Recent entries

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8701 Copy

    Questioner

    I heard that in one of your books two people from the actual 17th Shard got married as members of the 17th Shard in your book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, shes right there. That's Mi'chelle, she's a beta reader. She and her husband met at a signing at a Barnes & Noble of mine. So they met at one of my signings, and they eventually got engaged at my class in BYU so I put their wedding in a book.

    Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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    Mike Potts

    What's the general time line on Stormlight Archive releases? Do you plan any major gaps in the series, or will books 2-10 likely be your main projects for the next few years?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wrote a blog post on this back in October.

    After I finish A Memory of Light, my major novel publishing schedule will be Stormlight Archive books two years in a row, followed by something else the next year. This pattern should continue until the series is finished. That doesn't count shorter exploratory side projects like Alcatraz or The Rithmatist (formerly called Scribbler), which comes out in 2012. I'll do one or two of those every year when I take a break after finishing a major novel, and not all of them will get polished to publication standards. Those deviations are largely to keep me from burning out.

    Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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    Oscar816

    I saw an interview of you talking about Way of Kings before it came out/before I read it. In the interview you mentioned the ten knights and each book will focus/be about one of the knights. After reading book one I can honestly say, I have no idea which Knight was supposed to be in book one. Is this by design? Or did I miss the point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not sure what the question means. Do you mean the Heralds? Or the ten orders of the Knights Radiant? The symbol stamped into the front of the first hardcover represents the Windrunners because of Kaladin's awakening as a Windrunner. Also because of Szeth, but mostly because of Kaladin.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8706 Copy

    Questioner

    Can Kandra blessings be any spikes or just the four.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They were created specifically to do what they do.

    Questioner

    So you couldn't have a Kandra with, for instance, Allomantic powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wouldn't go that far, I will say the Kandra spikes are specifically created to do what they do and the Kandra don't know how to make ones that do other things.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8707 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering if the Tranquiline halls, if that's in the spiritual, the physical, or the Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... that's a big fat RAFO, because that's actually a false dilemma, there are other options than those three. One of which just being that it is a mythological piece from their theology and not an actual location.

    Questioner

    So it's not an actual place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a fourth option for the three, does that makes sense? So its a bigger RAFO even than that, it's a RAFO in that I'm not going to confirm that its one of those three. Good question.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8709 Copy

    Questioner

    I want to know if Taravangian, the Ghostbloods, Amaram, is there any kind of like connecting... are they working together or anything like that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Taravangian, so the Diagram, the Ghostbloods, is that the two you mentioned? Amaram is Sons of Honor; Amaram and Gavilar are Sons of Honor. These are three different groups who are aware of what is happening and have different philosophies on how to deal with what is coming. They have opposed views, for example, the Sons of Honor are trying to bring back Voidbringers because they believe it will return the heralds as well. Where as the diagram has his plan... y'know, I wont give them away. Some of the are hinted at, you can read. He talks about it, but you can see what he's doing. The Ghostbloods, they have not talked about their motives very much. They have different motives. The Sons of Honor are the easiest to figure out and they are also the most wrong, right. If you read what Taravangian says you can probably see what the Diagram is trying to do.

    Kraków signing ()
    #8710 Copy

    Questioner

    Any chance of any new Wheel of Time materials?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not likely... not definitive, it's up to Harriet. I'm worried that he wouldn't want us to do anymore.

    Questioner

    <Yeah, that's the thing>

    Brandon Sanderson

    And so, I have told her that I don't think I would want to do anymore, but if Harriet came out and said "I really feel we should do the prequels", then they could happen, I think it's very unlikely, but...

    Questioner

    The prequels were <written> by Jordan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, he did, he has a little bit about them, not very much but a little bit. He did want them to come out sometime, so it’s possible.

    Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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    Dr. T

    In plotting an epic like The Way of Kings, to what extent do you outline the whole story? How does that compare with the outline and notes provided by Robert Jordan for the remaining volumes of WoT?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan and I plot differently. In the notes he tends to talk about scenes that he's working on at the time, whereas I tend to plot out everything, kind of in reverse order. His outlines do end up looking like my outlines in some ways, in that he talks about important moments and I tend to plot backwards, starting from those important moments and moving backward from them. He seemed to be much more of a "I work on this scene because I'm passionate about it" writer, where I am a "I build a framework for the entire book and then start writing" writer.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8712 Copy

    Questioner

    I have a question about Nightblood. What are all the powers the sword has and how much is he going to be involved in the next few books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are total RAFOs. I mean, I could tell you the powers you have seen him have on screen so far, I'm not going to tell you he has others. What you have seen on-screen that he can do is he absorbs Investiture completely and he will rip it out of any object he touches, and everything has Investiture, leaving behind basically... how you see it is he turns everything he touches into black mist, it just disintegrates everything. He also has the power that people who see him, he has an emotional effect on them, one of several emotional effects depending on how they would want to use him. If you watch for when he is seeing people you will see how it is.

