Recent entries

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7252 Copy

    Questioner

    Shardblades, they sever <limbs? people’s?> connection to the Spiritual Realm. So, that being said,  they cut inanimate matter like a regular sword but inanimate matter is projected into the Cognitive Realm.  So does inanimate matter have a Connection to the Spiritual Realm? In the same way living things do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it doesn’t have the same thing going on.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7253 Copy

    Argent

    At the end of The Bands of Mourning, Wax starts seeing what seems like souls, as he’s holding the Bands. He sees lines. He ponders that man/metals they’re same thing. Is he seeing Investiture there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, to an extent he’s seeing—yes. He’s seeing the Cosmere equivalent of atoms, Investiture, and energy waves all being the same thing.

    Argent

    Okay, so kind of a building block of things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it’s almost like he’s seeing the axi, right, the atoms.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7254 Copy

    Argent

    About the Returned, they don’t quite fit the other Splinters, their Breath rather, because it’s the divine Breath that’s a Splinter, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhhhhhh…. Ehhhhhhh....

    Argent

    Okay, that was vague.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not a 100% correlation there.

    Argent

    So in that case it’s not entirely fair to say that the Returned are like vessels for--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No… Well, more vessels than the people that are in [T’Telir…]

    So, Endowment is in control of what’s happening, right?

    Argent

    The giving of Breaths.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So what you’ve got to remember-- and this is something that people keep mistaking is-- something like a spren is still part of the god, right?  And it’s not that different from the fact that the rock has a part of the body in it, and that everything is kind of made—Like in Mistborn world in particular, everything is made out of their essence. And so, the Breath are similar, but it’s less that-- they’re not autonomous in most cases and it’s more like-- it’s like a hybrid of what’s happening in Mistborn where everybody’s got a bit of Preservation in them. Everyone’s got a bit of Endowment in them.

    Argent

    Innate Investiture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Innate Investiture that they are born with.

    Argent

    I was looking to divine Breath, more specifically.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh divine Breath! … Divine Breath is its own special thing, and it’s more like what happened with the Honorblades, in that the god is pouring a bit of its Investiture, infusing the magic.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7256 Copy

    Questioner

    So did you come up with the weakness of the Epics being from fears out of Steelheart book or did you already think of that ahead when you wrote Steelheart?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had that.  In fact there’s a deleted scene where I dug into the nightmares in the first book, and it didn’t end up getting into it.  Plus it was a little too--

    Questioner

    Reveal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    --foreshadowy, yeah.  But it was from the beginning.  I always kind of thought the fears being your weakness would be a really cool way to approach superheroes.

    Calamity Chicago signing ()
    #7257 Copy

    Questioner

    What race is Sazed? We have an argument on this but...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Terris have intermixed to the point that they-- Skin tone run the gamut, from being indistinguishable to being darker-skinned. When I write them and say darker-skinned they get as dark as perhaps a dark Indian, East Indian. But they can range in that skin tone.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7260 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    How do you pick names?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It really varies based on the book. I'm often picking a linguistic paradigm. Alethi - there are two separate paradigms because I like linguistics to be messy. Usually based on symmetry being holy, so they'd pick names one letter off from symmetrical to avoid hubris.  Also suffix - like Kaladin is Kalak (Herald) + din which is a suffix, all of them mean things, like the old Hebrew names have "born of" or "comes through". Stick that on and drop the last letter. Dalinar, Elhokar, all of those have suffixes - nar, kar.  In Mistborn, I didn't want linguistics to be your focus, for in that I picked a simpler naming paradigm - I lifted linguistics from the real world. Central Dominance is French. The Germanic area, we have Elend and Straff, and then we have Spanish on the other area. I just kind of took Earth cultures and appropriated them. That's an easier way to do it, because Mistborn is kind of an earth analogue. But Roshar is very different. Mistborn I didn't want you to think of the difference, which is why I gave everyone nicknames that are easy to say.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7262 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    When do we get to officially get to know what's going on in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    All of my epic fantasy books are connected with continuing characters. That's a way off, and that's because I don't want people to feel like they have to have read all my previous books to enjoy the series. It should be about the characters. Eventually I will write one that's a mashup, but we're not there yet. I'll be very upfront about it when I do it. For now it's just easter eggs.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7264 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    When do you expect to finish Shadows of Self?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It was on the schedule for this fall to finish, but the third Stormlight book has pushed that aside, so it'll probably be the next book after that.  Tom Doherty didn't want to have a four-year gap twice in a row, and I don't want to let it go so far. It's better to establish that I'll be doing Stormlight regularly before deviating. When I pitched Mistborn to my editor, I pitched a series going to modern times to space opera in the same universe. There will be another trilogy of thick books at 1980s technology, I pitched to my editor as "Tom Clancy Allomancy" and we will eventually get to the space opera, which will be allomancers in space.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7269 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Speaking of Rothfuss, can you tell us how far along he is...

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No, I don't know how far along Pat is, when I hang out with Pat I don't ask him because he gets that enough.  I'll tell you this, in my outline from ten years ago, the third book is named Stones Unhallowed, and his third book is named Doors of Stone. So either I've got to beat it or change it - I thought, "I have to write this book faster".

