Is looking into the Spiritual Realm the only way to look into the future?
Any looking into the future involves looking at Spiritwebs, probability, and stuff like that. So, yes.
Is looking into the Spiritual Realm the only way to look into the future?
Any looking into the future involves looking at Spiritwebs, probability, and stuff like that. So, yes.
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?
Yeah, it has more variety than people would think, but it isn't limitless, what they can become. But that would totally be possible.
And what would a Shardrock do if it hits you?
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.
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?
Yes, that is true.
Okay, she's is not crazy?
She's not-- Okay.
Are the spren intelligent?
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.
Dalinar's visions are the memories of Honor, correct?
Yes. Yes, they are things specifically created by Honor...
Does that mean that the Recreance happened before Honor's death... since Dalinar sees it?
Yes. But Honor's death, like Preservation's death, is a protracted event.
So, Hoid says he couldn't use the Pits anymore, but couldn't he have used the Trust, with a lot of atium all together? Would that have not formed a Perpendicularity?
No. There's a reason for that.
...I know that a lot of [Dragonsteel] is not canon anymore? How much of it, like, percentage-wise, I don't need specifics.
I would say that all... I consider almost all the worldbuilding to be canon, but the characters to not be.
So, anything about Topaz, does that not stand?
Doesn't really stand. The whole thing with the gods, and stuff like that, is really in flux.
Are we gonna find out more about spiritwebs, like, how they work?
Yeah, that's a little ways off, though.
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?
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.
...So, it doesn't have to be a nicrosil metalmind.
Okay... But it could be?
Yes. That is theoretically possible.
Would he also be able to have powers from Warbreaker without using Breaths?
Yes that is-- It is possible to power the magics with one another. Breaths are one of the-- it's-- yeah, let's just say that.
How many Breaths would it take to infuse a gemstone?
Gemstones would be not that hard to infuse with Breaths. Like, you can get one glowing pretty well with one Breath... Depends on the size of the gemstone, obviously.
Where did you get the idea for the gemhearts.
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.
I'm curious to know if there are any books-- any stories or scripture in the Book of Mormon that have particularly inspired your writing, that you like.
Yeah, King Benjamin's speech is the thing that I can point to most specifically as influencing me on my views of leadership, specifically in The Stormlight Archive.
What kind of spren is Hoid's favorite?
He is quite fond of Patterns.
[Can you write] something interesting about the Seventeeth Shard? ...Or how about this, a character that's in the Seventeenth Shard that we don't know about?
*spoken* ...I can do that--
*written* So... Iyatil was once in the 17th Shard...
Who is Rock, of your friends?
Rock is one of the ones that isn't. The core of Bridge Four isn't, yeah, Rock, and Teft, and Moash, and Lopen. Those aren't-- It's all the ones that aren't the main characters, except for Skar, I just named after my friends.
Are we going to see a clash between Nightblood and a Shardblade anytime soon?
Would you be able to write the... Second Ideal of the Truthwatchers?
...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.
Hoid. Did he have a family, and if he did, does he miss them?
That's a RAFO, because Dragonsteel, the book I'm eventually gonna write, is his backstory.
We were wondering about Nightblood, if he's sort of out-of-place on Roshar? 'Cause he's sort of the opposite of change, right?
He is supposed to be really out of place. He is a messed-up, messed-up... sword thing.
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?
Would he still hit the soul? That is theoretically possible to make happen. It requires a lot of work. That is theoretically possible.
So, the first [question] is whether or not a Shard can be healed after it has been [Splintered]?
That is actually a RAFO. That's been asked before.
How much do you plot books? How much do you plan out what happens before you start writing?
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.
Do you go chapter by chapter, or do you kinda just--
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.
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?
Um, it is more expansive than people guess it is, but it is limited.
How do you come up with names that sound awesome?
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.
So, how much time-- personal reading time to do you spend on different types of things: research versus classic versus other fantasy type--
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.
So, how many hours do you actually spend. Obviously, when you write, and you're signing, I understand that.
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.
Does anybody every ask you to, like, write them? Like, people ask someone to draw them, but does anybody ask you to write them?
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.
So Lift, she used a Shardfork. If you could use a regular item, and it be a Shard item, what would choose?
So now that Lopen has his arm, are there any good two-armed Herdazian jokes?
He's working on them. In a scene, you will see him working on two-armed Herdazian jokes.
Which is your favorite of the Ten Fools, and why?
Uh-- I don't know. I honestly don't know.
Can you give me a name of one of them, then?
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.
What's the name of that one?
