Recent entries

    General Twitter 2010 ()
    #8902 Copy

    TheMightyTweet

    Why didn’t the Parshendi use fire arrows? The bridges are made of wood for Storm’s sake!

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a pretty strong hardwoord we’re talking about. Fire arrows worked against slow-moving siege equipment.

    But something carried at this speed, then crossed quickly, made of hardwood–the fires wouldn’t have time to get a hold.

    General Twitter 2010 ()
    #8903 Copy

    agdeeds

    Did anything help inspire Navani’s character in tWoK?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Numerous things. Partially, the fact that there’s a distinct lack of mothers in fantasy fiction. Everybody seems to be an orphan.

    Partially, the need for a strong, well-rounded woman of an older, wiser nature to balance out Shallan’s impulsive nature.

    And, in part, she was designed because I wanted a Fabrial engineer among the cast, and extrapolated personality from there.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8904 Copy

    Questioner

    So knowing that you're not likely going to get a chance to choose your own casting in Stormlight Archive, if you did who would you choose for Dalinar and Kaladin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh boy, choosing Dalinar and Kaladin? I have no idea. The big problem with casting Dalinar and Kaladin is neither are Caucasian, and so... Like, casting the Alethi is going to be a really big challenge for the filmmaker. Do they just be like, "Alright, we're making everybody white because we don't know what else to do." Or are they going to because-- are they going to find a bunch of half-Asian, half-Middle Eastern actors? Because that's what the Alethi would look like to us, right? And so, how do you find an entire culture of people who have those specific-- I have no idea. Maybe they'll just go with Hispanic actors for them or something like that, I don't know. I have no idea. It would depend on what they decide to do for the ethnicities. 

    So something like Mistborn is easier, where a lot of characters are Caucasian, or at least have a defined ethnicity. But even the Terris, you're like, "Terris aren't Caucasian, but they're not really Asian, they're not really black. They're their own race from Scadrial. How do you cast Sazed?" And so there's been a lot of talk about that with the guy-- the people with the Mistborn rights. They're like-- They're kind of leaning toward Asian--in casting someone Asian as him. But did that-- how does that work? Because you can't always tell someone who's-- whether or not they're Terris by the look of them, and things like that. It gets really weird when you're trying to cast fantasy races and ethnicities. So we'll see.

    Questioner

    I just wondered if you had someone in mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not have anyone in mind. The only-- I occasionally have ideas for Mistborn. You know, like for a while I wanted Michael Fassbender for Kelsier, but he just did Assassin's Creed, which is too similar. So we probably can't do him. For years I wanted Ellen Page as Vin, but she's aged out of the role now. I try not to think about who we would go get until we actually are casting, right? So anyone you name, tomorrow they could do a movie that's too similar and then that's not-- they can't do the role really anymore because they're headlining something that's a direct-- yeah, anyway. 

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #8905 Copy

    Questioner

    What are your favorite books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly--it got me into reading. Les Misérables--my favorite classic. And then book four of The Wheel of Time. *inaudible*

    Questioner

    Really? Book four?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep, book four. Rand going to the pillar in Rhuidean? It's my favorite. Have you read those?

    Questioner

    No.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, okay. It was one of the experiences I loved growing up. And I still love it, despite the fact that I *inaudible*.

    Questioner

    Yeah, that's got to be pretty awesome you got to finish it. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh man, it was awesome. I didn't know them. They just called-- his wife called me on the phone and asked if I could do it. Just out of the blue. No application or anything. "I like your books. Will you to finish this."

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #8906 Copy

    Ravi

    I'm curious how you were <feeling about whole process of> the graphic novel. <Specifically how you felt about the whole thing translating,> because I have the draft. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-huh.

    Ravi

    <You were kind enough to send me that.> You know, you were very descriptive.

    Brandon Sanderson

    <And it didn't translate well?>

    Ravi

    Not so much-- although I did see <glimpses of you popping through>.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, so, I focus on the positives. <But there might be some things I might not agree with.>

    Ravi

    I think that's fair. Of course.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And I-- what we came up with was the < a list of a few things>... *inaudible* Like the only one that really bothered <me> was... where is the big battle?

