Firefight Seattle Public Library signing

Event details
Name
Name Firefight Seattle Public Library signing
Date
Date Jan. 7, 2015
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Firefight
Entries
Entries 42
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#1 Copy

Questioner

...I'm actually a video game designer.

Brandon Sanderson

Oh cool.

Questioner

And the one thing that I kept thinking as I was reading The Stormlight Archive was "Oh my god. I want to play that" Is there any, kind of, y'know-- Do you see those moving in to some other media besides just books, or video games or...

Brandon Sanderson

Excellent question. So, other media. I like video games a lot. I remember-- You're going to get a lot of stories tonight, this is what happens, I'm a storyteller-- I was 11 years old, my father shipped me off to visit my uncle for the first time on my own. Got on the airplane and everything, went to Utah from Nebraska. And my dad gave me two hundreds, two one hundred dollar bills, he said "Pay for your food" and things like this... *laughter* You're laughing you know what happens. I just let my uncle pay for everything and at the end of it my conscience had gotten to me and I said "Uncle [Don?] my dad gave me money, I should give this to you to pay for the food". And he just laughed at it, like "No you're not going to do that. We're going to the mall right now. We're going to spend that money because if you don't your dad will take it back" And I went and I bought a Nintendo, original NES, with my two hundred dollars at KB Toys. And I came back with it and my dad was like "Where did you get that?"

I love video games and I want to be involved-- Which is why, some of you have watched, I did the novellas for Infinity Blade, which is a video game. Which you can read online but if you havenit played the games they won’t make any sense. I'm just going to warn you right there. I am involved-- We have sold the rights to Mistborn as a video game, but we have entered some development problems, the video game industry is almost as bad as the movie industry when it comes to delays and things like this. You have studios fall through, get divided, all sorts of things. I'm still hoping but the deal was I got to write the story and all the dialogue for the video game. It's going to be-- We are going to do it-- an action RPG, the model I told them I wanted to use was Infamous, which was one of my favorites from lately, in the Mistborn world. If we can get that working then I bet I can get a Stormlight book turned into a video game.

As movies go, movies are even harder. I was on the phone with movie producers right before I came here. I got a phone call, and we're doing a lot of that, talking with them, we've sold a lot of rights, we've seen a lot of scripts, but nothing's ever been made. So right now we have Legion, Emperor's Soul, Mistborn, and Steelheart all have significant motion but far from actually done. And The Wheel of Time is kind of off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again with adaptations. I think television show is what they are currently working towards.

#2 Copy

Questioner

I want to know what process you follow through building your vocabulary. Also, do you use a thesaurus?

Brandon Sanderson

What process do I use for developing my vocabulary, and do I use a thesaurus. My vocabulary development comes through reading other people's books and seeing the cool words they use and writing them down. And I can often pinpoint who I learned which word from. Like miasma I learned from Anne McCaffrey. Things like this-- Just seeing the words they use and looking them up when I don't know them. That's my favorite way. Do I use a thesaurus? I do use a thesaurus but only to come up with a word I know I should be using. There's two times I use it. One, when I come to a word I know there's a word there but I don't know what it is yet. The other time I use a thesaurus, which is really useful, is when I'm naming something. Like when I was naming the Reckoners, I need a cool word for this team. One that Marvel or DC hasn't used yet *laughter* They used everything. So I may use a thesaurus, but using a thesaurus is dangerous. It's a good tool but it's a dangerous tool for a writer. Because you don't want to use a word because it sounds cool, usually you want to use the right word. That can be difficult to balance.

#3 Copy

Questioner

We hear a lot in The Final Empire about various titles and such from the Steel Ministry. Can you give us very little as to their actual structure and what they do...

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah I can talk about this.

Questioner

They only thing you can't is the ranks.

Brandon Sanderson

So the Steel Ministry, in the Mistborn books. The interesting thing I considered when I was writing them was "What is the purpose of the priesthood when god is there in the palace and everyone knows it? And if you disobey you just get your head cut off." So what do you do? I made the Steel Ministry more government, like the post office is run by priests. And a lot of what priests do is witness official business, take your money for doing so and give you a stamp that "Yes I witnessed this" and things like this, but they also run all the public works. It's not like they're cleaning the sewers themselves but overseeing the sewers, overseeing engineers, most of the engineers who built the city plans would be obligators.

