Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)
The old ardent in the Palanaeum is Pailiah.
The old ardent in the Palanaeum is Pailiah.
Was the black mist spirit that Alendi saw Preservation or Ruin? Which one?
Why did Lord Ruler not destroy the logbook knowing what trouble Ruin could cause with it?
A few reasons. First, Ruin had his fingers in the LR’s soul by then already. Subtle things are easier to influence.
He played off the LR’s natural nostalgia and desire to hold onto something so important to his past.
at the end of warbreaker you said that they split up their breaths, how if they can only do all at once?
I talk about this in the annotations. But Denth was lying to Vivenna at that point.
You can split up breaths. You put some in an object first.
Can Hoid travel through worlds? or, in other words, are all of your "Hoids" one person?
Well, ‘Hoid’ the name is an alias that a certain person is using, and he stole it from someone else.
But the person named Hoid in Elantris, Mistborn, and Warbreaker are all the same individual..
Would anything interesting happen if an Allomancer Burned a Hemalurgic spike, or a Feruchemist Tapped one?
Er, well, it’s possible. But you’d have to be burning a Hemalurgic spike that killed you and took your power…
Just like you can’t gain anything by burning a metalmind unless you infused it yourself.
Would you be willing to take bribes to start "Nightblood" before finishing WoT!?
Heh. Nightblood will happen someday. Bribes of cookies or Magic Cards at signings might help. More seriously, I do intend to do this--and post it online as I write it-but it probably won’t be for a few years.
Then you shall have both when you come here this winter. Help turn a few years into six months, right?
lol. Well, it can’t hurt. But I DO have a lot on my plate... We’ll see. I want an ELANTRIS sequel out for 2015.
Wow, an Elantris sequel would be awesome too. Where would it fit chronologically after the end of Elantris?
Elantris direct sequel would be 10 years later and use Kiin’s children as viewpoint characters living in Fjorden.
How did you come up with what metal would give what powers in Mistborn?
The assignment of metals to powers was done mostly randomly.
I started by trying to mix and match colors and hues, but that ended up not working.
I also originally wanted the physical to be more common, and then move toward less common with mental and others.
Hence, iron is physical, Gold is mental, Atium is temporal. The mentals don't quite fit this, though.
Do you think you will ever include dragons in your books?
Dragonsteel, a series I’ll do someday, has Dragons in it. Hint: This world/series is very important to Hoid..
Why didn't Vin know the Atium bead Zane gave her wasn't real? Cant she sense how big reserves are?
Atium reserves always look bigger than they are to an allomancer. It burns so quickly.
She just didn’t have enough experience with atium to realize she’d been duped.
What first gave you the idea for Warbreaker? What was your first inspiration for it?
WRBRKR came from a lot of sourcres. Siri and Vivenna were side characters in a book I never finished.
Vasher came from the line that starts the book. No space to post it here, but give it a read.
Nightblood came because…well, I just wanted to have a talking sword.
Brandon, how do you think WoK will read as a complete set with your voice in the last books? Did you plan ahead for that?
Short answer is yes. We’ll see if I can pull it off. Original plans for my series was for a 36 book arc.
I thought that would intimidate readers. (; But the secret answer is this:
People ask for an Elantris sequel. There is one. It is called Mistborn.
A question that's been on my mind for a while. If Returned can't have children, how are Siri and Vivenna descended from one?
Excellent question. One I have to RAFO. When I was writing WRBRKR, I was planning on two books.
I seeded two questions to be answered in the next book. One was the origin of the royal family..
The second was how Vasher was able to survive while hiding his divine Breath. I will answer these questions.
Eventually. (It has to do with restoring Breath and life to the child while still in the womb.).
where do you get your inspiration to create new worlds & characters?
Inspiriation comes from all over. Often things I see. Color magic in WRBRKR came from watching b/w movies.
The mist in mistborn came from driving through a foggy night at 70mph..
Sazed came from a Buddhist monk I met in Korea.
Sarene came from a friend, Annie, who complained that she was too tall and too smart for men to want to date.
If you want more, send me an email and ask for my “Ideas” essay. @PeterAhlstrom will send it to you.
I was just wondering are kelek and kalak the same person?
Yes, indeed they are. A vowel shift happened in the language between the two time periods.
Why didn’t the Parshendi use fire arrows? The bridges are made of wood for Storm’s sake!
This is a pretty strong hardwoord we’re talking about. Fire arrows worked against slow-moving siege equipment.
