Starsight Release Party

Event details
Name
Name Starsight Release Party
Date
Date Nov. 26, 2019
Location
Location Orem, UT
Entries
Entries 179
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#1 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

I’m going to read to you from the flashback sequence from [Stormlight Four], and the flashbacks are being split between Eshonai and Venli.

Now, there’s some things to be aware of in this flashback. The first is that, when I wrote this, I was specifically trying to get the tone and character right, ‘cause I wasn’t sure if I was gonna do Eshonai or if I was gonna do Venli. Turned out that I decided to do a hybrid between them. But what that means is, when I wrote this scene in particular, I wasn’t really even planning for it to go in the book. What I was doing is searching for the tone.

Which means it has some continuity problems that I knew about, even when I started it. For instance, I think there might have been more people with Eshonai when this event happened, mentioned earlier. It may not happen at the time or place that it says in here. Basically, a version of this chapter will end up in the final book. But the actual exact details around it might change a lot.

The flashbacks tend to go through some of the most rigorous changes because of continuity. Because we have a whole timeline that Karen is very good at keeping track of. And when I write a chapter like this, I’m just not paying attention to it at all. I’m just ignoring it, ‘cause I want to see if the character works. But we’re gonna just see briefly from Eshonai here.

#2 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Eshonai had heard it said that mapping the world removed its mystery. Some of the other listeners in her camp insisted that the wilderness should be left wild, the place of spren and greatshells, and that by trying to lock it down into paper, they risked stealing its secrets. She found this to be flat-out ridiculous.

She attuned Awe as she entered the forest from the back way. Closer to the Shattered Plains, almost everything was flat, grown over only by the occasional rockbud. Yet here, not so far away, was a place where trees grew in abundance. She’d started her map by going around the perimeter of the forest until she found the river on the other side. Now, after a few days of walking, she intended to head back along the river until she came out on the other side, closer to her camp.

Everyone had been so worried about the storms and her being trapped in them alone. But she had been out in storms a dozen times in her life, and she had survived just fine. That had been without the forest here. These trees made a wall before the storm, like the ones that encircled the ten camps.

Those camp walls had fallen long ago, like most of the ancient listener creations. That was proof: you couldn’t steal the secrets from nature simply by exploring them. The mere thought was laughable. Yes, listeners could create mighty walls, but they were a poor imitation for what nature presented. This forest had likely stood when the ancient city at the center of the Plains had been new; and it stood, still, now that the city was little more than a scattering of lumps in the crem.

She settled down near a rock and unrolled her map, made from precious paper. Her mother was one of the few among all the camps who knew the song that outlined the steps in creating it. With her help, Eshonai had perfected the process, and made certain her cases were sealed against the rain. She used a pen and ink to sketch the path of the river as it entered the forest, then dabbed the ink until it was dry before rerolling the map.

Though she was confident, Resolve attuned, she did admit that the complaints of the others had seemed particularly bothersome to her lately.

“We know where the forest is! Why draw it out?”

“The river flows this direction. Everyone knows where to find it. Why bother putting it to paper?”

“You try to capture the songs, but the songs aren’t meant to be trapped. Save writing for marking debts. Don’t force something as alive as spren to become as dead as a sheet of paper.”

Too many of her camp wanted to pretend the world was smaller than it was. She was convinced that was why they continued to squabble and fight with the other camps. If the world consisted only of the ten camps and the ground around them, then fighting over that land made sense.

But their ancestors hadn’t fought one another. Their ancestors had united. Their ancestors had turned their faces to the storm and marched away, abandoning their very gods in the name of freedom.

Well, Eshonai would use that freedom. And with her maps, she would show the others, expand their minds, bring them with her next time she visited the forest, and would show them the wonders out here.

They would sit by the fire and complain that she was stealing Cultivation’s secrets away, never experiencing the beauty she offered, never knowing the best wonder of them all, the ultimate question: What will I discover next?

The river wound through the heart of the forest, and Eshonai mapped its course using her own methods of counting the distance and rechecking her work by surveying sites from multiple sides. It flowed after highstorms, but often continued for days once one had passed. Why? When all the water had drained away or been lapped up, why did this river keep going? Where did it start? Once she had this map done, she intended to head all the way up the river, further than she’d ever gone before, and try to figure out its origin. Rivers excited her. They were markers, guideposts, roadways. You could never get lost if you knew where the river was.

She stopped for lunch near one of the bends, and there discovered a type of cremling that was green, like the trees. She’d never seen one that shade before. She’d have to tell Venli.

“Stealing nature’s secrets?” she said to Annoyance. “What is a secret but a surprise to be discovered?” Making a map didn’t lock down or constrict the wonders of nature. Nature would keep on changing, growing and providing new wonders! All a map did was provide a path to experience them.

Finishing her steamed hasper, she put out her fire and continued on the way. By her guess, she could travel through here only a day and a half before reaching the other side. Then, if she rounded the other side of the forest, she’d have a finished picture of how this land looked. It might take months of work after that to map the interior of the forest; if it could be mapped. How would she keep from getting lost without the river to guide her or the edge of the forest to mark a barrier? Such an intriguing problem. Such a wonderful problem! There was so much to see, so much to know, and so much to do; and she was going to discover it all. She was going to…

What was that? She frowned, stopping in her tracks. The river wasn’t particularly strong right now; it would likely slow to a trickle by tomorrow. The trees grew far back from its banks, evidence that the flood during a highstorm was dangerous. That could be so loud, she could follow it from a distance, just by listening. Now, though, the water made barely a gurgle. And over it, she easily heard the shouts in the distance.

Had others come to find her? She’d told them not to expect her back soon. She hurried forward, in part overjoyed. If someone had come after her, perhaps they were growing more willing to explore.

It wasn’t until after she was almost to the sounds that she realized something was very wrong with them. They were flat, no hint of a Rhythm, as if they were not made by listeners, but by the dead.

A moment later, she rounded a bend and found herself confronted by something more wondrous and more terrible than she’d ever dared imagine.

Humans.

#3 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

Now, just another warning, that has huge continuity problems with what’s come before. I was really searching for getting sure I’d have Eshonai’s voice and I would be interested in making these flashbacks work, making sure that they would be really interesting to read for this book. So, don’t expect the final version to be quite like that. (That’s just to cover Karen. She hadn’t edited this or done her continuity edit, so you can’t go to her and say, “But Karen! Brandon said in the previous book that…” Don’t worry, I know.)

#8 Copy

Questioner

When will the second Rithmatist book come out?

Brandon Sanderson

So here's the deal with the Rithmatist. Rithmatist was the book I wrote right before the Wheel of Time hit me like a train going very fast. I was not expecting this in my life. The books I was working on at the time were the Liar of Partinel, which is Hoid's backstory, and the Rithmatist and both of these books got derailed to one extent or another by me dropping everything and working on the Wheel of Time. When I sat back down to write the Rithmatist 2, I had been derailed for so long and so much had happened in my life that the outline that I had just did not work. I wasn't pleased with it. It is one of things that I considered a mandate that I must do. I will finish it, but it's gonna take me a little bit more time. I've been trying to write things, like novellas, that don't promise sequels as much and finish off the things that did promise sequels. So I finished off Legion. The last Alcatraz book is basically done. It is called Bastille Versus the Evil Librarians or subtitle "Alcatraz Versus His Own Dumb Self." We're actually sending that off for artwork and things, so that should happen pretty soon. There's like one little scene that needs to be revised and then Rithmatist will be on the list of things to do. So, I promise it someday but I'm just not sure when. Stormlight 4 is going to take all my time for the next 7 months still, most likely. I won't be done with that until July 1st and then I really need to get the next Wax and Wayne book done and there are 2 more books of Skyward that I need to write. So, we'll see. My biggest goal is to not, whatever I do, let myself slip behind on Stormlight books because these kind of form the backbone currently of the cosmere sequence. So those can't come out less frequently than about once every 3 years. Once every 3 years is about as fast as I can do them. They take about 18 months and I need about 18 months off between them, otherwise I'll get burned out. There's an answer that's not a full answer for you. I'm sorry. It will happen. I'm not sure when.

