Recent entries

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5353 Copy

    Questioner

    Where are the rest of Roshar's named gems? Like, we have the Hope diamond, we've got dozens of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of them are in the [Thaylen Gemstone Reserve] ...There's a lot of them around and there are places like that. One of the tricks, and I actually kind of was aware of this, particularly in book three, I was like "Yeah, I maybe should have named some of these things earlier." One of the tricks with a book like Way of Kings, there are already so many new names and terms that oftentimes I find myself finding ways to not include a new name or term because the overwhelming nature of the learning curve is so big. And I will admit, writing book three I'm like, "Ah, I should have named some of these earlier," this is what they would do.

    But it's kind of this Occam's razor, well, that's the wrong term. It's this idea of "Let's try to keep it as simple as possible for that fact that it's really complex." and that's why I naturally just didn't do it. 

    I would say in-world a lot of them are named. But you've also got to remember that gems are not as eternal on Roshar as they are. They are a little more ephemeral, you will often end up using them for something and they are wearing out, so to speak. So the idea that a diamond is forever is more of an Earth concept than a Roshar concept.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5354 Copy

    Questioner

    Shards. We started with fairly obvious ones, magic wise. Trying to keep this spoiler free, so: Ruin, Preservation, this kind of thing. Then we get the weird ones. Why do we have Shards that can only exist in the mind of a sentient creature? ...Like the concept of Honor can only be done when it's carried out, essentially, by a sentient creature.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So when I split Adonalsium I said, "I'm going to take aspects of Adonalsium's nature." And this involves personality to me. So the Shattering of Adonalsium was primal forces attached to certain aspects of personality. And so I view every one of them this way. And when I wrote Mistborn we had Ruin and Preservation. They are the primal forces of entropy and whatever you call the opposite, staying-the-same-ism-y. Like, you've got these two contrasts, between things changing and things not changing. And then humans do have a part, there's a personality. Ruin is a charged term for something that actually is the way that life exists. And Preservation is a charged term for stasis, for staying the same. And those are the personality aspects, and the way they are viewed by people and by the entity that was Adonalsium.

    So I view this for all of them. Like, Honor is the sense of being bound by rules, even when those rules, you wouldn't have to be bound by. And there's this sense that that is noble, that's the honor aspect to it, but there's also something not honorable about Honor if taken from the other direction. So a lot of them do kind of have this both-- cultural component, I would say, that is trying to represent something that is also natural. And not all of them are gonna have a 100% balance between those two things, I would say, because there's only so many fundamental laws of the universe that I can ascribe personalities to in that way. 

    So I find Honor very interesting, but I find Autonomy a very interesting one for the exact same reason. What does autonomy mean? We attach a lot to it, but what is the actual, if you get rid of the charged terms, what does it mean? And this is where you end up with things like Odium claiming "I am all emotion." Rather than-- But then there's a charged term for it that is associated with this Shard. I'm not going to tell you whether he's right or not, but he has an argument. 

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5355 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your inspiration for Kaladin? What made you want to make him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin's origin was in me reading about the interesting lives of surgeons in pre-industrial eras. Surgeons who were at times treated no different from a butcher, and at other times straddled this line between superstition and science in a really interesting way. And I wanted to write a surgeon who straddled that line. Where the superstition was against them, but in some ways the science that they knew also worked against them because the people didn't trust it. That's a really fascinating character. He started more as his dad, and as I worked the books he became Kaladin the son of a surgeon instead of the surgeon himself.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5356 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your inspiration for Steelheart's weakness...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Without spoiling Steelheart, the inspiration for the weakness was a direct outgrowth of who I saw him as a character before he gained powers. Kind of the bully sort of person given a little bit of power, exercises all kinds of terrible, just really mean to people with just a small amount of power. That character was really fascinating to me, the person who really doesn't have any authority, but still what little bit you give them they misuse. And I grew out of that, that idea. So, I kind of wanted to connect--slight spoilers for the series--but I kind of wanted the weaknesses to connect to the personalities of the characters in interesting ways, so it was a natural outgrowth there.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5357 Copy

    Questioner

    I just came off of the VR experience, and I thought it was really exciting. Glad I got to be a part of that. How much of that were you actually part of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What happened is they came to me a couple years ago, and we brainstormed the experience. They had the pitch of being in the chasms and I was cool with that. I thought that was a good idea. We brainstormed, they picked my brain about what things looked like. They wrote it all down, they showed me some concept art, and they did show me the script when they had it. So I was involved, but it wasn't like I was completely overseeing it, and that's how I kind of prefer to do things. I prefer with the media interpretations that people listen to me and listen to the pitfalls and things they might be making, but at the end of the day I want them to be free to make the piece of art they want to make. 

