General Reddit 2020

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Name General Reddit 2020
Date Jan. 1, 2020
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#1 Copy


I wonder if Rock's story made it into an interlude (or primary narrative) [in Stormlight Four], or if it still needs to be written?

Brandon Sanderson

It would still need to be written. There wasn't room for it in book four, and it wouldn't really fit thematically anyway. If I don't manage to do it as a novella between four and five, I think I can make it fit in five thematically, so we'll put it there.


I love Rysn's interludes in every book; especially her adventure with Chiri-Chiri in Oathbringer. That being said if you end up doing a novella for her does that mean she'd be out of the interludes in future books? Also if you don't mind answering, does she have an interlude in Book 4?

Brandon Sanderson

I haven't written it yet, but I do plan for her to have one. I can't really do it until I've written the novella, if indeed I find the time for that.

#2 Copy


Hello, I hope this message finds you well. I was wondering if you might be able to answer a question. Was going back through the Stormlight books in prep for Rhythm of War, and I realized I didn't actually understand what was happening with the Stormlight when someone used a Basic Lashing. What actually happens to the Stormlight in the creation and maintenance of a Basic Lashing? (Especially when someone is Lashing themselves?)

Brandon Sanderson

Whew. It's complicated. Basically, the magic is persuading the Lashed object that it is not actually bound to the gravity of the planet--but to the gravity of a supermassive object in the direction indicated. (But which doesn't actually exist.) Imagine it as a Lightweaving that creates an illusion, but the illusion is of something massive that only is seen by the Spiritual aspect of the Lashed object/individual.

It works pretty well inside of the cosmere's magical framework, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you approach it from the physics of our realm.

#3 Copy


What happens if you try to summon a Shardblade, but there is a wall where it would appear? What about liquids in the way, or person, and what if Shardplate is in the way?

Brandon Sanderson

Generally, the Blade isn't going to appear inside of something solid--and will appear (shoving aside) in liquid. It can be hit or miss on people, but generally doesn't work--and Shardplate would stop it from materializing.

#4 Copy


 In Rithmatist, is the 4th of July still their American Independence Day, with the alternate history?

Related question, is there a mechanical reason for inception being the 4th, or is it just cultural?

Brandon Sanderson

Cultural. And yes, July fourth is still an important day though they might call it something else, with the monarchy being in exile in the colonies.


Thanks! Are you willing to say why it's important in their world, or is that something where I'll have to RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

Let's RAFO for now, as that world is in limbo for right now, and I'm not sure one hundred percent where I'll go.

#5 Copy


The humans on Roshar have a lot of holdover terms from... before, like chicken, soil, wine, etc.

Is "mink" another of those holdover terms, where they are calling something a mink that we may call something else?

Is it, mayhaps, actually a lion?

Brandon Sanderson

No, minks actually are one of the mammals who managed to get a foothold on Roshar, so they know what minks are. (They are mentioned other places in the text.) Good question, though!

#6 Copy


Would you say that the genetic investitures are the result of a specific gene only available in their system of origin, or are they a trait that CAN exist in other systems (but lack the shard's key to access it)?

The best example I can think of is could a feruchemist be born on Roshar, but not know it because preservation is not present there in the physical realm?

Brandon Sanderson

So, the way I have it right now, that couldn't happen. Your spiritual DNA, so to speak, has to do with your connection to certain Shards--and for a genetic component to occur, certain location-dependent things need to happen. It's a good question, though, and not impossible in the future of the cosmere as certain events proceed.

#7 Copy


You've said that Darro, from Aether of Night, will be appearing in the Nightblood novel. Will he be appearing as a worldhopper (presumably from the Aether planet) or as a transplanted character, similar to how you've said Dalinar was in Dragonsteel before being moved to Stormlight?

And (probably entering RAFO territory) if he is a worldhopper, will he have a functional Amberite in the Nightblood novel?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a RAFO, as mostly I just haven't decided on a lot of things about this novel yet.

If it helps, my instinct is just to make him a local, as the Aether planet (though canon because of things in Stormlight) isn't one I've completely finished worldbuilding yet.

#9 Copy


Seeing as what is happening in the world, it got me wondering if there is a Shard along the lines on Anguish? Seems like a pretty important aspect of consciousness, but this isn't something I have seen tossed around.

Brandon Sanderson

That is a good theory, and while I can't confirm yet for various reasons, I think you should share that idea.

#10 Copy


Has he hinted at how long of a time gap it's going to be [between the two Stormlight arcs]? Are there going to be the same characters in each sequence?

Brandon Sanderson

Time gap is around ten years, and the back five will largely include the same characters, but the focus will be more on the Heralds.


Is this a minor spoiler? I was under the impression Moash was going to attempt and kill them all. Or if only the king of the Heralds needed to die. Its possible I misunderstood that part.

Brandon Sanderson

Dead people can still be main focuses of books in Stormlight because of the way I do the flashbacks.

This isn't a promise that they do die, or that they live. Only a note that me announcing someone gets a flashback book isn't an indication they live to that book. Only that they have some interesting events in their past that I intend to delve into.

#11 Copy


Wandersail too?!? Can't wait!!

Brandon Sanderson

That's the Rysn novella. Though I might not call it Wandersail, as even though that's the name of her ship, it might imply too much about the story which has only passing resemblance to Wit's tale.

#12 Copy


Who are the main 'focus' characters for book 4? Venli and Eshonai have flashbacks but what about everyone else?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say Venli, though the truth is that though she's got a lot of viewpoints, it's really more of an ensemble than the other books. I don't want to say too much, as its spoilers. Expect a decent amount of Venli, but an equal amount of several other characters.

#13 Copy


If you ever get around to writing The Silence Divine, do you think it should be included as a "From The Stormlight Archive" novella as those other three? I know you mentioned it would be set around the same time as book 8.

Brandon Sanderson

It probably wouldn't be a Stormlight Archive book, since though the planet is in the system and the same Shards influence it, it doesn't include Stormlight or Radiants or anything.

#17 Copy


Sidenote, but I believe BDSM would have been quite big on this planet [Sel], as control and trust are both so central to that community/ fetish. Not that Brandon would necessarily want to get into that stuff. Any quick thoughts, /u/mistborn?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha, you know, I'd never made that connection? It would be completely in line with the worldbuilding, so I think you have a very valid line of reasoning here.

#19 Copy


Are dark blue eyes considered dark eyes or light eyes? Are dark eyes just brown or are they any colour but shades different?

Brandon Sanderson

A darkeyed person can have many shades of dark eyes. (I believe we've mentioned some few in the books.) So someone with dark blue eyes is a darkeyes.

#20 Copy


Looks like he is going for that mirroring of titles after all! Very Vorin of him if he can get the last one of the 5 to fit.

(If you take the initials of the books so far, you'd get (t)WoK WoR O RoW, so he's on track for KoW(t) to make the last one fit!)

Brandon Sanderson

I've spoken about it. It's something I wanted to do originally for the series, decided against--then decided to go in for again after I changed the second book's title and picked a one-word title for the third book.


That's really cool! So assuming Rhythm of War is the Eshonai/Venli book, the fifth book will be the Szeth book which was tentatively titled Stones Unhallowed. You'll be changing that to something that initializes to KoW?

Brandon Sanderson

The title of the final book will change. I was already uncertain about Stones Unhallowed.

#21 Copy


I'm really rather curious about your ideas on [Cosmere reading order]. I know you are a proponent of not needing a "reading order" but I mean specifically about the different reading order changing your perspective. Being more Cosmere-aware at some parts vs not having that awareness.

Brandon Sanderson

Don't have a lot of time to dig into this thread right now, I'm afraid. But in general, I like when people slowly discover the cosmere, as I think it adds more for people on subsequent reads. I like the idea that there are things you won't get the first time through, as sometimes (like when a new book in a series comes out) you may want to re-read to get up to speed. (I often did this with the WoT.) I like that if you've been reading further in the cosmere, it makes this re-read into a different experience.

#24 Copy


Did this [Joseon Dynasty's Way of Kings] influence you writing and the information for Way of Kings? If so, neat! What did you like about it that stuck in your brain?

Brandon Sanderson

Do, the Chinese character use here, did stick with me. It's not just used in Wangdo, as mentioned above, but Kumdo (the Way of the Sword) and in other similar applications. That did strike with me; I liked the flow of that on the page, and in my mind. Something like "The Way of the Sword" or "The way of the Kings" felt like it would make a great title. (And indeed, Sejong the great is one of the inspirations for Nohadon, author of The Way of Kings in the books. I did a big talk about Sejong on my book tour a few years ago.)

I was reminded of this idea as a title in 2002 while reading "The Fall of the Kings" by Delia Sherman and Ellen Kushner at a world fantasy convention. By then, I was working on Stormlight full time, and the title was just perfect--that's when I started inserting Nohadon into the history of the world.

So yes, this is a direct inspiration. I probably wouldn't have been able to pull it off the top of my head now, almost twenty years after working on the initial outline, if someone hadn't posted this though--the memories didn't really spark until I saw the plate posted above. So I enjoyed seeing this posted.

#26 Copy


Have you decided it'll be Rysn or Rock for the novella [between Oathbringer and Rhythm of War]?

Brandon Sanderson

Rysn for this one, Rock for the one between four and five.


Obviously not anytime soon since you have a busy schedule, but do you ever see yourself looping back to do a novella/short story between The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance? Maybe the Lopen story you mentioned? Or is it something that's not valuable now?

Brandon Sanderson

I do want to do this some day, for cohesion's sake. So I can see myself doing this. (Maybe in the stretch between Books Five and Six when I'm working on Mistborn Era Three?)


