Recent entries

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1 Copy

    beewall

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    beewall

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #2 Copy

    Nazh8

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Miscellaneous 2020 ()
    #3 Copy

    Argent

    Hey Peter,   I've been meaning to ask you about this since Alice's article on the Heralds went up. In it, she lists each Herald's role (e.g. Jezrien is the King, Battar is the Counselor, Kalak is the Maker, etc.), and I noticed that those same roles were listed (but not used) in the Radiant Quiz as the archetypes for each Order. Some of these show up in the books, but a few don't, and the source for those appears to be an old old email from you. I wanted to know how canonical these are, and whether I can include them in the Coppermind (and if I can, it would be nice to know what they are - roles, titles, archetypes?)

    Peter Ahstrom

    These, along with Jester, are the names of the Photoshop layers for the faces on the chapter arches. Since the words themselves don’t really appear in the books, I couldn’t say that they’re canon. In our internal wiki we call them Face/Title. I don’t have an opinion on putting them in the Coppermind.
    Footnote: The roles, starting with Jezrien's and going clockwise, are: King, Judge, Guard, Healer, Scholar, Artist, Counselor, Maker, Soldier, and Priest.
    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #5 Copy

    Pixel-error

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

    Ben McSweeney

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

    Fans did that all by themselves.

    raltyinferno

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

    Ben McSweeney

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

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

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

    raltyinferno

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

    Ben McSweeney

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #6 Copy

    Ben McSweeney

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

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

    Iamsodarncool

    What are the exceptions?

    Ben McSweeney

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #7 Copy

    Kabsal

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #8 Copy

    JauntyLurker

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

    Peter Ahlstrom

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #9 Copy

    marethyu316

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

    Peter Ahlstrom

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

    marethyu316

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

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

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    https://wob.coppermind.net/events/175/#e8418

    Peter Ahlstrom

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #10 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Okhummyeah

    Oh "yet" that means i can still hope?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is always room for hope. :)

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #11 Copy

    Ben McSweeney

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    They keep going. Lashings are in a direction.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #12 Copy

    Metagross22

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #13 Copy

    Huffletough880

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #14 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

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

    JuakoHawk

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

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

    Beejsbj

    So the whole book is a sanderlanche?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

    UpperFlatworm

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    HervPrometheus

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is, though that moment happens near the end.

    aldayeah

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #15 Copy

    therealflyingtoastr

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

    Airships!

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

    jofwu

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

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

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #16 Copy

    PoisonousPlayupus

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

    Do you have an official designation for him?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #17 Copy

    calvinist-batman

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is RAFO territory for now.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #18 Copy

    dIvorrap

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #19 Copy

    tylerrhagan

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #20 Copy

    GungieBum

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #21 Copy

    majutsuko

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    jaxonflex

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

    Also was Taln going to remain dead?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    aldeayeah

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

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

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

    What's the deal with Meridas' mysterious past?

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

    I don't remember who performed the murder.

    ThurgreatMarshall

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #22 Copy

    Priddling

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

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #23 Copy

    sigismond0

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #24 Copy

    I_Go_By_Q

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

    Chris5176

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Chris5176

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #25 Copy

    ArgentSun

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

    TriggerWarning1337

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #27 Copy

    ProteanShard

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

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Dark One Q&A ()
    #28 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m almost 100% settled on the title for the novella. It’s not gonna be Wandersail. Because Wandersail implies that it has something to do with Wit’s story. Which it doesn’t; it’s just the name of the boat. So I have another name that’s actually much better that talks about what the story’s actually about. Once I’m sure that I like that, we’ll do an announcement on that.

    Dark One Q&A ()
    #29 Copy

    Questioner

    Would you be willing to take the Order Sorter quiz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did take the Order Sorter quiz. I can’t remember which one was on top; I was close in Elsecaller and Bondsmith. Which is where I would have placed myself. People say, “Who do you see yourself most as?” I’m kind of a Dalinar/Jasnah mix. It very closely sorted me into those two, and it’s when I said, “Isaac! You did a good job! It put me where I belong.”

