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    Berlin signing ()
    #752 Copy

    Questioner

    You were mentioning outlines before. I was just wondering, when you start your outlining and you're done, is it usually a very clear process of outline and writing, or do you go back and forth and back and forth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The question is, "Is it a clear cut process of finishing an outline and then writing, or do I go back and forth," and it's the "go back and forth."

    Usually what I can do is I can get an outline about three fourths of the way there before I need to start writing. The issue is, I share a little bit with the discovery writers in that I tend to discovery write my characters. I don't usually outline my characters nearly as much as I do my world and my plot. But the problem is, characters then can evolve to being people that wouldn't do the things the plot calls for them to do, and in that case I have to rebuild my outline to fit who the character is becoming. I find if I don't give myself that flexibility, the characters start to feel wooden, and start to feel like they're cardboard instead of real people. So this requires jumping back and forth with that outline, and changing things and knocking out walls so to speak.

    So an outline is not a rigid structure I have to follow. It's a guide map to where I want to go, but sometimes I might change the destination or I might want to take a deviation. And at that point I put down the book, and I go back to the outline, and I rebuild the outline, and then I go back to the book.

    I also have something I call the floating outline, which is-- It's a separate document that's the next three chapters in detail, outlined out. The main outline may just say, "Bullet point: characters go here and accomplish this." But then the floating outline has, "Well I need to work in this character relationship, and this scene, and this little part of the worldbuilding. And this part over here is an info dump and boring, so let's do that in an interesting way. And let's have Shallan stab herself in the leg while she's doing it," or things like that in order to build an actual scene rather than just a lot of info dump.

    Berlin signing ()
    #753 Copy

    Questioner

    Regarding Stormlight. You said five books, five books. In your mind, how is the best way to read these? With the gaps in between, for waiting? Or straight through?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Boy, I have no idea. I would say, it’s intended to have little gaps in between. Stormlight Archive books are different, even among my other books. When I sit down to write down a Stormlight Archive book, I actually outline it like I would a trilogy. So the outline for a single book of Stormlight looks a lot like the entire outline for Mistborn or for Mistborn Era 2, or things like that. Or for, like Skyward. All three books of Skyward (there might be four, but--) Let’s do Steelheart. It’s done, I know it’s three books. So all three books of Steelheart are, together, shorter than one Stormlight Archive book. So I outline a Stormlight Archive book as a trilogy with a short story collection embedded in it. That’s the interludes. So the structure of these is really different and really interesting. So I intend reading a Stormlight book to kind of be like a massive undertaking. They are big and thick. In Germany, they are published as two thousand-page volumes. So, it’s like, very-- And I kind of expect people will take breaks in between those, and maybe pick up something that is a little less daunting. But, I might have said the same thing, growing up, reading The Wheel of Time. And when I read The Wheel of Time straight through-- because I read them all a lot, but I hadn’t read everything straight through. When the first book came out, I read it, I was fifteen. When the second book came out, I read book one and book two again. And when the third one came out-- I couldn’t keep doing that, though, because it would take so long. So, eventually, I got to, when the new book comes out, I read the new book, and if I’m lost, I go read an online summary of the previous books But when I got handed the project and asked to finish it, I sat down and I read them all straight through. And I’m like, “Wow, this is so nice! Not having to wait!” As a Wheel of Time fan, I had complaints about, “Oh, this plotline doesn’t seem to go anywhere.” Well, when you read them straight through, it doesn’t feel like that at all... It’s annoying when you’ve got a gap, and then the book, and then a gap. And you don’t know when it’s gonna end. But reading it straight through, it’s like-- Anyway. So, I wonder if Stormlight will be the same way. If reading it through, at least in the five book arcs, will maybe take away some of the annoyances of having to read a character you’re not quite as interested in, because you know you’re gonna get back to your character that you love the most later on. I don’t know. Maybe that’s the case.

    Berlin signing ()
    #754 Copy

    Questioner

    Does it feel like your own work when you hear [a translation]? Is it recognizable in any way? What do the translations do with your work? I suppose you get a lot of questions by your translators about the magic, about invented words. How does this reflect on your writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I’m not sure if it changes the way I approach my writing at all. But I do find it fascinating. Hearing a reading, in particular, is in some ways, it’s a double interpretation. Because first, you have the translation to German. And then you have the narrator... will give an interpretation, as well. But one of the things about writing that I believe is that I’m not completing the story. What I do is, I write a script. And every person who reads that book is going to finish the story in their head. I give descriptions of the characters, but even with those descriptions, every person who reads the book is going to imagine those characters [in a] slightly different way. So I’ve always viewed myself, as a writer, as kind of like the screenwriter. Where the reader is the director, who’s going to finish the story. And I don’t think a book really lives until it’s been experienced by a reader. And so it doesn’t bother me, the idea of going through translators or getting different interpretations by the audiobook narrators, because I feel like my text is going to be interpreted by whoever experiences it, in different ways. And in some ways, as soon as it gets experienced by a reader, it becomes their story. They finish it, and it doesn’t really ‘come alive’ until they’ve done so. So, it’s not finished anyway. I think it’s just really cool. I like seeing fan art, even though each drawing of a character looks different from another one. It lets me see a little bit how that book was finished in that reader’s mind.

