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Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
#1 Copy

Phantine

Actually, another AA question - will the white sand graphic novel have an illustrated AA? IIRC the draft I read didn't have one. Would be neat to see how Khriss categorized things at the beginning of her career.

Brandon Sanderson

This is an excellent suggestion. There isn't plans for one now, but I could see including one in the third volume.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not planning a 'regular' novel edition of White Sand, though I do still send the old (unedited and not-quite-canon-version) to people who write through my website form and ask for it.

I fully intend to do some stories set in this world, in prose form, eventually. However, I won't retell the story of the graphic novel. I'll make them their own thing. However, there's so much on my plate that I can't promise when (or even if) I will actually do that.

Manchester signing ()
#5 Copy

Questioner

I wanted to ask, at the beginning you mentioned that you had twelve books written before your first book was published, can you tell us, or are you allowed to tell us how many have actually been published?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I can actually go down the list for you. It is somewhat interesting, I think, for people. My very first book was a book called White Sand, and it was basically kind of a Dune rip-off. Your first book is always  a rip-off, right, of somebody, as a new writer? And that doesn't count the one in high school, which was a SUPER rip-off, like a major rip-off, it was basically a Tad Williams meets Dragonlance. Full blown with elves and things-- Yeah it was totally--

White Sand is the first one I finished, and I actually then went and wrote a science fiction book called Star's End.  And then I wrote the second half of White Sand, because I just stopped and said "This is long enough to be a novel" and then I wrote the rest of it and called that book two, that's actually the only sequel in there I wrote. And then I wrote a comedy, where a lot of the thesis of that comedy came out in Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians ten years later, so that one's kind of half been published. White Sand and Star's End are not any good, they have not been published. And then I wrote something called The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, which was really weird and sci-fi-y and stuff, and that one hasn't been published because it's really bad too. And then book number six was Elantris which was pretty good. Book number 7 was Dragonsteel, which became my honor's thesis as an undergraduate and half of that book ended up in the contemporary Way of Kings, the Bridge Four sequence was all from Dragonsteel and I ripped that out when I re-did Way of Kings.

After that was a re-write of White Sand, with better writing nowadays, and that one we're turning into a graphic novel, that one's good enough to read-- The biggest problem it has is its a little too bloated.  The story-- It's like 300,000 words with 150,000 words of story. And so we are going to condense it-- into a graphic novel, so you will eventually see that one. The next one was called Aether of Night, that one didn't get published, it's really two decent books that don't work well together, like one half is a Shakespearean farce about a guy who takes his brother's place on the throne, they're twins, it's mistaken identify, yadda yadda; the other half is this dark brutal war book with an invasion going on, and the two halves never really translate well. People read this and they're like, that chapter is hilarious and fun, and OH MY GOODNESS, and yeah, so-- Maybe someday I'll do something with that.

After that I wrote a book named Mythwalker which became Warbreaker. I ripped out the good parts of that and wrote Warbreaker later on. Then I wrote a book called Final Empire, which is not Mistborn: The Final Empire, because then I wrote a book called Mistborn, and neither of those books were working very well. And then I wrote a book called Way of Kings and then I sold Elantris and I said "I want to take these two books that weren't working very well, and I think if I combine them--" because Mistborn had a cool magic system and the Final Empire had this whole thing about the Hero who failed and the Dark Lord took over and mixing these too ideas turned into a great book and that became Mistborn: The Final Empire.

And basically everything from then I've published, Warbreaker came next which was a re-write of Mythwalker. The Way of Kings, the one you hold, is a complete rebuild, I started from scratch, and added the Bridge Four sequence from Dragonsteel and some of these things... The only good one in there, that wasn't published, is White Sand I think, and I think it is going to make a really nice graphic novel because the story is really solid, the characters are really solid. I just wasn't a good enough writer to know how to condense where I needed to.

/r/books AMA 2015 ()
#6 Copy

Rah179

How significant will the White Sand be to the cosmere? Any hints on the Shard that resides there?

Brandon Sanderson

Moderately. (Its magic has some cool ramifications for off world use, and several characters factor prominently into the Cosmere.)

Phantine

Is there more than one magic system in white sand?

Brandon Sanderson

Only one in the current outline.

WeiryWriter

Does the one magic have more than one variation? Because I got the impression that there was something going on on the Darkside? Though I guess the Sky Colors (I think that's what they're called, I read the draft you send out early 2014 so my recollection is a little fuzzy) don't have to be related to magic. Or you could have written them out if they were...

Brandon Sanderson

In intended the colors on Darkside to be more a matter of the ecology than the magic--though, on that planet, magic and ecology are very closely tied together. (Well, I guess most of the magics are.)

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#7 Copy

Questioner

You are releasing a graphic novel version of White Sand, which one is going to be canon to the Cosmere, the graphic novel or the novel you originally wrote?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh definitely the graphic novel. The book I originally wrote has its problems, and I never released it. The books don't become canon until I release them. This will be the canon release of White Sand. I don't think-- If the graphic novel does well we are not going to write novels, I'm going to do the second one as a graphic novel original. That's just how we are going to do it-- is my plan right now. There are things when we went back to it that we tweaked, for instance Hoid's appearance in the original novel was only a reference. He was mentioned by, what did I end up calling him, Eis? Ais, I had both names for a while, it was only a reference to one of his old cases, that's his only appearance. And we're like "Ehh people are going to expect more now". So we are writing in a better appearance for him. Stuff like that, I feel Khriss' character needs better development than the novel had, so we are working on that. Stuff, you know. Things you would do in a major revision.

