Recent entries

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Zantis

    Was Elhokar going to be a Windrunner squire or was he going to be a different Order?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was actually going to be a Lightweaver.

    Zantis

    Interesting.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. And some interesting story with him because--here's a little tidbit for you... In the original draft that I wrote in 2002 I pushed him far enough that Dalinar had to kill him. It came to blows. And I never quite liked how that turned out, so in the 2010 version we had a different path for Elhokar. But he's been doomed from a long time ago, poor guy.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Zantis

    Let's say Lift received two Hemalurgic spikes: one for Allomantic bendalloy and one for Feruchemical bendalloy. Then she eats a bunch of pancakes, stores the nutrition in a piece of bendalloy, burns it to compound nutrition. Can that nutrition be turned into Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.  Yeah, but remember she didn't have to be-- so basically what that-- Is just a really complicated way for her to turn Allomantic Investiture-- so that it can allocate Allomantic Investiture into Stormlight. That would be a complex method of doing that. Just transferring one type of Investiture into another. It's just basically drawing from Ruin and she is then turning it into Stormlight-ish? It's a complicated thing, but that's basically what happens, just really crazy.

    Zantis

    Okay, so-- but it is the same sort of thing, right? *hesitant nod from Brandon* And--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I hope that eventually in the cosmere they will find easier ways than that.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    So I wanted to ask how Count Dooku was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Count Dooku has passed on to the Beyond for plants.  I know, I know. Count Dooku-- The funny thing is, this isn't even a picture of Count Dooku. The joke with Count Dooku was Count Dooku was actually not a potted plant-- he was a plant that lived in a glass sphere, with just the roots into the water. Now that was a joke when, you know, Alcatraz put the joke about the potted plant in there--was given to me by a friend of mine. But Count Dooku has since moved on to the great Beyond for plants. So we had to use a different picture. We didn't have an actual picture.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    So we know some Orders are of-- Radiant are of Honor and Cultivation, right? So Jasnah is more logical and is definitely kind of, you know, set in stone about her ways. But Shallan, she's got a lot of personal growth and I know-- So I'm wondering is Shallan like one of the Orders that is of Cultivation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In their-- They would theorize that's more Cultivation than Honor.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    When you get, like, bonded with a spren-- the type of spren that is bonded to you, it depends on your personality and beliefs, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, mmhmm. The spren kind of choose, but they-- It's not a hundred percent choice. More like if they're drawn to it, things like that. So who you are, what your beliefs are, what your kind of moral code is can influence what type of spren you would get.

    Emerald City Comic Con 2018 ()
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    greaterbookwyrm

    What happens when you cut a kandra with a Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So a kandra is going to react basically the same way, in that the Shardblade's going to be hitting at the soul and severing it and things like that. They are not immune to Shardblades. But because they have mutable shapes, there will be a little bit of weirdness involved in that. You'll get to see that happen eventually.

    Brandon's Blog 2018 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I have the last quarter of this year earmarked to write the final Mistborn (Wax and Wayne) novel, which leaves me around six or seven months to play with, and I'm hoping to finish another book in the Skyward series. However, before I dive into that, there's a certain novella I need to write. We're listing that as "Secret Project" and it's not anything you're probably guessing. I'll reveal it when the time is right, but for now, it's not cosmere, and is not something I've talked about before.

    Brandon's Blog 2018 ()
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    Isaac Stewart

    White Sand has an interesting background. Many of you know that it was the sixth novel Brandon wrote–Elantris–that was picked up by Tor and published as his first novel, but by the time Tor released Elantris in 2005, Brandon had written more than thirteen novels. Mistborn, which came out a year later in 2006, was Brandon's fourteenth.

    But White Sand was Brandon's first novel. His third novel–Lord Mastrell–was a sequel to it. When Brandon wrote his eighth novel, right after the infamous Dragonsteel, he went back to White Sand Prime and Lord Mastrell and rewrote them both from the beginning, combining them into the White Sand we now give away for those who sign up for the mailing list. I believe this was also the novel that got his agent Joshua's attention, and while Joshua didn't offer representation just yet, he did offer some suggestions for a revision. Brandon also had a list of things he wanted to accomplish were he ever to have the chance to return to White Sand and revise it. But when Elantris came out, turning around and revising an old novel was just not in the cards.