    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #755 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Of course the Parshendi wanted to play their drums. Of course Gavilar had told them they could. And of course he hadn't thought to warn Navani.

    "Have you seen the size of those instruments?" <Hratham> said, running her hands through her black hair. "Where will we put them? We can't..."

    "We move to the upper feast hall," Navani said, trying to project a calm demeanor. Everyone else in the kitchen was close to panicking, cooks running one direction or another, pots banging. Gavilar had invited not just the highprinces but their relatives. And every highlord in town. And he wanted a Beggar's Feast. And now... drums?

    "We've already set up in the lower hall," <Hratham> said, "I don't have the staff to..."

    "There are twice as many soldiers as usual loitering around the palace tonight," Navani said, "We'll have them move the tables." Gavilar never forgot about things like posting extra guards. Projecting strength, making a show of force? He could always be counted on for that. For everything else, he had Navani. 

    "Could work, yes," <Hratham> said. "Good to put those louts to work rather than having them underfoot. Alright, deep breaths."

    A short palace organizer stumbled away, narrowly avoiding an apprentice cook carrying a large bowl of steaming shellfish. Navani stepped to the side and let the cook pass. The man nodded in thanks. The staff had long since stopped being nervous when she entered their kitchens. She made it clear to them that doing their job sufficiently was superior praise to her than a bow. Fortunately, this staff was the kind of middle ranked lighteyes who understood the need for a little practicality.

    They seemed to have things well in hand now, though there had been a scare earlier when three barrels of grain had been discovered with worms in them. A little creative thinking had reminded them that Brightlord Amaram had stores for his men and Navani had been able to pry them out of his grip. For now it seemed that with the extra cooks borrowed from the monastery they might actually be able to feed all the extra people Gavilar had invited.

    "I should leave some of the tables set up in the lower hall," she thought, slipping out of the kitchens and into the palace gardens. "Who knows who might show up with an invitation." At the very least she might need to feed some military officers who couldn't be seated in the main feast hall. 

    She turned to hike up through the gardens and entered the palace through the side doors. She'd be less... out of the way, and wouldn't have to dodge servants if she went this way. Maybe she could...

    Navani slowed. The Kholinar palace was brightly lit tonight, with spheres adorning every hallway and all the garden walkways. By that light, Navani could easily make out Aesudan, her daughter-in-law, Elhokar's wife, standing just near the fountains. The slender woman wore her long hair in a bun, which was lit with gemstones of each shade. All those colors were gaudy together. Navani preferred a few simple stones themed to a color, but it did make Aesudan stand out as she chatted with two elderly ardents. 

    Storms bright and brash. Was that <Rushar Kris>, the artist and master artifabrian? When had he gotten into town? Who'd invited him? He was holding a small box with a flower painted on it. Could that be one of his new fabrials? Navani found herself drawn to the group, all her thoughts fleeing her mind. How had he gotten the heating fabrial to work? How had he captured a flamespren? How did he make the temperature vary? She'd seen drawings, but to talk to the master artist himself?

    Aesudan saw Navani and then smiled brightly. The joy seemed genuine, which was unusual, at least when she directed it at Navani. Navani tried not to take Aesudan's general sourness to her as a personal affront. It was the prerogative of every woman to feel threatened by her mother-in-law, particularly when the girl was so obviously lacking in talents. Fortunately, Elhokar liked her and she was of a good family. Navani smiled at her and turned, trying to enter the conversation and get a better look at that box. Aesudan, however, took Navani by the arm.

    "Mother! I had forgotten completely about our appointment. I'm so fickle sometimes. Terribly sorry Ardent <Kris>, but I must make a hasty exit," Aesudan tugging Navani forcefully back through the gardens toward the kitchens. 

    "Thank Kalak you showed up Mother. That man is the most dreadful bore."

    "Bore?" Navani said, twisting to look over her shoulder.

    "He was talking about gemstones, and another gemstone, and spren, and boxes of spren, and... storms, what a night! You'd think he would understand we have important people to meet. The wives of highprinces, the best generals of the land come to gawk at the wild parshmen. Then I get stuck in the garden talking to ardents! Your son ditched me there, I'll have you know. When I find that boy..."

    Navani extricated herself from Aesudan's grip. "Someone should go entertain those ardents. Why are they here?"

    "Don't ask me," Aesudan said. "Gavilar wanted them for something, but he made Elhokar entertain them. Poor manners that is, really."