Which by the way you named didn’t you? There he is, Nate Hatfield was in my writing group for many years. We were driving to writing group once and I wanted a cool word for a priest, because I was just using priests in the original version of Mistborn.  I'm like "I need a great word" and he-- How did you even come up with that word?

Nate Hatfield

You really want to know?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah.

Nate Hatfield

Thesaurus. *laughter*

Brandon Sanderson

...There's Nate. You can congratulate Nate on coming up with obligator. And was it you that came up with the Conventicle, or was that Peter? Conventicle was Peter.

#4 Copy

Questioner

So when you are doing a kind of in-depth and very long story-- like The Stormlight Archive... Can you-- Do you tackle that, like, in short-- For like an outline?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh good question.

Questioner

Do you outline the entire thing? Do you outline one at a time, or two at a time?

Brandon Sanderson

…So outlining. You picked the hardest one to outline, by far.  Normally the outlining process for me is-- it goes like this, I sit down and I write Plot, Setting, Character in a new sheet. I put them in outline level one. And then I put all the things that I have been thinking in my head for a while, that I've been brainstorming with friends or-- Every book that I write I spent a long time planning it out, it's when ideas connect together that you know you have a great book.  One idea is not a book, multiple ideas that influence each other in cool ways is a book, to me.  So I write all this down and then I start looking for the structure and what are people's plots.  The way I outline is I outline goal-based.  Say I want to have an interesting relationship dynamic between these two characters, how can I achieve that? What's my goal at the end and what are my steps to get there? That is part of my outline. And I don't like-- And then I do another one. Okay, someone's got to learn to use the magic, what's my end goal, what are my steps to get there, what are cool scenes out of this? Those are all separate in my outline, it's not like in my outline there's "Chapter one: this, this, this, and this". It's Goal, with how to achieve. Goal, how to achieve it. Goal, how to achieve it. That's my normal outline process.

Now The Stormlight Archive is a strange beast, because it is plotted as ten books, each focusing around a character. And for that what I did was I sat down and wrote out my outline more in prose form, my vision for the whole series and then I wrote a paragraph about each book.  Then what I just told you, I did for the first book, then I wrote the first book.  Then I went back and created a much bigger and more detailed outline for the rest of the series. So it's kind of this process. The really weird thing about the Stormlight books is that I actually plot each one like I plot a trilogy.  So for instance, Words of Radiance you can find-- people have noticed them-- breakpoints between quote-unquote books, that this volume is actually written as three books with a short story collection as the interludes woven between.  That's how I approach those books.

My publisher has a love/hate relationship with The Stormlight Archive because they feel they could publish them as four volumes and make four times as much money but I won't let them.  But they don't want me to write other things because they really want more Stormlight because Stormlight is the one that sells the best out of everything.  So they are like "Write more Stormlight, but can we split it please?" and I say "No, you can't split it" and they're like "arghhh" So they release them as these big volumes, as I told them to, even though they know they are each like these three volumes-- And anyway...

That's kind of the shorter version of it. If you guys are... writers, and you want some help, I have two resources. Ask when you come through the line. I have a podcast, with a bookmark that says where it is. Fifteen minutes of writing advice every week. It's called Writing Excuses. I also lecture at Brigham Young University, and part of my requirement for lecturing for them-- I don't take salary-- is that they have to let me put my lectures online for people to see. So my lectures, for the last few years, of my university course, are posted online.

#5 Copy

Questioner

What's your favorite magic system?

Brandon Sanderson

Favorite magic system? I'm-- ...If I could pick anything I would probably be an Allomancer, just because there is so much metal around us in our daily lives that I think it would be a lot of fun. That may not be the smart choice but it is the choice I would make.

#6 Copy

Questioner

So I know your kids are probably too young to have actually read your books but are they familiar with your characters and if so do they have favorites?

