FanX 2018

Event details
Name
Name FanX 2018
Date
Date Sept. 6, 2018
Location
Location Salt Lake City UT
Entries
Entries 159
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#1 Copy

Questioner

So, Vorinism and the safehand, it's obviously a modesty type thing kind of like the hijab. Where does the modesty stop? Or does it go up the whole arm?

Brandon Sanderson

It doesn't go up the whole arm, it actually ends at about the wrist.

Questioner

Okay, so if they had, like, a slitted sleeve?

Brandon Sanderson

That would be fine.

#2 Copy

Questioner

I have one about Hoid. I want to know, in Mistborn, in Arcanum Unbounded, we find out some really important things about him. But we find out, Hoid is an incredibly powerful person.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Like, probably one of the most powerful people in the Cosmere.

Brandon Sanderson

He once was, and no longer is. So, I can't talk a lot about Hoid, but I'll give you a little bit of where he came from. Where he came from in my brain.

For those who don't know, there's a character who shows up in all my epic fantasy books, named Hoid. Or at least that's the alias he's been using lately. Where did this come from? Well, he came from me reading books when I was a teenager. I can specifically remember doing it with the Anne McCaffrey books, that I mentioned earlier. I was reading those, and I would insert my own characters. I still do this in movies, and books that I read. I add to the story. And oftentimes, when people, bit parts people, would walk onscreen in those books, or in the chapters, I'd be like, "Oooh, this is the secret character," right? And then I would have them go to the other books, and I'd imagine this kind of behind-the-scenes thing where these characters were going from different worlds of different people's books, so I'd read Anne McCaffrey, and they'd show up in David Eddings, and they'd show up in Tad Williams' books, and they'd show up in Melanie Rawn books, and I was imagining this whole story behind the story that I was creating. This was where the beginnings of me being a writer came from, was doing that. It's my own kind of fan fiction, but it's my own kind of fan fiction in my head where I was saying, "Even the characters in these books don't know the real story."

And when it came time to start writing my own, I was really in love with this idea. I can trace the idea of connecting worlds probably back to when I read the Foundation book that connected the Robots books and Foundation books, if you've ever read those by Asimov. That book kind of blew my mind, that those two series I'd been reading could be connected. And it was really, really fascinating to me. And so that's where the Cosmere came from.

And so Hoid has his origins. He existed behind the scenes of the Cosmere books. You don't have to know who he is to read them. You can just read them, don't worry about it. But behind the scenes, there is a story behind the story, and he was there for those events that happened that created... basically ended up with the various deities on the various planets. Where their origins were, he was there. But he wasn't one of them.

#4 Copy

Questioner

In The Stormlight Archive, we know the characters can draw Stormlight from various objects, right? Can they steal it from each other?

Brandon Sanderson

So... [Begins saying no, fades out]

Questioner

Too much of a reveal?

Brandon Sanderson

No, the answer is mostly no, in those situations... no. So I'll give you like a kind of, "Except in special situations." But that doesn't count if they're carrying it, only if they've invested.

#8 Copy

Questioner

I read on your FAQ that your in-world language was going to play a bigger part in some of the later books. Is that still something you're planning on?

Brandon Sanderson

Still something I'm planning, but we will see. The numerology aspect of The Stormlight Archive is a bigger part of the world than I usually emphasize, because if you emphasize stuff like that people will assume it is actually magical.  They are a bit more superstitious with their numerology than I sometimes imply—

Questioner

Is that why there's lots of things in tens? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, well even more than that, it's based on the whole idea that in the Hebrew, a number and a letter are the same thing, so people would translate words to numbers and numbers to words. They do a LOT of that. 

#9 Copy

Questioner

When do you expect your next Stormlight Archive book to be released?

Brandon Sanderson

They take about three years to do, is what I found, so we're about one year into that so about two more years.

#10 Copy

Stormlightning

Is Hoid, Handerwym?

Brandon Sanderson

[laughs] Handerwym is not Hoid. Handerwym is snarky on his own.

Stormlightning

But he is a worldhopper?

Brandon Sanderson

Thats...hmmm [gives RAFO card]

Stormlightning

Is he native to Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

He is native to Scadrial.

#11 Copy

Stormlightning

In The Way of Kings, Hoid says that he has a grudge against Rayse and Bavadin; is that like one grudge against both of them, or is that two separate grudges?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, they are a similar grudge.

Questioner

But from different incidents?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that too. Partially because I don't know exactly how I'm going to write it yet. That's more a RAFO of, "I'm writing that in 15 years so we'll wait until I do."

#12 Copy

Stormlightning

Hoid. Was his hair white from birth?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid's hair, in the current incarnation, was not white from birth. But that's not canon until I write it. So, his hair was not white in the very first story I wrote about him, but it was white by Dragonsteel, so who knows what I'll do when I really get back to that. But, right now I have it not being natural.

Let's go with, canon answer for Hoid, 'not natural white hair.' But that's got the asterisk of "it's possible I could change that when I actually write it." Who knows what I'll do in 15 years. I think I'm going to have enough trouble making sure all the things that I've put in the books about him are all--stay true. I don't want to pull a Lucas and have the four things we've actually talked about not actually happen in the prequels, but...I'm not going to hold myself to all the Words of Brandon, particularly when I write Dragonsteel.

#13 Copy

Stormlightning

*Written on a sticky note* Is there a connection between the characters who have large purple birthmarks?

Brandon Sanderson

I do not have any significance to it right now, no.

#14 Copy

Questioner

In The Stormlight Archive there are characters with names that are different from characters they are in the other Cosmere books, and I'm wondering if there is their a place that has a "this is this person" or if there are like clues that we could watch for.

Brandon Sanderson

People have different names, they're using aliases in various parts of the Cosmere and things like this. The only thing I can point you toward are the fan wikis and fan forums which you probably already know about, the 17th Shard being the biggest of those. I am not revealing who the people are, but theories are on those websites and I have confirmed a few of them.

#15 Copy

Questioner

So, I don't know which one it's in, but when Nazh was analyzing Bridge Four--

Brandon Sanderson

Nazh was analyzing Bridge Four, yes.

Questioner

Why?

Brandon Sanderson

Why was Nazh analyzing Bridge Four? Well, you will find clues to that in the pieces of art in The Stormlight Archive, that he was trying to obtain...they are very interested...certain elements of the Cosmere are very interested in the progress of the Nahel bond as the Knights Radiant are making them.

#17 Copy

Questioner

How connected is Stormlight to the Warbreaker books?

Brandon Sanderson

Pretty connected. Yeah, a lot of them...so, when I wrote Warbreaker, I actually had already written the first book Way of Kings, in Stormlight, and I was writing Warbreaker as kind of a prequel to it, but then they came out in reverse order. But they are very...they are the most connected of the Cosmere books right now.

#18 Copy

Questioner

What was the black gemstone that Gavilar gave to Szeth before he died? Was it Unmade, and what did Szeth do with it?

Brandon Sanderson

So Szeth has put it in a safe place, and, "Is it an Unmade or is it not?" is a RAFO.

#19 Copy

Questioner

*Talking about Mistborn and Feruchemists.* Personally, which one would you rather be?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably a Mistborn. Because I want to be able to fly. Even kind-of/halfway/maybe/sort-of fly.

