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Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#1 Copy


When can we expect to see anything new cosmere-wise?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll start working on Stormlight 4 in January, and hopefully can get a novella (a la Edgedancer) written during the process, so you don't have to wait all the way to 2020 for more Cosmere.


So Stormlight 4 will come before Mistborn 2-4?

Brandon Sanderson

Potentially--it depends. A Stormlight book takes a LONG time to write, and often I sneak other books in the middle, because I need a break. Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
#2 Copy

Mike Potts

What's the general time line on Stormlight Archive releases? Do you plan any major gaps in the series, or will books 2-10 likely be your main projects for the next few years?

Brandon Sanderson

I wrote a blog post on this back in October.

After I finish A Memory of Light, my major novel publishing schedule will be Stormlight Archive books two years in a row, followed by something else the next year. This pattern should continue until the series is finished. That doesn't count shorter exploratory side projects like Alcatraz or The Rithmatist (formerly called Scribbler), which comes out in 2012. I'll do one or two of those every year when I take a break after finishing a major novel, and not all of them will get polished to publication standards. Those deviations are largely to keep me from burning out.

Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
#3 Copy


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.

Idaho Falls signing ()
#4 Copy


You said the The Rithmatist is a little ways out, the sequel.

Brandon Sanderson

I do mean to keep meaning to get to it sooner than I have. It's one of the-- It's the one that's been the most difficult to figure out how to do the sequel. I'm confident-- Let me get Alcatraz [6: The Worldspire], which-- it should be done pretty soon here, cleared off my plate. The last book of that one is-- had significant progress on it lately. Once that's done I'll look at Rithmatist, which is the other thing that's been dangling over my head.

Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
#5 Copy


Are we going to see anything in the Elantris universe anytime soon?

Brandon Sanderson

You should see-- I mean "anytime soon" is a very sub-- difficult to answer. Like the next thing I'm doing are the Mistborn books, I actually wrote two of those instead of one because two for the price of one, right? Did you guys know this? I sent them to my publisher because the book was due and I sent the book off and I attached a sequel to it *laughter* in the email and said nothing about it except "Here's your book" and then went to bed 'cause I was sending this at like 4AM because I stay up really late. And so I got up the next morning to mass panic from my publisher and agent and they're like "You put two books in here!?!" and I'm like "Yeah I wrote two on accident" *laughter* And so I did that, and yeah. And then they threw a party because an extra Sanderson book, unsurprisingly, is a pretty big deal at the publisher and then they decided to publish them very quickly. So what I'm doing is I'm writing Calamity, third of The Reckoners, and final of The Reckoners, right now. So our next sequence of books will be two Mistborn, then Calamity, and then the third Stormlight book.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#6 Copy


"Your" wiki.

Oh dear, I can only imagine the contents, not to mention the chaos it would inspire over on the 17th Shard if it ever leaked. Once the Cosmere is complete in 30 years or so, do you have any plans for letting the fans peek at it?

Brandon Sanderson

When the Cosmere is complete, I will share it--or have instructions to share it when, hopefully in many years, I pass away.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#7 Copy


What is the status of the White Sand graphic novel?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand graphic novel. Let me run down the big list of things people are waiting for. So, White Sand graphic novel is on the good list, that's going really well. The author we had adapt it was fantastic and the artist is doing a great job. We're doing it in eighteen issues. However, because the people with The Wheel of Time (I don't know if any of you guys bought those graphic novels) but they released those individually, people bought subscriptions up front and then it took them forever to deliver on those. Because I have been burnt by that I said "You can't release any of the issues until you have a certain amount done". So because of that, they just decided they would release them only as graphic novels. So they're doing six-issue chunks. So it's kind of weird, there's eighteen issues, but really it's three books of six issues, and they are working on issue number six right now to release the first chunk next year. And we're very pleased with it.

So, the big list. I am working on Stormlight 3 right now, so you can follow on the progress bars. Once I'm done touring, which I've been doing for way too long, you'll start to see those inch up again, and if I finish it by May or June then it can come out next year. If I don't finish it by then it would be the following Spring. So that's what I'm working on right now.

In the queue we have the sequel to Shadows of Self coming out in January and we have the last of The Reckoners, and that is coming out in February. That's a little too close, I wish they hadn't scheduled them like that, but I'm not in charge when they put the books. 

After I write Stormlight 3 my goal is to write a new book that's kind of in the teen-ish-- it's kind of hard because Steelheart here is not published by a teen publisher, the only one published by a teen publisher here is Rithmatist. But something for the Steelheart-- like older teen/young adult-ish, crazy, wacky things like that; I've signed a contract on that. So that'll be my next project. 

Then I'm going to do Rithmatist 2, then I'm going to do Wax and Wayne 4, which is the last of that sequence. Then I'm going to do Stormlight 4.

