Recent entries

    Brandon's Blog 2017 ()
    #6452 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    On tour, I did a reading from what up until now was listed as "Mystery Project" on my website. If you missed the newsletter explanation, I've pulled the book I was going to release next year (The Apocalypse Guard) because it needs more work. Instead, I've turned my attention to something else—and after a furious bout of writing, I'm confident in where it's going. So it's time to announce Skyward.

    Like Steelheart and its sequels, this is a kind of borderline YA/Adult project. In the US, it will be published by Delacorte Press (publisher of Steelheart) in the Young Adult section of bookstores, while in the UK it will be published by Gollancz (publisher of almost all my books) in my main line, shelved in the science fiction/fantasy section of bookstores.

    I've mentioned Skyward before in summaries of stories I'm working on, but haven't said much about it. I started noodling with the ideas in 2012, I believe. (The year that the Write About Dragons recordings of my lectures happened, where I mentioned it briefly—but not by name.) The first outline thoughts are dated summer 2013. It's a book I've been wanting to write for a long time, and it finally came together this year.

    It has its roots in some of the very first books I ever read as a young man getting into fantasy. Like many young readers, I was captured by books about dragons, specifically books about boys who find dragons and learn to fly them. These have been staples of the fantasy genre for some fifty years. For me, it was The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey and Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen. For others, the "boy and his dragon" story that captured them was Eragon, or How to Train Your Dragon.

    I've always loved this story archetype, but I've never written anything using it. This is in part because…well, it's a familiar story. Too familiar. I wasn't certain I could add anything new to it. So I left it alone, letting ideas simmer, until in 2012 something struck me. Could I mash this together with a flight school story like Top Gun or Ender's Game, and do something that wasn't "a boy and his dragon," but was instead "a girl and her starfighter"?

    Skyward was born, much like Mistborn, with me taking two ideas and mashing them together to see where they went. And they went someplace incredible—I grew increasingly excited about the project, as I saw in it a chance to both play in a space I loved, and do some very interesting things with story and theme. It wasn't until this year that I got the personalities of the characters right, but I really got excited when I found a place for this in the lore of stories I'd been creating.

    The official pitch is this: Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

    As I've played with Skyward over the years, I tried to pull it into the Cosmere, then found it didn't work there. However, it is in the continuity of something I've written before. Something that isn't the Cosmere, and isn't the Reckoners. And no, I won't say anything more for now.

    The goal right now is to have Skyward done in time for a publication date of November 6, 2018. We'll see if I can meet that deadline! I'm optimistic. As always, you can follow along on the progress bar on my website. Look for a cover reveal and chance to pre-order soon!

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6453 Copy


    Would Lord Mastrell be a good name to disambiguate it [the original draft of White Sand] from the Graphic Novel and the Prime version?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    No, Lord Mastrell (actually spelled Lord Mastrel at the time) was the third book Brandon wrote, but it's essentially the second half of White Sand Prime. That book didn't finish, he just got to where he had written 243k words and said "guess that's the end of the book." Then Lord Mastrel was another 204k.

    Both together cover the same amount of story as the later version of White Sand. Glancing quickly at the end of Lord Mastrel, a big difference was that Kenton got 6 months to prove himself instead of two weeks. (Also, for some reason Lord Mastrel has all manual page breaks. The horror!) There are also some...interesting differences in how the final vote went.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6454 Copy


    Here are the lists of things that I've noticed could be reasons why certain Herald images get chosen. I also picked up on alot of this stuff because the folks over at Tor have done a WoR re-read and have a dedicated "Heraldic Symbolism" subsection they devote for each chapter. They speculate as to why the specific herald(s) were chosen. Specifically Alice Arneson (one of the re-readers) has seemingly done some good research into this, so I'll give her credit for a lot of this.

    I mostly listed these out for my own reference as I've been meaning to do so (since I usually keep them in my head when figuring this out when reading).

