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State of the Sanderson 2018 ()
#1 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Main Projects


My big failure in 2018 was not getting to Wax and Wayne Four. But all is not lost! I am going to do whatever I can to squeeze this in next year. I'm feeling I might need a break in the middle of Stormlight Four, as I sometimes do. If so, I might squeeze this in there. But it will depend on a many factors. So, we'll have to take a wait-and-see attitude.

I'm going to try to hold myself back from doing any other side projects, like Children of the Nameless or The Original from this year, until Wax and Wayne is finished. Book Four will be the conclusion of their story, and the wrap-up of era two of Mistborn. (And I have big things planned for Era Three, which I am planning to write between Stormlight Five and Stormlight Six.)

Status: Pushed off for now, but to be written very soon. No release date yet.

Dragonsteel 2022 ()
#2 Copy

spectria.limina (paraphrased)

On the broadsheets distributed at the con, there's this glyph in the bottom right corner of the map. But in [The Lost Metal] there's writing instead of the glyph.

Isaac Stewart (paraphrased)

Oh yeah, I used to sign my art, but I felt it didn't fit in-universe, so I started using that glyph instead, then eventually I stopped doing that. It doesn't mean anything.

General Reddit 2022 ()
#3 Copy


You have mentioned before that people should read one of the non-Mistborn stories in Arcanum Unbounded prior to The Lost Metal. Can you tell us which?

Brandon Sanderson

If I tell you, it will spoil a character who doesn't reveal themselves immediately in the Lost Metal. So I've been careful not to say.

Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
#5 Copy


Secret history gave a lot of answers but a lot more questions. Will we get more answers in the next Mistborn book?

Brandon Sanderson

The next Mistborn book will have some answers but not Secret History level answers. It is still mostly focused on Wax and Wayne, Steris and Marasi, and finishing up their stories. By the time we get to third era Mistborn we are gonna start seeing a lot more creep in of some of this stuff. Its really fourth era were gonna see the most. The further we go in the Cosmere the more things will creep in. Mistborn; there be a lot more creeping in than in Way of Kings.

MisCon 2018 ()
#6 Copy


Can we get a small, just a small tidbit or a reveal of what Marasi is going to be doing in The Lost Metal?

Brandon Sanderson

So, opening scene of The Lost Metal is her and Wayne. It's a couple of years later and Wax is basically retired to <a thing> and Wayne is her deputy now instead, mainly so she can keep him channeled in the right direction.

State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
#8 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Updates on Main Projects


Wax and Wayne 4 is on the slate next after I finish Skyward. (Though if it's going well, I may do the entire trilogy for Skyward first.) I need four or five months at least to do Wax and Wayne, so rain or shine, my plan is to get into this on September 1st at the latest. Hopefully a little earlier.

This will wrap up the second era of Mistborn books. (And yes, I've settled—at long last—on just calling it that. All the other terms I tried were just too confusing.) Once the Wax and Wayne books are done, I'll look to do something else for a little while before coming back for Era Three. (1980s spy thriller Mistborn.)

Status: To be written in 2018.

Tel Aviv Signing ()
#9 Copy


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.

FanX 2018 ()
#10 Copy


So Wayne is my absolute favorite character. What was your main inspiration for him?

Brandon Sanderson

Wayne started with a character, I wanted to do someone who changed personalities based on the hat they wore, and it actually started as a haberdasher, a hat maker, and as a character staring in his own story in the Mistborn world and it didn't work. He needed somebody to play off of and so I shelved it and started The Alloy of Law where he could have somebody to play off of. Wax actually grew out of Wayne.

Dragonsteel Mini-Con 2021 ()
#11 (not searchable) Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So what are we gonna read? Well, I have draft number two of Wax & Wayne 4, The Lost Metal.

And as I warned you, if anyone came in late, the prologue is available on my YouTube channel with me reading it, or we sent it out as a newsletter. If you're not on the newsletter ask one of your friends, or go hang out in the 17th Shard and ask them. I give permission that they can send it to you so you can read it if you want to. It might be posted, as far as I know, on there as well. I expect when I read these things that they're gonna get around. So we're going to read chapter 1 of The Lost Metal. And I'm just going to kind of read until we hit to 7:30.

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter 1

Marasi had never been in a sewer before, but the experience was exactly as awful as she'd imagined. The stench, of course, was incredible. But worse was the way her booted feet would occasionally slip for a heart-stopping moment, threatening to plunge her down into the "mud" underneath.

It would be bad, but manageable, if the place was slippery in a consistent way. Inconsistent slippage was far worse. At least she'd had the foresight to wear a uniform with trousers today, along with knee high leather work boots. That didn't protect from the scent, the feel, or, unfortunately, the sound. When she stepped, map in one hand, rifle in the other, her boots would pull free with a squelch of mythical proportions. It would have been the worst sound ever if it hadn't been overmatched by Wayne’s complaining.

"Wax never brought me to a rustin’ sewer," he muttered by her side.

"Are there sewers in the Roughs?"

"Well, no," he admitted. "Pastures smell almost as bad, and he did make me march through those. But Marasi, they didn't have spiders."

"They probably did," she said, holding the map toward his lantern to read it. "You just couldn't see them."

