Skyward San Francisco signing

Event details
Name
Pending review
Name Skyward San Francisco signing
Date
Date Nov. 8, 2018
Location
Location El Cerrito, CA
Tour
Tour Skyward
Bookstore
Bookstore Barnes & Noble
Entries
Entries 67
This event is pending review from Dragonsteel Entertainment. There may be some errors in how questions were answered.
Upload sources
#2 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

When are you going to tell us about your Secret Project?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Well, I have an NDA that I have signed, which says I will not tell people what it is. So, because of that, I'm staying just far away from it. I have said before, I'm letting them announce it when they want to announce it. It will be announced probably, and released, before the end of the year, is my expectation. I can't say anything else. Even if you guessed right what it was, I would have to say, "I don't know." Or "That sounds like it would be fun." But I will have to imply that I don't have any idea what you're talking about, even if you guess right.

#3 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I had a question about [steel] Ferrings. So, I saw that you had mentioned in a previous talk that you could only move so fast with air resistance, like eventually you'd start burning up. If you were to become an Edgedancer as well?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

If you can combine those two powers, Edgedancing and [steel] Ferring, then you are able to do things that would circumvent that restriction. Yes, indeed.

#4 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Could someone who is spiked, not on Scadrial, still talk to the Shards?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. Little asterisk, but yes.

#6 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

When you do the big twist at the end of a book, do you always have that twist in your mind when you begin writing the book, or do you do the twist after?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Good question. So when I do the big twist in a book, do I have the twist generally ahead of time or do I do it after. I generally have it ahead of time. I am an outliner. I like—writers tend to fall into two camps with a lot of variety in between—they're not polar opposites—between what we call "gardeners" and what we call "architects." I'm more of an architect. I like to build a structure and then hang my story on it. That said, you need to be flexible and willing to take something better if it comes along. For instance, Secret Project, which I can't tell you anything about, had a different ending than the ending I just put into it, because the ending just didn't land, right? I'm like, "Alright, I need to go back to square one and I need a better twist for this story," and I dug into it and came up with one. That causes a lot more revision [to] have to be done, but at the end of the day, I think you need to be able to do it. Sometimes when you're writing you just come up with something better, you're like, "I need to try this instead 'cause it's stronger".

#7 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What's your favorite Wayne one-liner?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

What's my favorite Wayne one-liner? Probably "defecation of character". My favorite Wayne moments are the ones that you could conceivably miss. Like, there's one for the next book where he calls being pressed into the army, "corporal punishment," and he's totally over the moon over [it], and I think people will probably miss [it], and that's what makes them fun.

#8 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

For the Saint in Skyward, I just love the funny prophet character. What was your inspiration for that?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, the Saint in Skyward. Not giving any spoilers. When I was working on this character, I was really looking for something... I look for linguistic cues. Because if you can have linguistic cues to who's talking and what the character's like, and something that'll characterize them through their language, that makes it so much better in storytelling, because you don't have to put that in narrative, you can put it in the flow of a conversation. And you'll notice, at least I've noticed, that a lot of the great screenwriters look for these sorts of things, so they can tag who is speaking, even if it's offscreen, by the way that they are talking, and I just love to do this. And a lot of these things come out of me taking a scene and working with it and casting different people in the roles and trying their voices until I hit on one that I say, "That's interesting, let's dig into this further", and that's what happened there.

#9 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How has your worldbuilding changed over time to *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