    Questioner

    All fighting over him.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's not the only effect he has though, he has other effects.

    Questioner

    Does he bestow any effects on his wielder? Like Szeth's original Shardblade gave him the same powers as Kaladin.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood... that's a RAFO but Nightblood was created on a different planet, so.

    Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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    Jemaclus

    In The Way of Kings, the [epigraphs] indicate that the year is 1174 (or thereabouts). In the Prelude, the date is indicated as 3000 years ago. What mechanism is used to delineate the epochs? Obviously in the Prelude they wouldn't refer to their date as -2174. In other words, what are the B.C./A.D./BCE equivalents for that series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to have to RAFO that

    Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
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    Andrew B

    Was the symbol of the Ghostbloods the same symbol that you used to move between different scenes in The Way of Kings' chapters (the three diamonds in a triangle pattern)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Ghostbloods' symbol has interconnected diamonds. I didn't ask Tor for a specific scene break character; that was a design decision on their part.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8715 Copy

    Questioner

    Why, in your books, are your characters so often, per say - before they get the powers they become broken first.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a narrative reason and an in-world reason. The narrative reason is characters in pain are more interesting to write about. This is just a rule of thumb for writing. Find the person whose in the most trouble, things are going the worst for and that's generally your easiest character. In the stories, the actual Cosmere, the mechanics of the magic finds, this is only one way to describe it - its not the only way - might not be one hundred per cent accurate but it's an easy metaphor, cracks in the soul allow the magic to seep in and that's how you end up with a lot of the different magic systems.

    Tor.com Q&A with Brandon Sanderson ()
    #8716 Copy

    Duiker8

    Is the fact that The Way of Kings and rest of the books in the series are going to focus each one on a different character connected in any way to the fact that both The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight focused each one on a pair of characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not really. Most of my plans for The Stormlight Archive go back years and years to before I was working on The Wheel of Time. I would say that the The Gathering Storm/Towers of Midnight character split happened because of the book split, less than any real planning on my part. I had the character arcs and decided which ones would fit well together if I was only going to be releasing one batch of them at a time.

    So the answer is no, but with the caveat that with the way my mind works, it may have been working in the same way in both cases.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8717 Copy

    Questioner

    So you said that different Investitures from different worlds can fuel different Investitures, right? Would that mean that you could potentially use Stormlight for Allomancy and/or Feruchemy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, a little harder with the metallic arts than, for instance, Nightblood is the easiest example. He can just feed on whatever investiture is around.

    Questioner

    Could he feed on the Dor from...

    Brandon Sanderson

    He could totally feed on the Dor.

    Questioner

    Would you need to have a special sheathe to do that or?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, what you would have to do for him on Elantris is you would have to open some conduit to the Dor that's persistent, like a light or something, and he will suck through that, he would probably end up sucking the whole aon.

    Questioner

    Sucking Elantris itself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sucking Elantris itself would work, yeah, but you're gonna be in trouble if he sucks up the whole thing, which is totally possible.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8718 Copy

    Questioner

    So is there an opposing force to Adonalsium.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question, which has been asked before and i haven't answered it so I'm going to RAFO you as well.

    I think that I have occasionally said 'yes' with the caveat that, obviously somebody opposed him because he was Shattered. I haven't confirmed if there is like a 'Devil' or something like that if that's what you're looking for.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8719 Copy

    Questioner

    *inaudible* with the spren, like, with the *inaudible* would it have infinite ink?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The way it works in my head canon right now, which I haven't written it so if it changes, no. The other thing is getting complex systems is going to be harder for a lot of Spren. There are legends that reference that they were able to do bows in the past, which includes a string. Everyone is like "but they're not metal, how does that work." Complex structures, even the mechanics of a pen is not something that we have proof that they could even do. If they did do it, they wouldn't have infinite ink, you would fill them up with ink.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8721 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there any specific relation between Kelsier and Kaladin, and the fact that Kelsier was killed with a spear and Kaladin used a spear. They seem like almost exact opposites.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not really an intentional one, though I do intend their personalities to be opposed. I like how they are opposing philosophies as protagonists, but the spear thing is completely coincidental. They are very opposite styles of hero, the big pitch for myself was "Kelsier would the villain if he were in the wrong story." This is a guy where you could easily imagine that this guy could be the antagonist. He gets channeled towards good things and becomes the protagonist. There is no way Kaladin would ever be the antagonist, or if he did it would rip him apart, right. It's not in his nature.