Do you imagine that this possible Lopen novella would be an evolution of the King Lopen the First of Alethkar short story you've mentioned? Or would they be completely distinct? Or do you just not plan on writing that short story anymore?

Brandon Sanderson

That's what I have in the back of mind, but I would have to seriously consider what I'm going to do once the time arrives.

#27 Copy


Is Gavilar aware that the “two ambassadors” (one being called Nale) are Heralds? Or were they hiding their identities from him?

Brandon Sanderson

This will be soon answered. Suffice it to say that Gavilar knew much more than people thought he did.

#28 Copy


Could Dalinar lift stones of equivalent weight to the statue [in Thaylen City]? Assuming enough Stormlight. Or was that extra strength part of his Surges?

Brandon Sanderson

You are correct--Dalinar could not lift stones of equivalent weight in other circumstances.

#30 Copy


Would a Nalthian born off-world who didn't get a Breath have the standard amount or the slightly lower amount, which would make them distinct from other humans?

Brandon Sanderson

It's a RAFO right now, but mostly because of my time crunch on other projects--not because this is a bad question to be asking. It's actually an excellent one.

#32 Copy


Will the novella you write be released with Rhythm of War or after? Is there an exact date or time range for release?

Brandon Sanderson

Goal is to release it this summer. If the Kickstarter happens, it will be part of that--something for people who want to participate, but who don't want to (or can't) shell out for an expensive leatherbound. If we don't do the Kickstarter, we'll probably release it on its own, as an ebook.

#33 Copy


If you feel it would be inappropriate to release the leatherbound book [due to COVID-19] would you still consider releasing TWoK Prime?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, if I don't do the kickstarter, I will find another way to release TWOK prime--it would feel bad to yank it from people.

#34 Copy


And for when The Lost Metal?

Brandon Sanderson

Current schedule:

1) Stormlight Novella next week.

2) Finish drafts 4-5 of Book Four until July.

3) In July, finish the Novella, do a revision of The Apocalypse Guard, which I think I might finally have figured out how to fix.

4) August: Start either Skyward 3 or Wax and Wayne 4. Once that is done, finish the other one.

5) Middle of Next year: Decide next project after those two are finished.

6) Start Stormlight 5 January 2022, for Christmas 2023 release.

#35 Copy


How long is the book?

Brandon Sanderson

Rough draft is 450k words, so about 10% longer than The Way of Kings. However, the 5.0 draft is usually intended to trim about 10%, so I anticipate it ending up right at the length of the first book. Maybe between first and second.


Did you intentionally make this one a bit shorter than Oathbringer, since the publisher had to tweak the printing of that one to fit it all into one volume, or is it just the length you always expected it to be?

Brandon Sanderson

I plot them all to end up around this length; Oathbringer just ended up needing a little extra. My goal is to have them all land somewhere between 400-440k.

#36 Copy


When are you planning to do the sequel of Warbreaker?

Brandon Sanderson

I can't say 100%, but I'm hoping to do it during the time between Stormlight 5 and 6. But Mistborn era three takes priority, so we'll see.

#39 Copy


Is The Apocalypse Guard going to be a standalone? I know you've talked about promising fewer sequels in your books now, but with Dan Wells co-authoring this one, I'm curious as to how you'll treat it.

Brandon Sanderson

If it works, and the collaboration is good, then I would be open to doing sequels. Dan is fun to work with.

#40 Copy


So I was looking back through the scene where Shallan and gang is hunting the Midnight Essence and they come across that room covered in art, and I noticed something.

Shallan says there are murals that depict 10 kinds of spren and guesses they're for each Order. There's just one small issue. There's 12 Radiant spren. The Bondsmiths have 3 unique spren.

The passage in question with the relevant portion bolded.

Gorgeous, intricate pictures of the Heralds---made of thousands of tiles---adorned the ceiling, each in a circular panel.

The art on the walls was more enigmatic. A solitary figure hovering above the ground before a large blue disc, arms stretched to the side as if to embrace it. Depictions of the Almighty in his traditional form as a cloud bursting with energy and light. A woman in the shape of a tree, hands spreading toward the sky and becoming branches. Who would have thought to find pagan symbols in the home of the Knights Radiant?

Other murals depicted shapes that reminded her of Pattern, windspren...ten kinds of spren. One for each Order?

So what do y'all think? Is there a representation of just one of the Bondsmith spren? Is it an abstract representstion of the idea of a Bondsmith spren? Is this a writing error and there was supposed to be 9, with the glowing cloud, tree woman, and figure in front of a circle intended to be the Bondsmith spren? Perhaps the Bondsmiths were supposed to be unrepresented?

Brandon Sanderson

If you were to see this picture, the painting of the three spren to make Bondsmiths were made to make it visually clear they're the same kind of spren--and they KIND OF are.

The three you note above are not depicting the three spren of the Bondsmiths. One is depicting a perpendicularity, and the other two depicting Honor and Cultivation. These aren't the Bondsmith spren, but distinct and separate pieces of art.

#41 Copy


Lol I had assumed it [a Shardblade from the Words of Radiance illustrations] was Oathbringer, it looks like massive and ends like a hook? I am intrigued, which one do you think it is?

Ben McSweeney

It's not a named Blade, just a random one that I designed it for the Shallan page. To my inifinte embarassment, it is often mistaken for Oathbringer just because of that spike on the tip, despite none of the other details matching.

Oathbringer has a canon shape, though it's not often seen outside of merchandise which sourced their designs through Dragonsteel (like Badali jewelry). This bit of fan-art is off a bit in proportions, but gets it mostly right.

Some image of the Blade should probably appear in the tenth anniversary edition of The Way of Kings, much as we now have a canon design for Nightblood which appears on the tenth anniversary cover of Warbreaker.

#43 Copy


Lift can drink EVERYONE under the table.

It's established that stormlight can heal the toxic aspects of alcohol, thanks to the misadventures of Veil. It's established that shortly after consumption, Lift can metabolize caloric value into stormlight. Alcohol is VERY high in caloric density, on par with sugar and fat, well above complex carbohydrates and vegetables. So Lift, once she gets around to trying booze, should be able to quickly turn the calorie value of alcohol into stormlight which then cures the drunkenness. Indeed alcohol might well be a good way for her to keep her reserves, since it keeps very well, can be produced from sources that don't work as food, and is so calorically dense. It also means she can beat Rock at a drinking contest, even if they both start with the same amount of stormlight in gems. This should happen.

Brandon Sanderson

Yup, I think this is accurate.

#44 Copy


Majority of authors 'hear' their characters speak, finds study. 56% of the writers surveyed reported visual or other sensory experiences of their characters when they were writing, while a fifth had the sense that their character was occupying the same physical space.

Brandon Sanderson

Doesn't really happen to me, though I do have a lot of times where I feel I am the character. That's kind of the point; I write to explore the world through other people's eyes. Have never had any kinds of hallucinations as the title of this post describes.


Interesting! Would you say that you dive so deep into a character that you "become" that character for a time?

Brandon Sanderson

I always have solid separation of myself and the characters, though I can "pretend" on the page. It gets close enough that I think I can understand characters for whom that imagining crosses a line. Wayne, from one of my series, is like this--he's someone who can take it a step further than I do. I can get close enough to sense what it would be like, but I never really feel myself becoming them.

#45 Copy


I didn't see Rlain [on the poster for the Way of Kings Leatherbound Kickstarter].

Brandon Sanderson

There were reasons relating to upcoming books that I didn't want to put Rlain in this. I agree, it would be great with him, but for now, I left him off intentionally.

#46 Copy


I'd not realised Isaac had written some of the broadsheet stories - if anyone can trick me into believing something they've written was written by Brandon, then that makes them an awesome person!

Ben McSweeney

The broadsheet columns are usually a mix of four people: Brandon, Peter, Isaac, and myself. Though I mostly write ad copy.

#47 Copy


I was just thinking about how Shadesmar and the Cognitive Realm as a whole is mirrored from the Physical Realm, as was wondering if there is a WoB or any other answer on how the Reshi Isles appear in Shadesmar.

Brandon Sanderson

They're...odd. I'll get to them eventually

#48 Copy


Was really Evi the voice that Dalinar heard when he opened Honor's perpendicularity?

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO. (You knew it was coming.)

So here's the thing--I'm never going to confirm or deny anything from beyond the Spiritual Realm. Because it is unfair for me to do so. I believe there is an afterlife in our world, while others (quite rationally) conclude there is not.

The Cosmere has systems in place for ghosts and things to be real, yes, but I want it to always be possible for intelligent people to disagree about things like Evi's voice. Spiritual Connection creates visions in the Cosmere that are quite realistic (like all the ones Dalinar experienced.)

What Dalinar heard here could very rationally be a version of such a vision. That's what the Death Rattles are, for example.

Or, it could be his dead wife speaking to him from beyond the grave. Navani would say that's what it is; Jasnah would say it's the first. I try very hard (despite my personal biases) to not undercut the viewpoint of someone who doesn't believe in an afterlife. It is vital to me that the author not sweep in and say, "Yeah, it's cool some characters are Atheists at all who doesn't believe in an afterlife...but nudge nudge, we both know there is one."

The existence of an afterlife (not Cognitive Shadow style, but in the Beyond) in the cosmere is subject to your own personal interpretation. Everything that happens like this CAN be explained by Realmatic Theory, with very valid examples from the books.

#49 Copy


Please give us a full novel about Shai!

Brandon Sanderson

No promises--but I do have another novella I want to write about her.


Wow, that's exciting! Previously you've said that you don't want to write a sequel to The Emperor's Soul, as you were worried you might devalue that perfect story by adding something that isn't so perfect. Has something changed your mind? Or would this novella be something other than a sequel?

Brandon Sanderson

I simply had a really strong idea that I think would compliment the first story. Assuming I can pull it off.

