Recent entries

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8304 Copy

    Questioner

    Do they have a concept of alcoholism in Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Does Dalinar’s family have it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That will be answered in the next book, but you should definitely be asking that question.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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    Argent

    When you say that the Returned are cognitive shadows, are they shadows of the people they were pre-death? In other words, is Lightsong Llarimar's cognitive shadow stapled to his body with a Divine Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they are. (The evidence in the books is Lightsong obtaining some of the memories his pre-death soul had.)

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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    The_Immortal_Shogun

    Is there some reason why the characters in the cover don't seem to reflect the Hawaiian esque description you seem to have in your head. For Kaladin for example

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Basically, I was too intimidated by being able to work with Michael Whelan to be picky.

    It goes a little further than that. The original cover was closer in skin tone and features to what I'd imagined. (Remember, I view the Alethi as kind of Asian Hawaiian hybrids.) However, the pose and overall look of the figure wasn't great.

    I chose not to say anything, because I love Mr. Whelan's work, and was simply thrilled to be working with him. Plus, I liked the cover quite a bit, even if something was slightly off with the figure. Well, Mr. Whelan obviously saw what I had, and over the next few months we got a string of revisions from him.

    By the time he'd settled on the current one (which was the best of the ones he'd sent) I didn't want to bother him with redesigning Kaladin yet again.

    We're still trying to get this right. In working with Dan Dos Santos to do the clothing portraits in the second book, I kept having trouble describing to him what to use. I think he got much closer to the look of the Alethi, but I don't feel we're there yet.

    Third cover is shaping up nicely, and we're being careful to nudge Mr. Whelan toward a more Alethi look.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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    Argent

    I've been listening to this year's Writing Excuses, and in one of the more recent episodes you had a romance author (whose name I can't recall right now), and the topic of how popular the romance genre is, and how good some of its authors are came up. I don't think I've ever read a romance novel, but I wondered whether you can recommend one that might appeal to your readers? I am curious to see what makes those books so popular, but I don't want to just pick something from the bookstore's shelf...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I might start with something in-between, like Melanie Rawn's Dragon Prince. It's shelved in fantasy, but has some strong romance roots. (The author has even written a romance novel or two.)

    Mary's own Shades of Milk and Honey is a romance novel that is shelved in fantasy as well.

    As for straight up romance, let me think about it. Most of what I enjoy is hybrid.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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    montywoodpeg

    Would you or [Peter] consider joining the reddit Cosmere Discord for a kind of AMA or even just a visit to chat? I can certainly understand if you wanted to maintain control over dialogue than what live text (or audio) chat could provide, but I can't help thinking it would make for a great form of interaction with an audience of dedicated fans. There's non-cosmere sections available to just discuss books in general, for what it's worth.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not opposed to this sort of thing.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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    StickerBrush

    Maybe not the best place to ask, but one of your remarks reminded me:

    will input beta reader comments and writing group comments

    So, do you have one master document where you input their comments? How do you organize and consolidate all of their input? I'm a part of a writer's group and I now have like 5-6 copies of each chapter I've submitted and I have no idea how to get started in organizing it.

    My best idea so far is to have one master doc (which is a clone of the original) and mark it up with each user's feedback.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't actually have people mark up the text any more, but I used to do it as you say. These days, I instead put up a google sheet with a tab for each chapter, and then I have beta readers put feedback on the appropriate tab. Peter then collates these comments and inserts them into a draft of the book for me to read in context and made decisions about.

    StickerBrush

    Time to find me a Peter.

    Thanks for the advice!

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It's possible to use Word's Merge Documents feature even on 5–6 copies of a chapter (just do two at a time). But this can create a lot of artifacts. I did that during the Towers of Midnight editing and it's a real pain dealing with all of the repeat punctuation that appears, like ,”,”,”,”,”

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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    Telen

    How would a Desolation look like on another Shardworld? Would it look different or just more or less similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The term "Desolation" isn't really a cosmere-wide term. It's a Rosharan word for a specific type of event that happens there--and so I have no context for what it would mean no other worlds.

    Stormlight Three Update #6 ()
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    inthearena

    To answer the inevitable question, the beta readers are chosen by Peter--my assistant and editorial director--from among those who have been very active on the fan websites, or who know us personally.

