Recent entries

    Warbreaker Annotations ()
    #8002 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vivenna Wanders the Slums, Then Finds the Safe House

    I made one small revision here in this chapter. I added the statue as a reference point. Before, Vivenna just happened to run across the safe house while wandering.

    Why the change? It's just the same thing, right? She happens to wander by the statue, then manages to remember the directions. It's still a big coincidence when you think about it.

    However, it doesn't read like as big a coincidence. Adding in her seeing the statue, then having to work to find her way to the safe house was a way of making it seem, to readers, that it wasn't just a coincidence. Because there was effort involved, I feel it will read more smoothly and less oddly to most readers. Part of this is because a statue in a city square is easier to notice than a given house on the side of the street, and partially because the discovery can be more gradual this way.

    This is part of the smoke and mirrors that a writer uses. Sometimes I worry that explaining these things will ruin the book for readers—but I guess if you were the type it would ruin the magic for, you probably wouldn't be reading behind-the-scenes annotations in the first place.

    Warbreaker Annotations ()
    #8003 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vivenna Escapes

    One of my big worries about the Vivenna sections is that she'll come off as too weak as a character. That's a particular danger once we reach these late middle sections, where it's revealed how much she's been manipulated. Remember that when you're reading the Vivenna sections, if she comes off weak compared to Siri, consider their relative circumstances.

    Vivenna is put through a lot more in this book than Siri is. Why? Well, I felt that as a character, she had a lot more room to grow. In order to do that, however, she needed to have everything knocked out from underneath her. That happens primarily in this chapter and the next few.

    But she is not helpless. Even while she's numbed by the capture and betrayals, she manages to effect not one, but two escapes. She handles herself very well, finally overcoming her problems with Awakening and managing to get her Breath to work for her. (And remember that the more Breath one has, the easier it is to learn to get Commands to work right. That will be important later in the book. . . .)

    Warbreaker Annotations ()
    #8005 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Thirty-Five

    Vivenna Awakes, Bound by Vasher

    This chapter—with what happens in the latter part of it—is the most dangerous in the book. Dangerous to me as an author, I mean. I love good plot twists, but I worry about leaving them without proper foreshadowing. I've never done something as drastic as I have in this book, having a group of sympathetic characters turn out to be working for the wrong side. I hope it succeeds, but I know that if it doesn't, readers will be very mad. Nothing is sloppier than a book with unearned changes in character motivation.

    But we're not there quite yet. Before that we have the first real interaction between Vivenna and Vasher. He gives her what he likes to think of as the Nightblood test. One nice thing about having a sword that "cannot tempt the hearts of those who are pure" is that when someone like Vivenna touches it, she gets sick. I didn't want Nightblood to come across as a "one ring" knockoff. He doesn't turn people's hearts or corrupt them. However, in order to be able to do his job and fulfill his Command, he needs the ability to determine who is good and who is evil.

    This, of course, isn't an easy thing to determine. In fact, I don't think it's a black or white issue for most people. When Nightblood was created, the Breaths infused in him did their best to interpret their Command. What they decided was evil was someone who would try to take the sword and use it for evil purposes, selling it, manipulating and extorting others, that sort of thing. Someone who wouldn't want the sword for those reasons was determined to be good. If they touch the weapon, they feel sick. If others touch the weapon, their desire to kill and destroy with it is enhanced greatly.

    Nightblood himself, unfortunately, doesn't quite understand what good and evil are. (This is mentioned later in the text.) However, he knows that his master can determine who is good and who is evil—using the sword's power to make people sick, or through other means. So, he pretty much just lets whoever is holding him decide what is evil. And if the one holding the sword determines—deep within their heart—that they are evil themselves, then they will end up killing themselves with the sword.

    Vivenna passes the test, which surprises Vasher. He thought that she'd be the type who would use Nightblood to kill and destroy. (He doesn't have a high opinion of her, obviously. Of course, that's partially because he's let his temper dictate what he thinks.)

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8006 Copy

    Questioner

    Steelheart and The Rithmatist, are they a part of the Cosmere as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not, yup.

    Questioner

    Just someone in line said that Steelheart was Hoid's planet, but I thought that they were not part of it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not part of it. Anything that mentions Earth is something that I didn't want to be in the Cosmere.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8008 Copy

    Questioner

    Does Vasher want Nightblood back?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vasher feels responsible for Nightblood

    Questioner

    is there any reason why he didn't go by Vasher, as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because in the original draft he was, and I'm like, "That's just too easy." Plus he's kinda trying to hide, so he's not as foolhardy as a certain other character who goes willy-nilly by the same aliases over and over again and doesn't care. Picking an alias, if you know people would potentially would be hunting for you, having them not be able to ask for you by name is useful.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8011 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you give me a hint on the Easter egg in the map of Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh boy, hint of the Easter egg.

