Do any of the Shards have psychoses?
Any of the people? Yes, we all have them.
Do any of the Shards have psychoses?
Any of the people? Yes, we all have them.
What Shard is the opposite of Odium in the sense of the *inaudible*
There are several that could be considered opposites--
I mean in the assimilation sense, you’ve said that Odium doesn’t want to absorb any of the other ones but which one would want to?
Oh, which one would want to join with him?
Or any of them.
I think that if personalities had been different, Honor and Odium, there would have been a very natural pairing, not that they’re opposites but they would have attracted. [...]
Is there such a thing as a ranged Shardblade?
Ranged Shardblade? There are those who are better at throwing theirs.
Is Shardplate also made up of spren or is it different?
You get a RAFO card. It means you’re asking a good question but I’m not going to answer it.
Could you draw a flying carpet with a glyph of rending so it could carry you, with a line of Forbiddance at the back--
I think that’s a little beyond what it could do.
So, in [Shadows of Self], was that actually a Parshendi in the broadsheet?
No, it's not. It was one of the Southern continenters. I just wanted you to think it was.
In Rithmatist, when Joel goes to see if he’ll be chosen as a Rithmatist and the chalk outline thing comes out and looks at him. What was it thinking?
You will find out eventually.
What would happen if the King’s Wit, Wayne, and Mat Cauthon from these last three Wheel of Time books went into a room and locked it?
I think they’d all like each other. And they'd try to one-up each other, it’d be an epic thing.
So what makes some spren rarer than others?
That is not a question I’ve answered yet so you will find out someday perhaps.
If you put a Line of Forbidding on a wall going up could it be stairs?
It could theoretically work but it would be like a magnet and push you off. It’d be pretty hard to use.
With Nightblood coming in [to Words of Radiance] does that produce a magic system from a different book or does that stay separate?
It will stay separate.
How many magic systems are in The Stormlight Archive, and how many of them haven't been seen?
I would say the only major one you haven’t seen is Voidbinding, it depends on how you count them. I count fabrials as one, Surgebinding as one, and Voidbinding as one. And then the Old Magic is kind of its own weird thing.
Can you create a Shardblade with Breath?
Yes. That’s what Nightblood is.
I like how you made it so [Hoid] doesn't know everything. Before Words of Radiance, his mind, he wasn't familiar with this world. Like, other people who live in that world, they were familiar with the animals. I like how you did that.
Thank you. I'm glad you noticed that. Did you notice, in the first book, he's the only person in the book who uses the word "coin"? Everyone else is used to spheres, he's used to coins. So, a little teaser about Hoid. He'll slip up in his terminology.
If you were an Epic what would your powers be?
Truthfully it would be something like summoning books out of the air. But if I wanted one I would pick flying.
Have you ever considered doing a pronunciation guide for your characters?
I should do that, shouldn’t I?
It would help so much...
The thing about that is I’m kind of of the philosophy that however you do it in your head is the right version in your version of the story. Because the characters won’t look the same to everyone. Everyone imagines them differently, might as well say the names differently...
Have you played the Mistborn board game? Are you involved in that at all?
My assistant loves board games. I play Magic: The Gathering. Not necessarily board games. So I've just been *inaudible* to him. They have been very involved, my team has been. When they do a CCG, I will be involved.
As of the current Wax and Wayne book [The Bands of Mourning] have we seen any Shards that have been Splintered that have recombined?
Have you seen any? No you have not. Good question.
At the end of Hero of Ages, there’s the--I forget what it’s called, when the kandra all remove their Hemalurgic nails--and then I forget which character wakes up and just sees the blobs everywhere, and then after what everything that happens I don’t really know what happened to the kandra after that.
They returned their spikes but that left them with holes in their memory.
Who did? The survivors?
Yeah, the survivors.
The worldjumpers in [Secret History] are they ones that have shown up in other books? And we just don’t know their names?
Yeah, they’re only tangential in the other books. I think one of them has only shown up on screen once. The other one’s shown up a couple of times but mostly in certain annotations and things like that. In the books, like on the maps.
The visitors in the Sixth of the Dusk, do I know who they are?
I haven’t answered this for sure, but I have told people that it takes place in the future and is related to the rest of the cosmere…
Do we know how soon we’ll find out?
It’s a little ways off.
My question was about your writing process... When you are writing do you become emotionally attached to the characters you are writing about? Does it become hard to distinguish between what you think the characters should be doing and what you actually have planned out for them? And how did that affect your Wheel of Time writing? You didn’t create them, but you took over their story arcs and did you become attached to any of those?
