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Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#1 Copy


Any grander plans for this setting beside this trilogy of Skyward?

Any plans for that other work the Skyward is connected to?

Is there any connecting stuff we should be on look out for?

Brandon Sanderson

Let me get this trilogy (which will actually probably be four books) done, and then I'll worry about that.

No other plans for the work this is based on right now.

As for connecting stuff, it will become very obvious once I start using some technical terminology. I said elsewhere in the thread that chapter 17 will make it very clear for those watching. Other small connections exist through the series, but more in the second book.


As a follow-up, will the fourth just be adding onto the end (i.e. it's a quartet), or will it be tangential, similar to Mistborn: Secret History (i.e. a trilogy + another book)?

Brandon Sanderson

It will be a quartet. I did my normal thing, writing the first book as proof of concept to myself, then sitting down and really hammering out the series. When I was done, the story beats worked far better as four books than three, so I will probably write it that way instead.

Prague Signing ()
#2 Copy


The second one is Starsight and the third one will be?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably Nowhere is what it's called. My US publisher doesn't like that title but I do because they go to Nowhere so we'll see if they persuade me not to use the title. That's the working title right now.


When will it be in the English?

Brandon Sanderson

Published? It's probably not for a little while because next year is Stormlight 4 and everything I have is dedicated to writing that and so I won't start Skyward 3 until January at the earliest and probably turn it in. So I would guess two years from now would be when we would see Skyward 3. It depends on whether I write that or the last Wax and Wayne book next.

Miscellaneous 2023 ()
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Noxilicious (paraphrased)

In the past, you've mentioned how Skyward was originally intended to be part of the cosmere. Were cytonic abilities originally going to be an Invested Art, or were they developed after the creation of the cytoverse proper?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Slight correction, Skyward was not going to be part of the Cosmere. It was specifically Spensa who was going to be in the cosmere. The story she was going to be part of is still cosmere-relevant, and we will still see it, but we'll see the replacement for Spensa instead. The cytonic abilities were developed afterwards, as we see in Defending Elysium.

Tel Aviv Signing ()
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Is there going to be another Wax and Wayne book?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there will be one more.


Yes? And when's it coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

I have it scheduled to be one of the things right after Stormlight 4 but before Stormlight 5. So i have to get Stormlight 4 done, that will take another couple months writing and about six months of editing. So you watch sometime around July on my website we should start seeing the Wax and Wayne progress bar pop up or the Skyward 3 progress bar. Those are the two things I need to write.

Skyward Houston signing ()
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So when you were in Houston about a month ago, was it for research for future issues of Skyward?

Brandon Sanderson

Yep. And I needed some help on certain things. It was super helpful, particularly going in and talking to the pilots. Like, astronaut, very cool. But talking to them about in-atmosphere flying and things like that was really handy.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#6 Copy


I was surprised to find out Skyward trilogy is not a trilogy anymore, but four books. How did this happen? You have more stories in this world or book 3 is growing too big, so you decided to split it in two smaller books?

Brandon Sanderson

My normal mode for a series is to write the first book, make sure it works and that I have a good feel for the characters, then sit down and really hammer out the outline for the series.

When I did that for this book (sometime in early July) the outline that worked best was four books instead of three because of where the breaks and climactic moments were.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
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She noticed that the race in Skyward that the people are fighting are Krell, and that there are krell in Sixth of the Dusk.

Brandon Sanderson

That is not a direct connection. It's just, the Krell are a race of aliens from Forbidden Planet, one of my favorite classic science fiction movies, and I'm just doing it in Skyward as an homage to that. Krell in Sixth of the Dusk is just me looking for a thing that sounds like the right name for the thing.


So they're completely unrelated?

Brandon Sanderson

Completely unrelated. Other than the fact that I've watched Forbidden Planet, like, six times.

YouTube Livestream 21 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

I originally had planned Starsight to be something that had "Fort" in the title, or "Fortress" in the title. "Star Fortress," or something like that. And the publisher came back and said, "That sounds too fantasy-ish. And it's science fiction." And they just didn't like the sound and feel, and so I came back with Starsight, and they liked that, and I liked that, so we just went with it.

YouTube Weekly Updates 2021 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

I will be stopping in a couple of days to work on a draft of the third of the three Skyward novellas I’m doing with Janci Patterson. Fun news here is that we have reached a preliminary agreement with my publisher of those books, meaning that we are going to still release eBook and audiobooks of those novellas in the coming months, but there will be a collection, a print one, in bookstores coming out some time, I assume, next year. If you’re a print book fan and you want to get these three novellas, I think they’re really sharp. Janci has done a fantastic job working with me on these. She’s a really great writer. I think that you’re really going to enjoy these.

