Recent entries

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #1 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    Also we have the Death by Pizza, it's not Death by Pizza any longer, Song of the Dead?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, Song of the Dead. Yeah, that's still in revision and things, yeah. Maybe someday, well I'm hoping someday. Right now, I mean the things that are looking really good, the Reckoners novellas are done and turned in and being recorded for audio, and those turned out really well. And the first of the Skyward novellas that Janci wrote is just spectacular, I really like it. If you guys like the Skyward books, it's from FM's viewpoint. It kind of takes a character that I had done very little with and does a lot more with her. I'm really excited for those to come out, have some more expansion to some of those worlds and settings and stories. We're working on getting those going.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #2 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    We remember that you wanted to write a sci-fi story and send it to several magazines to see what happened with that. Well, we were wondering if in the end did you manage to sell it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did not manage to sell it. Now, I'll put it in the non-cosmere collection when we put it together. It was flash fiction; it was only 500 words long. So it's very not like my normal style. I'm not apparently good enough at flash fiction to sell without my name attached, but I haven't given up hope. I still want to write some more stories under this author's name--the pseudonym-- and see if I can get them published. I don't know if you heard, last night I talked about it on the stream, one of the things we'll be doing while I'm working on Era 3 of Mistborn in a couple years here is we'll likely be releasing the non-cosmere collection. All of my basically science-fiction/horror or whatever, the stories that are not in the cosmere that also aren't Legion, the Stephen Leeds stories which were bound in their own collection. And I want to have a few new things for that, so it's not just stories that have been published before. So these are the stories that I'm like, I'm going to send this off and see if it sells, and things like that. You'll be able to see.

    My flash fiction piece is super goofy, so it's not that surprising that it didn't sell, but I'm still very proud of it. Mostly I got confusion in my rejections, they're like, "We didn't get it, it didn't make sense to us." So we'll have to see if it makes sense to all you guys. 500 words is not very much to do a story based around, so we'll see. I wrote another short story to send out. Unfortunately, it's kind of mediocre; it's only kind of okay. Again, science-fiction has one cool concept executed mediocrely, so I don't think that one's going to sell. I have to write a real banger, I have to write something really great and then secretly get it published. But when I'm going to do that is the big question. I have no idea where I'm going to slip in time to write mini-stories that aren't supposed to be by me. This is partially just to get experience so I can tell my students, "Hey, it still works," or "It still is hard." And lo and behold it was still hard, it took like eight months to get through all of the markets and get replies to them and stuff, just for that little flash fiction piece.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #3 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    It's a random question, because we have chickens on Roshar, the other thing is are there cats in Shinovar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there were at least at one point cats in Shinovar. Whether cats are still there or not, you'll have to wait for book 5 to discover. But cats did make the jump. If they exist, they didn't make it past the mountains very far, but you'll have to see.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #4 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    So they were asking, because they also know that we have the Mistborn Adventure Game, and the explanation for not having a role playing game for Stormlight is because it's not yet finished and it didn't make sense, but maybe for the moment that it's at least halfway, would you consider [it]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I would definitely consider it at Stormlight 5. That would be a really good time to do an RPG. So it's probably time, if we haven't been talking about it, to go talk to some people and try to build one. I've been really lucky with the people we've worked with, because Call to Adventure turned out to be just great, it's a ton of fun. And the people at Crafty Games have just been delightful to work with; I really like them. We've ended up with some really great stuff.

    Doing an RPG, the big question would be do we do another indie RPG, do we ask Wizards of the Coast if they want to do a D&D tie-in Stormlight? I don't know, I'd have to get some feedback from fans on what they would want, do they want us to do it in the Crafy system, which one is most interesting to people? You guys can ask around, I think I'll probably start asking that question of fans in general and trying to gather some feedback so we know.

    Cosmere.es

    Yeah, I think Wizards of the Coast would be closer to a Magic the Gathering cosmere game.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm, yeah. Well, you know since they're doing Lord of the Rings, it's not impossible now that we could get a Stormlight magic expansion or something like that. It's probably going to depend on how things like Lord of the Rings happen and whatnot. I'm watching all that to see how fan reactions are because fans are both excited and mad, which they seem to always be every time Wizards of the Coast does anything, and I'm not sure if they're going to settle on excited or on mad. The problem is Stormlight isn't on the size-level of something like Lord of the Rings. Not impossible, I don't think, so we'll see what happens.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #5 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    We know that for example we have, I think it's Horneater for the next Kickstarter about Rock. And the other question that sometimes people ask is when will be the novella between The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance and if maybe you can say who's going to be the main character or not yet.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, no I can talk a little bit about it. So, it was going to be Lopen. But in Dawnshard I did a really solid job with his character arc, the sort of things I was planning to do with him and I feel like if I went back and did a novella with him now, it actually just wouldn't land very well. I managed to get it into Dawnshard and it really works and fits. That doesn't mean I won't do one focused about him later but it means that doing one early on is probably not going to happen. I might still do the thing I've always wanted to do, if I do the novella between 1 and 2, I might still do the Lopen mini-story about him being king, because he jokes about that all the time. And so now that I know it's not Lopen, I'm kind of searching through and being like, okay who's it going to be? Very high on the list of options is Teft, and I'd have to look and see, is there really a lot I can add to his arc or will it just be things you've already known? It's tricky at that point because I don't want to do anything that--the danger is I do something that would then [have] really neat implications being addressed in future books, and then it's not because I'm writing it after the fact. And that might drive me to go further afield to somebody who's much more of a smaller character, if that makes sense. We'll see what I end up doing. There are ideas I have, but none of them are really popping out to me right now.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #6 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    Now that maybe we are going to have the [first half] from the Stormlight Archive, maybe will you have an art book for the cosmere or the Stormlight Archive, or maybe a companion? I think Rhythm of War was amazing. It has such detail and everything that happens, and all the science behind it, that it makes it feel super real. And we were thinking will we ever get as well--like you know for Discworld that you have The Science of Discworld books, maybe we'll need that in the end for the cosmere as well.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a good suggestion, that's a very good suggestion. I'm a little gun-shy, I realize, on this because Wheel of Time did the White Book. And I know that there were those--let's just say those in the community and those among who created it, that were disappointed with it, which is part of why Harriet spent so much time working on the encyclopedia. I think that made me more timid than I need to be, because the various ones for George Martin's series have been very good, and the ones for Discworld have just been fantastic.