#51 Copy


What kind of revisions [do] Brandon's fourth drafts usually incorporate?

Peter Ahlstrom

The fourth draft is the final substantial revision. It's the one where Brandon looks at the feedback from the beta readers and his writing group and makes the book better. Sometimes there are new scenes written during the fourth draft—in Words of Radiance, Brandon wrote the Sadeas POV scenes during the fourth draft, and maybe one of Adolin's duels.

Note, no beta readers ever said "I want some Sadeas POV scenes." Brandon decides when the book needs something because of the overall synthesis of the pre-reader comments plus his own feelings on how the book has stood up in the couple months since he wrote the third draft.

Sometimes chapters also get moved around during the fourth draft. This happened with Words of Radiance but not with Oathbringer.

#52 Copy

Ben McSweeney

Stuff like this [Minecraft Urithiru] is why I wanted to draw orthographic views of the tower-city. :) The dimensions on Shallan's page are rough, but they will line up.

Each tier has approximately 18 floors, each floor is roughly 15' (interior ceilings vary from 8' to 14' unless they're incorporating the next floor). Total tower height is just over 2700'

#53 Copy


We know for previous WoBs that Truthwatchers are worried about knowledge and helping people with it ( In the test you recently released, the new info about them says that they are worried about the use of the knowledge and the leaders trying to deceive the people they lead. So, I think they have some things in common with Windrunners and Edgedancers, because the three Orders are more worried about the common people than about the elite. Protecting those who can not protect themselves, remembering those who had been forgotten; both of this Second Ideals refers to the common people, that people that the leaders don't really care about.

Considering all of this, and following the example of the Second Ideal of Windrunners and Edgedancers, which are the most worried about the common people with no epic powers, I wrote a theoric PURE (without corrupted sprens like Glysn) Second Ideal for Truthwatchers:

"I will seek truth, to prevent others from being deceived."

I know you are RAFO'ing this, but I would only like to know if my approach of the Truthwatchers Order is correct.

Brandon Sanderson

[That] is, I'm afraid, a RAFO as I don't want to talk too much about the oaths of given orders until I write books about those orders, as it would constrain the story a little too much. Your theorizing is sound, however.

#54 Copy


In the last SoS, Brandon mentioned that a new Audible original called "The Original" was coming out soon that he wrote with Mary Robinette Kowal. I haven't seen any news of it in the last six months. Does anyone know anything about it?

Brandon Sanderson

The publisher decided they wanted it to come out later this year, rather than earlier. I'm still a little baffled as to why. I think they're looking at August right now?

Audio original, though it's not published by Audible. (I think it should be still available there; I just did it with a different company, one I've worked with before. For the record, the only ones Audible has published directly are the Reckoners and Skyward.)

This one isn't full cast, but does have some audio mixing and the like, with a little original music.

#56 Copy


I'm pretty sure that /u/mistborn worked with brotherwise on this game [Call to Adventure: Stormlight Archive], and probably had some say in the artwork.

Hopefully he sees this, and takes a moment to respond, I really wonder if this just flew under the radar, or if there's a reason that Rock has a different skin color than the rest of his peak.

Brandon Sanderson

They worked with my team--but I personally didn't have time to oversee all of the art.

Getting a lot of the characters' skin tones has been a challenge, as I'm often vague in the books. Rock is a good example; Shallan gets her paler skin and hair from the Horneaters, so a lot of people assume the Horneaters are Irish-looking, though I've intended them to be a variety of skin tones. So while it's not inappropriate to draw Horneaters light skinned (and a lot of fanart does) I intended Rock to have a bronzer tan skin.

The thing is, it doesn't quite look Alethi either, so they'll describe him through their eyes as looking "tan." It's a skin tone they don't really have, though, so there are passages an artist could look at and assume, "Oh, this guy is white, like Szeth" because of my descriptions, which are at times less specific than I should have made them.

So yes, failing on our part, but don't blame the artist--I'm sure there are places in the books that they drew on to get this description.


Would you say Rock's skin is closer to a Native American, or would it be lighter, like a Pacific Islander?

My internal depiction has always placed him closer to native american skin tone.

Brandon Sanderson

I envision native American. Where the Alethi tend to run the range between someone who would look Asian to us (though the Vedens are more that skin tone) all the way through to Indian (actual Indians) skin tones. They'd look at Rock and say, "That's a tan" or "that's bronze." It's obviously not Alethi, but the words "light" and "dark" don't really work for the descriptions the way I want--in fact, a lot of the ways in literature we've talked about skin tones through history has been...well, pretty racist. It's sometimes a challenge to navigate this, my own biases, and the problems that come when working with a culture, like the Alethi, who are also pretty racist.


Rock actually sputtered, an amusing mixture of indignation and incredulity, bringing a red cast to his light Horneater skin.

Though this sentence from Words of Radiance chapter 46 is what used to make me think Rock has lighter skin and it's from Kaladin's PoV. So it doesn't necessarily mean he actually has skin color close to pale/fair one, but just a bit lighter than Kaladin himself (or normal Alethi)'s tan color?

P.S. Sort of a fanart question: Do Rock's family members all have bronzer tan skin?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that's one of the ones. So I try to walk a line with Rock, where he doesn't have an Alethi skin tone, but a Horneater one--which is why I blame myself for the interpretations here. I haven't been the most clear.

Oh, and for your P.S. Yes, they should. I imagine them bronzer than him.

#58 Copy


Stormfather once said that "Three of sixteen ruled but now the Broken One reigns" and that "Odium reigns", is not crazy to think that Odium is the Broken One. My question is, could be possible to fuse Odium's shard (without Rayse) with the remanents of Honor (his Cognitive Shadow) in order to create a new whole Shard? Could Dalinar do something like that? He would be uniting them (two Shards, one of them supposed to be the Broken One and the other that we actually now is a bit broken).

Brandon Sanderson

[That] is possible

#60 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

So, one thing I think I did wrong in the books was not having more allomancer guards and soldiers who were women. I don't think our same gender norms would be the case on Scadrial.

One of the [screenplay] revisions is this: Shan is no longer Elend's fiance, but his sister. Their father has left on business to the outer domninances, and so Shan is making a play to secure the heirship, trying to prove she is more bold and strong than her brother. This is what gives the team an opening, and why they're striking now with the heist, as in this version, House Venture maintains the city policing and has access to the atium stash.

The plan is to put a few Allomancers (including Ham) into the Venture house guard, and exploit Shan's desire to prove herself by creating chaos in the city that she'll think she needs to put down with decisive action. That will involve her pulling out the atium stash, which will in turn let the team know where to go to rob them.

It streamlines the book's story in some elegant ways to do this. Shan becomes the primary "mark" of the book, in many ways. It also lets me explain a little more succinctly what various members of the crew are doing in the background while we focus on Vin, who is to get close to Shan as a confidant--which is why she's sent to the parties. And why Shan being a brat to her isn't just annoying, it means a major part of the plan isn't yet in place.

It explains way better, in my opinion, why Shan would act against Elend. It's all clicking into place as I move pieces around. That said, I understand those who want a Television show. I could see going that way, perhaps.

Trouble is, nobody in streaming needs a big fantasy property. Anywhere I go right now, I'd be in a distant second or third place to Tolkien, WoT, Witcher, or Kingkiller. The offers I've gotten have been for a fraction of the budget of those shows--since everyone has already spent big money on their big fantasy show, and isn't really interested in another.

I'm confident feature is the place I want Mistborn; but even if I weren't, I'm not thrilled by the idea of being lost on Netflix as their "other" fantasy show.


I don't know if I'm being negative, but these changes really worry and disappoint me. I really like Era 1 as it is, and all this change in the dynamics of society and the plot as too drastic.

Brandon Sanderson

This isn't negative; I understand this response, and think it's valid.

At the same time, I'm of the personal philosophy that a film should generally be a different beast than a book--a book can lean into the little intricacies of a story, while a film should be a bold but unified statement.

Nothing will happen to the books; those will remain the same. But if I want this film to work as a film, I believe I need to be willing to re-imagine parts of the story.


With Elend having a sister does that mean you don’t need the Zane plot anymore?

Brandon Sanderson

That's from the second book--so it would be in the television show, and we'd likely still do it.


prove she is more bold and strong than her brother

Which brother?It certainly could not be Elend, right? Elend had no Allomancy powers (before he ate the lerasium in WoA), so Straff despised Elend and thought him too weak.And Zane was a bastard and also mad dog.If Shan was Straff's legitimate daughter, then her succession was already 100% secure. She wouldn't need to prove anything to anybody.

Brandon Sanderson

It will be Elend, but it's more that this is the first time that Shan gets to be on her own, leading by herself, and wants to show off for the Lord Ruler. Also, there's the question of whether the male heir--though inferior in this case--might get the nod for sexism reasons. I think it's going to work just fine, but I'll admit, it's getting a little rough to discuss all these details on a thread like this--I can't answer everyone's questions, I'm afraid. I just wanted to indicate the kinds of changes I'm looking at making.

Whatever I do will go through my standard "show it to tons of beta readers and get feedback" process, so I should be able to catch problems and fix them.


The bit about atium is a bit confusing. The Ventures are going to have the Atium stash? Not the stash that we don’t find until the end I’m assuming? So it’ll be a stash but much smaller than expected?

Brandon Sanderson

So, I'm not sure I can explain it all in this, but one big change I wished I'd made from the start of Mistborn is making atium usable by all Allomancers. As I've gotten further in the cosmere, using a god metal as just for Mistborn has felt off.

So the lore change for the films will mean any Allomancer can use atium. This, in turn, lets House Venture have access to the LR's atium as a "Control the city" last resort. They keep a task force of allomancers for this purpose--which Ham can join, in anticipation of being able to steal it once Shan accesses it. (They don't know that House Venture is only given about a hundred beads of atium, not access to the full mythical cache, which will be reserved for the third movie.)

