Recent entries

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7551 Copy

    Questioner

    Do we see Hoid in this [White Sand Volume 1]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. *inaudible*

    Questioner

    Aw! Is he Hoid though or is he hidden?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's hidden, but the further the book progresses the more obvious it will be that it's him.

    Questioner

    Cool.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know if he's done the obvious things yet. I can't remember where this one cut off. I'll have to go back and look because you won't be the only one who asks that.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7552 Copy

    Questioner

    I was just wondering--I'm a big Hoid fan--and I was just wondering if he's in this [White Sand Volume 1] and if I will recognize him as Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is, yes. So...

    Questioner

    And is that how he actually looks, or is that just like...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nah, that-- it-- he disguises himself a little bit, but in this book he doesn't have to go to magical extremes. So if you is wearing a wig or something it's still kind of how he looks. I don't think we even disguised him at all. We did change it from how he was originally, because he had such a small part. I'm like, people like him more. So we beefed up his part.

    Footnote: Brandon is likely referring to Hoid's role in the full series of the graphic novel rather than Volume 1 in particular.
    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7554 Copy

    Questioner

    The Herald of War at the end of Way of Kings-- I assume he had an Honorblade with him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Okay... So when Dalinar had the sword that he gave up...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    ...for the Stormfather it actually cried, which it typically happens if there's spren in the sword, which means that was not an Honorblade, correct?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and if you look they're described differently!

    Questioner

    Which means somebody else has the sword, correct?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The sword was switched out!

    Questioner

    Probably by Wit. I'm not going to ask you for spoilers, but...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wit does not have the sword.

    Questioner

    No!?

    Brandon Sanderson

    But... I can't-- I dunno if I've told people whether or not he at one point had the sword... But he does not have the sword now.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7555 Copy

    Questioner

    I guess... At what point or which book will Sixth of the Dusk eventually tie in to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... Heh...

    Questioner

    And if that is unanswerable, then how many years until that book comes out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not unanswerable, but it's a ways off. The problem is that's a weird planet, and visiting it from Shadesmar is-- it just-- in the Cosmere Collection I'll talk about that, okay? It's a weird planet, and getting to it is interesting. 

    Questioner

    Okay...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's no Shard in residence, but there's a Shardpool. But it's on... one of the most dangerous places... that exists. And so, let's just say it's not going to be relevant until you can regularly travel there somehow that doesn't involve popping up into a giant death trap.

    Questioner

    Okay, follow-up question though. How many people have tried to pop up, only to find out it was a death trap?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Go ahead and read what Khriss has to say about it.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7556 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you have like-- I love Wayne because to me he has a little British background.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. *brief interruption* Yes, Wayne-- If you heard Wayne he would sound... I mean, he's not straight up cockney, but you're gonna be like, "Oh, that's one of my mates."

    Questioner

    Cause there's a lot of, like, words in there. I'm like, "He knows, he knows.."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yep, yeah. I get a lot of that touring in the UK. Heading over there. I'm like, "Oh, they use this word all the time. Oh, they use this word. Oh...Okay. Things are 'brilliant.'"

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7558 Copy

    Questioner

    I was just wondering how you come up with the names in your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the book.

    Questioner

    Is it usually like a cultural tie-in kind of thing or...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's one of two things. Either I go for a cultural tie-in, like you say-- that's if I want to do a shorthand. Something just a little bit easier because I'm not building the linguistics out. Like Mistborn is an example of this; I didn't build the linguistics of Mistborn. The linguistics-- I'm just like, "This is a French sounding area, this is uh--" You know, because I spent my worldbuilding time on other things. But in Roshar I spent a lot of time on the linguistics. I don't want the names to just sound like names from our world. Roshar is most different. It's not an Earth analog. And so I built the linguistics. Or I sometimes do kind of a hybrid, where I pick some weird linguistic trait and I build names around it. Like Warbreaker was this. I'm like, "I'm gonna use the repeated consonant sound as a theme, so you always know who's from what culture." And so you end up with Vivenna and T'Tellir and things like this, where it sounds like people are stuttering to those from other cultures.

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
    #7559 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Bastille really going to write the sixth (Alcatraz) book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bastille is going to write the sixth book. In fact, she has already written half of it. It's got some good progress, and it is so cool, Bastille philosophizing at the front of the books about how to best punch people, instead of Greek philosophers, it's so much fun. She's got this essay about how it's cathartic about both the puncher and the punchee, right, it's good because you get to work out aggression, it's good because they may stop being stupid.

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #7560 Copy

    Vegasdev

    Alendi's "Piercings of the Hero"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is part of the manipulation Ruin did during the classical era on Scadrial, before the coming of the Lord Ruler. Piercings, and Hemalurgy, were part of the world before the coming of Allomancy in its modern form. Then, they were seen as a means of communicating with deity—which, indeed, they were. Ruin manipulated this to make sure any Hero of Ages who came would be under his influence. The reference is included mostly to indicate that yes, Alendi was under Ruin's influence. He ignored Rashek, though. (At least, right up to the moment when everything went 'wrong' for Ruin, when Rashek killed his chosen Hero of Ages.)

