Are all the original sixteen Shardholders from Yolen?
Are all the original sixteen Shardholders from Yolen?
They mentioned a video game in the Mistborn world at one point - I was wondering, in terms of the story, is it just an adaptation or--?
I wrote a story for them to use that is in the second century of the Lord Ruler's reign. The idea was for them to use that story and then come back to me with the finished game and then I would write the dialogue for the characters to match the story. That is what we want to do, it is taking them forever to write this game. [...] Our goal was to do a kind of Infamous-style open world RPG sort of thing.
Were there Desolations before there were humans on Roshar?
You have a tendency to write books with theocracies that are legitimately ruled by the gods, and this seems to be missing. Is that a direction that the Knights Radiant might be heading, or is something else going to happen?
I'm gonna RAFO that one. There was a theocracy on Roshar at one point. There was also a mage-ocracy, whatever you want to call it.
No, mage, magic-user...A lot of things have existed on Roshar.
Rock sounds Hawaiian.
Hawaiian royalty. Is that a pun on Dwayne ["the Rock"] Johnson?
*laughs* No it's not.
So if you have a book on Rock, you can get him to--
Yeah, that's a coincidence.
Dwayne Johnson is a prince, Hawaiian prince.
Is he? Really?
Yes, he is. He is from a royal family, a Hawaiian royal family
He's from a royal family? I didn't know that!
So, get him to pay for the movie. And star as Rock!
What is the current plan for the Stormlight Archive *inaudible* what we do *inaudible*
Yes. Oh, that's one of those hard ones.
Can you tell us where we - that the Queen's arc, in the question of *inaudible*? Not that I wouldn't read the section on the Herald--
Nah, that's fine. Nonono, it'll have an arc. The first five are about Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan, Szeth, and Eshonai in an arc, and then the back five will be about Jasnah, Taln with *inaudible* and stuff like this. So, I mean, some of the same characters from the first five will be characters and still have viewpoints and things, but it's kind of a shift in focus.
Are you going to write something about Hoid?
I am. He'll have his own series, but it's a long ways off. Gonna warn you right here, right now.
How many magic systems are there on Roshar?
It depends on your definition. Is Windrunning its own magic system, or is it a division of a larger magic system? Are the ten different Surges each their own magic system, or...it's really how...
If you assume the surges are considered one.
Well then you would have Surgebinding, and the Old Magic, those are two at least, and there are things that are not explained in those at all, and how do you count creating fabrials? Is that a science and not a magic? Is that its own magic system?
It's a science, because anyone can do it.
So Awakening is not a magic, then? Awakening's a science? Because anyone can Awaken if they just get the breath.
That's one thing that stood out to me in your magic systems, because in all your other magic systems that we've seen so far there has to be some form of snapping to occur, and that's unique...
Not all of them because, um, let's see...
BioChroma does not requires snapping.
Actually wait, is there an active magic system on Threnody?
Threnody has a non Shard-based...it depends on what you call magic. Do spirits coming back to life count as magic? It's science to them, but it's goofy science.
It is not Mraize's stick.
I was wondering about the in-world text, the Way of Kings. It's older than those 4500 years, right?
It was written by Nohadon.
Especially since Jasnah mentioned how all the texts have been corrupted or changed since then, especially the ones dealing with the Radiants, I was wondering if we will find out how the Way of Kings survived intact for so long, or if it actually did, or if it's...
They do say that...well let's just say that some books exist in translation over the centuries with the primary text having been lost, or things like this.
But you're not going to say if the translation is guaranteed to be accurate.
I am not going to say that.
As Lift's spren refers to the Nightwatcher as Mother, right...
He definitely calls somebody a mother. The implication in the text is that it's the Nightwatcher.
Certainly, so I'm just going to run with that right now. So the question that I'm asking is, is surgebinding in general a melding of Honor and Odium, a la feruchemy being in some sense not directly derivative of Ruin and Preservation?
It is...Honor and Cultivation is what you mean?
There are spren of all three Shards, and those spren can work within the bounds of the magic that has already been set up on Roshar.
What Shard are Cryptics associated with?
If you could write something, whatever you're willing to tell us, about the Moon Scepter that we haven't already heard?