Makes the worldbuilding and storytelling more elegant, I've found, in the film. And it fits better with more "modern" cosmere fundamentals as have developed over the last decade. I think I'd make this change even if we moved to a television show and long form.

The Lord Ruler is still the "big bad" but Shan and the Inquisitors both get a little more screen time. (Actually, about the same as in the books--it's just that other parts are being trimmed, making them more front-and-center.)


Based on that, you're also streamlining away the Sign of Sixteen if it gets a sequel? To be honest, that didn't really work for me in the novel anyway.

Brandon Sanderson

It's one of my least favorite parts of the trilogy. It (along with Vin drawing upon the mists in book one) are big changes I'm hoping to make to fix weaker sections of the continuity.

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It's a good call in the abstract but the choice of character to genderswap is not great. Docks, sure, but I'd rather have Ham stay male (and, superficially, stereotypical), and swap any/all of Clubs, Marsh, and Yeden instead.

Brandon Sanderson

I understand this complaint, though you might want to look at the post I made just before this one in another thread.

Nothing is set in stone, but we need to imagine the Mistborn film as an alternate version of the cosmere, hopefully as close in heart as the MCU to the comics--but distant in some specific choices. In this case, Ham is working really well changed. Remember, you're only going to have a few comments from him/her in the film. The real place to get to know the character will be in the television show that goes between movies one and three (assuming this plan actually plays out--which it might not.)


If a TV show is successful, then it gets renewed. If Books 1 & 3 are already planned to be movies, what do you do with the TV series when, hopefully the show being a big hit, the network renews it for further seasons? Is there additional plot to be explored between books 2 and 3 somehow? Or did I misunderstand what you were talking about entirely?

Brandon Sanderson

So, there is a lot of buzz in Hollywood right now about integrated television and film properties. Further seasons, if this all works, would be Secret History blending into the time between Eras one and Two.

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The Original (audio book) release date, and an unexpected new story!!!

The Original. Author(s): Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal. Released: Sep 14, 2020

Stephen Leeds: Death & Faxes. Author(s): Brandon Sanderson. Released: Sep 01, 2021

Brandon Sanderson

They are official. We're trying some new things.

The Original, which I wrote with Mary Robinette, was a true collaboration. I pitched an idea and an outline, Mary Robinette did the first draft, I did a pass myself, then she did the final touches. It turned out great.

With Legion, I' wanted to try something different. I've got a partner in Hollywood, and since I've had so much trouble getting a Stephen Leeds television show made, I figured we'd try it as an audiobook series. Basically, we got a writer's room, brainstormed some ideas, and are treating this like a pilot to a "television show" but only audiobook.

This means I'll be overseeing the project like a show runner, but won't be writing the individual "episodes." We're only doing this first one as a try-out to see what fans think of this process.


Does that mean the Legion audio is a reboot or sorts or is it still a continuation from the books?

Brandon Sanderson

More a continuation, not really a reboot, but not happening after the third novella. More like, "From the case files of" sort of thing.


What about the two "Dark One" titles: Dark One: Prophetic Histories and Dark One: Forgotten?

Brandon Sanderson

These are just in the concept stage, but we're getting closer to making them. Dark One is being made into a television show, but I don't have a lot of power over how/when that will happen--so we are doing the graphic novel. Separately from that, we're going to do a couple of audio dramas. One will take my outline and make it into a novel. The other is this wacky idea I had for a "Serial" style podcast, with a journalist tracking a killer, which ties into all of this. Forgotten is that.

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If atium is a metal that is relevant throughout the Cosmere, which seems to be the case from your comment, then it could have special properties that go beyond its use in allomancy, so that this metal that is relevant to everything doesn't only feel useful in Mistborn.

I'd be interested to know, for instance, if it's at all useful in the forging of weapons or whatever. Anyway I dunno I'm just a very early reader and I'm already trying to give the author ideas, but from my perspective I don't see why atium not being used by all allomancers is a big problem. The usefulness of atium could go way beyond allomancy perhaps.

Brandon Sanderson

It does! And yes, atium weapons would be very useful (even atium alloy) for doing things like resisting Shardblades. So there is quite a bit of application.

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In the hotel scene [in Bands of Mourning] there is mention of possible danger of a cattle stampede through the lobby as an outside possibility. Any chance this is a reference to blazing saddles and the mention of "stampeding cattle through the Vatican"?

Brandon Sanderson

I love Blazing Saddles and Brooks in general, but that was not an intentional reference.

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Are shardblades uniform metal, or do they have different colors on the handle/hilt or whatever? Could you paint a shardblade and have it retain the paint when disappearing/reappearing?

Brandon Sanderson

A Blade won't retain ornaments when dismissed, I'm afraid, including coloration. HOWEVER, they could be made to change colors when alive, and even their texture. So many Blades in the world have multiple tones, and the grip tends to be of a different texture. They're uniform metal, but don't always feel/look like it.

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Brandon Sanderson

So, the goal is to write the [Kickstarter] Novella in July, and have it ready to print soon after--but printing can take six months in the current environment. So while I could see (hopefully) people being able to read the novella as early as October in digital form (we'll send it out as soon as it is ready) I worry that the physical version won't be ready until early next year.

I can't say 100% when the other goodies will be ready, but I have a suspicion that the novella hardcover will take the longest. For all the others, we just have to know how many to order and have the kickstarter money in hand to order them all. For the novella, we have to wait for me to write it, edit it, and then have it shipped from the printer.

But if all you're worried about is me finishing the novella sometime this year, you should be fine. I bet the first draft is done by August. You can follow along while the kickstarter is happening, as I'll post updates.

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Ben McSweeney

It's a Larkin [on the back of the Stormlight-themed playing cards]. It's based on a design we worked up for the icon in the book and on the cover of the novella, but I worked out the anatomy the same as I do for all the other critters. Bear in mind, any artwork you're seeing at this time remains subject to change.

It's sorta like a wasp, but the wing profile and the flight dynamics (such as they be) are more like that of a hummingbird.

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When will the Wandersail ebook come out?

Brandon Sanderson

Ballpark is October. In a perfect world, here is my process:

Write it mid-July to mid-August. Beta read late August. Revisions early October. Copyedit done mid-October, to get to people a month before the new book.

That's my goal, at least. Things can always slide--and I'll try to be up-front about that, if it happens.

Note that I've been toying with a variety of different names. Wandersail might not be the best title, since that's the ship name--but it's not doing anything that has to do with the Wit story from book one. So I might call it something else, to prevent confusion.


Sorry to distract you from everything else to ask another question, but I think previously you said you may revise The Apocalypse Guard in July as well. Will that still be the case?

Brandon Sanderson

I just went through my schedule, and realized that with Stormlight 4 taking a week or so longer than planned (current turn in date is expected to be the 10th) I'd need to push back AG a little bit. I still hope to get to it before the end of the year, but timing is going to be tight in July with the kickstarter and the novella, so I want to keep my attention on those. I also need to do a quick draft of Death by Pizza, which is still coming along. (Though the co-author and I call it Songs of the Dead now.)


I literally 4 days ago found out about Songs of the Dead, and being a Heavy Metal fan, got so hyped.

Brandon Sanderson

One of our biggest challenges in the book so far has been to make it feel like it's sincerely about someone who is part of the culture (as my co-author is) without it turning into either a) sounding elitist or b) sounding like we're just Ready Player One style name-dropping a bunch of metal references. I think we're getting there, but there's a lot of nuance to writing something like this that is deeply entrenched in a specific sub-culture.


Please don't forget Wax and Wayne 4!

Brandon Sanderson

I won't. Goal is to start that January 1st, after Skyward 3. Then I'll do the fourth (and final) Skyward book, on target (hopefully) for Stormlight 5 the following January.


Can you give us a rough timeframe for the release of The Lost Metal?

Also, can you give us a little tiny piece of non important information from the book so we can something to hold on until the release?

Brandon Sanderson

Goal: Finish by one year from today. Release date: Following spring/summer.

Tidbit... Probably going to lead with a Wayne flashback, instead of a Wax flashback, in this one.

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Is it bad that I don't want to start reading stormlight until after you've finished it all. I hover over the buy button all the time, but can never bring myself to do it. Do you ever have the same problem reading a new series?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, I do--and I understand how you feel. As someone who spent years always waiting on the next book of the Wheel of Time, I certainly can't complain if you decide to wait.

My goal is for book five to come to a kind of "mid-series climax" wrapping up several of the main plot arcs, so you could read there. But there WILL be things after that book, still dangling, that I won't get to until the back five books. So I could see someone wanting to wait until they're all done.

Until then, there are plenty of finished series worth a read. Malazan book of the Fallen is done, for example, and is really well done.


For the back 5, is it gonna be the same structure as the originals? Example being, interludes, 3 primary POVs, Keteks, etc.

Brandon Sanderson

Mostly the same. Prologues should all be on the same day, but a different day from the first five. Will included flashbacks, in the same style, but will probably have more than three primary POVs. Not sure on Keteks yet.

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They [the Alethi] are tan.

Brandon Sanderson

You're not wrong for your observation, here, /u/Faenors7. When I saw them, I noted to Isaac that the skin tone for the Alethi in the cards [Stormlight Archive Playing Cards from the Way of Kings Leatherbound Kicksterter] was a touch darker than I imagined. But it was within the variance (I'll explain below) we imagine for the Alethi, so I decided here that we should leave it.

The reason is that we've allowed a lot of leeway to artists in their depictions. If they paint everyone looking white, we speak up, and we usually show them some of our guides of models and pieces of art we think are on target for character designs.