How has my worldbuilding changed over time? So, it's become a lot more deliberate. And it has become more—one thing is I've let myself push further. I've found that worldbuilding is one of those areas in storytelling where I can let myself kind of off the chain, off the leash, and go steps further than I thought I could, and it still turns out well. A lot of times if you do that with story, for instance, if you do that with plot, the way to kind of go off the leash and do something unexpected with plot is to do something that's not foreshadowed and is not satisfying, which can make for a really interesting story. Go watch Into The Woods if you want to go see something that—yeah, half the audience groaned when I mentioned Into The Woods, for a good reason. That's not a reason to not tell those stories, but experimenting with plot can, in many ways, be something that fails pretty spectacularly. Good to do it, it's good to learn those things, but worldbuilding, I've found, I haven't found that I've gotten ever too far where it's failing because the worldbuilding is too different. I've failed with my worldbuilding because I haven't brought the elements together. In fact, Apocalypse Guard, one of the reasons I pulled it is the worldbuilding was not working. And I can't release a Brandon Sanderson book with bad worldbuilding, right? *crowd laughs* That's like the baseline, "No." It's not the only thing that was broken in it, but it was one of the things that was broken in it. So, more deliberate, allowed myself to stretch further, and I would say I'm always kind of looking for those conflict points, nowadays, in the worldbuilding. The points of conflict are really interesting to me.

#10 Copy

Mr Fancy [PENDING REVIEW]

The Returned. When they come back, they appear really attractive. Is that based on their own idea of what's attractive, or society?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It is going to be society. They are definitely having an influence over it, so let me say both in that case. Yeah, there could be a short, bald one. That is totally viable, but it's maybe what the person views as a societal ideal, how about that, an easier way to explain that.

#11 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What's your favorite guild in Ravnica?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Probably Dimir, probably. I mean I'm Esper, but I'm more interested in Dimir than I am in Azorius.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

That's exactly where I am, actually. I have an Esper Commander deck, been drafting Dimir heavily. Thank you so much!

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I'm glad Dimir's finally good, 'cause in the previous two, Dimir has not been a place you wanted to be, either in original or in returns.

#12 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Will the gap between Warbreaker and Stormlight be filled in?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. Partially through implication, but with some actual explicit scenes that will happen.

#13 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

A friend wanted me to ask if you ever had plans to put in a transgender character.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. Trying to find the right place, but it will likely happen sooner rather than later.

#14 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What is the Fourth Ideal of the Windrunners?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I can't tell you that. You can get a RAFO card. I can't spoil that. We got cool stuff coming out about that.

#15 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is the nation JinDo in Elantris... were you thinking of Shinto, the Japanese religion that also goes by Jindo?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I did not know it was also called Jindo, but I was definitely working with Japanese morphemes when I was creating that.

#16 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is there a maximum speed a Coinshot can propel themselves or something else?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. It will vary slightly based on the strength of the Coinshot, but there are maximum velocities, just kind of... you would burn yourself up at certain points.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So imposed by the laws of physics.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, laws of physics are going to—those aren't normally going to come in play in Allomancy, because Pushing that hard will be really difficult. But, as we are getting into more mechanical uses of Allomancy, those laws of physics become more and more relevant.

#17 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Where do you lie on the "BrandoSando" versus "Branderson"?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I would probably go "Branderson", but I don't mind either of them.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Because I'm firmly in the BrandoSando camp.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

BrandoSando? What about "BrandySandy"? I get that one too. No one goes with the cool ones. Oh, the "Sandman". I'm not cool enough.

#18 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is silver in Shadows for Silence similar in any way to aluminum in the rest of the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

*hesitantly* Yes, but not really. Silver is like silver, and aluminum is like aluminum.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Does aluminum have any specific use in Shadows for Silence?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, you could definitely find a use for it.

#19 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Why are Spensa's eyes purple?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Because the artist drew it that way. Since Spensa's eyes, I don't imagine actually being purple, but it looked really cool on the cover, so there we go. Maybe they're canonically purple now. Maybe I'll write that in.

#20 Copy

SpaceGodPerson [PENDING REVIEW]

In The Stormlight Archive, do corrupted spren act differently in fabrials?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. Excellent question!

#21 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What's your favorite Lopen moment?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Probably where he is on the ground talking to the sky. Probably that one.

#22 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Which hand is the safehand?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It is the left hand.

