Oathbringer release party

Event details
Name
Name Oathbringer release party
Date
Date Nov. 13, 2017
Location
Location Provo, UT
Tour
Tour Oathbringer
Bookstore
Bookstore BYU Bookstore
Entries
Entries 235
Upload sources
#1 Copy

Questioner

Which is your favorite of the Ten Fools, and why?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh-- I don't know. I honestly don't know.

Questioner

Can you give me a name of one of them, then?

Brandon Sanderson

That I haven't named yet? Those are in the notes, I have to look those things up. I don't know. We're gonna do a Ten Fools painting for the next one, maybe. We were gonna do it for this one. I'm not sure who my favorite is. I'd have to sit and think about it, perhaps more time than we have right now. It's going to depend on Isaac's sketches of them and things like that. Maybe, uh, Jezrien's fool. Probably Jezrien's fool.

Questioner

What's the name of that one?

Brandon Sanderson

I can't remember. Like I said, I have 'em in a list. I have to go look at the notes and look them up every time. I don't use them, like, I just write--

Questioner

Not like the Heralds, that you're using all the time. They're just the Ten Fools.

Brandon Sanderson

Right, I just use, even when I'm writing, I'm like "Jezrien's Fool," and then I go look up the name of it.

#5 Copy

Questioner

Does anybody every ask you to, like, write them? Like, people ask someone to draw them, but does anybody ask you to write them?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, an artist asked me to write something for them. Yeah, I've actually had some artists say, "What if I painted a picture, and then you wrote a story for it." Which I think would be a really cool idea, we just have to wait for the right time to do that.

#6 Copy

Questioner

So, how much time-- personal reading time to do you spend on different types of things: research versus classic versus other fantasy type--

Brandon Sanderson

I would say, boy-- most of my reading is fantasy. My reading for other things is eclectic; it's like, when I find something I'm interested in. I would say, of that, it's like, half just reading whatever I feel like reading and then taking notes, and half reading for research. But, I do a lot of audio books, and I do a lot of podcasts, I can do them while I'm signing books, and things. So, some of my reading recently has been like, Hardcore History, which is a podcast. Stuff like that.

Questioner

So, how many hours do you actually spend. Obviously, when you write, and you're signing, I understand that.

Brandon Sanderson

Always, when I'm signing, I try to listen to, like, a book, or something like that. And then, I try to get in, like, an hour every night. I don't always get it, but that's what I try to do.

#7 Copy

Questioner

How do you come up with names that sound awesome?

Brandon Sanderson

It's harder than it sounds, no pun intended... If you wanna know how to name things, find the podcast where we answer that on Writing Excuses, we go into in depth, that'll help you out. But basically I'm looking for, like, lists of baby names from languages that I don't speak, and trying to play with those names until I find something that sounds good.

#8 Copy

Questioner

Is there a limit to what the spren can become, like we've seen them become a blade or a spear or a shield, can they become, like-- I've heard hints of a bow and arrow. Can they become a sword and a shield or just one main thing?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, it is more expansive than people guess it is, but it is limited.

#9 Copy

Questioner

How much do you plot books? How much do you plan out what happens before you start writing?

Brandon Sanderson

I am a plotter. I am very naturally-- I do a lot of extensive plotting. So, I would say I have, like, 90% of it before I start most books, thought I knock out like, 10% or 20% while I'm writing and change it if something better comes along. 

Questioner

Do you go chapter by chapter, or do you kinda just--

Brandon Sanderson

It's more like an outline of, like, "Here's my goal. And here are ways to achieve it." I do a whole lecture on it in the BYU lectures, if you're interested,  that are on YouTube.

#11 Copy

Questioner

So, a Radiant's blade. When it takes other forms, does it take on any different properties? So, like, if Kaladin beat someone with the butt of his Sylspear, would it still do something in regards to the soul?

Brandon Sanderson

Would he still hit the soul? That is theoretically possible to make happen. It requires a lot of work. That is theoretically possible.

#14 Copy

Questioner

Would you be able to write the... Second Ideal of the Truthwatchers?

Brandon Sanderson

...It's a RAFO. There's a lot of stuff about the Truthwatchers in [Oathbringer], that's gonna make it complicated to do that, okay? ...Yeah, it's really complicated, and those are things I'm not gonna probably canonize for another couple of books, for reasons that will be very clear by the end of this book.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Where did you get the idea for the gemhearts.

Brandon Sanderson

So, I wanted-- in the books, I wanted there to be an economic component to the magic, like, something that was based on the money in the world. And I knew I wanted to use the gemstones, but I also knew they would be used up really quickly by the magic, with Soulcasting. So, I built something into the creatures of the world, so that we could renew the gemstones, so they wouldn't all just be gone after a few hundred years.

#24 Copy

TheFulgid

Could you Invest... Could you use a nicrosil metalmind to Invest the sort of Investiture enough that you could open a Perpendicularity up to the Cognitive Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I'll just say it this way. Enough concentrated Investiture in one point is going to pierce the Realms, no matter what form it takes. 

TheFulgid

...So, it doesn't have to be a nicrosil metalmind.

Brandon Sanderson

No. 

TheFulgid

Okay... But it could be?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. That is theoretically possible. 

#27 Copy

TheFulgid

...I know that a lot of [Dragonsteel] is not canon anymore? How much of it, like, percentage-wise, I don't need specifics. 

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that all... I consider almost all the worldbuilding to be canon, but the characters to not be.

TheFulgid

So, anything about Topaz, does that not stand?

Brandon Sanderson

Doesn't really stand. The whole thing with the gods, and stuff like that, is really in flux.

#30 Copy

Questioner

So, in Edgedancer, there's a spot where they're going through all the weird things going on in the city, and they're talking about some spren that only shows up if she dumps water out. Is that significant, or is that a crazy person? ...The spren that shows up every morning if she leaves water out?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is true.

Questioner

Okay, she's is not crazy?

Brandon Sanderson

She's not-- Okay.

Questioner

Are the spren intelligent?

Brandon Sanderson

Sapient spren, no. But she may have the cause and effect mixed up. She may not have the cause and effect correct. She might have correlation and causation mixed up.

#31 Copy

Questioner

So, the Shardfork. A very versatile, Shard-whatever. Would it be possible to do, like, a Shardrock, or something, that would go in a catapult?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it has more variety than people would think, but it isn't limitless, what they can become. But that would totally be possible.

Questioner

And what would a Shardrock do if it hits you?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, bean them on the head and be really strong. If you can get into the spirit, if you can start getting past the skin and stuff, you can do some serious damage.