    Gavilar had invited one of the world's most prominent artifabrians to visit the palace, and he hadn't even bothered to tell Navani? An anger stirred deep inside her, a fury she kept carefully penned and locked away. That man. That storming man. How could he...

    Calm, Navani, the rationalist inside her mind said. Maybe he intends to introduce you to the ardent as a gift. He knows how interested you are in fabrials. Perhaps that was it.

    "Brightness!" a voice called from the kitchens. "Brightness Navani, oh please, we have a problem!"

    "Aesudan," Navani said, eyes on the ardent who was slowly walking away toward the path to the monastery. She could catch him. She could spare a few minutes. "Could you help the kitchens with whatever they need. I'd like to..."

    But Aesudan was already hurrying off towards another group in the gardens, one attended by several powerful highlord generals. Navani took a deep breath, shoving down another stab of annoyance. Aesudan claimed to care about propriety and manners, but she'd butt into a conversation between men without even her husband as an excuse.

    "Brightness!" the cook called, waving to her. Navani took one last look at the ardents then set her jaw and hurried back to the kitchen, careful not to catch her skirt on the ornamental shalebark. "What now?"

    "Wine", the cook said. "We're out of both the <clavina> and the ruby <bench>."

    "How?" Navani said. "We ordered..." She shared a look with the cook and the answer was evident. Dalinar had been at the wine again, it appeared. "I have a private store," Navani said, pulling a notebook from her pocket. She gripped it in her safehand through the sleeves, scribbling a note. "I keep it in the monastery, with Sister <Nama>. Show her this and she'll give you access."

    "Thank you Brightness," the cook said, taking the note. Before the man was even out the door, however, Navani spotted the house steward, a white-bearded man with too many rings on his fingers, standing in the stairwell up to the palace proper. He was fidgeting with the rings on his hand.

    "What is it?" she asked, striding over.

    "Guests have started to arrive, Brightness, including Highlord Vamah, who was promised an audience with the King regarding the border disputes. You know the one..."

    "...about the misdrawn maps, yes," Navani said, sighing. "And my husband?"

    "Vanished, Brightness," the steward said. "He was seen with Brightlord Amaram and some of those... uncommon figures." That was the term that palace staff used for Gavilar's new friends, the ones who seemed to arrive without warning or announcement, and rarely gave their names.

    Navani ground her teeth, thinking through the places Gavilar might have gotten himself to. There were a few rooms he tended to use. He would probably be angry if she interrupted him. Well, good. He should be seeing to his duties rather than just assuming she'd handle it all. Unfortunately, at the moment, she... well, she would have to handle it. Brightlord Vamah couldn't be left waiting.

    She let the anxious steward lead her up to the grand entryway where guards were being entertained with music, drinks and poetry while the feast was being prepared. Others were going with master-servants to view the Parshendi, the night's true novelty. It wasn't every day that the King of Alethkar signed a treaty with a group of mysterious parshmen who could talk. 

    She dealt with Vamah, offering apologetic words, even going so far as to review the maps herself and write them a judgement. From there, she was stopped from locating Gavilar by a line of needy men and women who had come specifically to get the King's attention, a privilege that was growing more and more difficult these days, unless you were one of the uncommon figures. Navani assured Brightlords their petitions were being heard. She promised to look into injustices. She soothed the crumbled feelings of those who thought a personal invitation from the King would mean they'd actually get to see him. It was emotionally taxing work, but nothing new to her, and fully within the Queen's expected duties.

    Navani didn't resent her station. Perhaps some day she'd be able to spend her days tinkering with fabrials and pretending she was a scholar. For now, she had duties. The only thing that truly bothered her was the fact that she shouldn't have to do it alone. She was unsurprised at asking that unexpected guests were indeed still showing up, ones that weren't even on the list an annoyed Gavilar had provided for earlier that day. Vev's Golden Keys! Navani kept her increasing fury under control, painting an amicable face for the arriving guests. She smiled, she laughed, she waved. Using the cheatsheet she kept in her notebook, she asked after families, new births and favorite axehounds. She inquired about trade situations, took notes on which lighteyes seemed to be avoiding others. In short, she acted like a queen.

    She always felt like an imposter, and with good reason. She hadn't been born to the station. Gavilar, Navani, Sadeas, Ialai, they'd taken these mantles upon themselves. And however prestigious her ancient lineage, Navani had to work hard to suppress her anxiety that whispered she was really just a girl wearing someone else's clothing. Those insecurities had been stronger lately. Calm calm, no room for that sort of thinking.

    She rounded the room and was happy to note that Aesudan had found Elhokar and was chatting with him for once, rather than other men. Elhokar did look happy presiding over the pre-feast gathering in his father's absence. Adolin and Renarin were there in stiff uniforms, the former delighting a small group of young women, the latter looking gangly and awkward as he stood by his brother. 