    And so you're right, it's probably something we should start putting together. Some sort of, you know here is the "first era" of the cosmere and here is your companion piece for reading it, here is a glossary of all the characters. If there's some way I could make those spoiler-free, that you could look up an entry and only you know--I wonder if it could come with those glasses that are red and and blue and so you can only read the normal entry unless you've read a certain book and then it tells you the other parts and things like that. Would that be too much of a gimmick? I'm kind of in love with that idea, so that you could read about people without being spoiled.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #7 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    We were wondering, I know that you always told us that it's not necessary to read the rest of the cosmere but after what happened in The Rhythm of War, could you still say--and potentially in Mistborn Era 3 now--could you consider that maybe there will be a moment where you might need, for the sake of enjoying the whole thing, and all the Easter eggs, and the story behind the story, maybe it's needed to have a small background?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you want to enjoy the Easter eggs, then yes. But I still maintain Mistborn Era 4 marks when you are going to be completely lost if you haven't read everything else. Things that happen in Rhythm of War, I think you can understand conceptually, even if you don't know the other players. If you were telling a story about America during the Vietnam War, and you knew about the war happening in Vietnam and kind of the implications on the American citizens who didn't want to go to war and things like that, you don't necessarily have to read the book that is taking place in Vietnam to understand all of that. It would help, but if the focus is on--if you can outline what people need to know in a few sentences, I don't know how spoilery you want me to go, I'm trying to use a metaphor that's not my books.

    Cosmere.es

    We're trying to keep it non-spoilery.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, and so if you in this situation were to have somebody who said, "There's a war going on, it's very unpopular, and lots of people's loved ones are dying for reasons they don't think are justified and legit," you could know that and still have this whole story happen over here. That's the sort of thing that I believe is happening at the end of Rhythm of War. You're learning a few things about the cosmere yes, but you can listen off one, two, or three points, and you get those points and you understand that there is a foreign sort of thing going on that is affecting what we're doing. But you only have to know those points for its effect on the story of the Stormlight Archive. It's a little more involved than I've gone in the past, but I still maintain that could read only the Stormlight Archive and you won't be lost, you won't feel like you're not getting part of the story. You will feel, I hope, that there's a lot more to explore and understand if you read further.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #8 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    So currently, the books from the cosmere are pretty different, maybe, from the things that you thought would be the cosmere, like thirty years ago when the young Brandon was starting to write, and we are curious about how, or if you expected it to be like this when you started?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I definitely didn't. Remember that when I very first started, I didn't have the cosmere, right? Back when I was writing White Sand Prime and Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, and Star's End and Knight Life, all of those early books, all I had was a desire to do a big epic. Even when I wrote Elantris, I put Hoid into it more as an Easter egg than as a thing that is going to be some big thing. It wasn't until writing Mistborn years later, not even Mistborn Prime, the actual Mistborn, that the cosmere started to take shape. And at that point, so that's 2004, at that point I outlined Era 1, what is now Era 3, and Era 4. And Era 4 was big galactic kind of space interaction between all the different worlds. So by then, I was very excited by the idea of—I had the shape of it. But even then I wasn't planning to write Sixth of the Dusk, I hadn't written Shadows for Silence, right? All I knew basically then was Sel, Scadrial, Taldain, and Roshar. And I knew those were going to be involved somehow and so I was working on the various different Shards that were on those planets, but that leaves a lot of Shards right? If you add those all up, that's what, seven or so Shards worth of people? Suddenly it's like wait, that's only seven of the sixteen, where's everybody else, right? And counting that seven of the sixteen are two dead ones. I knew that it would be more expansive but I didn't know where I would be going and what I would be doing and that sort of stuff.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #9 Copy Suggestion

    LewsTherinTelescope

    It's a plot point in Hero of Ages that gender-neutral pronouns were used for the aforementioned Hero because they were neither male nor female:

    The prophecies always used the gender-neutral, he thought. So that they could refer to either a man or a woman, we assumed. Or . . . perhaps because they referred to a Hero who wasn’t really either one?

    However, even this paragraph uses the male pronoun "he".

    In Shadows of Self, it's again brought up (by MeLaan, this time) that Sazed is not quite either gender:

    “Not really. Wow, you blush easily, don’t you? I’d have thought you’d find this natural, considering that your God is basically a hermaphrodite at this point. Both good and evil, Ruin and Preservation, light and dark, male and female. Et cetera et cetera.”

    But the books continue to use the male pronouns (though normally they use Capitalized Male Pronouns or just the name "Harmony").