#23 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Have we seen Kelsier outside of Mistborn yet, and will we see him outside of Mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No you have not. And RAFO, but realize, he is... the way Investiture works, you would consider him similar [to how] you would consider a spren. It's gonna be hard for him to get offworld.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

It also means that he can still get too close, he gets really close...

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I considered him still...

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Still on this side.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, but he got close to the line. But I would say he did not get off [Scadrial].

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So it's gonna be hard.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

#24 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Why did you write Zane for the Mistborn series?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Zane was a character that I found fascinating. When I designed him, I felt that the setting and characters needed more nuance, and he provided it. I feel that Zane could've gone either way, and he made a bad decision at the end, but could've absolutely gone the other direction and I was really interested in the idea of someone who thought they were insane but actually weren't. So a bunch of things collected, making Zane.

#25 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

What inspired you to write Dalinar's amnesia and all that?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That, all of that, was really just partially narrative necessity. I didn't want to dig into that until I got to the right book, and so I needed the meddling to have pulled a little bit of that back. Plus, the fact that he was an alcoholic let me get away with a little bit of what was going on there. I really liked the intriguing element of someone who had had a piece of their memories ripped away and then was being given it back at the right time, right? That deliberateness of it was really interesting to me. I thought it made for an interesting story hook, when you meet a character and then realize he's had part of his memory excised. It's a bunch of things moving together.

#26 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I just finished rereading through Legion, and I was curious what led you to write so much about religion and that sort of thing. As a religious person, I really appreciated the fair way that you dealt with it in those books.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Being religious myself, it fascinates me, and the different ways that people intersect religion. Having one person who had all of these different personas that can all have different, varying levels of interaction with religion and the divine was also really fascinating to me. It offered me an opportunity that I probably couldn't do in any other story.

#27 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Were you intending to kill Eshonai off from the beginning of the series, or is that a decision you made later on?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That was a decision I made later in the outlining process. It was not begun that way, but it became obvious I needed to do it fairly early on. Why?

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was just wondering, because as I was reading Way of Kings, a lot of people thought she was going to be a continuing character, maybe even be one of the good guys later on.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Right. The decision I came to, and it was probably... trying to remember exactly when it was. When I came to the decision that Venli was more interesting as a viewpoint character than her sister was, because we already had characters in the series whose attribute was paragon of their...This kind of paragon soldier who's trying to do the right thing is well covered in The Stormlight Archive. She was intended originally, but pretty early in the revision process, I decided it needed to go the other direction, 'cause Venli just worked way better as a viewpoint character.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is Eshonai still getting a flashback book?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, she's still getting a flashback book. I didn't change any of that. In fact, before I even began the series, I knew there were some characters who would not make it to their flashback book, and I wanted to make sure that I made clear that that could happen.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

You said that before, I was like, I want to hear it.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Eshonai was intended to continue through, but I changed that pretty quickly, when I realized—like I said.

#28 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Will we be finding out more about the Ryshadium?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, but it's one of those things we're gonna find out in little bits here and there. I mean, I think I've told people they are animals that have managed to form a spren bond, which has given them more-than-animal intelligence. It is the symbiosis there that is letting them. So if they did not have the spren bond, they wouldn't be...

#29 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Does Lopen have a good story later? Because he's my favorite.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, he does. Lopen has lots of good stories coming up.

#30 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

The second set of Stormlight books, [six] through ten, will that *inaudible* be more focused on the Heralds' point of view, is that the idea?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, so Taln and Ash, who are both Heralds, are going to be main characters, and they'll each get books dedicated to them. The characters who survive the first five will still be main characters as well, but it's gonna turn more on what happened with the Heralds and things like that. The first five are turning more on what happened with the Knights Radiant and then the last five are  more what happened with the Heralds. 'Cause we'll get flashbacks to the time of the Dawnsingers and things like that.

#31 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

When Shallan is telling the story about the girl and the wall, she said that her hair was white. Does that matter in any way?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are the Shinovars... Shin people hair white?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

They are not all white, but I'll RAFO the further question.