#11 Copy

Questioner

What's your favorite idea that you're never actually going to get around to writing?

Brandon Sanderson

That I'm never, or that I am eventually?

Questioner

Either or.

Brandon Sanderson

I always talk about my favorite idea that I haven't written yet which is the idea about the magic system that's based on diseases. Like, when you catch the common cold, you can fly but when you get over it, you lose the power. Which I just think would be kind of cool and kind of chaotic. I had another idea the other day that was really cool but it was for a video game. If I tell you, it would spoil it, so I'm not going to tell you that one. But, I don't know if I'll ever make this one, because I don't know if I will ever be able to make video games. I have tried and it has not worked, so we'll see.

#12 Copy

Questioner

How does a Rithmatist draw a Mark's Cross structure if they can't cross their own Lines of Forbiddance?

Brandon Sanderson

You can get it right up close, and I kind of made it my mind that if you get right up close it kind of snaps together. That was my work around for it, that you can get up and make it. It's also like a magnetism thing where you can kind of push into it a little bit. The harder you push, the more force it pushes back on them. 

So those were my workarounds in my head. That one actually didn't strike me until I was halfway through the book and I was like "Hey wait a minute, how do you actually make this line work?" So I kind of put those two things on it. That's the in-world in but I didn't talk about it a ton in the books.

#13 Copy

Questioner

If a Mistborn were to burn a piece of a Shardblade, what would happen?

Brandon Sanderson

This would be hard to make happen, but it would be possible. A Shardblade is going to act as, basically, an alloy of the god metal of Honor and so  what would it do? RAFO, but it is possible and it would do something. It would not be inert. It would be Allomanticaly viable.

#15 Copy

Questioner

Is it true that there's a mural of the cosmere in your basement?

Brandon Sanderson

There is not a mural of the cosmere in my basement. Isaac is painting a mural of the Stormlight Archive Roshar map, but that's not in my basement. There will probably be a mural in my basement as we're finishing the office but it's probably going to be a Van Gogh.

#16 Copy

Questioner

It's known you're a big fan of Magic the Gathering and that you like house Dimir and you wrote Davriel Cane's planeswalker. Are you ever going to work with Wizards of the Coast again? And then things about Magic. It's known you play some, where would we find information on that?

Brandon Sanderson

Will I every work with Magic again? I probably will. I usually can't leave well enough alone. But the thing is, I wrote that story (which you guys can read, it's called Children of the Nameless, it's free online), I wrote that instead of doing other stuff I was kind of supposed to be doing. It is what has put me behind like on Wax and Wayne, which I wanted to have done before the next Stormlight. So, it's not likely that I will do it anytime soon. I need to catch up on things. What I would really like to do is, sometime, kind of go in at the planning stage for a plane. Like, right at the beginning, and maybe even write a book and be like, "This is set on a plane, let's use this to build the mythology of a plane," or something like that, and kind of be in from the ground up on it. But I would probably have to move to Seattle for, like, 6 months for that. So that's far off in the future.

If you want to play Magic with me, once in a while, I play at local game stores. I go to Game Grid now and then. Mostly I like to draft or to cube draft. You can watch me cube drafting online. The latest newsletter has a link to a place, some people I went and drafted with. It has been harder and harder. Early in my career, when nobody knew who I was, it was great because the signings, I would get there at 7, and they'd get done at like 8:30. And then I'd be like, "Hey! Who wants to play Magic?" and there would usually be some people who went like, "Yeah! Let's go play Magic!" We'd go to like the hotel and sit in the lobby and play Magic and stuff. Nowadays, my signings get done at like 4am. So yeah, that just doesn't happen as much anymore. Sorry about that.

#17 Copy

Questioner

What criticism of your work do you feel is the most apt?

Brandon Sanderson

There's a bunch of them. I would say that the criticisms of my handling of Mat in the Gathering Storm are pretty on point. I actually had an inkling before I released the book that they were because some of the beta readers had told me. But, I didn't know how to do it better yet. Generally, my weakest part of my books is probably going to be the prose. I strive for what we call Orwellian prose which is Windowpane prose where the prose is transparent and you can see the story happening on the other side. But, a lot of times, if you come to some of my prose, I repeat too many words, too often. We try to watch for those and things. But you're not going to go to a Brandon Sanderson novel and very often get the really beautiful prose that you're going to get like from a Pat Rothfuss book or something like that. It's partially a stylistic choice on my part but it's a stylistic choice because I know where my strengths lie, if that makes sense. So, I think that's a pretty valid criticism. The other thing would probably be that Stormlight is really hard to get into. That's by—not by design, in that I don't want a book that's hard to get into. But the story I wanted to tell was one that was hard to get into. If that make sense. It's kind of like a drawback of the story that I didn't want to change because it would make it a different story. But it's totally a legit drawback to getting into Stormlight. There's a lot of stuff to track. I wanted to be upfront with it because the whole series was going to involve a lot to track but there are people for whom Stormlight is just not the book for them.

#18 Copy

Questioner

I'm an aspiring writer and I really relate to one of your characters that has really smart days and really stupid days. I feel like I've had maybe a handful of really smart days and every other day, I just feel like an idiot and I don't know what I'm doing. I wonder if that's you maybe writing some of yourself into the story or into that character...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Yeah. Totally. 

Questioner

...and how have you gotten over those stupid days. 

Brandon Sanderson

I actually got it… Howard Taylor, who's a cartoonist friend of mine, one time was talking about, on our podcast, how some days he just feels dumb. And I'm like, I feel like that sometimes too. Sometimes, it's not working. It's not flowing. What I've found with writing is—now your mileage may vary—readers can't generally tell which of the two it was. It's more in your mind and more about your mood than it is about the actual quality of what you're writing. What's happening is on some days, you're just upbeat and you see what you're doing is working. And on other days, you're doing basically the same thing but you're a little bit down and your minds like "Oh, this is terrible. You are crap. No one's ever going to want to read this" and the truth is that it's actually still pretty good. The other thing that causes that a lot is… particularly if I'm reading something really good, like I go read a Terry Pratchett novel… and then I go to write and I'm like, "What am I even doing?" What you're doing there is you're comparing your first draft to published, final drafts by authors who've been doing this for 40 years and that's just not a fair comparison to you. If you want to go read my terrible first story that I wrote, the one that won the award, you can read that be like, "This is what Sanderson was writing? I'm better than this!", and you probably are. In fact, I hope you are. I would recommend trying to silence that voice as opposed to trying to reach for the smart days or not because the truth is, you're probably just as smart on both days; you're just feeling down. And instead, try to look for some of the things I talked earlier. The idea of creating good habits. Knowing the things that you can do that put you in the mood to actually do what you want to do. Listening to music will do it for me. Going on a walk, if I'm having trouble while listening to that music and if it's the right epic music. My playlists are on Spotify by the way, the stuff that I do this with. Just look for "Stormlight 3 writing soundtrack" and I have on for Skyward, too, that I think I posted. Just listen to whatever works for you. But you have to find out what tricks yourself like I talked about earlier. Every writer feels this, you are not alone, and that part of your brain is probably wrong.

#20 Copy

Questioner

So Bavadin's avatars, right; Autonomy's avatars.

Brandon Sanderson

One of Bavadin's avatars. 

Questioner

Of those avatars, are some or all of them actual Splinters of Autonomy?

Brandon Sanderson

The terminology gets kind of sticky here. In Cosmere terms, some would say that counts as Splinters, some would say not. The avatars aren't necessarily aware but Bavadin always is. A lot of people in Cosmere would call that a Splinter. 

Questioner

My follow up to that would be, is it possible for a person to Ascend and become a Vessel of one of those Splinters?  