What an excellent question. I do grow attached to all of my characters, however character is the weird one for me. Character is very hard for me to define how I do it. With my plot I can talk about outlining the plot and these sorts of things. And my worldbuilding, I've written lots of essays about worldbuilding, and building magic systems and things like this. But with character I really sit down with this plot, this world, together and I start writing somebody in a role and I write a chapter and I see how they feel. It's almost like casting someone in the role. If that doesn't work, then I get rid of them, I get rid of that and I write a new chapter using a different character's personality but who feels very much the same in some ways. For instance, Mistborn, I did this quite famously, Vin started with a guy, I tried Vin as a guy and then I tried Vin as a woman, but a different, a very different person from what you read, who was very confident and more Artful Dodger type person, and then I tried the Vin that ended up in the book. I can't really explain to you why I knew those first two were wrong, they just were. So I ditched them and tried again. I do that until I've hit the right character and then I let them start growing and developing as I write the book and if the person they turn into is not the person who would do the sort of things that are in my outline I either have to change my outline, which I will sit down and do, or I'll say "this character is awesome but they don't belong in this role. I will write a book around them later, and find a place for them." And that's-- Usually I just re-write the outline, once in a while I pull out the character and put someone else in that place. If a book is going wrong for me, it almost always because of one of the characters, something is wrong with them, and I wish that I could explain it better. It's actually really thrilling for me, when a character is alive and working well enough that I know they wouldn't do what is in the outline. That's not a sad moment that's a "Aha! I've got something good here. This character is working, they are strong enough on the page that they can balk these constraints that were placed upon them." Because an outline, while it is a great tool, the danger is that the outline constricts your story and it doesn't allow it to actually feel alive. This is when you get these wooden characters that just kind of cardboard cut-out through a book. That's when often the outline just takes too much-- takes over too much of the characters. So it's exciting, but it can be very frustrating when it's not working.
It did happen with the Wheel of Time but in a different way. The Wheel of Time characters were like my high school friends growing up, these were my buddies. I was a nerdy kid who sat in my bedroom and read books, and these were my friends. So writing them I was really worried that it would be difficult to write them. But it was actually very easy, their voices snapped for me quite quickly, I knew what they would do. So much in fact that Mat was a little off in Gathering Storm, I didn't notice it because I was so used to characters coming very easily to me. And yes I feel very much in love with writing them and these sorts of things because of these sort of things but it was because of my past familiarity with them that allowed me to do that.
So, one of the things I know, you have your own universe that you've produced, and it's fantastic. what's the series you're gonna create or have created that's the cornerstone, that will have the largest impact on the universe.
I would say Mistborn going all the way through is probably the most impact. Stormlight is gonna have a decent one, so is the Elantris world.
Is there gonna be a union book or series?
Yeah, the final Mistborn series.
What’s the upper limit of Lashing, is it Stormlight?
Yeah, it’s-- Well define for me what you mean by upper limit?
Like, um, a mountain?
That would take a lot of Stormlight.
So it’s something about the Stormlight?
What happens when you Lash water, or a body of water?
Excellent question, it’s going to have some hard time gripping on--
Would it have a gravity well going on?
Yeah it would have a gravity well, it think-- yeah. You are the first person to ask about that, I don’t think even my assistant has asked about that. So that’s your tentative answer until I think about it some more, but I think it would.
In Bands of Mourning we saw the medallions that can give people Connection to the area that they are in. Two thoughts on that. One… if a person were to get a connection to one of the areas from Elantris would they be able to gain the powers from the area?
Yeah that’s a good question, it’s not that easy. But it is an excellent question.
And if there was an area where the primary language was sign language, would a person gain the ability to speak sign language to the people present by using that connection?
Yes. It is definitely related to the Cognitive Realm and how people are thinking about language.
In Secret History we learned a little about how the Cognitive Realm...could bleed into the Physical if the person was slightly broken.
Broken as Kelsier’s term is not right, and he realizes that over the course of the book, but yeah.
My thoughts were on Wayne, so he seems to notice--and it might just be kleptomania--a connection between items that makes him feel as if he’s not stealing, just trading things for equal value. And I’m wondering if he’s noticing something in the Cognitive-- in one of the other Realms that is actually noteworthy.
He’s just goofy.
It feels like Roshar is-- has an essence, where it’s like a prism, you can see all the rest of them, due to the nature of the Cognitive Realm and the spren’s ideas, Cognitive things coming to light. Have I spent too much time looking at the Shard?
No, you are on the right path. Of all the things you noted, that one is the one that is perhaps the most important.
The prism idea.
The idea that Roshar is special and a key on Shadesmar.