Footnote: It sounds like the questioner intended to ask about hair color, but Brandon's phrasing makes it sound like he may have been talking about skin color.
#32 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

For Hoid: how old is he at the end of Oathbringer?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Very old. *gives RAFO card* Here you go, here's your card.

#33 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Has Hoid been in contact with Harmony in the timeline so far? Like, physically.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Physically in contact with Harmony in the timeline so far? "Physically" as it relates to a Shard is a difficult thing to say, but I would say that yes, they have interacted.

#34 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

The missing number of Shardblades. I just want to confirm that, when the Blades were abandoned, that all of them stayed in the Physical Realm. My question is, did some just evaporate?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Ahh, good question. They did not evaporate.

#36 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

As I read about the Parshendi, can't help but think of indigenous peoples. How do you deal with that and respecting the whole experience of colonization?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I think one of the things I have to do is embrace it. Like, if I just ignore it, it's worse, and so that's why I've tried to dig into and kind of acknowledge the issues. I mean, it is a minefield, right? I'm wandering into a minefield by writing a story that is basically based off of...

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

American colonization?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. But at the same time, ignoring it wouldn't work. And the thing about it is, most cultures in our world, this is a question they had to deal with. Whose land is it? I mean, we're still fighting this war—we, I say, we aren't—but war is still being fought in the Middle East over whose land is it, and it's both of theirs, right, depending on how far you go back. And things like that, and so I think ignoring it is the wrong thing to do. But I also think there's a danger in trying to present an answer that is too easy, and so that's the line I have to walk. Embrace it, talk about it, not present an answer that is too easy, and present multiple sides on it. It's kind of like the same way like the people in Roshar are both incredibly racist and incredibly sexist, right? Writing people who are racist and sexist without the narrative itself bolstering those sorts of those things is really hard. But, you know, we sign up to do hard things, and if I fall on my face, the best thing I can do is just acknowledge that I've fallen on my face, as I have done in the past.

#37 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I noticed in the end of Oathbringer, right before Dalinar goes all Unity on us, that his fabrial gets ripped off his wrist. Is that significant?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. Maybe not for the reason you're thinking, but it is.

#38 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Have you thought of the implications of Pulsers or cadmium Mistings in space travel?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, I have.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Because you could slow down the time bubble around the ship and extend your life span during long journeys.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, I have thought of that.

#39 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are spren able to visit other planets than Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, spren are, because of the nature of their Investiture, connected too strongly to the planet to normally get off. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen, but I will just say, normally no.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So the Cognitive Realm, or whatever that sort of like... is that different on other planets?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. It looks different on each planet, partially based on perception.

#40 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Is Yaalani a character in any other stories?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Right now, no. Good question.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Does not seem like a Eelakin name. And there are people in Stormlight who seem to have aviar.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah. People in Stormlight do have aviar. That has happened. But let's just say, during Stormlight era, getting things on or off of First of the Sun is really hard.

#41 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Any progress on making any visual adaptations of any of your works?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The closest right now is actually probably Snapshot, which is a lesser-known novella of mine. That's at MGM, we have a really good script, and they're about to announce a director very soon.

#42 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

With a cadmium or bendalloy savant, would they be able to impact the amount of time that they can compress or expand?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So they could fit—theoretically they could make... fit more time into the same amount of metal.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Oh, that's what you're asking. Yeee.... *pauses* So, yes, technically, because... Yes, but mostly what that's going to do is going to influence your strength and how much you can multiply...

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

The size of the bubble?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The size of the bubble and the amount of time, like when you flare, you are pressing more time into it and a savant is gonna get really good at that. They're gonna get good at changing the bubble and the shape of the bubble, they're gonna get good at some of the other things involving the bubble. It does technically, as you become a savant, does mean you're able to squeeze a little bit more out of your metal, because that's just how it works, but that's not the main effect.

