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    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    CephandriusTW

    Would it be correct to speak of Vyre and Moash like only one person? I mean, they actually look like different people.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are one person, but his identity is a little wonky at times.

    CompetitiveCell

    Does that mean Moash has dissociative tendencies similar to Shallan? Vyre mouthing off to the Fused is very different from Moash being dead inside in Oathbringer

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, this is more about whether he sees himself still as Moash and such. It will be more clear as the book progresses.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    LewsTherinTelescope

    When Leshwi says Lezian has gone six thousand years and never failed to hunt down his killers, does that mean it's been six thousand years since his first death to a human? Six thousand years since the First Desolation? Or does it mean six thousand years prior to Aharietiam, since he hasn't exactly done much pursuing of normal humans while on Braize for 4.5k years?

    (The first seems more likely to me from the wording, but if he's been on Braize for 4.5k years, he hasn't done anywhere near 6k years of pursuing.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's the first. And yes, he's spent a LONG time not pursuing. But that's the sort of thing the Fused gloss over when talking about something like this.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Was this first death to a human during the First Desolation? It seems the Fused didn't have Surges at that time, so I imagine a normal human killing one wouldn't be much more difficult than killing a normal singer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO on that one! Can't say too much about those days for a few more years.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Ketamine

    So the total number of the Fused is around 100. Is Odium unwilling or unable to create new Fused?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is able, but so far hasn't. Also, there are more than 100 Fused.

    Ketamine

    I got 100 from the following sentence from Chapter 14:

    Other Voices were gathering. There were some thirty of them—she’d been led to believe that there would be as many as a hundred, once all the Fused were awake.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A hundred voices, representing Fused important enough to deserve a place in this meeting. Fused below Leshwi's rank wouldn't have a voice. Easy mistake to make--maybe something I should have tweaked in drafting to make more clear.

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Fourteen

    One of the themes of some of my unpublished books was the nature of immortality. I've always been fascinated by the idea, and some of its implications. I think about how shadowy in my mind events of some ten years ago are, and I wonder what would happen if we lived centuries, instead of decades, in lifespan. How would we adapt? How would our physical apparatus (like our brains) adapt to something like that? Like a car built to drive 200,000 miles instead being kept going for many times that.

    As an aside, one of the more fun stories I've read dealing with this idea is the excellent 17776, which you really have to experience, since it defies explanation.

    I enjoyed writing this chapter, and many in this book, as the series is finally in a place where I can start delving into the personalities and attitudes of the fused. I can't say a whole lot more about that yet, but suffice it to say that I'm excited for you to get the whole book.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Songstream

    Q1: Can synthetic diamond contain Stormlight?

    Q2: if yes, can a perfect gemstone that never loses Stormlight be made of synthetic material?

    Q3: Has anyone already tried bringing synthetic diamond to Roshar at this point?

    Q4: Is the increasing heaviness caused by Connection limited to Shadesmar, or does it also apply to the Physical Realm?

    Q5: Will Mraize ever say, “He who controls the Stormlight controls the Cosmere”?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Answer to one is yes. Answer to two is, "Never is a LONG time." Three is not yet. I'll RAFO the other two.

    VergenceScatter

    Do diamonds have to be clear to hold Investiture, or can they be of any color?

    Brandon Sanderson

    On Roshar, part of the definition of a diamond would be that it's clear.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    alercah

    I know Nightblood was written specifically as a sort of prequel, but isn't that a bit of a violation of keeping them self-contained?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is. Warbreaker has always been a little bit of a special exception, because of the circumstances of writing it.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    donethemath

    Do you have Beta readers that have only read some of your Cosmere works? Like, do you have people that are exclusively Stormlight Archives or exclusively Mistborn? It seems like it would be useful for this kind of information exposure, but I have a hard time imagining someone that you'd trust to read the books early that would be willing to not touch some of your other books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I do. I also rely on a few more casual readers in my writing group, who don't keep up to date on everything happening in the books (and don't reread before we get back to a world) to help me judge what will be confusing to the fans who don't keep track as meticulously. I want the books to work on both levels, if possible.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Dalinarium

    Radiants are bound to Roshar because of spren, but does it apply to Dalinar's ability to open the perpendicularity? If we assume that's not a Bondsmith ability, but somehow a Shard power can Dalinar open Honor's perpendicularity on another planet?

    donethemath

    I don't think Dalinar's ability will have any impact on him being more likely to leave. Opening the perpendicularity creates a path from the Physical Realm to the Cognitive and Spiritual Realm, but it doesn't change the person's location. Going through the perpendicularity doesn't get someone further away from Roshar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is correct.