If the book you're waiting for is not in that list then it's going to come after Stormlight 4 so don't hold your breath.

Mistborn videogame is basically vaporware at this point I'm afraid. I love the guys that are making it. They're still working on it, they still plan to release it. I haven't seen even a demo or early footage or anything like that, so I'm not certain they'll be able to do anything and you guys should not hold your breath on that.

So, movies, I've sold Mistborn, The Emperor's Soul and Steelheart, all are in production, but that doesn't mean anything in Hollywood, in production can mean anything. None of them have started filming yet. Until something starts filming you should assume that it's a hopeful dream. Those are the hopeful dreams that people are paying me a lot of money for. So, there you are.

Boskone 54 ()
#8 Copy


If you had to guess right now, what year would you think Dragonsteel will come out?

Brandon Sanderson

It will be the book after Stormlight 10 is the way it is planned right now. So, add those up, we’ve got seven more Stormlights, four more Mistborn, two Elantris, and one Warbreaker. After all those, and I generally do one a year, so add all that up. So 7... 11... 12 years and then I will write it, probably, is what it looks like? 11... no 13... 14 years.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#9 Copy


Are you going to write all three books [of The Apocalypse Guard] at once or space them out a year or so each?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm going to try doing them straight, with a random novella separating them to give myself a break. I feel that Mistborn turned out very well from having had entire series perspective--and want to see if I can replicate that writing experience.


Man, does that mean no more Rithmatist in the near future? :(

Brandon Sanderson

We'll see. Rithmatist is a Tor project, and I need to do some Random House books for them. I'll get back to Tor books next year.


Yeah - I figured it was about having something for both publishers, since Tor has had the fair share of your writing time recently.

Well, I'll read anything you write, so it matters little. I guess we can wait a few more years for the Rithmatist and the conclusion of Wax and Wayne. :)

Brandon Sanderson

Current Plan (though these things get shaken up) is as follows:

Do the Apocalypse Guard Trilogy this year, moving into next year, with a novella between each book to take a break. That could take me up to roughly a year.

Do W&W 4, Rithmatist 2, and the final Legion story over the next year. That will wrap up W&W and Legion, maybe Rithmatist, depending if I want two or three books.

With my slate clean, I dive into Stormlight 4, write something bizarre and unplanned in-between, then go right into Stormlight 5 rounding out the first Stormlight sequence.

But, as I said, these plans tend to shift a lot as I work on different books.


Any word on what these novellas will be? Are they cosmere? Reckonersverse or greater universe of Apocalypse Guard? Something else entirely?

Brandon Sanderson

The way my process works, I'll probably need to see what I'm excited most about when I write them--something that gives me a break from what I'm writing. I've got outlines for a couple of novellas I want to do, but I can't say which I'd end up doing.


Cool. Does your "The Apocalypse Guard 1st draft" progress indicator refer to the entire trilogy or just the first book?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm being ambitious, and trying to use the progress bar for the entire trilogy right now--since I plan to write it straight through.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#11 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

I thought that three years ago you wanted to write a book with Tad Williams and have George R.R. Martin finish it. Is that still just a pipe dream?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

That's still a pipe dream

So the question is; I had this goofy idea one time, and I thought "what if I get this other famous fantasy writer and together the two of us wrote"... and we would write a book together, but it wouldn't be a Brandon Sanderson and, it would be a Brandon Sanderson versus where we each create a set of characters who have contrasting role, were against each other, and who would try to achieve this, um, they would both be on opposite sides and they would seduce each other's characters or murder each other's characters and thing like this and we would write it almost to the climax, and then we would go to George Martin and we would say "you have to adjudicate how we would write the ending" and so the cover would be like 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Pat Rothfuss with guest judge George R.R. Martin".

It is really just a pipe dream, especially when its a matter of 'when are we gonna do that', and it's really just a pipe dream. Maybe i'll make it happen, the trick is I'd have to find... like I cant do Pat because his fans would kill me for slowing him down. So it would have to be someone like Brent or Anya. Somebody who is a little faster, but I could totally see a 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Brent Weeks' right, you guys don't have to root for him cause he lives here. Yeah, something like that. We'll see if I can make it happen.

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

Brandon Sanderson

Let's go down the sequel list.

My next book coming out is Skyward. You can read sample chapters of that right now, we've been doing a lot of publicity. If you watch my social media, I'm sorry; you probably are done hearing about Skyward. But you can go read the chapters of that, it comes out in two weeks. I turned in the sequel to that, and I'm gonna try and squeeze in the third book before the year ends. We will see. 'Cause I would like to have that series done and ready to be read, and not have to--

Because, starting January, I promised my attention turns back to Stormlight. *crowd cheers* Everybody cheers for Stormlight. And I will be on Roshar until Book Four is done. Those books take, like, eighteen months. The Skyward books each took 3 months. So, you can see, a Stormlight book's a major undertaking, and nothing else gets done during Stormlight. Which is why it'd be really nice if I can squeeze in that third book, but I only have two and a half months, so I don't know if I'll be able to do it. But I'll start on Stormlight Four.