Stormlight Three Update #4 ()
#8 Copy

Argent

In the White Sand graphic novel, quite a few of the elements of the environment (e.g. rocks, clouds) look like faces (link). I find it hard to believe this is just a quirk of the artist, so can you tell us anything about why Taldain seems positively riddled with faces?

Brandon Sanderson

The faces are intentional. (Though they turned out more blatant in places than I'd have liked.)

JordanCon 2021 ()
#10 Copy

Karen Ahlstrom

And so we had a brainstorming meeting and said, okay, "Ais should be a woman rather than a man. We need more gender balance in the story."

And one thing that a couple of us thought about and talked about ahead of time was the very ending, because the conflict between Kenton and Drile was: are we gonna sell our services as mercenaries and betray our independence? Or are we gonna keep going the way we always did?

And over the course of the book, Kenton says, "Okay, we're going to sell you ourr services and we're going to sell you our services, and we're going to sell you our services." And so by the end, when he realizes that Drile is not the bad guy, having him die in that battle just seemed wrong. So that's why we had him survive and had Kenton say, "Okay, you had a good idea, and I didn't like the way you went about it, but having your input in that can be a very valuable thing."

That was that was one of the big changes that got made. And when we talked to Brandon about it in that meeting, he was like, "Oh yeah, you guys are totally right. Over time, you guys got better story instincts than I had when I wrote it in the first place."

Some of those big changes were kind of a group brainstorming thing. And that was a fun process to do.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#11 Copy

Yata

If I may ask another thing, did you decide what come earlier in the Cosmere's Timeline between Elantris and White Sand ?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand is earlier. I was pretty sure on this, but I wanted to be able to glance at the timeline and make sure I hadn't made any changes. (And I haven't.) It's pretty solidly locked into that place because of certain events around the cosmere, so you can assume it won't change.

Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
#12 Copy

Questioner

I have read White Sand and Aether of Night, and I don't know why they're not published because I loved both of them.

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand is not published because I don't feel that for one, Kenton has the depth of character that I like to have nowadays.  He's more an old school character of mine where he just isn't, personality wise, doesn't have quite enough.  Beyond that I feel that White Sand as a narrative meanders a little too much.  I feel if I cut back about a thousand words and fix him, we would have a good book.  Aether is not published because I feel that I wrote two different books and didn't blend them together very well.  There is the kind of farcical, Shakespearean, switched places, silliness, and it's fun, but it's like a mistaken identity almost sort of stuff and romance and things like that mixed with these dark things are coming out of the shard pool and destroying the world.  And those two stories never meshed together well enough for me to want to publish them.  

Questioner

So would you say it would take one more revision?

Brandon Sanderson

White Sand one more revision. I'm not sure what I could do with Aether of Night because those two just don't work together.  White Sand we are trying to do as a graphic novel.  

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#13 Copy

Questioner

How did you like doing the graphic novel compared to normal stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

It was fun. The thing about it is, my main part in it was to write the book, 'cause its a prose novel that I wrote years ago, and then to look over things as my team was putting it together. They had a writer take my book and condense it down to the dialogue bubbles and things like this, and built it out and I would see a page and say "good". So I didn't really make a graphic novel I wrote a book that people who know what they are doing adapted into a graphic novel.

Questioner

Makes sense. Would you do more of it?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on how people react to this. If the fans like it and say "yes, this is a book we enjoy. Keep doing things like this." I will do more.

Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
#14 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

...the Diem had been investigating, does that make sense? One of his former faces. So you're not supposed to be able to spot him. Like early on I was really planning Hoid to be-- When I write the parallel novel you'll be able to see "Oh" these things that he had his fingers on. But that's why in Elantris he's barely even in the book. Same thing with Mistborn. But then people really liked it and I was having a lot of fun with it and so in Warbreaker I expanded his part. And I'd always planned for him to be a big part of Way of Kings when that came along. *audio obscured* But in the graphic novel I think we're going to give him an expanded role, just because people are expecting it so much.

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

Questioner

I was just wondering--I'm a big Hoid fan--and I was just wondering if he's in this [White Sand Volume 1] and if I will recognize him as Hoid.

Brandon Sanderson

He is, yes. So...

Questioner

And is that how he actually looks, or is that just like...

Brandon Sanderson

Nah, that-- it-- he disguises himself a little bit, but in this book he doesn't have to go to magical extremes. So if you is wearing a wig or something it's still kind of how he looks. I don't think we even disguised him at all. We did change it from how he was originally, because he had such a small part. I'm like, people like him more. So we beefed up his part.

Footnote: Brandon is likely referring to Hoid's role in the full series of the graphic novel rather than Volume 1 in particular.
Miscellaneous 2016 ()
#17 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Every Newsletter, I like to sit down and write something for you that will be a little different. Something that gives a window into what I’ve been doing lately, or things I’ve been thinking about.

Today, because of the White Sand release, I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between Brandon the writer from the late 90’s (when the book was written) and today. I was 19 when I wrote the first draft of White Sand, and 24 when I wrote the second version (the one that was turned into the graphic novel.) Looking through it again, there is a lot about me and my writing that has changed.