"S’pose," he grumbled, "but it's worse when you can see the webs. Also, there's, you know, the literal sewage."

Marasi nodded to a tunnel to the side, and they started that direction. "Do you want to talk about it?"

"What?" he demanded.

"Your mood."

"Nothing's wrong with my rustin’ mood," he said. "It's exactly the kind of mood you're supposed to have when your partner forces you to stick your front side into a bunch of stuff that comes out the back side."

"And last week," she said, "when we were investigating a perfume shop?"

"Rustin’ perfumers," Wayne said, eyes narrowing. "Never can tell what they’re hiding with those fancy smells. You can't trust a man that doesn't smell like a man should."

"Sweat and booze?"

"Sweat and cheap booze."

"Wayne, how can you complain about someone putting on airs? You put on a different personality every time you change hats."

"Does my smell change?"

"I suppose not."

"Argument won. There are literally no holes in it whatsoever, conversation over." They shared a look. "I should get me some perfumes, eh?" Wayne said. "Someone might be able to spot my disguises if I always smell like sweat and cheap booze."

"You're hopeless."

"What's hopeless," he said, "is my poor shoes."

"Could have worn boots, like I suggested."

"Ain’t got no boots," he said. "Wax stole ‘em."

"Wax stole your boots. Really?"

"Well, they're in his closet," Wayne said, "instead of three pairs of his poshest shoes, which somehow ended up in my closet, completely by happenstance." He glanced at her. "It was a fair trade, I liked those boots."

She just barely kept her balance at another slip. Rusting hell, if she fell, he would never stop talking about it. But this did seem the best way. Construction on citywide underground train tunnels, or just the Tunnels, was ongoing, and two days ago, a demolition man had filed a report warning that he didn't want to blast the next section. 

Apparently, seismic readings had indicated they were near to a cavern of some sort. This area underneath Elendel was peppered with aging caverns, and the seismograph readings the demolition man had found indicated an unknown one was somewhere in this region. The same region where a group of local gang enforcers kept vanishing and reappearing, almost as if they had a hidden exit to an unmarked, unseen lair.

She consulted the map again marked with construction notes and a nearby oddity that the sewer builders had noted years ago which had never been investigated.

"I think MeLaan is going to break up with me," Wayne said softly. "That's why maybe I've been uncharacteristically downbeat in my general disposition as of late."

"What makes you think that?"

"On account of her telling me, 'Wayne, I'm probably going to have to break up with you in a few weeks.'"

"Well, that's polite of her."

"I think she got a new job from the big guy or something," Wayne said, "but it ain't right, how slow it's going. Not the proper way to break up with a fellow at all."

"And what is the proper way?"

"Throw something at his head," Wayne said, "sell his stuff, tell his mates he's a knob."

"You’ve had some interesting relationships."

"Nah, mostly just bad ones," he said. "I asked <Jamie Walls> what she thought I should do. You know her, she's at the tavern most nights."

"I... know her," Marasi said. "She's... a woman of ill repute."

"What?" Wayne said. "Who's been saying that nonsense? <Jamie> has a great reputation! Of all the whores on the block, she gives the best—"

"I do not need to hear that next part, thank you."

"Ill repute," he said, chuckling. "I'm gonna tell <Jamie> what you said about her, Marasi. She worked hard for her reputation. Gets to charge four times what anyone else does! Ill repute indeed."

"And what did she say?"

"Well, she said MeLaan just wanted me to try harder in the relationship," Wayne said, "but I think in this case, Jamie was wrong, because MeLaan doesn't play games. When she says things, she means them. So it's, you know."

"I'm sorry, Wayne," Marasi said, taking him by the arm.

"I knew it couldn't last," he said, "rustin’ knew it, you know? She's like, what, a thousand years old?"

"Roughly half that," Marasi said.

"And I'm not even 40!" Wayne said. "Probably more like 16, if you take count of my spry, youthful physique."

"Or your sense of humor."

"Damn right!" he said, then sighed. "Things have just been rough lately, with Wax being all fancy these last few years, MeLaan being gone for months at a time. Feel like nobody wants me around. Maybe I belong in a sewer, you know?"

"You don't," she said. "You're the best partner I've ever had."

"Only partner."

"Only?" she said. "<Gorglan> doesn't count?"

"Nope, he's not human. I gots papers what prove he's a giraffe in disguise." Regardless, he smiled. "But thanks for asking, thanks for caring." 

She nodded then led the way onward. 

When she'd imagined her life as a top detective and lawwoman, she hadn’t envisioned this part. But at least the smell was getting better, or she was getting used to it. Or maybe the insides of her nose were just dying off. Still, it was extremely gratifying to find, at the exact place marked on the map, an old metal door set in the wall of the sewer. 

She had Wayne hold up the lantern, and one didn't need a keen detective's eye to see the door had been used lately. Silvery scrape marks from the sides of the frame, handle clean from the pervasive filth and cobwebs.

"Nice," Wayne said, leaning in beside her. "Some first rate detectivin', Marasi. Sewer portion notwithstandin'. How many old surveys and building reports did you have to read to find this?"

"Too many," she said. "If I'd known how much of my job would involve searching the documents library..."

"They leave that part out of the stories when they write about us," Wayne said. "All the research."

