Calamity Seattle signing

Event details
Name
Name Calamity Seattle signing
Date
Date Feb. 17, 2016
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Calamity
Bookstore
Bookstore University Bookstore
Entries
Entries 114
Upload sources
#1 Copy

Questioner

neuroatypicals

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, my pleasure. She says that she has Asperger's and when she read the book The Bands of Mourning, and the other ones that have Steris in them, she identified a lot with Steris. I appreciate that.

Questioner

Brandon Sanderson

What research did I do, did I talk to autistic people. I have several people in my life who actually have Asperger's specifically, and they were a huge resource, as you might imagine. One of the things that I like to do, kind of a mandate I have in my fiction, is to try to get people who are heroic who have different types of psychology than we usually see in heroes. Because the more I've lived in life, the more I've realized that we all are really distinctive in our own way, and our psychology all works differently. And yet we see a lot of heroes that all kind of have the same brain chemistry, it seems. Which has always felt really weird to me. And so it's kind of one my mandates to do that.

What research did I do? When I was in college, one of my favorite things to do was sneak into classes I wasn't signed up for, and the psychology classes were my favorite. This friend, who coincidentally was the one who wanted to be a chef, actually got a psychology major. His parents were "You should do something useful with your life." and so he got a psychology major, which he ended up going to med school. He didn't become a chef, he went to med school. He likes that too. But I would sneak into his classes and they were so useful as a writer, just listening to the different types, and to start to see personality not as-- We like to look at a lot of things as being normal or abnormal, but that's not the way it is. Everyone's personality is on this interesting spectrum and what is normal and what is abnormal is completely a matter of perspective. Where you stand on this line as opposed to-- It's like trying to make a value judgement that shouldn't really exist. And to come to see these personalities as great swathes of interesting color is what the psychology classes taught me. And so there was that and I did do some specific research for Steris and then I interviewed people as well.

I'm glad that you picked up on it without me ever having to say what she was, and things like that. That's when I really feel like I've nailed something, when you can read something and say "Yeah that's who this person is" instead of someone outside pointing and saying "this is who this person is, who they are"

#2 Copy

Questioner

So I listen to your podcast, Writing Excuses, and you've been, this year, breaking down stories into different parts. Was Bands of Mourning an attempt, for you, to write a pulp novel?

Brandon Sanderson

The question is on Writing Excuses we've been breaking story down into different parts. Was Bands of Mourning an attempt to write a pulp novel? Actually all of the Wax and Wayne books are a hearkening back to classic serials and pulp novels. So yes, it was me looking at that-- I kind of pitched those books to myself as "Mistborn: the television show. The action serial" if that makes sense. Where the other ones were the Mistborn epic fantasies, these are the action serials. And I did try to kind of vary the genre, the first one is kind of more straight-up detective novel, the second one is psychological thriller, and then the third one is kind of a classic serial adventure story. So yeah, that was very intentional, it's me trying to take different tones and mash them up with different stories and see what comes out.

#3 Copy

Questioner

One of the things I really appreciate about your series in general is the depth of your magic systems, whether it's Investiture or-- Whatever the rules are, they're very detailed, very internally consistent. There's never anything where I can point out "Oh that contradicts something that somebody said two books ago". To what degree do you come up with--I guess--the universe before you write the novel or the--

Brandon Sanderson

Good question! So he's talking about my magic systems and how internally consistent they are. And the question is, do I do the worldbuilding first and then write the novel around it or do I do it the other way around. And the answer is: Yes! Which is one of those unsatisfying authorly answers. It depends on the story. For instance with the Wax and Wayne books, I already had the world built and so in that I'm building a story around a setting that already existed. With The Reckoners what happened is, I had the idea for people who gain superpowers all going evil and that concept spun me into building a story about it. And so that's more of an idea that spins a story rather than a setting.

Sometimes I've had a character that I really want to tell a story about, like Raoden or something like this, and then I build magic to match. It happens all different ways, and really what it is is a give and a take. Once you start with a character, you start building a story around them, and then you stop and work on the magic for a while and then you go back to the character and then you go back to the magic and then you go to the setting, then you go to the plot. As you build an outline you weave all these things together, you're not just spending time on one until it's done, and then the next 'til it's done, and then go. But it's happened all different ways for me.

#5 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any ideas for characters in different series meeting each other?

Brandon Sanderson

Do I have any ideas for characters in different series meeting each other. Yes I do. You will see a bunch of that. And if you haven't seen the little behind the scenes Mistborn novella I did called Secret History... that involves characters from different stories meeting each other.