    Questioner

    What particular skill do you need for it? Is it a different language?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it is not linguistics.

    Questioner

    Is it math related, like with stormwardens and how they study the..

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is math related, but once again, let me remind you. This is not going to be a mind blowing revelation. It is going to be a nifty thing. Someone actually got close at one of my signings and when they asked about it they noticed something. It is a fun Easter egg that will tell you more about the history of the world.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8012 Copy

    Questioner

    So Truthless are kind of pretty rare, right, in the Shin society?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    So how did they come by the [Honorblades] that Szeth's got?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They, historically, kept all of them.

    Auestioner

    Oh, ok. I wondered if that was the case. Interesting. Does that have anything to do with why they think stone is sacred?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find out more about that as time progresses.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8014 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we be seeing any more of stick?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Everybody loves stick, everybody is very fond of stick. I have no current plans for stick.

    Questioner.

    Spook?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find out more about Spook.

     

    It is not impossible that you will see some sort of story involving Spook. After all I did a little short story about Kelsier for the role playing game. It's now on my website.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8015 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you compound like a, can you compund metalminds to the point where you become like a savant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A savant happens because persistent use of the power has an effect on your soul, warping it. Compounding is a very different thing, so while you could draw some very powerful effects, I would not call them the same thing, even if they are imitating one another at certain points.

    Oslo signing, 2011 ()
    #8017 Copy

    Thorondir (paraphrased)

    How could a person from Scadrial access Shadesmar? An alloy of a god metal?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He RAFOd me on this one and said it was a plot point for future novels.

    Footnote: In Mistborn: Secret History, we see Hoid transition between the Physical and Cognitive Realm using the well. This can be achieved on any world similarly through any Shards perpendicularity.
    Oslo signing, 2011 ()
    #8019 Copy

    Thorondir (paraphrased)

    How many Shardworlds are there? Only seven? (Sel, Nalthis, Scadrial, Roshar, Yolen, Taldain, and whatever planet The Silence Divine is on [Ashyn]?)

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said he has a set number in his head but that he didn’t want to say it because he might change his mind. Essentially he doesn’t want to make the number of worlds canon yet.

    Oslo signing, 2011 ()
    #8020 Copy

    Thorondir (paraphrased)

    Who names the planets? You've said once that "Scadrial" was the name of the planet as Ruin and Preservation knew it, but where'd they get that name? Do the Shardholders all get together and vote on it or something?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said thay already had their names and that the all the planets existed before the shardholders got there.

    Amsterdam signing, 2011 ()
    #8024 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The Mistborn series was sold as three trilogies. The first trilogy (the one we know) is set in medieval/16th century technology and is fantasy. The second trilogy will be set in the current day, or at least with the same kind of technology. This makes it urban fantasy. The last trilogy will be science fiction set somewhere in the future. Of course, all of them have the Allomancy magic system to get things interesting. The short novel The Alloy of Lawthat will be released in the fall this year is set between the first two trilogies so the tech level is around 18th/19th century with steam power. Brandon said it was about some Wild West-like character getting involved in a murder investigation in a city. So Clint Eastwood meets Sherlock Holmes in London.

    Amsterdam signing, 2011 ()
    #8027 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    About the scheduling. He plans to start writing the next Stormlight Archive book right after he turns in A Memory of Light. He hopes to write two books for the Stormlight Archive in a row. The first of those might (very early estimates) be released at the end of 2012, or early 2013.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8030 Copy

    Questioner

    Have we seen another Lightweaver, as of Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um... Yes. Depending on your definition. Straight-up Lightweaver? Like you could make the argument... the Order of Knights Radiant? That... that, no. But you have seen people Lightweaving. The skill.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8031 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Who or what is Hoid? Or Wit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wit? He is a person who has shown up in all the books. What else do you want to know?

    Questioner 2

    All of the books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has shown up in all of my epic fantasies, yes.

    Questioner 1

    Every single one of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, he's been...

    Questioner 2

    Wit or Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid-- is the same, Wit.

    Questioner 1

    But how do you know it's him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because he says his name in all of them.

    Questioner 1

    As Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As Hoid.

    Questioner 1

    Really?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep.

    Questioner 2

    I-- now I need to be more careful.

    Questioner 1

    How does he know so much information about what's going on, and how is he always in the right place at the right time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are two excellent questions.

    Questioner 1

    That you won't tell me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That I won't tell you. You get a [RAFO] card. But he has a sp-- surprising ability to be in the right place at the right time very consistently in the cosmere. That's the name of the shared universe of all the books.

    Questioner 1

    I didn't realize it was a shared universe.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it is. There are characters in Way of Kings from Elantris, and... yeah. But it's all Easter eggs. It doesn't-- it isn't something you have to. 

