Recent entries

    Tor Twitter Chat ()
    #8402 Copy

    Thomas Ford

    Do you have plans to continue stories in the Elantris (hope I spelled that right) world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I hope to write a sequel for the 10th anniversary of the book's release, which would be 2015.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #8403 Copy

    L0neGamer

    *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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    potentscrotem

    Would the time reversing properties of balefire remove the ability [of atium] to see the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Argent

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #8404 Copy

    bullshque

    I thought the spheres of different denominations were also different sizes.

    _robbiehunt_

    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.

    Thanks!

    Kabsal

    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?

    Ben McSweeney

    [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?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    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.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #8406 Copy

    ketsugi

    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.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    ketsugi

    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.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Tor Twitter Chat ()
    #8408 Copy

    Pierre Cadieux

    Did you ever study a martial art yourself? Did studying a foreign language change the way you write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Footnote: Brandon learned Korean in college for his LDS mission
    Sources: Twitter, Twitter
    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #8409 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #8410 Copy

    Pandoras_Penny

    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?

    BruceLazer

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it seems like you're asking the right ones.

    dangermond

    Can you aid us in getting answers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've done so already, by providing two in-depth discussions of the nature of Roshar. They're called The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance.

    General Reddit 2015 ()
    #8411 Copy

    GenericMastermindAnt

    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.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    alexanderwales

    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.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a pretty big RAFO.

    Tor Twitter Chat ()
    #8414 Copy

    Patty Goldman

    Is the recipient of the letter in Way of Kings also in Dragonsteel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. (Good question.)

    Patty Goldman

    If so would it be the person that Topaz gets mad at?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO on the second one. I've already given you too much!

    Footnote: The recipient in question is the Dragon named Frost, an inhabitant of Yolen.
    Sources: Twitter, Twitter
    Stormlight Three Update #1 ()
    #8415 Copy

    PaganButterChurner

    Are you Kaladin? Which character do you most identify as?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Tor Twitter Chat ()
    #8417 Copy

    Jennifer Lynch

    Do you have a trick for plowing through writer's block?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Tor Twitter Chat ()
    #8422 Copy

    justinkjeppesen

    Any suggestions for finding time to write for a full time dad with a full time non-writing job?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.)

    Tor Twitter Chat ()
    #8423 Copy

    gmreynoldsjr

    What are keys to balance family, writing career?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Tor Twitter Chat ()
    #8424 Copy

    Ashley Moser

    I messaged earlier regarding Alloy of Law appendix narrator, unaware of today's torchat. maybe you can respond in the chat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't been telling people the name of the appendix author. It is either Hoid or one of the 17th sharders.

    Footnote: The author of the Ars Arcanum (name of the mentioned appendix) has been revealed as Khriss
    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8425 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the thing with Adolin's serial dating? Is it just...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8426 Copy

    Questioner

    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.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8427 Copy

    Questioner

    When Wax changes his weight, is that weight or mass?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8428 Copy

    Questioner

    So in The Stormlight Archive, they have the two Surges, and they have a third power effect, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Questioner

    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…

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Windrunners are known for having lots of squires.

    Questioner

    That's the one I thought was really compelling. And the Skybreakers seem like they’re really good at hunting people down.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m not going to answer any of those! But good questions!

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8429 Copy

    Questioner

    I would like to know how do you make cultures so vibrant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8430 Copy

    Questioner

    What does a mistcloak [mistcoat] look like? What does Wax's miscloak look like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Questioner

    Are they at the waist, or…?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s a little above the waist.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8433 Copy

    Questioner

    Do we get to find out, what happens, where Calamity comes from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8434 Copy

    Questioner

    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.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8435 Copy

    Questioner

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes… Most of the magics are not re-- area centric, though a few of them are.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8436 Copy

    Questioner

    The flakes of metal are catalysts to access the powers of Preservation. What do the birds from Patji use as catalysts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8438 Copy

    Questioner

    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--

    Brandon Sanderson

    She is related to them in the same way that I am Danish.

    Questioner

    Okay, so not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I am, my heritage is Danish.

    Questioner

    Okay, so a branch of...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8439 Copy

    Questioner

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Questioner

    So are the Bands [of Mourning] one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would not call them one, but they are close. They're not Invested enough.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8440 Copy

    Questioner

    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...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, lerasium, he is indeed an Allomancer. So. That has happened. I haven't confirmed much else, but he does have that.

    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8442 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm really confused about how you, as a male with three sons, how you create <believable?> female characters.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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?

    Questioner

    No.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Footnote: Brandon likely refers to S7E40: Writing the Other (http://www.writingexcuses.com/2011/09/11/writing-excuses-6-15-writing-other-cultures/), of his podcast Writing Excuses.
    Calamity Austin signing ()
    #8443 Copy

    Questioner

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8445 Copy

    Questioner

    How is a new Feruchemist made?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you mean?

    Questioner

    Well you can make a new Mistborn by lerasium--

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8446 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you planning to write any trans characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8447 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you think of the idea for some who could, like, pull alternate realities through?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8448 Copy

    Questioner

    Who is the Lord Ruler’s child/children?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.