    Dark One Q&A ()
    #31 Copy

    Jofwu

    Can you talk about the idea and inspiration for “The Narrative”? It reminds me heavily of The Wheel of Time’s Pattern, and I imagine it struck a special chord with you as an author of the Narratives.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Really, it is a balance between those two things. It is me wanting to do a magic system that has something to do with this modernist take on the narrative shaping who I am and my stories and my characters and things like that. Like Stranger Than Fiction. That is, obviously, one of the inspirations for this kind of thing. The Pattern is a very big inspiration as well for the Narrative. You nailed both of them, and also Stranger than Fiction, I would list as an inspiration.

    Dark One Q&A ()
    #32 Copy

    Questioner

    What form is a listener at birth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Listeners are technically dullform, but they kind of view it as childform. And it is vibrant and alive in a way that dullform, later on, is not. It dulls as you get older. The listeners, I think I have them hitting maturity, right now, at seven or eight. I don’t know if that works with the continuity. I just mentioned it in the lastest draft, so Peter and Karen will have to make sure that that’s in continuity.

    I don’t bring it up a lot, because it would be really weird to people. But I think, in these Venli sequences, in the flashbacks… I think Venli, right now, is probably fourteen. Because listeners mature, like… their eight is our sixteen. They just mature faster. But I don’t bring it up because it’s one of those things like the fact that I don’t often mention that Roshar has twenty-hour days, or I stay away from the five-day week. Just because it really kicks people out. You’ve gotta be really careful about how you write things like that. I’m like, “Venli is fourteen.” You’d be like, “What? Venli does not feel fourteen.” Well, she’s not fourteen; she’s fourteen for a listener. And some of these flashback sequences, she’s ten. But she’s gonna read like she’s sixteen or seventeen. Because that’s what she would be in maturity level for a human.

    It gets very sticky in those sorts of things. The answer is, they are dullform. But dullform acts differently with children.

    Dark One Q&A ()
    #33 Copy

    Questioner

    If you could choose three aspects to have with you, what would their specialties be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Languages. I would love to have an aspect that could help me interact with other people who speak different languages. People often ask, “What superpower would you have?” Being able to speak all languages would be among the coolest superpowers that I can imagine. Because I travel so much, because I interact with people from other cultures, and because I think language is so shapen of the way we see the world, that would be high on my list. Aspects who can do other languages: really handy.

    An aspect who was really, really good at continuity that could help me when I write something, the aspect would say, “You know, this is going to give Karen a huge headache later on for continuity. Maybe you should just change it to this. I’m sure Karen would be really happy.” Reading over my shoulder as I’m typing, like, “Nope. That character can’t be over there, because you said they were over here ten years ago. So this flashback, they can’t be in it.” Stuff like that would be really super-handy.

    Number three. I’ve got a linguist, and I’ve got an editor. Number three, a psychologist. I would go with an Ivy; a psychologist would be super handy.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Alexis

    How did the Knights Radiant treat their transgender members? Assuming that some underwent a physical transformation once they gained access to Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the past, you will find the Knights Radiant being way more progressive than the societies at large. They would treat the transgender person as the gender that they see themselves as being.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Now that you’re writing the Mistborn screenplay, what would be your ideal way to show emotional or non-physical Allomancy on the screen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m playing with a lot of different things. The screenplay right now, we’re using blue as a signifier that Allomancy’s being used. The blue lines work pretty well. Mostly, you’re gonna see a very faint blue line, and you’re gonna see the object that the person is pushing or pulling on flashing blue. That is your indication.

    And right now, I have someone’s eyes flash blue when they’ve been hit by emotional Allomancy. The problem with that is, it can’t be diegetic. It can’t be in-world; it has to be a thing for the audience. Which, non-diegetic music is fine. Everyone’s used to that in movies. But something like this, we may want to try to find a better way. But right now, that’s what we’re doing. That’s at least what the screenplay is. The person uses their power, someone’s eyes flash blue; they are being affected by emotional Allomancy. You now know. Again, I assume most people who watch the film will assume that’s diegetic. Which makes for problems and a huge weakness in emotional Allomancy that I don’t intend.

    It is a trick, right? To show, “How is someone using Allomancy?” I kind of want someone, when a Thug is lifting something and burning pewter, you’d be able to see. I have it written right now that blue veins move across their arms like lightning, being like, “They are using Allomancy to enhance their strength right now.”

    And it might be the answer, just make emotional Allomancy be diegetic. That it’s got this big weakness in the film version of the cosmere that it didn’t have in the books, in order to actually make it visual so that people can understand what’s going on. But there might be another answer.

