Recent entries

    Firefight release party ()
    #8051 Copy

    Questioner

    Who is your favorite character, character development-wise?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooh, favorite character for character development. Who develops the best? That is really hard for me to say... From any book? Who has the most development-- I would say Shallan has undergone the biggest transformation in the major books. No, Vin. Vin goes through the biggest change, so we'll go with Vin. Vin's the best character development across the course of the books.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8052 Copy

    Questioner

    Does Vasher have a favorite animal? *laughter* I warned you, it was random.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does Vasher have a favorite animal.

    Questioner

    You've thought of just about everything else for your books--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I know... Would Vasher have a favorite animal? I'm sure that he had a pet or something growing up. Vasher hates just about everyone and everything these days.

    Questioner

    What about squirrels?

    Bystander

    It's a weasel!

    Brandon Sanderson

    He does like squirrels! Undead squirrels.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8053 Copy

    Questioner

    Where did the idea to use chalk come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Y'know, I have trouble pinpointing that one. I remember the idea of chalk circles, and things like that, and just seeing those in the lore of our world's sort of magical mythology and thinking about chalk circles. I remember thinking about how I want to do a book some day about people who play a game with magic, and things like that. At the end it is just one of things that I'm like "Hey, magical Starcraft with chalk. Go!" and I just started working on it, and it happened.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8055 Copy

    Questioner

    Where did you get your inspiration for Kaladin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin came because I was reading about the life of a surgeon in the Medieval age and how it-- how strange it was to be like this person who had one foot in science and one foot not, and that was really interesting to me. And he evolved a lot over time becoming more the hybrid warrior and things like that. But that's where it started, what it was like to live and be a surgeon in a Medieval world.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8056 Copy

    Questioner

    So the highstorms, they're just one storm that goes around the world or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well there are different philosophies in the world about that but-- The scientifically-minded believe their is only one storm that goes around the world. The lore says that there is a place the storms blow out of called the Origin. But the scientists don't believe that that is true.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8057 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there more to the Roshar world than what is shown on the map or is it just that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is only one continent. Now if you are paying attention, that's not answering your question completely.

    Questioner

    It's just different realms and all that. I meant like more landmass.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is only one continent on Roshar.

    Questioner

    Just different versions of it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That doesn't mean there aren't islands out there.

    Now the Mistborn world there is a whole lot more.

    Questioner

    We've only had that one little part so far.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but it's basically almost all empty because... Which is actually very fun for the worldbuilding, is this idea of a mostly unpopulated world.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8058 Copy

    Questioner

    So I have heard that it is harder to Push a Shardblade with Allomancy than it is a normal sword.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Is that true of both living and dead Shardblades?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Equally?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, no.

    Questioner

    Okay, so it's even more difficult to Push one alive.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The thing-- An Invested object is more difficult with any of the magics. So, for instance, even a Feruchemical metalmind is going to be harder. Depends on how much it is Invested, and things like that. But, y'know, it can range from you barely notice it or don't even notice it to "Wow, that's hard to Push on". Same for a Hemalurgical spike, depending on how much Investiture is left over, how long has it been outside of a body, and things like that. Same thing Pushing on something inside a person's body, their Investiture is going to interfere with it.

    Same thing, when you read White Sand, why a person slapping their hand through someone's stream of sand can throw off the entire creation of the sand mastery. It's just-- There's interference patterns, and things like that.

    Questioner

    And is that true of a Drab as well? Does the body affect--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Drab is going to have less.

    Questioner

    So they just have less Investiture, but they still have some natural Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do still have some. They've lost their Breath but that isn't the entirety of the Investiture inside of them.

    Almost all of the times we see Vin--in fact I think every time--we see Vin, or someone in the Mistborn books, Pushing or Pulling on an Invested metal they are either drawing on the mist or they're Elend or the Lord Ruler who have the enhanced power, or something like that. Or it's a duralumin Push, or its one of the Inquisitors who's had a spike-- y'know, and things like that, that've-- And so it's not something that you see done very often in the Mistborn books.

    Rubix

    I can actually confirm that's correct.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh you guys looked it up?