    So for instance the Parshendi don't look 100% like I imagine them, but the chasms look very close to how I imagine them. But I kind of like that. I like how different artists interpret different ideas in my work. It's kind of exciting to me. So that's where I would go on that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5358 Copy

    Questioner

    For the creatures on Roshar... where do you start in your worldbuilding for that kind of hting?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So where I started for Roshar was the highstorm. So I knew I had the highstorm and I was going to want to build out from that, and I would want an ecology that incorporated the magic. Those were kind of the two things I was looking for. I wanted everything to deal with the storms in some way and be affected by them, and I wanted Stormlight and spren to be integrated into the way that the worldbuilding happened because this was my big worldbuilding epic. So I started along those two lines, and that's where gemhearts came from. That is where-- The [singers] grew naturally out of that. A lot of the creatures and things I looked toward tidal pools because I figured this was kind of a similar sort of thing, an environment that has to deal with a drastic change, a biome that deals with this repeatedly every day.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5359 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I appreciate the comment on Steris. I kind of feel that when I did Elantris, I was really interested in this, and i maybe didn't-- I kind of approached things in, like, a pop culture sort of way without really understanding it. And then I came to know some people with autism, and I'm like, "I need to do this better. I need to do this realistically and kind of help with the presentation rather than contributing to one narrow definition that is the pop culture definition." So I'm glad that that has worked for you.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5360 Copy

    Questioner

    Are the [singers] living computers, and are spren variables in a computer system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. The answer is: I would say no, I wouldn't consider this. But I have considered this idea, and there is a place in the cosmere where people are using spren-- not spren but something similar on another planet, for a little bit of computation. Which I want to be able to write that story some day, but-- It's a very fun thing that I dug down a rabbit hole in one time. You might see this somewhere in the cosmere, but it's not actually Roshar. I wouldn't call them that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5361 Copy

    Questioner

    In the cosmere we've seen Investiture manifest in different ways all across the systems. So I was wondering, when it comes to the powers of Dalinar, is it possible for that power to open a Perpendicularity anywhere, say on Scadrial or any different planet? In a different way, where you could potentially combine all the Realms, open the doors for the Realms.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let me say this very carefully. I'm being recorded now... Any time where you gather the right amount of Investiture in the right way, you are going to have kind of a version of a cosmere singularity, right? Which is where you are pulling the different Realms together into a kind of-- you are piercing between them with a large amount of Investiture. So what's happening with Dalinar is both the bug and the feature at the same time. But it is not necessarily the only way. And once things are kind of, once the Spiritual Realm is being involved, time and space don't mean anything anymore on the Spiritual Realm. That's your answer.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5363 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering, in Stormlight, what kind of gem the [singer] gemhearts were, or do they just, do they hold Stormlight well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, this is a good question. This is one that people have been asking me since the first book, if they had one, and I've finally kind of confirmed it in book three. So the reason people don't think [singers] have a gemheart is it is milky white, and looks like bone.

    Questioner

    But aren't their bones red?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Their bones, well-- Their bones are red-- not completely. If you're going to pull out the bone, what you're going to see-- I'll explain it in the next book. So what you're going to do is, if you break open the bone, you're going to find this white-- It's not marrow but it is, yeah I guess it's marrow. Anyway at the center kind of in their sternum there is a gemheart there, but it is fused to the bone and it is grown into the bone, and you have to kind of snap it open and find it inside, and it kind of just looks like marrow, but there's a gemheart in there. And it kind of relates to some stuff in Dragonsteel that I'm not gonna get into. But you'll see in the next books. But there's a good reason people just don't think that [singers] have a gemheart. 

    Questioner

    So they must not glow much then, I'm assuming.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, well, it's surrounded by bone. So it's a different special thing. We'll bring it out in the following books. It might not be the next one.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5364 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever been to the Free Kingdoms, and if you have what was it like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not been to the Free Kingdoms. They won't let me in. They think that I'm a Librarian agent, which I keep telling them I'm not but they keep pointing to the fact that I write lots of books and I go speak at libraries, and I hang out with librarians, and some of my good friends are librarians, so the don't trust me. I can't get a pass.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5366 Copy

    Wetlander

    In the... wedding, Dalinar suddenly remembers Kadash... retching... My theory is that the reason he was upchucking everything since yesterday was that he just realized that it was Evi, and he did it. Everybody's like, "No, it's just because it was such a brutal attack and it was horrible, and he's beyond it." And I'm like, no, I think it was was because he realized who's down there, and he was the one who lit the match. That's my theory...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will not confirm or deny, but you did see me going like this *nodding*, so--

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5369 Copy

    Questioner

    And is Hoid now, like he can already basically Lightweave...