#34 Copy

Questioner

Can a kandra have a human kid, if they're in a--

Brandon Sanderson

...So, their DNA would-- I've answered this both ways, I think, on the internet, as I go back on forth on whether I want DNA testing to be able to catch a kandra or not. I've erred on the side of, their DNA isn't human, and so they would not be compatible, but I've gone the other direction some of the time when people have asked this question. So, I guess the answer is, I have not fully decided for myself yet.

#36 Copy

Questioner

So, I was curious if the Alethi were always-- like, if there was a time where there wasn't a segregation between lighteyes and darkeyes.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that did exist.

Questioner

...How did the separation occur?

Brandon Sanderson

There are some clues in [Oathbringer] and in the last book. It has to do with Knights Radiant and Surgebinding and things like that. It's a part RAFO. It's pretty guessable. There's nothing--

#38 Copy

Questioner

So, if a Type 4 BioChromatic entity like Nightblood was created with a different Command, would it still draw in or feed off of somebody's Breath when they drew it?

Brandon Sanderson

It is possible to create one that wouldn't. But it is a dangerous thing to do.

#44 Copy

Questioner

With your awesome art people, have you thought about doing kids' books, like 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade level?

Brandon Sanderson

I've considered it, but I haven't practiced that very much, and it is a different skill. I'm not confident in being able to do that myself. But it's on my radar, since I have kids that age.

#46 Copy

CaptainRyan

*written* Could a Shard refuse to "fuel" a magic user? E.g. Could Preservation have refused to "fuel" Ham's pewter? (Please, for the question, assume Preservation is whole and undamaged.)

Brandon Sanderson

*written* No, but he could have interfered.

*spoken* So, the answer is "no, he couldn't." Like, if you just had the Allomancy going, like--

CaptainRyan

They can't shut you off?

Brandon Sanderson

They can't shut you off, but they can interfere with you using it. They could do other things. But, like, the magic, it would be like saying, "I refuse to let gravity work on this person."

CaptainRyan

But couldn't a Shard-- Technically, they can control forces--

Brandon Sanderson

No, they can't, but they can interfere with it, does that make sense? ...Gravity is not gone, but this person is being interfered with and their relationship to these sorts of things.

CaptainRyan

Kind of like if I throw your pen in the air, gravity's not gone, but I've interfered with something.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, exactly. And you can, like, twist the gravity, so it's pointing... But the laws of natures, burning is, like, a law of nature, and things like that. And they can circumvent, and they can twist, and they can bend, but the laws of nature are still the laws of nature.

CaptainRyan

They can't just cut it off?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

#47 Copy

Questioner

If Soulcast blood is human blood, does that mean Soulcast meat is people meat?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

But that doesn't necessarily mean that, like-- when it has a blood type, and things like that-- I don't know enough about blood. I didn't mean to imply it's human blood. I'm just saying, it has all the attributes of blood, and it could be ascribed to something specific. That's where my mind was going. If they were asking, "Is this human blood?" No, that's not necessarily-- some of it is. Soulcast meat is definitely not. Soulcast blood, probably is most of the time. But it is-- there are, like, certain derivations of it that happen. It's more complicated, in other words, than what I-- than a simple answer can give. So, is Soulcast blood human blood? You could use it for blood transfusions, most if it, unless, in certain instances, you couldn't. Like, it's more-- Those sorts of questions, I have to circumlocute them so much.

Let's just put it this way. You can eat-- The meat is not human meat, but the blood can be used for blood transfusions. Is that enough? Yeah, we'll go with that.

#50 Copy

Questioner

What's the deal with Hoid and instant noodles?

Brandon Sanderson

...He likes his ramen, right? Like any sane person, he likes his instant noodles. Nothing more than that.

Questioner

...Has he ever had instant noodles?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, he's had instant noodles before. They have them on Taldain, yeah.

#52 Copy

Questioner

Where is the status, or will it ever happen on the pizza necromancer book?

Brandon Sanderson

...Death by Pizza's floating. Really I can only start new things if it's directly for my contract for Tor or for my contract [with Random House] until I clear off a few things, so I'm not letting myself do that one. I considered slotting it in when I did Skyward, but Skyward was the one I ended up doing. So, that one's, basically-- I'm not gonna do it until at least I get Rithmatist and Alcatraz done.

Questioner

Well, I'm excited. It sounds fun.

Brandon Sanderson

It is a load of fun.

#53 Copy

Questioner

So, I'm about to read the last four books of Wheel of Time, and I know in your interview with Deseret News is that no one has asked you about something big, world-shattering. What should I be thinking of while I read these books?

Brandon Sanderson

I can't give you even a clue, because I've been sworn to secrecy by team Jordan. I made it up, but they said "We can't tell people this." So, this is something I added to the books, it's not something that was in the notes. So there, you learned something about it.

#58 Copy

Ethour

Would a Shardfork be effective in combat?

Brandon Sanderson

...Depends on who has it. I think-- There were war tridents that were used, historically, but I'm gonna say that, on average, a sword's a better choice. But, I mean-- Lift isn't hot on hurting people, even when she's fighting them, so it's kind of a weird thing.

#64 Copy

JoyBlue

*written* What color eyes do Siri and Vivenna have?

Brandon Sanderson

*written* It can vary

*spoken* So this, I'd have to go look in my notes, but it can vary...

JoyBlue

In the book, there's the one time they talk about it being darkeyes, but I wasn't sure if it was makeup because it was right after the fight with *inaudible* or if it was makeup eyes.

Brandon Sanderson

I'll have to look in my notes. But it can vary.

#65 Copy

Joyblu

So, I just had a question about the name Hoid. I've gone through all these [Aons], with the "OID," I know he really cares about how it's spelled. Is there anything you can give me the "O" and the "I" and the "D"? The only ones that have the "O" and the "I" are these two right here. Am I onto anything here, or is that just a coincidence?

Brandon Sanderson

No, those are just a coincidence.

#66 Copy

Questioner

Who do you think would win, an atium misting, or Kaladin with Syl?

Brandon Sanderson

The atium misting, as long as they have enough atium, is probably got an advantage, but Kaladin can fly. So, I would bet on Kaladin, meaning he flies up high, waits 'til they run out of atium, then gets them.

#68 Copy

Mason Wheeler

So, because the world is flat in Shadesmar, if there's a place where you can't cross, so if a Radiant was on a ship, they'd have trouble getting across, because their spren would be stuck behind that line of discontinuity. Is the Origin of Storms located on that line?

Brandon Sanderson

No, good question.

#69 Copy

Mason Wheeler

Harmonium is ettmetal... Its chemicals properties are sort of analogous to cesium. It explodes in contact with water. People are made out of water. You try to spike someone, you try to swallow it, you try to wear it as jewelry, it will not end well. Why in the world would he pick something so inharmonious?

