Recent entries

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6952 Copy

    Questioner

    I was reading stuff online about like a Mistborn videogame?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, we'll still working on it. It's taking much longer than we thought. The developer, that producer of the game and I had chosen, they, ah, had a falling out and split and so we had to start over from scratch and that's what really threw us for a loop. We then took it to a really prestigious one-- game company that I love and they considered it for a long time, but it turned out that they just didn't have the time and couldn't do it. So now we are kind of back to square one finding a third group to do it.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6953 Copy

    Questioner

    I write as well, and I was wondering what books you use to improve your own writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have found both of Orson Scott Card’s books to be very good. Stephen King's book is very good. I find that my writing improves more when I read people's writing that I admire and then ask myself what they did well. That helps me more than some of the textbooks. 

    Questioner

    That's kind of how I was feeling too, for myself, so excellent.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Breaking down someone who's really good at this, like Anne McCaffrey, or somebody like that, and saying "what is she actually doing?".

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6954 Copy

    Questioner

    From the very beginning did you already know-- like cosmere? Like was that your goal setting out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was my goal very early on. In fact, before I wrote any books I wrote a short story about Hoid. So he goes back to before the very first book that I wrote. So yeah it goes back pretty far. I can trace inspirations back to Asimov tying Foundation and Robots together and feeling like that was really cool and wanting to do something like that, if it makes sense. And so I would say that’s probably like the first seed was when I read the later Foundation books and they tied them together.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6955 Copy

    Questioner

    I've always thought in Steelheart, or in the Reckoners series, what influenced your characters like that, like was there comic books behind that? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've read a lot of comics, so you can find--

    Questioner

    Any specific ones that influenced you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Watchman influenced everyone. Kingdom Come is one of first that made me really think about comics. My favorite was the old Eastman and Laird original Turtles. But I don't know if that's as much inspiration as me just enjoying it. I don't know. I like the graphic novels like the Killing Joke... that feel like a self-contained story.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6956 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Warbreaker had just come out, and I was talking about how you used more comedy in the book, and I was asking about it and everything else, and I was so pleased that you've done such a wonderful job with it, I enjoyed the humor aspects, besides it just sets everything up perfectly.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    I feel that a great book is going to have a wide range of emotions, so I try to stick various different ones in.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6962 Copy

    Questioner

    How far ahead in the timeline is Sixth of Dusk?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Pretty far.

    Questioner

    Can I have a general--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most people that I'm writing about now are dead.

    Questioner

    Is it up into the third trilogy of Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is that era, yes.

    Questioner

    Sweet! That's what I thought.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It might be a little bit before that trilogy, but it's that era.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6968 Copy

    Questioner

    My brother and I have been debating about Hoid and how he got his abilities. We have a couple theories. One of them is Hemalurgy. The other has to do with the portals into the worlds themselves, because the birds in Sixth of Dusk--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, he doesn't have Hemalurgy right now. He has powers that predate the Shattering of Adonalsium. Not all of his powers predate, but he does have powers that predate.

    Questioner

    Ok, so I was wrong on both counts then. Am I wrong on both counts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not saying that, I'm saying that he does have powers that predate but he has also gained powers since.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6971 Copy

    Questioner

    When it comes to like, touring and stuff like that, how do you pick these locations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sometimes, it's my publisher, sometimes it's me saying let's go somewhere different. And sometimes it's places where I've come a lot where they do a good job, like when I come to a store like this, I feel like they do a good job, so I put a good report into the publisher and say, feel free to send me back to that store.

    Questioner

    Ok, because I'm a student at Sunset University, and I have a lot of people who are fans there, and I'd love it if you know--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The best way to get me into places like that is if you have a local convention, science fiction convention, having them invite me to be guest of honor, I do that sort of thing a lot.