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--
Not like the Heralds, that you're using all the time. They're just the Ten Fools.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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)?
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.
Also, in another fun note, Ruin didn't know about the horseshoes trick Vin used until he saw her do it. During a thousand years of Allomancy, she was the first to figure out how to do that. Clever girl.
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.
Hey, speaking of art. Was the mathematical inspiration behind Roshar's map your idea, or Brandon's?
Ah, that might be a bummer. I was hoping to figure out the exact formula used to generate it so I can do some animation stuff.
Sorry...I'm afraid I don't know the formula....
No comment yet on this specifically, tho I'll respond to something in that thread regarding names and "screw yous" within glyphs.
Readers are trying to pronounce glyphs by reading them. Glyphs aren't read. They're memorized. Sounds might be found in glyphs.
Glyphs have evolved from the early days. Just like the Chinese character for "tree" doesn't look like a tree anymore.
Alethi glyphs are recognized by overall shape, not by the shapes/sounds that might be found within.
For example, the Bridge 4 glyph is still recognizable even if the component shapes are changed.
Hope this helps!
So let's see if I got it. The "kholin" glyphpair could, given enough time, no longer look like "khokh" & "linil"...
... but still be recognizable as "kholin" due to its overall shape?
That is correct. More ancient glyphs will have slowly morphed away from the original sounds found inside.
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.
Nobody ever remarks on how one of the "moons" takes up a quarter of the visible sky?
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.)
That they're really fast/close, I would think. Perhaps unusually so...
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.
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?
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.
Were the moons also artificially created, or were they originally formed naturally?
I don't know.
Hey, I am curious - have you and the rest of Team Sanderson figured out what the Dawnchant looks like in writing?
There has been some discussion on this. :)
His coyness is rubbing off on you :) I wasn't trying to be sneaky though, legitimately just wanted to know if you guys have an idea :)
I have some ideas. Nothing canon yet. :)
Speaking of The Scar, all the other names on the map refer to a specific planet, right? Roshar, Sel, Nalthis, etc. The scar, as far as know, is more a region, yet it uses the same typography as the planets. What's up with that?
Same typography because when I used other fonts, it looked way out of place. If there were more labels on this map, I would've used italics probably for this feature.
Some stars are yellow, while others are red - is that significant?
Yes. There are other colors in there too.
Is the relative positioning of the constellations' images significant in any way? For example, the Shardbearer is pointing his blade at the dragon/serpent/monster of the Scar, while Nalthian lady looks like she is blowing Sel's fire out. Do we need to be paying attention to those?
This is more compositional than anything else. Though I wouldn't discount their positions entirely.
Are all the constellations symbolic in nature? If so, can you fill in any gaps in my understanding of them (or expand on them, point out cool things I may have missed, etc)? I've got:
All correct so far.
Taldain - a tree? Because of the importance of water on the world?
A one tree. This is a symbolic reference to the Shard that resides on that world. The Coppermind says this: "Khriss writes that Bavadin supports a policy of strict isolationism for Taldain."
First of the Sun - a sailor? Because of how the natives live, traveling between the isles?
A fisherman, actually. He's throwing his net out among the stars.
Sel - the lamp makes a lot more sense now, thanks! I don't think anyone had pointed out that Sel is inside the flame, not the lamp - but the lamp is so much dominant in the image, it was easy to focus on it :)
Just repeating what I mentioned before in case I ever make this into a blog post. Sel's constellation is symbolic (as is the constellation Threnody is found in). As for the lamp, notice that Sel is not exactly part of the lamp. It's part of the flame. How does Aon Dor work? An Elantrian creates an opening for it to pour through and affect the world. Think of the flame as a symbol for the Dor. Does that make sense?
Scadrial - why is it absent? And is it really absent, or there but just not labeled (for whatever reason)?
Scadrial's there. It's just part of the constellation I've been calling the Giver. Some worlds are closer together than others, so there wasn't room to give each world its own constellation.
I had been thinking about the Cosmere constellations map, and why certain constellations are what they are. Some look pretty obvious to me - of course the one that includes Roshar would be a Shardbearer, and of course the one with Nalthis would be somebody exhaling or giving Breath. But others? Threnody is maybe a part of a grieving woman, so that could kind of make sense, but Sel being featured in a lamp?!
So I asked Brandon, and he said the constellations were all you. He also encouraged me to convince you to write an essay for the website about this map, but I wanted to see if you could answer some questions about this map.
Is this alright with you?