#6 Copy

Questioner

As a writer that has written a lot, do you still struggle with certain aspects of writing, like punctuation slip-ups or--

Brandon Sanderson

Do I still struggle, as a writer who has written a lot, with certain things. I would say my biggest weakness as a writer is repeating words or phrases, which is a very common thing for writers to have who are not really-- There are people like Pat Rothfuss who don't have this problem because they slave over every sentence. For years. *laughter* I love you Pat, you know I love you. But for most writers that's one, and that's one that is mine. And one way I try to fight this is I try to highlight the ones I use a lot, I have my assistant watch for them and do a search and replace in Microsoft Word for the word with brackets around it, so it leaves the same word, it just brackets it, so I can really decide, do I want to use that word or did I just use it because that's the word I always use? So there's that. The other big thing as a writer is I still don't like revision. I still get-- Revision-- I want to be writing a new story not revising an old one. But fortunately this is a battle that revision won like twenty years ago. More like fifteen. But I've gotten used to how I have to do it and when a book is done, and the number of drafts it requires to really make a great book. So I do it even though, you know.

#7 Copy

Questioner

So with the depth of the novels, and the number of novels, that you create, do you have an assistant, or some sort of system--

Brandon Sanderson

Do I have an assistant--

Questioner

Well I mean--

Brandon Sanderson

A system to remember everything... Yes I do. What I use is a wiki. I use a personal wiki, just like Wikipedia that is called-- I use an open-source software called wikidpad... and I have someone whose job it is to read my books after I write them, go make all of those notes into the wiki with page references so when I write the next one I can look them all up in the book and things like this. They have a very fun, yet tedious, job.

#8 Copy

Questioner

What level of completion do you write your novels and then submit to editors?

Brandon Sanderson

What level of completion do I write my novels and then submit to the editors. So here is a quick look at my drafting process. Draft 1, hopefully no one ever sees. That-- I'm a momentum writer, a lot of writers are like this, where I can't stop in the middle and revise unless something is really broken. So if there's something I want to change I just keep going and try it out for the next chapter. "Oh I needed another character in here" I will just add them in and everyone will act like they've always been there. And I'll try it out for a chapter and if it works I'll keep going that way, and if it doesn't I'll cut them out and try something else in the next chapter. So first drafts can be really weird, right? Like "Am I supposed to know this person that everyone else knows? Have I forgotten who this was?" and things like that, characters just vanish, or I'll leave out the foreshadowing. Foreshadowing is really easy to put in later on, you're just like-- Stuff like this.

Second draft is to fix all that stuff. I can sometimes send that on, but what I really like to send is third draft which is the first polish. Where I actually try for the first time to make it pretty, or at least non-cringeworthy. So that's what I send to an editor. That's what also I'll send to alpha readers, which are my writing group, my agent, my friends and family, and things like that. Once that gets back I do a bunch of revisions until it's good, and then we'll get beta readers, who are usually community beta readers… If you want to be one of those I'm not the person to convince, Peter is the person to convince. He is the executi-- editorial assistant, not executive--I've three assistants, they all have different titles--He's my editorial assistant. He's the one who picks the betas, and they do a bunch of reads and then I do a bunch of drafts based on what they say. And then it goes to like proofreads and things like that.

#9 Copy

Questioner

So in The Stormlight Archive series--

Brandon Sanderson

The Stormlight Archive? How old are you? *laughter* How old are you?

Questioner

Nine.

Brandon Sanderson

Nine?! You're reading The Stormlight Archive? You are awesome! *cheers*

Questioner

So the character Lift, for her powers, why does she have to eat food instead of sucking in--

Brandon Sanderson

So why does Lift have to eat food instead of sucking in Stormlight. So Lift is a really weird one, she visited the Old Magic and asked something very strange. And the Old Magic didn't know how to treat that and answered with something equally strange. So you will eventually see what happened with Lift and things like that but suffice it to say some really weird things are going on with Lift.

#10 Copy

Questioner

I want to say that I really admire that your characters are people first and not gender first. And I want to ask if anyone calls you Branderson? *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

She gave me a very nice compliment and asked if anyone calls me Branderson, and yes, it is starting to kind of catch on among the community. I don't know-- I don't know if it'd be my first choice but I will accept being called Branderson as opposed to-- People have called me BS since I was a kid *laughter* This is a step up.