    1. Herald themselves (mentioned, talked about, or actually has an appearance)
    2. Some object associated with a herald (example: A specific herald's honorblade)
    3. Member of Order (ex: Kaladin=Windrunners=Jezrien)
    4. Characters portraying divine attribute behavior (example: Loving and Healing)
    5. Characters portraying the inverse of divine attribute behavior (example: Hating and Destroying)
    6. Herald of <concept> - things associated with that concept. Known examples: 1) Shalash: Herald of Beauty 2) Nalan: Herald of Justice 3) Jezrien: Herald of Kings 4) Taln: Herald of War 5) Ishar: Herald of Luck

    7. Roles associated with a herald Known Examples: 1)Chana: Guards 2)Taln: Soldiers/war 3)Ishar: Ardents/religion 4)Vedel: Physicians

    8. Essences ( ): Essence, body focus, Soulcasting properties...(this one is a stretch as I've never really could pinpoint this well enough)

    9. Jester/Masked face (as mentioned in other posts on this thread). This can be tied to chapters with Wit them or tied to concepts related to him, the biggest one (I think) being storytelling.

    How'd I do? :)

    Note: I loved the "Four Lifetimes" chapter's heraldic symbolism in Oathbringer (I'm a little over halfway through the book), but I thought that was great showing the different roles/lives Kaladin has filled: Surgeon (Vedel), Soldier (Taln), Guard (Chana), and Leader/Windrunner (Jezrien). Bravo.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    How did you do? Pretty much a home run. There's only one thing you're missing, which you may have implied, and that's the gemstones. Also, there's a little bit more to #5 that will be explored further later in the series.

    Your "Four Lifetimes" analysis is spot-on. Congratulations.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6455 Copy


    In chapter 37 [of Oathbringer], as Rock is looking for his family after the Voidbringer attack, he notes an arrow fletched with goose feathers.

    Was this intentional? Should it be chicken?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Horneater language has a word for goose, and they have them in the Peaks. I'm pretty sure geese used to be mentioned another time by Rock in an earlier draft, but that might have been cut.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6458 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't even put spren in on the first draft, that's just too much to keep in my brain. Afterward, I do a draft where I just go in and add all that stuff. It's like adding the special effects to a movie.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    So, Brandon actually does put a number of spren in the first draft. But part of Karen's job as continuity editor is to find more places to add the spren and mark those in the document. Then on the next draft Brandon puts spren there if he judges them to be good places for spren.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6459 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The labels on the [Oathbringer Oathgates] map are written by Nazh. Anytime you see this font used, it's Nazh writing it.


    I assume this means Nazh somehow got his hands on this ancient/priceless piece of art/map and had no compunction writing all over it? I'm honestly just a little surprised Nazh didn't write a note to Khriss somewhere on it.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    All his notes are written for Khriss.

    Probably this isn't the only copy of this page on Roshar. It's like the manuscripts copied over and over by monks in our world.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6461 Copy


    If someone shaves with a shardrazor is that shave their last shave?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not unless you cut down beneath the skin--so nicks maybe would be a problem...


    Would a living spren be able to choose whether or not they cut something? Like could Syl make herself cut nonliving objects without also harming living things? If that's possible, could that go even farther and make it so a radiant's blade could only harm specific targets?

    I'm starting to think up a ridiculous scenario where a radiant cuts through an ally without harming them to get to an enemy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    As it stands, no, this is not possible. (Sorry.) It's possible the spren could dismiss in time, then reappear on the other side, and FAKE that they'd done this--but couldn't simply choose not to do damage while cutting someone.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6462 Copy


    What's up with Mare? Here's my Conspiracy Wall about her.

    TL;DR Paalm was Mare. She spent most of Shadows of Self trying to imitate Kelsier.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This one is a RAFO, I'm afraid. As I've said, there are things about Mare I haven't gone into.


    Putting aside whether this theory was accurate...

    Have you seeded anything else in the books that this level of newspaper-clippings-connected-with-string thinking would be necessary to figure out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have put things in like this, but generally I don't think I'm putting in enough foreshadowing for them to be recognized--I'm just working under an assumption on my part, which then reflects in the writing, which then people put together. (Which sometimes surprises me.)