(Writes, amidst oohing and aahing)...I run into problems with some of these things, because there's not much to say, but what there is to say can be very spoilery, you know what I mean. Like it's like...and so... (possibly pointing at what he has written)
This is probably going to be a RAFO but is that the one...the stick with the writing...seen in Mraize's collection?
(continues writing)...well, at least I gave you something...
But it is not Mraize's stick.
When you write a book, do you start from the first page and go page by page or-?
Good question. I do. I write straight through, I outline backward. So I start my outlines at the end-
When you have an idea about something in the middle, you-
-add it to my outline. I don't write it yet, because for me my characters are on journey and if I don’t write chronologically, I don’t how the characters' emotional states would be when I get to that scene.
When you write short stories, do you write them separately, or do they just come along - when you are writing longer books that you come along them?
Usually I’m working on a book and I have a great idea for a short story and I force myself to put it off until book is done. I tried writing a short story on plane right here and it’s awful, it's so bad I don’t think I will let anyone ever see it.
<Where do your inspiration comes from?>
It's very different based on the book. Is there a specific... like, ask me a specific *inaudible*.
Way of Kings.
First idea was Dalinar which is: brother of king who... the king gets assassinated and the nephew is a bad king and where does that leave you? The second idea was storms shaping the world. Spren were based on Shinto Kami, the Shinto religion. Kaladin was based on the conflict between a surgeon learning *inaudible*. Different ideas for different things.
When a Radiant is in the Cognitive Realm, does their mind exist individually, like separately from their body?
So you physically travel to the Cognitive Realm?
You can kind of step in between both but you do not separate from your body.
So when Shallan is only partly in...she's in both at the same time?
Yeah. She's transitioning. It's not astral projection. But no that's a legit question.
So Shallan, and Lightweavers, are capable of physically stepping into Shadesmar?
RAFO. But the implication is yes.
In Secret History Kelsier was <> some kind of <>. Is it some<> to Forgery?
[Oversleep's notes: Question about Kelsier changing his backpack in M:SH and if that’s similar to Forgery/beginning of Forgery on Scadrial]
No, there is something else going on... that we'll see, come to understand <>
One of them is White Sand which is now a Graphic Novel. If you ever want to read - in English - you can get the <prime/previous> version. I'm not going to release it. <> think it's good enough.
<I have read that and it's possible I'll read that.>
Yes, <> every couple of years <just to get updated>
<><want to write this>
Once in a while it's happening. But I'm always able to change my idea to <get> something different <to get to do> what I want to do.
I was wondering if, at the Recreance, the Radiant were deliberately trying to put Shardblades in the hands of non-Radiants? Since they left them all outside a military base.
You've mentioned before Adamant as maybe a universe where you can invite people to work with you.
Yeah I've definitely considered that. Adamant is a science fiction novella I wrote, which I would love to do some continuing adventures of this starship and have some guest writers. It's difficult because, as a writer it's very hard to let go of anything, that's what I found. I did one story with a friend of mine, Ethan, who I did it with him because he's in the military and I've never been in the military, and I wanted to write a story that was kind of military science fiction-ish. And so we wrote a story together, and it's a great story, it's called HARRE, and you read it in English but-- It turned out really well but it was so hard to let go. Really hard to let go and let someone else do it, that's a flaw in me I think because the story turned out great, but I'm worried about doing that more in the future. Just if-- I'm worried whether or not I'll be able to let go of the story and let someone else put their stamp on it.
So how about the other way around though. Would you be interested in working in somebody else's, like for example Dragonlance. You did something like this in The Wheel of Time, working with a pretty fine set of constraints--
Yeah it was a little different in The Wheel of Time because I was given complete creative control. So I could do whatever I wanted as long as I could convince Robert Jordan's widow that it was the right thing for the story. If I convinced her then it worked. But I very much could create whatever-- craft whatever story I wanted. In a lot of shared universes the constraints are much more binding. I wouldn't be opposed to it. I've certainly done-- I worked with some friends who make video games and worked on some stories with them, so I've done it before. I wouldn't be opposed to it. It would have to be the right thing.
Or a Magic: The Gathering story?
Yeah a Magic: The Gathering story, I could totally see myself writing one of those one day.
