Recent entries

    Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A ()
    #8801 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    If you are Smoked, you can't Seek.

    KChan (paraphrased)

    [Brandon] told me that because burning copper creates an Allomantic dead zone, so to speak, everything inside it is effectively silenced. This prevents pulses from reaching Seekers who are outside the cloud, but it also prevents anyone inside the cloud from receiving any pulses whatsoever. The reason Vin could do this is because of her earring.

    Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A ()
    #8802 Copy

    Chaos (paraphrased)

    We asked if it was possible to use bronze to Seek Feruchemy.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said it could be possible. If it were to happen, it was very hard, because the Inquisitors would desperately like to be able to find Feruchemists that way, and it was implied they had not discovered this power. So, it is a freaking hard technique to learn, if possible at all.

    Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A ()
    #8803 Copy

    Chaos (paraphrased)

    I continued to ask about the Lord Ruler and his Allomantic strength.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    There's an upper bound to the amount of power you can get from being a savant. Brandon said that, obviously, the Lord Ruler wasn't using duralumin and Elend could only get that powerful in Soothing using duralumin. He implied that there was a way to Compound to enhance Allomancy.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8806 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we ever get an explanation about the cosmological feasibility of the world [Taldain]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, the cosmological feasibility of a tidally locked planet between two stars?

    Questioner

    We have one of those in our solar system, and it's not very habitable.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, *crowd laughs* the nice thing about the cosmere is I can do planets that would not work in a large scale way because I can hang something and say, "This orbit will degrade in two million years, but it was created and placed there," right? Which allows me to create planets that on a geologic timescale are not stable, but are stable on a rise and fall of human civilizations scale. And that's one of the advantages of being in fantasy, is I can go back to that. Like I try to be rule based when I can, but I also have magic and things that can interfere. So the answer is that. *crowd laughs* We know it's-- I mean, I don't think Roshar's moons are stable on a geologic timescale either. I think they're too close. There's a bunch of stuff in the cosmere that is not stable if you look at tens of millions of years, but it's just fine for a million or two years.

    Alloy of Law 17th Shard Q&A ()
    #8812 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Shards and Shard intents: Holding a Shard is a contest of willpower against the Shard that, over time, is very hard to resist.

    Shards affect you over time, but your mind will not leave a permanent effect on the Shard. A holder's [Vessel's] personality, however, does get to filter the Shard's intent, so to speak. However, if that holder [Vessel] no longer held that Shard, the Shard will not continue to be filtered by that person.

    Rithmatist Provo signing ()
    #8814 Copy

    little wilson (paraphrased)

    Brandon confirmed that "the element" is the bead of lerasium. Which confirms both this theory, and the theory that Hoid wrote the letter.

    When I asked the question, I also thought the element and the lerasium were different. I asked it as a "Hoid clearly has a habit for taking important items. He has the bead of lerasium and the element. What other items does he have that we should know about?"

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Brandon's response was that the bead and the element are the same. And that he has many items he should not have.

    A Memory of Light Baltimore signing ()
    #8815 Copy

    BlairJ (paraphrased)

    I did ask about Mistborn: Birthright.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Apparently it is going to make it's way to the next generation of consoles, so it should be a very nice representation. I did find out that Brandon is still writing 100% of the dialogue (there were some rumors a while back that he wouldn't be) and that it is well underway.

    A Memory of Light Baltimore signing ()
    #8816 Copy

    TheOneKEA (paraphrased)

    I also referenced the recent Q&A and this post, and speculated that the reason why the original poster thought Wax's sister was a duralumin ferring was because of Wax's comment that he did not feel any strong emotions as a result of her death. I told Brandon that the poster must have thought that she was deliberately suppressing her Connection with Wax by using Feruchemy. I said that I didn't need a yes or no answer from him.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He replied that he would neither confirm nor deny my statement and would only agree that it was very interesting.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8820 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Has anyone figured out what the secret in the map was, in Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah, they have. That it's modeled after the Julia Set. Which is meant to indicate that Roshar was designed specifically.

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    Did it happen through crem buildup?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8821 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Who is your favorite living author?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Favorites right now, writing. Probably my favorite right now is Guy Gavriel Kay. It was Terry Pratchet until he passed away. And it was Robert Jordan until he passed away. So I hope Guy stays safe. Because getting picked as my favorite author is apparently a death sentence.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8823 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    I've been listening to the audiobooks of Stormlight. There are some really great character voices. Have you told him how to do the characters?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    I have not told him how to do characters. I leave that to him. I give him pronunciations.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    So the Australian Lopen is all him.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah, the Australian is all him. Which is weird, because they're, they're based off of Hispanic cultures, so, hearing the Australian... but at the same time, they're not Hispanic, because there are no Hispanics on Roshar, so an Australian's probably just as accurate as anything else. But yes, I intended the Herdazians to have a Hispanic flair to them.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8827 Copy

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    Are there any other Davars that are Invested?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    *laughs* That is TOTALLY a RAFO.