    Dalinarium

    If Dalinar ascended as Honor (assuming reuniting Honor is ppssible), would this new Shard tied to Roshar like certain Shard from Mistborn, or he will be able to leave Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the circumstances. Most likely he could leave.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Sacae-

    My small question. With his [Mraize's] goals kind of explained here having to do with Stormlight and moving it. Is he aware of Lifts relationship with Investive and Stormlight? She’s like a renewable battery if he could get her off the prison! Get her off. Get her to eat. Stormlight anywhere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is aware of Lift, and is very curious about her. But she isn't able to produce on the scale he wants. One person who could charge batteries by touching them would certainly be cool--but if you're goal is to (say) dominate and monopolize the battery distribution to all of America, that person would be more of a curiosity (scientific implications aside) than a huge asset.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Sacae-

    As a Stormlight reader who has only read one Mistborn book (the first) and am only comsere aware through soaking things in from Stormlight. I have to say you walking that tightrope nicely here. It’s intriguing without feeling like I’m out of the loop and it for sure fuels me with interesting things are in the background.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm glad that the tightrope is working for you. You picked up on everything you need to know--there are other planets, and being able to provide Stormlight to them (as a cheap, renewable version of magical energy) would be valuable. So the Ghostbloods are interested.

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Thirteen

    Most of you probably know that it has been important to me to keep the cosmere behind-the-scenes for most of the book series. I don't want a person to have to track all the different books in order to enjoy the one they're currently reading.

    The large-scale plan for the books, however, has them slowly converging toward certain events in the future. Less "cross-overs" and more that the nature of what I'm creating is about different worlds who share a background, history, and (eventually) future.

    So we're slowly moving out of what I'd call the "each series separate" era of the cosmere and into the "careful mixing" era. The goal for these books will be to still make it that you don't feel you need to remember everything, or need to follow everything. I hope to be able to walk this particular tightrope in such a way that someone who has never read any of the other cosmere books doesn't feel left out--but rather, that there are mysterious and interesting things happening, but the core stories still make sense. However, if I want to lay the groundwork for what I eventually want to do, it will require more bleed-over than I've allowed in the past.

    This chapter is one of those that illustrates this new philosophy on my part--the "let them mix, but try to do it in a way that doesn't undermine the integrity of the series" philosophy. We'll see how well I manage it. FYI, Chapter Fifteen goes even a little further in this area than this chapter did. (Though don't expect full-blown cross-contamination between the series until the space age Cosmere era, which is still a ways off.)

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    mazzeleczzare

    I’m curious if you’d ever consider going into writing for graphic novels? I never considered it until reading Saga by Brian K Vaughan and then sone thing clicked where I realized that the stories I want to tell are so visual and I think that is something your writing has down perfectly. I can’t help but picture Stormlight Archive as an anime or manga in the style of Full Metal Alchemist

    Brandon Sanderson

    An anime of Stormlight is very much on the table--seems more viable than doing a live action in many ways. I have been hesitant about doing straight graphic novel adaptations of my works, however, as I try to come up with things like Dark One that seem to fit the genre specifically.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    roberto_sf

    Any news on the Mistborn screenplay? The progress bar no longer appears on your website

    Brandon Sanderson

    I finished the Treatment, but decided not to write the screenplay until some behind-the-scenes things played out further. It's all good news, internally, but there are some pieces to fit together. For example, I started a production company earlier in the year. I won't finance/make the film myself, of course, but it's the sort of step I wanted to take before going further with partners.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Cthaehen

    Can you maybe tell us something about how much of the text in this book is devoted to the happenings of the past year (especially with Dawnshard not being an absolute pre-requisite to understand RoW)? How much can we expect to see of Renarin's journey, because that's an important variable in Odium's plan? I guess with the word/page limit though, it would also make sense to portray the characters just dealing with the aftermath of the events.