#20 Copy

Questioner

Who is your favorite female character?

Brandon Sanderson

Favorite female character? Jasnah, probably. It's hard to say, it's like they're all my children, right? Whose your favorite child? but...Jasnah, maybe?

#21 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Hufflepuff, eh?

Questioner

My husband's a Hufflepuff.

Brandon Sanderson

Do you know what I am? Can you guess?

Questioner

I would say...a little bit of Slytherin, I've seen your evil faces when you give out RAFO cards.

Brandon Sanderson

*Talks over* Slytherin, I'm Slytherin.

I figure if you sort yourself in Slytherin, it's the house that...if you think you are, you probably are.

#23 Copy

Questioner

When is Wax coming back?

Brandon Sanderson

Wax is coming back...Wax will be the next...well...it will happen before too much longer. I was gonna write it next but I don't know, it would kinda feel nice to finish the whole Skyward trilogy, turn it in, and be done, and not have to come back to it, but then when do I do Wax 4? So we'll see. It shouldn't be too much longer.

#24 Copy

Questioner

I was curious, what is your favorite metaphor in the Steelheart series?

Brandon Sanderson

Definitely the potato in a minefield, just because it comes at the right moment. It's not the best of the metaphors, but it's the most...the most 'David' of the metaphors.

Footnote: These are actually similes, not metaphors.
#25 Copy

Questioner

Who has been your favorite character to write so far?

Brandon Sanderson

It's hard to say, they're all like my children. I often default to Wayne, because he's a blast.

#26 Copy

Questioner

My friends and I had this debate when we were playing the Mistborn Adventure Game. So when a kandra imitates a human, do they replicate the organs perfectly?

Brandon Sanderson

Usually, yes. But there are kandra that do not, by intention, do that.

Questioner

Does that include the reproductive organs?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

So theoretically if a kandra were to copulate with a human while pretending to be a human, would it create another human?

Brandon Sanderson

It would. And I think I've been consistent on that. So, I have to do things like this because I didn't want a blood test to be able to determine who was a kandra and who wasn't, because that's your go-to way to find a shapeshifter. So I think I had to imitate entirely. But boy, would it imitate the genetic code... *sounds of thought and frustration*

Questioner

That's the question we have.

Brandon Sanderson

You know, I don't know that they would...so they were human...I'm going to go ahead and back pedal and RAFO on that. I haven't decided 100% yet...I know you can't tell with a bloodtest, but if you look at the DNA, would you be able to tell it's a kandra? And I'm kinda thinking you probably would be able to. 

Questioner

So then, following that they wouldn't be able to reproduce.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, they wouldn't be able to reproduce in that case. I'm gonna go--jury's out. And I have to really make a call on this. I'm going to say, "Yes," right now, that they are doing this down to the cellular level, a copy, but I may have to backpedal on that when I get to future Mistborn books, when I really look at it, what it would take, to do that. It's an unofficial yes, with a RAFO attached to it.

#27 Copy

Questioner

Have you ever thought of stepping out of fantasy, and doing a different kind of drama, like "Let me do a romantic comedy and see how that goes"?

Brandon Sanderson

Umm yeah. I mean Legion is a detective story, which is one of my departures, and I do some science fiction. I've never really been interested in doing something that didn't have a sci-fi/fantasy element, 'cause it's part of what fascinates me, but i would be most likely if I were to step out of that, to do something...probably a straight up mystery, would be where I would go. You might also be able to see me writing a historical novel.

Questioner

Like if you tried to do a romantic comedy...but somehow it got some sci-fi--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, every time I try to do something like that, some sort of fantasy element pops into it somehow.

#28 Copy

Questioner

So, in the beginning of Alloy of Law, Bloody Tan says that he has met God, Death, and the Survivor. We know that Lessie was working with Harmony the entire time. Was Bloody Tan also under the influence of Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

So, "under the influence of" is perhaps a...so I would say "No," but, he is not lying at that point.

Questioner

Oh, that is awesome.

Brandon Sanderson

So, "under the influence" is extreme, but...Harmony is also not 100% guiltless. Let's put it that way.

Questioner

You know, that feels like a good answer. That way I can at least have Harmony not my most hated Shard, but...

Brandon Sanderson

Harmony does not deserve to be hated, but Harmony is having troubles figuring out how to make things work.

#29 Copy

Questioner

I was wondering if the Oathpact was limited just to the 10 original Heralds, or if someone could possibly take their place?

Brandon Sanderson

*Presumably hands RAFO card* 

#30 Copy

Questioner

In Stormlight Archive, of all the Oaths that you know, which Orders would be the hardest to keep?

Brandon Sanderson

The thing about it is the spren self-select. So if you're going to give them to a random person then in that case, I'd say the Windrunners, but it could be the Skybreakers. One of those guys that are closer up on the dial to Honor and things like that are probably gonna be the harder to take for a random person but that whole self-selection thing ends up making it...

#31 Copy

Questioner

Is each Shard associated with a certain color in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll go ahead, I'll RAFO that. There are some of these questions that the answers are starting to seep out anyway. So, we'll go ahead and RAFO that.

#32 Copy

Questioner

I can't remember--is there anymore Mistborn books coming?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there's one more Wax and Wayne book, then I'm going jump another Era to 1980's-level technology.

#33 Copy

Questioner

Will Kaladin ever get a lover?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a Read and Find Out. People get those cards from me when I don't want to answer the question, because it'll be a spoiler.

Questioner

I feel bad for him sometimes.

Brandon Sanderson

You know, you're allowed to feel bad for Kaladin.

Questioner

Does he want to find someone to love?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, he does. But, you know. Kaladin is also his own worst enemy sometimes.

#34 Copy

Questioner

Does it ever overwhelm you to know that your books are huge now?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's a little weird, but...I mean I'll take it. It's better than the alternative, right? You know those days when I was just a little dufus sitting in my basement writing books, have turned into me being a big dufus having to do these big lines and stuff. It is a little weird.

#35 Copy

Questioner

For a writer like yourself and Robert Jordan who both have very expansive and articulate universes, how much of the planning process do you do up front and how much do you let it develop organically as you write?

Brandon Sanderson

I am more naturally a planner, but both methods are valid. Robert Jordan was a little bit more of what we call a pantser. But every book changes as you're writing it. Like, I don't know if you've read Stormlight, but one of the main characters in Stormlight wasn't meant to be a main character until I finished the book and there was something wrong and I went through revisions, and added a character's viewpoint in to fix those problems, and then that sends a ripple through my whole outline, and you know, so stuff like that.

#37 Copy

Questioner

*Inaudible, presumably about inspiration for Allomancy.*

Brandon Sanderson

For Mistborn, more alchemy. I am fascinated by the fact that Isaac Newton believed in it. Just the transition period between superstition and science is a fascinating period.

#38 Copy

Questioner

It's very subtle, but at the end of Oathbringer, when Jasnah goes to find Shallan on the battlefield, she goes to grab Shallan, Shallan's over here as Radiant. She has Shards *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a Read and Find Out. I'm being very coy on Shardplate, even though you have seen characters with it in the books before. Because I want to wait until I can do some reveals in viewpoint character.