    And there was Dalinar, standing tall. Somehow taller than any man in the room, but with those haunted eyes, simmering with passion. He wasn't drunk yet, but people orbited him, like they might a fire on a cold night, needing to be close, but not daring to step up and face the true heat of his presence. Storms. She complained to her current conversation partners that she was feeling a little faint and, after assuring them that she would be fine, made a brief exit up the steps where she wouldn't feel so warm.

    It was probably a bad idea to leave. They were lacking a king, so if the Queen vanished too, questions were bound to arise. But surely everyone could get on without her for a short time. Besides, up here she could check on one of Gavilar's hiding places. He probably had come this direction, away from both the guests and the location of the new feast hall.

    Parshendi with their drums passed nearby, speaking a language she did not understand, though one of the young interpreters was with them, so Navani could have asked if she'd wanted. Instead, she twisted her way through the dungeon-like hallways. Why didn't this place have a little more light, a few more windows? She'd brought the matter up with Gavilar but he liked it this way. Gave him more places to hide. 

    There, she thought, stopping at an intersection. Voices.

    "Being able to bring them back and forth from Braize doesn't mean anything, Gavilar," one of them said. "It's too close to be a relevant distance."

    "It was impossible just a few short years ago," said a deep, powerful voice, his. "This is proof. The Connection is not severed, but can be warped to allow for travel. Not yet as far as you'd like, but we must start the journey somewhere."

    Navani inched forward, looking around the corner. Yes, there he was, right where she'd expect him to be, in her study, a place she rarely had time to visit but also a place where people weren't likely to search for the King. It was a cozy little room with a nice window, tucked away in a corner of the second floor. He'd left the door cracked and she inched to peer in.

    Gavilar Kholin had a big enough presence to fill the room all by himself. He wore a beard, but instead of being unfashionable on him it looked classic, like he was a painting come to life, a representation of old Alethkar. By wearing the beard, someone thought he might start a fashion trend, but nobody else had been able to pull off the look. Others didn't have Gavilar's strong features. Beyond that, there was an aura of distortion around Gavilar. Nothing supernatural or nonsensical. It was that, well, you accepted that Gavilar could do whatever he wanted, in defiance of tradition or logic. For him, it would work out. That was just the way of things.

    The King was speaking with two men that Navani vaguely recognized. 'Ambassadors from the West' were what they'd been called, but no kingdom had been given for their home. They were simply among Gavilar's uncommon visitors.

    Footnote: This reading is from a draft of the prologue and may change before publication
    DragonCon 2019 ()
    #756 Copy

    jmcgit

    Compared to Oathbringer, how much Szeth are we going to see in the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This one, probably less Szeth than Oathbringer. Mostly, because we're going to get his big plot in the next book. There's some cool Szeth stuff in this still, but we're looking more like first book Szeth rather than third book Szeth, where I give him his own micro plot in book 3.

    jmcgit

    I was kind of imagining, he's like the first character expected to die in the first five books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He starts in jail, in book four. Because Dalinar told him to go there.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    PromKing

    /u/mistborn what do you think about an eshonai novella, something along the lines of Edgedancer? maybe in between book 4 and book 5?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is plausible.

    Others have suggested both Eshonai and Venli flashbacks in this book--and I considered that too. It is something I intend to try, but I'm not 100% sure I like it. We'll see.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    Maoileain

    Thank you for the update u/mistborn I always enjoy these and has the title been confirmed as The Rhythm of War?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm 90% sure that will be it, but I will need to finish the book before I'm absolutely certain. It has to work as an in-world text.

    Maoileain

    Ah, so does it need to be a written text or could it be an oral collection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oral would work in a pinch, but I'd prefer them all to be written works. These books are the "archive" part of the Stormlight Archive, after all. (The word IS intended to have multiple meanings, mind you. This is the most overt one.)

    Stormlight Book Four Updates ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Hello, all. Time for another update on your book. (See the last update HERE, if you are interested.)

    This post WILL have Oathbringer spoilers, and slight spoilers for Book Four. So if you are concerned about those things, here is the no spoiler update: I just passed the 50% mark! The book is looking good so far. Moshe had some very enthusiastic and positive things to say about the first chunk I sent him. I'm still hoping for a Christmas 2020 release.

    Now, for slight spoilers. At this point, I've finished the second chunk of the book. This means I've finished viewpoint cluster two, for those who are following along. If you aren't, or if this confuses you, I whipped up a little visualization.

    This book, as I've said before, starts with all the characters together--then splits into three groups of viewpoints. The first group is the largest, and the most involved, with five viewpoints characters. Two of these, however, will have only a few viewpoints (and one might just appear in other viewpoints, save for an interlude.) Really, this is the story of three characters, and forms the core arc of the book.

    The second viewpoint cluster, which is the one I've now finished, follows two characters on a very involved--but more narrowly focused--plot. The final cluster takes two remaining viewpoint characters, and touches lightly upon what they are doing, without going into quite as much depth as the other two groups.

