YouTube Livestream 10

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Name YouTube Livestream 10
Date June 18, 2020
Entries 13
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#1 Copy


As I understand it, red is a sign of corruption in the cosmere. I just reread The Emperor's Soul, and it mentioned wisps of red smoke when Shai tests the Soulstamps. Does this mean she is corrupting Gaotona's soul?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, that is what that means. Corruption doesn't have to have the negative connotation, right? Basically, it means an outside influence is changing the Spiritual nature of the soul. And, yeah, that's exactly what is happening right there. Now, I would call that a pretty good thing, but... like, all of those things, where she is playing with someone's soul, and changing it, and changing their past, and things like this. This is, by cosmere definition, corrupting someone's soul. That's expressly what it is.

#2 Copy

Dane Brown

Hypothetically, if Kelsier were to meet Kaladin, what would he say?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably "don't be so hard on yourself, kid." That would probably be what Kelsier says. He would do some version of "I've been there, don't be so hard on yourself. You can't fix it all." That's what my gut says.

Kelsier would really like Kaladin. He's the sort of person that Kelsier just... Kelsier loves to see and recognize the people who are just innately good and trying to do good. He's drawn to that because it's not something that is natural to him, if that makes any sense. He can recognize it, though. And it's one of those things that he kind of wants to preserve in the world. And he would really like Kaladin.

Adam Horne

Would Kaladin like Kelsier?

Brandon Sanderson

Probably not. But Kelsier would probably be just fine with that.

#3 Copy


Are there any Dark Souls Easter eggs in any of your books?

Brandon Sanderson

I don't think I've put any Dark Souls Easter eggs in. Maybe I should at some point. I don't think I've intentionally -- I stay away from pop culture Easter eggs in the Cosmere books. I do do Easter eggs, but they're usually like people that are my friends and family and things like that. There's a bit of a fourth wall break that happens.

Not that I don't do it in some things. Like, the Krell are an Easter egg from Forbidden Planet. That word comes from that, which is one of my favorite old school sci-fi movies. So I do things like this all the time, but I don't go into it thinking, "I want to find an Easter egg to mention this!"

Even stuff like where Wayne is reading a book about talking bunnies, people are like, "Ooh! It's an Easter egg reference to Watership Down!" I don't really mean it to be that. I mean it to be that talking animal books are just a thing that happens in a lot of cultures, and I felt like it felt natural for this timeframe, there. It wasn't me even referencing -- I try to stay away from references to our world, but I do it on occasion, so it's a very valid question. And maybe there are some things I've done that I don't even remember doing.

#4 Copy


When coming up with the powers of the Metallic Arts, was there a magical effect you wanted to include but couldn't, for whatever reason? And what power would you have added if you could?

Brandon Sanderson

The one I most wanted to get was steelpushing and ironpulling. The others are all based around the things that I thought a gang of thieves would use. And that's the one that I'm just like, "This is cool. I'm gonna make this work. I'm gonna fit it in."

There weren't any powers that I really wanted that I couldn't fit in. There are a lot of powers I considered and didn't get around to. Like, there is often a disguise artist in a thieving crew. But I knew Lightweaving was gonna be a big part of the cosmere. (Even back then I had written Dragonsteel, which had Lightweaving in it, and I was contemplating using that in Stormlight.) And I thought, "Too much disguise/illusion, too many uses of Lightweaving, is gonna become a problem."

Plus, the moment you add that to a story, it does things to the story. From then on, you have to be playing weird espionage games. Which I like, don't get me wrong, but it changes the tone of things when anyone could be someone wearing a different face. So I just didn't put that into the books. I did a little bit of that with the kandra, in order to make a nod toward that, but I put some really strict requirements on it so that I could use it in the second book the way that I did. The kandra were designed for this; they weren't in the original (I don't believe) version of Mistborn before I came up with this story.

#5 Copy

Matthew Grady

Does a metal need to be swallowed to be burned? Or can it be injected or snorted?

Brandon Sanderson

It could be either of those two things. Yes. Basically, metal into the body in any way is going to work, generally. There's nothing magical about the stomach, even though it works the best when we talk about it. It's just more intermixing the nature of the metal with your soul in the cosmere, your Spiritual entity, is what gives them that ability.

#6 Copy


Can you talk about your influence for Steris?