However, I haven't wanted to have a strict skin tone guide. Thing is, most Rosharans don't look at skin tone so much as eye color and hair color. It isn't that they ignore skin tone, but it isn't the same for them as it is for us, in part because a lot of cultures (like the Alethi and the Vedens) have a wide range of skin tones.

It's something I think we (myself included) are a little blind to in American culture. Like, we call someone black if they (like President Obama) are of a mixed race heritage. This is partially because of our particular biases. But what makes someone black is actually pretty nebulous as a skin tone shade when you look at the wide variety of black skin tones. The same goes for what ethnicity we consider white, when a hundred and fifty years ago, the more olive-skinned European people's would have not been lumped into that group.

I often point to India as a good example of what you might find in Alethkar--you find a ton of skin tones across the sub-continent, and they're all Indian. Same for the Alethi. And I don't spend a lot of time talking about whose skin tone is darker, and whose is lighter, within that range.

So when we get back something like these cards--and this is how the artist views and imagines the characters--we roll with it, offering little pieces of feedback here and there. (We had her make tweaks to Adolin, for example, to get him closer to how I imagined him.) Same for the poster--which has the Alethi characters with lighter skin, closer to what we'd see on a Japanese person on Earth.

This might be the wrong path, and I'd appreciate feedback on it. I do want to be careful not to whitewash characters (something I've had trouble with before in cover art) but I also worry if we focus too much on exactly how dark or light the skin of these characters are, we're missing the point a little. I believe in letting people who read the books imagine the characters as they would like, with me providing some guidance. It's a central theme to me in how I perceive the author-reader relationship.

This was why I was hesitant at first to even have depictions of characters in the books. (And why I liked the first cover of the US edition so much.) As we've moved along, however, I've taken a different tactic--that of admiring, and even including, different depictions from different artists, letting variety (hopefully) let the reader imagine as they want.

Sorry for the long post. It's a topic that keeps coming up, so I thought I should say something more definitive. Hopefully, people can keep a link to this post in their pockets whenever discussions about this pop up.


I guess I must've misremembered a quote of you talking about them as darker. Oops.

Brandon Sanderson

Well, you're probably not remembering wrong. I've been asked before if the Alethi skin tone is darker than, say, a person from Japan might have. And I'll usually say, yes--in general they are. But I also think it's all right to paint them like a modern day Earth person from that region, as that's often what artists will use for a model or reference. So in general, if you saw an Alethi person, you'd think, "Asian person, with tanner skin than most." But that's imagining an average Alethi, with some having a darker tone, and some having a lighter one.

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Larimar, a rare blue stone found in only one place on Earth, the Dominican Republic, it reminds of a tropical Ocean!

Name inspiration? I would definitely think it fits the Hallandren aesthetic!

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I believe this had an influence on the name, though it's been a long time.

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I am curious about your process of writing the Ars Arcanum (Ars Arcana? Ars Arcana.) for each book, Stormlight ones in particular; I don't think I've seen you talk about that. Obviously you use them to explain or recap some of the things going on in the book, but there's also potential teases for the future, and there's some worldbuilding. So, I wonder, how do you go about it?

Brandon Sanderson

In the past, they were more a glossary--but that turned out be kind of a hold over from my days reading pre-internet, where we needed large glossaries in some books to keep everything straight. Now, one can just look up a website with all that information.

So these days, I look at them as scholarly essays in-world to help with immersion, and to expand understanding of the magic systems, digging in a little deeper for the cosmerenauts who want specific mechanics to think about.


I appreciate all of your ars arcanum. I know you can find it on the internet, but it’s way too easy to accidentally spoil stuff doing so. Like someone can look up “what’s a windrunner” and accidentally find Kaladins entire background

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. I keep thinking we should do some kind of official app that has you put in your current place in the books, then creates a glossary for you that lists only what has happened to people up to that point.

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If you have the time, I’d love to known how the writing process for Book Four has compared to other Stormlight books. Now that you’re in the meat of the saga, has it been more satisfying to see story threads come closer to resolution? Is it more stressful now that the cast of characters is more fully realized?

Brandon Sanderson

It's been very satisfying to see things coming together, but the work to maintain continuity has grown exponentially. (Mostly because of the way I include non-linear narratives, like the flashbacks, which have to interweave.)

Book four was, I'd say, about an average amount of work in revisions. Less than Book One, more than Book Two, similar to Book Three.


This is kind of an odd question but how in depth are your Stormlight outlines? I know for Skyward it was more bullet points, but for Stormlight do you outline every chapter bit by bit and what you want to do/ accomplish in it? I’m asking for my own stuff, as I’ve found it’s a very hard thing to grasp just what you should include in the outline vs what just flows naturally.

Brandon Sanderson

Stormlight outlines aren't as neat or organized as ones like Skyward. I've been working on this series far longer, and it's more complicated, so it's harder to put into a shape where others can understand it. But the latest one I sent to my team was mostly me talking about each character, and what I wanted to accomplish with them in this book, asking the team if I was missing anything. From there, it was a big mess of plot threads, reminders, and narrative sketches of arcs.


How often would you say you forget to put something of relevance in an outline?

Brandon Sanderson

Quite often, but it's rare I forget something in the final draft. (More often, things are in, but the draft gets tweaked to the point that they either get cut or get de-emphasized.)

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Sort of off-topic here, but it would be super cool to see all 9-10 Stormlight novellas (assuming you do one between each main book as hinted) bound up into a single leather-bound collection.

Brandon Sanderson

I'll consider it, though I think it's likely we do an Arcanum leatherbound--so I wouldn't want to ask people to buy two copies of the same story. But maybe we could eventually bind them all as a different option for people.

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I was sorted into Dustbringer/Windrunner. Before I choose I'd love to know, are the Dustbringers going to be as bad ass as they sound?

I'm a martial artist and the thought of controlling your power speaks to me. But perfecting your weapon is also windrunner.

Brandon Sanderson

They will be--but it will take a few books into the back half before we really get into them and their ways.

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Anyone know if WoK Prime is more or less a complete/conclusive story? I’m just wondering if it’s like a stand-alone or if it gives the sense of “this is part 1 of X more books to come.” I’m actually nervous about cliffhangers and such never being resolved—alternative storyline or not.

Brandon Sanderson

I'm afraid there are some. It's worse than the published Way of Kings in that regard, I'd say. It IS a complete story; it doesn't just end in the middle. But it also is obviously part of something larger that I will never now write.


Will you be releasing a general over view of what you intended with the cliff hangers?

Also was Taln going to remain dead?

Brandon Sanderson

It's been a LONG time, so remembering exactly what I was going to do will be tough. But Taln was going to be proven a Herald, so he wasn't DEAD dead.


I was left with three implied backstory questions with no equivalent in the published SA, dunno if either can be answered without spoiling published SA:

What happened "17 years ago" around the end of the conquest war, around the time Merin/Shinri/Renarin were born, that reawakened the ancient powers?

Who killed Nolhanarin (sp?) and why. Was it Ishar? (who we know lied about it)

What's the deal with Meridas' mysterious past?

As for other stuff (such as what the hell are the Shin leaders up to, who is in cahoots with Odium and who's just a bastard, what's the endgame, etc), they're somewhat similar to published SA so I'm guessing RAFO.

Brandon Sanderson

Okay, I'm stretching here because it's been a LONG time.

But I believe what happened is that the other Heralds did something that caused the return to begin, and the powers to reawaken. This was related to Taln being abandoned, which he didn't realize had happened.

Meridas was involved in something very similar to the Sons of Honor, and much of his mysterious past relates to that.

I don't remember who performed the murder.


Was it also related to Jarnah's/the Shin Invasion, which also happened 17 years prior?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. The Shin had a much stronger cavalry in this edition, and had a little more of an Aiel feel to them. I eventually started to go a different direction, because I realized I was subconsciously leaning on Wheel of Time with the Aiel invasion.


So sorry to bug to you, but I just finished Prime and I had one burning question at the end. And I don't think it will ever be answered in the current iteration of the Stormlight Series.

What was the real drawback of Merin using his Windrunner powers? Your book kept on hinting that pain was just merely a side effect and not the real danger.

Brandon Sanderson

Real danger was, I believe, drawing the attention of the enemy. (Book two was going to start with his home being attacked because the voidbringers--can't remember what they were originally called--had picked out a budding Radiant and as soon as they Returned, sent everything they had to kill him.)

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Women flirting is like men raping? "Using a fetching face to make men do as you wish is no different froma man using muscle to force a woman to his will..." I get that BS likes his women prudish but damn try to convey this in a way that doesn't so stupidly and unintentionally wrong

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, that line doesn't read well upon a second look.

For what it's worth, I wasn't thinking rape when I wrote it. I was thinking more about a situation where a stronger man forces people to do what he wants (like, obey him) through threat of violence. Basically, I was trying to say that in Jasnah's opinion, "Buy me that thing or I'll punch you," isn't far off from "Buy me this thing, or I'll stop paying attention to you." Whichi itself is intended to say something about Jasnah. But it's easy to accidentally mess expressions of power dynamics in language, and I certainly did so here.

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Something that I’ve been interested in while reading TWoK Prime is the different names and the different spelling for names (like Dalenar) compared to the canon-TWoK. What made you want to change names and spelling when rewriting TWoK?

Brandon Sanderson

For a lot of them, the names just evolved in my mind the longer I used them. For others, I never quite liked them, and tried to find new names to evoke the proper feel.

In Dalinar's case, it was more that I just have had the name in my head for years, and wrote it out differently when I started typing again.

Brandon Sanderson

I bet Brandon changed Dalenar to Dalinar so it wouldn’t be pronounced as two syllables. Maybe his brother Jordo kept pronouncing it wrong on purpose. After all, that’s how in White Sand we got Kerztian instead of Kershtian.