    Brandon Sanderson

    He can already-- I will have to delve into that during Hoid timed, but he was limited, and he's still limited. But there's stuff that he's been trying to do for a while that he can't quite get working.

    Questioner

    'Cause it seemed like when he and Shallan were creating that story together of the wall--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, he was using her power, right? And guiding it, he wasn't doing it himself.

    Questioner

    Is that something he can do in general, just help people with their powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not necessarily. That was pretty special circumstances.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5371 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm gonna take a stab at Kaladin's fourth oath. Is it, "I will not feel bad about slaughtering my enemies?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    *RAFO card*

    ...You know I'm not going to answer that. But I tell you what, it's been recorded by the fan sites, everything I say, so if you're right you're on record. But I'm not going to tell you.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5372 Copy

    Questioner

    The Sharders have asked if I can find out if the Ars Arcanum for Elantris written at any specific time. Like, was it during the events of Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Ars Arcanum is around the context of then, yes. It should be around the events of the first book. I would have to look at it and double check that. But you can take that as canon unless I look at it and find--

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5373 Copy

    Questioner

    Why are you a plant in the back of the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, here's the thing. When I wanted to do a picture in the back of the books, the original versions that the other publisher did, I said I wanted a silly picture. And they wouldn't let me put a silly picture. So I wrote that I was a potted plant, and then put my own picture. But when we did the reissues, the new publisher's like, "Eh, I guess we gotta use a potted plant," and then they went and got one and put it there instead. And I was totally fine with it. The joke was that it was just me but it said it was a potted plant, but now it is a potted plant.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5374 Copy

    Questioner

    In Stormlight Archive before the full disadvantaged duel, there's foreshadowing of Shardblades being spren and Adolin talking to his Blade, tradition. But then also... Adolin says, "Oh I forgot my mom's lucky necklace," and I don't think there's ever a reference to that again. Do we see something come back up about that necklace?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The necklace is just pure superstition on his part, it's not seeding something in... I have to sometimes make certain things not relevant, otherwise everything is relevant. So the chicken and the necklace mean nothing, but obviously the talking to the sword is a tradition that has a meaning, and it comes into play in Oathbringer.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5375 Copy

    Questioner

    Dalinar can learn languages with the people he contacts. Venli knows all the languages. Could he learn all the languages? And how long would that last?

    Brandon Sanderson

    His Connection is going to work-- He has to kind of be active about it, so it needs to be-- let me see if I can get the specific words right...

    The mechanics I have in the notes is he has to touch someone and will learn to speak the language of their native country, that they spoke as a young person. He's making a direct Connection to that specific person and their way of speaking. So if you have learned another language and Dalinar shakes your hand and activates his Connection ability, he will Connect not to that language you've learned, but to your native language.

    Questioner

    How long does it last?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have it lasting-- it does need to be renewed, but I have it lasting basically as long as-- days not months. But I didn't actually put a define on it, so I'm going to say that's not canon. I'm not canonizing that. But I didn't want him to have to keep renewing it every couple of hours. But he would have to do it again if he left and came back.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5376 Copy

    Questioner

    So, when there's wordplay in The Stormlight Archive, we know they aren't speaking English, so are you to assume that that is a translation of the...

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is what Tolkein said, and I always rely upon this. You're reading the book in translation, and the person translating it is going to try to use the closest in feel, but to also make it translate to English. So even when they use idioms and things like that, sometimes they translate and the translator can drop them in. Sometimes they just don't translate, so the translator comes up with something that works in English... It gets you a lot of loopholes, like if you accidentally call something an ottoman and people are like, "But there's not an Ottoman Empire in this fantasy world!" But you're like, "Yeah, all words work that way." It's in translation. This is why when you read something like Allomancy, and they're like, "Well, it's got Latin roots, right?" Yeah... it's just the roots in their language would be something old Terris, and the easiest way to convey that feeling is to use something that's got-- you know. Stuff like that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5377 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you think of the VR experience.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I thought it was a lot of fun. I liked the feeling of the world quite a bit. The version I played was a little buggy, so I hope that they got the build working where it's not as buggy. But I thought the visuals were great, like the chull, the feel of the chasms. I think they did a great job with the feeling.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5378 Copy

    Questioner

    Anything about Jasnah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jasnah, I would say, is the character who changed the least between the draft I wrote in 2002 and the final version. I always knew who she was and how she was going to turn out, and she stayed really consistent. So I'm really excited, particularly for the back five, which will have more of a focus on her. I've started to tease in some viewpoints, but you'll really get to know her starting in like books six, seven.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5379 Copy

    Questioner

    One of the characters in this book replied with "I've got this," or "I got this." It seemed really modern, like colloquially modern.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've got an answer for this. So here's the thing. I use Tolkien's philosophy on this, which is that you are reading the books in translation, and the person translating the English tries to use the closest English approximation to the same sentiment that would happen in the books.