Is there a particular Magic: The Gathering, I dunno, what are they called-- universe?
Yeah, yeah, they've got a Gothic core universe called Innistrad, with a-- It's just I love classic Gothic horror, and it would allow me to play with some of those tropes. You know, the zombies banging on the door and the werewolves howling in the night, and things like that, that I probably would never do in one of my stories.
Did you ever feel trapped by the magic system you <write/create>, for example you want to change something but you can't because of scenario you set up something in other way?
Yes, all the time and it’s good for me. It forces me to state my rules and forces their characters to stay to their rules, so it’s very good for my writing but happens all the time.
So, Anna [Polish translator of most of Brandon's books] actually wrote to us and asked questions and I let Peter who's my editor assistant and continuity editor. So, they talk a lot about <how things correct>
<... Peter... lightning>
<Will there be more from Nalthis/Elantris?>
Someday, it's a long ways off. But there'll be more.
<> <and then he flies away, end of scene> <Lift eating pancakes> <>?
Yes. That's intentional. There's more to that story, but I'm cutting around it a little bit because I don't want to spoil Oathbringer, where we really dig into the ramifications of that change. I didn't want-- Because I wouldn't-- that would raise so many questions, so I did cut around that idea and leave it out of the end of Edgedancer intentionally. So, next book will answer that.
You often write about difference between poor and very rich. And the poor pretending to be rich. Why?
We look for stories about great conflict, and I think that class conflict is a really interesting conflict and what is it mean, why we put people in boxes and stuff like that, very interesting.
Do you have any idea how <>?
No, it's really hard. It's very hard because Kaladin would look half Asian, half Arab to us, and so matching the ethnicity of the Alethi is very difficult. So I'm not sure with who they will end up getting but it's a very difficult ethnicity to match.
What's his name, the one who sends the letter with pictures … Nazir?
What? Oh, Nazh? Yes, Nazrilof.
He's not in the list of …
He appears in one place in that book.
The Seventeenth Shard—is their purpose limited solely to tracking down Hoid? Or all Worldhoppers or is it something grander than that?
No, they have other stuff. It is grander than that.
He's just one of many priorities?
Yes. They are very worried about what he's going to be doing.
But there's others they're worried about as well?
Yes... They have a task, they have goals, and they are worried that he is going to be [at] cross purposes to them, so is trying to hunt him down.
She wanted to know earlier, when [will] you get a book with Lift?
You are going to get a book with Lift as a main character. It is going to happen, I promise. And I'll probably do some more shorts with Lift because she is so much fun.
Michael Kramer is, other than Elantris (Jack Garrett), Warbreaker (James Yaegashi), and the Alcatraz series (Ramon de Ocampo), "the voice of Brandon Sanderson" when it comes to audiobooks, handling narration on The Wheel of Time, the Mistborn trilogy, The Way of Kings, and now The Alloy of Law. What makes him such a well-suited narrator for your books?
I feel there's a fine line to walk between performing too much and not enough. When I like to listen to an audiobook, I don't want to hear just a dry read. I like a subtle shift in character voice and tone when someone is speaking, so that you can get a sense of it. But I don't like it performed so much—particularly for my own works—that it takes you out of the story. Having listened to the Wheel of Time audiobooks, as that is one of the main series I've listened to in my life, I really wanted Michael Kramer for some of my works. So I asked for him by name.
A lot happens before this book opens—how did you pick an opening for Wax's story, leaving so much of the backstory with Wayne (and others) to be picked up and absorbed on the fly?
I usually like to start my books in medias res to an extent. It brings across the sense that I want to portray, which is that the characters all existed before the book started, and the characters continue—those who survive—to exist after the book ends. That helps with the sense of immersion. Granted, each book tells about a very important chapter of the characters' lives, and there's a distinct beginning, middle, and end to that chapter, but if the beginning or end are too hard and fast, it feels contrived to me. So I do this with all of my books.
It's usually harder to figure out a starting point than you might think. I often have to revise my beginnings very heavily. This is no different from my other works; in the Mistborn books I've had to do this often. The prologue for [The Alloy of Law] was actually written to be the prologue to a sequel, and after I wrote it, I thought, "No, that needs to go in this book." We did a lot of shuffling around at the beginning of this book to find the right starting point.
