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    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #551 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    CONCLUSION

    So, there you go! Another beast of a document to keep us on track for another year. This has been one of the stranger time periods in my life, and I suspect you feel the same. I simultaneously feel like I was only just doing this, posting a State of the Sanderson for 2019—and also that the times pre-COVID like that were somehow an eternity ago.

    For now, though, I intend to continue doing what I always do. Keep my eyes forward, and continue telling stories.

    Wishing you the best,

    Brandon SandersonDecember 2020

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #552 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART TEN: PROJECTED SCHEDULE

    COVID is slowing things down a little—and Stormlight years are always a challenge—so while I was pretty productive this year, it seems impossible to get Wax and Wayne 4 out next year. Indeed, because of COVID delays and publisher worries, even getting Skyward 3 out next year will be a challenge. (Though I’m reasonably confident we’ll do it.)

    So, my schedule now looks like this going forward. As always, this is just an estimate.

    Fall 2021: Skyward 3Spring 2022: Alcatraz 6Fall 2022: Wax and Wayne 4Spring/Summer 2023: Skyward 4Fall 2023: Stormlight 5

    Once I’m done with Stormlight 5, it will be time to have another big talk about the future of the Cosmere. But for now, I have to keep my attention focused on that goal.

    If you want to follow along in 2021, I should be able to finish writing both Wax and Wayne 4 and Skyward 4, bringing those two series to a close. If I have any extra time, I’ll probably try to do a draft of The Apocalypse Guard and maybe finish the Sixth of the Dusk sequel novella. In addition, I’ll be doing drafts on the Skyward novellas as they come in, so I’ll be keeping busy!

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #553 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART NINE: TRANSLATION UPDATES

    This year I did something I’d been considering for a while—I asked some of my larger overseas publishers if they wanted to include any updates in the State of the Sanderson. I had a few of them get back, and hopefully we’ll grow this section in future years.

    As a quick aside, I wanted to mention that we’re working to have a broader availability of my Gollancz hardcovers be more easily available in places like the UK and India. Hopefully more on this in the coming months.

    For now, here are a few updates.

    Germany

    Two of my German publishers sent us a list of recent and upcoming publications.

    From Heyne:

    • Edgedancer / Die Tänzerin am Abgrund: 11 November 2019
    • Children of the Nameless / Die Kinder des Namenlosen: 13 April 2020
    • Oathbringer Vol. 2 / Splitter der Macht: 11 January 2021 (paperback)
    • Rhythm of War Vol. 1 / Der Rhythmus des Krieges: 15 February 2021
    • Rhythm of War Vol. 2 / Der Turm Der Lichter: 24 May 2021

    From Droemer:

    • Skyward / Der Ruf der Sterne: 1 July 2021 (ebook) & 2 August 2021 (paperback)

    Poland

    Zysk, my YA publisher in Poland, enthusiastically got back to us first with news, follwed by MAG and IUVI. All of my Polish publishers have been awesome, so I hope you’ll support them.

    One of the things I asked these publishers was how people could order the books internationally, if they wanted copies. Zysk has links for those who want to grab the books, though unfortunately this is a place that only ships to Europe. Eventually, I’d like to have links in this section for those around the world who want to order copies, but we’ll start here.

    From Zysk

    1. Skyward (published 2nd of April 2019) and Starsight (published 14th of April 2020)Audio editions of The Skyward Series & The Reckoners Series are available via Storytel.
    2. Zysk plans to publish book #3 in The Skyward Series: “Nowhere”, publication dates to be determined once they receive material.
    3. Polish bookstores which deliver internationally (to Europe)

    From MAG

    Here is their upcoming lineup for 2021:

    • Rhythm of War Vol. 1: March
    • White Sand Vol. 3: March
    • Dawnshard: March
    • Rhythm of War Vol. 2: June
    • Children of the Nameless: June
    • All available 10th Anniversary Editions: Between March and October

    From IUVI

    The whole Acatraz vs. the Evil Librarians series (vol. 1–5) are available to Polish readers.

    1. Piasek Raszida
    2. Kości Skryby
    3. Rycerze Krystalii
    4. Zakon Rozbitej Soczewki
    5. Mroczny Talent

    Audio editions of of Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians Series are available via Storytel.

    If you enjoy reading reviews for translated works, here are a few reviews you can check out.

    France

    From Livre de Poche

    At Le Livre de Poche, we are thrilled to work with Brandon Sanderson and Dragonsteel Entertainment to present his novels to French readers worldwide.In 2020 we published simultaneously in paper and digital formats the Omnibus editions of Legion : The Many Lives of Stephen Leeds (Légion : les nombreuses vies de Stephen Leeds) in May, and most recently – last November – the first installment of Skyward (Vers les étoiles) in trade.

    2021 will be a very busy and exciting year for Brandon’s French fans. In January, the two-volume mass market editions of Oathbringer (Justicière) will be available alongside the first part of the highly anticipated Rhythm of War (Rythme de Guerre) in trade. The second part of Rhythm of War should be published in May 2021.

    Finally, the second installment of the Skyward series, Starsight, will come out in trade in September, alongside the mass market edition of Skyward (Vers les étoiles).

    French versions of Brandon Sanderson’s books are available worldwide in online bookstores such as Place des Libraires, Mollat, Décitre, Furets du Nord, Dialogues, and Cultura, or online retailers like Fnac.com, Amazon, Rakuten, Momox, and many others, but don’t forget to ask your local bookseller if they can get it for you!

    You will find all the many ways to get Brandon’s books in French on our website.

    En français

    Au Livre de Poche, nous sommes ravis de travailler avec Brandon Sanderson et Dragonsteel entertainment pour proposer ses romans aux lecteurs francophones du monde entier.

    En 2020 nous avons publié simultanément en papier et en numérique la version intégrale de Légion : les nombreuses vies de Stephen Leeds en mai et, plus récemment, en novembre dernier, le premier tome en grand format de la série Skyward, Vers les étoiles.

    2021 sera une année intense et passionnante pour les lecteurs francophones de Brandon Sanderson. En janvier, l’édition de poche de Justicière (volumes 1 et 2) paraîtra aux côtés de la très attendue première partie de Rythme de Guerre. La seconde partie de Rythme de Guerre paraîtra en mai 2021. Enfin le deuxième tome de la série Skyward, Starsight (titre français à venir) sortira début septembre, en même temps que la parution en poche de Skyward, Vers les étoiles.