    Now that group two is finished, I have turned my attention to group one--the most difficult of the sequences to write. This should take me a few more months. After that, I'll write group three and the interludes.

    One issue I've been having with the book is the flashbacks. I'm not 100% sure they'll work the way I planned them to. In that case, it's possible I will toss them and doing them from Venli's viewpoint instead. I'm excited to write more Eshonai, but there's a real chance that the viewpoints will feel like fluff, as Venli is the one who knew the secrets happening behind the scenes among the Listeners at the time.

    This might be a place where I have to kill my darlings and just do what makes the most sense for the narrative, even though the other way (with Eshonai having the flashbacks) always appealed to me from a "this is less expected" angle.

    I can't say for certain, and my gut says that--in abstract--more people would enjoy reading about Eshonai as a character, but would find the chapters a little boring and out of place. Venli flashbacks would, instead, be filled with cosmere mysteries and answers that will be more interesting.

    We'll see how it goes. I haven't written the flashbacks yet, so we'll need to see about them as I write.

    Otherwise, how do we look? Well, my trip to France and Spain really took a bite out of my writing time. We're hovering right at about 30k words behind (with 200k finished of a projected 400k.) 30k behind is roughly one month behind. (We've been about this far behind since I started on the book, as touring delays continue to eat up any progress I make catching up.) Hopefully, September will involve a lot of good writing time, as I don't have any trips planned except for Dragon*Con this weekend.

    Of course, come October, it's back on tour. (France and Israel this time.) The goal is still to try to finish by January. Getting halfway took basically five months, however, and there are only four months left in the year. If I don't hit January for finishing, we're likely looking at a spring 2021 release.

    As always, thank you for your patience and enthusiasm. Also, as always, I promise that I do consider these goals of when to finish only to be goals--not hardfast rules. I will take the time I need to make the book great, and if it comes down to delaying the book or releasing a novel that isn't ready, we WILL delay.

    I will not be sending replies to this thread to my inbox, so there's a good chance I'll miss your comments. If I do, just let me say thank you again!

    Brandon

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    mraize7

    u/mistborn I know you were writing the sequel to [Sixth of the Dusk]. Any progress on Threnody's novel? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Just some vague ideas here and there. Nothing too specific. Silver chain in Oathbringer is from Threnody, though. (They use them in Silverlight too.) I'll get a chance to explain what they are eventually. (I hope.)

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    TheFoxQR

    "Voidlight" (hasn't been named, I know) has been described as black with some violet to it. Is this because it's actually absorbing light-gold from all light hitting it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do call it Voidlight in the new book, so you can certainly call it that.

    I'm more trying to describe the phenomenon of Stygian colors, which is how I imagine Voidlight. But your explanation probably has some plausible science to it as well.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    Angrybread

    I want Rysn to keep accidentally finding herself in ever increasingly plot-relevant situations until she just becomes a worldhopper by accident.

    Ellarree

    u/mistborn, please seriously consider this. It would be amazing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've got some plans for her. Saying anything more would be a RAFO.

    General Twitter 2019 ()
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    Questioner

    How did Vasher give his Breath to Denth and not die? He's Returned, so if he gives away his Breath, he dies, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher is capable of some things that most other Returned don't live long enough to figure out. We'll go into details in future books, assuming I get to them.

    General Reddit 2012 ()
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    Kaladin_Stormblessed

    If there are very few birds in Roshar, what do all those Alethi and Parshendi archers use to fletch their arrows?

    Ben McSweeney

    Rockbud leaves of a certain type are used on a lot of common arrows. I believe we discussed paper as another option. Very expensive arrows might use chicken feathers.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    TheFoxQR (paraphrased)

    In Awakening, can you with some mental gymnastics, view yourself as both the donor and recipient of Breaths? Is this how Vasher hides his Divine Breath (and consequently nature), by tucking it inside of himself rather than an external object? Theoretically, can you Awaken yourself, and with the right Commands enhance/extend yourself Cognitively, like how burning atium comes with Cognitive enhancements to process the raw information?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    This is a theory worth exploring. You're not quite there, but you are on to something.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    TheFoxQR (paraphrased)

    Is there temporal symmetry in between the Surge-binding and void-binding charts, from the front and back covers of The Way of Kings? As in, Surgebinding is a re-emerging system of the past, vs Voidbinding being a newly emerging system that will fully exist in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    You can assume that Voidbinding has not been fully explored, but that parts of it have been looked into in the past. So I wouldn't say that temporal symmetry fully holds.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    TheFoxQR

    Is this (see sources) a valid breakdown of known Rosharan Magic? The idea here is that two Shards on Scadriel gave us 3 systems - two mono-shardic and one di-shardic. Mono-shardic systems being each shard expressing itself, and multi-shardic systems arising from an interaction between the two. So by that logic, on Roshar, 3 shards should give us 3 mono-shardic, 3 di-shardic, and 1 tri-shardic systems. It is mentioned that Odium (the Void) is bound by the powers of Honor and Cultivation. With the caveat that the Everstorm is also probably in between Honor and Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. I'd suggest the chart is worth studying, however.