    Rubix

    I checked.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mean it can be done. And depending on Investiture it can be not even that hard to do but--

    Firefight release party ()
    #8060 Copy

    Questioner

    So are you going to write a Sixth of the Dusk novel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not. A lot of the little cosmere novellas that I'm doing, they are less important to the overarching plot of the cosmere that I designed. And so I want to visit them, show different places in the cosmere and how the magic is affecting different worlds, but the goal is not to incorporate them into the mainline story. I mean the main story takes place mostly on the planets you've seen, with a couple of other ones, and I'm sticking to that.

    Questioner

    So are you going to write a series that ties all the major ones together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8061 Copy

    Questioner

    I know that with creation you start to lose-- honestly, your confidence in it, with creation. I was wondering if you experience that loss of worth in it, and if so, what do you do to counteract it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It happens mostly when I'm working on a book. Once it's done I'm usually proud of it, but about the three-quarter point--

    Questioner

    I've heard that a lot. Just what do you-- How do you convince yourself it's still worth, y'know--

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...When it starts to happen to me, I sit down and say "How can I make this scene awesome? This one that I'm writing right now?" because I can use my tools, my skills, and my practices as a writer to make that scene really awesome. And usually I'll shake things up a little bit, I'll write a different viewpoint or I'll do something I wasn't expecting to do according to the outline, just to make that scene really great. And that restores a lot of my confidence.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8062 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering in what books, particularly Mistborn, is the conscious decision when you put in little snippets of LDS lore in there, like plates, metal plates--

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know most of it is unconscious. Once in a while something intentional slips in that I’m like "Ooh that's a cool connection". A lot of it is unconscious.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8063 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you thought about doing parallel stories, like Ender's Game and Shadow...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have considered that and I know that at least one--I may not write it--but there's at least one in my head because there's this character Hoid who is running through all my books and what's going with him might make for an interesting parallel story if I ever write that.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8064 Copy

    Questioner

    Emperor's Soul, are we going to see much in with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We are unlikely to see me do another thing just like that, because it turned out so perfectly... I don't know that I want to spoil it but at the same time, she's a great character and I keep itching to do something else with her. So we'll see...

    Firefight release party ()
    #8065 Copy

    Questioner

    When did you write your first book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I started my first book when I was fifteen, and I never finished it. The first book I actually finished I started when I was nineteen. I was on a mission, and I wrote on P-days. And I finished it when I got back, because there's not a lot of time on P-days, so it took me about three years. I wrote my whole mission on P-days, and about eight months after I got home I finished it.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8066 Copy

    Questioner

    If you wanted your sons to grow up to be one of your characters, would you want them to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhh. If they grow up to be Dalinar, without going through the phase of being a murderous tyrant, I would probably pick that one.

    Questioner

    Alright, no murderous tyrants.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No murderous tyrants. If they could grow up to be Sazed without being, y'know, castrated that might be-- But that's the thing. A lot of my characters have been through some rough stuff.

    Questioner

    Almost right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I don't think that torment necessarily makes you a good character person, there are plenty of good people who have never been through things like that, but it makes them interesting to write about.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8067 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you want to accomplish with your writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do I hope to accomplish?

    Questioner

    It's kind of a deep, philosophical question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It is. It is indeed a philosophical question. At the end of the day the number one thing I want to do is tell great stories. Everything else is kind of an appendage to that. I'm a storyteller. And great things come from stories, but if the only thing I do is entertain some people and make their day brighter, that's a success. So sure, I'd like to create something in fantasy that's never been made before, right? Like I would like the cosmere to become this thing that people are like "No one's ever done that, look at this cool thing!" but that's secondary to just wanting to tell great stories and make people's lives a little brighter.

    Yeah, I think that great books make you think, but not because they try very hard to make you think. If that makes any sense?

    Questioner

    I agree with it...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would like to-- I would like to write something that is as immortal as Ender's Game is likely to be, right? Most of the body of Scott Card's work will probably be forgotten, but in two hundred years, they'll still be reading Ender's Game. And most everyone's work, that most everyone writes, will be forgotten but once and a while somebody creates something that is likely to stick around for a while. I'd like to do that. But that's secondary.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8068 Copy

    Questioner

    So someone, I can't remember who it was, told me you said something about the pools in Elantris being related to worldhopping.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Is that right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is correct.

    Questioner

    So when the Elantrians go in the pool do they die or do they go to a different world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well you're making those mutually exclusive.