Wayne's ability to mimic and create accents is used to great effect in the book, and Michael Kramer really shines in bringing these accents to life in the audiobook. Did you have a sense when writing the book that these could be challenging—and rewarding—scenes when read?
I certainly did. The thing is, I'm not good with talking in accents myself—I can hear them in my head, but I'm atrocious at trying to do them. So while I was writing the book, I was thinking in the back of my mind, "I really hope that poor Michael can pull this off." It was a lot of fun to write Wayne's accents. I'm writing in a world that isn't our world, but the Mistborn world is a bit of an Earth analogue. I intentionally used themes that make it an Earth parallel, which is different from my other worlds. So you can have a character who kind of has a light Cockney accent or something like that, but it's not our world so it can't exactly mimic that accent. So it's already a challenge in that respect. I do think Michael did a fantastic job.
How much did you focus on writing The Alloy of Law as a starting point for readers who were new to Mistborn? Was it hard to balance writing for new readers versus wanting to give your existing readers a "welcome home"?
It takes place hundreds of years after the trilogy, so there was enough that I had to bring longtime readers up to speed on that it felt very natural to write the book as a potential new starting point, just because the world had been updated so much.
That said, I did make sure to slip in lots of fun things for those who had read the original trilogy, that are callbacks or that show how the world got updated and how it grew. I was conscious of the book possibly being a new starting point, but it's more that it felt natural for what the story required, as opposed to me sitting down and trying to force the book to be a new starting point.
Last time we spoke, we were talking about the 45-hour audiobook for The Way of Kings. Each of the Mistborn books came in at 25-30 hours, but The Alloy of Law comes in at a tidy 9 discs. Did you set out to write a shorter book?
I knew I wanted to do more in the Mistborn world, and for a long time I played with writing a short story. The short story that I tried to write didn't work; I tossed it aside after maybe a thousand words, and began working on a different story. I can usually judge what the length of a story will be, and I knew this one would be longer, but I wasn't sure how long I would want it to be, or whether I should make it a full-blown novel. So I wrote what turned out to be three or four chapters' worth, and at that point I decided, it was a big enough story to can make a novel of it. I knew it wasn't going to be the same length as the original Mistborn books, but I felt okay with that, because for a long time I've been wanting to start writing some—I don't want to say shorter, but quicker, faster-paced stories; thrilleresque, maybe a little more pulpish. I just think of it as a fun book, that doesn't require quite as much of an investment of time and energy for the reader as something like The Way of Kings—which I love, but I want to be doing a variety of things. So writing a shorter book was intentional, but I kind of slipped into it.
The Lord Ruler does he <move on>?
Yes he does.
Is there a correlation, at all, between Awakening steel, a blade, and the revival of spren every time a Shardblade is summoned? I mean, I know Invesiture is Investiture is Invesiture.
So revival of the spren so--
Okay. So, are you talking about a live Shardblade or a dead one, or it doesn’t matter.
Awakening the steel, like that, Shardblades <are like Awakening metal> and stuff.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. The big difference here is that in one you’re using a physical component, right, and Investing it. In another, a more pure Investiture is passing into the Physical Realm and taking on an embodiment, a shape. Does that make sense? And so, similar but different things. There is a correlation, but it’s not--yeah.
What’s your favorite part about touring? Like the q&a’s or the readings?
No, the readings get old.
Well each signing I’ll do a different little speech. The q&a’s are more fun because they are different. The reading gets a little old, but the first few times it is good because I’m refining it and it’s fun. So, I’ll say the actual interactive part is my favorite.
*inaudible <compares signing to marathon>*
Though I will admit that sometimes the best part on tours is going back to the hotel and going to sleep. But that really depends on how late the signing is going. Like starting at 4, it’s easy here.
What’s the latest you've ever gone?
I’ve gone ‘til 5.
Yeah. That one started pretty late but they went pretty late. Normal signings, 1 or 2, is as late as they go.
Are you going to make a sort of [Mistborn: Secret History] for Vasher?