The magic system is one. White Sand has a very cool magic system, where people control sand with their mind. The magic is powered by the water inside the person’s body, which is a neat system. You need to drink a lot in order to have power over the sand--but it’s on a tidally locked planet, where the sun never sets on that side of the world. (In fact, the sun recharges the sand’s power.) So everything is connected in a cool way. Sunlight recharges the sand, a person gives water to the sand (it’s actually a microscopic lichen-like substance living on the sand, and giving it its white color, that creates the magic. The Sand Master gives water to the lichen, fueling its magical life cycle, which in turn releases power that allows the Sand Master to control the sand.) But the sunlight also makes you more likely to dehydrate, which in turn stops you from being able to power the magic.

And then, it has the oddball--Sand Masters ALSO have the power to turn sand into water. I did this because it was cool to my then-writer brain. What if people who lived in a giant desert could make water? Wouldn’t that be useful? I use this to great effect in the story, and yet, it doesn’t fit the narrative. The modern me would never have added this power. It doesn’t fit into the entire system in a cohesive way. The rest makes logical sense; this (though I tried to justify it with worldbuilding behind the scenes) just doesn’t.

But in some ways, the old me was more willing to take chances. This is important to realize as well--I can't become so certain I know the way that things SHOULD be done, that I fall into doing the same thing over and over. I don't think the power to turn sand into water, ultimately, works in the novel. (Let me know what you think, if you read it.) But the fact that I was willing to add screwy, out-of-the-box powers to magic systems back then is a reminder that not everything in life is neat, able to be tied up with a bow. As much as I like playing video games, I don't want my books to feel like a video game--and that's a danger when every piece of the book, magic, and setting fits together to the point that it loses any sense of feeling organic.

A good lesson to learn from my old self.

I find a lot of the things I do in my writing now were there in these older books like White Sand, they just weren’t fully formed yet. I can also see my early self striving very hard not to fall into cliches, or to do just what was safe or expected. One of the book's two main protagonists, for example, is a black woman. I was trying hard to make sure my books weren’t only about white dudes. And yet, I was still young in my understanding of how to make a book feel real and vibrant, full of people who see the world in unique and different ways. For example, while I have a strong female protagonist, in the first draft she was basically the only only major female character. I did this a lot in the past--focused so hard on doing one thing well that I forgot to expand it to the greater story. (As a note, we changed one of the characters in the graphic novel version to be female, to help balance this out. It worked very well, and she's now one of my favorite characters in the whole book.)

It's hard to see past your biases in books though--and this is still something I fight against. I think great fiction somehow expresses the way the world truly is, the way the writer sees the world, and the way that people NOT the writer see the world, all at once. In this book, one of the main protagonists is dark skinned,. And yet, if you read the book, you’ll find that some of the villain groups are stereotypical, faceless, dark-skinned savages. While that same culture has some main characters who have real depth and characterization (thankfully) that didn’t stop me from relying on tropes for some of the broad brush strokes of the story.

Writing is a constant struggle of managing clichés and tropes, and figuring out when they serve you, and when they don’t. And the more you write, the more you become aware of things you lean upon--not just tropes like the ones I mentioned above, but things that are individual. I’ve been wondering a lot about these things with my own writing. At what point does, "Inventive magic system, religious politics, and people faced with difficult moral decisions" become a cliche to me any my writing? How can I push in new areas, doing new things, while preserving what people love about my writing?

Well, I'm still thinking about all these things. I'm very fond of White Sand, and when I was going back through it, I often found myself smiling. remember with great fondness the time I had back then to just write. There were no tours, no interviews, and nothing to distract me. I wouldn’t go back for anything, (I like actually having people read my books!) but there was something pure about that time, when I wasn't writing to deadline, I was just writing whatever I felt like at the moment. That's another thing I try to preserve today, the freedom to do odd projects now and then. Without it, I think I'd get very boring, very quickly.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy White Sand! This book needed far less revision to bring into graphic novel form than I thought it would. The dialogue was snappy, even after all these years, and the world was one of my more inventive. 20-years-ago-me wasn’t nearly as bad a writer as I sometimes pretend he was!

Idaho Falls signing ()
#19 Copy

Questioner

In White Sand 2, you changed the artist. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that was-- we didn't want to do that, I actually hate doing that, but it was with-- keeping-- meeting deadlines and things we were having trouble with the old artist, and so we just needed to make the switch so that we could get the books out. And that's the thing I like the least about the comics industry, artists changing, it's really-- yeah. But it is something that had to happen, so we made the call. We do intend that the sec- now this artist will do the book three, so we shouldn't change again, but, yeah.

With the Dark One comic, which we're working on right now, one of the things I've said up front is we need an artist to make sure that we don't ever change, because I really don't like doing that, I like the same visual style. 

Questioner

Yeah, it's like an actor doing this huge thing--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, yeah, and then you get a new actor, it's like-- who?

Mistborn: Secret History Explanation ()
#20 Copy

yahasgaruna

So assuming that the other novels in the White Sand trilogy were meant to be the same length, that means White Sand will take about nine years to finish?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there's a big "IF" in there. We don't know how the book will be received in the first place. If it IS well received, and people want more, I will sit down with the person who adapted my book and see if we can take my notes and do them justice in an adaptation for another graphic novel.

