how is it that you've become so skilled? Lots of study and practice?
You've got it. Practice and study. I wrote 13 novels before publishing one (my sixth.) Practice, practice, practice.
how is it that you've become so skilled? Lots of study and practice?
You've got it. Practice and study. I wrote 13 novels before publishing one (my sixth.) Practice, practice, practice.
Do you have plans to continue stories in the Elantris (hope I spelled that right) world?
Yes. I hope to write a sequel for the 10th anniversary of the book's release, which would be 2015.
*posting a thread in the "WhoWouldWin" subreddit titled "Randland vs Scadrial"*
Round 1: Zen Rand (after revelation, before last battle) vs Mist Vin (Feeding on infinite metal sources) - Both at their top tiers, they should, by my estimation, be matched because of the rays of power vs seeing the future.
Round 2: The armies of Randland vs The armies of Scadrial - Aes Sedai, Asha'man, dragons/cannons, vs koloss, mistings, mistborns.
Bonus round: The Lord Ruler and his armies have to take on the Dark One, and his armies. How well do they fare?
Other rounds would be cool if you come up with more.
EDIT: Since people seem to think that RandLand would stomp, how would Vin and crew, with/without the Lord Ruler, fare if they had full knowledge of Rand's abilities and 6 months to prepare?
I think that while Vin in the state you mention might be able to give a good fight to Rand, overall, Randland winds. Channelers are more powerful and versatile than most metalborn. Randland has far better generals; everyone on Scadrial is basically still winging it. I hand this one to Randland, unless Kelsier can pull off some improbable assassinations before the whole thing begins.
Would the time reversing properties of balefire remove the ability [of atium] to see the future?
Boy, this one is a tough call. Mixing cosmologies is tough. If we're IN Randland, then atium would work by reading the pattern--but in the cosmere, it looks into the Spiritual Realm--where all times, locations, and possibilities conflate. Either way, I'd say Balefire could counteract atium--but it would be tricky to use correctly, as you'd basically have to balefire some object that the atium burner was factoring into their plans very soon, tripping them up and catching them unable to adjust to the new futures quickly enough.
Not too long ago you told us atium works in the Cognitive - to quote you in reference to how stronger atium burns, "However, there's a certain breaking point where you kind of crack the whole system, peer straight into the cognitive realm, and kind of have a "It's full of stars" moment."
Are the two replies still compatible?
I meant Spiritual there. Sorry. I deal with the cognitive so much in the books, and Spiritual so infrequently, I often have a silver/tin moment when my fingers just type the thing I'm used to typing.
I thought the spheres of different denominations were also different sizes.
Someone mentioned this, too. Now with a second person it seems to make even more sense. Was it mentioned in the books?
Garnet and ruby are still right next to each other in value, but with all the other differences... it's probably just enough information to differentiate them.
Huh. I'd always assumed that the glass portion of a sphere was the same size for each gem type, but I can't find solid proof one way or another in the books. It's clear that within a gem type the glass size is constant while gem size grows from chip to mark to broam, but otherwise? I'd have to do a careful reread to try and find any evidence one way or another, and it might not be there at all.
This seems like the kind of question [Brandon Sanderson] or [Ben McSweeney] can give a definitive answer to: would a diamond chip's glass be the same size as an emerald broam's?
[Peter Ahlstrom] ought to know for sure.
I want to say they're all the same size sphere, with larger or smaller gems? But now I'm blanking on what that sphere size is... like, about the size of a marble? Half-inch or so in diameter?
The spheres are all the same size, about as big around as a man's thumbnail. Only the gems inside the spheres differ in size.
Another question, do you think you'll eventually publish a "The World of Brandon Sanderson's Cosmere"?
Probably. Though first, we'd probably do [The Way of Kings] and Mistborn worldbooks.
I'm not terribly fond of puns in fantasy unless the author expects us to believe that the characters are either speaking English or that the language that they are speaking has exactly the same puns.
It's neither one. Generally, the authors you're reading are pretending their books are in translation--and are generally providing an appropriate English pun to convey the tone of the scene. It happens in the real world, too. My books are all in English originally. When my translator for the Taiwanese editions, for example, runs across a pun, she often constructs a pun that works in the context in her language. The actual words are different, but the idea of "This character is making a wordplay quip" remains.