    Firefight San Francisco signing ()
    #6972 Copy

    Questioner

    I struggle because I go through books so quick, and so I've gone through a lot of your recommendations, and a lot of other recommendations from other people on reddit, on your reddit page, but where do you find books that you read?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These days normally it is people ask me for cover quotes. And so what people send in, I read the first few pages, or my wife, she reads voraciously and what she finds-- Like The Immortal life of Henrietta Lacks, I got that from her, if you haven't read that it's really good. It's like half non-fiction book, well it's all non-fiction but half like science writing and half biography, it's really cool. Definitely check out Uprooted when it comes out, that's very good. You've read the Hyperion books?

    Questioner

    Yes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, what else is good that you may not have really read? My recommendations right, if you've read Guy Gavriel Kay...

    Bystander

    Yeah...the student of yours who wrote a book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah yeah Brian McClellan's. You've read Brain McClellan's? You've read everything! Something old and long...Elric [by Michael Moorcock]. Elric's pretty decent. It depends on if you like heroic fantasy, you know more of-- that, and David Gemmel, both of those heroic fantasy, try one, see if you like that style there's a ton of them out there.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6973 Copy

    Questioner

    The Nahel bond, what determines whether you get a Cryptic or an honorspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The spren themselves.

    Questioner

    So it doesn't have to do with the Orders of the Knights Radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you match, you have to attract the spren, the same way you attract emotionspren, you have to attract the right spren for the Order.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6974 Copy

    Questioner

    Since Hoid is the Horneater god, are there, or at least implied, would other Shards--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is not a Shard.

    Questioner

    Or other Shards that are related to Hoid, since they are in the same time period. Would they also be Horneater gods?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that the Horneaters might interpret things very differently from their reality, as they are viewing certain things happening--

    Questioner

    So would they originally be from Roshar, or would they have travelled from somewhere else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO, it depends on the person. Hoid is not originally from Roshar.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6975 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a way to tell between different Investitures?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. 

    Questioner

    For each Shard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, for each Shard? Each Shard-- Most of the magics have built into them that ability, but I wouldn't say that everyone does. I am trying to remember if they all do... I lot of them have a power that would allow you to do that, but I don't know if every one of them does.

    Questioner

    No, I mean that, in the ones that do have [this ability], they can tell the difference between each one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you were really good at burning bronze, you could use bronze to distinguish between different types of Investiture from different planets even. And that sort of skill does exist in other magic systems.

    Argent

    Is it like a wavelength kind of thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yea, that's exactly what it is.

    Footnote: It looks like Brandon misinterpreted the original question but eventually answered it, after a clarification.
    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6977 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a limit to how many Shardblades you can have? Be bonded to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Theoretically, not really. There are some things that can limit bound that.. I can imagine people have a lot. In the original draft of The Way of Kings (2002) Amaram had two. And so, it's definitely possible to have multiples, and I had not thought of someone trying to bond every Shardblade. 

    Questioner

    So that means you can be bonded to more than one spren.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, those Shardblades... Can you be bonded to more than one spren? That question's answer is also yes. Potentially. But there is a much harder limit on that.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6979 Copy

    Questioner

    If you were to use Allomancy to fly faster than light, would it be like the Navigators in Dune, where you pick out the best possible route through the stars?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question though! That's not quite the way, I haven't really given you the tools to figure it out, because I feel that the tools to figure it out, I couldn't give to the characters early enough. I wanted it to progress with the technological development, so hints are only just really brief in the story. 

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6980 Copy

    Questioner

    May I ask you what your revision process is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My revision process is very goal-oriented. I decide what I want to change about the book, I write it all in a big notes file, and I organize them by how important it is and how far-reaching the changes are. And then I start revising with <the file> open beside me, always watching to make tweaks to fit the goals I have established.