Brandon Sanderson

He didn't pick it. It's unstable because of the two halves of him not meshing well.

#71 Copy

Questioner

So, I'm intrigued by aluminum, especially the fact that it can only be found by Soulcasting on Roshar. So, how was it discovered in the first place?

Brandon Sanderson

...Did I say you can only get it through Soulcasting?

Questioner

In the Shallan flashbacks, she has the pendant.

Brandon Sanderson

Don't take what she says at 100% truth.

#72 Copy

Questioner

So, I had a question about the 16 in Mistborn versus 10 [in Stormlight], there's a big discussion on the 17th Shard about it...

Brandon Sanderson

It's more-- It's not random. 

Questioner

... So is there a method to the madness?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a method to the madness, but it may not be as important as some people think it is.

#73 Copy

Questioner

I'm wondering how worldhoppers are able to understand languages on different worlds.

Brandon Sanderson

So, because I knew I was doing this whole thing, I made it fairly easy to use Connection to start speaking other languages, like you see in the Mistborn books happening. That's a pretty common thing with the various magic systems, one of the easiest things to get going. Some just learn the language. It does happen. But, for instance, Hoid isn't learning the language, which is why you see him making goofs, like when he says "coin" instead of "sphere." Because, like, that doesn't happen really, if you learn the other language. There's not really the word for coin. But the magic is trying to interpret the thing that he says, and it just comes out as a word that's not in their language, really. And you'll see worldhoppers making that mistake. You'll see them using words like "dirt" and stuff like that, and that's just a clue they're using magical means.

#74 Copy

Questioner

Does the Almighty and the Heralds have anything to do with the bigger cosmere gods and deities?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

The Heralds, as well?

Brandon Sanderson

...Not as much, but a little bit. They do. 

Questioner

Does that mean that the Almighty is able to worldhop as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, the Almighty is Honor, and he is one of the Shards of Adonalsium, so he didn't originate on Roshar.

#78 Copy

Questioner 1

Where can I find the rules to the game of Michim?

Brandon Sanderson

So, probably nowhere. I would have to do some more work.

Questioner 1

...I tried really hard to extrapolate the rules.

Brandon Sanderson

I know, that's what I'm saying. Probably nowhere, because-- the rules-- we'd have to look in my notes, to see if I even have them in there.

Questioner 2

Did you actually invent a game, just to put it in?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, enough rules-- I don't know if it would pass playing-rigor.

Questioner 1

How can you guess the ones your opponent has hidden if it's a game of skill, not chance? I can't understand!

Brandon Sanderson

So, I have to fudge these things, just in case it doesn't actually play, I don't have time to, like, playtest for a year. But we can work on it and see if me can make it work. If you beg at me with an email, we can try that.

#79 Copy

Questioner

Someone on the forum I'm on wanted me to ask you about citrus fruits during Vin's time.

Brandon Sanderson

Citrus fruits during Vin's time because of the lack of flowers, and things like that? Their fruits were not our fruits. Let's say that.

Questioner

Were they close to, like, Rosharan, like bulb fruit?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, there were definitely some bulb fruits. But any actual citruses, I don't think that there were.

#80 Copy

Questioner

Is Re-Shephir related at all to the Midnight Essence in Aether of Night?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. It's me, like-- Related in that Aether of Night isn't canon, and I really liked how that worked in the cosmere, and I ported it to this instead. So that's like--

Questioner

So you're not gonna write Aether of Night?

Brandon Sanderson

Aether of Night, I might eventually write, but the Mid--

Questioner

It may be different?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

#87 Copy

Questioner

Could a Windrunner in Shardplate travel to other planets?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, theoretically possible. Take a long time.

Questioner

Yes, it would. 'Cause he wouldn't need to breathe, if he's got enough Stormlight.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, well, I mean, they can control pressure, so. You'd need oxygen scrubbers, but they can also, so... you can create a ball of air around yourself with their power anyway, so--

#88 Copy

Questioner

Signed cover art? Print of the cover art?

Brandon Sanderson

...Yes, we should be doing that. That's more a Michael [Whelan] question, for the cover art, and a question for the various artists. But for, what we really want to do with the endpages is do, like, a calendar, that's like a Rosharan/18-month-Earth/10-month-Rosharan calendar. We're gonna try that. But they have prints and things, and signed prints, and stuff like that.

#89 Copy

Questioner

Any plans for a Mistborn, or just Cosmere, collectible card game?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, yes. Asterisk. It's a hard thing to get going. It would probably be more like a deck building game than a CCG, just 'cause we would sell a box set of something you could draft or something like that, rather than trying to go the whole CCG route.

#90 Copy

Questioner

Are you planning on doing more graphic novels, outside of the White Sand series?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, there's a couple of things here. Like, we don't want to do another one 'til White Sand is done. They come to us and said, "We wanna do more!" because White Sand sold so well. We're like "No, you finish what you have, then we'll look at doing it." So, we're exploring other options, but we won't start any until what we've started is finished. I really wanna do the story I had for Mistborn, the video game, as a graphic novel with Ben McSweeney.

#93 Copy

Questioner 1

So, spren can just manifest themselves to different people. Can they choose whether or not to manifest themselves to other spren? Does it depend on the kind of spren?

Brandon Sanderson

So, depends on the kind of spren. You'll get some hints of that in the third book. Or you probably have already, if you read the preview chapters.

Questioner 2

I read the preview chapters, but, like, the way Syl acted, is that, like, something that she's able to hide from them?

Brandon Sanderson

She was not able to hide from that spren.

#94 Copy

Questioner

As far as the Oaths go, for Orders of the Knights Radiant that have Oaths that are, like, set, like Windrunners and Bondsmiths, do they have to be spoken in a specific order, or is it just as the--

Brandon Sanderson

They have to be spoken in a specific order. But the Oath can vary depending on the individual's own interpretation and feeling about it.

#95 Copy

Questioner

What's with Kaladin being special with his oaths that he explodes with power every time he says it?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a function of Windrunners being very close to Bondsmiths, which has certain effects.

Questioner

Would other Windrunners also do that, as well?

Brandon Sanderson

Yep.

#97 Copy

Questioner

So, I noticed in the books that they like to paint their Shardplate, most of them do, with one notable exception. The Shardplate isn't dismissed, so I imagine, when it's broken, they have to repaint it after they've regrown it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

So, if I painted a Shardblade and then dismissed it, would I have used paint in the shape of a Shard to sell?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh-- it would come back without the paint.

Questioner

So, the paint would go away with it, but not come back?

Brandon Sanderson

I've never been asked this before, let me think about it. I think the paint would get left behind.

Questioner

So I would have used paint in the shape of a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you would, yeah.

