Recent entries

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #51 Copy

    CompetitiveCell

    In Stormlight, we are presented with a society which is fundamentally unjust in its workings. Whether we see the darkeyes/ lighteyes divide as an analogy for race or class, it forms a caste system wherein the privileged caste is able to imprison, kill or enslave the oppressed caste without cause or trial (Kaladin and his first squad, Moash’s grandparents).

    ...

    The message is not improved by the subsequent arcs of Moash and Kaladin. By RoW, Kaladin has given up most of his class based outlook and integrated into the privileged caste, as a de jure lighteyes. Meanwhile, Moash’s anger at an unjust system is shown as playing a significant role in his eventual corruption by Odium, eventually reducing him to a child kicking caricature.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will say this: in my opinion, one of the important parts of creating a sympathetic protagonist is to make certain the things they're saying, the things they're worried about, or the things they're advocating for have a real foundation to them.

    The problems with Moash are not the things he finds unjust in the system. And you should be uncomfortable with the momentum a historically tyrannical system has, and the sway it has over characters we like among the Radiants. I believe Wit had something to say about this in the last book.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #53 Copy

    TXPX

    I just wanted to ask you if the Elantris sequels are still in the pipeline between SA 5 and 6 or is Mistborn era 3 the only thing in that timeframe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to have to see. My goal is to write Mistborn era three straight through, without publishing the first one until the last one is done. If so, I'll need a break between books, but I don't know if I can squeeze Elantris sequels in there or not. I plan to try, but we'll see.

    Cann0nFodd3r

    Any reason why you are going with that strategy for Era 3?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I feel that the method I used for the original trilogy lent it some interesting advantages. I want to try the process again, and see if it works for me the same way. Mostly, I like experimenting with different kinds of story-making processes, and this is a good opportunity to play with this one again.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #54 Copy

    ArgentSun

    Can you tell us who the [Skyward] novella characters are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I want to make certain Janci is comfortable with me talking about the novella characters before I announce it. I'll chat with her, and maybe put it in the next update document.

    YouTube Livestream 29 ()
    #56 Copy

    Annabelle

    Would you consider writing a short story about Wayne's origins?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't generally do this. The reason being that I construct stories, generally, in such a way, particularly a story like Wayne's story that starts a little in media res, and he's already had quite a bit of life experience and foundational things... I construct a story knowing that I'm going to give you touchstone moments for that character's narrative in a way that indicate to you what happened in the past. And with Wayne, I feel like I've done a pretty good job of that. There's still a little bit more for the next book, but I feel like if I were to go back and tell this story, it would be like going back and telling Rashek's story or Alendi's story from the Mistborn series. Where the epigraphs are there to give you the story, and if I wrote it out, it would just be really repetitive to things I've already done.

    The characters that I'm more likely to write short stories or novellas about are ones where there just isn't room in the narrative to dig into something deep about their character. Rock is an excellent example of this, from the Stormlight books. There's just not room. Which is why I plan to write a Rock novella. Be like, "All right, let's really dig into who Rock is, his past, and stuff like that." Because you just don't get those answers. With Wayne, I feel like I have given the answers in such a way that if I did more, it would be boring.

    YouTube Livestream 29 ()
    #57 Copy

    Laura Burnham

    Which of your characters annoys you the most? Whether that's intentional annoyance, or otherwise.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right now, it's <Chet>, because getting him right has been really annoying in writing the third Skyward book. (You'll know about that much later on, theoretically.)

    Who annoys me the most? I always like writing Hoid, but he is annoying to write. So I'll go with Hoid.

    YouTube Livestream 29 ()
    #58 Copy

    Brendan

    In the beginning of Way of Kings, Szeth Lashes himself to the wall at the end of the corridor, turning it into something like a deep well, then he Lashes himself back to the floor. So is gravity not necessarily a thing in Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is. It is indeed a thing in Roshar. A Lashing overrides gravity. This is kind of a weird thing that I built that honestly drives, I think, my continuity people a little crazy. Because the way that I work Lashings, I didn't always want to have to say that "you're lashing them upward one gravitational force and then in a direction at the same time"; basically, to negate gravity and then send them a direction. So I just said, "You know what? This is working kind of on a Spiritual Realm level, where it's overriding gravity's pull and kind of convincing the body it's being pulled in a different direction." That is kind of what the mechanics are doing. So when you Lash toward the end of the hallway (you Lash in a direction, usually), then gravity is overriden, and you are pulled in a specific direction instead.

