How confused should I still be about Investiture?
Pretty confused, it’s not-- I mean, I haven’t even dug into really what it is.
How confused should I still be about Investiture?
Pretty confused, it’s not-- I mean, I haven’t even dug into really what it is.
In Words of Radiance, a character named Iyatil... Is she a member of the race that we see in The Bands of Mourning in the--
She is related to them in the same way that I am Danish.
Okay, so not.
Well, I am, my heritage is Danish.
Okay, so a branch of...
You've said that Shardblades can be made in other magic systems. So if it's not like a Shardblade from Roshar, what makes it a Shardblade?
The "Shard" refers to the heavy Investiture of a Shard of Adonalsium. Most of what you’ll see will see are the Roshar ones, but it is technically possible to make them out of the other magic systems. It's going to be a heavily invested magical weapon, is kind of how I would define it.
So are the Bands [of Mourning] one?
I would not call them one, but they are close. They're not Invested enough.
Can you share any abilities that Hoid has accrued so far in the books, does he-- with him taking the bead, I can't even pronounce the L-word...
Yes, lerasium, he is indeed an Allomancer. So. That has happened. I haven't confirmed much else, but he does have that.
Are the Shardblade practice guards... Are they made of aluminum?
Good question! RAFO!
I'm really confused about how you, as a male with three sons, how you create <believable?> female characters.
Practice. Number one, practice. Number two, talk to women. So, write... you're a teenager, it can be hard, but write a scene, give it to women, say "What am I doing wrong?" And then see, it's even better, back up a little bit, start thinking of characters as their passions, and their life experience, not just by their role in the story. That's a big a problem that a lot of people run into, it's that they go "oh, this is the romantic interest", and so you make them the romantic interests, and so you don't give them a full spectrum of emotions and characterization like you do to the protagonist. And so, try those things. Have you listened to my podcast?
Okay. Podcast. Start in January '15, but also look for podcast about "Writing the other", we have people come on and talk about this sort of thing. Alright? You can just push Play on a browser, you don't have to do a podcast thingy.
I've noticed that there are a lot of different categories of Epics. Did you think about any categories that you didn't put into the books?
Did I think about any categories of Epics that I didn't put into the books? Yes, I did. You know, as a comic book nerd I have lots of categories of superheroes that, as I saw them in my head, and this is kind of like my-- reaching back to my teenage years, looking at "Oh, these kind of share a similar power type" and things like that. That's what you are getting from these books, kind of my nerdy stuff. There are categories that I didn't deal with. I tried to theme a lot of powers either toward matter transformation, matter manipulation, or alternate universe stuff. Just that kind of has some things. And so, I am actually doing a series, takes place in the same universe, different characters, that takes place-- all of the powers and that will be alternate dimension things, it's gonna be really cool.
Do the Parshendi have gemhearts?
Do the Parshendi have gemhearts? That is a RAFO.
How is a new Feruchemist made?
What do you mean?
Well you can make a new Mistborn by lerasium--
Oh, okay. Other than through birth? That’s a RAFO, good question though. Right now, as far as anyone knows, it’s by birth only. But-- Well we’ll leave it there. You know that the extra Preservation instead of Ruin had some effects on people on Scadrial.
Are you planning to write any trans characters?
Am I planning to write any trans characters? I am, but it's a very... like, I need to have some people who can read who are themselves trans, and can talk me through it. I kind of dabbled in it with, like, MeLaan, but that's not a true trans character. So, I'm kinda trying to dabble my toes in it. But I really will need some good readers who can tell me, because it's one of those things that'd be so easy to get wrong.
How did you think of the idea for some who could, like, pull alternate realities through?
I was looking for a different type of illusionist, because in the Stormlight Archive I did illusionists straight-up. So I wanted to do somebody who did something similar, but had a different origin for those powers.
Who is the Lord Ruler’s child/children?
