Recent entries

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #551 Copy

    KingKaliYuga

    Children of the Nameless sequel, when?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sequel someday. But not until after I've caught up on Stormlight and Mistborn.

    KingKaliYuga

    Catch up as in finish or catch up as in get up to date on release windows? Cause I can't spend like 10 years waiting to see what happened to that girl after she disappeared, even if I get some radical Stormlight books while I wait

    Brandon Sanderson

    I put off writing Wax and Wayne 4 to do Children of the Nameless, and so I need to make sure I've finished that at the very least--and it has to come after Stormlight 4.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #552 Copy

    Swedish_Doughnut

    Numuhukumakiaki'aialunamor, his nickname. Its Rock. And do ya know what he does? He cooks. THE ROCK COOKS. Adonalsium damn you Sanderson! Why would you do this to me, WHY? Why would you make a character just to have an IN UNIVERSE "what the Rock is cooking?" joke? why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Would you believe me if I told you this was actually a coincidence? I DID notice it, though, when writing the first book way back when.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #553 Copy

    Questioner

    If something is heavily Invested, it's harder for a Shardblade to go through it, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kind of. It depends on the kind of Investiture and things that are going on. But yes. If you want to block a Shardblade... Like a metalmind would be a good thing to use to fight a Shardblade.

    Questioner

    A person with a lot of Breath, like the God-King, would you be able to chop them with a Shardblade or no?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to get very tricky on that, so I'll RAFO that for now. Let's just say that there are things. For instance, a Shardblade excising someone who's been Hemalurgically spiked is a theoretical possibility. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #556 Copy

    Questioner 1

    So the white hair. Did she have white hair or did Shallan just imagine that she had white hair?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is another RAFO.

    Questioner 2

    There are a lot of RAFO's about The Girl Who Looked Up

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a lot of RAFO's.

    Questioner 1

    So, the girl who looked up, could her hair change like the royal locks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Questioner 1

    Was her hair long or short? Or does it not matter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is long.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #557 Copy

    Questioner

    Why are there no spren in the prelude chapters for Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No specific reason. There's nothing happening there. Mostly, what happens is I write the initial write-through without very many spren and then they have Karen go through and say, "this would be a good place." Just kind of like special effects for a movie. It might just be that I've already released those and read those so much she doesn't want to add as many.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #563 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you prevent yourself from becoming a victim of your own success?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't figured that out yet. I've watched it happen to other authors, so if I figure it out, I'll tell you. It is something I worry about. Particularly with how the new J.K. Rowling screenplays feel like they're just missing the mark.

    Questioner

    I feel like she needed someone to tell her when her bad ideas are bad. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Exactly. But, we'll see. Well hopefully Peter and Isaac and Kara and Karen will tell me when my bad ideas are bad.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #564 Copy

    Questioner

    In the characters of Stormlight, who's the most enjoyable to write about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like them all for different reasons. I really have been enjoying writing Navani lately, so she's been the most enjoyable. But it changes.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #565 Copy

    Questioner

    Do we have a tentative working title for Stormlight Four?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it's called Rhythm of War, most likely. But I have to work that in as an in-world book. And if it doesn't work, then... And I have the place that I'm going to work it in, but when I get there, if it doesn't work, then I'm gonna have to go back to the drawing board. Which is why I haven't said for sure that that's what it is, yet.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #568 Copy

    Pod

    The combination of a Shard and its Vessel leads to sapient mind with access to a virtually infinite pool of Investiture. Are avatars the product of a similar combination of a mind and a pool of Investiture, only on a smaller scale, with less power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that is an accurate representation of what an avatar is. It’s not the only way, but it is an accurate... some avatars are that. I would say that’s the standard.  

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #569 Copy

    Questioner

    Was the Blackthorn... Is that a reference to Tad Williams' character Camaris and the sword Thorn that's black?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not intentionally but I've read those books.

    Questioner

    Do you see the connection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I totally see the connection. I mean I've read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, so totally could be there in the back of my head.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #572 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do gemhearts come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They grow naturally, just like your fingernails grow.