    And we try to move away from being too modern colloquial, and things like that, but the actual answer is they said something that's a similar saying in this, and people did talk colloquially even if they didn't have modern slang. Like, the name Tiffany is a medieval name, people don't know that. There's all these sorts of things that people did even back then. But we try to find something that is not going to kick people out. We are less worried about historical accuracy, and more about what's going to convey the right idea. So just kind of pretend that. Pretend that it's being translated by someone like me, Brandon Sanderson, who can read the original Alethi and be like, "Oh, they said something that means this. What's the modern equivalent?"

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5380 Copy

    Questioner

    You know the artwork... the arches with the faces? What are those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are each of the Heralds. And those archways, Isaac picks based on what he thinks the themes of the chapter are. I don't pick which faces go on there. He reads the chapter... he tries to align what's happening with the emotions represented by the various characters. 

    Questioner

    And the thing underneath it is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Generally the symbol of the viewpoint character. But those shift. Like for instance we sometimes start with a general one, and as the characters get more individual we add ones specifically for them. Usually you'll have one that's the viewpoint character, and then like for instance the ones for Jasnah and Shallan split apart when originally they just had one, and stuff like that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5381 Copy

    Questioner

    I actually named my son named Kelsier.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Did you? That's awesome. I was actually realizing the other day that kids named after my books are starting, probably, to get old enough, the youngest ones, that they can be reading my books, which I'm not sure what I think about that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5382 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the best advice you got from a beta reader or editor on your female characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stop treating them like a role and start treating them like a person. Most of the times when guys write girls poorly, it is because they are saying  "Well, this is the X. This person's role in the story is X," and then they make the person not exist beyond that. Every character, regardless of gender, should have their own motives, passions, and you should be able to know what they were going to do with their life if the plot hadn't smashed into them, and that can go a long way toward helping with that.

    That was the big thing for me, was not writing anyone to a role... making everyone the hero of their own story. That was the big thing, but it was a process over time, figuring out treating people like characters instead of roles. That's kind of nebulous, right? Tell them to read a bunch of books by women, because a lot of them haven't, and that's part of the reason they're doing it poorly.

    Oh and here's another big thing. The first way of being sexist in your writing involves writing people into roles, right? Into stereotypes. The next thing that people generally do, you'll see this a lot in cinema right now, is take the underrepresented group, or the token female or something, and make them awesome, so that they don't actually have any sort of-- they're just good at everything. Right? That's the next level of doing something wrong, and the third is where you're like, "Wait a minute. Let's make everybody kind of quirky and interesting in their own way, rather than putting anyone on a pedestal," and things like that.

    And it's a process for all of us. You'll notice that like in the Mistborn books... I was so focused on making sure I had a strong female lead, that there is like no other women in whole the book. And that's a really common mistake... But you just get better at it the more you write.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Overlord Jebus

    During part 4 of Oathbringer when they are in Shadesmar. At no point did you depict an Everstorm whilst they are in there, and they were in there several weeks. Is there a specific reason you didn't depict that, or does it just not have a presence in the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a specific reason I didn't depict that. It will be involved in a later book, and I was dodging it for "I'm not sure how I'm going to canonize this yet." 

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5387 Copy

    Overlord Jebus

    Adolin is hit by Parshendi lightning, and then his Plate reacts and starts blocking out the light from the rest of the lightning strikes. Is he awakening his Shardplate as well as his Blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Shardplate didn't have as much of a problem as the Blades did, so if someone else were wearing that they could have had the same effect.

    Overlord Jebus

    So it's more just a function of the Shardplate, really.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but I mean the Shardplate needs to be a little more aware-- You know. It didn't have as much of an effect on Shardplate as the Blades.