    Brandon Sanderson

    From here out, not a TON is devoted to the past year. We get a lot more from Adolin on how he's feeling than from Renarin, but I did find time to slip a little Renarin in later in the book. And what is there does relate to the questions you are asking here.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Sacae-

    Rock isn't in this book after this and waiting for Novella for more of him - Im curious if it's possible he'd be showing up in book 5 interludes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am going to have to RAFO anything about Rock going forward, as to not interfere with his novella. (Which is likely to happen.)

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    JuakoHawk

    Since you too acknowledge the massiveness of this world you built, have you ever considered letting some of your writing group pals or closest friends write short canon stories about any of the side characters in SA? Like an Arcanum Unbounded but with lots of stories from the POV of various side characters?

    It would be amazingly interesting, not only to get more info on some of our favorite characters, but it would let other styles of writing bleed in and mix among this wonderful world of yours (and we, as fans, get more Stormlight content without you having to burn out from writing all these side stories)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've been toying with this, and it's possible in the future, but we're taking baby steps. First will likely be Isaac (who is my art director and long time collaborator) who will probably be continuing the Taldain graphic novels, with a Khriss-focused story set on Darkside.

    At the same time, I'm planning to do a few more audio novellas like The Original where I collaborate with people like Dan Wells.

    Whether I do anything similar with Stormlight will really depend on what the readers think of these experiments. I would enjoy doing a book of canon stormlight short stories that are written by other people who want to explore characters that there isn't as much time for in the narrative--but I'd be very careful and cautious about it, and would want to ease into the idea by trying other properties first.

    yahasgaruna

    Is this the first you've talked about this? I was wondering the other day whether there had been any update to how the story from White Sand would move forward since the graphic novels have caught up with your prose novel.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It might be. It's something he wants to try, and I think it would be an excellent collaboration, since he's much better at visual storytelling than I am.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    FuIIofDETERMINATION

    Can a spren turn into a wearable hat(conceptually, Syl’s dress being part of her body), or would the 4th ideal need to be sworn first?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible with the magic at Kaldin's current ideal, but not at the current skill/understanding level of most current Radiants.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    _imagine_7

    One of those, however, is this: Venli doesn't see herself as a hero, nor is she interested in being one. Emotionally, she's not really about saying ideals. She feels she's the wrong person for whatever it is that has started to happen to her.

    It is good for the characters to be different so I don't have any problem with this. However, it seems as if she will speak the ideals over a long period of time because of this. We had a theory floating around that Venli can go to the cognitive realm for the escape. I guess she will either need to speak the third ideal (it looks like this will take time) or she will need help from someone else. Maybe BRDIGE 4?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    CephandriusTW

    Would Moash (not Vyre) be on her side if given the opportunity? I mean, would he empathize with her and understand her point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Moash and Vyre are not distinct personalities, so that part of the question isn't as relevant. However, I'd say that he wouldn't really care one way or the other about Venli's problems.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    _imagine_7

    Was busy yesterday writing a picture book.

    Don't leave us with less info! What is it about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO for now. I want to show it around to some people first and see what they think. I'll tell you all what it's about if:

    A) It doesn't turn out to be good enough to publish professionally.

    or

    B) We get a deal for it.

    It is not cosmere, however. I wrote it in part to practice the format, as some day I'd like to do some of Hoid's stories (like the Girl who Looked Up) as picture books.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Neshuacadal

    Does the book [Rhythm of War] have only four main characters Kaladin, Shallan, Navani and Venli?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would consider Dalinar, Adolin, and Eshonai to be in that grouping as well. But it depends on your definition of main character. Jasnah gets multiple viewpoints in this book, for example, but not as many as the others. Taravangian gets a fair number too.

    Neshuacadal

    Thank you! My definition of main character...I mean, plenty viewpoints in each part of the book and role in main arc of the story. Only Kaladin, Venli, Navani, Shallan who were introduced in part 1 fit that definition. Unless someone else shows up in remaining chapters.

    I hoped for another Dalinar's book, because some other characters get multiple 'big books', but it won't happen, I guess?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Stormlight books, in order to contain the story, I limit the number of viewpoints per part. If you look back through the other ones, generally I'll alternate which characters get viewpoints in a given part.