People are searching a little too hard for this, he had several, they mixed with the population. There might be specific individuals who claim heirship and things like that but it’s not like there’s one hidden person among the population, does that make sense? Even those who claim heirship may not have any more blood than a lot of other people. I think this is one where fans have latched onto it a little too strongly and I need to let them know they can back off, there’s not a big secret for them to be hunting.
Say something is brought into the Cognitive Realm, and then the actual object is brought in through a portal…
That’s a RAFO, good question.
Megan and Steelheart, what was the nature of their relationship? How did they know each other, meet each other?
Employer and an employee. More like high-level employer and very competent contractor.
The alternate world we see at times with Megan, did David and Firefight know each other before he died? And how did David die?
Firefight knows of him.
What kind of Epic is Mizzy, what are her powers?
That is another thing I’m going to save. IF I do a sequel trilogy, which I may or may not actually do after I do the next thing, Mizzy would be the protagonist.
[Destroyed cities is a theme in The Reckoners, there was a war in Portland] Did you have anything specific in mind for Seattle?
Yes, but I don’t want to canonize it… I have to save it for when I’m actually writing.
What happened with Abraham’s court martial?
So that is backstory that is a RAFO. Why Abraham was there is not something he necessarily likes to talk about, not that he’s shy, but at the same time it’s not something he easily talks about. And so I will not talk about it, I will let him, someday perhaps, talk about it.
We’ve seen the Cognitive Realm now on Roshar with the spheres and Scadrial with the mists. So what does it look like on Nalthis and Sel?
Uh that is a big fat RAFO.
Hoid uses the term subastral, is that the term for a region of the Cognitive Realm, like Shadesmar is?
Yeah. It’s like planet but-- That’s his term for the different-- Because Shadesmar is all like one plane.
So wait you’re saying subastral is different?
No subastral is a region of Shadesmar.
Any kind of Investiture to make a Shardblade?
Not any but there are multiple methods. Some work better than others.
Can you Forge a Shardblade?
To Forge a Shardblade, meaning make a regular sword through Forgery into a Shardblade, would require so much Investiture it’s like asking if we can make lead into gold using a particle accelerator. Yes but it's horribly, horribly, horribly inefficient.
Kaladin. I've heard before that authors, when they write characters, particularly heroic characters, they try to put traits that they like about themselves or that they aspire to in these characters. And when I read about Kaladin, he was everything I've aspired to. But he also had this reluctance to it, almost depression. What were you thinking when you wrote Kaladin? What traits did you have in him?
Well, one thing is that he does have depression. That's just an aspect of his personality. I was looking at Kaladin as kind of... extremely loyal, almost to a fault. He's got a bit of this, what we call a superhero complex, where he takes responsibility for things that other people have done. And that can be really advantageous when he's on your side, but it can also be kind of soul-crushing. That's a big aspect of him. The other big aspect of Kaladin is his training as a surgeon, and then discovering that he's really good at killing people. And that contrasted side of him creates a big part of the mix of who he is, the pull from my father versus the pull from my spirit.
Do you backstock on neat characters?
I do have some characters I haven't found places for yet.
Is it just kind of like a mix/match? Do you find a world for them or...
So characters are the hardest one for me to define. Because I need to discover who they are by writing through their viewpoint for a while. And it's an exploration. Other things, I can plot, I can outline, I can plan ahead. Characters, I can't. I need to explore them. So, really, what I have are seeds, conflicts. They could grow into a character. And I'll sometimes try them out, and they won't work, and I'll send that seed back.
If Vasher is on Roshar where the hell is Vivenna?
OOOOOH that’s a RAFO!
If Kelsier hadn’t died and became Emperor instead of Elend, how would he have ruled?
Poorly. He would have gotten bored pretty fast.
Who’d win, Vin or Kaladin?
On a battlefield Kaladin, off a battlefield probably Vin.
Is Yesteel on Roshar right now?
That is a RAFO.
Were Hoid and Frost some of the older humans created by Adonalsium?
You will find that out eventually… Frost is not a human.
Secret History was cool, thank you for that. Do you plan to have a series of that?
If I can squeeze them in.