    When Dynamite proposed a three-part graphic novel several years ago, Brandon met with Team Dragonsteel and laid out his vision for White Sand. We pulled out his revision notes along with Joshua's commentary from so long ago. We re-read White Sand and made our own notes, and together as a team we fleshed out what Brandon would have liked to have done were he to revise White Sand today without the luxury of rewriting the book from the beginning. We clarified character motivations, we strengthened character arcs, we changed the gender of one of the main characters, and we brought in stronger elements from the cosmere at large. Together, under Brandon's direction, and with Dynamite's help, we crafted this into the canonical version of White Sand.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    Kellosian

    If the Olympic Games existed in the Mistborn universe, what would some of the events be? This is assuming, of course, that magic is allowed and isn't seen as a form of cheating.

    foomy45

    I'm fully expecting to find out in Era 3. Will be very disappointed if sports are never mentioned.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I already started laying the groundwork, if you look in the Era 2 books.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    Cryokina

    Today I saw a paperback copy of Arcanum Unbounded and remembered this reddit comment, in which we're told we might get a Nalthis essay and map around the paperback release or around Oathbringer. Since both those times have passed, is there any hope we might still see it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dang. I'd totally forgotten. I'll have my assistant put it on my list of things to do, and make sure to write one out in the next few weeks. Maybe we'll stick it in the newsletter.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    Jeimaxx

    I do have a question, while listening to New Spring today, I realized that a channeler using the One Power sees and hears much more vividly, similar to people invested with breaths from Nalthis. Was the magic of Nalthis partially inspired by the One Power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that was an inspiration from the WoT. I always wanted to take that concept RJ had used and see if I could make it a fundamental and quantifiable part of a magic system.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    Only4DNDandCigars

    I was reading Elantris, with my passive work being Jorge Luis Borges "Book of Imaginary Beings". The chapters are encyclopedic and short, and are meant to have a kaleidoscope style of reading. With Cosmere on my mind, I can across a really interesting entry:

    Sylphs For each of the four roots or elements into which the Greeks divided matter there was a corresponding spirit. In the words of Paracelsus, the sixteenth-century Swiss alchemist and physician, we find four elementary spirits: the Gnomes of the earth, the Nymphs of water, the Salamanders of fire, and the Sylphs or Sylphides of air. The words are Greek origin. Litre has sought the etymology of "sylph" in the Celtic tongues, but it is most unlikely that Paracelsus would have known, or even suspected the existence of, those languages. Today, no one believes in Sylphs, but the phrase "a syphlike figure" is still applied to slender women, as a somewhat cliched compliment. The Sylphs occupy a place between that of material beings and that of immaterial beings. Romantic poetry and the ballet find them useful.

    I don't think it is a far stretch or much of projection when I say that reminds me of a certain Spren. Either way, it made my day to come across this while reading.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you poke around a bit, you can probably find where the names of some other spren (like Notum) come from. In a lot of their names, I'm looking for something similar to what I did with Syl. My rationale is that if you heard her name in-world (which might not actually be the exact sounds Syl) you'd have the benefit of local traditions, word roots, and mythologies. You'd hear it and say, "Huh, that sounds like a word for wind." So, when the books are "translated" to English, the translator creates names in English that evoke the same feel in readers here.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    Leveros

    So as I was rereading Mistborn, I realized something that I hadn't deemed important before. Assuming that Rashek doled out the original Allomancy beads to create the first Mistborn, who did he give them to? Obviously, he couldn't give them to his fellow packmen because then they would have the same compounding abilities as him. Additionally, it stands to reason that he would not have given the beads to any of Alendi's entourage because of his deep-seated hatred for all things Khlenni. All in all, I'm just confused about the actual origins of the noble houses.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually intended to dig into this in the video game--which happened several hundred years after the event, but which would talk about the origins of the houses and things like that. It's possible we'll still do this some day.

    Phantine

    Did you end up doing a lot of writing for the game before it got cancelled?

    Depending on how much there is, it seems like handing it to Crafty for them to make a RPG module could make sense.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I didn't--but I had a lot of ideas.

    My current goal is to hand it over to Ben (who does a lot of the artwork for Stormlight Archive) and see if we can turn it into a graphic novel. (Note that we wouldn't start on this until White Sand is done, though, as I don't want to have TOO many projects in the works at once.)

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    Will Southern Scadrians have their own series? Or will they just be something mentioned in the next Mistborn trilogies? Does anything major take place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We will have to see. Originally they did not have a series but it will depend on how much time I spend deviating with interesting Mistborn side-stories before I jump up into the second trilogy. Because by the second trilogy, this has all been discovered and it's a different world. I have loosely plotted a smaller series visiting the southern continent.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    When are we going to see a mechanical way to use the Metallic Arts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Once the technology is appropriately caught up and once I feel like it's right. It's going to be a little while.