    Overlord Jebus

    That being the Recreance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Recreance, yeah.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Overlord Jebus

    Does Investiture seek/spawn intelligence because it used to be Adonalsium, or did Adonalsium come to exist because Investiture seeks intelligence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a chicken and egg question, isn't it? You will find both theories espoused by people in the know. What are we calling them now? Cosmerenauts? That's what they said on Reddit. I would say cosmere arcanists, people like Khriss.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
    #5390 Copy

    Silasary

    If someone is a full Mistborn and is able to use Feruchemical gold... can they safely burn harmonium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, okay. This is theoretically possible. 

    Silasary

    Would it have an effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It would do something.

    Silasary

    And I'm going to hopefully ask what that is.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *gives a RAFO card* You've earned their card.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    I know you have gay and lesbian, and you are planning on trans characters and have trans-ish characters. Do you have any asexual characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, though I'm cheating. All the [singers] are asexual in certain-- I do have a non-[singer] asexual character, but I cheated and made an entire race of asexual characters.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Rainier

    Can you tell me anything about Zahel / Warbreaker / Vasher? I was very disappointed I didn't see him in Oathbringer. I was waiting for him.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's in there. Briefly.

    Questioner

    I'm waiting for him-- Him and Vivenna and Szeth. I want the three of them and Nightblood together. I want that scene, I'm waiting for it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see some good things from him.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Rainier

    First, just please tell me anything about Nightblood--the book or the Type IV Awakened object. Or Warbreaker--the book or the Type II...

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right. My current plot for the book Nightblood. It's really minor, but it involves Darro entering the cosmere officially. He is a character from Aether of Night... He's a side character in that that I've always wanted to work into this main continuity, the real continuity, so he's coming.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    If you're gonna crossover anyone into Stormlight, like if you were gonna grab Scooby Doo, or Dragonball Z, or any other series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any series that's not mine cross it over with Stormlight? Wow, I haven't been asked that before. What would I cross over with Stormlight? I don't know. Man, that's hard... Let me think about it. I could give you a goofy answer, but I've never even really thought about that before... Maybe I could slip over some futuristic sci-fi crossover with the Whedonverse.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    The scene where Verin Mathwin dies. Did you write that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't. Robert Jordan wrote that. It is one of the very few scenes that he actually had written in the notes, and I was able to reach out, grab that one and drop it in. I was very satis-- In fact that was one of the big surprises when I was reading the notes.

    Questioner

    Everybody-- I mean, it's probably my favorite scene that's ever been written.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, and he did that one. I feel very happy to be able to tell people that because there aren't a lot of scenes that I could just drop in that he wrote, and that is one of them.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Why don't you have to say the words if you're just bonding a Cryptic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Every Order's First Oath is the same. Then the Second Oaths for the Cryptics go into truths, but everybody says the First Oath the same regardless of Order. Which should raise the question of--

    Questioner

    Did Shallan say it when she was a teeny-weeny, like in the cradle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That should raise a question. She wasn't teeny-weeny, but it should raise a question there.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Did humans come to Roshar through Shadesmar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is technology or magic closer to how the Oathgates work. But it was like that. It's not canon but right now that's what I have. It's not canon because there are certain things I have to work out before that can work...

    By the way I'll just say to the tape recording that I haven't canonized, like for instance if they traveled to Shadesmar to get to Shinovar from Ashyn. Right now I have that not being via Shadesmar, but the mechanics of that might not work out, and I might have to default to Shadesmar. So there's certain things, you'll see, where I say, "This isn't the canon answer, it's where I have things right now."

    Overlord Jebus

    So Urithiru might end up being a spaceship after all.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not that. Right now I have them using something closer to Oathgating, but it opens up a huge can of worms, when I'm not requiring direct-- When I'm sending through Spiritual Realm it opens up cans of worms, and I have to just make sure the mechanics on that are tight before I do it.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    How many character chapters is too many? ...My first book has three character chapters, my second has six. I'm wondering if that's too--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nothing is too many. It's good practice. You might lose control of it. My advice would be if you can keep those characters in clusters, meaning if you split them off into their own plots if they are together in one or two batches, it's going to be a lot easier. Adding more viewpoints is not too much harder when you're doing that. It's when they're all off on their own. But there's nothing that's too much, right? Even if it doesn't end up working out you will have taught yourself something.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    ...We saw in the [Arcanum Unbounded] that you can also travel without a perpendicularity to get to the different systems, but is that like an alien spaceship thing that we're going to find out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You could get between them all if you used conventional space travel. It would take a long time, but you could get between them all. All the other methods use the magics in some way.

    Questioner

    But does it always have to be the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The ways that people know how to do it now are all related to the Cognitive Realm in some way. It doesn't have to be that way, but that's the way that everybody knows.