    Questioner 2

    So it's not, like, crossovers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are crossovers, but it's all Easter egg-ish right now. Some day there'll be one where I do full-blown crossover. For now the story is about this. And so the crossover is all just in the background.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8036 Copy

    Questioner

    What are Oldbloods?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oldbloods? Oldbloods are the, um... Lon-- Years ago, Alethkar was ruled by a different group of people. A different, like, dynasty. And it's been overturned, and it's been a long enough time that they're not really a threat. But to acknowledge them, and Oldblood-- they wear the tattoo. It means, "We are-- We used to rule this place." And so, it's just-- It's a lineage of people and a dynasty that used to be the kings of Alethkar.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8037 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Alloy of Law.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mhm.

    Questioner 1

    We've got koloss-born guys.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mhm. 

    Questioner 1

    What's their origin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... Currently in Mistborn-- And I delve into this a lot more in the later books, but, you know, it's not a big spoiler so I can tell you. Um... Koloss have become... They can breed, but when some-- when a child is born to them it is born as a koloss-blood. It is not born the full thing, right? Grows up normally, and at maturity, at their right of passing, they can choose to ma-- take the step, gain-- get the spikes, and turn into actual, true koloss. Or if they don't, they have to leave the tribe and go... You know.

    Questioner 1

    But they're more, like, human size? Like, human looking?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're human size, human-- I mean, they've got some residual effects. They're a little bit tougher. But yeah...

    Questioner 1

    Yeah, that's what I thought. Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But yeah. General, they can be human. And so what you're seeing in Tarson is some-- one of those who actually came and-- He's the son of a full koloss-blood and a human Allomancer, which makes an Allomancer koloss-blood.

    Questioner 1

    Okay. So that's what I thought. A little human interbreeding. *unintelligible* weird.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, um, and a human could, if they wanted to, go convince the koloss to accept them, join the tribe, and get spiked. So yeah...

    Questioner 2

    It makes their skin saggy, and they start growing...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It makes their skin saggy, and start growing, and start ripping, and all that sort of stuff.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8038 Copy

    Questioner

    Is that theory correct where, like, the Heralds are basically, like, reversed now. Kind of going against their thing or...

    Questioner 2

    *laughs* He won't tell us. 

    Questioner 1

    I know, I know. That was my question, which I knew you wouldn't *inaudible*.

    Questioner 2

    I just wanna know more what Szeth and the stone is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You get-- you get a RAFO card. There you go.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8040 Copy

    Questioner

    Rock is taller than the other bridgemen. When he gets under the bridge, will that make it more difficult for him? Wouldn't he have more load on his shoulders than the guys next to him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, yes, though you will notice that I equalized for height with the pads on the shoulders. And a bridge that will run-- yeah, they will use pads and things like this. And you can customize your bridge over time. The fact that most bridgemen die before that's necessary... um, yes. But it would mean he would end up having to stoop for part of it unless you wanted to carry a lot more of the weight. Being next to Rock would probably be a fun thing. But then there are the pads, and things like that, so. *brief pause* And once they really got it going, they could re-- they could really customize that bridge. Like, you know, take off pieces underneath and things like that so that it fit everyone really well. But in Sadeas's army you don't really get to that point.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8042 Copy

    Questioner

    It seems like-- So the cosmere stuff keeps the physics in there, with the Coinshots, and things like that, it doesn't ignore mass an inertia.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Questioner

    I love that! And I love that about Jim Butcher's books too. 'Cause they keep the physics. It seems like, with the young adult stuff, it's more based on intent...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the young adult stuff, I do not keep physics. In Steelheart, or in Alcatraz... or in Rithmatist. I don't even worry about it.

    Questioner

    They didn't know what the line did until they knew what it was supposed to do.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, intent is important in-- Remember the magic system for Rithmatist started as cosmere. And then I made the decision with it that I was not going to have it be in the cosmere. But the magic system started as a cosmere magic system...

    *audio lost*

    ...you can do a lot when you can break laws of conservation of matter and energy, when you can cheat them by using the Spiritual Realm. But things that we really cheated on is redshifting and things like this on the time dilation in Mistborn. I don't know if you noticed that, but there should be redshift, there should be weird radiation things, there should be-- And so we had to work around a lot of those things. And we've got our workarounds in the back of our heads. But the other weird one is when Wax is flying, and he reduces his mass, I have to remember that he speeds up, when his mass goes down because of centripetal force.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8043 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Shardplate thus far has been powered by Stormlight in the spheres. But after-- now that we've got Radiants, is it powered by themselves?

    *adds something about "spren" but is spoken over by Brandon*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well so far we have not seen Radiants wearing Shardplate.

    Questioner 2

    Yeah, I was kind of wondering that myself, 'cause-- 'cause they're not spren, because the spren were the... Shards [Shardblades]. So what <are> they?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, that's a big ol' "what really is Shardplate?" *hands RAFO card*

    Firefight release party ()
    #8044 Copy

    Questioner

    Does Roshar have plate tectonics?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Roshar does not have plate tectonics, good question.