#12 Copy

Questioner

With all the characters that you design-- And what you just about putting a character in and spinning a story around them. Are there any that you keep on a backlog to try and mix to see if--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh yeah, good question. Are there any characters that I keep on the back burner that I'm like "Eventually I'll find a place for this character they haven't worked yet". Totally. What I have is this notes file, it's literally called "cool stuff that I need to use sometime" *laughter* and it's like when I see something in news or I see some-- I meet a person and I'm like "I'm going to use that someday" and it can be years before I end up sticking them in. One of the-- Let's see if I can remember, there was a cool example of this actually, from one of my book. Oh I'm trying to remember what it was that I eventually managed to stick this into a book it was years later. But it happens all the time, I'll try to think of it. When you come through the line ask me and I'll try to remember it.

#13 Copy

Questioner

For the Wax and Wayne series, how do you come up with all of Wayne's little wisecracks?

Brandon Sanderson

How do I come up with Wayne’s wisecracks. Here's the deal, it’s kind of hard to write people who are more clever than you are, but it's one of the tricks you have to learn as a writer. The big difference is, they make it off the cuff in the moment, and you can spend like a week or two trying to find the perfect thing to say in that moment. And that's really how it does. Often the characters who are more humorous, or something, that are more-- Like Wayne's a great example, it's very natural for him how he says things, it can take me weeks to come up with a couple of lines of dialogue for Wayne. Where other things get written very quickly. My favorite Wayne-isms are when I can have him use a word that looks, when you're reading along, you just assume it's a word but if you go back you go "Wait a minute, did he actually say 'defecation of character'?" or something like that. So you don't even notice it on the first read through. The things where a copy-editor is "Oh, you used the wrong word here" those are my favorite Wayne-isms. Those take forever.

#15 Copy

Questioner

Particularly in the Mistborn series, is there any-- Do you have a favorite emotional moment that you have written?

Brandon Sanderson

Do I have a favorite emotional moment that I wrote in the Mistborn series. I am an ending person, so I would say endings of various books, and endings of series in particular, are among my favorite. I'll just leave it there.

#17 Copy

Questioner

What was your favorite Mistborn character to write? Personally I hated Elend and Vin but loved Zane.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh wow, hated Elend and Vin and loved Zane… *stumbles over words* I'm going to stay away from you. *laughter* I'm just joking. Who's my favorite? *sighs* Picking a favorite character is almost impossible, it's who you're writing at the moment but I kind of have a weird personal connection in a weird way with Sazed so I'll say him. And it's okay if you say "Sah-zed" I say "Say-zed" but I don't say everything right, I say "Kelsi-er" too and his name is "Kelsi-ay".

#20 Copy

Questioner

If you starred in a buddy cop movie with Pat Rothfuss, would you be the good cop or the bad cop?

Brandon Sanderson

If I starred in buddy cop movie with Pat Rothfuss-- If you know anything at all about us, I'm the good cop and he's definitely the bad cop. Oh yeah, oh yeah. Definitely. I mean come on. Good question though.

#22 Copy

Questioner

So I just finished The Bands of Mourning, which was my favorite out of that series.  Did you know when you were writing Alloy of Law how you were going to link this to the original, with the kandra, the bands of the Lord Ruler...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah the kandra were seeded, MeLaan you can go and look back in the original three.  Like I’m going to use her in the next series, for sure.  Now what I usually do is when I’m starting a series, and I did this for this one, is I will write the first book in the series.  So I did this with Steelheart, I did this with the original Mistborn, I did this with Alloy of Law.  I write the first book, I sit down, and say “Okay, what worked about that, what can I expand upon” and then I outline the series with those characters and then go back and revise the first one to match and then I release the first one.  Does that make sense? So not everything do I know writing the first one but by the time I’m through the revisions I usually do.

#23 Copy

Questioner

How often do your dreams ever influence your books?

Brandon Sanderson

Once in awhile.

Questioner

Once in awhile.

Brandon Sanderson

Yup. […] writer you have a cool dream […] something there […] Usually there’s not but once in awhile there really is something and it turns around in your head and eventually ends up in the books.

#24 Copy

Questioner

As a writer, I tend to be more character-driven. I love what you've done with the character development of the two of these guys throughout the series. How much of them growing throughout the series, as you work on everything else, it comes together?

You know, characters I don't plot out as much. It's very easy to write them being cardboard. So, I try to let it be an outgrowth of what they're passionate about. Just kind of letting the passions of the characters drive their reactions in the narrative, and I think you'll never go wrong with that.