Brandon Sanderson

That is plausible. Yes. It could happen. It would be tough because they will have personalities of their own and so something would need to happen... but yeah.

#23 Copy

Questioner

In the Stormlight Archive series, we have not yet seen Vasher or Vivenna Awakening.

Brandon Sanderson

You have seen Vivenna Awaken stuff, technically. She is Awakening part of her... what's she doing, she's got her cloak out and stuff. You see <very> glimpses of it in the [third] book, so you technically have seen her. You've also seen Hoid Awakening in the epilogue. So yes, you can Awaken on Roshar, it's just been really subtle so far.

Questioner

So, does the Investiture just feed off of the...

Brandon Sanderson

You can make a Returned feed off of Stormlight very easily. You can't use Stormlight to power Awakening very easily, but if you still have those Breaths, you can use them and reclaim them.

#24 Copy

Questioner

So, Sel: Investiture has been pushed into the Cognitive Realm. Threnody: Has it seen something similar?

Brandon Sanderson

It has not seen... Okay. Yes, something similar. It would count. Something similar, yes.

Questioner

If that's the case, what would happen if you were to push Investiture into the Physical Realm?

Brandon Sanderson

It generally manifests either as a solid, liquid, or gas

Questioner

I thought about that. I was like, "We've seen that," but it seemed like a concentrated form. What if you did for like a whole Shard?

Brandon Sanderson

That would probably have disastrous effects. 

Questioner

That's why I was thinking for Threnody, but if it hasn't been that, then something else happened.

Brandon Sanderson

It hasn't been that. Something else happened.

#25 Copy

Shadow Guardian

You have mentioned that the Shards... they did not make an oath to have only one per planet, although the suggestion was made. Have any of the Shards made an oath that has bound themselves, expecting the others to follow suit?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. Oaths have been made, that have been unwise oaths. You have even seen one of those - the oath between Ruin and Preservation. But that's not the only example of oaths being used in ways that bind the Shards in ways they weren't expecting.

#26 Copy

Questioner

What's the inspiration for Lift? Because she's super crazy and unique.

Brandon Sanderson

The absolute first was when I was designing the Knights Radiant, I said: I need to have a variety - I need to have older Knights Radiant and I need to have younger Knights Radiant. She grew - like a lot of my characters - out of me naturally trying some viewpoints, practicing different characters, and seeing where it goes, eventually landing on what I thought worked. And I really wanted her to be different, so. 

Questioner

So, you wanted her to be a gremlin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

#29 Copy

John203

So, at the beginning of Way of Kings, Kaladin's in the slave wagon. He sees an unusual cremling after the highstorm.

Brandon Sanderson

*enthusiastic* He does!

John203

Is that one that can see that he is a budding Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's just say that that cremling is more than it appears.

I'll give you a RAFO card, because I didn't fully answer, but you got kind of an answer. You'll be able to... Keep your eyes out for people saying, "That cremling looks odd."

#30 Copy

Pod

You’ve said that you would call Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and fabrials the three magics on Roshar. Would it be more accurate to say that Surgebinding followed and emulated fabrials and/orthe possibility of fabrials or vice versa?

Brandon Sanderson

 Vice versa. Fabrials are... generally, Surgebinders first, fabrials second. 

Pod

So you couldn’t have done fabrials when it was just Adonalsium. 

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, before the [Shattering]? *deep in thought mmming*

Pod

Would the spren have still been able to do Surges then?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say... no. No, Adonalsium probably would not have let that happen. You could theoretically do it, if Adonalsium allowed it. 

Pod

He had boundaries against it. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. So, I would say no. 

#32 Copy

Questioner

Where do gemhearts come from?

Brandon Sanderson

They grow naturally, just like your fingernails grow.

Questioner

Where do they get the resources?

Brandon Sanderson

The rain that falls on Roshar is [hard] water, full of crem that crystalizes. If you drink that water, it gives you the nutrients that you need to make gemhearts.

#35 Copy

Questioner

Was the Blackthorn... Is that a reference to Tad Williams' character Camaris and the sword Thorn that's black?

Brandon Sanderson

Not intentionally but I've read those books.

Questioner

Do you see the connection?

Brandon Sanderson

I totally see the connection. I mean I've read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, so totally could be there in the back of my head.

#36 Copy

Pod

The combination of a Shard and its Vessel leads to sapient mind with access to a virtually infinite pool of Investiture. Are avatars the product of a similar combination of a mind and a pool of Investiture, only on a smaller scale, with less power?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that is an accurate representation of what an avatar is. It’s not the only way, but it is an accurate... some avatars are that. I would say that’s the standard.  

#39 Copy

Questioner

Do we have a tentative working title for Stormlight Four?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's called Rhythm of War, most likely. But I have to work that in as an in-world book. And if it doesn't work, then... And I have the place that I'm going to work it in, but when I get there, if it doesn't work, then I'm gonna have to go back to the drawing board. Which is why I haven't said for sure that that's what it is, yet.

#40 Copy

Questioner

In the characters of Stormlight, who's the most enjoyable to write about?

Brandon Sanderson

I like them all for different reasons. I really have been enjoying writing Navani lately, so she's been the most enjoyable. But it changes.

#41 Copy

Questioner

How do you prevent yourself from becoming a victim of your own success?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't figured that out yet. I've watched it happen to other authors, so if I figure it out, I'll tell you. It is something I worry about. Particularly with how the new J.K. Rowling screenplays feel like they're just missing the mark.

Questioner

I feel like she needed someone to tell her when her bad ideas are bad. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Exactly. But, we'll see. Well hopefully Peter and Isaac and Kara and Karen will tell me when my bad ideas are bad.

#47 Copy

Questioner

Why are there no spren in the prelude chapters for Way of Kings?

Brandon Sanderson

No specific reason. There's nothing happening there. Mostly, what happens is I write the initial write-through without very many spren and then they have Karen go through and say, "this would be a good place." Just kind of like special effects for a movie. It might just be that I've already released those and read those so much she doesn't want to add as many.

#48 Copy

Questioner 1

So the white hair. Did she have white hair or did Shallan just imagine that she had white hair?

Brandon Sanderson

That is another RAFO.

Questioner 2

There are a lot of RAFO's about The Girl Who Looked Up

Brandon Sanderson

There are a lot of RAFO's.

Questioner 1

So, the girl who looked up, could her hair change like the royal locks?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO.

Questioner 1

Was her hair long or short? Or does it not matter?

Brandon Sanderson

It is long.

#51 Copy

Questioner

If something is heavily Invested, it's harder for a Shardblade to go through it, right?

Brandon Sanderson

Kind of. It depends on the kind of Investiture and things that are going on. But yes. If you want to block a Shardblade... Like a metalmind would be a good thing to use to fight a Shardblade.

Questioner

A person with a lot of Breath, like the God-King, would you be able to chop them with a Shardblade or no?

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to get very tricky on that, so I'll RAFO that for now. Let's just say that there are things. For instance, a Shardblade excising someone who's been Hemalurgically spiked is a theoretical possibility. 

#52 Copy

Questioner

Can you explain the difference between a singer and a listener? 

Brandon Sanderson

Singer is the name of the people in their own language. Listener, this group that split off from the singers and did not want to be called singers anymore, called themselves listeners and that name perpetuated. You could say that singer is the name of race and listener is the name of the nation.

#55 Copy

Questioner

In the Sixth of Dusk, where does the magic come from?

Brandon Sanderson

The magic comes from the same place that the magic comes in all of the Cosmere.

Questioner

That doesn't help. What Shard or Splinter of Shards...

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO.

#57 Copy

Questioner

I have a theory. Because the center of gravity for a female is naturally lower, but when Vin burns iron or steel, the blue lines come from her chest, does that come from her center of self, rather than the center of gravity?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. That's probably a more accurate way to put it. 