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7270 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Travel time frame of reference - how long is a day's ride?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    There's two answers. One is the official answer, and that depends on the horse, what you're feeding the horse, how you're pushing the horse - I think a wagon can go 1-2 miles an hour, a good horse if you're trading horses can go further. My expectation that it's usually 20-30 miles but that's pushing the horse hard. You're usually not going that much faster than people can walk, 2-3 miles an hour. Humans are better at going long distance than horses. But horses are more comfortable and can sprint if they need to. This is not something that I do a ton on because most of my books take place in one location - that's what we're looking at for a day's ride. Eight hours between 16 and 24 miles, but someone can correct me if they know better.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7271 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Strategies for the Sagging Middle.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Middles are tough. My experience has been that the writer thinks the middle sags more than it does, because you're not at the exciting beginning wherever everything's fresh and not at the end with the climax. Stagger the climaxes. For instance, Words of Radiance, I built it and plotted it like three books with multiple climaxes from major characters at the end of part 1, at the end of part 3, and at the end of the whole thing. It'll make your novel read like a trilogy.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7272 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Best fantasy author debuted in the last year

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Brian McClellan with the Powdermage books, but that's a year and a half ago so it doesn't count. I'm reading a book right now by one of my former students that's really good but it's not published yet. Most of the books I've read in the last year are either friends or things I needed to catch up on.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7277 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    I've lost track of the number of magical systems that you have created and I was just wondering if you could say a little bit about your process of creating magical systems.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    What I'm looking for is something interesting. It is kind of hard to explian, because to create a magic system, I've read a lot of fantasy, and personally I feel that one of my duties is to push the genre in different directions. There was a period where our worldbuilding was not as extensive as it should be. Stuck as we were for a while, it felt like the genre hit a bit of a rut, and I wanted to push it in different directions. The screwy magic systems I create are part of that. I feel excited about them, it's sometihng I feel ?? Google Sanderson's First Law.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7279 Copy

    AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

    Are the Parshendi at the village the only Parshendi there are? Besides for the Parshmen...

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The Parshendi as a people were all at Narak. Barring any scouts and things like that. That doesn’t mean that there might not be any other Parshmen out there that have bonded spren, but they would not have been part of this nation – any more than if you found another human that they may not necessarily be American.

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7281 Copy

    AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

    I picked up the Easter Eggs for Mraize being a Worldhopper. It was actually the sand that did it, having been fortunate enough to read White Sand.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Now there’s something odd about that sand. What color is the sand in WoR?

    Words of Radiance Seattle signing ()
    #7282 Copy

    AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

    Is there anything that I should have asked that I didn’t?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Probably not… Do you know if anyone has figured out the hidden things in the map of Roshar?

    AhoyMatey (paraphrased)

    Commentary: We discussed the pattern 15 code for a bit. I’m glad it’s been solved! He said that it wouldn’t be earth shattering, but it would be cool to know. And boy, it was!

    West Jordan signing ()
    #7289 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    How many Stormlight Archive books are you planning? And how long is the next one going to be?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Two series of five. So one ten book series, but you can view it as two sequences of five. My goal actually right now is to do the first five, take a little break, and maybe do the second Mistborn trilogy, or maybe do the White Sandtrilogy. These are chunks of the Cosmere that are a part of the greater arc, but the next [Stormlight Archive] book will probably not be as long. This is because I actually felt Way of Kings was too long, but it was what it needed to be, for what I was establishing. There was no sooner place to cut this, so I had to do it in this place. When I first turned it in to my editor in 2002, it scared him to death because of how big it was. I do plan the others to be more around the size of Gathering Storm and things, which are still big books, but I’m hoping that they will be a little bit shorter, because those chunks are more manageable when the books are a little bit shorter. I can actually make the book tighter more easily.

    I think Way of Kings turned out very tight, but it was so hard, because the longer you go with a sequence like that, the harder it is to make sure that everything, everyone is keeping track of everything. And the longer you go, the more of an instinct the reader will have to start following certain characters instead of reading it first as mixed, which makes for a better book. They’ll be like “Ah, I don’t remember this as well; I’ll just keep reading Kaladin,” or something like that. That’s actually a reason for me to keep them shorter, so you don’t have as much of an impetus to do that.

    West Jordan signing ()
    #7292 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    By the way, allomancers fighting on a train? Very cool.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Oh thank you. I almost didn’t put that scene in, because it’s kind of a cliché, but then I’m like “I’ve gotta have a train fight.” And I’ll say this, Alloy of Law is intended to be slightly more of a pulp novel than Mistborn, and though even though it’s sort of a detective pulp novel, it’s got fun characters and a fun world, because that’s the way I do it. If I let myself do these sort of things, they are done for the pure fun of it, where they may not have fit in another book.

    West Jordan signing ()
    #7296 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Do you ever feel stifled? Now that you’ve got a couple of different lines going in different worlds that have your next 40 years planned out?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes and no. I do start to feel a little stifled, and so you’ll see me do random side projects. It’s my steam valve to blow that pressure off, and then I get back to what I’m working on. That basically why you have Alloy of Law, because as much as I would’ve liked to have jumped right into the next Wheel of Time Book, I couldn’t. After writing Towers of Midnight, I was feeling too creatively stifled, and so I had to go take a break, and let myself for three months do whatever I wanted. And Alloy of Law came out of that.

    So that is how I do it. That’s where Rithmatist came from, that’s where Steelheart came from, that’s kind of where Alcatraz came from, these non-mainland books, that’s where they are going to come from. You can anticipate me doing that more often in the future. It is a different life for me now that when I was unpublished, and could just write whatever I wanted, and things like that, but at the same time, I have long loved the big epic series, and I’ve always wanted to do one. That’s why I built what I built. I didn’t do it because “Oh, this is what sells, I have to do this.” I did this because I wanted to have this big grand epic. That’s why I built the Cosmere books as I did.

    So I don’t feel stifled in that at all, even though I’ll finish one book than be like “Man, I can’t go into the next one of these” and go and do something different, because it’s my grand plan. You know, it’s the thing I’ve wanted to do. So I hope that people will stick with me for all these books, because I’ll do a lot of them. But they will fit together in some really cool ways once they are all done. I think you’ll be very very impressed, but that’s a while off