I'm actually planning to do in the future.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#59 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Let's go down the sequel list.

My next book coming out is Skyward. You can read sample chapters of that right now, we've been doing a lot of publicity. If you watch my social media, I'm sorry; you probably are done hearing about Skyward. But you can go read the chapters of that, it comes out in two weeks. I turned in the sequel to that, and I'm gonna try and squeeze in the third book before the year ends. We will see. 'Cause I would like to have that series done and ready to be read, and not have to--

Because, starting January, I promised my attention turns back to Stormlight. *crowd cheers* Everybody cheers for Stormlight. And I will be on Roshar until Book Four is done. Those books take, like, eighteen months. The Skyward books each took 3 months. So, you can see, a Stormlight book's a major undertaking, and nothing else gets done during Stormlight. Which is why it'd be really nice if I can squeeze in that third book, but I only have two and a half months, so I don't know if I'll be able to do it. But I'll start on Stormlight Four.

So that leaves you hanging on a few things. What about Wax and Wayne Four? Wax and Wayne Four will happen. I'm not sure when, but it will happen. I need to keep steady progress on Stormlight. It'd be really easy to get behind on that series, because they are so big and take a lot out of me... I have to take a good year, year-and-a-half break after a Stormlight book to make sure I'm not burned out on the series when I start again. At about eighteen months, actually about a year, I start to get really excited for working on it again, which is where I am right now. And that's where you want me to be when I'm writing a 400,000-word epic fantasy. So, Wax and Wayne Four will happen. But we will see.

Probably not any new Reckoners books for a while. That series is done. There's a Mizzy book in me somewhere, but I don't know when I would do that. Who knows.

Elantris and Warbreaker, sequels wouldn't be approached until after Stormlight Five. Probable they'll happen, but again, wait 'til Stormlight Five. Stormlight's two five-book arcs.

The Rithmatist. Oh, man, that book has been hard to do a sequel to. I tried to write a sequel, and it just didn't work. So I set it aside. I've got a new outline that I like for it, but it has to get slotted in. It's been a really tough book, probably the toughest book to figure out how to do right ever.

If the book is not on that list, then probably not a sequel coming anytime soon.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#60 Copy


Hmmm, I just read this timetable update then went back and read State of the Sanderson 2016. I think there is a decent chance that the novella between The Apocalypse Guard 2 and 3 could be Silverlight. Could we be so lucky, /u/mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

There's a decent chance. I've also got several on First of the Sun plotted, which are possibilities--and even a Threnody story I want to do. However, there's also a non-cosmere "minority report" style thriller I want to write, and a more thoughtful story about a world where big data predicts all of our choices. So...who knows.


Do you have any thoughts on a short story set on Nalthis? It's the only major Shardworld we haven't yet revisited.

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't been able to get any shorts on Nalthis to work so far. Maybe eventually.

Orem signing ()
#61 Copy


Do you have intentions to have a conclusion to the Cosmere, or is it something that's going to be ever expanding?

Brandon Sanderson

I did build a conclusion in, and I will write toward it. My goal is to get to it before I get too old. And then if I want to still noodle in the cosmere, do planets that we didn't get to or things like that. So the cosmere main timeline that I'm working on, my plan is to try release a book every year or so in this main timeline. Depends on how long the Stormlight books are. *laughter*

Oathbringer rough draft was 540,000 words. A normal novel is considered 90,000-100,000. The Way of Kings was 300,000. This happens to us fantasy writers. It depends on how long the Stormlight books take. But the main line is 10 Stormlight books in two 5 book arcs. First 5 book arc, then there'll be a break in-world of about a decade. So it won't be as big as the Mistborn jumps. But there'll be a break in world and then we'll come back to it in book 6. And book 6 is where we kind of refocus on different characters, some characters go through the whole thing. Some characters kind of fade more into the background and new characters become the focus. So you can imagine it as two series set in the same world.

We have the mainline Mistborn series, which is taking Mistborn through a bunch of different eras, eventually landing us in science fiction, space travel. I originally plotted those as 9 books, but then I wrote the Wax and Wayne books as more part of that... But the ending of the Cosmere is the science fiction Mistborn trilogy. Chronologically, that's the last thing I have in the plot. That science fiction Mistborn trilogy is space opera. It's Star Wars meets the cosmere. That's our endpoint. 

