Are we ever gonna get to hear the music that is sung within Stormlight?
I hope so.
Will it be chanting?
A lot of chanting. A lot of rhythms. A lot of chants.
Are we ever gonna get to hear the music that is sung within Stormlight?
I hope so.
Will it be chanting?
A lot of chanting. A lot of rhythms. A lot of chants.
In the past, you have said... that we've seen a metal that is from a Shard that we know, on Scadrial. You said Wax has seen the influence of a Shard other than Preservation, Ruin, or Harmony, and that the spike that Bleeder was using was a metal from a Shard we know. It seems like there's another Shard influencing Scadrial. Is Trell an extension of that?
And is that Odium?
That's a RAFO.
So, if a person claims a new set of Shardplate, and there's a difference in size between the new wielder and the previous wielder, does it adjust to the size of the new wielder?
It does... And there are things they can do to size it and things like that. But it slowly changes over time, like a Blade sometimes does under certain circumstances.
Is it possible to bond with two swords and dual-wield?
Read And Find Out.
On the eye colors on Roshar, there are some weird ones, like orange and yellow. Are those there for a specific reason, or are they just--
Yeah. The whole eye color thing is kinda based a little bit on the Knights Radiant, the eyes changing is involved there. What's normal eye colors to them, it's just normal to them. It's not weird to see violet eyes and things like that. But it would be weird to us.
Did the eyes have to do with the Orders?
I want to know if there is a toxic level for Stormlight? If you're in the storm, can you get to the point where you have too much?
No, it doesn't quite work that way. Good question, though.
You said there was one person, I guess it was the Soulcasters, who were starting to change because of that?
That's more the magic changing their soul over time. It's not necessarily a function of the storms.
Do you imagine anybody when you write, like an actor?
Usually not... They're just usually just who they are in my head.
I was wondering, in Roshar, if any of the women were left-handed, if that interfered with the safehand? Or do they force them to--
They force them. It doesn't work for everybody, but at least--I read into this--there are countries where you're not allowed to be, in our world, left-handed. It's not a thing. They just force people to not be left-handed. It works better for some than others...
Pre-Shattering magic in books?
Let's see. I would count the highstorms as that. Highstorm predates the Shattering. Now, the highstorm has been changed dramatically by certain events, but the highstorm does predate the Shattering.
Is Uli Da Ambition?
Yes... That one's pretty obvious, though, right?
Here's a Dragonsteel question. If I were to wave Leras' knife over a candle, would it light?
...We'll RAFO that.
So, do you have a name, like an in-world name for a large magical construction, like the things that picks Elantrians?
That was why I invented the term "fabrial." It will become widespread eventually, as the term for meaning, kind of, magic-type devices in the cosmere. That's not what you call it right now, but you can start calling them all fabrials.
But what about something that isn't, like-- I always imagined that Aona left, like, a device, a magical device running--
I will have to RAFO that.
What's going on with White Sand? The sequel?
...Sequel looks really good. It fixed a few problems I had with the first one, and improves upon it, and it's good. I think they're looking at February. The date that was online earlier was just somebody guessing, and it kinda got perpetuated and Amazon picked it up. But there was no official date. And February is what we're looking at. The art's all done, and it's looking really good. So, February.
We have a lot of fan theories about your work, and most of them are wrong by necessity.
...That is true.
Are there things that are sort of directly designed to encourage or dissuade certain theories?
...As a member of Wheel of Time fandom growing up, I have experience on both sides of this now. And I decided after-- and this was partially looking at Robert Jordan's notes, looking at how he approached it, how it worked, being a fan-- I decided that that direction lies madness. Trying to stay ahead of the fans, trying-- if you try to twist so much that the fans can't guess, then that just means your foreshadowing is not going to work. On the other hand, doing too many in-jokes and things like this, it risks just making your book uninteresting, or not long-lasting.
And so while I read a lot of fan theories, and I even take them on occasion-- like Shardfork? That was totally a fan thing. Someone suggested that, I'm like, "Yeah, that would totally happen." But I kinda have to approach it from the frame of mind of "What would the characters do?" And I try not to actively write things that dissuade or encourage certain theories, I try to write what is best for the story. And let the fans then-- if they're going to guess, they're going to guess. If my foreshadowing is good, they probably are going to guess. At the same time, I know how insane they all are, 'cause I'm one of them, and I know they're just gonna go off on weird tangents. And that's just fine too.