"You did this sort of thing back in the Roughs?"

"Well, it was the Roughs variety," Wayne said. "Usually involved holding some bloke face down in a trough until he 'remembered' whose old prospecting claim he'd been filching. But it's the same principle really, just with more swearing."

She handed him her rifle and investigated the door. He didn't like her to make a big deal out of him being able to hold guns these days without his hands shaking. She'd never seen him fire one, but he said he could if needed to. He really was getting better.

They'd been working almost six years now, since Wax's retirement following the incident surrounding the Bands of Mourning. Wayne was an official constable, not some strange, barely-inside-the-law deputized citizen. Even wore a uniform once in a while.

Now, this door. It was shut tight, of course, and had no lock on this side. But it seemed the people she was hunting had found it closed too, as there were a bunch of marks on the metal on one side. Looking close, she found that there was just enough room to slip something through the door and frame. "I need something sharp to get through this," she said.

"You can use my razor sharp wit."

"Alas," she said, "you aren't the type of tool that I need at the moment, Wayne."

"Ha!" he said. "I like that one."

He handed her a knife from the backpack, where they kept supplies like rope, along with their metals, just in case they faced an Allomancer. These kinds of gang enforcers shouldn't have access to that sort of thing. They were just your basic "shake down shopkeepers for protection money" types. Yet, she had reports that made her wary. She was increasingly certain this group was funded by the Set, and if she caught them they might finally lead to answers she'd been hunting for years.

With the knife, she managed to undo the bar holding the door closed from the other side. It swung free with a soft clang, and she eased the door open to look at a rough hewn tunnel leading downward. One of the many that dotted this region, dating back to the ancient days before the Catacendre, to the time of myths and heroes, ashfalls and tyrants. Together, she and Wayne slipped inside, then did up the door to leave it as they found it. They dimmed their lantern as a precaution, then started down into the depths.

Brandon Sanderson

Chapter 2

"Cravat?" Steris asked, reading from the list.

"Tied and pinned," Wax said, pulling it tight.



"Proof one?"

Wax flipped a silver medallion up in the air, then caught it.

"Proof two?" Steris asked, making a check mark on her list.

He pulled a small folded stack of papers from his pocket. "Right here."

"Proof three?"

Wax reached into his other pocket, then paused looking around the small office, his senator's chamber in the house of proceedings, he'd left that...

"On the desk back home!" he said, smacking his head.

"I brought an extra," Steris said, digging in her bag.

Wax grinned. "Of course you did."

"Two copies, actually," Steris said, handing over another sheet of paper, which he tucked into his other coat pocket. Then she consulted her list again.

Little Maxillium stepped up beside his mother, looking very serious as he scanned his own list, which was mostly just scribbles. At five years old, he knew his letters, but preferred to make up his own.

"Dog picture," Max said, as if reading from his list.

"I could use one of those," Wax said. "Very useful."

Max solemnly presented it, then said, "Cat picture,"

"Need one of those too."

"I'm bad at cats," Max said, handing him another sheet, "so it looks like a squirrel."

Wax hugged his son, then tucked the sheets away reverently with the others. The boy's sister, Tindwyl—as Steris liked traditional names—babbled in the corner, where <Kath>, the governess, was watching her.

Finally, Steris handed him his pistols one at a time. Long-barrelled and nasty looking, they had been designed by Ranette to look menacing, but had two safeties and were actually unloaded. It had been a while since he'd had to shoot anyone, but he continued to make good use of his reputation as the lawman senator of the Roughs. Cityfolk, particularly politicians, tended to be intimidated by small arms. They preferred to kill people with more modern weapons, like poverty and despair. 

"Is a kiss from my wife on that list?" Wax asked.

"Actually, no," she said, surprised.

"A rare oversight," he said, then kissed her, lingering before pulling back. "You should be the one going out there today, Steris. You did more of the work preparing them than I did."

"You're the house lord."

"I could appoint you as a representative to speak for us."

"Please, no," she said. "You know how I am with people."

"You're very good with the right people."

"And are politicians ever right about anything?"

"I hope so," he said, straightening his suit coat and turning toward the door. "Because I am one now."

He pushed out of his chambers and walked the short walk to the Senate floor. Steris would watch from her seat in the observatory balcony. By now, everyone knew how particular she was about getting the same one. Wax instead stepped into the vast chamber, which buzzed with activity as senators returned from their short recess.

He didn't go to his seat. For the last few days, different senators had been given a chance to debate the current bill, and his was the last speech in line. He had positioned it right after the planned break, as he hoped it would set his argument off, give him a final chance to avert a terrible decision.

It had taken a great deal of trading and promising to get this spot in the debate; and not a few of his political enemies were upset that he'd managed it.

He stood at the side of the speaking platform near the center, waiting for the others to sit, hand on his holster, looming. You learned to get a good loom on in the Roughs when interrogating prisoners, and it still shocked him how many of those skills worked here.

Governor <Varlance> didn't look at him. The man instead adjusted his cravat, then checked his face powder. Ghostly, pale skin was fashionable these days, for some arcane reason. Then he set out his badges on the desk, one at a time, as he always did, making everyone wait.