Brandon Sanderson

They're not familiar with my characters. They-- Seven, five, and two.  The seven-year-old is starting to get old enough where I could maybe read him books, but I don't want to read him my books first. *laughter* I want to read him stuff like Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen and things like this.  We'll let him read my books if he wants to.

I remember I was reading an interview with Tad Williams once and he said "People ask, you're a famous author, how do you stay humble" and he said "Well the other day we all went out to dinner as a family because I finished a book.  And my son said 'What's the celebration?' and he said 'Well I finished my book' and his son said 'That's a good job, finishing reading a book.'" *laughter*

#7 Copy

Questioner

In The Stormlight Archive, you have your interludes. As you said they are short stories. Are some of those characters going to be making reappearances?

Brandon Sanderson

Will some of the characters from the interludes in The Stormlight Archive make recurring appearances. Yes some of them will, I am seeding characters who are main characters for later in the series by what I'm doing in that book, in those interludes. Not all of them will be. I have ten characters that are forming the spine for this series-- and some of them-- Lift is one of the ones who is going to be in the back five books which will take place-- After Book 5 of Stormlight we will have a break, in-world, for about fifteen years. Not out of the world, not in our world, but we will have a break and when we come back fifteen years or so will have passed and we will start on the back five characters.

#8 Copy

Questioner

I really enjoy things like Alloy of Law and Emperor's Soul, do you see yourself doing any more of those in-universe novellas? Maybe more tightly cobbled to the stories they're from?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes I do see myself doing many more novellas. I enjoy the process, it helps me get stories out of my brain that are itching at me without having to start another 7 book series or whatever. What I'll be reading to you tonight is from a novella though it is not cosmere. Though I do have several more cosmere novellas going. If you haven't read the ones I've released, there's one called Sixth of the Dusk which is ebook original and in the Writing Excuses anthology, and then I have another that is in George R.R. Martin's Dangerous Women anthology... called Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. And that is the other weird place you can get one of those. I'm planning to do many more, I really enjoy it.  I think short fiction is fun and exciting and I'm-- short for me

#9 Copy

Questioner

Do you actually know what's wrong with Stephen Leeds?

Brandon Sanderson

Do I know what's wrong with Stephen Leeds? I do know what's wrong with Stephen Leeds. Thank you for promoting that one. Legion's another of these novellas I did. It's got a fun story behind it.

So I was in a writing group with mutual friend Dan Wells, he writes twisted books about people who are messed up, and he was doing a book about schizophrenia.  He was deep into a schizophrenic’s mind, Dan does a lot of research hits these things really well and meanwhile I'm over here being me and I’m like “Oh this would make a great magic system” *laughter* I'm like “No, no, no, really if you had a schizophrenic and what if they heard voices and saw hallucinations, but the hallucinations helped them.  Like their superpower was seeing hallucinations." He's like "That's weird." I'm like "No, you should write this” and I tried to convince him to write it and I tried to convince him to write and finally he said “Brandon, write the dumb book, it’s not my book it’s yours” So I wrote it, it’s called Legion.

It is indeed about a guy who is a genius and he can become an expert in any topic but that knowledge manifests as a hallucination that he sees, which can than talk him through things. Like if he studies, say, computer programming, he can't program computers, but a hallucination could walk him through programming a computer...

I'm going to warn you, they only do limited editions of the hardcovers on most of these. So they're expensive. But if you buy that I will send you the ebook for free. The only thing I can do that on are my novellas, that and Emperor's Soul, but it is also online for a couple bucks as an ebook. Or you can buy the very nice edition by Subterranean Press.

Questioner

So he gets worse...

Brandon Sanderson

*hesitates* Over the course of the series he is getting worse and worse, despite what he says.

#11 Copy

Questioner

You talked a little about short fiction, what do you think about flash fiction?

Brandon Sanderson

Flash fiction I think is awesome, and microfiction. I'm terrible at it. I've tried a couple times.