So, it's this weird balance where I try to be part of the fandom, but make sure not being overly influenced by the fandom, and Wheel of Time gave me a lot of good practice on this. One of the things I really worried about with Wheel of Time was that the book would become a sequence of in-jokes for people who had read the series before. And yet, at the same time, as a fan, there were certain things I really wanted to see happen. I wanted to see certain characters meet up again after a long time apart, and I had been waiting for that for, like, a decade, and I was gonna make that happen, right? And I had to balance those two things, and that's just what I do with my books, even still.
How many of the worlds in the cosmere do you eventually plan to talk about that we don't know about?
...From what's been released, you've gotten almost all the important ones. There's, like, two or three ones I would consider relevant to... for instance, the planet that the Aethers, from Aether of Night, which is an unpublished book-- that's still part of the cosmere, I'm gonna do some stuff there. There are a couple of other worlds, one is mentioned in Oathbringer, just very briefly, in one of the epigraphs. There are others that I'll get to. But, when I designed the cosmere: Scadrial (Mistborn), Sel (Elantris), and Roshar were my pillars of the Cosmere story. With Yolen, the planet where it all started, just kind of being behind-the-scenes relevant. Those are the pillars of our story. Other planets will come into it, but those three-- there's nothing more important than the ones you've seen already.
In Elantris, you have this array of people who are essentially gods, immortal, but they appear with absurdly high frequency. How come they basically don't take over the planet?
...There are a couple reasons for this. One is that magic on Sel is very strongly tied to location, and was even back when the Elantrians were at the height of their power. So, this is a big part of it, location-based magic. Meaning, the further you get from Elantris, the less powerful your magic was, and the Elantrians really didn't like going places where they were not super-powerful. And so this is certainly part of it, and I explored this idea in Warbreaker, where the people who happen to be gods are really aggressive and kind of slowly conquering outward and things like that. It felt right for me in Elantris to be doing it that way.
Why can't they just increase their numbers. Because their numbers increase over time?
...The number of Elantrians had certain thresholds and upper limits, that I haven't described in the books yet.
In Way of Kings, all of the philosophers and logic masters are male, and reading and writing is described as a feminine art. It was long ago, so was there...
...This was a shift that happened in Roshar at a certain distinct point, where reading and writing became feminine arts. It was related to a power struggle over Shardblades and Shardplate, where certain people in charge realized, "If we can push the women towards something else, we can have all their weapons!" I know, it's not a good thing. But it happens. That's where safehands came form, and things like this, philosophies written in the past being taken kind of as dogma, and power struggles being involved, and things like this, and there was a shift happening. You'll find there's plenty of female philosophers, but they tend-- that tends to be a dividing point, and you start to see female philosophers appearing in Roshar after that divide, and you tend to see a lot more male philosophers beforehand. Good question.
One of your characters wishes for and is given capacity... That is one of my favorite concepts of all the books that I read of yours. Can you talk about the inspiration for that gift of limited and maximum capacity?
To not give spoilers, there is a character in The Stormlight Archive who has asked the Old Magic, which is a force that kind of has references in things like The Monkey's Paw and what-not, a force that doesn't always give you things exactly the way you want them. And I built, by the way, the Old Magic into The Stormlight Archive because I felt that at a certain point, while I love to do these rule-based magic systems, I wanted there to be a contrast to it... It's kinda like this idea that, yes, modern science and things have explained a lot of stuff, but there's something primal, perhaps, in the past, I don't actually know. But that idea that there's a primal magic that doesn't really adhere to the rules, we can't anticipate it, was really, I felt, vital for me to include so that I didn't overexplain everything in the books.
So, there's a person who asked for capacity. It wanted to be, let's say, strong enough to lift (it's not actually strength, but it's more of an emotional thing) what was coming. That, I feel like, is a very real thing to wish for, right? I have frequently, like... people say "What would you wish for," and I say "The ability to fly," because I would love to be able to fly. But really, if I sit and think about it, capacity, ability, the capacity to hold all of this stuff in my head, would probably be the sort of thing that I would wish for. So this character, in some ways, is giving wish fulfillment for me, because that's what I would maybe ask for if given the opportunity, but even that kind of turns on its head because the Old Magic just doesn't get people in the way that people think they should be gotten.
