Recent entries

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
    #451 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fifteen

    I've been waiting for you guys to read this one, as it has some of my favorite moments in the first part. From the conversation with Rlain, and me finally being able to talk about some of the mechanics that let the Listeners survive on the Shattered Plains, to--of course--being able to write a fight using Awakening for the first time in a while. I also enjoy writing about Kaladin through the eye of someone like Zahel, as it gives me some interesting opportunities.

    Obviously, I'm pushing (again) the boundaries of what a reader can be expected to remember/know about the cosmere to enjoy these books.

    It's my opinion that thinking "Zahel can do weird, mysterious stuff I don't understand" is all right for those readers who don't have a larger cosmere experience. In fact, I'm confident that even if Warbreaker hadn't been released, I'd be writing scenes like this in the same way. It's a common trope in fantasy for the powerful figure, like Gandalf, to do things that seem outside the rules everyone else has to follow. One thing I like about having the cosmere to play with as a creator is that it lets me do scenes like this, which both are mysterious but also fully explained by the greater magic system, if you want to dig into it.

    I will say that Zahel is making an informed guess about Szeth in this chapter. He doesn't know 100%.

    This is your last relatively cosmere-aware chapter for the previews, I'm afraid. There are a few more similar to this much later in the book.

    Miscellaneous 2020 ()
    #452 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Writing the climactic sequence of Rhythm of War was the culmination of decades of planning and hoping. “It’s one of the big touchstone moments from when I built the outline all those years ago. When I was first trying to break in, I wrote so many first novels,” he says. “You can’t sell book three of a series if a publisher rejected book one, which meant I was creating all these outlines for huge series I never got to write. Young Brandon wished he could write some of the cool things he’d imagined for later books. This one I actually got to execute, and it was so satisfying. I finally got to a book four.”

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #455 Copy

    Badger1289

    If Investiture can’t be moved beyond a certain point away from its world/solar system, how in the Cosmere did three Awakeners end up on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Investiture from different systems acts in different ways. Certain people have managed, for example, to get some kinds of Investiture to leave their home world through the use of a kind of magical pipeline. Breaths attach to the identity of the individual, and are fully given away--freely, which removes some of this Connection. It's a nature of Endowment that the gift is given without strings attached, so to speak. But while it's a renewable resource, it's a difficult one.

    Roshar is extra "sticky" so to speak with Investiture. It's part of the nature of Honor, Cultivation, and oaths. So getting it off is a problem, though collecting it is not.

    Echono

    Wouldn't consuming it also be a problem? You need a direct or secondary Bond to take in Stormlight Investiture. It's not like metals or Breaths that anyone could absorb. Although a certain grouchy ardent might have found a way...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are right in that Stormlight is more being seen as a power source, since certain systems in the cosmere can work on a variety of different kinds. Not just anyone could make use of it, at least not unless it is refined.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #456 Copy

    Mycroft_canner

    I was wondering why you chose to only mention worlds we already know about? If you were okay with readers being in the dark on these things, why not mention places we don’t understand yet in order to keep everyone in the dark? As it stands, it just rewards super fans at this point (which increases the pressure to go read everything).

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do mention things you don't know about, quite often. It's either that there isn't context, so people don't latch onto them, or people ask me a lot about what they mean.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #457 Copy

    TheBurningDusk

    How do artifabrians cut the rubies in half? Do they use a Shardblade? As far as I understand, gemstones don't exactly get sliced very well because of how hard and brittle they are.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO--but answered (I think) in this book.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #458 Copy

    Hairu_Caul

    The problems of transporting investiture reminded me of asymptotic freedom a lot, is an analog of that at work in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say yes, but with fair warning that I am not an expert on quantum mechanics.

    manugutito

    Regarding this, I remember asking a question a while back about a chapter's annotation of two ardents measuring some flamespren's sizes, where sizes are fixed once measured (like real-life projective measurements in quantum mechanics). And then the annotation with Navani stating that flamespren are trapped and then the gem divided and used for conjoined fabrials, which sounds a lot like entanglement and/or cat states. So I'd say you may not be an expert but you sure know enough to at least make this a fun read for a physicist!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've joked before that the way I treat Quantum mechanics in some of these spren relationships is the way that people THINK quantum mechanics work. But I did use some intentional entanglement language in the explanation I think you're referencing. (If it's the place where she's explaining something similar to the famous two marbles in a bag thought experiment for explaining entanglement.)

