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    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
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    Tyran Amiros

    What happened to Kwaan? I was half expecting to see him amongst the kandra First Generation.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kwaan went into hiding, and he was eventually discovered and executed by Rashek. He wasn't among the First Generation, though he would have been if he hadn't turned against Rashek. Rashek kept the plate, however, just as he kept Alendi's logbook. Partially because even then, Rashek was going a little mad, but partially because of the reminders about his old life they contained.

    Vegasdev

    I'm assuming you meant Alendi hunted him down because he turned against Alendi. Or did Kwaan also turn against Rashek?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I meant that he turned against Rashek. Remember, the members of the First Generation were offered immortality in exchange for their Hemalurgy. They had to make this choice for all of the world's Feruchemists. Because his uncle had been the one who gave Rashek the chance to become the Lord Ruler in the first place, Rashek blessed him and included him in the decision. (Speaking directly into his mind along with the others during Rashek's moment of ascension.)

    Kwaan was the only one who turned down this offer, calling it a betrayal of who they were as a people. Rashek could have just made him one anyway, but in a moment of anger, he tried to destroy Kwaan—which he couldn't do, not with Preservation's power. As the other Feruchemists changed, Kwaan remained the same. Rashek eventually hunted him down and killed him.

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #8354 Copy

    Tyran Amiros

    How/why did you decide to go with Sazed as the epigraph author? I'll admit I was absolutely positive it was going to be Rashek, if only because of the parallelism (ancient story in epigraphs/modern story in text).

    Brandon Sanderson

    I chose Sazed because I felt that Rashek would have just been too obvious. I wanted this book to look toward the future, particularly with the ending. The epigraphs have been a fun and unique part of these books, and I wanted to make sure the ones in the third book were as good as the ones in the first two books. Also, there's a theme—there's always a secret in the epigraphs. In the first one, it's that Rashek was really the Lord Ruler. In the second book, it was the textual changes hinting that Ruin was manipulating the prophecies. In the third book, I wanted to have an equally surprising reveal to the epigraphs, and knew that it had to be something different from the other two. Hence Sazed. (Plus, I really wanted to dig into answering some world questions that I felt couldn't be answered by anyone other than Sazed.)

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #8355 Copy

    LostKnight

    I am curious if any changes were made to the story after you got A Memory of Light or after the Name of the Windwas published? The style hasn't changed, but the story seemed to flow much better this time around.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Actually, no. This one was finished off back before I knew anything of A Memory of Light or before I'd read Name of the Wind. Hopefully, the smoothing is a result of me trying to work out kinks in my storytelling ability. I'm learning to distance out my climax chapters, for instance. (I think I've I'd have written this book years ago, I'd have tried to overlay Spook's climactic sequence with the ending ones, for instance, which would have been a mistake.)

    Also, of the three books, I worked the hardest on this one. Choosing that ending—even though I'd planned it for some time—was very difficult. I knew that it would anger some readers. I also knew that it was the right ending for the series.

    I'm glad it worked for you.

    Flinn

    I have to admit, I am one of those angered. I will be so glad when this cliché of killing off the heroes will finally pass. I escape to fantasy for the happy ending. If I wanted to be depressed I'd grab a 3-dollar bottle of Mad Dog 20/20 and drink it all and contemplate my mundane life. I can't spend much time reflecting on the book because of the mental picture of Vin and Elend dead in a field keeps popping up instead. They didn't even get a chance to reproduce.

    Now outside of the horrible ending (which wasn't surprising in the least because it is so common to kill the heroes) I enjoyed them. I absolutely cannot wait to read your books written 10 years from now. You can definitely pick up the improvement in transitions and character development in each book I've read from you. I'm quite often reminded of David Eddings although I'm sure plenty would disagree. And while Eddings isn't one of my favorite writers to be at his level (to me) so early in your career leads me to believe great things will be coming.

    I would like to ask you one thing to consider when writing endings. Fantasy is an escape, please don't ruin it with such depressing endings. When you have had the opportunity to look upon your dead wife in her coffin, reading about others dying isn't fun at all. It is absolutely terrible. Happily ever after.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I understand your anger. I wrote the ending that felt most appropriate to me for this book and series. I didn't find it depressing at all, personally. But people have reacted this way about every ending I've written.

