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Idaho Falls signing ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

I was intrigued ever since I saw your State of the Sanderson about Death Without Pizza.

Brandon Sanderson

It's good. I'm one chapter, or no I guess it's like three chapters. I'm one day's work away from finishing my revision, to then kick it back to Peter [Orullian]. I'm really, really excited how it's turning out. He knows his metal culture really well, and one of the tricks has been integrating that without making it feel jokey and things like that. I'm very pleased with how it's going.

Questioner

What kind of metal influences were you going for?

Brandon Sanderson

...Peter really likes the lyrical metal like that, like Dreamtheater. I don't know my subgenres very well, but Apocalyptica gets a mention, that's one I knew, Dragonforce gets a mention, I knew them. But I guess Dragonforce is the same subgenre. My job is worldbuilding and plot, and his job is character voice and making sure all of that works. I'm fascinated by it all.

Questioner

So is he more in the editing process, or is he an official co-writer?

Brandon Sanderson

He's a co-writer! I came up with the plot and the worldbuilding, I sent it to him, he wrote the whole first draft. Now I'm doing the next draft and then I'm kicking it back to him to do another pass and make sure the voice still matches, and then we'll take it out to publishers.

Questioner

What's the character's name?

Brandon Sanderson

The main character's name is Jack Solomon.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#2 Copy

Questioner

You always come up with new ideas for books, when you have so many to write as is, that you've recently started to go from saying things like, "Whenever I get to this book," like the Threnody novel, to, "If I ever get to it." Would you ever let another author write for Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

That is possible. Isaac [Stewart], my art director and long friend for, you know, fifteen years, who's been collaborating on the visual style of Mistborn, really wants to write a Mistborn novel set on one of the Southern Continent places off by itself and I'm intrigued by this idea, 'cause he's somebody I've worked with for so long. So we might see how that happens. So far I haven't been willing to collaborate on any Cosmere stuff, but it's p-- I could see it happening.

Salt Lake City signing ()
#3 Copy

Questioner

We're hoping at some point that you will do a collaboration with Patrick Rothfuss.

Brandon Sanderson

I would love to do one someday. I pitched one at him. I pitched a concept at him. It was a Brandon Sanderson vs Pat Rothfuss where we would both pick, we would brainstorm a story together then put characters on opposing sides where we try to screw up each other's story and them we get to near the climax and we give it to George Martin and we say "read this and tell us how we have to end our story" and then we have to do what George says and he's the judge.  Wouldn't that be awesome?

Idaho Falls signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

Alcatraz! Sounded as though there was gonna another book. Probably not by Alcatraz himself?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, by Bastille. I've written half of it. After I wrote about half of it, I realized I wanted a little help with the voice from a friend of mine who's very good at voice. So I've been letting her look at it and offer some tweaks and suggestions. Just 'cause I want it to feel like Bastille, but it felt too much like Alcatraz when I wrote it. Like I said, it's about halfway done, 25,000 words are done and good. We just need to tweak the voice. It's probably gonna be called "Bastille vs. the Evil Librarians." It will give the real ending, not the ending Alcatraz thinks it should have.

Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
#5 Copy

BusinessCress

Speaking of writing process, how does it feel to work with your own series and with already existing (Magic, WoT)? Is there some differences?

Brandon Sanderson

It's actually a lot of fun to take established rules and see how I can play with them. It makes working on something like MTG different in an interesting way for me. I don't have absolute control of everything, and have to work within certain narrative restraints--which gives me a chance to do something new and different.

Orem signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

So, with Apocalypse Guard being pseudo-shelved, and now Dan Wells being brought on as a co-author. A) How cool is that, and B) Is it, like, from the ground-up restructuring co-writing? Or is he coming in as, like, a super-editor?

Brandon Sanderson

So, what happened, for those who don't know, I wrote Apocalypse Guard, somewhat connected to The Reckoners books. That was my project for last summer. And to catch you up to speed, it didn't turn out. Like, I finished the whole book, and there are some really good parts to this book. But the book didn't work; some of the characters were off, some of the art was off. And I beat my head against the wall for a good month and a half trying to do revisions. And every revision I tried made it worse. And that's when I shelved the book. And I shelved the book and I started working on Skyward. This still happens to me. If you're a newer writer, and you're like "Wow, my book just didn't turn out," well,it happens to all of us. And then I did get the bright idea, it was about a month later, I'm like, "Who's the best author I know? It's Dan! Dan is the best author that I know." So I just called him, and I said, "Dan, is this something you would even consider? I would hand the book completely off to you, let you have it for, like, six months or a year. Do whatever you feel like you need to make it work, come back to me, and then we will write some sequels. Either I'll write one and you'll write one, or something like that. We'll collaborate on an entire trilogy." Because I've always wanted to do something with Dan. And this felt like a good place, because I couldn't get the book to work.

He was super enthusiastic. He's like, "Yeah, it sounds like fun." Dan likes weird things, this is a weird thing. Like, I'd never heard of someone doing this before. So, Dan took it, and he came back. We did a meeting over dinner, where I'm like, "Well?" He listed off-- All the stuff I also thought was broken, he thought was broken. He picked them out himself, he's like, "This character doesn't work, and this is--" So I'm like, "What do we do?" And so we just brainstormed for a while on what to do. And I'm kind of just letting Dan do his thing. It's not super-editor, like, he's ripping out entire chapters and rewriting them, things like that. Like, then there's one character who's just been ripped out of the story and a new one put in their place. Stuff like that. Total, takes the sledgehammer and goes to work on it. But, of course, preserving some of the stuff I think works the best. So, I haven't seen-- I've seen him with the sledgehammer, and he says "What about this?" I'm like, "I don't think that's a load-bearing wall." He's like, "Great," BAM. I'm like, "I hope this looks good when we come back." But it can't look worse than it did.

So, I'm not sure, still. Kind of, our thing on that is that, we're gonna sign a contract-- We haven't even signed contracts yet, he's just doing it. When we sign a contract, it will be like, we'll put a date in there that we think he'll turn it back to me, and a date I'll turn it back to him, and we'll see. I'm really excited, though. Finally being able to work with Dan, and finding this way to fix a story-- I'm excited.

Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
#7 Copy

Ankylosaurian

I'm not sure how familiar you are with superhero comics, but if Marvel/DC offered you a similar opportunity, are there any characters that you would want to write for?

Brandon Sanderson

Marvel did actually offer me this chance, and at the end of the day, I decided I didn't have the time at that point. I'm not closing the door entirely on doing something with them, but this project was different for several reasons.

First, I could create my own characters and situation--but know they were going to be important and relevant in the future of the narrative done by others.

Second, I could write it as a novella, to fit better into the time I had to give it.

Third, I could have it released for free, as a present to the fans.

I'm quite a big fan of what Marvel has been doing with its stories, but I didn't feel like it was the right time for me to become involved.