Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
The potato in the minefield was his favorite bad metaphor.
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The potato in the minefield was his favorite bad metaphor.
What is your favorite magic system you've read?
That I've read? I really like Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner books. Probably the best magic system is either Brian McClellan's, I really love Patrick Rothfuss'. Probably the best three are those, as far as magic systems.
Which of the roles Hoid has played is your favorite? And will we be seeing him in Dalinar's flashbacks?
So which of the roles played by Hoid is my favorite. I would probably say Dust from Warbreaker. I just like-- That's the most true storyteller he's been, kind of based on oral storytelling tradition and things like that.
I can't tell you. You'll have to read and find out whether you'll find him in Dalinar's flashbacks or not.
Vivenna Finds an Alley to Sleep In
One of the big stories I'm worried about channeling here is Les Misérables. It's one of my favorite stories of all time, so sometimes it's difficult not to find myself drawing upon Hugo's story and characters. That constant fight to keep myself from leaning too much on what has come before went into overdrive in these chapters.
In the end, however, I think that Vivenna's scenes belong here and accent the story. So yes, if you noticed them, there are some echoes of Fantine in these sections—Vivenna selling her hair and noticing the prostitutes most prominent among them. These two items, most of all, I considered cutting. But in the end, I decided that if there was anyone I was proud to have influencing my writing, it was Hugo, and I left the references. Partially as an homage, I guess—though that's always the excuse of someone who ends up echoing a great story of the past.
Who is your favorite character you've written, if you had to pick one?
That's a hard question, I can't pick a favorite character. Dalinar is what I normally say, just because I've been working on him the longest. Honestly, I don't know. It's whoever I'm working on at the time.
Dalinar is a good character, I like Kaladin a lot too.
Kaladin has really worked out well. It's interesting because Kaladin-- the first time I wrote The Way of Kings, in 2002-- did not work and I had to rip him out and try a completely different personality and things for him. So it's cool to see it finally working.
What are your favorite books?
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly--it got me into reading. Les Misérables--my favorite classic. And then book four of The Wheel of Time. *inaudible*
Really? Book four?
Yep, book four. Rand going to the pillar in Rhuidean? It's my favorite. Have you read those?
No, okay. It was one of the experiences I loved growing up. And I still love it, despite the fact that I *inaudible*.
Yeah, that's got to be pretty awesome you got to finish it.
Oh man, it was awesome. I didn't know them. They just called-- his wife called me on the phone and asked if I could do it. Just out of the blue. No application or anything. "I like your books. Will you to finish this."
What's your favorite part about writing Skyward?
Spensa's character. She's a blast to write, and I have a lot of fun being in her viewpoint.
Which is your favorite Pratchett novel and why?
The Truth is my favorite. As a writer, and one who likes to explore the nature of the truth in his works, a novel that deals with someone trying to publish a newspaper in a fantasy world mixed philosophy and laughs in the way only Pratchett can. However, Guards Guards is the book where I suggest people new to Pratchett start. (I suggest avoiding the Colour of Magic as your first experience, even though it's technically the first book in the series. They are all stand alone novels, really, and Guards Guards can be seen as the beginning of the best sub-series within the series.)
I would want to know what is your favorite character you've ever written.
What is the favorite character I've ever written. I actually can't pick one, because they are like my children and picking a favorite child is basically impossible. I don't have one. Robert Jordan, I quote him a lot because I studied his life a lot, he always answered this question by saying "My favorite character is the one I'm working on right now" and I like that answer.
What's your favorite Wayne one-liner?
Probably "defecation of character". My favorite Wayne moments are the ones that you could conceivably miss. Like, there's one for the next book where he calls being pressed into the army, "corporal punishment," that I'm just totally over the moon over, that I think people will probably miss, and that's what makes them fun.
Who is your favorite character in Mistborn?
Hmmm, probably Sazed. The truth is, my favorite character changes depending on who I'm writing, and things like that.
Okay, I feel better about it now.
Breeze is my favorite character
Breeze is a lot of fun.