    Questioner

    Where do they get the resources?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The rain that falls on Roshar is [hard] water, full of crem that crystalizes. If you drink that water, it gives you the nutrients that you need to make gemhearts.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #574 Copy

    Pod

    You’ve said that you would call Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and fabrials the three magics on Roshar. Would it be more accurate to say that Surgebinding followed and emulated fabrials and/orthe possibility of fabrials or vice versa?

    Brandon Sanderson

     Vice versa. Fabrials are... generally, Surgebinders first, fabrials second. 

    Pod

    So you couldn’t have done fabrials when it was just Adonalsium. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, before the [Shattering]? *deep in thought mmming*

    Pod

    Would the spren have still been able to do Surges then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say... no. No, Adonalsium probably would not have let that happen. You could theoretically do it, if Adonalsium allowed it. 

    Pod

    He had boundaries against it. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So, I would say no. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #575 Copy

    John203

    So, at the beginning of Way of Kings, Kaladin's in the slave wagon. He sees an unusual cremling after the highstorm.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *enthusiastic* He does!

    John203

    Is that one that can see that he is a budding Radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that that cremling is more than it appears.

    I'll give you a RAFO card, because I didn't fully answer, but you got kind of an answer. You'll be able to... Keep your eyes out for people saying, "That cremling looks odd."

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #578 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the inspiration for Lift? Because she's super crazy and unique.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The absolute first was when I was designing the Knights Radiant, I said: I need to have a variety - I need to have older Knights Radiant and I need to have younger Knights Radiant. She grew - like a lot of my characters - out of me naturally trying some viewpoints, practicing different characters, and seeing where it goes, eventually landing on what I thought worked. And I really wanted her to be different, so. 

    Questioner

    So, you wanted her to be a gremlin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #579 Copy

    Questioner

    You have mentioned that the Shards... they did not make an oath to have only one per planet, although the suggestion was made. Have any of the Shards made an oath that has bound themselves, expecting the others to follow suit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Oaths have been made, that have been unwise oaths. You have even seen one of those - the oath between Ruin and Preservation. But that's not the only example of oaths being used in ways that bind the Shards in ways they weren't expecting.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #580 Copy

    Questioner

    So, Sel: Investiture has been pushed into the Cognitive Realm. Threnody: Has it seen something similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has not seen... Okay. Yes, something similar. It would count. Something similar, yes.

    Questioner

    If that's the case, what would happen if you were to push Investiture into the Physical Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It generally manifests either as a solid, liquid, or gas

    Questioner

    I thought about that. I was like, "We've seen that," but it seemed like a concentrated form. What if you did for like a whole Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would probably have disastrous effects. 

    Questioner

    That's why I was thinking for Threnody, but if it hasn't been that, then something else happened.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It hasn't been that. Something else happened.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #581 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Stormlight Archive series, we have not yet seen Vasher or Vivenna Awakening.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You have seen Vivenna Awaken stuff, technically. She is Awakening part of her... what's she doing, she's got her cloak out and stuff. You see <very> glimpses of it in the [third] book, so you technically have seen her. You've also seen Hoid Awakening in the epilogue. So yes, you can Awaken on Roshar, it's just been really subtle so far.

    Questioner

    So, does the Investiture just feed off of the...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can make a Returned feed off of Stormlight very easily. You can't use Stormlight to power Awakening very easily, but if you still have those Breaths, you can use them and reclaim them.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #584 Copy

    Questioner

    So Bavadin's avatar *inaudible*.

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of Bavadin's avatars. 

    Questioner

    Of those avatars, are some or all of them actual Splinters of Autonomy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The terminology gets kind of sticky here. In Cosmere terms, some would say that counts as Splinters, some would say not. The avatars aren't necessarily aware but Bavadin always is. A lot of people in Cosmere would call that a Splinter. 

    Questioner

    My follow up to that would be, is it possible for a person to Ascend and become a Vessel of one of those Splinters?  

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is plausible. Yes. It could happen. It would be tough because they will have personalities of their own and so something would need to happen.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #586 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm an aspiring writer and I really relate to one of your characters that has really smart days and really stupid days. I feel like I've had maybe a handful of really smart days and every other day, I just feel like an idiot and I don't know what I'm doing. I wonder if that's you maybe writing some of yourself into the story or into that character...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Yeah. Totally. 

