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Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#1 Copy

Oversleep

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.

Govir

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.

Publishers Weekly Q & A ()
#2 Copy

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.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#4 Copy

Questioner

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 Anchorage signing ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

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.

The Great American Read: Other Worlds with Brandon Sanderson ()
#6 Copy

OrangeJedi

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.

OrangeJedi

So they're completely unrelated?

Brandon Sanderson

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

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#8 Copy

Stormstoyou

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.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#10 Copy

Tetau

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.)

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#13 Copy

LameLamas

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.

BookCon 2018 ()
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Questioner

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.

State of the Sanderson 2018 ()
#16 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Main Projects

Skyward

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.