We'll see how things go. I'm hoping they come out faster than one a year, but I can't promise anything, as I really don't have much experience with this. My only mandate to the publisher was that we do them as graphic novel collections, instead of individual comics, as I didn't want to risk a repeat of the Wheel of Time comic situation (where one issue came out, and then a LONG delay came before the second appeared.)

yahasgaruna

Hah! As one of the people who've had the fortune to read a copy of the White Sand manuscript you sent, I have to say I find the likelihood of it not being a hit close to zero.

So we're getting at least 3 graphic novels, with a possibility of more depending on reception right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's correct.

Aurimus

Hold on, so there are 3 GN books being made from the 1 manuscript? nice!

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. The book is long enough, that the script turned out to be quite long. I don't know if they're planning an omnibus eventually or not.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#21 Copy

Questioner

What's your release schedule for volumes two and three?

Brandon Sanderson

I think they are one a year.

Questioner

One a year?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I'm sorry... They take so much time. It's possible they can go a little bit faster cause they did the whole script up front.

Questioner

Are they still drawing 'em and coloring 'em?

Brandon Sanderson

They are still drawing them and coloring 'em, yeah. We basically released this one as soon as we had it done. I told them they couldn't release it by little issues, cause I wanted people to have more of a promise they would get the whole thing so I said "You have to wait until you have at least a third of it done", but yeah. I think they are counting on this one paying for them to keep doing what they are already doing, so.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#23 Copy

bmshklkh

I have a question about White Sand Vol 1, although this comment thread is probably not the best place to ask it.

Just wondering how you view the final product, in the range of "learning experience, next one will be different" to "amazing book, won't change a thing"? I've never published a graphic novel, and I'd love to know how you feel about it now that you're past the first volume and have the second one upcoming.

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm...

I'd say halfway between those two. I am very pleased with a lot of things about it. The thing that I don't think came out right is the worldbuilding, particularly the cultural worldbuilding.

psychomanexe

That is one difference I noticed. When you describe clothing and buildings and whatnot, it sort of brings them into focus in a different way than a graphic novel (or movie) does. With the graphic novel, my brain just went "ah, they're all wearing this kind of clothing, sure. Oh, she has a Victorian style dress, that's neat." and that was kind of the end of it.

I think it might have something to do with lingering on it? Like spending a lot of time describing something can show how important a thing is to a character (or the plot), but I kind of skipped over the descriptions by glancing at the picture then returning to dialogue.

On the plus side, it helps me reinforce the fact that I need to spend more time describing things in my book.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's part of it. Though I don't think we got in the graphic novel some of the important worldbuilding elements, such as the armor that melts when sprayed with water, the unique forms of fighting, and the fact that the people you assume are the advanced ones (because they live in buildings instead of tents) are actually far less technologically developed than the ones who live out in the desert. (Because on this planet, that's the "good" land while the low sands are the less fertile parts.)

That was a dynamic that was very hard to get across in the book, though, and I don't know that my skill at the time was up to it. I was disappointed in the graphic novel once the colors and final art came back to discover a number of pages that looked like brave Europeans fighting savage desert people--which was the reverse of what I'd been trying to accomplish. (But is part of our cultural biases, so I'm not surprised it was how the artists ended up interpreting it. And I'm to blame for not reinforcing the idea stronger back when it could have been changed.)

Skyward San Diego signing ()
#25 Copy

Questioner

I'm a new teacher; my students are really quick to jump on me when I make mistakes. I was wondering if there's any inconsistencies or characters or any of the aspects of the magic systems you made that you could go back--

Brandon Sanderson

Absolutely. Every book. Every book, there are things that I would want to change. And it ranges-- there's a huge gamut of different things.

For instance, in the White Sand books, my first book that I wrote, that we eventually turned into graphic novels. I had a really cool magic system that was about manipulating sand with your mind, and things like this. And then I added in a weird thing where you could transform sand into water for no good reason whatsoever. It doesn't match the rest of the magic system. Because I wanted to write myself out of a hole. And as a newer writer, I did that a lot more. It ended up kind of getting canonized, and when we went back, I didn't fix it that fast, and so it ended up in the first graphic novel, and I'm like, "We need to fix this." So, the third graphic novel-- we've given ourselves enough wiggle room, fortunately, that I can be like, "And that's not what people thought it was." Because I want it to be more consistent. So you get that third graphic novel, and you're like, "Wow, they can't do this anymore?" No one ever did it onscreen, so they were just wrong. 'Cause that totally just does not belong in that magic system.

The Mistborn books, the original trilogy, I worked very hard to make sure I had an interesting, tough, but also compelling female protagonist. But then I defaulted to guys for the rest of the crew. And this is-- If you want to write a story about that, doing it intentionally, that's a different conversation entirely. But when you just kind of do it accidentally, like, I did, I look back and I'm like, "Mmm, I didn't really want to do that". But I did anyway, because of just the way that every story I'd seen I was defaulting to (like Ocean's Eleven, and things like this), where my models were, and I didn't take enough time to think about it, where I think it would have actually been a better story if I would have thought a little bit more about that. Like, there are things like that all across the board.

I did get into a little-- trouble's the wrong term. But in Words of Radiance, I reverted it-- from the paperback, when it came out, I reverted to a previous version that I had written for part of the ending. And that caused all kinds of confusion among the fans, what is canon? And so I'm like, "Oh, I can't do that anymore." But I had gone back and forth on how a part of the ending was to play out. A pretty small element, but a part of the ending. And I had settled on one. And then immediately, as soon as we pushed print, felt that it was the wrong one. But you just gotta go with it.