    What Szeth is doing there, when he's Lashing himself back downward, he could cancel the Lashing. But he just gets into this mindset... You'll see most of the characters do this. It's kind of functionally identical. But that they kind of, like... "Which direction is down" is not really important to the person while they are using their Lashings and where gravity would pull them. They just are gonna be precise and be like, "I'm gonna go that direction, there." And just kind of get in the mindset of working that way. So I would say that for someone using Lashings, gravity doesn't really matter; or it matters entirely too much.

    Where building it that way has led us is, when you want someone to just hover, what do you do? How do you indicate someone is becoming weightless? By those mechanics, you use a half Lashing upward. So that you're still pulled down half as much by gravity, but you're pulled upward half as much. There are other ways you could achieve it, but that's how I often have people talk about it. So if you remember that a Lashing is overriding gravity, it's replacing it, it's not additive; then that helps a little bit with understanding how Lashings work. I still like it this way because it's a lot more elegant to describe. But when you break down the mechanics of it, it is a little bit harder to wrap your mind around.

    YouTube Livestream 29 ()
    #59 Copy

    Kozmelt Isthai

    If someone made a video game based on your books, would you like them to cover the same plots? Or create new stories in the same world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the book, honestly. I feel like Stormlight would be different from Mistborn in that regard. In Stormlight, I feel like I would want to have it be a story from the books; but maybe not one of the main stories, like delve into some of the Herald stories, or things like that. Where Mistborn, I feel like Mistborn is better off not doing the main story of the books. That's just because... Boy, I don't know. I'm not even sure if I can explain why; I think it's just a taste thing. In general, I think overall, I would err on something that isn't explicit in the books but has been mentioned for either of those, but I'd probably go a little further afield in Mistborn and stay a little closer to the characters in Stormlight that have already been mentioned, and things like that. And that might just have to do with the fact that Stormlight is pretty expansive, and I've touched all parts of the world. Whereas Mistborn, I haven't explored it as much, and it's narrowly focused on this one group of of people. (Two groups, depending on your era.) It's a good question.

    YouTube Livestream 29 ()
    #60 Copy

    Jeremy

    Your work on the lore of the cosmere is immense. How much have you had to figure out ahead of time? How much do you develop on the fly while writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the situation. I do some of both. Mostly, the on-the-fly stuff is where I realize that there is a hole in my understanding where I'm like, "I didn't account for this." And you'll see this when fans ask me questions; I'd say a good half the time or more, they ask a question, I'm like, "I didn't account for that. Let me think..." This is why I like having foundational principles of how the cosmere works, rather than focusing on little details. (Which, a lot of those, I'm deciding on as I'm writing.) I try to get these really solid foundations so that the little details answer themselves, if that makes sense.

    I've heard people talk about this with characters. Like, instead of deciding when you're building a character what their favorite color is, decide who they are, decide the personality, decide the foundational moments in their life. So when someone asks you a question that you haven't anticipated, it makes sense; there's only one way you could answer. "Well, of course their favorite color is blue, because that's the color of the uniforms of the soldiers that saved them when they were a young child, so they're gonna pick that color." That sort of thing for worldbuilding works really well, too. When someone asks an off-the-wall question, you can say, "Well, the mechanics are like this, this, and this. So that leads me to have an answer that is this." That you get into more trouble when you assume that's the case, but then when you think about it later, you're like, "No, that doesn't necessarily mean it has to be that way," and you can go a different way. But that's how I try to do it.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #61 Copy

    Matthew

    Have you ever talked with another author and found a fun opportunity to drop a small easter egg in each others' universes? Something small that only big fans of both would notice?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't ever done this yet, I don't believe. I know of friends doing it. The closest I've gotten is just kind of dropping my friends into my books in little cameos. I would totally be on-board for doing this, but I just haven't had the chance, haven't had the right thing. I mean, I've done it in my own works; there's a line in Alcatraz where I'm proving how bad a person a character is using great rhetoric and exaggeration, and I believe one of them says "she killed Asmodean!" or something like that, which is a reference to the Wheel of Time (which I also worked on). But I don't think I've done it with another person's books. I haven't done a cool thing like where E.T.'s race shows up in Episode [I] of Star Wars, or something like that. It would be a lot of fun to do something like that. The reason it's so fun in Star Wars is because we know that those two are friends; Lucas and Spielberg have worked on many things together, so there's just something kind of wholesome about that. Where if I dropped a reference to E.T. in my book, it'd be fun; but it's not the same sort of "here's my friend's cool science fiction story showing up crossing over with mine."

    The trick is, I don't want to break immersion in the Cosmere, and I've been very careful to try to not do that. That doesn't mean I don't stick my friends in the books though, and things, so I'm sure we could find a place for something like this. I just wouldn't want it to draw too much attention, to break immersion.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #62 Copy

    Questioner

    Which Cosmere character would make the best political candidate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Here's the thing. Best candidate is not the same as best... Who would be best in the office? Because Taravangian could probably do a really good job of running a candidacy. Jasnah could probably do a really good job in the right circumstances.