    Questioner

    Oh so it can do more than one thing--

    Brandon Sanderson

    One thing you gotta remember is in Elantris Shadesmar, the place that we call Shadesmar, is full of a raging, powerful source of energy called the Dor. It's very, very dangerous. Nobody goes there. So, just keep that in mind.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8069 Copy

    Questioner

    Why did you choose the cities you chose for Steelheart and Firefight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to choose cities that I was familiar with. Like cities I had driven in, cities I knew my way around in, and things like that. Which-- It was really just based on that concept, though I've always liked Chicago because as a kid going to Chicago-- that was the big city close to Nebraska. It was the one I knew and it was like the mid-western big city, if that makes any sense. So I always felt a kinship to that. That's why I picked Chicago. I also wanted one with a lake so I could fre-- turn the lake to steel.

    Questioner

    ...Have you chosen one for Calamity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I originally chose Montreal, and my publisher-- I actually said "We could do Montreal or Atlanta" and they like Atlanta better. So I decided to go ahead and go with Atlanta.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8070 Copy

    Questioner

    For new writers is there pitfalls in trying to use, like, a more famous story to tell their story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I don’t think there are any major ones, just make sure the serial numbers are filed off enough. You know the best versions of these things are like when you realize-- well we talked about-- The Lion King, is Hamlet and when they sat down with Hamlet and said "We’re going to do Hamlet with talking lions" they made it different enough to claim it as their own. And that’s the real thing you have to do, is make sure you're claiming it as your own.

    Firefight release party ()
    #8071 Copy

    Questioner

    On one of your older Writing Excuses you guys talked about doing retellings or reimagining stories. I was curious if any of your--even your short stories-- are either in full or in part retellings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I use the bits-- You ever read the Alcatraz books?

    Questioner

    Actually those are the only ones of yours I haven't.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so those I actually--don't get weirded out-- but I used the Oedipus myth.  A little bit. Not the weirdest parts. But the y'know--

    Questioner

    Fate...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fate, and being blind but not blind, and prophecy, and things like like that because the character tells you the end of the last book in the first paragraph of the first book and then it's all like it's almost fated to be. And so there is metaphorical blindness, and there's-- things like that. So that's the only one I used any-- and even that's really loosely structured. I wouldn't say I used any specifics, yet, for any of my books.

    Unless you count archetypes. Like I like taking certain archetypes and mixing them in. Like Bridge Four is an underdogs sports story. So I use the archetype of something like losers but I made it being killed on a field of battle instead, and things like that. But those are more general, it's a more different sort of thing.

    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8072 Copy

    Questioner

    The Mistborn video game.  Still working on that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.  We are still working on that.  They are moving very slow.  And I am disappointed by how slow they are moving, and I had dinner with the producer a week ago.  He says it's still coming, but I don't know when.  He says Christmas time 2015.  I'm skeptical.  

    Footnote: The Mistborn video game project has since been cancelled.
    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8073 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you get to work with illustrators?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do.  In fact, the interior artists I hire myself, just to make sure that they look the way I want them to. The cover illustrator, normally author's don't have much control over that.  I'm kind of a special case, and so I've been able to pick my cover illustrator for the last few books, and so I have a lot of influence over these sorts of things.  It's not standard.  I think the artistic design of these books is very important.  

    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8074 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you get any of yours [inspiration from mythology]?  Like I know you mentioned sciences and physics. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah a lot of science and physics is where it's coming from.  A lot of, I mean, having lived in Korea for two years, and speaking Korean, a lot of my linguistics come from Korean, and the idea of Spren comes from Asian mythology: the idea that everything has a soul.  So that's an inspiration.  

    Questioner

    I want to look into ancient Asian culture, and it sound like something to do.  

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's that.  I would bet that the three kingdoms stuff has some influence on me, and Sun Tzu's Art of War has been an influence on me, and things like that.

    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8075 Copy

    Questioner

    We know that 10 is an odd number in the cosmere. And I noticed that the Lord Ruler specifically released 10 Allomantic metals. Was there a reason behind that or is that just a coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, that was a coincidence right there.  Ten is an odd cosmere number for Roshar, and there are reasons why this is. . .