    I won't always do it, I promise. But I have to trust my instincts and write the stories the way they feel right to me. I didn't 'kill off' Vin and Elend in my mind. I simply let them take risks and make the sacrifices they needed to. It wasn't done to avoid cliché or to be part of a cliché, or to be shocking or surprising, or to be interesting or poetic—it was done because that was the story as I saw it.

    I will keep this in mind, though. I know it's not what a lot of people want to read. Know that I didn't do it to try to shock you or prove anything. And because of that, if a more traditionally happy ending is something that a story requires, I'll do that—even if it means the people on the other side of the fence from you will point fingers at me for being clichéd in that regard as well.

    If it helps, realize that one of the reasons I added the lines in Sazed's note was to let the characters live on for those who wanted them to live on. I ALMOST didn't have Spook even discover the bodies, leaving it more ambiguous.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8356 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Lashing really hurts my mechanical, engineering brain because the math is off with your descriptions.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you mean?

    Questioner 1

    So, a full Lashing changes your gravitational pull, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner 1

    Well if you were doing the math on that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah...

    Questioner 1

    ...a full Lashing would be two times.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah. That's just their shorthand. *interrupting questioner* It's just their shorthand. I'm fully aware of that.

    Questioner 2

    Drives him so mad!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does it?

    Questioner 1

    I always see the statics *inaudible* in my head.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If it helps, in the third book where Bridge Four is practicing, they have an argument over that very point.

    Questioner 1

    Oh, do they?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there are certain people who think the way you think.

    Questioner 1

    Uh-huh.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That a full Lashing should make you float.

    Questioner 1

    Mmm-- it's-- yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mhm. But it's-- when I wrote it that way it was so confusing for alpha readers and they thought a double lashing should make him go up double speed.

    Questioner 2

    *in the background* They're not as technical.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And so I figured Szeth doesn't have the mathematics background to have that argument. But you do get to have it in the next book.

    Questioner 1

    Yeah, okay. Every time I... *interrupted*

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there's at least an acknowledgement of it for you.

    Questioner 2

    Thanks Brandon.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So a full Lashing means double gravitational pull upward.

    Footnote: Note that "full Lashing" in the context above refers to a "full" Basic Lashing--not a "Full Lashing".
    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #8357 Copy

    Ahoymatey

    Brandon, I just wanted to confirm that you did have a couple of cameos as Slowswift? Or was that mean to be someone else?

    Chaos

    I'm pretty sure Slowswift is Hoid. The Ars Arcanum says he "bears a striking resemblance to a storyteller", which I take to mean Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Slowswift is an homage to Grandpa Tolkien. A study of his personality will reveal why that name was chosen for him.

    Hoid appears in that same chapter, but Vin doesn't meet him. Something he does spooks her. She's just too darn observant for her own good.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8359 Copy

    Questioner 1

    How was Jasnah able to teleport into the [Cognitive] Realm when she didn't seem to have any Stormlight in her in Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She had enough.

    Questioner 1

    She had enough. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner 1

    And is it just teleportation-- *interrupted*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's say... Jasnah's figured out some things that other's haven't figured out, for one thing. *brief interruption* And, let's say that. But also, there's a little scene from it I wrote from her viewpoint just to know what was happening that's never going in the books. If you Google "Jasnah deleted scene Words of Radiance" you can read it. It talks about how she did what she did.

    Questioner 2

    Oh good.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So that is out there. Just-- It was my reference for writing the scene. But-- One of her powers is called Elsecalling, which is basically popping in and out of Shadesmar more easily. It's hard for everyone else to do that.

    Questioner 2

    My other question is, so when Shallan was on the land she was in the sea in SHadesmar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner 2

    Is it exactly opposite?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it's mirrored... Um... It's mirrored, yeah.

    Questioner 2

    So any land is on sea. So she would have actually landed on land on the ocean.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah... so... yes...

    Questioner 1

    She kind of *inaudible*

    Questioner 2

    Well that's, no for Jasnah that's... *interrupted*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah yeah, Jasnah... In that scene where you see? She pops out in Shadesmar on the land.

    Questioner 2

    So, was the scene at the end right as soon as that happened?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What the-- no, no, no. She spent months trying to get back out.

