This was a choice made by Calamity. He could do what he wanted to do, and he chose to do that.
As a slap in the face?
This was a choice made by Calamity. He could do what he wanted to do, and he chose to do that.
As a slap in the face?
At the end of Sixth of the Dusk, were those Mistborn space-opera-people that showed up at the end?
Not gonna say. [...] A lot of people have theorized that, but I have remained closed-lipped.
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?
Yes, but it doesn’t have the same thing going on.
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?
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.
Okay, so kind of a building block of things.
Yes, it’s almost like he’s seeing the axi, right, the atoms.
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?
Okay, that was vague.
Not a 100% correlation there.
So in that case it’s not entirely fair to say that the Returned are like vessels for--
No… Well, more vessels than the people that are in [T’Telir…]
So, Endowment is in control of what’s happening, right?
The giving of Breaths.
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.
Innate Investiture that they are born with.
I was looking to divine Breath, more specifically.
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.
Splinters are self-aware, yes? Pieces of Shard power?
Yeah. Not all.
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?
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--
--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.
What race is Sazed? We have an argument on this but...
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.
Navani's fabrial bracelet.
The stones don't have to be all heliodors. "They will change." (???)The number of prongs is not significant; the artist made the decision.
What would happen if Alcatraz tried to wield Nightblood?
They would get in a long conversation about random things and the book would just be those two having a discussion, and then the entire world would break probably.
How do you pick names?
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.
*asks for a "future quote of Harmony"*
This is clever, I've never had this before.
I wondered whether I could challenge you to do it...
*writes* "It is yours."
I don't know if that will actually be the quote, but you can come ask me after Mistborn 9?
When do we get to officially get to know what's going on in the Cosmere?
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.
Is Vasher the swordmaster-ardent?
(coy) I have no idea why you would ask that.
Zahel the Swordmaster ardent was in the 2002 WoK by a different name and it blew my assistant's mind when he looked back in the original draft. It was ALL PLANNED.
When do you expect to finish Shadows of Self?
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.
Interludes having characters on the other side of the world - when can we see Lift again?
She is seated (ceded)? for future use, indeed. Some of these interludes are for characters that I'll need in the future. Lift is there because she's going to do much Awesomeness in the future.
What Radiant order would you be?
I want to fly, so Windrunner.
Will you write any more books in the Alcatraz series?
Yes. I bought them back and sold them to Tor. I'm looking at doing it soon, this year or the next. I finished Firefight; the next book on my list is the Rithmatist and after that Tor has requested is Stormlight
Out of all the characters, who do you identify with the most?
Hard to say because each of my characters I identify with in some way. Can't pick favorite characters or books becaues they're all my children.
Speaking of Rothfuss, can you tell us how far along he is...
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".
Travel time frame of reference - how long is a day's ride?
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.
Strategies for the Sagging Middle.
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.
Best fantasy author debuted in the last year
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.
Can you go into healing a bit more?
Regrowth in the books - Healing is an aspect, Regrowth is ??,
Can you tell me who the herald is for the Truthwatches.
RAFO, sorry, good question.
How about one of the surges?
I am RAFO'ing the Truthwatchers entirely.
Why are Ryshadium cooler than regular horses? I suspect a spren bond.
There is Investiture involved.
If you could burn one metal from Mistborn, what would it be?
Coinshot. I want to fly.
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.
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.
Would the powers of a magical object change if it went to a different world?
It is plausible that they will, but most likely is that they don't work right. Most of them will not.
Are the Parshendi at the village the only Parshendi there are? Besides for the Parshmen...
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.
Speculated that I thought that at one time the Parshendi had used Odium spren or Unmade, and they must have finally divested themselves of the spren and that’s why they forgot how to get a lot of the spren forms. And they were trying to figure that out and things have taken a turn for the worse.
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.
Now there’s something odd about that sand. What color is the sand in WoR?
Is there anything that I should have asked that I didn’t?
Probably not… Do you know if anyone has figured out the hidden things in the map of Roshar?
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!
Why does Lift feel that Darkness isn’t a real person?
Because Lift is an interesting person who has her own perspective on the world.
Why does Urithiru not have hallowed stones?
That’ll be answered eventually. It’s cultural, not magical.
Is Hoid talking to a skaze?
Who’s Nahz? The person who retrieved Shallan’s notebook…
You have seen him before.
Is a Desolation caused when a Herald breaks under torture?
This person is asking the right kinds of questions. (It’s since been confirmed from another Q&A that when the Heralds leave the place of torture a Desolation occurs. Taln is STRONG.)
Can Glys, Renarin’s spren, be a box?
The box is not his spren.
How many Stormlight Archive books are you planning? And how long is the next one going to be?
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.
Does Shardplate use a spren?
That’s a RAFO.
Why didn’t Kaladin’s brand heal if Lopen can regrow an arm?
It comes down to how one views oneself. It is the answer that you think it is. So really what that’s saying is Kaladin sees himself as branded.
By the way, allomancers fighting on a train? Very cool.
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.
Did Adonalsium deliberately shatter itself?
Hmmm, good question! RAFO!
Do all greatshells have spren?
In order to survive with the science that I built, the greatshells almost all require some sort of spren to keep them from collapsing. (I suspect greatshells in the water may not require them.)
Are larkin and lanceryn one and the same?
There’s a little bit more than just [being] one and the same, but in some ways they are.
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?
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
What would happen to the function of a magic item if it were to be taken from one world to another?
An invested object theoretically would work, but they may not work exactly the way they are supposed to.
Could aluminum act as a sort of shield from other forms of Investiture? As in, could an aluminum Misting lashed to something burn aluminum and dispel the Stormlight?
Aside from Demoux and Aslydin, are there any couples traveling throughout the cosmere? And if so, do they have any children that also worldhop?