So that leaves you hanging on a few things. What about Wax and Wayne Four? Wax and Wayne Four will happen. I'm not sure when, but it will happen. I need to keep steady progress on Stormlight. It'd be really easy to get behind on that series, because they are so big and take a lot out of me... I have to take a good year, year-and-a-half break after a Stormlight book to make sure I'm not burned out on the series when I start again. At about eighteen months, actually about a year, I start to get really excited for working on it again, which is where I am right now. And that's where you want me to be when I'm writing a 400,000-word epic fantasy. So, Wax and Wayne Four will happen. But we will see.

Probably not any new Reckoners books for a while. That series is done. There's a Mizzy book in me somewhere, but I don't know when I would do that. Who knows.

Elantris and Warbreaker, sequels wouldn't be approached until after Stormlight Five. Probable they'll happen, but again, wait 'til Stormlight Five. Stormlight's two five-book arcs.

The Rithmatist. Oh, man, that book has been hard to do a sequel to. I tried to write a sequel, and it just didn't work. So I set it aside. I've got a new outline that I like for it, but it has to get slotted in. It's been a really tough book, probably the toughest book to figure out how to do right ever.

If the book is not on that list, then probably not a sequel coming anytime soon.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#15 Copy


What is the final page count? The first two books were monsters (in the best way). I think part of what sets you apart from some other authors is that you're very transparent with your writing progress. The progress bars on your site, your updates on twitter, et cetera. Anyway, long story short, I am really freaking excited to read what's in store for everyone, and I may just re-read WoK and WoR to get back in the mood.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, Words of Radiance was spring 2014, incredibly.

Oathbringer would have been out last year, instead of this year, but the story went long. First draft was 520k words, compared to 300k words for TWoK and 400k words for [WoR]. However, in revisions, I buckled down and did some serious pruning for the good of the book--so Oathbringer is somewhere around 450k words now, going into final proofreads. November 14th drop date in the US.

More and more, I'm certain I can't do these every two years, as I had originally hoped. They are to intricate, and I need to take a break from the world to let things simmer and brew between books. But we'll see.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#16 Copy


The Rithmatist 2 kind of took a... <stage to the background with everything>. Do you have any idea when that's gonna be...?

Brandon Sanderson

We're getting close. We're getting close. I will do it most likely between Stormlight 3 and 4, somewhere. I can't promise where, but it's getting really close. I'm going to start reading the first book to my son very soon; he's nine now. And once I read it out loud with him I will be ready to write the second. I'll be back in the world.

Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
#17 Copy


I was thinking about it, do you have any characters that you've set aside to do maybe some spin-offs down the road, just that you don't want to let die off into obscurity. Like Shallan, she is my favorite character that you write so far. I don't know, is there kind of a side group that you maybe want to revisit later?

Brandon Sanderson

I could see myself doing that. The thing is, the ones I've set off I've done intentionally like in Elantris, Serene's uncle, right. Her uncle, I always intended his family to be the next one I wrote a book about, and so its like its already planned in and like Lift from Stormlight. Shes getting her own book later on so I've seeded her in it, you already knowing about it. I don't know that there is any I'm waiting for now, specifically. I'm sure it will happen to me.

Calamity release party ()
#18 Copy

Questioner 1

What do you think will come in the future? Like what is-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

"What do I think will come in the future?" I have a bunch of ideas, and I actually said-- I wrote out three one-page synopses of what I wanted to do as a follow up sort of teen series, like the Reckoners, and I sent it to my publisher, and I let them pick which of the three they wanted. And I'm not gonna tell you what that is for a little while, because they're all like freaking out about how to announce it, and things like that. Because they're all like, "Oh we have to get Entertainment Weekly to announce it, or something." *crowd laughs* Okay, whatever. So we'll see.

Questioner 2

So will you tell us the two that they didn't pick?

Brandon Sanderson

When it comes out I'll tell you the two that they didn't pick, also.

Footnote: The series Brandon refers to was announced to be Apocalypse Guard.
Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#19 Copy


Hey Mr. Sanderson, I know that A Memory of Light should be finished in the next couple years (at the latest). I know that you tend to work on multiple projects. Unless you are planning to do another (totally) new project can we expect another WarbreakerElantris, or preferably Mistborn book as you release the ten Way of Kings books?

Brandon Sanderson

I do like to work on multiple projects. During those early unpublished years, I was always hopping from book to book, and it became habit for me. It really helps me keep fresh, allowing me to try new things and experiment with my style. One of the hardest thinks about working on the WoT has been the number of side projects I've had to set aside because of lack of time.