    Dalinar still has a large role to play in the events of the series.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    MistbornSynok

    So is the 4th Wax and Wayne book coming after Skyward 3 or after Skyward 4?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Skyward 3 will happen next, then Wax and Wayne 4. I realize people have been waiting for Wax and Wayne longer than they've been waiting for Skyward, and in a perfect world, I might do it next.

    However, there are two big things pushing me the other direction. First, my Skyward and Mistborn are different publishers--and I just delivered a Stormlight book to the Mistborn publisher. The Skyward publisher has been very patient and understanding, but I feel I need to make good on my promises to them too.

    Beyond that, I really like to alternate between projects. If I did Wax and Wayne 4 next, I'd be left with two Skyward books in a row. I'd rather split those up.

    That leaves us with Skyward 3, W&W4, Skyward 4, then Stormlight 5. That should, barring some kind of big problem, be the next four books I write. I've been doing well at moving random ideas I have (like the Original) into things like collaborations lately. This has both let me do some fun things (for example, I think The Original is better as a collaboration than it would have been if either of us had tried to write it alone) and save time to focus my attention on my main book projects.

    The nice thing about this is that it puts us in really good shape in 2023 with Stormlight 5 coming out. Since Alcatraz 6 is done, and Legion is finished, this means I'll have wrapped up every major arc I've been writing as we hit the halfway point of the cosmere.

    That will leave me free to dive into Mistborn era 3 and the Elantris sequels as the next "chunk" of books I write. But we shall see how things play out.

    AutumnWell

    I was wondering if you intend to write a novella set between Stormlight 5 and 6 to bridge the gap between the two arcs.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't have any current plans. Like the gap between books three and four (though, admittedly, longer) I have constructed the story so that the information is part of the narrative. To actually write it out would, I think, be anticlimactic--since you'll be getting plenty of it through context. To say more would stray into spoilers, so I'll leave it there.

    YidItOn

    Do you have plans for a sequel to "The Rithmatist" in the next chunk after Stormlight 5, or will it more likely be sometime after that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I keep telling myself I'll get to it, but still haven't found the right time. But I've always said that once Legion and Alcatraz are finished, it would be the last of the "loose end" series from the first part of my career that I want to tie up. So it's very much on my mind.

    meh84f

    What about Warbreaker 2? Is there any plan to write another book in that world? It seems like it’s set up for one and there’s a lot of questions raised by the characters worldhopping.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do plan to do it, but it's been perpetually in a "We'll see" in regards to when.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Sacae

    I'm waiting each preview chapter for even a line referring Lift (which has been great! With the Syl slang pick up and so forth.) and Im not expecting much else than a line or two like that - cause back five, I know, so just looking for the scraps so to speak. Just curious - if there are a few lines more in the Part One previews coming up or I got my fill.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a Lift interlude, which is your only viewpoint for her in this book I'm afraid. She makes one other brief appearance in this part, but don't expect much of her until later in the book.

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Eleven

    Dropped the ball a little on my annotation this week. Was busy yesterday writing a picture book. (Yes, I know. Look, I needed a break to do something different, all right? I'll let you all know if anything ever happens with it.)

    Anyway, on to Venli! As I said last week, this is kind of the true "Chapter One" to Rhythm of War. The Venli chapters in this book are second only to the Shallan chapters in the number and extent of the revisions I ended up doing. There was a fine balance to walk with her in a lot of ways, as will become more evident as the book progresses.

    One of those, however, is this: Venli doesn't see herself as a hero, nor is she interested in being one. Emotionally, she's not really about saying ideals. She feels she's the wrong person for whatever it is that has started to happen to her.

    This means there's a different tone between her and the other characters. What she mostly wants is to find a way to escape the powder keg she's gotten herself into, and while she DOES want to make amends for things she's done, I wanted her to feel more "normal person trapped in a strange situation" in many ways than someone like Kaladin.

    The fine line to walk here is that I didn't want her to come off petulant, or be too annoying. But I also didn't want her to come off as a gung-ho "let's be heroes" type. That's a delicate balance, because there's a danger because it's very easy for readers to resent her for not being as "on board" with the story as the other characters.

