Recent entries

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5152 Copy

    MadhavDeval

    So, if Dalinar used Spiritual Adhesion to forge a bond between Sja-anat and Honor or Cultivation or whoever, then could Sja-anat corrupt a spren, an Odiumspren back to Honor or Cultivation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe. Nyeh...

    MadhavDeval

    What about the Fused?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Fused-- I mean, it's the same kind of thing, they're a Cognitive Shadow. Eh? Eh. I'm gonna give you an "Eh." on that one... I don't know how you write that on the forums.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5154 Copy

    Questioner

    It was actually really interesting, because I started reading Oathrbinger-- I'm a teacher, I teach philosophy, and I was actually using that with my students, which is interesting because it came out particularly randomly. Is there inspiration for some of the philosophy that goes in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a philosophy minor. There's a bunch of random philosophical-- yeah. It's all over the place.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5160 Copy

    Questioner

    We know Ati chose how Ruin was interpreted, in that he was a card-cackling maniac. Could someone so differently interpret a Shard as to change its name to be something different? Could someone pick up the Shard of Ruin and think I'm the Shard of Change? Or could someone pick up the Shard of Honor and think--

    Brandon Sanderson

    *hesitantly* Yes. To an extent. The interpretation, what you call a thing-- I think it would be arguable either way in-world, regardless of what they call themselves. There are those who would say the core intent is still there and you can't shift it that far, and others would argue you can shift it far enough to change the definition to a synonym. You see evidence of someone claiming this in the books. I'm not gonna confirm or deny for you whether that is actually a thing or not.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5161 Copy

    Questioner

    When you start planning your books, is there anything you start with? Is there always some sort of starting point, or do you start whenever an idea occurs and you run with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Every book is a combination of multiple ideas that are bouncing around in my head. And when they start sticking together, like when I've got an idea for a cool idea where "There's a storm all the time," mixing with "Hey, I want to tell this story about these ancient orders of knights." with "Ooh, this magic system might develop here." When these all start sticking together, that's what makes a book for me. And then I sit down and write out all the ideas I had, and then start I organize it into an outline.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5166 Copy

    Questioner

    From what little we know about the Willshapers, I'm really interested in them. Is there any really tiny tidbit about that Order you could tell us? Even really small?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the first Orders that I developed when I was building the magic systems was the Willshapers... Very excited to do a story about them.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5167 Copy

    Questioner

    If you're an aquatic civilization on Roshar, would the oceans match the oceans? ...Because of all the spheres...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. I've never been asked that before. That's an excellent question... I think it would have some weird different manifestation in Shadesmar, depending on their culture, and the way they view the world.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5168 Copy

    Questioner

    One that's probably for Peter. Shadesmar appears to be flat. And you talk about people walking between worlds. But worlds are spherical. What's up with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This has given him a bit of a headache. It works in my brain, and I'm pretty sure we can make it on the world. Remember, things people think about manifest in Shadesmar, so I've been able to work out a map where places that just aren't inhabited are shrunk in Shadesmar.

    Questioner

    And they turn into points, so you can just walk off them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5169 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you come up with your concepts on flying across all of your books? They're a little different from usual flying.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I look for something that just hasn't been done before. Almost all powers in fantasy books have been done. But can you put some interesting restriction on them that'll make it more actually interesting to write? A little different? I spend a lot of time just kinda brainstorming these sorts of things.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5171 Copy

    Questioner

    Will you ever make a book based in Shadesmar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I will, actually. There's one that I've plotted in Silverlight. Whether I'll be able to write it as a whole book, or whether I'll be able to do it just as a novella I'm not sure yet. But I do actually have a plotted-out story with Khriss as the protagonist in Shadesmar.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5177 Copy

    JoyBlue

    *written* What color eyes do Siri and Vivenna have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *written* It can vary

    *spoken* So this, I'd have to go look in my notes, but it can vary...

    JoyBlue

    In the book, there's the one time they talk about it being darkeyes, but I wasn't sure if it was makeup because it was right after the fight with *inaudible* or if it was makeup eyes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll have to look in my notes. But it can vary.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5179 Copy

    kalamitous_emoashions

    Have we seen any evidence of Hemalurgy on Roshar? And, as sort of an addendum, given the end of Oathbringer, was what happened to Jezrien Hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are certain cosmere philosophers that would count it. I would divide it as two separate things that are using similar fundamentals... I wouldn't call it myself, but there are people who would disagree with me in-world. Have we seen evidence? I would say no evidence that is easily-- easy to pick out.

    kalamitous_emoashions

    But it's there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there are people with Hemalurgy who have been to Roshar. I'm pretty sure they've been on-screen.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5180 Copy

    kalamitous_emoashions

    With Hoid, we know that he's got some sort of Lightweaving, Yolen magic. If we're gonna hypothetically say that he bonds with the Cryptic, at the end of Oathbringer. Talking about resonance between magic systems, what are we going to see if he tried the two together? Would they be separate? Or would they form some sort of resonance magic system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I'm gonna go ahead and RAFO that.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5182 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the most Invested item so far revealed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What counts as an item?