I've got a good friend... Eric James Stone, he's won a Nebula Award, and his business cards have a story on the back. That's the coolest thing ever isn't it?  I want to steal that and do that but every one I come up with is junk. I mean it takes like eight pages to write my name, so…

#13 Copy

Questioner

Can you talk a little about your editing process? After you get through the first draft-- You go through it, you look at the acknowledgements in a lot of your books, and other books, there's this huge team of people that have been pouring over this thing.

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, so editing for me. Here's my drafting process. First draft I just write-- I write it straight through. I don't stop, I try not to let myself stop. If there is something major I need to change I just change it in the chapter and keep going forward. And then I can change it back later, like two chapters later if I think "No that was the wrong thing". So there will be a new character sometimes in my book that will just pop up for three chapters and everyone acts like they've always been there and then they vanish and no one talks about them not being there anymore. That's just so I can keep momentum and see what works. Draft number 2 I fix all of those things.  Draft number 3, polishing draft. Line by line trying to cut 10%, get rid of the passive voice, make descriptions more active, and make sure that I'm finding the right words and things like that. Really Draft 4 is where it turns into true drafting, and by that point I've given it to my editor and my alpha readers which are basically my assistants, my good friends, my wife, people like that. They read it, they come back with comments for me and I've been thinking about the book, working in my writing group with it and I make a goal-based document, where it's like "Here are the major issues. Here are the medium level issues.  Here are the little things I need to fix." And I start on page one, read through with this open on the screen next to the book when I'm working on it and I try to like-- It's almost like a bug report for programming, I'm trying to clear things off the list. Major things I have to re-write the whole way through so I can't clear them off until the end. Medium issues are things I can put in two or three times to fix through a couple of chapters where they are wrong and then clear it. Little things are just fix this one little thing and it's easy to clear off the list. I do that, I don't get to everything. I move around things on this list, like I maybe [???] I move it down the list.

Then I send the book out to beta readers, who are gathered by my assistant, he handles this, Peter Ahlstrom. Then they do a thing with us on a Google Doc, where it's chapter by chapter there is a document for each chapter and they all put their comments and interact with each other. It's like having a very large focus group, with like 15 people who are all reading the book at the same time and working on it. Once that is done and I've heard back from my editor on the new draft I will then make another draft.  I will do this as many times as necessary to make the book good. Last draft is proofreading and those people are also drawn from fandom, usually, my assistant picks them off forums and things like that and people we've used before. And they are just looking for-- At that point we can't change anything really bigger than a line or two. They are looking for continuity and things like that. But my process is that goal-based "I want to fix this let's see if I can do a draft where I fix this." And I'll do a couple more polishing drafts as I go along.

#14 Copy

Questioner

Do you care if all we read is audiobooks? Do you mind if people are like [???]

Brandon Sanderson

No I don't mind. Whatever format you want to read in. I would love for them to-- Whatever you like to read in is the best. People sometimes say to me "Well do you make money if I do this or this?" And the true answer is "Both" but-- *laughter* The honest answer is I don't mind. Check them out from the library, buy a copy here, borrow it from a friend. If you read my fiction, more people will be talking about it, and more people will be interested in it. And that is going to generate momentum for me. So pick your favorite format and your favorite place to get it, whether it is Cousin Billy or whether it is buying it from UBooks, and read the books. I'm just glad people are reading my fiction.

I mean I spent-- I wrote thirteen books before I sold one guys. That's how much I like doing this. I wrote over a dozen of them when no one was paying me to do it, right? And now that people actually are, it's just like so cool to be able to have things like the cosmere come together and everybody really be in on this thing. If you don't know a lot of my books are connected. There are characters from different books showing up in each other's books and fiddling with things and stuff.

#15 Copy

Questioner

Did you like to write as a child?