Speaking of intents, Investiture, and what Shards can see, hypothetically if Odium were to go to Scadrial would some things not be visible to him, like, say, metal?
Metal would be hard for him to see, yes.
You’ve said that Shard’s have intents, what about shard-planets, [...] pulls those shards to that planet?
Yes, but it’s not something I’m going to talk about for a long time.
All right, gibberish. Hoid speaks gibberish. He says he cuts off words and splices them back together. Gibberish can be spliced to Shardblade. Which is interesting. Is a Shardblade a cut up concept, or a thought created by the original...
Is a spren, but the original idea it was based off of. Is it a concept made real?
Yes, you could say that. They're really just pieces of Honor's soul.
I wanted to ask, at the beginning you mentioned that you had twelve books written before your first book was published, can you tell us, or are you allowed to tell us how many have actually been published?
Yeah, I can actually go down the list for you. It is somewhat interesting, I think, for people. My very first book was a book called White Sand, and it was basically kind of a Dune rip-off. Your first book is always a rip-off, right, of somebody, as a new writer? And that doesn't count the one in high school, which was a SUPER rip-off, like a major rip-off, it was basically a Tad Williams meets Dragonlance. Full blown with elves and things-- Yeah it was totally--
White Sand is the first one I finished, and I actually then went and wrote a science fiction book called Star's End. And then I wrote the second half of White Sand, because I just stopped and said "This is long enough to be a novel" and then I wrote the rest of it and called that book two, that's actually the only sequel in there I wrote. And then I wrote a comedy, where a lot of the thesis of that comedy came out in Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians ten years later, so that one's kind of half been published. White Sand and Star's End are not any good, they have not been published. And then I wrote something called The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, which was really weird and sci-fi-y and stuff, and that one hasn't been published because it's really bad too. And then book number six was Elantris which was pretty good. Book number 7 was Dragonsteel, which became my honor's thesis as an undergraduate and half of that book ended up in the contemporary Way of Kings, the Bridge Four sequence was all from Dragonsteel and I ripped that out when I re-did Way of Kings.
After that was a re-write of White Sand, with better writing nowadays, and that one we're turning into a graphic novel, that one's good enough to read-- The biggest problem it has is its a little too bloated. The story-- It's like 300,000 words with 150,000 words of story. And so we are going to condense it-- into a graphic novel, so you will eventually see that one. The next one was called Aether of Night, that one didn't get published, it's really two decent books that don't work well together, like one half is a Shakespearean farce about a guy who takes his brother's place on the throne, they're twins, it's mistaken identify, yadda yadda; the other half is this dark brutal war book with an invasion going on, and the two halves never really translate well. People read this and they're like, that chapter is hilarious and fun, and OH MY GOODNESS, and yeah, so-- Maybe someday I'll do something with that.
After that I wrote a book named Mythwalker which became Warbreaker. I ripped out the good parts of that and wrote Warbreaker later on. Then I wrote a book called Final Empire, which is not Mistborn: The Final Empire, because then I wrote a book called Mistborn, and neither of those books were working very well. And then I wrote a book called Way of Kings and then I sold Elantris and I said "I want to take these two books that weren't working very well, and I think if I combine them--" because Mistborn had a cool magic system and the Final Empire had this whole thing about the Hero who failed and the Dark Lord took over and mixing these too ideas turned into a great book and that became Mistborn: The Final Empire.
And basically everything from then I've published, Warbreaker came next which was a re-write of Mythwalker. The Way of Kings, the one you hold, is a complete rebuild, I started from scratch, and added the Bridge Four sequence from Dragonsteel and some of these things... The only good one in there, that wasn't published, is White Sand I think, and I think it is going to make a really nice graphic novel because the story is really solid, the characters are really solid. I just wasn't a good enough writer to know how to condense where I needed to.
Nightblood's sheath and Silence's dagger are silver... Does silver have more secrets to reveal to us? Does it have some Cosmere-sized significance?
Nightblood's sheath is indeed of cosmere-sized significance... but it may not be actual silver.
Who was responsible for getting Vin's bronze earring plated "silver"?
I have a question on the recording, since that's mine. To clarify, we need to send it to Peter? The transcripts, or the audio?
Of all three days?
Yeah. Only the things you're going to post, they're gonna cut out almost all of this. Run it by him. There's a question I'm trying to remember where I flubbed yesterday. I can't even remember what the question was. A lot of times, you're sitting here, and you're just, like, brain dead as people are coming through, and they say something and you're like "Yeah, uh-huh."' And then, you're like, "Wait, no. That's not even the question they asked." I'm pretty sure I got the important words right, but send it through him. It's a practice that I want to get in the habit of doing.
