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YouTube Livestream 5 ()
#2 Copy


So far, the Stormlight Archive's book titles have the abbreviations: WoK, WoR, O, and RoW. Will Book Five's abbreviation be KoW, making the complete ketek?

Brandon Sanderson

Great question. Way back when I started working on the Stormlight Archive, I wanted to do this. And then I just didn't think it would work out, for various reasons, and I backed away from it, coming up with my kind of working titles that were not a ketek. After I changed Book Two to Words of Radiance, I realized I might have a chance to do this, and it started to kind of get in my head, that maybe I do it, maybe I wouldn't. I waited to see if Book Three would work as a single-word title, which it did. And so I am intending to do this.

The question we have internally is where we put the "T." Because Way of Kings actually has a "the" in it, where Words of Radiance and Oathbringer do not, and neither does Rhythm of War. So, is it going to have a T at the end, or not? That is subject to debate, even internally, right now.

Stormlight Three Update #7 ()
#3 Copy

Peter Ahlstrom

Well, on Friday Brandon was explaining what's in book 4 and 5, and after he got well into it I said, "So we're in book 5 now, right?" and he said, "No..."


Since each book is getting longer than the others and having heard what he wants in book 4, do you think he will have to split book 4? I don't want to look past the mark, but it seems like he's on track to have to publish Stones Unhallowed parts 1 and 2.

Peter Ahlstrom

In this case, he could probably move some plot elements from book 4 to book 5. The issues that make Oathbringer unsplittable probably won't apply then.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#6 Copy


With the Stormlight Archive, when you created this, do you know everything? Do you know the end of the book at the beginning?

Brandon Sanderson

I do, but... You have to be willing to change as you go, as the characters mature and you mature. For instance, Adolin wasn't gonna be a main character in the original outline. And as I developed the first book, I realized I needed another perspective of somebody who could offer perspective on the things that were happening. That was Adolin's perspective. So I brought him in as a main character. So that wasn't in the original outline.

And for instance, the ending of Book 2, with Kaladin, was actually originally the ending of Book 3. So I ended up switching those around. So things like this happen.

Books 4 and 5, my dividing line, where those two divide, is not really strict right now, and so one of the things I'm doing in outlining is saying, "Let's make sure Book 4 feels like a book, rather than half of a book that Book 5 ends."

Shardcast Interview ()
#7 Copy


Looking toward book five; is the prologue with Gavilar going to be enormous at this point? Trying to wrap up all of the rest of the threads? 

Brandon Sanderson

I do need to wrap up a lot of threads in that one.


20,000 word prologue?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll see. I haven't written it yet; we'll see how long it gets. I hope I'm not straying into Robert Jordan prologue territory. 90,000 word prologue? Oh really...

General Reddit 2016 ()
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Szeth is unlikely to ever get as high a word count in the main plot as the other characters. Even in the book that is his Kaladin will likely have a larger wordcount. But in the Szeth book, he'll have more than he had in the previous books--so by comparison, he'll have a ton.

YouTube Spoiler Stream 4 ()
#11 Copy


Would you consider breaking the palindrome format of Stormlight titles to give Stormlight 5 a better title, or are you pretty committed to the KoWT acronym, since there's already precedent?

Brandon Sanderson

If I can find a KoWT acronym that feels right, I will use it. I would say that it's 75% likely that I'm going to, but if I can't come up with one that we all like, I will break the format. The title's more important than keeping, I wasn't even planning the ketek format until I changed book 3's title and got us, you know. And then I'm like, oh, this could actually happen. But I changed book 2's title as well. This is a happy accident that we can make it happen, but I'm not going to then become slavish to it. And I also might let the T slide, right? In actual keteks, both the "of" and the "the" can be rearranged, depending on how strictly you're following the format, so it's possible that we change the O's and T's.

State of the Sanderson 2018 ()
#12 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Main Projects


As you just read about above, I am on track for starting this book on January first. I'll begin with a reread of the first three books, as I find I need a periodic refresher, even on my own novels. This will also be important for helping me really nail down the outlines for books four and five.

As I've worked on the Stormlight series, I've shifted a lot of things around in the outlines. Famously, I swapped Dalinar's book and Szeth's book (making Book Three have Dalinar's flashbacks instead of Szeth's). But along the same lines, I moved a chunk of Book Three into Book Two, and then moved around smaller arcs for Three, Four, and Five.

The Stormlight series has a very odd structure. Each novel is outlined as a trilogy plus a short story collection (the interludes) and is the length of four regular books. This lets me play with narrative in some interesting ways—but it also makes each volume a beast to write. The other superstructure to the series is the spotlight on the ten orders of Radiants, with each book highlighting one of them while also having a flashback sequences for a character tied to one of those orders. If that weren't complicated enough, the series is organized in two major five-book arcs.

What this means is that I need to do some extra work on books four and five, as they together tie off an arc. There are some small plot lines I've been pushing back from book to book as I nail down what each volume will include—but I can't do that with Book Five, as it will be the capstone of this sequence. So I need the outlines to be tight to make certain I get everything into them that needs to be there.

Anyway, that's a long way to say, essentially, I'll start posting updates to the Stormlight subreddit in January, and you can follow along there or on the progress bar we'll post here on my website on January first. I've commissioned a special piece of artwork to be used in Stormlight Four blog posts, which we should be able to reveal next year. (I'm pretty excited about it.) So you have that to look forward to as well!

Note that while I'm optimistic about this being my fall 2020 release, delays could happen if the book doesn't come out smoothly on the first draft. I'll keep you updated with regular posts. A lot will depend on how long the revisions take.