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #459 Copy

    jurble

    Maybe I'm seeing things but it seems like this chapter is reinforcing to the reader that Kaladin is special amongst the Radiants as well? Or maybe that's just me seeing it like that as a Kaladin-fanboy. I'm a sucker for traditional heroes (and being moody hardly disqualified Achilles from being a hero after all).

    Brandon Sanderson

    Every one of the main characters I've chosen to focus on has a kind of special relationship with the narrative and the Radiant Oaths, Kaladin included. But I wouldn't say that he is more so than Dalinar, Jasnah, Szeth, or Shallan.

    Echono

    Interesting, since the Oaths seemed designed to push people to be their ideal selves. Literally power from character growth. Are you saying not all radiants would have this same personal journey tied to them the way our main cast does? Some of the new Windrunners like Lopen are growing, but don't seem to have to overcome the same personal milestones the way Kaladin does. Relatedly, are the these Oaths simply a 'natural' extension of the spren that initiate them, or are they specifically designed to groom (er, cultivate even?) the Radiant to a new self?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm more saying, for example, that Kaladin founded the Windrunners. It doesn't mean the others aren't growing, but he has a special relation with the narrative in that he the reason a lot of other people are Radiants. Likewise, Dalinar (as a bondsmith) has a very different relationship with the narrative than, say, Lopen.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #460 Copy

    theomnilurk

    Are there any cosmere books you’d recommend reading/rereading before RoW comes out? For instance, Vivian from Warbreaker appears in Oathbringer, so, those who don’t know that character would benefit from reading Warbreaker before Oathbringer.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think there is anything in this book on the level of that from Oathbringer, so I'd say no right now. In general, Stormlight readers will need to be aware there is a universe out there, but I try to put the knowledge they need to know in these books themeselves, not requiring external knowledge.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #461 Copy

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Something I've been curious about: will Liar of Partinel be released as a Sanderson Curiosity eventually? I noticed that in the stream a while back where you listed your unpublished books, you didn't list it among them.

    Also, you gave four approximate sort of "quality tiers", of

    1. Decent but not great: White Sand, Aether, WoKP, Dragonsteel Prime
    2. Readable but not good: Final Empire Prime, Mistborn Prime
    3. Bad but not horrible: Knight Life, Star's End, Sixth Incarnation of Pandora
    4. Just plain terrible: White Sand Prime/Lord Mastrell, Mythwalker

    Which tier would Liar be in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Liar would be #2, I'd think. Problem is, it's close enough to continuity (having been written after I'd outlined the cosmere) that I wouldn't want to actually release it until after I've done the actual Hoid backstory book. I've changed some dramatic things about how I want to present the story, so it would be bad to release this one.

    We've reached a point where Dragonsteel, however, wouldn't be a spoiler. So I'm tempted to release that one in the next kickstarter. I've been kicking around the idea of an actual revision of White Sand, to make it publishable, and release that as an actual cannon novel. It's the only one that could happen to.

    ItchyDoggg

    Does this mean there is no chance of a cannon version of Aether of Night ever being published? I really enjoyed it and think a fully polished version would be fantastic.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is unlikely, but not impossible. Aether could be made cannon with only slight changes--but it doesn't fit into the larger cosmere story any longer, so I don't know of how much interest it would be.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    To clarify, you're referring to the actual Aether of Night novel, not the future rewritten Aether books that you've mentioned before, right? Or are those not likely anymore either?

    Since Aether of Night could be canon with slight changes, I assume the Aethers in the book will be mostly canon as they are, at least in your current outline?

    If you were to revise Aether to be canon, would you be replacing Ruin and Preservation with two other Shards, or would you be more likely to just remove Ruin convincing the Twins to imprison Preservation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Future Aether books are very likely. And the aethers themselves are going to be very like the ones in the book.

    If I did try to make it cannon, I'd probably remove the whole Shard plot from the book and instead either use another Shard, or not add a new one, since the Aethers (as I have them now in the notes) function without a Shard's involvement, and even predate the shattering. (Note, that's not yet canon.)

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #462 Copy

    dce42

    Since it seems like the sibling is more "dead" than sleeping, is the event that caused this to occur from a certain Bondsmith breaking Odium's surges from the Parsh?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO!

    dce42

    Is it more of a 4/5 RAFO, or a 6-10 RAFO?

