Recent entries

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #5651 Copy

    Questioner

    If a kandra were a Parshendi, would he be able to take the forms?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Forms? The actual-- To an extent, yes. To an extent, yes, but part of that is the spren bond. You're not gonna get everything. You could look like one, but there'll be certain things you won't be able to do, even with the Form. You couldn't take a form of power... You could pass.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #5653 Copy

    ShadowSgt

    The history of Nightblood, we know that it's created by knowledge of the Shardblades. Would you say that Vasher's first trip to Roshar coincided with a certain individual that tried to take over all of Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're talking about Sadees?

    ShadowSgt

    The Sunmaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I'd have to look at the timeline, but it was not-- it is not something I have present in my mind. It could have overlapped. So, it might overlap, but there's not a cause-and-effect there.

    ShadowSgt

    So, Sunmaker and Vasher are sep--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Are not the same people, good question. Sunmaker is legitimately Dalinar's ancestor.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5654 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you come up with the David analogies and the metaphors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, man, this is so much harder than you think it is. For those who haven't read them, the main character is really, really bad at similes. And where it came from is, there's actually a contest every year, where people intentionally try to write bad similes, and submit them. And every year it comes out and makes me laugh. Just-- I love it. And I started writing Reckoners, and-- Normally, you read this things as an author, to watch out for things to not accidentally do. If you read the bad metaphors, you can be like, "Oh, this is why you don't want to do this. You don't want people laughing." You get aware of this sort of thing. It's very good for you as a writer to watch. And, lo and behold, I'm writing a book series, and I wrote a metaphor, and I looked at it, and I'm like "That is really bad." And you do this as an author sometimes, and sometimes they slip in the books, you just write it and they're really bad. And I went to delete it and I'm like, "What if I ran with that?" This is because I tend to discovery-write my characters. So, I outline a lot for my settings, and I outline a lot of my plots, and then I go freewrite who these characters are, and then usually I have to do a lot of rebuilding of my plot after I figure out who's who. And in the Reckoners, I just ran with that, I did the whole sequence, I did the whole first chapter like that, and I'm like, "This is really fun." And then I locked myself into it, and it got so hard. Being bad on purpose is, like, ridiculously difficult. But it was also part of the fun. I would save them up, I'd be walking on the street, I'd think of something, and I'd be like "Ooh, how do I make that bad?" And I'd spend the next fifteen to twenty minutes writing a really bad metaphor. And sticking it in my pocket, because they all have to be bad in different ways. If they're all bad in the same way, then that's not any fun, you get used to it. So they all have to be bad in different ways, too. So, yeah, it was harder than I thought, but it was a blast.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5655 Copy

    Questioner

    So, most of your magic systems are limited to only a slight portion of the population. Is that a conscious decision? Are there any that are open to anybody?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Certainly, the Warbreaker magic is open to everybody, and that's part of what I was doing, was I wanted to contrast the other ones. And this is just because it makes for good storytelling, honestly. And when I do this, I'm doing it too much, I go the other way. That's why Sixth of the Dusk is open to everyone, that's why different things are done differently in the magics. But, really, when I'm working on the books, I'm like, "Well, we need something dramatic and cool." And I would argue that at least some of them, such as in Stormlight Archive, those are open to anybody if you can convince a spren. And you're sincere, right? And I like going that direction. Certainly, the kind of old standby of "you're born with it" is really easy. It's really, what we call in Sci-Fi/Fantasy "grokkable." You can instantly, kind of, get it. You're like, "All right, this is just like a talent. Some people are born with different talents. Makes sense." It doesn't take a lot of explanation, you don't have to worldbuild a ton up front. Where something like Stormlight, you gotta send a lot of worldbuilding words to explain how it happens, why it happens, things like that. But the trade-off is, it's in many ways more satisfying if you do it the other way. So, I do try to balance those. But sometimes those short-hands are very handy.

    Questioner

    Is Forgery?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Forgery is a Selish magic system, so it is birth-based, tied to location.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5656 Copy

    Questioner

    My fiance and I have been reading through the books, I introduced them to her, she's been reading them in Mandarin. And, so, our question is about what level of enforcement/authority you guys have at Dragonsteel for things like translations, because the atium in the Taiwanese/Mandarin version of the book is translated as "sky gold." Which loses the connection to Ati.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it does a little bit.

    Questioner

    How does-- has that changed, since you started?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has changed since we started, definitely. We try to involve-- Those were translated by Lucy, right? We try to stay really in contact with our translators and offer them as much as possible. Who translated that one? ...Oh, no, that's not Lucy, that's-- he contacts us, too, he writes to us. And, we do our best. But sometime we just don't make people aware of things early enough for them to be relevant. Like, they start, they get a book out, and then they're like "Oh, no, this need to be related." We try, and our translators try, and usually are really good at contacting us, but things slip through. I've worked with both of the Chinese translators quite a bit, actually; Peter does most of that. But if there are things that we get wrong, we love to hear about it, we pass along to translators-- the Chinese translator is a big fan of the cosmere. And sought out the project actively to work on it. So... if there are translation issues, just write to us.