Questioner

Would it be possible for that to change, then? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is possible. I should say it like that, because it's not going to actually be... Because center of gravity, where you would actually put it, is not where I'm having those lines come from. You came in costume. You can just make that canon now and we will put that on all of the lists that that is what it is.

#58 Copy

Questioner

Could you rewrite Elantris to make Allomancers?

Brandon Sanderson

Could you rewrite Elantris to make Allomancers. If you really knew what you were doing, could you create a program?

Questioner

Right.

Brandon Sanderson

It would be way easier with Forging and even that would be really hard. I could see you imitating the powers the right way, that you could end up with something that was functionally the same. It just wouldn't be an Allomancer.

#59 Copy

Questioner

Felt told Dalinar that the Nightwatcher doesn't like to talk to foreigners. If he had the opportunity to talk to the Nightwatcher, what would he ask for?

Brandon Sanderson

*Excited* I would have to think about it so I'm going to give you a RAFO. I'd have to consider actually what he really, really wants.

#60 Copy

Questioner

Has Hoid ever died before?

Brandon Sanderson

Define died. He has had his head chopped off. It just, like, didn't work.

Questioner

Didn't work?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. He actually ends the book Dragonsteel - that's unpublished - being beheaded. That event happened, although that book didn't happen as the book was written.

#67 Copy

Questioner

When do you think Alcatraz... The next one... Do you have a release date for that?

Brandon Sanderson

I hope it's next year.

Do you have any idea?

Isaac Stewart

We're probably a year to a year and a half away. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. We have to wait on the art. Whatever the art takes. Tor hasn't seen it yet either. We have just finished it and Janci wrote half and I wrote half and it turned out pretty well.

#69 Copy

Questioner

What do you when all your characters seem to think and act like you do?

Brandon Sanderson

What I do if I were in that problem is, I try to pick some attribute that's very different from me. A belief system, a way of acting, a psychology. And then go read a whole bunch of blogs by people who are talking about dealing with that issue and then try to do a steelman, is what they call it. The opposite of a strawman, make that person's argument or life philosophy as strong as you can make it in that character. And see what happens.

#71 Copy

Questioner

If you had a group of Elantrians on Roshar and they wanted to set up an Elantrian complex similar to the city of Elantris, what would they have to do to get that set up?

Brandon Sanderson

The only way they know how to do it is to get Investiture from Sel and pipe it, basically. That's not the only way you could do it but that's the only way they know how to do it. You've seen them doing that in Secret History. Basically if they want their powers to work, they have huge workarounds they have to put in place. That's not all of it but that's basically... Yeah.

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Questioner

Why is Spensa's dad a coward? Why does everyone make fun of Spensa?

Brandon Sanderson

He's not actually a coward. Read the book and you'll find out. Everyone makes fun of Spensa because their society focuses too much on a false version of what is a hero. They focus too much on the idea of if you're a hero, then you're good; if you're not a hero, then you're bad. They're basically kind of building themselves up by tearing her down which is a bad way to do it and don't follow their example.

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Questioner

Is reincarnation a thing in the Cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Reincarnation is not a thing in most of the Cosmere.

*Small exchange*

You could call the Returned reincarnations and there are other things along those lines. You could call the Fused are straight up reincarnation. It happens in some places. If you've read Stormlight, there's a group that are reincarnated time and time again. In general, no but there are groups that reincarnate.

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Questioner

You talk about dragons, are you ever going to write a book with a dragon in it?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. There are dragons in the Cosmere. Hoid has talked to one. If you read the letters in the beginnings of the Stormlight books, there's one where he's talking to someone he calls, "You old reptile." That's actually Frost ,who's a dragon. The planet that Hoid comes from, there are dragons on. It's where I got the word Dragonsteel which is the name of my book. I just didn't end up publishing that book but they're still in canon. So eventually I'll do a new version of that book and release it. There are actually dragons off world even, but they can shapeshift in the Cosmere.

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Shqueeves

Similar to how holding Stormlight and Voidlight causes an emotional reaction, does holding a lot of Breath create an appreciation for beauty?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I would say that it does.

Shqueeves

Does every form of Investiture create an emotional reaction?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say yes. 

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Questioner

There are Allomantic savants, are there Feruchemical savants?

Brandon Sanderson

Much harder to do. My feeling on Feruchemical savants was because it was your own power in the first place, you can't steep in it so much in the way. But, if you can get someone else's power or if you are fueling your Feruchemy another way, you would become one. So, the Lord Ruler is a good example.

Questioner

Was Miles a...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Miles would be the same sort of thing.

Questioner

Is that why he didn't die as quickly in the execution?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

So yeah. Normally no but if you can Compound you become... basically that is how I am explaining part of the Compounding abilities. 

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Questioner

You've talked a little bit about scripture readings contributing to your writing earlier today. How do you keep that separate from the worlds you're creating?

Brandon Sanderson

I've really never had a problem with that. It's easier than keeping myself separate from other fantasy writers' things and that I've had to learn to put a line in place where I'm like "Ooh, this is a cool idea. Remember that this was someone else's cool idea." Because I consider the scriptures history, I don't mind if they influence me. Like, history does a lot. In Roshar you'll find the Mongolian invasion being a big basis for where the characters for the Alethi come from and in the same way, King Benjamin's speech is a bit of an inspiration for Nohadon's Way of Kings. I don't mind getting inspired by history.

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Questioner

I was wondering when are we going to get Doomslug plushies?

Brandon Sanderson

We are really considering it. We've heard horror stories from our friends who have made plushies. That the prototypes just all turn out terrible. That it's really hard to get someone to make a good plushie. So, we've been scared to try, but we've had some people come and offer.

Isaac Stewart

On the JordanCon website, Deana just posted instructions on how to make your own. 

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, there you go.

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Questioner

Has an unborn child ever been Ascended?

Brandon Sanderson

Ascended to be a Shard? No, that has not yet happened.

Questioner

Maybe not a Shard but...

Brandon Sanderson

Oh. Ascend to like a... No. I would say no. It hasn't ever happened. It's not implausible that the mother could Ascend and the child would... But it hasn't happened.

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Questioner

Do your kids read your books?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. They read my kids books. They've read Skyward, they've read Starsight, they read Rithmatist. They haven't tackled the adult books yet. 

Questioner

How old is your oldest?

Brandon Sanderson

My oldest is 12.

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Questioner

In Part 2 of Oathbringer, the chapter headings are to Hoid, right, from other [Vessels] I'm assuming. One of them talks about Hoid. They reference to him as holder of the one gem [bearer of the First Gem]. Is that the gem that is then split into Shards perhaps?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. Mhm. RAFO.

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Questioner

Have you ever thought of using Skimmers to have infinite electricity. Like on a Ferris wheel kind of thing. Like Skimmers on this side tap and then Skimmers on this side store.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, you're just using like Allomancers or Feruchemy. I mean yeah, that's totally something that in-world they will probably end up doing because the energy is simply coming from another place like Investiture is energy but there's more efficient ways than that to actually get Investiture into energy. I mean, a lot of Investiture gives off light. You could make it give off heat. Like, way easier ways to use Investiture than to put people on dynamos and create power that way but you could do it. You could absolutely do it. If you were hard up for making it work and the only thing you had was a Feruchemist or an Allomancer, you could create electricity that way. 

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Snipexe

If Khriss were to describe the Cognitive Anomaly to another Silverlight scholar, how would she do so?

Brandon Sanderson

She would RAFO you.

Snipexe

And then, is the Cognitive Anomaly either one of Nalthis's lagrange points or that another RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a RAFO. Everything about the Cognitive Anomaly is a RAFO. I'm sorry.

Snipexe

It was worth a shot.

Brandon Sanderson

It is an anomaly and that is all we're saying. 

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Questioner

Have you taken out any insurance policies to make sure we get to the 10th book of Stormlight, Brandon?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't if any insurance policy could do that other than making good outlines and making sure that somebody is tasked to do it, in case. I always used to say it's not far enough along but at this point, we're getting far enough along that we would want to have someone finish them.