#43 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In Warbreaker, is the picture that Lightsong saves the same picture that Kaladin finds in Celebrant?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

*Presumably gives RAFO card*

#44 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

If you had to make any of your books into a musical?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Ooh. Well, since we already have a canonical version of The Hero of Ages as a musical in the Mistborn world, in one of the broadsheets, we would have to go with that, we would have to do the version in-world.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I think Warbreaker would translate the best.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, that's probably true. If you want a real answer, that's probably true. It's probably the best.

#45 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I was wondering what your thoughts on cosmemes are.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Cosmemes? I think they're hilarious and we can only aspire to the greatness that is trebuchet memes or prequel memes. Someday, perhaps, we, too, will be great.

#46 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How do you decide whether or not a story is part of the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

There's a couple dividing lines. If it mentions Earth, I'm not gonna put it in the cosmere, because I don't want any sort of relationship there. At that point, the dividing line becomes, does the magic fit the cosmere, and is the story one that fits the cosmere, right? I made the decision very early on, I wasn't gonna try and force everything in. So if it's a natural outgrowth of the stories I'm telling in the cosmere, then I will go that way. I'm usually more finicky about pulling them out than putting them in. There are very few stories I've put into the cosmere, and I've pulled a ton of them out.

#47 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are we gonna get to figure out how Vivenna got to Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

You are, eventually. It may take me a little while, but I will get to it.

#48 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I see Shai as one of the founding members of the Seventeenth Shard trying to hunt down Hoid. Is there any...

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I'm gonna RAFO you on this. I'm gonna RAFO you on that. I'm not even going to say whether or not she ever managed to get off planet, even.

#49 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Are the humans who arrived on Roshar at the first Desolation refugees from the Evil on Threnody?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No. Good question. Excellent question.

#51 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How do you think Kelsier really feels when it's revealed that the skaa really are different from the other ruling...?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So... I would call it still a matter of debate whether they are or aren't. Whether they were is a different matter of debate, right? But I would say that a lot of the things that were claimed about skaa were not accurate. Some of the things claimed about them were, and that is part of what makes it subject to debate. And Kelsier is very good at not accepting answers he doesn't like.

#52 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Has <Jasnah> come up with her armor? Because there's a part where they say that geometric shapes were kind of disappearing and it wasn't like someone changing like they normally would.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I will RAFO that for now.

#53 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How was Vin able to use the mists against the Lord Ruler even though they hadn't been keyed to her?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

That... you are making an assumption there, and so tell him he might be making the wrong assumption.

Footnote: "Him" refers to the questioner's brother, who originally came up with the question.
#54 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

In Shadesmar, the solid and liquid phases are inverted. So, in the Spiritual Realm, is it something to do with solid and gas phases, or is it not the same at all?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

It is not quite where you're going, but I like the way you're thinking.

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So then what's the reason that they can't travel to the Spiritual Realm?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

The Spiritual Realm is not a place.

#55 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do you know the value of a heliodor and a smokestone and all that, the relative values?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Peter does. I wrote it out once and now I have him just fact-check it for me when I write the books. So I will often say, "Worth about this much, give me the right money and change". So I made the original guide that they follow, but nowadays I don't have to use that; I can just bracket and say, "Something worth about this much".

Footnote: Karen has provided these values here. They are tabulated in Coppermind's "Spheres" article.
#56 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

I've heard this theory passed around, and I just want to see if you'll confirm it or not. Are you actually a bunch of tiny writers in a coat, or...

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No, no, no, I'm a bunch of robots programmed to create books. The "tiny writers" one is completely false.

#57 Copy

Chaos [PENDING REVIEW]

You have said the fandom puts too much emphasis on the Lord Ruler's children. Is that because the Lord Ruler suppressed his ability to pass on his abilities to them?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

No.

Chaos [PENDING REVIEW]

Brandon, that makes no sense. What? Now I'm even more upset. It's actually my fault, 'cause I keep telling people that the Lord Ruler's kids should be important, so you can blame me.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

People can be important and not be cosmere-relevant.

Chaos [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, but they'd be like super-powerful Mistborn!

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, who died nine hundred years ago!