    Oathbringer Houston signing ()
    #5658 Copy

    Questioner

    How much is a stone-weight on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh... that is actually a question for Peter. I actually, often, will just write in brackets "this much," and he comes up with the weights and measures, because I can never be consistent in my first drafts. So, yeah, you ask Peter, he can get that for you. I do the same thing with spheres, right? I'm like, "This costs roughly 100 bucks in our world," and he'll go "All right, fine" and go look up all the things. I used to keep it all in the first book, but since then I just let him do it.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5663 Copy

    Questioner

    In this world, assuming that [Roshar] is as old as it appears to be, wouldn't it be that the creatures that have gemhearts in them, as they die their body would rot away but leaving the gemstone? So wouldn't fossil beds exist with layers of gemstones in them from the passing of the ages?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's why-- yes.

    Questioner

    That's how they mine them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do mine them. What you've got to remember is, in my opinion these things are going to collect in certain ways in certain places.

    Questioner

    Densities and stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. But yeah. Because there's no tectonic activity on Roshar, so.

    Questioner

    Just the buildup of crem over time slowly covers things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5669 Copy

    Argent

    The last Unmade, the one that's hypothesized to Dai-Gonarthis. It looks suspiciously to me like Cusicesh, because of the feeling of being drained, because it's a large spren-- Is there something to that or is the feeling just because Cusicesh is a large spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gonna RAFO.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5670 Copy

    Zmann966

    There is an expensive steel chain in the shops in Celebrant. Is there anything significant about that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Hands over a RAFO card* That is such a big RAFO. Super-big RAFO.

    Footnote: OB chapter 102, described as "a long thin silvery chain", not steel
    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5671 Copy

    Questioner

    I actually wanted to get a tattoo of the Truthwatcher symbol. Are there any-- are there narrative reasons you would go against that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhh, no.

    Questioner

    Are they-- would they be an order that's about using knowledge to help people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Could I get an Ideal if possible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Of them? I can't do 'em because I don't want to canonize them yet, I have to do that when I actually write the books.

    Questioner

    But it is broadly speaking knowledge and help?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5672 Copy

    Questioner

    So Honorblades: Can they actually be bound? ...Can you bind to an Honorblade or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeees you can, but it's not exactly the same thing.

    Questioner

    It's not exactly the same thing as a regular Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah... In some ways they're more powerful in some ways they're a prototype, if that makes sense.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5673 Copy

    Matrim

    Hoid gets his tooth knocked out while in Kholinar. He prompts somebody else to help him with that. Is that because he has issues hurting not only other people but himself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep.

    Matrim

    And then he considers healing that at a later point in time. Which magic system does he consider using to heal that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A magic system that predates-- predates any of the others.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5676 Copy

    Questioner

    So my dog's name is Vin. I was wondering if there was any sort of story behind that name and how you thought of it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wine in French. Because building the whole region off of French-sounding names—Kelsier and Demoux and things like that. And I just really like... the sound of it. I know it's kind of like a guy's name, but I just really like the sound of it.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5678 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we have to wait until the end of Stormlight Archive to learn about Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh yeeees.

    Questioner

    So like a dozen years.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You'll get little bits and pieces, but you won't get the whole thing until I do his trilogy, which is the next thing after Stormlight.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5681 Copy

    Questioner

    Can I ask you real quick: Where Warbreaker falls in Stormlight Achive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Warbreaker is before Stormlight Archive. Vasher, before Warbreaker, had been to Roshar.

    Questioner

    Okay, that's what I needed to know. Nightblood.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood was patterned off of things that Vasher and the others saw on Roshar.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5688 Copy

    Questioner

    What's this sword's *points at replica of Jezrien's Honorblade* name? Do you have-- have you named Szeth's blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Various people have named the swords various things. I just-- I'm not going to canonize it right now, but it's had many names over the years...

    Questioner

    Can you give me one of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I mean-- just "the Assassin's Blade."

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5690 Copy

    Questioner

    So, in Allomancy, most of the metals are in pairs, they're equal and opposite, pushing and pulling, Rioting, Soothing, that kind of thing. The god metals have always-- lerasium and atium, have always struck me as kind of unbalanced in a way. Like, lerasium gives you the power to use all these metals, plus atium being one of them. Is there a reason for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is, and it kinda has to do with Snapping and some of the fundamental rules of the Mistborn world and the fact that people have Preservation and Ruin inside of them and all these sorts of things. So, the answer is yes.