    Brandon Sanderson

    4/5 RAFO, I'd say.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #465 Copy

    CephandriusTW

    Would it be correct to speak of Vyre and Moash like only one person? I mean, they actually look like different people.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are one person, but his identity is a little wonky at times.

    CompetitiveCell

    Does that mean Moash has dissociative tendencies similar to Shallan? Vyre mouthing off to the Fused is very different from Moash being dead inside in Oathbringer

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, this is more about whether he sees himself still as Moash and such. It will be more clear as the book progresses.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #466 Copy

    LewsTherinTelescope

    When Leshwi says Lezian has gone six thousand years and never failed to hunt down his killers, does that mean it's been six thousand years since his first death to a human? Six thousand years since the First Desolation? Or does it mean six thousand years prior to Aharietiam, since he hasn't exactly done much pursuing of normal humans while on Braize for 4.5k years?

    (The first seems more likely to me from the wording, but if he's been on Braize for 4.5k years, he hasn't done anywhere near 6k years of pursuing.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's the first. And yes, he's spent a LONG time not pursuing. But that's the sort of thing the Fused gloss over when talking about something like this.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Was this first death to a human during the First Desolation? It seems the Fused didn't have Surges at that time, so I imagine a normal human killing one wouldn't be much more difficult than killing a normal singer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO on that one! Can't say too much about those days for a few more years.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #467 Copy

    Ketamine

    So the total number of the Fused is around 100. Is Odium unwilling or unable to create new Fused?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is able, but so far hasn't. Also, there are more than 100 Fused.

    Ketamine

    I got 100 from the following sentence from Chapter 14:

    Other Voices were gathering. There were some thirty of them—she’d been led to believe that there would be as many as a hundred, once all the Fused were awake.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A hundred voices, representing Fused important enough to deserve a place in this meeting. Fused below Leshwi's rank wouldn't have a voice. Easy mistake to make--maybe something I should have tweaked in drafting to make more clear.

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
    #469 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fourteen

    One of the themes of some of my unpublished books was the nature of immortality. I've always been fascinated by the idea, and some of its implications. I think about how shadowy in my mind events of some ten years ago are, and I wonder what would happen if we lived centuries, instead of decades, in lifespan. How would we adapt? How would our physical apparatus (like our brains) adapt to something like that? Like a car built to drive 200,000 miles instead being kept going for many times that.

    As an aside, one of the more fun stories I've read dealing with this idea is the excellent 17776, which you really have to experience, since it defies explanation.

    I enjoyed writing this chapter, and many in this book, as the series is finally in a place where I can start delving into the personalities and attitudes of the fused. I can't say a whole lot more about that yet, but suffice it to say that I'm excited for you to get the whole book.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #470 Copy

    Songstream

    Q1: Can synthetic diamond contain Stormlight?

    Q2: if yes, can a perfect gemstone that never loses Stormlight be made of synthetic material?

    Q3: Has anyone already tried bringing synthetic diamond to Roshar at this point?

    Q4: Is the increasing heaviness caused by Connection limited to Shadesmar, or does it also apply to the Physical Realm?

    Q5: Will Mraize ever say, “He who controls the Stormlight controls the Cosmere”?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Answer to one is yes. Answer to two is, "Never is a LONG time." Three is not yet. I'll RAFO the other two.

    VergenceScatter

    Do diamonds have to be clear to hold Investiture, or can they be of any color?

    Brandon Sanderson

    On Roshar, part of the definition of a diamond would be that it's clear.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #473 Copy

    alercah

    I know Nightblood was written specifically as a sort of prequel, but isn't that a bit of a violation of keeping them self-contained?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is. Warbreaker has always been a little bit of a special exception, because of the circumstances of writing it.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #474 Copy

    donethemath

    Do you have Beta readers that have only read some of your Cosmere works? Like, do you have people that are exclusively Stormlight Archives or exclusively Mistborn? It seems like it would be useful for this kind of information exposure, but I have a hard time imagining someone that you'd trust to read the books early that would be willing to not touch some of your other books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I do. I also rely on a few more casual readers in my writing group, who don't keep up to date on everything happening in the books (and don't reread before we get back to a world) to help me judge what will be confusing to the fans who don't keep track as meticulously. I want the books to work on both levels, if possible.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #475 Copy

