Words of Radiance Seattle signing

Event details
Name
Name Words of Radiance Seattle signing
Date
Date March 8, 2014
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Words of Radiance
Bookstore
Bookstore University Bookstore
Entries
Entries 85
Upload sources
#3 Copy

Questioner

I kind of want to make one of Navani's fabrial bracelets but I've got some questions. 1: Are they all heliodors or are they polestones or what?

Brandon Sanderson

They will change, yes. They are not all heliodors.

Questioner

What's the significance of the different number of prongs on each gemstone? [...] Like some of the gemstones have two prongs, some have like *inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

On the picture? The picture there is no significance, I simply gave artistic license to Isaac to do as he wished.

Questioner

Here I was trying to match up the numbers because they were the double eye with the Radiant chart and..

Brandon Sanderson

Nope, that was simply done by him.

Footnote: This references Navani's notebook pages, which can be found here
#4 Copy

Questioner

In Allomancy, aluminum won't be able to be pushed or pulled, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Right.

Questioner

So if you put a piece of steel like a gun barrel, and then you surround it with aluminum, can you still push the gun barrel?

Brandon Sanderson

The aluminum will add some interference, it's gonna depend on how thick the aluminum is. It's probably unfeasible. That is a viable concept, I don't think it's feasible on a gun barrel.

#5 Copy

Questioner

So what are the chances, once that last Stormlight comes out, that you might open up that worldbuilding wiki up for viewing?

Brandon Sanderson

You don't know, I might do that. That's feasible.

Questioner

It seems like it might be a cool way, other than like waiting another 3–4 years for it to be edited into 2 or 3 atlases or whatever, in this day and age a wiki seems like a good way to do that.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. The fun thing is, it's now like 15 years old, so it's got all the old stuff from the original write in it as well.

Questioner

Which would also be kind of cool to see.

Brandon Sanderson

Which would be cool to see how I've changed things. There's stuff in there before spren were even part of the world and stuff like that.

#6 Copy

Questioner

Why was Drehy the first one to speak up for Kaladin from Bridge 4 in The Way of Kings. They were heckling him and he said "lay off of him."

Brandon Sanderson

Drehy was a little less beaten down than the others at that point. He was a little newer to being a bridgeman, was part of it. Also also he's one of those people—he's based off my friend Ryan Drayer—who is a big guy, tall, and is very used to sticking up for people, that's part of who he is. And I put his personality into the character a bit.

Footnote: A lot of confusion/clarification, it's been slimmed down
#7 Copy

Jerich

Is the Hoed from Elantris similar to the state of [dead] Shardblades? If so is it possible to awaken a Shardblade if the bearer speaks the oaths of the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

The status is... I would say not as similar as you're probably thinking, but it does have a similarity in that two bacteria causing a disease are both caused by a bacteria, so there is a similarity there.

I can imagine a sequence where a Shardblade would be reawakened, but I think it would be very difficult.

It's not the same that they're in the middle of a transition, like in Elantris.

Jerich

Oh, okay. So you have to actually... it'd be harder.

Brandon Sanderson

It'd be harder, yeah. It's not the same, they're not in the middle of a transition. They have had something ripped from them, and it's very painful and it's left them mostly mindless.

Jerich

So they have to have that something added back?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. So what you've got going on: the spren gain-- the bond lets them have sentience in the physical plane, like they can think and all these things, and when that was ripped away from them-- imagine... (this is a very bad metaphor, it's the first one coming to my head though): imagine you had wetwear, you had a head-jack or something like that, and someone just ripped it out of your head. 

Jerich

*stunned/horrified*

Oh.

Brandon Sanderson

Instead of surgically operating it out. Like that's what's happened, a piece of their soul's been ripped off.

#9 Copy

Jerich

After what Adolin does at the end [of Words of Radiance] are there still Radiant orders that would take him?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there would be. In fact, yes. Definitely that's possible. I'm not going to say that he becomes one, but yeah.

Jerich

So like the Skybreakers or Dustbringers or...?

Brandon Sanderson

The Skybreakers might have trouble because it wasn't legal. But there are others who would be like "oh that was totally the right thing to do."

#10 Copy

Questioner

Peter actually said on the 17th Shard that we should ask you about this, we'll see if I get RAFO'd or not.

Would you share with me how Vasher lost his sword to Nale?

Brandon Sanderson

How Vasher...?

Questioner

Well uh "Zahel".