But something carried at this speed, then crossed quickly, made of hardwood–the fires wouldn’t have time to get a hold.
Did anything help inspire Navani’s character in tWoK?
Numerous things. Partially, the fact that there’s a distinct lack of mothers in fantasy fiction. Everybody seems to be an orphan.
Partially, the need for a strong, well-rounded woman of an older, wiser nature to balance out Shallan’s impulsive nature.
And, in part, she was designed because I wanted a Fabrial engineer among the cast, and extrapolated personality from there.
So knowing that you're not likely going to get a chance to choose your own casting in Stormlight Archive, if you did who would you choose for Dalinar and Kaladin?
Oh boy, choosing Dalinar and Kaladin? I have no idea. The big problem with casting Dalinar and Kaladin is neither are Caucasian, and so... Like, casting the Alethi is going to be a really big challenge for the filmmaker. Do they just be like, "Alright, we're making everybody white because we don't know what else to do." Or are they going to because-- are they going to find a bunch of half-Asian, half-Middle Eastern actors? Because that's what the Alethi would look like to us, right? And so, how do you find an entire culture of people who have those specific-- I have no idea. Maybe they'll just go with Hispanic actors for them or something like that, I don't know. I have no idea. It would depend on what they decide to do for the ethnicities.
So something like Mistborn is easier, where a lot of characters are Caucasian, or at least have a defined ethnicity. But even the Terris, you're like, "Terris aren't Caucasian, but they're not really Asian, they're not really black. They're their own race from Scadrial. How do you cast Sazed?" And so there's been a lot of talk about that with the guy-- the people with the Mistborn rights. They're like-- They're kind of leaning toward Asian--in casting someone Asian as him. But did that-- how does that work? Because you can't always tell someone who's-- whether or not they're Terris by the look of them, and things like that. It gets really weird when you're trying to cast fantasy races and ethnicities. So we'll see.
I just wondered if you had someone in mind?
I do not have anyone in mind. The only-- I occasionally have ideas for Mistborn. You know, like for a while I wanted Michael Fassbender for Kelsier, but he just did Assassin's Creed, which is too similar. So we probably can't do him. For years I wanted Ellen Page as Vin, but she's aged out of the role now. I try not to think about who we would go get until we actually are casting, right? So anyone you name, tomorrow they could do a movie that's too similar and then that's not-- they can't do the role really anymore because they're headlining something that's a direct-- yeah, anyway.
What are your favorite books?
Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly--it got me into reading. Les Misérables--my favorite classic. And then book four of The Wheel of Time. *inaudible*
Really? Book four?
Yep, book four. Rand going to the pillar in Rhuidean? It's my favorite. Have you read those?
No, okay. It was one of the experiences I loved growing up. And I still love it, despite the fact that I *inaudible*.
Yeah, that's got to be pretty awesome you got to finish it.
Oh man, it was awesome. I didn't know them. They just called-- his wife called me on the phone and asked if I could do it. Just out of the blue. No application or anything. "I like your books. Will you to finish this."
I'm curious how you were <feeling about whole process of> the graphic novel. <Specifically how you felt about the whole thing translating,> because I have the draft.
<You were kind enough to send me that.> You know, you were very descriptive.
<And it didn't translate well?>
Not so much-- although I did see <glimpses of you popping through>.
Yeah, so, I focus on the positives. <But there might be some things I might not agree with.>
I think that's fair. Of course.
And I-- what we came up with was the < a list of a few things>... *inaudible* Like the only one that really bothered <me> was... where is the big battle?
*searches through the graphic novel*
<The big splash page> right there. I'm like... <when did this turn into> white people verse brown people? You've read the book. This isn't about white versus brown. This is, again, how did we end up with white versus brown? Why aren't these people wearing armor? These guys are the ones that are outcasts and these are the high society.
And so when I got this stuff, I was like, "Uhh..." These panels where they'd done earlier where they have the skin tones and the <the clothes for the Darksiders>, I'm like, "Really good!". But then when that one came together I was like, "Oh great, oh great, here we go." And when you put the whole thing together, some things came out really cool. Like I think the Darksiders turned out cool. The Darksiders were awesome. The magic turned out really great. But again, I'm like, "Where's the armor? Where's the cultural markings? Where's that stuff?".
But yeah, yeah. The thing is, the guy who's drawing them is Asian, right? So <he should, you know?>... alright, so that's my thing. But again, you've read the book. Like, where's <that detail?>... But that's-- when you give the story to someone else you have to let them <do what they will>.