Questioner

So, you could mold a Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

You could mold a Shard, yeah, you could totally do that. Yeah... I haven't been asked that before but that's my answer right now, because-- yeah.

Questioner

If the books contradict then the books contradict.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah but I don't think they will. So yeah, you can-- I mean, it could come up.

#98 Copy

Questioner

So, if we switch to Scadrial, and I had lined the inside of my hat with aluminum, I'm protecting myself from emotional Allomancy. What if I was able to use emotional Allomancy? Would that block me?

Brandon Sanderson

So, it's going to interfere a little bit. But the issue with that is, a lot of Allomancy is coming from center and going to head. So, you're probably still gonna be okay with the helmet... So, I'm gonna say, you don't want a lot of aluminum around you, but you could probably still make it work.

#101 Copy

Questioner

I know Dragonsteel is going to have, like, [Hoid] as a main character in the series, or at least a more prominent character. Is there any other book series that are planned that are gonna have him as a more prominent figure?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

And are those gonna come before or after?

Brandon Sanderson

After.

#106 Copy

Questioner

From a writer's perspective, in Words of Radiance: explosive things, lots of things happening at the end of that book. As a writer when you're writing that, which of those did you think would hit a fan the hardest? Like, biggest gut punch, or like, shocking moment.

Brandon Sanderson

I dunno... Probably when Kaladin finally says the Ideal.

Questioner

Me and my wife reading it, it was-- Adolin just shocked my wife.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, yeah, that's the one. Yeah, you're right. That's the most shocking one...

#107 Copy

Questioner

So, you know, on Scadrial, once metal is burned, it returns to the ecosystem, because matter is not created or destroyed. Does color do the same thing on Nalthis? 

Brandon Sanderson

You're gonna make me try to decide-- does color have, um-- I'll have to think about it...

#112 Copy

AllomancerSam

You actually mentioned at a signing I went to last year that the Rithmatist magic was going to be, like a cosmere thing, but you pulled it out. What about it wasn't working?

Brandon Sanderson

It wasn't the magic, it was the setting. I decided I didn't want Earth in the cosmere, even a alternate version of it. The magic still kind of works very cosmere-y.

#114 Copy

Questioner

So, you post enough on Reddit. But you get by with not always getting noticed, and you can actually post stuff kind of like normally, like a person. How long do you think that will last until, you like-- like, if you get a movie or a TV deal...

Brandon Sanderson

People miss when Arnold [Schwarzenegger] posts on Reddit. People just aren't used to reading usernames. And I know, if they're miss Arnold, they're always gonna miss me.

#115 Copy

Questioner

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Brandon Sanderson

I did. I considered-- When I started, I'm like, "Brandon Sanderson's a boring name, I should do a cooler name." And my editor and my agent prevailed upon me that, no, it was not a boring name, it was just fine. That was the big decision point.

#118 Copy

Questioner

What did Lopen do to get on a bridge crew?

Brandon Sanderson

Lopen? Someone just thought he was annoying. Lopen, he's like the only person in Bridge Four who's, like, not a criminal. It's just like, "Oh, that stupid Herdazian, send him to a bridge crew, get him away." He's legitimately, like-- all of them have deep, dark, tragic pasts, but not The Lopen.

Questioner

Is he one of your friends?

Brandon Sanderson

No...

#119 Copy

Questioner

The Lopen's cousins? Is there any significance to them, or are they just--

Brandon Sanderson

No, they're just, like, his cousins and his distant cousins. He just is somebody who knows everyone and is related to half the Herdazians around. There's no secret, they just really are.

Questioner

When they show up, ever time, I'm like, there's gotta be something with these guys.

Brandon Sanderson

They're a tight-knit group, those Herdazians.

#120 Copy

Questioner

I read the earlier version of The Way of Kings. When did Kaladin get depressed?

Brandon Sanderson

That was when I realized he was the main character and the least-- the least a character, right? And so, it was when I sat down and asked myself, what went wrong with it? And the main thing of the things I came up was that Kaladin wasn't real. And so I started looking at what would make him real. And depression doesn't make more real, but it's an outgrowth of him making the other decision, what happened with his brother, he had PTSD, and all of this stuff. It grew out of that.

#121 Copy

Questioner

How do you write a good follower? Like, you have a lot of good leaders. But what are some good attributes of followers?

Brandon Sanderson

I think that a good follower is willing to-- perform... Knowing that we all wear different hats, and not everyone can call the shots every time, and being willing to be the person that trusts someone else to call the shots.

#123 Copy

Questioner

What was your opinion of the Blackthorn?

Brandon Sanderson

What about it? What do you mean?

Questioner

Like, in general, people call him a monster, when I ask, ask around. I think he's a badass.

Brandon Sanderson

He totally was a badass. He was also not morally centered.

#127 Copy

Questioner

What is the most fully-developed you've made any of the languages in the books? Or do you just come up with the sounds and just sort of stop?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on which ones. Like, the further we go in the books, the more developed they become. Peter is a linguist, was a linguistics major, so I lean on him heavily for some of these things. Korean gets used all the time. Because I speak Korean and did my mission in Korea...

#128 Copy

Questioner

Would you care if I took what we have on, like, Aonic, and sort of rolled it into a conlang?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that'd be fine. Aonic is the one that, like, in some ways the least useful.

Questioner

It has the most words that I've found for it.

Brandon Sanderson

If you're interested in conlangs, go talk to Peter, and maybe we'll sic you on something. Maybe we can get you working on something officially. I've tried to get Peter to do something... Go talk to him. Talk nerd stuff with him.

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Questioner

How does rewriting the Spiritual aspect work?

Brandon Sanderson

...So, it has ramifications through the other two Realms. It can happen. You've seen it happen.

Questioner

That's what happens with kandra, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, to an extent, yes.

Questioner

With the koloss?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, both of them. Hemalurgy is, like, sticking a piece of someone's spirit to another person's spirit and creating a Frankenstein's monster of spirits.

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Questioner

Do koloss have hair?

Brandon Sanderson

...It depends on the form. Some do, some don't. But, in general, they do. But it's not-- Here's the thing, it's not quite hair. They're not mammalian.

Questioner

What are they if they're not mammalian?

Brandon Sanderson

They are their own-- uh, yeah.

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Questioner

If you were gonna pick a thing to be, like, an Edgedancer, or a Windrunner, what would you be?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably a Bondsmith is what's natural to me. If I could pick any, I'd probably be Windrunner, but I don't think I'd fit Windrunner.

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Questioner

In Way of Kings, the Death Rattles, it say that the person who said it reported seeing strange dreams during the highstorms for the past two years. What do you have to say about that, I guess?

Brandon Sanderson

Highstorms. You often see strange things during the highstorms.