I will tell you this: You have indeed seen people with Shardplate multiple times in the books. Or at least, the soon aftermath of someone.

#39 Copy

Questioner

Is Vivenna hunting Zahel?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Then why won't she tell him that she's looking?

Brandon Sanderson

She is hunting him. There's more to it, but yes.

#40 Copy

Questioner

So...all the 3 Way of Kings books begin from a different person's perspective in the past. Who're you doing next time?

Brandon Sanderson

Let me see...so Gavilar is last, so he's not fourth. I think it's Navani, but I'm not 100% sure. Yes, I think it's Navani, but I will have to look at what I've got in my notes. The 4th one's been the wild card. I always went with Szeth first and Gavilar last.

#41 Copy

Questioner

So, is the way that Vasher and...

Brandon Sanderson

Vivenna.

Questioner

How they crossed worlds. Is that related to the worlds that Pattern, and...

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Shadesmar. They went through Shadesmar.

#43 Copy

Questioner

The Dawnshards. Have we seen any evidence of them on Roshar yet?

Brandon Sanderson

Technically, yes.

Questioner

Is there a the relationship between them and say, like, the perfect gems like the King's Drop?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that. Good question.

#44 Copy

Questioner 1

I was just wondering about the timeline in Alloy of Law. How long does is it take Wax to get back to the city after Lessie died?

Brandon Sanderson

That's... I would have to look exactly at the timeline. I believe it is months and not years, but I am not 100% sure. It might be, like eight months ?

Questioner 2

I thought it was six months.

Brandon Sanderson

Six months? That's the sort of thing that I have to look at a timeline for. I'm not gonna remember that, but yeah, something like that.

Questioner

So if I came back tomorrow, could you answer that?

Brandon Sanderson

I probably could not. If you send me an email I probably could. But this sort of thing I have to go, dig into the timeline, say "Hey Peter, where's our timeline on this. Hey Karen, what's the month... get out the master timeline," and stuff like that.

Usually I do a lot of the books, writing them without really worrying too much about the timeline, and then I give them to Karen, and Karen's job is to make all the timeline fit. And she'll come back to me and say, "We need more time here, for these people to get here," and things like that. And so I adjust the books to match the timeline. And so, a master timeline is not something I take into a large account when I am writing. It's more important in Stormlight books 'cause of the storms. You can't just off-the-cuff if there's a storm or not a storm. But in a lot of other books doesn't matter as much.

Questioner

I was just a little confused when Marasi said that Wax had come back at the same time as the thing, it didn't make sense at the end.

Brandon Sanderson

We'll see. You can always fire us an email, and we'll go to the master timeline and see what Karen says.

#45 Copy

Questioner

On your Tor.com release of Oathbringer, I made a comment, it was about the Windblades being powered by Urithiru. Would that be barking up the right tree or the wrong tree?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a, barking up the wrong tree. Good question. I don't think I've seen that question before.

Questioner

Even [Alice?] brings it up in the next chapter.

Brandon Sanderson

Did she? No, that's a false correlation, the strata are more just there because of how Roshar works, than they are to make you draw a parallel there.

Questioner

And only Shallan and others can really see the colors *inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

Mmmm. That is not a false correlation, right there.

#46 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any updates on the next Wax and Wayne book?

Brandon Sanderson

No updates right now; cancelling the Apocalypse Guard and writing a new book in its place has put me just a little behind, but it was the right thing to do *inaudible*. And so I'm just finishing up Skyward 2 and Skyward 1 is coming out in November and I have until January to write something else, because January I need to start another Stormlight book so if it doesn't happen before then I'll probably do it in breaks between chunks of Stormlight.

#47 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Book six is halfway done, Bastille is writing it. She's doing a very good job; I'm quite excited by her version. It involves lots of stabbing things and Bastille making fun of Alcatraz. It's turning out really well and I think you're going to like it.

#48 Copy

Questioner

I just found out today that you have a charity called the Lightweaver Foundation.

Brandon Sanderson

I do.

Questioner

What are you trying to accomplish with it?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm trying to find ways to give away my money.

Questioner

Excellent! 

Brandon Sanderson

It's less that I'm trying to funnel money into it from other sources. Sometimes, we sell things or do things that I want to do for charity, but mostly it's, so far we've put a library in the homeless shelter in Salt Lake and we've donated a bunch of books to schools and prisons and libraries. When someone comes and says, "Hey, can you donate to this thing," I just funnel it through the charity. It basically exists to give away my money.

#49 Copy

Questioner

So Wayne is my absolute favorite character. What was your main inspiration for him?

Brandon Sanderson

Wayne started with a character, I wanted to do someone who changed personalities based on the hat they wore, and it actually started as a haberdasher, a hat maker, and as a character staring in his own story in the Mistborn world and it didn't work. He needed somebody to play off of and so I shelved it and started The Alloy of Law where he could have somebody to play off of. Wax actually grew out of Wayne.

#50 Copy

Questioner 1

I know I mentioned my tattoo that I wanted to get yesterday, and I was wondering what, cause I want the planets that feature in that system to be colored and everything is black and white, and so I was wondering what color I could get for each of them.

Brandon Sanderson

Wow, ok, I don't know if I can answer that right here, you probably want to email that to us. I can give you an off the cuff answer. I don't know if it'll be like a canonical answer or something like that. Give them to me and I'll tell you what my instincts say.

Questioner 1

Sel?

Brandon Sanderson

I would do Sel as a blue color. Probably a light blue.

Questioner 2

Nalthis?

Brandon Sanderson

Nalthis i would do as like a vibrant pink, orange, or something like that.

Questioner 1

Taldain?

Brandon Sanderson

Taldain I would do as yellow.

Questioner 1

Would I do like the half and half or?

Brandon Sanderson

I would do half and half, yeah, or if you wanna do black and white. Black and white would work very well for them.

Questioner 2

Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

Scadrial I would do as a rust red, like a deep red.

Questioner 1

Threnody?

Brandon Sanderson

Threnody, lets see. 

Questioner 1

I was thinking like a dark blue/green mix as well.

Brandon Sanderson

The problem is you would want to do Roshar as either a brown or a Kholin blue. Probably a brown for the stone, so in that case you could Threnody as like a dark blue and you could do Sel as light blue. You don't have a green in there, so Sel could go green if you wanted it to.

Questioner 1

I forgot to ask about Sixth of the Dusk.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, that would be mostly water, so that's a blue one.

Questioner 1

Like a vibrant blue?

Brandon Sanderson

Vibrant blue. So we've got three blues. But you can change one of those to green, and I would say Sel goes green.

Questioner 1

Like an emerald green?

Brandon Sanderson

Like a grass green. Because a lot of people are concentrating on the *inaudible*.

#55 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I have to post the Pattern deleted scene some time because, whenever I see someone dress up as Pattern, which doesn't happen that often, I wanna quote that scene but it's not in the book anymore, where Pattern talks about how famous he is. Yeah, so, I need to post that scene.

#56 Copy

Questioner

So, in Oathbringer, you said that Hoid still has a god worshipping him. Can you give some back story to that?