...On the subject of change, the Tenth Name of the Almighty, Elithanathile, He Who Transforms. Is this related to the fact that Akinah is divided into ten parts, and the things you find there?
Uh, yes... Are these things all related to the concept of change and why things are divided into ten parts in The Stormlight Archive, and the answer was "Yes, these are all very much interconnected."
How many books are gonna be in The Rithmatist?
...I originally plotted it at three. I tried to write the second book a little while ago, and it didn't work. It's called-- The second book is called The Aztlanian, and it takes place in the city of Tenochtitlan. And I just did not have my Aztec culture down well enough, and that was part of why the book was failing. And so, I'm going to give it another try. But that's why you don't have it yet; it's one of those books that's been hard for me to get.
What do you base the codes on, from The Stormlight books? Do you have anything specific--
I don't have anything specific. It's kind like a general-- lot's of different things, looking at bushido and knightly code and things like this and just kind of building my own out of it. The words "Life before death" were like one of the first things I thought of for the book and I'm like "I gotta use that. It's going in there." And eventually it grew out of that.
Cosmere postal service. Can you tell us anything about this? How many people are involved?
It is more UPS than USPS, if that makes sense. Meaning it is enterprising individuals who are traveling and trading between planets. Some places are easier to deliver to than others.
So you've previously described gemhearts as Investiture leaking into the Physical Realm in a similar kind of process to atium. Now atium had a way of-- the Investiture used in the creation of it-- of returning back to the kind of background pool of Investiture on Scadrial. Is there a way of the Investiture used in the creation of gemhearts to return to the Roshar Investiture pool?
There is? Have we had any hints of it at all?
Does Wit have another name apart from Wit?
Wit has many other names. Cephandrius is him.
What's his real name?
He does... have a real name, but he would argue that they're all real names.
What's one that isn't Cephandrius or Midius?
Hoid. *laughter* Topaz.
When he says he's named after a rock that's a reference to Topaz?
Yes that's referencing the topaz. And the other thing that he references with... When he says he's named after words on a page that is not breaking the fourth wall... It's not even winking at it. Nope... It's quite literal. Yes, that is quite literal.
Investiture on First of the Sun is associated with a Shard?
Yes, it is. That one is even closer associated with a Shard, the actual Investiture of the magic. Remember when I say Investiture, I mean matter, energy and magic. Sometimes the word Investiture refers just to the magic such as the Aviar and in that it is associated directly with one of the Shards...
Patji is a Shard of Adonalsium. *silence*
Sorry, can you say that again?
Patji is a Shard of Adonalsium.
Is that one of the Aviar?
No, Patji is the island.
Island or islands?
The island but Patji is one of the islands.
It's a Shard?!
Yes, big asterisk! But yes.
Shard as in equal or Shard as in a mass of Investiture?
As in one of the 16 Shards of Adonalsium is represented and involved in First of the Sun. In fact, one of the letters references First of the Sun in this *Indicates Oathbringer*
Sorry, I probably killed some theories on that one.
Yup, but by doing that you've confirmed some as well so it's fine!
Is all Investiture in the cosmere associated with a Shard?
Yes, well, okay. So this is a complicated one. *pauses* So, Investiture predates the Shattering of Adonalsium, all Investiture was from Adonalsium, all Investiture got assigned to one of the 16 Shards when Adonalsium was Shattered. Some of the Investiture was not on Yolen but location is irrelevant. So Investiture is related to Shards even on planets where none of the Shards are inhabiting.
Are they aware of that Investiture?
That's part of the whole seeing into the infinite, being beyond even the power of a Shard. So, technically you could make the argument that Harmony could feel the sense of Preservation on every world in the cosmere, right? Because the building blocks of all life and creation are these things.
So the Shard of Preservation embodies all preservation in the cosmere?