Bystander

That's not a real answer.

Brandon Sanderson

It totally is a real answer! That person saw some weird stuff. Weird stuff happens. Dalinar sees weird things walking along throwing rocks at people, so. Who knows.

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Questioner

When people ask you who your favorite character is, you say they're all your children. And I always have the same thought: even Amaram?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, let's say, my favorites are all of the viewpoint characters who are not slimeballs... Yeah, he's definitely one of the exceptions to that.

Questioner

What other exceptions?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, I don't know. I'd have to think about it.

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Questioner

So, November is the National Writer's month. Have you ever participated in the NaNoWriMo challenge?

Brandon Sanderson

I have!

Questioner

Awesome! How did that go?

Brandon Sanderson

It went pretty well. I'm a pretty compulsive writer, so-- I don't do it as much anymore, 'cause I'm almost always on tour during it or something. But during the early days when I was trying to break in, I did it all the time. I actually wrote a big chunk of the first draft of Way of Kings in 2002, in NaNoWriMo.

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Questioner

The respect for lighteyes seems to come from Radiants and their-- Is there a reason that the Makabaki and Iriali don't seem to care as much.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. That will become a little more evident as the books progress.

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Questioner

If people from Scadrial were to colonize, like, Nalthis, and not intermarry with the people there, would their children continue to have the Scadrial Investiture, or would they have the Nalthis Investiture? In the sense that, is it genetic, or is it planetary?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial is more genetic.

Questioner

Than Nalthis, where they have the Breaths?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So, would their children continue to--

Brandon Sanderson

Their children would continue, for a while, to have Scadrian Investiture.

Questioner

For a while. Could you say, like, how many generations?

Brandon Sanderson

I cannot.

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Questioner

[Question written down, unknown]

Brandon Sanderson

They can communicate with each other. So, there's at least one answer-- with the spren-- Yeah, but it's not-- you don't really communicate with spren in the same way.

Questioner

Can they get, like, Odium- or Cultivation- or Honor-oriented spren to kinda animate them?

Brandon Sanderson

No, that's not quite how it works.

Questioner

The intelligence in the eye of the chasmfiend, I was wondering. Or on the santhid rescuing her.

Brandon Sanderson

It's more, like, does a flower communicate with a bee. That's a similar sort of thing we're looking at here.

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Questioner

Could you build Aons or something similar to Aons off of the natural landforms on Roshar, like the Dawncities and the other cities that are sort of symmetrical?

Brandon Sanderson

The Elantrian magic system, the Selish magic systems, are the ones that don't work very well-- don't interact very well with other worlds... Other ones are a lot more easy to interact between worlds.

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Questioner

Is Hoid somebody I should be rooting for?

Brandon Sanderson

Depends on-- Depends... There's a big, uh, "depends" attached to that.

Questioner

Is that something we're gonna see in Stormlight Archive?

Brandon Sanderson

You will see some of it in Stormlight. It's not the main place you're gonna see it.

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Questioner

We see, in Secret History, all the people going Beyond after they die. Do all the victims go there? Or just people? Just sentients? Would a Ryshadium go the Beyond, if it died.

Brandon Sanderson

Um-- Yes.

Questioner

What about, like, a rockbud, or a chasmfiend?

Brandon Sanderson

Um, that, you're gonna have to ask the philosophers about. Because, if it happens, it happens really fast, so they have trouble spotting it.

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Questioner

The amount of Heralds that we have seen so far. Two? I had thought Wit was one.

Brandon Sanderson

Wit is not one, but you've seen Ash, you've seen Taln, you've seen Jezrien and Kalak in the prelude, you've seen Nale. Yeah, he was chasing Lift, among other things. You've heard of several others, but the others are going to start getting more and more obscure from there. I don't think there's any others.

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Questioner

Does [the Ishikk interlude in Way of Kings] indicate that White Sand, Mistborn Era 1, and Elantris all take place in about the same period of time? Or are worldhoppers also timehoppers?

Brandon Sanderson

Some of them are also timehoppers. They're not as close as you would think.

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Brightlord Maelstrom

Quesion about Selish magic systems. So, you've described, in the past, the Dor in the Cognitive Realm as being almost like magma. Is that just in consistency, or also does that also include in its temperature?

Brandon Sanderson

No, it's more temperature than consistency. Plasma-ish is maybe even a better way of putting it.

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Brightlord Maelstrom

If you were to somehow use a receptacle to gather some part of the Dor, say there was a way of doing that. And you were to do one on both extremes of the planet. Would it be the same thing?

...Say, you have a container than can contain part of this plasma? ...Theoretically? You do that, taking one part of the planet, say Elantris, seal it up. And then you were to take another one, and fill it up in MaiPon and compare them, would it be the same Investiture?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, it would.

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Questioner

Are you ever gonna write a pregnant woman in your books?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I kinda got my fill of it in Wheel of Time. Because Elayne, which is such-- there's just so much pregnancy. So, like-- I've actually thought about this before, and I think, I just read those books so many times I'm like--

Questioner

You're just full of it.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But that's not a good reason! But I'm pretty sure that's my reason.

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Questioner

Could a kandra imitating a human have a child with the human?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I kinda go back and forth on this. So-- 'Cause I think about it, then I tweak the magic, and I think "no this isn't possible," and then I go back, and I'm like, "but..." So it kinda comes down to a lot of things, such as, would I want a DNA test to be able to determine if a kandra is real or not. And I haven't canonized that yet, so your answer is, Read And Find Out, once I decide. I go back and forth on that one so much.

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Questioner

In Secret History, Nazh briefly mentioned that there's requirements or conditions to become a Cognitive Shadow. Can you tell us one of those?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, lots of Investiture. Is one way. As a certain person discovered.

Questioner

If that person were to not have entered Preservation's pool, it still would have given the same result?

Brandon Sanderson

If they had not, they would be gone.

Questioner

I wasn't clear. If they had done a different pool, not Preservation's.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, if they had been able to Invest themselves heavily, then they could have stuck around, yes. That wasn't Preservation's pool, that was more a function of--dipping themselves, pulling an Achilles inside of a Shardpool when you are dead, turned out to work. It's not the only way, not everyone on... Threnody, for instance, is heavily Invested.

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Questioner

My favorite character is Nazh... I just want anything about him, even if he's just his favorite food.

Brandon Sanderson

Isaac. Give us a favorite food...

Isaac Stewart

So, he likes, and Brandon will have to confirm this, but he likes a plant-- fried-- it would be considered an eggplant almost.

Brandon Sanderson

Fried eggplant. We're good on that.

Isaac Stewart

It's not-- It looks like an eggplant, it's native to Threnody.

