Recent entries

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #8601 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 ()
    #8602 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 ()
    #8603 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 ()
    #8604 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 ()
    #8605 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 ()
    #8606 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 ()
    #8607 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 ()
    #8608 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 ()
    #8609 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 ()
    #8610 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 ()
    #8613 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 ()
    #8614 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 ()
    #8617 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.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8619 Copy

    Questioner

    Why did you make Adolin kill someone?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Adolin's on the edge. He was just really frustrated with this guy who tried to murder his dad multiple times. Adolin demanded that it happen. It wasn't me forcing it to.

    Questioner

    Because I was reading that during my creative writing course. Everybody in there was wondering why I was so mad...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can slap him around sometime, if you want. But he made the call himself.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8620 Copy

    Lurcher

    Reading Mistborn: Secret History, Kelsier sees fauna and flora in the Cognitive Realm. How does that work, are there people thinking about...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll see, there's actual... there's an actual ecosystem in Shadesmar.

    Lurcher

    Even if people aren't really--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Well, think about it this way. The places people are thinking about will create landscape that this stuff can grow on. Where they're not thinking about it, there's just not going to be anything there, so nothing is going to grow.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8622 Copy

    Lurcher

    Can you burn a metal wrapped in another metal, if both are Allomantic? Like, the inner metal, could you just burn that before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, you're gonna have to work your way through the outer one.

    Lurcher

    And what if it was a non-Allomantic metal? The same?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's gonna depend on how thick it is, and stuff. But I would say, if you wrap it in a non-Allomantic metal, that's not good for getting to the metal. It's viable, but it just depends on how thick it is, and things like that. Like, sometimes things have been plated to keep the access to the metal off, but usually you would want to do that in aluminum, to make sure.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8623 Copy

    Lurcher

    What would have happened if the Lord Ruler survived to take the power from the Well? Would he have tried to fixed Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    By that point in the Lord Ruler's life, he probably would not have. He would like the world where it is, and he was not 100% cognizant of how far he had fallen from his original ideas. So, it would not have been, I think, a good thing. It may have been not as bad as the disaster that followed, in fact I know it would not have been, but in the end, Scadrial needed to go through that eventually. So it would have just delayed that.

    Lurcher

    So, would he just kind of use up the power? Held it, and let it--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would have done something with it. Maybe with the Southern Continent or something. But he wouldn't have fixed anything, he probably would have made things a little worse.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8625 Copy

    Lurcher

    In the battle of the Tower, Eshonai is fighting Dalinar, Dalinar removes his helm, and she recognizes him. She acts like she wants to speak with him. Possibly to negotiate. If Kaladin hadn't shown up and saved him, what would have happened?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a chance they would have worked it out. Not a really good one, but there's a chance.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8626 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspired the sword stances in The Way of Kings? Windstance and stonestance--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it was old-school, what they call-- the old books that you would see-- sword training guides. Where you would see a guy in a stance, and then go like this, and things. I just thought they were really interesting, and I developed the stances around that.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8628 Copy

    Questioner

    So, you have this [Mistborn] trilogy, and then you have the trilogy coming after, and then--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Another trilogy.

    Questioner

    Another trilogy. Is there any sort of date or time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. The Wax & Wayne books will finish very soon. I'm working on the last one of those. So those two will be complete. Then it might be a little before I jump to a 1980s level.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8629 Copy

    Questioner

    So, I loved your Shadows for Silence story. It was just so creepy, and I like how you included the family history aspect of the name. Do you think you'll write another story in that world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will.

    Questioner

    I am so excited! It was really cool to see you write a more creepier story than your other books. I really liked that change.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is gonna be nice and creepy.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8630 Copy

    Questioner

    I am assuming in the next [Elantris] book, you plan on addressing... the bad guy of Fjordell?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wyrn? The next book will take place in Fjordell. It focuses mostly on Kiin's family, that's Sarene's uncle. They are the main characters in that one.

    Questioner

    Do you plan on keeping most of those characters? Like Raoden, Galladon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see of them, but it's kind of more of an Anne McCaffrey style sequel. In this one, new main characters, with the old ones a little more in the background.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8633 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm curious. Are any of those rare metals from Mistborn on any other world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, not those exact metals, unless they've been taken off-world. But there are other metals like them that you could find.

    Questioner

    So they could have Allomantic lore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They theoretically could...

    Let's just say it's not a coincidence that you find Investiture manifesting as metal on other places. Such as Shardblades, as well.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8635 Copy

    Questioner

    Vasher is called the first Returned. Was he actually the first?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is not the very first person to Return. The lore surrounding Vasher and the first Returned and things like that is not strict on the world. Meaning, it's been many, many years.

    Footnote: The questioner appears to have conflated Vo, the First Returned, with Vasher.
    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8636 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you purposefully take ideas from the Book of Mormon and turn them inside out, on their head, so no one knows where you got the ideas from? Like when you have Kelsier saying, in this moment, and he defeats the Lord Ruler, just in Ruler's capital city, and like how in the Book of Mormon when the La-āmanites, besieged Zaraellmə-ī, because no one else can see it coming?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I don't intentionally take, usually, from the Book of Mormon. There's a lot of unconscious things coming out. The only thing you can say is that I based The Way of Kings a little bit on King Benjamin's speech.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8641 Copy

    Questioner

    My friend is mad at you about the last of the Librarians series.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, well, it's not the last. Because, tell them to look at the page at the very end end, some people missed, another character-- Alcatraz wrote the last one, another character refused to let be the ending. She is going to write an actual last book. There's a last page hidden in there.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8643 Copy

    Questioner

    With the Kaladin soundtrack, how similar is that going to be to other studios, like Two Steps from Hell, audiomachine?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hopefully fairly similar. Two Steps from Hell tends to go a little harder than I think most of this album is going to be. I love it, but every one of them is, like, trailer music. That's what Two Steps from Hell is, right? And I think you'll find a few more quieter pieces on the Kaladin album, but that's what we're shooting for, a symphonic album like that.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8644 Copy

    Questioner

    How long until the next Rithmatist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, that's the slow one. Stormlight 3 taking as long as it has, that's what it has slowed down. I keep saying it's only gonna be a couple years, but-- I don't know, honestly...

    My goal is to start closing up some of theses series in the next couple of years, so I'm hoping to finish off the Legion trilogy and Wax & Wayne next year, and just start closing some things off.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8645 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you already know how The Stormlight Archive is going to end?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do!

    Questioner

    Do you have all the details in mind, or do you just kind of have a general idea and you figure it out as you go?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I'm a planner. I tend to like having a pretty detailed plan. For something like The Stormlight Archive, that generally kind of boils down to: the next book has a five page plan, the book after that has a three page plan, the book after that a two page plan, one page, one page, and the last book we go back to a five page plan. So there is lots of wiggle room in one of these outlines, but at the same time, I've got touchstones and things I know I'm writing toward.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8647 Copy

    Questioner

    Does Wayne ever get married? Does he ever feel redeemed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I'm not gonna answer that one for you. That's a definite RAFO. Boy, it-- You'll have to see. Getting Wayne into a committed relationship with someone else who wants to be in that relationship would be a big first step. And let's just hope he can someday do that.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #8648 Copy

    Questioner

    I want to know if Kelsier and Hoid will ever get along?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They, uh-- that's a RAFO, but I wouldn't hold my breath. There are mashing of egos that just don't mesh well going on there.

    Questioner

    How long will Kelsier's story go?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kelsier's story has some more stages to it. I'm gonna RAFO that... But the stuff that's happening right now is set up for a later story with him.