    *searches through the graphic novel*

    <The big splash page> right there. I'm like... <when did this turn into> white people verse brown people? You've read the book. This isn't about white versus brown. This is, again, how did we end up with white versus brown? Why aren't these people wearing armor? These guys are the ones that are outcasts and these are the high society.

    And so when I got this stuff, I was like, "Uhh..." These panels where they'd done earlier where they have the skin tones and the <the clothes for the Darksiders>, I'm like, "Really good!". But then when that one came together I was like, "Oh great, oh great, here we go." And when you put the whole thing together, some things came out really cool. Like I think the Darksiders turned out cool. The Darksiders were awesome. The magic turned out really great. But again, I'm like, "Where's the armor? Where's the cultural markings? Where's that stuff?".

    But yeah, yeah. The thing is, the guy who's drawing them is Asian, right? So <he should, you know?>... alright, so that's my thing. But again, you've read the book. Like, where's <that detail?>... But that's-- when you give the story to someone else you have to let them <do what they will>.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #8907 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there anything about Eshonai *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Eshonai is one of these people who's *inaudible*. She's *inaudible*, right? It's that question of what is that-- the driving force in her life. *inaudible* ..."trying to take care of my people." *inaudible* for Eshonai, but yeah. There's something in her, and that is also part of what's drawing a certain spren, as you'll see, in the books.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8908 Copy

    Questioner

    So in the past five years or so the contents of the magic system has come to kind of dominate current popular fantasy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah!

    Questioner

    Because it's become so culturally prolific, do you feel that authors are going to soon reach a point they don't have time to actually systematize--where they have to explain their system? Can't they, like, go back to the way *inaudible*--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right.

    Questione

    So you can just have magic that *inaudible*, but it's still cohesive and logical and effective?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, so the question is, "Magic systems in fantasy have very much moved toward 'the explained'." The rule based magic systems. Particularly--I'd say it's been about ten years. Me and Rothfuss and Brent Weeks and some of these kind of-- That was because we were kind of a reaction--reacting against soft magic systems we'd read growing up. It shouldn't be too much longer. He's asking, "Will they go back the other way?" It shouldn't be too much longer before you see people reacting against us. So yeah, it's totally gonna happen. And there, you know, there are great books like Uprooted. It's already started to happen. Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a very soft magic system. It's a fantastic book. And so there's an example. I'm sure you'll see more, I mean-- I don't think China Miéville's ever explained his magic much. But yeah, I think that you will see something that gets really big, that is a reaction to what we're doing. That's just how--that's how storytelling goes, and things like this. I think you're right to wonder if it's going to happen, and I assume it will.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8909 Copy

    Questioner

    So you've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media--?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the question is, "I've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media? TV and things like that." Well a graphic novel is something we can kind of have enough control over to make it happen ourselves. Right? Like I know the people at Dynamite. We can work directly with the writer. We can work directly with the artist. And so a small team can put together a graphic novel. It's more than required to put together a book, like I do, but it's still a small team. It's basically me, the writer, the illustrator, and then Isaac and Peter working on this. So, you know, five people can put this together.

    A movie--have you seen the credits scroll? *crowd laughs* I can't really do that on my own. So the best we can hope for is for me to sell the rights, which I've done for most of my properties, and hope that someone in Holywood can actually make a film out of them that's good. And that's just a roll of the dice. So, yes we're trying. It is slow. Watch my website--we'll say if there's any news. There really isn't right now. Fox has *Steelheart*. They've been doing work on the screenplay, which looks good. But, you know, the screenplay is the easy step--the next two steps are the hard ones.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #8910 Copy

    Questioner

    Will Emperor Kai get his own book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Will Emperor Kai get his own book? So this is Perfect State, for those asking. One of the reasons I write these little novellas is so I can get an idea out of my system without writing an entire novel, but then people will start asking for sequels to... *crowd laughs* I already owe you sequels to ElantrisWarbreaker, and The Rithmatist. So the answer is I am not promising any more sequels, particularly not to the novellas whose whole point is to let me write random things. It's not impossible that someday I'll do a novelization of one, but I'm not--I'm probably not doing any time soon a sequel to Emperor's Soul or things like that, just because the whole point of the novellas is to let me get focused back on the novels. And the--particularly the series that I'm in the middle of. It let's me get my fix of doing something weird, let's you read something weird and different, and then still doesn't take too much time from Stormlight or Mistborn or things like this.

