Recent entries

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5451 Copy

    Questioner

    If Soulcast blood is human blood, does that mean Soulcast meat is people meat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    But that doesn't necessarily mean that, like-- when it has a blood type, and things like that-- I don't know enough about blood. I didn't mean to imply it's human blood. I'm just saying, it has all the attributes of blood, and it could be ascribed to something specific. That's where my mind was going. If they were asking, "Is this human blood?" No, that's not necessarily-- some of it is. Soulcast meat is definitely not. Soulcast blood, probably is most of the time. But it is-- there are, like, certain derivations of it that happen. It's more complicated, in other words, than what I-- than a simple answer can give. So, is Soulcast blood human blood? You could use it for blood transfusions, most if it, unless, in certain instances, you couldn't. Like, it's more-- Those sorts of questions, I have to circumlocute them so much.

    Let's just put it this way. You can eat-- The meat is not human meat, but the blood can be used for blood transfusions. Is that enough? Yeah, we'll go with that.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5452 Copy

    CaptainRyan

    *written* Could a Shard refuse to "fuel" a magic user? E.g. Could Preservation have refused to "fuel" Ham's pewter? (Please, for the question, assume Preservation is whole and undamaged.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    *written* No, but he could have interfered.

    *spoken* So, the answer is "no, he couldn't." Like, if you just had the Allomancy going, like--

    CaptainRyan

    They can't shut you off?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can't shut you off, but they can interfere with you using it. They could do other things. But, like, the magic, it would be like saying, "I refuse to let gravity work on this person."

    CaptainRyan

    But couldn't a Shard-- Technically, they can control forces--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they can't, but they can interfere with it, does that make sense? ...Gravity is not gone, but this person is being interfered with and their relationship to these sorts of things.

    CaptainRyan

    Kind of like if I throw your pen in the air, gravity's not gone, but I've interfered with something.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, exactly. And you can, like, twist the gravity, so it's pointing... But the laws of natures, burning is, like, a law of nature, and things like that. And they can circumvent, and they can twist, and they can bend, but the laws of nature are still the laws of nature.

    CaptainRyan

    They can't just cut it off?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5454 Copy

    Questioner

    With your awesome art people, have you thought about doing kids' books, like 2nd, 3rd, 4th grade level?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've considered it, but I haven't practiced that very much, and it is a different skill. I'm not confident in being able to do that myself. But it's on my radar, since I have kids that age.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5461 Copy

    Questioner

    So, I was curious if the Alethi were always-- like, if there was a time where there wasn't a segregation between lighteyes and darkeyes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that did exist.

    Questioner

    ...How did the separation occur?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are some clues in [Oathbringer] and in the last book. It has to do with Knights Radiant and Surgebinding and things like that. It's a part RAFO. It's pretty guessable. There's nothing--

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5463 Copy

    Questioner

    Can a kandra have a human kid, if they're in a--

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...So, their DNA would-- I've answered this both ways, I think, on the internet, as I go back on forth on whether I want DNA testing to be able to catch a kandra or not. I've erred on the side of, their DNA isn't human, and so they would not be compatible, but I've gone the other direction some of the time when people have asked this question. So, I guess the answer is, I have not fully decided for myself yet.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5466 Copy

    Questioner

    So, the Shardfork. A very versatile, Shard-whatever. Would it be possible to do, like, a Shardrock, or something, that would go in a catapult?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it has more variety than people would think, but it isn't limitless, what they can become. But that would totally be possible.

    Questioner

    And what would a Shardrock do if it hits you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, bean them on the head and be really strong. If you can get into the spirit, if you can start getting past the skin and stuff, you can do some serious damage.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5467 Copy

    Questioner

    So, in Edgedancer, there's a spot where they're going through all the weird things going on in the city, and they're talking about some spren that only shows up if she dumps water out. Is that significant, or is that a crazy person? ...The spren that shows up every morning if she leaves water out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is true.

    Questioner

    Okay, she's is not crazy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She's not-- Okay.

    Questioner

    Are the spren intelligent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sapient spren, no. But she may have the cause and effect mixed up. She may not have the cause and effect correct. She might have correlation and causation mixed up.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5470 Copy

    TheFulgid

    ...I know that a lot of [Dragonsteel] is not canon anymore? How much of it, like, percentage-wise, I don't need specifics. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that all... I consider almost all the worldbuilding to be canon, but the characters to not be.

    TheFulgid

    So, anything about Topaz, does that not stand?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Doesn't really stand. The whole thing with the gods, and stuff like that, is really in flux.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5472 Copy

    TheFulgid

    Could you Invest... Could you use a nicrosil metalmind to Invest the sort of Investiture enough that you could open a Perpendicularity up to the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I'll just say it this way. Enough concentrated Investiture in one point is going to pierce the Realms, no matter what form it takes. 

    TheFulgid

    ...So, it doesn't have to be a nicrosil metalmind.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. 

    TheFulgid

    Okay... But it could be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. That is theoretically possible. 

