Recently, I have been working on Stormlight, and video game time is much smaller than it was last year, because I just need to be sure that I am getting that book done by July 1st. The fifth draft needs to be done by July 1st. So, pretty tight scheduling, making this happen. Particularly if I want to have time to do the Wandersail novella that I would really like to do and have out before Book Four is, because there are certain things in Book Four that reference stuff in the Wandersail novella that isn't written yet.
Can one person speak the oaths of more than one order of the Knights Radiant?
That is a RAFO. It is theoretically possible, but we'll RAFO anything else about that.
What areas in your writing are you still focusing on improving, if any?
I would say that there's a continual struggle for all authors I know to be more active and less passive in their writing. To be showing more and telling less, and this is like a lifetime quest for authors to just be thinking of better ways, more active ways to get information across on the pages. So I'm still working on that, most certainly. Specifically, I feel that the weakest area of my stories is generally the prose. I don't think I'm terrible at it, but I also think that I repeat the same phrases too often, and these sorts of things. So prose has been a major focus for me over recent years, and it's something that I hope to continue to keep focusing on. Those are my main areas.
Obviously, whenever I write a book, one of the things I do is I pick something I want to do a little better. Like, in Oathbringer one of my focuses was "let's do a more wide variety of viewpoints," which is why I did an entire section that saw a bunch of different viewpoints from the different members of Bridge Four and me trying very hard to make those viewpoints distinctive and interesting. Each book has a little mini-focus.
Do you prefer one of your books to be adapted into a live-action series or an animated series?
I would take either, fairly equally balanced depending on how much of a push I thought it was going to get and how comfortable I was with the creative team that would be joining me and making it. So there is a big push toward animation right now that I think there'll be some opportunities for, but we have also some very nice things happening in the film department, like I am most of the way through my own take on a Mistborn film treatment and I'm going to be looking for partners on that. And over the last couple of years I've made some really nice friends in Hollywood that I'm hoping will be interested in helping me make that happen. Of course, the hardest part of making a film, which is why despite fifteen years of selling options and things, never getting one made is, is somebody's gotta put up $200 million to make the thing, and that's a lot of money. So if you feel like paying $200 million for my film, go ahead and let me know.
I just finished the Legion series and it was amazing. Do you ever think you'll go back to it?
So what my pitch for Legion has always been is me wanting to do a television show. When I conceived the very first Legion story, I wrote a series Bible to go along with it and this never has materialized. Now, it is still optioned by someone. It's our third or fourth option on it, which means that there is a company out there called Cineflix who has the option to make a television show, and as far as I know they are still developing that and hoping they can make that happen. But after a decade of trying to get a television show made, and realizing that I just don't have the resources to do this on my own, I have instead decided let's try doing an audio drama series using Stephen Leeds and his aspects. So we actually got together a little writers' room. Myself and a friend of mine that I started an audiobook company with. Max Epstein is my friend, and together we have an audiobook company called Mainframe, and we have been developing various projects with various people, mostly with me kind of trying to kick off things that'll feel more like television shows but audio dramas, and Legion is one of those. So if you really liked Legion, when we release that audiobook version, which theoretically we're going to do an audio original Legion thing that would be like a pilot for a series that we would do other audio dramas for, with a writers' room, just like a television show. If that comes out, give it a listen, and if you like it, let us know and let whoever we end up putting it with know so that we can continue doing them. So there's a decent chance that there will be a Legion one manifesting.
Will we be getting Shallan's sketches in color [in the tenth anniversary Stormlight leatherbounds].
The answer is "kind of." We will be doing those in two color.
There was never any talk of doing the sketchbook pages in color, because Shallan didn't do them in color. It would look really odd for those to be in color. And the thing that drew me to Ben McSweeney doing them, when I originally hired him before Isaac even worked for me, was his line art. I like his sketchy line art. And I would not want to do those...
We are going to have a bunch of full-color pieces.
There's also limitations with how many colored pieces you can put in a volume. One of them is however many signatures are in the book (how many packets of these [pages], you can only put color pieces in between those. So if you have nine signatures in a book, you're limited to nine pieces, for example. So we were limited to that. And there are, like Brandon said, like 30 pieces of art in the book. If we did all full color on that, we wouldn't be able to print the book. They wouldn't be able to do that for us.
What's the process of making a map? How much info does Brandon give, and how much do you adapt it to yourself?
I think there's a lot of give-and-take on our maps, really. You give me a lot of freedom. And really, I just come up with something nowadays that fits once I've read the book, and then we just adjust from there until it matches, it works for you and it works for me.
Knowing that I don't have to do all of that, there's one thing that I can basically outsource, right? There's somebody I trust who is able to do a really good job with this. Frees my brain to think about other things. These days, I just let Isaac work his magic, and know that, at times, I'm going to have to revise the text to actually make it fit.
We do that sometimes. If we get a piece of art that somebody did something cool in it, but it wasn't necessarily in the book, but we like it, he'll oftentimes go and change the description a little bit to match, if we think it works a little better.
I did that for the Elantris cover, way back when Stephan Mantiniere gave me the cover. I was like, "Ooh, readers would ask 'Where is this cover scene?'" So I actually put the cover scene into the book.