    Les versions françaises des ouvrages de Brandon Sanderson sont disponibles à la commande dans le monde entier sur les librairies en ligne telles que Place des libraires, Mollat, Décitre, Furets du Nord, Dialogues, Cultura ou sur les plateformes de vente en ligne comme Fnac.com, Amazon, Rakuten, Momox et bien d’autres, mais n’oubliez pas de demander à votre libraire s’il peut vous les commander!

    Vous trouverez toutes les manières de vous procurer les ouvrages de Brandon en français sur notre site.

    A few reviews from my French-translated books.

    Italy

    From Mondadori (my new publisher there, who we’re very happy to be with)

    Here in Italy, we published the translation of Rhythm of War the same day as the American release. It was a remarkable feat for which we have to thank Gabriele Giorgi, Sanderson’s inexhaustible and heroic Italian translator, who committed to the cause with the usual abnegation and legendary painstaking accuracy.

    2021 will be a year full of Sandersonian releases: we are working on a three-volumes collection of the graphic novel White Sand, which will come out in the first semester, while in the second semester we are planning the release of Arcanum Unbounded, as well as an illustrated edition of Mistborn: The Final Empire, on the heels of the leatherbound American edition. Surprise releases are also not entirely out of the question, although the whole 2021 schedule is still quite fluid in light of the ongoing COVID-19 emergency, which might cause some delays in the second-semester releases in order to adapt to the shifts in exogenous factors and market conditions.

    Spain

    From Ediciones B

    We have just released Rhythm of War in trade on 19 November on a simultaneous launch with the US edition. The first print run of the book in Spain was 14.000 copies and we have already reprinted three times in less than a month. (Now we have a total of 30.000 copies printed since publication.)

    The book started very strong in GFK, and reached number 7 of the general trade list of GFK for week 47 and also number 7 of the trade fiction list, with 4.977 copies sold during the first week.

    It also reached number 2 of top 100 of FNAC on the first week of sale, and has been top 1 of November sales in Gigamesh bookstore. It has also been in the top 100 of Amazon Spain during two weeks.

    Before publication, Gigamesh has sold 700 copies in preorder of their limited edition.

    We plan to publish Dawnshard in the summer and our Mistborn 1–3 illustrated edition during the second half of the year. We also plan to publish Skyward 3, depending on the final release date of the US edition and the translation timing.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #554 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART EIGHT: OTHER COOL PROJECTS

    Picture Books

    One of the things I talked about last year was doing a picture book based on “The Girl who Looked Up” from Oathbringer.

    We eventually decided to fold this deal and walk away. The publisher was pleasant, but it became clear we both had different visions of the project, and I wasn’t sure how much control I was going to have over the text and the artwork—something very important to me, especially when it comes to my Cosmere-related works.

    Ideally, I’d still like to do a series of picture books using “The Girl who Looked Up,” “The Dog and the Dragon,” and maybe a few of the other stories-within-a-story that show up in the Cosmere novels. To this end, I actually wrote a different picture book, unrelated to the Cosmere, and am currently shopping it.

    My philosophy again is that I’d like to know more about the market (like with the first tie-in Mainframe stories) before I commit to something involving Cosmere continuity, even in a tangential way. Hopefully I’ll be able to sell this other picture book and get some experience in the market, and then have a better idea of how/when to approach doing the Cosmere Storybook ones. (Where I’d probably want to start with “The Dog and the Dragon.”)

    Board Games and Crafty Updates

    This year saw the release of the Stormlight-themed Call to Adventure board game by Brotherwise Games, who have just been fantastic partners in this area. The board game is fun and has great art. Brotherwise are big fans of the series, and their knowledge of the property shows. More information on their website.

    Additionally, Nauvoo Games ran a Kickstarter for the Steelslayer expansion to their Reckoners board game. We’ve found that Nauvoo creates quality products, and we appreciate their attention to detail on this one.

    Crafty Games also has an expansion coming for their Mistborn: House War board game. This one’s titled Mistborn: The Siege of Luthadel and is currently available for pre-order. Crafty also released some new sets of Mistborn dice this year that are particularly cool, especially the metal ones.

    We also partnered with the folks at Forged Foam, who created these amazing shardblade designs! They are currently out of stock but we’re hoping they’ll be available again soon.

    If you are getting the Orders of the Knights Radiant and Wit coins from our Way of Kings Kickstarter, perhaps you need a beautiful handcrafted wooden coin display to go with it? Dragon Wood Shop is taking preorders now.

    We have a Mistborn card deck in progress with the guys at Kings Wild Project and it is turning out so nicely. We can’t wait for the final product to be out in the world!

    The Kaladin art book is moving and shaking with Petar Panev taking on the art direction.

    And, as usual, our other vendors continue to offer high-quality Cosmere merchandise! Shire Post Mint produces Mistborn coins from two distinct eras in the series. Badali Jewelry features jewelry and accessories inspired by Mistborn, Stormlight Archive, and Elantris. Worldbuilders Market offers a huge variety of products including posters, phone cases, and more.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #555 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART SEVEN: FILM/TELEVISION/VIDEO GAME UPDATES

    The film/television world is a strange place right now, with COVID, and a lot of things slowed down or got stalled. So there are no big updates for you on anything here, though I’ve still broken everything down here by series. Basically, I’m afraid I have to tell you there hasn’t been motion on any of them.

    That said, there are some cool things happening behind the scenes on a few of these projects. I hope to have announcements sometime this year that will make you excited.

    Stormlight

    This is still owned by Dan Mintz/DMG Entertainment. There has been no motion this year.

    Mistborn/Rest of Cosmere

    I still have all of these rights, and have not yet sold them, though I’ve been working on a screenplay for Mistborn myself and have had some interesting opportunities behind the scenes. Nothing I can announce yet.

    Legion

    Still owned by Cineflix Media. No updates.

    Skyward

    Owned by Universal Television, purchased last year. I’m eager to see what they come up with!

    Alcatraz

    Optioned by Gaumont with Stuart Beatie, the writer of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise, adapting for an animated series.

    Dark One

    Joe Michael Straczynski wrote a pilot for this earlier in the year, and we’re still shopping it around. It’s been a cool experience so far, working with someone who knows the business as well as JMS does.

    Snapshot

    Option lapsed this year. We’ve been looking for another home for this.

    Steelheart

    Option lapsed last year. No home for this yet either.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #556 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART SIX: UPDATES ON MINOR PROJECTS

    White Sand

    I’m moving this Cosmere story to the minor projects for now, since the graphic novels series is finished. (Though Isaac has been working hard on an omnibus version of it, for those who wanted to wait for that.)

    In addition to small fixes to bring the omnibus more in line with the underpinnings of the Cosmere, we’re also adding a 30+-page prologue with art by the amazing Nabetse Zitro, whose work can be found on and on Twitter.