And so, with The Way of Kings series (aka The Stormlight Archive) I plan to do the books on a 2-to-1 ration. Meaning two Stormlight books, followed by one random side book. Generally, you should expect three books every two years from me, as that's been my speed. So there should still be a Stormlight book every year, though we'll see.

Some will be new things, others will be in current series. My current plans are to do an Elantris sequel in 2015, for instance, and I'd like to do the second (and final) Warbreaker book eventually.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#20 Copy


Do you know when we'll start seeing The Way of Kings? Sample chapters in particular. This series sounds freaking amazing and I can't wait to see more of it. So, that the first draft is finished (congratulations, by the way), I'm quite curious...

Brandon Sanderson

My plan is to start releasing sample chapters of Kings next year sometime in the spring. Not too close to draw any attention away from the release of The Gathering Storm, but far enough ahead of the Kings launch to give a good preview. February, perhaps? If you don't see them by then, I officially give you permission to send my assistant a reminder email to 'poke' me into doing it.

JordanCon 2014 ()
#21 Copy


When are you going to work on the next Mistborn book?

Brandon Sanderson

Right now I am going to write Rithmatist 2, followed by Stormlight 3, and the next Mistborn book [Shadows of Self] is going to come after that. Tor has asked that I write the next Stormlight book before I write the next Mistborn books, so I will be doing that. I do have a chunk of the sequel written, but I had to put off writing it until later.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#22 Copy


Approximately how many books/series do you have concrete ideas for, aside from the ones you currently have in the pipeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, wow. So, go look at the State of the Sanderson 2017 and you'll find a list of the ones I've mentioned. Beyond that, I'd say I have some twenty or thirty that are somewhat fleshed out. More than I can possibly ever hope to write.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#23 Copy


Will Emperor Kai get his own book?

Brandon Sanderson

Will Emperor Kai get his own book? So this is Perfect State, for those asking. One of the reasons I write these little novellas is so I can get an idea out of my system without writing an entire novel, but then people will start asking for sequels to... *crowd laughs* I already owe you sequels to ElantrisWarbreaker, and The Rithmatist. So the answer is I am not promising any more sequels, particularly not to the novellas whose whole point is to let me write random things. It's not impossible that someday I'll do a novelization of one, but I'm not--I'm probably not doing any time soon a sequel to Emperor's Soul or things like that, just because the whole point of the novellas is to let me get focused back on the novels. And the--particularly the series that I'm in the middle of. It let's me get my fix of doing something weird, let's you read something weird and different, and then still doesn't take too much time from Stormlight or Mistborn or things like this.

White Sand vol.1 release party ()
#24 Copy


So you've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media--?

Brandon Sanderson

So the question is, "I've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media? TV and things like that." Well a graphic novel is something we can kind of have enough control over to make it happen ourselves. Right? Like I know the people at Dynamite. We can work directly with the writer. We can work directly with the artist. And so a small team can put together a graphic novel. It's more than required to put together a book, like I do, but it's still a small team. It's basically me, the writer, the illustrator, and then Isaac and Peter working on this. So, you know, five people can put this together.

A movie--have you seen the credits scroll? *crowd laughs* I can't really do that on my own. So the best we can hope for is for me to sell the rights, which I've done for most of my properties, and hope that someone in Holywood can actually make a film out of them that's good. And that's just a roll of the dice. So, yes we're trying. It is slow. Watch my website--we'll say if there's any news. There really isn't right now. Fox has *Steelheart*. They've been doing work on the screenplay, which looks good. But, you know, the screenplay is the easy step--the next two steps are the hard ones.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#27 Copy


First of all, I want to say how awesome your books are. The Mistborn series, in particular, is on my list of "best fantasy books ever read".

Now my question: is Warbreaker going to be the start of a series?

Brandon Sanderson

I've talked about the sequel. I wouldn't call it a series, though, since I'm only intending it to be two books. I actually plotted it at one, then during drafting decided that some of the things I wanted to do would be better in a sequel, and started calling it a two-book series. Tor signed me for two, and have put the second one on infinite hiatus, allowing me to turn it in whenever I want.

Orem signing ()
#28 Copy


How frustrating is it that you have to wait so long and do so many things first before you can tell the Hoid story.

Brandon Sanderson

How frustrating is it that I have to wait so long to do things before I do the Hoid story, which is one of the big ones that I want to tell. It's not as frustrating as you think. Because, if you sat me down and said "You can only write one of these, Hoid story or Stormlight." I would pick Stormlight every time. Stormlight is a-- in my opinion, Stormlight is a stronger story over all. And Hoid's really interesting, and it's going to be a really cool thing for me to write. But I'm more excited for Stormlight 8, 9 and 10 than I am-- Though I'll be very excited when I get to write the Hoid ones because they're going to be cool things.