Chaos [PENDING REVIEW]

But he spent so much time getting Feruchemy away from Allomancy!

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yeah, that's true.

#58 Copy

xnkvbo [PENDING REVIEW]

Are there any different effects on a larkin depending on what kind of Investiture it eats?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes, but they are not enormous.

#59 Copy

xnkvbo [PENDING REVIEW]

If an Awakener with Perfect Invocation turns something white, can they or another Awakener then use the white thing back to gray, back to white.

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I actually thought about this. My answer ended up being no.

xnkvbo [PENDING REVIEW]

Can you give a little explanation why?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I will delve into it more as I delve into the nature of color and why it's relevant to multiple magics in the cosmere. So it's a RAFO.

#60 Copy

SpaceGodPerson [PENDING REVIEW]

Are there any plants that can eat Investiture that can naturally develop?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Yes. Good question!

#61 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Our entire family reads your books, and we have differences in how we pronounce things, so I was wondering if you could read this list of words for me? 

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Alright, let's warn you that I do not pronounce the names correctly. Upfront, I will just warn you that I pronounce you like an American, not like a local. So Jasnah, Kelsier, Sazed, Sadees, Camon, OreSeur, Koloss, Kelsier, for instance would be Kelsier in world, but that's not how I say it, cause I'm American.

#62 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

When you're thinking about parallel stories and writing them, how do you keep them disparate so that you don't have characters from one story overlapping with another story *inaudible*?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

So, as you're writing a story with parallel narratives, how do you keep them distinct so they don't bleed together? This is a balancing act I perform when writing big, long books, because a lot of times for narrative reasons, it is better to write them "this set of characters, then the next set, then this set, then that", and go back and forth, but a lot of times, for continuity of theme and character building, it is better to write them straight through, right, that one character's throughline, so you make sure it has an emotional arc to it. And the longer the book gets, the more delicate that balancing act gets, right?

So on a Stormlight book, I usually split the book in my head into three parts, like I write a trilogy of books, and then bind them together as one, with a short story collection making up the interludes and things. And I usually would go, alright, part one, Kaladin from beginning to end of part one. Part one, Shallan from beginning to end of part one. Now I will weave these chapters together and I will read through for theme and make sure that the pacing is working, because the pacing and tone can really get messed up when you're doing that.

Fun story about that: A Memory of Light, I did this with some of the things, and I was weaving them together for the prologue, and two of the things I was weaving together, was characters getting engaged, it was the ladies making a bridal wreath to give to Rand, and the other was the fall of Caemlyn and the people who were trying to live as things were happening there. Not to go into too many spoilers, but it was a really dynamic action sequence, with a lot of terrible things happening, and when I wove those two together, the tone whiplash was terrible. And it was like, one of the worst parts of the book was "here's a happy thing where we're gonna get engaged, now this person dies, then we go back to this happy thing". *crowd laughs* So I had to yank the engagement sequence from the book, because there was no tonal place in that novel where it could go that it wouldn't do that.

And so you run into that trouble, but I think that with the longer books, what you're noticing, keeping the characters' throughline consistent is the more important factor. It's a lot easier, I think, to fix pacing and tone by where you move the chapters and what you cut out and what you add in in revision.

#63 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

As Professor Sanderson, do you get situations where past students have success but you don't really care for it and how do you handle it?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

As Professor Sanderson, have I seen past students have success that I haven't cared for and how do I handle that?

That has not happened to me. The students who have gotten published, particularly lately... To get into my class at BYU, you have to submit an application and chapters and there's a three-day window and we get a hundred applications and we take fifteen. These days, about a third of those students that get in tend to be what we call, "continuing education," meaning they are people who have gone to BYU and take only that class. Oftentimes, they move to Provo to take that class. So there's some pretty stiff competition and the writers who are in the class these days are really good.