#25 Copy

Questioner

How do your religious views affect the way you write?

Brandon Sanderson

You know, being religious means one of my mandates is, I always want to approach everyone's beliefs with reverence. Nothing bothers me more than seeing the one person who's a theist, who is an idiot, surrounded by everyone else. So, I like to explore these issues, I really like to kind of dig in to all these different perspectives. Being fascinated by it by myself makes me make it an element of my books.

#27 Copy

Questioner

Vasher/Zahel is a Returned, which means he needs Breath to live.  But Breath doesn’t exist on Roshar.  Does he use St--

Brandon Sanderson

He uses Stormlight.  One of the reasons--  In fact one of the primary reasons he’s on Roshar is because Stormlight is so much easier to come by than Breath.  And in fact researching about things like this is one of the reasons he discovered Roshar in the first place.

Questioner

So it’s the same reason why Night-- the sword…

Brandon Sanderson

Nightblood.

Questioner

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

The exact mechanics of how Nightblood ended up there will be explored in a future book.

#28 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if you went to the Nightwatcher asked for your boon to have a boon and no curse?

Brandon Sanderson

You would…

Questioner

Probably end up with nothing?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on the mood the Nightwatcher is in.  When you read Book 3 of Stormlight you’ll get to see a little bit of what the Nightwatcher is, and that will inform what you think about these things, okay?

#29 Copy

Questioner

Why does everyone know about his [Kaladin] Stormblessed name?  Like Gaz knows about it before he survives the highstorms.  Like how do they know?

Brandon Sanderson

How do they know?  The rumors were already spreading, people started talking about it and things like that.

#30 Copy

Questioner

For all the spren, like the honorspren and the liespren, I’ve noticed that all of the characters, the honorspren have been girls and all the liespren have been boys.  Is that just ‘cause all the people who attract liespren are girls and all the other people--

Brandon Sanderson

So it’s not a one to one ratio of people who are more likely to attract a spren of the opposite gender.

Questioner

Is there a reason for that?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah I’ll delve into it eventually in the books.  Maybe just obliquely, but there is a reason for it.

#31 Copy

Questioner

I kind of envision the Old Magic working a little bit like Hemalurgy, where some-- takes a part of the Physical DNA of the person and transmutes it onto the Cognitive DNA because everything seems to be a Cognitive shift for the person, am I thinking along the right lines?

Brandon Sanderson

You are thinking along very-- Yes you are thinking along the right lines.  I won’t tell you exactly but you are thinking along the right lines.

#32 Copy

Questioner

And then the curse Kelek’s Breath, is that a clue as to the origin of some of the Heralds?

Brandon Sanderson

Erm… Explain why you think it might be.

Questioner

Uh, well, Warbreaker. The use of Breath… It seems like they have similar strength to somebody who has extra Endowment. So I’m wondering if they come from-- I can’t remember the name..

Brandon Sanderson

The Heralds--  You’re wondering if the Heralds come from Nalthis?

Questioner

Yeah.

Brandon Sanderson

The Heralds do not come from Nalthis, but that is an excellent question.

#33 Copy

Questioner

Have we ever seen the Physical embodiment of either Odium or Cultivation?  Similar to what we saw with Ruin chasing...Vin?

Brandon Sanderson

So... Physical embodiment is kind of hard thing to define with Shards because you could argue that everything is a physical embodiment of them, does that make sense?

Questioner

Yes.  I mean more a physical form that the uses share--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh okay, okay.  So have you ever seen Odium’s?  I don’t believe you’ve seen Odium’s.

Questioner

What about Cultivation’s?

Brandon Sanderson

Cultivation is a RAFO.

#36 Copy

Questioner

I'm doing video game design, and I'm curious: what are your thoughts on constructing interesting stories, because we're kind of getting to a point where video games are able to tell... like, people are getting used to, basically, interactivity being a medium <with which> to tell a story. I'm curious, from having spent some time developing your craft, how to link that in with being forced to have the 'main character' <do that more often sorts>?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I think there are so many cool <different ways> of people who are doing it, but I'm not sure I can point out and say "This is the right way." I know that my favorite stories from video games tend to be ones where they force you to experience the story without forcing you to stop the game. Things like in inFAMOUS where you're riding from position to position, you're on the phone with people. Or things like Dark Souls, where you kinda just reveal it all around you. I don't like the games where they stop. And play a cutscene.

Questioner

Where it takes you out of the game, and it's like, 'movie time.'

