Recent entries

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7151 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 ()
    #7152 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 ()
    #7153 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 ()
    #7154 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 ()
    #7155 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 ()
    #7156 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 ()
    #7158 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 ()
    #7160 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 ()
    #7164 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 ()
    #7170 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.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7173 Copy

    ladyknightradiant

    Have we seen all four of the genders for the Parshendi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. 

    ladyknightradiant

    So it's more than just malen and femalen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, male and female. So, basically, in my original notes I was trying to decide if I should call them [something else?] but they-- eventually we ended up-- It's basically, they have a male neuter and female neuter, and then a male and a female. So yes, there are four genders. [...] And, if you can't tell, the malen and femalen are both asexual, completely.

    Footnote: Of note, but irrelevant to this entry, is that the questioner, ladyknightradiant, is the one who put together the Where's My Chull? children's book for Brandon. You can find the full illustrations here.
    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7176 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    [brandon spoke about how he planned all of The Stormlight Archive books to be named after in-world books - that's where the "archive" part comes from. Book #3 will be pretty... unique. He said we'll know what he is talking about when we see it (so I guess it won't be a normal book format or something. Maybe the Shin write their books on stone tablets or something...).]

     

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7178 Copy

    Questioner

    In the last part of the book [Words of Radiance], Wit is talking to <the songling>, and says "If you think hard, this sentence is really clever." Are there any implications beyond this, or was that him just talking?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Go compare to another sentence he used earlier in the book. He is making a pun off of the sentence he used before. [...] It's not as clever as he thinks he is, I'll just warn you that.

    Footnote: The original line was, "Two blind men waited at the end of an era, contemplating beauty."
    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7181 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    What spren types are Glys, Ivory, and Wyndle?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    RAFO, because I haven't decided yet. I know generally what they are, but I don't know how I am going to call them in the books. It happens with other things in my writing, Shards for example - Odium was originally Hatred; the idea was the same, but I decided to change the actual word.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7184 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The glyphs on the cover of the [US hardcover Stormlight] books do represent the Order of the Knights Radiant that is being investigated in that book, as is the color of the book. If you look, it represents the color [of the] them in their, sort of, periodic table of Surgebindings in the first book's front endpages.

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7185 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, I will say there is one thing I've been wanting to do for a long time that will probably never happen so don't get too excited. But I had this awesome idea once, and these come to me, where I would write a book with Pat Rothfuss where *audience gets too excited*-- wait, wait, you've gotta hear this pitch - where we both have a set of characters who're competing for misaligned goals, like one wants to save somebody and one wants to assassinate somebody-- they've cross purposes. And we write them, and exchange chapters, and have try to assassinate each other and fiddle with each other's plots. And we get it to, like, 80% of the way done and then we send it to George Martin, and we say "read this and decide the ending and then we'll write it *audience laughter and applause*. And so the reason I want to this is so we can write on the cover, it's not "Brandon Sanderson and Pat Rothfuss", it's "Brandon Sanderson vs. Pat Rothfuss". And see who wins at the end if we can convince George not to kill all of our characters. It's never going to happen, but wouldn't that be fun?

    Words of Radiance Chicago signing ()
    #7187 Copy

    Argent

    In The Stormlight Archive there have been multiple writing systems, [which] as a part of a community effort we've translated, for the most part, the Alethi [Vorin women's script], the Thaylen. Can you talk about the technical details of the glyphs writing system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The glyphs were designed by Isaac Steward. He is my scribe, artist, and cartographer. He is also the art director at my company. We sat down and I wanted something symmetrical, so actually half of the glyph is repeated. When you read into it, it's symmetrical, and you can read them by the points where they slant, but you will have to go talk to him about exactly how to do it, because I say "I want a glyph for this" and he designs it. So they are readable, but-- The thing that I used as a model is, I got Arabic art; if you guys haven't read Arabic word art it's gorgeous, it's really cool. And sometimes when it gets really distorted you have to know already what it says, and that's how some of the glyphs are.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7188 Copy

    Questioner

    I've always wondered, was there actually a plan for [Sazed] to bring Vin and Kelsier back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. In fact I wrote that epilogue after initial test reads from the audience all thought "we need more closure, we need more closure" so I actually wrote a mention from him of them just because I wanted give you indication "they're okay" but that is it, Vin and Elend are not returning.

    Footnote: It seems that the questioner misspoke and meant Elend rather than Kelsier
    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7189 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you have to do with the 17th Shard? I was always curious.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They wanted to start a fansite and so I gave them my blessing, gave them a name that would mean something once they started it. But otherwise I don’t have anything to do with them.

    Footnote: Ouch. The distancing. :/ (I kid, I kid)
    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7190 Copy

    Questioner

    How do the timelines line up? So they're all in the same universe. But how does Stormlight and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are mostly been chronological, yet Alloy-era is after Stormlight book 5.

    Questioner

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Otherwise, mostly chronological. White Sand is before most of this happens. So if you ever read that one, it’s a pretty early book.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7191 Copy

    Questioner

    There is a Mistborn pen & paper RPG, Dungeons & Dragons style RPG does it give more information on the world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does.