And these are three novellas about other characters in Skyward. The first one is about FM. The second one is about Alanik. The third one’s about Jorgen. And it’s taking place between books 2 and 3 of Skyward. I think you guys will really like those. We’re planning the first one some time late September, early October. I’ll keep you up to date on that. But the fact that we have a deal with the publisher makes me pretty excited, because I was hoping we’d be able to do a print edition of those. Again, more updates to come as things happen. We haven’t actually signed the paperwork yet, though we agreed to the deal. So we’ll see how this all shakes out.

Skyward Three Updates ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Skyward Three Update One

Hey, all. Brandon here with my first of a series of updates on the Skyward series. This post does not contain spoilers for the first two books, other than mentions of the structure of the series, but the comments could very well include them. So reader beware.

First off, a note about where I'm posting this update. I'm aware that /r/skyward not only exists, but is actually about the books. (I am surprised, as I anticipated such a common word having already had a subreddit for it when the series started.) Me posting here is not a suggestion that /r/skyward is an unworthy subreddit. I heartily suggest people help that subreddit grow and have fun with the discussion there.

However, for my shorter series, I think I'd prefer to post updates on a general interest subreddit. So, for the time being, you can expect Stormlight updates to go to its subreddit, Mistborn updates to go to its subreddit, but all other updates to be split between /r/cosmere (for cosmere stories, obviously) and this subreddit. I think that will make it easier for people to track where I'll be posting.

Finally, if the mods would rather I not co-opt this subreddit for posts like this, let me know. I'd be happy to post them to my user profile instead, as I don't want to derail this subreddit or take over conversations.

That said, it's time to talk about Skyward. As is common for me with a series like this, I had an idea of where the series was going when I wrote the first book--but didn't sit down and codify the entire series until it was time to write the second novel. Like what happened with Wax and Wayne, Skyward became four books when I did this, as I realized the story I wanted to tell worked better as four volumes: a stand-alone solo book to kick off the series followed by a more in-depth trilogy digging deeper into lore and characters.

The good news is that the outline for Skyward Three, which I wrote back in summer 2018, is in really solid shape. I only need to make minor updates to account for things I changed/tweaked while writing book two. I officially started work on the outline today, and anticipate spending about a week doing these updates.

From there, I'll need to stop and do a revision on the Stormlight Novella from the kickstarter. I anticipate starting the actual writing for Skyward Three on October first. The book should be roughly 100k words, maybe a little longer. Generally, I can count on 8-10k words a week of solid writing.

If all goes well, then, the rough draft should be finished January 1st. I'll try to do a second update sometime in November to let you know how it's going. If I turn in the book January 1st, I should be able finish the fifth draft by summer (depending on editorial and beta reader feedback) and have the book out around a year from November. But that's just a guess, not a promise.

Thanks, all, for your patience on this one. Stormlight books take a huge bite out of my time--justifiably so, but it does mean everything else has to arrange around those novels. I'm sorry to make Skyward skip a year as a result, particularly since it ends on a cliffhanger. But hopefully I can get books three and four to you all in 2021 and 2022, with no further interruptions.

As always, I won't be having replies from this post sent to my inbox. I apologize if I don't see your comment as a result.


Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#12 Copy


As far as I aware, Skyward is your first attempt to write techno fantasy. Will this new experience be useful for Mistborn 3 and 4, which is supposed to be a sci fi?

Brandon Sanderson

I think it will help a little--but not a ton, as the real challenge to Mistborn Eras three and four is going to be making good on the promises of the earlier trilogies, and using them well. They will need to be more "hard" SF than Skyward, except with made-up science.

Skyward, I could create what I needed from the technology specifically to fit this story. (For the most part.)

Publishers Weekly Q & A ()
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Michael M. Jones

What's next for you with this series and in general?

Brandon Sanderson

My outline for Skyward calls for four books. The sequel will come out a year from this November. Starting in January, I plan to work on the fourth [book] in The Stormlight Archive, and that'll take about 18 months. I split my time between that series and other projects to prevent myself from getting burned out. When I finish a big epic fantasy, I need something different to get excited about for a while. So I'll jump back into this series after the next Stormlight.

State of the Sanderson 2018 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Main Projects


Book Two, Starsight, is done, and I'll be noodling on revisions for it in the early part of next year while I write the Stormlight Four and Five outlines. It's scheduled for October of next year.

