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    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8401 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Thirty-Four

    Elend and his scholars inspect the law

    It was fun to write this scene with the scholars sitting around. I could show their different styles, with Ham browsing, Elend thinking about implications, Sazed reading very carefully line by line, and the obligator looking at the money trail. I added Noorden in because I wanted to do another nod toward the fact that obligators used to be a force in the world, and also because I wanted someone fresh in this scene–another character we could play with. We'll see him again, but not until the next book.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8402 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin sees Demoux in the dark

    I ramped up the Demoux suspicion scenes during the final draft, since I figured I needed a pretty good red herring this late in the game to keep the heat off of OreSeur. Originally, the next "Vin Follows Demoux" scene happened right after she saw him sneaking out the first time. I moved this in the draft, giving her longer to suspect him

    The result was this scene, where she hasn't eliminated him as an option yet, but also knows that he snuck out at night. I had to rationalize why she wouldn't just grab him straight out, though I think I came up with pretty good rational. It makes sense, actually, and was one of the easiest fixes I made in this book. She WOULDN'T want to spring a trap on him, not yet. She'd want to watch and see what she could learn from him.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8403 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    OreSeur and Vin discuss their interview with Dockson

    This series, in total, is about trust. About what it costs to trust people, and what you earn by trusting. In book one, Vin learned to trust–and she learned one of Kelsier's prime beliefs. That it's better to trust, and be betrayed, than to always worry about everyone around you.

    The theme, then, for this book is service and friendship, and trusting those you serve. Elend has to earn the trust of his people. Vin has to earn the trust of the kandra who serves her.

    OreSeur's explanations about the Contract are mixed with Zane's worries and problems with being Straff's tool. This story is, in part, about what it's like to serve–what it's like to be a tool–and the difference between a good leader and a bad one.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8404 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin Tries to Determine if Dockson is the spy.

    This Dockson scene is one of my favorites in the book. I'm a little bit sad that Dockson, like Ham, doesn't have much time for development in the series. In book one, he only got a single good scene–the one that Vin references here. During that scene, we really got a good look at his personality and his inner demons.

    Those demons come up again in this scene, where we get to see the haunted worries of a man who has received what he wanted, but then come to realize that he shouldn't have wanted it so badly in the first place. He's a good character, Dockson is–but the only thing I can give him is one powerful scene per book. At least he gets one. Ham and Clubs don't even get that.

    By the way, Vin calling Dockson boring is particularly ironic here because during our first introduction to Dockson in book one, he tells Kelsier that he'd 'Grown boring' over the last few years.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8405 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elend discovers that a well has been poisoned

    This poisoned well scene is another one that was added to the book during the final draft. Much like Straff's test attack on the walls, this scene is here to remind you that the armies are out there, that Luthadel is besieged, and that things are not going well for the heroes. I don't want you to forget about the armies just because our focus is on politics for the moment.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8407 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Smaller notes

    Two other small notes. First off, I drew the reactions of the skaa–wanting to go back to having a tyrant in charge–from some essays I'd read about the fall of the Soviet Union and some other modern countries which had received freedom, then wished for the days when things were easier. I think it's a sentiment that makes sense, even if it frightens me a little bit.

    Also, only Vin would assume that someone HAS to be Mistborn, just because they happen to be crippled.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8408 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cursing in the Mistborn Series

    I've taken a little bit of criticism from certain readers for the swearing I put into these books. I know that most of you consider things like 'damn' and 'hell' to be very weak curses, if even swear words at all. However, to some people, they can be offensive. Since I didn't use them in Elantris, some readers were surprised to find them in this series.

    A writer must choose how to convey his ideas, and it's hard to make a choice that will please everyone. In the Final Empire, using curses like these–rather than just making up ones for their world–was necessary. I feel that a few (if relatively weak) 'our world' curses were needed for this setting, as made up ones just didn't work. The tone they set wasn't right.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8409 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cett Suddenly reveals himself at the Assembly Meeting

    Elend does need to learn a few things still. To be truthful, I think he's too honest to be a king. There are times when, as a king, I think you need to lie in order to comfort your people. You don't tell the dying man that he has no hope for survival. You don't let a man like Cett bully you into admitting that your Allomancer has been manipulating the audience.