    Don't you think this invite survivor bias? If the only ones who beta you books are people who love your books (granted there are a lot of them ;-) doesn't that result in a particularly district set of people who are reading for specific things?

    Just curious.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Betas are supposed to be a test audience, not a critical audience. Meaning, I just want to judge how my fanbase will respond to the book.

    For alphas (my editorial team) I look for the strong criticism. For Betas, I want people who are partial to the work, as they represent the average fan. I do try to fill them with some people who are more casual fans, as opposed to only the hardcore.

    SouthernNorthEast

    For alphas (my editorial team) I look for the strong criticism. For Betas, I want people who are partial to the work, as they represent the average fan. I do try to fill them with some people who are more casual fans, as opposed to only the hardcore.

    Do you get a lot of information that you use from these Beta readers? Or - do you take a lot of that and actual use it in edits and revisions down the road?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We do get a lot of information, but it's more...how to describe it. It's more general AND more specific.

    On one hand, what we get from the betas is a general feel for the book, and how it will be received. We also get specific little continuity goofs that we've missed.

    Editorial tends to be able to talk about story structure, characterization, that sort of thing on the macro scale. Betas tend to give more of a view of the book emotionally--is this book matching expectations, are parts of it boring, that sort of thing.

    Stormlight Three Update #7 ()
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    Peter Ahlstrom

    Well, on Friday Brandon was explaining what's in book 4 and 5, and after he got well into it I said, "So we're in book 5 now, right?" and he said, "No..."

    _Kelsier_

    Since each book is getting longer than the others and having heard what he wants in book 4, do you think he will have to split book 4? I don't want to look past the mark, but it seems like he's on track to have to publish Stones Unhallowed parts 1 and 2.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    In this case, he could probably move some plot elements from book 4 to book 5. The issues that make Oathbringer unsplittable probably won't apply then.

    Stormlight Three Update #7 ()
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    jmcgit

    You don't have to worry about him becoming unproductive, but I do worry a little about Stormlight taking more out of him and needing more and more "hamburger and fries" to recharge. I also am suddenly worried about the series growing beyond 10 books, especially with Peter Ahlstrom suggesting that story could be moved from 4 to 5, but story can't be moved from 5 to 6 without delaying the planned time jump.

    GRRM started with ASOIAF planned as a trilogy, and even if he were fully healthy and productive, it's hard to see how he would wrap this up in the currently planned seven. Wheel of Time was pitched as a trilogy, and the publisher knew better, and Jordan was signed to six books, we wound up with 14. Stormlight Archive originated as a 10 book series, and now I'm slightly worried as to whether this is going to grow like many fantasy series do.

    I don't think it would be by much, Sanderson appears to have a much more detailed plan than some of these other authors, but even growth from 10 books to 12 books would make a huge difference considering the interesting concepts I'd like to read that are bottlenecked behind the end of Stormlight.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I think that if he ends up with too much content, more novellas like Edgedancer are much more likely than expanding the number of books.

    Also, Brandon has already moved plot elements forward in the name of awesome. Moash's plot for book 2 was originally planned to be in book 3.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #8317 Copy

    Questioner

    I started reading Elantris. The question is... Okay, I remember they were saying, the Elantrians, "Oh my gosh, we're hurt!" You know the hurt doesn't go away. But when they said <the Hoed who wander>, like when people get burned, like an Elantrian, does their soul sort of hang around the air as a spirit of sheer pain, I remember that. Was that just a theory, or...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's just a theory. Good question. Yeah, no.

    Questioner

    Okay, thank God. That was really horrible.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope, nope, no. They will use... In Secret History you see what happens. That happens on all of the worlds. Even <with an Elantrian>.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
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    Questioner

    I was in the hospital and someone read White Sand [Volume 1] while I was there, and I didn't know-- Is the comic series going to continue on after the end of the book, that kind of seems like a very unfinished story, or if that's just a story that will probably remain unfinished?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If people really like the comic we will continue.

    Questioner

    Oh cool!

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they don't, I am probably going to do a book in the world eventually. It will be after the last-- like-- a different group of characters, but it will reference what happened, so you can kind of figure it out.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
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    Questioner

    I personally love Wayne, the character. <Explain to me> what that inspiration was.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted-- I started with a character who changed personalities when *inaudible*. And I kind of built out from that.