    Questioner

    Inanimate object. Sentient swords, stuff like that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, inanimate objects, would be Nightblood. Well-- is he inanimate?

    Questioner

    Well, he's a sentient sword, but he's an inanimate object.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, yeah, he would count.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5186 Copy

    Yata

    When someone dies on Nalthis, their Breaths: go away with the soul, or remain in the corpse?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Breaths return to Endowment.

    Yata

    Together with the soul? Or remain in the corpse?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The soul--

    Yata

    Passes away?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, unless it turns into a Cognitive Shadow. Then, the soul goes into the Beyond. And so the actual essence of the soul, the Investiture of it, does return to Endowment.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5188 Copy

    Aurimus

    As the two Realms, the Cognitive and the Spiritual, are, well, fictional... Are they all comprised of Investiture, completely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. No, completely? Well, here's the thing. Investiture, matter, and energy are all the same thing in the cosmere. So, just like energy and matter are the same thing here. So, yes, everything's made of Investiture, in the same way that everything's made of energy in our world. Does that make sense?

    Aurimus

    So, what about what spren are made of in the Cognitive Realm? Is that just Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, yeah, I'll dig more into that. I'm gonna go with Investiture for now, but I could change that as I move along. What I'm kind of debating is, is there a separate Cognitive state, and I don't think so. So I'm gonna go with Investiture for now.

    Aurimus

    How about Connection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Connection is, like, the equivalent of a quantum connection in our world, so it's more like a force than something comprised of something. The question is like, "What is gravity comprised of?" And then you start asking weird questions.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5189 Copy

    Aurimus

    What was the thematic decision behind the number 16? Why did you choose that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really like how divisible it was. It looked really cool when I was playing with things like an Allomantic table and whatnot. It was mostly an aesthetic choice. Like, it just felt right.

    Aurimus

    So was it originally the Shards or the metals you decided on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I started with the metals. And then expanded out to that, yeah. So what you've gotta remember is, like, I write Elantris without knowledge of the cosmere. I knew I was gonna do something, but I didn't know what I was gonna do. And then I wrote Dragonsteel, and in Dragonsteel I had all sorts of theories and plans, but I never canonized any of that. And when I sat down to write Mistborn, I said, "All right. We're building the cosmere for real now." And before then I had just kind of been winging it. So when I did Aether of Night, which I put Shards in, I was like "Okay, there'll be some of these things, and what-not." Mistborn was, like, the first real cosmere book, if that makes any sense.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5190 Copy

    yurisses

    Do kandra count as metalborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would count them, yes.

    yurisses

    And would Wax count them as metalborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would not. Probably.

    yurisses

    'Cause he calls VenDell metalborn, and I was wondering if he was testing VenDell in some way or not...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah... I'll have to go look at what I wrote on that one, as well.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5191 Copy

    yurisses

    Can you tell us a little bit about what Hoid was up to in Terris in The Well of Ascension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was hunting for the Well of Ascension.

    yurisses

    In the new continuity, he already knew where the Well was, because he used it to come back to--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, we changed the continuity, didn't we. Yeah. Oh boy. We came up with an explanation of this, because when we wrote the book-- Yeah, why don't you send me an email on that one. Now that I have the conversation with Peter, he brought that one up when I finally got around to Secret History. That was one of our big casualties. What did I come up with? I think he was just really, really-- I will have to-- because I canonzied it to Peter. We're gonna have to go to Peter and say "What's in the wiki now?" Yeah, that was one of the big casualties, and the fact that I couldn't get Kelsier to one of the places where I had left foreshadowing for him to speak in someone's head, and I can't remember what that one was, either.

    yurisses

    Oh, that one was Sazed, you said it was his imagination.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I had to make that his imagination. Because I just couldn't get people where they needed to go. This is the problem with writing an outline, then writing a book, and then writing another book so many years later. Certain things, we just can't work into the continuity. Write us an email, we'll get you the official continuity for that one. Because Peter did nail me down when we were working on the book.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    After Hoid got the bead during the scene in Secret History, he went north to Terris to do research on possibly acquiring Feruchemy. While he’s there, all hell breaks loose, and he ends up embroiled in helping the Terris people.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5192 Copy

    Aurimus

    Advice for worldbuilders that are trying to create a scientific-based fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Learn to differentiate between the three kinds of what we talk about with science-based magic. One is internal logic. One is logic with the world. And, oh, what is the third one? For instance, "logic with the world" meaning, "This is an explanation of how the magic actually could come to be." And a logic with "This is trying to break one rule, and then keeping the others as consistent with our universe as possible." With the difference being, like, for instance, Investiture keeping the laws of thermodynamics except for the fact that it exists is kind of a reference to the third. We're letting rules affect the laws-- the laws of our universe, we're trying to tie into that. You don't have to do that. Internal logic is the most important. Then the other one would be, kind of, the "How does this magic arise out of the nature of the universe? How could I take a few steps extra? Can I make it realistic?" That's a completely different rule. So look at those three things.

