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Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#102 Copy

Sunbird

Alcatraz, the Dark Talent. How far ahead did you decide that specific ending? I know you always knew it was gonna end up at the altar, but at what point did you decide Attica's fate?

Brandon Sanderson

That was right at the beginning. I was using some mythology, and things like this, and that was the big part. So, if you go back and look, I knew Alcatraz, when I wrote the first book, before I outlined the rest of them, something terrible happened. Something actually terrible happened, which is why he refuses to accept... 'cause he failed in some major way. It had to be a real and kind of awful thing in order to justify the way he is. Because otherwise, you're just like, "You're an idiot." And this turns him into something that had really traumatic, and so you could understand it. And I was worried about that being in a kids book, but I'm like, "It says what it has to be." I knew it was infiltrate the <library>, altar, Attica. But I didn't know all the details, just like I usually don't for the Alcatraz books. Those are supposed to be improv.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#105 Copy

Questioner

First of all, on the [Arcanum Unbounded] endpapers, what's the position of... Where is it from? What's the reference point?

My friend asked (and I was there with him asking my own question) Brandon and Isaac at the Provo release where the perspective on the end papers is from – Brandon confirmed that it was from Silverlight, after checking with Isaac. There was some wonkiness in the response though – Isaac said something like as it was “imagined” from Silverlight, and I tried to get clarification for what that meant (is that because Silverlight is mobile?), but stayed pretty vague (got the impression he was maybe saying there was some sort of artistic license taken?). I consider it confirmed that it is from the perspective of Silverlight, but that that there is more going on there. 

Brandon Sanderson

Reference point in this, I believe, is Silverlight. But it's not how they would exactly see them all. But it is done by someone from Silverlight. Right, Isaac? This is done by someone from Silverlight? And that's gonna be kind of our reference point, but they are imagining a place... right?

Isaac Stewart

They're imagining a place where the constellations would look like this. There iss an actual place where it looks that way. *talking over one another*

sillyslovene

Is that because Silverlight is mobile? Or is that because...

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Questioner

You say "imagine." I just wondered what "imagine" means.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm saying, I'm not sure-- *to Isaac* Did you set that from Silverlight?

Isaac Stewart

No, no. It is set from a point in the cosmere itself.

Questioner

So that they can say they can see all of them in one--

Isaac Stewart

So, that is an actual night sky somewhere in the cosmere.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, okay. Yeah. I now know what he's talking about.

*inaudible* [1:11]

Isaac Stewart

*inaudible* [2:12]

Questioner 2

I've been meaning to ask, *inaudible* in the same solar system, no? And more than one planet can see it? *inaudible* [1:28]

Isaac Stewart

There's actually, there's a planet in the habitable zone *inaudible* [1:33]

Questioner

*inaudible* [1:46]

Isaac Stewart

*inaudible* [2:12]

Warsaw signing ()
#106 Copy

Questioner

*Inaudible* How long will we have to wait for Arcanum 2?

Brandon Sanderson

A long time, I'm afraid. I don't want to write it until I have Stormlight 10 done, so it's a long ways off.

Questioner

*Inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

You will. And you'll definitely get some bits and pieces.

Footnote: Based on Oversleep's notes, it's possible the question was about the Conflux book.
Warsaw signing ()
#107 Copy

Rasarr

If you took a Parshendi... And they were born outside Roshar and never visited Roshar in their lives, would they hear the Rhythms beyond Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Would they hear the Rhythms beyond Roshar... If you took one that was not born on Roshar, would they feel the Rhythms off-Roshar or just Rhythms in general?

Rasarr

Rhythms in general.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they would sense them.

Rasarr

Even beyond Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

What they are sensing... it's something that pervades the Cosmere but on Roshar has specific way of manifesting.

Rasarr

Is it the same thing that Soothers and Rioters are using?

Brandon Sanderson

Now you're straying into RAFO territory with your question/good question...

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#108 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Demoux. Him, also being in the Interlude. How is that one...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

He is part of a group called the Seventeenth Shard. [They] are cosmere-aware and travel around the planets and have a kind of pact of non-intervention. Which they aren't doing a very good job on, because they brought the common cold to Roshar.

Questioner (paraphrased)

How did he actually find out about this?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I will give you [a RAFO card], because I will answer about the Seventeenth Shard eventually.

Questioner (paraphrased)

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The Seventeenth Shard will have a big role to play in future books.

Questioner (paraphrased)

Is Hoid part of the...?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Hoid is not part of the Seventeenth Shard. They're trying to chase him down.

FanX Spring 2019 ()
#111 Copy

Questioner

Was Lopen ever actually a slave or did he just see a slave wagon walking by and was like, "Hey, can I join you guys?"