    Questioner

    Well it wasn't just Roshar, it was also Nalthis in Warbreaker. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope, that one is a coincidence. Sometimes they just pop up that way. Part of the original reason that Roshar was 10 was I was going for a 10 day like Robert Jordan did, which I thought was cool. But then I ended up writing the Wheel of Time so I'm like 'I have to do something different now'. So it turned into the two five-day weeks. Two five-days becoming a 50 day month.

    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8076 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you ever find you own stories, your own characters, coming back and influencing you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.  More, it's like I have these things I'm really interested in.  And so I find myself rounding those things again and again.  And I've actually started a list of 'You've covered this thing, Brandon.  You can't do this one anymore'.  Just because I work in the cosmere where everything is connected, so the underlying physics of the books are sometimes very similar.  And so I just have to be very careful not to repeat myself too much.  

    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8078 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you read non-fiction at all?  I'm a history grad student.  I'm reading some of your stuff.  I was kind of wondering if you ever did get inspiration from history or things like that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes I do like them.  I really like pop history books.  So if you've got any good suggestions, just like you know, history of war, history of. . .  Honestly, I end up at the Barnes and Noble browsing their discount things for pop history and pop science books, and you find really interesting ones there a lot of the time.  

    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8080 Copy

    Questioner

    So the Cognitive realm.  Is Shadesmar a Roshar specific term?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shadesmar is Roshar specific term, but when I translate from what other people are saying in these books I just translate it to Shadesmar.  So for instance when Wit is talking about it he's going to call it Shadesmar.  He's just going to use the Roshar term. But no, Shadesmar  is what it's called there.  

    Hero of Ages New York signing ()
    #8084 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    How do you find an agent?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    One way is to go to awards ceremonies or writing conventions, such as WorldCon. Brandon stated he met his agent while he was attending the Nebula Awards in NY. He was at a bar, drinking sprite, and talked to someone nearby who happened to be Jim Mintz, an editor at Tor, and also met his agent, Moshe Feder (who was at the signing as well).

    Hero of Ages New York signing ()
    #8085 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    How much pre-writing do you do for each book?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He wrote 50k words backstory for Mistborn, and 200k words backstory for The Way of Kings. It takes about 8 months to write a novel. Though it only took a month to write Alcatraz, which was a parody of conspiracies, and included bad super-powers, an anti-epic fantasy (and that a possible movie from Dreamworks was in the works at the time).

    Hero of Ages New York signing ()
    #8086 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Someone asked about corrupt religions in Elantris & Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He mentioned that he teaches one class/year at BYU on sci-fi writing. He fears the misuse of religion, but that he presents "fair and balanced" viewpoints in his books. He also stated that "fiction helps you see through other people's eyes" and quoted Robert Jordan: "I really like when my books raise questions, I just don't like giving the answers."

    Words of Radiance Omaha signing ()
    #8087 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you going to release more of your online lectures?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. As I do them, or at least in this year, and kind of collecting them on my website this time to make it a little bit easier to find them and things like that. I actually have a substitute teaching right now who is being recorded, and those will go up this time, too. So you'll get a lecture from Howard and a lecture from Eric, who has been *inaudible* short story writer who has been published in Teen.

    Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
    #8089 Copy

    Questioner 1

    That question I asked, I've been wondering about it a lot, how do you do misogyny *inaudible*? I think the message of the book...isn't really right wording.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I know exactly what you mean. How do you write misogynistic characters without writing a misogynistic book? That is tricky. You know, one thing that I didn’t bring up a lot is to have people on a spectrum. If every--‘cause even if you go back to, for instance--if you went back to 600 BC, there would be certain people who think different ways than everyone else. We think that cultures are monolithic, but they're not. And if you go back most of my characters are not acting like they would in the mid-1800’s. If you went back then you would find people who are anti-racist, even back then. So it’s legit that you can have certain...

    Yeah. The trick is you can’t make anyone just a super paragon, like Ghandi was racist but he was really powerfully influential in what he did.  Everyone has got their biases and so if you make someone with no biases then they’re a bad character, but if you make people’s biases shine a light on each other you’ll have a stronger story.

    Questioner 1

    *inaudible about Kaladin* He does have that deep-seated prejudice against the lighteyes, but in every other way as with everyone else its a subtle reminder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Except the Parshendi.  He’s been getting better.  But that’s the whole point of relaying this. This person has.