    So, I don't generally put in puzzles this complex intentionally to make people figure them out. But the puzzles do end up in the stories, and can be figured out, nonetheless.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6463 Copy


    Rereading Words of Radiance... Are the Herdazians a caricature of Mexicans? Is that ok?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Parts of their culture are inspired by Mexican culture in the same way the Alethi are inspired by Mongolians, Lift's origins are indigenous Bolivians, and the Final Empire (Central Dominance) was 1800's France. Human beings need a launching-off point for creativity to work.

    I don't consider them a caricature. Lopen is extreme to say the least, but I made sure to include Palona, Huio, and others as a balancing factor. That said, I don't get to decide if what I did works--I get to try, and explain my motivations, but the decision on whether or not I succeed is not in my hands. Many a writer has had the best intentions, but has failed anyway.

    I think it's important to diversify my inspirations, and push myself. If I were going to say the true inspirations for Herdazians, it would be a Mexico mashup with Korea (where I lived for several years.) The smaller country that has long been overshadowed by a dominant neighbor is a very common thing in our world, and it really felt like Alethkar would have a similar effect on kingdoms around it.

    I will take a moment to note that chouta wasn't inspired by burritos, really, but more the "street food" explosion that accompanied the industrial revolution. I took what they had in the society (flatbread and Soulcast meat) and tried to build something that would replicate the things I've seen and read about in our world during that era, because it fascinates me.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6466 Copy


    If I were to guess: allo- would have its roots in the word allos (Greek for different, also the root of alloy), feru- would be ferrum (latin for iron), and hema- would be haima (Greek? for blood).

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I could mix traditions and linguistics a little and pass it off based on my theory of translation for the books. The construct is that the person translating them for us is looking for words that evoke the right feel in English, not for exact 100% accuracy. So she can mix greek and latin roots, play a little loose and free, to give the right vibe to the reader--when in the world, they would have a single in-world linguistic tradition.

    Either way, you've popped out the right ones, though I want to say the last was hemat as a root.


    Hang on a moment.... I always assumed that the translation effect from in-world language to English (or other Earth languages that allowed us to read the books) was more of a passive thing, almost like we are 'Connecting' to the stories which enables us to read the words that make sense to us.

    Are you saying here that the process is actually by design? That someone (from the sounds of it Khriss) is somehow actively translating the events of the books and that's why we read them in our native language? Is this something that has been discussed before and I missed it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've always imagined a hypothetical translator into English, more as a writing construct (to explain certain things and the way I do things) than anything else. I wouldn't consider it canon, in that there is no Earth in the cosmere, but it's how I frame the process for myself. It's how I explain to myself that certain metaphors work and the like.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6467 Copy


    After finishing Oathbringer I started a reread of Warbreaker and noticed something.

    Page 427 of Warbreaker:

    Susebron: "Didn't you eat before you came to my chambers?"

    Siri: "I did, but growing that much hair is draining. It always leaves me hungry."

    Sounds similar to our favorite Edgedancer, but I thought she was supposed to be one of a kind on the whole getting Investiture through food? I'm assuming the Royal Locks have something to do with Investiture.


    FWIW, i asked this question in my Warbreaker book and got RAFO

    So in war beaker Siri is able to convert food directly into hair growth through the Royal Locks, we know that the Royal Locks are somehow related to investiture, so my question is, can Siri/Viv convert food into investiture to use in Awakening (or Surgebinding or any other uses of magic in the cosmere) similar to Lift and her awesomeness.

    Brandon Sanderson

    As far as I know, you were the first to catch on to this. (Or at least ask about it) so that should be a very proud RAFO. There is something here, but it's not as deep as you might assume.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6468 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The book [Oathbringer] did great, and I'm doing just fine. US and UK publishers are both very happy. I achieved financial independence through my writing years ago at this point, and I have plenty of money. I have enough in investments that my passive income would be enough to live for the rest of my life at my current standard of living--I write purely for artistic satisfaction. (Which has kind of been the way it's always been, but it IS far less stressful now.)