Which of your books is your favorite?
Tough call. Right now, Warbreaker is the best written—though The Gathering Storm is better, I think. I think that The Way of Kings will be awesome too. But you didn't ask for the best, you asked for my favorite. In that case, I'd probably have to say Elantris, as it was my first.
As we know you're a human typewriter. You can release books faster than we can read it.
Now you say that but I release like a Stormlight book and I start getting fanmail for it the next day. This took me 18 months to write and then you read it in one day so I don't know if I’d agree with that. But go on.
You certainly have some free time for, let's say, reading books. And what books do you like to read? You have some favorite authors? Maybe fantasy genre?
Terry Pratchett is my favorite writer. But I like to read widely. I like to read a little bit of everything. Usually-- Like people talk about how fast I write; I'm not that fast a writer. I'm just very consistent. I write a little bit every day. And that adds up to a certain amount that I can do every year. But I write for 8 to 10 hours a day and spend four hours or so with my family and then spend two hours goofing off. So, goofing off can include listening to an audiobook while I do other things or reading a book or playing a video game. So I do find time.
In terms of books that you wish you could have written yourself?
I read a lot of things for pleasure. I think I need to stay up on what everyone else is doing. As a teen, my favorite writers were Anne McCaffrey, Melanie Rawn, Barbara Hambly, Robert Jordan, Tad Williams, it would probably be. David Eddings too. I grew out of David Eddings, happens when you get into your twenties, but during my teens he was the bomb. Do kids still say that, the bomb? I'll have to figure out what they're saying now. Nowadays I read Pat Rothfuss, I really like Pat, I really really like Naomi Novik's Uprooted, if you guys didn't read that this summer it's a fantastic novel. I like Brent Weeks' work a lot, Brian McClellan's, Nora Jemisin, you guys read NK Jemisin? She writes very literary fantasy; if you're an English major and you like that kind of stuff, which I do, it's amazing. Her most recent one has a character who writes in the second person, and it works. It's the first time I ever read a book where the second person, which is you do this, you do that, it actually works, it works really well. The second person past tense, so you did this, you did-- it's a person telling themselves a story so it actually, it really works. The Fifth Season. So, yeah, I read a lot of stuff.
Chapter Fifteen - Part One
Siri Sees the God King
I think this is my favorite plotline of the book. The Siri/God King one, I mean. It's hard to choose, but this is the one that I felt most interested in. (Though Lightsong's ending chapters are powerful too.)
I wanted the God King to be an enigma, much like Vasher is, at the beginning of the book. Well . . . that's not quite true. Right at the beginning, I wanted him to be scary and dangerous. I wanted the reader to perceive him as Siri did.
By now, however, you should be wondering more. Who is he? What are his motives? Is he angry with her or not?
The driving force behind this, actually, is the Lord Ruler. In Mistborn, a part of me always felt that he was just a little too stereotypical an evil emperor. True, I worked hard to round him out, particularly through the later books. But writing him made me want to take an evil emperor archetype in a very different direction.
I've spoken on the reversals in this book. Well, one thing I realized after the fact is that the novel is—in a lot of ways—about reversals of my own writing. Things I've done before, but taken the opposite direction. Almost like I need to react against myself and explore things in new ways, particularly in cases where (like the Lord Ruler) I did things that were more conventional to the genre.
I think that's why this book has so much resonance with my previous books. Or maybe it doesn't really, and I'm just seeing something that doesn't exist. A lot of my ideas in writing, however, come from seeing something done in a movie or a book (or even in one of my own books) and wondering if I could take it a new and different direction. I hope that doesn't make me feel like I'm repeating myself.
Who's your favorite planeswalker?
Probably Elspeth. When Elspeth is dressed in armor appropriate for her personality. I have a thing about that. But I really like-- I mean, it's me. I like the questing knight searching for answers who thought she found them and then they turned-- the moral axis was upended. That was a really cool story, to me.
Would you ever write any planeswalker stories?