    Dalinarium

    Radiants are bound to Roshar because of spren, but does it apply to Dalinar's ability to open the perpendicularity? If we assume that's not a Bondsmith ability, but somehow a Shard power can Dalinar open Honor's perpendicularity on another planet?

    donethemath

    I don't think Dalinar's ability will have any impact on him being more likely to leave. Opening the perpendicularity creates a path from the Physical Realm to the Cognitive and Spiritual Realm, but it doesn't change the person's location. Going through the perpendicularity doesn't get someone further away from Roshar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is correct.

    Dalinarium

    If Dalinar ascended as Honor (assuming reuniting Honor is ppssible), would this new Shard tied to Roshar like certain Shard from Mistborn, or he will be able to leave Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the circumstances. Most likely he could leave.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #477 Copy

    Sacae-

    My small question. With his [Mraize's] goals kind of explained here having to do with Stormlight and moving it. Is he aware of Lifts relationship with Investive and Stormlight? She’s like a renewable battery if he could get her off the prison! Get her off. Get her to eat. Stormlight anywhere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is aware of Lift, and is very curious about her. But she isn't able to produce on the scale he wants. One person who could charge batteries by touching them would certainly be cool--but if you're goal is to (say) dominate and monopolize the battery distribution to all of America, that person would be more of a curiosity (scientific implications aside) than a huge asset.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #478 Copy

    Sacae-

    As a Stormlight reader who has only read one Mistborn book (the first) and am only comsere aware through soaking things in from Stormlight. I have to say you walking that tightrope nicely here. It’s intriguing without feeling like I’m out of the loop and it for sure fuels me with interesting things are in the background.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm glad that the tightrope is working for you. You picked up on everything you need to know--there are other planets, and being able to provide Stormlight to them (as a cheap, renewable version of magical energy) would be valuable. So the Ghostbloods are interested.

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
    #479 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Thirteen

    Most of you probably know that it has been important to me to keep the cosmere behind-the-scenes for most of the book series. I don't want a person to have to track all the different books in order to enjoy the one they're currently reading.

    The large-scale plan for the books, however, has them slowly converging toward certain events in the future. Less "cross-overs" and more that the nature of what I'm creating is about different worlds who share a background, history, and (eventually) future.

    So we're slowly moving out of what I'd call the "each series separate" era of the cosmere and into the "careful mixing" era. The goal for these books will be to still make it that you don't feel you need to remember everything, or need to follow everything. I hope to be able to walk this particular tightrope in such a way that someone who has never read any of the other cosmere books doesn't feel left out--but rather, that there are mysterious and interesting things happening, but the core stories still make sense. However, if I want to lay the groundwork for what I eventually want to do, it will require more bleed-over than I've allowed in the past.

    This chapter is one of those that illustrates this new philosophy on my part--the "let them mix, but try to do it in a way that doesn't undermine the integrity of the series" philosophy. We'll see how well I manage it. FYI, Chapter Fifteen goes even a little further in this area than this chapter did. (Though don't expect full-blown cross-contamination between the series until the space age Cosmere era, which is still a ways off.)

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #481 Copy

    mazzeleczzare

    I’m curious if you’d ever consider going into writing for graphic novels? I never considered it until reading Saga by Brian K Vaughan and then sone thing clicked where I realized that the stories I want to tell are so visual and I think that is something your writing has down perfectly. I can’t help but picture Stormlight Archive as an anime or manga in the style of Full Metal Alchemist

    Brandon Sanderson

    An anime of Stormlight is very much on the table--seems more viable than doing a live action in many ways. I have been hesitant about doing straight graphic novel adaptations of my works, however, as I try to come up with things like Dark One that seem to fit the genre specifically.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #483 Copy

    roberto_sf

    Any news on the Mistborn screenplay? The progress bar no longer appears on your website

    Brandon Sanderson

    I finished the Treatment, but decided not to write the screenplay until some behind-the-scenes things played out further. It's all good news, internally, but there are some pieces to fit together. For example, I started a production company earlier in the year. I won't finance/make the film myself, of course, but it's the sort of step I wanted to take before going further with partners.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #484 Copy

    Cthaehen

    Can you maybe tell us something about how much of the text in this book is devoted to the happenings of the past year (especially with Dawnshard not being an absolute pre-requisite to understand RoW)? How much can we expect to see of Renarin's journey, because that's an important variable in Odium's plan? I guess with the word/page limit though, it would also make sense to portray the characters just dealing with the aftermath of the events.