    But as a bit of a teaser, here’s one of his sketches from the prologue, showing Khriss and Baon.Someday, I might do a revision of the original prose novel, which is one of the only ones from my unpublished years that is good enough (with some work) to release. If I do so, I’ll update it to match the graphic novel in terms of characters and narrative—as the graphic novel is Cosmere canon.

    Status: Omnibus in the works

    The Reckoners and Legion

    Both are getting some kind of continuation via Mainframe, my audiobook company. See the announcement up above! I talked last year about maybe doing these, and now they’re both in the works for real.

    Status: Mainframe projects in the works

    Soulburner

    Still a cool secret going on here, but I can’t say anything.

    The Apocalypse Guard

    Still plan to do a revision of this and get it out, likely after Skyward Four.

    Other Small Projects

    Things I want to do include: Adamant, untitled Threnody novel, Sixth of the Dusk sequel, untitled Emperor’s Soul sequel, The Silence Divine, Secret Standalone Cosmere Book, that wacky YA Cosmere Book with Magic Kites, Kingmaker (First of the Sun YA novel not involving Sixth), and Aether of Night.

    No progress I can talk about on any of these, though I did do a reading from the Sixth of the Dusk sequel at the Rhythm of War release party.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #557 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART FIVE: UPDATES ON SECONDARY PROJECTS

    Alcatraz Series

    I’ve been promising Book Six for a while, and we finally have the publisher on board. I’ve been saying this for years, but the book is now complete. But as I said above, publishers really like more time to publish books than I often give them—so here, I decided to let them guide me, as they want to relaunch the series in paperback with new cover illustrations (the illustrator we’re hoping to get is fantastic), and a box set available of the first five books next year for the holiday gift-giving season.

    Those should be coming out next year or early 2022, with the sixth and final book projected to come out in hardcover sometime in spring 2022. I know it’s been a wait, and I apologize, but the last book turned out really cool. It’s from Bastille’s viewpoint, and is coauthored by me and Janci Patterson, one of my writing buddies. It was the fun time we had doing Alcatraz that made me approach her about the Skyward novellas. If you’re curious, give her books a look. I suggest A Thousand Faces.

    Status: Last book (finally) has a publication date. (Though a vague one. First quarter 2022.)

    Dark One

    We released, in limited print quanities, the first Dark One graphic novel, and it’s awesome. The trade release through regular retail channels is set to be released May 2021. The team put together an incredible visual, based on my outline. I heartily suggest you give it a look, if you like graphic novels. We learned a lot working on White Sand, and I think we leveled up with this one.

    We plan there to be three graphic novels eventually, if people like them. However, if you don’t care for graphic novels, I will do a prose/audiobook version of this in the near future, likely as a Mainframe project. The television show is taking a long time, after all. (See below.)

    Status: Out now!

    The Original

    The first of my Mainframe projects was released! Find it on any audiobook site of your preference.

    For now, we have no firm date on ebook/print editions of this, though I anticipate them coming eventually. (The audiobook company we partnered with has an exclusivity period.)

    Status: Out now!

    Elantris, Warbreaker, Rithmatist

    As you probably expected, no motion here. I didn’t plan for there to be any this year, though all three should get a sequel eventually. I’ve been targeting the post-Stormligh-Five timeline for these. I could see slipping Rithmatist 2 in between Mistborn Era 3 books, for example, when I need a break.

    Status: No motion (Sorry again.)

    Songs of the Dead

    This book, about a heavy-metal-singer-necromancer, is still seeing some revision work done on it. We’re trying to find the right home for it, and have gone to some editors for feedback.

    Urban fantasy is a new type of story for me, so we want to make sure we do this right. Peter and I both did a lot of work on it this year, so I’m hopeful we’ll have news on it in the near future.

    Status: In final revisions, looking for a home

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #558 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART FOUR: UPDATES ON PRIMARY PROJECTS

    The Stormlight Archive

    This was a Stormlight year, as you got not only a new book, but a novella and a non-canon alternate novel!

    Rhythm of War is spending its third week on the New York Times bestseller list as of this writing, and has spent all three of those weeks as the #1 most read book in the country, per Amazon’s charts. So…huzzah! Thank you so much. 2020 might have been a trash year, but I hope this helped end it on a better note for many of you.

    The book did about 40% better in sales than the previous volume, which is amazing. Thank you all for your support. This series is still in active progress, and I’ll dive into Book Five (the final book of the first sequence) in 2022, for a 2023 release. (Which is when we’ll probably do the Kickstarter for Words of Radiance in leatherbound.)

    I also intend to write a novella about Rock to fill in what happened with him after the events of Rhythm of War. The first group of books won’t be finished until then.

    After that, what happens? Well, let’s get to Book Five, and then I can talk about it more.

    Status: New books!

    Skyward Series

    Skyward is my other active project right now. As I said above, I’m working on the third book (out of four) in the series right now, with a goal to have the rough draft done by January 1st. Hopefully we’ll be releasing tie-in novellas right around the time we release the novel, but I can’t promise exact dates.

    I’ve posted some updates on Reddit where you can read more.

    The short version is that I’m working hard on this project. Once it’s done, I will have one more book in the series I want to write. I anticipate doing that final book sometime in the latter half of next year, after I’ve finished writing Wax and Wayne number four.

    Status: Working on it now!

    Mistborn

    While I haven’t been active on this series for a few years, I still consider it a main project. Wax and Wayne 4 (the last volume of Era Two) will be my next project, after Skyward 3. Watch for the status bar for that one to pop up sometime in the spring.

    Right now, I’m planning to refine and update the outline for W&W4 while the beta readers work on Skyward 3—which should be around February. Then I’ll start writing probably in March/April, with a goal to finish sometime around July.

    Once that’s done, and Era Two is closed out, I’ll turn my eyes to Era Three. My goal right now is to write all three books in a row, like I did for the first trilogy, maybe with a novella in between from another world to keep me fresh. That’s likely to be my writing for 2023–2025. Once that’s done I’ll dive into Stormlight 6.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #559 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART THREE: THE WAY OF KINGS LEATHERBOUND KICKSTARTER UPDATES

    We had a very successful Kickstarter campaign this year for The Way of Kings! People in the first wave are still getting their books, as the fulfillment warehouse can only ship several hundred each business day, and shipping services are overloaded and behind on shipments due to COVID, increased online shopping, and the holiday season. We’re doing all we can behind the scenes to keep getting these 2020 copies out to Kickstarter backers. For more details, please check out this Kickstarter update. And should you have need to contact us about the Kickstarter, please check the Customer Service heading on this update.

