Recent entries

    Firefight Houston signing ()
    #9152 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Do you just start writing and hope for the best?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #9154 Copy

    Questioner

    How would you pronounce Rock's full name?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Firefight Houston signing ()
    #9155 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Firefight Houston signing ()
    #9156 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #9158 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Barnes & Noble B-Fest 2016 ()
    #9159 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Audience

    *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9160 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9161 Copy

    king of nowhere (paraphrased)

    Then I asked him about Jasnah in Shadesmar.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9162 Copy

    king of nowhere (paraphrased)

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

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9163 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

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

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9165 Copy

    SirSavien1

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9170 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9171 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9172 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Audience

    *claps*

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9173 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9174 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Lucca Comics and Games Festival ()
    #9175 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

     

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

    Footnote: there is a break in the audio between the first and last paragraph
    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9176 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

    Makes sense. Would you do more of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9181 Copy

    Jasonioan

    If one were to have an unlocked metalmind, nicrosil, and held it while wielding Nightblood what would happen? Would he be taking Investiture from the--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a RAFO... you will start to find answers to these sorts of things as more people are involved with Nightblood.

    Jasonioan

    ...So, if it was like a coppermind would the information be destroyed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is an excellent question, what I've said before is that Nightblood will feed on whatever Investiture he can gain access to. He will start with the easiest Investiture to reach. He will eventually turn to converting matter into Investiture and eating that.

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9183 Copy

    Questioner

    So we already know that Vasher was Kaladin's trainer with a Shardblade, 'cause you told me that last time I asked you. So does Vasher just have a large mass of Biochromatic Breaths and that's how he's surviving, or is he somehow feeding off Stormlight while he is there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is feeding off of Stormlight, which is the primary reason why he came to Roshar. Investiture is easy to access in plentiful amounts.

    Questioner

    How did he know how to use Shardblades so well when he got there, is that related to how they created Nightblood

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, he has experience with Roshar from hundreds of years ago.

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9188 Copy

    Questioner

    So, the fan page wanted to know. Would it be possible for Hemalurgy to steal a living Shardblade? That was the top voted question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, so you're bonded to a Shardblade. You get spiked, then they spike off the bond so that the Shardblade is bonded to someone else.

    Questioner

    I assume so...

    Brandon Sanderson

    But can they do it with a living Shardblade? You can definitely do it with a dead Shardblade because its just stealing the Connection. With a living Shardblade, yes you could do that 'though the spren could break the bond at will.

    Questioner

    So the spren would survive? That was the second-- the corollary--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhh. Would the spren survive? The spren would survive as long as the oaths were--

    Questioner

    Intact?

    Brandon Sanderson

    --the person didn't break the oaths. But you could theoretically steal the bond, break the oaths, and kill the spren. If you wanted to. Its a very convoluted to kill a spren, they are easier to kill than that, but yes. You could do that. That is a viable but twisted route that you can do. You would end up with a dead spren and a Shardblade, so there is that. But there are easier ways to accomplish that...

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9189 Copy

    Questioner

    I recently reread Elantris and I came to an interesting conclusion: that the seons are similar to the spren.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are.

    Questioner

    And are they Servitude, broken pieces of Servitude.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, they are actually broken pieces of Devotion, which is a similar concept, but yes.

    Questioner

    And then the Elantrians are based off of Dominion then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dominion are the skaze. They are referenced briefly.

    Questioner

    Then Hoid talks to them, or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hrathen references the skaze in his thoughts. I show a skaze I believe in the extra bonus scene, don't I?

    Questioner

    Where Hoid is going to jump into the well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there is a skaze there, that's a skaze.

    Questioner

    ...I'm assuming then, we can look forward to the skaze!

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can look forward to the skaze being involved in things, definitely .

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9190 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll be very interested to see what people think of the adaptation.

    Questioner

    What do you think of the adaptation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like it, it's so-- The big change of making Ais a women is great. That's the big change we made. It trims out a bunch of the fat. What we lose is some of the world building and behind the scenes mechanics of how the magic works, that trade off it's like-- It's faster paced and some of the characterization is much better. Worldbuilding and magic mechanics, we lose a bunch of because that's something you do in prose. There's pros and cons, but i think it looks great and I'm very pleased with it.

    Questioner

    Is it something that you'd consider doing with any other of your work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    See, here's the thing, I've never wanted to do it for a published novel because I figure people have already read that. I want to be giving them at least something new.

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9191 Copy

    Questioner

    Where'd you come up with Wayne's kleptomania where he steals things and replaces things he finds of value. I think that's the funniest part of his character, that he determines that "oh, this is worth more than this" and "that is a good trade".

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no idea where that came from, I can take no responsibility for that man. He just kinda popped out fully formed. I started writing a short story about him, which was where I started, I was gonna do a little Mistborn novella in the wild west era with Wayne as the main character. He was a riot but he couldn't be a main character, he couldn't be the main character. He needed somebody to play off of, and so the Wayne and MeLaan story got shelved--eventually I'll show people, I only got about a thousand words into it--and instead we got Alloy of Law.

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9192 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your release schedule for volumes two and three?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think they are one a year.

    Questioner

    One a year?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I'm sorry... They take so much time. It's possible they can go a little bit faster cause they did the whole script up front.

    Questioner

    Are they still drawing 'em and coloring 'em?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are still drawing them and coloring 'em, yeah. We basically released this one as soon as we had it done. I told them they couldn't release it by little issues, cause I wanted people to have more of a promise they would get the whole thing so I said "You have to wait until you have at least a third of it done", but yeah. I think they are counting on this one paying for them to keep doing what they are already doing, so.

    Vericon 2011 ()
    #9194 Copy

    Puck (paraphrased)

    How is a Splinter different from a Sliver?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Let me see... You have met Splinters in Elantris, Warbreaker, and in Way of Kings. You have not met them in Mistborn.

    Puck (paraphrased)

    I feel like we know that. So, qualitatively, what's the difference?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Qualitatively, they're reverses of one another. A Sliver is a human intelligence who has held the power and released it. A Splinter has never been human.

    Puck (paraphrased)

    But it derives from a Shard's power.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes. That's not it completely, but there's at least something to think about.

    Vericon 2011 ()
    #9199 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Inside Puck's copy of Elantris Brandon wrote "Do not go to Shadesmar on this world (really, I'm not kidding)" on the title page, then said "You guys can chew on that for a little while."

    Footnote: Brandon has confirmed that the reason for this is that the Dor, the Splintered remains of Devotion and Dominion, are located in the Cognitive Realm, which makes the region dangerous to traverse.
    Brandon has since asked that people not ask for cosmere hints. He would prefer people to come with specific questions in mind.
    Miscellaneous 2012 ()
    #9200 Copy

    FireOx

    Do we know the exact purpose for creating 3 different symbols for each book's metals (chapter symbols)? Is it for the 3 metallic arts? If so, which belong to which?

    Isaac Stewart

    Hi FireOx! The three sets of symbols show the progression of the Allomantic text through the ages. The earliest script is from Hero of Ages. It was changed and modified into the Terris script symbols we see in Well of Ascension. After more time, the Terris script morphed into what is now known as the Allomantic Alphabet or the Steel Alphabet, which are the symbols used in Mistborn: The Final Empire. We've extrapolated the Steel Alphabet into a script that's more-standardized and refined for the chapter headings in Alloy of Law, which takes place 300 years after Hero of Ages.