Brandon Sanderson

I cannot, I mean I can, but I'm not going to.

Questioner

It will be revealed later?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe. I plan to get all of this stuff eventually into his memoir when he writes it. Or when I write his memoir for him.

#57 Copy

Questioner

Is there a reason, with 16 being such an important number, that there are only 10 orders of Radiants

Brandon Sanderson

That is relevant.

Questioner

Am I going to have to read and find out?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say 10 is a number that is relevant to Roshar and its inhabitants.

Questioner

And what's the significance of the number 10?

Brandon Sanderson

The significance is that it is very significant.

Questioner

Will we find out by reading it?

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe, that's why you're getting a RAFO. Potentially.

#58 Copy

Questioner

We know the Moon Scepter helps to change Identity [and/or/of] Investiture? So in the case of Raoden using *inaudible* Elantrians off-planet, would the Moon Scepter allow them to...

Brandon Sanderson

So the Moon Scepter is part of a key that they are trying to figure out how to do this. Because, Elantrian magic can be really powerful. All of the Selish magics can be really powerful. Because they are drawing from the Dor the way that they do, you're basically hooked up to a giant battery.

So, none of the other Cosmere magics you've seen have that level going on. The closest you're going to get is when you've got a Bondsmith powering the magic for the Knights Radiant.  Cracking how to make that work on other planets is a really important thing that people are trying to figure out.

Footnote: The Moon Scepter's functionality has been described elsewhere.
#59 Copy

Questioner

I want to know if Nightblood can be killed in the same way as a spren.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, that's a RAFO. Nightblood does not have the same spren bond, and so the renouncing of Oaths is not going to affect him, but there are certain things that could.

#60 Copy

Questioner

Where do you come up with your names for books?

Brandon Sanderson

It really depends on the book. Sometimes I'm using a real world culture's linguistics as inspiration, sometimes I'm building a linguistic trick for them, so it really depends. Listen to my podcast, Writing Excuses, look for the episode on, we're doing one on con-langs or naming. We've got some episodes on that.

#61 Copy

Questioner

I'm just curious, there are 16 Allomantic metals, 16 Feruchemical metals, there are 16 Shards of Adonalsium. Are there 16 surges?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Questioner

So there's no correlation?

Brandon Sanderson

10 is an important number on Roshar.

#63 Copy

Questioner

If you could choose to cast someone for Vin who would you pick?

Brandon Sanderson

Ellen Page from 10 years ago. Is that ok?

Questioner

*laughs* Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

I think she would've been very good.

#64 Copy

Questioner

So why does Rand bow to the Empress when the actual prophecy was that she was supposed to bend to him, it was changed by one of the...

Brandon Sanderson

So that was actually in Robert Jordan's notes, that this is what he was supposed to do. It was to fulfill that prophecy, and so I don't have an explanation to that other than he made sure to include "this needs to happen", so I did it.

Questioner

Even though the prophecy was not supposed to be that way?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. That one was very clear in the notes; needs to happen.

#66 Copy

Questioner

I'm supposed to ask how Odium and Honor's Investiture could be so similar.

Brandon Sanderson

Odium and Honor, like a lot of the Shards, can be considered to have a similar theme. But that is very common among the Shards, in my opinion.

#68 Copy

Questioner

I have a question, because I really like Magic: the Gathering. What set are you collecting right now?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm always kind of collecting some of everything. Right now I'm building a Theros cube, so kinda working on that. It's just, I have all my old ones so I'm just like, "Eh, I'll build a cube out of these", so I've just been putting that together, and then I've been building this really weird one that's a commander cube. So I'm grabbing specific cards from here and there and putting them together.

#69 Copy

Questioner

Is there a reason Kaladin is always talking about the Survivor.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. The Survivor? No. You're trying to get me to slip up on something; no. He does not know Kelsier, nice try.

Questioner

But are they connected?

Brandon Sanderson

Only thematically.

#70 Copy

Timsama

Is finding out what the deal was with Mare, is that an Era 2 thing we're going find out or is that...

Brandon Sanderson

No, unfortunately it is to be left, probably, as a mystery. It is a minor secret that I do not consider a major Cosmere thing, more of a backstory thing. I might eventually get around to it. The chances of it factoring in are very, very slim. I stay closed lipped about it because there is a part of me that thinks I will work it into Secret History 2, sort of like flash-backing material, but I'm not 100% sure I will.

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Questioner

Is there any possibility of a Legion television show?

Brandon Sanderson

There is, we have sold the rights to a company called Cinaflex in Canada, they are trying to develop one right now. Hopefully, it turns out alright. We probably have to change the title because there is a Marvel Legion series, we would probably just call it Leeds.

Questioner

That would be awesome. What about Snapshot?

Brandon Sanderson

Snapshot's at MGM, they have a really sharp screenplay that I love. Best screenplay based on my work that anyone's ever turned in. I'm really, really excited and hopeful for that one but there is no greenlight yet so who knows.

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Questioner

When you were writing Elantris, did you think of the artwork for all the symbols and stuff as you were writing?

Brandon Sanderson

I did, I drew them myself. Those are the only ones that I did the symbols for. After that book, I went and got somebody who knew what they were doing, so they look a little pedestrian compared to the other ones, but I did them all myself.

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Questioner

If someone was a good enough writer, would you ever consider letting someone else write in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

It is a possibility. I'd be very wary of doing it, but right now, Isaac, who's my illustrator, wants to do it, and he's been a friend for many years. So I've said, "If you really want to you can." So I'm open to the idea. You probably want to be a professional writer first, and have your own things published.

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Questioner

Do you already have the Ideals figured out for all the other orders?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but I don't always stick to 100% the wording. I got the sentiment and a sample phrase. But for a lot of them, they vary based on the individual. So there's some flexibility. I don't tell people what they are, generally, because I need the freedom to change just in case I decide to.

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Questioner

Has Hoid just collected--<like he does>--the spren, or...?

Brandon Sanderson

He has legitimately bonded the spren. Let's just say, he has given up on trying to cheat some of the systems and has decided to try to play by the rules.

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Questioner

Approximately how much Breath would it take to invest a regular object enough to that a Shardblade couldn't cut it?

Brandon Sanderson

I would have to look at the notes. One of the things we're doing right now is, we're unifying the actual unit of investiture. So, I'm not going to answer that until I have that codified, but it is one of the projects we're working on right now. I'll have some answers for you more...we'll just get a unit of measurement that we can use, probably based on that.

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Questioner

How would an Awakened with Breath piece of cloth react if it got hit with a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

A Shardblade would probably be able to cut it, but it depends on how much Breath we're talking about.

Questioner

So if it had enough, it might be able to block it

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

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Questioner

Is Hoid the only one of his kind that we've met in the Cosmere books?

Brandon Sanderson

What do you mean by his kind?

Questioner

Is he the only one from the planet he's originally from that we've met?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Because Ati and Leras, the Ruin and Preservation, were both from that same planet.

[...]

All of the Shards of Adonalsium were from that planet.

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ReticentBondsmith

If you infused a ruby and split it into three or more pieces, would you be able to create a groupchat spanreed?

Brandon Sanderson

This has been attempted so far unsuccessfully. Good question! It is very plausible in the magic system.