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #7563 Copy

    Tyran Amiros

    What happened to Kwaan? I was half expecting to see him amongst the kandra First Generation.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kwaan went into hiding, and he was eventually discovered and executed by Rashek. He wasn't among the First Generation, though he would have been if he hadn't turned against Rashek. Rashek kept the plate, however, just as he kept Alendi's logbook. Partially because even then, Rashek was going a little mad, but partially because of the reminders about his old life they contained.

    Vegasdev

    I'm assuming you meant Alendi hunted him down because he turned against Alendi. Or did Kwaan also turn against Rashek?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I meant that he turned against Rashek. Remember, the members of the First Generation were offered immortality in exchange for their Hemalurgy. They had to make this choice for all of the world's Feruchemists. Because his uncle had been the one who gave Rashek the chance to become the Lord Ruler in the first place, Rashek blessed him and included him in the decision. (Speaking directly into his mind along with the others during Rashek's moment of ascension.)

    Kwaan was the only one who turned down this offer, calling it a betrayal of who they were as a people. Rashek could have just made him one anyway, but in a moment of anger, he tried to destroy Kwaan—which he couldn't do, not with Preservation's power. As the other Feruchemists changed, Kwaan remained the same. Rashek eventually hunted him down and killed him.

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #7564 Copy

    Tyran Amiros

    How/why did you decide to go with Sazed as the epigraph author? I'll admit I was absolutely positive it was going to be Rashek, if only because of the parallelism (ancient story in epigraphs/modern story in text).

    Brandon Sanderson

    I chose Sazed because I felt that Rashek would have just been too obvious. I wanted this book to look toward the future, particularly with the ending. The epigraphs have been a fun and unique part of these books, and I wanted to make sure the ones in the third book were as good as the ones in the first two books. Also, there's a theme—there's always a secret in the epigraphs. In the first one, it's that Rashek was really the Lord Ruler. In the second book, it was the textual changes hinting that Ruin was manipulating the prophecies. In the third book, I wanted to have an equally surprising reveal to the epigraphs, and knew that it had to be something different from the other two. Hence Sazed. (Plus, I really wanted to dig into answering some world questions that I felt couldn't be answered by anyone other than Sazed.)

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #7565 Copy

    LostKnight

    I am curious if any changes were made to the story after you got A Memory of Light or after the Name of the Windwas published? The style hasn't changed, but the story seemed to flow much better this time around.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Actually, no. This one was finished off back before I knew anything of A Memory of Light or before I'd read Name of the Wind. Hopefully, the smoothing is a result of me trying to work out kinks in my storytelling ability. I'm learning to distance out my climax chapters, for instance. (I think I've I'd have written this book years ago, I'd have tried to overlay Spook's climactic sequence with the ending ones, for instance, which would have been a mistake.)

    Also, of the three books, I worked the hardest on this one. Choosing that ending—even though I'd planned it for some time—was very difficult. I knew that it would anger some readers. I also knew that it was the right ending for the series.

    I'm glad it worked for you.

    Flinn

    I have to admit, I am one of those angered. I will be so glad when this cliché of killing off the heroes will finally pass. I escape to fantasy for the happy ending. If I wanted to be depressed I'd grab a 3-dollar bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and drink it all and contemplate my mundane life. I can't spend much time reflecting on the book because of the mental picture of Vin and Elend dead in a field keeps popping up instead. They didn't even get a chance to reproduce.

    Now outside of the horrible ending (which wasn't surprising in the least because it is so common to kill the heroes) I enjoyed them. I absolutely cannot wait to read your books written 10 years from now. You can definitely pick up the improvement in transitions and character development in each book I've read from you. I'm quite often reminded of David Eddings although I'm sure plenty would disagree. And while Eddings isn't one of my favorite writers to be at his level (to me) so early in your career leads me to believe great things will be coming.

    I would like to ask you one thing to consider when writing endings. Fantasy is an escape, please don't ruin it with such depressing endings. When you have had the opportunity to look upon your dead wife in her coffin, reading about others dying isn't fun at all. It is absolutely terrible. Happily ever after.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I understand your anger. I wrote the ending that felt most appropriate to me for this book and series. I didn't find it depressing at all, personally. But people have reacted this way about every ending I've written.

    I won't always do it, I promise. But I have to trust my instincts and write the stories the way they feel right to me. I didn't 'kill off' Vin and Elend in my mind. I simply let them take risks and make the sacrifices they needed to. It wasn't done to avoid cliché or to be part of a cliché, or to be shocking or surprising, or to be interesting or poetic—it was done because that was the story as I saw it.

    I will keep this in mind, though. I know it's not what a lot of people want to read. Know that I didn't do it to try to shock you or prove anything. And because of that, if a more traditionally happy ending is something that a story requires, I'll do that—even if it means the people on the other side of the fence from you will point fingers at me for being clichéd in that regard as well.

    If it helps, realize that one of the reasons I added the lines in Sazed's note was to let the characters live on for those who wanted them to live on. I ALMOST didn't have Spook even discover the bodies, leaving it more ambiguous.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7566 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Lashing really hurts my mechanical, engineering brain because the math is off with your descriptions.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you mean?