    Chris King

    We've actually had a conversation on the forums about using Lurchers and Coinshots in a way to power a train of sorts... It has inspired some interesting conversations.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That seems grueling.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    How and when are you planning on releasing Sixth of the Dusk, the cosmere short story you wrote for Writing Excuses?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Once the entire Writing Excuses team have finished their stories. If you're not familiar we did this thing were each brainstormed a story on air and then we went and wrote them and now we are doing revisions on them. Well, Mary went and I wrote ours, Dan and Howard didn't write theirs... but they're catching up... Once they are all done, we will release them together in an anthology. We will do, the workshopping episodes that we did, we workshopped each others stories, and you'll be able to on Writing Excuses read the rough draft, because that will be included in the anthology, listen to the episode where we workshop it and then read the final draft, which will be in the anthology and get the whole— see what we changed and things like that.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    Are there any eventual plans for release of things such as-- things like Way of Kings Prime or the old version of Dragonsteel after the new version is released?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Once there are no more spoilers in those books I'll do what I have done with things like White Sand and whatnot, that if people write me— Mistborn Prime is a good example. There's no real spoilers in Mistborn Prime if you've read the trilogy. It's not a very good book but you can read it and kind of understand the history of where the story came from. So I'll do the same thing with these books.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    When you reach the end of the Cosmere will there be something else? Or do you feel this will take most of your writing career to achieve?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yah, I think this kind of the Story of my writing career. Now, who knows. As I plotted it, right around mid-Mistborn series time, I came out with thirty-six books, of which I've done what five or six? More than that--

    Chris King

    Three, four, five, six, seven?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Seven. I think there is plenty of time so ask me in thirty years.

    Chris King

    This one's kind of similar here: When or if you reach the end of that, were you planning on expanding more or were you going to get done with what you had planned and be done with it, or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's really a "ask me in thirty years" sort of thing. I want to see if I can get this whole thing done. I want to do it in— There's this sort of tension to it, in that I view this as— The arc is my life's work. But at the same time I don't want to be belaboring it. There are cool things going on that I want to get to and I want to tell people about. And so there's this push and pull inside of me, wanting to do this. We will see.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    We've seen some hints of the over-arching cosmere story arc, what was the inspiration behind that story originally?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had an idea for a book when I was fifteen and just getting into fantasy novels—just getting into meaning, reading everything I could get my hands on and diving in face first—and I developed that idea over the next few years. I started writing and realized I was just no good as a writer yet. Which was okay, it wasn't a big deal to me. I realized this story was beyond my ability to approach, it was a vast, enormous story. And so, years later when I was writing Elantris I thought "Well let's just pretend I wrote that book and it was awesome and it's the prelude to what's going on here." That expanded into something much larger and much greater.

    I've mentioned before, part of my inspiration for this was the fact that one of my favorite writers, Asimov, later decided to connect two of his main story universes, the Robot books and the Foundation books. It was really cool when he did it and I felt what would happen if I started doing something like this from the get go. I've known several authors who do it at the end of their careers—well I guess Stephen King's not even at the end of his career, in the middle of his career—saying let me tie a bunch of these things together. What if I seeded all of this from the get go and use this story, this awesome story, that I wasn't able to write when I was younger as a foundation for it.

    English Reading Series at BYU 2018 ()
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    Finallity (paraphrased)

    We've seen a number of human/singer hybrids (Unkalaki and Herdazians) and even human/Aimian hybrids (Natans). How is such a thing possible biologically or is there some outside influence there?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said that they (humans and parshendi/aimians) can interbreed because they were made by the same person, or rather that they were made with the same intent, that they were made that way on purpose. They don't have a common heritage or anything though.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
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    zuriel45

    Could Firefight theoretically access the Cosmere using her dimensional powers? Do magic parallel realities exist in the greater Reckoners multiverse?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I built the Reckoners so that certain possibilities were "stable" and others were not--limiting how weird things go. (And how far she can reach.) I'm trying to keep it within the bounds of the Reckoners universe that things don't go all Rick and Morty on us. So the chance of reaching a shadow of the Cosmere is very slim.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
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    Arithered

    Don't think I didn't notice the Jewish couple that Wit insulted in Way of Kings.  Yonatan and Meirav, huh?

    I loved it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're relatives of my editor, Moshe. He requested a tuckerizeation as a wedding gift to them, and I was happy to oblige, considering some of the Hebrew roots of various Alethi cultural features.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    shadeslayer0930

    Can we dare hope for a crossover like [Lift and Wayne] in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can hope for such things, but I won't do them "just because." If the timelines align, you will see things like this in the future--but it's probably not going to happen for a while. (Except in certain, specific instances.)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    rehash101

    There are a few items I've read in stormlight that initially made me uncomforatble, such as the class/eye color dynamic, safe hands/glove, or the Parshman, and their use of song as a tool.

    However, I get the sense that you are aware of the implications, which makes me really curious to see how it all unfolds.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm quite aware, and it's intentional. However, some of the most controversial (and in some cases straight up racist) pieces of storytelling done in the modern era were done by well-meaning, but at the same time oblivious, white people trying to tackle the topic. (see Save the Pearls or the current kerfuffle about "The Continent.")