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I think there's <a way beyond doing that>. I also really like it when something about the form of the game enhances the story. Like how <Braid> was with <the guy who could rewind time to move stuff back>, stuff like that. There’s all sorts of cool things happening, VR’s only going to make that more interesting.

#37 Copy

Questioner

So, when you were coming up with superhero names, did you have to look them up to make sure somebody hadn't done it already?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I had to make sure that they weren't... impossible-to-use names that somebody hasn't done, I just had to make sure they weren't super popular. And some I was able to find that people hadn't done. But some, I'm like, "I have to use this name anyways." But, like, my first three names, like Nightwielder, people had used. I eventually found one that hadn't been used.

Questioner

Was that frustrating?

Brandon Sanderson

Uh, it's kinda like the "Simpsons did it" thing. People complain that every plotline's been done by the Simpsons. Superhero powers have all been done, superhero names have all been done; but stories have all been told before. So, it's "What can you add to it?" that you ask yourself.

Questioner

So, of the ones that you came up with, how many would you say you looked up and were like "aaaah..."

Brandon Sanderson

I would say about half.

#38 Copy

Questioner

Well you answered my question about Allomancers being able to burn metals in other realms. Is that because the Shards are sort of…  My impression from the book was that the Shards were, in the Mistborn books, specifically in that area but is it because the universe is formed across all of them that that is why the metals...

Brandon Sanderson

So, most of the magics are not region-dependent, because the Spiritual Realm-- in the Spiritual Realm space doesn’t exist.  All things are the same distance from one another.

Questioner

Okay, so when Kelsier is in the-- Which Realm is he in?

Brandon Sanderson

He’s in the Cognitive Realm.

Questioner

Is he seeing people from other worlds or is he--

Brandon Sanderson

No, he meets some people who are traveling but Cognitive Realm is location dependent.  He is on the Cognitive Realm on Scadrial and the people he runs into there-- until he kind of travels off into space, which is where he finds the fortress.

Questioner

So even though he’s tied to Scadrial could he go to the Cognitive Realm of other worlds?

Brandon Sanderson

He would have trouble getting to another planet, being a Cognitive shadow like he was.

Questioner

So is there some particular thing that somebody would need to have to be able to move between the realms?

Brandon Sanderson

A body is helpful. Depends on what their ties are and things like that.  Not always, but yeah.

#39 Copy

Questioner

What can you tell me about where spren come from?

Brandon Sanderson

Spren come from where everything in the world of Roshar comes from.  The are a natural part of life there.  They come from the same place rocks and the wind and all of that...

#40 Copy

Questioner

Is Calamity actually a worldhopper?

Brandon Sanderson

Calamity, I didn't write this as a part of the cosmere. The main distinction is I didn't want Earth to be in the cosmere, I want it to be distinct. Once I stick Earth in, the cosmology and things doesn't work. The cosmere is a dwarf cluster, and it's a dwarf galaxy, it's a cluster of stars. It's a specific place, and Earth's not part of it.

#41 Copy

Questioner

How many worlds does [the cosmere] have in it?

Brandon Sanderson

A couple hundred. A couple hundred stars.

Questioner

How many planets are your books going to use?

Brandon Sanderson

Habitable worlds, in Goldilocks zones? There's probably 20 or 30, maybe a few more. Maybe up to 50, but you'll only really... there'll be like, ten or so core planets that you'll see stories from.

#43 Copy

Questioner

Did you worry with Secret History that it was a bit too meta for people who had no idea…

Brandon Sanderson

No, that’s why all the warnings are there.  It’s kind of intended for the people who want something, does that make sense?  Like it isn’t really-- it is a story, but it's not a real story, it’s got weird narrative and things to it.  It is there for those who really want to know.

Questioner

And I’m one of those people, I just have to wonder if you had no idea you’d be really confused through at least the first half.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes you would.  But that’s why all the warnings are there.

#45 Copy

Questioner

With The Reckoners you had to make the decision not to put it into your cosmere cosmology, was that a difficult one?

Brandon Sanderson

It was not difficult once I realized I did not want Earth to be part of everything else.

Questioner

If it had been would Calamity have been a Shard of Adonalsium?

Brandon Sanderson

That’s an interesting question.  Maybe.

#46 Copy

Questioner

Secret History was cool, thank you for that.  Do you plan to have a series of that?

Brandon Sanderson

If I can squeeze them in.

Questioner

Would they primarily be in the Cognitive Realm like this one?