Yes but he just can't do that, right? Like, he's not infinite. The Vessels are not, even if their minds are enormously expanded by holding a Shard, they are not infinite. The Connection is all there in the Spiritual Realm
Is it possible to make a perpendicularity large enough that you can move large groups of people through?
Or a spaceship?
So, if Nightblood is on Roshar, is he using Stormlight instead of Breaths?
Right now, if you are Invested with Stormlight, he will feed off of that instead of Breaths.
Chapter SixBridge Four
I've spoken before on my creative process. I build books out of good ideas, often developed in isolation until I find the right place for them. (Allomancy and Feruchemy were originally developed separately, for separate books.) When a book doesn't work, the ideas get broken apart and bounce around in my head some more until I find another place to try them out.
Bridge Four—and the plateau runs—were originally part of Dragonsteel. Dalinar was too, so that's not all that surprising, I guess. However, Bridge Four is unique here in that when I decided to move them from Dragonsteel to The Way of Kings, I had already completed both books and felt pretty good about them. They are both important sequences in the Adonalsium Saga, and lifting Bridge Four from Dragonsteel meant taking away its most dynamic, powerful plot structure.
That decision was not easy to make. The problem is, both books were fundamentally flawed. Oh, they were both good, they just weren't great—and I felt I needed to be doing great in this point of my career. (Hopefully during every point of it.) The Way of Kings had an awesome setting and some great characters, but no focal plot sequence that really punched someone in the gut. Dragonsteel had wonderful ideas, but they never really came together.
In the end, I took the best part of the book that otherwise didn't work and put it into the book that needed a little extra oomph. The moment of decision came when Ben McSweeney, who was doing concept art on the book, sent me a concept he'd done that looked shockingly like the Shattered Plains. (Which, remember, were not even on that planet at that point.) I realized that they would fit the worldbuilding of The Way of Kings better than they ever did Dragonsteel, and that I could put greatshell monsters in them.
So, I ripped apart a book I love to make a (hopefully) better book. Rock came along to Roshar for the ride (he was an original member of Bridge Four in Dragonsteel). I added Teft, who had been left languishing for a decade or so after Mythwalker became Warbreaker and he didn't make the jump. Bridge Four seemed like a great home for him.
[Assistant Peter's note: Teft is mostly the same character as Hine from Mythwalker, but also has a character aspect from Voko in that book.]
What is the difference between the Surge of Tension and Cohesion?
...Sorry, that's a RAFO. We're gonna have to wait until we get some Radiants that are doing these things.
Have we seen the new Shardworld yet? ...Obrodai?
Also, does each of the Unmade have a corresponding order of the Knights Radiant?
Eh... Kind of.
Ok. So there are nine Unmade right, so which one is left out?
Bondsmith. But it's not as one to one, there's some fuzziness in there.
Is each Herald only broken once for each Desolation, thus making there nine Desolations, or are they broken multiple times?
There are more than nine Desolations.
Do the riots in Kholinar have to do with the Thrill, and is there an Unmade centered there?
...That's a RAFO.
Is there anything that we don't know about the Expanses right now that you'd be willing to tell us?
I think I've told you about all of them. Is there one I haven't told you about yet?
Um, I don't know, I've checked the words of Brandon before I wrote these questions. I think we know that um one of them is... Scadrial, and one of them is Warbreaker--
So Densities is Sel. We put that one on, right, Expanse of the Densities? So, if we didn't you now know, Densities is Sel.
What are the geometric properties of Shadesmar? Is it curved, or is it a Euclidean Plane?
It's like a single, infinite plane.
So it extends forever.
Well... Kind of. Kind of yes. The problem is, what people don’t think about doesn’t really appear there, in Shadesmar, so the edges are weird.
Would it be possible for an Allomancer with multiple personalities to have different Allomantic powers with each personality?
No, good question.
In correlation to art. Leonardo DaVinci has the Mona Lisa. Michelangelo has the Sistine Chapel. Have you created-- Do you feel you've created your Mona Lisa, or is that something you're still working on?
Number one, I do not belong mentioned in the same breath. Let's establish that. I actually got to see the Sistine Chapel last year, and wow. You think you know it, because you've like, seen the pictures. It's not the same.