    It was worth the risk, and the likelihood that some people will just plain not like her viewpoints, for me because I feel it adds variety of perspectives to the story. It's good to have someone who feels trapped, in over their head. Someone who doesn't know the "right" thing to do, and is a little less proactive as a result. I like how authentic her viewpoints feel because of that.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    hairyforehead

    How has no one asked Brandon what a Herdazian accent sounds like yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It wouldn't sound like anything we know. I give no instructions to audiobook readers on accents for that reason. However, I DO use our-world linguistics to build languages, and Herdazian is based on Spanish, with a heavy influence of mexican slang.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Sms231

    I'm surprised that ANY author today would do this, given that releasing an audio-only book [The Original] is discriminatory against Deaf and Hard of Hearing individuals who can't use audiobooks.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sorry. The issue here is that the money to do these things is being put up by Audible and Recorded. The story literally wouldn't exist if they hadn't wanted material for their audible original lines.

    Maybe I could ask the publisher to make text versions available for hard of hearing people? Seems like a reasonable thing to ask. But being angry about this seems basically the same to me as being angry at an author for releasing a print only edition of a book, as it discriminates against blind people. The publisher is funding things for their platform--and it's an audiobook platform.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    thrillofdarkness

    Is there going to be any Szeth in the book? I mean as far as main characters go his screen time seems to me to have been ridiculously short until now.

    I guess this is intentional on your part, to retain the mystery surrounding him and set him up somehow for book 5.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Afraid there's not a TON of Szeth. He does have a viewpoint, but it's an interlude. Other than that, he appears in several chapters and does a some very relevant things to the plot, but always through other viewpoints. You'll have to wait for Book Five for a larger chunk of Szeth, I'm afraid.

    You're right, I've intentionally been holding him back. I worried that too much Szeth too soon would undermine his flashbacks. I think it was wise; you'll see in this book that though the Venli flashbacks are still interesting, they're not as compelling as ones like Dalinar's, since you basically know Venli's entire backstory by this point. Just not the details. There's not a lot to explore or reveal that I can't do just as easily in her mainline viewpoints.

    I was careful in the outlines to front-load the flashbacks for the characters I knew would have a lot of screen time. Szeth has always been intended to get the fewest viewpoints of the main five characters.

    Kitchen_Abrocoma_297

    So Szeth won't be the one most prominently featured character in the main timeline in book 5, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He will have a larger part than he's had in most previous books.

    Kitchen_Abrocoma_297

    I am curious...how Szeth's role in book 3 could have played out if he were the focus character. Would his role increase or stay the same?

    Or Dalinar's role in book 5. Will those big chunks of his story still happen in book 5 or they were moved into book 3?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If Szeth had been the focus, we would have had all the stuff with his homeland in three--and then had to wait until 5 to get Dalinar's flashbacks. It COULD have worked, and by doing it this way, I had to kind of keep Szeth off the center stage in book four. But I am confident it was the right choice, as delaying longer on Dalinar would have felt like a worse stretch.

    Kitchen_Abrocoma_297

    Oh. So book 5 main timeline narrative for Dalinar will still happen because you moved only flashbacks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the main storyline stayed basically the same. You will see in Book Five why my initial feelings were that Dalinar's flashbacks would work there. Szeth's joining the Skybreakers would also have meshed well with his flashbacks, but I have instead enhanced the trip back to Shinovar to be longer instead.

    Note, however, that a LOT of things move around during writing. The Book Two Kaladin climax was originally outlined to happen at Urithiru, for example.

    LordColms

    Just curious, if you think that Venli doesn't have as much potential for the flashbacks as the others then why did you choose to focus an entire book on her?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the original outlines, I hadn't intended to go into as much depth as I ended up doing with Eshonai/Venli in books two and three. I realized quickly into writing the series that I couldn't wait that long to humanize the Parshendi. So I put a lot of the mystery of their culture and their motives into books two and three.

    That led me to deciding in this book to split the flashbacks between them, as I felt it added more variety to the flashbacks--as I had sacrificed some of the novelty that was originally going to distinguished the flashbacks for this book.

    Rhythm of War Annotations ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Ten

    And here we finally reach the culmination of a plot cycle I've been working on for four books now, but really kicked into overdrive in Oathbringer.

    I knew pretty early into the creation of the "new" Kaladin (as opposed to Merin, from Prime) that I was going to have to deal with the fact that he'd been put through hell--and that sort of thing leaves scars on a person. Just like I eventually realized I needed to step up and do my research to properly treat Shallan's arc, I decided early on I'd need to be responsible with how I treated what Kaladin had been through.