Like Stormlight is the thing that I plotted out to be the big opus. It's more frustrated that there's only one of me, despite what the internet says.  I don't got any clones, or any Sanderbots to do all this.  So I have more ideas than I can write books about. That's kind of the-- The biggest frustrating in my life is that I can only do so much. But that's been a frustration since I was unpublished. I always had more stories I wanted to write than I could.  So it's all about story triage for me.

One thing I've learned to do is to write novellas or work on graphic novels. Because the actual word count that I need for a novella like Emperor's Soul or for a graphic novel like White Sand, is a fraction of what a big novel takes. And so I get this cool thing with a graphic novel where I can write something I just finished an outline and script for a new graphic novel, that we're not going to release until after White Sand's done. But now that White Sand 3 is moving along and the writing portion of that is done, and we're just working on the art, I came up with something else. And instead of taking 18 months like a Stormlight book takes, it took me, like, a month. And so that's a way I can get a story ready and can release it to people without having to spend 18 months on something.

General Reddit 2017 ()
#29 Copy


Hmmm, I just read this timetable update then went back and read State of the Sanderson 2016. I think there is a decent chance that the novella between The Apocalypse Guard 2 and 3 could be Silverlight. Could we be so lucky, /u/mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

There's a decent chance. I've also got several on First of the Sun plotted, which are possibilities--and even a Threnody story I want to do. However, there's also a non-cosmere "minority report" style thriller I want to write, and a more thoughtful story about a world where big data predicts all of our choices. So...who knows.


Do you have any thoughts on a short story set on Nalthis? It's the only major Shardworld we haven't yet revisited.

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't been able to get any shorts on Nalthis to work so far. Maybe eventually.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#30 Copy


Is The Way of Kings your biggest work planned or do you have something on the shelf that's bigger?

Brandon Sanderson

Well...depends. Dragonsteel is plotted at seven books. And I plan two more trilogies, eventually, in the Mistborn world. But Kings was always planned and plotted to be the big war epic, focusing on large numbers of characters across a large number of books. Mistborn will span hundreds and hundreds of years, though, so it could be 'bigger' by some definitions. Dragonsteel also is in the running, but for reasons I can't really explain without giving away things I don't want to.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#32 Copy


So, you've mentioned-- you have an idea of how the Cosmere's going to go. The ending of the Cosmere, considering you have seven more Stormlight books to write and years to go, does the ending of the Cosmere hang over your head?

Brandon Sanderson

Does the ending of the Cosmere hang over my head 'cause I've got a ways to go-- Yeah, it's starting to loom a bit! You know, when I was in my twenties and thirties doing this, "Ah! I can write every story, I've got plenty of time!", but now that I'm in my forties I'm-- let's make sure we focus and keep going on this. So one of my goals has been to try to learn to write novellas so that the random ideas that pop in my head became novellas and not novels, because the way I work, I can't stay on one thing between books I find that it burns me out really fast if I don't have something new to work on, but if that new thing to work on can be a novella like one of the Legion books, or like Perfect State, or Snapshot or something like that and then I can jump back on the kind of mainline book I can reset myself quickly. And that why you see me practice that and things like that.

My goal is kind of closing things off faster than I open them. This is why Legion got finished this year, why Alcatraz will probably get finished next year. Those of you waiting for a Rithmatist sequel *sighs* eventually. I need to get those other two closed off first. For those of you waiting for Reckoners, I consider Reckoners to be done. If I eventually fix and release Apocalypse Guard, that might answer some of the questions you have about the end of that series. Elantris and Warbreaker are both part of the Cosmere arc, what I'll probably do is I'll write Stormlight 4 and 5 and the last Wax & Wayne book over the next few years-- five years, next five years probably. *laughter* And then I'll probably stop and do Mistborn Era 3, which is the 1980s Mistborn, and maybe some Elantris sequels. And then I'll come back and do Stormlight 6-10 which take place about 10 years in-world after Stormlight 5. Same characters, at least the ones that survive. *eruption of laughter* That might be all of them! No spoilers there. But Stormlight is ten books. The way Stormlight will go is Book 4 is Eshonai, Book 5 is Szeth, 6 is Lift, 7 is Renarin, 8 is Ash, 9 is Taln and 10 is Jasnah. That doesn't mean that the person survives, it means that it's a flashback sequence. *nervous laughter* Just keep that in mind. So if your sequel wasn't on that list then don't hold your breath.

/r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
#33 Copy


There isn't anything story specific I'd want to ask, I wish to discover by reading. I was wondering if Stormlight Archive books are going to get a special edition limited prints from Subterranean Press, like some of your other work?