    Questioner 2

    Like you said, there's the stereotypes about Herdazians.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Herdazians. And most people don't pick it out that there's like this deep racism against the Herdazians.

    Questioner 1

    Do people ever accuse you of being <misogynistic>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not yet. I know it will happen. It probably has happened and I haven't seen it, but no, I haven't been upfront accused of it. My worse thing is there's some unconscious sexism in Mistborn. Vin works very well but there aren't any other women. I kind of fall into the one woman in the whole world sort of thing. But part of learning about this is we all have these biases, we're all going to these make these mistakes. You have to be okay to fail. Better that than wrong. Why is that wrong? What about is it? In what way?

    Calamity Philadelphia signing ()
    #8090 Copy

    Questioner

    With The Bands of Mourning, now that we understand flight with potassium, or whatever alkali metal that actually was... So is that part of where we’re starting with the Faster Than Light travel? Something along those lines with potassium and maybe like--

    Brandon

    I’m not going to tell you, but this is the bridge into the next Era, which the Era beyond will be FTL, but this sort of stuff needed to happen first.

    Questioner

    Right, right exactly and the good stuff and the technology trying to get them up to speed and plus with Kelsier going to that other realm and the glimpse of Sel and stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep, yep, there will be so much fun stuff in the next series.

    Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
    #8091 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever been busted by security while signing your books in airports?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So for those who don't know, in the States, I have to fly on tour. It's actually a lot nicer here, you have very good trains. I don't know if you guys complain about them, but compared to what we got? These trains are great. And I really like sitting and writing on the train, it's a great thing. I wrote on the train today, here. In the States, though, you've gotta fly. And that involves going through American security, which is annoying. But I do get to visit bookstores in the airports. Most airports have a bookstore, and I can go in and find my books and sign them. When I do, I post little, "Hey, I signed my books here!" And, if the bookstore employees aren't paying attention, I just kind of sign my books and sneak out. *laughter* I ninja sign. These days, the problem is, I fly into the same airports so often, the people-- like, I walk in, and they say, "Oh, Mr. Sanderson!" and go get my books. It really confuses them when I sneak in, sign the books, and sneak out, and then go post on Facebook, "Hey, there's signed books here." Like, people flock to the bookstore. They're like, "What happened? Where was he?" So, have I been busted? I have never actually been busted. I've had one person ask me for my ID, where I turned the book open to the last page and said, "Here I am." The thing is that signing in airports happens frequently enough, most authors don't do it, but enough authors do, that if they see someone signing books like that, they just assume you're an author. It's that whole, "pretend you're in charge and people assume." So, I can go in there and I can sign all of Joe Abercrombie's books and fake an accent, I guess. But I have never actually been busted, I have only been said "Oh, are you the author? Can I see ID?" Something like that. That happened only once.

    Leipzig Book Fair ()
    #8092 Copy

    Questioner

    Could non-Scadrians use Southern Scadrian medallions, and if so, could Drabs, too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, the amulets? Yes, yes they could.

    Questioner

    And Drabs, also?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Could Drabs use one of the amulets and make them work? Yeah, Drabs could. They're missing a little bit of something I'll explain eventually, but they could make those work.

    Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
    #8094 Copy

    Questioner

    Was there any one character that-- I know you said all of your characters are your favorite, but was there ever one you were really excited to kill?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any character that I was really excited to kill. Masema, from The Wheel of Time. Spoiler. I was so happy to kill that dude. He was hanging on forever, annoying me.

    Questioner

    Anyone from the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Anyone from the cosmere? I'm never eager to kill anyone specifically. I don't even really regard it as killing characters off. I build the outline, I let the character grow into who they are and let them kind of guide-- take the chances that I feel that character would take, and then deal with consequences of it. Does that make sense? So in a lot of ways, it's interesting to me-- Like I already generally know what's going to happen in my books before I write them. I'm an outliner. And so I'm very comfortable, if not happy, with the idea that certain characters aren't going to make it. Meaning, I'm usually sad that they aren't, but I know that they aren't from the beginning so I'm very well prepared for it. Unlike you guys.

    Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
    #8095 Copy

    Questioner

    In the first three Mistborn books, and Elantris and Warbreaker, you focus a lot on sort of gods and religion, is there a particular reason for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Why do I focus on gods and religion in my books. Well there's a couple of reasons. The main one is the kind of overarching story of the cosmere, which all my books are connected, there is some divine force named Adonalsium that was broken apart long ago and the scions of that-- people who have that power are showing up and causing problems and things on planets. So that's kind of the hidden epic behind the scenes, and so because of that religion is a very big part of what happens there.

    I'm also a religious person. For those who don't know, I'm Mormon, I'm LDS. And so religion is important to me and whatever I'm fascinated by works it's way into my books. Now I'm generally the type of writer who doesn't feel like I should go into a book with a theme, I should explore what the characters are passionate and let the theme manifest naturally. And so I do that a lot, I don't go in saying "Oh I'm going to teach people this" I say "Who is this character, what are they passionate about" But the things I'm interested in you see. That's why you end up with stories about a god who doesn't believe in his own religion, from Warbreaker. Or you end up with these different things, with Kelsier founding a religion to use it, or having people with different types of faith. And I really think that part of the point of fiction is to, for me, to explore different ideas from different angles and try to just tackle them. And so you'll see me coming back to some of the same concepts again and again, because I want to try them from a new angle, see how this person thinks, see how this character deals with it. Because that's just really interesting to me.

    Leipzig Book Fair ()
    #8096 Copy

    Questioner

    About Ien, Raoden's Seon. I was wondering what happened to him.

    *brief sidebar for translation*

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, still around, but suffered some effects of what happened in the books, but still around.

    *brief sidebar for translation*

    I'm trying not to give spoilers, but when I go back to the series I do intend to answer that question.

    Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
    #8097 Copy

    Questioner

    I watched all of your Youtube videos of your university lectures, that you put up. Found them really useful specifically because they are more focused on sci-fi/fantasy than other tutorials in writing. My question is, do you have any plans to write a book, in-between your hundred other books, a book on the craft of writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the question is, am I ever going to write a book on the craft of writing. He notes that I did-- my university lectures I do post online, for those who are curious you can just go to Youtube and look for Brandon Sanderson lectures, but if you want them all in order you go to brandonsanderson.com/writing-advice and I think we have a link to the whole playlist and things in there. So yeah, if you are a writer and looking for some writing advice that's one of the resources I have, and those are pretty in-depth. It's How to Write Science-Fiction and Fantasy university course. I also do a podcast called Writing Excuses, which I would recommend unto you. It is fifteen minutes of writing advice every week. If you haven't ever done a podcast you can just go to the website writingexcuses.com and punch play or you can go to itunes, or however you do podcasts. And that one, if you do it, I would recommend starting with January of this year [2015], the later episodes are better than the earlier episodes.

    I do not have any immediate plans to write a manual on writing. I just have so many other things to do and the Writing Excuses and the lecture, these are excuses for me to go interact, right? To get out of the house. To not be sitting in front of a keyboard typing. And so I use them to keep myself a little bit grounded, so I'm not just always alone. Which kind of defeats the purpose if I just go in and write a book about it. Plus there are some pretty good writing manuals out there yet, I don't think I have it figured out yet. Maybe in another 20 years I'll have this writing thing figured out and maybe feel like I should write a book on it.

    Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
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    Questioner

    In terms of character development, I've noticed you you tend to be concentrated on Twinborns and Mistings, in your new series. Are you going to be exploring the full Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Am I going to be exploring full Mistborn in other books. That's kind of a RAFO, which means Read And Find Out. I will-- I am very interested in telling these intimate stories in the Mistborn world right now and Mistborn have kind of fallen out of the world. There aren't many, if any, of them left, but who knows what will happen in the future. So that's what we call a RAFO.

    Shadows of Self Edinburgh UK signing ()
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    Questioner

    So you've obviously done these talks before, what is your favorite question you've ever had and what was its answer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What is my favorite question? See people ask me this one, so I have a glib response. My favorite question is "How can I buy more of your books?" *laughter* And my answer is "Talk to the wonderful booksellers." But no I always have trouble with those questions because I get, y'know, I don’t know if I have favorite questions? People also always ask what should I be asking you? and I'm like "I don’t know, that's your job. I wrote the books, come on. Give me a break."