    And remember, I am not going to be writing the screenplay. I am going to write a rough draft of the screenplay, and then I’m going to work with a real screenwriter to actually make it into a screenplay. My goal is just to get down on paper what things I think are justified and important changes to make from the book to the film, and what things I think still have to be there. My goal is that anyone I work with would be able to take this screenplay or treatment, look at it, and say, “I am willing to commit to any changes we would make to this being approved by you.”

    Because what they won’t do, is they won’t give me creative control. I don’t have enough power in Hollywood to get creative control over a film. J.K. Rowling got it. But Stephanie Meyer had to go to a second-string film studio to get it. And George Martin didn’t get it. That’s kind of your hierarchy. And I am below George; I’m probably actually where George was when he got that deal, I would say. I am in the category of, I don’t have enough power to demand this. I would have to be two ranks in popularity and influence more than I am, and I don’t think that is legitimately something we could wait to happen, because to get to Twilight or Harry Potter level popularity is just not something that you can count on. I don’t think you can count on getting to the level of popularity we’ve gotten to.

    So I think, moving forward, my goal is to find ways that I can work with the system. And I think that if they have a screenplay and a treatment, and they’re like, “All right. We can agree that this is good enough that if we have to make any changes to this, we will let you have approval.” Having them say, “Brandon has to have creative control” without any screenplay or thing like that, no one’s ever gonna give me. So that’s the main goal of this. The main goal is to say, “Here is Brandon’s vision. Are you willing to make Brandon’s vision as a film?”

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Unkalaki jobs are decided by birth order. Is this cultural? Or are there more significant reasons? Specifically, Rock can see spren other can’t and pull a Shardbow. Are either of those related to his birth order after the death of his siblings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, that is not related to his birth order. Most of what they do is cultural. I will dig into it deeply in the book Horneater, which will be the novella I write between Books Four and Five. So wait for that.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Has Odium interacted with any Shards other than Honor, Cultivation, Dominion, Devotion, Ambition, and Autonomy in a meaningful way post-Ascension. If so, which one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Very nice, specific question. RAFO.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    In future volumes, will we continue to see a hybrid of worlds? Or will the story progress to only the fantastic realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I intend there to be a balance. The third one is way more balanced on Mirandus, but the second one should have about an equal balance, maybe. This is gonna be up to, again, the authors and the artist. Because the novel is balanced a little more toward Mirandus than the outline is. So I would expect the second one, perhaps, to continue that. But the second season has an equal amount on Earth as Mirandus. Third one is weighted toward Mirandus.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    How come the Drull were never completely exterminated in the times between Dark Ones, given their low numbers and the fact that their war machines required the Dark One to work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My argument would be that: number one, when the wars are done, going out and fighting some more is not really high on people’s priority list. Trying to exterminate the Drull would be like trying to get people out of Afghanistan. It would not be easy, it would be very bloody, and it would require a lot of work. And you would have to do that after a large war has been fought, and everyone is tired of fighting.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    When Caligo did the thing he did in the end, was what happened with Paul an intended or unintended consequence of that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You should assume that most things that happen involving Caligo were things that Caligo wanted to happen.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Chaos

    Was “Peragator” supposed to be “Peragrator”? Peragrate means “to travel.”

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will have to look at that. I don’t know. I don’t think it was.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Chaos

    How much electricity stuff will we see later?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’ve left that up to the graphic novel writer and artist. Because there’s a lot of this in the outline, and it’s a really weird Brandon world, that those are harder for people to deal with than I’ve realized. Like, making that sort of thing work is one of my personal quirks. And they came to me (and actually Joe Straczynski came to me, too), and they’re like, “This is really hard to figure out what you wanted us to do with this.” And I said, “Just go your direction on that. I understand that this is a very weird Brandon-style world and magic system. I am okay if you downplay a little bit.” So that’s gonna be up to them, honestly. It is really weird. And I am okay with people… “weird” is the wrong term. It’s very individual to me, the way that I approach this.

    And you see it in White Sand, too, unfortunately. We had this same problem with White Sand. If you read the novel of White Sand, the worldbuilding is really out there in a lot of places. People are shooting water at each other and making beetle-shell armor and doing all kinds of wacky stuff in a very Brandon-style “we’re going to use the resources, economy, and worldbuilding of this place to really influence the way they have battle, the way they live their lives.” And that’s just really hard for someone to adapt. And I misjduged how hard that would be for someone to adapt on White Sand.