Brandon Sanderson

Our plan is to do tenth anniversary books of all of the cosmere novels, though right now I plan to put the four Wax and Wayne books into two volumes. (So, sell them as two-in-one.) Likewise, it's possible that the Stormlight books will be better as two volumes each, sold in a slip case together, so that you don't risk ruining bindings by reading them.

Brandon's Blog 2013 ()
#34 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

On my tour, I frequently read from the first chapter of a new novel in the Mistborn world, a sequel to The Alloy of Law. (In fact, you can watch my entire presentation right here. This reading comes at the 45:45 mark.) Tor, understandably, wanted to know when they could publish this book.

Well, it's far from finished, but I do need to be thinking about what comes next. I know that many of you hope that it would be the third Stormlight book, as there has been such a long delay between the first and second. I do promise I'll be more speedy with Stormlight novels in the future—this long delay should, hopefully, be the exception and not the rule. However, my process being what it is, I probably can't move straight into Stormlight Three.

I've spoken about this concept a lot, so I might be repeating myself for some of you. One of the things that excites me about being a writer is the constant energy that comes from switching projects. I'm not one of those writers who can pick a series and write on it exclusively for years and years. Though I will frequently have one main project, I do other things between those larger books. Usually, these other books are small, quick, and the means by which I refresh myself and keep myself from getting burned out on the large project.

While writing the original Mistborn series, I wrote books in the Alcatraz series. While working on The Wheel of Time, I wrote a number of novellas—and The Alloy of Law itself. Now that I'm turning my attention to the Stormlight books as my main project, I'm going to need some things to squeeze between books in order to refresh myself.

For now, that's going to be Alloy-era Mistborn novels. The second and third books in that series will include the same protagonists from the first, and will—if I'm doing it correctly—be exciting, fun, and deep, but not require you to keep track of a lot of characters or plots between novels. This way, I can balance the large, in-depth sequence of the Stormlight Archive with something lighter and more standalone in nature.

As many of you know, the Mistborn series was pitched to my editor way back when as a trilogy of trilogies, with an epic fantasy trilogy, followed by an urban fantasy trilogy with the same magic in the same world, followed finally by a science fiction trilogy in which the magic had become the means by which space travel was possible. The Alloy books aren't part of this original plan, but in them you will find foreshadowing toward the second trilogy.

In the teen book realm, I'll be bouncing between doing the The Rithmatist sequel and the sequels to Steelheart. I realize I have a lot on my plate, and I appreciate you putting up with me as I explore the stories I want to tell. My goal for the next five-year span is to finish up a number of these series, rather than starting anything new.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
#35 Copy


I've read that you were thinking of 32-36 books total for the Cosmere, but it seems like the series are going to go beyond that if numbers you've given before are published (e.g. Mistborn being a trilogy of trilogies so 9, Stormlight Archive 10, Warbreaker 2, Dragonsteel 6 or 7, and still White Sand and others to come) so has the estimate of 32 been thrown out the window?

Brandon Sanderson

Eh...I don't know. My original breakdown:

Mistborn 9 Wabreaker 2 Elantris 3 White Sand 3 Stormlight 10 Silence Divine 1 Dragonsteel 7 (A two book and a five book.)

That's the 32, with allowances for a few side stories to get us to 36. There are planets not included in that, however, that I may write stories about. So maybe. But the core cycle is this (in order)

Dragonsteel Mistborn first trilogy Stormlight - Mistborn second trilogy (around the same time.) Mistborn third trilogy.

Everything else is important in their own stories, but as we're talking about the connections between the worlds are considered, this is the prime cosmere cycle.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#37 Copy


Though question on Skyward, you recently said it was going to be 4 books instead of 3, and also said you have sent the second novel to your editor. Also you said next you will be doing Stormlight Archive 4. Do you think you will hop back in to Skyward after, or will it be much later? I just normally hate starting series that are underway, and Skyward sounds like a refreshing change of pace, so curious roughly how long the wait to see the end would be.

Brandon Sanderson

My hope is to keep the Skyward books at one a year. Their shorter nature, and the extensive outlines I've done, should let me hop over to keep myself fresh while working on Stormlight.

If there's a break, it will be 2020 when Stormlight four (hopefully) will come out. But as I already have 2018 and 2019's books done, I'm confident that at the very least, we'll have Skyward 3 and 4 in 2020 and 2021.

Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
#38 Copy


Can you say what "small projects" you're thinking about working on for the rest of the year before picking up Stormlight in January?

Brandon Sanderson

I've just done a quick draft on some chapters on Alcatraz 6, which isn't ready yet, but is coming along. And I'll be looking over Secret Project again, as well as doing a draft of the Wheel of Time deleted scenes for the Unfettered 3 charity anthology.