    Questioner

    Well when I met you in Orem, I was asking about frequencies. And you said it was more the shape of the plate-- The frequency. We've got no plate tectonics, we've got people who like to sing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. Now the weird thing that we would have is with the crem, we have to do some weird geology gymnastics, because Roshar is moving...

    Roshar, the continent of Roshar, it's moving, right? As it gets weathered and things like this. Making Roshar actually work requires some really interesting scientific gymnastics. But one of them is I just didn't think plate tectonics, or even volcanoes and things, is just not something that is going to work on Roshar the way that I built it. So I just stayed away from all of that.  It's a pangaea.

    Questioners

    Is the pangaea built up of crem?

    Brandon Sanderson

     It's a pangaea built up of crem.

    Rubix

    Over a long time--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well no, because it was created at first.

    Bystander

    And then crem was on top of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...The whole idea that this is a fractal-- The whole point of that is, somebody built this. Somebody built this using mathematics that you know. They said "Oh. Boom. Bing!" and grew themselves a continent.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8045 Copy

    Questioner

    So, just curious about Shardplate.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Um... In one of the books she said that it was seamless. Like there weren't any chinks in it anywhere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are chinks, but there's no direct line to the skin. So if there-- if you see a slit, there's another little plate behind it, or something like this.

    Questioner

    Okay, okay. 'Cause I've seen them and out of artist renditions and it <looked> accordion. And I'm like, if I wanted to recreate it for my kids...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    ...it would not be accordion, would it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um... It just depends on your own interpretation. The official interpretation of Shardplate is Ben McSweeny's interpretation, which we used for Shallan's sketchbook in book 2, showing her sketches of Shardplate. So that's our official-- official interpretation. But you can interpret it yourself how you would want.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8046 Copy

    Lady Radagu

    If Shai were to gain a Shardblade and she gave it up, could she then create an Essence Mark that represented the history where she still had the blade? And then if she applied it could she summon the blade? Or a copy of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so doing that sort of thing, like re-writing herself to be an Allomancer or something like this -- This is possible but in order to gain the Investiture she wants to have she will have to input that much in Investiture which her current magic system is not capable of doing. Okay? Alright, so "re-write so that I have a Shardblade" would require some sort of hacking of her magic system, which is currently impossible to her in her current situation.

    Lady Radagu

    So if she had had a Shardblade and gave it up she could not rewrite herself to have that back without more input --

    Brandon Sanderson

    She could-- Yes, exactly. Now rewriting-- That would be a lot easier than just rewriting herself so that she had a Shardblade--

    Lady Radagu

    That's what I was asking--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but what you're asking about would be much easier and that is probably within her power. But what that would do is-- Yeah that's totally within her power. It would create some weird implications where she's summoning it and someone summons it back from her because the Shardblade thinks it's owned by two people.

    Lady Radagu

    So it wouldn't be a copy it would be the same Blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #8047 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you studied Latin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have studied enough to know about it, but I have not studied enough that I could read or even figure out most origins. Yeah.

    Questioner

    Okay. 'Cause I did-- I took a semester of Latin, and I'm like, "Oh, that's where all these words came from in Brandon's writing." And...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do often say, "Alright, I need the right feel for this." And I will go delve into Latin, and Greek, and things like this trying to-- The big question is, I'll need to create a word that imitates an ancient word from the world that we're in, but it's going to be in translation. And so often I will use a Latin root to be like-- to indicate "this is an ancient word from their world, from their scholarly language. To make a parallel to that, I'll use one from ours."

    Firefight release party ()
    #8049 Copy

    Lady Radagu

    Does being the donor of a Hemalurgic spike have any implications for your afterlife? Or how about the recipient?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is actually going to depend on-- Okay. Yes it has implications for the afterlife. Yes.

    Lady Radagu

    Okay so are there a bunch of Scadrian souls wandering the afterlife with holes in their personalities or memory or identity? Or some with extra parts tacked on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So it has implications, but they are not exactly ones that you are assuming. So in the cosmere there is "dead" and "mostly dead". Okay? And this has been shown several times so once someone dies there is a period before they transition. Sazed talks about this in Mistborn 3. And so most of the implications are for before transition. Does that make sense? Post-transition you are going to have to ask the philosophers and the theologians who are the ones that talk about that. So there is an afterlife and an after-afterlife. Not as many implications for after-afterlife. Middle? Yes. Okay?

    Firefight release party ()
    #8050 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you form emotional relationships with your characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um-- Yeah I would say that I do. Mmhmm.

    Questioner

    For instance, reading The Way of Kings, I really dislike Sadeas. Do you feel that way about him too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's a rat. He's totally a rat.