Skyward Pre-Release AMA

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Name
Name Skyward Pre-Release AMA
Date
Date Oct. 4, 2018
Entries
Entries 216
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#1 Copy

Questioner

Is their planet purple?

Brandon Sanderson

More blue-grey.

#2 Copy

Questioner

Who was your favorite character to write?

Brandon Sanderson

It was definitely the character named M-Bot, whom you haven't met yet. :)

#3 Copy

Questioner

If "evil superheroes" was the hook for The Reckoners series, what is the hook for SKYWARD?

Brandon Sanderson

How to Train Your Dragon - but with spaceships.

#4 Copy

Questioner

Is the whole story going to be told through Spensa's perspective?

Brandon Sanderson

95% her viewpoint, but there are three brief chapters sprinkled through the books from another character's viewpoint.

#5 Copy

Questioner

Will Jorgen keep the callsign "Jerkface?"

Brandon Sanderson

He hopes not.

#6 Copy

Questioner

What is your favorite thing about writing new characters?

Brandon Sanderson

I love seeing the world through the eyes of a new character, particularly when they describe something common in a very different way.

#7 Copy

Questioner

Is Spensa mechanically savvy enough to repair the starfighter alone?

Brandon Sanderson

Nope, she's not. That's going to prove some problems for her...

#8 Copy

Questioner

What is your process?

Brandon Sanderson

I am a slow and steady writer, not a particularly fast one. I write a little each day, with a goal of around 2000 words.

#9 Copy

Questioner

Is SKYWARD going to be part of the cosmere at all?

Brandon Sanderson

It is unrelated to the cosmere - since Earth is part of its history, and because certain elements of space travel are done differently.

#10 Copy

Questioner

Do we get more Captain Cobb background?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, we do. Quite a bit!

#11 Copy

Questioner

Was there a scene that you had in your head from the beginning?

Brandon Sanderson

There were two. One is where Spensa sees the ship for the first time - you can read that in the excerpt. The other is a spoiler!

#12 Copy

Questioner

Are Spensa's purple eyes important?

Brandon Sanderson

Only in that it's distinctive. I chose purple for her as a theme and the artist ran with that.

#13 Copy

Questioner

Where were you when you looked up at the sky and were just amazed?

Brandon Sanderson

Every time I fly in an airplane! I was traveling a lot when writing this book, and I think that must have had an influence.

#14 Copy

Questioner

Is there a romance planned?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to wait and see! This is an action/adventure story first and a character study second. So know that if there's romance, it won't be a focus.

#15 Copy

Questioner

Will we be seeing more of Spensa's mom?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you will

#16 Copy

Questioner

What Skyward-inspired cosplay are you most excited to see at upcoming cons?

Brandon Sanderson

Doomslug the Destroyer, obviously.

#17 Copy

Questioner

Which character was the hardest to write and to which one do you relate the most?

Brandon Sanderson

They're the same person. There's a character named Jorgen who was both the hardest to get right, but also the most like me, which may sound a bit odd!

#18 Copy

Questioner

Can the ships go backwards at all while airborne?

Brandon Sanderson

Very slowly with maneuvering thrusters.

#19 Copy

Phantine

Okay, let's start with standard Roshar horoscopes:

If Spensa were to join the Knights Radiant, what order would fit her best?

Brandon Sanderson

Most likely, she'd be a Dustbringer. With small arguments for Stoneward, Skybreaker, or Edgedancer.

#21 Copy

Questioner

Is there anything in particular that majorly influenced the path that Skyward took at any point?

Brandon Sanderson

There's a big reveal at the ending that, once I came up with it, made me really excited to write the book - but you'll have to read it to find out.

#23 Copy

Questioner

Do you ever base characters on people you know?

Brandon Sanderson

I often do - but it's usually just one aspect of them, taken and spun into a different character.

#24 Copy

Questioner

How long have you had the idea for Skyward?

Brandon Sanderson

The first ideas - about Spensa's character - started around 2012. It wasn't until I decided to put her in this setting that it came together.

#25 Copy

Questioner

Please tell me, is there a romance [in Skyward]!?

Brandon Sanderson

There is a LITTLE romance, but that's not the main thing on Spensa's mind in this book.

#26 Copy

Questioner

What made you choose the title "Skyward" for your book?

Brandon Sanderson

I loved the idea of what it implied about looking up toward the sky and reaching for the stars.

#27 Copy

Questioner

What inspired Skyward?

Brandon Sanderson

It might seem strange for a sci-fi story, but my major inspirations were dragon stories like How to Train Your Dragon, Dragonflight, and Eragon.

#28 Copy

Use_the_Falchion

I'd also just like to say I that while I know you mentioned it basically once and haven't had any time to work on it since, I'm too excited for Soulburner (even if I shouldn't expect it for the next decade, if at all ever).

Brandon Sanderson

Soulburner...well, I'll just say not to hold your breath. :)

#29 Copy

Use_the_Falchion

Would Spensa get along with David from Steelheart?

Brandon Sanderson

Like a lot of things, it entirely depends on how they meet. But I'd guess that yes, they'd get along.

#30 Copy

Use_the_Falchion

Which Cosmere character would do the WORST in the Piloting Academy?

Brandon Sanderson

Hoid. It's always Hoid.

#31 Copy

Use_the_Falchion

I've been checking Dan Well's twitter pretty often, but there seems to be no update on Apocalypse Guard. Do you have any updates?

Brandon Sanderson

We got together before the cruise and did a big brainstorming session where we figured out once and for all how to fix the book--which is very exciting. However, it will take huge revisions (again) and this time, it's my turn to do that. So the ball is back in my court after he did a great job fixing characters. (The next fix involves plot and worldbuilding, which are my duties.)

#32 Copy

Use_the_Falchion

Have you ever thought of doing a magical school series a la Harry Potter, The Name of the Wind, or The Magisterum series? Or did Skyward kinda fill that spot for you?

Brandon Sanderson

We'll see. I've never had a really good idea for one. I need to feel like I'm bringing something new to a sub genre like that.

#33 Copy

Hirinjay

Does Mongrel know why Spensa's dad broke formation? Will we get a viewpoint of that battle, even just in retelling from Mongrel or someone else?

Brandon Sanderson

What happened during the battle is a major plot point, and you'll eventually get a chance to see it for yourself.

#34 Copy

RShara

Hey, is Brandon willing to tell us which universe Skyward is in yet? He said a while aback that it was in a universe (not cosmere) that he'd written before.

Brandon Sanderson

So, here's the thing--it's a pretty big spoiler. Meaning if you know the novella this is tied to (and it's one of the ones mentioned in this thread) you'll know a moderately large plot point in the book.

It's not the type of spoiler that will ruin a story--I do think some readers would enjoy watching how I lace them together. But do be warned that if you haven't read my science fiction novellas, and you hate spoilers, you might want to wait until Skyward is out to read them.

That said, if you know the terminology of the novellas in question, you'll find your answer in chapter seventeen.

#35 Copy

6th_account_so_far

How much of an impact did interviewing professional fighter pilots have on the story? Did anything learned from them actually change parts of the book in significant ways? Did you learn anything weird or unusual that you found fascinating?

Brandon Sanderson

The pilots were a HUGE help. The biggest issue I had, which was really hard to get through my skull, was the different ways that G-forces interacted with the human body.

I knew the basics, and had flight suits operating correctly and was watching for people pulling too many Gs. But the fighter pilots kept explaining things like "eyes out" and how it wasn't just number of Gs, it was the direction they were pulling. It wasn't until I called one of them and had a lengthy conversation that it started to click with me.

From there, some of the direct feelings of pulling Gs--feeling like your skin is sliding off your body, or that you've aged a hundred years--I got from them.

As always with a sf/f book, one of my goals is to walk the line between realism and fiction. I tried to make the battles feel real enough to not kick an actual pilot out of the story, but at the same time, I specifically gave the fighters technology that we don't have, in order to spice up how the combat would work.

#36 Copy

CoverYourSafeHand

Is there a Warbreaker sequel in the works? I would love to know how a certain trio of characters found themselves in Roshar.

Brandon Sanderson

Warbreaker sequel will happen some day, but is probably not until after book five of Stormlight. (At the earliest.)

#37 Copy

CoverYourSafeHand

My other question is about Wheel of Time. At the end, Rand just kinda walks away in Moridin's body. Does he stop being a Ta'veren? I can't imagine the pattern would just let him live a quiet normal life if he still was.

Brandon Sanderson

The ending portion of WoT that you reference was written by [Robert Jordan] himself, and he didn't leave a lot of explanations. Subtext and things Mr. Jordan said lead me to believe that the character you indicate is free, now. But we don't have a 100% for sure answer.

#38 Copy

NotOJebus

What do you feel is the main difference between writing sci fi and fantasy is? Did you learn things in writing Skyward that you feel will help you write Mistborn Era 4?