Yeah, you’ll get some more Vasher stuff. I will write a sequel to Warbreaker that shows Vasher kind of bridging--but you’ll also see some more of the stuff behind the scenes that he did.
So the last several books you’ve been bringing the whole cosmere together, has that changed how you are putting your books together? Now that you're tying everything?
Not really, it’s been planned for a while to do that. For instance, Stormlight will still kind of remain its own thing and Mistborn was always going to point that direction. Now I accelerated it a little bit because of the Wax and Wayne books, which I kind of put in as interim stuff.
In the alternate reality, where David’s father is still alive, is there another Steelheart?
Was there ever another Steelheart?
He is the only Steelheart.
So who killed David, <Deathpoint>?
Was there never a bank scene?
No, there was a bank scene. And yeah.
There was a bank scene, and it was Deathpoint. Okay.
Are you interested in seeing any of your books become video games?
I would love to see my books get made into video games. Yeah, I’m a gamer. So if I had the right company, I would love to do it.
Have there been any offers, anyone vol--
Someone optioned--or bought the rights--to Mistborn. They were never able to get a game off the ground. I don’t think it’s going to happen. They still have the rights for another year but it’s looking really slim that they’ll get it made.
That’s unfortunate, that’d be a great game to play.
Yeah. And consoles are doing better, there was this time between the last generation and this generation where mobile took off and it was mobile that just kind of--and there was all this question about console, that’s when they were working on this and a lot of people were really timid about jumping in and making a big budget fantasy game.
Would Vasher be able to use Stormlight in the same way that he can get Breath?
That would not be immediately easy, but Stormlight could feed Nightblood.
Which is why Szeth can wield Nightblood?
Eh, you'll have to see if but yes. That could theoretically happen. You can use most of the magics on most of the planets to fuel the other magics, if you know how to do it, it is not easy.
I know that there's three sorts of forms that magic presents itself in, the liquid and the solid and air. What would Breath be?
Breath is definitely like mist, it is in the form of the air.
And is Stormlight the same?
Stormlight is the same.
<>?[Oversleep's notes: Allomantic/metallic air conditioning - metal which would work like air conditioning]
Yes, I do think it could be useful. That's a RAFO. You'll see application of Allomancy like that.
Will we ever see such things as... in the future Mistborn books... the unkeyed metalminds, will we see something like people donating <brothers>?
[From notes and Polish clarification: Can unkeyed gold metalminds be used in hospitals? That people would just turn them in so others can heal?]
You're likely to see such things in this. Not a RAFO. <It takes> figuring it out, <they didn't figure it> out yet.
It's possible, they didn't figure it out yet.
<Did the man Lift met is Hoid>?
It is Hoid.
In book three, right? In book three.
Oh *inaudible* Lift? *inaudible* No, that's not Hoid. So she references having talked to him but it's not someone she meets in this. In the beginning, she mentions him but he's not specifically in this. Right? Sorry, I thought you meant *inaudible*.
Yeah, of course, that makes sense. But yes, so, she met him - but she talks about him, she didn't - it's not him on the street.
(From my notes:
In Edgedancer, Lift references talking to Hoid but he doesn’t show up himself there. She met him, she talks about him but he doesn't appear in Edgedancer.)
I am fascinated by religion, and I am religious myself, so I like exploring the ways that human beings interact with religion.
When does a person become a Surgebinder? Cause Kaladin talks about when he was a child, talked about it being a familiar feeling, and Shallan obviously was younger. Or is it when they speak the Words?
The bond starts forming before the Words are spoken, but if the words are never spoken that bond will eventually evaporate and get broken. But the bond will start forming before. Just like an emotion attracts a spren, acting in the way that the spren you would eventually bond will start drawing them toward you and that will start to create that bond.
<Could you tell me something about the Shard that is hiding>?
That is a pretty big spoiler. I can give you a RAFO card. Yes, the Shard that wants to hide, let's just say, they are quite intelligent in their decision to not get caught.
Yes that is common.
Will there be a what spren?
Oh, yeah yeah yeah. So most of the spren are involved in either-- are kind of involved in all three. And so it's mostly Honor and Cultivation. But some lean one direction or the other: you'll see that lifespren will pop up more commonly around Wyndle then they will around <Sylphrena>.