    I’m still signing pages for the 2021 group of leatherbounds that should go out sometime mid-to-late summer of next year, depending on when the bindery can fit us in. Please be patient. It can take up to six months for these leatherbound books to be signed, printed, and bound, their slipcases made, and the whole set assembled and shipped.

    We have decided not to put any other copies up for sale, even for preorder, until these are shipped. While we could start taking orders, it just doesn’t feel right at this point—if I had backed a Kickstarter, I’d expect to get my book before there was even talk of selling more copies to other people.

    Because of this, we decided not to do a new leatherbound next year. We’re moving the Wax and Wayne leatherbound release (which will include the first two W&W books sold together) to 2022. Right now, we anticipate selling those together as a set for around $150—but we’ll decide specifics later. We won’t do a Kickstarter, as we want to reserve those for Stormlight books.

    Next year, our goal will be to get The Way of Kings leatherbound back in print, so people can have it for 2021 holiday presents. I’ll hop away and let Isaac take over to talk about the other Kickstarter rewards that are still in the works. Take it away, Isaac!

    Isaac Stewart

    Hello there, and thanks for taking a moment to read Brandon’s yearly update. He’s already talked a bit about The Way of Kings leatherbound, so I’ll focus this section on the additional rewards, breaking them down into two categories. First, the rewards that were included in some of the higher tiers, like the physical editions of Dawnshard and The Way of Kings Prime. Secondly, I’ll give updates on the stretch goal rewards that came at no additional cost to backers with many of the tiers. (Though many of these rewards were also offered for sale as add-ons in BackerKit.)

    The physical editions of The Way of Kings Prime and Dawnshard are currently in production. We’ve finished the files for both of them and approved the proofs, and both books are in the process of being printed and bound, with a likely delivery to us sometime in January. As soon as we get the books, they’ll start going out to domestic backers. If your address is outside the United States, your books will be shipped together with the stretch goal rewards in order to save on shipping, as was mentioned on the Kickstarter page under the Shipping heading.

    Now on to the other goodies.

    The Bridge Four poster has been shipped out to all backers who have completed their BackerKit survey. So if you haven’t received this (or the digital Dawnshard novella or novella drafts digital package), then the first place to check would be to see if you’ve completed this survey.

    And continuing down the list of stretch goal rewards…

    The Knights Radiant Order patches, art prints, and pins (as well as our orders of the Backer Pin, Chicken Scout merit patch, epic bookmark, and drink coasters) are all done and in our warehouse.

    The Knights Radiant and Chromatic Chicken Scouts sticker sheets and the Journey Before Destination bumper sticker should arrive from the manufacturer sometime this week.

    The Knights Radiant Order coins have all been approved and look fantastic. They are currently in the process of being manufactured. As a teaser, here are three of the approved samples, with a special thanks to Steve Argyle for his sculpting help on these:Not far behind is the Wit/Witless coin, which took a bit more work with the supplier to figure out how to make the tails side of this coin work the way we wanted it to. We’ll know soon if our latest round of changes has the desired effect, but so far it’s looking really promising.

    In order to ship all these in one package, we have to wait until all of the goodies are in hand, and the last thing we’ll likely be waiting for is the Stormlight Playing Cards. The set is done and all art has been turned in, but the printing company has a long lead time, and we’re just at the beginning of the process of approving proofs and getting things moving there.

    As for the digital art package, it’s still in the making, and we’re hoping to release it late this month or in early January.

    Thank you for your support of our Kickstarter, and thank you for your patience as we get all the moving pieces put together.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
    #560 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    PART TWO: MY YEAR

    I keep a handy spreadsheet to track my work throughout the year—it has a list of dates on the left, and then a column for words written each day, and other columns for goals and targets and the like.

    One of the ways I keep myself productive on projects is by setting goals and tracking my progress toward milestones. Making progress really helps me feel the book coming together, and it keeps me motivated. It also lets me look back and see what I spent my time doing each year. So, I can give you specific dates of when I was working on what during the year.

    January–July 12th: Rhythm of War

    December 2019 on the 31st, I finished the first draft of Rhythm of War in a marathon writing session. Then, three days later, I launched into revisions. Revising a book this big is a long, involved procedure, using many alpha and beta readers.

    It’s not my favorite part of the writing process, particularly with these long novels that take a ton of effort to revise. However, I’m extremely pleased with the resulting book. These days, I balance my time between Stormlight books and other projects—eighteen months on each, in rotation. It’s been working well, so I imagine continuing it for at least one more cycle.

    That means I’ll start writing Stormlight 5 on January 1st, 2022 for a fall 2023 release.

    July 13th–19th: Songs of the Dead Revision

    You can hear more about this in project updates below. This is a book I’m working on with a friend, Peter Orullian. His latest draft came in, and it was my turn to do some work on a few key parts of the story before turning it back over.

    July 20th–August 26th: Dawnshard

    I would have liked to have had more time between Rhythm of War and Dawnshard, the latest Stormlight novella. (This one focuses on Rysn and Lopen, if you haven’t read it yet. The ebook is out now.) However, since I wanted to get it out to Kickstarter backers before the arrival of Rhythm of War, I had to slot it in as early as possible. To that end, I dove in and finished the first draft in July–August.

    A fun fact in here is that my computer died halfway through writing this one, but I had a new computer within a day—since I work from the cloud, my computers are basically dumb terminals. This is probably my favorite thing about the modern writing process. Unless major cloud services somehow lose all their data at the same time my computer completely dies, I’ll never lose any writing ever again. (Something that has really happened only once in my life, long ago, but it was a perpetual worry for a big chunk of my writing career.)

    August 28th–September 17th: Reckoners Novellas

    My extra time this year gave me time to do a pass on these novellas, which had been in the works for a while now. (See the Mainframe announcement above.)

    My work these weeks, then, was me getting the first drafts from the author and going through for my pass, working on them—mostly in an editorial role, making suggestions and helping beef up the story in various ways.

    We hope to release these in 2021 sometime. So stay tuned!

    September 18th–29th: Skyward Three

    The third Skyward book (out of four) is my current main project, and things are going really well for it. (Particularly because I’m excited about the Janci novellas, and how they’ll tie together with the novel.) I dove into Book Three in earnest in September, first cleaning up the outline, then writing a short chunk of it before Dawnshard revisions came due.

    I did take a day off in here to rent a theater (which was really cheap to do in the COVID months) and go see Tenet with my family. I love me some Christopher Nolan, and wanted to experience it on the big screen. I think you can guess from the way I like to plot that I loved the film—it might just be the most Nolany Christopher Nolan film that was ever Nolaned upon the world.