Brandon Sanderson

For me, it's a fine line, because I'm not writing Hard SF--but instead, a kind of hard fantasy. So my books tend to ride the line between SF/Fantasy anyway. And Skyward is straight up space opera, I'd say--most of the technology that we use in the books is fantastical anyway.

In SF, I feel I can lean on shared vocabulary a little more. This has been particularly handy in the novellas I've done, where we can use Earth as a reference point. Modern (and beyond modern) communication, and expectations of character education, also play a big part in changing how I approach the stories.

In some ways, it comes down to different storytelling traditions, and what they each afford you. Again, though, it would be different if I were writing hard SF.

#39 Copy

Jofwu

I'm really hooked by the "girl and her dragon" idea. Were there any fun or interesting things you were able to explore by virtue of replacing the dragon with a spaceship? That is, it's easy to imagine the fun similarities, but I'm curious if there were any notable differences introduced by that swap.

Brandon Sanderson

Hm... Well, normally in the dragon egg story, a trope is that the dragon needs to learn how to fly/fight and the trainer needs to learn with them.

Here, the ship knows how to fly--but is busted up. So there's a lot of fun in the story relating to how exactly to get parts for the ship--which leads to a completely different style of storytelling.

#41 Copy

Jofwu

Can you say what "small projects" you're thinking about working on for the rest of the year before picking up Stormlight in January?

Brandon Sanderson

I've just done a quick draft on some chapters on Alcatraz 6, which isn't ready yet, but is coming along. And I'll be looking over Secret Project again, as well as doing a draft of the Wheel of Time deleted scenes for the Unfettered 3 charity anthology.

#42 Copy

TinyOxKing

So when I was reading Warbreaker, the more I listened to Vasher the more he reminded me of Mormon (loves kids, warrior who hated war, a scholar, & etc) was this a coincidence or done on purpose?

Brandon Sanderson

Coincidence. I find that an interesting connection, though.

#43 Copy

WeiryWriter

At one point in time you were planning for Skyward to be in the cosmere, which is no longer the case. If you were to pick a Shard, or Shards, that would fit Skyward what would they be? (Not necessarily the Shard that would have been featured in-cosmere, but a hypothetical Shard that fits the book/world in its current state.)

Brandon Sanderson

Skyward was more "The travels of Spensa, space pilot" than a true story back when it was in the cosmere. But as the story is right now, I'd say Autonomy would find it very interesting.

#44 Copy

WeiryWriter

One of the projects I'm most excited for from you Brandon is Adamant (the Silence of the Lambs in Space story--It's in second-place 'cause The Aztlanian). You once mentioned that you were considering trying to slide it in the cosmere, but were unsure because it would require removing a Shakespeare reference of which you were fond. Have you considered adding it to this fledgling Skywardverse? (Thereby cementing your claim to fame as the "crossover universes" guy)

Brandon Sanderson

I doubt I'll put Adamant into the Skyward universe if only because I'm so enamored with how it turned out when I did...what I did to it. (You'll see eventually.) It really is a lot of fun set up the way it is now.

#45 Copy

LoneWarmonger

If you take Bondsmith Honorblade, will you be able repeat Dalinar's Perpendicularity trick, or it is something special only Dalinar can do for a different reason?

When Dalinar repairs temple does he use Bondsmith power or...something else? If first, which Surge does he use?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO!

LoneWarmonger

I expected to get RAFO...But is Oathbringer a Bondsmith book or Skybreaker book? I know it was supposed to be Szeth/Skybreaker, but changed to Dalinar/Bondsmith. And still we learnt more about Skybreakers than Dalinar and his strange abilities. Will book 5 have more of Dalinar?

Brandon Sanderson

Books 5 will have a lot of Dalinar. Once it is out, you'll be able to see why it could have been a Bondsmith book--but I think it's better this way, with Book 3 being the Bondsmith book.

LoneWarmonger

Thank you, Mr Sanderson, I'm pleased with the choice, but I guess, I just wanted to learn more about Dalinar's powers in his book, he's my favorite character. Even after HIS book, his abilities are a mystery. But I'm exited to hear I'll get more in the future. Please, don't keep Dalinar on the background, he's the best.

Brandon Sanderson

Note that book four may see less of him, as he steps back a little (like each of the characters will for a book or two here and there) but book five has him as a focus again.

#46 Copy

vanahian

After finishing Skyward trilogy, Do you have in mind to write more about this universe?

Brandon Sanderson

I have no current plans for more Skyward, but you know me. I always know where a story would go in the future--and sometimes I find places to put them. (This story, for example, is a continuation of something from years ago.)

#47 Copy

SomeLameName7173

[Skyward] looks like it will be a very fun book. How much of the book will actually be released before publishing? and how long is the book

Brandon Sanderson

Book is 110k words long. And...right now I can't remember how much I talked them into releasing. Somewhere between a third and half, I believe.

#48 Copy

Portugal_Stronk

What is the status of that Arcanum Unbounded Nalthis essay you said you'd like to do one day? Is that still the plan? And, speaking of Nalthis, will we ever see a map of it? I think Warbreaker does a good job of showing the relative locations of places, but us map nerds would really like one, even if just a sketch.

Brandon Sanderson

I actually sat down to write it the other day, after someone reminded me on Reddit about it. But I quickly got distracted by something else. Soooo... Yeah, it WILL happen, I just have to squeeze it in.

#49 Copy

ArgentSun

Skyward: With Apocalypse Guard sharing a universe with Reckoners, and Snapshot (originally) being in there too, it looks like you are playing around with the idea of developing a sci-fi shared universe similar to the cosmere, if smaller in scope. Are these non-cosmere shared universes random one-offs that just happen to work together, or do we have something bigger to look forward to in the (distant) future?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not actively trying to create anything else like the cosmere. More, there are ideas I really like that I've tested out in novellas that I want to expand upon.

#50 Copy

ArgentSun

When was Silverlight founded, relative to the stories of the currently published books?

Brandon Sanderson

Silverlight is much earlier than the current books, at least in its very first form.

#53 Copy

XMikethetrikeX

Can worldhoppers see spren on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, they can.

TrueRulerOfNone

See them like any native of Roshar. Or more like Lunamor?

Brandon Sanderson

Like a native of Roshar. I didn't mean to imply the other.

#55 Copy

Stromeng

In Oathbringer Cultivation calls Dalinar Son of Honor and Son of Odium. Why? Does he Connected to both Shards and technically can be a Vessel for Odium.

Also, why Cultivation says it'd be good for her to have a part of Dalinar inside of her? Is it important?

Brandon Sanderson

This is partially RAFO territory, but let's just say that Cultivation takes the long view on someone--and to her, Dalinar represents both the the best and worst of both Honor and Odium.

#56 Copy

Kidpen

How ambiguous was the end [of Legion] intended to be, exactly? Do you plan to keep it that way forever?

Brandon Sanderson

Re: Legion, I plan to keep it that way. It's somehow just the right ending for me, though I anticipate it being divisive.

#57 Copy

Kidpen

Alcatraz question. Are there any fun Lenses or Talents you thought of that we haven't seen?

Brandon Sanderson

I thought the other day of someone who is always blinking when a picture is taken of them, which seems like a cool Talent...

#58 Copy

TupaczHologram

Who’s your favorite character? As in who would be your favorite if you were reading the novels like the rest of us?

Brandon Sanderson

The first is kind of hard to answer, because my favorite tends to be whoever I'm writing at this exact moment--and I'm not sure I could separate myself from being the writer enough to pick my favorites if I weren't writing.

#59 Copy

TupaczHologram

How emotional do you get when you write the sadder parts of your books? I sobbed like a baby at the end of Hero of Ages, and I wonder what it’s like to conceive something like that.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm generally more emotional about the books when planning the first ideas of them--when I'm listening to the right music and planning the way the story will play out. When I actually get there in the writing, I'm more focused on sticking the landing, so to speak, than being emotional myself.

#60 Copy

diffyqgirl

How does designing science fiction tech for something like Skyward compare to designing magic systems grounded in science?

Brandon Sanderson

For me, the process is very similar--and admittedly, the science in a book like Skyward is a lot more magic than it is science.

#61 Copy

diffyqgirl

Are we going to see Axies the Collector again? I love academic-type characters and his interlude was so much fun.

Brandon Sanderson

You will see Axies the Collector again.

#62 Copy

diffyqgirl

Did you expect the intensity of the community's reaction to Moash's killing Elhokar?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#64 Copy

RayW2

Can Dalinar hypothetically repair Honor's Shard or this is beyond his powers?

Brandon Sanderson

This would not be within the scope of his powers, traditionally. (Though I should note that what it even means to 'repair Honor's Shard' is subject to debate.)

#65 Copy

zorro_pickanalytics

Did you know from the start Skyward would be a good fit for an existing world or was it something you realized after starting to develop the story?

Brandon Sanderson

It was once I started developing the story. I often am working on the elements of stories separately before I combine them into one whole--and so it wasn't until I sat down to do the outline, officially taking several pieces of various story ideas and combining them--that I knew for certain that this was a good fit.

