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DragonCon 2019 ()
#1 Copy

Questioner

One of my favorite characters is Kaladin. This is *inaudible* question. I just want to know if he will ever be able to make peace with that, at some point?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, you get one of these. Here's you card, you can come up and get it. This is your RAFO card.

WorldCon 76 ()
#2 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.

Words of Radiance Philadelphia signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

So, you spend a lot of time comparing lifespren and rotspren. They're complementary colors, *inaudible*. The rotspren can appear around animals, as well, whereas lifespren only appear around plants. Is that a misnomer? Is there something that we're missing?

Brandon Sanderson

No, there's nothing you're missing. It just takes a large number of organisms in the same place. So, in a herd of animals, you could find lifespren. They don't come to people as often. But, the thing you have to remember about spren is: spren are attracted by something. And they have to be nearby, and they have to make their way there. So, sometimes, you will have an emotion, and no spren will appear. Because there's not one nearby enough. Or they just didn't feel like this. I worked this in because I didn't want the spren popping up too much. They're a big symbol of Roshar, they're a way, in very early chapters, for you to realize this is a different place and a different world. But if every other sentence were, "And a spren appeared," it would go crazy way too fast.

Warsaw signing ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

<>?

Brandon Sanderson

One of them is White Sand which is now a Graphic Novel. If you ever want to read - in English - you can get the <prime/previous> version. I'm not going to release it. <> think it's good enough.

Questioner

<>

Brandon Sanderson

<I have read that and it's possible I'll read that.>

<>

Yes, <> every couple of years <just to get updated>

Questioner

<><want to write this>

Brandon Sanderson

Once in a while it's happening. But I'm always able to change my idea to <get> something different <to get to do> what I want to do.

Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
#6 Copy

Questioner

Why did they get a better copy of all the artwork?

Brandon Sanderson

We're going to talk about this with my publisher on Monday... The endpages... Let's just point out that the American print run is 300,000 copies--

Publicist?

The UK print run is originally 16,000 copies.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. And so print run drives price down. The US we sold, across all formats, we sold about 250,000 copies opening week. And in the UK, across all formats, I think they sold nine... thousand. And so it's just a difference in population and economy of scale. I'm going to try to convince the publisher to do some special editions of Stormlight that have the endpages. But I can't blame them if it's just not cost-effective...

The UK covers all matching is really a nice thing...

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#8 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?

Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
#10 Copy

Questioner

So, I was actually wondering whether Tanavast constructed the confrontation with Rayse in such a way that *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

That nailed his foot to the floor?

Questioner

He's stuck on Braize - at least for now.

Brandon Sanderson

Ah, yes. That was, in effect, that was an intentional -

Questioner

It was deliberate? Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

It was deliberate. Yup.

Questioner

*Inaudible, possibly 'Rayse'* started to win?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, well...

Questioner

I'll keep it secret until it shows up on Facebook.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it... so, Odium came at him, and he gave - not as good as he got - but he made it cost.

Questioner

Did he sacrifice himself, or is Odium better at that sort of thing?

Brandon Sanderson

I wouldn't say that he sacrificed himself, I'd say he went out swinging.

Questioner

Is Odium just better at that sort of thing?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say, yes.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#11 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.

FanX Spring 2019 ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

Does Marsh know much about what Kelsier's doing during Arcanum Unbounded?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. 

Questioner

Okay. Anything else on that, or just a yes until further--

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He knows. He's aware. 

Questioner

I'll read into it. It's probably on 17th Shard or something.

Brandon Sanderson

That's just me, that's not in there anywhere. He's aware, but he's - yeah, yeah. He wasn't aware of all the stuff like he is by now, though, that's what I'll say.

Warsaw signing ()
#14 Copy

Questioner

<How do you develop/create names?>

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the book. Usually I develop the language and sounds that are going to be used in the language and then I try to build names out of it, but sometimes there is trick like in Alethi with symmetrical names and I focus a little more on that.

So it just depends on the book.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#17 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]

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#18 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.
Warsaw signing ()
#19 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>.

Kraków signing ()
#22 Copy

Questioner

<strangling rilinquist> Are you planning to create a novel in the future?

Brandon Sanderson

Shadows for Silence? This is one of my novellas, called Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. I am planning one novel but I'll have to fit it in my schedule, I have lots of things to do.

Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
#23 Copy

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah the Divine Breath is a gift of Investiture directly to the...basically they are being given a large splinter of Endowment.

Questioner

But is it the size?

Brandon Sanderson

The size is important, to make that happen, yeah.

Questioner

To make it happen?