Rusts, I miss Aradel, Wax thought. It had been novel to have a competent governor for once. Like eating hotel food and finding it wasn't awful. Or spending time with Wayne and discovering you still had your pocket watch.

But the governor's job was the type that chewed up the good ones, the ones who tried to swim deep. It was the same type of job that let the bad ones float blissfully along the surface. Aradel had stepped down two years back, and it did make some kind of sense that the next governor chosen had been a military man, considering the tensions with the Malwish right now. Though Wax did question where <Varlance> had gotten all of those medals. So far as he knew, the army hadn't seen any actual engagements. Were they for, perhaps, excellence in shining your shoes?

<Varlance> finally nodded to his vice governor, a Terriswoman, of course. She had curly, dark hair and a traditional robe. Wax thought he'd known her in the village, but it could have been her sister, and he'd never thought of a good way to ask. Regardless, it always looked good to have a Terris on the staff. Most governors chose one. Made you look respectable. Almost like the Terris were another medal to be shown off.

<Adathwyn> stood up and belted to the room. "The governor recognizes the senator from House Ladrian."

Though he'd been waiting for this, looming and whatnot, Wax now took his time sauntering up onto the podium, which was lit from above by a massive electric spotlight. Funny, how ordinary he thought that all was now. If he walked into a room and there wasn't a light switch on the wall, he'd search for it for an embarrassingly long time before remembering there were some buildings that just weren't wired yet.

He turned around in a slow rotation, inspecting the circular chamber. The spotlight was low enough that he could still make out the faces around him. One side held the elected seats, senators who were voted into office to represent a guild, profession, or historical group. The other held the lords, senators who held their position by benefit of birth. The guild system left many people without a representative. As many as twenty percent of the population worked jobs without a senator's seat, by Marasi's estimate. The lords were supposed to make up for that, representing everyone who lived in their assigned region of the city. But when had a group of nobles ever cared about beggars? Maybe in the Last Emperor's time and just after, but people just weren't like that anymore. They were petty and short-sighted.

"This bill," Wax announced to the room, loud and firm, his voice echoing, "is a fantastically stupid idea."

Once, earlier in his political career, talking so bluntly had earned him ire at best. Now, he caught multiple members of the senate smiling. They expected this from him. Many of them seemed to enjoy it, as if they knew how many problems there were in the city and were glad that one man was willing to call them out, ignoring propriety and political necessities.

"Tensions with the Malwish are at an all time high," Wax said. "This is a time for the entire Basin to unite, not a time to drive wedges between ourselves and those who should be our strongest allies."

"This is about uniting," a voice called to him. The dock worker senator, <Maelstrom>. He was mostly a puppet for Hasting and Erikell nobles, who had been consistently a painful spike in Wax's side. "We need a leader for the whole Basin officially."

"Agreed," Wax said. "But how is elevating the Elendel governor, a position nobody outside the city can vote on, going to unite people, <Maelstrom>?"

"It will give them someone to look toward, a strong capable leader!"

And that, Wax thought, glancing at <Varlance>, is a capable leader? We're lucky he pays attention to these meetings, rather than spending the time going over his appearance schedule, <Varlance> had, so far in his one year tenure, rededicated seventeen parks in the city. He liked the flowers.

Wax didn't say anything to this effect. Steris had warned him not to antagonize the governor. There was bluntness, and then there was stupidity. He had to walk a fine line between them. Instead, he kept to the plan, getting out his medallion and flipping it in the air. 

"Six years ago," Wax said, "I had a little adventure. You all know about it. Finding a wrecked Malwish airship, intervening in a plot by the outer cities to find its secrets and use them against us in Elendel. I stopped that. I brought the Bands of Mourning back to be stored safely."

"And almost started a war!" someone muttered in the reaches of the room.

"You'd rather I let the plot go forward?" Wax called back. When no response came, he flipped the medallion up and caught it again. "I dare anyone in this room to disparage my loyalty to Elendel. We can have a nice little duel. I'll even let you shoot first."

Silence. That was one thing he'd earned. A lot of the people in this room didn't like him, but they did seem to respect him, and they knew he wasn't an agent for the outer cities. He flipped the medallion and Pushed it higher, all the way up to the top of the ceiling high above. He caught it again when it came streaking down, glimmering in the light. As he did, he made certain to cast a glance toward Admiral <Jons>, current ambassador from the Malwish nation. She sat in a special place on the floor of the senate, among where mayors from the other cities were given seats when they visited. None had come to this proceeding, a visible sign they considered even a vote on this topic to be ridiculous.

"I know," Wax said, turning the medallion over in his fingers, "better than anyone the position we're in. You want to make a show of force to the outer cities, prove that they have to have to follow our rules. So you introduce this bill, elevating our governor to a presidential position of the entire Basin.  This ignores the reason everyone outside Elendel is so mad at us. The bad faith actors who are leading some of the outer cities wouldn't have gotten so far without support of their people, if the average person living outside Elendel weren't so damned mad at us for our trade policies and general arrogance. This bill isn't going to placate them. This isn't a show of force. It's a maneuver designed to specifically outrage them. We pass this law, and we're demanding war between ourselves and the outer cities."

He let that sink in. They knew it.

They tried to ignore it.