Brandon Sanderson

Did I like to write as a child? Actually no, I did not like to write when I was a child. I'm one of the few people that's a writer that was not a kid writer. I didn't like books when I was young. It was a teacher who taught me to like books when I was in eighth grade, Ms. Reader, that's her real name. *laughter* She just emailed me a few weeks back, I'm still in touch with her. Ms. Reader, she's now a professor taught me to love fantasy books, she gave me the book Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly and I became a reader

#16 Copy

Questioner

Do you have any other [video game] favorites right now?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, favorite video games. The Dark Souls series, I started on Demon Souls when it was actually hard, *laughter* but I like them all. I like the level design, I like that they're not coddling you, things like that. I've always loved the Civilization games, I play those quite extensively. In fact when I was in college I spent many a long night in my friend's room, because I didn't have a computer, playing Civilization, until he was like "Go to bed". Let's see, what else have I liked. I just played Skyrim, I tend to wait on those Bethesda games until they've been out a few years so I can get mods and things like l like. I thought Skyrim was the best of the Elder Scrolls games, I've played them all since Daggerfall-- Never played Arena, I played Daggerfall all the way through, and they fixed a lot of the problems like the leveling was always bad and some of the dungeon designs were so repetitive.  This one they fixed all that and I had a blast with Skyrim.

#17 Copy

Questioner

Do you feel there's anything different when writing for a video game?

Brandon Sanderson

Writing for a video game? You know I haven't truly written for a video game yet. What I've done is I've written novellas that bridge between video games, and that's kind of the single thing that I've done. So I can't really say yet. You'll have to track down some people who have actually written for video games.

I expect that it's lots of dialogue, and you have to understand that people might skip part of the story so you have to have a lot of refreshing on plot.

#18 Copy

Questioner

Have you ever considered doing graphic novels?

Brandon Sanderson

I have! Good question... So, yes I have. We're working on one of my unpublished novels, that is one of those thirteen. I think it is a good book, but not good enough to publish. But I think if we can rewrite it as a graphic novel I can cut out stuff that was bad. Because what was bad about it was like 100 thousand words of plot smashed across 200 thousand words of story. I think condensing is going to work really well. So we are going to do that. We actually got pages from that and things, and it's looking very nice. So we should have a graphic novel, and it is cosmere. It is part of the main continuity. So hopefully people will enjoy that.

#19 Copy

Questioner

My first question is about Shallan and whether what she does with her drawings and the deserters in Words of Radiance, kind of changing them, is at all similar to what Shai does in The Emperor's Soul?

Brandon Sanderson

Umm, that's a good question. There are similarities, but only so much that The Emperor's Soul is cosmere and is relying on the same foundation of magic. But good question. Are you getting at me saying you've seen somebody do it before?

Questioner

I talked to Alice.

Brandon Sanderson

So you have seen what she does before, but that is not what I was pointing at. It's someth-- No one is going to expect it.

#20 Copy

Questioner

My other question is about the phrase "Shadows of Self".  It's mentioned in the last Mistborn book *audio obscured* so are we ever going to see the shadows in Shadows of Self?

Brandon Sanderson

We are not going-- Well yes and no. What it is referencing in this book is the different roles that each person plays in their life. That is the core meaning of Shadows of Self. But then, there is also, there is a kandra involved, which they change shape and become different people, so "who are you?" and identity is a big thing.

#21 Copy

Questioner

And my last one, Obliteration, the Epic, is based on an author.

Brandon Sanderson

He is based on an author.

Questioner

It's Jim Butcher, right?

Brandon Sanderson

I couldn't say if it were, with these handsome locks and wearing a trenchcoat, and the goatee.

Questioner

It's totally Jim Butcher.

Brandon Sanderson

Well Jim Butcher doesn't have hair like this anymore. He cut his hair.

#23 Copy

squirenonny

So my friend wanted me to ask, after we both read Firefight, is there anything you can tell us about Instabam?

Brandon Sanderson

Instabam, oh. What do you want to know about Instabam?

squirenonny

Powers or anything.

Brandon Sanderson

See facetiously in my head I had Instabam have power over instant potatoes, but I'm probably not going to do that. But that is what I had in my head when I wrote that name. Yeah, instant potatoes, "Poom". Can cook food at the snap of fingers. I don't know what their powers are. I didn't work that out.

Squirenonny

Okay.

Brandon Sanderson

You can say instant potatoes if you want.

#24 Copy

squirenonny

Was there any particular reason that you are looking at doing Mistborn in the 40's?