    Mental health has become a theme in the Stormlight Archive, but I've often noted that it isn't that I set out to write specifically about that topic. More, I feel that the extreme circumstances I'm putting characters into naturally lead to these kinds of conflicts. If I'm going to follow through with what the characters are experiencing, it means talking about these ideas.

    This chapter is the unmarked "end" of what I imagined being the cold open lead-in to the novel. (The kind of "climax to a book between the two novels you didn't see" that I've been talking about in these annotations.) With the next chapter, we'll go to a character we haven't seen yet this book, and begin into the core plot of the novel.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    erik02847

    I don’t know if this has been discussed any wear before, but I can’t get this idea out of my mind that a massive influx of stormlight due to the rediscovering of shadesmar by the common person through the oath gates will cause inflation to skyrocket in shadesmar cities. This does not even account for the war that is also likely to absorb a lot of resources in the cognitive realm, further increasing the scarcity of certain materials, which would only drive prices higher due to the low of supply and demand. I’m just curious if this would even happen based off of the unique qualities of trade in shadesmar (items can just disappear, and money can too if it’s not in the right gem), but it would seem that it would based off of my current understanding of economic theory.

    Is this something you are able to talk about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not yet, as it's something I don't want to dig in to too much yet. Consider it a RAFO for now.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    godminnette2

    I would also like to point out that both Shallan and Adolin wondering what kind of places could have such names, after being told by Azure last book that she came from a far land other than Roshar, is mildly amusing to me. They do have a lot on their minds.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is true. They MIGHT start putting some things together in relation to Azure later on in the book, fortunately.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Mrrobot112

    Is it possible to know which characters will be getting viewpoints after Part 1?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All the main characters get viewpoints, though there aren't a lot of them for Szeth or Jasnah. (Technically, she isn't a main character of this sequence--but she has a couple viewpoints here and there regardless.) The structure is a little more like Book One, with one "A" plot that runs the entire book (in book one, it was Kaladin in Bridge Four) and two "B" plots that each are in half of the book.

    In this book, parts 2 and 4 are one of those B plots and parts 3 and 5 are the other one. (In book one, the first B plot was Shallan and the second was Dalinar/Adolin.) Like the previous books there are two "C" plots. One being a flashback sequence for one of the characters (in this case two) and one being a sequence of interludes.

    Venli's flashbacks are weighted toward the back half of the book, as it felt better to have them in quicker succession, since she's sharing them with Eshonai.

    The A/B/C breakdown doesn't start happening until after Part One in this book, though. So I'd say wait until you get the book. Anyone you don't see in Part Two will be in Part Three (and a group of people in Part Two won't be in Part Three.)

    I do this deliberately to keep the number of viewpoints down per section, as it helps with the complexity a little. Epic fantasy tends to have a problem of viewpoint sprawl, which has made problems with the pacing. This kind of structure is how I combat that in the Stormlight Archive.

    That doesn't mean characters don't have a part in the story, even if they aren't getting viewpoints. For example, Dalinar is in multiple chapters in Part One, though he doesn't get viewpoints in this part.

    Glamdring804

    Since this is a front half book, can I assume that this doesn't include Ash and Taln?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is correct. No Ash/Taln viewpoints in this book, though they do appear in the text briefly.

    ascraz

    Do we have any view points from moash as well? I really enjoy the character.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is at least one Moash Viewpoint in the book.

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    Asiriya

    With RoW did you know immediately that you wanted a time jump? From how rigorous you seem to be I presume you've plotted out the whole year, but how did you decide on the point to open the book at; did you always envision using Kaladin returning home?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I knew I wanted a time jump in the first five at some point, but I wasn't certain exactly which book it would go between until I was further along. Again, it was more of an instinct thing.

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    Asiriya

    How do you approach breaking a story? Is it still scary / daunting? How did you know that the first version of Dragonsteel wasn't right, and how many iterations did it take to get to the published Way of Kings? Is it something you can do alone, or do you rely on your network of collaborators? Your pace makes it seem like there's not much time for reinvention - is that simply because you don't need it now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The best thing I can tell you to try, is to write something else, something you haven't been planning for years--something more off the cuff (even if you outline it first) that you're not worried as much about "breaking" by doing wrong. Get some more experience as a writer, then tackle the big more messy problems like the books you've been working on for many years. That is what worked for me, at least.