    October 1st–13th: Dawnshard Revisions

    I actually did a brief 2.0 of this between work on the Reckoners novellas earlier in the year, but the bulk of the revision process happened here, after we got back beta reader feedback.

    Print and audio editions should be forthcoming. I’ve been thinking I’ll probably release the audio under my Mainframe imprint—even though this book isn’t a collaboration—as the print edition’s publisher is undecided as of yet. Translated editions should be forthcoming in most of my major markets.

    October 14th–Now: Skyward 3

    The tentative title is Nowhere. If you want to read the various updates on this book, look at the updates section. (I did also sneak a final polish of Dawnshard in October, and had a week off to do Rhythm of War launch party stuff in November.)

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    PART ONE: MAINFRAME ANNOUNCEMENTS

    As I will be getting into some of these projects below, I think it’s time to talk a little bit more about Mainframe, my audiobook company.

    A few years back, a friend of mine from Hollywood and I were chatting about how hard it was to get things made for film/television. Such projects are just way too big for us to do on our own. Yet I had a lot of projects I thought would work really well in this space.

    As kind of a stepping stone toward that, the two of us founded Mainframe with Recorded Books being a launch partner. We figured that we could start taking some of the things I wanted to do for film/television and do them as audio originals—as this was a space the two of us, with some help from things like a writer’s room, could do ourselves. This would let me both explore storytelling in some new ways and build toward one of my eventual goals, which is having my own film production company.

    The main goal of Mainframe, then, is to take ideas I have that I (so far) haven’t been able to do anything with, or to take stories I want to see done more as a television show, then try to make audio-drama-style expansions to them.

    The first thing we collaborated on was The Original, which you can find right now on audiobook platforms—and is on sale for just $2.75 on audiobooks.com until the end of the year. This was written with Mary Robinette Kowal. I wrote the outline, she did the first draft, I went through (kind of more in an editorial role) and did a second draft, then she did a third draft. I hope you’ll give it a look!

    (Note that it, like the other things that come out from Mainframe, should eventually have ebook/print releases. However, they will need some revision to accomplish that, because they are being written specifically for audio. MRK did some excellent work in this area for The Original, as she has a lot of expertise in the world of audio.)

    Along with The Original, we began several other projects like this for Mainframe. And I finally get to talk about them here! The first is an extension to the Reckoners series. When I wrote the original books, in my pitch to both the publisher and Hollywood, I explained that I’d really like to do a video game or other tie-in to the series by showing a different group of Reckoners and what they were up to.

    To that end, we’ve developed three novellas (cowritten with the talented Steve Bohls)—Author of the middle grade book Jed and the Junkyard War (which has fantastic worldbuilding)—following a new group of Reckoners in the same universe. The novellas start around the time of the end of the original trilogy, then go past them into the future of the series. They can be seen as three “episodes” of a television show, or read together as a single novel, since they are all told from the same character’s viewpoint.

    The second project is working on the Legion/Stephen Leeds series. Many of you may know that I wrote the original novella as kind of a pitch for a television show—and while that show has been in development pretty much continually since then, it’s never actually gotten made.

    Therefore, we decided to try and basically build our own television series based on the concept, only doing it as audio dramas. In this case, we went with a traditional Hollywood writer’s room, letting a “showrunner” (in this case, my partner Max, with whom I founded Mainframe) guide the process. We’re working together on a “pilot episode” in this framework.

    The final project I want to announce is an expansion to the Skyward series. The way the series has gone, the second book focused only on Spensa, without much of a look at the rest of Skyward Flight. As the third novel mostly continues Spensa’s story, I worried about how isolated from the rest of the team the narrative would feel.

    Therefore, Janci Patterson and I have designed a sequence of three tie-in novellas to this series. These will each be from a different viewpoint, three members of the team back on Detritus, running parallel to Skyward Three and having some cool overlaps between them.

    While the previous two announced Mainframe projects will be audio only, it’s our intention to release these Skyward novellas simultaneously in ebook and audio, with a print follow-up. We feel that because the series is ongoing (and these novellas are therefore a little more important for keeping track of the novels), we don’t think audio exclusive is as good an idea for these.

    This may seem like a lot with these three projects, but we’ve been working on most of this for years now—I just haven’t been able to announce it yet. Plus, we wanted to try a variety of different things and see what my readers liked the most.

    The Original is a completely new story. The Reckoners novellas are a continuation of a series I’ve finished. The Legion series is a Hollywood-style adaptation, using screenwriters instead of novelists. And the Skyward tie-ins are unique in that Janci and I are working very closely on a story in progress, with the goal of expanding the narrative to give it more depth. (These should read a little more like the Stormlight novellas I’ve been doing.)

    After a few years, once these are all out, I’m hoping to get some feedback from you all in regards to these projects about what you liked and what you didn’t. The eventual goal will be to try some things like this in the Cosmere (since I’ve been getting a lot of requests for more Cosmere material). However, I wanted to experiment a little first with things outside the Cosmere, where continuity isn’t as complex and the stakes aren’t quite as high.

    So if you want to help me with quality control and making sure we’re doing expansions like this right, check out these projects as they come along! Some of them (like the Reckoners novellas) should be available to grab for free for those of you with Audible Plus, as I believe they’re being released under the Audible Originals banner.

    And lastly, Tor just recently released a new box set of Stormlight books 1-3 and make a great gift last minute gift for the holiday season. We’re not sure, but we’re hoping a year from now that we’ll be able to offer a hardcover box set with the first four books.

    State of the Sanderson 2020 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    INTRODUCTION

    Well, this has certainly been quite the year, hasn’t it? Dan Carlin on his podcast likes to quote the old (supposedly) Chinese saying that goes: “May you live in interesting times.” I think I better understand why that phrase is usually used as a curse, not a blessing.

    I like it when things are different; it is good for my writing brain to live in a different way. However, I’d prefer this experience not come at the terrible expense many people have paid this year because of COVID. I hope the vaccines are widely available soon.

    For now, if you can appreciate one silver lining to the pandemic, it’s this: A year of staying home and not touring has led me to be rather productive. I’ve been able to work on a lot of behind-the-scenes projects that will eventually come to light—as well as meeting all of my deadlines for things I wanted to accomplish this year. So hopefully, my stories provide you with a little relief from these “interesting” times.