    *interruption*

     

    Questioner

    Was there a personal... Was there a person who like-- that might have reminded you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. *inaudible* It was just that I wanted to write somebody who was a little more goofy. A little more interesting. A colorful character who would be a *inaudible*. Who could just be a representation that this is a little of a lighter world than we were in before.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
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    Questioner

    What is axial interconnection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll find out <a little bit> eventually. So here's a RAFO. Axi is the Cosmere term for *inaudible* <atoms>. They didn't have a guy named <atom>. They have a different word for it. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they're referencing a real-world science when they talk about them.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #8321 Copy

    Questioner

    *inaudible question relating to Hemalurgy*

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Hemalurgy... Yes, to an extent. The koloss are an example of this. Koloss are made, but then they can be passed on a little bit. You get koloss *inaudible* koloss. So it doesn't quite work exactly, but some things can be passed on.

    Questioner

    Do the *inaudible* get passed on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh... Not necessarily. They're not still pierced by metal.

    Questioner

    Apparently they use Hemalurgic *inaudible* bloodline to the point where there's Mistborn again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is something that people in-world are wondering.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Enasor

    Merrin was a terrible name... It makes me think of member of Robin Hood, men in tights. I am super glad Brandon decided to change his name: Kaladin works much better, IMHO.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It was Merin, but it did rhyme with Perrin and Verin. He was actually still using Merin when he was halfway through the first draft of the published WoK. I was totally used to it and thought it was a fine name, but Kaladin is better.

    Enasor

    Thanks for the added precision. Merin still make me think of Robin's Hood Merry Men... It somehow does not reconcile quite well with the mental imagery I currently have of Kaladin. I guess it feels rather different when you've known him as Merin for a long time, but knowing him as Kaladin to then find out he initially was a Merin is somehow weird.

    This being said, it is super interesting to find out so many names were changed from the early version of WoK to the published book. It wasn't just Kaladin.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yeah, Sadeas used to be a guy called Meridas. One of Meridas's things was wanting to marry Jasnah (and Jasnah did not return the interest). But Sadeas didn't have that interest. So Meridas became Amaram's first name instead.

    Enasor

    Oh sweet. I didn't know about this one. I also heard Dalinar originally had no sons, then he had three and now he has two: none the original names were retained (except Renarin, I think). Quite a lot of changes. It is very fascinating how characters can move from one identity to another and through this morphing, earn another name.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Dalinar's second wife in Prime was one of the craziest things.

    Enasor

    Oh I would have loved to read that. Has she become the inspiration for another character?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    No. At least not yet, and the way the series is going I doubt someone like her will fit.

    Enasor

    Ah then may I ask what she was like?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I would leave that up to Brandon to reveal.

    Phantine

    Any plans to do another Altered Perceptions sometime?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Brandon is in no hurry to be involved in something like that anytime soon, but we wouldn't rule it out. More of Way of Kings Prime will be revealed eventually, but at this time some elements of it are still spoilers for future books in the Stormlight Archive.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Peter Ahlstrom

    Mistborn: The Final Empire contains cannibalized aspects of: Mistborn Prime, The Final Empire Prime, Mythwalker, and Aether of Night.

    The Way of Kings contains cannibalized aspects of: The Way of Kings Prime, Dragonsteel, Mythwalker, and Aether of Night.

    Warbreaker also contains cannibalized aspects of Mythwalker.

    yahasgaruna

    Can you talk about what aspects of Aether got cannibalized? I don't recognize anything from it in either Mistborn or Stormlight.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The two obvious ones are Ruin and Midnight Essence.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Phantine

    Actually [Peter] what kind of gem is in oathbringer's hilt, anyway?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I don't know the answer to that offhand.

    WeiryWriter

    This says it was set with a heliodor (which would be a cool bit of foreshadowing if true, like how Lift's lucky sphere is a diamond and Kaladin gets sapphire spheres when he sells the knobweed sap).

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Oh yeah, that's right. That is indeed true.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Phantine

    I actually asked Peter Ahlstrom (who tends to handle math and magic system interactions with physics for Team Sanderson) about this a little while ago

    A couple of friends and I are discussing if the iron feruchemy causing changes in speed is a retcon (since there's a mention in AoL that "increasing his weight manyfold would not affect his motion"), or if the effect is just more complicated (like only causing an instant change in speed if Wax changes weight while actively pushing on something).