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Questioner

Any advice for integrating realistic battle tactics with a magic system when writing a book?

Brandon Sanderson

Boy, it's tough. It depends on how much the magic going to get used and if you can find a real-world analogue or not. If you can find a real-world analogue, it can be handy to be like, "this magic is basically like adding an air force, let's see how that happens." If you can't find a real-world analogue, and it's very common, enough that it'll shape-change battle, then you need to make the sure the battlefield, you're controlling it and make it about the magic, so that no one can say "oh, you got the tactics wrong" because you're controlling it and you're controlling the narrative. 

Questioner

Basically make the magic the more important part?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. There's lots of ways to do this but that's a good way to do that. That would be my recommendation.

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Questioner

For the light-lances, where do they get their power from?

Brandon Sanderson

They come from the same sort of place that everything's getting their power. You know, little micro-engines that are basically fantasy-ish. They're... It's super advanced hyper-engines. I think I worked something out where they using acclivity stone in some way. They're like Brandon's versions of Asimov watches with atomic power. They're just fantastically far-future power sources. Otherwise, we couldn't make any of this work. Like, the whole shell around Detritus and stuff. We needed a cheap and powerful energy source.

Questioner

Exactly. They're just like little bitty things.

Brandon Sanderson

They're basically fantasy novels with spaceships.

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Questioner

I know you served a mission in Korea. So, how much of a Korean influence...

Brandon Sanderson

There's a bunch.

Questioner

I noticed in Mistborn, I think of some Korean influence. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. In Elantris, the idea of the language is based on the relationship between Korean and Chinese. So, it's not the sounds or anything, it's the idea of there being the Chinese characters that have Korean back... you know you can write them in Korean or in Chinese. All of that stuff. The Chinese characters, the Korean grammar around them, and stuff like that, it was a big influence on me designing that writing system.

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Mason Wheeler

Double Eye of the Almighty, is that just symbolism or does Tanavast have weird pupils?

Brandon Sanderson

That is symbolism. But if you were to see Tanavast and you were on Roshar, he would manifest with weird pupils at that point.

Mason Wheeler

Reflection of how people believe? 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. But the actual Tanavast before, he did not have weird pupils.

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Questioner

In the Rithmatist, the Rithmatists get kidnapped by the guy [Harding] but it never explains how they got out of the room [the bedroom].

Brandon Sanderson

They could just go under doors and things like that because they're 2-dimensional so they don't actually have [height].

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Questioner

If they made a movie out of Mistborn, if they were making it rated R, would you have a say to that? Would it bother you? What would you do?

Brandon Sanderson

I would have a say over some and I could get it in contracts for some. It depends on the contract. There are some we've had were we don't have that in the contract. I'm not powerful enough to get that in a lot of things but the more powerful we get, the more we can get things like that to be able to say no. Mostly, we try to pick people that we don't think would do that but the end of the day, no movie people give authors say over their movies because a movie costs 200 million dollars to make and it's just... Basically, when you sign rights away, you just have to see what they do. I would prefer that they not.

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LittleMas42

Does Intent reflect on the Spiritual or Cognitive aspects of Intent?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Intent can influence that, but it's going to be very much based on the specific instances. I'm not sure exactly what specific instance you're talking about but it can.

LittleMas42

Like the Elantrians, when they're drawing Aons and their Intent to draw an Aon.

Brandon Sanderson

Their Intent to draw an Aon is really important and in the same way your Intent to Awaken is really important, and in the same way there are some things in Roshar where your Intent is really important to what you're doing also.

LittleMas42

And does that reflect like how Shallan can see, "I am a stick" by touching the bead in the Cognitive?

Brandon Sanderson

Is that by Intent? Not exactly the same mechanism going on right there.

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Questioner

Do you actually have a potted plant named Count Dooku??

Brandon Sanderson

I used to but the joke was it was actually not in a pot; it was in a glass jar.

Questioner

Was it an air plant?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. It had water but it was like one of those air plants. That was the joke. They were supposed to put the picture in the original ones of Count Dooku, my plant, and they refused with that picture as the picture of me. So the joke didn't work. And then by the time we did the new ones, I didn't have Count Dooku anymore. Count Dooku had died. So we just put in a regular potted plant but that was supposed to be the joke that you would be like "wait a minute, that's not a potted plant." But Scholastic, they wouldn't deal with it. They didn't want me to be that goofy.

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R'Shara

In Defending Elysium, you had a guy in a white room with the communications. Then Spensa sees the delver in a white room...

Brandon Sanderson

That is an intentional harkening of the same idea.

R'Shara

Are they closely connected?

Brandon Sanderson

I wouldn't say closely, but I would say moderately.

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Questioner

If a Mistborn were to burn a metal that's been Forged by a Soulstamp, is there a different effect from another, or?

Brandon Sanderson

So they Forged it from one metal into another metal?

Questioner

Yes.

Brandon Sanderson

So once they started to burn it, it would break the Forgery and it would turn back into its original metal. So you'd have just the briefest moment of getting what it said it was and then it would go back to the other and then if you were a Misting of the wrong type, you would get no more from it.

Questioner

What about Feruchemy or Hemalurgy?

Brandon Sanderson

So Feruchemy and Hemalurgy. You would have a lot of trouble Investing it because it's already Invested. So you would run into troubles right away trying to Invest it, because it's already got all the Investiture messing with it. You could theoretically make it happen, but it would take enough work and conniving that it just wouldn't be worth it.

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R'Shara

Are the delvers, are they new since Jason's time?

Brandon Sanderson

They existed, but Jason didn't know about them.

R'Shara

Ohh, because we couldn't find any trace of them...

Brandon Sanderson

There's no trace of them. They were basically added in when I was doing Skyward. It was my evolution of where I wanted to take the whole thing.

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R'Shara

The two paintings--The Battle of Twilight Falls, and the one that Kaladin sees in Shadesmar. Are they the same?

Brandon Sanderson

I believe that they are, but I could have...When I wrote the original scene, I intended them to be, but I might have changed something later on. They would be by the same artist. You can say yes, unless I changed something. There was something I was thinking of changing. I'd have to go back and look at them side by side.

R'Shara

But they sounded different. One has black in it, that the other one doesn't.

Brandon Sanderson

The thing is, that artist, and people seeing it, I intend them to each see something different in the paintings they see. But I don't know that I actually decided to make that the same painting. But the same artist.

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Aradanftw

If you were to use Hemalurgy on a Surgebinder, would it steal the Surge or the actual spren bond?

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to steal the spren bond, but you've got to remember the spren has power over that bond. So what you're doing is (1) incredibly evil, even more evil, but (2) you may not end up with what you want, because that spren has free will in most cases. You may go through all this trouble and then they may break the bond, and you would be left without it. So you would need something else to force them to be unable to break the bond, which would be even more evil, but it is possible in Hemalurgy.

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Aradanftw

Let's say you wanted to be the Mistborn equivalent of a Surgebinder, having all ten Surges, would the best way to do that to bond at least five Honorblades or can you bond more than one spren?

Brandon Sanderson

You could bond five Honorblades. That'd be the easiest way by far. Because convincing multiple spren to bond you is going to be really tough, so by far the easiest way is just to get... you'd actually need all ten Honor... No, you'd need five Honorblades for the five... Yeah.

Aradanftw

You'd have to get the right ones.

Brandon Sanderson

You'd have to get the right ones and then you'd have all ten. 

Aradanftw

And then, there's nothing wrong with bonding five individual Blades? You don't have to have five arms?

Brandon Sanderson

You do not have to have five arms. You could bond five Blades if you wanted to.

Aradanftw

Really cool. Thank you.

Brandon Sanderson

Particularly Honorblades. 

Aradanftw

They're special.