    If you missed it earlier this year, we released a book I call The Way of Kings Prime. This is the (very, very different) version of the book I wrote in 2002 that I decided not to publish. I started again from scratch in 2009–2010 to create the book actually published as The Way of Kings. If you’re done with Rhythm of War and want some more (non-canon) Cosmere, feel free to give this older one a read. It’s very different.

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    Benjamin Susla

    Did Hoid confirm that Cultivation is a dragon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know if Hoid did. I can confirm it for you. Cultivation is. 

    If I RAFO'd that one, everyone would be "Oh it's a secret still." It's not. I could RAFO it so people continue to theorize, which I sometimes like. But it's not suppose to be a secret.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Adam Coventry

    Is the important part of the fourth oath of the Windrunners forgiving yourself? Kaladin had to accept that it wasn't his fault for the people that died, and it seemed that Teft was going down a similar path.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I can expand on this one, it doesn't mean that every one of them will take exactly the same shape, but that is a major component in that oath. Speaking those words involves that for most Windrunners. How about that?

    I like the oaths being a little more flexible along those lines, just because they work for more people that way. I like that the oaths express the individuality of the person, and the specific things that they are working on, and getting better at, and learning through the process.

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    Dallen Powell

    Is it easier to travel in the Cognitive Realm because people in the Physical Realm don't understand the immensity of space, and their lack of comprehension condenses the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say that's a factor, yeah. Definitely a factor. I think it's impossible to comprehend the immensity of space even with all the visualizations I've seen.  Yeah, definitely. Good question. 

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the big revisions I did to Dawnshard was: I didn't have viewpoints from him originally, Nikli, because I wanted to maintain the mystique of them [Sleepless]. I realized after the beta read that the coolness of seeing through their eyes was more important, and indeed there was an issue with Dawnshard. I expected, because people had read Oathbringer, and the scene in Oathbringer, that they would immediately pick out who the horde, the Aimian, on the crew was. The tattoos were suppose to make it very obvious what was going on. 

    The emotion I was looking for in the book was not mystery, but instead suspense. These are two kind of complementary emotions, and suspense is - at least as how I'm defining it right now - "Oh no! This terrible thing is going to happen. How are they going to deal with it?" And mystery is "What terrible thing is going to happen? And who is going to cause it?" These are two different emotions.

    If you go into Dawnshard with mystery being your primary expected experience, then what happened to beta readers is, they're like, "Well, Brandon's always tricky about these things. So the fact that he has a person with tattoos on this says that's not the person. That is not the Aimian; that's too obvious. So let's watch and see how he tricks us about who the Aimian is." When my intent was "Here's the Aimian. Be scared because he has a good relationship with Rysn, and terrible things are probably going to happen." That's sad and scary and tense. I realized after reading the beta read, "Oh this is not landing. I need to add a viewpoint as early as I can realistically get it in the story that says 'No, no no no. This is the Aimian. This is the horde. You're right, you're suppose to be worried about that. Not questioning about that.'" So I added that scene. I'm really glad that I did, because I enjoyed writing it. I think it adds a lot to the lore, and it is a fun scene to read, I think.

    I'm very happy for the beta readers being confused on that point, because I think the story landed way better for a lot of the readers, because they could let go of wondering who the Aimian is and focus on the emotion the story is actually stoking in them (or it's trying to), which is the suspense of watching what's going to happen when it happens. 

    This is the reason why I really depend on beta reads, is for reasons like this. When what I'm trying to do doesn't land. A lot of the people talk to the beta readers, I hear, and say, "Why did you talk him into changing this thing that I love!?" That's not what beta readers do. That's not what they're there for. They are there so I can see if what I'm trying to do actually lands, and if it doesn't I can reassess and find a way to make it actually land. Because if you read all of Dawnshard, thinking that the mystery of who is the Aimian is suppose to be the big reveal, and then it just turns out to be the most obvious person, you'd be like, "Wow. That mystery was lame!" Hopefully instead if you read it saying, "Oh, there's an Aimian on this crew. I see who it is. They are gonna try to kill the people on board. That's sad. Hey! I'm kind of liking this character. That's even sadder! How is this ever going to get resolved?" Hopefully that's the emotion you had.

    Footnote: Scene in Oathbringer is I-4: Kaza
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    jamlyon

    What happened to Plamry in Dawnshard? When he and Nikli were stranded to keep them from interfering.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was not involved in any of it. He got left when his friend and superior melted into bugs. He's probably having a hard time with that. He was left there and then recovered at the end of the book, after the last chapter. I believe that's what your asking. Plamry is okay physically. What it does to various people to watch people you have known melt into bugs... depends on the individual.

    I've been waiting so long to do more stuff with the hordes. They are one of the very first science fiction races that I developed long ago. They actually appeared in Star's End (which is my second novel, which is terrible). I quickly moved them to the cosmere once I developed the cosmere, because I love them. I think they are lots of fun. They do all kinds of cool things. I really like that there's a really legit species that you refer to as "it," because that's what they are. That's how they see themselves; the swarms. They're one of my favorites, but they did not match being part of the main narrative of The Stormlight Archive for lots of reasons. There is already lots of weird stuff in The Stormlight Archive. They're mostly around because I want to use them later. I was really happy to be able to write a book where I inserted a viewpoint.

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    TheVanillaRogue

    You mentioned having to pull in plot from the future books for Rhythm of War, because it was originally going to have more flashbacks. What sorts of things got moved up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's see... what was I thinking of when I said that? So, there's been so much rejiggering. The Kaladin scene I mentioned [Kaladin jumping off the tower to save his father] was originally in the third book when I outlined it. It was not in the fourth book. It didn't fit the third book, and it's much better here. That old outline... I'd have to think about what did I actually... I'm sure I was thinking of something, a plot thread that I pulled in while I was doing it. But I don't know what it necessarily was. 

    It was not the Taravangian stuff; that was planned for this book all along. I don't remember what it was. I'm sorry. This is just me; I'm sure I was working on a scene where I'm like, "Oh yeah, I'd planned to do that later, and now I'm doing it here."

    I have no idea what it was. I'm sorry. 

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    bb m

    Has Hoid ever used Allomancy on Roshar or in The Stormlight Archive.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. On screen he has. I've mentioned times when he's pulled on emotions, or pushed on emotions? I think he... I'd have to look at the scene and see which one he's doing. But he is playing with people's emotions using Allomancy in a very obvious way. There are other places. He doesn't do it a ton. Wit, as you can see in Rhythm of War, considers too extravagant use of the various arts to be cheating to an extent, because it makes things too easy. There are other reasons to not do it, though. He would become visible very quickly to entities to whom he wishes to remain non-visible if he were aggressively using Allomancy. Allomancy is not a very quiet skill.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Link Law

    Who is Renarin's crush?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Should I answer this? How about this, it is not supposed to be... I'm not trying to be tricky. If you think it is someone hinted at by the book, that is who it is. I'm not pulling a fast one on you. Basically, I am letting the characters come to their own realizations as they move through the story. But I have liked how it has grown, and I am not planning to change it, and I am not playing to be tricky with you about this.