#66 Copy

zorro_pickanalytics

Would Wax recognize the female Skybreaker Lift sees in Edgedancer?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#68 Copy

KillerSlipper

What was your biggest challenge when writing Skyward? And possibly as a follow on - are there any new challenges or surprises that come to you as a writer even after all these years of doing it ?

Brandon Sanderson

The biggest challenge to Skyward was getting the actual fighter-pilot stuff right, followed closely by the fact that I didn't really have a safety net for this book. Having already pulled a book from the publisher, and having a very small time to get this one written, I felt I really needed to nail it on first try--and I did, fortunately.

#69 Copy

Phantine

Stormlight has a lot of parallelism with Mistborn, but with protagonists who are now on the other side of the slave revolt. In particular, there's a very strong through line going from Kelsier to Miles to Moash, with characters attempting to overthrown a corrupt system being treated differently by the narrative in each case.

How much of this inversion is intentional? I know Warbreaker had a lot of deliberate parallels to Mistborn.

Brandon Sanderson

This is pretty intentional. I like to approach things from different sides, and I knew Stormlight was about the establishment, while Mistborn about the revolutionary. I like to try to show both sides of things like this, when I can.

#70 Copy

IBNobody

The [Skyward] Audiobook narrator is Suzy Jackson. How did you end up finding her?

Brandon Sanderson

We asked the audio publisher for several samples of readers they thought would be good, and then we listened to them, asked for follow-up and finally chose. Sometimes, we don't like any of the options, and ask for more--but this time, we didn't need to go through that.

#71 Copy

Stormstoyou

So, Skyward is gonna be a trilogy. Each book will contain it's own stand alone story or it's a one big story splitted into three books?

Brandon Sanderson

Each of the books stand pretty well on their own, though the final one (this will probably be four books, not three) is a lot more reliant on the previous ones.

#72 Copy

Stormstoyou

I was wondering about origins and meaning of Dalinar's name. It's a shame we know name meanings of minor characters like Oroden, but don't know about our main character. How you came out with Dalinar's name and what does it means in-world?

Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar is actually a chicken-egg thing. I had his name way before I had the linguistics of Roshar, and it was always just the RIGHT name for me. I built a lot of the naming conventions around the fact that I liked the name.

#73 Copy

ASIC_SP

Was it intentional to introduce Musicspren as the first spren in TWoK?

Brandon Sanderson

It was intentional in that I knew I needed some spren very early in the book, to establish the world--and that was the scene I was working with to do that. It isn't supposed to be hugely meaningful that those spren are first, though they are more relevant to later parts of the story than some of the earlier ones.

#74 Copy

Tetau

As far as I aware, Skyward is your first attempt to write techno fantasy. Will this new experience be useful for Mistborn 3 and 4, which is supposed to be a sci fi?

Brandon Sanderson

I think it will help a little--but not a ton, as the real challenge to Mistborn eras three and four is going to be making good on the promises of the earlier trilogies, and using them well. They will need to be more "hard" SF than Skyward, except with made-up science.

Skyward, I could create what I needed from the technology specifically to fit this story. (For the most part.)

#75 Copy

YataVS

Spensa has this habit in citing "X is one of my ancestors". Is it possible that sometimes she has actually right ? Regardless if this lineage is relevant to the story.

Brandon Sanderson

She's right--but in the way that all of us have a (relatively recent) common ancestor, if you look at the actual genetics. I believe that by her point, centuries in the future, everyone on her colony could trace linage back to both European ancestors and Asian ones. So she's right--but everyone in her colony could say the same things she does.

#76 Copy

DammyJerry

Have you ever thought (just for fun) which KR Order your characters for other books would fit the best? Like, Sazed is Bondsmith, Kelsier is probably Skybreaker.

Which Rosharian Shard, Honor, Cultivation or Odium, better fits with Dalinar's personality?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd agree with the other commenter that Kelsier isn't much of a Skybreaker. But picking orders would depend on what point in the person's life we're talking, and the situation. It's not a hard-fast rule.

For example, young Dalinar is very Odium. Modern Dalinar is very Honor.

Seifersythe

What about Magic: The Gathering color alignments?

Like, would Kelsier be Red/White or Red/Black?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier is blue/black. Vin is Red/green. Sazed is white/green--with arguments for mono-white. Elend is red white. The LR is white/black.

#77 Copy

Oversleep

At first [Skyward] was supposed to be in Cosmere. Were there any reasons you pulled it out of it besides not wanting to deal with spacefaring era of Cosmere yet?

Where was the planet supposed to be in Cosmere? Would it have had a Shard or would it have been a minor Shardworld?

Brandon Sanderson

When Spensa started life in my brain, she was late cosmere pilot character, from around Era Four. When I started to work on this as my next YA project, I decided I wanted to use a certain technological aspect from a story I'd previously worked on--something I touched on in a novella, but which was still very interesting to me all these years later. But it was something that did not work with Cosmere technology, so it was a natural fit to port Spensa over to this new story.

It wouldn't have been planetary-based if it had been in the cosmere. Mostly, it was Spensa as a character. Once the story started transforming into a girl and her spaceship, the cosmere ties got severed quickly.

#78 Copy

Oversleep

Any grander plans for this setting beside this trilogy of Skyward?

Any plans for that other work the Skyward is connected to?

Is there any connecting stuff we should be on look out for?

Brandon Sanderson

Let me get this trilogy (which will actually probably be four books) done, and then I'll worry about that.

No other plans for the work this is based on right now.

As for connecting stuff, it will become very obvious once I start using some technical terminology. I said elsewhere in the thread that chapter 17 will make it very clear for those watching. Other small connections exist through the series, but more in the second book.

Govir

As a follow-up, will the fourth just be adding onto the end (i.e. it's a quartet), or will it be tangential, similar to Mistborn: Secret History (i.e. a trilogy + another book)?

Brandon Sanderson

It will be a quartet. I did my normal thing, writing the first book as proof of concept to myself, then sitting down and really hammering out the series. When I was done, the story beats worked far better as four books than three, so I will probably write it that way instead.

#79 Copy

Oversleep

Could you use perpendicularities to see into Spiritual Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#80 Copy

OddyFan

Um, Brandon, can you tell us something about Dalinar's Unity that is NOT RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

Nope. :)

#81 Copy

Oversleep

Okay, maybe also Alcatraz one since I just finished Dark Talent few hours ago (it's excellent, by the way): Why did the need Dif in the first place? I mean, Alcatraz still knows more about Hushlands than any person from Free Kingdoms would, even a person who went deep undercover for a long time. What did they need a specialist in Hushlands for? That part didn't make sense for me.

Brandon Sanderson

Alcatraz knows what it is like to live in a small town in the US. Would you pick him as a guide to show you around DC or NYC, a place he'd never been? He's a thirteen year old kid. But I'll say, at the same time, Dif was working hard behind the scenes to get himself involved.

#82 Copy

Genabackan

Shallash will be having back-five flashback POVs. In Oathbringer, you seemed to portray her as pre-Shattering. For example, "Oh, Adolnasium!" and referring to Hoid as Midius. Will later Stormlight books focus on pre-Shattering stuff at all or will we have to wait for Dragonsteel for that?

Brandon Sanderson

There will be more of a pre-shattering focus, but not as much as you're probably hoping.

#83 Copy

Genabackan

By the time of Sixth of the Dusk, are the Ones Above undisputably the most technologically advanced society in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

No, they aren't. There has been some concurrent development, and a lot of sharing technology--to the point that you could make an argument for several societies being equal, though some better in specific areas.

#84 Copy

Genabackan

Does the VR tech in Legion eventually evolve into the one we see in Perfect State; do they take place in the same universe?

Brandon Sanderson

If you look closely at the last Legion book, there is a strong clue about this.

#85 Copy

Firm_Spell

Probably a RAFO but whose voice Dalinar constantly hears ("unite them"), if it's not the Stormfather (confirmed in the book). I'm confused...It is supposed to be Honor, but Honor is dead.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#86 Copy

basham09

I am looking forward to picking up this new story and I had no idea it was coming out so soon! What made you decide to put aside all of your other stories to write Skyward?

Brandon Sanderson

I usually need a big break between Stormlight books to recharge, and I look for something different in style and genre. A space opera fight that really well, and gave me a much-needed breather.

#87 Copy

BusinessCress

In Stormlight Archive all three main characters, Dalinar, Shallan and Kaladin, suffer from various mental health issues. Is that a normal psychological condition for all Radiants or the lead three is an extreme example of how people break?

Brandon Sanderson

I am very interested in mental health, and the way that we--as human beings--react to and interpret the world around us in different ways. This is a theme of the Stormlight books, but it's going to take a lot of work to do it justice--and I want to approach it from different directions. So yes, it's a theme, and these sorts of issues were common for Knights Radiant.

But I'd point out that they are also common themes for being human. And one of the correlations between orders of Knights Radiant is people who overcome, persist, and push through very difficult trials.

