Recent entries

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8451 Copy

    Questioner

    Aluminum, when you burn aluminum, does it actually destroy the metals or just take away their power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It destroys the metals.

    Questioner

    Same with chromium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner

    So it actually gets rid of the metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It actually trans--  It does a--  matter, energy, investiture are the same things in the cosmere.  You have some sort of transfer happening relating to those things.

    Questioner

    The question sort of relates to metal poisoning--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you would not get metal poisoning after that.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8453 Copy

    Questioner

    So nicrosil.  Wax couldn’t use a blank gold metalmind because he’s not a gold ferring, why can he use a blank nicrosil metalmind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So this will all come out eventually but the idea is there are certain ways to connect yourself to magic, to hack the magic and make it think you have the Spiritual DNA that you don’t actually have.  And this is one of the ways.

    Questioner

    So then the people who made this medallion have this thing that a regular nicrosil Ferring couldn’t--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you’re picking up on it. We’ll dig deeper into it as the series progresses.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8456 Copy

    Questioner

    When you are burning a Compounded metal are you getting the metal’s effect and the stored power? Can you explain, I’m unclear on the Compounding.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Compounding is a way to hack the magic system so you can get a Feruchemical attribute out of-- basically powering Feruchemy with Allomancy.  If that makes sense.

    Questioner

    So you’re not actually burning the metalmind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kind of? There’s a big explanation on Reddit, if you send me an email I can link you to it, that steps you through exactly, easier than explaining it here

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8460 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the two-way radio a fabrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The two-way radio? Which one?

    Questioner

    In Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is actually real.

    Questioner

    It's just a two-way radio.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is actual technology. Good question.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8461 Copy

    Questioner

    Who were Kelsier’s parents?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kelsier’s parents? I haven’t talked a lot about Kelsier’s parents. He's obviously a half-breed. So he was raised in noble society, unlike a lot of the half-breeds. He knew his nature. He gets his skaa half from his mother, but they hid in plain sight. Like, she pretended to be noble.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8463 Copy

    Questioner

    In the event that.. so, say if you've got someone who went through a certain event, and it would have Snapped them. Take that person away from Scadrial, and move them to a different world. Would that still Snap them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Remember that the Shards are mostly Spiritual Realm things. Space and time do not matter to them. Time does, space does not.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8464 Copy

    Questioner

    In Secret History we find out that when Kelsier had the power of Preservation, whenever he was near someone with cracks in their minds he would end up healing them up naturally, right? When he tried to--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not heal them up but--

    Questioner

    The intent was that he would Preserve them, right?  So my theory is that Snapping, when they’re getting physically damaged their cracks are wider and wider and that it ends up Preservation, if they have a good Connection with Preservation or whatever randomly comes in those cracks.  Am I anywhere along the right track?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This theory has merit.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8466 Copy

    Questioner

    What Shard is the opposite of Odium in the sense of the *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are several that could be considered opposites--

    Questioner

    I mean in the assimilation sense, you’ve said that Odium doesn’t want to absorb any of the other ones but which one would want to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, which one would want to join with him?

    Questioner

    Or any of them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that if personalities had been different, Honor and Odium, there would have been a very natural pairing, not that they’re opposites but they would have attracted. [...]

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8472 Copy

    Questioner

    What would happen if the King’s Wit, Wayne, and Mat Cauthon from these last three Wheel of Time books went into a room and locked it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think they’d all like each other. And they'd try to one-up each other, it’d be an epic thing.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8478 Copy

    Questioner

    I like how you made it so [Hoid] doesn't know everything. Before Words of Radiance, his mind, he wasn't familiar with this world. Like, other people who live in that world, they were familiar with the animals. I like how you did that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thank you. I'm glad you noticed that. Did you notice, in the first book, he's the only person in the book who uses the word "coin"? Everyone else is used to spheres, he's used to coins. So, a little teaser about Hoid. He'll slip up in his terminology.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8480 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever considered doing a pronunciation guide for your characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I should do that, shouldn’t I?

    Questioner

    It would help so much...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The thing about that is I’m kind of of the philosophy that however you do it in your head is the right version in your version of the story.  Because the characters won’t look the same to everyone.  Everyone imagines them differently, might as well say the names differently...

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8481 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you played the Mistborn board game? Are you involved in that at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My assistant loves board games. I play Magic: The Gathering. Not necessarily board games. So I've just been *inaudible* to him. They have been very involved, my team has been. When they do a CCG, I will be involved.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8483 Copy

    Questioner

    At the end of Hero of Ages, there’s the--I forget what it’s called, when the kandra all remove their Hemalurgic nails--and then I forget which character wakes up and just sees the blobs everywhere, and then after what everything that happens I don’t really know what happened to the kandra after that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They returned their spikes but that left them with holes in their memory.