Brandon Sanderson

Just because I want to see-- It's where I feel excited by a story and if I go all the way to the 80's, which I’m going to do eventually, we lose the Age of Exploration, my last shots at it. I think in the 40's we could still have a shot at Age of Exploration even though it's well past that, you know what I mean? The last remnants of my chance of doing that, I think. The exploration hits late here, but by the 80's they're launching satellites, right? The world is known. So if I want to do one more thing before then I could do-- The thing about the Mistborn world is that it is mostly uninhabited.  It's like an Earth-sized planet where most of the continents have no people. That’s really exciting from a storytelling aspect.

#25 Copy

Questioner

Anything you can tell us about Frost?

Brandon Sanderson

What do you want to know about Frost?

Questioner

Everything.

Brandon Sanderson

Then no. I'm not going to tell you everything about Frost. He's still alive.

Questioner

He's immortal?

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah. He can be killed, he's just functionally immortal, he doesn't age.

Questioner

Has he always been able to take the form of that-- *audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

Yes. He was born as one.

Questioner

Born as one.

Brandon Sanderson

It is a race.

#26 Copy

Questioner

Is Investiture universal? By that I mean, if an Allomancer got Stormlight somehow could they use that to fuel Allomancy?

Brandon Sanderson

That is always possible, so yes.  But in some case it requires some quote-unquote hacking, like an AC vs a DC current or we've got a 120 Volt and they've got 240. Does that make sense? It might require-- I guess hacking is the wrong term, adapters.

#27 Copy

Questioner

So with the cosmere, do you come up with stories and see if they fit? Or does the cosmere  kind of lend itself to stories already?

Brandon Sanderson

It's mostly the first. *audio obscured* When I come up with a story I'll ask, "Does this fit the cosmere?" and if not-- Like, for instance,  this one, that I read tonight [Perfect State], just doesn't fit the cosmere. I don’t want to be doing far-future science fiction stuff yet in the cosmere, and when I do, virtual reality is not a cosmere thing. So I can't write that as cosmere. Or the Rithmatist which I bounced back and forth. Would have been, could have not been. I just eventually decided it didn't fit the story. When things do fit, I put them in.

Questioner

Is that a really exciting moment? Or just sort of "Ohhh that's nice"

Brandon Sanderson

Yeah, it's just like that. I like all my stories.  The Cosmere-- One of my rules for myself is "The Cosmere is not my entire body of work" because then I would just be shoehorning  things in and I've found sometimes when authors create a multiverse they shoehorn everything in. Stephen King did this, Asimov did this. It doesn't work. I think if it is an intentional thing I'm deliberately doing, then it gains more power, it's cooler than if I were trying to make everything connected.

#29 Copy

Questioner

Do Allomantic Pushes and Pulls generate friction?

Brandon Sanderson

Do they generate friction. So... *sighs* I've had to ask myself this because if they didn't generate friction certain things that I do in the books wouldn't happen. I assume if you've seen the physics of it you've noticed. I have to go with yes. But the physics of it I'm a little wishy-washy on. I mean it's pretty obvious from the way I do things that they do.

Questioner

Yes! I have won the argument on the 17th Shard.

Brandon Sanderson

I mean, you've seen the science of it, right? You Push things up and they stay there. And so if they didn't generate friction, two people couldn't both Push on a coin to hold it in place, but it does get held in place.

Questioner

I just won a 17 page argument.

Brandon Sanderson

But I have to tell you... Peter is going to have to break his brain making the physics of that work. But I mean, it's canon. I put it in the books so it’s not like we can just ignore the fact.

#31 Copy

Questioner

What is a sparkflicker and what are they used for?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh good question... You'll be interested in this. Sparkflickers are-- Herdazians, their fingernails are stone. A sparkflicker is so they can start fires. They're actually flint-and-steel-ing. So a sparkflicker is a fire-creator using their actual fingernails.

Questioner

So they don't have a martial application?

Brandon Sanderson

...Not really. I mean the sparkflicker, no. The nails? Yes, if your fingernails are rough. But there is a deep implication to that that I don't think people have quite picked out yet.