I don't know. I don't think there's a strict answer on how much you can change, and how much you can't. Grandpa Tolkien went back and changed The Hobbit so it would match Lord of the Rings. And I think I'm glad he did. Even if I would have been annoyed if I'd had the first version that doesn't have the connection. When I read it, it had the connection, and it was so much cooler. I don't know if I have answers on that. But every book, there is something I would want to change.

Firefight Seattle Public Library signing ()
#28 Copy

Questioner

Have you ever considered doing graphic novels?

Brandon Sanderson

I have! Good question... So, yes I have. We're working on one of my unpublished novels, that is one of those thirteen. I think it is a good book, but not good enough to publish. But I think if we can rewrite it as a graphic novel I can cut out stuff that was bad. Because what was bad about it was like 100 thousand words of plot smashed across 200 thousand words of story. I think condensing is going to work really well. So we are going to do that. We actually got pages from that and things, and it's looking very nice. So we should have a graphic novel, and it is cosmere. It is part of the main continuity. So hopefully people will enjoy that.

Shadows of Self Newcastle UK signing ()
#29 Copy

Questioner

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.

Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
#30 Copy

Iceblade44

The original White Sand was the first of a trilogy so i was wondering what is your plan for the other two books? Writing them as books, graphic novels, or are you just to busy to actually do anything about it right now?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll decide when the graphic novel is done and out. Basically, we have to gauge fan response. If sales are good, and fans want more, we'll likely do them as graphic novels.

When I write more in Taldain, I intend to construct a new story, taking place after the events of the trilogy. (Whether or not we actually do graphic novels of the other two originals.)

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#31 Copy

Ravi

I'm curious how you were <feeling about whole process of> the graphic novel. <Specifically how you felt about the whole thing translating,> because I have the draft. 

Brandon Sanderson

Uh-huh.

Ravi

<You were kind enough to send me that.> You know, you were very descriptive.

Brandon Sanderson

<And it didn't translate well?>

Ravi

Not so much-- although I did see <glimpses of you popping through>.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so, I focus on the positives. <But there might be some things I might not agree with.>

Ravi

I think that's fair. Of course.

Brandon Sanderson

And I-- what we came up with was the < a list of a few things>... *inaudible* Like the only one that really bothered <me> was... where is the big battle?

*searches through the graphic novel*

<The big splash page> right there. I'm like... <when did this turn into> white people verse brown people? You've read the book. This isn't about white versus brown. This is, again, how did we end up with white versus brown? Why aren't these people wearing armor? These guys are the ones that are outcasts and these are the high society.

And so when I got this stuff, I was like, "Uhh..." These panels where they'd done earlier where they have the skin tones and the <the clothes for the Darksiders>, I'm like, "Really good!". But then when that one came together I was like, "Oh great, oh great, here we go." And when you put the whole thing together, some things came out really cool. Like I think the Darksiders turned out cool. The Darksiders were awesome. The magic turned out really great. But again, I'm like, "Where's the armor? Where's the cultural markings? Where's that stuff?".

But yeah, yeah. The thing is, the guy who's drawing them is Asian, right? So <he should, you know?>... alright, so that's my thing. But again, you've read the book. Like, where's <that detail?>... But that's-- when you give the story to someone else you have to let them <do what they will>.

General Reddit 2016 ()
#32 Copy

Botanica

Hey Brandon, may I ask if the red-haired woman on the Dayside map is a kind of depiction of one of Bavadin's personas?

Brandon Sanderson

She is not. Isaac designed that border without any explicit instructions from me, so while he might have an idea of who it is, it isn't someone specifically relevant to large-scale cosmere workings.

Firefight Chicago signing ()
#33 Copy

Questioner

So a lot of your books are very cinematic in nature and lend themselves very well to other forms of media and I was wondering if you had to choose what would you do-- video games...

Brandon Sanderson

I would want to do all of those.

Questioner

All of the things?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I would love to do a big cross-media sort of deal. Whatever I can get away with, right? So we're doing a White Sand comic book right now, you probably know about that. White Sand, my unpublished novel, we're doing a graphic novel of that. I'm working hard to get the movies made, I will do anything I can get made. Just because I love storytelling in all its different weird varieties.

Questioner

There's the Mistborn dice game, do you know of anything for The Stormlight Archive? If they're ever going to do something with that?

Brandon Sanderson

I think the thing we are going to do with Stormlight Archive-- We're going to try a chasm assault board game. Where you put together chasms and bridges and things like that. That's what we think would work really well. We have a developer-- well game designer who wants to do one of those so we're going to work with them and try to get it made.

Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
#34 Copy

Questioner

I was in the hospital and someone read White Sand [Volume 1] while I was there, and I didn't know-- Is the comic series going to continue on after the end of the book, that kind of seems like a very unfinished story, or if that's just a story that will probably remain unfinished?

Brandon Sanderson

If people really like the comic we will continue.

Questioner

Oh cool!

Brandon Sanderson

If they don't, I am probably going to do a book in the world eventually. It will be after the last-- like-- a different group of characters, but it will reference what happened, so you can kind of figure it out.

Arched Doorway Interview ()
#35 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The graphic novel we are working on right now is White Sand, which is one of my early unpublished novels. We felt we could adapt that to take the poorly written stuff out and leave the awesome stuff.