Brandon Sanderson

To make it happen, yeah. To make them come back and to do the things but...there is obviously some leakage there when they basically taking a Cognitive Sh...they have to create a Cognitive Shadow of the spirit, right. Which requires some work, and then to push that back into the body and get it to stick requires some work as well. You'll see that with Szeth it isn't sticking very well.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah Szeth is not a Cognitive Shadow, he actually got stuck back in but the soul is not sticking very well to the body

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

That's what she's saying.

JordanCon 2016 ()
#24 Copy

Questioner

Is the Felt question the one that you got away with?

Brandon Sanderson

No, that really is-- Felt really is Felt. He's been around, let's just say.

Questioner

Are there more places I should look for him?

Brandon Sanderson

Eeehhhh, there are more places you could look for him, whether you find him or not is a matter of…

Questioner

I'm going to guess that he's going by a different name in other places.

Brandon Sanderson

Things that he s-- There are things that he said in Mistborn which are relevant in minor ways... These are not huge big things, when you read them you'll be like "Oh, interesting".

Footnote: The questioner is referring to these exchanges from the RAFOlypmics event the previous day.
Shadows of Self San Francisco signing ()
#27 Copy

Questioner

If you could write a story from another author's character and point of view, who would it be?

Brandon Sanderson

It would be Wheel of Time. And I say that a little bit cheekily, and a little bit not. We are not gonna write any more Wheel of Time books. This is because I don't feel Robert Jordan would want it to happen. But if I had my wish, I would summon him back from the dead, and he'd say "What the heck," but I'd say, "Can I really just write this one more?" And if he said yes then I'd love to write it. I would love to tell some more stores, but I'm not going to; knowing what I know and having read the interviews I read with him, he would not approve of it, so I'm not gonna do it. If I were able to make *inaudible* happen, that's the one I would pick.

If you want something more realistic, I don't know, because all my favorite writers, I'm like, "I want to read what they are working on, I don't want to do it myself." The whole idea of loving it is that they're do it. I have turned down writing for the Marvel universe. They came to me and said, "Hey! Pick a character, write a book on him. We don't care who. Please?" These are the sort of weird things that start happening to you when you're in my position, and you have to say no. 'Cause I'm just like, "I've read comic books. I like comic books. You guys are doing great stuff. I'm doing my own great stuff. You don't need me." Robert Jordan needed me. So, I don't know that I would do anything else unless there were a friend or a series that needed me.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#28 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

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

wicktacular

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

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Brandon Sanderson

Chromium.

wicktacular

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

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. 

Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
#29 Copy

Questioner

Is Obrodai going to be the setting of Dark One?

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. That is also a RAFO. Sorry, sorry! This is partially because Dark One pops in and out of the cosmere a lot, depending on which version I'm doing. It's been the hardest book. For those who don't know anything about, this is a book I talk about in my blog once in a while... It's like the Harry Potter story, except you get told "By the way, you're the Dark One who's gonna destroy the world, so we're gonna assassinate you while you're a teenager, so that never happens." It's a really cool story that I have never been able to get to work.

Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, and Obrodai is one of the Shardworlds, but I keep popping Dark One in and out of the cosmere. Sometimes it feels too self-referential to the fantasy genre to actually be in the cosmere. Because I don't want the cosmere to be self-referential, right? Whenever something gets even a little too silly, I'm like, "Nah, this can't be in the cosmere anymore." So, we'll see what happens.

Warsaw signing ()
#31 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>

Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

How many countries have you visited in the last year to sign, and which was your favorite? And why?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not going to pick favorites, because I'm being recorded. *laughter* But, let's see, in the last year-- In the last year, I've been to Italy, Spain, France, Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, Australia, England on tour. And they're all awesome. They all treat me really, really well. I will highlight just in this-- I'm not gonna pick a favorite, but I'll highlight my Bulgarian publisher, because in Bulgaria, it's like, this one gregarious guy who's publishing science fiction. It's kind of like how in the olden days in the States you had *inaudible* and people like this, this guy is just like-- there aren't as many readers of science fiction and fantasy there, but if you're reading stuff, you're reading what he has decided you're reading. It's like, this is cool! And he prints them in his house. He has a big press, and he prints every copy in his house, and he has a store that he sells them out of, it's his store, and he distributes them to other bookstores, too, but mostly you go to the Bulgarian Mysterious Galaxy. And buy the books from him, that he has decided, and it's a really eclectic bunch, 'cause he also does the Smurfs, and me. Whatever he likes, he does some Bulgarian fiction, whatever he likes he publishes. And he picked me up in his sports car blasting techno music. And then at my signing that night, played DJ, with the entire crowd who came to see me, playing music, and it was just the most surreal and awesome experience. Contrast that to Germany, which I love, but I went to, and they were all on-time and by the book, and it sounds like a cliche, but it was, like, they had everything planned out. There was no loud techno music during my signing. Lots of wonderful people came. It was a very interesting contrast.