    Questioner

    Who did?  The survivors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the survivors.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8484 Copy

    Questioner

    The worldjumpers in [Secret History] are they ones that have shown up in other books? And we just don’t know their names?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they’re only tangential in the other books.  I think one of them has only shown up on screen once.  The other one’s shown up a couple of times but mostly in certain annotations and things like that.  In the books, like on the maps.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8485 Copy

    Questioner

    The visitors in the Sixth of the Dusk, do I know who they are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven’t answered this for sure, but I have told people that it takes place in the future and is related to the rest of the cosmere…

    Questioner

    Do we know how soon we’ll find out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s a little ways off.

    Manchester signing ()
    #8486 Copy

    Questioner

    My question was about your writing process... When you are writing do you become emotionally attached to the characters you are writing about? Does it become hard to distinguish between what you think the characters should be doing and what you actually have planned out for them? And how did that affect your Wheel of Time writing? You didn’t create them, but you took over their story arcs and did you become attached to any of those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What an excellent question. I do grow attached to all of my characters, however character is the weird one for me. Character is very hard for me to define how I do it. With my plot I can talk about outlining the plot and these sorts of things. And my worldbuilding, I've written lots of essays about worldbuilding, and building magic systems and things like this. But with character I really sit down with this plot, this world, together and I start writing somebody in a role and I write a chapter and I see how they feel. It's almost like casting someone in the role. If that doesn't work, then I get rid of them, I get rid of that and I write a new chapter using a different character's personality but who feels very much the same in some ways. For instance, Mistborn,  I did this quite famously, Vin started with a guy, I tried Vin as a guy and then I tried Vin as a woman, but a different, a very different person from what you read, who was very confident and more Artful Dodger type person, and then I tried the Vin that ended up in the book. I can't really explain to you why I knew those first two were wrong, they just were. So I ditched them and tried again. I do that until I've hit the right character and then I let them start growing and developing as I write the book and if the person they turn into is not the person who would do the sort of things that are in my outline I either have to change my outline, which I will sit down and do, or I'll say "this character is awesome but they don't belong in this role. I will write a book around them later, and find a place for them." And that's-- Usually I just re-write the outline, once in a while I pull out the character and put someone else in that place. If a book is going wrong for me, it almost always because of one of the characters, something is wrong with them, and I wish that I could explain it better. It's actually really thrilling for me, when a character is alive and working well enough that I know they wouldn't do what is in the outline. That's not a sad moment that's a "Aha! I've got something good here. This character is working, they are strong enough on the page that they can balk these constraints that were placed upon them." Because an outline, while it is a great tool, the danger is that the outline constricts your story and it doesn't allow it to actually feel alive. This is when you get these wooden characters that just kind of cardboard cut-out through a book. That's when often the outline just takes too much-- takes over too much of the characters. So it's exciting, but it can be very frustrating when it's not working.

    It did happen with the Wheel of Time but in a different way. The Wheel of Time characters were like my high school friends growing up, these were my buddies. I was a nerdy kid who sat in my bedroom and read books, and these were my friends. So writing them I was really worried that it would be difficult to write them. But it was actually very easy, their voices snapped for me quite quickly, I knew what they would do. So much in fact that Mat was a little off in Gathering Storm, I didn't notice it because I was so used to characters coming very easily to me. And yes I feel very much in love with writing them and these sorts of things because of these sort of things but it was because of my past familiarity with them that allowed me to do that.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8487 Copy

    Questioner

    So, one of the things I know, you have your own universe that you've produced, and it's fantastic. what's the series you're gonna create or have created that's the cornerstone, that will have the largest impact on the universe.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say Mistborn going all the way through is probably the most impact. Stormlight is gonna have a decent one, so is the Elantris world.

    Questioner

    Is there gonna be a union book or series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the final Mistborn series.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8488 Copy

    Questioner

    What’s the upper limit of Lashing, is it Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it’s--  Well define for me what you mean by upper limit?

    Questioner

    Like, um, a mountain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would take a lot of Stormlight.

    Questioner

    So it’s something about the Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Definitely.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8489 Copy

    Questioner

    What happens when you Lash water, or a body of water?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question, it’s going to have some hard time gripping on--

    Questioner

    Would it have a gravity well going on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah it would have a gravity well, it think-- yeah.  You are the first person to ask about that, I don’t think even my assistant has asked about that.  So that’s your tentative answer until I think about it some more, but I think it would.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8490 Copy

    Questioner

    In Bands of Mourning we saw the medallions that can give people Connection to the area that they are in.  Two thoughts on that.  One… if a person were to get a connection to one of the areas from Elantris would they be able to gain the powers from the area?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah that’s a good question, it’s not that easy.  But it is an excellent question.

    Questioner

    And if there was an area where the primary language was sign language, would a person gain the ability to speak sign language to the people present by using that connection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.  It is definitely related to the Cognitive Realm and how people are thinking about language.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8491 Copy

    Questioner

    In Secret History we learned a little about how the Cognitive Realm...could bleed into the Physical if the person was slightly broken.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Broken as Kelsier’s term is not right, and he realizes that over the course of the book, but yeah.