    Adam Horne

    And I think you were subtle enough and obvious enough, because many people in the chat have guessed. People are saying it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, they're saying lots of things, I assume.

    Adam Horne

    They're not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Adam just undid my RAFO. I can't see the chat, but as Robert Jordan says, this should be intuitively obvious to the casual observer. I expected this one to be obvious; I'm not trying to trick you. But the characters have not reached the same conclusions that their emotions have, yet. Does that make sense?

    This should come out in book five, so you shouldn't have to wait till the back five for anything to happen there.

    Footnote: The person that everyone in chat guessed was Rlain.
    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Rexozord

    Did Shallan kill Tyn with Pattern or Testament?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gonna let the fanbase theorize on it a little longer. I think this one is pretty clear, but I'm gonna let you guys work on those timelines, and eventually we will release our timeline, and we can see how well you did. But this is one of the things I expected people to theorize on once the book came out, and I would like to see how good a job I did. If there are holes across these ten years of writing this series that I did not consider, that you guys find, cause you totally can do that. I am definitely not flawless when it comes to these things.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Kevin Andres

    In the vision Dalinar had in Way of Kings where he was flying with another Radiant, he asks how to summon his armor, and the Radiant he's with acts confused and tells him to talk to the quartermaster, or something along those lines. Did Radiants lend out their armor to lower rank Radiants?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This did happen in the past.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I do consider Stormlight television more likely than film, which is why I say it like that, but who knows? I mean, there is a world where we could conceivably do Way of Kings as a film, a longer film, two and a half hour sort of film. The big streamline that would have to happen is: Jasnah would have to be at the Shattered Plains, not at Kharbranth, and Shallan would have to find her there. And become her ward, and we see Dalinar's story through Shallan's eyes as she is going through her plot, rather than having quite as many... Dalinar doesn't become a viewpoint character in that version of the book, we see him through Shallan and Adolin's eyes, basically, mostly through Shallan. And we'd do our A story as Kaladin and our B story as Shallan. But that is not unlikely that we would do, even if we did a television show, we would just then expand those parts. Everyone agrees, I'm sure they all agree in the chat, it just works better as a nine episode miniseries in this new style than it would.

    Moving Shallan to the Shattered Plains, I think, is a good move regardless of what we do. Because even if we do a television show, The Way of Kings audiobook is, like, 50 hours; and a television show would be 9 hours. You still need to shrink a whole bunch. When you guys see the Wheel of Time television show, they did a fantastic job; they still had to cut out a ton. Even with 8 or 9 episodes (I think they're doing 8), you just can't fit it all. I do kind of feel like that would be a good move, but we'll see. That is why I won't do it, most likely, until Mistborn has been done, because Mistborn is the proof of concept to get everyone on board for Way of Kings.

    And people say, "Do Way of Kings as animated!" While I'm not opposed to the idea (I think a good animated version could be done), if we made an animated version of Stormlight Archive, it would play only to our fans, and to animation fans, perhaps. It would not gain a larger audience. The unfortunate truth is that animation for adults does not gain audience, right now. So we could do a cool one just for the fans, I'm not saying no to that. Or perhaps someone else breaks out the genre and makes it, with these new animation studios that are doing things for Netflix, to the point that it does become... I should say animated non-comedies, because of course something like The Simpsons has proven that you can do it. But animated dramas for adults just do not break out of their fanbase. Some ones for teens and younger have, and Last Airbender is of course the shining example of something that became a cultural phenomenon through an animated drama. But people just don't watch them as much as we would like. And the main reason for me to make a television show of Stormlight is to try to reach a different audience, a larger and different audience of people who are not willing to pick up a 400,000 word book but who would enjoy the story quite a bit. That is one of the purposes of doing a new medium, in my opinion. And so I am hesitant about animation for that reason.

    It's an unfortunate aspect, I wish it weren't the case, but it is the case right now, which means that we would not get the budget that we would want. Even for animated, we would not get the budget that we want, we would not get the promotion that we want, and we would not reach the people. We would reach you guys, who want to see it, and that might be enough of a reason to do it, don't get me wrong. That's why I say it's not off the table. But I would want to see what a Final Empire film does, and the reception, first, of that. If that doesn't work for some reason, then I might say "Let's just make the best Stormlight animated that we can, so that we have it as a fandom, that I can just make this cool thing." And then maybe we would do that. But I'm hoping that what happens is that we're able to do a Mistborn film that is successful, and then I can use that to say, "All right; let's do a television show." You might say, "Brandon, people are doing Witcher, people are doing Wheel of Time, so couldn't you sell that first?" It is a possibility, it could happen. The problem is, people read Stormlight and they say, "Number one, this is huge; and number two, all of these spren and things are gonna cost a lot of money." A lot more money than The Witcher costs, because the Witcher you can go film on scene.

    Now, something's changing in that regard. The Mandalorian is changing some things in, I think, exciting and good ways. And I really enjoy The Mandalorian, I think it is really well made. But we're not going to talk about the narrative aspect of it, we're gonna talk about the aspect that The Mandalorian is basically all CG with very small sets. They definitely do build physical sets, and they're really good at blending the practical effects, the physical effects, with digital effects, to the point that you're never quite sure, is that CG or is that a set? But much more of it is CG than we expect, and I think what that is doing is opening the doors for much more fantastical worlds done in the same manner. Because basically all of Stormlight would have to be CG, just almost everything about it. You could maybe get a few shots in southern Utah in some of the canyons, but maybe not. I think that anyone looking at that says, "This is basically all a giant CG thing," and that's expensive right now. But if those costs come down because of new technology, CG is coming down in expense over time, then perhaps. But right now, when I go to Hollywood and I say, "I have this cool thing called The Stormlight Archive, let's make this a television show." They come back and say, "This is too expensive for us to justify right now." So that's why there's not one yet.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
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    Sweetchasemel

    Is there's a real life analog to what the singers sound like when they're speaking to the Rhythms?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let me get back to you on that. This is actually, that's a RAFO, but it's a RAFO with an explanation. I have tried to find one that I like. I have not yet found one that I like. I'm sure it exists, or I have faith that it exists, but I haven't gotten one I like. We will definitely have to have one when we make the television show or movie, which I am fully confident that someday we will. So if I were to say yes to that now, and talk about some of the ones I think are kind of closer, then we may have to change that entirely when we make the television show.