Brandon Sanderson

Not always, they’d just be behind the scenes stuff happening with characters who are more cosmere aware.

#52 Copy

Questioner

Do you backstock on neat characters?

Brandon Sanderson

I do have some characters I haven't found places for yet.

Questioner

Is it just kind of like a mix/match? Do you find a world for them or...

Brandon Sanderson

So characters are the hardest one for me to define. Because I need to discover who they are by writing through their viewpoint for a while. And it's an exploration. Other things, I can plot, I can outline, I can plan ahead. Characters, I can't. I need to explore them. So, really, what I have are seeds, conflicts. They could grow into a character. And I'll sometimes try them out, and they won't work, and I'll send that seed back.

#53 Copy

Questioner

Kaladin. I've heard before that authors, when they write characters, particularly heroic characters, they try to put traits that they like about themselves or that they aspire to in these characters. And when I read about Kaladin, he was everything I've aspired to. But he also had this reluctance to it, almost depression. What were you thinking when you wrote Kaladin? What traits did you have in him?

Brandon Sanderson

Well, one thing is that he does have depression. That's just an aspect of his personality. I was looking at Kaladin as kind of... extremely loyal, almost to a fault. He's got a bit of this, what we call a superhero complex, where he takes responsibility for things that other people have done. And that can be really advantageous when he's on your side, but it can also be kind of soul-crushing. That's a big aspect of him. The other big aspect of Kaladin is his training as a surgeon, and then discovering that he's really good at killing people. And that contrasted side of him creates a big part of the mix of who he is, the pull from my father versus the pull from my spirit.

#54 Copy

rani

Any kind of Investiture to make a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

Not any but there are multiple methods.  Some work better than others.

rani

Can you Forge a Shardblade?

Brandon Sanderson

To Forge a Shardblade, meaning make a regular sword through Forgery into a Shardblade, would require so much Investiture it’s like asking if we can make lead into gold using a particle accelerator.  Yes but it's horribly, horribly, horribly inefficient.

#55 Copy

rani

Hoid uses the term subastral, is that the term for a region of the Cognitive Realm, like Shadesmar is?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.  It’s like planet but--  That’s his term for the different--  Because Shadesmar is all like one plane.

rani

So wait you’re saying subastral is different?

Brandon Sanderson

No subastral is a region of Shadesmar.

#57 Copy

Questioner

What happened with Abraham’s court martial?

Brandon Sanderson

So that is backstory that is a RAFO.  Why Abraham was there is not something he necessarily likes to talk about, not that he’s shy, but at the same time it’s not something he easily talks about.  And so I will not talk about it, I will let him, someday perhaps, talk about it.

#63 Copy

Questioner

Who is the Lord Ruler’s child/children?

Brandon Sanderson

People are searching a little too hard for this, he had several, they mixed with the population.  There might be specific individuals who claim heirship and things like that but it’s not like there’s one hidden person among the population, does that make sense?  Even those who claim heirship may not have any more blood than a lot of other people.  I think this is one where fans have latched onto it a little too strongly and I need to let them know they can back off, there’s not a big secret for them to be hunting.

#64 Copy

Questioner

How did you think of the idea for some who could, like, pull alternate realities through?

Brandon Sanderson

I was looking for a different type of illusionist, because in the Stormlight Archive I did illusionists straight-up. So I wanted to do somebody who did something similar, but had a different origin for those powers.

#65 Copy

Questioner

Are you planning to write any trans characters?

Brandon Sanderson

Am I planning to write any trans characters? I am, but it's a very... like, I need to have some people who can read who are themselves trans, and can talk me through it. I kind of dabbled in it with, like, MeLaan, but that's not a true trans character. So, I'm kinda trying to dabble my toes in it. But I really will need some good readers who can tell me, because it's one of those things that'd be so easy to get wrong.

#66 Copy

Questioner

How is a new Feruchemist made?

Brandon Sanderson

What do you mean?

Questioner

Well you can make a new Mistborn by lerasium--

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, okay.  Other than through birth? That’s a RAFO, good question though.  Right now, as far as anyone knows, it’s by birth only.  But--  Well we’ll leave it there.  You know that the extra Preservation instead of Ruin had some effects on people on Scadrial.

#67 Copy

Questioner

All right, gibberish. Hoid speaks gibberish. He says he cuts off words and splices them back together. Gibberish can be spliced to Shardblade. Which is interesting. Is a Shardblade a cut up concept, or a thought created by the original...

Brandon Sanderson

A Shardblade...