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, oh. *having far too much fun with this*

So how Zahel lost his "sword"...

Questioner

We're talking about the same thing here. So Nightblood. How did that get in-- how did that transfer over?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not sure why Peter's telling you to ask that, because--

Questioner

Well he said something about that maybe you could share a little bit about, I don't know...

Brandon Sanderson

There will be a lot of information in the book Nightblood about how some of these things came to transpire.

#11 Copy

Questioner

We've seen that the "Sylblade" can change shape to fit Kaladin's needs. Is there a limit on the size of the blade that Syl can become?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Okay. And can you share with me what the upper limits on those sort of things would be?

Brandon Sanderson

Upper limits of hers are about human-sized.

Questioner

Is it always going to be something that has to be a fighting utensil, or does it have to...?

Brandon Sanderson

That's going to RAFO. You'll have to see.

[...]

I will say this. You have seen Syl changing shape from the first time she appears onscreen and she is frequently not a weapon.

Footnote: Edgedancer answers this fairly unequivically with the shard-rod and shard-fork
#15 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

The Willshapers have to have Cohesion, because Cohesion is the "grab something solid and melt it and push it in any direction you want..." it's the weak atomic force.

It's, you can take this and push your hand into it and leave a hand print, or things like that, and that's a Willshaper thing, not a Bondsmith thing.

Footnote: In the context of looking at the Radiant chart
#17 Copy

Questioner

Is energy [i.e. Investiture] interchangeable between worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

To an extent.

Questioner

So like Breath could be used instead of stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

It might require some hacking to achieve. Some cases it will not. For instance there's a certain sword that feeds on Investiture. And he'll feed on whatever Investiture he can get, and if he doesn't have any he'll just suck your soul out and feed on that.

Questioner

On the other hand if someone were to require Breaths and there were nobody giving out Breaths in that area, then...?

Brandon Sanderson

Right. Then theoretically that's the same sort of system, but I have no idea who you could be talking about.

#19 Copy

Questioner

I was just re-reading The Way of Kings when Kaladin meets Hoid, and Hoid mentions the stone that he's named after? Are we gonna find out more about that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, though the 17th Shard probably can answer that for you right there *points, presumably*.

In the very first book that I wrote with him that I finished, his nickname in that book was "Topaz".

#21 Copy

Questioner

I'm reading into that the timing of The Alloy of Law is roughtly about when we would expect the Pits of Hathsin to start regenerating--

Brandon Sanderson

*Disingenuously* Oh imagine that...

Questioner

Okay yeah, does that mean that atium is still important, or is there a new element for Sazed that you might be able to expect.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#22 Copy

Questioner

Dalinar. A lot of people have theorized that his armor has glowed because he's channeling stormlight. I don't believe that's accurate. Is that right?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not going to answer much about the armor. The armor, you will have to find out about.

Questioner

Alright, because my theory is that he's actually fulfilling the actual role of the Radiants—that's protecting people—therefore that's why his armor is glowing.

Brandon Sanderson

Interesting. Now which armor are you speaking about specifically?

Questioner

The Shardplate.

Brandon Sanderson

The Shardplate but which one?

Questioner

Dalinar's armor.

Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar's Shardplate. In which scene?

Questioner

In The Way of Kings. Several times.

Brandon Sanderson

*Disingenuously* I know nothing about what you're talking about.

#23 Copy

Questioner

With covering the safehand for women, how does that affect how left-handed women are treated or perceived?

Brandon Sanderson

Left-handed you are trained- Well it's not a big deal for darkeyes because they wear gloves. Lighteyed women are trained to use the right hand, even if they're left-handed; which does cause some problems, but that's how they are trained.

#25 Copy

Questioner 1

So I've spent quite a few hours trying to work out Pattern 1, you know Ceiling of the 2nd Rotation of the Diagram. *inaudible* But I wanted to ask you-- And Peter said you wanted to make us sweat, you know of course, on the 17th Shard. But I want to ask you, and hopefully you'll be able to answer this... Is Pattern 15 used in the solution? Would you tell me that at least? Please, I beg of you.

Brandon Sanderson

The solution... Indeed, the key to the solution is somewhere in the book.

Questioner 1

No, that doesn't help me!

Brandon Sanderson

That helps you! That helps you. 

Questioner 2

*Questioner 1 moans* We've already got 15 pages. On the 17th Shard.