Is there anything about Eshonai *inaudible*?
So Eshonai is one of these people who's *inaudible*. She's *inaudible*, right? It's that question of what is that-- the driving force in her life. *inaudible* ..."trying to take care of my people." *inaudible* for Eshonai, but yeah. There's something in her, and that is also part of what's drawing a certain spren, as you'll see, in the books.
So in the past five years or so the contents of the magic system has come to kind of dominate current popular fantasy.
Because it's become so culturally prolific, do you feel that authors are going to soon reach a point they don't have time to actually systematize--where they have to explain their system? Can't they, like, go back to the way *inaudible*--
So you can just have magic that *inaudible*, but it's still cohesive and logical and effective?
Right, so the question is, "Magic systems in fantasy have very much moved toward 'the explained'." The rule based magic systems. Particularly--I'd say it's been about ten years. Me and Rothfuss and Brent Weeks and some of these kind of-- That was because we were kind of a reaction--reacting against soft magic systems we'd read growing up. It shouldn't be too much longer. He's asking, "Will they go back the other way?" It shouldn't be too much longer before you see people reacting against us. So yeah, it's totally gonna happen. And there, you know, there are great books like Uprooted. It's already started to happen. Uprooted by Naomi Novik is a very soft magic system. It's a fantastic book. And so there's an example. I'm sure you'll see more, I mean-- I don't think China Miéville's ever explained his magic much. But yeah, I think that you will see something that gets really big, that is a reaction to what we're doing. That's just how--that's how storytelling goes, and things like this. I think you're right to wonder if it's going to happen, and I assume it will.
So you've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media--?
So the question is, "I've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media? TV and things like that." Well a graphic novel is something we can kind of have enough control over to make it happen ourselves. Right? Like I know the people at Dynamite. We can work directly with the writer. We can work directly with the artist. And so a small team can put together a graphic novel. It's more than required to put together a book, like I do, but it's still a small team. It's basically me, the writer, the illustrator, and then Isaac and Peter working on this. So, you know, five people can put this together.
A movie--have you seen the credits scroll? *crowd laughs* I can't really do that on my own. So the best we can hope for is for me to sell the rights, which I've done for most of my properties, and hope that someone in Holywood can actually make a film out of them that's good. And that's just a roll of the dice. So, yes we're trying. It is slow. Watch my website--we'll say if there's any news. There really isn't right now. Fox has *Steelheart*. They've been doing work on the screenplay, which looks good. But, you know, the screenplay is the easy step--the next two steps are the hard ones.
Will Emperor Kai get his own book?
Will Emperor Kai get his own book? So this is Perfect State, for those asking. One of the reasons I write these little novellas is so I can get an idea out of my system without writing an entire novel, but then people will start asking for sequels to... *crowd laughs* I already owe you sequels to Elantris, Warbreaker, and The Rithmatist. So the answer is I am not promising any more sequels, particularly not to the novellas whose whole point is to let me write random things. It's not impossible that someday I'll do a novelization of one, but I'm not--I'm probably not doing any time soon a sequel to Emperor's Soul or things like that, just because the whole point of the novellas is to let me get focused back on the novels. And the--particularly the series that I'm in the middle of. It let's me get my fix of doing something weird, let's you read something weird and different, and then still doesn't take too much time from Stormlight or Mistborn or things like this.
Yup. Most of what you see him doing, Renarin did in the original outline, much more awkwardly.
Did you keep him in for longer because he has an important part to play?
Yes. remember, this is the draft I did in 2002, things were very different. Like in that draft Kaladin took the Shardblade and became a Shardbearer and stuff like this, and so it was a very different book, very different themes. I beefed up Adolin's part when I was doing this and eventually he developed into a stronger character. I need Adolin because Adolin is the guy who is not gaining all the magical powers and flying in the air and stuff. I need the guy who is more normal. As normal as the prince of Alethkar can be. I needed him and I really liked where he went after doing that, so.
Is the bond between an Elantrian and Arelon similar to that of a Knight Radiant and it's spren. You've said that zombie Elantrians are similar to dead spren, so I was wondering get if there was a bigger connection there.
Thank you for your time!
Yes, that is a similar relationship.
Is there a similar Ideal system? Are Elantrians transformed because of their character? Maybe their closeness to the culture of Arelon?
Ah, now you're getting into RAFO territory. Let's just say that you don't have to have a seon to be made an Elantrian, but in the vast majority of cases, you need a spren to be a Knight Radiant. So there are some differences.