Thanks for the reply. One of my favourite things about this subreddit is the interaction with authors.How do you extend this to foreign languages within the world, then? For example, Tolkien's various languages, or the Old Tongue in Wheel of Time. Do we assume that the imaginary translator decided not to translate those phrases? If so, why?Made-up example:
"Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," Tom muttered under his breath.
As, perhaps, opposed to:
"This is a truly stupendous event," Tom muttered under his breath, in Poppinish.
The idea is that the imaginary translator (who is basically the author) is trying to preserve the proper tone. Any time one of those phrases is written, the author COULD have just written the translated version. Why didn't they? There are a ton of reasons, but the most likely is to preserve the feeling the characters have in interacting with something they don't understand. This extends to which words we choose to translate even from the world. In Stormlight, I use the word 'havah' for a Vorin dress. Yet I call a coat simply a coat. There's a balance between not overloading the reader and providing setting immersion, and also a distinction between an article of clothing that is meaningful culturally and one that is less so. Being able to make these kinds of decisions is like adding a pinch of exotic spice to your broth, making it a unique and savory experience, and is part of what I love about fantasy over other genres.
do you decide what cosmere hints you'll let out before going to events? Or just decide on the fly?
A little of both. Usually, they pry more out of me than I'm planning, though.
Did you ever study a martial art yourself? Did studying a foreign language change the way you write?
My only martial arts study comes from reading and watching, with the occasional 'one shot' go learn some basics.
Studying a foreign language was extremely helpful in opening my eyes to other cultures, and my own language.
This is an interesting topic, and though I saw this early, I wanted to wait to post anything because I prefer to let discussions like this happen without author intervention, at least not immediately.
I do I like talking about topics like this, though. Humor is such a curiously subjective thing. There are people who just don't get Pratchett, whom I find the funniest thing ever. Conversely, I don't generally like stand up comedians, and actively dislike some of the comedies that people on reddit love. There are people who tell me that my Mat scenes in WoT are the funniest they've read in the series; there are others who consider them absolute duds.
Humor is more subjective than what we find heroic, tragic, or even beautiful. It also depends a great deal on audience buy-in and mood. This makes comedy one of the trickiest things to do in a book, because some people are just going to hate what you do. My approach has generally been a kind of shotgun blast--I try to include multiple different kinds of humor, stylized to the individual character. That way, if you don't find the humor itself funny, you at least learn what the character finds funny--and learn something about them.
In Stormlight, my personal favorite is the bridge crew humor, as it is distinctly character driven. Syl's humor is a different flavor, based on innocence mixed with sarcasm. Wit is another style entirely, though I usually only let him really go when he meets someone he dislikes strongly. I have to be careful, as he's one of the few characters I allow to stray into the vulgar, and letting him go too far risks letting such things overshadow the rest of the book.
Shallan's humor is based upon regency "women sit in a circle and trade witty comments" humor, of which Jane Austen was a master. Much of what the OP said in his post is correct--Shallan's fault is that she over-extends. She uses the humor as a coping mechanism, and to her, it doesn't matter if it's actually funny so long as she's stretching toward something more lighthearted than her terrible past. She tries very hard to prove herself. And she fails. Often.
However, her type of "wit" is to exemplify what Vorin lighteyed women consider to be amusing or diverting. And there are people who genuinely find that kind of thing to be a blast--though Shallan isn't exactly the best at it yet. (She's not terrible either, mind you. If you don't smile at some of the things she says, it's likely this isn't your type of humor, which is just fine. Hopefully, there will be other things in the books that make you smile.)
Though, that said, I'd love to read passages from other fantasy novels that people on reddit find to be actually laugh-out-loud funny. I know which ones I personally like, but it would be useful for me to see what you're liking. Feel free to PM them to me or to post them here.
During Adolin's exploration of Urithiru (right before he murders Sadeas) he comes across a painting
A fanciful picture with animals from mythology. He recognized a few from children's stories, like the enormous mink like creature with the mane of hair that burst out around and behind its head. What was it called again?
Let's answer Adolin's question. Is that a lion. Does this mean that normal animals once inhabited Roshar but became extinct or were forced to adapt after the arrival of Odium or the Highstorms. Or maybe these were artist illustrations from stories brought over to Roshar by worldhoppers? What do you think?