#88 Copy

matgopack

About Skyward - what in the story/setting excites/excited you the most while writing it?

Brandon Sanderson

I'd say it's writing Spensa's character. When I can get a voice, particularly in a first person narrative, that I really enjoy, the book gets very exciting.

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matgopack

About your characters - they're always a lot of fun to read about, and varied. Do you have a method while coming up with them and their personalities/motivations that you use?

Brandon Sanderson

Character is the most difficult for me to pinpoint my process on because I do a lot of experimenting, trying different things, and searching for the right voice. The most important thing for me tends to be finding a way this person sees the world that I want to explore more in depth.

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Steeldancer

When can we expect to see anything new cosmere-wise?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll start working on Stormlight 4 in January, and hopefully can get a novella (ala Edgedancer) written during the process, so you don't have to wait all the way to 2020 for more Cosmere.

Seifersythe

So Stormlight 4 will come before Mistborn 2-4?

Brandon Sanderson

Potentially--it depends. A stormlight book takes a LONG time to write, and often I sneak other books in the middle, because I need a break.

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Steeldancer

Would it be correct to say that the highstorms on Roshar have left the realms closer together than on other worlds? 

Brandon Sanderson

You could say [that] is true. I'd be comfortable with that idea. Though there are worlds where this goes even further than on Roshar.

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Coltonx9

I just want to know what sort of tattoo nazh got after getting himself drunk on horneater lager.

Brandon Sanderson

It's an embarrassing rosharan glyph.

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OneArmedLopen

The Lopen is one of my favorite characters. Any chance we’ll get the story of King Lopen?

Brandon Sanderson

There's a chance--not a huge one, but a moderate one.

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ThatTimeI

How do you go about setting the age/reading level of your books? Alcatraz, Reckoners, and Mistborn feel completely different...

Also, where does Skyward fit in the spectrum of maturity?

Brandon Sanderson

It's mostly done by instinct as I look at similar books, at myself at a given age, and at what my readers think. (Particularly those of younger ages.)

Skyward is somewhere just underneath Reckoners in age.

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thegatorgirl00

Do you have a name for the Skyward universe that we can use on the Coppermind and in discussion beyond just calling it the Skyward universe?

Brandon Sanderson

I kind of think Skyward Universe is probably the best, for now. I'll ponder this.

thegatorgirl00

If you haven't considered it already, I'd like to bring the term Skyworld or Skyworlds to your attention.

Brandon Sanderson

Ha! That's not bad, though it could get a little confusing if I ever write one of the books I've been planning that literally take place in a world with no ground...

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vanahian

And for a friend of mine and her sanity... The Shalladin thing will be something or is all in her head? Stop her pain please :D.

Brandon Sanderson

Shallan has made her choice. I wouldn't expect that to change.

vanahian

And thanks for the answer in 11. My friend is crying but now she can go ahead with her life :)

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah...I do feel bad about that. If it's any comfort, tell her I think she'll eventually be very pleased it went this way. It might take a few more books, though.

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vanahian

Silverlight and Wandersail novellas...When?

Brandon Sanderson

Silverlight and Wandersail novellas. Silverlight...not soon. Wandersail, potentially while I'm working on Stormlight 4.

NotOJebus

A wandersail novella! I guess that means there may be more truth to that story than first thought!

Brandon Sanderson

Well...it would be about current characters, not the story that may or may not have happened in the past.

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Will_Try_N_Sell_Junk

What's the biggest change you've made between drafts that would surprise readers?

Brandon Sanderson

Hm. Well, the biggest ones would probably all be Stormlight, since the first proper draft of that (in 2002) was far from the second version I did in 2009. Seven years of thinking about where the story went wrong led to some huge changes. (For example, in the 2002 version, Dalinar kills Elhokar.)

NightWillReign

in the 2002 version, Dalinar kills Elhokar

WTF WAT

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Adolin dies as well... And there are no spren. And Kaladin gets Shardplate/Blade in the prologue and trains to be a knight, though not a Knight Radiant, as that term is one I developed later...

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Use_the_Falchion

Do you have an idea for the titles of Skyward 2 and 3? Or Stormlight Book 4?

Brandon Sanderson

Skyward 2 is called Starsight. I want to call book three Nowhere, but the publisher doesn't love that. I'll stay away from naming Stormlight 4 yet, though I do have a working title.

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Alvaro of the Abyss

Will you ever write a novel set on Threnody?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I will--but it will involve characters you haven't seen yet.

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nah

What's the hardest part about writing sience fiction compared to fantasy?

Brandon Sanderson

I cheat a little, as my fantasy is a lot like SF and my SF a lot like fantasy. But in SF, I can't fudge physics as much, which leads to some unique challenges.

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YataVS

If a person with Breath (let's say 100 Breaths) dies. After a while (let's say a hour), are the Breaths still in the corpse ? If yes, are those destinied at the same fate of an object with Breath inside ?

If a Returned dies for mundane ways (let's say a dagger in the back) and therefore he has still his Divine Breath.Would the Divine Breath keep the CS stampled to the corpse until he run out of fuel/Investiture ? (Like a Ghost in the CS anchored to his corpse until the Breath lasts)

Brandon Sanderson

Breaths in a dying person usually escape with the soul.

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Christofer Haraldsen

Have you seen The Last Starfighter, Brandon? Because I feel a need to re-watch it after reading your sample chapters (which were excellent).

Brandon Sanderson

I love the Last Starfighter, so you could say that it's certainly an influence.

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Rusty Hodges

In book 2 of Stormlight Mraize says Shallan is not to harm Amaram his life belongs to another. Does he know about Kaladin at this point or is her referring to Yasna. If he is referring to Yasna this would insinuate he knew she was still alive, which would make since he clearly knows a lot more then hes let on so far. This question is fulled by some conclusions I have come to about Amaram and Yasna.

Brandon Sanderson

I'll RAFO this, but you are very astute.

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James Furr

If, instead of the 16, there had been 20 members at the shattering of Adonalsium (with the same level of involvedness)...could it have shattered into 20 pieces?

Brandon Sanderson

It's quite possible that a different number could have ended up working.

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Bryan Cross

Where do you get your insperation for the more technology based things such as the starships here [in Skyward] and in first born?

Brandon Sanderson

These ships came from sketches I did with the illustrator, looking for the designs that felt the right for me. I wanted most of them to feel like glass cannons--small, kind of frail seeming, but potentially deadly.

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Greg Bradford

Is skyward a new book or part of a current series?

Brandon Sanderson

It is connected to a novella I've written, but is many years later, and so the connection is loose. It's not in the Cosmere.

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John Clark

Out of all your series which is your favorite one to work on?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't generally pick favorites. I love them all. But each does give me a different feeling. Wax and Wayne is very fun, while Stormlight is very satisfying. Skyward was energizing.

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Skyler Cecil

Is there an Investiture cycle on Roshar? Cycling through the crem rain and flora and fauna back into the storm, or something like that. Like the water cycle. If Investiture is finite, is it recycled back into the Cosmere when Investiture like breath or Stormlight is expended? Otherwise, wouldn't Investiture run out?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there is such a cycle. It is renewed and changed time and time again. It gets in and out of the Spiritual Realm, often with the birth of new individuals.

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Isaac D. Marble

When do you think you'll announce the secret project, will it be soon ish or around your state of sanderson post?

Brandon Sanderson

Secret project should come out soon-ish, but I don't have control over when.

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Isaac D. Marble

Does Wayne have a first or last name?

Brandon Sanderson

In Mistborn, last names are in flux. A lot of people still don't have them, as they weren't a skaa thing. However, Wayne would have one he could use, if he wanted.

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Sullivan Wenger

Is Skyward connected to the Cosmere? If so, is it connected to anything in Arcanum Unbounded?

Brandon Sanderson

It is connected to a different story I've published. I'm keeping quiet about it, since it's kind of spoilers--but you will probably figure it out by middle of the book if you've read them all.

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Karthikeyan Eswaran

For a person to ascend as a Shardholder, is it enough to have a Connection with the Shard, or does their general intent/mindset have to align with the Intent of the Shard (like Rayse and Odium have both shown similar mindsets)?If the intent needs to be similar, how did Ati, who was described as a kind person, pick up a Shard like Ruin?And if the intent doesn't need to be similar, how did the people at the Shattering manage to ascend, as the Shards had just been created? Did they have to go through some process to create a Connection? Or did they all somehow already have a Connection with Adonalsium (and thus with all the Shards) which made it easier to ascend?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, there did need to be some connection created--there was a lot going on with this. But it is possible for intents to not align and someone to take a Shard. It's way easier if intents do align, but humans don't tend to align 100% to any specific intent.

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Jesse Estabrook

When it said Spinsa’s father was shot down by his own flight, was it supposed to be fleet? I suppose that since there are so many errors, that this is not an example of the actual final release. Will there be further changes so that we will need to re-read all of these preview chapters all over again, once the edited final product is released?