Would they primarily be in the Cognitive Realm like this one?
Not always, they’d just be behind the scenes stuff happening with characters who are more cosmere aware.
Was Adonalsium the one who created the cosmere universe as a whole?
That is widely assumed to be the case.
With The Reckoners you had to make the decision not to put it into your cosmere cosmology, was that a difficult one?
It was not difficult once I realized I did not want Earth to be part of everything else.
If it had been would Calamity have been a Shard of Adonalsium?
That’s an interesting question. Maybe.
Did you worry with Secret History that it was a bit too meta for people who had no idea…
No, that’s why all the warnings are there. It’s kind of intended for the people who want something, does that make sense? Like it isn’t really-- it is a story, but it's not a real story, it’s got weird narrative and things to it. It is there for those who really want to know.
And I’m one of those people, I just have to wonder if you had no idea you’d be really confused through at least the first half.
Yes you would. But that’s why all the warnings are there.
Are you going to have Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series pulled into the cosmere?
How many worlds does [the cosmere] have in it?
A couple hundred. A couple hundred stars.
How many planets are your books going to use?
Habitable worlds, in Goldilocks zones? There's probably 20 or 30, maybe a few more. Maybe up to 50, but you'll only really... there'll be like, ten or so core planets that you'll see stories from.
Is Calamity actually a worldhopper?
Calamity, I didn't write this as a part of the cosmere. The main distinction is I didn't want Earth to be in the cosmere, I want it to be distinct. Once I stick Earth in, the cosmology and things doesn't work. The cosmere is a dwarf cluster, and it's a dwarf galaxy, it's a cluster of stars. It's a specific place, and Earth's not part of it.
What can you tell me about where spren come from?
Spren come from where everything in the world of Roshar comes from. The are a natural part of life there. They come from the same place rocks and the wind and all of that...
Well you answered my question about Allomancers being able to burn metals in other realms. Is that because the Shards are sort of… My impression from the book was that the Shards were, in the Mistborn books, specifically in that area but is it because the universe is formed across all of them that that is why the metals...
So, most of the magics are not region-dependent, because the Spiritual Realm-- in the Spiritual Realm space doesn’t exist. All things are the same distance from one another.
Okay, so when Kelsier is in the-- Which Realm is he in?
He’s in the Cognitive Realm.
Is he seeing people from other worlds or is he--
No, he meets some people who are traveling but Cognitive Realm is location dependent. He is on the Cognitive Realm on Scadrial and the people he runs into there-- until he kind of travels off into space, which is where he finds the fortress.
So even though he’s tied to Scadrial could he go to the Cognitive Realm of other worlds?
He would have trouble getting to another planet, being a Cognitive shadow like he was.
So is there some particular thing that somebody would need to have to be able to move between the realms?
A body is helpful. Depends on what their ties are and things like that. Not always, but yeah.
So, when you were coming up with superhero names, did you have to look them up to make sure somebody hadn't done it already?
Yeah, I had to make sure that they weren't... impossible-to-use names that somebody hasn't done, I just had to make sure they weren't super popular. And some I was able to find that people hadn't done. But some, I'm like, "I have to use this name anyways." But, like, my first three names, like Nightwielder, people had used. I eventually found one that hadn't been used.
Was that frustrating?
Uh, it's kinda like the "Simpsons did it" thing. People complain that every plotline's been done by the Simpsons. Superhero powers have all been done, superhero names have all been done; but stories have all been told before. So, it's "What can you add to it?" that you ask yourself.
So, of the ones that you came up with, how many would you say you looked up and were like "aaaah..."
I would say about half.
I'm doing video game design, and I'm curious: what are your thoughts on constructing interesting stories, because we're kind of getting to a point where video games are able to tell... like, people are getting used to, basically, interactivity being a medium <with which> to tell a story. I'm curious, from having spent some time developing your craft, how to link that in with being forced to have the 'main character' <do that more often sorts>?