Stormlight Four taking all of my 2019 will likely mean that Skyward Three won't be written until 2020, for a spring 2021 release. (At least, that would be my best guess at this point.) So you'll have a larger-than-usual wait between Books Two and Three, unless something happens to let me squeeze Book Three in early. As I mentioned above, it's a four-book series, and when I get back to it, I anticipate doing Book Four soon after Book Three. (Like I did in writing Books One and Two very close to one another.)

Status: Book Two ready to go in 2019. Book Three likely in 2021, Book Four likely in 2022.

Skyward Anchorage signing ()
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The way I'll phrase this then is, will everything else written in the Skyward universe be chronological going forward?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Everything in-- The Skyward books will be going forward, and they'll be delving more and more deeply into the ideas brought up in this short story.

BookCon 2018 ()
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How long is the [Skyward] series going to be?

Brandon Sanderson

Skyward is a trilogy. And I usually write--you'll find my style for a trilogy is the first one stands very well on its own, and the second two will have more cliff-hangery sorts of things.

Skyward Flight Livestream ()
#19 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

As I ended up writing the fourth book in the series I incorporated a lot--you haven't read it yet because it's not readable yet--from the novellas. We almost got the novellas switched to book three, er, book four, and Defient book five, almost got the publisher to switch that but they were unwilling to do that and they did feel that it was too late in their cycle of publications. But in our head, these are basically book four. 

Janci Patterson

I think you're gonna be really confused to read Defient without it. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I mean, I'm doing my best to make up for that, I will at least in revisions, but right now my writing group is very confused about some things, half of them have read the novellas, and half of them haven't-   

Janci Patterson

Oh, jeez, ok.

Brandon Sanderson

The ones who have read the novellas are like 'No, no this makes perfect sense.' Why they have kitsen with them in cockpits and why there's lots of different types of slugs    

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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So, Skyward is gonna be a trilogy. Each book will contain it's own stand alone story or it's a one big story splitted into three books?

Brandon Sanderson

Each of the books stand pretty well on their own, though the final one (this will probably be four books, not three) is a lot more reliant on the previous ones.

YouTube Livestream 12 ()
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In your last Reddit update, you gave a good rundown of your future projects until Stormlight Five. Time permitting, could you talk about other side projects, like the non-Cosmere short works collection, Apocalypse Guard, Alcatraz, and The Rithmatist?

Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz Six is done, being illustrated as we speak. We have the deal in hand from Tor to publish it. Alcatraz Six is a go. Should happen next year, I would suspect. And that is the actual ending to the Alcatraz series. Co-authored with Janci, who is amazing.

Apocalypse Guard has been kicked back to me from Dan, I think I mentioned before. I need to do a draft on it. Dan improved it wonderfully, but what he didn't fix is the ending, which is still broken, because endings aren't Dan's thing in the first place, they're kind of my thing. Which is part of why I pulled the book, is that the ending was not working. So, I need to fix the ending. Fortunately, I came up with a pretty good plan for doing it. So it's going to go on my list sometime during these next couple years, when I need a break between things I will do an Apocalypse Guard revision. It will probably only take me, I would guess, two to three weeks of work to fix it. So that's a strong plausibility that I will be fixing that book in the coming months.

Non-Cosmere collection. I have lots of stories for it; we actually commissioned all the art for it, but that's when we thought that Snapshot was going to get greenlit. It got really close to being greenlit as a movie, but then the option on that lapsed, as they didn't end up doing the greenlight last year. So now, we don't have a movie tie-in to push us to do that, which we still probably should do at some point, is get that collection out. With the couple of short stories I've written that would go in there that we're not gonna necessarily publish somewhere else. Though I did tell you guys, I am sending them out under a false name to see if I can get any magazines to pick them up. It's going to happen eventually; I don't know when. There's some new, cool talks that are happening around Snapshot, which is the most movie-friendly of the things for the non-Cosmere collection. We will see.

I know, for instance, in Spain, they want to take Defending Elysium, which is tied to the Skyward books, and do a Spanish translation of that, in conjunction with a Skyward book, so that might be happening. But I'm not sure how that's going to end up working.

This schedule for me does not include any little side novellas that I decide to write, or side short stories. It leaves some wiggle room, but not a lot, for me to do something like that. So we'll have to see. If some Secret Project pops up on the progress bars, you will know that I have felt too constrained by the schedule I have set for myself and have started writing something else. That hasn't happened in a little while, but it totally could happen. I think the last one of those was the Wizards of the Coast story, where I just had to write that.