Brandon Sanderson

Mhm.

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Questioner

I gotta ask, are you going to give us any sort of backstory prior to Dragonsteel coming out? Of Hoid?

Brandon Sanderson

You will get little snippets here and there but really it's when you get his story that you are going to get the fully story of Adonalsium shattering. I have to leave it at snippets until then, because anything I give you is as a snippet now is canonizing something that I'm going to write later on. So I have to leave it at the stuff I know is going to be in there. 

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Questioner

I was just kind of wondering how long the art process takes like would Alcatraz be out next year?

Brandon Sanderson

The art places is really going to depend on how long Hayley takes. It's probably going to take at least a year. I think the earliest you would see it would be around the time we release the next Stormlight book. That would be my guess.

Isaac Stewart

With the latest maybe May of 2021. Yeah. Like mid-2021.

Brandon Sanderson

It's going to depend on her schedule for doing the art now that we have the book. You could give it to her, if you haven't already, to read. 

Isaac Stewart

Yeah. I talked to her about it today.

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Questioner

Will we see more of Rysn in the Stormlight Archive books?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I plan to... She never becomes a main character. I plan to have an interlude with Rysn every time.

Questioner

She won't be out of the interludes?

Brandon Sanderson

No, she won't be, but I might write a novella with her. Like I did with Lift.

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Questioner

Are you doing any more novels for White Sand?

Brandon Sanderson

You can read the prose version that this was based on—that I wrote—just by getting it from us. Someday, I'll probably do some prose for these short stories, but right now, they are going to be graphic novels. In fact, we'll do a sequel series—now that we know what we're doing—that is designed specifically to be a graphic novel. That's our goal there.

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Questioner

Will you write a novella on Silverlight?

Brandon Sanderson

Someday I want to, but I can't promise it. It's if it fits in. I've got a really good, nice Silverlight story that I want to tell, but whether I can get to it... There are just so many things competing, and the only things I will commit to are the core Cosmere stories.

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Questioner

What's the longest you've spent revising a single sentence?

Brandon Sanderson

Usually, the longest I spend revising single sentences would be the keteks in Stormlight, which are the poems I write that go along with it. I'm not so good at poetry so it takes a lot longer for me to get poetry right. Followed by humor scenes. Witty lines, and things like that, take a long time for me to actually write.

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Questioner

I have a bit of a problem with the first Desolation timeline. I'm wondering how old were the Heralds when they became Heralds.

Brandon Sanderson

The age that you would see them as when you met them. They basically are the age they look. When they became Heralds, they are the age that they appeared.

Questioner

So they were like in their younger middle age?

Brandon Sanderson

Some of them. I mean Ishar is older.

Questioner

So that means that the entire timeline of the first Desolation happened within a single lifetime?

Brandon Sanderson

A lot of the ancient chronologies are wrong and you won't get the actual answers until the Heralds themselves explain it in their flashback sequences in the back five. 

Questioner

You've said that the Heralds came over from Ashyn. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

Okay. How old were they then?

Brandon Sanderson

Younger than they were when they became Heralds.

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Questioner

So we were trying to guess what your next book's title would be for this series. If you were to stick with alliteration, it could be Solbound.

Brandon Sanderson

That's a pretty good idea. I actually had the next one being the Aztlánian because Aztlán is the mythical home—like the heaven—of the Aztec people, but I don't know if I'll go with that or not.

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Questioner

What character have you written that you felt is most inspired by your own personality?

Brandon Sanderson

My mom says it's Alcatraz, my middle grade series, is most like me so I trust her. Other than that, it's hard for me to say. You have to go to my friends and things. I feel like ever character's part of me and every character's not. Stephen Leeds, from the Legion series, has a lot of writer-ish stuff in it. Particularly the last of the three if you've ever read that one. That was kind of a very personal book and it was getting into kind of the way... So maybe Stephen Leeds as a middle manager. I feel like a person who's controlling all of these characters. Rather than this person having the adventures, I'm keeping them organized.

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Questioner

If you could do a fourth Allomantic [Metallic Arts] magic system. Have you thought about that?

Brandon Sanderson

I actually hadn't even thought about it. You'd think I would have but I haven't. Those three interlock so well. I'd have to think about it. I really don't know that I have one. I'm sure I could come up with something but I'll put that in the back of my brain. They interlock so well that I've never even considered what I'd do for a fourth.

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Sparkle

In Stormlight Archive, how are they paying for the wars before the one on the Great Plains? How was Dalinar funding his armies?

Brandon Sanderson

Usually they have an almost feudal system on Roshar where the city lord's in charge of collecting taxes and sending them in but a lot of the taxes from out around are going to be goods. It's going to be basically feeding the armies and things like that. The people who are living in like Hearthstone and stuff like that aren't paying any taxes other than in grain. But in the cities, they are and you can also see the more important the lighteyes, the better of a city they will get with a higher population because they get a percentage of those taxes. Like Roshone doesn't really get anything. He's basically taking care of someone else's lands.

Sparkle

Now is that like on a property tax basis or is it more of a sales tax?

Brandon Sanderson

More of an income tax.

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Questioner

What was the thing you that you researched for your books that you were most interested in?

Brandon Sanderson

Ooh. That's a great question. Probably alchemy, because I find that fascinating that they believed like almost science but not. I loved that sort of stuff. 

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Questioner

So the Parshendi Rhythms. They talk a lot about them as like music. So do you imagine them as rhythms where they talk like this or is their a melodic quality to it? 

Brandon Sanderson

That is what they're doing. There's not very much melodic quality to it. They set songs to the Rhythms. The way I have it in the books, in my mind, and the canon, is there is Connection between them and the songs of Roshar. That they can pick up a Rhythm when there's actually not enough of it, even in a sentence, because of the intent of the Rhythm and what the other person's hearing. So they can hear a Rhythm even if it's only a couple words being said, that you couldn't learn, if you were just a human listening. No matter how good you were. Some you wouldn't be able to pick up because there is not enough information there. 

Questioner

So they're just like kind of complex rhythmic things that you could write out musically.

Brandon Sanderson

You could. You definitely could write them out.

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Questioner

Phenax, which Shard do you think he is most like?

Brandon Sanderson

God of Deception. I don't know. I'd have to think about that. I'm not 100% sure. It might be one I haven't revealed yet which...

Questioner

Obviously that's the whole RAFO deal.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Phenax is an interesting character in the lore. I like all of their gods of the underworld that they do.

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Questioner

Do you have the endings of all of your books already pre-planned or does that kind of evolve as you go along?

Brandon Sanderson

I have the ending of Stormlight 10. I have the ending of the Mistborn series. But I don't have all the endings of all books.

The main core line of the Cosmere, I do have, but those are subject to change as I go. I don't necessarily have the ending of the Threnody book. Like, that I would have to outline and sit down.

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Questioner

What philosophies do you feel like inspired you the most? Philosophies, or mysticisms, religions?

Brandon Sanderson

I like a lot of different things. You'll see a lot of things in Way of Kings of Pantheism. You see all the old Greek dudes. You'll see some Cartesian stuff. It's kind of everything. You'll see a lot of Shinto. Yeah, probably the most has been Shinto or actually more of the kind of Buddhist and Jainism sort of idea. 

Questioner

You know, Taravangian I feel like is embodiment of compassion versus seeing the world for what it really is. 

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. Right. And then there's the whole Utilitarianism versus altruism and I just find all of that stuff fascinating. I don't know if there's any one. Shinto, that idea of animism, the idea of everything having a soul, is probably... Yeah.

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Questioner

What if you had a Twinborn who had atium for both and he burned atium that was stored?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I'll RAFO that. I believe I've RAFO'd that in the past so I'll RAFO it again. 