    Footnote: I don't know if Brandon was talking about the Voidbinding chart or my linked chart.
    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #771 Copy

    cgriffin15

    What the hell do the majority of armies use as fletching for their arrows? Like we’ve seen that the Horneaters use goose feathers but the majority of places minus the Shin lands don’t have chickens or any feathered beasts so what do they use instead to stabilize their arrows?

    Like light shell bits? Or are arrows just incredibly expensive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They use a plant material that works pretty well, comes from a fan-like plant that's pretty common around Roshar.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
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    Werthead

    Brandon Sanderson and J. Michael Straczynski co-developing an original urban fantasy TV series for the USA Network

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is Dark One, the story I've talked about for years--and which I think I finally cracked open how to do a few summers ago. I wrote what I think is a pretty solid outline, but it was obvious to me it was paced more like a television show than a novel, so I went hunting some partners.

    Basic premise is that a guy from our world finds out that a fantasy world has prophesied he'll become the next Dark One of their world, so they decide to assassinate him before that can happen. It's been fun to work with Joe; he's quite the character. We did pitches for this early in the spring, and got some good reactions and some nibbles from Hollywood. That's about all I can say right now, unfortunately, but hopefully Joe will be writing up a pilot soon and we can see where that takes us.

    General Twitter 2019 ()
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    Keegan Laycock

    I’m now extremely anxious to see the symbol for Hemalurgy.

    Isaac Stewart

    We considered creating these but soon realized that Allomantic symbols were probably used by Hemalurgists and actually might've been Hemalurgic symbols before they were Allomantic. (See the little nails sticking through each symbol?) Feruchemy, though, needed something different.

    Keegan Laycock

    Given the rather dark and arcane nature of Hemalurgy, it does make me wonder if Rashek simply co-opted it’s symbology for Allomancy, given the quick spread of Allomantic powers during his rise and reign and the need for classification.

    Isaac Stewart

    That's very likely!

    General Twitter 2019 ()
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    Isaac Stewart

    Thought I'd just get this out into the world since I hadn't yet: The Feruchemical symbol for Harmony.

    ArgentSun

    Ah, so I am not the only one who thought they looked like fangs

    Isaac Stewart

    I was looking to the Feruchemical symbols for lerasium and atium for inspiration. Thus the sort of fang-like projections. :) This is starting to look very Decepticons to me...

    QuestReadyMD

    So cool. The symmetry is perfect. I also love that you can see elements of the symbols of lerasium and atium in it.

    Isaac Stewart

    That's exactly what I was going for. Glad you saw those symbols in there!

    ArgentSun

    Hey, you say Harmony do you mean harmonium? As far as we know, we only have symbols for metals, not Shards

    Isaac Stewart

    The symbol for Scadrial (at least among the Cosmere-aware) is also the symbol for Harmony but will probably also be used for Harmonium. It was a mashup of the other god metal symbols. It was natural to make a symbol to fill this void in the Feruchemical symbols as well.

    Joe Sanders

    Was this on purpose or is it an accident? I can see both the symbol of the Chalice and symbol of the phallus in this, is this a sign of him being an Eunuch?

    Isaac Stewart

    Totally on accident!

    Giffyglyph

    Rare to see symmetry in Feruchemy glyphs; does that reflect Harmony's "balanced" nature? Or perhaps an implicit connection to Roshar's glyphs...?

    Isaac Stewart

    Harmony's symbol was symmetrical and balanced in its Allomantic form, so I decided to carry that over in its Feruchemical form. No relationship to Roshar's glyphs. :)

    General Twitter 2019 ()
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    Cephandrius

    Is it true that you invented Nazh?

    Isaac Stewart

    Brandon and I invented him together. I kept calling Nalizar from the Rithmatist "Nazrilof" until the name became sort of an in-joke. When we needed someone to collect ephemera in the Cosmere, Nazh was the perfect choice.

    Cephandrius

    He's one of my favorite worldhoppers. Here's hoping for a novella or something to tell us about his background in the future.

    Isaac Stewart

    Glad you like him! There are tentative plans for some Nazh stories. I don't know when they'll happen. But we do hope to bring you all his backstory at some point!

    Brandon's Blog 2019 ()
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    A. Worland

    Whenever I write, I have all the inspiration and stuff to do so and I know what I want to write. But when I come back to what I have written the next day or so, that feeling of inspiration and satisfaction that I had when I was writing goes away and I feel unsatisfied with what I have written. I have great ideas that I think are great, but sometimes I don’t think they are great anymore. Often times I re-write it, but the situation is a continuous loop. Any advice?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a common sort of attitude, and you are not alone. Writers tend to fall into two camps, I’ve found. The people who think their writing is terrible while writing it, but then discover it’s not so bad afterward—and the people who think it’s great while writing it, but then look back and find it disappoints them. I don’t think either attitude is 100% correct, but I can understand both.