They wanted so badly to appear strong, and if left unchecked, they'd strong-arm themselves right into a war, never realizing this was precisely what their enemies wanted. An excuse to rebel, a justification for war.

Wax pulled out the stack of papers in his left pocket. He held it up and turned around.

"I have 60 letters here from politicians in the outer cities. These are reasonable people, willing, even eager to work with Elendel on policy, but they are frightened, worried about what their people will do if we continue to impose tyrannical, imperial policies upon them. They're worried about war. It is my proposal that we vote down this silly bill, then work on something better. Something that can actually promote peace and unity. A kind of national assembly with representation for each outer city, and and elected supreme official from that body." 

He'd expected boos, and got a few. But most of the chamber fell silent, watching him hold the letters aloft. They were afraid of what he was proposing. Afraid of letting power leave the capital. Afraid that the political ways of the outer cities would change the entire dynamic. They were cowards in that regard, and they were also playing to the hands of the Set, a shadowy organization which included his sister and his late uncle as high-ranking members, who had been pulling the strings for years.

They were still active somewhere. They might even have agents among the senators. They wanted war most of all, though he didn't know exactly why, even still. A way to gain power, certainly, but there was something else. Orders from someone, or something, known as Trell.

Unfortunately, he couldn't pin his arguments on an organization that most people still didn't believe existed. He turned around slowly, still holding up the letters, and felt a little spike of alarm as he turned back to <Maelstrom>. He's going to shoot, Wax's instinct said.

"With all due respect," Senator <Maelstrom said>, "you are a new parent and obviously don't know the proper way of raising a child. You don't give into childish demands. You hold firm, knowing that your decisions are best for them, and they will eventually see reason. As a father is to his son, Elendel is to the outer cities."

Right in the back, Wax thought, turning around. Amusing how those instincts worked here. He didn't respond immediately. You waited to aim well for return fire like this. Thing was, he'd made these arguments before, mostly in private, to many of the senators in this room. He was making headway, but he didn't have enough time. Now that he had these letters—now that they'd all seen them—he needed a chance to go back to each senator, the ones on the fence, and share these words, the ideas, and persuade. His gut said that if the vote happened today, the bill would pass. So he hadn't come here just to make the same arguments again. He'd come with a bullet loaded in the chamber, ready to fire.

He carefully folded up the letters and tucked them snugly into his pocket. Then he took the smaller stack, two sheets from his other pocket. The ones that Steris had made copies of in case he forgot. Actually, she probably made copies of the other ones too. And seven other things she knew he wouldn't actually need, but would make her feel better to have her bag, just in case.

Rusts, that woman was delightful.

Wax held up the sheets and made a good show of getting in just the right light to read it.

"Dear <Maelstrom>," he read out loud. "We're pleased by your willingness to see reason and continue to enforce Elendel trade superiority in the Basin. You will make us all wealthy, and we promise you half a percentage of our shipping revenues for the next three years, in exchange for your vocal support of this bill and eventual vote in favor. From, Houses Hasting and Erikell."

The room erupted into chaos, of course. Wax settled in, hooking his finger around his holster, standing and waiting for the cries of outrage to run their course. He met <Maelstrom>'s eyes as the man sank down in his seat. He had hopefully just learned an important lesson: Don't leave a paper trail detailing your corruption when your political opponent is a trained detective.

Rusting idiot.

Footnote: Brandon initially stated that he would be reading chapter 1, but continued reading until some point in chapter 2.
YouTube Spoiler Stream 5 ()
#13 Copy


Will Wax find out that he is a Mistborn during his lifetime? This is assuming we won't see him again.

Brandon Sanderson

Wax suspects it already. There's a piece of him that knows by the end of this book. He will know pretty soon. He's a detective, right? 

Wax is used to getting a little extra help from the mists, which is clouding his ability to put his finger exactly on what's happening, but there's a piece of him that expects [suspects]. And you can anticipate that even in the year between, in the prologue [epilogue], soon after his recovery, he went and tested and found out what's going on, and is keeping his lips sealed about what that implies.

WorldCon 76 ()
#14 Copy


So how's Waxillium doing?

Brandon Sanderson

Slow but sure. I'm pretty sure I will be finishing it up soon here.


It'll be out next year, then? 2019?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. Maybe. I can't promise yet. It depends on how the writing goes the last half of this year. January 1st, I have to start on Stormlight Four. And so I'm trying to squeeze the last Wax & Wayne in after I finish Skyward 2.

Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
#15 Copy


[My son] would like to know when you're planning to write Bastille?

Brandon Sanderson

...We're close. The fact that I ditched Apocalypse Guard has slow me down a bit. I was planning to write Bastille very soon. But it's gonna depend on how soon I finish [Skyward], when I need to go into Wax & Wayne. I need to go into Wax & Wayne, like, July at the latest. So, it's gonna depend on how long Skyward takes. But I'm gonna try to slip it in there.

Dragonsteel 2022 ()
#16 Copy

spectria.limina (paraphrased)

On [the Wax and Wayne deck of cards distributed as con swag], on the Joker, there's a figure that looks like it might be Autonomy, with a symbol in it that's kind of like the harmonium symbol but different. Is that symbol for trellium?

Isaac Stewart (paraphrased)

That's just a later version of the symbol for harmonium. Part of how the symbols evolved between eras. There are other differences too, like with the spikes. It's also the symbol for Scadrial.