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5475 Copy

    Questioner

    Where did you get the idea for the gemhearts.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I wanted-- in the books, I wanted there to be an economic component to the magic, like, something that was based on the money in the world. And I knew I wanted to use the gemstones, but I also knew they would be used up really quickly by the magic, with Soulcasting. So, I built something into the creatures of the world, so that we could renew the gemstones, so they wouldn't all just be gone after a few hundred years.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5481 Copy

    Questioner

    Would you be able to write the... Second Ideal of the Truthwatchers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...It's a RAFO. There's a lot of stuff about the Truthwatchers in [Oathbringer], that's gonna make it complicated to do that, okay? ...Yeah, it's really complicated, and those are things I'm not gonna probably canonize for another couple of books, for reasons that will be very clear by the end of this book.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5484 Copy

    Questioner

    So, a Radiant's blade. When it takes other forms, does it take on any different properties? So, like, if Kaladin beat someone with the butt of his Sylspear, would it still do something in regards to the soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Would he still hit the soul? That is theoretically possible to make happen. It requires a lot of work. That is theoretically possible.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5486 Copy

    Questioner

    How much do you plot books? How much do you plan out what happens before you start writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am a plotter. I am very naturally-- I do a lot of extensive plotting. So, I would say I have, like, 90% of it before I start most books, thought I knock out like, 10% or 20% while I'm writing and change it if something better comes along. 

    Questioner

    Do you go chapter by chapter, or do you kinda just--

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's more like an outline of, like, "Here's my goal. And here are ways to achieve it." I do a whole lecture on it in the BYU lectures, if you're interested,  that are on YouTube.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5487 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a limit to what the spren can become, like we've seen them become a blade or a spear or a shield, can they become, like-- I've heard hints of a bow and arrow. Can they become a sword and a shield or just one main thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, it is more expansive than people guess it is, but it is limited.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5488 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you come up with names that sound awesome?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's harder than it sounds, no pun intended... If you wanna know how to name things, find the podcast where we answer that on Writing Excuses, we go into in depth, that'll help you out. But basically I'm looking for, like, lists of baby names from languages that I don't speak, and trying to play with those names until I find something that sounds good.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5489 Copy

    Questioner

    So, how much time-- personal reading time to do you spend on different types of things: research versus classic versus other fantasy type--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say, boy-- most of my reading is fantasy. My reading for other things is eclectic; it's like, when I find something I'm interested in. I would say, of that, it's like, half just reading whatever I feel like reading and then taking notes, and half reading for research. But, I do a lot of audio books, and I do a lot of podcasts, I can do them while I'm signing books, and things. So, some of my reading recently has been like, Hardcore History, which is a podcast. Stuff like that.

    Questioner

    So, how many hours do you actually spend. Obviously, when you write, and you're signing, I understand that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Always, when I'm signing, I try to listen to, like, a book, or something like that. And then, I try to get in, like, an hour every night. I don't always get it, but that's what I try to do.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5490 Copy

    Questioner

    Does anybody every ask you to, like, write them? Like, people ask someone to draw them, but does anybody ask you to write them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, an artist asked me to write something for them. Yeah, I've actually had some artists say, "What if I painted a picture, and then you wrote a story for it." Which I think would be a really cool idea, we just have to wait for the right time to do that.

    Oathbringer release party ()
    #5494 Copy

    Questioner

    Which is your favorite of the Ten Fools, and why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-- I don't know. I honestly don't know.

    Questioner

    Can you give me a name of one of them, then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That I haven't named yet? Those are in the notes, I have to look those things up. I don't know. We're gonna do a Ten Fools painting for the next one, maybe. We were gonna do it for this one. I'm not sure who my favorite is. I'd have to sit and think about it, perhaps more time than we have right now. It's going to depend on Isaac's sketches of them and things like that. Maybe, uh, Jezrien's fool. Probably Jezrien's fool.

    Questioner

    What's the name of that one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't remember. Like I said, I have 'em in a list. I have to go look at the notes and look them up every time. I don't use them, like, I just write--

    Questioner

    Not like the Heralds, that you're using all the time. They're just the Ten Fools.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, I just use, even when I'm writing, I'm like "Jezrien's Fool," and then I go look up the name of it.

    Miscellaneous 2016 ()
    #5495 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Warning, Evgeni. I'm really considering doing a backpedal on savants. The more i think about them, the less I'm not liking how my current course has them being treated in upcoming books. I think it deviates too far from my original vision.

    Argent

    Hey, I wouldn't normally contact you directly like this, but given that you thought it important enough to reach out and let me know you might change how savants work, I figured you probably wouldn't be too upset by this message. I replied to your Facebook comment, asking if you could clarify a little bit which aspects of savantism you are thinking of keeping and/or cutting. I don't need an essay on the topic (though you know I'd love one!), just some details on what we can consider canon for theories, and what we should be careful around.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Evgeni,

    So here's the problem. The more I dig into savants in the later outlines, the more I feel that I'm in a dangerous area--in that I'm disobeying their original intention. (Which is that using the power so much that it permeates your soul can be dangerous, a kind of uncontrolled version of a spren bond.)