ReticentBondsmith

I've always felt this was related to quantum entanglement. Is that part of where you got the idea from?

Brandon Sanderson

Absolutely. I mean, I know that's not how quantum entanglement actually works. But the magic systems all in the Stormlight Archive grew out of my interest in the fundamental forces. We are several magical steps removed from the actual science in each of these cases, but that was the origin for all those magics. The quantum entanglement fascinates me, particularly the way that we think things should work and find out they don't. I love that stuff.

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Questioner

Are we going to find out more about Hoid in the next book?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but only little bits and pieces until a little later. The further we get along, the more comfortable I will be giving you Hoid stuff. Particularly in Stormlight. So yes, but it's a tentative yes.

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Stormlightning

Is there a set number of them[Dawnshards]?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Stormlightning

Are you willing to say?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

Stormlightning

Are you willing to say if they originated in the Rosharan system?

Brandon Sanderson

I am not willing to say.

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Questioner

If an Allomancer were to go to a different planet and burn the metals on that planet from that planet, it still works?

Brandon Sanderson

Still works.

Questioner 2

Same way, no differences?

Brandon Sanderson

No differences. The metal is more of a key to draw the magic out than it is providing any power itself.

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Stormlightning

If Hoid could have picked to join any order of the Knights Radiant, regardless of the Oaths he had to swear, just the powers, would he have picked Lightweaver?

Brandon Sanderson

He would have.

Stormlightning

Tell me more!

Brandon Sanderson

Lightweaving matches him very well, he's quite familiar with it and experienced with it. He's very good at using it and he likes it.

It's the fulfillment of a long, long quest of his to finally get full access to Lightweaving.

Stormlightning

Even though he had some sort of Lightweaving?

Brandon Sanderson

He did have some sort of, yes. He's a very very happy Hoid.

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Stormlightning

You told someone that Nan Balat likes to hurt things. Like, a supernatural tendency to hurt things.

Brandon Sanderson

It's more along the lines of, "He has suffered some...enhancement of a psychological issue through supernatural effects."

Stormlightning

It's not an Unmade thing?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO! Good question! That's basically a confirmation, isn't it? *teasing laugh*

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Stormlightning

Do the Natan people live longer than normal humans, because they have Aimian blood?

Brandon Sanderson

*Hesitant* Yes...Let's say, you are theorizing in a good direction.

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Questioner

What is your favorite Italian dish?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on my mood. There are some times where I just want to *inaudible* spagetti and meatballs. But sometimes carbonara. I would probably in a vacuum choose the carbonara. Probably. But it just really depends.

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Questioner

When did Shallan take the First Oath?

Brandon Sanderson

That's been quite a while. She's been on this path longer than almost anybody. Jasnah's been going for a while. If you look at the timeline, I think Jasnah beats her. But she's been on this path for years.

Questioner

Do we get to find out when she took that First Oath?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I'm planning to delve into that. It's supposed to be a "Wait, What?" I'd have to look exactly at the timeline, Jasnah beats her.  Jasnah definitely beats her.

Questioner 2

<Are you sure?>

Brandon Sanderson

Maybe not. I'd have to look at the timelines. This is why I have Karen, to keep my timelines for me!

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Questioner

There is ironpulling and steelpushing. And then there's also the surge of a Windrunner that changes their center of gravity. Are those combined somehow?

Brandon Sanderson

Combined, no, but trying to deal with different facets of the same idea, yes.

Footnote: The Surge of Gravitation changes the direction of gravity.
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Questioner

In Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, they use silver to fight Shades. I'm wondering if that's actual silver or they just call it silver and it's a mysterious metal that's known to fall from the sky.

Brandon Sanderson

It's a good question. I have it as actual silver.

Questioner

Would it be effective, at fighting...if you wanted to harm a spren or seon or other types of Cognitive Shadow?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

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Questioner

My question is a follow up to what you answered in my Well of Ascension. I asked if Hoid had any love interests, and you said, "Several". My follow up question is, have we seen any of those *inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

They will show up in various books but you have not seen them yet. They're *inaudible*.

Footnote: That entry can be found here.
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Questioner

Is there a lady in the future for Kaladin?

Brandon Sanderson

That is a Read and Find Out. Let's just say Kaladin is historically not that great on relationships but he has not given up on trying.

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Questioner

I want to know what Sazed's robes look like.

Brandon Sanderson

Sazed robes are long, and they've got a V pattern.

Questioner

*Inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

It is sewn into it. The V pattern is just sewn into it like that. Of alternating colors. Not alternating, various colors. Kind of a rainbow look.

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Questioner

Is Wit a remnant of Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson

No. Good question.

Questioner

I thought I had it figured out! I figured he was going around collecting himself. Getting all the different *inaudible*.

Brandon Sanderson

No, he is not a remnant of Adonalsium. Good question, though.

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Questioner

Now that Wax is a major part of society, are people trying to copy his coat?

Brandon Sanderson

That, you will see in the next book! You'll have to wait and see!

Questioner

I thought with that one, I wouldn't get that!

Brandon Sanderson

Wax has had an effect on the fashion industry.

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Questioner

Are these old Radiants?

Brandon Sanderson

Those are Heralds. That's Ash, who you'll see that the very end of this [Oathbringer]. That's Jezrien who's also near the end. You haven't met her [Vedel] yet. Ishar, you have heard about. And it's identified in this book who he is. But those are artist interpretations of them, in-world. They're like the Sistine Chapel versions of the Heralds. They might not look exactly like that, but that is an in-world interpretation of them by an artist.

Footnote: Question refers to the Oathbringer endpaper art
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Questioner

So, my question for you is writing related. I just finished a new first draft in my novel.

Brandon Sanderson

I know you! Yeah, ok sorry. It took me a minute.

Questioner

So yeah, I finished my draft; what was it that helped you when you... cause I recalled hearing on Writing Excuses, you talked about this, how editing was the bane of your existence earlier, you just didn't wanna do that, and I'm finding that too. I dont wanna jump in and fix all the terrible things. What was it that helped you kinda like...

Brandon Sanderson

It honestly is the thing that held me back the most. I think it was kinda partially just, getting rejected enough that I realized I just had to learn to do it. That was part of it. Giving myself space after finishing a book, writing something else and then coming back to it when I was feeling kind of fresh about it and exited about tackling it again, that helped a lot. It was also kinda like growing up as a writer, if that makes sense, and realizing I'm not ever gonna sell a book until I could learn to take a good one and make it great and then I just started buckling down and learning to revise.

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Questioner

So how big are spren, like when Kaladin sees a spren, how...

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the spren. lifespren are real tiny, little dots. windspren *presumably gestures*, like that. Some spren are as large as buildings. There is no strict size increment, but you can guess the size if I don't say otherwise. It really depends.

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Questioner

Well I'm an English teacher major for little kids and I was wondering what you think, or any advice, on how to make my students life long writers and readers.

Brandon Sanderson

When I was a teenager and I didn't like books and a teacher, the first teacher who really took the time to find a book that would match me rather than assigning me a book that they liked, was the one that got me hooked, so I kind of focus on that idea. I tell kids sometimes, books are like shoes, not everyone wears the same kind of shoes and when you wear the wrong size you might think shoes are painful but if you get the right size they make your life way better. Books are kinda the same way so try lots of different things, introduce them to a lot of different things and encourage them to read what they love.

