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Really, the third [White Sand graphic novel] is where we've done the most work, because authors-- this happens to a lot of us. Early work, we're good at doing scenes, and we're bad at endings, we're bad at bringing them together. And that's one of the things that I got better at over the years. And the ending of this one had some good things, but it had some really off-kilter things that we're fixing.
Are they gonna go to [Darkside]?
Don't have the plans yet, because I never wrote that book. But I do still have the outline, so it's possible that I'll go and I'll get with Rik [Hoskin]. (Who I really like; Rik has been great to work with. One of the best experiences I've had in collaborating has been working with Rik.) I can see myself saying, "Here are our story beats. I'm doing some dialogue, you're translating." We can maybe do something. But I can't promise.
The other thing is, we have that old Mistborn script, from the video game, that I could also turn into a graphic novel.
You've written a lot of novels and talked a lot about form. Are you interested or excited about any new formats of writing that you might take in the future?
I would like to try my hand at video games. I play a lot of games. I am really interested in the way that video games tell stories in ways not like books. I generally (though I can enjoy those games) don't like the stories of games that try to do it like a book. So I like things like Dark Souls, that does its worldbuilding and storytelling in a way very different from the way that a book does its storytelling. Or even something like Infamous, where they make you run across to do something, and while you're doing it someone calls you on the phone and gives you an infodump. That's really interesting to me.
So I would like to try my hand at it at some point. My first attempt, which was getting a Mistborn videogame going, did not work out. But I have not given up. I have no news on that, but let's just say I have not given up on finding a way to worm my way into video games. And you see me doing this periodically. The Infinity Blade books were me wanting to work with video game storytellers to try and figure out how this format works better. And you'll see me doing more of this in the future.
How much of a Mistborn prequel would the game have been? Are we talking; post pit Kelsier, or more of a Lord Ruler's first days taking over the other nations? Something in the middle?
It was set early in the Final Empire's existence--second or third century, I believe. So a pretty deep in the past prequel.
Do you have any plans of writing any prequels for the Mistborn [series]?
No, not right now. One of the reasons that-- I have to put an asterisk on that. I did write out a prequel story happening hundreds of years earlier that was going to be the video game, that ended up never getting made. So there's a chance I will do something with that,a graphic novel or something. So there is a chance. What I won't probably tell is the story that you read in the epigraphs, the story of Rashek and Alendi and all those things, because I feel like that story is told best the way it is in the books, that you get it revealed as it's going along. If I told it again, I feel like it would just be a rehash of that. I can see myself telling other stories potentially, but I am the type that generally likes to keep moving forward. There are some great prequels out there to books that I love, but mostly I like sequels, so I like to move forward. Not impossible, but yeah.
Is it too early to ask if you'd continue with the story you made for the game?
I have been tempted to do it as a graphic novel, if White Sand continues to be popular.
For my part, I want to point out that Matt Scott was awesome to work with. He really did try to make this game--but we were trying during a time when original IP in video games was a dodgy thing to start with. Several console changes, the revolution in mobile gaming, and various issues on the business side meant we could never really get this going. But there was a never a problem with their vision, passion, or enthusiasm.
So as I was rereading Mistborn, I realized something that I hadn't deemed important before. Assuming that Rashek doled out the original Allomancy beads to create the first Mistborn, who did he give them to? Obviously, he couldn't give them to his fellow packmen because then they would have the same compounding abilities as him. Additionally, it stands to reason that he would not have given the beads to any of Alendi's entourage because of his deep-seated hatred for all things Khlenni. All in all, I'm just confused about the actual origins of the noble houses.
I actually intended to dig into this in the video game--which happened several hundred years after the event, but which would talk about the origins of the houses and things like that. It's possible we'll still do this some day.
Did you end up doing a lot of writing for the game before it got cancelled?
Depending on how much there is, it seems like handing it to Crafty for them to make a RPG module could make sense.
No, I didn't--but I had a lot of ideas.
My current goal is to hand it over to Ben (who does a lot of the artwork for Stormlight Archive) and see if we can turn it into a graphic novel. (Note that we wouldn't start on this until White Sand is done, though, as I don't want to have TOO many projects in the works at once.)
Games and Other Licensed Work
I'm interested in doing some more video game work. Ever since I got to be part of the Infinity Blade games, I've had the itch to do this again. Right now though, there is nothing in the works that I can announce—I've had some short preliminary conversations with game studios, but no contracts. I'll continue to look at doing this, and will announce what I can, when I think something might actually be happening.
Unfortunately, Mistborn: Birthright never came together. (Though I'm on very good terms with the folks there.) And you can ignore any rumors about CD Projekt Red. Some fans got hyped when I said I liked them as a studio—and some news sites even picked it up as a story, for some reason. But that was just me mentioning in a random post that I think they do good work. I've never met with them—or talked to them—and have no reason to believe they even know who I am.
Video games aside, we do have some exciting and fun licensed properties that we've been working on, and I figured I should have a section in the State of the Sanderson for updates on these.