If I were asked by Wizards of the Coast to write a story, I would probably say yes... I've told them this, as well, that if they asked me to write a story, I would probably say yes.
So that's not Secret Project, either.
I didn't say that.
Do you have a favorite character?
I don't. That said, Dalinar's *inaudible* been with me the longest, so...
Yeah, so I've got a special fondness for Dalinar.
Yomen is one of my favorite characters in this book. In fact, I've liked all three main human villains—the Lord Ruler, Zane, and Yomen—from this series. All were intended to present an antagonist who, in some ways, wasn't as expected. You'll see much more of Yomen in the future, of course, but know that Slowswift isn't lying. Yomen is a good man—and a dedicated one. Perhaps too dedicated.
Do you have any other [video game] favorites right now?
Yeah, favorite video games. The Dark Souls series, I started on Demon Souls when it was actually hard, *laughter* but I like them all. I like the level design, I like that they're not coddling you, things like that. I've always loved the Civilization games, I play those quite extensively. In fact when I was in college I spent many a long night in my friend's room, because I didn't have a computer, playing Civilization, until he was like "Go to bed". Let's see, what else have I liked. I just played Skyrim, I tend to wait on those Bethesda games until they've been out a few years so I can get mods and things like l like. I thought Skyrim was the best of the Elder Scrolls games, I've played them all since Daggerfall-- Never played Arena, I played Daggerfall all the way through, and they fixed a lot of the problems like the leveling was always bad and some of the dungeon designs were so repetitive. This one they fixed all that and I had a blast with Skyrim.
[What is your favorite] disorder to write about?"
I don't know if I have a favorite. I have revisited dissociative disorders in multiple different ways because they make for interesting narrative... but it's not the disorder that's interesting to me, it's the person interfacing with the world and the challenges they deal with. And writing about that sort of thing is really interesting to me. I try not to let the disorder define the person, though it is sometimes a little harder, particularly with something like Legion.
What is a song that you really love that a lot of people who know you would never expect?
Hm. Most people don't expect me to be enjoy Metallica as much as I do--but that tended to be more in the past, when Metallica was considered somewhat edgy before it became classic rock.
Three books or three authors you'd recommend to any fantasy reader?
If I were to recommend one, it would probably be the first Mistborn novel.
Apart from your books.
Terry Pratchett is probably my favorite writer. I really liked Anne McCarthy work and I think it translates very well to large or different types of audiences. I often give Name of the Wind to people, it's good introduction to fantasy, it's a really solid novel.
But of course there is also Wheel of Time. I genuinely recommend Wheel of Time to people who already love fantasy cause it's a big commitment.
What was your favorite book to write so far?
The question is what's my favorite book to write, I actually don't have one. They're all my favorites and all of my characters are my favorites, just like all of my children are my favorites.
Eleventh - Who's your favorite Firefly character?
Which creature is your favorite from any of your series?
Which creature? Chasmfiend.
Vin Assaults Cett's Keep
This is one of my favorite chapters in the book. I only occasionally REALLY let myself go with Allomancy, letting the Mistborn reach for their potential. I don't like violence. And yet, I love the beauty of a good fight.
This is a twisted beauty. Corrupt, fascinating, destructive—yet powerful. I've wanted to write something like this ever since I saw the lobby scene in the Matrix. Not because it was so amazing—which it was—but because I think they handled it wrong. The characters commit this huge slaughter, but we never see the horror of it—only the awesome visuals.
There are repercussions for doing something like what happens in this chapter. Perhaps Zane can slaughter wantonly, but that's only because he's beaten his conscience away repeatedly. Vin will not escape so easily.
Oh, and the guy on the wall—Wells—is a cameo. He is my good friend, Dan Wells. He's not this much of a coward, but he didn't make it into book one, so I figured I'd throw him in here. He'll be back, actually. . . . (Watch for him in Book Three.)
Which one have you been the most excited to write? Which brought the most joy to write?