    So my questions would be:

    1. What pronouns should be used for Sazed/what gender does Sazed identify as: he/him? they/them? Or does Sazed not particularly care and he, she, they, etc all work just fine?
    2. If Sazed's pronouns would indeed more accurately be they/them, might we see characters in Era 3 starting to use They/Them in place of He/Him, as Basin society grows more aware of this topic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sazed always saw himself as a "He." So a lot of the records refer to him that way. He'd accept they, though, and might even see himself a little more this way now. What you suggest here is something I've considered--with him having two Shards, they is a good pronoun for other reasons too.

    Cosmere.es Interview ()
    #10 Copy

    Cosmere.es

    We are more or less sure that, once you finish the last book from Wax and Wayne, this is going to have kind of an impact, maybe, on everything?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and no. Wax and Wayne as a series, entirely, is more focused on the characters than the cosmere. Which is different from Era Three. Era Three, while it's very focused on characters, is more cosmere-focused. Remember, Wax and Wayne is the series I interjected. And I realized, as I was writing it, there were a lot of things I needed to do in it (that's good I started it), but they are mostly setup. You will get done with Wax and Wayne Four, you will know who Trell is. You will know what trellium is. You will know what's been happening there. But what it's not gonna do is give you definitive, cosmere-wide, large-scale changes. It is more going to be setting up and building for the big things that are coming next. So don't put too much pressure on the poor little Wax and Wayne series; they really are about Wax, Wayne, Steris, and Marasi, and kind of uncovering this stuff. You could consider it the buildup and prologue to the second large era of the Cosmere, if that makes sense. (Which, the second era of the Cosmere is basically going to be: third era Mistborn, second era Stormlight.)

    YouTube Weekly Updates 2021 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    In the comments, I saw that one of you was asking about my prewriting process [for Wax and Wayne Four]. In short, for this one, what I did is: there were three big steps. The beginning was, I wrote down Character, Setting, Plot together in a document, and I then did a subheading for each of the main characters. For this book, it'll be Wax, Wayne, Steris, and Marasi. And I said, "All right; what are their character arcs? How do they change? What do they want in this book? What's going on with them?" And that was the first pillar I wanted to hit; I wanted to make sure that everybody was working and that I knew where they were all going and where they would end. Because this is the last book of that sequence, and I want the ending to be spectacular.

    Next part was setting. In this, mostly it was developing the magic system, making sure that the things that I'm doing with it, the new ideas that are coming in and developments, are in line with the general goals for the Cosmere and for Scadrial, and that everything that I wanted to do worked within the bounds of the magic, and bouncing that off of my team and making sure that I was explaining things well, why things worked like they did.

    And then the last part was to construct the actual plot. This is: what is happening, what are people wanting to do? How am I weaving in character arcs to this large construct that is the plot of the book?

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    AlwaysTheNextOne

    Does Kaladin have a mixed heritage. Like maybe Yolish and Rosharan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One thing I wanted to be very careful about in writing the Stormlight books is to stray away from people needing some kind of past or heritage to be special—it's okay for this to be for some characters, but it becomes a crutch. So your answer is no, he doesn't have much secret to his heritage. (Though his mother grew up wealthy for a darkeyes, and that's a little odd.)

    YouTube Weekly Updates 2021 ()
    #14 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the comments last week and weeks before, we had a lot of questions about the Dawnshard audiobook. Where is that? I can't tell you when, but it should be coming out sometime this summer. We're looking which publishers to put it with, and things like that. We actually already recorded the audio; we had Michael and Kate do that. (I think it's both of them; him doing Lopen and her doing Rysn.) Regardless, we have that audio; we are ready. It's gonna take us a little bit, because we want to find the right distribution place. But it's coming.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    PrincipleFriendly205

    Mare's Flower.

    *a tattoo of the Ghostblood symbol*

    montezuma300

    Can you confirm either yea or nay?

    Ben McSweeney

    I had not thought this was the case before, but Brandon don’t tell me everything and some of what he tells me changes over the years (we used to have a hard rule with fur on Roshar, for instance). And I was not part of the design process for this symbol, it was handed to me ready-to-go when I put it on the Shallan page.

    I would not be surprised to learn what we have here is a symbol based on the picture of the flower, that whatever flower she had a picture of, it had three petals of a somewhat diamond shape.

    But I don’t actually know, and I’ll have to ask around. Might be a RAFO.

    montezuma300

    What's the fur rule?

    Ben McSweeney

    Waaaay back at the start, the rule was "no fur" in designs, full stop. The idea being that any fur-bearing creatures were too rare to be used for their hides. At some point he relaxed that rule... fur is still relatively rare and expensive (I think) but it's not unheard of.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    montezuma300

    I don't know if it was intentional, but I realized that the Kholin colors match BYU (Brandon Sanderson's university) and the Singer colors match University of Utah (BYU's rival).

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. Well, I hadn't noticed that.

    The problem is that I'm a Cornhusker, at least when it comes to football. No offense to BYU, but you don't grow up in Nebraska during the Osborn era without some side effects. :)

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    C.K.

    Will you delve more into the Threnody system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do intend to do more in the Threnody system. If I can get to it, there is a novel I want to write set on Threnody. I have, I would say, 30% of an outline, right now, for that book. Whether I'll have time for it or not is, like most other side projects, up in the air. But I do think that something will happen there, eventually. Isaac has a book that he's outlined that he would like to set on Threnody, because Isaac's gonna take a stab at writing some Cosmere fiction. If you don't know, Isaac is my art director, and basically my first collaborator in the Cosmere, way back on Mistborn. He was one of my very first beta readers and did all the maps and things, and now works for me full time.