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Was the LongPen [from Margaret Atwood] an inspiration for Roshar's Spanreed?

Brandon Sanderson

No, not specifically. You find me wanting as far back as Elantris to have improved communication methods in my fantasy worlds. This one was a natural evolution of the magic system.

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Could Shallan or Jasnah, with the help of a Bondsmith, take a bead from the Cognitive Realm back into the Physical Realm, thereby creating a version of remote controlling something in the Cognitive without having to go there in the moment?

Brandon Sanderson

This is RAFO territory for now.

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I could see [Captain America] being a Windrunner, definitely, but also a Stoneward too. Maybe a Willshaper, especially considering Civil War, or a Bondsmith, seeing as he was kind of the unifying force for the Avengers.

Do you have an official designation for him?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't, but I think each of your suggestions here would be arguable.

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I'm pretty convinced that Brandon's approach to building a magic or technology system starts with the question "how can I fly with this?"


Brandon Sanderson

Now, now. Give me some credit. I started this one with "How can I have magical Power Armor."

"How can I make Airships?" was, like, question number three or four.


We've been having some hot debates on how the airship works, if you don't mind shedding some light...

Does the aluminum allow for the Urithiru-lattice and Plains-lattice to be active/conjoined at the same time?Or is the aluminum just about allowing the Plains-lattice to be reoriented to allow "forward" to be different directions?

It's interesting that they need aluminum to do the force-redirect thing because spanreeds could already do that. (their orientation being relative to the spanreed board) Is there a reason they don't work like spanreeds in this way? Or do spanreeds not work that way after all, requiring the boards to be oriented along cardinal directions (or something like that) so the reference frames match up?

Brandon Sanderson

You'll get a big long explanation in the book. I just didn't want to front load it.

I've been dodgy on spanreeds, even in the books, because the locals don't actually quite understand how things are working with them. But suffice it to say that as they enter a kind of early industrial age in relation to their scientific understanding, they're realizing things they took for granted have principles behind them that can be tweaked.

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Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Chapters 2-3

So, for a little commentary on these chapters, you might find it interesting that I plotted this opening sequence as if it were a climax section of a book. In the Stormlight novels, I generally limit myself to one viewpoint a chapter. This is to give a stronger identity to the chapters and characters--we usually get big chunks from a person's viewpoint (with chapters that average two or three times as long as chapters from something like Wax and Wayne or Skyward.) This gives each chapter a kind of short-story feel with their own arcs and themes.

However, as I approach climactic sections of books, I bleed the viewpoints across one another, adding to the frantic feel of a building crescendo. Viewpoints alternate in quick succession, with bite-sized chunks, hooks and payoffs, like one might plot closer to what you'd see in a thriller novel. The goal here is to evoke quick scene changes, lots of twists and turns, and a general sense that viewpoints are piling up on top of one another to enhance the feeling of an impending climax.

In a normal stormlight book, I generally start slow and build to such a climax near the end of part one. (Though I usually don't start the full viewpoint bleeds until the end of the book.) Here, I wanted to give the feeling that the year that passed had its own narrative arc, and some of those threads were culminating here. So we're beginning the book at the end of the "previous book" (imagining the in-between year as a "book."

That led to some confusion and consternation among alpha and beta readers, since this isn't how a Stormlight book generally begins--but in this case, I decided I was all right with that feeling, as this truly was the tone I wanted starting out.


I'm sorry, but I cannot help but wonder id throughout the book we will get more answers about this in-between year.

I want to know how or where all these Edgedancers come from, for example, because it's a huge jump between "there are only 7 radiants we know about, and Kaladin and Shallan are training more" to "a whole order coming out the ship and being advanced in their Ideals and forming like a healer batallion"

Brandon Sanderson

I do give a little context, but at the same time, I think the previous books have set this up well. We've followed in close detail how a Windrunner initiated his oaths, found a group of squires, and then started an order. We got the same for a lightweaver. In the story chronology, that all happened in a span not so different from the year between.

Because we don't have any major viewpoint edgedancers or Stonewards in these five books, I have to leave most of this to the imagination--as you can take the model of Kaladin and Shallan, then extrapolate from comments mentioning that this sort of thing was happening all across the world, not just at the Shattered Plains.

I think the narrative leads you to the answers that connect this all. I do try to give some additional mentions of what was happening through the story, though I don't know if I'll explain enough for what you're asking here.


So the whole book is a sanderlanche?

Brandon Sanderson

No, don't get me wrong. Imagine previous stormlight books starting with a build up, then ending with a mini-climax at the end of Part One. (For example, in book three, we are building toward the reveal of the Unmade at Urithiru, and the confrontation, which happens at the end of Part One.)

In this book, Part One starts with the climax--a kind of indication of what the missing months were building toward. What follows is more introspective and quiet through the second half, as we react to events and get our bearings.

You'll probably get some books in the cosmere that, like A Memory of Light, where the Sanderlanche takes up an unusually large chunk of the story--but it isn't time for that quite yet. We still have slow, building parts of the story that need to be in place for both contrast and grounding of characters. Like a symphony works better with softer and louder sections.


I really enjoy this action-packed intro (though just a little sad that Dalinar doesn't have viewpoints)

Brandon Sanderson

Dalinar does have viewpoints in the book, but they are reserved for later on, for reasons I can explain better once the novel is out.


I seem to remember that you said a while ago that this book contained a very important moment in your first vision of the story. Is that still the case?

Brandon Sanderson

It is, though that moment happens near the end.


It reminds me of those Bond/Lucasfilms blockbusters (well, and everything that came after) that would open with an in medias res action setpiece.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, I'm a big fan of the cold open. (As one might be able to note from the Wax and Wayne books.) It's not the right tool for every story, but it felt appropriate here.

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The fight between Kal and this new Fused is already one of my favorites and had my heart pounding. I always find the detail in your fight choreography so well defined and visceral. Have you trained any martial arts or done in depth research on fight techniques?

Brandon Sanderson

I use a lot of research--but also rely upon the help of people who know more than I do to tell me when I'm going wrong. My personal martial arts abilities are too laughable to be call the result of "training."


When you mentioned the Fused grabbed Kaladin in an "arm triangle", were you referring to the Jiu-Jitsu move? Because that is a specific Jiu-Jitsu hold, but it’s usually done from on top of someone rather than behind. Like this: then the Fused was behind him and stabbing him, so that made me think perhaps you didn’t intend it to be the Jiu-Jitsu position.

Brandon Sanderson

I didn't intend this to be the official position.

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Hey Brandon while you’re here and we’re talking about Kal’s relationship with Lyn, we know he’s had at least one romantic relationships in the past being Tarah I was wondering if he was still a Virgin. Were these relationships just romantic? Also how negatively is sex before marriage viewed on roshar and namely vorin culture? I know these topics sometimes can make you uncomfortable but I’m really curious about this part of their culture.

Brandon Sanderson

In these cases, I generally allow it to be vague enough that people can think/assume what they want. However, some of Kal's relationships in the past (including the one with Tarah) progressed to the point that in our world, most people would have been sleeping together.

In Vorin culture, I'd say that they're not as relaxed about such things as most modern cultures are, but aren't as strict as the more religious cultures on Earth are. Alethi are concerned about oaths in specific--what have you promised, and do you keep those promises. So, for example, cheating is a far, far worse offense in their eyes. And opinions and strictness in areas of moral chastity would vary depending on upbringing and personal beliefs. To some, a promise of, "We'll be together until we split" that is kept would be considered honorable--while to others, that would be too lax a treatment of oaths.

Also, lighteyes are expected to be circumspect and maintain an image of certain decorum. But that's something else entirely...

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Ben McSweeney

I'm curious to know when someone is Lashed to a "point in the sky", is there a place where they'll reach and stop, hanging in mid-air? Or do they keep going until the Stormlight runs out?

Brandon Sanderson

They keep going. Lashings are in a direction.

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Brandon Sanderson

For what it's worth, I also agree with the poster above. Kaladin just isn't ready for this kind of [romantic] relationship yet.


Oh "yet" that means i can still hope?

Brandon Sanderson

There is always room for hope. :)

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It does seem like Shallan's trauma came later than [8 or 9 years old], but it's possible there was some event farther back in her past that we don't know about.

Peter Ahlstrom

All Radiants are broken somehow before they become Radiant. And Shallan became one at a quite early age.


Brandon has sort of hedged on whether being broken is just an in-world theory or not. Are we talking about a matter of degree, then? Or whether he thinks the word "broken" is appropriate?

I'm thinking of this WoB and ones about Lopen:


How was Shallan able to bond with Pattern before she was broken?

Brandon Sanderson

She was open to him even before she went through a lot of that turmoil


I thought everybody had to be broken in order to--

Brandon Sanderson

Well, that's their philosophy in-world. But I'm not going to say whether it's correct or wrong. I will imply that there are other means as well.

Peter Ahlstrom

Well, I will bow to Brandon's comment there.

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Navani's fabrial ship is amazing. When you think about it, they're moving at ridiculous speeds technology wise, though I suppose you can attribute it to war. I want to see where this technology race is going to go.

Peter Ahlstrom

A knot on Roshar may just be shorthand for one mile per hour.

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Exciting news - Brandon just confirmed via livestream that the Leatherbound Tenth Anniversary Edition has an official piece by Ben McSweeney showing off the bridges - presumably it'll be similar to the one I linked, but more shiny.

Brandon Sanderson

At some point soon I think they’ll share a digital scan, or add it to the Way of Kings gallery on the website in a similar quality as you see the others.

It is not a Shallan piece, but rather a study by another ardent. It’s a little more mathy than Shallan’s work. I don’t think Shallan ever witnesses a real bridge run. By the time she reaches the Plains, Bridge 4 is part of the Cobalt Guard.