    Questioner

    My thoughts were on Wayne, so he seems to notice--and it might just be kleptomania--a connection between items that makes him feel as if he’s not stealing, just trading things for equal value.  And I’m wondering if he’s noticing something in the Cognitive-- in one of the other Realms that is actually noteworthy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He’s just goofy.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8492 Copy

    Questioner

    It feels like Roshar is-- has an essence, where it’s like a prism, you can see all the rest of them, due to the nature of the Cognitive Realm and the spren’s ideas, Cognitive things coming to light.  Have I spent too much time looking at the Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you are on the right path.  Of all the things you noted, that one is the one that is perhaps the most important.

    Questioner

    The prism idea.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The idea that Roshar is special and a key on Shadesmar.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8495 Copy

    Questioner

    All right, gibberish. Hoid speaks gibberish. He says he cuts off words and splices them back together. Gibberish can be spliced to Shardblade. Which is interesting. Is a Shardblade a cut up concept, or a thought created by the original...

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Shardblade...

    Questioner

    Is a spren, but the original idea it was based off of. Is it a concept made real?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you could say that. They're really just pieces of Honor's soul.

    Footnote: "Balderdash" is the anagram of Shardblade that Hoid uses.
    Manchester signing ()
    #8496 Copy

    Questioner

    I wanted to ask, at the beginning you mentioned that you had twelve books written before your first book was published, can you tell us, or are you allowed to tell us how many have actually been published?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I can actually go down the list for you. It is somewhat interesting, I think, for people. My very first book was a book called White Sand, and it was basically kind of a Dune rip-off. Your first book is always  a rip-off, right, of somebody, as a new writer? And that doesn't count the one in high school, which was a SUPER rip-off, like a major rip-off, it was basically a Tad Williams meets Dragonlance. Full blown with elves and things-- Yeah it was totally--

    White Sand is the first one I finished, and I actually then went and wrote a science fiction book called Star's End.  And then I wrote the second half of White Sand, because I just stopped and said "This is long enough to be a novel" and then I wrote the rest of it and called that book two, that's actually the only sequel in there I wrote. And then I wrote a comedy, where a lot of the thesis of that comedy came out in Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians ten years later, so that one's kind of half been published. White Sand and Star's End are not any good, they have not been published. And then I wrote something called The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, which was really weird and sci-fi-y and stuff, and that one hasn't been published because it's really bad too. And then book number six was Elantris which was pretty good. Book number 7 was Dragonsteel, which became my honor's thesis as an undergraduate and half of that book ended up in the contemporary Way of Kings, the Bridge Four sequence was all from Dragonsteel and I ripped that out when I re-did Way of Kings.

    After that was a re-write of White Sand, with better writing nowadays, and that one we're turning into a graphic novel, that one's good enough to read-- The biggest problem it has is its a little too bloated.  The story-- It's like 300,000 words with 150,000 words of story. And so we are going to condense it-- into a graphic novel, so you will eventually see that one. The next one was called Aether of Night, that one didn't get published, it's really two decent books that don't work well together, like one half is a Shakespearean farce about a guy who takes his brother's place on the throne, they're twins, it's mistaken identify, yadda yadda; the other half is this dark brutal war book with an invasion going on, and the two halves never really translate well. People read this and they're like, that chapter is hilarious and fun, and OH MY GOODNESS, and yeah, so-- Maybe someday I'll do something with that.

    After that I wrote a book named Mythwalker which became Warbreaker. I ripped out the good parts of that and wrote Warbreaker later on. Then I wrote a book called Final Empire, which is not Mistborn: The Final Empire, because then I wrote a book called Mistborn, and neither of those books were working very well. And then I wrote a book called Way of Kings and then I sold Elantris and I said "I want to take these two books that weren't working very well, and I think if I combine them--" because Mistborn had a cool magic system and the Final Empire had this whole thing about the Hero who failed and the Dark Lord took over and mixing these too ideas turned into a great book and that became Mistborn: The Final Empire.

    And basically everything from then I've published, Warbreaker came next which was a re-write of Mythwalker. The Way of Kings, the one you hold, is a complete rebuild, I started from scratch, and added the Bridge Four sequence from Dragonsteel and some of these things... The only good one in there, that wasn't published, is White Sand I think, and I think it is going to make a really nice graphic novel because the story is really solid, the characters are really solid. I just wasn't a good enough writer to know how to condense where I needed to.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8499 Copy

    Lurcher

    I have a question on the recording, since that's mine. To clarify, we need to send it to Peter? The transcripts, or the audio?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The transcripts.

    Lurcher

    Of all three days?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Only the things you're going to post, they're gonna cut out almost all of this. Run it by him. There's a question I'm trying to remember where I flubbed yesterday. I can't even remember what the question was. A lot of times, you're sitting here, and you're just, like, brain dead as people are coming through, and they say something and you're like "Yeah, uh-huh."' And then, you're like, "Wait, no. That's not even the question they asked." I'm pretty sure I got the important words right, but send it through him. It's a practice that I want to get in the habit of doing.

    And he sometimes will have all these things all in the notes, so he gets them, and can add them to make sure they're in the notes, for continuity and stuff.