Questioner

Is a spren, but the original idea it was based off of. Is it a concept made real?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, you could say that. They're really just pieces of Honor's soul.

Footnote: "Balderdash" is the anagram of Shardblade that Hoid uses.
#70 Copy

Questioner

It feels like Roshar is-- has an essence, where it’s like a prism, you can see all the rest of them, due to the nature of the Cognitive Realm and the spren’s ideas, Cognitive things coming to light.  Have I spent too much time looking at the Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

No, you are on the right path.  Of all the things you noted, that one is the one that is perhaps the most important.

Questioner

The prism idea.

Brandon Sanderson

The idea that Roshar is special and a key on Shadesmar.

#71 Copy

Questioner

In Secret History we learned a little about how the Cognitive Realm...could bleed into the Physical if the person was slightly broken.

Brandon Sanderson

Broken as Kelsier’s term is not right, and he realizes that over the course of the book, but yeah.

Questioner

My thoughts were on Wayne, so he seems to notice--and it might just be kleptomania--a connection between items that makes him feel as if he’s not stealing, just trading things for equal value.  And I’m wondering if he’s noticing something in the Cognitive-- in one of the other Realms that is actually noteworthy.

Brandon Sanderson

He’s just goofy.

#72 Copy

Questioner

In Bands of Mourning we saw the medallions that can give people Connection to the area that they are in.  Two thoughts on that.  One… if a person were to get a connection to one of the areas from Elantris would they be able to gain the powers from the area?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah that’s a good question, it’s not that easy.  But it is an excellent question.

Questioner

And if there was an area where the primary language was sign language, would a person gain the ability to speak sign language to the people present by using that connection?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.  It is definitely related to the Cognitive Realm and how people are thinking about language.

#73 Copy

Questioner

What happens when you Lash water, or a body of water?

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question, it’s going to have some hard time gripping on--

Questioner

Would it have a gravity well going on?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah it would have a gravity well, it think-- yeah.  You are the first person to ask about that, I don’t think even my assistant has asked about that.  So that’s your tentative answer until I think about it some more, but I think it would.

#74 Copy

Questioner

What’s the upper limit of Lashing, is it Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it’s--  Well define for me what you mean by upper limit?

Questioner

Like, um, a mountain?

Brandon Sanderson

That would take a lot of Stormlight.

Questioner

So it’s something about the Stormlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Definitely.

#75 Copy

Questioner

So, one of the things I know, you have your own universe that you've produced, and it's fantastic. what's the series you're gonna create or have created that's the cornerstone, that will have the largest impact on the universe.

Brandon Sanderson

I would say Mistborn going all the way through is probably the most impact. Stormlight is gonna have a decent one, so is the Elantris world.

Questioner

Is there gonna be a union book or series?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the final Mistborn series.

#76 Copy

Questioner

The visitors in the Sixth of the Dusk, do I know who they are?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven’t answered this for sure, but I have told people that it takes place in the future and is related to the rest of the cosmere…

Questioner

Do we know how soon we’ll find out?

Brandon Sanderson

It’s a little ways off.

#77 Copy

Questioner

The worldjumpers in [Secret History] are they ones that have shown up in other books? And we just don’t know their names?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, they’re only tangential in the other books.  I think one of them has only shown up on screen once.  The other one’s shown up a couple of times but mostly in certain annotations and things like that.  In the books, like on the maps.

#78 Copy

Questioner

At the end of Hero of Ages, there’s the--I forget what it’s called, when the kandra all remove their Hemalurgic nails--and then I forget which character wakes up and just sees the blobs everywhere, and then after what everything that happens I don’t really know what happened to the kandra after that.

Brandon Sanderson

They returned their spikes but that left them with holes in their memory.

Questioner

Who did?  The survivors?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, the survivors.

#80 Copy

Questioner

Have you played the Mistborn board game? Are you involved in that at all?

Brandon Sanderson

My assistant loves board games. I play Magic: The Gathering. Not necessarily board games. So I've just been *inaudible* to him. They have been very involved, my team has been. When they do a CCG, I will be involved.

#81 Copy

Questioner

Have you ever considered doing a pronunciation guide for your characters?

Brandon Sanderson

I should do that, shouldn’t I?

Questioner

It would help so much...

Brandon Sanderson

The thing about that is I’m kind of of the philosophy that however you do it in your head is the right version in your version of the story.  Because the characters won’t look the same to everyone.  Everyone imagines them differently, might as well say the names differently...