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    Gerardo Hop

    Have you watched the fan-made video games of Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not. I look at fan art, but I don't generally read fan fiction, and I'm probably not gonna play a lot of fan games. Though I'm not against either of these things, as long as they're fan works, not-for-profit sort of stuff covered by our policy. The reason being: number one, I'm immersed in these worlds already, and what I don't need to do is read someone's fanfic, and in twenty years be like, "Hey didn't I write that thing about that thing? I'll put that in." And then it have come from a fanfic. Just, don't really want that to happen. And I don't know enough about video games legality and stuff, but if we made a game and the game people were like, "Hey, you lifted this element right from us," I just wouldn't want to be in that position.

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    Sophia

    Are you going to be doing another spoilery livestream?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that we will be doing another spoilery livestream. When do you want to do another spoilery livestream? We could do one next month, or we could do one the month after. We could say they're an every-six-months thing. So the next one in July. June or July.

    Let's start with that. We're gonna do spoilerific livestreams every six months. They are much harder on me, because I have to pay much better attention to what I'm saying. But they are a lot of fun. I could imagine a world where we get to them three times a year, or something like that, but let's just start with that.

    Adam Horne

    The spoiler stream was December 17th. So, June.

    Brandon Sanderson

    June. So it is. That actually works well, because the spoiler streams can be near my birthday every year. Koloss Head Munching Day. Maybe we don't do it on the first Thursday, and we move it back.

    Let's just do full spoilers. What do people want? Do you want full Cosmere spoiler, but no spoilers for non-Cosmere? At some point we should do a Cytoverse (as the fans call it), the Skyward spoiler stream. But only after Book Four is out would that make a ton of sense. Maybe we'll just do full Cosmere. Because the only non-Cosmere stuff people would care about spoilers are probably Skyward and Reckoners. Let's do, like, a Skyward and Reckoners one later. Because we do have some things in the Reckoners world coming our way, the novellas that Steven Bohls is writing. And then we have the Skyward stuff. We will do, maybe, a Mistborn exclusive one after Wax and Wayne Four, with only Mistborn.

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    Arcatezog

    How often do you go by your various subreddits?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on what I'm doing in the day, and things like that. I have not been by lately, so I have not responded to a lot of Reddit comments lately. I apologize for that. I try to, at least, glance at the front page and see what things are big. I would like this to be a daily thing, and sometimes it is, but it's not always. Again, it depends on what stuff I'm doing.

    It is still the best way to get a response from me, but my answer rate is probably under a third these days, I would say. Plus, there are some people who ask a lot of questions on Reddit, and it makes me less want to do it, I'll be honest, when I see the same person has asked a question every day for a month, because I don't feel that's a good use of my time. I think a good use of my time is to give everybody a little bit where I can, and a bad use of my time is to engage deeply. Just because I don't have a lot of time; not that I dislike any of you guys. And some of you ask really good questions, and I find myself answering anyways, because hey, this is a smart question that this person asked.

    I don't want my Reddit thing to be eighty questions from hardcore cosmere theorists who have been asking two a day for a month, and then five questions from a person who legitimately wants to reach out and have a brief but meaningful interaction with me. I much prefer the second, just for time reasons, even though I know the deep cosmere guys, like, you guys are part of why I'm successful. You guys talking about it, you guys caring about the fact that I was connecting the cosmere, I don't want to disparage that at all or make you feel bad for asking questions. Because I love that, I love that you are so into it, I love taking the time when I can to answer questions. I just have a whole lot of things to balance, and it gets rough sometimes.

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    Adam Horne

    What are you anticipating the length of the books for [Mistborn] Era Three and Era Four?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Era Three will go back to Era One lengths. The goal is, once I finish Stormlight Five, to write all three books in Era Three together, like I did for Era One. And this means that the releases in between might be kind of other sorts of things. Basically, I'm gonna have to take three years and write those books before we release any of them. And that'll be great for continuity, and for a lot of cool reasons, but it means that... 2023 is hopefully Stormlight Five. (I say "hopefully" because, again, Stormlight Five is the end of a series, so it is possible of all of them that one takes longer. We'll see.) And then, after Stormlight Five, then the releases will probably be some things for a couple of years until I get Mistborn ready.

    One of these things is likely to be a non-Cosmere collection; a collection of all my short fiction that is not Cosmere and not Legion. So all of your Defending Elysiums and things like that, collected in one collection, like we did with Arcanum Unbounded. There is a decent chance that I will be getting The Apocalypse Guard into shape, at long last, and releasing that with Dan Wells working with me on those. There is a decent chance that we'll have a prose version of Dark One, because Dan and I are working on that, but we'll see. Who knows. And then there's the perpetual project that I've really started to think that is probably going to happen, where White Sand of all my unpublished novels is the strongest, and I think that if I put it through my current revision process, I'd get a really strong revision, send it to beta readers, and put it through another really strong revision, it would be of publishable quality. I would generally update it to match the events of the graphic novels, and then we would release a prose version, probably, that is the same as the graphic novels. But we'll see. We'll see if that actually happens. For now, we do have the collection of the three graphic novels coming out soon-ish, I hope. And it's looking really nice; Isaac's been putting a ton of work into that.

    So, those are all things that you could see in the interim, between. What you're not gonna get is a Mistborn novel or a Stormlight novel for a number of years, as I work on the Mistborn books. In a perfect world, I'm writing Elantris Two and Three then, as well. So I get done with those five books, each of which I plan at 200,000 words (which is the length of Elantris and the original Mistborn trilogy). Which, when I work on a Stormlight book, I do 400,000 to 500,000 words in eighteen months. And so, we would see how these other ones would turn out. One a year, plus change, basically. And then I would jump to Stormlight six.