Brandon Sanderson

Any errors in here are only proofreading errors--I've turned the book over to these teams, and won't be making any more story changes. So don't worry. You won't miss anything, other than a little spelling here and there. Though I did mean "flight" instead of "fleet" as they tend to use small squad tactics as pilots, and call these groups "flights."

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basham09

Also, are there any Mistborn movie or tv series deals in the works?

Brandon Sanderson

There are some in the works, but they seem to be moving rather slowly. I have hope, though!

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Scarbrow

Approximately how many books/series do you have concrete ideas for, aside from the ones you currently have in the pipeline?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, wow. So, go look at the State of the Sanderson 2017 and you'll find a list of the ones I've mentioned. Beyond that, I'd say I have some twenty or thirty that are somewhat fleshed out. More than I can possibly ever hope to write.

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GrizzleFirebear

What commander would Spensa pilot in EDH?

Brandon Sanderson

She'd be some kind of ruthless R/B deck like Vial Smasher or Kaervek.

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Ap_Sona_Bot

I know I'm a bit late to this thread but I recently learned about you being Mormon. I find this really interesting because I grew up and live in an area with very heavy Mormon influences, and have had generally very positive interactions with them. My question is how has your religion affected your writing, and vice versa. Your portrayal of religion is mistborn particularly is completely unique, and one of my favorite parts of the book.

It's okay if you don't want to share anything about this, I understand that religion can be a bit of a personal topic.

Brandon Sanderson

I actually get this question a lot! It's also one that's hard for me to answer, as I think people looking in from outside are likely better at spotting my own unconscious influences better than I am. I know that being religious myself has made me very interested in religion, and how various people interact with it. I find myself trying to approach it from as many different directions as possible--because it's fun for me to explore belief systems and the people who do, or don't, follow them.

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LordSkybreaker

Hey u/mistborn I have a couple questions about Magic: the gathering.

What colors/kind of deck do you play in magic?

What colors are the known shards?

What colors are the various orders of the knights Radiant?

And finally, have you ever thought of doing the story for Wizards Of The Coast on one of their mtg blocks?

Brandon Sanderson

Any combo-style deck I can draft--or esper if I'm constructed.

Ruin: Black. Odium: Red. Honor: White. Preservation: White. Cultivation: Green. Devotion: Green/red. Dominion: Black/White. Autonomy: It's complicated.

(Also, question 3 is way too large for me to commit to right now. And for 4, if the right opportunity came along and they were interested, I could see myself doing this.)

SoupOrMan692

What about Endowment and Ambition?

Brandon Sanderson

Ambition is mono-black, and endowment is probably mono-green. Some of the blue shards are ones we haven't seen as much from yet.

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LordSkybreaker

Is it just a coincidence that the surgeon names his son Tien when the Aon for healing is Aon Ien?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, coincidence. Well, mostly coincidence.

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V_Spaceman

I was wondering if you could elaborate on a past wob. You said that Hoid and Frost are two of the oldest beings in the Cosmere. Does that include the vessels? Are the original 16 vessels younger than Hoid and Frost?

Brandon Sanderson

In the current outline, Hoid predates the others by a bit--he'd already started aging oddly before the Shattering. But that's not strict cannon yet. (You can find evidence of it in Dragonsteel.)

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Ankylosaurian

I wondered how silver would differ from aluminum when it comes to interacting with Shades?

Brandon Sanderson

 

That one's a RAFO for now.

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valmeister

Though question on Skyward, you recently said it was going to be 4 books instead of 3, and also said you have sent the second novel to your editor. Also you said next you will be doing Stormlight Archive 4. Do you think you will hop back in to Skyward after, or will it be much later? I just normally hate starting series that are underway, and Skyward sounds like a refreshing change of pace, so curious roughly how long the wait to see the end would be.

Brandon Sanderson

My hope is to keep the Skyward books at one a year. Their shorter nature, and the extensive outlines I've done, should let me hop over to keep myself fresh while working on Stormlight.

If there's a break, it will be 2020 when Stormlight four (hopefully) will come out. But as I already have 2018 and 2019's books done, I'm confident that at the very least, we'll have skyward 3 and 4 in 2020 and 2021.

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FireyWoodedHill

Is shardplate made of the same material as shardblade? Is there a difference in material between a "dead" shardblade and a living one?

Brandon Sanderson

You can generally look at all three as being the same material.

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mbue

Do people on Threnody get really old or something? I can't work out the timeline of the events leading up to Shadows for Silence. She says her grandparents were among the first to reach the Forests of Hell, but also that the waystop has been safe for over a hundred years. Given Silence's age, her grandparents couldn't really have founded the waystop over a hundred years ago if life expectancy on Threnody is similar to other planets.

Brandon Sanderson

I'd have to look at the timeline myself. That might just be me not looking at continuity closely. I wasn't trying to imply people living very long.

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Kyrroti

What's your process for writing Rosharan Myths such as Fleet's race? They are always my favorite parts of the Stormlight novels.

Brandon Sanderson

I love folklore, and spend a lot of time looking into the folk myths and stories for various cultures. I try to make the various myths, particularly those shared by Wit, have a different "Voice" from my normal narrative voice, as I want them to feel like legitimate ephemera from the world.

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Kyrroti

If I were burning iron, where would the line point to on a steel hula-hoop?

Brandon Sanderson

For something like that, it would depend on the Steelpusher's power. For some, it would just be pointing generally toward the center of the hoop--but for skilled Steelpushers, they'd be able to see softer lines pointing in all directions around the hoop.

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kdt05b

Can Megan manifest a Cosmere reality? The Reckoners is not part of the Cosmere, but one of they main character's power is reaching into alternate dimensions. I want to see some epics on Roshar!

Brandon Sanderson

I wanted to avoid multi-verse theory type things in the Cosmere, in part because the Wheel of Time delved into these concepts, and even before working on the WoT was looking for ways to keep the Cosmere distinctive from it.

Beyond that, multiverses (along with time travel) really play havoc with continuity. I felt the cosmere was stronger if I kept to the three realms--that's complex enough. Assume that in the cosmere, while different possible futures/pasts do branch (and can be seen) things like Allomantic Gold are NOT looking at other realities--and there is only one reality, once events actually occur.

This does mean that time travel into the past is not going to be a factor in the Cosmere.

This separation does let me divide these concepts off and play with them in other realms (like the Reckoners) where they're 'quarantined' so to speak.

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Pagerunner

In OB, when they first enter Shadesmar, they see a bunch of spren that are a few inches tall, green or orange. Are those Cognitive manifestations of one or more Dysian Aimians that were in Kholinar?

Brandon Sanderson

No, but good question.

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Turambar97

Will there ever be a point in your books where different or all types of investiture clash ?? What I mean will there be a fight between people with different kinds of investiture or will there be a team composed of such people ?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, this will happen.

Look for the future of the cosmere to be about the interaction of ideologies, magics, and settings. It's less about an avengers style team up, and more about the clash between cultures.

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Snarlezz

If a radiant was spiked would their bond be ripped away and could their bonded spren be forced on whoever inserted the spike? Would it matter if that person didn’t have any cracks in their soul?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. (Sorry.)

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Stormstoyou

The Third Bondsmith Ideal that Dalinar swears in the end of “Oathbringer”. About taking responsibilities and becoming a better man. Does it the basic Ideal for ALL Bondsmith or this is Dalinar’s personal interpretation of the Ideal?

Brandon Sanderson

This is Dalinar's personal interpretation, but ideals for a given order do have similar themes person to person.

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GnomishViking

If you could be a character in any book, who would it be and why?

Brandon Sanderson

A boring side character writer, left alone to tell stories, and who isn't required to go save the world--because I'd be terrible at it.

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handleCUP

The mushrooms on Threnody... What's up with them? They were described as glowing in a similar way to the rat skulls if I recall correctly? Is this some form of investiture or am I reading into 1 line too much?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

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havoc_mayhem

Is the world of Perfect State a culmination of the technology we saw in the final Legion story?

Brandon Sanderson

I'll leave this to interpretation.

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MasterDex

I love every book of yours I've read. However, I'm a sucker for grim, dark and/or mature fantasy tales (Malazan, Black Company, The First Law, etc). Have you ever considered going right down that route? Have you any stories that you think would fall into more mature/darker territory? Or do you feel that you have no need to go there? (obviously, Stormlight Archives has some quite dark and mature moments but not quite to the level of the aforementioned series)

If you're answer is No, could you explain why?

Brandon Sanderson

The Threnody novel, if I find time with it, would probably be the closest you'll see from me. I've read and enjoyed each of the authors you listed above, though my own writing tends to not lean that direction. One reason is that I tried (when trying to break in) to make my style more gritty to see, since GRRM-like was what everyone was searching for. It just didn't feel true to my own voice.

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Snarlezz

What’s the incentive of alloying Lerasium and becoming a misting when you could just burn it normal and be a Mistborn?

AltF4WillHelp

My guess is that you'd presumably you'd use less of it? Also, arguably, not every way of using a magic is going to be the most optimal way.