With shardpools being a thing and worldhoppers like Hoid being a thing as well it's entirely possible that people brought stories of the fauna of their world with them when they came to Roshar. After all, we know (via Word of Brandon) that the Horneater lakes are shardpools so they could have knowledge of lions via travelers, seeing them in the pools or some other way (worldsingers?)
Edit-- just noticed you mentioned worldhoppers. I think that's what it is, but it could also be stories from the original inhabitants if (big if) the original inhabitants came from elsewhere in the Cosmere.
Edit again -- They might have gone extinct after the arrival of Odium. If the rest of the world was akin to Shinovar prior to Odium then it's entirely possible for their to have been lions, tigers, and bears (oh my!).
Unless someone asks (or has asked) Brandon then I have no clue.
[Brandon]can you aid us in our questions?
No, it seems like you're asking the right ones.
Have you currently got a series planned for after the Wax and Wayne books? I really enjoyed the first book, although I do miss the full-on Mistborn / Feruchemists.
The next series I'm planning is what was originally going to be the second Mistborn trilogy (right now I'm just calling it Era Three.) It is a 1980s era spy thriller urban fantasy, and I think it will be awesome.
I have a question that I assume is going to be RAFO, but ... 1980s era spy thriller implies something like a Cold War to me. Does this mean United States: Elendelians :: Russia : Southern Peoples?
(I'm not sure what the proper demonyms would be.)
That's a pretty big RAFO.
What was one of the first novels you read as a child?
First real fantasy novel was Dragonsbane. As a young child, I really liked the 3 Investigators books.
You mentioned friday night in #Seattle Allomacy has "FTL" built into it, any more hints you can share on how that would work
It involves where the lost energy from thermodynamic issues goes in certain Allomantic interactions.
Is the recipient of the letter in Way of Kings also in Dragonsteel?
Yes. (Good question.)
If so would it be the person that Topaz gets mad at?
RAFO on the second one. I've already given you too much!
Are you Kaladin? Which character do you most identify as?
I'm not Kaladin, and I'm certainly not Hoid. I'm probably closest in personality to Sazed or old Dalinar, but not really a match for either. Really, every character has some of me in them, but none are me.
What's your favorite book of all time?
Probably Les Miserables. Hope I spelled that right . . .
Do you have a trick for plowing through writer's block?
Yes. I just write anyway, telling myself I don't have to use what I write. I write it poorly, then try again.
For me, that gets my brain working. You can't be afraid to 'throw away' what you've done for a day and try again.
With that in mind, you can have the most random of things happen, knowing you won't keep them. Just to get jump-started.
Do you read ebooks or are you a purist (Have to have the physical book)?
I prefer to read physical when I am at home, and ebook when I'm on the road. (Like now.)
What is your favorite book you've written?
Favorite is hard to pin down. I'm most proud of either The Gathering Storm or The Way of Kings, as they were among the hardest and most satisfying.
Was Bloody Tan an atium misting
No, he was not. Good question.
Your side characters often have physical infirmities. Can you explain why?
I feel that often, fiction tends to gloss over or ignore people like Clubs. So I find myself sticking them in.
Any suggestions for finding time to write for a full time dad with a full time non-writing job?
It depends on whether or not your day job is creatively draining. If it is writing/programming, etc (more)
You'll have a much harder time, as those jobs flex the same muscles as novel writing.
The people I've known who do it tend to get up an hour early, before their brain is worn out, and write then.
Basically, you'll have to give something up. Television, video games, golf, something. (But not family time.)
What are keys to balance family, writing career?
Good question. I had to make certain hours of the day "off limits" for writing, so that I didn't feel I was missing out on writing time. I could ALWAYS be working, but that's not good emotionally or for the family.
Otherwise, I try to make my writing time as effective as possible, so I don't feel that sense of "I didn't get anything done."
That one makes me unbalanced, as I feel anxious if I haven't gotten some good work done in a day.
I messaged earlier regarding Alloy of Law appendix narrator, unaware of today's torchat. maybe you can respond in the chat?
I haven't been telling people the name of the appendix author. It is either Hoid or one of the 17th sharders.
What is the thing with Adolin's serial dating? Is it just...?