    So writing a series where racism and class-ism are major themes--and an entire minority population has not only been enslaved, but had their cultures stripped away and their souls partially stunted, preventing them from thinking--is a dangerous thing. It's entire possible that I'll stumble on this, and make a big offensive, embarrassing mess.

    So let's just say it's something I'm watching very carefully. The Herdazians, to a lesser extent, are ones that I'm walking a line on. Where do some Hispanic cultural markers--like big families and feeding visitors--stray from being a fun and accurate representation into, instead, being offensive stereotypes? I have to be careful. They're in the books in the first place because I noticed that I couldn't think of many Hispanic-inspired fantasy cultures that weren't Aztec exaggerations. But I wouldn't want to instead turn this into something that is essentially fantasy blackface or characterture.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    midobal

    Snapshot sounds very interesting! Knowing that it's set on the Reckoners universe, I was wondering if I should change my reading plans and start with them now, or if Snapshot can be read without previous knowledge.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is unconnected to the Reckoners story. You can read it without reading the series.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    WeiryWriter

    Does Snapshot take place on the Reckoners' Earth, or one of the other Core Possibilities? (Based on the reading you did I would assume the latter, but it doesn't hurt to get confirmation on that).

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's one of the Other Core Possibilities.

    The idea of going meta-series with Reckoners is to offer me the chance to play with quantum possibilities and alternate dimensions, which is something to cosmere's not set up to do. We'll see how big this one gets, but I'm fond of silver age comics, and the idea of alternate realities they explored. (Often in goofy ways because...well, silver age.) This also gives me a realm to do some magic, like the Epic powers, that I can hand-wave a little more, rather than confining everything to the structure of the cosmere.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    Snote85

    I had asked you a little while ago if Commander Gaval would be retaining his rank that he received from Kaladin. You told me that he'd been allowed to keep it as he'd earned it. I was now curious, do you think we might see him again in the future of the series or find out anything more about him?

    I know it's a silly little side character that was probably only there to facilitate that one interaction but I swear there is potential there to mine. It would be amazing, at least to me, to hear of him joining the recruitment drives, spending his days meeting the members and eventually soaring the winds with Bridge 4. He must have some form of affection for Kaladin after he aided in his major move up the ranks of Dalinar's army.

    lol, these are the questions that keep me up at night... "I wonder if Taleb ever felt true respect for the man who'd killed his Brightlord, or if he was simply a man of honor and kept his word after Dalinar's agreement to not sack the city were he to join the Elites." He's another character that I am dying to know more about. The tragedy of Taleb is a short story that needs to be written.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really should do more with Teleb, at least in some kind of flashback or the like. There was a lot going on inside of that mind of his--not the least of which a loyalty to a throne that his own line would have been ruling, had things turned out differently.

    I'll see what I can do with Gaval. It would be nice to bring him back, as you mention.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    fireflambe

    This is a slightly old comment, but is the marvel cinematic universe similar to what you envision happening with the cosmere movies? The moment that was announced the first thing I thought of was how great it would be if it followed the MCU formula.

    Brandon Sanderson

    well, and its popularity is part of why I think the film companies were suddenly interested in things like the cosmere. I'd like to think I presaged the MCU with what I was doing--but the truth is that Marvel and DC had been doing crossovers before I was born, so...

    Anyway, I've been trying to warn readers because many are starting to wonder things like you are. Is this like the MCU? Well, it is, and it isn't. The goal of the cosmere is to take individual fantasy worlds, then--over generations--tell an expansive story about their interactions one with another.

    I'm not pointing toward an Avengers style, "Your favorite characters all team up" story. The magics will interact, as will the worlds, and even some of the characters--but the story is not about a super-team.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
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    geoffw35

    When a writer can do something like this: Shallan killing the father she loves while whispering that lullaby, I know I've found a gem! I had to stop listening (audiobook) at that point and absorb what I experienced. What an emotional hit! I'd guess you were proud of that one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am indeed.

    Made a little creepier by the fact that I had my Father in Law (a semi-pro musician) write the lullaby, then I used it this way...

    BYU Writing Class Wrap-up 2017 ()
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    Just another guyn

    If a Shard were to wield Nightblood more directly, like Odium's champion and Odium channeling his power through Nightblood, would we see a lot of world ending stuff from that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That-- What you just described would work no differently from a Knight Radiant wielding Nightblood

    Just another guyn

    Okay. And that would be scary powerful?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. No, they'd feed off the Investiture and eventually would either run out or be drawing it so quickly that it would dissolve the person's soul.

    Just another guyn

    So souls are made of Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, in the cosmere, souls are. So you'd have a little while, but eventually the person would just die and get eaten.