Footnote: It was revealed in Era 1 that Feruchemical atium stores youth. Compounding atium was what gave The Lord Ruler his longevity. Brandon may have thought the question was about compounding aluminum, for which we do not know the effects.
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Questioner

So on the cover for Alloy of Law, is it Wayne standing next to Wax?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes and Wayne has a gun. So, we saw that. We didn't think it was worth changing. We recognize that that's the way it is but it's mostly just because the covers aren't meant to be an illustration of the book; they're meant to be evoking the feeling of the book and we liked the feeling of the book. We didn't want to have to go back to do reshoots because that's an actually photography shoot. All of those books, he has actors dress up and do the shoots and then Photoshops it.

It wasn't bad enough to make us say, "Ooh you have to go reshoot this whole thing." But Wayne has just not realized he's holding a gun yet and dropped it. Someone handed it to him and he's like, "What? Oh!" but they got the shot right before.

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Questioner

You describe the mistcloak as being a hundred tassels from the shoulder down and yet there are pockets.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.  You could put a pockets right up in there and plus different people have different designs on their mistcloaks. It's not modern era. They're not mass produced. You go and you get yours made how you want it to be. A lot of people put there's down here when they're actually making them and trying them on. They find it works better.

Footnote: Mistcloaks are traditionally dozens of thick ribbons rather than a hundred small ones.
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Questioner

I was reading Starsight and then I remembered you wrote the novelette Defending Elysium a while ago.

Brandon Sanderson

I did.

Questioner

So when you wrote that, were you expecting to make a series based off it?

Brandon Sanderson

I had plans for where it would go with the series. It did not involve Spensa in them. It involved some of the evolutions that ended up in this book. Particularly early in my career, everything I wrote, I planned, if it was the thing that took off, where I would go with it if I were doing sequels. So I had a whole bunch of ideas but it's been 15, almost 20 years since I wrote that. So when I sat down to do Starsight, there were something that were from those original plans and some things that weren't.

Questioner

With Jason, he was blind and stuff?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Questioner

Is Spensa going to develop those powers?

Brandon Sanderson

So what I've been kind of doing is, I'm kind of taking a lot of the different powers that Jason had and I'm kind of moving them into specialties that different people could have. So you could theorize that someone could learn them all but more likely you're going to see people specializing.

Questioner

So, like her grandmother has like the sensing power.

Brandon Sanderson

Mhm. Just read the new book and see what happens there.

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Arlin

You have a Twinborn. It doesn't matter what Allomancer he'd be. The aluminum Ferring. They've stored up a lot of aluminum before all this happens. 

Brandon Sanderson

Well, aluminum was really hard to come by.

Arlin

I know. Theoretically, and they've filled it up and then they become a savant.

Brandon Sanderson

Hard to do without being a [Compounder].

Arlin

I'm saying Twinborn in the other metal they become a savant. Then they tapped the aluminum.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I could see that having some very weird effects.

Arlin

Basically my thought is, is it a toggle switch?

Brandon Sanderson

So I'm going to RAFO that for now. You're theorizing around really cool lines, but I'm not going to answer it yet because I have plans for what I'm going to want to do and I don't want reveal it yet.

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Questioner

In your underground lair, will you have a secret room that has another secret?

Brandon Sanderson

*Laughs* We should. We will have a secret door so we should have a secret door that has a secret in it. Good suggestion. If we do that, then you can say you inspired it.

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Questioner

Is "Doomslug" Doomslug's real name?

Brandon Sanderson

"Doomslug" is not Doomslug's real name but Doomslug will accept that name from Spensa. Doomslug would have a name in Doomslug language.

Questioner

Are you going to try and pronounce that for us?

Brandon Sanderson

No.

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Questioner

I have a question about Shadesmar. What inspired the beads where everything in the actual reality is a bead in Shadesmar?

Brandon Sanderson

If I were being truthful, it probably goes all the way back to a Michael Whelan painting I saw when I was a teenager. But at the end of the day, I thought it was a really interesting image and a good reflection. I want things to reflect the real world—the Physical Realm—but in a different sort of way. So I like the kind of crystalline nature of it and things like that.

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Questioner

Does gender play a role in how a spren chooses a Radiant?

Brandon Sanderson

It does but it is not a strict... It's just spren are going to have preferences like people have preferences and that does play into it but there's not really any sort of strict...

If you want to know narratively, behind the scenes, it tends to work to pair opposite genders together, because it just makes for better conversations and things like that. And it makes the cast fill out a little bit better with a little more variety. So that's why you see the writer side of me doing it, but in-world my kind of explanation is they have preferences.

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Questioner

Are all the planets on the same timeline? Is the time the same on all of them? Like a thousand years on Roshar is a thousand years on Scadrial?

Brandon Sanderson

They aren't. The years on Roshar are longer. They're different. So the way they count them is different. Basically, if you took a clock that was set, the time would pass at the same speed on most of them, but the time that it is a year on different ones are different.

Questioner

I was just curious if like Anno Domini was the same for all of them like year 1 is year 1 on...

Brandon Sanderson

Nope. They are not. The calendars are all different. And Roshar for instance, if I say someone is 20 in the Stormlight books, they'd be 22 in Earth years and Scadrial uses a very-close-to-Earth year so they'd be 22 in Scadrian years. I keep them mostly very similar just for the reasons of trying not to be super confusing. 

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Questioner

If you take a coppermind that has stores and you take a zincmind that has stores and you melt them together to form brass, what happens?

Brandon Sanderson

It's mostly going to destroy your ability to recover any of it, unfortunately. 

Questioner

Are you going to be able to store any more?

Brandon Sanderson

You're probably going to end up, if it was already full, with it being full but you not being able to access it. So it would not be very handy to do. Not be very useful for you.

#144 Copy

Questioner

Is "Trell" Odium?

Brandon Sanderson

That's a RAFO. I'm sorry. The cheeky thing for me to respond would be, "Which Trell," but the answer is just it's a RAFO.

Questioner

Which Trell, huh?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. The name Trell has shown up multiple times in the Cosmere.  But the Trell specifically you're asking about is the one who is invading Scadrial during the second Era.

Questioner

Is that the same one in Era 1?

Brandon Sanderson

So that's a RAFO also but there's also a Trell mentioned on Taldain so the name has shown up multiple times.

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Questioner

Was Adolin and Shallan always the endgame, or did you ever shift to Kaladin?

Brandon Sanderson

I did shift, back and forth. So, what I do with a lot of my relationships is, I don't usually plan them out. A lot of characterization, I have to leave the characters kind of their own volition. So I write my way into relationships and I write my way into the character elements. I plot my world, my setting, and my plot out ahead of time but I let the characters go where they're going to go. I know some people would rather she made a different decision, but that is the decision that felt right to me going forward.

I've just validated all the Shallarin people on the internet saying, "Aw, he changed his mind!"

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Questioner

Are you still planning on Death by Pizza after...

Brandon Sanderson

So Death by Pizza is now called Death without Pizza. It's actually called Songs of the Dead. I've been working on that with Peter Orullian who's a singer in a metal band. Some parts of it are really working, some parts aren't, so we're doing another draft. Basically, I did the outline and the world, he's writing the book. The first revision, there were some things that needed to be done in the first draft. So, we'll see how it goes. It's an experiment for both of us. Neither of us have co-written a book before.

#148 Copy

Questioner

Your languages in Stormlight, do you have a way you do names and such?

Brandon Sanderson

Usually there's two different ways that I approach it. If I'm going to spend a lot of time in the linguistics, I'll look for linguistic themes like in Stormlight it's names that are symmetrical or things like that. If I need to shortcut, I'm going to look for an Earth culture and I'm going to use the language kind of based on more themes from that culture and the sounds they have and try to replicate that but not using the actual words from that culture.

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Questioner

What was the name of a Shard that you choose not to use? Like the Shardic intent you decided not to use?

Brandon Sanderson

I can't confirm those because I still might use them. Mostly, the things I've discarded are names that are too simple, or too on the nose. 