Rebecca Lovatt

Do you have any updates for the progress of that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's going really well. We just got a sample of the cover art for the first volume. I think they are collecting 6 chapters in a book, and there will be 18 chapters total. So three volumes, and I think we are almost done with the first six. One of the things that I told them is that I really want to be far along in this project before we release anything. Because The Wheel of Time fans got burned on their comic.

Rebecca Lovatt

I think that there have been enough instances of things like that, so I want to be able to produce something complete and say, "Look, we've got this much of it done and this much more to do. We've at least got the first 6 chapters, a complete book you can read."

Brandon Sanderson

Or it's like, we've got all this and it's only six months to the last one, it's not 2, 3, maybe 4 years.

Oathbringer Newcastle signing ()
#37 Copy

Questioner

I was just wondering, in terms of the White Sand graphic novels, are you gonna keep those as graphic novels throughout? Or are you gonna jump into some more novellas and short stories that coincide with those?

Brandon Sanderson

Right now, we're just trying to finish the... graphic novels. Next one's out in February, I think is the date they finally picked...

...So, right now, I'm gonna finish the graphic novels. I'm not gonna do other graphic novels until that one's done. I have a few cool things that I would like to do with graphic novels. I wanna make sure that we get the one done that we're doing, which will be three parts, White Sand. And then, when that's done, then we'll look at doing other stuff. I don't know, I probably will do some novellas set on Taldain eventually. But for right now, it is just the graphic novel.

But if you want to read the original novel of mine that I'm adapting with Rik Hoskin to become the graphic novel, we send that out to people. We used to just send it when you asked us, but that got to the point that my assistant was getting a hundred emails a day. So now, you just sign up for the mailing list, and it will all get sent to you. And if you don't want to be in the mailing list, you can just unsubscribe then, right? But that way, you can just get the novel. It's okay. If you're curious about early Sanderson, it was book number... eight... But if you want to read early Sanderson, it's good, but it needed editing. It needs to be, like, 50-75,000 words shorter than it is. Which is what we're doing to make it a graphic novel, we're just kind of slimming it down.

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

Chaos2651

One other question, what is the name of the planet that Elantris is on?

Brandon Sanderson

Elantris: Sel

Warbreaker: Nalthis

Mistborn: Scadrial

Way of Kings: Roshar

White Sand: Taldain

Dragonsteel: Yolen

There are others, but I haven't talked much about those yet, so I'll leave them off for now.

Shadows of Self release party ()
#39 Copy

Seonid

Would you tell me the intent of Bavadin's Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm…  Are we ready to release that?

Isaac Stewart

I don't know-- well we haven't-- We haven't written it into the scripts yet, but we've only done so many of the scripts so-- I don't know if that would be better place for us to reveal it or not...

Brandon Sanderson

If you're confident that you like what we're doing with it then we can release it now.

Isaac Stewart

Great. Well we had that big discussion and it sounded like that’s what we wanted to do.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, we're going to have Isaac write it. He's in charge of White Sand now. And you can choose whether to share this with people or not because it's not on the recording.

Seonid

Oh it isn't?

Brandon Sanderson

No, I talked around it on purpose.

Isaac Stewart

*writes* Autonomy.

Firefight San Francisco signing ()
#40 Copy

Questioner

White Sand, I know you're working to convert it into a graphic novel, how close is that graphic novel going to be to your initial--

Brandon Sanderson

Alright, so the question is about a book called White Sand, which is one of my unpublished novels. I wrote thirteen during the days when I was trying to break in. Several of them were good but not great. One of them was great, and that was Elantris, the one I published. There were a lot of practice novels in there and some that, with some revision, could be very good. One of those, the best of them, is called White Sand, and some of the fandom have read that. I mean, if you really want to read it, it's not up to the par of my current books--so read all of those first--but if you've run out of stuff to read you can email me and I email to people, just in my web form. But the book is actually pretty decent, it's got one major flaw, which is that it's really about 100,000 words of story stuffed into about 200,000 words of book, right. I hadn't quite learned how to do pacing quite as well, and the characters aren't quite as complex as the ones that I write now. So we are doing a graphic novel adaptation of that, because I felt that we can trim and add a little depth to characters and it'll be a great book, and it felt like it would be a lot easier for me to do that, working through scripts in a graphic novel format, because you naturally just trim, than it would be to rewrite the entire book. 

So we're doing a graphic novel, I'm doing it with Dynamite, who has put out a lot of really solid adaptations, it's one of the things that they do very well. They've been a blast to work with. Their illustrator is excellent, their schedule, they've been very regular on their schedule. I told them that I really would like to have the entire book done before we release anything, because, I don't know if there's any Wheel of Time fans here, but the Wheel of Time comic book had issues, with release times. So I'm a skeptic, because I know about that whole thing and so we're going to try and get the whole book done. So it's going to be a little while before we actually release it, but theoretically once it's done we should have the whole thing, or at least a sizable chunk of it finished already. So the big difference is going to be trimming that down. We'll also probably do a little bit more stuff with the cosmere than I originally did in it. 

YouTube Livestream 21 ()
#41 Copy

Questioner

Is there an update to the combined volume of White Sand?

Isaac Stewart

This has been a hectic year. We've had a lot of things going on. I've had to prioritize things like the Kickstarter and the manufacturing of all of the goodies for that. In addition, I've had Rhythm of War and all of the art and art direction that comes along with that. It's just been a really big year. As things are tying up (as far as my involvement on the manufacturing side of things, we're getting close to having everything approved and in process there), I will be able to spend more time on the omnibus.