Last question, does this have anything to do with the personification of culture, as spren are personifications of forces and emotions.
Again, thank you for your time, it's always nice to get a response from you on Reddit.
To an extent, yes.
What's your favorite order of the Knights Radiant and why, and which are you most exited to expand upon.
I would say that my favorite is probably the Windrunners, just because, y'know, they do the stuff that I would want to do but I really want to talk about the Stonewards because the stuff they do is going to be very visually interesting.
What made you decide to split Stormlight into two arcs?
A bunch of things. I'd say the primary one is that when I tried to write the Way of Kings in 2002, the first version of it, the book failed. I finished the whole book, but it failed and the primary reason for that was because I had too many viewpoints doing too man things in too many places and the reader wasn't able to follow it and it didn't give a satisfying arc to anybody because there was like a little piece of a story instead of a complete story, so I spent many years trying to figure out why it wasn't working and one of the things i came up with that i should take some of the characters and tell their stories and then take some of the others and tell their stories later.
That natural division became very obvious to me when I was re-outlining the series using this idea. That I could do a Dalinar, Kaladin, Shallan type thing and then save the Herald's viewpoints for the second half, does that makes sense. So that will... it should feel very natural. It should be some changes that indicate separate series but same... anyways, I'm please with how the outline looks.
The spike at the end of Shadows of Self, does that have anything to do with Endowment.
That is not from Endowment, I can go ahead and let you know that.
The more benevolent Shards, like Cultivation or Endowment; how do they feel about Sazed holding two Shards?
You'll have to ask them. That's a RAFO. I want to stay away from too many questions, about the interaction between Shards beacuse that years off, and I want to be careful not to be saying too much before...
For Epics: if you had an Epic that was around their weakness all the time would that make them more like an other person so that they could be gifted other Epic powers?
You can already be gifted other powers if you're an Epic... no, it interferes, you can't. You can already... Maybe, maybe.
How old is Lopen.
Lopen is early twenties.
Alright, we keep seeing a title for Breeze: The Counselor of Gods. Whose idea was that?
So some of the ones that survived may have enhanced their reputations over the years of their lives, and so Breeze might have had a hand in how he has his own name.
When Wax is talking to Harmony he mentions 'the radio' and other things. Are there already societies that have things like that and how is he getting that information. Is it like a Spiritual Realm..
He knows things from his Ascension. He gain an innate knowledge of the universe in interesting ways. In addition, Preservation had some minor innate progno... he could see the future a little bit, and so could Ruin in a little different way. Let's just say that there are a bunch of things mixing together that give Harmony some knowledge that most people wouldn't have.
But will we see some of societies soon or is that further in the future?
*RAFOes* You'll find out.
In Elantris, when the Elantrians want to die they go into the Shardpool. Are they unconscious, unintentionally world traveling. If they are, have we seen them yet?
All I'm going to say is: I'm surprised it took people this long to start asking me this question.
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?
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.
So, are we going to learn more about Cultivation here in book three?
You'll see a bit. You learn a bit. There is a couple if events in Dalinar's life that...
The Old Magic? Alright.
...might be involved in his flashback sequences. No promises.
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.
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.
I figured as much, for slaves to...
We're like, what does a slave make... it's, yeah.
Shallan's photographic memory, is that due to her Connection to Pattern?
Shallan's memory is not, um, her memory has a supernatural component.
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.
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.
Can Shardblades cut Aluminum?
You're gonna have to... yes they can, well yeah. They can cut aluminum but... yeah.
In Shadows of Self, I was wondering if there was a reason that Wayne wanted to ride with Hoid on the exterior of the carriage.
He just thought it would be fun, and he likes Hoid, but he doesn't know who he is.
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.
What would Zane have been like if he hadn't been tainted.
He would've been a lot more like Kelsier.
What is your favorite Dresden Files book?
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.
Of all the magic systems you've written, which is your favorite.
Mistborn. Yeah, I'd say Mistborn. It's had to pick. The world of Stormlight is my favorite but the magic system of Mistborn is my favorite.
What did you do to get into the head of the opposite gender?
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."
In Stormlight will there be anymore insight into what happened to Dalinar's wife?
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?
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.
is the title 'Shadows of Self' a reflection on the character development if Wax, or another thing like Kandra.
The answer is yes. If you look through the previous Mistborn books, I actually used the phrase 'shadow of self' at some point.