    But, well, Elend is Elend. He does things the way that he feels he must, even if it gets him into trouble. Actually, in that way, he and Cett are very similar. They do what they feel they must.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8410 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Thirty-Two

    Regarding the line to the effect of: "There are a hundred different courts with a hundred different smaller Lord Rulers" in the Final Empire.

    One of the problems created by my writing style is that it's hard to give a real feeling of scope to a kingdom or landscape. When you read something by Robert Jordan, for instance, you get to see a whole world full of peoples and places, since the characters travel all about. I prefer to set my stories in one or two locations, usually a large city, since this lets me focus on the political wrangling, and it also lets me give a strong sense of place to that area.

    It was impossible in these books–particularly the first book–to give a sense of how large and varied the Final Empire was. I threw in Spook's street slang and Sazed's cultural references to try to hint at the different ethnicity, but these were only that–hints.

    I don't regret the way that I write. However, I am aware of the issues involved in the choices I make. I think that's what you have to do in a book–you make trade offs, choosing to focus on some things and not others.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8412 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elend Nominates Penrod

    I hope that this chapter feels thick with some good political wrangling. Elend pulls of some fairly good maneuvers here, especially considering how far he's come. True, he was coached in a lot of what he did here, but the fact remains that he's learning and growing.

    Vin and Breeze give him a little TOO much credit for getting Penrod to nominate him, however. While Elend hoped that by nominating Penrod, he would get a nomination in return, he wasn't counting on it too much. No, in this case, Elend's basic goodness was simply being manifest. He figured that if not a single one of the Assembly was willing to nominate him to be king, he had no right to nominate himself. Better to let the matter die here than force a vote when nobody was even willing to consider him for king.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8413 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Thirty-One

    Philen watches Elend enter the Assembly Hall

    We get a random viewpoint here. No, Philen isn't going to be a major viewpoint in the book. He just fills a role that you'll often see in my books–that of the section given to a random person because I wanted to show a different perspective on things.

    In this case, I wanted to show Elend entering the assembly hall, as he would be seen by someone sitting on the inside. This was one of the dramatic scenes that I planned from early on for the book, and it was nice to find a way to fulfill it.

    Of course, there's more to Philen's viewpoint than that one image. I also wanted to make him a little more memorable so that the next few Assembly meetings would work better. I've reinforced Penrod a bit, but I worried that Philen would be forgettable unless I gave him a viewpoint. And, since he is a modestly big player in the next little bit of political wrangling, it felt right to let him take the stage for a few moments.

    Finally, it was simply fun to write from a brief–but new–viewpoint. Philen thinks very differently from the other viewpoint characters. His sentences are quick and eager, and his internal narrative has a shallowness to it in both sentence structure and content. He's not very smart, but he is rather clever, and those things mixing together–along with his native eagerness–made for an interesting viewpoint to write.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8414 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sazed talks to Vin about Tindwyl's Past

    The other big thing in this chapter, of course, is Tindwyl. As I think I've mentioned, I wanted to include another strong female character in this book. Perhaps with this chapter under your belt, you can begin to understand Tindwyl better. Readers seem fairly well divided on their opinions of her. Some like her a lot, others dislike her violently.

    Me, I am quite fond of her. She voices a lot of my own concerns, and represents something that this group of characters needed. A firm voice for stability.

    She and Sazed actually have quite the history, which you will discover more of as the book progresses.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8415 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin Talks to Sazed about the Deepness

    The Deepness. Is it the mists? Vin makes some very good arguments here, as does Sazed. I won't come out and explain who is right and who is wrong right now, but I will note that some people reach this point and feel a little let down.