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Questioner

Once upon a time I asked you about the magic system as described in Elantris and The Emperor's Soul, how in The Emperor's Soul [Shai] describes it as, she talks about the Spiritual Realm as the, like, the wall wanting to be beautiful. And how in Elantris they describe the Dor as what makes a river want to flow. And I assumed that meant that they were connected. But according to that [Arcanum Unbounded] it says that the Investiture is housed in the Cognitive Realm and how unlike most of the other magic systems its magic comes from the Cognitive. And so now I am confused.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, they are related but there's an overarching theory, er, kind of philosophy of what Investiture is and it imbuing things with desires that in our world may not actually have desires. And that is connected. The fact that the Dor is the Cognitive Realm is not the way it's supposed to be. That is a prob-- well, in some ways it's a feature, but it's also very much a bug.

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Questioner

I got my ears pierced recently and it got me thinking about Vin's earring. It's a Hemalurgic spike, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Mmhmm.

Questioner

And the Inquisitors don't have to worry about infection or anything with their eye spikes. So when Vin got her ear pierced as a baby, she also didn't have to worry about infection?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably.

Questioner

That is an awesome gig!

Brandon Sanderson

...It comes with some terrible side effects, but it is a pretty nice gig.

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Questioner

Music on Roshar... How, why is it important, I mean more a why--

Brandon Sanderson

Why music? Music, the Rhythms you are speaking about specifically, or what?

Questioner

...There seems to be a lot that connects to music, with like the Dawnsingers, there's lots of people hearing the Rhythms--

Brandon Sanderson

It all comes from the Rhythms. That's all kind of interconnected.

Questioner

So they kind of hear where the Rhythms are originally coming from?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not saying that.

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Questioner

Could there be a colorblind Awakener and-- would they be able to do anything or--

Brandon Sanderson

It would be a harder life for them. It would be a more serious disability there than it is here but it is not completely ending their opportunity.

Questioner

...Once they get to the certain amount of Breaths or whatever, would that reverse the colorblindness? 

Brandon Sanderson

Not necessarily. But it might have some interesting effects.

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Questioner

So, we were having a discussion about the term Soulcaster. The term Soulcaster is either, it's a person or it's a thing, and it's not always clear what it is. So when Sigzil is theorizing that the Parshendi needed-- they had Soulcasters, that's why they needed gemhearts, was he referring to the item?

Brandon Sanderson

He was referring to the item. That's what he was trying to get.

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Questioner

In the chapter about the Wandersail, when Hoid is telling the story, is he using Lightweaving?

Brandon Sanderson

It is not completely natural what you are seeing.

Questioner

Is the smoke in any way related to Rosharan magic systems?

Brandon Sanderson

In any way related, yes? I'm good at wiggling out of these. It's a part RAFO, it's not completely natural. I'll leave it at that. I can't say too much, otherwise I'll give away all my secrets.

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Questioner

Are you ever planning to sell someone the rights to a Steelheart video game, 'cause let me tell you, that would be so unbelievably--

Brandon Sanderson

I would totally do that. 

Questioner

I can't think of any developers that could do it though, at least not right now.

Brandon Sanderson

Everything's going to... "you have to be AAA or you have to be mobile game".

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Questioner

How could I be a better beta reader? Because I suck at giving feedback.

Brandon Sanderson

It's just practice. And try not to fix things, try to just give your responses to them.

Questioner

Like how I felt about certain things?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you don't have to tell them how to fix it, you just have to say, "I was bored here." "I was not empathizing with this character." "This line was really great." That sort of stuff.

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Brightlord Maelstrom

Would there be a way that is reasonably feasible to use Aon Tia to teleport off-world?

Brandon Sanderson

Theoretically yes.

Brightlord Maelstrom

...Would there be a way to create it where instead of teleporting you directly there, it opens a portal?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll go ahead and start RAFOing at this point.

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LadyKnightRadiant

So you're really good at ending books, especially like post-climax resolution that I feel is always my real weak point. I always find that I tend to write things that end up sounding really, really cheesy. I feel like you have, like, perfected the, like, decent resolution that's not horrifically cheesy. I was wondering if you have like any tips on how to end things properly.

Brandon Sanderson

It's all about promises, right, and I've talked about this a lot. Like, what-- remember that the ending, if you've earned it-- Cheesiness is based on whether the reader is on board with you or not-- Cheesiness is not like this intrinsic property of a scene. Cheesiness is, are they on board? Do they want this? Have you done a good job with this? So if you get people on board-- yeah.

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Kogiopsis

I noticed in my reread that Kaladin had ten escape attempts in five months, and those are Vorin holy numbers. Is there any particular significance to that or is that an accident?

Brandon Sanderson

Is there any particular significance to that? No.

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Brandon Sanderson

*reading* So did Renarin have an antagonist organization like--

FeatherWriter

In [The Way of Kings] Prime.

Brandon Sanderson

Right, 'cause Renarin created the Diagram in Prime... Taravangian was in Prime but under a different name, but yes, Taravangian was there but he was a different-- he was similar. So we'll write that: "Taravangian".

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Questioner

How do Windrunners rotate as they are moving through the air, since a force on their center of mass can't be rotation.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah but wind resistance can. Same with [how] skydivers work. 

Questioner

Okay, so they kind of instinctively do it, or learn.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. You learn but-- you put your fingers out you go spinning around the right way. Kaladin gets better at this and you'll see some direct references to that in [Oathbringer] where he's talking about some of these ideas.

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Brandon Sanderson

I have it cutting right now, but I don't know if I can have it actually completely cut because we slide it through the rock and things like that, right? So it's gotta be that, like, atomizing a little bit into Investiture or something like that. Because I use it in a way that they just-- but there's not really friction on it, so mathematically I'd probably have to say that something is vanishing... I don't want it to but I probably have to.

Questioner

Yeah, I was just sitting there, thinking about Dalinar getting that trench. That would be difficult.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. RAFO for you, sir.

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TheFulgid

Where do gemstones come from?

Brandon Sanderson

Gemstones on Roshar are mostly coming from gemhearts. And, I remembered to stick in some mentions of this in Oathbringer, 'cause a lot of people have been asking about this. It's not something-- like, the daily ranching of animals for their gemhearts is not something that we bring up a lot, but there is some limited mining operations on Roshar as well, you've just gotta get through the crem.

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Questioner

Where did you get the idea for a chasmfiend?