But yes, for everyone still confused, or confused in the future, by the mechanics of the bridge run, we got you covered. And a little something for the cosplayers as well. :)

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Ben McSweeney

It's one of the few strict mandates for all interior illustrations, across most of the Cosmere main books (with a very few exceptions).

We work to make sure they all appear diagetic in nature, representative of some in-world document or imagery. You don't just look at a map, you look at Dalinar's map. That's not just a picture of the tech or the wildlife, you look at Navani's notes, Shallan's drawings. We did something similar with the Era 2 broadsheets, using mockup in-world documents as a means of adding details, secrets and general flavor to the book.


What are the exceptions?

Ben McSweeney

Arcanum Unbounded had much more traditional chapter illustrations that just depict a scene (or the feel of a scene) from the following story. Chapter icons in Stormlight are not meant to be diagetic (though I think the archway Herald sculptures might be). And we don't follow the rule when it comes to covers (also worth noting that we don't do the covers, that's the publisher's privilege).

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Just like hiding a safe hand it can become sexualised if it is always covered in public.

Ben McSweeney

Amusingly enough, not intended to be a sexual taboo, as it was written.

Fans did that all by themselves.


I mean it was explicitly mentioned that whores in the Warcamps had their safe hands uncovered, or wore gloves with the fingers cut off.

Ben McSweeney

Something can be taboo, and signify taboo behavior, without it being explicitly about sex. I made a mention of lacy gloves being equivalent to lingerie at Brandon years ago, somewhere between WoK and WoR, and as I recall he told me, "Safehands are not a sex taboo".

But I kinda knew it would be like this, so... maybe he's seen my point. I haven't asked about it since then.

I don't recall as there's any scenes of Adolin's heart racing 'cause he got a glimpse of Shallan's fingertips. Dalinar doesn't wax on about Navani's knuckles. I might have missed it, but I feel fans have taken this much further than any Rosharan culture.


He may not have initially intended for them to have been, but he certainly has pivoted that way, I don't recall the exact wording, but when Adolin walks in on Shallan, and when Shallan is talking to Tin about non-vorin cultures, she compares it to walking around naked, having her breasts out, and being in her underwear at various points.

Ben McSweeney

I will say that when we first talked about it, this predated stuff like safehandhub and every picture of a left hand getting an NSFV tag. It's possible that his view has changed over time as he sees what I saw then (because he is pure of heart, and I am... not). Even if it wasn't a sex thing, people will make it a sex thing.

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What does CP4 stand for? A bunch of people on 17th Shard are wondering about it.

Brandon Sanderson

There's nothing really exciting here, I'm afraid. It's a rank, like E6 or the like in the American military. Only the Windrunners use these, as they decided on ranks that one could earn while advancing as a squire. The old stories say that some squires never advanced to full Windrunners, and it felt it would be good to continue to promote these individuals to different ranks within squirehood. It stands for Commission Placement.

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How long after Warbreaker does Way of Kings take place? I know you usually don't finalize timeline details until they actually are stated in-book, but are you willing to say how far apart the books are, in the current plans?

Brandon Sanderson

I have Warbreaker happening a few generations before, right now.  However, I'm very likely to move Elantris up in time, so it's a little in the air at the moment.


Thanks! I assume asking why Elantris being moved affects how far apart Warbreaker and Way of Kings are is a behind-the-scenes thing and/or RAFO?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it does.  The big linchpin is going to be when I need Sel and Scadrial to align when big crossovers start happening.  We'll know in a few years; there are things I intend to write that I could imagine needing to change, after they're finished, that will influence the timeline structure.

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Hey, you've mentioned before that for the Lord Ruler to be able to be a Mistborn and a Feruchemist he had to alter his spiritweb in some way because a person can't normally hold all 32 powers. What about a Mistborn Ferring? Would it be possible for someone born with all 16 powers of Allomancy to also be born with a Ferring power? What about a Ferring Mistling? Thanks

Brandon Sanderson

This is possible now, when it once wasn't, but would be very unlikely.


Just as getting a Mistborn nowadays is very unlikely but that hasn't stopped people from trying ;) ;)

Follow up, having past a certain number of medallions doesn't work currently in world. Is this because of this same issue? Or is it more of a technical hurdle with the medallion?

Brandon Sanderson

The core root is the same issue, but it's not insurmountable with technological improvements.

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Quick grammar question for /u/peterahlstrom: In the sentence 'Instead, the Three dismissed her Blade", shouldn’t that probably be "their Blade" ? Or is it a deliberate decision to refer to the Three in the singular?

Peter Ahlstrom

It's deliberate.

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I'm reading my Stormlight books in anticipation of the newest and I noticed Teleb being an Oldblood - a detail that I hadn't noticed or remembered the first time around. A search on Coppermind shows that you said they were simply a previous dynasty that ruled Alethkar back in 2014.

I wonder if I'm reading too much into it - but are the Oldbloods perhaps descended directly from the Knights Radiant whereas other Lighteyes are descended from later non-Radiant Shardbearers?

Brandon Sanderson

You're not reading too much into it--Oldbloods claim to be able to trace their linage to Knights Radiant, but don't talk about that aspect of it as much because of the poor reputation of Radiants until just recently.

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HA2HA2 (paraphrased)

Ooh, I think that's a really good point, Marsh probably should have flared steel or iron or something? /u/mistborn ?

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

Yes, you're right. Good catch, /u/Thevulgarcommander! I believe we caught this already, however, and tweaked future printings.

Stormtide_Leviathan (paraphrased)

So does this mean that tin doesn’t enhance Allomantic senses when burned? You’ve said before that windwhispers can store Allomantic senses, so I’m surprised at the difference there

Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

I just think the passage is confusing, and was better of being tweaked. The new version, if you find it, makes it clearer--I believe he flares both tin and steel/iron.

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Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Chapters 4-5

Here's an annotation for these chapters! One of the most revised sequences of this book were these Shallan chapters--continuing through the entire novel. As I have said elsewhere, I originally designed Shallan's mental state to be a more fantastical look at something like Dissociative Identity Disorder. (Like the fantastical look at Schizophrenia I did with Stephen Leeds.)

I was fascinated by how something like mental health challenges relating to identity would intersect with magic that let you quite literally become someone else. The original version of this was for a character I wrote in Dragonsteel--which I'll eventually release to the public like I've done with TWOK Prime.

In this series, however, I've found myself leaning away from the fantastical elements more and more, and trying to lean into the real science and best mental health practices. This is because I've realized that having Shallan's ailment be completely fantastical was both irresponsible (in representation terms) and less realistic. Where I settled earlier in the series was in representing not someone with a fantastical disease, but someone with a very real disease--that is exacerbated by fantastical elements.

Because of this, I listened very hard to my beta readers on Shallan, particularly those with specific experience in this area. In the original draft of these scenes, for example, Shallan wasn't shifting between the various alters of herself nearly as often--and with some feedback, I tweaked that, and found it not only worked better in a realism way, but it also read far, far better. It's simply more interesting to see Shallan's different aspects doing different things, thinking different ways.

Some of the most satisfying moments in revisions come when you try something different, and find that it's what you wanted to do all along--but didn't quite know how to accomplish until a comment nudges you.


Just had a random idea regarding the Dragonsteel character, could it be Bavadin? (the avatar forming seems in line with this)

Brandon Sanderson

RAFO! :)


That's interesting that you had this DID direction planned for Shallan since the beginning (pre-Way of Kings I presume). I had just assumed it was something that you developed in between WoR and Oathbringer. I know you've commented on subjects related to this before - but in light of what you're saying about leaning away from the fantastical, I'm curious to know if you think that if Shallan had become, say, an Edgedancer instead (or just never continued in her truths), that she would have developed DID and those aspects regardless? Or would she just have had her trauma manifest in other ways (such as other dissociative disorders like depersonalization/derealization/amnesia)?

Brandon Sanderson

I would say that she would have gone the same way she has, but the manifestations of her disassociation would have been different. But this is something I could perhaps waver on.


I've seen quotes from you before that you didn't intend her to actually have DID, is that just about it originally being more fantastical, and now you're trying to make it actually be realistic more?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that's what is happening here. I originally shied away from it, as I didn't want to open that can of worms--but then, I realized I was opening it anyway, and the only way to be honest was to admit what I was doing and get some people who have DID themselves to advise me.

I think, in hindsight, I was trying to take too much of an easy path--and the path that didn't require me to do the work like I needed to


Aha! So that's what you did. I immediately noted in the first chapters that Shallan's illness seemed to have gotten worse. I thought that it was you alludIng to a downward spiral of the characters in conjunction with the world of Roshar - which made sense because, if you place a mentally ill person in a world with no access to mental healthcare and then make their situation worse, what would happen? Their mental illness would get worse.

I'm surprised that it was just a change in the way you write her.

If you had the option to go back and revise all of her chapters that way, would you?

Because as it is, the real-ness and definition of her other egos reads like a downward spiral.

Brandon Sanderson

What you're noticing is not just me changing the way I'm writing her. More, I realized that her downward spiral was going to require me to actively deal with her mental illness in a responsible way, if that makes sense.

I wouldn't change much about the past books. It was more that I realized that the place she was going in this one required a more delicate touch than I could manage without some expert help.

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Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Chapter 7

Annotation time! So, one of the things I worry about (maybe too much) in an extended series like this is something I'll call Skelletor Syndrome. This is the problem that the protagonists need victories through the course of the series--the text will naturally build to important moments, and while there will be failures, there will also be victories.

The more times an antagonist gets defeated, however, the less of a threat they become in the reader's mind. It's hard to justify to the reader that a villain is still a credible threat after they've been foiled time and time again. (Kylo Ren ran into this problem, for example, in the new Star Wars series.)