Right before I write that I will do Dragonsteel, which is Hoid's backstory. Which is flashing back to the beginning of the cosmere, before Adonalsium was Shattered. So that's our time line. You'll get that-- So right now, it's finish the first 5 Stormlight books, do the 1980's level Mistborn books, next 5 of Stormlight, Dragonsteel, ending.

I'll probably work some Elantris books and a Warbreaker book in there but that's my main line. Anything that's not in there, like the Threnody novel and things like this, I plan to do but they have to fill a slot of a side project when I have extra time. Might be pushed to be a novella, instead. That's my main line plan. And that's plenty for me to do. And granted, I just finished book of mine number 42 or 43 or something like that, that I've written since I turned 21. So in 20 years, I wrote 40 books. That sounds like a lot but it depends on how long Stormlight books are.


Like, last year, I basically only did one thing. I had Snapshot and then Stormlight. Those take a lot of work.

Kraków signing ()
#62 Copy


Will we see Scadrial in cyberpunk era?

Brandon Sanderson

I have plans for Scadrial cyberpunk but the problem is I don't know if I'll have a long enough lifespan to write all these books. So I'm trying to avoid adding any more books to the Cosmere outline until I get a little further along I'm gonna have to write; consider that Oathbringer turned out to be a quarter longer than Words of Radiance. I really need to be sure I'm keeping going and trying to keep from expanding too big. Definitely the 1980s one, some cyberpunk themes will bleed into it cause that's when cyberpunk started.

But maybe I'll see the new Blade Runner and I'll have to write one, so...

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
#63 Copy


I've seen in your answers to previous questions that you are always open to changing aspects of your story so long as it's not already written in another book, or more importantly so that it doesn't contradict what the reader already knows.

That being said, how much of the Cosmere and its story would you say you already have a plan for? For example, do you more or less already know how each world and story ties into one another, or is that something that changes as you write? Given that there seem to be some constants in this universe (the number of shards, etc.), is there an end to these stories as a whole, or is it an ever-expanding universe?

Brandon Sanderson

Things do change as I evolve as a writer.

There is an end to this story. Dragonsteel-Kings-Mistborn are all fairly well planned out, but I must allow myself flexibility.

MisCon 2018 ()
#64 Copy


Have you accidentally written any [books] yet?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't accidentally-- I've been consumed by Secret Project, which I can't tell you about. But Secret Project is what I'm working on right now, it's on my website as Secret Project. I will be able to tell you eventually.


Weren't you gonna write Skyward sequels?

Brandon Sanderson

Skyward sequel will be my next project. Secret Project should be finished in a week or two. Then Skyward sequels. Then Wax and Wayne 4. And then Stormlight Four. That's my writing schedule.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#65 Copy


Rithmatist part 2?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist part 2. *crowd woos* So, alright let me go down the big list of sequels.  I am working on the Stormlight 3 right now. *crowd woos* It is scheduled to come out like six months after I finish it. *laughter* We are shooting for Christmas next year, it's really going to depend on how much writing I can get done on this tour, but we will see, alright? After that I will be writing a new series, the first one, for Random House to follow-up Steelheart. It has been a very successful series, I want to maintain a good relationship with that publisher, I'll be giving them a new YA property which I'll start talking about next spring.

Once I'm done with that my goal is to write Rithmatist 2 and the last of the Wax & Wayne books, okay? Which will bring kind of a wrap-up to that series and get the next Rithmatist. Anything that I didn't just mention is coming after probably Stormlight 4 which will be the next thing after that. So if it wasn't on that list, you might get a novella related to it, but I can't promise anything more than that. I have to keep on Stormlight, I do not want to-- It's already going to be like two and a half years again before the next one between books and that's too long I want to keep it down to two years if I can.

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#66 Copy


Will there be any more of Silence from the Forests of Hell?

Brandon Sanderson

The world is very relevant to the cosmere. I have several books planned there, I don’t know how many of them I’ll write. I will at least write one of them. Silence herself is not a character from the books. I designed that story and it matched the world so I put it there. But yes there will be other things from that world.