Brandon Sanderson

You can interact with Peter, because I ran everything through him on this. Because... And so... I actually did it all myself, but then he corrected me where I was wrong. So I'm gonna send it his way, because I don't know if he's made any tweaks to it from what my original concept was.

Questioner 1

I know there was a change in the gamma read with some of the number.

Brandon Sanderson

Mhm... Yes.

Questioner 1

You know it's pretty cool. There seems to be a ketek in there people have discovered, or a palindrome or whatever where there's numbers, patterns matching. Mirror image. Yadda yadda. *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

You should be... Yeah, see what you do.

Questioner 1

I've just-- It would be nice to know.

Brandon Sanderson

I've alr-- I've given you the fact that there's a key to it.

Questioner 1

A key to it... *inaudible* *Questioner 2 gasps* Alright...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. In the book, there is a key to it.

#26 Copy

Questioner

He said, "I was reading through *inaudible* Szeth section he mentioned that 'we are all that remains'. Is he saying that the Shin are the lost Order? The one that didn't abandon the oaths? Of course the section *inaudible* alternatives-- *interrupted*

Brandon Sanderson

What they are doing is-- Szeth is saying, "We are all that remains that remembers what happened before." [...] And they may be-- they may not remember accurately. But they consider themselves the only ones who know. Does that make sense? [...] It is not reference to the Orders.

#27 Copy

Questioner

Are the Unmade the analogs to Heralds?

Brandon Sanderson

There is certainly something similar going on there. Be aware that it's not a one-to-one correlation, that they're not exactly the same. For instance: Many of the- the Unmade are referenced by Taravangian in this, and he uses a phrase for them, and that is correct, that's what they are.

Footnote: In the epigraph for WoR 81 the Diagram says "The Unmade are a deviation, a flair, a conundrum that may not be worth your time. You cannot help but think of them. They are fascinating. Many are mindless. Like the spren of human emotions, only much more nasty. I do believe a few can think, however."
#28 Copy

Questioner

How does a bridge crew set a bridge down across a chasm in front of them?

Brandon Sanderson

So... I may have to act this out.

*Proceeds to act it out, no video available*

I am Kaladin, running at the front of the bridge, right? Now there's a chasm there. I'm going to step out to the side and grab the poles to the side, and lower the front bridge down. Then these guys are going to lower theirs down while I run around to the back and grab the poles on the side, which extend out. And we're going to get several ranks and then we're going to shove together.

We're waited on this side, remember, we've got the weights that roll to one side or the other. So it's weighted on this side, so we get it over and then plot it down. We're looking for a place where we're a little bit above-- with the paths, alright? And then we go to the other side, your reposition the weights or the poles or whatever it is on the thing so that it's heavier on this side and then get everyone and then you pull it back across and then you can lift it.

Questioner

Okay, great, thank you very much.

Brandon Sanderson

Now also keep in mind a couple of things: 0.7 Earth gravity, a very important aspect for actually making this bridge weight work for carrying it; and it is a soulcast wood. The only way to get the numbers to work if you've got engineers, the weight-- you actually have to realize that we've got a wood that is slightly stronger, yet lighter, than what-- it's like a-- Peter came up, it's like a balsa, there's a soulcast wood that is really a great wood for this sort of thing.

That doesn't mean it's light, it's still a really heavy book

Questioner

*Laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

A really heavy bridge.

#29 Copy

Questioner

Safehands: Where did, that-- like why? Is there like a cultural *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a culture-- Now the actual answer to that is because different cultures have really different mores, and if you go around our world you will find places where, for instance, showing the bottom of your foot-- where the bottom of your foot is offensive, or where showing certain parts of your anatomy is not offensive that it is here. And that is very common, it's part of what it means to be human.

Now if you want to trace back in Rosharan time, there is actually a moment that you can point at and say "this is where it started" and it started right after the Recreance where all these Shardblades and Shardplate were suddenly out there everywhere, and certain people in power wanted to make sure that half the population didn't have access to them, and so they started emphasizing a certain philosophy book that had been written by a woman that said "feminine arts were one-handed, masculine arts were two-handed".

And because of this it became culturally ingrained, which then-- basically it was a misogynistic ploy to keep the women from having the Shardblades, and then in that a certain movement of the women seized writing, and that's when men stopped writing. It's kind of a reciprocation on it. But that's kind of where it went, but it's become much bigger than that, if that makes any sense.

Questioner

What do you do if you safehand is your dominant hand?