    We're generally really coy about talking numbers in the book industry, perhaps because we don't want to brag. There are a ton of authors out there who sell less than 1k books on a new release, and so flaunting my numbers...well, I don't know. It makes me uncomfortable.

    That said, remember that books and records don't sell as much as people assume they do. Taylor Swift, one of the most popular singers of our time, sold...what, 1.5 million albums the first week of her last release? Granted, album sales aren't what they used to be (it's all about streaming now), but film numbers tend to make us inflate book and album numbers in our heads. 2k book sales is enough to get on the bestseller list, many weeks of the year.

    (As an aside, when Elantris sold 400 copies its first week, and I was devastated until my agent told me that was actually really good for a new author hardcover.)

    That said, we did WAY more than 400 copies, and Oathbringer is the bestselling book I've ever had out of the gate. It's probably more like double or 2.25 the opening of Words. (When I said 3X I was forgetting that my Words of Radiance figures didn't include audio, while my Oathbringer numbers did.)

    Oathbringer will likely crest a million copies across all formats--but it will take a number of years. I'm not sure if TWOK has hit a million yet, for example. (Though if it hasn't, it's in that neighborhood.) Very few books get to 10mil without some kind of film or television franchise to propel them. I'd guess that the only single sf/f book sitting at over 10mil copies without a major adaptation is Foundation.

    Anyway, Oathbringer's success won't stop the publishers from griping just a little that the books are too long. (Bookstores complain that they don't fit on shelves very well, and take up too much space, things like that.) But the book will still sell more copies than any other new release the publisher has this year, and if they do gripe, it's mostly just habit at this point. They're actually quite pleased. They just can't help imagining a world where they could split Oathbringer into three smaller books, and make the bookstores happy while making more money.

    (And note, you shouldn't be annoyed at them for this. The publisher's job is to point out financial realities, as authors tend to be very bad at such things. They didn't try to force me to cut or split the book. They just always ask, very nicely, "Is there a way the book could be shorter?" and I reply, "Sorry. But this is how it has to be." And then they go about making it work.)

    Be warned, though, we might have to go from hardcover straight to trade paperback (skipping the mass market paperback) because of printing realities.


    One thing I've long been curious about: how much does putting out a new book in a series increase sales of the first in the series? I would assume that Oathbringer caused a bump in sales for The Way of Kings, but I'm not sure to what extent, or if that assumption actually holds true.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The assumption holds true. Bookscan for last week proves it. This is only print books recorded by retail chains, so it's only a small glimpse, but it's most of the print numbers. (As it does include Amazon and B&N.) I'll put numbers from six months ago in () after, so you can see the growth.

    TWOK: 1500 copies (700)

    WOR: 800 copies (450)

    TWOK: Trade Paperback: 650 Copies (156)

    TWOK Hardcover: 454 (123)

    Mistborn 1: 450 Copies (350)

    Mistborn Trilogy Boxed Set: 450 Copies (350)

    Words of Radiance Trade paperback: 380 copies (Not out yet)

    Words of Radiance hardcover: 270 copies. (130)

    Steelheart: 325 copies (274) Arcanum hardcover: 280 Copies (180)

    Bands of Mourning, Shadows of Self, Warbreaker, Alloy of Law: All right around 230-260 (Maybe 10% different.)

    Elantris, Firefight, Calamity, Mistborn 2, Mistborn 3: 160-200 (Same.)

    Lowly Rithmatist at the bottom with 113. (85)

    Note that some things, like the hardcovers jumping up in sales, are because bookstores ordered them special for my signings.


    What about digital copies?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They tend to run 2X the print, but I don't get an email with them every week like I do print--so I don't track them as closely.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6469 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't like emailing out this book [Dragonsteel Prime] because of things /u/JawKneePawLick talks about. All the good things in it have been done better in later books--there isn't a single character attribute or theme by this point that hasn't been repurposed better in Stormlight.

    You can glean some little things about the cosmere, but not much. I didn't start canonizing real cosmere elements until Mistborn. The book just isn't great, and what it does contain in regards to the cosmere has either been changed or will be changed.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6470 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Conclusion: Birthday!