    Firefight Houston signing ()
    #8726 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you ever reach a point where you've got your outline done, but you've got an impasse where you can't figure out how to get from A to B?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Do you just start writing and hope for the best?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you've got your outline, but you don't know how to get from Point A to Point B. What do you do? I just start writing. I find that the number one thing that helps me get me past problems in my stories is writing. Even if I take what I've written-- And this is very hard for some newer writers, is to know what your writing is gonna be set aside and not end up in the final product. But if you can change your mind over to you being the product, not the book-- Again, it's much easier to say "I'm gonna write today, and it's exploration that is not gonna end up in the book." And doing that will help you explore; you can try three different ones of those, and it will get you further faster than sitting and staring at the page, worrying that each paragraph has to be the right direction that you're going, that you're gonna to screw something up. Writer's block, the easiest way to get over writer's block I've found is to write anyway, even if you just have ninjas attack. In a world where no ninjas exist. *laughter* Like, you're writing a Regency romance and ninjas show up. Writing anything will get your mind working on the problems you've had and help you get past it. Another good thing to try is jumping to other viewpoints, or to-- setting the scene in a different location, to just kind of jar yourself out of that.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8728 Copy

    Questioner

    How would you pronounce Rock's full name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually get this wrong. *apprehensively chants the name* I think, but there might be something in there. It actually means... in Horneater you don't have to use a pronoun at the beginning, which is one of the weird things, you usually start with a verb. It means something along the lines of "I saw a beautiful wet stone that no one is paying attention to, but it was really cool because of the water pattern on it." Right, like, that's what his name means, and it kinda just means "Hey, appreciate the beauty of nature." Its kind of a little Horneater, their version of the haiku. The meaning is "Nature is beautiful, don't walk past the beauty of nature and ignore it." But his name actually kinda means "lonely, or forgotten rock". But "I saw a beautiful rock washed by rainwater that everyone is ignoring." Anyway, it doesn't translate all that well, I'm using a bunch of weird Asian and Indo-European language structures for this so its not real easy to translate to English.

    Firefight Houston signing ()
    #8729 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever tried to write, not a novel, but for a comic or try a script to pitch yourself for an original story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Have I ever tried doing some writing that is not novels? So, screenwriting or comic strip or things like that? Yeah, I've done a little bit of everything. Not with the intent that I'm going to pitch myself, but just so I can be familiar with it. And so I have written a screenplay, never gonna let anyone see it. It was so that I would know what it takes to write a screenplay so I can advise better on mine, because I don't intend to do it. I mean, the difference between writing novels and writing screenplays is probably as different as playing basketball and playing baseball. And we know how that worked out for Michael Jordan. He was decent at the second one, but it takes a lot of work to get good at something like this, and I would rather have really great screenwriters be writing my things. But I did want to know enough about the process to be able to talk intelligently.

    Firefight Houston signing ()
    #8730 Copy

    Questioner

    When you write your stories, do you plot them by outline, or do you start with the first thing--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. Do I plot with an outline or not? I am an outliner. I like start with a really good outline, though I outline backward. I start with the climax and what I want to have happen, and then I work forward, working out what's gonna work to lay the groundwork for the ending that I want to have happen. But then I write forward, I start with the first page and go.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8732 Copy

    Questioner

    If a mistwraith eats a Koloss will it [?].

    Brandon Sanderson

    If a Mistwraith eats a Koloss, you're asking "will it become it", um, "will it gain sapience because it now has Feruchemical* spikes?" Any Feruchemical* spike is not necessarily enough to make the creature we call 'Kandra', but there may be very weird side effects to what you just described.

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #8733 Copy

    Questioner

    Welcome Brandon Sanderson here, and Angela, thank you all for coming. I will just turn the time over to him, he talks about himself way better than I am. It sounded like he's full of himself, but hes not.

    Audience

    *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    A little! At Pheonix Comic Con last week me and Dan were on a panel together with a bunch of other panelists and at one point Dan said, pointing at me, "He was like this even before he got famous." So at least I'm the same person, I'm the same gregarious, somewhat... at times larger than life person.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #8734 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He commented that he thinks it is a mistake to have Vin burn the mist in the end of Mistborn 1, because it feels too much like a deus ex machina. That, confusing tin with silver, and confusing clubs with another character are the three mistakes he think he's made there. Nothing really new, but some may not have heard of that.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #8735 Copy

    king of nowhere (paraphrased)

    Then I asked him about Jasnah in Shadesmar.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said that he still is not sure whether to include it in the book or not, but he most likely won't. The reason is that he fears it will lessen the impact of something that will need to happen later in the book. so, it implies some characters will visit Shadesmar and have some important adventures there, which Jasnah's story may spoil. he is looking forward to showing Shadesmar on Roshar; we saw it on Scadrial, but on Scadrial it is mostly uninhabited, while in Roshar there are all the Spren.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
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    king of nowhere (paraphrased)