So, have I? That's not for me to decide. That is actually for readers and history to decide. Most entertainment is ephemeral. Most of what we release will go out there, it'll make peoples' lives better--I hope--it'll be fun, you'll all like it, but then it vanishes, and a new generation of artists create new things for that generation. And that's fine. Right? Like, I'm not chasing Voldemort's immortality in that way. But, maybe I'll create a Dune, right? Or an Ender's Game, or something that is larger than the author by orders of magnitude, and becomes an enduring part of the pop cultural landscape. Maybe. But that's not the sort of thing I think you can set out to do. It's like a combination of all kinds of factors come into these things hitting at the right time and working in the way that certain films and books do, like Harry Potter did. You know, ask me that in 100 years, and we'll see. It's a good question to think about. But it's not a good question for me, necessarily, to answer for myself.
So, in Secret History, Fuzz mentions a weapon that he buried? Is that the atium, or is that something else?
*hums* Go ahead Joel. *Joel holds up RAFO sign*
Why do you decide to do more series like Apocalypse Guard or the Secret Project [Skyward] when you still have so many more unfinished sequels?
That's a good question. No, it is totally legit. *laughter* So, I did finish Legion. I did that. So, those who are looking for that, that will come out next year. Why do I do it this way? Well, most of the time, it's because I try a book, and it doesn't work. Rithmatist fans probably know, I tried to write Rithmatist 2, I built an outline, I started writing it, and the book didn't work. I wasn't-- the outline was wrong on that one. I got, like, three chapters in, and I'm like, "Nope. This book is broken." And it was mostly due to my lack of research into the proper things to do the book the right way. And because Rithmatist and Alcatraz, which you'll get Alcatraz 6 eventually, those are the two that are looming most; those are side projects. Those are things that I do for fun. They have to slot in between my main projects, if that makes any sense. Like, I have to do them when there's time from other projects. So, for instance, I couldn't go to Random House and say, "I'm gonna do Rithmatist 2 sequel," because Rithmatist is not their series. It belongs to Tor. So, if I wanna do more with Random House, I have to do something that works for them. And that's kind of the long and short of it.
I mean, I will get around to things like Warbreaker and Elantris sequels. *cheers* But the thing about those is, those are sequels to the worlds, not necessarily sequels to the characters. I won't promise you that the same characters will appear in them. Some of them will. But it's the idea that those are standalone books that I plan to do more in the world, and the time isn't right in the cosmere to do those. For something like Rithmatist, that's more pressing, because I'm like "that promises a sequel with the same characters". But I have to find out how to write it first. And, for various reasons, a Rithmatist sequel is really tricky to pull off. So, that's kinda the answer to it. Sometimes, I also just need a break to do whatever my mind wants to do. It's not a very satisfying answer, but it is the way my brain works. But you can know that if it's, like, one of the main line things that I've got contracts for, that I won't be doing that to you on. So, Stormlight will be pretty regular, Mistborn will be pretty regular. But some of the side projects, it's just when it's right it's right.
Are you worried, because of the length of the Stormlight Archive books, that the movies will not be able to encompass them fully?
What a well-stated way to say that... So, movies. Hollywood. Bless them, they try. No, seriously, like, there are a lot of really creative people who really are passionate about books in Hollywood, just none of them have any money? I'm exaggerating, strike that from the record. But we've sold the rights to people that we trust. Otherwise, we wouldn't sell them. It's always a gamble. We're never sure if it's gonna work. Like, even people who are really well-intentioned. The Golden Compass movie is a great example of this. Really good intentions. Everything about that movie should have worked: great actors, great design. And the movie was boring. And, it's like everybody tried really hard, and it just didn't work. And I know how that feels. I tried really hard on Apocalypse Guard, and it didn't work. And, so, yes, I am totally worried about that. But the thing about it is, if I don't risk that, then I can't ever have a good movie, 'cause I'll never have a movie.
Now, would we rather Stormlight be a television show? Probably. And I think the chances-- So, what I've been saying is, let's just hope that the other fantasy television shows do well. Let's hope the new Lord of the Rings one does really well. Let's hope that Pat Rothfuss's show goes really, really well. If a bunch of these things get made, and they're good, it improves our chances, and things like that. I've constantly said, I would rather a television show. But, you know, I wouldn't have thought that the Lord of the Rings films could be adapted as well as they were. And they worked. So, who knows. I'm willing to roll those dice, and see what we end up with.