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Questioner

What is your favorite parable from the Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not sure if I have a favorite. It's kind of like what I'm thinking about or feeling at the moment. One of the reasons I haven't written the whole thing out is because I want to be able to add to it when the right mood strikes me and stuff like that. I will say, the ones i haven't written yet will probably be my favorite if that makes any sense.

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Questioner 1

When you write the books, do you set up the setting and stuff first, because it's an amazing setting.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I do a lot of planning ahead of time. I'm naturally an outliner. It's not the only way to write a book, some people do it the opposite way, but I do a lot of outlining.

Questioner 2

I have a lot of trouble outlining myself.

Brandon Sanderson

Sometimes it doesn't work. There are some writers, that if they outline the book, it actually ruins the book cause they feel like they've already kind of gone through and written it.

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Questioner

Is the torture of Kaladin's love life just going to be an ongoing theme throughout the books? Is that what you're going to do?

Brandon Sanderson

Relationships are not really his thing, let's just say that.

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Questioner

Some of the names in the Stormlight Archive, sometimes they almost seem a little French to me.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah? Names from Stormlight are mostly coming from Hebrew or from Arabic. A lot of Arabic, a lot of Hebrew. I studied French in high school, so you never can tell. But Kelsier ("Kel-see-ay"), Demoux, and Vin are all from French in Mistborn.

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Questioner

The people who are from the future...*inaudible* I was thinking maybe they were from Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

I will not confirm or deny it. It is someone from the Cosmere from a world you've seen before.

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Questioner

So, how much of an idea do you need before you start working on a book?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on your writing style. For me, I need multiple ideas that are interacting in interesting ways. Some writers, no idea is required at all. They just start writing and see where it goes. Stephen King sometimes does that, when he writes books. We call it pantsing versus outlining, and I'm more of an outliner. I like lots of cool things that are interacting.

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Questioner

Can you tell us when more books are coming... as far as Alcatraz?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Alcatraz 6 is halfway done. It is moving along really well. I wrote a chunk of it and didn't like it, went to a friend of mine whose a really good writer and said, "I can't get Bastille's voice down, can you help me out?" And so we've been kind of going back and forth and sending things back and forth to each other and it's finally really working. It's snapping right together, and so I would imagine it's less than a year away. I don't know for sure. Not far.

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Questioner

To my knowledge, canned foods were the main export of Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

They were definitely a... yes, they had an important part of their export economy.

Questioner

What would the imports be?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO that for right now.

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Questioner

How did Magic: the Gathering come into your life?

Brandon Sanderson

So I was, I believe, a senior in high school - it was '94 - and my brother came home with a deck. The local... so this would have been the late spring, early summer of '94, just when Revised hit. My brother came home from the little... back then it was called Cosmic Comics - was where we bought our fantasy novels and comics, and they had started stocking this game. And what they would do was, to get people interested, they would open the starter decks, and they would put the rares out with the starter deck, so you could pick it based on the colors of the rares that you wanted, because nothing was worth anything back then, you could do that. And you could pick the ones without the lands, because lands were dumb. Though when I ended getting it, I ended up getting a sealed one for whatever reason.

But he'd picked the green one, so he'd gotten the Force of Nature and the Cockatrice, so he was like "ooh, big green." And I went and I bought a starter deck and didn't know what it was, and I looked through the cards (you couldn't tell what was rare back then, right) but the last card in the pack, the one I settled on I thought was rare, was a Royal Assassin, and I'm like, "This is lame. His is an 8/8 and mine is a 1/1." But of course as soon as my Royal Assassin killed his Force of Nature one time, a control player was born and I realized "Oh, this is what we do."

Back then we played with all the cards we had in a big pile, that's just what you did. And I was the first one in our little group to realize how great a Demonic Tutor was when you have a deck of 400 cards that you're playing from. So I played 19 Demonic Tutors, I traded for everyone else's, so that I could actually find some of my cards now and then. That was my experience starting off Magic.

I bought one pack of Legends the week it released, I had gotten into Magic a little earlier. So I guess you can find out exactly when I started playing, because I walked into Cosmic Comics and they said "We've got Legends in." I'm like, "What's that?" They're like, "You want some. It'll be gone within an hour." So I took my money I was going to spend on fantasy novels, and I bought one pack of Legends, and... I can't even remember, I might have even got a Chromium in it, but then they were gone within an hour. That was back when a set came out, it was gone that day, and you didn't see any more of them.

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Questioner

Is there an origin to how you designed [the Mistcloak]?

Brandon Sanderson

Yea, there is an origin to the Mistcloak. It was actually gonna be in the video game that didn't ever get made.

*crown groans* I know, I know. But I will eventually use that some day. There's been talk of just doing a graphic novel of this character that I had written a story for. I wrote something like 20,000 words of story for the video game that didn't end up getting used ,so we might turn that into a graphic novel or we might make a video game out of it or something. But that was the origin.

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Brandon Sanderson

For me a great magic system is one that fulfills your goals as a writer in your story. And they fill lots of different holes, and they all don't have to look the same, they don't have to do the same things. This is more, for me, about when I pick up the book, is the magic in the world enhancing the type and style of story it is, the subgenre it is, and that sort of stuff. Though, if we're asking what magic system inspired us, I will say, I still think the best magic system in fantasy is the Runelords by David Farland.

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Brandon Sanderson

Harry Potter is a really interesting example because it tends to be, in a given book, pretty hard; and then across the entire continuity it lets itself be soft. And so, what you end up having is a given book is really tight with the use of magic, though again... I don't know if you want to get into this, but when we talk about a hard magic system, there are many things we mean, and I think as a writer it's good to separate out internal logic versus external logic. If you want a hard magic system... Lee likes the external logic to really work, meaning you're asking where is the power coming from, how does it realistically affect the economics, how can I explain to someone outside the system how this magic is actually working, how does it not break the laws of thermodynamics. 

And internal logic means that it's consistent. And so for instance, you can look at a lot of superheroes as a good example. Some superheroes do not try external logic. They just say "This person has this power, and it works this way." The further they've gotten along, the more external logic they try to add. "Oh it's the X-gene" or it's, you know, "You get the power from the sun" or things like that. That is a very different thing from the internal logic of a story, where you say, "This character has this power, it works like this. And It always works this way. We don't explain how realistic it is, but we are consistent." Two very different things. Both very important to think about for your story, but you can have a story with only internal consistency, and Harry Potter is pretty good at this. She doesn't tell us "Oh, where does the power for magic come from, and what are the laws of things," no, but it can be very consistent, particularly within a given book. Internal logic.

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Questioner

*inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Most of these are possible, but for a lot of the magic, it's hard to figure out how to do it. There is more to it than just having Breath and using Allomancy. Some of these are easier than others. For instance, Vasher is able to live off of Stormlight very easily.

Questioner

Yeah, I made that assumption because he's been living there. But I also noticed that Azure is still using color.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Azure is still using color.

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Questioner

If there was a story in Arcanum Unbounded that you thought was most informative? What's your favorite story in Arcanum Unbounded?