    Brandon Sanderson

    From here out, not a TON is devoted to the past year. We get a lot more from Adolin on how he's feeling than from Renarin, but I did find time to slip a little Renarin in later in the book. And what is there does relate to the questions you are asking here.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #486 Copy

    Sacae-

    Rock isn't in this book after this and waiting for Novella for more of him - Im curious if it's possible he'd be showing up in book 5 interludes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am going to have to RAFO anything about Rock going forward, as to not interfere with his novella. (Which is likely to happen.)

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #488 Copy

    JuakoHawk

    Since you too acknowledge the massiveness of this world you built, have you ever considered letting some of your writing group pals or closest friends write short canon stories about any of the side characters in SA? Like an Arcanum Unbounded but with lots of stories from the POV of various side characters?

    It would be amazingly interesting, not only to get more info on some of our favorite characters, but it would let other styles of writing bleed in and mix among this wonderful world of yours (and we, as fans, get more Stormlight content without you having to burn out from writing all these side stories)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've been toying with this, and it's possible in the future, but we're taking baby steps. First will likely be Isaac (who is my art director and long time collaborator) who will probably be continuing the Taldain graphic novels, with a Khriss-focused story set on Darkside.

    At the same time, I'm planning to do a few more audio novellas like The Original where I collaborate with people like Dan Wells.

    Whether I do anything similar with Stormlight will really depend on what the readers think of these experiments. I would enjoy doing a book of canon stormlight short stories that are written by other people who want to explore characters that there isn't as much time for in the narrative--but I'd be very careful and cautious about it, and would want to ease into the idea by trying other properties first.

    yahasgaruna

    Is this the first you've talked about this? I was wondering the other day whether there had been any update to how the story from White Sand would move forward since the graphic novels have caught up with your prose novel.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It might be. It's something he wants to try, and I think it would be an excellent collaboration, since he's much better at visual storytelling than I am.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #489 Copy

    FuIIofDETERMINATION

    Can a spren turn into a wearable hat(conceptually, Syl’s dress being part of her body), or would the 4th ideal need to be sworn first?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible with the magic at Kaldin's current ideal, but not at the current skill/understanding level of most current Radiants.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #490 Copy

    _imagine_7

    One of those, however, is this: Venli doesn't see herself as a hero, nor is she interested in being one. Emotionally, she's not really about saying ideals. She feels she's the wrong person for whatever it is that has started to happen to her.

    It is good for the characters to be different so I don't have any problem with this. However, it seems as if she will speak the ideals over a long period of time because of this. We had a theory floating around that Venli can go to the cognitive realm for the escape. I guess she will either need to speak the third ideal (it looks like this will take time) or she will need help from someone else. Maybe BRDIGE 4?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    CephandriusTW

    Would Moash (not Vyre) be on her side if given the opportunity? I mean, would he empathize with her and understand her point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Moash and Vyre are not distinct personalities, so that part of the question isn't as relevant. However, I'd say that he wouldn't really care one way or the other about Venli's problems.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #491 Copy

    _imagine_7

    Was busy yesterday writing a picture book.

    Don't leave us with less info! What is it about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO for now. I want to show it around to some people first and see what they think. I'll tell you all what it's about if:

    A) It doesn't turn out to be good enough to publish professionally.

    or

    B) We get a deal for it.

    It is not cosmere, however. I wrote it in part to practice the format, as some day I'd like to do some of Hoid's stories (like the Girl who Looked Up) as picture books.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #493 Copy

    Neshuacadal

    Does the book [Rhythm of War] have only four main characters Kaladin, Shallan, Navani and Venli?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would consider Dalinar, Adolin, and Eshonai to be in that grouping as well. But it depends on your definition of main character. Jasnah gets multiple viewpoints in this book, for example, but not as many as the others. Taravangian gets a fair number too.

    Neshuacadal

    Thank you! My definition of main character...I mean, plenty viewpoints in each part of the book and role in main arc of the story. Only Kaladin, Venli, Navani, Shallan who were introduced in part 1 fit that definition. Unless someone else shows up in remaining chapters.