Brandon Sanderson

If you are darkeyed it's not a problem, you just wear a glove. If you are lighteyed then you learn to write with your non-dominant hand, which is a problem.

Footnote: The book here is likely Arts and Majesty, referenced in WoR 25
#32 Copy

Questioner

See *inaudible* and other signings that Hoid had both long life and lived through time when we was worldhopping, how about other members-- or not "other," just members of the Seventeenth Shard? Like are they time travelling or they have long life--

Brandon Sanderson

It is a mixture of both. Either, or, and.

Questioner

And the RAFO question: where did they get it from?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO! There are many methods and there is no one method, and you know some of them already.

#33 Copy

Questioner

So you mentioned that Kaladin gets sad during the Weeping. Is that due to lack of stormlight or maybe seasonal affective disorder?

Brandon Sanderson

It is mostly due to seasonal affective disorder. Now, you know, there are other things going on and whatnot, but yes he has strong seasonal affective disorder.

#38 Copy

Questioner

So Nightblood. Is it going to go into maybe in the next book how Vasher loses him, because I'm assuming that's what [Szeth] gets at the end of the book?

Brandon Sanderson

*Coyly*

Oh you assume that this is uh yeah...

Questioner

So far as we know that's the only sentient sword...

Brandon Sanderson

You will find answers to these questions eventually.

#39 Copy

Arbron

So how long has "Zahel the swordmaster" been slumming it on Roshar? I mean I don't know who that is obviously.

Brandon Sanderson

Zahel the swordmaster has been on Roshar for a long while at this point. There's something on Roshar that's very easy for him to get that's very hard in other places. And so, yeah.

Arbron

So he retains his previous abilities?

Brandon Sanderson

He was actually in the first draft in 2002. But yes there's something in Roshar that makes it better for him to be there.

#40 Copy

Questioner

I wonder if you knew what color the stone was inside of Horneater peaks and the mountains around the Shattered Plains?

Brandon Sanderson

Depends if-- most of it's going to be cremstone. So it's going to be various shades of tanish brown. Very generic stuff, particularly around here.

Horneater peaks, you-- *pauses thoughtfully* Horneater peaks you're probably going to get into some more slate, some more dark grays and things like this, weathered stone that doesn't have the crem buildup because the peaks are gonna pop up above where the crem is building up, so.

So that's where you're going to get some real, untainted rock which otherwise on Roshar you've got to burrow to get.

Questioner

So the gray one is the untainted one?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

#43 Copy

Questioner

I know Hoid jumps around and meets various people that are very influential in the various books. I'm curious as to how he knows who he needs to meet, how's he lead to them.

Brandon Sanderson

This is a RAFO, but it is a question you're supposed to be asking-- You know what a RAFO is?

Questioner

No.

Brandon Sanderson

It means Read and Find Out. If you watch at the end of this book he's not always certain why he needs to be where he needs to be. So there is some measure-- something is going on here but it is not made clear yet and I don't want to clear it up with you quite yet.

#48 Copy

Questioner

So far all the spren that have bonded to humans appear to be emotion-based as opposed to nature-based. Is that true for all the Knights Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Well it depends. For instance: how would you define Wyndle?

Questioner

I struggled with that one.

Brandon Sanderson

Uh hm. So I would say that you are on the right track, that there is a definite inclination that direction.

Questioner

Towards Honor?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There is.

Questioner

Is there other surges then, that are more Cultivation-exclusive or other Knights Radiant that are...?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll RAFO that, but the original Knights Radiant are more focused on Honor and his spren.

#62 Copy

AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

Is there anything that I should have asked that I didn’t?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Probably not… Do you know if anyone has figured out the hidden things in the map of Roshar?

AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

Commentary: We discussed the pattern 15 code for a bit. I’m glad it’s been solved! He said that it wouldn’t be earth shattering, but it would be cool to know. And boy, it was!

#63 Copy

AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

I picked up the Easter Eggs for Mraize being a Worldhopper. It was actually the sand that did it, having been fortunate enough to read White Sand.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Now there’s something odd about that sand. What color is the sand in WoR?

#65 Copy

AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

Are the Parshendi at the village the only Parshendi there are? Besides for the Parshmen...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

The Parshendi as a people were all at Narak. Barring any scouts and things like that. That doesn’t mean that there might not be any other Parshmen out there that have bonded spren, but they would not have been part of this nation – any more than if you found another human that they may not necessarily be American.