Yeah, it's really... I love them all. I wouldn't write them if I didn't. I'm at a position in my career where I can say "I'm just not writing this book right now," and not do it. I would say that I'm most proud of the Wheel of time because it was so hard. Particularly the last one, I would say I'm most proud of.
Favorite thing Hoid's done?
RAFO, sorta. A lot of his fave things have happened off screen that we're not supposed to know about (yet). Wit is his fave role that we've seen!
What is your favorite class of Knights Radiant.
Ooh, probably-- see, that's hard. I like them all. I would probably, if I were to choose one for myself, probably choose Bondsmith.
About your characters, Brandon: Which ones are the most like yourself?
There's a piece of me in every one of them, but I'm not really like any of them. People who know me well say that Alcatraz's humor reminds them of my humor (which is different from Lightsong's humor or Kelsier's humor, which are different from mine.) Elend in the original Mistborn book represents some of how I've been known to act (bringing books to social events). Shuden in Elantris has a lot of me in him, actually. Raoden has my optimism, Hrathen my logical and thoughtful (and dangerously devious) mind, Vin my pragmatic determination, and Sarene my utter lack of skill with painting or drawing. In the end, I don't know if I can pick one who is most like me. Perhaps you should ask my wife. She'd probably be better at seeing this than I am.
Your favorite male and female characters you've written?
Well, I guess it depends on what you mean by favorite. A lot of people ask me this question, and my response is often different. Who am I writing at the time, what I am feeling at the time? Lightsong makes me laugh, but Kelsier is conflicted in a more personal, dangerous way—and that appeals to me. Vin is best rounded, but Sazed is (perhaps) closest to my heart.
Your favorite male/female characters of all time?
Man, I'm bad at answering questions like this. Okay, male is probably Jean Valjean. Female...urg... Moiraine, maybe? Sioned from Dragon Prince is pretty awesome too. Double urg. I don't know. Jenny from Dragonsbane has long been one of my favorites, so maybe I'd pick her.
He would like to know what is your most favorite book that you have written?
Most favorite book that I have written? I can't choose. Cause they're all like my children, right? I can't tell you who my favorite child is. In the same way, I can't tell you what my favorite book is, that I've written. I can say that I'm probably most proud of, either The Way of Kings or the last of The Wheel of Time. But some books are more fun, right? Some books are more fun. Some books are more satisfying. Some books are more frustrating. The most frustrating book I've ever written was probably the third Mistborn novel. And so, it's different for-- each book has their own *inaudible*. Good question.
Speaking about other movies, do you have your favorites?
Favorite films? Picking favorites is always so hard. In recent years I really liked-- I don't know if it's my favorite-- but I really liked Live.Die.Repeat./Edge of Tomorrow.
The book is better.
The book is better? I really liked that. I really liked Lincoln. I mean, it’s not science-fiction/fantasy but I really liked that-- Classics, Fifth Element, it's like my go-to guilty pleasure space opera, I really like that. I really like the movie Gattaca… You guys ever seen Gattaca? Gattaca is good movie. It's an oldie now but it's great. It's a science-fiction. What else have I really liked? I like Chris Nolan's movies, I like them all.
Yeah, Inception would be my favorite, I think. Though I really like The Prestige also. But on that one the book is legitimately better, also. But Prestige turned out very well.
What is your favorite relationship between two characters?
Favorite relationship? Oh boy... Adolin and Kaladin. That was a lot of fun to write, because they're such different people, but they're really good for one another.
Lightsong and Blushweaver Watch the Priests in the Arena
I'm not sure why, honestly, but this discussion of Blushweaver trying to prove that God exists through the use of her breasts is one of my favorite in the book. Perhaps that's because it exemplifies the way that she and Lightsong look at the word.
What's your favorite Alcatraz book?
What's my favorite Alcatraz book? They're all my favorites! *laughter* Because they're all like my children. But I would say that the one I get the most amused by is probably book two.
What was your favorite character to write?
My favorite character to write is whoever I'm writing at the moment. I don't usually pick a favorite... I don't have a favorite character... and I don't usually have a favorite book. People ask that a lot. It's like choosing your favorite child.