    Partially, narratively, I built that in partially just 'cause I wanted atium to seem odd in the placement, right, when people got to it it's like "What? Why is this one-- This one doesn't match the others. This doesn't really work." When I was building Mistborn, one of the big things I wanted was this idea of a periodic table that was, kind of a flawed construct, that, as you read the books, you came to understand better and better. And that was something I executed-- I don't think I executed that 100% right, but I'm pleased with the general concept and how it plays out. And so I wanted atium to stick out like a sore thumb.

    The other thing is, I knew I needed some good foreshadowing for Fortune, for people being able to kinda see the future or versions of the future, for the whole cosmere to work. And, so, I built in atium specifically to do those things. And I built in lerasium to have, kind of, the ultimate sort of benevolent endowment sort of thing. (Not Endowment the Shard, you know what I mean.) But I also wanted to show these two magics were intrinsically tied together on Scadrial because the way that humankind was created. We're getting into some deep stuff, I'll just leave it there. But that was what was going through my mind as I was building those things all out. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5692 Copy

    Questioner

    In Sixth of the Dusk, are the Ones Above Scadrians who invented faster-than-light travel? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I haven't-- I danced around answering that one, just because I don't quite want to get into it yet. I like the Ones Above being somewhat mysterious. But I have said it is someone you know, right? It is part of the cosmere in the very future. So you're not going to be surprised, because there's a limited number of options. But I haven't said-- 'cause I might do more in that world, and I just want to leave them mysterious for now. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5693 Copy

    Questioner

    [In Secret History] there was a key scene with a character named Drifter. And, uh, that was the first time that I felt like there was a sense of malevolence with this character. And I was curious if that's something that I should state with that punch? Or was this just a particular thing? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say yes. Drifter is an ancient entity who has very, very many sides and that is accurately one of them. That said, in that particular scene, there are certain personalities that play off of each other poorly, in real life and in books, and you happened to catch one that-- Drifter and this character do not-- Let's just say they rub each other the wrong way. But I would definitely say that is an aspect of his personality. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5694 Copy

    Questioner

    With Alloy of Law, with Wayne, how do you come up with that character? *laughter* And those things that he says? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, yeah, Wayne's one of those characters. So, there are certain standards to which I hold almost all of my characters in my books. Wayne isn't one of them. He gets away with more.

    So, where'd Wayne come from? The original concept for Wayne was, when I was working on the Mistborn books-- For those who don't know, I originally pitched Mistborn to my editor, Moshe, as a trilogy of trilogies: Past, Present, Future. Epic fantasy trilogy, urban fantasy trilogy, science fiction trilogy, set in the same world, with advancing technology in which the magic becomes the foundation for space travel. And the original idea that the epic fantasy trilogy becomes the foundation of myth and religion in the modern day trilogy. So, I told him all this, and he said, "Wow. You're ambitious." This was after he had read Elantris and was trying to figure out what else to buy from me.

    And so, as I was working on The Stormlight Archive, I realized I wanted something from the Mistborn world to balance Stormlight, because Stormlight books are big and involved and take, like, years of writing to get done, and I didn't want to be alternating thick, long, books in two series, I kinda wanted to have a shorter, more fast-paced series to balance out the bigger, longer series. And so, the first thing I started doing, the first idea for Wayne, was a person whose personality changed based on hats he put on. And he was actually originally a hat maker. And I wrote, like, three pages of this, and he was just too kooky. He was great, but I was pouring too much into him. I needed: number one, to kinda pull back on the concept in that original; and number two, I needed multiple characters around him. By the way, he was riding around on a talking horse at that point, because he was a kandra.

    Yeah, it was a really weird scene. It was wacky. And that's when I said, "All right, I'm gonna sit down and write an actual novel, not just exploratory scenes." And that's where I built Wax and Wayne, and kind of, the play off of each other, and things like that. So, they kind of grew out of each other, and out of that first scene that I wrote. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5695 Copy

    Questioner

    From what we've seen so far, most of the Ideals of the Orders of the Knights Radiant have been in line with the Divine Attributes ascribed to them. Did the Divine Attributes come from the Ideals of the Knights Radiant? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    These two are heavily interconnected. And the Divine Attributes, like the Double Eye at the front, are more philosophy than they are strict, you know part of-- Rather than capital-T Truth revealed. And so a lot of social structures were built out of the things going on. So the answer is yes. Not 100% yes, but certainly those sorts of things are extrapolations that people were making, as opposed to core concepts of the magic. 

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #5698 Copy

    Questioner

    ...At some point in the novel, there is a character who gets a certain, shall we say, powerup that falls in-line with many things that he, or she, already has. Is there, from an Investiture standpoint, is there a Compounding effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there will be. *laughter* If we're talking about the same individual.