It's probably just a way that Lerasium can work. If you alloy it or somehow mix it with things from other systems, it's quite possibe you'd end up getting those magics instead, because it'd Connect you more strongly to a different Shard.

Brandon Sanderson

The replies to this are correct.

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athos45678

Has anyone in the history of Roshar ever had Lift’s special physiology? Or is she like a whole new human

Brandon Sanderson

You could say anyone that has their DNA or spiritweb meddled with by the Nightwatcher is something new--that said, Lift is an experiment that hasn't been tried before.

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athos45678

Did honor and cultivation interact with odium when he first came in a neutral way or was it immediately an all out conflict?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

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takeabreaker

Did Hoid play a part in introducing Stormlight to humanity as told in The Girl Who Looked Up?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, I'm afraid.

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Blightsong

I've noticed that in the Listener songs there are two different, semi-conflicting stanzas between the song of histories and the song of secrets when it comes to Smokeform. The latter song also seems to be more consistently critical and fearful of Odium and the forms of power. Am I noticing something relevant here, and if so could you elaborate on why?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you are noticing something real.

Note that Listener history is...fraught. And while the rhythms are standardized, the words are applied to them have a lot more cultural influence and interpretation.

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WritesGeekyStuff

I'd love to hear what some of your inspirations were for Skyward. I know you've listed How To Train Your Dragon and The Last Starfighter, but I'm curious if there are any books or movies that inspired you for the sci-fi worldbuilding and starfighter combat? As someone who loves pretty much anything starfighter, from Wing Commander to Stackpole's Rogue Squadron books, I'd love to hear how you approached it or if you have any reccos I'm not aware of!

Brandon Sanderson

I spent a lot of time on YouTube watching interviews and videos about what it's actually like to fly or take G-forces. Tom Scott did a nice one on centrifuges. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DMKcO-T5Y4o

As for starfighter books, there really aren't a ton are there? Most everything in books focuses on the Lost Fleet/Honor Harrington/Vorkosigan style large ship combat. Stackpole is great, but you've already read him. A Fire Upon the Deep is great, but again, not a lot of starfighter battles. I'll have to think about it more--I don't have any that were specific inspirations for this series.

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AltF4WillHelp

Sorry if this has been asked before; I haven't been able to find a direct answer anywhere. It came up while playing the Mistborn Adventure Game (which has been very fun, btw!).

A Feruchemist can easily determine whether any metal is a metalmind, regardless of whether it's theirs, simply by touching it. And a Ferring can definitely determine the same, but for their own metal.

But, a question came up: can a Ferring also—perhaps with practice—tell whether any piece of metal has been stored in/is a metalmind? Would this be easier for certain kinds of Ferrings? (Ones that are more directly in tune with Investiture, perhaps?) And, if they can determine that a piece of metal is Invested, would they feel something similar to what Vin did when she was examining Sazed's metalmind? Would they be able to tell what the metal it is based on how that power feels? (That last bit might be infringing on what skilled/savant Bronze Mistings might be able to do).

Brandon Sanderson

So, Bronze Mistings are really good at reading investiture that is being used--it's harder to simply "detect investiture" as all things are made out of investiture in the cosmere. That said, I could see your game allowing this, as it's a natural extrapolation of the magic--and it could make for some good gameplay. Don't be afraid to extrapolate the magic for your own uses, even if it doesn't fall right in line with the way I do things.

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AkaBesd

Skyward) Is Rodge a hat tip to Anne McCaffrey?

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, he is! The White Dragon is one of my inspirations here.

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AkaBesd

Did the Reod coincide with the Recreance?

Brandon Sanderson

These two are not at the same time, but good question.

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Zireks

Generally when do you think the next time you will write a book set on a new, never gotten a book, Cosmere shardworld?

Brandon Sanderson

Does Threnody count? It got a short story. It's most likely, and could happen in the space between Stormlight 5 and 6 (though that is a busy time period for me--I've put a lot of books in there potentially.

I think the chances of seeing a new world in a novella is much more likely.

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mikkomikk

SKYWARD QUESTION! I've just read the prologue, did you do anything special to get in to the mind of a 7 yr old girl? Any inspirations for Spensa?

Brandon Sanderson

This one took a few tries--you can probably find earlier readings of it where the age was different, and the speech style was different. As with most things, it's a matter of trying something out, then looking for feedback.

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mikkomikk

Is Ishnah a Kandra? Mraize said that she was just an assistant(maybe the original), but she seems to have a lot of practical experience and knowledge.. Seems like a Kandra thing to be good spies :D

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

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mikkomikk

Is Trell (Era 2) and/or Austre related to a Shard? Like are they one, or working for one, or an avatar of one?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, Trell is related to a Shard.

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ImASpaceLawyer

Can a Parshendi/singer/nonhuman-humanoid become a sliver?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

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MavenSoul

I'm wondering if Shai could create a stamp that would turn someone into an Allomancer. Or, alternatively, create a stamp that would break a bond between a Radiant and their Spren?

Brandon Sanderson

This is possible--but likely beyond Shai's ability. It would require large amounts of investiture. The second would be easier.

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tschan22

The one thing that impressed me the most [about Skyward] are the awesomely vivid and thrilling dogfight scenes. How did you come up with these dogfighting techniques? Any particular inspiration that you can share with us? Thank you!

Brandon Sanderson

So, one of the things I try to do in combat situations is define a few rules that are different from the way our world works, nudging the combat to be more fantastical. This (hopefully) allows even those who are familiar with the situation to better suspend disbelief--since the rules of combat are different, then battles can theoretically play out in (plausible) ways that I decide and present, rather than running into real-world situations.

For Skyward, I started with studying real-world dogfights, then added a couple big changes. One was some anti-gravity, the other was nudging the battles more toward the way they might work in a vacuum by removing some of the air resistance. The final piece was the light-lances, further pushing the combat into a direction where pilot maneuverability was enhanced. (And the battlefield could be different each time, allowing more variety.)

That all together gave me the way I went about these battles. But I will say this--watching what some fighter pilots can do with their jets was enormously impressive. I had no idea, honestly, the things they are capable of doing.

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Genabackan

Was Hoid a worldhopper before the Shattering?

Brandon Sanderson

Though there are some RAFOy things that I can't exactly say, I CAN say that I don't think most would consider Hoid a worldhopper before the shattering.

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Genabackan

Ever considered a novella set in the Silver Kingdoms or during another ancient Rosharan era?

Brandon Sanderson

I have considered earlier-era Rosharan novellas, but I don't think one is likely in the near future.

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Govir

During a reread of The Way of Kings, I noticed Kaladin mentions a light eyes by the name of Katarotam. Will we ever find out more about this light eyes? (For some context, Katarotam is listed along side Roshone and Amaram as a light eyes that Kaladin believes to be corrupt).

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. (This is possible, but not likely, in a Kaladin flashback.)

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LameLamas

I was surprised to find out Skyward trilogy is not a trilogy anymore, but four books. How did this happen? You have more stories in this world or book 3 is growing too big, so you decided to split it in two smaller books?

Brandon Sanderson

My normal mode for a series is to write the first book, make sure it works and that I have a good feel for the characters, then sit down and really hammer out the outline for the series.

When I did that for this book (sometime in early July) the outline that worked best was four books instead of three because of where the breaks and climactic moments were.

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LameLamas

Will Dalinar get a Shardplate once he swears his Forth Ideal? Or Bondsmiths don’t have Plates?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. :)

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Firm_Spell

How does Connection to a Shard actually work? 16 random people took 16 Shards in the past, I don't think all of them had special Connection to a certain Shard each of them picked. We even know that Ati, Ruin's Vessel, was a kind, generous man, direct opposition to Ruin's Intent.

However, in Mistborn we find out that you must gain certain amount of Connection to become a Shard Vessel. Kelsier wasn't Connected to Preservation well enough (he's more of Ruin), Sazed was somehow Connected to both Preservation and Ruin? So, should you be Connected to a Shard to Ascend? Why was it different in the past?

Also, what would happen if, theoretically Dalinar, a good, honorable man, kill Odium's Vessel and take a Shard for himself? Will he change Shard's Intent to something...let's say less destructive or Odium's Intent will just devour his personality and he'll act just like Odium's current Vessel?

Brandon Sanderson

That's pretty big RAFO territory, I'm afraid. I'll just say that this is something I do intend to delve into in the books.

#161 Copy

sv15249

Venli is going to be a main character in Stormlight 4? With big focus like previous flashback characters had? I wanted to read more of Dalinar considering how Oathbringer ended with massive cliffhanger (sorta) for him.

Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar will get more in 5 than in 4. Eshonai will have the flashbacks in 4, though Venli will be featured in them.

#162 Copy

atiumplayer

Does Dalinar's "unite them" thing has something to do with Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, I'm afraid.