#67 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

I've lost track of the number of magical systems that you have created and I was just wondering if you could say a little bit about your process of creating magical systems.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

What I'm looking for is something interesting. It is kind of hard to explian, because to create a magic system, I've read a lot of fantasy, and personally I feel that one of my duties is to push the genre in different directions. There was a period where our worldbuilding was not as extensive as it should be. Stuck as we were for a while, it felt like the genre hit a bit of a rut, and I wanted to push it in different directions. The screwy magic systems I create are part of that. I feel excited about them, it's sometihng I feel ?? Google Sanderson's First Law.

#72 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Best fantasy author debuted in the last year

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Brian McClellan with the Powdermage books, but that's a year and a half ago so it doesn't count. I'm reading a book right now by one of my former students that's really good but it's not published yet. Most of the books I've read in the last year are either friends or things I needed to catch up on.

#73 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Strategies for the Sagging Middle.

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Middles are tough. My experience has been that the writer thinks the middle sags more than it does, because you're not at the exciting beginning wherever everything's fresh and not at the end with the climax. Stagger the climaxes. For instance, Words of Radiance, I built it and plotted it like three books with multiple climaxes from major characters at the end of part 1, at the end of part 3, and at the end of the whole thing. It'll make your novel read like a trilogy.

#74 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Travel time frame of reference - how long is a day's ride?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

There's two answers. One is the official answer, and that depends on the horse, what you're feeding the horse, how you're pushing the horse - I think a wagon can go 1-2 miles an hour, a good horse if you're trading horses can go further. My expectation that it's usually 20-30 miles but that's pushing the horse hard. You're usually not going that much faster than people can walk, 2-3 miles an hour. Humans are better at going long distance than horses. But horses are more comfortable and can sprint if they need to. This is not something that I do a ton on because most of my books take place in one location - that's what we're looking at for a day's ride. Eight hours between 16 and 24 miles, but someone can correct me if they know better.

#75 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

Speaking of Rothfuss, can you tell us how far along he is...

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

No, I don't know how far along Pat is, when I hang out with Pat I don't ask him because he gets that enough.  I'll tell you this, in my outline from ten years ago, the third book is named Stones Unhallowed, and his third book is named Doors of Stone. So either I've got to beat it or change it - I thought, "I have to write this book faster".

#80 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

When do you expect to finish Shadows of Self?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It was on the schedule for this fall to finish, but the third Stormlight book has pushed that aside, so it'll probably be the next book after that.  Tom Doherty didn't want to have a four-year gap twice in a row, and I don't want to let it go so far. It's better to establish that I'll be doing Stormlight regularly before deviating. When I pitched Mistborn to my editor, I pitched a series going to modern times to space opera in the same universe. There will be another trilogy of thick books at 1980s technology, I pitched to my editor as "Tom Clancy Allomancy" and we will eventually get to the space opera, which will be allomancers in space.

#82 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

When do we get to officially get to know what's going on in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

All of my epic fantasy books are connected with continuing characters. That's a way off, and that's because I don't want people to feel like they have to have read all my previous books to enjoy the series. It should be about the characters. Eventually I will write one that's a mashup, but we're not there yet. I'll be very upfront about it when I do it. For now it's just easter eggs.

#83 Copy

Questioner (paraphrased)

How do you pick names?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

It really varies based on the book. I'm often picking a linguistic paradigm. Alethi - there are two separate paradigms because I like linguistics to be messy. Usually based on symmetry being holy, so they'd pick names one letter off from symmetrical to avoid hubris.  Also suffix - like Kaladin is Kalak (Herald) + din which is a suffix, all of them mean things, like the old Hebrew names have "born of" or "comes through". Stick that on and drop the last letter. Dalinar, Elhokar, all of those have suffixes - nar, kar.  In Mistborn, I didn't want linguistics to be your focus, for in that I picked a simpler naming paradigm - I lifted linguistics from the real world. Central Dominance is French. The Germanic area, we have Elend and Straff, and then we have Spanish on the other area. I just kind of took Earth cultures and appropriated them. That's an easier way to do it, because Mistborn is kind of an earth analogue. But Roshar is very different. Mistborn I didn't want you to think of the difference, which is why I gave everyone nicknames that are easy to say.

Event details
Name
Name Words of Radiance Seattle signing
Date
Date March 8, 2014
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Words of Radiance
Bookstore
Bookstore University Bookstore
Entries
Entries 85
Upload sources