    Are you willing to weigh in on that, or is it just something we shouldn't be thinking too hard about?

    Thanks :)

    And his response was

    I just don't know the answer to this question. :)

    So I personally think the explanation is either 'Brandon thought it would be cooler for shifting your weight to change your velocity, and forgot he had mentioned it a couple times' or 'this is Wax's twinborn perk'. I'm leaning towards the latter, since the person who writes the magic system summaries at the end of the book specifically interrogated Wax about the effects, and mentioned she specifically was interested in his very unusual power combination.

    As for the density thing, there is an explicit mention that you appear to get stronger when tapping, but only to the extent that you can still stand up and walk around - you still have more difficulty moving around overall. So (to pull out random numbers), if you're at 200% normal mass, you have 180% normal strength, and at 50% mass you have 60% normal strength. That means Wax habitually going around at 75% weight so he's 'light on his feet' makes sense - even if he's weaker overall, he's proportionally stronger.

    The way I personally think about things for bullets or whatever, anything 'inside' the body (where 'inside' is defined in the same way that pushing/pulling metal 'inside' the body uses it) interacts with your body as if it were normal. So tapping iron doesn't cause your ultra-massive blood to be impossible for your heart to pump, but it also doesn't prevent a bullet from passing through your flesh. That seems to be consistent with how it's portrayed in the books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Just a note: in the quote of mine above, I was trying (I believe) to find a way for Wax to indicate that weight doesn't influence the rate at which he falls. IE, acceleration in regards to gravity. It's tough, and I made the call (perhaps incorrectly) not to use modern physics terminology in the W&W books. It has been very hard then to explain:

    1). Wax changing his weight doesn't change the pull of gravity on him, or the rate at which he falls. 2) He DOES follow the laws of conservation of momentum.

    My talking around these things has let me to tie a few paragraphs in knots.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    awendles

    I'm personally really turned off by the theme. If I'm playing a Mistborn game, I want to play as a misting and pull of some sort of heist using characters with variable powers or something. I think the last time this game was mentioned in this sub somebody said that they wanted to see an area control game based off of the plateau runs in The Stormlight Archives, and I would absolutely be all over that.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    There are companies that are proposing plateau run games to Brandon. It could be years before anything comes of that though. I do think of this as a no-brainer concept—of course someone should be able to make a fun game out of that!

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Aurimus

    Has Brandon said that the Shardblades are based off of the swords from Soulcalibur/Final Fantasy. (You know, those stupidly huge swords?) Or are they just normal swords when it comes to the shape and size etc?

    Ben McSweeney

    Shardblades come in many shapes and sizes, but are often larger than normal swords, in order to fight larger-than-normal enemies.

    Not always, though. Szeth's Blade, for instance, was about the size of a scimitar.

    There is no single source or work from which the inspiration was drawn. It's a refection of a common trope, instead. Isaac and I created a few dozen silhouettes, and Brandon chose the ones he liked best, and we've been extrapolating from there ever since.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Argent

    The Rithmatist takes place on an alternative version of Earth. One where the United States are the United Isles, for example.

    Ben McSweeney

    Also that Earth is (I think) half the size of our own? Or possibly less? Brandon says it has a denser core to make up the difference.

    Argent

    Really? This is the first time I hear this, but it's pretty cool news. You know the man, find out specifics for us :P

    Ben McSweeney

    Brandon and I discussed it when we put together the map of the United Isles... there was some hand-wavery in terms of total numbers, but the scale on the map legend is more-or-less accurate. As you can see, that puts the Isles themselves at about 1500 miles (give or take a few hundred, I'm eyeballing it) from the cliffs of the western California Archipelago to the eastern shores of New Guernsey.

    In comparison, the continental United States is about 3000 miles across from shore to shore. So, loosely speaking, it's a half-sized planet with a core of something denser than iron to make the mass mostly the same. Perhaps gold?

    Aside from the map, which I'm not surprised if it was overlooked, we also get some clues in the travel times and distances described during Joel and Fitch's trip.