    The lord ruler moved Scadrial closer to the sun, and orbital dynamics dictate that so its time of revolution would also become shorter. how did that impact the ages of the characters, and how did it impact the 1024 years of refilling of the well?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said that Arcanum unbounded will contain all the calendars and that peter made actual orbital calculations. Brandon also confirmed that the characters ages were really earth ages, and that the lord ruler kept the old calendar in the final empire, even though it did not fit with the length of the year. That sounded very strange to me, but then I remembered that we already have the Islamic calendar who doesn't follow the year, so a calendar not coinciding with the year is something never seen before. he also confirmed that modern Scadrial has an earth-like year duration, which we already knew. he said that people only started asking that in the last year and he was surprised it took that long to ask about that.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #8737 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    He was asked if Joel could be a new type of Rithmatist.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said that it was possible. But when he saw that I put that in my notes, he said "no, he's not. I just didn't want to say it outright. Joel is not a new kind of rithmatist". He may have denied that Joel could be a Rithmatist at all, but I don't remember the exact wording, so I cannot confirm.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #8739 Copy

    SirSavien1

    I asked about how Syl was invented, I don't even know if this is already known information, I'm not that knowledgeable in Cosmere lore.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He said that originally he thought about the idea of wind coming alive, which remained. Initially he wanted to have only four wind spren, one for each cardinal direction, and Syl was supposed to be the wind of East. Then things changed, but this was the initial concept.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #8744 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    My favorite time period is when superstition was transitioning into science. I am very fascinated by that idea, superstition and science. Isaac Newton believed in Alchemy and tried to make it work, and many scientists did. This is really cool to me because this is both the dawn of enlightenment and understanding, but also it has mythology and lore to it. In my books I am usually trying to recreate this idea, we're sifting through the lore and pulling out the science. Magic is transitioning into science, but it is a world with a new branch of physics. This allows me to mix what we call a sense of wonder with a sense of reason. It makes me very exited when I have a good idea to connect mythology and science together.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I generally write on only one books at a time. This is different, some writers aren't like that, Ray Bradbury famously had a big filing cabinet of half finished stories and he would, every morning, get out one and get out the typewriter and type more lines on it until it didn't work for him anymore and then he put it back and grabbed another one and started typing on it, which blows my mind. I cant imagine that; I can only usually do new fiction for one at a time, though I'm often panning in my head or working on the outline for the next one while I am writing the prose for this one. It uses different parts of the brain usually.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    As a writer, I believe that i am not providing the whole story for you. I provide a screenplay, a script, and you are the director of this story, and that as you read it and imagine it - that's when its completed. Its not done until you have done that. Its a participation and you have the right to change, in your version, whatever you want. Your pronunciation is correct in your version of the story.

    Audience

    *claps*

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are clapping for me, but I should clap for you because you make my art live. I really appreciate you bringing my art to life and giving it that extra imagination it needs.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    The beginnings of the Cosmere I can trace back to being a teenager and I would read Anne McCaffrey books and I would always imagine a character that was my own that I had secretly inserted into her books and this character - I would insert into everyone else's books when I read them too. This was the start of Hoid, was this character who was appearing in everyone else's novels and I knew his secret agenda. It was very fun for me to imagine as a youth.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    So the reason that I write so many different things is because I found every writer, when they are working on a book for a long time, perhaps you know this too, starts to hate that book. They get so tired of it because you do so many drafts, and spend so long. When I finish a book I dont want to work on a sequel to that book. I am done with that book. I need something very new and different to refresh myself. So like how you eat grapes in between bites of cheese. This is why I do so many different things.

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #8749 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    My evil nemesis is John Scalzi, science fiction writer. We are very good friends, but he is also my evil nemesis. One time I was at a book store in an airport. i like to sign my books in airports and leave them for fans to find and i was doing this and someone came to the section in the airport. I was signing and they said "Oh, you're a writer?" and I said "yes!" here's my book, its great, you should read it." They said "I don't like fantasy, I like science fiction instead." I went 'alright' and so i sold them one of john Scalzi's books just because I wanted to match the right book to the right person.

     

    I heard "Sanderson!" and I turned around and it was John Scalzi. He said, "I heard you siold one of my books, here's your royalties", and he threw two coins at me, all across the hall.

    Footnote: there is a break in the audio between the first and last paragraph
    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
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    Questioner

    How did you like doing the graphic novel compared to normal stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was fun. The thing about it is, my main part in it was to write the book, 'cause its a prose novel that I wrote years ago, and then to look over things as my team was putting it together. They had a writer take my book and condense it down to the dialogue bubbles and things like this, and built it out and I would see a page and say "good". So I didn't really make a graphic novel I wrote a book that people who know what they are doing adapted into a graphic novel.

    Questioner

    Makes sense. Would you do more of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on how people react to this. If the fans like it and say "yes, this is a book we enjoy. Keep doing things like this." I will do more.