Vin Viewpoint; she and OreSeur listen in on Breeze and Clubs.
Vin gives away a valuable secret here. OreSeur, previously to this, hadn't know that she could pierce copperclouds. However, the way that she first tells him that Allrianne is a Rioter, while Clubs is there burning his metal, is too big a clue. He just figured out Vin's secret.
And, by way of reminders, Kliss was the woman that gossiped a lot at the balls, and whom Vin tried to manipulate. Turns out that she was an informant playing Vin the whole time. Shan is Elend's former fiancée, a woman he didn't know was Mistborn, but who tried to assassinate him. Vin managed to kill her in a rather dramatic scene involving arrows, half naked girls, and a big, stained glass rose window crashing to the ground. One of my favorite sequences in the first book.
Who’s your favorite character? As in who would be your favorite if you were reading the novels like the rest of us?
The first is kind of hard to answer, because my favorite tends to be whoever I'm writing at this exact moment--and I'm not sure I could separate myself from being the writer enough to pick my favorites if I weren't writing.
Do you have a favorite Smedry Talent?
Yes. I took a lot of these from things my mom does. Which are things that maybe I do also, like being late to everything, and being bad at dancing. Probably mine is being bad at dancing. But probably my true talent is the ability to use a lot of words to say nothing. *laughter*
I feel like you're the kind of person who sneaks little details all over the place. Do you have a favorite that you've ever snuck in somewhere?
Oh yeah. Most definitely, the first line of The Final Empire. I have never been able to, so far, pull off as long a con as the first line of the first book being the climax of the third book. I do have some other long cons going, but they haven't paid off yet.
As a writer, what's your favorite part of the process?
The first few chapters of a new book. When the world is exciting and new, and I get to do something different and challenging.
The painter dude that Shallan had the book from... Was that Hoid?
The Oilsworn? No, that is a little tuckerization for Dan dos Santos, who did the American cover of Warbreaker, and did several of our interior arts in here [Oathbringer], the fashion pages. He's one of my favorite artists.
Sazed is my absolute favorite character in any book now. I love the way he talks and his passion for religion. I think that’s really really cool. (interrupted)
How did I come up with Sazed? Is that where you’re going?
Yeah, and the religion thing, because you have so many. Did you study religion?
I do study it. I do a lot of studying religion. It fascinates me. I’m religious, I want to know what people find sacred. The origin of the idea for Sazed was the idea of a missionary for all religions. I can actually point at the moment, though, but it comes from a goofy movie.
What goofy movie?
The goofy movie is the original Mummy with Brendan Fraser. There’s a moment where the dumb guy tries holding up a religious symbol and talking and nothing happens, so he pulls up a different one and he pulls out a different one. That moment actually spawned the, “What if that were serious? What if there was somebody who tried to match a religion to the individual?”. That spun me into Sazed, the whole concept of Sazed. You can trace the origins of this deep and important character to the dopey, evil sidekick in a Brendan Fraser movie.
If you don't mind me asking, who is your favorite planeswalker(in game)
Ashiok from a combination of design, play style, and hints of lore.
What's your favorite Lopen moment?
Probably where he is on the ground talking to the sky. Probably that one.
Who is your favorite Epic, because I have read Firefight.
I would say that, ok it's a spoiler-- Megan is my favorite Epic.
Do we not know that at the end of Steelheart?
You do, but there are people here who have not read Steelheart.
Is there a TV show or a movie that you really like in the fantasy genre?
My favorite fantasy movie? Uh... probably Willow. No, it's gotta be The Lord of the Rings... Probably the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings. They're just better. But I really liked Willow.
I'll check that out.
It's from the '80s, so... It's still fun.
What's your favorite book to get inspiration from?
What's my favorite book to get inspiration from. Probably Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo.
What is your favorite/most satisfying scene in Oathbringer?
The sequence that begins with Renarin and Jasnah at the ending.
What was your favorite world to make?
Probably Roshar, because there was the most space for me to plan, the most complexity to work with.