The figure does look like they might be related to Trell, huh...?

Skyward Houston signing ()
#18 Copy


So in one of your State of the Sanderson posts you said that the "Wax and Wayne" series was going to come out in late 2019, but then you decided to write another trilogy that lasted two years, so--

Brandon Sanderson

So Wax & Wayne 4. Abandoning Apocalypse Guard has put me a little on the rocks for when I'm going to do that. Right now I'm planning Wax & Wayne 4 to be a book I use as a break from doing revisions on Stormlight 4. Stormlight 4 I have to start in January if I'm going to meet my stated goal of having them come out every three years, which I realize is a long time between books, but remember that they're four times longer than a normal book! *laughter*. You're laughing, but Oathbringer was 450,000 words, Skyward is 110,000. So Oathbringer is longer than four Skywards. I do have Skyward 2 done, and am going through the editing process right now. *applause* So Wax & Wayne 4 is very much on my radar-- I wrote the first one taking a break from Towers of Midnight, so the chances are good I'll need a break from Stormlight 4 and write it there. I don't know if it'll be out next year or the following summer. Stormlight 4 we're shooting for the fall of 2020, and I should be able to get it right around that time if I start in January, so that's the plan.

Shardcast Interview ()
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In Lost Metal, you had Marasi ultimately reject Kelsier’s offer of joining the Ghostbloods, and I think that's a decision we've seen some division on with the fans. So I'm curious, what’s your analysis and thoughts on that? Because it was an interesting and fun character choice.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I'm not surprised there's some division of fans; there was division among the beta readers on this. And there is even—like, I, as I was writing the book, left myself the option to have her join if I wanted her to. I didn't lock myself in in that part of the outline.

My instinct was this isn't a good place for her. And so why…? And then when I got to the end am like, no, this isn't a good place for her. So, you know, Marasi’s journey through the books has been, "how do I change the world?", "how much am I interested in changing the world?", and "how much do I change the world?". Kind of in conversation with the dreams that she had as a younger person and the reality that she's now living?

And one of the things I wanted to deal with in this book was this idea that she is kind of worried that she's just— she's becoming a cop, with all that that entails, right? That there's a culture to that and whatnot. And should she be doing more? And all of that. And so that did lead a lot toward the whole Ghostbloods thing, right? And I expected a lot of people to be like, "Oh, yeah, well, here's the easy answer."

The problem is Kelsier is just such a terrible match to Marasi, right? Like personality-wise, you know, Kelsier is about the shadows. He honestly believes that if all the information were known that it would be worse for the world. He can share it in a small group. And he's got this sort of "I need to take care of people and I need to do it my way" sort of philosophy, which is really antithetical to somebody like Marasi, who, you know, her whole thing is "we need to be better as a society, not as individuals, and we need to be—". And so I at the end decided this is just a really bad place for her, right?

But she needed a place. Actually, the first draft of the book, I didn't have her make the decision to go into politics. She had rejected politics in the first book, right? She’s like, "I'm not going that way, that’s not that's not for me." And I went double back on that. I'm like, no, this is probably the right route for her, which is nice because like, it it kind of snapped together for me at that point when I did the revision to be like, no, she does need something. If she's going to turn down Kelsier, she needs something.

You know, you will have some fun in Era 3. Era 3, I don't know…? I warned you I might spoil unwritten books… Have I said this? I might have said this—you guys will know—Era 3’s working title for the series is Ghostbloods, right? And so like you know Mistborn: Ghostbloods is what Era 3 is going to be called, most likely. So if you were sad, well, just remember if Marasi joined the Ghostbloods we're still skipping decades. You would not have been able to see her as a member of the Ghostbloods. But that's what the name of the next series is going to be.

General Reddit 2018 ()
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Are you going to make more Wax and Wayne books in the Mistborn universe?

Brandon Sanderson

There is one more Wax and Wayne book, called The Lost Metal, that I'm working on. After that, we're going to jump a generation and do a 1980's era tech Mistborn.


C-cyberpunk Mistborn??

Brandon Sanderson

This one won't reach true cyberpunk levels, but I'm hoping to have the time to squeeze in a more cyberpunk-influenced sequence later.

FanX 2018 ()
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Do you have any updates on the next Wax and Wayne book?

Brandon Sanderson

No updates right now; cancelling the Apocalypse Guard and writing a new book in its place has put me just a little behind, but it was the right thing to do *inaudible*. And so I'm just finishing up Skyward 2 and Skyward 1 is coming out in November and I have until January to write something else, because January I need to start another Stormlight book so if it doesn't happen before then I'll probably do it in breaks between chunks of Stormlight.

State of the Sanderson 2016 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Main Projects


The Lost Metal, Wax and Wayne Four, will be my next non-YA novel project. I still intend to write it so that it can come out in 2018. You should see a progress bar for it pop up sometime in the fall of 2017.

This will be the last Wax and Wayne book. Because of fan outcry, we're just going to call the Wax and Wayne books "Era Two" of Mistborn from here out, and I'm sorry for the "Era 1.5 fiasco" of last year. That would have worked if I'd started calling it that from the get-go, but it's too late now.