Sasquan 2015 ()
#67 Copy


My son said if I got to ask a question he wants me to ask when's the next Rithmatist and also when's the next Alcatraz?

Brandon Sanderson

So I'm currently writing Stormlight 3, that is projected for Christmas of next year. It's really going to depend on when I finish it. If it goes-- Peter's smirking because he's like "Yeaaaah."

If it goes any later-- the first draft goes any later than March of next year, that means we'll have to push back. So if you watch on my progress bar, if I finish it by-- my goal is to be done by the last day of February, and that's going to take some dedicated writing, *Peter's smirks some more*, but we'll see. If it strays much longer than that, than we'll push it back. They're just big involved books to write. I've already finished enough that would be a finished manuscript for another novel, the same length as Calamity or the new Mistborn books, but it'll go four times that length.

So Rithmatist is a side project that I will write when I have time. My main sort of focus right now-- I kind of have to focus on three things. Stormlight, Mistborn, and The Reckoners, which I'll have another trilogy with Random House which will be something new, but my mainline teen stuff is the more adventure type stuff. I'd love to do another Rithmatist. I think it was a very fun book, and for people who liked more involved worldbuilding, and more fantastical sort of things that want something for teens, Rithmatist is what that is. Steelheart is more action movie. And so I would like to do that.

Alcatraz, I did finish Alcatraz 5, which is the last of the ones that Alcatraz will write, and that is scheduled for next summer after we do a rerelease of the Alcatraz books with brand new art. We'll be showing that off on my website soon. The art's looking really great, we finally got a look I like for them, some interior art, a nice map, things like that.

So those will start being released in January, and the newest one coming out in June.

Warbreaker and Elantris sequels? No immediate plans, they're happening someday. Really, once I finish Stormlight, I'll go into the next series for Random House, the follow up to Steelheart, and then we'll see where I am, and see if I have time to write another side project which would be one of these books before I jump into Stormlight 4.

State of the Sanderson 2015 ()
#68 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Projected Novel Release Schedule

There's a good chance I won't hold to this, but just so you know, here's how I view my upcoming novel release schedule (not including any novellas or short stories that may or may not appear during moments when I need to do something new):

January 2016: Wax and Wayne 3

February 2016: Reckoners 3 (final book)

June 2016: Alcatraz 5

Sometime 2017: Stormlight 3

Sometime 2017: Rithmatist 2

Spring 2018: New YA project 1

Fall 2018: Wax and Wayne 4 (final book)

Sometime 2019: Stormlight 4

Sometime 2019: New YA project 2

Sometime 2020: Elantris 2

Sometime 2020 New YA project 3 (final book)

Sometime 2021: Stormlight 5 (ending of first arc)

Sometime 2022: Elantris 3 (final book)

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#69 Copy


When can we expect to see anything new cosmere-wise?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll start working on Stormlight 4 in January, and hopefully can get a novella (a la Edgedancer) written during the process, so you don't have to wait all the way to 2020 for more Cosmere.


So Stormlight 4 will come before Mistborn 2-4?

Brandon Sanderson

Potentially--it depends. A Stormlight book takes a LONG time to write, and often I sneak other books in the middle, because I need a break.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#70 Copy


You said the The Rithmatist is a little ways out, the sequel.

Brandon Sanderson

I do mean to keep meaning to get to it sooner than I have. It's one of the-- It's the one that's been the most difficult to figure out how to do the sequel. I'm confident-- Let me get Alcatraz [6: The Worldspire], which-- it should be done pretty soon here, cleared off my plate. The last book of that one is-- had significant progress on it lately. Once that's done I'll look at Rithmatist, which is the other thing that's been dangling over my head.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#72 Copy


[Brandon] how are you going to finish all this?

Brandon Sanderson

The only reasonable answer is the one that others have pointed out, unfortunately: I won't.

Most of the ideas I work on don't come to fruition. Others simmer for many years (like Skyward did.) My only real promise is that I'll make reasonable progress on the mainline cosmere books. Stormlight, Mistborn, Elantris, Dragonsteel. Even there, I can't say for certain if projects like the Threnody novel or the Mistborn cyberpunk will end up being written or not.