Kraków signing ()
#39 Copy

Questioner/Translator

How are you feeling now that you're near science fiction since you're known for fantasy novels. <inaudible> Young Adult?

Brandon Sanderson

Most of my books are what we'd call hard fantasy anyway; which is fantasy that uses science fiction's styling to build it's worlds. So I don't know that for me there's a hard line between science fiction and fantasy. There certainly isn't a hard line between my interest on one side or the other; I like all kinds of speculative fiction. Though I will say that I have trouble making anything normal. Legion is a good example which is a psychological thriller that ended up being science fiction and a little bit fantasy.

Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
#41 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.

Kraków signing ()
#42 Copy

Questioner

I recently read Patrick Rothfuss’ the Name of the Wind; there’s Sympathy <inaudible> Awakening. Is there a link <inaudible> to the Awakening <inaudible>

Brandon Sanderson

We actually were writing at the same time. We both were interested in the same things… No, no, he wrote his first, but I haven’t read it until I’ve written Warbreaker, but his was first. We were both interested in the same concepts… I think it’s a really great magic system. <inaudible> I wrote Warbreaker in 2006.

Questioner

Oh, because I checked the release date, and yours was 2009 and his was 2007.

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, but I wrote in 2006 on my honeymoon, actually. But yeah, it was after I read that, his magic is really cool, I like it, it is a good job, I like how it’s hard magic and a soft magic.

FanX 2021 ()
#43 Copy

Questioner

In The Stormlight Archive, will there ever be a point where we'll get to know what all of the different Orders are and all their abilities?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Is that gonna be the fifth book? Or is that gonna be at the very end?

Brandon Sanderson

It'll be at the very end. Basically, to preserve some of the excitement and discovery, you'll notice me just kind of cutting away before some of those powers get used, and things. Just so when the books about those people happen, I am more able to explore it on the page and have more fun with it.

Questioner

Is it gonna be like, after the fifth book, is gonna end those main characters and you're gonna show the next generation?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not next generation. It's the same characters throughout them all, but the back five will have different flashback sequences. So, the back five will have flashbacks from Lift, Renarin, Jasnah, Taln, and Ash. Characters from the first five are still gonna be the main characters. But, like you didn't get, in this one, any Jasnah flashbacks; Jasnah's flashbacks are in the back five, and they'll be kind of *inaudible*.

Kraków signing ()
#45 Copy

Questioner/Translator

So this is the question about White Sand. Why did this text become the basis of a comic - this one particular text - and how was the work going on converting White Sand into a graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

So White Sand was the very first book that I ever wrote, or at least a bad version of White Sand was the first book I ever wrote. I started it in 1994 and it was terrible. But I liked some of the ideas so years later I gave it another try. And it became my 7th or 8th book; I can never remember which came first: White Sand or Dragonsteel. And it was much better but still not quite where I wanted it to be. So I never ended up publishing it.

When a comic book company in America came to me and asked if I was interested in doing a comic book, it <immediately> sprung to mind. Because they wanted to do an adaptation of one of my books except I didn’t want to do a book that was already published, I wanted something for readers that was new. And I’ve always felt that White Sand was close to being good enough, it was just too long, it needed an edit. So the primary process for adapting it with Rick, who is a UK graphic novel writer involved him taking my text and cutting it way down to just the dialogue and the actions. And he did a fantastic job, we’re very pleased with that, but he did most of the work on that.

Oathbringer Houston signing ()
#48 Copy

Questioner

You have all these magic systems within the cosmere, <Allomancy and Feruchemy> and all that, and now they're starting to come together into one body. Do you ever worry that you're gonna treat that character where, like, they're drawing from so many systems that they're almost, like, the ultimate *inaudible*, like, they're drawing from five different magic systems and just don't *inaudible* anymore?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, having done The Wheel of Time, where Rand was basically a deity, I'm not quite as worried about that as I was. I don't know if that'll ever even get to that point. And it turned out that that was just fine. The thing about it is, stories always happen in the intersection of what characters can't do. And there's always something you can't do. Unless you become, like, all-powerful, all-omnipotent. So, I'm not that worried about it. I have to keep an eye on it, but I'm not that worried about it.

Warsaw signing ()
#50 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.