    Last year, I tried out something where—in response to people asking me if they could send me birthday gifts—I suggested sending me a magic card from a specific set, with a signature and note on the back.

    This was a little experiment that people had a lot of fun with, and this year I want to post the results! That means a lot of photos, as I wanted to show the notes people wrote on the cards. Many of you included touching letters to me as well, which I read and appreciate—though those tended to be a little more personal in nature, so I'm not going to post them.

    Some of you will be completely uninterested in this, so we've collected the images in a gallery rather than posting them all here. Have fun browsing through them! And thank you so much to everyone. It was a lot of fun to see the little notes that you'd all sent in.

    I'm forty-two today, which is an auspicious number in science fiction fandom. It's going to be tough to top these last few months and the reception to Oathbringer.

    The fact that I get to do this crazy thing for a living continues to be the best gift of them all.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6471 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Projected Schedule

    My projected publication schedule looking forward swaps The Apocalypse Guard out for Skyward and moves the Legion collection into the place of Wax and Wayne 4, reflecting what I actually wrote this year. (Note, these are always very speculative. And Peter is probably already worried about Stormlight 4.)

    September 2018: Stephen Leeds/Legion Collection

    November 2018: Skyward

    Fall 2019: Wax and Wayne 4

    Sometime 2019: Skyward 2

    Sometime 2020: Stormlight 4

    Sometime 2020: Skyward 3

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6473 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Movie/Television Updates

    Other Properties

    Legion and Dark One are currently in negotiations. The rest of the Cosmere is covered by the DMG deal, as we want one company working on that at a time. We have a small deal for Defending Elysium that has it under option with a screenwriter, and the first draft screenplay is good. That leaves AlcatrazThe Rithmatist, and a couple of shorts (DreamerPerfect StateFirstborn) with no options right now.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6474 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Movie/Television Updates


    If you missed my weird, cyberpunkish detective story, you can now get a copy of it in our Dragonsteel Edition bundled with another of my stories. The ebook is still around too. MGM snatched this up almost before it was published—it was very hot in Hollywood in the months leading up to publication.

    The screenwriter they attached to it had another project delaying him for the bulk of this year, but they've said he'll turn his full attention to it staring sometime just after the holidays.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6476 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Movie/Television Updates

    Mistborn and Stormlight Films

    These rights are held by DMG Entertainment, and they've been very good at working with me and showing me things. They have scripts for both Mistborn and The Way of Kings, which they are actively trying to make happen in Hollywood.

    One way they're approaching this is to do a Stormlight VR experience, which we've talked about before. This is less about making a video game, and more about making something to show off to studios to kind of immerse them in the setting of the books. As I determined early on, this is an interesting but weird world, and having visuals (like the art in the books themselves) helps a lot with bringing people around to understanding.

    They do plan to release the VR experience to fans on Steam, for those with VR headsets. It's not intended to be a full game, as I said, more a demo of the Shattered Plains—you'll get to personally experience the Shattered Plains from the novels and interact with the characters and creatures that inhabit them. We'll do some posts on it in coming months as it gears up to be released, and I've invited the developers to do some guest posts on my blog.

    Regardless of what happens on the film and television front here, at the very least you have that to look forward to!

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6477 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Potential Cosmere Stories List

    Here are things that at one point I've had in the works, and probably someday plan to do, in the 'osmere:

    • Dragonsteel/Liar of Partinel. (Hoid's origin story, to be written sometime after Stormlight is done.)
    • Sixth of the Dusk sequel. (I had a pretty cool idea for this last year. Nothing more than that.)
    • Untitled Silverlight novella. (What it says on the tin.)
    • Threnody novel. (An expedition back to confront the Evil that destroyed the old world.)
    • Aether of Night. (Still in the cosmere, and you can see the odd remnant of an Aether popping up here and there. Bound to be drastically different from the unpublished novel, which I allow the 17th Shard to give out to people who request it on their forums. Basically, the only thing from it that is canon is the magic system.)
    • Silence Divine. (Disease magic novella set on Ashyn.)
    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6480 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Minor Projects

    Dark One

    My eternal "like Harry Potter from Voldemort's viewpoint" fantasy sequence is still hanging out, buzzing at the sides of my brain. I wrote a really spectacular outline for it this summer, one I love quite a bit, and it got both television graphic novel interest—but these are deals still very much in the works, so I can't talk about them yet.