#163 Copy

Djoic

You previously confirmed Kaladin has a depression. What about other two characters? Does Shallan has split personality disorder? And Dalinar has PTSD?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't know that I'd say Shallan has straight up DID--and that is a controversial topic even under the more current terminology. More, Shallan is certainly disassociating herself, but the result is something I consider very individual to her. (Unlike Kaladin's fairly textbook chemical depression.)

Dalinar has had some PTSD, though you'll see more of the traditional symptoms in Kaladin, and is a recovering alcoholic--and a few other things.

#164 Copy

Tetau

From all your characters, to whom you relate the most? Personality wise.

Brandon Sanderson

Hmm. I'd like to think I'm most like Sazed, but I'm actually the most like Alcatraz. Both in bad ways and good.

#165 Copy

vanahian

Is possible that i'm overthinking about it but in Oathbringer, in Puuli's Interlude he spoke about what seems a new kind of faction-to-be in Roshar. Given how Puuli talks about them one can think he is describing the Knight Radiants we know. But he also mentions that "them will come from the Origin" and that them are "The sailors lost on an infinite sea". My question then is... Are they direct descendants of the original humans that migrated from Ashyn eons ago? Yeah, i know that in some way all are descendants of that humans but my question, to be clear, is if they are more odium inclined for example. An Odium-winning-card.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

#166 Copy

vanahian

The shards and their vessels we don`t know yet... Will they be featured in the existing works or will they have their own story in a novel or a novella?

Brandon Sanderson

A split between the two.

#167 Copy

vanahian

We know that all in Cosmere have three aspects. So Adonalsium have three aspects as well?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#168 Copy

WritesGeekyStuff

How much of Defiant has been colonised by humans? Do the caverns cover the entire world, or are they restricted to only a small area around Alta?

Brandon Sanderson

You're seeing the most populated part of the world. There are some little enclaves all over the planet (which is smaller than earth) but most everything is congregated near where the original fleet landed. (Note that the Defiant was the name of the flagship they crashed on, not the planet's name.)

#169 Copy

WritesGeekyStuff

1) What is the name for a Tineye/Archivist Twinborn?

2) How would copper compounding work for a double copper Twinborn? Would you relive the memories stored in the Burnt copperminds extra vividly?

Brandon Sanderson

1) I'm not ready to open the floodgates for giving names to each twinborn combination yet. So RAFO.

2) Another RAFO here. I'll delve into these ideas when/if I do this combination in a book series.

#170 Copy

Govir

An actual Skyward question: Were you inspired by the anime Gurren Lagann at all for this? That anime starts out with humans living in caves and being attacked in order to keep their population down. The cave dwelling and constant attacks is the only connection so far that I see (the rest of the anime gets pretty crazy and I don't think you'd go that far).

Brandon Sanderson

I'm afraid I haven't seen Gurren Lagann, which is probably an oversight--a lot of people talk about it being great.

#171 Copy

Govir

In the Mistborn series, when you were writing the prophecies, did you start with the "non-corrupted" versions and then corrupt them, or vice versa (or something else)?

Brandon Sanderson

I started (as is my usual process) with the end in mind, and outlined backward. In this case, that meant constructing the final version of the prophesies first.

#172 Copy

RShara

Did the kandra that's running around on Roshar have a speaking role in Oathbringer?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO!

#173 Copy

DammyJerry

Does Dalinar know about Adonalsium? Stormfather dropped the term during one of their talks, so did he tell Dalinar the whole story of Shattering and Shards? Also, does he understand what exactly he did when summoned perpendicularity or not? Does he understand what’s going on with him now (that he’s connected with Honor’s remnants)? Does he even know what “Shard” mean?

I guess, the question is “How Cosmere-aware Dalinar is?”

Brandon Sanderson

As of Oathbringer, Dalinar isn't specifically aware of the larger Cosmere story--though he would numerous "Aha" moments if it were explained to him, as pieces of what he does know would fall into place. The Stormfather isn't particularly interested in the larger story, however, and that's one reason.

Jasnah is a different story...

#174 Copy

DammyJerry

Also, I noticed that Dalinar fits well enough with the Hero of Ages prophecy. Lines like "The Hero of Ages was the person who united others, who brought them together" and so on. So I wanted to ask if there is a coincidence or not? Or that's a RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#175 Copy

NotOJebus

Okay so Brandon, I've gotta ask, Rigs last name is McAffrey. I thought, oh haha, nice McAffrey reference.

Then I got thinking.

So Skyward is a story about a girl and her starship (dragon) who join a group to help defend their planet, which is made up of seperate caverns (Holds) after humanity crashed (colonised) their world, and who has to defend said peoples from an enemy that periodically comes from the sky called the Krell (Thread).

Let's just assume the world takes place in the DE universe and that Spensa and Co will eventually work out how to psychically teleport and... Brandon... Is Skyward just a sci fi retelling of the Dragonriders of Pern...

Brandon Sanderson

The White Dragon (along with Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen) are direct inspirations for Skyward. And Rodge's last name is a nod to Anne McCaffrey.

I wouldn't say it's only a sci-fi retelling of these stories. But the plot archetype that inspired me is the "boy and his dragon" story. (Including Eregon and How to train your Dragon as well.) I've always wanted to do a story like this, but wanted to find a way to put my own spin (heh heh) on the story.

You'll see how they diverge as the story progresses. But much as Mistborn was inspired by heist stories, this one was inspired by dragon egg stories.

#177 Copy

Use_the_Falchion

Do you have a writing/reading soundtrack that feels like it shouldn’t work but it does for you? Or do you ever give books (be t yours or others) theme songs?

I don't often choose theme songs, but I find that Daft Punk works for me as writing music, even when it really probably shouldn't.

#178 Copy

mraize7

the similarity between the shades and the fused ones can be due to the investiture of Odium instead of that of Ambition?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#179 Copy

kakarotoks

In Bands of Mourning, the Connection medallion is filled with "Blank Connection" and Marasi can't understand Allik when she puts it on, but how do you fill the medallion with Blank Connection in the first place? And could Allik fill the medallion with his own Connection so that when Marasi taps that non-blank Connection, she would understand him ? Or even better, if instead of tapping Connection, Marasi decided to fill the medallion with her own Connection, would she become 'blank' herself then get auto-connected to local land? If yes, then why would Allik need to tap Connection when using the medallion instead of just filling it, becoming blank and understanding her? Or would that make him not connected to anything and unable to understand anyone ?

Brandon Sanderson

All right, so I want to be very careful on this. I typed out my response, but I've sent it to Peter to double-check to get another set of eyes on it. Once we get into mechanisms like this, we're digging into the cosmere-equivalent of computers or complex circuits. I need to make sure another person is double-checking my work.

As a side note for the Sharders reading this, when I dodge these types of questions in physical Q&As, this is kind of the reason. It took me a good thirty minutes to dig into the mechanisms I've written out, re-read to reconfirm to myself I have the methods right, then write it out. And I still have to send it to Peter, just because there are a lot of complex nuances here.

#180 Copy

kakarotoks

As for Skyward, You said before that you got stuck because you weren't liking it, then you finally figured out how to fix it, will you write a blog post after release about how it was before and what needed to be changed to make it fit your standard?

Brandon Sanderson

Did I say that about Skyward? I got stuck on Apocalypse Guard, and pulled it for that reason. I don't believe I had any big issues with Skyward that weren't up to standards, just normal revision issues. The biggest hurdle came long before writing the book, as I was trying to figure out ways to approach this plot archetype in a way that wouldn't simply be a rehash of what people have done before.

#181 Copy

kakarotoks

How much do you usually work? Do you do about 40 hours/week, and never work on weekends or do you spend most of your time working (work = research, outlining, writing, doing conferences/book tours, etc.. but doesn't include thoughts that pop in your mind at random times during the day/night). Do you consider this as a 'regular job' (one that you are obviously passionate about) and you take the time to have hobbies/family time, and vacations, or is it your passion, your life, and you spend as much time as you can doing it

Brandon Sanderson

It's sometimes hard to measure, because the touring aspect of my job is very different from the day-to-day. And there are years when I spent 1/3 of my time touring. But the day to day is about 40 hours a week right now. It used to be more, but with kids and a family, I've pulled back somewhat to get a better balance, and to make sure I'm reading other people's work so that I keep an eye on what they're doing.

#182 Copy

XMikethetrikeX

If ruin had split into 2 shards, would one, zero or both of those shards have been capable of making atium? Does this change depending on how it splits?

Brandon Sanderson

Not necessarily. And it would change depending on how things split.

#183 Copy

XMikethetrikeX

Can we have a bit of new trivia on szeth?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm sorry, but I prefer to avoid answering questions like this--because if I answer them, I get asked them more. And random trivia questions are really, REALLY hard to answer because I have to remember what I've said before, be careful not to spoil books, etc. My mind just doesn't work in a way that is good for giving answers like this.

#184 Copy

BusinessCress

Do you have a character who is very special for you in a personal way? The one closest to your heart?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably Dalinar. He is one of the first I ever developed, and existed (in a proto-form) in the very first novel I started writing.