    Questioner

    ...and how have you gotten over those stupid days. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually got it… Howard Taylor, who's a cartoonist friend of mine, one time was talking about, on our podcast, how some days he just feels dumb. And I'm like, I feel like that sometimes too. Sometimes, it's not working. It's not flowing. What I've found with writing is—now your mileage may vary—readers can't generally tell which of the two it was. It's more in your mind and more about your mood than it is about the actual quality of what you're writing. What's happening is on some days, you're just upbeat and you see what you're doing is working. And on other days, you're doing basically the same thing but you're a little bit down and your minds like "Oh, this is terrible. You are crap. No one's ever going to want to read this" and the truth is that it's actually still pretty good. The other thing that causes that a lot is… particularly if I'm reading something really good, like I go read a Terry Pratchett novel… and then I go to write and I'm like, "What am I even doing?" What you're doing there is you're comparing your first draft to published, final drafts by authors who've been doing this for 40 years and that's just not a fair comparison to you. If you want to go read my terrible first story that I wrote, the one that won the award, you can read that be like, "This is what Sanderson was writing? I'm better than this!", and you probably are. In fact, I hope you are. I would recommend trying to silence that voice as opposed to trying to reach for the smart days or not because the truth is, you're probably just as smart on both days; you're just feeling down. And instead, try to look for some of the things I talked earlier. The idea of creating good habits. Knowing the things that you can do that put you in the mood to actually do what you want to do. Listening to music will do it for me. Going on a walk, if I'm having trouble while listening to that music and if it's the right epic music. My playlists are on Spotify by the way, the stuff that I do this with. Just look for "Stormlight 3 writing soundtrack" and I have on for Skyward, too, that I think I posted. Just listen to whatever works for you. But you have to find out what tricks yourself like I talked about earlier. Every writer feels this, you are not alone, and that part of your brain is probably wrong.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #587 Copy

    Questioner

    What criticism of your work do you feel is the most apt?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a bunch of them. I would say that the criticisms of my handling of Mat in the Gathering Storm are pretty on point. I actually had an inkling before I released the book that they were because some of the beta readers had told me. But, I didn't know how to do it better yet. Generally, my weakest part of my books is probably going to be the prose. I strive for what we call Orwellian prose which is Windowpane prose where the prose is transparent and you can see the story happening on the other side. But, a lot of times, if you come to some of my prose, I repeat too many words, too often. We try to watch for those and things. But you're not going to go to a Brandon Sanderson novel and very often get the really beautiful prose that you're going to get like from a Pat Rothfuss book or something like that. It's partially a stylistic choice on my part but it's a stylistic choice because I know where my strengths lie, if that makes sense. So, I think that's a pretty valid criticism. The other thing would probably be that Stormlight is really hard to get into. That's by—not by design, in that I don't want a book that's hard to get into. But the story I wanted to tell was one that was hard to get into. If that make sense. It's kind of like a drawback of the story that I didn't want to change because it would make it a different story. But it's totally a legit drawback to getting into Stormlight. There's a lot of stuff to track. I wanted to be upfront with it because the whole series was going to involve a lot to track but there are people for whom Stormlight is just not the book for them.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #588 Copy

    Questioner

    It's known you're a big fan of Magic the Gathering and that you like house Dimir and you wrote Davriel Cane's planeswalker. Are you ever going to work with Wizards of the Coast again? And then things about Magic. It's known you play some, where would we find information on that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Will I every work with Magic again? I probably will. I usually can't leave well enough alone. But the thing is, I wrote that story (which you guys can read, it's called Children of the Nameless, it's free online), I wrote that instead of doing other stuff I was kind of supposed to be doing. It is what has put me behind like on Wax and Wayne, which I wanted to have done before the next Stormlight. So, it's not likely that I will do it anytime soon. I need to catch up on things. What I would really like to do is, sometime, kind of go in at the planning stage for a plane. Like, right at the beginning, and maybe even write a book and be like, "This is set on a plane, let's use this to build the mythology of a plane," or something like that, and kind of be in from the ground up on it. But I would probably have to move to Seattle for, like, 6 months for that. So that's far off in the future.