    I'm sorry if the Deepness-mists connection seems a little bit anti-climactic to you. To me, it's a major plot point, and I was surprised when a few alpha readers didn't think much of it. Give me a little bit more time through the series, and perhaps you'll see why it's more impressive to me.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8416 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Thirty

    Sazed Transcribes the Text from the Plate

    This isn't the full text of the plate, of course. We'll get to more of it later. I knew I had to work the text into the actual narrative, rather than relying on the epigraphs, since people tend to skip those. (If you do, however, be warned that you will be missing some of the great clues in this book.)

    My hope is that by reading these things together, you will see the writings from the epigraphs in a slightly different way. Collected like this, they turn into a narrative.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8417 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    OreSeur as the Spy

    Keeping OreSeur from acting suspicious in this book was really tough. I still don't know how well I pulled it off, though most alpha readers didn't see his plot twist coming.

    The biggest trick was making the reader not suspect him from the get-go. I had to use some very subtle misdirection there. Remember, OreSeur was the one who told Vin how long those bones had been in the room. I think Vin points this out later in the book.

    Other than that, I had to keep Vin from ever suspecting him, and have her point out other people she thought were far more suspicious. Sometimes, being a writer feels like being a magician. We have to leave things in full view, yet disguise their meaning, so that the end is dramatic.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8418 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    OreSeur's Origins as a Character

    Vin and OreSeur are quite well-established by this point. Actually, OreSeur and his character–the OreSeur we deal with in this book, with the conflicts and personality he uses–are one of the items I brought over from Mistborn Prime. (If you'll remember, that's the first stab I made at writing a Mistborn book years back. It was unpublished.) The kandra sidekick was one of the very few things that actually worked in that book. (Too well, actually. People liked him much more than they liked the actual hero of the story, who wasn't a character that appears in any of the current Mistborn novels.) If you ever want to read Mistborn Prime, email me and ask. I'll send you an electronic copy.

    (I've talked about that book in previous annotations. While the book débuted an early version of Allomancy and a couple of world elements–such as the mists coming at night–very little of the book made the jump to the new, professional version of Mistborn. I pretty much just stole the concept for the magic and a few select world items and used them as a starting point for this series. In that way, this trilogy is a kind of sequel to the other Mistborn book, though the plots, world, and characters are very different.)

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8419 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Nine

    Vin and OreSeur Talk while Vin waits to see if Zane will Come Find her on the City Wall

    I hope I'm not overdoing the parallels between Vin and the Logbook author, the previous person who thought that they might be the Hero of Ages. Some readers, in the original draft, thought her supposition (in the next chapter) that she was the Hero to be too much. They wondered where she got the idea.

    I'm not trying to imply that Vin is or isn't the Hero. I'm just trying to show Vin's thought process. That's a tough line to walk in these chapters. As a writer, I want the narrative to be deeply inside someone's viewpoint, and therefore show who that character is and how they view the world. However, I don't want that narrative to indicate–certainly–that what the character thinks is actually true.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8420 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tindwyl Confronts Elend about Vin

    Tindwyl's parting words–that Elend might have to choose between Vin and his work–were tough to write. Not because they're true, but because they're a bit clichéd. In the end, I had to admit that I think Tindwyl would bring up this point, and would see it as her duty to make certain Elend thought about these things. So, I had her say these things anyway.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8421 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin and OreSeur

    Another thing that's going well is the Vin-OreSeur relationship. In fact, because of some of the wedges Zane is driving between Elend and Vin, one of my alpha readers continually joked that he thought Vin and her dog had a better relationship than Vin and her boyfriend.

    I don't think that's true–he was reading the book one chapter a week as I workshopped them. I hope, given Vin and Elend's closeness at the beginning of the book, that you can see they still love each other–even if they are under a great deal of stress. That isn't to say that Vin isn't falling for Zane a bit. However, I don't think she's falling out of love with Elend so much as convincing herself that she's no good for him.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8422 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Twenty-Eight

    Elend and Vin discuss his loss of the throne

    Elend is going to be tested. That's one of the things I wanted to do with this book. In my previous two novels–Elantris and Mistborn–I gave the heroes relatively easy times. Or, well. . .maybe not easy. However, the fact remains that when they stayed true to their ideals, the things they tried tended to be successful.