    And so, with Dark One, I’m letting them have some flexibility there. I wouldn’t expect it to go too much in the graphic novel.

    Isaac Stewart

    I would say that we might see hints of that in the future, where you can look at it and say, “Oh, this was Brandon’s weird world was the seed for certain things that may happen.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Teslatopia.

    Isaac Stewart

    I’ve talked to the writers a little bit about that. I think there are plans for smaller things, but I don’t know what the extent.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You’re not gonna get a Roshar style “every aspect of the world is built around the idea of the storms” sort of thing. It is just something that comes very naturally to me that is actually much harder than I realized it was.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Was there truly no Destined One during the time of Malmahan, or did something happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find out.

    Ah, Malmahan. I’ve been waiting forever to use that name. Because it has some fun biblical things. Anyway, we’ll just go there.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Alex

    Would it be better to create a weapon with one soul from a person with a forceful personality, or one with many souls of no particular importance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In this world, one forceful soul is generally gonna serve you better. Remember, power is a vague term. What is more powerful? I’ve joked about writing a book (I still want to do this some day, but it’s very far down the list) about the most powerful sword ever existed. It has 780 different powers. It’s full of the most powers. Almost all of them are useless. But it is technically the most power-full sword ever created.

    But you want one forceful soul. In this case, it’s gonna serve you way better. Maybe not necessarily in super raw power, but in nine out of ten times, you’re gonna want that one soul.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Argent

    How does the government of the Kingdoms of Light work? Does the Chronicle King rule them all himself? Is it a coalition? Are there vassals? And is the Dawncoast part of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, boy. I would have to go back to my… that is in my outline. I’m gonna have to speak from not having read the outline in, like, six months. I was looking at kind of a… I believe there’s this idea that when it comes to matters relating directly to the Dark One, the Narrative, and things like that, the Chronicle King becomes a kind of Speaker of the House, so to speak. A first among equals. And in other areas, they did not have to necessarily take the Chronicle King’s word. And I believe that is where we would go with that. I don’t think that got changed. But the actual details of how that work, I would have to pull out the outline and talk about it and refresh myself. That’s where I believe I went with it. The idea being: in matters of there being a threat and a Dark One and the Blasted Lands and all that, then you have to listen to the Chronicle King a little more than you normally would.

    Isaac Stewart

    I can at least answer one part of that question. At least when I was making the map and chatting with the writers, the intention was that Dawncoast is part of the Kingdoms of Light. It just happens to be around a part of the mountain range.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In versions one and two, there was a separate island that Paul was from that was not either part of the Blasted Lands or the Kingdoms of Light. And that, when he of course moved to being from Earth, vanished. But that did exist for a while.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Is the magic used in the Kingdom of Light also based on binding souls? Or does their magic work differently?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of their magic is going to be Narrative-based magic, rather than binding of souls. But they do have… let’s just say, not everyone in the Kingdoms of Light knows the stuff that Elarion is up to. And he may have access to some things that they would not be as happy, that he is using.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Paul’s desire not to be the bad guy, but bloodlines and destiny pulling him another way, reminds me of another way. Paul Atreides, from the novel Dune. Is it just a coincidence they are both named Paul? Or was there some inspiration from Dune?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There’s probably a subconscious influence. That wasn’t intentional, though.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    I believe Dark One started in the cosmere. Are there any elements in the current version that we can identify as cosmere-ish? For example, the Well of Sorrows feels like it could have been a Shardpool.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the Well of Sorrows got added during the cosmere part. So did Nikka being a ghost, when it was in the cosmere. She was, like, just a character until I did the cosmere version. And when I pulled it out, I left that. So, basically, Nikka the Cognitive Shadow is a cosmere leftover.

    When it was cosmere, Elarion the White Wizard was going to be using cosmere magics that you don’t need any Investiture to use, in order to be pulling off some of his tricks, which I thought was an amusing application. But since we moved it out he can have actual… I mean, the whole “Destined One” is something I wrote in to the most recent. That didn’t exist up until version four, that is the version you’re reading. Before that, he’d have a fabrial and be like, “Look, what a powerful wizard I am!” And then use it to do something, and they’d be like, “Wow!” But that got written out.

    Yes, there are some cosmere stuff there.