    And so, I don't want to let myself just start making people savants right and left. It needs to be a specific thing. Wax is the troubling one, as I have him burning so much steel that he's well on his way, but isn't showing any side effects. If I'm going to give him savant-like abilities, he needs savant-like consequences.

    That's the danger, just falling back on savanthood to do some of the things I want, so often that it undermines the actual point and purpose of them in the cosmere lore.

    So if I backpedal, it will be to contain this and point myself the right way, sharply curtailing my desire to make people savants without their savanthood being an intrinsic part of their story and conflict in life. (Like it was for Spook, and is for Soulcasting savants on Roshar.)

    Feel free to share this.

    Argent

    Okay, so - if you do decide to go this route, I see the story implications (larger focus on consequences, less easy to get to the point where a character can be considered a savant). What I am not sure about is the potential for a mechanical change. Would a backpedal on your side cause a conflict with information you've shared with us, in or out of your books? Are you saying that it's possible that Wax won't be considered a savant (if you can't squeeze a good ramifications plot for him that doesn't contradict the apparent lack of consequences so far, for example)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't decided on anything yet. It's mostly consequences for the future--just a kind of, "be aware I'm not 100% pleased with how Wax turned out, re: savanthood and Allomantic resonance."

    The idea of resonance is that two powers, combined, meld kind of into one single power. This is a manifestation of the way Shards combine. Wax was intended as a savant of the two melded powers. But without consequences in his plot, I'm not confident that I'll continue in the same vein for future books.

    Footnote: The first message comes from Brandon reaching out to Argent (Evgeni) on Facebook with a follow-up regarding this entry. This rest is from a Reddit PM exchange between Argent and Brandon.
    The Hero of Ages Annotations ()
    #5497 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Marsh was there in the village Elend attacked a few chapters back, by the way. That is where he went after Luthadel; he took charge of a group of koloss and began leading them around to destroy cities. When Elend came to get the koloss, he was commanded to hold onto them for a time—and make it tough for Elend—but then to give them up and let them go.

    He was the nearest Inquisitor to Fadrex, which is why he's the one who showed up to claim the nonexistent atium.

    General Twitter 2016 ()
    #5499 Copy

    Argent

    17th Shard user Treamayne made an interesting observation re: Surge glyphs - Can you comment? :3

    Isaac Stewart

    No comment yet on this specifically, tho I'll respond to something in that thread regarding names and "screw yous" within glyphs.

    Isaac Stewart

    Readers are trying to pronounce glyphs by reading them. Glyphs aren't read. They're memorized. Sounds might be found in glyphs.

    Isaac Stewart

    Glyphs have evolved from the early days. Just like the Chinese character for "tree" doesn't look like a tree anymore.

    Isaac Stewart

    Alethi glyphs are recognized by overall shape, not by the shapes/sounds that might be found within.

    Isaac Stewart

    For example, the Bridge 4 glyph is still recognizable even if the component shapes are changed.

    Isaac Stewart

    Hope this helps!

    Argent

    So let's see if I got it. The "kholin" glyphpair could, given enough time, no longer look like "khokh" & "linil"...

    Argent

    ... but still be recognizable as "kholin" due to its overall shape?

    Isaac Stewart

    That is correct. More ancient glyphs will have slowly morphed away from the original sounds found inside.

    Miscellaneous 2014 ()
    #5500 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Come on, guys, there are major major reasons Roshar can't possibly be a moon and one of the moons a gas giant. Think about it.

    digitalbusker

    Nobody ever remarks on how one of the "moons" takes up a quarter of the visible sky?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Each moon is in the sky only once per day and moves across the sky in a couple to a few hours. What does that tell us about their orbits?

    Could a gas giant be far enough away to look like a small moon, yet have this rapid of an apparent motion? (The answer is NO.)

    Kurkistan

    That they're really fast/close, I would think. Perhaps unusually so...  

    Peter Ahlstrom

    You may not be aware, but Mars's moon Phobos orbits in less than 8 hours, and gets less than 6,000 km from Mars's surface.

    Kurkistan

    Curses! Foiled again by SCIENCE!!!

    Okay, so the orbits aren't magically augmented.

    Still, that leaves us some information. The three moons are likely captured asteroids, then, rather than having split off from Roshar during its formation, Luna-style. Three captured asteroids at the same time in relatively stable, seemingly very close orbits... Anything significant in that, science people?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I expect the moons were put in their current orbits artificially, but by whom or what I do not know. On astronomical terms, these are not stable orbits, but astronomical terms means millions of years. A few thousand or even a few hundred thousand years are no problem.

    By the way, I minored in astronomy while at the university, for expressly science fictional purposes.

    Leiyan

    Were the moons also artificially created, or were they originally formed naturally?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I don't know.