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #8911 Copy

    Questioner

    ...Really?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup. Most of what you see him doing, Renarin did in the original outline, much more awkwardly.

    Questioner

    Did you keep him in for longer because he has an important part to play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. remember, this is the draft I did in 2002, things were very different. Like in that draft Kaladin took the Shardblade and became a Shardbearer and stuff like this, and so it was a very different book, very different themes. I beefed up Adolin's part when I was doing this and eventually he developed into a stronger character. I need Adolin because Adolin is the guy who is not gaining all the magical powers and flying in the air and stuff. I need the guy who is more normal. As normal as the prince of Alethkar can be. I needed him and I really liked where he went after doing that, so.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #8912 Copy

    Blightsong

    Is the bond between an Elantrian and Arelon similar to that of a Knight Radiant and it's spren. You've said that zombie Elantrians are similar to dead spren, so I was wondering get if there was a bigger connection there.

    Thank you for your time!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is a similar relationship.

    Blightsong

    Is there a similar Ideal system? Are Elantrians transformed because of their character? Maybe their closeness to the culture of Arelon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, now you're getting into RAFO territory. Let's just say that you don't have to have a seon to be made an Elantrian, but in the vast majority of cases, you need a spren to be a Knight Radiant. So there are some differences.

    Blightsong

    Last question, does this have anything to do with the personification of culture, as spren are personifications of forces and emotions.

    Again, thank you for your time, it's always nice to get a response from you on Reddit.

    Brandon Sanderson

    To an extent, yes.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8914 Copy

    Questioner

    What made you decide to split Stormlight into two arcs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A bunch of things. I'd say the primary one is that when I tried to write the Way of Kings in 2002, the first version of it, the book failed. I finished the whole book, but it failed and the primary reason for that was because I had too many viewpoints doing too man things in too many places and the reader wasn't able to follow it and it didn't give a satisfying arc to anybody because there was like a little piece of a story instead of a complete story, so I spent many years trying to figure out why it wasn't working and one of the things i came up with that i should take some of the characters and tell their stories and then take some of the others and tell their stories later.

    That natural division became very obvious to me when I was re-outlining the series using this idea. That I could do a Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan type thing and then save the Herald's viewpoints for the second half, does that makes sense. So that will... it should feel very natural. It should be some changes that indicate separate series but same... anyways, I'm please with how the outline looks.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8917 Copy

    Questioner

    For Epics: if you had an Epic that was around their weakness all the time would that make them more like an other person so that they could be gifted other Epic powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can already be gifted other powers if you're an Epic... no, it interferes, you can't. You can already... Maybe, maybe.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8920 Copy

    Questioner

    When Wax is talking to Harmony he mentions 'the radio' and other things. Are there already societies that have things like that and how is he getting that information. Is it like a Spiritual Realm..

    Brandon Sanderson

    He knows things from his Ascension. He gain an innate knowledge of the universe in interesting ways. In addition, Preservation had some minor innate progno... he could see the future a little bit, and so could Ruin in a little different way. Let's just say that there are a bunch of things mixing together that give Harmony some knowledge that most people wouldn't have.

    Questioner

    But will we see some of societies soon or is that further in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *RAFOes* You'll find out.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8922 Copy

    Questioner

    I was thinking about it, do you have any characters that you've set aside to do maybe some spin-offs down the road, just that you don't want to let die off into obscurity. Like Shallan, she is my favorite character that you write so far. I don't know, is there kind of a side group that you maybe want to revisit later?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I could see myself doing that. The thing is, the ones I've set off I've done intentionally like in Elantris, Serene's uncle, right. Her uncle, I always intended his family to be the next one I wrote a book about, and so its like its already planned in and like Lift from Stormlight. Shes getting her own book later on so I've seeded her in it, you already knowing about it. I don't know that there is any I'm waiting for now, specifically. I'm sure it will happen to me.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8924 Copy

    Questioner

    I asked this of Pat. Money system wise, a standard, like, equivalent to U.S. dollars kind of thing. Is a clear mark? I usually think of a clear mark as a dollar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you email through my website, Peter keeps all of this. I actually, these days, just write "worth about this much" in dollars and he figures out a monetary for it, because this just takes, y'know, I have to reach into the wiki and be like "Alright, how much is this worth again? How much is this?" The commodities are of different values an so he just factors it all out. I remember giving him instructions once, that sounds about right.