In the background, though, I have kept the letterers working and the artist working as much as I could, and I think all of the minor fixes... a lot of people know, there were electric lamps. And I hired my brother (who is also an artist), and he, in the latter half of those, erased a lot of those. There was a modern IV in one scene that we needed to erase. But I think that changes to the art, small things like that, are pretty much almost done.

There are a few other things that need some attention, and I'll be able to turn my brain to that here soon.

Brandon Sanderson

You're adding some pages and things, right?

Isaac Stewart

Yeah, there will be 38 more pages and a prologue to introduce characters a little bit more. Those are almost completely done. The writing on those is done.

There are some pages that are more world-building that are written by Khriss, and I have to find out where we have room for those so I know how many of those that we have, and then write out some of the worldbuilding. And that's what I'm in the process of doing right now. Getting really close to being done with that.

So that's where we're at on that. And as soon as that's done, we will discuss that with Brandon's agent and with the publisher and figure out where to go from there.

Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
#42 Copy

Questioner

 For the White Sand graphic novel, is it going to be a book for each novel?

Brandon Sanderson

It’s actually three books for the first one.  Because graphic novel--turns out my longwindedness, even trimmed down, takes a lot of pages. So once we finish those three, if people like them, we’ll do the second.

A Memory of Light Raleigh Signing ()
#44 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

I’ve been fortunate enough to read White Sand and Aether of Night and I enjoyed them very much. Will they ever be published? I also managed to read Dragonsteel and I enjoyed that too.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

White Sand will definitely eventually be published. Aether of Night, not so sure on, because Aether is two halves of two books that didn't fit together. The two pieces didn't mesh. White Sand is part of the sequence and will be done. Dragonsteel is part of the sequence and will be done, but it will be very different now that the Shattered Plains have been used in Way of Kings.

Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
#45 Copy

Questioner

I had a question about White Sand, we both read the draft of it, it's going to graphic novel. What's your involvement with that? Are you kind of passing over the draft?

Brandon Sanderson

We passed the book to the writer, the writer is sending us scripts, and we are commenting on them and things like that. There are a few big changes I've made to the story, that it needed, and things like that. But we are letting the script writer write the scripts and then we are reading them over.

Another Long and Rambling Post On Future Books ()
#46 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So, here’s my official future status, as I sometimes post.

BOOKS YOU WILL SEE SOON

  • Towers of Midnight (November 2.)
  • Alcatraz Versus the Shattered Lens (December 2010.)—A note on Alcatraz. This is the fourth and final of the Alcatraz books in my contract. I do plan there to be more in this series, but I don’t have time for them right now. And so, for now, this is going to stand as the ending of the series. I’ll do Alcatraz Five eventually, I promise.
  • Scribbler (Early 2012)—A note on Scribbler. This is a shorter steampunk book I wrote in 2007, just before I got the call about The Wheel of Time. It’s quite good, and Tor has decided to purchase it. It involves chalk-based magic and a boy who is the son of the cleaning lady at a school for people who learn the chalk magic. I haven’t had time to give it a revision, but will likely use some of the time in my free months between now and January to do a draft of it. If I turn it in January or February, you won’t see it until a year after that, due to scheduling.

BOOKS YOU WILL SEE SOMEWHAT SOON

  • A Memory of Light (March 2012.)
  • Stormlight Archive Book Two (Late 2012 or early 2013.)
  • Stormlight Archive Book Three (One year after Book Two.)

ANTICIPATED SEQUELS

  • Alcatraz Five (Indefinite hiatus.)
  • Elantris Two (Planned to be written after Stormlight Three.)
  • Second Mistborn trilogy (It’s coming someday, I promise.)
  • Nightblood: Book two of Warbreaker (Coming someday.)—Some notes here. Elantris has three books in the series, but they are loose sequels of each other. This means that side characters in one become main characters in the next. So while you’ll see Raoden and Sarene in the second book, they won’t be main characters. (Kiin’s children will be.) Warbreaker is two books. Mistborn is a trilogy of trilogies, with the second trilogy in an urban (20th-century-level technology) setting. For Stormlight, I’m planning a pattern of two every three years, with a different epic—a standalone, or one of the sequels mentioned above—in between. Thus the Elantris sequel is next in line after Stormlight Three, which would be followed by Stormlight Four and Five.

MAYBE COMING SOMEDAY BUT ONLY PARTIALLY WRITTEN

  • Dark One (YA dark fantasy.)
  • Steelheart (Superhero apocalypse.)
  • The King’s Necromancer
  • The Silence Divine (Shardworld novel, standalone.)
  • White Sand (Shardworld trilogy.)
  • The Liar of Partinel (Shardworld novel, one of two.)
  • Dragonsteel (Major Shardworld epic. Won’t be written until Stormlight is done.)

POSSIBLE PROJECTS FOR MY TIME OFF

  • Mistborn short story (Looking likely.)
  • Unnamed urban fantasy (This is what I’m working on right now. Watch Twitter/Facebook for updates on this story. It involves a necromancer pizza deliveryman as a protagonist.)
  • Scribbler revisions (Will almost certainly be done.)
  • Finishing one of the unfinished novels mentioned above (Not likely, but you never know.)