#185 Copy

LerasiumMistborn

Did we see Tension in Oathbringer? (NOT from Stoneward in the vision).

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

#186 Copy

LerasiumMistborn

You said Bondsmiths can boost other Radiants powers. That moment when Dalinar helped Shallan a create a map. Can he do it with all Radiants? And this “boost” is always different with each Order?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, and yes.

#187 Copy

LerasiumMistborn

Dalinar's parents were mentioned only briefly in the books. Did his mother die when he was a kid?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#188 Copy

LerasiumMistborn

Dalinar is my absolute favorite character in any book now. During previous AMA someone asked you about character’s mental health and you wrote that Dalinar has had PTSD, alcoholism and “a few other things”. Can you explain what these “other things” are?

Brandon Sanderson

All right, so with Dalinar, I wouldn't suggest looking for some broad categorization--like, I think there would be an instinct by some people to diagnose him with Antisocial PD during his youth. He certainly has some hallmarks (the lack of empathy, the aggression, and the and willingness to put responsibility for his actions onto someone else.)

But I think more, with Dalinar, it wasn't some grand schema to diagnose--but a lot of little problems, like most of us have, that were unhealthy ways of seeing the world. Some of this relates to his mix of jealousy/devotion related to his brother, both of which emotions were unhealthy at times. But also his bloodlust in combat, which wasn't just the Thrill--but a real enjoyment of fighting, and a willingness to ignore consequences to others for that.

These are still all issues he has, though he's worked through many--but the knowledge that losing control was so bad for him in the past has led him to what I'd call his current biggest challenge, which is the need to be in control at all times. (To the point that he doesn't completely trust others to see something get done, despite what he claims.)

#189 Copy

RayW2

What is the most powerful Radiant Order? Bondsmith?

Brandon Sanderson

"Power" is related to situation, perception, and need. A Bondsmith can probably draw the most raw investiture, depending on the situation--but comparisons like this ignore the heart of the matter. I don't look at people in the cosmere as having a "power level," because I don't consider it to be a good measure of the way the stories will play out.

#190 Copy

RayW2

Will we ever see another Shard combinations like Harmony?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

#191 Copy

RayW2

Does Shard of Autonomy has a pair Shard (like Ruin/Preservation or…Cultivation/Preservation)? I was thinking that Unity would work as opposition of Autonomy, though we don’t even know what Unity is.

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#192 Copy

Mrrobot112

1. When did Dalinar start Bonding with the Stormfather? and 2. How did he opened Oathgates?

I expect two RAFOs, but maybe you'll be able to give any hints.:)

Brandon Sanderson

  1. RAFO.
  2. RAFO.

(Yup, you were right!)

#193 Copy

JKOustin

I was rereading W&W books recently and noticed something interesting.

In "Shadows of Self", when Sazed/Harmony is talking with Wax, he feels warmth.

Wax felt a warmth, a fire, as if the inside of the carriage were heating to incredible temperatures

The voice vanished. The temperature returned to normal. Wax leaned back, sweating, feeling drained.

That makes me think about our favorite Bondsmith who experiences something familiar. Is it a coincidence? No, I don't mean Sazed specifically, but perhaps this happens when Shard (any Shard) tries to communicate with people? In the case of Dalinar it could be Cultivation or another big splinter of Honor.

Brandon Sanderson

This parallelism is intentional, but that's all I will say for now.

#194 Copy

beer_in_an_esky

1) Is Ashyn still operating on a sickness-based magic, as indicated in the readings you've done previously? Or are you not ready to canonise that?

2) Assuming it is, was the use of Investiture on Ashyn always sickness-based?

3) If someone who is sick on Ashyn leaves while still unwell, would they still have powers? How about any people they infect on the new world?

1) Ashyn still has that magic, though I've gone a lot of directions on how I want the culture to feel, so I souldn't consider that canon yet.

2) No.

3) The powers come directly via the micro-organisms, similar to other symbiotic relationships in the cosmere.

#195 Copy

beer_in_an_esky

Did Hoid meet Frost before, after, or sometime in the same time range that he met the 16?

Brandon Sanderson

Before, but (on a cosmere scale) it was very close to when he met the others.

#196 Copy

Askhundel

Can you interact with Shadesmar's beads ? Like crush or split them ? What would be the consequences in the Physical Realm ?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO! :)

#197 Copy

hajsenberg

When Spin heard Jerkface talking after she left DDF I thought he would be defending her. Something like "even though we hate each other, she's part of the flight and her place is with the rest".

Brandon Sanderson

Jorgen is pretty new to this situation too, remember. He's never had to deal with something quite like this before.

#198 Copy

muh_vehicles

Did Lightday exist before humans arrived at Roshar exactly as it is now, a day without rain in the middle of every other Weeping?

Brandon Sanderson

Hm. I'll RAFO this, as I might flashback to this time in the second half of the Stormlight archive.

#199 Copy

lordofarda

If Tien got far enough to swear an oath, what happened to his Cryptic? Elohkar's was stuck on our side and he didn't even finish his oath, was Tien's stuck on our side?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, I'm afraid.

#200 Copy

Pagerunner

Do you have a working title for Stormlight Four? Have you chosen the interlude character yet?

Brandon Sanderson

Interlude character is Eshonai. I've had several working titles over the years, but one that stuck around a wile was The Song of Changes. I'm unlikely to keep this, as it was never meant to be a final title.

#201 Copy

mraize7

In Mistborn Has Harmony a perpendicularity like the Pits or the Well? and the Well and the Pits have disappeared?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO!

#202 Copy

Enasor

1) Will the truth of how Evi really died matter to Dalinar's sons? In other words, is it reasonable to expect Adolin, most notably, will react negatively given he believes his father would have never burned the Rift?

2) Dalinar claims he could forgive Adolin for not being the man he thought he was. Is it reasonable to expect this is easier said than done?

Brandon Sanderson

1) It would be reasonable to expect that many people (Adolin foremost among them) will react negatively to the truth--which is indeed contained in Dalinar's book.

2) Yes, I would say that's a reasonable expectation as well.

#203 Copy

zak55

Are you planning on any of the Stormlight exclusive characters becoming world-hoppers?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#204 Copy

mithrilnova

Does the positioning of a Hemalurgic spike matter on the donor, the recipient, or both?

Brandon Sanderson

Recipient.

#205 Copy

mithrilnova

Are all the kinds of intelligent spren seen in the Shadesmar chapters capable of forming Nahel bonds?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

#206 Copy

Secondskrull

Way of Kings epigraph:

"Three of sixteen ruled, but now the Broken One reigns (Odium)"

Words of Radiance back cover:

"The Bondsmith (Dalinar), born in blood and death, striving to rebuild what was destroyed."

Am I onto something?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

Phantine

Actually, I have a question for /u/mistborn about that bit. The epigraphs were dictated, and honor's shattered pieces are in the highstorm. Is it "the broken one reigns", or "the broken one rains"?

Brandon Sanderson

It is reigns. (Though that is a cool possible interpretation.)

#207 Copy

Toaster Retribution

For Skyward, which character, apart from Spensa, was the most fun to write?

Brandon Sanderson

M-bot. Cobb had his moments too.

#209 Copy

Kyrroti

What’s the likelihood of Elantris or Warbreaker being narrated by Michael Kramer?

Brandon Sanderson

Not good, I'm afraid, as we've already done two versions of Warbreaker and the current Elantris reader is generally liked for the book.

#210 Copy

InsaneScotsman

When Hoid awakens does he speak his native tongue (Yollish)?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO

#211 Copy

InsaneScotsman

On First of The Sun do Silverlight have a permanent outpost on the cognitive side or is it still too dangerous to hang around

Lastly any cool tidbits about First of The Sun or its people would be awesome, worldhoppers or the like

Brandon Sanderson

This is actually a RAFO too--it would be relevant if I write a sequel to Sixth of the Dusk. The opening sequence would involve an expedition into shadesmar...

#212 Copy

Backslash330

Are shards limited to one per Perpendicularity? Can a non Splintered shard control where and how their Perpendicularity manifests?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO, but yes on the second.

#214 Copy

RShara

Have you ever watched Farscape? How similar are the Skyward living ships to the Farscape ones?

Brandon Sanderson

I've seen some Farscape. It's not the same concept, as I recall, but it has been a long while.

#215 Copy

ArgentSun

Now that we have canon art of Ishar, Shalash, Jezrien, and Vedel, what Rosharan nationalities would you say they resemble the most?

Brandon Sanderson

Jezrien and Vedel would be seen as Alethi, most likely. Shalash would be seen as Azish, while Ishar would be seen as Shin, probably.

#216 Copy

meramipopper

What would be Spensa's favorite food?

Brandon Sanderson

Her diet doesn't have a ton of variety, but I'd say she would pick anything that isn't algae paste or rat meat.

Event details
Name
Name Skyward Pre-Release AMA
Date
Date Oct. 4, 2018
Entries
Entries 216
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