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    I mean, I knew it, when I asked.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    "Are there any?" is an odd question. Depends on what time you're talking about. But let's just say there are few people in all of Roshar who've gotten as far as Shallan.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8828 Copy

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    Is being a little bit crazy a prerequisite to becoming a Knight Radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Well, so, for many of the cosmere magics to work, you have to... it has to get into the soul somehow. Right? Sometimes you ram it in by spiking someone else's soul and ripping off a piece and sticking it into yours. Sometimes, it just seeps in the cracks. Sometimes the bond allows it to kind of bypass some of this, but it's usually traumatic experience. So crazy is not required, but there's got to be a place for the magic to go, to get in.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8829 Copy

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    So Wax, in the prologue of Alloy of Law thinks of himself as Wax, and then as Waxillium for the rest of the book, and then that's reversed in the second one. Is that a thing of cosmere import, or is it just a--

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It kind of indicated how he feels about himself.

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    Could it have any impact on his ability to use Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Not really. The investiture on Scadrial is not going to care how you're feeling about yourself. On other worlds, that's important, but not on Scadrial.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8830 Copy

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    I have a question about the way that the brass symbol changed. It looks like brass no longer has a dot. Can you talk about that?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That is just Issac deciding how he wants the symbols to look. It is nothing of Cosmereological import.

    AndrewStirlingMacDonald (paraphrased)

    Is there anything of cosmereological import about the way that the symbols have changed over time?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, slight import. I mean, it's just the idea that as things have evolved, and we are moving toward typesetting; we've moved into typesetting in the modern era, you're going to see the symbols change to kind of match different eras.

    Shadows of Self Boston signing ()
    #8831 Copy

    BeskarKomrk (paraphrased)

    When someone is inside a time bubble where time is going faster, do they age more quickly than they would outside?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes.

    BeskarKomrk (paraphrased)

    So there's a sort of relativistic effect going on there?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, I tried to keep it as close as possible to the actual effects. The only thing I didn't include, I think, is the red-shift of light when it leaves the bubble, because that would irradiate everything around it.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8837 Copy

    Questioner

    Who's your favorite character that you've ever created?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Who's my favorite character that I've ever created? They're all like my children, and so I can't say who my favorite is. It's usually-- I use Robert Jordan's answer to this, which was, "The one I'm writing right now." And today I was writing... uhp, that's a spoiler. *crowd laughs*

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8838 Copy

    Questioner

    What about a Magic-- like, card game? *interrupted*

    Brandon Sanderson

    A card game? So if the board game does well and people like it the next thing they want to do is a card game. Those I play. So, you know, not just Magic. I've played a lot of different TCGs and things. And so that we can do, and that I will be involved in if they do one. I can directly tell them if it's fun or not.

    Footnote: The board game referred to is Mistborn: House War.
    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8839 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Epilogue

    And so, the circle is complete. Sazed returns to the south and visits the Conventical again, Elend returns to the city wall.

    Hopefully, I revealed this well enough for you to understand what you need to in order to make this book work. There are a lot of holes, I know. I've already apologized for that–we'll answer all of them in book three.

    For now, understand that something was imprisoned, and it hijacked the Terris religion–the prophesies–and used the Well of Ascension to get free.

    Book three is about the real theme of these books. Survival. It's going to be a tough road.

    As a wrap up, I guess I'll say that for me, this book was about Vin and Elend testing and proving their standards. In the beginning, they both made certain determinations about themselves and what they wanted to accomplish. Elend intended to make a good government and not be an exception to his own rules.

    Vin intended to love the good, kind man of Elend rather than the man of the street–the hard, strict man that was Kelsier. (See Chapter Ten, where Vin snuggles in the chair with Elend, for an in-dialogue outline of her belief system for this book. This is the offering of the challenge. The trial comes later.) They are both tested, then, in these assertions–Elend by losing his throne, Vin by being forced to take a long hard look at her own heart and what she really wanted. To her, Zane represented the past. Did she return to that, or did she look forward to the hope–and the future–that Elend represented?

    They both hold strong. That's the true victory of this book. The release of Ruin disregarded, this book marks great success for the characters. They were tested in their absolute most vital of personal convictions, and they passed. This prepared them for the final book. Now that they'd proven their ideals, they could bear the weights and griefs of the empire.

    Of course, there is also Sazed. One of my goals in writing this book was to fix Elend and Vin. But another big one was to break Sazed. While they held firm to who they were, he has been forced to reassess his convictions, and he finds them wanting. Chapter fifty-four was one of the saddest chapters for me, personally, to write. In many ways, Elend and Vin have nearly completed their arcs as characters. But Sazed and Spook have just begun. And that is what leads us into Book Three.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8840 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fifty-Nine

    Nothing is worse than trying so hard to do the right thing, then discovering that it was the worst thing you could have done.