So, Hoid was not afraid of a Shardblade? Would he be afraid of Nightblood?
Every rational person *laughter* who has ever existed in the cosmere is afraid of Nightblood, or should be. Hoid isn't always rational, but yes, he is afraid of him.
Soulcast blood? Does it have Rh factor? Or, does it match anyone's DNA?
So, the answers are to that, "Yes."
Have the Heralds lost Connection and Identity? And, if so, can Regrowth heal it?
*Brandon motions for Joel to hold up the RAFO sign*
At the end of Words of Radiance, Hoid is sitting there talking to some cremlings. And I was wondering, is he talking to one of the Dysian Aimians?
*laughs and motions for Joel to hold up the RAFO sign*
Have you ever read a book that has made you cried? Or made you so frustrated that you wanted to throw the book?
It's not that hard to make me emotional in a book. I'm normally a very even-keeled guy, but a really great story told really well can really get to me. It's part of why I wanted to be a writer. I've got a very even temperament. I wake up most days, just kinda feeling the same I did the day before. So, if there's, like, bipolar or things like this, I'm like the opposite. I'm, like, if you vary, like, people vary from a 0 and a 100, I'm, like, at a 75 all the time. Which can be really cool, except when everyone else is, like, super excited, and they all go to, like, 90 and 100, and I'm like, "Yay? That's cool. I'm happy too!" But a good story, that gets me, right? That can really get me. So, a lot of my favorite stories-- Anne McCaffrey was really good at doing this for me. But Terry Pratchett, right? They're comedies? If I mention that I like something, it's probably stirred powerful emotions in me.
What have I wanted to throw across the room? I'm sorry, I know that some of you really like this, but-- and I'm sure they're really good books if you're in the right mindset, but-- this is gonna date me a little. There was a sequel series to the Willow movie, which was written. And Chris Claremont is a great writer, right? I think this is the X-Men Chris Claremont. I don't blame Chris. [George] Lucas was involved. Strike that from the record. But I loved Willow. When I was a kid, I'm like, "A fantasy movie that doesn't suck! Yes! Nothing against you Beastmaster, but, you know, a fantasy movie that doesn't suck, and Warwick Davis was awesome, I love that movie!" And then the books came out, and in the first one, you're like, "Yeah, all those people you loved? They're dead." That's how, like, the prologue goes! And the character whose life they saved in the movie, and things like that--spoilers, it's been like thirty years--is, like, a spoiled brat, and everyone's personality changed. That's probably the book I'm the most, like, throw-against-the-wall-ish. I'm like, "No, don't kill all my favorite characters!" Here's a clue for ya: if people love a whole bunch of stuff, don't start the sequel with, "Yeah, all that stuff you loved? We're just gonna..." Don't Aliens 3 your movie. Don't do that to your books. It's okay to have loss, but don't have all the people you love die in between stories. Bad idea.
By and large, I love your characters. I really dislike Eshonai. Really dislike her. Is there a character that you really dislike writing? Or, if you don't dislike them, is it hard to find their voice.
Cadsuane. Sorry, Wheel of Time fans, but Cadsuane, you're not my real mom. Moiraine is my real mom. I tried to do my best with Cadsuane that I could. So, I would say-- of my own characters, they're all like my children, and I love my children all equally. *gives Joel a side hug* The same thing with my characters. When I'm writing someone, they're my favorite. I wouldn't say so, but on The Wheel of Time, definitely. Cadsuane, she can go eat a brick.
A lot of people probably ask you how to write better. Do you have any advice for people who want to read better?