Maybe I'm not not... People are like "oh they're just synonyms, hatred and odium are synonyms" but I see more nuance to Odium. So like it feels more deep. 

Questioner

Yeah. If it's got a different history as a word.

Brandon Sanderson

But I haven't 100 percent eliminated any of them. Like, some of them are similar enough that at the end of the day, I might be like "you know what, this is better as this name instead of this name" and that would change the intents.

Questioner

So you have...

Brandon Sanderson

I have a list of all 16 but I haven't settled on the actual name for each of them.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh! I decided not to do the Shard Levity. I did move away from that completely.

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Questioner

A while back I asked about, have you developed your equivalency system for Breath to... 

Brandon Sanderson

No. We're still working on that. I actually have some people. I just got some physicists and mathematicians and said, "I'm gonna have you guys do this, and then you'll keep me honest." That's where we are right now.

And they're like, "It is such a big job." And I'm like, "I know. That's why I'm paying you to do this, so that I don't have to do it. So do your best, it's okay."

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Questioner

If Nightblood was to attack one [a Shard] and decided it was evil, could he destroy enough of that Shard to seriously weaken it compared to other Shards or not really?

Brandon Sanderson

I mean it would be such a drop in the bucket. To actually weaken the Shard. Like, there is so much out there. This would be hard to do. I won't completely nix it, but let's just say there's a lot that Nightblood would have to...

#153 Copy

Questioner

I was just going to ask if we're going to hear any more from First of the Sun.

Brandon Sanderson

I actually started writing a sequel story but it gives a lot away about Era 4 of Mistborn. I'm like, "I don't know if I can do this."

Questioner

So we'll just wait a little bit.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. We'll see if Peter thinks I'm giving away too many things. Like I don't want to give away endings of like the Stormlight Archive in the short story and so I have to be careful about those things.

#154 Copy

Questioner 1

My friend and I always argue. He's like, "Amaram and Jasnah are the same age." Are they really?

Brandon Sanderson

Amaram is a little older, I believe, but they are around the same age.

Questioner 2

Like 24ish?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh, no. Jasnah's like in her mid to late thirties. Mid thirties. I get it mixed up which one's Earth age and which one's Rosharan age. Whatever I say in there, it's about 10 percent more for our age. But yeah, Jasnah's not...

Questioner 2

She's not a spring chicken.

Brandon Sanderson

She's not a spring chicken. 

Questioner 2

But Amaram's older?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I think Amaram's like a year or two older, but they're around the same age.

#155 Copy

Questioner

I'm sensing a subtle metaphor between all of the Radiants, where it seems like their lives have caused them to be pressurized gems and now they get the cut from their Oaths. 

Brandon Sanderson

Nice job. Yeah.

Questioner

They're holding Stormlight better when they do that, right?

Brandon Sanderson

They are indeed.

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aneonfoxtribute

Have many magic systems does Sel have?

Brandon Sanderson

It depends on how you define it. I would say over a dozen if you're dividing AonDor versus Forging as different magic systems. They have over a dozen. It depends on what you kind of circumscribe in the same style of magic system with just different ways to access it. It just depends on your definition.

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TearablePuns

How do Lashings affect fluids like water or air?

Brandon Sanderson

Hard to Lash a fluid. It works poorly. How about that?

You can make it work best with the Reverse Lashing which would make sense I assume, but you can't Full Lash onto air or really a liquid. And a Gravitational Lashing, you could maybe do it on a liquid but it would disrupt real fast.

#159 Copy

Questioner

What was your inspiration for making Doomslug? It's a very fun character.

Brandon Sanderson

You know, it was basically me wanting to have a pet sea slug and it just not being something you can do in real life. And I knew I wanted a creature that had some import to the worldbuilding and I settled on something that I thought would look cute.

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Questioner

If you had to guess, which gender would be Doomslug?

Brandon Sanderson

Spensa thinks Doomslug's a she, and so I would go with that.

Questioner

The way she looks kind of looks like a boy but the way she talks kind of just sounds like a girl so it gets confusing.

Brandon Sanderson

Telling gender on the slugs is not terribly easy.

#162 Copy

Questioner

In the Cosmere, are we going to get any more worlds or is like what we have enough?

Brandon Sanderson

No. If I can get myself to do it, I have some other worlds that we'll show. They'll be short story stuff though. They are not major players in the actual Cosmere other than Yolen which you haven't seen yet but that's where Hoid's from and that's where the Shattering happened. That's a major one but yeah.

#164 Copy

Questioner

Hemalurgy. If I stab someone with an icicle but it had iron traces in it, would that still work?

Brandon Sanderson

That iron would not hold much of a charge, so it's probably not going to work. You're probably just not going to be able to get enough iron there to really charge it.

But it's plausible that you could make it work. Like, you could get enough iron in there theoretically. I'm going to say most of the time, no. Plus, the structure of it's going to disintegrate so fast that you're just not going to be able to make any use of it.

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Questioner

Do you plan on writing Stormlight Archive where you have to be Cosmere aware?

Brandon Sanderson

I intend Stormlight to always be its own story. The Cosmere will start influencing a little more here and there, but I never intend you to have to know anything about the Cosmere. Who knows how I'll be at the later books if I 'llchange my mind, but I intend it to be no more than it's really been now.

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Questioner

This is a line in Way of Kings where it kind of sounds like my homeboy Nephi. Was that on purpose?

Brandon Sanderson

I'm not sure if that one's on purpose. You'd have to tell me which quote it is.

Questioner

Taravangian who's like "better for one man to sin than a whole nation perish?"

Brandon Sanderson

That is probably unintentional. I don't know if that was intentional or not.

Questioner

Are there intentional ones in there?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. The Nohadon Way of Kings is directly influenced by king Benjamin's speech and Mosiah. That one is intentional. Most others will probably be unintentional though, of course, what I read a lot and what is important to me ends up in the books one way or another.

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ElephantEarwax

Would tapping Feruchemical speed cause you to burn metals faster as your whole body speeds up?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I think it probably would. I don't know if we've gotten to that interaction yet, but it probably would. Good question. If it's speeding up... Yeah, I think it would. Good question. If you're in a speed bubble and doing it, it's totally going to do it, and there's some analogies there.

#173 Copy

Firerust

If a Mistborn were to try and burn a non-valid metal, like platinum or lead, would the metal be burned but nothing happen or would they not be able to burn it at all?

Brandon Sanderson

They would not be able to burn it at all.

Questioner

Not in the slightest?

Brandon Sanderson

Yep. Good question.

#175 Copy

Questioner

Are we gonna see any more Marsh in the future?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. It's likely you will see some more Marsh.

Questioner

Do you think book 4? Or next trilogy?

Brandon Sanderson

No. He's more the next trilogy. You might see him in book 4, but I would not hold my breath.

Questioner

Okay. But he's my main man so I just want to make sure.

Brandon Sanderson

Marsh has been through a lot and he has weathered it well, so...

#176 Copy

Questioner

One more question about the Girl Who Looked Up. It says she wears a long pack, so would this be a long pack or no. *gestures to pack*

Brandon Sanderson

That is not long enough.

Questioner

So would said large pack hold a Shardblade or an Honorblade?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll have to see.

Questioner

Perhaps.

Brandon Sanderson

Perhaps. 

We might be doing a picture book of it.

Questioner

Somebody whispered that to me earlier. Would it be illustrated?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

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Questioner

Do you get some perverse pleasure keeping secrets from people.

Brandon Sanderson

I do. Because I'm a showman, right?. I want you to get that moment where it all comes together, and if I don't keep the secrets, I can't do as many of those. If I could get away with it, I would say nothing, because I would let the books stand for themselves. But I have been a part of fandom for long enough to know people really enjoy this, and so I let them pull things out of me. But it's always my intent to never say anything. 

Event details
Name
Name Starsight Release Party
Date
Date Nov. 26, 2019
Location
Location Orem, UT
Entries
Entries 179
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