Brandon Sanderson

My favorite is Emperor's Soul. Probably the most Cosmere aware is Sixth of the Dusk.

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Questioner

Have you ever thought about making any of your books or ideas into movies or TVs?

Brandon Sanderson

I have tried. It's bigger than one person can do. So really, with movies and TV, you have to find someone you trust and hope they can get it done. But funding and things is so hard. We've had some decent scripts. We have a really good script for Snapshot, which is one of my shorts, right now. So far, I have no news on anything other than "We're working on it," but I would like to.

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Questioner

The Rithmatist. Is there another one close to coming out?

Brandon Sanderson

Rithmatist, I've had real troubles with for a couple of reasons. Once I get Alcatraz, like, finished finished, my next thing to do will be to get Rithmatist taken care of. 'Cause I finished Legion, last one's coming out in a couple weeks. But I'll finish Alcatraz, and that means fewer series hanging and looming over me. And then Rithmatist will be the only one that hasn't gotten...

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Questioner

We've noticed some very unique parallels in some of your stories with historical events. Are you pulling some inspiration?

Brandon Sanderson

Always. Some of those are coincidental, but a lot of them are... I mean, Oathbringer has the famous story from Genghis Khan getting hit by an arrow and recruiting the archer.

Questioner

We saw some interesting parallels during Mistborn between some of the Dark Ages stuff.

Brandon Sanderson

French Revolution was definitely part of that. There's a whole bunch. So you'll see me pulling from all over the place. I mean, I've used Agincourt as a battle. I flipped it upside down so people wouldn't tell. Stuff like that.

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Questioner

If you could get someone that works on VR to make something, what would you have them make?

Brandon Sanderson

I would love to do a Mistborn game where you can jump around and do perspective and things like that.

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Questioner

If you got an actual Feruchemist who was as battle-minded as the Mistborn were in their heyday, and they met a Mistborn, which one would have the advantage in battle?

Brandon Sanderson

In a short battle, a Feruchemist. In a long battle, a Mistborn. That'd be my guess.

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Questioner

How much does your wife influence your work?

Brandon Sanderson

Quite a bit. She's usually the first person who ever reads my books. And we tend to talk a lot together about books and movies and things like that, so I'd say she's a pretty big influence. She won't let me base a character on her, though. I asked her if I could, she said no. She can't be in the books.

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Questioner

Can you tell me anything about Steris and what she's up to in Book 4?

Brandon Sanderson

In Book 4? Steris is working hard on getting Wax to care about politics, since it's his job. And she's doing a pretty good job.

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Questioner

Is there any basis in reality from where you get your magic systems at all?

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of different.... I mean, they're usually several steps removed. But Stormlight started with the idea of the fundamental forces in physics, and it kind of just extrapolated in weird directions after that.

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Questioner

In Oathbringer, you kinda have themes of mental illness, right? Is that intentional?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. It is intentional.

Questioner

How come you decided for...

Brandon Sanderson

Because several of the characters that I was dealing with had mental illnesses, and I let theme develop out of what the characters are interested in, what their conflicts are, and who they are. These themes kind of grow out of character.

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Questioner

I really love the female protagonist in the Way of Kings series. I was wondering where you pull your inspiration for a woman like Jasnah?

Brandon Sanderson

So, my mother graduated first in her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in most of her accounting classes. So, I draw of inspiration from my mother. But, also good authors I've read. Anne McCaffrey, I would recommend. Melanie Rawn. Some of these people who were my introduction to fantasy were also very good at writing characters and taught me a lot.

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Questioner

And I heard you're also considering jumping into the second book of Warbreaker, eventually.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, eventually. I don't feel as much urgency on that one as I do something like Stormlight. Because I wanna have regular intervals. And that sequel is one I've said I will probably do, but it's not, like, a promise thing.

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Questioner

Is Michael Kramer's pronunciation usually the correct pronunciation?

Brandon Sanderson

He is on more than he is off, but we did not get him the pronunciations in time. So a few of them, he had to do on his own. He is more often right.

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Questioner

Which Shardblade is this one? *points at illustration* I actually asked Isaac which one it was, and he told me to ask you.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh. I bet we haven't canonized it yet. Which is why he doesn't want to say. Normally, I let... 'Cause it's not any of the named ones, it's not Adolin's unnamed sword (well, it actually has a name now), it's not Sunraiser, it's not Oathbringer, so it's probably...

The one who has to do that is Ben McSweeney.

Questioner 2

Mark was thinking it was Gavilar's sword.

Brandon Sanderson

It could be Gavilar's sword. Who else has one... Khal only has armor, not a blade. Really, what happens is, we have Ben McSweeney just draw a bunch of these, and then we canonize them as we need them to belong to certain people. But you can write to Ben and ask him to canonize it. And we'll just take what he says. Because it's not one of the ones that we... It's from one of Shallan's illustrations? Yeah. So, she saw it in the training field. So it's gotta be one of the Alethi blades. Could be the King's Blade.

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Questioner

Do you have a Calling?

Brandon Sanderson

I am a Gospel Doctrine Teacher. Going on my eighth year. I'm on my third bishop. I just don't say anything, because I really like the Calling.

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Questioner

I love Emperor's Soul. Are you going to expand that into more in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

I have an idea for a sequel. But I'm timid about writing it because the first one turned out so well, and I don't want to Lucas it. So we'll see.

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Questioner

What is the weirdest thing that you have signed?

Brandon Sanderson

A baby. Baby is up there. I've signed some pretty weird things lately. License plates, I sign a lot of license plates.

Questioner

You ever signed someone's skin? And they turn it into a tattoo?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, at this signing, someone earlier had me sign their Life Before Death tattoo, that they were gonna get the signature tattooed. It's on Twitter.

Someone brought a really strange thing through Idaho Falls. It was something like a muffler, something like that. No, it was the bumper that ripped off their car.

I have had requests to sign inappropriate parts of bodies, and I have refused that one.

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Questioner

What does the Sylspear look like?

Brandon Sanderson

Write to Ben McSweeney, he's got concept art for it. He can send it to you.

I had to keep pushing him. He kept drawing things that looked like the ashanderi from Wheel of Time. I'm like, "No, it has to actually look like a spear."

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Questioner

Are there any possible plans for The Rithmatist becoming a virtual reality game?

Brandon Sanderson

We have tried. We get a lot of interest from people who don't actually make video games, who are like "I think this would be a great game. Here's my concept." I'm like, "That's great. But we would need somebody who's actually made video games." So, I think it would make a great one. BYU students did a little fun prototype one that turned out very well. But nothing real so far. So far, I have no interest from game developers who have actually developed games.

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Questioner

How long did the writing process take for Elantris?

Brandon Sanderson

Elantris was about an eight-month write. And then after I sold it, I needed to do maybe another four months of revisions. So maybe about a total of twelve months.

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Questioner

In Bands of Mourning, there's the people that show emotion with their hands. Who was first, you or Patrick Rothfuss, with people that emote with their hands?