#83 Copy

Questioner

I like how you made it so [Hoid] doesn't know everything. Before Words of Radiance, his mind, he wasn't familiar with this world. Like, other people who live in that world, they were familiar with the animals. I like how you did that.

Brandon Sanderson

Thank you. I'm glad you noticed that. Did you notice, in the first book, he's the only person in the book who uses the word "coin"? Everyone else is used to spheres, he's used to coins. So, a little teaser about Hoid. He'll slip up in his terminology.

#89 Copy

Questioner

What would happen if the King’s Wit, Wayne, and Mat Cauthon from these last three Wheel of Time books went into a room and locked it?

Brandon Sanderson

I think they’d all like each other. And they'd try to one-up each other, it’d be an epic thing.

#95 Copy

Questioner

What Shard is the opposite of Odium in the sense of the *inaudible*

Brandon Sanderson

There are several that could be considered opposites--

Questioner

I mean in the assimilation sense, you’ve said that Odium doesn’t want to absorb any of the other ones but which one would want to?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, which one would want to join with him?

Questioner

Or any of them.

Brandon Sanderson

I think that if personalities had been different, Honor and Odium, there would have been a very natural pairing, not that they’re opposites but they would have attracted. [...]

#97 Copy

Questioner

In Secret History we find out that when Kelsier had the power of Preservation, whenever he was near someone with cracks in their minds he would end up healing them up naturally, right? When he tried to--

Brandon Sanderson

Not heal them up but--

Questioner

The intent was that he would Preserve them, right?  So my theory is that Snapping, when they’re getting physically damaged their cracks are wider and wider and that it ends up Preservation, if they have a good Connection with Preservation or whatever randomly comes in those cracks.  Am I anywhere along the right track?

Brandon Sanderson

This theory has merit.

#98 Copy

Questioner

In the event that.. so, say if you've got someone who went through a certain event, and it would have Snapped them. Take that person away from Scadrial, and move them to a different world. Would that still Snap them?

Brandon Sanderson

Remember that the Shards are mostly Spiritual Realm things. Space and time do not matter to them. Time does, space does not.

#100 Copy

Questioner

Who were Kelsier’s parents?

Brandon Sanderson

Kelsier’s parents? I haven’t talked a lot about Kelsier’s parents. He's obviously a half-breed. So he was raised in noble society, unlike a lot of the half-breeds. He knew his nature. He gets his skaa half from his mother, but they hid in plain sight. Like, she pretended to be noble.

#101 Copy

Questioner

Is the two-way radio a fabrial?

Brandon Sanderson

The two-way radio? Which one?

Questioner

In Mistborn.

Brandon Sanderson

It is actually real.

Questioner

It's just a two-way radio.

Brandon Sanderson

It is actual technology. Good question.

#105 Copy

Questioner

When you are burning a Compounded metal are you getting the metal’s effect and the stored power? Can you explain, I’m unclear on the Compounding.

Brandon Sanderson

Compounding is a way to hack the magic system so you can get a Feruchemical attribute out of-- basically powering Feruchemy with Allomancy.  If that makes sense.

Questioner

So you’re not actually burning the metalmind?

Brandon Sanderson

Kind of? There’s a big explanation on Reddit, if you send me an email I can link you to it, that steps you through exactly, easier than explaining it here

#108 Copy

Questioner

So nicrosil.  Wax couldn’t use a blank gold metalmind because he’s not a gold ferring, why can he use a blank nicrosil metalmind?

Brandon Sanderson

So this will all come out eventually but the idea is there are certain ways to connect yourself to magic, to hack the magic and make it think you have the Spiritual DNA that you don’t actually have.  And this is one of the ways.

Questioner

So then the people who made this medallion have this thing that a regular nicrosil Ferring couldn’t--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you’re picking up on it. We’ll dig deeper into it as the series progresses.

#110 Copy

Questioner

Aluminum, when you burn aluminum, does it actually destroy the metals or just take away their power?

Brandon Sanderson

It destroys the metals.

Questioner

Same with chromium?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

So it actually gets rid of the metals?

Brandon Sanderson

It actually trans--  It does a--  matter, energy, investiture are the same things in the cosmere.  You have some sort of transfer happening relating to those things.

Questioner

The question sort of relates to metal poisoning--

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, you would not get metal poisoning after that.

Event details
Name
Name Calamity Seattle signing
Date
Date Feb. 17, 2016
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Calamity
Bookstore
Bookstore University Bookstore
Entries
Entries 114
Upload sources