Once Era Two is done, we'll let Mistborn lie fallow for a few years while I move on to Elantris/Warbreaker sequels. (See below.)

Status: Book Seven (W&W 4) being outlined.

YouTube Livestream 35 ()
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Any teasing for The Lost Metal?

Brandon Sanderson

Did we record me reading the prologue of that? It's on the YouTube channel. There will be another reading of this happening at the Cytonic release, in some form or another, another reading from Wax and Wayne. The trick is finding ones that aren't spoilery to read.

Wax and Wayne Four will be of particular interest to people who enjoy the variety of magics and cultures in the cosmere, not just Scadrial.

General Reddit 2021 ()
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So the Lost Metal will be done by this August and then released 16 months later? Why is that?

Brandon Sanderson

In most of publishing, 24 months is average from turn in to publication. Revisions, designing the cover, proofreading, etc... They take time. In the past, because my books are so successful for the publisher, they've pushed hard to shrink that timeframe. But it's been really hard on my team, as there's so much to do.

I've wanted for a long time to start getting back on a more normal schedule. Maybe not 24 months, but closer to 14 or 16. This will relieve a lot of pressure on the revisions, and make it feel less like my team is needing to work break-neck to get things done.


Does this new emphasis on the more normal schedule affect your roadmap for the Cosmere as a whole (like as it's outlined in 2020 SoS for instance) or was the switch to a more reasonable publishing schedule already part of the plan?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll see. Stormlight 5, for example, is likely to still be on a pretty difficult schedule for everyone--it depends on how long it takes to write, and how much revision it needs. 2023 is where we really want to hit, but I'd be more willing to let this one slide (as it's the last of the cycle, and I don't want to rush it) than I have been with previous Stormlight books.

That said, the main way I plan to get ahead on things is to start co-authoring more non-cosmere books, like the Apocalypse Guard series, which I'll likely try to release after Skyward is finished. Also, Era Three is going to have an odd publication cycle anyway, with me writing it more like I did Era One. So...who knows? It's too early really to say.


What was different with the writing process between Era One and Era Two?


Not Brandon, but if I remember correctly, Era One was somewhat unique because he sketched out the entire trilogy before publishing the first book, which left room for some really cool foreshadowing.

Brandon Sanderson

/u/reuben-625 is correct--though it went farther than that. Because I was newer, and had lots of lead time to get books ready, I wrote the entire trilogy in rough draft form before polishing and publishing the first one.

State of the Sanderson 2015 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Main Book Projects


And speaking of Mistborn, how is Scadrial doing? My current plan is still to have the Mistborn books stretch throughout my career, establishing stories in different eras of time with different sets of characters.

The original pitch was for three trilogies. The Wax and Wayne books expanded this to four series. (You can imagine Wax and Wayne as series 1.5, if you want.) This means there will still be a contemporary trilogy, and a science fiction trilogy, in the future.

I have one more book to do in the Wax and Wayne series, and I'm planning to write it sometime between Stormlight books three and four. Until then, Wax and Wayne three—The Bands of Mourning—comes out in January!

Status: Era 1.5 book three done; book four coming soonish

Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
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When might we expect a sequel to Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

When might you expect a sequel to Warbreaker. Okay, let me go down the list. I have finished three books, alright? The finished books are: Bands of Mourning, which is the sequel to the one you-- many of you bought today; I have finished Calamity, the last book of The Reckoners; and I've finished, a while ago, the fifth book of the Alcatraz series, for the middle-grade series.  Which I finished a while ago, but we had to wait for the contracts to run out before I could release it, it's a big complicated thing.  So those are in the queue, and they are coming.

Now I am writing, right now, Stormlight 3. Yes working on that.  It's actually-- Anytime I mention Stormlight people are contractually obligated to shout in my crowds. So I'm finishing that and my goal is to have it done by May or June. If it is done by May or June the publisher has said they will publish it Christmastime, so November/December next year. If I miss May or June then it gets pushed back to the Spring sometime. So just watch the progress bars on my website and you'll see-- you'll be able to gauge.  It's slowed down a lot because of revisions and touring but they should pick back up as soon as I get home.

After that I'm going to write a book called The Apocalypse Guard, which is my follow-up to Steelheart. Not the same world but the same style, fast-paced, frantic action sort of things. In the US those are published as teen books, here they're published as adult books, I don't even know what they are but I want to have a follow-up for my teen publisher. Something that's similar. So we're going to do that, then I'm going to do Rithmatist 2, and then I will do finally the fourth Wax and Wayne book which will wrap up Era 2 of Mistborn. Then I will do Stormlight 4.

If the book, such as Warbreaker sequel, is not in that list it means it is coming post-Stormlight 4. So we've got a little ways to wait, but I will get around to doing them, I promise.

Skyward release party ()
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When will you clear up the things at the end of Bands of Mourning?