He is bad with relationships, and that's just it. He's a little bit scared of being good at relationships, and so there's some kind of unconscious sabotaging going on. But yeah, he's young and he's bad at relationships.
I can write dialogue, I can write a couple of other things, but I suck at worldbuilding. And that's something I've watched you do online, I love it, it's great, but I cannot describe it. And any time I start I get two to three pages into it and then I just can't do it.
Practice. Number one, keep practicing. Less is more. If you can build great dialogue and great characters, you can pick a couple of cool things, just a few, and make everything else like-- try to [write dialogue] anyway. Pick an Earth culture. Changed it a little bit. You would much rather be good at character dialogue than worldbuilding, I can tell you that right now. A great character in a generic world is still a great story. But a weak character in a great world is a weak story. So, don't stress this one too much, it'll get better as you go along. But just try picking one thing that is cool for you, that's different, and make that swap, and try writing a story. Don't stress this one too much.
When Wax changes his weight, is that weight or mass?
He is actually changing his mass, in a weird...It's kind of halfway in between, is really what it is. But it follows the laws of conservation of momentum, so it's not just weight. It's timidly a half step inbetween.
So in The Stormlight Archive, they have the two Surges, and they have a third power effect, right?
They have kind of effects on each other, like a reverberation. Yes. I wouldn’t call it expressly a third power, I’d call it interactions.
So, it seems like...you don’t have to confirm anything, but it seems like Kaladin is able to transfer his powers to his men following him…
The Windrunners are known for having lots of squires.
That's the one I thought was really compelling. And the Skybreakers seem like they’re really good at hunting people down.
I’m not going to answer any of those! But good questions!
I would like to know how do you make cultures so vibrant?
So, dig deep rather than go wide. One or two cultures that play off of each other in an interesting way, where you've considered a lot of the ramifications, are gonna to be better than trying to create thirty different cultures. Try to keep focused on what's going to be important to the characters and the books, and try to spend your worldbuilding there. So like if the characters are going to have conflict over religion, spend time on religion. But if instead they're going to have different linguistics and that's a source of conflict to them, spend time on the linguistics.
What does a mistcloak [mistcoat] look like? What does Wax's miscloak look like?
Okay, so Wax's is a mistcoat. It's a duster that has been shredded into strips. But remember, there’s not like an industry that makes these. Each person commissions their own, and so they all vary quite widely.
Are they at the waist, or…?
It’s a little above the waist.
In world, would an in-world reader of Jasnah’s book, would an in world person consider that she is also advocating for gender equality for men?
In-world? Jasnah would, but I don’t think most people who read it would.
What was your inspiration for Wit, or who?
Hmm. You know, the closest thing I've been able to say is the court jester from King Lear, he's one of my favorite literary characters. But I'm not sure if I can, you know, if I can point to anyone specific other than that.
Do we get to find out, what happens, where Calamity comes from?
Yes. Eventually, like the next trilogy I do will dig into that... You've gotta remember, in the teen books I’m not going to dig into lore as much, they're written as action novels. So in the next series I'll get you some of your answers, but that's not what the point of these books-- like The Stormlight Archive, the point is the lore. In these books, the point is “have fun”. So. So you will, but it's going to take a little bit longer.
As you were constructing the Allomantic powers revealed in the Wax and Wayne books, I was just curious why you chose cadmium and chromium to be metals.
Well I picked them way back when I first designed the magic system, and I wanted metals that were easily recognizable but which wouldn't be commonly available in a medieval society, so that as society progressed it would make sense that they would have access to these new metals, if that makes sense. Aluminum was a little in that as well, but I like aluminum because they had it anciently, but very rarely. So it could be a more mythical metal.
If Hoid was on Scadrial during the original Mistborn trilogy, and had a bead of lerasium, and took it and gained Allomantic powers, could he then go to Roshar during Stormlight and still have those Allomantic powers?
Yes… Most of the magics are not re-- area centric, though a few of them are.
The flakes of metal are catalysts to access the powers of Preservation. What do the birds from Patji use as catalysts?
You don't always have to have the exact same thing for catalyst, for that it’s kind of more of an innate Connection, in the same way that the metals have an innate Connection. They are the catalyst, if that makes sense.
How confused should I still be about Investiture?
Pretty confused, it’s not-- I mean, I haven’t even dug into really what it is.