Brandon Sanderson

I'll get to his story eventually. But he did not spend a long time in a bad situation like some of the others did.

Questioner

*inaudible* One of the people just would walk up and it's like, "Hey, can I join you guys?"

Brandon Sanderson

It didn't happen quite like that but it is a little bit goofy.

Warsaw signing ()
#112 Copy

Questioner

How many bridge runs did Kaladin make in the Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson

How many what? Bridge runs, oh boy. Fewer than he thought, but still a lot. Several dozen. He would have said hundreds but it wasn’t hundreds.

Warsaw signing ()
#115 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yes that is common.

 

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

 Will there be a what spren?

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah yeah yeah. So most of the spren are involved in either-- are kind of involved in all three. And so it's mostly Honor and Cultivation. But some lean one direction or the other: you'll see that lifespren will pop up more commonly around Wyndle then they will around <Sylphrena>.

Warsaw signing ()
#116 Copy

Questioner

<Could you tell me something about the Shard that is hiding>?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a pretty big spoiler. I can give you a RAFO card. Yes, the Shard that wants to hide, let's just say, they are quite intelligent in their decision to not get caught.

Footnote: based on Oversleep's notes it's probably about Survival Shard
Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#118 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

*reading a personalization request* Name a Shard not--

FirstSelector

Preservation... from the alternate [Well of Ascension] ending.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh! Oh, oh, oh, oh! What do you mean by that?

FirstSelector

I thought that those four were-- the four mist-people--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh the four mist-people that's-- Oh... *sighs* I gotta RAFO that, right?

FirstSelector

Well it's not canon technically.

Brandon Sanderson

No it's not canon... Okay I just have to dig back deep... But there's stuff--

FirstSelector

Star.

Brandon Sanderson

There's a star, just remember the star.

*writes*

"Endowment was there*"

Warsaw signing ()
#119 Copy

Questioner

Will we ever see such things as... in the future Mistborn books... the unkeyed metalminds, will we see something like people donating <brothers>?

[From notes and Polish clarification: Can unkeyed gold metalminds be used in hospitals? That people would just turn them in so others can heal?]

Brandon Sanderson

You're likely to see such things in this. Not a RAFO. <It takes> figuring it out, <they didn't figure it> out yet.

It's possible, they didn't figure it out yet.

FanX 2018 ()
#124 Copy

Questioner

Is there a specific ear that Vin's earring goes in?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, and we've canonized that, but I can't remember which one it is. If you look online, we have posted it to the fans, and they've put it in the wiki.

Footnote: Peter has since canonized that Vin's earring is in her left ear. See this entry.
Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#125 Copy

wicktacular

At the end of the first Mistborn trilogy it's really significant that 1/16th of the soldiers who got really sick are now atium Mistings.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

wicktacular

So were there-- were 1/16th of the rest of them just *inaudible* just not significant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Sixteen that he-- when Preservation set that all up. He, number one, was not all there. But he was trying to create sixteen as a symbol to say, "Hey, catch this. I've given you a clue-- uh-- help." And so it was devised specifically for that. "*inaudible* Something's going on here."

wicktacular

But we know that there's more than sixteen metals. Wh--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

wicktacular

Did he bump one of the other types then to make it sixteen?

Brandon Sanderson

No, no, they would have been Mistings of other types as well.

wicktacular

Okay. Do you have in your head *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

Chromium.

wicktacular

Chromium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's right. It would probably have been one of the metals that was difficult to get at that level of technology. It would have been chromium - chromium would be hard gather at that time. Actually, no, it would have been aluminum. *about a minute later, while signing someone else's book* Hold on, there's a caveat to that last answer. Let me finish signing this and expand on that. *pause* So, it would still have been aluminum, but not for the reason your thinking. It would have been aluminum, but there's an asterisk next to that answer.

wicktacular

Okay. Interesting.

Brandon Sanderson

Hard to get chromium.

wicktacular

I've been thinking about--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh no! He bumped aluminum. Yeah, he bumped aluminum. Sorry I had to-- I changed my mind.

wicktacular

Oh!

Brandon Sanderson

*a moment later*

Okay, Chad? I have a <qualification> for you. I'll do this and then we'll...

*a moment later*

So...

wicktacular

On the sixteen or the *inaudible*...

Brandon Sanderson

The sixteen. So the answer is "yes," but it's not something-- it's not what you're thinking it is. 

wicktacular

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

Alright, there's an asterisk on it, okay? There's an asterisk on it, it's not what you're thinking. Uh, you're making-- you're making assumptions. 

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#126 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

With the-- You're talking about the breaking of Elantris? Who says it was after?