    I wrote this final chapter to be a slight upswing in the plot so that we wouldn't end on such a sour note. No, I didn't kill Elend. I sure wanted you to think that I would, but I never planned to. I had always intended them to discover where the first Mistborn had come from when they reached the Well of Ascension, and this bead of metal is very important to the cosmology of Scadrial and, indeed, the entire overarching story of my books as a whole .

    Elend was intended to become Mistborn from the very early stages of this book's development. So, I figured I ought to do something to him that would make him NEED to be Mistborn. Why did I want to make Elend Mistborn? I know it bothered some readers. I felt I'd explored his character as well I could in this book, and I needed something to upset the balance–tenuous as it is–that he'd arrived at here. He's not going to replace Vin–you'll see in the next book that Elend as a Mistborn doesn't change as much as you might think. But it does put him in new situations, and those situations allow him to progress as a character in the way I felt he needed to.

    Anyway, this will make for a very interesting book three. Also, the mist spirit–now, maybe, you can see a little of what it was trying to do. It was struggling to find a way to get Vin to NOT go to the Well of Ascension. Giving hints to Sazed, scaring her, threatening Elend, pointing in the opposite direction. However, it is rather hampered in what it can do, as we'll find in the next book.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8841 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Deleted Scene

    Originally, by the way, this cavern was discovered up in the mountains after Vin, Elend, and Spook traipsed through the snow for a while. Yeah. I know. This works so much better. I'll go ahead and post that as a deleted scene, but don't think too poorly of me. Sometimes, you try things in your books that just don't work. You can't be afraid to experiment, however.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8842 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin Gives up the Power

    Writing toward this scene where Vin would have to take the power, then give it up, was one of my focuses in this novel. I had to get her, as a character, to a point where she'd be able to do something this gut-wrenching.

    It was extremely cruel of me. And yet, there's a beauty to being cruel like this to characters. (It's why George R. R. Martin is a genius.) I plotted out this particular plot element from the beginning of the first book, as I wanted to not only upend some fantasy tropes in the series, but approach them from a post-modern perspective. If people are so powerfully motivated by the concept of prophesy and religion, then what better way would there be for a force like Ruin to manipulate them than to use that sensibility against them? In many ways, Book One was my look at the concept of the Dark Lord in fantasy fiction while Book Two is my look at the concept of prophesy as used by fantasy. (Book three is my look at the concept of the hero.)

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8843 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Marsh Vs. Sazed

    But first we have the Marsh Sazed battle. I really like this scene, since I get to do something very new with it. Do you remember when I promised you that you'd see some cool interactions between Allomancy and Feruchemy?

    I realized almost immediately, when designing Feruchemy, that I could do some very fun things with it mixing with Allomancy. With how much that Mistborn depend on their Steelpushes and Ironpulls, a person who can change his weight would have an enormous advantage. Everyone always says that Allomancy is the better combat skill, but that's just because the resource it uses–metal–is far more plentiful than the resource Feruchemy uses. Put the two into a battle together with enough power to spare, and the Feruchemist will almost always win.

    At the end of this, Ham gets to do something. Makes me glad that I wrote him back into the story after forgetting about him. . . .

    Oh, and that blow to the head was no slight blow–Sazed's actually wrong. That strike will lay Marsh out for some time. Remember what Ham said about two pewter burners canceling each other out? Well, you just had a very strong soldier flaring pewter hit a man who was simply burning it in the back of the head with a stick hard enough to break it. Marsh is out cold.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8844 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fifty-Eight

    Ruin Escapes

    So, yes. The crew has been manipulated. Everyone's been manipulated for a good thousand years. By this thing wanting to be released.

    You'll find out more in the next chapter, but realize here that most everything about the traditions from the old days–the prophesies, all of that–has been manipulated.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8845 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Marsh

    One of the things about this novel is that the bookends–the beginning and the end–are very closely tied together, with only small strands weaving through the middle. Here, at the end, we come full circle. We find a body, just like the one that Sazed found in the first chapter where we introduced him. Next, we run into Marsh, who vanished so many months ago.

    He's actually been in the city. Some of Demoux's people reported seeing an Inquisitor, if you recall, and Vin found footprints inside of Kredik Shaw. Marsh has been here the whole time, watching and waiting.

    Now he has something to do.

    I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing that the beginning and the ending are tied so closely together. On one hand, I worry that you've forgotten about Marsh and the killings the mists caused. On the other hand, I like the symmetry in this book. You think you're done with it after the siege of Luthadel.