Brandon Sanderson

That is mostly setup for Era 3 of Mistborn. You can find some answers in Arcanum Unbounded; if you haven't read that, I would recommend that. If you get the the end of Bands of Mourning and you're like "huuuuh?" there are some answers in Arcanum Unbounded, but mostly I'm doing stuff that is Era 3 of Mistborn, which will be written after Stormlight 5. There will be a Wax & Wayne 4. Wax & Wayne 4 will touch on these, but it's not the central theme of the Wax & Wayne books; it's the central theme of Era 3.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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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. Interview ()
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For the next year, when we were thinking about The Lost Metal one of the things that we were hoping is that—the same way that we had like a new tiny place which is New Seran on the map—we were hoping that maybe now we will get a bigger map? So we don't know yet, but hopefully.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes! The plan is a bigger map. Isaac has shown me a bigger map. I'm like 99% sure he put it in the book. So you should be getting—it's not a full world map—but you should be getting a map that includes the southern continent in its entirety. That should help as you are exploring Scadrial more and more.

Yeah! I wonder <like you said> like we were wondering regarding this new map is there any place where we will be able to find mummies on it?

Brandon Sanderson

*laughs* You know, Isaac's hard at work on his book. He hasn't let me read it yet, he's not quite finished. But I believe he might have an easter egg—it's really up to him—of where that might be. Close-lipped on what these mummies may be, and what's going on there.

Well well, let's see what the new book brings. And the other thing is because now we are closing this era and we will go into Scadrial—well in the future years we will go into Scadrial in year 3 [Era 3] it's going to be more technological, and since you said now we will have kind of a full map or more complete map of Scadrial, can we hope to see like the whole Scadrial in year 3 [Era 3] because they will have more—

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Yeah we should be able to get the entire world map by then for you.

YouTube Livestream 24 ()
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Are you planning on writing more broadsheet stories for The Lost Metal?

Isaac Stewart

I'm assuming at this point that I'll do what I've done in the last two. I didn't do much on the Alloy ones, at all. That you, Peter, and...

Brandon Sanderson

On the first one, I wrote Allomancer Jak. You wrote the next two.

One of our goals is eventually to have Isaac writing some Mistborn books or graphic novels, because he's the only person who knows it as well as I do and who could do it justice. People want more Cosmere, so the goal is eventually to do that. But he has his hands full with White Sand stuff right now.

Isaac Stewart

Which is preparatory for...

Outlining a couple of Cosmere stories right now.

Brandon Sanderson

But right now, you're the only one who's written canon Cosmere fiction other than me, because the Nicki Savage story is in-world fiction, but it's, you know.

Isaac Stewart

And the other Allomancer Jak story. I can't remember exactly what it was; the Lord Ruler's cufflinks?

General Reddit 2022 ()
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So Haunted Man is Nazh right?


That’s what I’m thinking so I hope one day we get some context as to how he went from an antagonist to someone [Nicelle Sauvage] is galavanting around with! Maybe when u/Izykstewart finishes Boatload of Mummies we’ll know a little bit more about the in between??

Isaac Stewart

Maybe someday there will be more context to that. :)

Legion Release Party ()
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Do you still plan to write Wax and Wayne four?

Brandon Sanderson

So I've got time, probably, to work on one more project this year, cause Skyward 2 is almost done. I'm still not 100% sure what it'll be. It's probably gonna be Skyward 3 cause it'll be super nice to just have that locked up and done. If that's the case, then Wax and Wayne 4 will probably be written in between parts of Stormlight 4, as I'm writing it, as I need breaks. If I can manage the way I take my breaks, that might be helpful for us getting the book out. One of the things I've learned to do is to take my breaks as novellas, which is why you see a lot more novellas from me than standalone novels across the last five to ten years. And that's because I realized as I was doing breaks as novels that, number one it took a lot longer, particularly in revision, and number two it ended up promising sequels, because I am incapable of finishing a novel without promising sequels, apparently. But I am capable of finishing shorter works without promising sequels. If I can get that, I really do want to get Wax and Wayne 4 done in a reasonable amount of time, but we'll see.

State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
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Brandon Sanderson

Projected Schedule

My projected publication schedule looking forward swaps The Apocalypse Guard out for Skyward and moves the Legion collection into the place of Wax and Wayne 4, reflecting what I actually wrote this year. (Note, these are always very speculative. And Peter is probably already worried about Stormlight 4.)

September 2018: Stephen Leeds/Legion Collection

November 2018: Skyward

Fall 2019: Wax and Wayne 4

Sometime 2019: Skyward 2

Sometime 2020: Stormlight 4

Sometime 2020: Skyward 3

Tor Instagram Livestream ()
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Have you plotted Lost Metal yet? Is that still its name?

Brandon Sanderson

Lost Metal is still the name. I have my original one-page outline from my first plotting session, when I built Era Two to actually be an Era, rather than a little dalliance. I do not have the full multi-page outline, which I will probably be doing while my editor is editing Skyward Three early next year. And I'll get the Wax and Wayne Four book really into good shape with the outline, and then I'll go back and do the last revisions on Skyward Three, and then I'll start working on Wax and Wayne.

I'm guessing that the Wax and Wayne book, I won't start it officially until, like, March or April, will be my guess. Just because we need to immediately go into revisions on Skyward Three if we're gonna have it out for next Christmastime. (Which my publisher was very hesitant about agreeing to. But I really like to have at least a release every year. I don't like to skip years, whenever I can make it happen. So they agreed to, instead of doing it the following spring, to do it next year around Christmastime.) Which means that I need to do the revisions really fast. So I am going to work on that.