Who knows when/if anything written during my side-project time will get published. Sometimes, these stories are too unformed (as I like to be very free and loose when I write them) to make it. On other occasions, there isn’t time to do revisions on them. (I write initial books very quickly, but spend many months in revision.) For instance, Alcatraz books were my deviations for 2005 and 2006, and the first of those came out very quickly. Scribbler was the one for 2007, and it won’t be published for a year or so yet. I didn’t have time for much in the way of deviations in 2008 or 2009, just the unfinished projects I mentioned above.

We shall see. As always, thank you for reading and supporting me in this compulsive writing addiction of mine.

General Reddit 2018 ()
#47 Copy

Jamester86

So something I've noticed in the fantasy genre that I love is that my 2 favorite authors (Sanderson and Rothfuss) don't use the traditional fantasy medieval setting (that I love) of castles, knights, feudalism etc. Now there are plenty of great authors that do (GRRMartin comes to mind as one that does it right), BUT the truth is, a good story eclipses all minor details like setting. An example I always give is that Patrick Rothfuss could write about brushing your teeth and it would make a fascinating read, and Sanderson would make an intriguing plot with amazing characterization throughout the dental hygiene experience. But I digress.

My question (If Brandon would be so kind as to show up, and if not, if anyone has any insight) is why; why doesn't the cosmere have any traditional medieval fantasy settings? Mistborn has keeps, but the society is not the traditional technology and setting of the medieval time period, nor do any of the other worlds given us.

Brandon Sanderson

There are both in-world reasons and writing reasons.

The writing reasons are obvious. I grew up on a steady diet of fantasy in a faux-medieval setting. I felt that some of these stories were really good, and enjoyed them--but at the same time, I felt the genre had been there and done that. In some ways, GRRM doing fantasy with the eye of a true medievalist provided a capstone to this era of fantasy.

When I sat down to write, didn't want to write what I was tired of reading. Dragonsteel (which never got published) was bronze age, White Sand was industrial, and Elantris was (kind of) Renaissance. (As you noticed, Mistborn is somewhere around 1820's. I modeled a lot of the society around the fascinating culture/industry of canals as shipping lanes that happened in England right before railroads took over.)

The other big reason, writing wise, is that I feel some of the magics that I enjoy dealing with in my settings need a certain near-industrial mindset to be interesting. The stories I want to tell are about people applying scientific principles to magic--and about the commodification and the economics of magic. Those are early-modern era stories.

The in-world reasoning I have is that on some of these planets, those eras existed--but the books are taking place when the stories of the worlds start smashing into one another. In addition, however, the Shards have an influence on this, because of things they saw happen on their own home planet.

White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
#48 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I'll be very interested to see what people think of the adaptation.

Questioner

What do you think of the adaptation?

Brandon Sanderson

I like it, it's so-- The big change of making Ais a women is great. That's the big change we made. It trims out a bunch of the fat. What we lose is some of the world building and behind the scenes mechanics of how the magic works, that trade off it's like-- It's faster paced and some of the characterization is much better. Worldbuilding and magic mechanics, we lose a bunch of because that's something you do in prose. There's pros and cons, but i think it looks great and I'm very pleased with it.

Questioner

Is it something that you'd consider doing with any other of your work?

Brandon Sanderson

See, here's the thing, I've never wanted to do it for a published novel because I figure people have already read that. I want to be giving them at least something new.

Legion Release Party ()
#49 Copy

Questioner

So the difference between the White Sand novel and the White Sand graphic novels, what was the thought behind changing Ais's gender?

Brandon Sanderson

There were a couple thoughts. The main one was, I just thought the character was more interesting. A lot of my early books, you'll notice I did a thing where I'm like "I want to make sure that I'm doing the female character really well." And you can see the problem in that sentence, and that is really how I approached it, I'd say "Well I want to make sure I do the female character really well." And I think I did do the female character pretty well in some of those early books. But you'll see a consistency to them, and this is just coming aware of your biases.

Now, there is nothing wrong with writing a book intentionally and saying, "You know what? Because of the way I want to write this book in this world, I'm going to make the cast almost all one gender or the other. It's when you're doing it consistently on accident, that there's a problem. And I had to kind of sit down and say, "Did I do this because I thought it was best for the character, or did I do this because I love Inspector Javert and I just wanna have to have Inspector Javert in my book?" And that's where the character came from, quite obviously.

And I sat down and said, "If I were going to build this character from the ground up to be my own character and I were trying to throw away all biases, what would be the best for the character?" And Ais being female was not a "I need more women in the book," it was more of, "If I'm throwing away these biases and building the characters, what works the best?" and I just really liked how that character came out when I was rebuilding. Yeah, anyway, we'll go with that.

Skyward Houston signing ()
#50 Copy

Questioner

You said thirteen failures, right, with The Way of Kings being the thirteenth?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. My thirteenth.

Questioner

Are there any other [unpublished books] that you had-- that turned into published books?

Brandon Sanderson

Any others that ended up being published? Yes. White Sand, which was my first book, I rewrote as book number seven or eight and I eventually  turned it into a graphic novel. Big chunks of book nine turned into Warbreaker, and books eleven and twelve - one was called The Final Empire and one was called Mistborn. Remember how I told you about two ideas mashing together and what made the story finally work? The best parts of those books turned into a new book, the magic system of one merging with the lore of the other is how it worked out. So, um, I did not publish any of those books as they were written except for Elantris. The Way of Kings I started from scratch when I rewrote it, and Mistborn I started from scratch when I rewrote it. But certainly ideas that were part of that ended up in those books.