    I want to show that ideals can be a hindrance. That isn't a reason not to have them, but it is an aspect of trying to do the things Elend is. There are a lot of people out there who will take advantage of a person who tries to do the right thing, and that can make doing the right thing the more difficult choice a lot of the time.

    I also like how Elend is progressing as a leader, but I made certain to give a throwback to the old Elend in this chapter so that you'd know he was still there. Vin's observations about this point are quite accurate.

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #8423 Copy

    Dalenthas

    Did the Lord Ruler have any Hemalurgic spikes in him? It would seem he'd need to for Ruin to influence him, but it wasn't mentioned. Or did his bracers work as spikes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    His arm bracers, which pierced his skin, were his spikes.

    Footnote: Brandon later clarified this. The Lord Ruler's bracers pierced his skin to provide additional protection from Allomancy, but they were not hemalurgic spikes.
    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #8427 Copy

    Zchance

    I'm surprised no one else has asked but does this new world have atium? If atium was the body of Ruin then it would seem when Sazed took up Ruin's power he would have reabsorbed all of the atium. New atium then would be bits of Sazed's new powers and weaken him with each newly formed bead. It would seem then that if atium exists it would be much rarer, and mean that Sazed would not be able to control this process.

    I guess I am trying to understand why he would want to allow any atium to make its way into the hands of people or rather out of his control?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's theoretically possible for atium to appear in the future, but right now Sazed has no plans to release any of it to the people. It is, effectively, now something of myth and legend.

    Hero of Ages Q&A - Time Waster's Guide ()
    #8428 Copy

    Vaelith

    I would like to echo a question that someone beat me to. The way you ended it seemed to leave the door wide open for other books with characters such as Spook and Breeze playing much larger roles. My question is, was the ending planned as just an open-ended ending to make people wonder about what might happen, or was that with the intent of writing more books in mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like it when my characters live on in people's minds. I have no plans right now to write any more books about Spook or Breeze, though what they do in the next period of time will create the history for the next series. However, there's a chance I'll change my mind on this. However, this ending was not set up for another book specifically. I just wanted to tell the best ending I could, and this is how it turned out.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Brandon does want to write more Mistborn books, but not with the same characters. There would be two more trilogies. The second trilogy would be set a few hundred years later, in a modern day–type setting, when the events of the first trilogy have passed into legend. The third trilogy would be set a few more hundred years later, in a future, outer space–type setting.

    It's such an audacious idea I wish he would write it right now because I want to read it, especially the third trilogy. But Brandon has announced his next project (pending Tor approval) will be Way of Kings, a 10-volume epic fantasy. He'll sprinkle in a book from another project here and there, so the next Mistborn trilogy might start before Way of Kings is ended, but it will be years yet before there is any more Mistborn.

    Kaimipono

    But Ookla, he already wrote that one!

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I know. :)

    The real story is that Brandon was writing (or revising?) Way of Kings when Tor offered to buy Elantris. Brandon signed a two-book contract for Elantris and Way of Kings. Then Brandon realized he wasn't in the point in his career yet where he could write Way of Kings the way he wanted to, so while he was supposed to be revising Way of Kings he secretly wrote the first Mistborn book instead, which he then sold to Tor as a trilogy, replacing Way of Kings in the original contract.

    But for some reason Amazon already had a listing for Way of Kings, with a release date. Thence the fake reviews.

    I've read an early draft of the first book, and it aims to be very epic. (No, Elvis is not involved.) I do wonder, though, whether when it actually comes out, the fake reviews will get attached to its Amazon listing. :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is all true. Note that the book would not be named The Way of Kings. Most likely, I'm going to make that the series name. So I guess the book "The Way of Kings" must be some kind of parallel novel or prequel or something... ;)

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Oathshards is out, eh?

    You're such a tease, Brandon. All these details about the next series will make everyone hungry for it, and then we'll all have to wait.