What an interesting question. So I don't know if you can read the wrong way? Upside down, if it works for you, man. One of my speeches previous year, the little things I get up, where I go professor on you. One of those things was where I talked about "there is no wrong way to read my books." And you have the power as a reader, I feel, to have, like, line-item veto. If I describe a certain person a certain way, and you're like, "Nope." You are allowed to change that in your version of the book. I have a good friend, he's still in my writing group, actually, he's Leyten from Bridge Four. 'Cause all my friends ended up in Bridge Four. Except for Dan, who I killed horribly in the Mistborn books. He survived the first time. I let him survive, and then he died. All of my friends ended up in Bridge Four. So Leyten, he was reading The Wheel of Time back when he was a teenager, and we got to the part where Thom Merrilin has a mustache. Have you read these books? He's a guy that has this really awesome mustache. And Alan's said, "Nope. No mustache. He doesn't match my--" When he told me this, I was horrified! I'm like, "That is, like, a central feature of what Thom Merrilin looks like, he has a big, drooping mustache!" Alan's like, "Nope. Not in my version." And I'm okay with that, when you do that on my book. You can pronounce the names the way you want. You can-- like, I give you a script, and you direct it. And you can change whatever you want in your head.So, I don't know if there's a right or a wrong way to read, if that makes sense.
I did take a speed-reading class for, like, three days. No, it was just, like, one day, where they started teaching how to speed-read. And I realized, when I was speed-reading, I was missing kind of the music of the writing for me. Like, one of the tactics of speed-reading is to stop hearing it in your head, the sounds while you're reading. Which is great for getting through something fast, but I was like, "No! This doesn't work. It makes the books-- less musical?" if that makes any sense. And so I immediately dropped out of that class. But that was for me, I need to savor the story a little bit more. If you want to speed-read it, and that works for you, go. It's an interesting question that I just basically refused to answer, I'm sorry.
Do you plan to write any more books in the Steelheart universe?
...There's a big story here. So, the book that I started writing right after finishing Oathbringer in June was called The Apocalypse Guard. This is in the same universe as the Reckoners. And I wrote the whole book, and there were some things wrong with it, as happens sometimes with books. And so I thought, "Eh, I'll send it to my editor, and see what my editor at Random House thinks." She read it, she got back, she's like, "I like some things about it, but it's got these problems." I'm like, "Oh, those are the same problems I thought it had; that's not a good sign." So I got on and I brainstormed, and said "What do you think we should do?" She's like, "Well, maybe this or this." I spent, like, two weeks working on a really in-depth revision document. And I revised about 20% of the book following this document and it was worse. It didn't fix the problem. And so I'm like, "I need more time on this book. This book is not working. I'm sure I can fix it eventually." Like I told you, I stopped writing The Stormlight Archive in 2002. So, I pulled that book and set it aside. And I actually, I sent it to Dan Wells, actually, 'cause he's one of the best writers I know. And I'm like, "Dan! Something's broken. Can you tell me what's broken?" I'm waiting to see what Dan has to say on that, but for now, that's where Secret Project [Skyward] came from, 'cause I'm like, "Well, I don't feel good releasing Apocalypse Guard next year, I have to fix it first, it's just not good enough." So, I pulled out an outline for something else... and I said, "Well, I'm gonna write this right now, 'cause I feel like I can write this, and it's gonna work." So, I started writing this.
The answer is, yes, there will be more books, and there will even be, if I get around to it, a book about Mizzy as a protagonist, if I can find-- Like, I have to get The Apocalypse Guard working first.
Where did you get the idea for a chasmfiend?
This actually a pretty good one. So, what has happening with the Stormlight books is-- Originally, the Shattered Plains were not in Stormlight. If you didn't know about this, Stormlight started without the Shattered Plains. And when I came back to the series to write it after kind of failing at that 2002 version and wanting to try again, I hired a concept artist to do sketches of characters and settings for me. His name was Ben McSweeney... Ben is the person I eventually hired to do a lot of the artwork, because he had done all this great concept art. And one of the things he did is, he drew a giant brain coral, 'cause I said, "Give me corals, things that you would normally find underwater in a coral reef, but above ground, and this is where we're gonna start our big brainstorming," and he did this giant one that people were walking through the cracks, and there was a little crustacean monster in there. And I'm like, "Oh, that looks like the Shattered Plains. Hey, the Shattered Plains! Why didn't I think of that? They work really well!" 'Cause they had originally been in Dragonsteel, they hadn't really worked there. So, I brought the Shattered Plains over, and the original inspiration for a chasmfiend was that little beastie. It looked more like a crayfish, that he had stuck in one of these grooves. That's where chasmfiends came from.