    What I see happening here (as an off-the-cuff diagnosis not knowing you enough to do a detailed and specific one) is that your ability to see a perfect and wonderful book in your head is not yet matched by your actual writing skill. You’ve likely read a lot of books, and have developed a very discerning eye for what works and what doesn’t in fiction. You feel like you should be able to produce that great fiction, therefore.

    But you’re like a person who has become an expert in tasting cheese—that doesn’t mean you can make your own. You have an advantage over someone else, but you still have to put in the work to learn the process of cheese making. Here, you’re comparing the perfect version of the book in your head (or, perhaps, the published books you’re reading) to the first draft, unpracticed work you’ve written.

    The challenge here is to recognize your first draft doesn’t have to match a published finished draft. Beyond that, you’re going to grow a lot as a new writer as you finish your first few books—to the point that you will often be much better as a writer by the end of a sequence than you were at the start.

    In all these cases, however, the solution is the same: keep your eye on the goal. Finish that story. You can’t learn to do endings until you practice them. Learn to let yourself be bad at something long enough to be good at it. This is an essential step many artists have to take. You can and will make that story better, but you need to finish it first.

    Brandon's Blog 2019 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    All right, the question that arises here is pretty obvious: How in the multiverse did Davriel let himself get caught up in the mess happening on Ravnica. Well, the events of the story I wrote kind of blew his cover—and, just as feared—soon after, he got several visits from extra-planar entities looking for planeswalkers to recruit for their cause. He also got a very cryptic message that I’ll, perhaps, get into some time in the future.

    Suffice it to say that in the end, he decided to show up and do his best to encourage everyone that he was useless. He figured that way, next time everyone decided to go murder one another, they’d neglect to invite him. Unfortunately, he arrived, and everything has basically gone to hell. (And, having been there before, he’s not a fan.)

    We can therefore summarize Davriel’s opinion on events with the following list:

    1. OH BOTHER.
    2. Zombies. Why is it always zombies? Aren’t there any evil, power-hungry overlords out there with good taste in minions?
    3. He wonders what the Ravnican insurance policies look like. It would be curious to have a look at the fine print, and see how likely the local actuaries rated “Extra-planar invasion by megalomaniacal dragons.”
    4. Said megalomaniacal dragon really needs to be more careful with his rampaging, as he quite nearly destroyed Davriel’s favorite local noodle shop with his latest destructive tirade.
    5. Did anyone get the name of that Demon in the loin cloth? You know, the fellow with the glowing face and a mouth that looks like it can toast its own bread while consuming it? Because Davriel currently has a hole in his staff and is offering very competitive rates on his soul.

    Now, if you’ll excuse him, he’s going to go see if Cruel Celebrant’s party has any snacks not infused with the blood of the innocent. (It really tastes far worse than everyone claims, and he’s convinced they just like to look trendy by consuming it.)

    Miscellaneous 2015 ()
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    BotanicaXu

    What is a sparkflicker?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It’s like the steel part of flint-and-steel.

    BotanicaXu

    So a sparkflicker is a fire-maker? Herdazians use their stone fingernails to start fire?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yes

    BotanicaXu

    Do they wear sparkflickers as an ornament?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yes, but it’s also practical.

    BotanicaXu

    This “deep implication”, is it that Herdazians are related to the Parshendi (aka they have Listener blood)?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yes.

    Footnote: "Deep implication" in reference to: https://wob.coppermind.net/events/62/#e3080
    Sources: Tumblr
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    Questioner

    [Did you pull] from the story of Osiris for cosmere stuff?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did use some Osiris myths for cosmere.

    Questioner

    So, how much mythology did you pull from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Quite a bit. I have a deep interest in all kinds of mythologies. And I had a really good professor of folklore in college. I ended up really liking her, so I took a ton of classes from her. So, my senior course was mythology in folklore. So, yes, you'll find all kinds things from all over the place in the books.

    Questioner

    Even, I guess, just within different worlds, even within the different cultures.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Watch the stories Hoid tells. You'll be able to be like, "Oh, that's inspired by a coyote myth, right there." You'll pick them out here and there.

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    Questioner

    I think Navani is a bad person.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Why do you think that?

    Questioner

    Because Wit didn't like her at the beginning, and her daughter warned against her. And any romance with the main character can really <rush out>. I wanna know, is she a bad guy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, that's definitely RAFO territory.

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    Questioner

    How rare was it for somebody to get the warrior lenses from Alcatraz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are not that rare. I would say they're one of the most common lenses. But you do have to go through some training and prove yourself, and things like that. So, as lenses, they're not that rare. But you're not gonna see them every day on people.