Questioner

Well I assumed it was before...

Brandon Sanderson

...Who says it was before or after? The real answer to that is some are from before, some are from after. That's the actual answer. I was being cheeky but you caught me because I misread the question. They are not all the same age.

Footnote: The actual question is unknown, but presumably it refers to the Ire.
Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#127 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Let's see... *reading written question aloud* "Can you tell me anything new about the force that opposed Adonalsium?"

*writes* "I would count groups of people as a force."

 Okay? So, I'm not saying that that's what it is, but when people ask that question and leave a lot of wiggle room... because I would count groups of people as a force that opposed him. So, I have not confirmed it's a group or anything like that. The question has a lot of wiggle room.

Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
#128 Copy

Questioner

Is Hoid an avatar from Autonomy?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Good question. He is independent.

Questioner

He's human, but he's more than human? He's changed from all the places he's been?

Brandon Sanderson

Even before that he's not exactly one hundred percent human anymore. But he's his own agent. He's not an avatar of somebody.

Kraków signing ()
#130 Copy

Questioner

Any chance of any new Wheel of Time materials?

Brandon Sanderson

Not likely... not definitive, it's up to Harriet. I'm worried that he wouldn't want us to do anymore.

Questioner

<Yeah, that's the thing>

Brandon Sanderson

And so, I have told her that I don't think I would want to do anymore, but if Harriet came out and said "I really feel we should do the prequels", then they could happen, I think it's very unlikely, but...

Questioner

The prequels were <written> by Jordan?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he did, he has a little bit about them, not very much but a little bit. He did want them to come out sometime, so it’s possible.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#131 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

So, zinc increases the speed of your thought. So, if he did that, he would spend eternity in a moment. And that would be, actually, a bad thing. That would basically make him look brain-dead to everyone else. So, he did occasionally speed up his thought, but that only gets you so far. It doesn't actually... like, speed of thought... you're still the same person. It feels like everything else is slowing down around you, but you don't move any faster. So, anyway. Zinc is not capable of doing that, at least, not in the way that you're hoping for it to be.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#132 Copy

Questioner

This became a question, I thought this had been answered, but kandra can't produce kandra children.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, yes they can. You get them some spikes.

Questioner

Can the kandra produce human children with consumed parts?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I saw a big thread about this on Reddit and chose not to participate, despite being asked to.

Questioner

I thought she said that you did, so…

Brandon Sanderson

I gave vague and unuseful answers, and so I'm going to give the same to you. RAFO.

Warsaw signing ()
#133 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any idea how <>?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it's really hard. It's very hard because Kaladin would look half Asian, half Arab to us, and so matching the ethnicity of the Alethi is very difficult. So I'm not sure with who they will end up getting but it's a very difficult ethnicity to match.

Calamity Seattle signing ()
#134 Copy

Questioner

I'm doing video game design, and I'm curious: what are your thoughts on constructing interesting stories, because we're kind of getting to a point where video games are able to tell... like, people are getting used to, basically, interactivity being a medium <with which> to tell a story. I'm curious, from having spent some time developing your craft, how to link that in with being forced to have the 'main character' <do that more often sorts>?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I think there are so many cool <different ways> of people who are doing it, but I'm not sure I can point out and say "This is the right way." I know that my favorite stories from video games tend to be ones where they force you to experience the story without forcing you to stop the game. Things like in inFAMOUS where you're riding from position to position, you're on the phone with people. Or things like Dark Souls, where you kinda just reveal it all around you. I don't like the games where they stop. And play a cutscene.

Questioner

Where it takes you out of the game, and it's like, 'movie time.'

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I think there's <a way beyond doing that>. I also really like it when something about the form of the game enhances the story. Like how <Braid> was with <the guy who could rewind time to move stuff back>, stuff like that. There’s all sorts of cool things happening, VR’s only going to make that more interesting.

Warsaw signing ()
#135 Copy

Questioner

<> <and then he flies away, end of scene> <Lift eating pancakes> <>?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. That's intentional. There's more to that story, but I'm cutting around it a little bit because I don't want to spoil Oathbringer, where we really dig into the ramifications of that change. I didn't want-- Because I wouldn't-- that would raise so many questions, so I did cut around that idea and leave it out of the end of Edgedancer intentionally. So, next book will answer that.

Warsaw signing ()
#137 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

So, Anna [Polish translator of most of Brandon's books] actually wrote to us and asked questions and I let Peter who's my editor assistant and continuity editor. So, they talk a lot about <how things correct>

Translator

<... Peter... lightning>

Warsaw signing ()
#138 Copy

Questioner

Did you ever feel trapped by the magic system you <write/create>, for example you want to change something but you can't because of scenario you set up something in other way?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, all the time and it’s good for me. It forces me to state my rules and forces their characters to stay to their rules, so it’s very good for my writing but happens all the time.