Thanks for the email. I'll try to answer some of your questions, and you're right, an essay about the map on the website might eventually be the way to go. (Got to find time to write it.) The constellations weren't really all me. I had several discussions with Brandon, who made many suggestions. Maybe he forgets how much input he had. :) Unless he means the actual lines of the constellations. Those are purely me.
Sel's constellation is symbolic (as is the constellation Threnody is found in). As for the lamp, notice that Sel is not exactly part of the lamp. It's part of the flame. How does Aon Dor work? An Elantrian creates an opening for it to pour through and affect the world. Think of the flame as a symbol for the Dor. Does that make sense?
Send away with your questions. Maybe they'll help direct how I should handle the essay. :)
Do the constellations have actual names you can share with us?
Clockwise from Threnody: the Mourner, the Dragon, the Fisherman, the Giver, the Lamp, the Knight, and the One Tree. The names are a bit generic, mostly because they are working names I used to refer to the different constellations during the process of painting the piece. It should be noted that the people from the spot in the Cosmere where the night sky does look like this would not see these pictures in the constellations nor give them these names. The pictures the patron saw in the stars here are based on their own observations and knowledge about the Cosmere as a whole. The locals would see entirely different pictures in their stars, for those who can even see the stars from their vantage.
One tidbit I should mention is that the lamp used to be a constellation called the Lover and was a man receiving breath from the Giver. I dropped it mostly because it's reference to Devotion wasn't working visually. Another thing to note: Not all the stars on this chart are physically within the Cosmere. Some are in the parts of Space beyond the Cosmere.
What perspective is this constellation map seen/drawn from? Somebody from an earlier signing in this tour said they spoke with you about this, and you mentioned Silverlight, but not exactly... I got the impression that your reply wasn't transcribed verbatim Can you address the perspective issue here? We now know that Silverlight is in the Cognitive Realm (where the stars don't necessarily match their physical arrangement, if they are visible at all), so if you worried about accidentally revealing that earlier, it's no longer an issue.
The map was created to reside in Silverlight and represents a partial view of the night sky from a point we have not yet revealed. So, no, this is not a view of the night sky from Silverlight. This is a mural painted for a patron whose travels have taken them far far afield.
Also, as a note, Alendi was an Allomancer, as the epigraph notes here. He had to be—he heard the pulsing at the Well of Ascension when nobody else could. "Ah," you might say, "but I thought that you said Allomancy didn't exist before those beads." That isn't 100% true. The legends say that Allomancy came with the Deepness. Alendi was one of the very first Allomancers, and he gained his powers as the mists began to cover the world.
That's important. ;)
Because, of course, he was Snapped by the mists, like is happening to people in this book.
So would it be possible to use Steelrunning + compounding to travel FTL?
No, it would not. You could get close, though.
Kind of like Zemo's Paradox, than? You keep halving the distance, never quite making it?
*gleam in his eye* Trying to crack Allomatic FTL?
I don't know, there are alot of good theories out there.
It involves Allomantic abilities which we don't know about yet.
OK guys, help me out on this.
Let's take a bubble where time is sped up inside, maybe to 10x, maybe to 100x. I'm thinking that if there is no light source inside the bubble, but all light comes from the area outside the bubble, to an observer outside the bubble all light that goes inside and gets redshifted will get blueshifted back the same amount when it exits the bubble. So the outside observer won't see a color change at all. (I'm ignoring refraction for the purposes of this post, but someone else may elucidate.)
The person inside the bubble will see a redshift of all light coming into the bubble--but will also see far fewer photons per second, so the world will go dim or even black.
At low time-speedups, the person in the bubble will see UV light shifted into the visible range, so will start effectively seeing in UV. At very fast speeds he can see X rays or even gamma rays. (I don't know from Brandon what the max speedup is.)
If the person inside the bubble turns on a flashlight, this will be shifted into the UV or X-ray range when it leaves the bubble. You can fry everyone around you with deadly radiation this way.
When you have a bubble that slows time, the opposite happens. People inside can see in infrared or radio waves. And if they go slow enough, visible light from the outside is shifted into the X-ray or gamma-ray range and the person inside gets fried by radiation. If they turn on a flashlight, people outside get cooked.
Can anyone point out flaws in this analysis? Does anyone have magical suggestions for why any of these things wouldn't happen?
For practical reasons it looks like there will need to be a lot of handwavium burned.
Consider Stormlight is ten books but it's two sets of five, so first five will come to an ending and then the next five will take place in the world about ten years later.
Your Korean phrase in Alcatraz, what was that?
"I don't speak Korean," I believe is what it says.