In Words of Radiance, a character named Iyatil... Is she a member of the race that we see in The Bands of Mourning in the--
She is related to them in the same way that I am Danish.
Okay, so not.
Well, I am, my heritage is Danish.
Okay, so a branch of...
You've said that Shardblades can be made in other magic systems. So if it's not like a Shardblade from Roshar, what makes it a Shardblade?
The "Shard" refers to the heavy Investiture of a Shard of Adonalsium. Most of what you’ll see will see are the Roshar ones, but it is technically possible to make them out of the other magic systems. It's going to be a heavily invested magical weapon, is kind of how I would define it.
So are the Bands [of Mourning] one?
I would not call them one, but they are close. They're not Invested enough.
Can you share any abilities that Hoid has accrued so far in the books, does he-- with him taking the bead, I can't even pronounce the L-word...
Yes, lerasium, he is indeed an Allomancer. So. That has happened. I haven't confirmed much else, but he does have that.
Are the Shardblade practice guards... Are they made of aluminum?
Good question! RAFO!
I'm really confused about how you, as a male with three sons, how you create <believable?> female characters.
Practice. Number one, practice. Number two, talk to women. So, write... you're a teenager, it can be hard, but write a scene, give it to women, say "What am I doing wrong?" And then see, it's even better, back up a little bit, start thinking of characters as their passions, and their life experience, not just by their role in the story. That's a big a problem that a lot of people run into, it's that they go "oh, this is the romantic interest", and so you make them the romantic interests, and so you don't give them a full spectrum of emotions and characterization like you do to the protagonist. And so, try those things. Have you listened to my podcast?
Okay. Podcast. Start in January '15, but also look for podcast about "Writing the other", we have people come on and talk about this sort of thing. Alright? You can just push Play on a browser, you don't have to do a podcast thingy.
I've noticed that there are a lot of different categories of Epics. Did you think about any categories that you didn't put into the books?
Did I think about any categories of Epics that I didn't put into the books? Yes, I did. You know, as a comic book nerd I have lots of categories of superheroes that, as I saw them in my head, and this is kind of like my-- reaching back to my teenage years, looking at "Oh, these kind of share a similar power type" and things like that. That's what you are getting from these books, kind of my nerdy stuff. There are categories that I didn't deal with. I tried to theme a lot of powers either toward matter transformation, matter manipulation, or alternate universe stuff. Just that kind of has some things. And so, I am actually doing a series, takes place in the same universe, different characters, that takes place-- all of the powers and that will be alternate dimension things, it's gonna be really cool.
Do the Parshendi have gemhearts?
Do the Parshendi have gemhearts? That is a RAFO.
How is a new Feruchemist made?
What do you mean?
Well you can make a new Mistborn by lerasium--
Oh, okay. Other than through birth? That’s a RAFO, good question though. Right now, as far as anyone knows, it’s by birth only. But-- Well we’ll leave it there. You know that the extra Preservation instead of Ruin had some effects on people on Scadrial.
Are you planning to write any trans characters?
Am I planning to write any trans characters? I am, but it's a very... like, I need to have some people who can read who are themselves trans, and can talk me through it. I kind of dabbled in it with, like, MeLaan, but that's not a true trans character. So, I'm kinda trying to dabble my toes in it. But I really will need some good readers who can tell me, because it's one of those things that'd be so easy to get wrong.
How did you think of the idea for some who could, like, pull alternate realities through?
I was looking for a different type of illusionist, because in the Stormlight Archive I did illusionists straight-up. So I wanted to do somebody who did something similar, but had a different origin for those powers.
Who is the Lord Ruler’s child/children?
People are searching a little too hard for this, he had several, they mixed with the population. There might be specific individuals who claim heirship and things like that but it’s not like there’s one hidden person among the population, does that make sense? Even those who claim heirship may not have any more blood than a lot of other people. I think this is one where fans have latched onto it a little too strongly and I need to let them know they can back off, there’s not a big secret for them to be hunting.
Say something is brought into the Cognitive Realm, and then the actual object is brought in through a portal…
That’s a RAFO, good question.
Megan and Steelheart, what was the nature of their relationship? How did they know each other, meet each other?
Employer and an employee. More like high-level employer and very competent contractor.