Recent entries

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9201 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9203 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

    I figured as much, for slaves to...

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9205 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9208 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9210 Copy

    Questioner

    What is your favorite Dresden Files book?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Footnote: part of the audio is obscured
    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9212 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9214 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

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

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's still a pipe dream

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

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9217 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9218 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9222 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

    So it wouldn't be like the Mist?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9224 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9225 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9227 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're going to do sketches eventually, mhmm.

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9229 Copy

    Questioner

    Yesterday you said that crem was actually like Shard poop.

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

    It's not really poop?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, its not.

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok, for the next thirty seconds it is.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9230 Copy

    Questioner

    We know the Shattering was done on purpose. Is it having broken up into intents the only way that it could have shattered, or could it have actually shattered into like sixteen pieces pieces that all have the sixteen intents.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to RAFO this, because this is not a book i will write for many years and I do not want to start giving spoilers about it.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9232 Copy

    Questioner

    If you weren't a writer, what would you be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A professor.

    Questioner

    Really?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, my second love is teach. i like teaching, I like speaking, I like being in front of a crowd. its enjoyable to me and so i'm pretty sure that's where i would have ended up. If i hadn't found myself in another art, which is entirely possible.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9233 Copy

    Questioner

    I was reading Shadows of Self and i think his name is Douglas Venture, how does that work out. I'm not quite sure. I know, so, Elend is not around anymore and I know his dad wasn't the nicest of people, so is he like a direct descendant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is not a direct descendant of Elend. The Ventures were an entire house, so there would have been dozens and dozens of them.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9235 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you schedule your time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These days its based on deadlines, so for instance Rithmatist is a side project, I don't have a contract for that. I just write them, give them to the publisher, and say "its time to publish this". Steelheart i sign a three book deal that has dates in it: when i have to turn them in, if that makes sense. So when I have extra time I do something like this, when i don't, you know, when the contract comes through I've given my obligation to the publisher that i'll do certain things, so i write those. That's how it is these days. It used to be more along the lines of whatever i felt like at the time. You know, its now my job when then it wasn't my job, and as my job there are certain things I need to do.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #9239 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you keep motivation for writing in general, because i always have a lot of trouble with that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, well that depends on what part of my career you are talking about. Early on I envisioned this cubicle chasing me and if it caught me i'd have to get a normal, boring desk job. That was actually a big motivation to me, because it was like I only had a certain amount of time to do this thing that I loved and if I didnt actually sit down and do it I was gonna have to be a real boy. After i got published and it got a bit hard I started using the carrot philosophy; i would let myself open up a new pack of magic cards if I hit a certain word limit every day.

    Questioner

    Oh, thats really cool!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, and that worked really well during the hard years when I was trying to get through the Wheel of Time. They were great books but they were so hard to write cause they were way harder than writing my own fiction. Now I don't really need that anymore, now its kinda become this thing where I have all these fans who are waiting for things and I have to make good on the promises I've made to them. Now its more like a "i need to do this", so yeah.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #9241 Copy

    Questioner

    You’ve spoken before how DNA exists on multiple different levels in your magic systems. I was curious about something else that I think I read that that the Hemalurgy system actually splices something into the DNA - so what does that imply for heritability of those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, it is not inheritable when it's Hemalurgic because it's splicing. It's basically ripping off a piece of the soul and spiking it on someone else's. So, it would not transfer.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #9242 Copy

    Questioner

    The metals used in Allomancy are they naturally occurring on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And all the alloys as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, the magics would...oh, all the alloys in Roshar naturally occurring… The magic of Mistborn is related to the actual metals' structure being the key. So, you can use metals from other worlds, there's no actual power in the metal. The metal is like a password.

    Shadows of Self San Jose signing ()
    #9246 Copy

    Questioner

    If you could ditch the entire Cosmere, *laughter* what would you write about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Start fresh? 

    Questioner

    Twilight fanfiction.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there you go, Twilight fanfic. That's...

    Questioner 2

    Brandon Fifty Shades of Grey would be much tamer. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    The problem is, I don't think my Fifty Shades of Grey would hit quite the same demographic. 

    Questioner 2

    You'd have a great magic system, though. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it would. It would just be a magic system based on different colors of grey and what they do. *laughter*

    Questioner 2

    Sorta like Warbreaker.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no idea what I would do, I'm sure I could find something, but it would probably turn into another cosmere.