    I'm pleased with what I have though, and feel this series has moved for the first time in a long while. Note that I did end up pulling it out of the cosmere, as it ended up working better as a dark secondary world fantasy than it did as a Cosmere YA series. It went both older, and more twisted, in the current outline. Hopefully, by next year's State of the Sanderson we'll have something more solid to announce.

    Status: Exciting developments in the works!

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6481 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Minor Projects


    This space opera novella series is in same place it was last year, I'm afraid. (One novella done, no more written on the rest.) I took a little time to work on the outline, but didn't find a chance to write the second novella. It will be awesome when I do it, and I got really close to moving this to the front burner several times, but it didn't end up working.

    Status: Still possible in the near future.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6483 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Secondary Projects

    The Rithmatist

    This continues to be the single most-requested sequel among people who email me or contact me on social media. It is something I want to do, and still intend to, but it has a couple of weird aspects to it—completely unrelated to its popularity—that continue to work as roadblocks.

    The first problem is that it's an odd relic in my writing career. I wrote it as a diversion from a book that wasn't working (Liar of Partinel, my second attempt at doing a novel on Yolen, after the unpublished novel Dragonsteel). It went really well—but it also was something I had to set aside when the Wheel of Time came along.

    I eventually published it years later, but my life and my writing has moved in a very different direction from the point when I wrote this. These days, I try very hard to make stories like this work as novellas or standalone stories, rather than promising sequels. I feel I did promise a sequel for this one, and I have grand plans for it, but the time just never seems to be right.

    The other issue is that writing about that era in America—even in an alternate universe—involves touching on some very sensitive topics. Ones that, despite my best efforts, I feel that I didn't handle as sensitively as I could have. I do want to come back to the world and do a good job of it, but doing an Aztec viewpoint character—as I'd like to do as one of the viewpoints in book two—in an alternate Earth…well, it's a challenge that takes a lot of investment in research time.

    And for one reason or another, I keep ending up in crisis mode—first with Stormlight 3 taking longer than I wanted, and now with The Apocalypse Guard not turning out like I wanted. So someday I will get to this, but it's going to require some alignment of several factors.

    Status: Not yet. We'll see.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6484 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Secondary Projects

    White Sand

    Graphic Novel 1 was a huge success, and Graphic Novel 2 is finished and off to the printers. Expected publication date is February 2018. It will be the second of three.

    The prose version is still available to be read. If you sign up for my mailing list, we auto-send you a link to it.

    Status: Graphic novel 2 coming in early 2018.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6486 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Secondary Projects


    Contrary to last year's State of the Sanderson (where I didn't expect movement on this series this year) there have been developments. I have tried working on the sixth and final book (which will be from Bastille's viewpoint) and have found that I didn't like the test chapters I did.

    The story went the wrong direction, and beyond that, I didn't feel like I had Bastille's voice down. In some attempts, the book just sounded too much like the previous ones—but when I exaggerated her voice, she felt a bit Flanderized. I've been toying with how to make it work, and I've come up with a somewhat outside-the-box solution. My long-standing friend and former student, Janci Patterson, is also a big fan of the series. She's been offering feedback since I wrote the first book back in…2006, was it? I've gone to her and asked if she'd be willing to collaborate on it.

    The goal is that by bringing in another author to write it with me, I'll be able to get the book to work—to have it feel different enough from the others, yet still be in the same theme and spirit. The goal is to do an outline in early February once I have book one of Skyward done, then hand that off to Janci and let her toy with it a while before sending it back to me.

    So you can watch for that, and I'll post updates.

    Status: Outline to be written in 2018.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6487 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Secondary Projects


    The third Stephen Leeds/Legion story (which is roughly the same length as the second one) is finished! Titled Lies of the Beholder, this is the story that delves into Stephen's backstory, his interactions with Sandra, and the nature of his aspects. Good stuff! It's done, and it's weird. But good weird.