Brandon Sanderson

This actually a pretty good one. So, what has happening with the Stormlight books is-- Originally, the Shattered Plains were not in Stormlight. If you didn't know about this, Stormlight started without the Shattered Plains. And when I came back to the series to write it after kind of failing at that 2002 version and wanting to try again, I hired a concept artist to do sketches of characters and settings for me. His name was Ben McSweeney... Ben is the person I eventually hired to do a lot of the artwork, because he had done all this great concept art. And one of the things he did is, he drew a giant brain coral, 'cause I said, "Give me corals, things that you would normally find underwater in a coral reef, but above ground, and this is where we're gonna start our big brainstorming," and he did this giant one that people were walking through the cracks, and there was a little crustacean monster in there. And I'm like, "Oh, that looks like the Shattered Plains. Hey, the Shattered Plains! Why didn't I think of that? They work really well!" 'Cause they had originally been in Dragonsteel, they hadn't really worked there. So, I brought the Shattered Plains over, and the original inspiration for a chasmfiend was that little beastie. It looked more like a crayfish, that he had stuck in one of these grooves. That's where chasmfiends came from.

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Questioner

Do you plan to write any more books in the Steelheart universe?

Brandon Sanderson

...There's a big story here. So, the book that I started writing right after finishing Oathbringer in June was called The Apocalypse Guard. This is in the same universe as the Reckoners. And I wrote the whole book, and there were some things wrong with it, as happens sometimes with books. And so I thought, "Eh, I'll send it to my editor, and see what my editor at Random House thinks." She read it, she got back, she's like, "I like some things about it, but it's got these problems." I'm like, "Oh, those are the same problems I thought it had; that's not a good sign." So I got on and I brainstormed, and said "What do you think we should do?" She's like, "Well, maybe this or this." I spent, like, two weeks working on a really in-depth revision document. And I revised about 20% of the book following this document and it was worse. It didn't fix the problem. And so I'm like, "I need more time on this book. This book is not working. I'm sure I can fix it eventually." Like I told you, I stopped writing The Stormlight Archive in 2002. So, I pulled that book and set it aside. And I actually, I sent it to Dan Wells, actually, 'cause he's one of the best writers I know. And I'm like, "Dan! Something's broken. Can you tell me what's broken?" I'm waiting to see what Dan has to say on that, but for now, that's where Secret Project [Skyward] came from, 'cause I'm like, "Well, I don't feel good releasing Apocalypse Guard next year, I have to fix it first, it's just not good enough." So, I pulled out an outline for something else... and I said, "Well, I'm gonna write this right now, 'cause I feel like I can write this, and it's gonna work." So, I started writing this.

The answer is, yes, there will be more books, and there will even be, if I get around to it, a book about Mizzy as a protagonist, if I can find-- Like, I have to get The Apocalypse Guard working first.

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Questioner

A lot of people probably ask you how to write better. Do you have any advice for people who want to read better?

Brandon Sanderson

What an interesting question. So I don't know if you can read the wrong way? Upside down, if it works for you, man. One of my speeches previous year, the little things I get up, where I go professor on you. One of those things was where I talked about "there is no wrong way to read my books." And you have the power as a reader, I feel, to have, like, line-item veto. If I describe a certain person a certain way, and you're like, "Nope." You are allowed to change that in your version of the book. I have a good friend, he's still in my writing group, actually, he's Leyten from Bridge Four. 'Cause all my friends ended up in Bridge Four. Except for Dan, who I killed horribly in the Mistborn books. He survived the first time. I let him survive, and then he died. All of my friends ended up in Bridge Four. So Leyten, he was reading The Wheel of Time back when he was a teenager, and we got to the part where Thom Merrilin has a mustache. Have you read these books? He's a guy that has this really awesome mustache. And Alan's said, "Nope. No mustache. He doesn't match my--" When he told me this, I was horrified! I'm like, "That is, like, a central feature of what Thom Merrilin looks like, he has a big, drooping mustache!" Alan's like, "Nope. Not in my version." And I'm okay with that, when you do that on my book. You can pronounce the names the way you want. You can-- like, I give you a script, and you direct it. And you can change whatever you want in your head.So, I don't know if there's a right or a wrong way to read, if that makes sense.

I did take a speed-reading class for, like, three days. No, it was just, like, one day, where they started teaching how to speed-read. And I realized, when I was speed-reading, I was missing kind of the music of the writing for me. Like, one of the tactics of speed-reading is to stop hearing it in your head, the sounds while you're reading. Which is great for getting through something fast, but I was like, "No! This doesn't work. It makes the books-- less musical?" if that makes any sense. And so I immediately dropped out of that class. But that was for me, I need to savor the story a little bit more. If you want to speed-read it, and that works for you, go. It's an interesting question that I just basically refused to answer, I'm sorry.

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Questioner

By and large, I love your characters. I really dislike Eshonai. Really dislike her. Is there a character that you really dislike writing? Or, if you don't dislike them, is it hard to find their voice.

Brandon Sanderson

Cadsuane. Sorry, Wheel of Time fans, but Cadsuane, you're not my real mom. Moiraine is my real mom. I tried to do my best with Cadsuane that I could. So, I would say-- of my own characters, they're all like my children, and I love my children all equally. *gives Joel a side hug* The same thing with my characters. When I'm writing someone, they're my favorite. I wouldn't say so, but on The Wheel of Time, definitely. Cadsuane, she can go eat a brick.

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Questioner

Have you ever read a book that has made you cried? Or made you so frustrated that you wanted to throw the book?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not that hard to make me emotional in a book. I'm normally a very even-keeled guy, but a really great story told really well can really get to me. It's part of why I wanted to be a writer. I've got a very even temperament. I wake up most days, just kinda feeling the same I did the day before. So, if there's, like, bipolar or things like this, I'm like the opposite. I'm, like, if you vary, like, people vary from a 0 and a 100, I'm, like, at a 75 all the time. Which can be really cool, except when everyone else is, like, super excited, and they all go to, like, 90 and 100, and I'm like, "Yay? That's cool. I'm happy too!" But a good story, that gets me, right? That can really get me. So, a lot of my favorite stories-- Anne McCaffrey was really good at doing this for me. But Terry Pratchett, right? They're comedies? If I mention that I like something, it's probably stirred powerful emotions in me.

What have I wanted to throw across the room? I'm sorry, I know that some of you really like this, but-- and I'm sure they're really good books if you're in the right mindset, but-- this is gonna date me a little. There was a sequel series to the Willow movie, which was written. And Chris Claremont is a great writer, right? I think this is the X-Men Chris Claremont. I don't blame Chris. [George] Lucas was involved. Strike that from the record. But I loved Willow. When I was a kid, I'm like, "A fantasy movie that doesn't suck! Yes! Nothing against you Beastmaster, but, you know, a fantasy movie that doesn't suck, and Warwick Davis was awesome, I love that movie!" And then the books came out, and in the first one, you're like, "Yeah, all those people you loved? They're dead." That's how, like, the prologue goes! And the character whose life they saved in the movie, and things like that--spoilers, it's been like thirty years--is, like, a spoiled brat, and everyone's personality changed. That's probably the book I'm the most, like, throw-against-the-wall-ish. I'm like, "No, don't kill all my favorite characters!" Here's a clue for ya: if people love a whole bunch of stuff, don't start the sequel with, "Yeah, all that stuff you loved? We're just gonna..." Don't Aliens 3 your movie. Don't do that to your books. It's okay to have loss, but don't have all the people you love die in between stories. Bad idea.