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    jurble

    but one kingdom (led by a mysterious figure who knew far too much)

    Did this evolve into or influence the Ishar/Tezim situation at all? Or maybe the latter is a parody even of that idea.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The mysterious figure was Aronak (though I don't remember how I spelled it) one of the original figures planning to kill Adonalsium. Back then, before the cosmere fully formed, they were demigods--but I later decided it was more interesting for the Shards to have been (mostly) ordinary mortals before the shattering. So he's no longer canon.

    He was basically breaking the agreement between the others of his kind by giving rapid technological development to his people. This was, in part, because I was intrigued by the idea of a single highly-advanced (in technology) culture among a group of bronze age peoples. An idea you see play out in science fiction (with advanced aliens among modern cultures on earth) but not often in fantasy. (Except in some versions of "Old world meets new world" style recreations of what happened on Earth.)

    ericsando

    (mostly) - translation: dragons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, at least one Dragon. And at least One Sho Del.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Is Aronak (though not necessarily with the same name) still one of the original Vessels in the current version of the Cosmere? If so, does he have a different name in the current canon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Chapter Nine

    So, I might have mentioned this before, but one of the oldest (and eventually discarded) scenes I had for this book was Kaladin returning home. It's existed in some form since I was first developing Dragonsteel in my late teens. It eventually happened last book, but I gave Kaladin the chance to ruminate on it in this book.

    The very first version was from Dragonsteel--and was supposed to begin the second book, which I never wrote. In that story, most everyone was around a bronze age level of technology, but one kingdom (led by a mysterious figure who knew far too much) was rapidly progressing his people technologically. So the protagonist, after joining his army and fighting on the Shattered Plains with Bridge Four, eventually was to return home in full plate armor to confront the version of Roshone who ruled there.

    Like I said, that never happened. But I eventually took many of those ideas and wrote The Way of Kings Prime. Though Bridge Four didn't make the jump yet, Dalinar did--and so did the idea of the young peasant boy forced into war. The second book of THAT was to begin with Merin, returning home from war, to find something very strange at home--which eventually turned out to be related to that book's version of the Voidbringers. (And Merin's nacent windrunner abilities would let him kill one. He would haul the head back to Dalinar as proof that something was up.)

    That book never got written either. I finally got to put the scene in, mostly, in Oathbringer. But, like most of the revisions to the story over the years, it became a little less triumphant and a little more messy. (Intentionally messy, to more accurately depict how events in life are often full of contrasting emotions.)

    It was interesting for me to reflect on those 25+ years of imagining one scene, evolving over the years, as I put a kind of capstone on it in this book.

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    PM_ME_CAKE

    Here Sanderson says that the flashback chapters will be quite heavy in Cosmere content, and yet we get this before even that happens. I am so very hyped.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let me point out that is NOT what I said. I said there were a few things in Venli's viewpoints that would be of interest to those watching the larger Cosmere. The flashbacks are not cosmere focused.

    If people want huge cosmere revelations in Venli, they're probably going to be disappointed. I don't want to predispose them wrong. However, there ARE some interesting tidbits.

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    ailvara

    In this moment: "Oh! a perky voice said in Shallan’s mind. We were almost here anyway, Veil! What are we doing?" Shallan is Veil (or was just a paragraph earlier with no hint it's changed) and Pattern calls her Veil but the phrasing is "in Shallan's mind". Is it a typo (or significant... mismatch)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm a little tight for time now, so I can't look specifically, but I BELIEVE what is happening here is that Pattern is guessing which alter she is, and getting it wrong. It happens in this book several times, where Shallan is not giving external cues at which one she is at the moment.

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    WhoisJohnFaust

    I got a real emotional allomancy vibe from Moash here. It felt like he was rioting Kal's depression and exhaustion. Is there something more going on than must Moash having a past and being able to cut Kal to the soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can see how it would be read that way, but you have it a little reversed. This depression and exhaustion is how Kal has been feeling lately, and he's been painting over it with other emotions. He's been forcing himself to keep moving, and at this moment, he was just too tired to keep lying to himself.