    So, that's a long-term plan. I still have to finish Wax and Wayne Four, and Stormlight Five, and Skyward Four. Which, I am finishing three series in a row. The one I am most worried about, obviously, is Stormlight. I don't know if that'd be obvious, but that's the highest stakes. And beyond that, it's the one that has some of the biggest implications for the cosmere at large, and things like that. Like, I am not terribly worried about Wax and Wayne Four, partially because I outlined the three that came after Alloy of Law really solidly, and the outline stuff I've been sending out for this last one, everyone is liking in the company, and it seems like it's a very... Like, the original trilogy idea I had for those three seems to be working. And Shadows of Self and Bands of Mourning both worked really well, and this one is in that same vein, kind of bringing things together. And so, I'm not really worried about it. I think it's gonna be really strong, and people are really gonna like it. Skyward Four, again, the stakes are just lower. Skyward Three was a tough revision; there was a lot of work to do on that one. But, if I do write Skyward Four this year, then I have plenty of time to work on Skyward Four's revision, because it's probably not scheduled until, like, spring of 2023. Spring or summer, even, summer 2023, before Stormlight Five. And so basically, the revision time on both Wax and Wayne and that are gonna be much bigger than my revision time on Skyward Three.

    The time crunch is over for a little bit. It's just: can I squeeze these in before the looming battleship that is Stormlight Five comes sailing into port, and it's all hands on deck.

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    Questioner

    Do you have a favorite of the Mistborn books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't really have a favorite, though I think Bands of Mourning is probably the strongest of those. Though, the first original Mistborn might be a contender, as well. It depends. See, my prose and storytelling ability has gotten better over the years, and Bands really had a bunch of things come together that I like to do and I think worked really well. The issue is that the story for Mistborn One is more epic and is, in a lot of ways, more novel. And because of that, it's the progenitor. So, I don't know. But I don't really pick favorites of my books, generally.

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I had a good day working on Wax and Wayne Four today, doing the outlining. Still doing that; probably through a chunk of next week, I will be working on the outline. And then we will take off and write. My biggest worry about this book is that I want to make sure... I know you guys all would love this, but I want to make sure it doesn't go too, too long. It is the last in the sequence, and it could easily go double the length of the other ones. And I want to try to prevent that, because I still have to write Skyward Four. If it goes too long, I will not be able to write Skyward Four before Stormlight Five. That is kind of my time crunch sort of thing. We'll see. You can watch along on the progress bars, but I will warn you, 100K is unlikely to be the length of this one, even though I might start the progress bar there. We probably out to start it more at 120, understanding that 150 is pretty likely.

    YouTube Livestream 30 ()
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    Gamesound Finn

    Do you know that there is a champion in League of Legends that is basically Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. I know that there are several League of Legends professional players who have based names off of characters of mine, and stuff. Some have actually contacted me first and said "hey, is it okay if I do this?" Which is really cool.

    I do know the League of Legends people are fans. They invited me, one time, to come in and tour, and I was too busy on that specific tour. But I always find homages and things like this in games to be very flattering. Like the fact that you can find Kelsier's bag of coins in World of Warcraft, and various places you can find mistcloaks. I was playing that game Enter the Gungeon, and they have the Windgunner gun you can get, which is actually a sword gun. I like stuff like that. If you ever are a game dev making a game... (This is not permission for you to use my IP in a way that would be anything other than an homage, or things like that; I have to be careful about things like that. Sometimes I say, "Yeah, go for it," and then we find out that there's a trilogy of games based on my books that we didn't know about.) I like homages like that. I find them fun.

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    alercah

    Did Navani swear more than one oath in the climax of RoW? Her words to the Sibling seem to follow the pattern of Dalinar's oaths very closely, and the Sibling implied they wouldn't bond someone who wasn't ready for at least the second.

    Is this the fastest ever three-oath speedrun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO for now.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    LewsTherinTelescope

    You've said before that, while the Ten Surges arose due to perception of what things are fundamental forces, there were "seeds" that influenced what people perceived as fundamental. Is knowledge of the Rosharan Shards and Dawnshards the "seed" referenced here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Shards yes, but I wouldn't say the Dawnshards were involved directly--but the Shards were influenced by the Dawnshards, so... It gets muddy.

    YouTube Weekly Updates 2021 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Skyward Three is still scheduled for November of this year; that'll be my next big launch. We should have novellas in the Skyward universe coming out just before that, so watch for those. The first one of those just got its first draft done; I'm coauthoring those with Janci, a good friend of mine and an excellent writer.

    YouTube Weekly Updates 2021 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    The book [Skyward Three] is not going to be called Nowhere, I'm pretty sure. I've tried to push my publisher, and they're just like, "We don't like that title." And it's okay. I let them in the YA space really talk about titles and choose titles. So, who knows what it'll be.

    Fourth book is probably gonna be called Defiant; that's where we're kind of moving for the fourth book. Third book, no idea  yet. I will keep you updated on that.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    BigRed323

    [Urithiru] looks like Minis Tirith

    Ben McSweeney

    There's a few things we did to help make the two cities less similar when compared side by side, but the likeness was always on our minds. It's hard to avoid, WETA did such a distinctive job with it.

    Urithiru is way bigger though.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    Oversleep

    Two characters who I believe Brandon absolutely butchered in terms of what their setup was and what happened to them.

    [...]