Sasquan 2015 ()
#39 Copy


My son said if I got to ask a question he wants me to ask when's the next Rithmatist and also when's the next Alcatraz?

Brandon Sanderson

So I'm currently writing Stormlight 3, that is projected for Christmas of next year. It's really going to depend on when I finish it. If it goes-- Peter's smirking because he's like "Yeaaaah."

If it goes any later-- the first draft goes any later than March of next year, that means we'll have to push back. So if you watch on my progress bar, if I finish it by-- my goal is to be done by the last day of February, and that's going to take some dedicated writing, *Peter's smirks some more*, but we'll see. If it strays much longer than that, than we'll push it back. They're just big involved books to write. I've already finished enough that would be a finished manuscript for another novel, the same length as Calamity or the new Mistborn books, but it'll go four times that length.

So Rithmatist is a side project that I will write when I have time. My main sort of focus right now-- I kind of have to focus on three things. Stormlight, Mistborn, and The Reckoners, which I'll have another trilogy with Random House which will be something new, but my mainline teen stuff is the more adventure type stuff. I'd love to do another Rithmatist. I think it was a very fun book, and for people who liked more involved worldbuilding, and more fantastical sort of things that want something for teens, Rithmatist is what that is. Steelheart is more action movie. And so I would like to do that.

Alcatraz, I did finish Alcatraz 5, which is the last of the ones that Alcatraz will write, and that is scheduled for next summer after we do a rerelease of the Alcatraz books with brand new art. We'll be showing that off on my website soon. The art's looking really great, we finally got a look I like for them, some interior art, a nice map, things like that.

So those will start being released in January, and the newest one coming out in June.

Warbreaker and Elantris sequels? No immediate plans, they're happening someday. Really, once I finish Stormlight, I'll go into the next series for Random House, the follow up to Steelheart, and then we'll see where I am, and see if I have time to write another side project which would be one of these books before I jump into Stormlight 4.

Prague Signing ()
#40 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.

MisCon 2018 ()
#41 Copy


Have you accidentally written any [books] yet?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't accidentally-- I've been consumed by Secret Project, which I can't tell you about. But Secret Project is what I'm working on right now, it's on my website as Secret Project. I will be able to tell you eventually.


Weren't you gonna write Skyward sequels?

Brandon Sanderson

Skyward sequel will be my next project. Secret Project should be finished in a week or two. Then Skyward sequels. Then Wax and Wayne 4. And then Stormlight Four. That's my writing schedule.

State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
#42 Copy

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

Shadows of Self release party ()
#45 Copy


Rithmatist part 2?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist part 2. *crowd woos* So, alright let me go down the big list of sequels.  I am working on the Stormlight 3 right now. *crowd woos* It is scheduled to come out like six months after I finish it. *laughter* We are shooting for Christmas next year, it's really going to depend on how much writing I can get done on this tour, but we will see, alright? After that I will be writing a new series, the first one, for Random House to follow-up Steelheart. It has been a very successful series, I want to maintain a good relationship with that publisher, I'll be giving them a new YA property which I'll start talking about next spring.

Once I'm done with that my goal is to write Rithmatist 2 and the last of the Wax & Wayne books, okay? Which will bring kind of a wrap-up to that series and get the next Rithmatist. Anything that I didn't just mention is coming after probably Stormlight 4 which will be the next thing after that. So if it wasn't on that list, you might get a novella related to it, but I can't promise anything more than that. I have to keep on Stormlight, I do not want to-- It's already going to be like two and a half years again before the next one between books and that's too long I want to keep it down to two years if I can.

/r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
#47 Copy


You seem to be adept at creating interesting magic systems for your worlds - what is your creative process for creating something of this sort? Any hints as to what the next one might involve?

Brandon Sanderson

Next two magic systems you might see:

1) Disease magic. Bacteria have evolved to the point that they try to keep their hosts alive by granting them magical powers while you have the disease. So, you catch a cold, and can fly until you get over it.

2) I've got a a very cool 'throwing spheres of light' magic that I'm working on...which, when you break it down, was inspired by seeing how accurate baseball pitchers were and thinking about how that could be weaponized in a fantasy world.

3) That guy with his ice soap has me thinking about "freezing stuff in water" magic. Like, potions that do things only after they thaw...

Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
#48 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Stormlight 3 will be next November. I had a meeting with the Tor people, and that's what we're planning. Tentatively [Stormlight] 3 next year, Rithmatist sequel, the following year, Wax & Wayne the following year, and then the next Stormlight. That is our plan. Hopefully new Stormlight can come a little faster than that, but what I've found is the outlines for Stormlight books take like a year to build, even though like-- When I do this outline process I do like the first book and then I outline each one with a couple pages? And then it takes forever to build this outline because I write Stormlight books as a trilogy, each novel is a trilogy, that I then interweave and release as one volume. And then there's a short story collection in there too, with the interludes and things. So it's a complex process. So I'm hoping, but I'm not going to promise them faster than one every three years, I just can't. They're too big and the way my process works, once I finish something I need to leave that alone for a while and try something else. And originally I'm like "Every 18 months, I can do that!" I can't do that. It's the travel and everything and whatnot. So we're going to do that. So we're going to do Stormlight, Rithmatist, Wax & Wayne-- last Wax & Wayne book, and then Stormlight-- the next Stormlight. That is our plan right now. I will also be doing another YA series to follow-up The Reckoners, for those who like those.

Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
#49 Copy


Melissa, I think we have members from another forum joining us and they have information that we don't have. Maybe even advanced book information, like we know nothing about The Way of Kings and only heard about the book recently and know nothing of its content.

Could some of you newcomers introduce yourselves (maybe on our "Introduce Yourself" thread and not clutter up this one) and tell us where you are from? We love the information you are bringing and introducing on this thread but we are confused.

Brandon Sanderson

I posted on my website that I'd be doing this, and I don't often have time to interact on forums. (They are a delightful way to interact with readers, but have proven a HUGE time-sink for me in the past. As you might have noticed, I tend to write—and respond—in depth when people ask questions of me.) So I only appear on forums occasionally. Hence the involvement of those from my forums looking for some answers to questions.

Some backstory might help you all. I began writing in earnest in 1997. During those years, I shared the books I wrote with a group of friends. This group worked with me on The Leading Edge, a science fiction fanzine/semiprozine at BYU. Eventually, once we graduated, we founded the Timewaster's Guide, partially as a forum where we could hang out. (Tage and Ookla from the TWG forums—aka Ben and Peter—are among them, and are still very good friends of mine. Another easter egg is to watch how Ben Olsen and Peter Ahlstrom are treated in the acknowledgements of many of my books.)

The overarching story and theme of my books, what I wanted to accomplish as a writer, and how I approached the fantasy genre, all took shape during this time. These readers read many of my most important, and influential (on me as a writer) novels while in draft form. The biggest three of these during this era were White SandDragonsteel, and Elantris. (On the tail end, I wrote—but never finished—the foundations of what years later became Warbreaker.)

The next era of my unpublished writing was when I worked on the worlds, stories, and themes that eventually became Mistborn, The Way of Kings, and a book called the Aether of Night. Many of my writing group friends have read these books, including the first draft of Kings (which is very, very different from the current draft.)

Anyway, these unpublished books are NOT canon yet. I don't canonize a novel until I publish it. But some of the hidden themes (including Hoid and Adonalsium) of my books are present in these novels. (Dragonsteel and Aether of Night are particularly connected—though of the unpublished Shardworld books, White Sand is probably the best written.) Again, none of this is canon yet. (For instance, I've taken chunks out of Dragonsteel to use in the revision of The Way of Kings.) However, these old books do contain clues that aren't available to the average reader.

Dragonsteel can be ordered through inter-library loan through the university library system. There are only four or five copies in existence. The BYU library has one (the book was my honor's thesis.) I believe the honors department has one. My thesis chair has one. (And maybe the committee has one, I can't remember.) I've got one in my basement. And I believe Ben's sister may have sneaked a copy out of the trash when I was cleaning out old manuscripts. (That might be White Sand.)

I do have intentions of rewriting these books and publishing them eventually. They each have pieces of the story. (Though I may decide to shift certain themes from one series to another as I eventually write and publish them.) I've been known to email White Sand or Aether of Night to readers who email and ask. (Though it does make me cringe a little to do so. In many of these books, I was experimenting with magic, theme, and narrative style—some experiments were a success, some were failures.)

Dragonsteel is frozen; I don't send it out any longer, as to not spoil the parts of The Way of Kings that I decided fit better in that world. So the only way to get it now is to borrow it from BYU. I've been told that Dragonsteel is the only undergraduate BYU honor's thesis ever to have been be read so often that it needed to be rebound. (A dubious honor, I'm not sure how I feel about so many people reading a book of mine that is that mediocre.)

Skyward Denver signing ()
#50 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I am currently submitting a story to major science fiction magazines under a pseudonym to see if I am good enough-- It's a flash fiction piece, which is the thing I'm worst at... I knew that, if I sent it as me, they would take it, because putting one pages in in order to be able to say "Brandon Sanderson" on the cover is just an enormously advantageous cost/benefit analysis for a magazine. I probably wouldn't submit a full-size story, because I I know I am good enough to get in magazines on those; but I don't know about flash fiction. So I've been submitting that under a pseudonym.


Will you let us know eventually?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, if it gets rejected from all the major places, then I'll tell you and be like, "Well. This wasn't good enough to actually sell." We still have it out at a few various magazines.