    Questioner 2

    Oh, because she doesn't have the power to get back out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Much harder to get back out.

    Questioner 1

    *inaudible* trying to get back out, because she doesn't have any more Stormlight.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep. Much harder to get back out than it is to get back in even if you have Stormlight, and she is out of Stormlight, so...

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
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    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Teaching has really helped me be more defined as a writer. Writing is done very often by instinct, and I've discovered a lot about my writing style and process by putting it into lectures and words. That especially helps when the writing is hard. When it's easy you just go with it, but when it's hard I can really pinpoint what's going on.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #8370 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Do you every drop hints for things that never come to pass as you change and tweak the story?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Oh ya, all the time. Best example is Arcanum Unbounded originally had a different story that was foreshadowed through Mistborn Era 1, among others, but it just never fit in the story. It just didn’t jive once you start putting the jig saw together. You learn not to get too disappointed when that happens.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
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    Questioner (paraphrased)

    I just got a job as an editor. What advice can you give me about my job from the perspective of an author?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The editor's job is to figure out what the author is trying to do, and how to help them make a better book than the author has written. Get them to try out options even when they don't want to listen or change the parts that don't work.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #8378 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    What inspired the Epics?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    I got cut off in traffic and thought, "you're so lucky I don't have superpowers because I would totally blow up your car!" And then I started to think about how I couldn't be trusted with superpowers and what the world would be like if no one with superpowers could be trusted.

    Supanova 2017 - Sydney ()
    #8390 Copy

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    Does Vasher have a different way of getting access to Stormlight than everyone else? Given that he has no spren, no honorblade and he isn't a squire?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes. He can use Stormlight to stay alive, but it doesn't let him Surgebind.

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    Could Szeth get access to this method?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    And use it to fuel Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes he could.

    R.E. (paraphrased)

    Can you tell me what that method is?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    *smiles*

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
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    Questioner

    Could you give any insights as to what the Dawnshards are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um......(long pause)...

    Questioner

    Am I gonna get a RAFO?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nyeaaa it's it's..nyeaa I dunno, do you think? You know what the Dawnshards are right? We haven't talked about that? Ok, I thought we had. Um. We'll RAFO it for now. But good question.

    Other person

    It's an excellent question. And we have not yet talked about that. I was like...answer that, answer that!

    Questioner

    I was trying to think of questions that could get me very close to being RAFO'd, but not quite RAFO'd.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that was a good one, you were close to not getting RAFO'd, on that. Coz I do want to talk about it at some point.

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
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    Questioner

    The thing I wanted to ask you about was in White Sand, it's actually on the map, it is...(pointing at map) is this Autonomy, or Bavadin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hehehe, that is a very good guess.....that is very very sharply guessed...

    Questioner

    Yeah, coz, I really, I just like kind of the idea of the Shards and stuff, and I guess I want to learn more about what they look like and, kind of their personalities and stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bavadin's a hard one, because what does Bavadin look like? Bavadin looks like what she feels like looking like, or what he feels like looking like, depending upon the day.

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
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    Questioner

    Is there one magic system that is, like, the one that would win all the battles?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the thing is, they have their strengths and weaknesses. All of the surgebinders are really hard to kill while they have access to Stormlight and that's a huge advantage. But a mistborn is way more versatile, they have access to more powers, and things like that. So it really depends how much of each do you have, how many times does the mistborn have to kill the Bondsmith; a Bondsmith's not going to do a great job in a fight because...I mean Dalinar would coz he's Dalinar, but the powers do not lend themselves to combat in the same way that windrunning does, and things like that, so...

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
    #8398 Copy

    Questioner

    If two of your characters from two different worlds were to duel, which would be the most interesting and exciting to watch, which two characters.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they were to duel, like in a "we're not going to kill each other, we're just going to duel", because...I would say that a Vin / Kaladin duel would be the most interesting visually. You gotta pick two different magics, but that can go toe to toe with each other.

    Arcanum Unbounded Seattle signing ()
    #8400 Copy

    Questioner

    Was Sadeas involved with Gavilar's death?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question. He legitimately thought that Gavilar was a good king and so he legitimately wanted him to live. Sadeas had...his disagreements with Dalinar, he was way more ruthless, and things like this. But at the end of the day he really did want the kingdom to succeed and he did not want to be king.