Brandon Sanderson

Hey, you can go read Defending Elysium. Which came out before Name of the Wind. Where I have an alien species that use hand gestures as a lot of its emotional accents. I would say it's probably parallel sort of things. Pat and I read a lot of the same books growing up. You'll find this; all of my group of writers around my age all grew up reading the same people, so we're kind of remixing things in similar ways. Brent Weeks and I both released color-based magic systems within a year of each other. I beat him to it by a couple months, which made him really mad. Of course, they were both in development at the same time. Why are these ideas sometimes similar?

Why are me and Pat doing these very scientific magic systems? It's because we read the same books growing up, and we're kind of in the same school of thought as we're pushing in different directions in fantasy.

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Questioner

In your opinion. Arcanum and the 17th Shard. *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

I have never felt creeped out by anything that they do there. But once in a while, I'm really overwhelmed by it.

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Brandon Sanderson

I am not an economist like Lee, and I'm not an accountant like Larry, but I've done enough research in this to be dangerous. Just a little bit of research. And I found two kind of fundamental theories that have always been very useful to me in building a magic system if you want to relate it to your economics. And there are two different theories that people talk about. The basis for an economy. And one argument is, the economy is run by those who control the food sources. And if you can relate your magic system to the food (that can be transportation, getting food from one place to another; 'cause if you can get food unspoiled to a large city, you can urbanize, and things like this), they look at the idea of food running countries. And the other direction that people go is, violence running countries. The people who have a monopoly on violence in a society are the people who are in charge of that society. And they're both very interesting ways of looking at the economics of society and then relating your magic to that.

There's a reason why the Stormlight Archive, I said, "All right, I'm gonna make the magic have a one-to-one, you can correlate it to how much food the magic can create." This lets me understand using some real-world examples how to move armies around, how much magic you would need to keep the army fed, which also kind of ties into the monopoly on violence in society and things like this. But I wanted to relate it in that way because it gave me a way to correlate. "This much magic is worth this much read. This much bread is worth this much in our world." And obviously, you can't exactly tie it one-to-one. But it gives me a ballpark, so I can kind of keep a scale going, and I can know how much value these things have. Obviously, scarcity and ease of creating that food and things all play into how this works. It's not exactly, directly across. But it's been really handy for me in figuring out "How much is my magic worth?"

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Questioner

What's the plan for a book on Threnody?

Brandon Sanderson

Book on Threnody? I have a plan, but no promises when. I don't even have a title for it.

Questioner

Similar question for a book on First of the Sun?

Brandon Sanderson

First of the Sun is probably not going to have its own book. I might do a sequel short story, but it's not planned to have a full novel at this point in the Cosmere.

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Questioner

With Allomancy is of Preservation, and you have Hemalurgy, which is of Ruin. Is Feruchemy a joint effort between the two? Or is it a third party?

Brandon Sanderson

Joint effort.

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Questioner

Do you see yourself as a certain character in the book?

Brandon Sanderson

They are all one part me, one part not me.

Questioner

I was wondering if you see yourself as Hoid.

Brandon Sanderson

Definitely not Hoid. Hoid is very different from me. If I'm like anyone, I'm either like Sazed, maybe older Dalinar.

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Questioner

Kaladin is one of my favorite characters, and I noticed he's a really good leader, but he also does have his very hard moments. And I was wondering, what inspired you to make such a strong character that is allowed to cry and be weak?

Brandon Sanderson

That is partially my philosophy on writing coming out. And is partially me noticing some things about characters in books that I felt hadn't been covered very well. Certain styles of characters had not been done as much, and I wanted to explore that direction. I take a lot of inspiration from my wife for Kaladin, actually, who has depression.

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Questioner

What inspired Steris?

Brandon Sanderson

Partially, me feeling that I didn't do a fair shake by an autistic character in Elantris, and wanted to do a better job of it later on after I had read more and more about it, and I'd known some people with autism, and things like that, and I wanted to try approaching someone on the spectrum from a more realistic viewpoint. Not that Elantris is completely wrong, but it's more Hollywood interpretation, rather than the real-life way that a lot of people who have autism live with it. That was part of it.

Part of it was also, I wanted to write a character based on a friend of mine, who when I first met them, was very kind of abrasive. And as I got to know them, became one of my best friends ever. And I'm like, "I want a character like that for fans." So if you read the book, you're like, "I hate this character." But at the end, you're like, "Oh, when I can see from their eyes, suddenly they're one of my favorites."

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Questioner

Is there a specific ear that Vin's earring goes in?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, and we've canonized that, but I can't remember which one it is. If you look online, we have posted it to the fans, and they've put it in the wiki.

Footnote: Peter has since canonized that Vin's earring is in her left ear. See this entry.
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Questioner

So, in Steelheart. The symbol of hope, they're thinking it's the Superman symbol.

Brandon Sanderson

It is. But I couldn't say that, because it's trademarked. But that is what it is.

You can imagine it as not. Because, I can't ever talk about Superman in that world. You can imagine it's an alternate version of our world where it's not. If it were ever made into a movie, it would not be.

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Questioner

Do you have a character that's your... a way to be interacting through a character through a first person viewpoint.

Brandon Sanderson

Probably the closest thing I have is Alcatraz, from the Alcatraz books. Who is my method of blowing off steam about the writing process.

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Questioner

What kind of Radiant do you think Shai would be?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a good question. I would go with Edgedancer. Listening is one of the things, but also the ability to get places where you're not supposed to be would be very up her alley. There is a argument for one with Lightweaving power. Shai a Lightweaver... does she lie to herself? No. She's very good at not lying to herself, which is part of it. I would go Edgedancer, followed by Lightweaver. We could make an argument that she, depending on situations, could end up in either order.

Which is not that uncommon, depending on the spren that you need.

Questioner

What would Kaladin's second Order be if he weren't a Windrunner?

Brandon Sanderson

I would have to think about that. I haven't considered it.

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Questioner

I listen to a lot of your books, and the fight sequences are <seriously good>. How... Do you have people, like, live-action it?

Brandon Sanderson

I do not, but I do a lot of having beta readers. And you can ask my beta readers, the action sequences are often the things that need the most work. Because I will not know what things are working or not working until I get those reads back where people say, "I'm not clear here, I'm not clear there." A lot of times, when I'm writing the first draft of the fight scene, I'm looking for the emotional connection to the character. What they're trying to accomplish. And then I see which of the things I wrote work with the readers and they can visualize, and then I back up and try again on the ones that don't.

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Questioner

What Order of Knights Radiant would you be?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know. I've thought this before. Probably Bondsmith would be definitely my personality. But it depends. It depends on, if I were living in Roshar, what would my life be like, and things like that. A lot of people could be in multiple Orders, depending on the spren they meet, and where they go from there.

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Questioner

What book was the most fun to write?

Brandon Sanderson

The most fun to write was probably the third Wax and Wayne book, which is called Bands of Mourning. It was just a blast.

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Questioner

In Alcatraz series, he talks about a lot of things. Religion, fame, particularly fame, stuff like that. I was wondering if that is his voice entirely, or if it's also partially you?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a lot of me in Alcatraz. My mother says Alcatraz is her favorite character because he sounds the most like me.

Event details
Name
Name FanX 2018
Date
Date Sept. 6, 2018
Location
Location Salt Lake City UT
Entries
Entries 159
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