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Questioner

Are you worried, because of the length of the Stormlight Archive books, that the movies will not be able to encompass them fully?

Brandon Sanderson

What a well-stated way to say that... So, movies. Hollywood. Bless them, they try. No, seriously, like, there are a lot of really creative people who really are passionate about books in Hollywood, just none of them have any money? I'm exaggerating, strike that from the record. But we've sold the rights to people that we trust. Otherwise, we wouldn't sell them. It's always a gamble. We're never sure if it's gonna work. Like, even people who are really well-intentioned. The Golden Compass movie is a great example of this. Really good intentions. Everything about that movie should have worked: great actors, great design. And the movie was boring. And, it's like everybody tried really hard, and it just didn't work. And I know how that feels. I tried really hard on Apocalypse Guard, and it didn't work. And, so, yes, I am totally worried about that. But the thing about it is, if I don't risk that, then I can't ever have a good movie, 'cause I'll never have a movie.

Now, would we rather Stormlight be a television show? Probably. And I think the chances-- So, what I've been saying is, let's just hope that the other fantasy television shows do well. Let's hope the new Lord of the Rings one does really well. Let's hope that Pat Rothfuss's show goes really, really well. If a bunch of these things get made, and they're good, it improves our chances, and things like that. I've constantly said, I would rather a television show. But, you know, I wouldn't have thought that the Lord of the Rings films could be adapted as well as they were. And they worked. So, who knows. I'm willing to roll those dice, and see what we end up with.

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Questioner

Why do you decide to do more series like Apocalypse Guard or the Secret Project [Skyward] when you still have so many more unfinished sequels?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a good question. No, it is totally legit. *laughter* So, I did finish Legion. I did that. So, those who are looking for that, that will come out next year. Why do I do it this way? Well, most of the time, it's because I try a book, and it doesn't work. Rithmatist fans probably know, I tried to write Rithmatist 2, I built an outline, I started writing it, and the book didn't work. I wasn't-- the outline was wrong on that one. I got, like, three chapters in, and I'm like, "Nope. This book is broken." And it was mostly due to my lack of research into the proper things to do the book the right way. And because Rithmatist and Alcatraz, which you'll get Alcatraz 6 eventually, those are the two that are looming most; those are side projects. Those are things that I do for fun. They have to slot in between my main projects, if that makes any sense. Like, I have to do them when there's time from other projects. So, for instance, I couldn't go to Random House and say, "I'm gonna do Rithmatist 2 sequel," because Rithmatist is not their series. It belongs to Tor. So, if I wanna do more with Random House, I have to do something that works for them. And that's kind of the long and short of it.

I mean, I will get around to things like Warbreaker and Elantris sequels. *cheers* But the thing about those is, those are sequels to the worlds, not necessarily sequels to the characters. I won't promise you that the same characters will appear in them. Some of them will. But it's the idea that those are standalone books that I plan to do more in the world, and the time isn't right in the cosmere to do those. For something like Rithmatist, that's more pressing, because I'm like "that promises a sequel with the same characters". But I have to find out how to write it first. And, for various reasons, a Rithmatist sequel is really tricky to pull off. So, that's kinda the answer to it. Sometimes, I also just need a break to do whatever my mind wants to do. It's not a very satisfying answer, but it is the way my brain works. But you can know that if it's, like, one of the main line things that I've got contracts for, that I won't be doing that to you on. So, Stormlight will be pretty regular, Mistborn will be pretty regular. But some of the side projects, it's just when it's right it's right.

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Questioner

In correlation to art. Leonardo DaVinci has the Mona Lisa. Michelangelo has the Sistine Chapel. Have you created-- Do you feel you've created your Mona Lisa, or is that something you're still working on?

Brandon Sanderson

Number one, I do not belong mentioned in the same breath. Let's establish that. I actually got to see the Sistine Chapel last year, and wow. You think you know it, because you've like, seen the pictures. It's not the same.

So, have I? That's not for me to decide. That is actually for readers and history to decide. Most entertainment is ephemeral. Most of what we release will go out there, it'll make peoples' lives better--I hope--it'll be fun, you'll all like it, but then it vanishes, and a new generation of artists create new things for that generation. And that's fine. Right? Like, I'm not chasing Voldemort's immortality in that way. But, maybe I'll create a Dune, right? Or an Ender's Game, or something that is larger than the author by orders of magnitude, and becomes an enduring part of the pop cultural landscape. Maybe. But that's not the sort of thing I think you can set out to do. It's like a combination of all kinds of factors come into these things hitting at the right time and working in the way that certain films and books do, like Harry Potter did. You know, ask me that in 100 years, and we'll see. It's a good question to think about. But it's not a good question for me, necessarily, to answer for myself.

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Brandon Sanderson

I talked a bit about it, in the Write About Dragons lectures at BYU, I just had the idea. I realized that a lot of my favorite stories were kind of like these boy-with-a-dragon-egg stories, right? One of my favorite stories of all time is Dragon's Blood, by Jane Yolen. Just, absolutely amazing book. And I thought, that's the kind of story I like, but it's been done to death. But then I thought, hey, I can do a different version of that. So, this story, basic premise is How To Train Your Dragon, but instead it's a girl who finds a spaceship, and goes to Top Gun school. So, it's like a mashup between Top Gun and Ender's Game and How To Train Your Dragon with an old broken down spaceship with a really weird personality. And I'm going to read you the prologue of this, which happens when the main character is rather young.

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Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

It seems like the Diagram Cult derives their entire moral authority for the atrocities they commit from the notion that "this is a very, very smart plan."

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Basically, yeah.

Mason Wheeler (paraphrased)

And they're filling in the gaps with information gleaned from Death Rattles, despite knowing full well that they're coming from one of Odium's Unmade spren. This seams very, very dumb. Have they ever considered the possibility that they could be being fed disinformation?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, but they figure that the benefits of having access to someone who can see the future outweigh that risk. And even if they are being deliberately given bad information, knowing what subjects they're being misinformed about tells them something useful.

Event details
Name
Name Oathbringer release party
Date
Date Nov. 13, 2017
Location
Location Provo, UT
Tour
Tour Oathbringer
Bookstore
Bookstore BYU Bookstore
Entries
Entries 235
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