    I hoped for another Dalinar's book, because some other characters get multiple 'big books', but it won't happen, I guess?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Stormlight books, in order to contain the story, I limit the number of viewpoints per part. If you look back through the other ones, generally I'll alternate which characters get viewpoints in a given part.

    Dalinar still has a large role to play in the events of the series.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #494 Copy

    MistbornSynok

    So is the 4th Wax and Wayne book coming after Skyward 3 or after Skyward 4?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Skyward 3 will happen next, then Wax and Wayne 4. I realize people have been waiting for Wax and Wayne longer than they've been waiting for Skyward, and in a perfect world, I might do it next.

    However, there are two big things pushing me the other direction. First, my Skyward and Mistborn are different publishers--and I just delivered a Stormlight book to the Mistborn publisher. The Skyward publisher has been very patient and understanding, but I feel I need to make good on my promises to them too.

    Beyond that, I really like to alternate between projects. If I did Wax and Wayne 4 next, I'd be left with two Skyward books in a row. I'd rather split those up.

    That leaves us with Skyward 3, W&W4, Skyward 4, then Stormlight 5. That should, barring some kind of big problem, be the next four books I write. I've been doing well at moving random ideas I have (like the Original) into things like collaborations lately. This has both let me do some fun things (for example, I think The Original is better as a collaboration than it would have been if either of us had tried to write it alone) and save time to focus my attention on my main book projects.

    The nice thing about this is that it puts us in really good shape in 2023 with Stormlight 5 coming out. Since Alcatraz 6 is done, and Legion is finished, this means I'll have wrapped up every major arc I've been writing as we hit the halfway point of the cosmere.

    That will leave me free to dive into Mistborn era 3 and the Elantris sequels as the next "chunk" of books I write. But we shall see how things play out.

    AutumnWell

    I was wondering if you intend to write a novella set between Stormlight 5 and 6 to bridge the gap between the two arcs.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't have any current plans. Like the gap between books three and four (though, admittedly, longer) I have constructed the story so that the information is part of the narrative. To actually write it out would, I think, be anticlimactic--since you'll be getting plenty of it through context. To say more would stray into spoilers, so I'll leave it there.

    YidItOn

    Do you have plans for a sequel to "The Rithmatist" in the next chunk after Stormlight 5, or will it more likely be sometime after that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I keep telling myself I'll get to it, but still haven't found the right time. But I've always said that once Legion and Alcatraz are finished, it would be the last of the "loose end" series from the first part of my career that I want to tie up. So it's very much on my mind.

    meh84f

    What about Warbreaker 2? Is there any plan to write another book in that world? It seems like it’s set up for one and there’s a lot of questions raised by the characters worldhopping.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do plan to do it, but it's been perpetually in a "We'll see" in regards to when.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #495 Copy

    Sacae

    I'm waiting each preview chapter for even a line referring Lift (which has been great! With the Syl slang pick up and so forth.) and Im not expecting much else than a line or two like that - cause back five, I know, so just looking for the scraps so to speak. Just curious - if there are a few lines more in the Part One previews coming up or I got my fill.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a Lift interlude, which is your only viewpoint for her in this book I'm afraid. She makes one other brief appearance in this part, but don't expect much of her until later in the book.

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
    #496 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Eleven

    Dropped the ball a little on my annotation this week. Was busy yesterday writing a picture book. (Yes, I know. Look, I needed a break to do something different, all right? I'll let you all know if anything ever happens with it.)

    Anyway, on to Venli! As I said last week, this is kind of the true "Chapter One" to Rhythm of War. The Venli chapters in this book are second only to the Shallan chapters in the number and extent of the revisions I ended up doing. There was a fine balance to walk with her in a lot of ways, as will become more evident as the book progresses.

    One of those, however, is this: Venli doesn't see herself as a hero, nor is she interested in being one. Emotionally, she's not really about saying ideals. She feels she's the wrong person for whatever it is that has started to happen to her.

    This means there's a different tone between her and the other characters. What she mostly wants is to find a way to escape the powder keg she's gotten herself into, and while she DOES want to make amends for things she's done, I wanted her to feel more "normal person trapped in a strange situation" in many ways than someone like Kaladin.