    Right now, the goal is to collect all three Legion stories and release them in hardcover sometime around September 2018. That means there probably won't be a standalone release of Lies of the Beholder until a year or so later, like we plan with EdgedancerHowever, for those who like cohesion on their bookshelves, I've mandated that Subterranean Press be allowed to do a leatherbound like they did with the first two. So you can have books that match. This should happen right around the release of the collection.

    In the UK, there should be a small-format version of the story on its own rather than a collection. (Again, for matching purposes. In the US, the small-format hardcovers have been published by my own company, Dragonsteel, as we waited for enough stories to do a collection.) We should eventually do a small-format Dragonsteel edition for people who really want one of those to match, but I'd suggest that the best way to support the stories is to buy the collection. And if you haven't ever tried them out, you'll be able to get them all at once!

    This marks the end of the Stephen Leeds stories, though we're in talks for another television deal—so maybe that will happen.

    Status: Series finished! Publication in late 2018.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6489 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Main Projects


    Wax and Wayne 4 is on the slate next after I finish Skyward. (Though if it's going well, I may do the entire trilogy for Skyward first.) I need four or five months at least to do Wax and Wayne, so rain or shine, my plan is to get into this on September 1st at the latest. Hopefully a little earlier.

    This will wrap up the second era of Mistborn books. (And yes, I've settled—at long last—on just calling it that. All the other terms I tried were just too confusing.) Once the Wax and Wayne books are done, I'll look to do something else for a little while before coming back for Era Three. (1980s spy thriller Mistborn.)

    Status: To be written in 2018.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6490 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Updates on Main Projects


    It's time to take a little breather. I've begun working on the outline for book four, which is kind of a mess right now because of things I've been moving around between books as I write. My goal this year for Stormlight will be to have rock-solid outlines for books four and five done by December 2018.

    My current projection is that I'll spend half of my time writing Stormlight, and half of it doing other things. (I spoke last year about just how big an undertaking a Stormlight book is–and why I can't write them back to back.) I realize that many of you would prefer to have only Stormlight, but that would drive me insane–and drive the series into the ground.

    I think this is a realistic schedule. So, I'm giving myself 2018 to work on Skyward (hopefully a trilogy) and other projects. Then on January 1st, 2019, I go back to Stormlight refreshed and excited to be back in Roshar, and I write on book four until it's done. (With a 2020 or 2021 release, depending on how the writing goes.) I do hope to find time for a novella, like Edgedancer, that we can put out between books. This one is tentatively called Wandersail.

    For those who don't know, The Stormlight Archive is a ten-book series composed of two five-book arcs.

    Status: Writing outline for book four.

    State of the Sanderson 2017 ()
    #6491 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    My Year

    January–June: Oathbringer Revisions

    I spent most of this year doing revisions for Oathbringer. I did several exhaustive drafts during the January–June months, and did the final handoff to Peter (for copyediting and proofreading) right at the end of June.

    June–Mid September: The Apocalypse Guard

    Then, for the first time in what felt like forever (it was really only about sixteen months), I got a chance to work on something that wasn't Oathbringer or Edgedancer. I launched right into The Apocalypse Guard, the follow-up to The Reckoners…and it didn't work. I spent July, August, and part of September writing that. (I finished the last chapter sometime in early September, and turned in the second draft a few weeks later.)

    September–October: Legion 3

    I was already feeling a little discouraged by that book not quite coming together, though at that point I assumed I'd be able to fix it in revisions. (Well, I still think I can do that–I just think it will take more time.) Mid-September, I launched into Legion Three: Lies of the Beholder. That took around a month to finish, bringing us to mid-October. By then, I knew something was seriously wrong with The Apocalypse Guard, as my revision attempts were fruitless. So, I called Random House and pulled the book–then launched into Skyward.

    October–November: Skyward

    I have been writing on that book ever since, and you can read the blog post yesterday about that.