    Questioner 1

    So, a full Lashing changes your gravitational pull, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner 1

    Well if you were doing the math on that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah...

    Questioner 1

    ...a full Lashing would be two times.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah. That's just their shorthand. *interrupting questioner* It's just their shorthand. I'm fully aware of that.

    Questioner 2

    Drives him so mad!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does it?

    Questioner 1

    I always see the statics *inaudible* in my head.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If it helps, in the third book where Bridge Four is practicing, they have an argument over that very point.

    Questioner 1

    Oh, do they?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there are certain people who think the way you think.

    Questioner 1

    Uh-huh.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That a full Lashing should make you float.

    Questioner 1

    Mmm-- it's-- yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mhm. But it's-- when I wrote it that way it was so confusing for alpha readers and they thought a double lashing should make him go up double speed.

    Questioner 2

    *in the background* They're not as technical.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And so I figured Szeth doesn't have the mathematics background to have that argument. But you do get to have it in the next book.

    Questioner 1

    Yeah, okay. Every time I... *interrupted*

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there's at least an acknowledgement of it for you.

    Questioner 2

    Thanks Brandon.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So a full Lashing means double gravitational pull upward.

    Footnote: Note that "full Lashing" in the context above refers to a "full" Basic Lashing--not a "Full Lashing".
    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #7567 Copy

    Ahoymatey

    Brandon, I just wanted to confirm that you did have a couple of cameos as Slowswift? Or was that mean to be someone else?

    Chaos

    I'm pretty sure Slowswift is Hoid. The Ars Arcanum says he "bears a striking resemblance to a storyteller", which I take to mean Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Slowswift is an homage to Grandpa Tolkien. A study of his personality will reveal why that name was chosen for him.

    Hoid appears in that same chapter, but Vin doesn't meet him. Something he does spooks her. She's just too darn observant for her own good.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #7569 Copy

    Questioner 1

    How was Jasnah able to teleport into the [Cognitive] Realm when she didn't seem to have any Stormlight in her in Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She had enough.

    Questioner 1

    She had enough. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner 1

    And is it just teleportation-- *interrupted*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's say... Jasnah's figured out some things that other's haven't figured out, for one thing. *brief interruption* And, let's say that. But also, there's a little scene from it I wrote from her viewpoint just to know what was happening that's never going in the books. If you Google "Jasnah deleted scene Words of Radiance" you can read it. It talks about how she did what she did.

    Questioner 2

    Oh good.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So that is out there. Just-- It was my reference for writing the scene. But-- One of her powers is called Elsecalling, which is basically popping in and out of Shadesmar more easily. It's hard for everyone else to do that.

    Questioner 2

    My other question is, so when Shallan was on the land she was in the sea in SHadesmar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner 2

    Is it exactly opposite?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it's mirrored... Um... It's mirrored, yeah.

    Questioner 2

    So any land is on sea. So she would have actually landed on land on the ocean.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah... so... yes...

    Questioner 1

    She kind of *inaudible*

    Questioner 2

    Well that's, no for Jasnah that's... *interrupted*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah yeah, Jasnah... In that scene where you see? She pops out in Shadesmar on the land.

    Questioner 2

    So, was the scene at the end right as soon as that happened?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What the-- no, no, no. She spent months trying to get back out.

    Questioner 2

    Oh, because she doesn't have the power to get back out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Much harder to get back out.

    Questioner 1

    *inaudible* trying to get back out, because she doesn't have any more Stormlight.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep. Much harder to get back out than it is to get back in even if you have Stormlight, and she is out of Stormlight, so...

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #7573 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Teaching has really helped me be more defined as a writer. Writing is done very often by instinct, and I've discovered a lot about my writing style and process by putting it into lectures and words. That especially helps when the writing is hard. When it's easy you just go with it, but when it's hard I can really pinpoint what's going on.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #7580 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Do you every drop hints for things that never come to pass as you change and tweak the story?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Oh ya, all the time. Best example is Arcanum Unbounded originally had a different story that was foreshadowed through Mistborn Era 1, among others, but it just never fit in the story. It just didn’t jive once you start putting the jig saw together. You learn not to get too disappointed when that happens.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #7587 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    I just got a job as an editor. What advice can you give me about my job from the perspective of an author?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The editor's job is to figure out what the author is trying to do, and how to help them make a better book than the author has written. Get them to try out options even when they don't want to listen or change the parts that don't work.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #7588 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    What inspired the Epics?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    I got cut off in traffic and thought, "you're so lucky I don't have superpowers because I would totally blow up your car!" And then I started to think about how I couldn't be trusted with superpowers and what the world would be like if no one with superpowers could be trusted.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #7600 Copy

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    Does Vasher have a different way of getting access to Stormlight than everyone else? Given that he has no spren, no honorblade and he isn't a squire?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes. He can use Stormlight to stay alive, but it doesn't let him Surgebind.

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    Could Szeth get access to this method?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    And use it to fuel Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes he could.

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    Can you tell me what that method is?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    *smiles*