    Of course, any other book you put out in the meantime will still be awesome, so we should be content, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think Oathshards is as strong a name as "The Way of Kings." Plus, that's really what the series is about. 

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8429 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there any plans to do anything further with the Elantris universe in the near future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is. The idea is, when the Wax & Wayne books are done, to do Elantris sequels in that slot, where I've been doing them. There's only one more Wax & Wayne book, so it shouldn't be too long, but when we talk about my writing schedule, we have to talk in the scope of years.

    Questioner

    I really enjoyed The Emperor's Soul when I read it. It's, I think, one of my favorite things that you've written so far.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thank you. I've been... I think, "You know, I should write another story about Shai," but then I'm like, "That one turned out so well." It's one of those things where it's like, "Don't ruin it by having a sequel," right? This is so perfect as its own little glimpse of something.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8430 Copy

    Questioner

    How do the characters come to be? I think one of the most interesting, my favorite character is probably Kaladin. How does Kaladin...

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, Kaladin had an interesting story behind him. I had originally wrote Way of Kings in 2002, and one of the things that didn't work with that draft was that Kaladin's character didn't work. He was called Merin back then. And it's just, personality didn't work. I'd written him too much like a classic apprentice kid on the battlefield who distinguishes himself, it was just too standard of a kind of fantasy storyline. And so I'm like, "Who is this person?" I needed more depth for him, so I added the whole "His father's a surgeon, he's trained as a surgeon" thing. That was one of the first big pillar I added to add more depth to Kaladin, was "All right, he's a surgeon, but he's been forced to go to war." The kind of field medic who also learns he's really good at killing people. That was, like, the first big thing that I got for Kaladin.

    The other thing was the big tragedy that happened in his past, followed by the big tragedy involving the Shardblade led me down that path. And the last thing I added was the depression. This was, like, seven years of evolving this character before he actually came together. Characters are hard for me to put a finger on, because I usually write them by instinct. I'll write a chapter from their viewpoint, see how they see the world, step back. And I'll usually throw that chapter away and try it several times until I get the right... soul, cast in the role, if that makes sense. I can talk a lot more about other things, but character is trial and error until someone feels right.

    The more distinctive you can make a character's viewpoint, the stronger, I feel, it will come across. When I feel like it's really working for me is when I can write a few paragraphs and say, "No other character that I've ever written could have written those paragraphs, just in how they describe the world."

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8431 Copy

    Questioner

    Can we expect a Cosmere Avengers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and no. You can expect crossovers between the planets. My goal is not an Avengers-style, one character that you... like, if it were a true Cosmere Avengers it would be like, "Oh, we're going to have this character from this series, this character from this series," that's not what I'm going for. I'm going for more of a clash between the cultures and worlds. There will definitely be characters that you know that end up involved in that. But it's not, I'm not shooting for an Avengers-style thing, I'm shooting for more... It's more like imagine Star Trek, and retrograde back to all of the stories you're telling on the separate planets before they meet each other. Less Avengers, more "We're going to have an intergalactic... thing, going on." These are all of the origins of the cultures and peoples that are going to be involved in that. And since there are some immortals around, you will see people.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8435 Copy

    Questioner

    So, when I was reading this, Prof's power manifested, and I'm just curious, Limelight, that became his name. Were his powers green before he met David?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So, they picked the term "limelight" in part because his powers were green.

    Questioner

    But didn't David already plan to call him Limelight before? When David initially came up with the plan for getting over Steelheart, he already had the name Limelight picked out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think he did. But if he did, we'll just say happy coincidence. Prof did not use the name Limelight before that point. They started using it as the way that they were going to... yeah.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8437 Copy

    Questioner

    What led you to want to write a fourth Wax & Wayne book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, when I wrote Alloy of Law as an experiment, then I said, "Oh, I really like this series, this turned out really well. I will now plot a trilogy with these characters." So, Alloy is the outlier, where I view Shadows, Bands, and Lost Metal as a trilogy. And this is, like, the prelude to the trilogy. And I do think that because... this was an experiment, I really think it was a good experiment. I'm better when I have more of a framework, so I think these two [Shadows and Bands] turned out stronger than this one [Alloy], because when I have a framework, but... at the same time, you need to always be trying, experimenting, new things as a writer.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8438 Copy