It must feel strange knowing that, right? Having your whole life’s work mapped out and feeling that you won’t finish all of it?

Brandon Sanderson

A little? But I realized long, long ago that I'd have more ideas than time to write them--and made peace with that.

There's also a kind of "natural selection" philosophy going on here. If an idea (like Skyward) manages to persist long enough, fight out the other ideas for a slot at the writing table, and actually turn into a book--well, those are the ideas that deserve to get written.


For what it's worth, I think you'll finish it all (and more) without a problem. And I fixed version 2 of the chart so the projected timeline isn't so exaggerated and it's much less depressing. And as long as you enjoy writing and keep cranking books out, I promise to buy every one - I'm planning to have an entire wall of just Sanderson books.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, thank you very much! I've been thinking a lot about this lately, though. I've been aware lately that I'm going to have to let more and more side projects slide away, an I'm finding ways to do it, so that I can keep my attention on making certain I finish my goals.


Well I think you've made a great compromise with the graphic novels for example - it's great to be able have that as canon without having to wait 30 years for everything else to be cleared out - but we still have hope that if you finish everything early there's a possibility of a prose version someday. And with your non-cosmere ideas like Adamant and Alcatraz it's great that you are collaborating with others to get things done. I don't know how much creative control you'd want to cede of the Cosmere, but you could always consider letting other authors play around in 1940-ish or cyberpunk Scadrial for example. Also, you could consider fan-sourcing some projects. Maybe it's a stretch, but if you held some contests for the more artistically talented fans, you might be able to collect enough submissions that match your vision to be able to build the worldbook. Or you could publicly release the script for Birthright or some other idea, and fans could try to build an open source video game.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I've been pushing myself to let some non-cosmere ideas (like the Apocalypse Guard rewrite) to do as collaborations, to get them out of my system.

You make some interesting suggestions with fans. We're reaching an era where that sort of thing is increasingly plausible.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#73 Copy


I was in the hospital and someone read White Sand [Volume 1] while I was there, and I didn't know-- Is the comic series going to continue on after the end of the book, that kind of seems like a very unfinished story, or if that's just a story that will probably remain unfinished?

Brandon Sanderson

If people really like the comic we will continue.


Oh cool!

Brandon Sanderson

If they don't, I am probably going to do a book in the world eventually. It will be after the last-- like-- a different group of characters, but it will reference what happened, so you can kind of figure it out.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#76 Copy


I was thinking about it, do you have any characters that you've set aside to do maybe some spin-offs down the road, just that you don't want to let die off into obscurity. Like Shallan, she is my favorite character that you write so far. I don't know, is there kind of a side group that you maybe want to revisit later?

Brandon Sanderson

I could see myself doing that. The thing is, the ones I've set off I've done intentionally like in Elantris, Serene's uncle, right. Her uncle, I always intended his family to be the next one I wrote a book about, and so its like its already planned in and like Lift from Stormlight. Shes getting her own book later on so I've seeded her in it, you already knowing about it. I don't know that there is any I'm waiting for now, specifically. I'm sure it will happen to me.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#77 Copy


Are we going to see anything in the Elantris universe anytime soon?

Brandon Sanderson

You should see-- I mean "anytime soon" is a very sub-- difficult to answer. Like the next thing I'm doing are the Mistborn books, I actually wrote two of those instead of one because two for the price of one, right? Did you guys know this? I sent them to my publisher because the book was due and I sent the book off and I attached a sequel to it *laughter* in the email and said nothing about it except "Here's your book" and then went to bed 'cause I was sending this at like 4AM because I stay up really late. And so I got up the next morning to mass panic from my publisher and agent and they're like "You put two books in here!?!" and I'm like "Yeah I wrote two on accident" *laughter* And so I did that, and yeah. And then they threw a party because an extra Sanderson book, unsurprisingly, is a pretty big deal at the publisher and then they decided to publish them very quickly. So what I'm doing is I'm writing Calamity, third of The Reckoners, and final of The Reckoners, right now. So our next sequence of books will be two Mistborn, then Calamity, and then the third Stormlight book.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#79 Copy