    November–December: Oathbringer Tour

    The tour was wonderful–somehow both exhausting and energizing at the same time. Here are some of the fan costumes that showed up this year. Thank you all for coming out to see me!

    December so far: Skyward

    Unfortunately, and I know you guys know to watch for them, there are no hidden or secret novellas or books for this year. I have been running around feeling behind all year, first on Oathbringer, and then trying to find a replacement for The Apocalypse Guard.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6492 Copy


    /u/Mistborn (Brandon) said that Eshonai will be the flashback character in Book 4. (source), which would indicate that she's probably still alive in some form.

    But we'll see. He could've changed it or that could've been a diversion from Venli being the actual flashback character.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Eshonai is the flashback character--but she is dead in the present. I've warned people multiple times that we WILL have flashbacks to the viewpoints of characters who have died.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #6493 Copy


    I was at the Houston signing, and Brandon referred me to you on a few technical questions that I was asking him, since he he was quite "brain dead."

    First was what Surges the Bondsmiths have. Based on the ordering in the Ars Arcanum in WoR and OB, they should have Tension. But the application of the shared Surge we saw for both Stonewards and Bondsmiths in OB looks to line up more with Brandon's previous description of Cohesion from the Words of Radiance tour. (, although he did identify it as a Willshaper Surge there.) Brandon believed it was an error in the Ars Arcanum, and that Bondsmiths do have Cohesion, but he told me to confirm that with you.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    What power did you see in the book that Bondsmiths and Stonewards share?


    In Chapter 38:

    The Shardbearer pressed his hand against the incline leading up to the Voidbringer, and again the stone seemed to writhe. Steps formed in the rock, as if it were made of wax that could flow and be shaped.


    "And that Shardbearer I saw? A Herald?"

    No. Merely a Stoneward. The Surge that changed the stone is the other you may learn, though it may serve you differently.

    Which seems to align with how Brandon has previously described Cohesion in the past, as opposed to Tension.

    I assume this Surge is what Dalinar used to repair the temple of Talenel in Chapter 59, but that's not actually essential to the point.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I think this has to be an error in the text.


    Sorry, which do you think is the error? The order of Surges in the Ars Arcanum? Or the Stormfather's statement to Dalinar?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The Stormfather's statement.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I have verified with Brandon that what the Stormfather said here is wrong and will be corrected in the future.

    Miscellaneous 2015 ()
    #6494 Copy


    One thing I can't figure out - Newcago's name is obviously a short of New Chicago. So is there anything Babilar stands for? The "Babyl-" part is obviously from Babylon, but I can't think of anything for "-ar"... Babylon Restored > Babylo-R > Babylor > Babylar kind of makes sense, but it doesn't make me happy.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Babyl-R (say the letter name).

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6496 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    The Shardblade that Dalinar had at the end of Words of Radiance, was that the Honorblade?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The Shardblade that Dalinar had at the end of Words of Radiance that he gave up?

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Yeah, that he gave up.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No, it was not.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    It was not? So what happened to the Honorblade that the Herald had?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Nobody kno - Well, somebody knows, but it is not known to the main characters.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Can I ask if Hoid-

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    If Hoid knows?

    Questioner (paraphrased)


    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Hoid did not take it, but I’m not answering whether he knows.

    Footnote: This was transcribed from a recording, so it should be close to verbatim. However, the audio file has been taken down, so it cannot be verified exactly.
    TWG Posts ()
    #6498 Copy


    I have a questions. I read in the book that under the Lord Ruler, the Steel Inquisitors had 9 spikes. So they had 8 spikes for the normal Allomantic abilities, and only one left. But they needed one more. One would be a Feruchemical spike which granted the user healing abilities. And the other one would be an atium spike. In the book they burned it often, but how? But then, how could they burn atium? They would have needed an atium spike (extremely expensive) and an Mistborn (because atium Mistings weren't discovered).

    Somehow, the number of the spike just don't make sense. There should be 10. Do you have some ideas, or is it just an mistake by Brandon Sanderson? 

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The official answer is that the number varies depending on how many Mistings they can find and sacrifice. Not all Inquisitors will have all the same powers.