#32 Copy

Questioner

I was actually wondering if you'd do space opera? *audio obscured*

Brandon Sanderson

There will be space opera in the cosmere. There'll be quite a bit of it actually. The only space opera I've written currently has not been true space opera. I don't know if you've read my two science fiction stories. They're both free on my website. And they're a little more social science fiction, though they take place far future, kind of space opera-y. They're not cosmere right now-- Err they are not cosmere. But I will eventually write full-blown space operas. They're going to be awesome.

#34 Copy

Questioner

Is Hoid a dragon?

Brandon Sanderson

Oh I will give you a RAFO card. You're very good, Have you read Dragonsteel?

Questioner

I have not but--

Brandon Sanderson

Don't read it, it's bad.

Questioner

Okay then. I am just-- What? Okay then. That's awesome. We have some ideas but-- Hoid is amazing. I figured he was really old but it's cool knowing for sure that he's exceptionally old.

Brandon Sanderson

He is one of the oldest people in the cosmere, but he is not the oldest.

Questioner

Ahhh...

Brandon Sanderson

The person he is writing a letter to is indeed older than he is.

#37 Copy

Questioner

So I was reading that one of the worlds, I think it was Yolen, is going to be a disease oriented magic?

Brandon Sanderson

It's not Yolen, it's Ashyn...

Questioner

How does that work?

Brandon Sanderson

Viruses and bacteria, various strains of them, have evolved in-line with the investiture on the planet to grant you a magical ability when you catch the disease, because they want you to stay alive long enough to--

Questioner

To transmit it.

Brandon Sanderson

--o transmit it. So it becomes part of the transmission vector. So you have superpowers or whatever-- You can fly as long as you have the common cold, but when you get over it, you can't anymore.

#38 Copy

Brandon Sanderson

...the Diem had been investigating, does that make sense? One of his former faces. So you're not supposed to be able to spot him. Like early on I was really planning Hoid to be-- When I write the parallel novel you'll be able to see "Oh" these things that he had his fingers on. But that's why in Elantris he's barely even in the book. Same thing with Mistborn. But then people really liked it and I was having a lot of fun with it and so in Warbreaker I expanded his part. And I'd always planned for him to be a big part of Way of Kings when that came along. *audio obscured* But in the graphic novel I think we're going to give him an expanded role, just because people are expecting it so much.

#39 Copy

Questioner

Hemalurgy is mentioned as something that has "broad implications" but that's of Ruin, right? Or now it is of Harmony.

Brandon Sanderson

Yes, but don't take the "of Ruin" and "of Preservation" too strongly, but yes.

Questioner

But, I mean, somebody couldn't just walk along with a metal spike on, say, Nalthis. Stab someone and have the power, right?

Brandon Sanderson

If they knew where to stab them, yes they could.

Questioner

Anywhere in the cosmere?

Brandon Sanderson

Yes.

Questioner

You can stab someone and get their power?

Brandon Sanderson

Hemalurgy has been built in such a way that it rips off pieces of the soul. If you can rip off the right piece of the soul and attach it to somebody else, it will change your Identity and rewrite-- It can rewrite anything attached to your soul. Identity, Connection, it can rewrite Investiture, all of this stuff it can potentially do.

Questioner

and do the things you stab people were they always metal or does that depend on the planet?

Brandon Sanderson

No, that's metal, that's-- Well yes, you could do something like that. That is totally possible. But the metal-- Yeah. Anyway.

Questioner

With the other Shards you kind of have to be near that Shard to get that — there's no Allomancy

Brandon Sanderson

there's no Allomancy did it, yes. To have that part of your soul. But, for instance, Allomancy would work on other planets. The only one that's going to have trouble on other planets, right now, are the ones on Sel because of the way the magics are built.

Footnote: the last part by Brandon is unintelligible
Event details
Name
Name Firefight Seattle Public Library signing
Date
Date Jan. 7, 2015
Location
Location Seattle, WA
Tour
Tour Firefight
Entries
Entries 42
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