Status: Book Four is my main project for 2019, for an anticipated 2020/2021 release.

Tor Instagram Livestream ()
#15 Copy


Stormlight Five's title?

Brandon Sanderson

Haven't decided yet. It needs to fit the naming convention of The Stormlight Archive. Which means it needs to be named after an in-world book, and it also needs to fit with the palindrome. I have some options I'm choosing between. You can go look at the various threads on fan sites where they are trying hard to guess.

State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
#16 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Main Projects


It's time to take a little breather. I've begun working on the outline for book four, which is kind of a mess right now because of things I've been moving around between books as I write. My goal this year for Stormlight will be to have rock-solid outlines for books four and five done by December 2018.

My current projection is that I'll spend half of my time writing Stormlight, and half of it doing other things. (I spoke last year about just how big an undertaking a Stormlight book is–and why I can't write them back to back.) I realize that many of you would prefer to have only Stormlight, but that would drive me insane–and drive the series into the ground.

I think this is a realistic schedule. So, I'm giving myself 2018 to work on Skyward (hopefully a trilogy) and other projects. Then on January 1st, 2019, I go back to Stormlight refreshed and excited to be back in Roshar, and I write on book four until it's done. (With a 2020 or 2021 release, depending on how the writing goes.) I do hope to find time for a novella, like Edgedancer, that we can put out between books. This one is tentatively called Wandersail.

For those who don't know, The Stormlight Archive is a ten-book series composed of two five-book arcs.

Status: Writing outline for book four.

Travis Gafford Interview ()
#17 Copy

Mark Zimmerman

One of the things I'm most excited about with this book [Rhythm of War] has been what you described as being a foundational scene that you got to write that you've been thinking of forever. In the Cosmere and in your writing, has there been anything that you've done on that level? You have huge reveals and awesome scenes all over the place, but has there been one that's been cooking for so long and then you finally got to put it on the page? Or is this the first time you got to do that?

Brandon Sanderson

No, the first one of these was Kaladin taking the Shardblade at the end of Words of Radiance. That was the first really big one that I had been planning for a long time. Even stretches back to some things in Way of Kings Prime that I never got to write, because I never wrote the second book of that series. So that is one of those moments that just have been planned forever.

Most of these are Stormlight or Dragonsteel. Because Mistborn did not have as long of a cooking phase. So while there's cool moments in it, it's not like I spent ten years planning them. I spent, like, two years planning them. And so the ones for... there's one in Words of Radiance, there's one in this book, and there's one at the end of Book Five. (And there's one in Book Ten, also, but there's a bunch of them in Stormlight, the back five.) In the first five, we've got one in this book. (You'll know when you get to it. I think you'll know when you get to it.) And there's one in the next book that I first thought of and tried playing with an outline of... boy, it was, like, '98 or '99, before I even started Prime. After Five, we'll have a lot to talk about about that moment. But you'll find one in this book.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#20 Copy


What percent confident are you that Mistborn 2.4 will be named The Lost Metal? In that same vein, what percent confident are you that Stormlight 5 will be named Stones Unhallowed? (I think that's a fantastic title btw and you should definitely keep it.)

Brandon Sanderson

I'm probably around 95% on Lost Metal and 70% on Stones Unhallowed.

General Reddit 2023 ()
#21 Copy


I notice that while you're listing a lot of characters, the interlude throughline is still unspecified... I assume it's safe to say it's not any of the other characters you mention in this post (i.e. not Venli, Rlain, Navani, etc), right?

Brandon Sanderson

Interlude through line is a RAFO. But you are correct--I do not plan for it to be a character I mentioned elsewhere.

I am planning something interesting, and I have to see if it will work. If it doesn't, I will maybe jump to another idea.

JordanCon 2021 ()
#22 Copy

Ted Herman

A certain person went to a certain spren and got a boon and a curse, and later on, very recently, their fortunes have risen very high very fast. Is the boon and curse still in effect? 

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, but you will get answers in the fifth book about that. Excellent question, but this is a RAFO with a "yes it's coming", not a nebulous RAFO.

YouTube Spoiler Stream 5 ()
#23 Copy


How's the search for the next Stormlight title going? Last I read, you mentioned it was still in the consideration phase.

Brandon Sanderson

It's still in the consideration phase. I'm a lot closer. I'm feeling pretty good about it, about some options I have. I should have it before too much longer, but I shouldn't make that promise because maybe I won't, maybe it'll be another six months, or longer.

We've got a minute still.

How's it going? I feel like I've made progress.

Tor Instagram Livestream ()
#24 Copy


Any teases on upcoming LGBT characters?

Brandon Sanderson

I put some hints in Rhythm of War. I should be making those canon by Book Five for you. But it wasn't quite time. I actually tried writing them harder into Rhythm of War, and they felt like it stood out too much; it was unnatural. So go ahead and begin your theorizing. It's not gonna be a big surprise; I think that people will figure it out pretty easily. But I'm not intending it to be a big surprise; I'm just trying to let things like what happened with Jasnah in this book come out naturally as they fit the characters.

No big surprises, but for those who would rather read about it in the book when it happens, then I will leave it to Book Five.

Stormlight Three Update #1 ()
#25 Copy


Is the plan still to take a break after book five to do the modern day Mistborn trilogy or does the schedule of a new Stormlight book every two to three years mean that the second set of proper Mistborn books will fit in between those smaller gaps?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's still the plan. Stormlight 5 is an end of a distinct arc, and Mistborn era three's outlines are getting very close to being done. This schedule makes a great deal of sense to me.