Recent entries

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #9201 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 ()
    #9206 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 ()
    #9208 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 ()
    #9213 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 ()
    #9214 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 ()
    #9215 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 ()
    #9216 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 ()
    #9217 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 ()
    #9219 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 ()
    #9224 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 ()
    #9225 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.

    A Memory of Light Raleigh Signing ()
    #9226 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Why did the Lord Ruler have to stay aged at times?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's when he was doing his rebuild. He didn't really have to, but he let himself. He has to recharge periodically, and then stays on a higher and higher burn over the thousand years. It gets harder and harder. The way the magic works—he doesn't have to stay aged.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Is he burning or tapping?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He's tapping.

    A Memory of Light Raleigh Signing ()
    #9227 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    I’ve been fortunate enough to read White Sand and Aether of Night and I enjoyed them very much. Will they ever be published? I also managed to read Dragonsteel and I enjoyed that too.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    White Sand will definitely eventually be published. Aether of Night, not so sure on, because Aether is two halves of two books that didn't fit together. The two pieces didn't mesh. White Sand is part of the sequence and will be done. Dragonsteel is part of the sequence and will be done, but it will be very different now that the Shattered Plains have been used in Way of Kings.

    A Memory of Light Raleigh Signing ()
    #9228 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    In your novellas Legion and The Emperor's Soul, there was a common theme of a creation of character. Were you making a comment on that as a writer?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The Emperor's Soul was much more so, specifically dealing with the artistic process. That was part of the theme for me. Legion was more "Wow, this idea's awesome." I originally told Dan (from Writing Excuses) that he should write this, it's really quirky. He said, "I got my own ideas—go write it yourself!"

    A Memory of Light Raleigh Signing ()
    #9229 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Do you see Robert Jordan’s characters coming out in your writing?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No. That may happen unconsciously, but my goal is not to have that happen, because I want to tell different stories. It would be like if Kelsier started coming out in Dalinar. It's just not something we want to have happen as a writer. We want everyone to be their own individual.

    A Memory of Light Birmingham Signing ()
    #9230 Copy

    EHyde (paraphrased)

    In The Way of Kings, is assassination a common thing in the Parshendi culture, because it seems odd that they would have a specific custom for what assassins wear?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It is something that happened quite a bit more in the past than it does now. But yes, you will find out much more about them. They are now more unified, but they used to be a bunch of different tribes, and they would send assassins into each other's camps.

    A Memory of Light Birmingham Signing ()
    #9232 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    In at least two of the books that I know of, a god is either dead or attacked in some form or fashion. Is there any reason for that?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, there is an ongoing theme there, and it's primarily because there is an overarching story behind the story. The books are all in the same universe. And there is a character that's the same in all of the books. In Way of Kings it's Wit. He's actually in all of them.

    A Memory of Light Birmingham Signing ()
    #9238 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Why did you have to kill Vin and Elend?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    They demanded that they be allowed to take the chance they did. And I just let them take the chance. I didn't kill them, I just let them take the chance that they demanded that I let them take. That's kind of a cop-out answer, I'm sorry, but that's what it feels like to me. And if I always make it so that there are no consequences, then the books have no heart.

    A Memory of Light Birmingham Signing ()
    #9240 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    What about the Mistborn video game?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    We put it off until 2014, because of the new console generation. We had planned for it to come out right when the buzz was saying the new consoles were going to launch. And that felt like a bad idea to us. The Mistborn film is also in the works, but it is very early and it is not nearly as far along as the Wheel of Time film is. So if anyone's father is J. J. Abrams, have him call me.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #9242 Copy

    Questioner

    I love *inaudible* this series. How did you come up with Elend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I wanted an idealist *inaudible* revolutionary stuck in a world that wasn't ready for one yet, and that was my pitch to myself, right? Like if you took, you know, someone like... one of the great *inaudible* like Hamilton or somebody and just stuck them in a world that just was not ready for their ideas. How would that go?

    Questioner

    That sounds like the *inaudible*. Don't you have that in mind, like...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but he-- he that was-- yeah, yeah. His plan was-- be an idealist. The second book is where he realizes he can't make the same path he wants to, and third book is kind of reconciliation of how he can create this step that will eventually lead to Democracy and things like this, which you eventually then get to see in later books.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #9243 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Are we gonna hear what happened after the Heralds gave up their oath and *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will-- you will see more of that.

    Questioner 2

    Is there uh-- is there gonna be more side characters like Taln? Where they kind of like *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, Taln and Ash--two of the Heralds--are main characters in the second five books, so that's where you're going to see *inaudible*. 

    Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
    #9244 Copy

    Nadine

    Will The Way of Kings series be based on one of the worlds and magic systems you have already created or are you inventing a totally new one for this series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will be new. There are going to be a lot of different types of magic in the world (I see there's a question below asking about that, so I'll answer more there.) But there will be two main magic systems for the first book. The first will deal with the manipulation of fundamental forces. (Gravity, Strong/weak atomic forces, Electromagnetic force, that sort of thing.) The second will be a transformation based magic system, whereby people can transform objects into one of the world's ten elements.

    Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
    #9245 Copy

    Jared_A

    Brandon, how do you feel your identity and upbringing as a Mormon has affected your work?

    Elantris, for instance, centers around a magic system that has essentially been broken because something in the world has changed—a "new revelation" if you will. And then Mistborn has at its core a set of holy writings that have been altered by an evil force.

    These things seem decidely Mormon to me, or at least informed from a Mormon perspective. Do you feel that is the case?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't set out to put anything specifically Mormon into my books, but who I am definitely influences what I write and how I write it. I'm always curious at the things people dig out of my writing—neither of the two points you mention above are things that I was conscious of, though they certainly do make interesting points now that you look at them.

    My goal in storytelling is first and foremost to be true to the characters—their passions, beliefs, and goals. No matter what those are. I'm not trying to make a point consciously ever in my writing—though I do think that good stories should raise questions and make readers think.

    Who I am as a person heavily influences what I write, and I draw from everything I can find—whether it be LDS, Buddhist, Islamic, or Atheist. It's all jumbled up there in that head of mine, and comes out in different characters who are seeking different things.

    In other words, I'm not setting out to be like C.S. Lewis and write parables of belief. I'm trying more what Tolkien did (not, of course, meaning to compare myself favorably with the master) in that I tell story and setting first, and let theme and meaning take care of itself.

    Fiction doesn't really exist—certainly doesn't have power—until it is read. You create the story in your head when you read it, and so your interpretations (and your pronunciations on the names) are completely valid in your telling of the story. The things you come up with may be things I noticed and did intentionally, they may be subconscious additions on my part, or they may simply be a result of your interaction with the text. But all three are valid.

    Jared_A

    On a different but related note, I really love that you honestly look at religious convictions in your books and that you don't portray such convictions in a shallow way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Regardless of a person's beliefs, I think they would have to admit that religion and spirituality has played a large part in our development as a people. It's a very important thing to so many of us—and I also think that for most of us, our beliefs are nowhere near as simple as they seem when viewed from the outside. I appreciate your praise here, though I think I still have a lot to learn. There's a real line to walk in expressing a character's religious views without letting them sound preachy—the goal is to make the character real, but not bore the reader.

    Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
    #9246 Copy

    morph147

    Next, I've been hearing about The Way of Kings series you are starting. Are you planning to have that as a single book or going to try and make it a trilogy like Mistborn or a large ten or more book series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to be a big series. No promises on length right now, but I feel that it is going to be long. I have 10 books plotted right now, though some of those might get combined—essentially, there are 10 plot arcs I want to cover. But expect it to be big. The first book is done, and came in at 380,000 words before editing.

    Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
    #9247 Copy

    morph147

    So first and foremost, is there going to be a second Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but I can't promise when. I want to do a book that deals more with the Lifeless and Nightblood, following Vasher and Vivenna a little further. But the WoT made me shelf this project for now. We'll see. It should happen eventually.

    Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
    #9249 Copy

    Chubby_Monkey

    As The Gathering Storm draws near release, there are many WOT fans that have a large worry that you will not do RJ justice and ruin his series (especially after 4 years of waiting). How big of a worry is this for you, having to fill his shoes, and what are you doing to prepare yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are right to worry, and I don't blame them at all. They have no assurance whatsoever that I won't ruin their book—the past has proven, I think, that series get ruined more than they get saved when a new author steps in.

    I hope, very sincerely, to be in the second category, the one who saves a series rather than kills it. But only November will offer any proof other than my word, and I fully expect people to worry right up until they've read the novel.

    The only preparation a person could really have for something like this was to be a lifelong fan. I think this book is good. I think it is VERY good. I'm not worried any more myself, though I was quite worried when I began.

    What can I offer fans right now? Only the promise that the book has had Harriet and Mr. Jordan's assistants working from the beginning to make certain I didn't screw it up. Beyond that, I've made it my first priority to stay true to his wishes and notes, and not deviate unless there is a very, very good reason.

    (The only times I've 'deviated' was in to offer more explanation or depth to a scene. I haven't cut anything he wanted to be in the book, save for a few places where he contradicted himself. I.E. There were some scenes where he said "I'm thinking of doing this or this" or "I'm thinking of doing this, but I don't know." In those places, I've made the final call.)

    All I can ask is this. Give me a chance. Read the book. After that, we'll talk.

    (The most stressful part is probably the realization that no matter what I do, I won't be able to please everyone. Robert Jordan couldn't do that himself. So I will fail some of you. But I hope to please the vast majority of you.)

    Barnes and Noble Book Club Q&A ()
    #9250 Copy

    Liago

    How do you come up with and create the maps for your novels? Is it a process of thought while creating the story itself or does it come later once you've written the story as a means to depict the places you've written about? Also do you scetch [sic] them yourself before having them drawn or is the process usually entirely done by a separate artist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually sketch myself out something vague to use as reference, then make it more and more detailed as I work through the book. At that point, I approach and artist and have them help me come up with a good visual style for the book and the map. If it's an artist I know well, I can sometimes let them do more of the work—the Mistborn maps, for instance, were developed by Isaac with very little input from me beyond the text and some basic instructions.