And he sometimes will have all these things all in the notes, so he gets them, and can add them to make sure they're in the notes, for continuity and stuff.
The Ryshadium mounts. Are they actually-- Is there an actual bond, like the Nahel bond?
They are slightly Invested through a symbiotic relationship on Roshar that gives them better-than-average animal intelligence.
Why did you make Adolin kill someone?
Adolin's on the edge. He was just really frustrated with this guy who tried to murder his dad multiple times. Adolin demanded that it happen. It wasn't me forcing it to.
Because I was reading that during my creative writing course. Everybody in there was wondering why I was so mad...
You can slap him around sometime, if you want. But he made the call himself.
Reading Mistborn: Secret History, Kelsier sees fauna and flora in the Cognitive Realm. How does that work, are there people thinking about...
You'll see, there's actual... there's an actual ecosystem in Shadesmar.
Even if people aren't really--
Yeah. Well, think about it this way. The places people are thinking about will create landscape that this stuff can grow on. Where they're not thinking about it, there's just not going to be anything there, so nothing is going to grow.
What happens when a Reshi island dies?
So, it becomes that big old shell, and eventually-- shells, they last a long time, but people are gonna move off of it.
Will people try to get the gemheart?
Yeah, people will try to get the gemheart.
Can you burn a metal wrapped in another metal, if both are Allomantic? Like, the inner metal, could you just burn that before?
No, you're gonna have to work your way through the outer one.
And what if it was a non-Allomantic metal? The same?
It's gonna depend on how thick it is, and stuff. But I would say, if you wrap it in a non-Allomantic metal, that's not good for getting to the metal. It's viable, but it just depends on how thick it is, and things like that. Like, sometimes things have been plated to keep the access to the metal off, but usually you would want to do that in aluminum, to make sure.
What would have happened if the Lord Ruler survived to take the power from the Well? Would he have tried to fixed Scadrial?
By that point in the Lord Ruler's life, he probably would not have. He would like the world where it is, and he was not 100% cognizant of how far he had fallen from his original ideas. So, it would not have been, I think, a good thing. It may have been not as bad as the disaster that followed, in fact I know it would not have been, but in the end, Scadrial needed to go through that eventually. So it would have just delayed that.
So, would he just kind of use up the power? Held it, and let it--
He would have done something with it. Maybe with the Southern Continent or something. But he wouldn't have fixed anything, he probably would have made things a little worse.
Another what if. What if Kelsier hadn't scared Vin away when Hoid was-- What information would he have told Vin?
So, he would not have revealed terribly much of use to her. He was there trying to find out things for him.
In the battle of the Tower, Eshonai is fighting Dalinar, Dalinar removes his helm, and she recognizes him. She acts like she wants to speak with him. Possibly to negotiate. If Kaladin hadn't shown up and saved him, what would have happened?
There's a chance they would have worked it out. Not a really good one, but there's a chance.
What inspired the sword stances in The Way of Kings? Windstance and stonestance--
Yeah, it was old-school, what they call-- the old books that you would see-- sword training guides. Where you would see a guy in a stance, and then go like this, and things. I just thought they were really interesting, and I developed the stances around that.
What's your favorite Magic color deck? Favorite combination?
I'm playing blue!
So, you have this [Mistborn] trilogy, and then you have the trilogy coming after, and then--
Another trilogy. Is there any sort of date or time?
No. The Wax & Wayne books will finish very soon. I'm working on the last one of those. So those two will be complete. Then it might be a little before I jump to a 1980s level.
So, I loved your Shadows for Silence story. It was just so creepy, and I like how you included the family history aspect of the name. Do you think you'll write another story in that world?
I am so excited! It was really cool to see you write a more creepier story than your other books. I really liked that change.
It is gonna be nice and creepy.
I am assuming in the next [Elantris] book, you plan on addressing... the bad guy of Fjordell?
Wyrn? The next book will take place in Fjordell. It focuses mostly on Kiin's family, that's Sarene's uncle. They are the main characters in that one.
Do you plan on keeping most of those characters? Like Raoden, Galladon?
You will see of them, but it's kind of more of an Anne McCaffrey style sequel. In this one, new main characters, with the old ones a little more in the background.
When were you planning on having the fourth Wax & Wayne book?
So, it'll be the next Cosmere book I write. I probably won't get to it until earlier next year. So well see when the publisher decides to publish it after I turn it in.
What is your favorite class of Knights Radiant.
Ooh, probably-- see, that's hard. I like them all. I would probably, if I were to choose one for myself, probably choose Bondsmith.