    Argent

    All of those clues would require me to pay attention and think about things, though - which is something I find difficult to do when my hand is racing to turn the pages :)

    On the topic of distances and masses though, I was looking into possible easy solutions, but it actually looks like there is some serious sciencing that needs to happen for the numbers to work out. But eyeballing, if you shrink the radius of the planet in half, this drops the volume (including the core volume) by a factor of 8, which - assuming the same density, which is not a safe assumption because lower mass makes lower density more likely - means that the core has to be about 8 times more massive to maintain the same gravity. Which is a problem, because such element doesn't exist naturally, and is even less likely to fuse in a small planet. So. Heavy sciencing and/or handwavium :)

    Ben McSweeney

    Maybe a denser metal and a larger core? Our iron core is only about 10% of the planet's diameter, but I have no idea how a larger core would affect the physics of the planet.

    Handwavium. Unobtanium. Impossibillium. :)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    [Fancast of Mistborn Era 1]

    Brandon Sanderson

    For what it's worth, I love seeing things like this, but as I don't "cast" most characters with actors in my head, it's not like I can step in and say "let it be so." I do like the idea of playing with a black Ham, though personally, the big change I'd make to canon for a film would be to genderswap a character or two to get more women in the crew.

    Doniac

    Did the lord rulers armies have female soldiers? Wondering since Ham hung out with them quite a bit and sparred, speaking of genderbending characters.

    I think the easiest character to genderbend would be Clubs. And more outside the main cast, people in the Skaa rebellion.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would imagine that the LR's armies would take Allomancers of either gender quickly and happily.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Shagomir

    This totally doesn't really matter and will probably change in the time it takes you to get to them but are Liar of Partinel and Lightweaver of Rens still planned as a semi-separate sub/prequel-series to Dragonsteel, or would they be included in that 3-5 book estimate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're included in the 3-5 book estimate. Dragonsteel's outline is kind of still in pieces, as I chopped out so much but dumped in a whole bunch more, so I'm not 100% sure on what length it will be.

    Calamity Denver signing ()
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    Solarpunk Gnome

    I just came home from a Brandon Sanderson signing here in Denver and got the chance to ask him a few questions about the havah....

    My main concern was the attachment of the replaceable hem as it is mentioned in several places in the Stormlight books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brandon said that the hem would be a continuous piece attached to the underskirt, or as Ben/Inkthinker called it, the accordion (perhaps it’s an accordion skirt?). This hem piece is not easy to change according to Brandon, so it is probably sewn on and not attached with buttons or some other simple fastener. It is a simple enough operation that it is done with relative frequency, however...

    Brandon also confirmed my suspicion... that due to the difficulty in finding fabric that is an exact match for something bought another time/place, people often purchase replacement hems in contrasting colors.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Ray745

    Graves tells Kaladin and Moash that with Elhokar out of the way, Dalinar would become king and be much better for Alethkar. Obviously Graves isn't totally truthful with them, he is working for the Diagram and wants Dalinar to be king in hopes he becomes the Blackthorn, the warlord, and provides no real competition to Taravangian in becoming king of everything. However, in the scene when Kaladin faces down Graves and Moash, Graves makes a comment on how it was too late, and he just had to keep Kaladin away from Dalinar, presumably so Szeth could assassinate him. Then the last we see of Graves, he is talking to Moash and says

    I thought for sure my interpretation was correct, that if we removed Elhokar, Dalinar would become our ally is what is to come.

    How would Dalinar become their ally if Graves was purposely keeping Kaladin away from Dalinar so Szeth could kill him? Is Graves lying to Moash there? That part I never fully understood. It seems as though Graves understands Dalinar is going to be assassinated, yet from what he says to Moash at the end he seems to expect Dalinar would not have been killed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Graves is supposed to (though people missed this, so perhaps I didn't do it well enough) indicate that the Diagram is not simply one group, following Taravangian. They follow the diagram itself, not him, and some think his interpretations are wrong.

    Graves was ordered to remove the Alethi leadership entirely--though Taravangian was sending Szeth after Dalinar (the more dangerous one) and Graves was to remove Elhokar. Graves, however, interpreted the diagram differently. He thinks that Dalinar cannot be killed by Szeth, or anyone, and is hoping to remove Elhokar, have Dalinar step up, and help them. He has passages of the Diagram that indicate, to him, this is the natural outcome of removing Elhokar.