    If you want to play Magic with me, once in a while, I play at local game stores. I go to Game Grid now and then. Mostly I like to draft or to cube draft. You can watch me cube drafting online. The latest newsletter has a link to a place, some people I went and drafted with. It has been harder and harder. Early in my career, when nobody knew who I was, it was great because the signings, I would get there at 7, and they'd get done at like 8:30. And then I'd be like, "Hey! Who wants to play Magic?" and there would usually be some people who went like, "Yeah! Let's go play Magic!" We'd go to like the hotel and sit in the lobby and play Magic and stuff. Nowadays, my signings get done at like 4am. So yeah, that just doesn't happen as much anymore. Sorry about that.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #589 Copy

    Questioner

    Is it true that there's a mural of the cosmere in your basement?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not a mural of the cosmere in my basement. Isaac is painting a mural of the Stormlight Archive Roshar map, but that's not in my basement. There will probably be a mural in my basement as we're finishing the office but it's probably going to be a Van Gogh.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #591 Copy

    Questioner

    If a Mistborn were to burn a piece of a Shardblade, what would happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This would be hard to make happen, but it would be possible. A Shardblade is going to act as, basically, an alloy of the god metal of Honor and so  what would it do? RAFO, but it is possible and it would do something. It would not be inert. It would be Allomanticaly viable.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #592 Copy

    Questioner

    How does a Rithmatist draw a Mark's Cross structure if they can't cross their own Lines of Forbiddance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can get it right up close, and I kind of made it my mind that if you get right up close it kind of snaps together. That was my work around for it, that you can get up and make it. It's also like a magnetism thing where you can kind of push into it a little bit. The harder you push, the more force it pushes back on them. 

    So those were my workarounds in my head. That one actually didn't strike me until I was halfway through the book and I was like "Hey wait a minute, how do you actually make this line work?" So I kind of put those two things on it. That's the in-world in but I didn't talk about it a ton in the books.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #593 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your favorite idea that you're never actually going to get around to writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That I'm never, or that I am eventually?

    Questioner

    Either or.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I always talk about my favorite idea that I haven't written yet which is the idea about the magic system that's based on diseases. Like, when you catch the common cold, you can fly but when you get over it, you lose the power. Which I just think would be kind of cool and kind of chaotic. I had another idea the other day that was really cool but it was for a video game. If I tell you, it would spoil it, so I'm not going to tell you that one. But, I don't know if I'll ever make this one, because I don't know if I will ever be able to make video games. I have tried and it has not worked, so we'll see.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #596 Copy

    Questioner

    When will the second Rithmatist book come out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So here's the deal with the Rithmatist. Rithmatist was the book I wrote right before the Wheel of Time hit me like a train going very fast. I was not expecting this in my life. The books I was working on at the time were the Liar of Partinel, which is Hoid's backstory, and the Rithmatist and both of these books got derailed to one extent or another by me dropping everything and working on the Wheel of Time. When I sat back down to write the Rithmatist 2, I had been derailed for so long and so much had happened in my life that the outline that I had just did not work. I wasn't pleased with it. It is one of things that I considered a mandate that I must do. I will finish it, but it's gonna take me a little bit more time. I've been trying to write things, like novellas, that don't promise sequels as much and finish off the things that did promise sequels. So I finished off Legion. The last Alcatraz book is basically done. It is called Bastille Versus the Evil Librarians or subtitle "Alcatraz Versus His Own Dumb Self." We're actually sending that off for artwork and things, so that should happen pretty soon. There's like one little scene that needs to be revised and then Rithmatist will be on the list of things to do. So, I promise it someday but I'm just not sure when. Stormlight 4 is going to take all my time for the next 7 months still, most likely. I won't be done with that until July 1st and then I really need to get the next Wax and Wayne book done and there are 2 more books of Skyward that I need to write. So, we'll see. My biggest goal is to not, whatever I do, let myself slip behind on Stormlight books because these kind of form the backbone currently of the cosmere sequence. So those can't come out less frequently than about once every 3 years. Once every 3 years is about as fast as I can do them. They take about 18 months and I need about 18 months off between them, otherwise I'll get burned out. There's an answer that's not a full answer for you. I'm sorry. It will happen. I'm not sure when.