Warsaw signing ()
#140 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible* when you are going to publish or finish writing Era 3 Mistborn *inaudible* <Do you know how long they will be?>

Brandon Sanderson

I have very good outline for Era 3. Three books. It will be a little bit longer than Era 2 books. It will be this length *points to probably Era One books*. But yes, I’m not planning to write those until Stormlight 5 is written.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#143 Copy

Questioner

With Warbreaker and Stormlight Archive, Vasher and Zahel. *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

He went to Roshar because he knew ahead of time, that you could get Stormlight, and how easy it was. So he made his way there because he was tired of sucking peoples' souls to stay alive.

Questioner

How did he know?

Brandon Sanderson

He, as part of a group of scholars, stumbled upon the nature of worldhopping long ago.

Questioner

Could he the same group of scholars as Jasnah?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it's a group of scholars on Nalthis who were studying magic, Investiture, and stumbled upon the means by which you transition into the Cognitive Realm. So, he actually had experience with Shardbldes before, and that was part of how he built... well, he was part of it, but really...

Questioner

So, is Nightblood kind of like a Shardblade? Is a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood is an attempt to make a Shardblade using a different magic. And it turned out poorly.

Questioner

Speaking of Nightblood, how did that transition from Nalthis?

Brandon Sanderson

I have not answered that yet. Eventually, you will find out how they ended up on Roshar.

Warsaw signing ()
#144 Copy

Questioner/Translator

<Where do your inspiration comes from?>

Brandon Sanderson

It's very different based on the book. Is there a specific... like, ask me a specific *inaudible*.

Questioner/Translator

Way of Kings.

Brandon Sanderson

First idea was Dalinar which is: brother of king who... the king gets assassinated and the nephew is a bad king and where does that leave you? The second idea was storms shaping the world. Spren were based on Shinto Kami, the Shinto religion. Kaladin was based on the conflict between a surgeon learning *inaudible*. Different ideas for different things.

Warsaw signing ()
#146 Copy

Questioner

When you write a book, do you start from the first page and go page by page or-?

Brandon Sanderson

Good question. I do. I write straight through, I outline backward. So I start my outlines at the end-

Questioner

When you have an idea about something in the middle, you-

Brandon Sanderson

-add it to my outline. I don't write it yet, because for me my characters are on journey and if I don’t write chronologically, I don’t how the characters' emotional states would be when I get to that scene.

WorldCon 76 ()
#149 Copy

Questioner

You mentioned that Adolin was supposed to be killed in the... *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he was supposed to, I mean the original outline had, not the original... The outline for the 2002 version, he died in. He never died in the outline for the 2010 version. By then, I had reworked *inaudible*. But he did-- I'll eventually release The Way of Kings Prime, and you'll be able to see. Both Adolin and Elhokar died in that one. Yeah, the confrontation between Dalinar and Elhokar *inaudible*, Dalinar has to kill him to better the country. It's a really <unlikely thing> for Dalinar. I went a different direction in the published version. Those are two of the big things. Navani's not in the books at all. There are a whole bunch of things that I changed... Yeah, Dalinar killed Elhokar *inaudible*.

SparkleHearts

How did... Adolin die, then?

Brandon Sanderson

Adolin died in a highstorm, I'm pretty sure. He got caught in the wrong time. Like, Adolin was not as big a character. Renarin was always the big character. So, things went wrong, and Renarin's brother got... so.

Warsaw signing ()
#151 Copy

Questioner

What is the current plan for the Stormlight Archive *inaudible* what we do *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Oh, that's one of those hard ones.

Questioner

Can you tell us where we - that the Queen's arc, in the question of *inaudible*? Not that I wouldn't read the section on the Herald--

Brandon Sanderson

Nah, that's fine. Nonono, it'll have an arc. The first five are about Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan, Szeth, and Eshonai in an arc, and then the back five will be about Jasnah, Taln with *inaudible* and stuff like this. So, I mean, some of the same characters from the first five will be characters and still have viewpoints and things, but it's kind of a shift in focus.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#152 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if there was a connection between when we meet Preservation in Secret History, and the way he is, and the Stormfather. Like, is he dead yet, in Secret History?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a similarity, but-- Dying for a Shard takes a long time, in a lot of cases. So, it's similar. But the Stormfather is something different, *inaudible* remnants left over after the god died. 

Questioner

So is he dead?

Brandon Sanderson

Honor is dead, yes. But, at the same time, the Stormfather is kind of his Cognitive Shadow. So-- what does "dead" mean?