    Questioner

    Oh, okay. And do you find yourself able to remember everything you've written when you go back and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, that's why-- you got your document here and you've got your revision file here and watching [the revisions file] while revising I'm trying to clear things off this list, and then things near the bottom will move up. And I'll sometimes need to do two or three drafts to clear everything off the list, but being goal-based in it helps me a lot.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6981 Copy

    Questioner

    The prevailing theory on the 17th Shard is that [Hoid] worldhops using Shadesmar. I was wondering if you were willing to confirm or deny that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid has indeed gotten between worlds before through Shadesmar.

    Questioner

    And would you be willing to give us a hint as to how he does that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are hints in the books. There is a hint in the very first cosmere book I released [Elantris]. [...] Which I thought was a huge hint, but so far I haven't seen anyone talking about it.

    Argent

    Really?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. [...] I thought that once people started figuring the Cosmere, they would see the massive in-your-face hint I put in that book, but so far, as far as I know, no one has. *brief conversation about Brandon's tendency to drop sneaky hints and how he likes doing that* Now, the one [hint] about the map [of Roshar], that one I don't think is obvious. I know people have been trying to figure it out. It's something fun once you figure it out, but it's not something huge and obvious. The Elantris once was, like, enormously "HIIINT!"

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6982 Copy

    Questioner

     In Shadesmar you describe the beads, they are like little beads, this big, BB size...

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are bigger than BB size.

    Questioner

    Okay, and everything melts into beads. But when people pick them them up, do they form into the thing they are supposed to be, or just one bead represents the stick, and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    One bead represents the item that is seen and views itself as a cohesive thing. 

    Questioner

    Is there a picture inside it, or...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We will get more into this as time progresses.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6983 Copy

    Questioner

    In the future Mistborn trilogies, is there going to be any spectator sports revolved around the magic system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is very likely. In fact, one of the reasons I wrote The Rithmatist was to play around with a magic system that's used as a sport, as a game.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6984 Copy

    Questioner

     Why can Stormlight heal Lopen's arm, but can't heal Kaladin's scars?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because *photo pause* a lot of the healing in the Cosmere works on principles of expectation and how you envision yourself. 

    Questioner

    So Kaladin has accepted the scars.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin has accepted the scars, and Lopen never accepted the one arm. It's a good question, it's one I am hoping people will ask. [...] It's one of these ties when I built the magic systems that I wanted certain threads to run through them, so when I eventually have them being used in the same books, that there will be consistency among them, that so they won't feel like everything's just thrown together. So, for instance, the intention and expectation, for instance, in Warbreaker-- What you want to have happened influences what does happen, the expectation, the way you are thinking about things. Very important for most of the Cosmere magics.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6986 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm actually writing a-- I planned, I don't know if I'll get to it, but I planned an in-between [Stormlight] books short story called King Lopen the First of Alethkar. And I'm hoping I'll get a chance to write that and stick it up there for you guys, but yes. Because if you see at the end he is claiming to have been a king for a while. You will find out why he claims that.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6988 Copy

    Dragon13

    Have we seen any characters who is a part of multiple [secret] organizations, for example the Ghostbloods and the Sons of Honor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes you have. *photo pause* I've a big cop out there, because you of know of one who is in the Ghostbloods and the Lightweavers. You give me opportunities, and I will answer truthfully.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6992 Copy

    Questioner

    [I noticed] Nazh's name at the bottom of the illustrations a lot - is that a character that's going to come in in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's already appeared in the books. Very very cameo-ish tangential things, you have to be really looking to spot him.

    *brief conversation about space age Mistborn*

    Argent

    Books, plural?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He wasn't in The Way of Kings, no. Not on screen, I don't think.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #6998 Copy

    Questioner

    Are gemhearts, the gems in those chemically identical to mined [gem] stones?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *clarification* They are very similar. Not 100% chemically identical, they are far more pure for one thing. You would call them the same substance, but you would say, "Wow, this gem has no impurities." They may have flaws, but no impurities. Meaning, in a lot of gemstones the colors waver and vary as they different minerals come in, and things like that, and so what makes a--

    Questioner

    So it's just a pure ionic bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.