Going into the Stormlight Archive, this is why I staggered the threats moving from non-supernatural antagonists (like Sadeas) toward increasingly dangerous threats. This isn't to say that someone like Ialai couldn't be a credible threat without powers. However, I still felt it best to move on from her as a representation of the antagonists in the earlier part of the series, pointing us toward larger (and more cosmere-aware) threats as the conflict of the books expands. I could easily have had an entire book with a major thread about toppling her little empire on the Shattered Plains, but that would have been too backward looking.

So in this book, we're pointing away from the Sadeas/Amaram team toward Odium, some individual fused, and several of the cosmere-aware players (Thaidakar and Restares.) Don't worry if those names aren't clear to you on first read--they've been around for a while, but I haven't delved too much into who they are. This book will do so.


> I could easily have had an entire book with a major thread about toppling her little empire on the Shattered Plains, but that would have been too backward looking.

I dunno. I think that could be fun. I'm somewhat imagining a John-Wick-alike character whose job is to take Ialai down and it turning into a surreal action/adventure/spy story.

Brandon Sanderson

I absolutely think this could have worked in a different narrative. But in this book, with so much of the focus moving to the greater war and the invasion, I feel that spending a lot of pages on recovering the Shattered Plains (and dealing with a group in the Sons of Honor that have been repeatedly defeated already) would just feel anticlimactic.

A different style of narrative could have pivoted to political intrigue instead of war epic after the first book or so, and then this sort of plot would have been exciting and dynamic. It's all about scope and the subgenre of your narrative.

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It's surprising me to me that we haven't heard from Venli yet. Considering this is her book, I would have expected her to take more of a center stage. But we haven't even seen or heard from her yet, let alone had a flashback. I wonder why /u/mistborn decided to start elsewhere.

I suppose it's important to establish the time skip early on, but I wonder why that couldn't have been done from the perspective of Odium's forces so that Venli could take the lead.

Brandon Sanderson

Basically, this part you're reading is the "end" of the in-between book, and Venli's book hasn't started yet. Her first chapter is what you might consider the "true" beginning of the novel.

As a note, though, I decided her flashbacks worked better when spread across a shorter reading space--so I don't introduce them until later in the book than the others started.

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Ben McSweeney

There are days when my job is just... really much more fun than ought to be allowed. Isaac came up with all the ideas, but he let me go off on my own for Horneater White and the One-Armed Herdazian. I drew up the head for Chazmfiend and contributed "Sweet Scalespray" flavour, but I think RAFO Soda was all Isaac and Adam. It might be my favorite, too. That or the HW frontside, I had a good time painting that.

I posted a slightly nicer resolution on the Horneater White coaster last week when it was first revealed, but this is the first time folks are seeing the finished set. I did the "stained" versions for a giggle by using the same texture layers I had archived from Shallan's sealogged sketches. If y'all wants 'em, y'all can has 'em... but I feel we could also just print them clean and then have the fun of staining them honestly. Though I'd love it if the textured ones were like, 1/100 variant cards given away randomly at events or through the store, that'd be fun too.

I almost never get to indulge my weakness for alliterative copy. You know you want to TASTE the Four-Scream Fury of CHAZMFIEND!! Chase it with a fistful of Cremling Crisps, their satisfying salty crunch swears to satiate your sense of FLAVOUR!!!

It's like a birthday, every day. :)


There was one Brandon had a good laugh at on his stream, a Dalinar coaster with "What is the most important drink? The next one."

Is there any chance of you guys doing a coaster like that?

Amazing work BTW, really hope we hit the goal!

Brandon Sanderson

I love it as a joke, but I don't think we'd do a coaster because it might be a little tone deaf to twist the oaths of a former alcoholic to encourage the next drink. Normally, I'd have no problem with that, but there are some people who use Dalinar's words to keep them going in their own personal struggles with addiction.

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The Reshi King from Rysn's interlude is probably trans. This statement is based on a few points

1: Everybody but Rysn (who's whole thing is that she's extremely green and unaware of the world) uses He/Him pronouns to refer to the reshi king.

2: When Rysn first meets the king, She genders him as a man, until she notices that he has breasts. This suggests that he has taken measures to present more masculine.

3: When Rysn refuses to call the king "king" his son loses his temper and tries to send her away. Up until then, he had been firm, but that was the point where he outright tells her to leave.

There is one line in the text where The king's son says "gender is irrelevant" in response to a question Rysn has about the king's gender.

I will say that this was written before the Author stopped using Gender and Sex interchangeably according to the WoB database.

Beyond that, I doubt the language they were speaking (thaylen) would have a robust understanding of sex and gender.


/u/mistborn was this your intention with the scene if you can confirm it? Or was it more the Egyptian style Hatshepsut-like others are mentioning?

Brandon Sanderson

I love Hatshepsut as an interesting quirk of history, and have long thought about ways to incorporate something similar. I did have that partially in mind when I was writing this, but more in the way that the culture was trying to understand him, rather than his own view of himself.

The king sees himself as male, and wishes to be treated that way--not just in title. In fact, in the coming months, you will see this character again briefly in some scenes I've already written, if you keep an eye out.


ooh are we going back to the Reshi Isles? Will we get a beach episode?

Brandon Sanderson

Ha. RAFO. :)

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Brandon Sanderson

Rhythm of War Chapters 6

Annotation for this scene! Sorry it's rather late. I completely forgot it was Tuesday.

So, this little sequence with Kaladin, the lurgs, and tricking Leshwi was one I was VERY close to cutting from the book. Thing is, this battle between them has been going on pretty long at this point, and my gut says I've done a little too much of "Kaladin chases and fights someone through the air" in these chapters.

I looked long and hard, therefore, at trimming this sequence for pacing reasons. In the end, I left it, and I don't know 100% if it was the right choice or not. I like how it gives a different kind of interaction for Kaladin on the battlefield here, and how it hearkens back to the flashback from book one with Tien.

I opted, instead, to trim more extensively through the whole combat--taking out words and sentences, rather than this entire scene. But it was a tough call. And even in the very last revision, I went back and forth on it. If I'd been forced to trim something here to make a film come in at the right time, this part would have gone--but one of the luxuries of writing epic fantasy in novel form is that I can be a little more self-indulgent. (So long as I don't let myself go too far.)

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/u/mistborn I know it's in cremposting, but [a cookbook] is an exciting idea and I'd love to hear whether it's something you'd consider.


Brandon Sanderson

It would take a lot of work to come up with a full cookbook. But it's something people have joked about before, so I don't know. Maybe if the films/TV shows get big enough, we could do something like this?

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Michael Whelan

Just to clarify some misconceptions I've seen in Stormlight Archive discussions. That's not Dalinar on the cover of THE WAY OF KINGS.

Brandon Sanderson

Huh. I've been told (granted, second hand) that he intended it to be Dalinar and Eshonai--but then again, he wasn't as familiar with the series when he did that cover as he is now. He's mentioned before he wished he'd made the cloak blue.


Is it possible Whelan could make those adjustments and a reprint can go out?

Brandon Sanderson

I think it's unlikely. Book covers aren't generally meant to be illustrations of the events of the book, and more a "poster" to give the right feel to those looking to pick it up. That's doubly true for a first book in a series. So I don't feel it needs tweaks, though it is a little confusing here and there.


For me, it's only a bit confusing in hindsight, since the subsequent three books have obviously portrayed named characters.

Selfishly, despite my love of the Way of Kings cover, I hope the not Dalinar-ness maintains so that he might be more pronounced on a future cover. He's my favorite and I am greedy for more.

Also in the off chance you read this Brandon, I want to thank you for the immense amount of joy your work has brought to my life.

Brandon Sanderson

I think a Dalinar cover will be appropriate for the next book, so there's a very good chance that's the way we go.

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Nale’s nuts sounds like something a world hopper would say...... I mean there aren’t any nut producing plants on Roshar so how would. (Someone’s) nuts be a saying?

Perhaps I’m reading into this too much.


u/mistborn ? Are there nut producing plants on Roshar?

Brandon Sanderson

In these cases, you should assume one of two things.

  1. It's a linguistic holdover. I like using a lot of these in Stormlight. Human languages still have a lot of terms in them that reference the world they used to live on. (See Hoid's discussion of the word "hound" in one of the books.)

  2. We're doing our best to translate into English a phrase that doesn't really work in our language.

Basically, whichever is easier for your suspension of disbelief. With this, I'd say it's likely they said "Nale's Rockbuds" but it's just awkward in English, so when the book was changed from Alethi to English, the translator (me) picked something that conveyed the same meaning.

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Ben McSweeney

In the final design (as seen in the 10th anniversary WoK) the front row of bridgemen run with the front lip of the bridge, fully exposing them to arrow fire as described in the text.

Fun fact: Parshendi and humans both use a specific type of shalebark leaf to fletch arrows, similar to wooden fletching. Various types of chicken scales are, of course, very rare and much too expensive for fletching. This does lead to accuracy issues.

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Dear Mr. Sanderson,

Given the motivation per the books that the Knights believed they were giving up their Surgebinding powers to prevent the destruction of Roshar à la Ashyn, in practical terms how did e.g. Windrunners break their bonds?

Since they believed they were doing the right (honorable) thing wouldn't simply deciding "I'm breaking my oaths for the good of Roshar" not damage the bond (especially if Fifth Ideal Windrunners have [attitude] similar to Nale's comment regarding his bond)? Or can one break the bond by force of will or decision as opposed to betraying oaths in a practical sense?

Brandon Sanderson

There is an explanation to give here, but it would have spoilers for Rhythm of War and Book Five, so I'll RAFO for now. Ask me in about three years and four months.

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