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    Adam Horne

    Do you reserve the right when you answer one of these questions, to change your mind later?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it doesn't happen that often, but I do mention that, on occasion, that Words of Brandon are not as strong as the book continuity. You have to understand when I'm answering these things, I'm answering as I feel right now, and there are times where the book demands rewrites to not-yet-canon things in the books. Occasionally it requires rewrites to small canon things. Like when we decided, "When Brandon wrote Way of Kings, he used too many metaphors that they just wouldn't use." And we went ahead and tweaked some of those. That's a thing we don't like to do very often, but there are certain times where the book can just genuinely be improved by changing and tweaking a few things. We do sometimes take those steps when we're doing an updated version for the leatherbound or something like that.

    But I don't really consider the things that I'm telling you as Words of Brandon to be canon. I consider them insight into the development process of the stories at their current state, and there are things that I will change. This just happens when you're writing a book, where you're like, "Wow, that thing I was planning; that was a bad idea." I can either keep consistent with what I've said and what I was planning and make a worse book, or I can make a stronger book. I try to consider the books as they're written to be canon, revising at that point. Except for ways I have tricked you and things like that (I try to avoid that), but I do not take much into consideration what I've said. I do take it into consideration, but it's not going to prevent me from writing a better book, how about that.

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    Asha'man Rich

    Why was Kaladin called Stormblessed even before he became Radiant? He wasn't surprised that people called him Stormblessed before the highstorm.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't use it very often this way because it would be confusing, but it's a not-unheard-of term for "lucky" or "blessed" in Roshar. An antiquated one, but not unheard of. You're not likely to see me using it very often, because it's become a title for him. And indeed, most people on screen know of him and now know that as his house name. So the word is shifting in meaning, but he was called that because they thought that the storms favored him. Certainly once he survived the highstorm; it was more proof to some of them who had already started thinking it.

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    Jeremy Mahieu

    If Adolin said the First Oath to Maya, would the Stormfather have to accept it if Maya did?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Not necessarily.

    There's more going on here. Even if Maya would... Does he mean the oath? Is he wanting to be part of that Order? There are so many things in that that could prevent... And even, would the Stormfather be the one answering, in that case? Which would probably be a "no."

    All kinds of versions of "no" to that question, though it is a good question.

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    Drew Berg

    Is Tien's spren still around, or are they recovering like Syl did after her prior Radiant's death?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll RAFO that for now. Tien's spren is not going to be a deadeye. Tien didn't break his oaths, Tien was killed. So we'll RAFO what's up with his spren for now. But you can rest assured that it's not any of that.

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    Kimbobhi

    Is it possible to Surgebind using gaseous Investiture other than Roshar's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So here's the thing. It depends on your definition of Surgebinding. Surgebinding would be the Rosharan definition of all of the magics. They would call the Metallic Arts Surgebinding. You are binding the powers of creation, which the word "Surge" is that word translated from Rosharan into English, that's what the word means in Rosharan, is the powers of creation. The fundamental forces which inspired me to make this. So they would consider all of them to be Surgebinding. And that's just what you're doing, you are binding and using those powers.

    Other people, including Khriss, would not agree with that definition. They would say: Surgebinding is specifically binding, through the Nahel bond, the spren, the specific manifestations of Investiture on Roshar, by using specific sets of oaths in order to gain access to those powers. So she would say: no, that is not Surgebinding when someone uses Allomancy. I would lean with her on that one, but the other one's a viable definition.

    What you're really asking is, can someone, one of the Rosharan, the Knightly Radiant Orders, could they power that with a different form of Investiture from a different planet? And yes, this is possible, though there might be some difficulties in making it work, which I haven't explained entirely yet. But yes, this is possible. In fact, it is possible to power all of the different magics with the different forms of Investiture. That is a possibility

    This is one of the reasons why Mraize and Thaidakar are so interested in Stormlight. Because if you could get Stormlight off, and you can crack that... just way easier to get Stormlight than it is to get the other ones. Like Breath, you could consider easy, but hard to morally harvest; in fact, perhaps impossible. If you want ethical, sustainable magic, then Roshar is a much better bet than some of the other places that you could...

    Adam Horne

    Does that mean Mraize and [Thaidakar] want an ethically sustainable...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're really interested in the sustainable part. I would say that they both would say "yes" to that question. They would consider their actions to be, on an ethical spectrum, at least in the neutral area, perhaps. Others would disagree with that.

    Adam Horne

    Where would they fall, philosophically speaking, like Kantianism, or?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd have to think about that. That's a good question. Certainly not as far on the utilitarianism side as someone like Taravangian, who's about as far as you can go. But Jasnah is pretty far on that side, also. Though she considers her version more of a "what is the greatest good I can do with any action I take?" (Which one is that? It's not Kantian, but you know what I mean.) That is a little on the utilitarian side. Not a little, that's... not as far as Taravangian, but that's definitely, yeah. They would maybe be in between those two, maybe. Depends. They're not the same individual, they would have different lines.

    There's gonna be (let's just say) future books that explore Thaidakar's relationship with that. But you have seen in other books the lengths that Thaidakar is willing to take in order to achieve his goals. He is not far off from Taravangian in some of those things that he has done.

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    James Smallwood

    Can the Voidspren bonded by the Regals be killed and become deadeyes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Voidspren bonded by the Regals, right, okay. I'll RAFO that for now. I haven't gotten into the mechanics of the Regals nearly as much as I want to eventually get into it.

    Let's just say something weird is happening to make deadeyes. They didn't exist before the Recreance. There should be a relationship here that reminds you of something else you've seen in the Cosmere.

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    James M

    According to Cord, Rock drew the Bow of Hours at the dawn of the new millennium. Roshar is at year 1173. Do Horneaters have a different calendar, or is Rock just really really old?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Rock is not really old, that's a different calendar. Rock is not old enough to have drawn that bow 74 years ago.

    YouTube Livestream 23 ()
    #599 Copy

    Shaed cloak

    How do proper lighteyed women play instruments that require two hands?

    Brandon Sanderson

    With gloves. If they want to.

    The whole thing breaks down, just like a lot of sexist societal constructions, when you actually start to pick at it. Because you'd be like, "She's playing a flute. That's 'one handed,' is it?" "Yes it is, look, she's holding it one handed and blowing." "And those fingers that she's using in order to make...?" "Oh, those don't count. That's still a one-handed art." "Why is that one-handed?" "Because we said so; haven't you read the book?"