    Amaram. Suddenly, completely out of left field, Amaram has been talking to Odium, betrayed all he worked and believed in, sides with Odium... And becomes inhuman monster nobody will lose any sleep over getting rid of. Seriously, what the hell? 

    Rayse. Similar complaint of setting someone up for one thing then just conveniently cutting out: Rayse. He's been set up, multiple times, in multiple books, by multiple characters, as the Big Bad (or at least close to it).

    [...]

    And after all that build up of Rayse and what he turned out to be... How am I supposed to believe Taravangian, the newest of the Vessels, is going to be any threat at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    While I kind of agree on Amaram, I don't on Rayse--but it's useful for me to read this sort of thing.

    The goal with Amaram was to finally let him be the monster on the outside he was on the inside--and so the sequence felt thematically right to me in outlining and writing. Since the publication, though, I've walked back this opinion somewhat. While the sequence works as intended, it's not quite right, and if I were doing the book over I'd try something different.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    LareaMartell

    Can you tell me what the Alethi word for "peace" is, so I can make a glyph out of it? I'd love to use it for a personal project.

    edit: is it Ororo? Since Adolin's name is made up of "adoda", meaning light, and the suffix "lin" meaning, son of. And Oroden means child of light, So that would make "den" the suffix here, and thus oro the first half of the word for peace, if i'm correct, leading to Ororo?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you are correct, though the Alethi would probably write it and use it in names as Oroho, pronounced "Or-oh-ho." But you could write it either way, or simply as Oro.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    CompetitiveCell

    In Stormlight, we are presented with a society which is fundamentally unjust in its workings. Whether we see the darkeyes/ lighteyes divide as an analogy for race or class, it forms a caste system wherein the privileged caste is able to imprison, kill or enslave the oppressed caste without cause or trial (Kaladin and his first squad, Moash’s grandparents).

    ...

    The message is not improved by the subsequent arcs of Moash and Kaladin. By RoW, Kaladin has given up most of his class based outlook and integrated into the privileged caste, as a de jure lighteyes. Meanwhile, Moash’s anger at an unjust system is shown as playing a significant role in his eventual corruption by Odium, eventually reducing him to a child kicking caricature.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will say this: in my opinion, one of the important parts of creating a sympathetic protagonist is to make certain the things they're saying, the things they're worried about, or the things they're advocating for have a real foundation to them.

    The problems with Moash are not the things he finds unjust in the system. And you should be uncomfortable with the momentum a historically tyrannical system has, and the sway it has over characters we like among the Radiants. I believe Wit had something to say about this in the last book.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    TXPX

    I just wanted to ask you if the Elantris sequels are still in the pipeline between SA 5 and 6 or is Mistborn era 3 the only thing in that timeframe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to have to see. My goal is to write Mistborn era three straight through, without publishing the first one until the last one is done. If so, I'll need a break between books, but I don't know if I can squeeze Elantris sequels in there or not. I plan to try, but we'll see.

    Cann0nFodd3r

    Any reason why you are going with that strategy for Era 3?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I feel that the method I used for the original trilogy lent it some interesting advantages. I want to try the process again, and see if it works for me the same way. Mostly, I like experimenting with different kinds of story-making processes, and this is a good opportunity to play with this one again.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    ArgentSun

    Can you tell us who the [Skyward] novella characters are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I want to make certain Janci is comfortable with me talking about the novella characters before I announce it. I'll chat with her, and maybe put it in the next update document.

    YouTube Livestream 29 ()
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    Annabelle

    Would you consider writing a short story about Wayne's origins?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't generally do this. The reason being that I construct stories, generally, in such a way, particularly a story like Wayne's story that starts a little in media res, and he's already had quite a bit of life experience and foundational things... I construct a story knowing that I'm going to give you touchstone moments for that character's narrative in a way that indicate to you what happened in the past. And with Wayne, I feel like I've done a pretty good job of that. There's still a little bit more for the next book, but I feel like if I were to go back and tell this story, it would be like going back and telling Rashek's story or Alendi's story from the Mistborn series. Where the epigraphs are there to give you the story, and if I wrote it out, it would just be really repetitive to things I've already done.

    The characters that I'm more likely to write short stories or novellas about are ones where there just isn't room in the narrative to dig into something deep about their character. Rock is an excellent example of this, from the Stormlight books. There's just not room. Which is why I plan to write a Rock novella. Be like, "All right, let's really dig into who Rock is, his past, and stuff like that." Because you just don't get those answers. With Wayne, I feel like I have given the answers in such a way that if I did more, it would be boring.

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    Laura Burnham

    Which of your characters annoys you the most? Whether that's intentional annoyance, or otherwise.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right now, it's <Chet>, because getting him right has been really annoying in writing the third Skyward book. (You'll know about that much later on, theoretically.)

    Who annoys me the most? I always like writing Hoid, but he is annoying to write. So I'll go with Hoid.

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    Brendan

    In the beginning of Way of Kings, Szeth Lashes himself to the wall at the end of the corridor, turning it into something like a deep well, then he Lashes himself back to the floor. So is gravity not necessarily a thing in Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is. It is indeed a thing in Roshar. A Lashing overrides gravity. This is kind of a weird thing that I built that honestly drives, I think, my continuity people a little crazy. Because the way that I work Lashings, I didn't always want to have to say that "you're lashing them upward one gravitational force and then in a direction at the same time"; basically, to negate gravity and then send them a direction. So I just said, "You know what? This is working kind of on a Spiritual Realm level, where it's overriding gravity's pull and kind of convincing the body it's being pulled in a different direction." That is kind of what the mechanics are doing. So when you Lash toward the end of the hallway (you Lash in a direction, usually), then gravity is overriden, and you are pulled in a specific direction instead.