    Though I oversaw that I let them go-- They wanted to do more than I felt comfortable doing myself for my timing, so I let them go pretty crazy. So I say that it is canon until I contradict it. And some of it I will end up contradicting because they needed to be able to make the game the best way they could and I didn’t feel comfortable telling them all the stuff that was coming up because I didn’t want that to sneak into there.

    For those who don’t know the Mistborn books, I’m going to do across the period of many centuries of writing—no, of in-world time.

    *laughter*

    The initial pitch to my editor was past, present, future. So the Mistborn books, we still haven’t hit present yet. We will eventually hit-- Present for these is going to be 1980’s level spy thriller, Tom Clancy-esque Mistborn with Allomancy. Yeah, it’s going to be really cool. The main character, she’s a code monkey who gets involved in all of this. It is really cool. And then we are going to go forward from there to the point where we get to a space opera and epic-- science-fiction space opera where Allomancy and Feruchemy have become the means by which space travel is possible. So that’s coming [...] I’m six books into what's going to be many, many. So just anticipate that with excitement.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7192 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you hint at something, like you hinted at some characters in Shadows of Self without making it feel forced?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is all the sort of thing that you judge using early readers. You put in what you feel is right, you have them read it and give you responses to it, and then you back off if they're feeling like it's too heavy handed, and you add more if they're not noticing at all. And that is the best way to learn this, just by getting test readers. Because your own instincts are kind of hard to trust on things like foreshadowing and things like this. So yeah, just get some good early readers and see what they do.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7193 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there going to be any more stories set in The Emperor’s Soul time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will probably see Shai again but I can’t promise that I will do another story just about her. That’s in part because The Emperor’s Soul turned out so well, that it feels like one of those things that feels like it should be left alone. It just-- Not everything needs a sequel. And in some ways it was so successful that it’s better not to do one, if that makes sense.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7194 Copy

    Questioner

    When Quentin says "wasing not as wasing is", is that just a reference?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That’s just a reference. So I in Alcatraz make occasional weird references to the Mistborn books and to The Wheel of Time. I think he at one point claims his mother killed Asmodean *laughter* And this is because the Alcatraz books break the fourth wall, they’re self-referential. It’s not implying that they’re connected to the other books. They’re just done for pure silliness’ sake. And so I let myself just do things like that.

    If you are a fan of those, we are re-releasing those starting in January with new art and new covers and interior art. And one of the fun things we’re doing is-- we’re testing this out, I’d like to do it for some of my epics-- we’re actually making the dust jacket, inside, have the world map. In full color. And so you take off the dust jacket while you’re reading your book, you spread it out there’s the world map there and you put it back on to keep your place and put back on the shelf. And so this is something we’re testing out to see if we can get it to work for the Stormlight books or something like that. And then the fifth book of Alcatraz, previously unreleased is coming out in June is what they’re planning right now. Publication schedules always vary a little bit. But it’s going to be right around then.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7195 Copy

    Questioner

    Will you ever do a prequel to Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is unlikely that I will spend very much time with prequels because as a reader I’m not terribly fond of them: Since I already know what happens it ruins some of the story for me. Though the video game, which by the way is taking a long time and I have no updates *laughter* was going to be a prequel. And so that sort of thing you might see mediums like that. And it’s not impossible that I will do something like that. You might see a novella or something like that, but it’s unlikely-- I’m unlikely to do a whole series about, y’know Alendi and Kwaan and people like that.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7196 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you do when you have a really great idea and you read a book and someone has already done that idea?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Weep into your pillow a little bit...

    *Laughter*

    Then remind yourself that Ideas Are Cheap; in science fiction and fantasy ideas are cheap. Writing skill is what people are really looking for. And so if your idea has already been done, you can take a new spin on it. You know how many people had written young kid finds out they are secretly a wizard and goes off to wizard school books? *laughter* I mean, there are so many of those. Diane Duane did a great series of them. I think it’s So You Want to be a Wizard or something like that. And so don’t let that destroy you. Ask yourself “What is my unique take on it. What’s my perspective on it?” and go ahead and do it. A ton of people had done heist novels as fantasy books before, but I wanted to do one. So I did.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7198 Copy

    Questioner

    <Something about favorite authors>

    Brandon Sanderson

    A few favorite authors: Robert Jordan, pretty obvious, right? Terry Pratchett, Anne McCaffrey, Guy Gavriel Kay-- boy, there’s a lot recently that I've been reading. Last few books I read, one by N.K. Jemisin, her new one [The Fifth Season] which is really good. It’s got a viewpoint in second-person, and it works. So you Lit. English majors out there, it will blow your mind. I-- What’s that?

    Questioner

    The audio books good.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The audiobooks, I didn’t do the audiobook, I just read it. I read Jim Butcher’s new one [The Aeronaut’s Windlass], that one’s very good. I read Naomi Novik’s Uprooted, OOOOOOHHHHH, OOOOOHHHHH Uprooted. Go read Uprooted, it is so good. I’ve read David McCullough’s The Wright Brothers, that one’s good, it’s not like-- It’s fun. There you go those are the last one’s I read, and some of my favorites.

    Shadows of Self Lansing signing ()
    #7199 Copy

    Questioner

    So during the chase scene in Shadows of Self, it seems to imply that conservation of momentum is...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, Allomancy follows the law of conservation of momentum, yes. 

    Questioner

    So that is intentional?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is, it does follow the laws of conservation of momentum. That was very intentional.