    Questioner

    I was gonna ask you for advice on writer's block.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Advice on writer's block, all right. My experience is that with writer's block, write anyway. Even though you don't feel like it ,you will write yourself through the writer's block nine out of ten times. And if you don't know what to write, that's not a problem. The way to get out of writer's block is to start your subconscious thinking about it. So, if you like to say, "Ninjas are attacking." Just do something. Write it the wrong way first. A lot of newer writers have a lot of trouble with writing something that's not gonna end up in a book, when they know it's broken. But if you write it anyway, your subconscious will be like, "Oh, what was wrong was, I had the wrong viewpoint for this." Or "Oh, I really need to be pushing from this character's motivations" or something. And if you just write this chapter poorly, you'll get that. And, one out of ten times, you'll do that, and you'll be like, "What was I worried about? This chapter turned out great! I should have had ninjas attack. This is how my book is now." Best thing is to do that, and kind of turn off your internal editor and just learn to go.

    How do you get past writer's block, Isaac?

    Isaac Stewart

    How do I get past writer's block? Caffeine. What I have found is I just have to bully through it. Reread what I wrote before, think about things, maybe do some bullet points of what you've seen that came before that, where I wanna get. Sometimes I skip ahead and write a scene that I really want to write.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that helps, too. Or saying, "Okay, the scene that I'm trying just isn't working, let's just put it in a completely new location that's exciting and interesting to me."

    Isaac Stewart

    If you have several different points of view, try a different point of view for that scene if that person's there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And if it's the "I don't know what to write at all" writer's block, then just do something silly and goofy, 'cause you're practicing your skills, right. If a pianist doesn't know what to compose, they'll just sit down and play something to get themselves going.

    Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
    #8440 Copy

    Questioner

    Miles spoke about people in red and gold, is that to do with Lightsong's colors is that connected in any way?  

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay he spoke of people where?  

    Questioner

    While dying, Miles spoke of people in red and gold--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh red and gold.  

    Questioner

    Is that to do with the fact that Lightsong's colors are also red and gold?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question.

    Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
    #8442 Copy

    Questioner

    In Rithmatist there's a Tower in Nebrask, why don't the Rithmatists just build a big moat of acid around it?  

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll see, when I get there. They have tri-- Number one, a big moat of acid is really hard, you think about how much acid you would have to get in there? It's got to be enormous. Because remember the Tower moves.  

    Questioner

    Okay, didn't know that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the Tower moves, and so there's this huge swath they have to keep defended, it's enormous. But that's one of the big things, the other thing is you can't just leave them there because they will find a way across, 'cause they know how to cross boats and things now. Because they can get between the islands.

    Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
    #8448 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever thought about writing a horror novel?  

    Brandon Sanderson

    A what?  

    Questioner

    A horror novel.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I've had little, vague things about, but never anything big enough. Like I'm most attracted in horror to the kind of cthuloid, dark eldritch style stuff, so if you saw a horror novel from me it would be along those lines probably.

    Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
    #8449 Copy

    Questioner

    In Shadows... did we see a Shardpool? And was it Harmony’s or some other mysterious god who...  

    Brandon Sanderson

    So where do you think it is in Shadows?  

    Questioner

    In one of the newspaper articles.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am RAFOing that, the whole newspaper article. So the newspaper articles, who knows what’s going on in them. They're tabloid-ish so maybe, maybe--

    Shadows of Self London UK signing ()
    #8450 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you come up with the idea of windspren?  

    Brandon Sanderson

    Windspren in specific? I was thinking about the way the wind is often anthropomorphized, right? It's treated as if it's something alive. And that, for years, just stuck in my head. For a while there were only four windspren, one for each of the quadrants: the north spren, the south spren, the east spren, the west spren, or the west wind and things. But eventually I split them into many more, because I was working with the honorspren and things like that.