Fantasy Faction interview

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Name Fantasy Faction interview
Date
Date April 24, 2014
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#1 Copy

Fantasy Faction

Someone from Earth is about to be sent off to the cosmere. They've read your first Stormlight book, but they've never really taken time to really dig deep and find out about how it sits in the overall "cosmere", so they're totally unprepared. What basic concepts regarding shards, magic systems and world hopping do you think are most important?

Brandon Sanderson

The first, most important thing to say to the person who's being sent there is to enjoy the story you're in. All of the cosmere stuff, the interconnection between my books and all these wonderful little things, are right now mostly Easter eggs. Which means that if you spend the whole book only worried about that, you're going to miss the beauty and fun that is the book that you're part of. I often say to people, don't worry if you read them "out of order," because it's all Easter eggs right now. Don't worry and stress if you miss something about the cosmere, because while someday that might be important, you first need to enjoy the book that you're part of. But the primer I'd give to this person is that the worlds are connected. If you show up on a planet and there's a guy named Hoid around, then be very afraid, because you're someplace very dangerous.

#2 Copy

Fantasy Faction

And, if the convention of printing books disappeared tomorrow and every one began reading ebooks only do you think the way you write books would change (i.e. being able to disregard wordcounts or even being able to consider serialising a book)?

Brandon Sanderson

I think that would offer some very interesting opportunities. I think I would be unwise not to try to take advantage of them, if such a thing did happen. In fact, it's possible to try right now. I've got thoughts in my head about how I would do this. Because the form of the story is a very important thing to me, if you can't tell from the way I was talking about everything before. The form of the book, looking at the book and saying, what am I doing with this actual thing? What is the shape of it? Elantris had a specific shape, with the chapter triads that were happening at the same time as one another. These things are interesting to me, and I want to do things like this with e-books also. But there are other things we would lose. Just like if you go and you can compare, a great example of this is the US cover of Words of Radiance, which was hand painted in oil by Michael Whelan. It has a certain feel to it.

In fact, you can see the oil. You can see the brush strokes if you look very closely at the painting. You look at the gorgeous digital painting that Stephan Martiniere did for the US edition of Elantris. But if you look at these different covers, one is digital only, and has this interesting use of digital light, and the other has texture and feel. Those are two different forms for creating art, and they both have awesome things to them. I think if we lost the book as a form, we might lose some of that idea—the book as a texture, and what it feels like to hold it goes away. I'd be sad to lose that. But I can't tell right now if that would be the sadness of someone watching an antiquated technology that no longer really matters in life go away, or if it would be losing something that will very much negatively impact society. We will just have to see. Time will tell.

#3 Copy

Fantasy Faction

Finally, and most importantly, if all your protagonists had an epic all out brawl, who would win?

Brandon Sanderson

Some of them are immortal, but that would kind of be cheating. If you let people who are immortal participate, it's going to very much favor someone like Hoid, who is really, really, really hard to kill. Of course, he would not be very good at offing anyone either, because of certain things in his past. It would be really futile when it got down to the last two. But if we take that out.

You'd have to set ground rules. Do they get access to their magic? Where is it taking place? If we take away all magic and we just say people are beating up on each other, who's going to win? It's probably Kelsier because he'll fight dirty. Vasher fights really dirty, too. If Kelsier and Vasher gang up on the rest, and then it depends who's still not in pieces at the end. It'd be Kelsier or Vasher probably.

#4 Copy

Fantasy Faction

In The Way of Kings, when Shallan zones out and draws a picture of a dead noble at a dinner table, was she drawing her own father after she killed him with her Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh, good question! You will want to read Words of Radiance, where her flashbacks may indeed involve this scene that she drew.

#5 Copy

Fantasy Faction

Is Hoid drawn to novel-worthy plots? Or does he ever just show up in a completely "normal" time/place, with no ramifications on the cosmere, Shards, etc.?

Brandon Sanderson

He is drawn to places specifically because of what's happening in those worlds. He is there and he is meddling.

Event details
Name
Name Fantasy Faction interview
Date
Date April 24, 2014
Entries
Entries 6
Upload sources