    Questioner

    I figured as much, for slaves to...

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're like, what does a slave make... it's, yeah.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8926 Copy

    Questioner

    My question for you is: if you had to live the life of one of your characters from life to death, knowing what they will go through, their powers, their struggles, how they die, and what their legacy is. If you had to chose one character, male or female, who would you live the life of.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a hard question. I don't know that I want to be any of them! I would pick that one random farmer guy they pass on the road who lives a normal, peaceful life and doesn't have to end up going through all of this stuff.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8929 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. So Mistborn, [he?] is complimenting the way it all kinda comes together at the end. So the question is, did I have it all planned out, and for Mistborn I did. I had a big advantage, and this is what i'll usually do for a series: I'll come up with a plan that really details the first book and has just a little bit about the next book. So I'll write the first book, then create a really intricate outline for the next two, then use that to revise the first book to match the next two, so the first one I get to explore a little bit further and go a little farther afield from where the outline was without impacting things too much. Then i can lock it in and write the other two. There are plenty of things I didn't have locked down when I wrote the first one, but then i did the two outline, revised the first one, and then wrote the second two books.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8931 Copy

    Questioner

    What is your favorite Dresden Files book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am going to say that I prefer Codex Alera. I read those and [?]. The second one? yeah, I don't know. They are all very good. I'm reading The Aeronaut's Windlass right now and I'm liking that a lot, but i really like Codex Alera.

    Footnote: part of the audio is obscured
    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8933 Copy

    Questioner

    What did you do to get into the head of the opposite gender?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is an excellent question. She is saying that Vin turned out really well and it's hard for her to write male characters. This was actually really hard for me at first too. Several of my first unpublished novels had really lame, weak female chaarcters and it was one of the big transitions I had to make in transitioning from aspiring to professional.

     The biggest change was just a mindset change for me, and this might not be your problem, but I found that I was sticking people into roles rather than creating character who had a life outside of the story and then saying what happened when the story happened to them. It was this transformation in my head where I'm like "Wait, everyone is the hero in their own story, what would they be doing otherwise, what are they passionate about, how are they weird, how are they quirky."

     This is the problem with a lot of people who are kinda aware of this issue who write the other gender: they don't make the other gender weird and quirky. You'll see this: female writers, the men will just kinda be this paragon. Male writers: the woman will be up on this pedestal. They don't feel real because of that. Try to say, "if they were staring in the story, how would I design them. What makes them weird, what makes them passionate, why don't they fit their role?" That's the best thing you can ask, "why dont they fit their role."

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8935 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    I thought that three years ago you wanted to write a book with Tad Williams and have George R.R. Martin finish it. Is that still just a pipe dream?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's still a pipe dream

    So the question is; I had this goofy idea one time, and I thought "what if I get this other famous fantasy writer and together the two of us wrote"... and we would write a book together, but it wouldn't be a Brandon Sanderson and, it would be a Brandon Sanderson versus where we each create a set of characters who have contrasting role, were against each other, and who would try to achieve this, um, they would both be on opposite sides and they would seduce each other's characters or murder each other's characters and thing like this and we would write it almost to the climax, and then we would go to George Martin and we would say "you have to adjudicate how we would write the ending" and so the cover would be like 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Pat Rothfuss with guest judge George R.R. Martin".