Brandon Sanderson

I remember one of the things that really inspired me for Steris is actually Karen Ahlstrom, who is my continuity editor. Karen once was at a writing group talking about how she loves character who are like her, who always are ready. The person who saves that scrap. People call them hoarders, and in her head, she's like, "No no no. A hoarder is someone who doesn't know what they have or why they have it. I have this thing that I have saved. So I know I'm gonna need it someday." And someone's gonna say, "Man, I wish I had a cape for a seven-year-old that would go with this costume." And Karen is the person who says, "I've got one of those. Here, let me get it for you." Karen just loves being prepared to help people. And I thought, that is a brilliant and amazing character attribute to give to a character. The kind of Boy Scout "be prepared," but more in a "I'm ready to help. I do the research, I find out what people, and I am ready there with it. Maybe a little too much."

And that really melded together with seeing her personality. She is based partially on a friend of mine who, when I first met this friend, it was very off-putting at first, getting to know them. What we took for being stuck-up was really just them being a little socially awkward, like most of us in this community are. But the way a lot of us express it is through being kind of goofy. And this person expressed it through being a little bit aloof. Which, when we got to know this person, we're like, "Wow. This is one of the most amazing people we've ever know." But very hard to get to know them, because mostly of us, our own prejudices against people who are a little more quiet. So, I put that into Steris.

#7 Copy


Had the Stormfather sent visions to Jasnah instead of Dalinar, how would that have changed her?

Brandon Sanderson

That's an excellent question. I think that Jasnah and the Stormfather would not be a terribly great match. But I think her coming to understand a very powerful spren like the Stormfather and seeing all of this, I think it would have really helped Jasnah build her philosophy of life. Because, what's going on in the cosmere, is that the gods are lowercase-g gods, right? And this is a really fascinating thing that I like when fantasy deals with. I'm certainly not the only one. But at what point do you worship a being who is pretty flawed, but super powerful and able to help you in your life? And what kind of worship is that, right?

There's a level between atheism and theism in fantasy works, where it's like, "We can see that someone legitimately has supernatural powers, and following that person makes some logical sense. But does that make them God?" Certainly not as the church teaches, where there is a perfect being who is concerned with the lives of people and doesn't make mistakes.

So I think Jasnah would have arrived at some of the conclusions that she made, probably, faster if she had had these visions to see the past. She would have known some things that she was suspicious of and hoped would be the case. She probably could have gotten to Urithiru much faster. It would have made a big difference in a lot of different ways. But it was not a good match, let's say. She was not the person the Stormfather was looking for for these sorts of things, to continue the legacy of Honor and things like this.

#8 Copy


Will there be a greatsword (montante style) in Stormlight Four, or does the longsword still get all the love?

Brandon Sanderson

I am probably changing that. The scene I rewrote today, there was a greatsword added to. So you can look forward to it. I'm gonna try it out; it's possible that I'll trim it out. But I'm going with it for now. I thought you made some very good arguments along those lines.

And for those wondering, most of Shad's arguments are along the lines of "Wouldn't this be awesome?" And he sees things the same way I do in a lot of ways of "Let's do what's cool, and then make it work."

#10 Copy


You mentioned previously that you regret making Vin the only woman in Kelsier's crew. Is that something you're planning to change in the Mistborn screenplay?

Brandon Sanderson

It is; I actually already did it. Both Dox and Ham are female in the screenplay. And actually, Ham in particular works really well as a woman, because one of the things that I wanted to do was play with Vin's conceptions of how a thieving crew works, because she worked in bad ones, and not understanding how a great team can work. So I have a great scene where she misinterprets everybody's job in the crew from glancing at them, making a quick judgement, and saying "Well this person's this, this person's this." And the only one she gets right is Spook. It works so well.

Like, in the book, I can take pages and pages to show you, "This is how this crew is different from ones you might have read and ones that Vin has been part of." And in this, the movie, you need to have scenes do a lot of heavy duty lifting, multiple things at the same time. So in this scene, Vin can do that, and then we understand her judgement of why she said all these things, and then Kelsier can be like, "No. That right there is our Thug," pointing at Dockson [Ham], who is now a shorter woman. And with the powers of Allomancy, doesn't matter. And it becomes kind of a big moment, both for the audience and for Vin to understand "things are different here."