    Aurimus

    Is that where you fit Investiture in the magic? Matter, energy, Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, that's where I'm trying to do a little bit of all three of those things. But you don't have to. Understand that you can do one of the three.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #5194 Copy

    Oversleep

    What is Scadrial's primary intergalactic export?

    Ravi

    Okay so, this is what I got from Brandon.

    Prior to Kelsier exploding the Pits, Scadrial's canned goods were one of the main things exported to the intergalactic market from the planet.

    NB: This is something that Brandon can change at any time if the story calls for it.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #5195 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm a little late to this, because of travel/booksigning woes, but I did want to jump in and offer a few things here. As Lyn said above, the AMA isn't often going to be able to dig into details about what was in the original draft--that's the sort of thing we like to keep a little closer to the chest. I'm okay with revealing things like that in the abstract, but having a wholesale "let's reveal plot points in early drafts of books without context" reveal seems like it might be dangerous.

    So here, off the top of my head, are some of the things that I changed in the book related to Beta Reader comments. These topics are "open" for discussion--meaning you can ask Betas for more specifics on them, if you feel like it. These were all things I changed specifically because of Beta interaction.

    Adolin's viewpoints were added to Part One. As was a quick run-down on Renarin's powers, and what he was learning to do with them.

    The romantic angle between Shallan/Adolin/Kaladin was tweaked as I more and more referenced the idea that two different personalities of Shallan's were in love with two different people. IE--moving it further away from a love triangle, and instead showing more clearly that that Shallan was splitting further into multiple people, with different life goals.

    This wasn't coming across in the early drafts, though I sometimes coulen't quite tell which responses were knee jerk "Twilight ruined love triangles! Don't do them!" comments and which were "I'm not convinced these four people--counting Shallan as two--are actually working in relationships." (I'll note that I, personally, am very pleased with how this part turned out in the books--but the betas certainly helped me get there. I'd guess that this is one of the more contentious matters of fan discussion about the book. The point of bringing it up here isn't to discredit anyone's feelings about the actual arc, just point out how the betas helped me find the balance I wanted.)

    I got a LOT of help from people for writing Shallan's getting drunk scenes.

    Slightly beefed up Yelig-nar's part in the plot, as what he did wasn't coming into play enough--and originally (I can't remember if this was a beta thing or an alpha thing) he wasn't as involved in the Amaram/Kaladin fight.

    I revised part four heavily, moving the scene where Kaladin runs into our "so very beautiful" friend from Elantris (and the subsequent dip into the Spiritual Realm) from happening in the market to happening in the Lighthouse. Originally, the Lighthouse was run by Cryptics. (Which was a lot of fun.) However, I needed stronger establishment of Kaladin's motivations earlier in Part Four, which was going kind of off-the-rails a little.

    Lots more conversation between characters who weren't talking enough in Part Four. (Most specifically Azure.)

    There are hundreds more, but those are a few that might be of interest--and I need to be up in three hours to get on a train to go do more signings. Jet lag sure is fun!

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5197 Copy

    Overlord Jebus

    So I've noticed a pattern in the way that the Radiants learn their surges. They seem to learn their anti-clockwise surge before their clockwise surge?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do.

    Overlord Jebus

    Excellent, everyone thought I was a crazy person!

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do tend to-- Now, I'm gonna give you some behind the sausage stuff on that. That is partially for writing expediency reasons.

    Overlord Jebus

    How do you mean?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I designed that partially because I didn't want to overwhelm people with too many magic systems at once so I came up with a little bit of a pattern so that I could have a little bit of an in-world reason why we were slowing that down. It's not a hard fast rule, it's something that I've kept to in order to not overwhelm readers so it's more of form following function than the other way around.

    Oathbringer London signing ()
    #5198 Copy

    Overlord Jebus

    This map,

    *Hands Brandon the Part Four Sea of Lost Lights Map*

    How much of a hand did you have in this map or did you kind of let Isaac go crazy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So this one is half and half, I went to Isaac and said put this and this and this and then he added some craziness. One of Isaac's voices in the cosmere is Nazh and almost everything that is written by Nazh is Isaac and he named a bunch of this stuff, he ran it all by me. I actually vetoed a few. He came up with some, I'm like "Ehh" and then I renamed them to things that actually fit.

    Overlord Jebus

    Okay, why is spren fishing banned here, is that you or Isaac?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was Isaac...