    It is really just a pipe dream, especially when its a matter of 'when are we gonna do that', and it's really just a pipe dream. Maybe i'll make it happen, the trick is I'd have to find... like I cant do Pat because his fans would kill me for slowing him down. So it would have to be someone like Brent or Anya. Somebody who is a little faster, but I could totally see a 'Brandon Sanderson vs. Brent Weeks' right, you guys don't have to root for him cause he lives here. Yeah, something like that. We'll see if I can make it happen.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8938 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I draw from a lot of distinct and different things, mythologies and things like that and the question is "how do I do that, where do I find material on those." I like primary sources, so I like to find people from the culture that they come from, who believe in that specific religion, or have studied it and I like to interview them or hang out on their forums and read how they are talking and things like that. That has been a lot more recent for me, although I will often, (this is where i'll use audiobooks) I will often go grab books on the subjects and listen to audiobooks of them while I'm signing big stacks of papers or something like that.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8939 Copy

    Questioner

    I love the reader for the Mistborn series and the Way of Kings, an I was wondering if you pick the reader and how you collaborate for the reader tell him how to pronounce the names.

    Brandon Sanderson

    His name is Micheal Kramer, and in the Way of Kings his wife, Kate Reading, reads the female viewpoints. i did ask for them on purpose because they also did the Wheel of Time books and i was very fond of their treatment of the Wheel of Time novels, and so when they said "who do you want" I said "can I have Micheal and Kate" and things like that. The question of how I work with them? Most of the time I send them a pronunciation guide. It doesn't always get there in time for their schedule, which is why sometime the names are a little off, but i do send them a pronunciation guide and i do know Micheal now, we've done some signings together. He actually does a reading when we do a signing together, its really cool. Them i did [?]. Most of the audiobook readers I've never met, and I'll usually pick Micheal and Kate for my main-line. For Mistborn and Way of Kings i did that intentionally. i sometimes pick different people for different ones just to have some variety and things like that.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8943 Copy

    Questioner

    I've noticed that Seons and Spren are very, very similar but i haven't seen anything like that in the Mistborn world.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Mistborn the Investiture took other forms. It never obtained sapience in the same way. Its theoretically possible that it could have but it.. yeah.

    Questioner

    So it wouldn't be like the Mist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you could say that the Mist has a bit of sentience to it, so yes, but there are a bunch of different things going on. On one hand, you've got, right up to the end, Preservation's Cognitive Shadow still around doing stuff, basically still there, so that's preventing it. It's just a very different situation.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8945 Copy

    Questioner

    Supposing that a skilled Hemalurgist got hold of some a Shardblade or some Shardplate, how would he best use it assuming that the best way isn't to put it on and kill people with it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's probably the best way, to put it on and kill people with it. I'm not sure why a Hemalurgist would want one more than anyone else would because the metal is already Invested which means its not useful to him.

    Questioner

    So there is no way that he could use a Hemalurgic spike to take some power from the Spren that's crafting it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, that's what you're saying. You want to grab something off the Spren? That's gonna be way harder than grabbing one that's not already made into something. So I don't see why he would want the Blade, just go grab it from them. Even then its going to be worse then, probably in most cases, a person. Maybe its possible that spiking yourself with a Spren would be valid, but you don't want to take it out of the Shardblade. That's gonna be harder, but you would probably have to go to the Cognitive either way to make it work, so yeah.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8946 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have a preference for Windstance when writing the Stomrlight Arhcive, it feels like that one comes up the most.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The people that I'm writing tend to like it. It is very Alethi. The Windrunners and things like that are connected with the Alethi people. Its disproportionately represented by all of the Alethi.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8948 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you envision Patter and Syl when they are in their Shardblade form.

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're going to do sketches eventually, mhmm.

    Questioner

    Ok, cause I'm getting a tattoo at some point and i want to make it relatively accurate.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Send to Peter and to... well Peter can be in touch with him. Ben, who does a lot of the... Ben is the one that we have canonize the Shardblades, and so after i write a book he does a bunch of sketches for us of what I've describes and we kinda pick one, and i know we've picked one already, but I don't know. I cant draw it for you or anything but if you go to them they can give it to you.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #8950 Copy

    Questioner

    Yesterday you said that crem was actually like Shard poop.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I was saying that it was more like that than what they were saying.

    Questioner

    It's not really poop?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, its not.

    Questioner

    Dang it, I like poop jokes! Can you make it poop so i can have a poop joke.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, for the next thirty seconds it is.