    What Szeth is doing there, when he's Lashing himself back downward, he could cancel the Lashing. But he just gets into this mindset... You'll see most of the characters do this. It's kind of functionally identical. But that they kind of, like... "Which direction is down" is not really important to the person while they are using their Lashings and where gravity would pull them. They just are gonna be precise and be like, "I'm gonna go that direction, there." And just kind of get in the mindset of working that way. So I would say that for someone using Lashings, gravity doesn't really matter; or it matters entirely too much.

    Where building it that way has led us is, when you want someone to just hover, what do you do? How do you indicate someone is becoming weightless? By those mechanics, you use a half Lashing upward. So that you're still pulled down half as much by gravity, but you're pulled upward half as much. There are other ways you could achieve it, but that's how I often have people talk about it. So if you remember that a Lashing is overriding gravity, it's replacing it, it's not additive; then that helps a little bit with understanding how Lashings work. I still like it this way because it's a lot more elegant to describe. But when you break down the mechanics of it, it is a little bit harder to wrap your mind around.

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    Kozmelt Isthai

    If someone made a video game based on your books, would you like them to cover the same plots? Or create new stories in the same world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the book, honestly. I feel like Stormlight would be different from Mistborn in that regard. In Stormlight, I feel like I would want to have it be a story from the books; but maybe not one of the main stories, like delve into some of the Herald stories, or things like that. Where Mistborn, I feel like Mistborn is better off not doing the main story of the books. That's just because... Boy, I don't know. I'm not even sure if I can explain why; I think it's just a taste thing. In general, I think overall, I would err on something that isn't explicit in the books but has been mentioned for either of those, but I'd probably go a little further afield in Mistborn and stay a little closer to the characters in Stormlight that have already been mentioned, and things like that. And that might just have to do with the fact that Stormlight is pretty expansive, and I've touched all parts of the world. Whereas Mistborn, I haven't explored it as much, and it's narrowly focused on this one group of of people. (Two groups, depending on your era.) It's a good question.

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    Jeremy

    Your work on the lore of the cosmere is immense. How much have you had to figure out ahead of time? How much do you develop on the fly while writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the situation. I do some of both. Mostly, the on-the-fly stuff is where I realize that there is a hole in my understanding where I'm like, "I didn't account for this." And you'll see this when fans ask me questions; I'd say a good half the time or more, they ask a question, I'm like, "I didn't account for that. Let me think..." This is why I like having foundational principles of how the cosmere works, rather than focusing on little details. (Which, a lot of those, I'm deciding on as I'm writing.) I try to get these really solid foundations so that the little details answer themselves, if that makes sense.

    I've heard people talk about this with characters. Like, instead of deciding when you're building a character what their favorite color is, decide who they are, decide the personality, decide the foundational moments in their life. So when someone asks you a question that you haven't anticipated, it makes sense; there's only one way you could answer. "Well, of course their favorite color is blue, because that's the color of the uniforms of the soldiers that saved them when they were a young child, so they're gonna pick that color." That sort of thing for worldbuilding works really well, too. When someone asks an off-the-wall question, you can say, "Well, the mechanics are like this, this, and this. So that leads me to have an answer that is this." That you get into more trouble when you assume that's the case, but then when you think about it later, you're like, "No, that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be that way," and you can go a different way. But that's how I try to do it.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
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    Matthew

    Have you ever talked with another author and found a fun opportunity to drop a small easter egg in each others' universes? Something small that only big fans of both would notice?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't ever done this yet, I don't believe. I know of friends doing it. The closest I've gotten is just kind of dropping my friends into my books in little cameos. I would totally be on-board for doing this, but I just haven't had the chance, haven't had the right thing. I mean, I've done it in my own works; there's a line in Alcatraz where I'm proving how bad a person a character is using great rhetoric and exaggeration, and I believe one of them says "she killed Asmodean!" or something like that, which is a reference to the Wheel of Time (which I also worked on). But I don't think I've done it with another person's books. I haven't done a cool thing like where E.T.'s race shows up in Episode [I] of Star Wars, or something like that. It would be a lot of fun to do something like that. The reason it's so fun in Star Wars is because we know that those two are friends; Lucas and Spielberg have worked on many things together, so there's just something kind of wholesome about that. Where if I dropped a reference to E.T. in my book, it'd be fun; but it's not the same sort of "here's my friend's cool science fiction story showing up crossing over with mine."

    The trick is, I don't want to break immersion in the Cosmere, and I've been very careful to try to not do that. That doesn't mean I don't stick my friends in the books though, and things, so I'm sure we could find a place for something like this. I just wouldn't want it to draw too much attention, to break immersion.

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    Questioner

    Which Cosmere character would make the best political candidate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Here's the thing. Best candidate is not the same as best... Who would be best in the office? Because Taravangian could probably do a really good job of running a candidacy. Jasnah could probably do a really good job in the right circumstances.

    If I had to put one completely in charge? Sazed is a good choice. And he would be my default choice. Sazed would never run for the office. But he is a good choice.

    We joke the best politicians are those who don't want it; I don't know that that's actually true. I think that there are definitely people who could very much want it, and that wanting it is an advantage. I joke that I'm gonna vote for Emily's dad, who is just a good person, but he would never want to be President. And I don't know if he would actually make a good President because of that. And there is something to be said for political experience, experience being in the public eye, and being the type of person who seeks it out because you know you can deal with it, because it is not easy to be in the public eye (even as a novelist who writes stories about knights who live in space, or whatever). It can be difficult. Someone who's self-selected can be a bad thing, but it can also be a really good thing, I think. So somebody who wants it, who understands how politics works, and things like that. And in that case, Jasnah becomes a better choice, because Jasnah can navigate those political systems and can be in the public eye and make difficult decisions, but also has a moral grounding for the things that she's deciding.