    The fine line to walk here is that I didn't want her to come off petulant, or be too annoying. But I also didn't want her to come off as a gung-ho "let's be heroes" type. That's a delicate balance, because there's a danger because it's very easy for readers to resent her for not being as "on board" with the story as the other characters.

    It was worth the risk, and the likelihood that some people will just plain not like her viewpoints, for me because I feel it adds variety of perspectives to the story. It's good to have someone who feels trapped, in over their head. Someone who doesn't know the "right" thing to do, and is a little less proactive as a result. I like how authentic her viewpoints feel because of that.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #497 Copy

    hairyforehead

    How has no one asked Brandon what a Herdazian accent sounds like yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It wouldn't sound like anything we know. I give no instructions to audiobook readers on accents for that reason. However, I DO use our-world linguistics to build languages, and Herdazian is based on Spanish, with a heavy influence of mexican slang.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #498 Copy

    Sms231

    I'm surprised that ANY author today would do this, given that releasing an audio-only book [The Original] is discriminatory against Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals who can't use audiobooks.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sorry. The issue here is that the money to do these things is being put up by Audible and Recorded. The story literally wouldn't exist if they hadn't wanted material for their audible original lines.

    Maybe I could ask the publisher to make text versions available for hard of hearing people? Seems like a reasonable thing to ask. But being angry about this seems basically the same to me as being angry at an author for releasing a print only edition of a book, as it discriminates against blind people. The publisher is funding things for their platform--and it's an audiobook platform.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #499 Copy

    thrillofdarkness

    Is there going to be any Szeth in the book? I mean as far as main characters go his screen time seems to me to have been ridiculously short until now.

    I guess this is intentional on your part, to retain the mystery surrounding him and set him up somehow for book 5.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Afraid there's not a TON of Szeth. He does have a viewpoint, but it's an interlude. Other than that, he appears in several chapters and does a some very relevant things to the plot, but always through other viewpoints. You'll have to wait for Book Five for a larger chunk of Szeth, I'm afraid.

    You're right, I've intentionally been holding him back. I worried that too much Szeth too soon would undermine his flashbacks. I think it was wise; you'll see in this book that though the Venli flashbacks are still interesting, they're not as compelling as ones like Dalinar's, since you basically know Venli's entire backstory by this point. Just not the details. There's not a lot to explore or reveal that I can't do just as easily in her mainline viewpoints.

    I was careful in the outlines to front-load the flashbacks for the characters I knew would have a lot of screen time. Szeth has always been intended to get the fewest viewpoints of the main five characters.

    Kitchen_Abrocoma_297

    So Szeth won't be the one most prominently featured character in the main timeline in book 5, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He will have a larger part than he's had in most previous books.

    Kitchen_Abrocoma_297

    I am curious...how Szeth's role in book 3 could have played out if he were the focus character. Would his role increase or stay the same?

    Or Dalinar's role in book 5. Will those big chunks of his story still happen in book 5 or they were moved into book 3?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If Szeth had been the focus, we would have had all the stuff with his homeland in three--and then had to wait until 5 to get Dalinar's flashbacks. It COULD have worked, and by doing it this way, I had to kind of keep Szeth off the center stage in book four. But I am confident it was the right choice, as delaying longer on Dalinar would have felt like a worse stretch.

    Kitchen_Abrocoma_297

    Oh. So book 5 main timeline narrative for Dalinar will still happen because you moved only flashbacks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the main storyline stayed basically the same. You will see in Book Five why my initial feelings were that Dalinar's flashbacks would work there. Szeth's joining the Skybreakers would also have meshed well with his flashbacks, but I have instead enhanced the trip back to Shinovar to be longer instead.

    Note, however, that a LOT of things move around during writing. The Book Two Kaladin climax was originally outlined to happen at Urithiru, for example.

    LordColms

    Just curious, if you think that Venli doesn't have as much potential for the flashbacks as the others then why did you choose to focus an entire book on her?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the original outlines, I hadn't intended to go into as much depth as I ended up doing with Eshonai/Venli in books two and three. I realized quickly into writing the series that I couldn't wait that long to humanize the Parshendi. So I put a lot of the mystery of their culture and their motives into books two and three.

    That led me to deciding in this book to split the flashbacks between them, as I felt it added more variety to the flashbacks--as I had sacrificed some of the novelty that was originally going to distinguished the flashbacks for this book.