Approximately how many books/series do you have concrete ideas for, aside from the ones you currently have in the pipeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, wow. So, go look at the State of the Sanderson 2017 and you'll find a list of the ones I've mentioned. Beyond that, I'd say I have some twenty or thirty that are somewhat fleshed out. More than I can possibly ever hope to write.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#80 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

I thought that three years ago you wanted to write a book with Tad Williams and have George R.R. Martin finish it. Is that still just a pipe dream?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That's still a pipe dream

So the question is; I had this goofy idea one time, and I thought "what if I get this other famous fantasy writer and together the two of us wrote"... and we would write a book together, but it wouldn't be a Brandon Sanderson and, it would be a Brandon Sanderson versus where we each create a set of characters who have contrasting role, were against each other, and who would try to achieve this, um, they would both be on opposite sides and they would seduce each other's characters or murder each other's characters and thing like this and we would write it almost to the climax, and then we would go to George Martin and we would say "you have to adjudicate how we would write the ending" and so the cover would be like 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Pat Rothfuss with guest judge George R.R. Martin".

It is really just a pipe dream, especially when its a matter of 'when are we gonna do that', and it's really just a pipe dream. Maybe i'll make it happen, the trick is I'd have to find... like I cant do Pat because his fans would kill me for slowing him down. So it would have to be someone like Brent or Anya. Somebody who is a little faster, but I could totally see a 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Brent Weeks' right, you guys don't have to root for him cause he lives here. Yeah, something like that. We'll see if I can make it happen.

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


Will Emperor Kai get his own book?

Brandon Sanderson

Will Emperor Kai get his own book? So this is Perfect State, for those asking. One of the reasons I write these little novellas is so I can get an idea out of my system without writing an entire novel, but then people will start asking for sequels to... *crowd laughs* I already owe you sequels to ElantrisWarbreaker, and The Rithmatist. So the answer is I am not promising any more sequels, particularly not to the novellas whose whole point is to let me write random things. It's not impossible that someday I'll do a novelization of one, but I'm not--I'm probably not doing any time soon a sequel to Emperor's Soul or things like that, just because the whole point of the novellas is to let me get focused back on the novels. And the--particularly the series that I'm in the middle of. It let's me get my fix of doing something weird, let's you read something weird and different, and then still doesn't take too much time from Stormlight or Mistborn or things like this.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
#82 Copy


I've read that you were thinking of 32-36 books total for the Cosmere, but it seems like the series are going to go beyond that if numbers you've given before are published (e.g. Mistborn being a trilogy of trilogies so 9, Stormlight Archive 10, Warbreaker 2, Dragonsteel 6 or 7, and still White Sand and others to come) so has the estimate of 32 been thrown out the window?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh...I don't know. My original breakdown:

Mistborn 9 Wabreaker 2 Elantris 3 White Sand 3 Stormlight 10 Silence Divine 1 Dragonsteel 7 (A two book and a five book.)

That's the 32, with allowances for a few side stories to get us to 36. There are planets not included in that, however, that I may write stories about. So maybe. But the core cycle is this (in order)

Dragonsteel Mistborn first trilogy Stormlight - Mistborn second trilogy (around the same time.) Mistborn third trilogy.

Everything else is important in their own stories, but as we're talking about the connections between the worlds are considered, this is the prime cosmere cycle.

State of the Sanderson 2016 ()
#83 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Projected Release Schedule

I'm going to keep this to three years this time, as my projections in the past have tended to go skiwampus (technical term) after about one year of projecting.

I intend Rithmatist 2 and Alcatraz 6 to slip in here somewhere, but I don't know where. (I was hoping to do one of them this year, but Stormlight three went even longer than projected.)

February 2017: Snapshot

November 2017: Stormlight 3

Spring 2018: Apocalypse Guard 1

Fall 2018: Wax and Wayne 4 (final book)

Sometime 2019: Apocalypse Guard 2

Sometime 2019: Undecided. (There will likely be a second novel this year. It's possible that I'm still working on Stormlight 4 though, and will have a lean year as a result.)

Sometime 2020: Stormlight 4

Sometime 2020: Apocalypse Guard 3 (final book)