    Questioner

    So what are the most rare lenses?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, the lenses of Rashid would be the most rare, obviously. But a lot of the ones that Grandpa Smedry points out as being very rare... there are lots of very rare lenses that there are only one or two copies of around. And we don't deal with many of those, but there are a couple of them we mention.

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    Questioner

    In Shadows of Silence, there's another guy named Red in that one, so that's our third guy named Red. Because we have Shallan's groupie, and then we have the guy in Mistborn that's named Red. So , there's three different ones named Red. Is that a coincidence? Or is that intentional?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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    Questioner

    I'm going to read you a real quote from Words of Radiance. It's Wit speaking, and he's talking to Kaladin. And he goes, "So you do have some spark of wit in you. It came from Kaladin's mother." So, I think that means that Kaladin is a descendant of Wit.

    Questioner 2

    And I think it means just literally that he has wit.

    Questioner

    So, which one do you think is right? Me, or him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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    Questioner

    So, I noticed that you use a lot of principles of leadership and freedom in your books. Where do those come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of the different things I've read. A lot of my own research, my own feelings on it. Talking to my friends who are in the military who know a lot about these sorts of things. What you get in the books is partially my own personal philosophy, but partially how I feel the character would feel about. You usually get a mix. It's not exactly what I think, but it's what I think the character would think, and I created the character.

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    Questioner

    What's the most personal thing you've ever written?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably the third Legion story. Which is an odd answer, not as many people have read that, but that's the one I would give. If you ever get to that one, and you get to the third one, you may understand why.

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    Questioner

    Fathers of spren are mentioned twice. When spren talk about their fathers, are they usually talking about the person who raised them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Or the person who gave them life? Like, their offspring?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are usually the same person, right? Depending. But not always. But usually... it would vary if they aren't the same person. But I would say, normally it's the same individual. "Person" may be the wrong term. But I think they would say they're people, so "person."

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    Questioner

    With Kaladin, or those with suicidal ideations because of mental illness, do you have plans to explore that again with different mental illnesses and why they would have suicidal ideations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes. I mean, Kaladin... it's just straight-up depression, which is in some ways the most simple, but also very complicated to deal with. I will delve into others. It is something that I'm very interested in, mostly because I'm fascinated by the way that different people see the world. And the more people I know, the more I realize there is no normal. There's just all different shades of how the way we all see the world. And some of those ways are... dangerous to us. Through no fault of our own. It is very interesting to me to explore.

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    Questioner

    I was gonna ask what your favorite scene form [Oathbringer] was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's probably where everything comes together right at the end, right in the moment before the moment with Dalinar in the breach.

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    Questioner

    In Way of Kings, there was an interlude, you've got the three guys that are looking for Hoid. They're in that crazy town with the water. Who are the guys? And are we going to see them again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, one is Captain Demoux, from Mistborn. One is Baon, from White Sand. And one is Galladon, from Elantris.

    Questioner

    Are we gonna see them again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you will see them again. And if you watch really closely, you can pick out Galladon by, he speaks in Dula. So if you watch for the quote in Dula. But the other two, you wouldn't be able to pick out.

    They are chasing a false lead, which is just very amusing to Hoid that they think he's over there.

    Orem Signing ()
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    Questioner

    What are all ten Stances?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to RAFO that, but you can email me, and we'll just pull them out of the wiki for me. We'll get the other two. The question is, which of the other two haven't I said? They're related to the Ten Essences. So, I have to go look and see which two we haven't put in the books. But if you say "Hey, what are the other two here?" we can canonize that for you.

    Orem Signing ()
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    Questioner

    Are you ever gonna write a book with dragons in it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have, technically, already written books with dragons in them. Dragons in the cosmere... you've only heard from one. There haven't been... Frost, who is Hoid's old friend from the planet where he grew, is a dragon. And he's the person that he's exchanging letters with. Look for where Hoid calls someone "you old reptile." So, there are dragons in the cosmere. They are shapeshifters. And so you will rarely see them in dragon form until I go back and do Hoid's origin story. Then, you'll see quite a number of them. But you will also see them later on.

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    Questioner

    Has anyone ever given you any flak about the endings of Shadows of Self?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, definitely. It is one of the more controversial endings that I've done. If people are going to have a problem with an ending, it's usually that one, or it's the Legion ending people have issues with. Or, of course, Alcatraz Five; but they're supposed to have an issue with that one.

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    Questioner

    Is there an exact date when the final book of the Alcatraz series is coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not an exact date. It's about, at this point, about three quarters done. I wrote about half of it. And I'm cowriting the other half with a friend of mine to get the voice right. And she's up to the ending that I outlined. So we'll see how we both feel about that ending. And then maybe we'll release it this year? Maybe next year? It's pretty close, though.