But even in the older days, the people who got published, you can usually tell, and even if you can't, I mean, there's not a lot of writing out there that I can't read and say, "Wow! I understand how someone appreciates this," right? Part of, I think, being a writer and an artist is learning to appreciate things, even if you don't necessarily care for them, to be able to recognize, "This is good and someone is going to love this. This has craft, even it's not something that I particularly enjoy." But none of my students have even been there. All the ones that have gotten published, I'm like, "Wow, this is a great book." So, maybe someday I'll have to deal with that, but I haven't really had to deal with it so far.

#64 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

So there's a certain very long chapter in A Memory of Light. There's also a certain very long chapter in Oathbringer. I'm assuming you used similar techniques; both are very effective. Did you come up with that when writing Memory of Light or were you inspired by someone else for doing that?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Nope, that was something I had wanted to do.

So the question is, there's a very long chapter in A Memory of Light that was done very deliberately. I've used this before and in other books. Oathbringer does one, not nearly to the extent, but there's a certain point in A Memory of Light—and this was me, this was just kind of my love of trying to make the form of a novel match what I'm trying to get across with the novel.

In A Memory of Light, there was a point where the characters could not set down their swords and take a break, and I wanted to make sure that part was not divided up, to encourage as meany readers as possible to have to push through it, even if it was kind of late at night *crowd laughs*, to get to the chapter break, so that they would feel some of the same feeling that the characters were feeling. And that's just my writerly way to get that across. In Oathbringer, it was more like, "This is where the breaks fit most naturally." I wasn't trying to do the same thing, but it's a simpler sort of thing, where I want the momentum to not have a break until a certain point in the story. I don't anticipate ever doing—the one in A Memory of Light was like 90,000 words, which, if you're unaware, an average novel is 80,000 words. So there is a novel-length chapter in A Memory of Light. And so, yeah... *playfully* eh.

#65 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

Do you have any places where you put worldbuilding material out in public?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

Once in a while. I put up the outline for Steelheart once the series was done. I usually keep things close to the heart if there are things that have not yet been finished. The dramatist in me does not want the spoilers to get out there. (Even though studies have all said that if you have spoilers, you generally enjoy a story more than if you haven't. I am incapable of believing those numbers, and doggedly dislike spoilers.) There are some that I'll release, and you can look on my website where I talk about some of this stuff. The Steelheart outline's floating around out there somewhere, and it has a bunch of the worldbuilding elements for that in it. And I'll do more of this as I finish up series and release them.

#66 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

You've written a lot of novels and talked a lot about form. Are you interested or excited about any new formats of writing that you might take in the future?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I would like to try my hand at video games. I play a lot of games. I am really interested in the way that video games tell stories in ways not like books. I generally (though I can enjoy those games) don't like the stories of games that try to do it like a book. So I like things like Dark Souls, that does its worldbuilding and storytelling in a way very different from the way that a book does its storytelling. Or even something like Infamous, where they make you run across to do something, and while you're doing it someone calls you on the phone and gives you an infodump. That's really interesting to me.

So I would like to try my hand at it at some point. My first attempt, which was getting a Mistborn videogame going, did not work out. But I have not given up. I have no news on that, but let's just say I have not given up on finding a way to worm my way into video games. And you see me doing this periodically. The Infinity Blade books were me wanting to work with video game storytellers to try and figure out how this format works better. And you'll see me doing more of this in the future.

#67 Copy

Questioner [PENDING REVIEW]

How about something related to Emperor's Soul?

Brandon Sanderson [PENDING REVIEW]

I had a really good idea for a sequel earlier this year, but I don't know if I'll ever do it. I don't want to Lucas it. I don't want to take something that works so well on its own, and then make something that makes it not work as well on its own. I might do it, I might not.

Event details
Name
Pending review
Name Skyward San Francisco signing
Date
Date Nov. 8, 2018
Location
Location El Cerrito, CA
Tour
Tour Skyward
Bookstore
Bookstore Barnes & Noble
Entries
Entries 67
This event is pending review from Dragonsteel Entertainment. There may be some errors in how questions were answered.
Upload sources