    But Jasnah's also a little dangerous. The scene in Book One with Jasnah and the thieves is supposed to make you a little worried about the way that Jasnah views power.

    Sarene, she would be a good choice after she's had a little more experience. She's not as good as she thinks she is, is the problem with Sarene.

    Elend is a good choice. Elend is a political theorist, and particularly if you get him at the right point after some world experience has forced him to see some other perspectives, he might actually be the single best choice, now that I think about it, to just make into President.

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    Bradley Culvert

    If you could be given one object from your books and brought into the real world, what would it be? And why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Bands of Mourning would be pretty handy. They might be the single most powerful object that is an actual object. Unless you count, like, the Well of Ascension. I don't know; the Well of Ascension's, like, less an object. The Bands of Mourning might be it, though I'd be hard-pressed not to pick a living Shardblade, assuming that they could turn back into the spren. If having a living Shardblade meant that the spren came through and could bond with me and I could have my own cool spren and Shardblade, that would be pretty awesome, even if I couldn't get a hold of Stormlight to power it, that would be pretty cool.

    Adam Horne

    You wouldn't bring Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think I would bring Nightblood here, no. I do not think that I would bring Nightblood here.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
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    LewsTherinTelescope

    Is Investiture with its deep, inherent connection to sounds/tones/rhythms inspired by a sort of magical version of string theory and its idea of vibrating strings making up everything?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I would say yes. A direct inspiration. (In my own goofy way, as I tend to do.)

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
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    Wish Brown

    How often do you wish you could go back and change something in one of your published works? Even something as small as a piece of dialogue or the name of a character or place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I go back and forth on this. At the end of the day, I've kind of settled on "I'm fine not changing things." We do change things; every time we do an update for, like, a leatherbound or something, there are little continuity things we are going to tweak here and there, and I've talked about them kind of at length on stream. Way of Kings, we cut out a few of the references where I had made metaphors to things that characters in-world just wouldn't make metaphors to, because I had not written in Roshar long enough to really settle into how to use the language right for them. So that sort of stuff.

    Large-scale changes, though, I've kind of decided that the books have to remain a snapshot of who I was when I wrote them and not become a continual work in progress, constantly having fundamental style and narrative changes. The artist in me wants to. Totally wants to. Wishes that that were normal for books. But the fans need to be able to rely on... if they've got a first edition copy of Way of Kings, that things are not going to fundamentally change between editions. A line here or there might get tweaked to work better or to fix continuity errors, but it's still gonna be the same book. And I kind of just have to accept that as an artist. Creating this large-scale thing that is the Cosmere, there's gotta be both give and take here. The give from me is: acknowledging some of the earlier books will end up being the weakest as I get better as a writer and as I understand what to do with the Cosmere. But the take is that I can kind of continue to give context to those earlier books by developing the rest of the Cosmere in interesting ways.

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    Ben

    Was there any trepidation before putting a graphic novel in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and no. Basically, it was the trepidation of: "We want to do graphic novels, but we haven't done them before. So how's it gonna work? Can we do it?" These sorts of things. It was less worrying about the cosmere, and more just worrying if we were gonna do a great graphic novel.

    And I think it was a learning experience. I don't think White Sand turned out great. I think the revisions that Isaac's doing in putting the omnibus together hopefully will get there, but that's as much our fault as it is the fault of the people who made it. Like, Rik Hoskin (who wrote it) was fantastic; we really enjoyed working with him. And all the people at Dynamite were great. It just didn't convey Sanderson-style worldbuilding in the way that the novel does. But we're hoping that the omnibus (Isaac's put a lot of work into the omnibus) will do that.

    And I think that my opinion on it is kind of shared. If you go on Goodreads, the responses are: "Eh. It's okay." Which is not what we want to have. But I don't know that it was trepidation for the cosmere as much as us knowing "graphic novels are gonna take some work." Dark One is just a lot better; and hopefully the White Sand omnibus will be up to that level of quality.

    I do appreciate those who supported it, because it's basically you financing us figuring out how to do this, and hopefully then eventually learning how to get you more cosmere stories in different formats. It would have been much safer to pick one of my novels that was already out and finished and do an adaptation (which is what people normally do), but it just wasn't interesting to us. We want to be telling new stories, not telling the same stories over and over again.

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    Rick

    Was Lasting Integrity inspired by Escher, or the movie Inception, or something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm sure that both Escher and Inception had a role in that. Absolutely. Though, curiously, I was writing these weird walk-on-the-walls things long before I saw Inception, so it's probably both kind of reaching toward the same dream-like state. One of my earliest stories involved this surface-specific-gravity stuff, and I read a little bit from a later story that did the same thing. (The story I read at the launch party, The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora.) That dream-like quality. I wanted something about Lasting Integrity that said, when you got to it, "This is just not part of our world. This doesn't feel like it could be in the real world. The laws of physics are different here. And it's inhabited by beings that see the laws of physics in a different way." And that was what I was reaching for in creating that situation. Where my inspirations were? Probably all over the place. But Escher is definitely an inspiration there. And some of those descriptions in the Harry Potter books, of how the stairwells in Hogwarts work, I'm sure, were partially inspirations.