    The actual passages, and what it is they're trying to accomplish in specific, has yet to be revealed in full.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Ray745

    Is Lift the only one who is able to see the afterimage around Szeth when he moves? And would she have seen that afterimage around him before he was brought back to life by Nalan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lift is seeing that Szeth's soul isn't quite attached to his body any longer. She is not the only one that can see it, but her special physiology is certainly helping her see it.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Ray745

    During the final fight between Szeth and Kaladin, Szeth seems far too surprised when Kaladin follows him out past the stormwall.

    Kaladin exploded out of the stormwall, surrounded by windspren that spiraled away in a pattern of light. He shouted, driving his spear toward Szeth, who parried hastily, his eyes wide. "Impossible!"

    And before that you make a point of mentioning all the windspren streaming around Kaladin as he's flying. A popular theory about Shardplate is that it's made up out of "cousin" spren. Obviously that is a RAFO question, but I wanted to ask if Szeth was surprised for any reason other than Kaladin just following him out of the storm? My theory is Szeth saw the beginnings of a vague suit of Shardplate forming around Kaladin. I know you won't answer that directly, but I was hoping to see your face when I asked it haha. Do you have any comment on that theory?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Szeth was surprised for more reasons than just Kaladin following him out. He is realizing that the Radiants are returning, and that his exile was unearned.

    Dark Talent release party ()
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    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    So I could be wrong, but a Hemalurgic spike, when you use it and become a savant it does damage to your Spiritweb, right?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes Hemalurgy always hurts you.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    So say you go to Roshar and you give somebody a Hemalurgic spike for some Allomantic power, don't care what, and you use it to become a savant. Does that qualify them as 'broken' enough to become a Radiant? As long as they are also following the Ideals to attract a spren.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    So becoming a Radiant is a spectrum of terminologies. It... probably, but you would have to find a Radiant who would, or a spren who would be willing to touch that, okay? It's going to drive them back.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    So would it also affect your probability of becoming an Elantrian?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah it would affect your ability to become anything else, yes.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    Okay, so would it be a positive effect, negative effect...? Because I was like, it gives you cracks in your Spiritweb.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It does give you cracks in your Spiritweb.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    So it's easier for Investiture to get in. Does it make it easier for other Investitures to get in?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It would make it... yes. It's going to drive spren away. So what it's really going to make easier for, there, is spren and Investiture that doesn't care.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    Okay, so Investiture doesn't care but spren do.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Investiture might care depending on if it's part of a Shard-- if it has intent and things like this.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    So it might let Stormlight in easier than a Breath, type thing.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    I'm saying it might let Odium in easier than Syl. Because Syl would care, and Odium would not care.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    Okay cool.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Alright, so it could be a really bad thing, is what I'm trying to say to you.

    Djarskublar (paraphrased)

    Yeah that's cool. I just want to know more about gold too. Gold Allomancy too. Because Miles was doing some funky stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Miles was doing some funky stuff.

    Dark Talent release party ()
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    Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

    I asked for a random fact about Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He was hesitant at first, and after a bit, and me begging for even something inconsequential, he responded: "In the next book people will think he is helping them, but he is really helping himself."

    Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

    I pushed by what he meant by "next book".

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He refused to answer.

    Dark Talent release party ()
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    Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

    I asked about the importance of a lot of the religion from the "Final Empire Era" Scadrial. I pointed out that there were a lot of little nods and references to other shardworlds.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He assured me that there was something there, perhaps not anything as big as I was hoping for, but definitely more than just "Easter eggs!"

    Dark Talent release party ()
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    Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

    So in Shadows of Self, when TenSoon and Was are fighting the spiked creature things, TenSoon mention that he was Harmony's "Preservation."

    *Brandon seemed a bit apprehensive about that statement*

    And he said that Wax was Harmony's "Ruin."

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    *still apprehensive* Yes...

    Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

    Well since Harmony has been around for about 300 years someone else would have had to fill that role, right?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Probably...

    Windrunner Savant (paraphrased)

    And could that person possibly have been Paalm?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Maybe.

    Dark Talent release party ()
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    Sunchicken (paraphrased)

    I asked Brandon if it was any coincidence that Sadeas's name sounds suspiciously similar to the word sadist.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    In essence his answer was no, it's not a coincidence, but he didn't consciously choose the name for that specific reason. More like his brain decided it sounded good for that character because his subconscious heard the similarity.

    Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
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    OffhandOnion

    Mr Sanderson, I think it speaks volumes for your character and dedication to the final product that you began this update with "I'm back for another update on how your book is going."

    GunnerMcGrath

    Funny, my response to that was "Brandon Sanderson is not my bitch." I'm glad he knows how invested we are in his novels but I've seen too many entitled idiots (most often Martin and Rothfuss fans) who really think the authors owe them something, and get irate if they don't get what they want in a timely manner.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't agree with your downvotes, Gunner. This is a legitimate position to take. (And for those not aware, that is a quote from Gaiman.) And I don't agree with the harassment some authors get. Everyone has different writing methods and speeds. And despite being known as "quick," I haven't been much better than Rothfuss at getting to book three of my big series.

    That said, I do believe that a series is an implicit contract with the reader. When I put "book one" on a cover, particularly as prominently as with the Way of Kings, I do feel it is a promise. That's different from something like Warbreaker, where I say I'm planning a sequel, but didn't publicize the book as a series.

    I use "your" in this context because I believe that storytelling is a participatory art--that it doesn't live without an audience to imagine it. Beyond that, I believe in the patronage theory of art. I am able to do what I do, as an artist, because of the support of the greater community.

    That said, I am sympathetic to the Gaiman approach you quote, and think it would be good for fans to read that essay and consider it.

    GunnerMcGrath

    Thanks Brandon. I fully agree with and appreciate the feeling of duty to the audience when you say that this is book one. But you don't promise how long it will take to get to book two, and you don't take surveys from readers to find out what should happen. In my mind, it's not our book, it's yours, and we are here ready to enjoy it when it's finished.

    Maybe my perspective is different because I'm a writer (of songs, not books) and it has taken me years of far less success than yours to come to terms with the fact that my art is mine to make or not make as I see fit. It's great to have fans who are so deeply invested in what we do but they are not the ones who have to do the creating and be satisfied with the results (which includes not only the work but also that permanent change in one's life and career after each new release).

    I follow your career very closely, and I know quite a bit about your history and how you got here. These are very much your stories. You create them because they are part of you and to not create them would not do justice to who you are. You would write them if nobody read them, which is more than I can say for my own writing. So as much as I appreciate the connection you cultivate with your readers when you call them our books, I personally just don't see it that way.

    Fortunately you are the most prolific author of our generation so we never really have to wait long, and yes, you are much better than Rothfuss when it comes to book three. But he's not my bitch either. So anyway, thanks for defending me a bit, I don't care about the down votes but I didn't mean to say anything too controversial to begin with!

    Hope i can finally take you out for pizza next time you're in Chicago. Had a chance to do it for Michael J. Sullivan so he can tell you whether I'm mental or not. :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll take you up on that pizza. I see you enough on-line that I'm pretty sure you're not mental. (No more so than the rest of us.)

    I get what you're saying, and I agree with it. No, I'm not going to take polls on what to do with the books--this was actually a real danger when working on the Wheel of Time books. As I came out of fandom, I found it a real temptation (that I had to squish quickly) to put in tons of in-jokes and references.

    There was a time, before I published, where I tried to write more of what I thought the market wanted, instead of what I felt I really wanted to write. It was a disaster, and the Stormlight Archive was my method of escaping that--my reaction to it, by writing only for me, in the way I most wanted to write.

    So yes, you are correct. At the same time, I do consider the fandom at large my "boss" so to speak. The contract we have is that I will create art for them--not that I will let them control it, but that I WILL write it. I also have the philosophical belief that when a piece of art is released into the wild, so to speak, the author has to relinquish some ownership of it, for its own good. (And for the good of the community.)

    Stormlight Three Update #3 ()
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    Stormdancer

    How do you manage your time to keep writing productively, during all that time on the road? Do you find yourself thinking about the WIP while signing book after book after book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's hard, and I'm not that productive, honestly. That's why I generally work on some new project, like a novella, instead of the main project. It's tiring enough on the road to write; writing something that is intense and requires a lot of working with other pieces in the story is even harder.

    I can't think about the WIP while signing--otherwise I'll miss questions people ask. The last thing I want is for someone to wait four hours to meet me, then feel like they got brushed off. If I'm going to do the signings, I need to be mentally there for the signings.

    I do get a lot of thinking done in the mornings before flying out to my next location for the day.