I do have to warn you, there isn't a lot of time in the screenplay for the crew. If I'm gonna do this as a film... Which it's not set in stone; it's possible that I'll move to a show. But right now, what I'm planning is: film, television show for Well of Ascension, film. Which means that mostly in the first film, it is focused on Vin, Kelsier, Sazed, and Elend. That's gotta be the core of our film. With Shan as an antagonist. And that's the movie. And I can't spend as much time with each of the crew members, like I did. But what we can do is, we can then move into Well of Ascension as a show, and with that being a show really show the crew and the things they're doing. And kind of write a heist with the crew where the crew is trying to heist keeping the kingdom from collapsing. A thieving crew has been put in charge of a city; let's see if they can keep this empire going. And I think that will work really well in television show format. And that's where we can get into some the things with OreSeur and TenSoon and character arcs for some of the crew members, really get to know Ham and Breeze and everybody.

That's the big cost by doing it in a film. That's the thing you're gonna have to understand, as it becomes really Vin and Kelsier's story. And I think it's gonna work. I think it is great. But if it doesn't, we do have the option of just doing a television show. Which I know a lot of you would rather see; I just see Mistborn as a film. I've always seen it as a feature film. So I'm hoping I can make it work.

Footnote: Brandon appears to misspeak, labeling Dockson as the Thug instead of Ham.
#11 Copy


The Bulgarian cover for Rhythm of War is the result of a contest. Despite how great Michael Whelan's covers are, would you ever consider such a contest for an American Stormlight Archive edition? If not Stormlight, maybe any other series?

Brandon Sanderson

It would be very hard for me to not have a Michael Whelan cover (you guys know me and Michael Whelan stuff) for Stormlight Archive.

For anything else, I could imagine that happening. Thing about it is that, in a market as big as the United States, it seems like it would be a tougher sell, both to the marketing market. And to an extent, it's a little bit... not "insulting," but imagine being an artist who's worked their whole life, and then we're like, "Yeah, we're gonna open this to a contest to people, instead." Just doesn't work the same way. So, I would be hard-pressed to imagine that happening in the States. There are so many fantastic illustrators earning their livings doing these covers, that asking people to submit free covers?

It works in Bulgaria because they have a very small print run. They are a small country. They do a thousand copies of a lot of the things. And they engage the fan community, and I think it's wonderful, and I think it's delightful what they did. And I was fully approving it. But it just doesn't feel like the right thing to do here. Where we have a huge budget, right? Like, that's the difference. In Bulgaria, they can't pay very much for a cover. I mean, they don't pay me very much for the books. That's okay. But here, we have an actual art budget. And that's what employs professional artists, a lot of them; that's where they earn a living.

#12 Copy

Isaac Stewart

If we do more of these sort of books in the future [like Way of Kings Prime], they'll all look nice on the shelf next to each other. We're calling them "Sanderson Curiosities."

Brandon Sanderson

Theoretically, our Stormlight Kickstarters, we'll add on things like a copy of White Sand Prime. Or a copy of Dragonsteel. Or these sorts of things. That are those books I wrote before I got published, the ones that are still good, but we've never done anything with. If you want the ultimate curiosity, then having all of these unpublished books on your shelf, you can get them this way.

#13 Copy


How intertwined are the two halves of The Stormlight Archive? Will you need to read the first half to know what's happening in the second half? If you read the first half, will you need to read the second half to get that sense that the story has come to an end?

Brandon Sanderson

I've never done something like this before. They are less intertwined than, say, Mistborn Two and Three. But maybe equivalent intertwined to Mistborn, as Mistborn is intertwined to Mistborn Two and Three, if that makes sense. It depends. Maybe even a little less than that, actually.

I think that you are going to want to view them as one big series of ten books. And we are going to come to an ending, and there will be some very satisfying things about it. But it's definitely going to be a promise there is more to come. I've never done anything quite like this. Less final than Mistborn Three, certainly.

So, I don't know. I didn't think anyone would read the Wax and Wayne books without reading the first ones, but I get emails all the time from people who started with those because those are the ones that appealed to them. I think you could start with Book Six of The Stormlight Archive, and it wouldn't feel strange. I think it would be harder to stop with Book Five, if that makes sense. Of those two options. But it's all gonna depend on your personal preferences, and things like that.

It's an excellent question. Plus, I haven't written the fifth book yet, and that's gonna inform a lot. These things change and morph as I'm going; every one of them does. So, who knows. I can explain better after Book Five is done.

Event details
Name YouTube Livestream 10
Date June 18, 2020
Entries 13
Upload sources