Yeah, I think there are so many cool <different ways> of people who are doing it, but I'm not sure I can point out and say "This is the right way." I know that my favorite stories from video games tend to be ones where they force you to experience the story without forcing you to stop the game. Things like in inFAMOUS where you're riding from position to position, you're on the phone with people. Or things like Dark Souls, where you kinda just reveal it all around you. I don't like the games where they stop. And play a cutscene.
Where it takes you out of the game, and it's like, 'movie time.'
Yeah. I think there's <a way beyond doing that>. I also really like it when something about the form of the game enhances the story. Like how <Braid> was with <the guy who could rewind time to move stuff back>, stuff like that. There’s all sorts of cool things happening, VR’s only going to make that more interesting.
For spren, when the Oaths are broken I’m kind of envisioning the mind of the spren gets trapped in that person’s Spiritweb somehow. Is that along the right lines or not along the right lines?
Ehhh, in between those two answers.
So burning prayers, is that so certain Shard’s can hear what’s being said?
I’ll leave that one vague for now.
Have we ever seen the Physical embodiment of either Odium or Cultivation? Similar to what we saw with Ruin chasing...Vin?
So... Physical embodiment is kind of hard thing to define with Shards because you could argue that everything is a physical embodiment of them, does that make sense?
Yes. I mean more a physical form that the uses share--
Oh okay, okay. So have you ever seen Odium’s? I don’t believe you’ve seen Odium’s.
What about Cultivation’s?
Cultivation is a RAFO.
And then the curse Kelek’s Breath, is that a clue as to the origin of some of the Heralds?
Erm… Explain why you think it might be.
Uh, well, Warbreaker. The use of Breath… It seems like they have similar strength to somebody who has extra Endowment. So I’m wondering if they come from-- I can’t remember the name..
The Heralds-- You’re wondering if the Heralds come from Nalthis?
The Heralds do not come from Nalthis, but that is an excellent question.
I kind of envision the Old Magic working a little bit like Hemalurgy, where some-- takes a part of the Physical DNA of the person and transmutes it onto the Cognitive DNA because everything seems to be a Cognitive shift for the person, am I thinking along the right lines?
You are thinking along very-- Yes you are thinking along the right lines. I won’t tell you exactly but you are thinking along the right lines.
For all the spren, like the honorspren and the liespren, I’ve noticed that all of the characters, the honorspren have been girls and all the liespren have been boys. Is that just ‘cause all the people who attract liespren are girls and all the other people--
So it’s not a one to one ratio of people who are more likely to attract a spren of the opposite gender.
Is there a reason for that?
Yeah I’ll delve into it eventually in the books. Maybe just obliquely, but there is a reason for it.
Why does everyone know about his [Kaladin] Stormblessed name? Like Gaz knows about it before he survives the highstorms. Like how do they know?
How do they know? The rumors were already spreading, people started talking about it and things like that.
What would happen if you went to the Nightwatcher asked for your boon to have a boon and no curse?
Probably end up with nothing?
It depends on the mood the Nightwatcher is in. When you read Book 3 of Stormlight you’ll get to see a little bit of what the Nightwatcher is, and that will inform what you think about these things, okay?
Vasher/Zahel is a Returned, which means he needs Breath to live. But Breath doesn’t exist on Roshar. Does he use St--
He uses Stormlight. One of the reasons-- In fact one of the primary reasons he’s on Roshar is because Stormlight is so much easier to come by than Breath. And in fact researching about things like this is one of the reasons he discovered Roshar in the first place.
So it’s the same reason why Night-- the sword…
The exact mechanics of how Nightblood ended up there will be explored in a future book.
When are we going to see Ironeyes again?
He will probably make an appearance in The Lost Metal. I’m not sure he will be back from where he is in time.
How do your religious views affect the way you write?
You know, being religious means one of my mandates is, I always want to approach everyone's beliefs with reverence. Nothing bothers me more than seeing the one person who's a theist, who is an idiot, surrounded by everyone else. So, I like to explore these issues, I really like to kind of dig in to all these different perspectives. Being fascinated by it by myself makes me make it an element of my books.