    Then this happens.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8846 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vin Goes to Kredik Shaw

    Originally, the Well of Ascension WAS in the mountains. That's the big reason for the rewrite of the ending. This section of the book felt TOO disjointed with the rest of the novel, and I felt that I needed to move the Well to Luthadel. That way, the fight for the city meant something–and I didn't have to send Vin out, have her come back, then send her north yet again.

    It works far better this way. Of course, I had to do some major rewriting–and I had to explain why the Well isn't in the mountains. But, in this case, fixing one thing gave me motivation for fixing something else. I had worried about how easy it was to find the Well, and how difficult it would be to take Vin and Elend into the mountains to find it. All very awkward. Both the history and the current story work much better when I decided to have the Lord Ruler have moved the Well down and put his city on top of it.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8847 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fifty-Seven

    Sazed In Charge of the City

    Sazed's in charge here. There's one small problem with that. Sazed's not very good at leadership.

    It's not his fault. He just doesn't have the skillset for it. Unlike Elend, who had a buried desire to lead–and the skills to become a king, if he learned how to use them–Sazed just wants to be a quiet scholar. We saw this when he gathered the crew and couldn't keep them from arguing. We see it again here.

    He's much more in his element when he looks through the book he wrote with Tindwyl. Though, of course, losing her is starting to hit him pretty hard. He keeps wavering back in forth emotionally, and that's intentional. He is confused, and doesn't know what to do.

    Here's another Couple of things we'll find answers to in book three:

    How Vin drew on the mists, and why she could do it.

    Why she can feel the pulsing of the Well and nobody else can.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8848 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elend Runs into the Terris Refugees.

    The point of the Terris refugees here is to show us that there is more to the world than just Luthadel. I wanted to hint at politics going on behind the scenes. That's been hard in this series, since so much of the book is focused in a certain geographic location.

    In this case, we get wind of what the Inquisitors have been doing. Their strike was intended to kill the Terris leadership–but not just that. Hinted at in the very beginning of the next volume that the Inquisitors captured a large number of Keepers to use for drawing out their powers.

    There is also a lot of foreshadowing going on here with Spook. I wanted to lay the groundwork here for him becoming a viewpoint character in the third book. Burning tin as strongly as he does as consistently as he does is not good for his body, and he's doing serious damage to it. But he's grief-stricken and confused, and he fells like he's been sent away from important events because he's useless. Reminding himself of his Allomantic power is one of the ways he's dealing (poorly) with his uncle's death.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8849 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fifty-Six

    Elend in the Mists after Vin Leaves

    I wanted to include a reference to mistwraiths in this book. They're a minor world element, but aspects of their origins are a piece of the puzzle that gets explained further. . .in book three.

    The mists are indeed coming earlier in the day, and they are staying later in the mornings. They're getting stronger, you might say. Elend doesn't know this, but some of the very outer parts of the empire already have mists lingering almost to the afternoon. The answers to why are coming. . .in book three.

    The mist spirit doesn't want Elend to go to Luthadel. And yes, it was using Allomancy on him. (Influencing his emotions, as it's done several places through this book.) It doesn't work very well. The thing doesn't have much of a mind remaining. The answer to why. . .yes, you guessed it. Book three.

    As you can tell, I'm using this last section of the book to set up The Hero of Ages. I didn't want to do this–I wanted all three books to stand well on their own. However, the events in the third book are just too large to deal with in one novel, so they spilled over into the end of this one. I actually began foreshadowing a lot of these things in book one–they were just easier to hide then.

    By the way, the scene where Elend stands there, looking into the darkness, hearing leaves rustle and thinking how frightening it is. . .well, that's a scene from my life. Nothing big, but one night I was just walking past a darkened backyard and I heard rustling like that. I stood for a while, looking into that darkness, realizing just how creepy it was to stand in shadowed light and stare into the void without knowing what was back there. I had to put that in a book.

    The Well of Ascension Annotations ()
    #8850 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Part Five Wrap-up

    The name of this section was Snow and Ash. I think that's pretty self-explanatory. While some of the section titles were tough to come up with, this one was rather easy. The image of the snow and the ash mixing was powerful to me because of how similar, yet at the same time opposite, the two materials are.

    It was a brutal section, and actually marks the pseudo-ending of the book. We've dealt with the major conflict that was raised in the first chapter. The armies are defeated with and the city is safe.

    However, there's still something to do. I had a lot of trouble deciding how to work the separate climaxes of this book. Did I try to interweave them, having Vin find the Well of Ascension even as the koloss were attacking? That seemed too obvious, and I felt one of the two plots would overshadow the other. Beyond that, I worried it would all just become a big mess, hard to follow. It IS possible to have too much going on during an ending.

    So I went with the other option—dealing with the armies, then moving on to a final, shorter section that focused on the Well of Ascension. We're getting into parts of the book that were very heavily revised, and so these are things that will probably end up with deleted scenes on the website, once I get around to posting them.