    If I had to put one completely in charge? Sazed is a good choice. And he would be my default choice. Sazed would never run for the office. But he is a good choice.

    We joke the best politicians are those who don't want it; I don't know that that's actually true. I think that there are definitely people who could very much want it, and that wanting it is an advantage. I joke that I'm gonna vote for Emily's dad, who is just a good person, but he would never want to be President. And I don't know if he would actually make a good President because of that. And there is something to be said for political experience, experience being in the public eye, and being the type of person who seeks it out because you know you can deal with it, because it is not easy to be in the public eye (even as a novelist who writes stories about knights who live in space, or whatever). It can be difficult. Someone who's self-selected can be a bad thing, but it can also be a really good thing, I think. So somebody who wants it, who understands how politics works, and things like that. And in that case, Jasnah becomes a better choice, because Jasnah can navigate those political systems and can be in the public eye and make difficult decisions, but also has a moral grounding for the things that she's deciding.

    But Jasnah's also a little dangerous. The scene in Book One with Jasnah and the thieves is supposed to make you a little worried about the way that Jasnah views power.

    Sarene, she would be a good choice after she's had a little more experience. She's not as good as she thinks she is, is the problem with Sarene.

    Elend is a good choice. Elend is a political theorist, and particularly if you get him at the right point after some world experience has forced him to see some other perspectives, he might actually be the single best choice, now that I think about it, to just make into President.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #63 Copy

    Bradley Culvert

    If you could be given one object from your books and brought into the real world, what would it be? And why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Bands of Mourning would be pretty handy. They might be the single most powerful object that is an actual object. Unless you count, like, the Well of Ascension. I don't know; the Well of Ascension's, like, less an object. The Bands of Mourning might be it, though I'd be hard-pressed not to pick a living Shardblade, assuming that they could turn back into the spren. If having a living Shardblade meant that the spren came through and could bond with me and I could have my own cool spren and Shardblade, that would be pretty awesome, even if I couldn't get a hold of Stormlight to power it, that would be pretty cool.

    Adam Horne

    You wouldn't bring Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think I would bring Nightblood here, no. I do not think that I would bring Nightblood here.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #64 Copy

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Is Investiture with its deep, inherent connection to sounds/tones/rhythms inspired by a sort of magical version of string theory and its idea of vibrating strings making up everything?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I would say yes. A direct inspiration. (In my own goofy way, as I tend to do.)

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #65 Copy

    Wish Brown

    How often do you wish you could go back and change something in one of your published works? Even something as small as a piece of dialogue or the name of a character or place?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I go back and forth on this. At the end of the day, I've kind of settled on "I'm fine not changing things." We do change things; every time we do an update for, like, a leatherbound or something, there are little continuity things we are going to tweak here and there, and I've talked about them kind of at length on stream. Way of Kings, we cut out a few of the references where I had made metaphors to things that characters in-world just wouldn't make metaphors to, because I had not written in Roshar long enough to really settle into how to use the language right for them. So that sort of stuff.

    Large-scale changes, though, I've kind of decided that the books have to remain a snapshot of who I was when I wrote them and not become a continual work in progress, constantly having fundamental style and narrative changes. The artist in me wants to. Totally wants to. Wishes that that were normal for books. But the fans need to be able to rely on... if they've got a first edition copy of Way of Kings, that things are not going to fundamentally change between editions. A line here or there might get tweaked to work better or to fix continuity errors, but it's still gonna be the same book. And I kind of just have to accept that as an artist. Creating this large-scale thing that is the Cosmere, there's gotta be both give and take here. The give from me is: acknowledging some of the earlier books will end up being the weakest as I get better as a writer and as I understand what to do with the Cosmere. But the take is that I can kind of continue to give context to those earlier books by developing the rest of the Cosmere in interesting ways.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #66 Copy

    Ben

    Was there any trepidation before putting a graphic novel in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and no. Basically, it was the trepidation of: "We want to do graphic novels, but we haven't done them before. So how's it gonna work? Can we do it?" These sorts of things. It was less worrying about the cosmere, and more just worrying if we were gonna do a great graphic novel.

    And I think it was a learning experience. I don't think White Sand turned out great. I think the revisions that Isaac's doing in putting the omnibus together hopefully will get there, but that's as much our fault as it is the fault of the people who made it. Like, Rik Hoskin (who wrote it) was fantastic; we really enjoyed working with him. And all the people at Dynamite were great. It just didn't convey Sanderson-style worldbuilding in the way that the novel does. But we're hoping that the omnibus (Isaac's put a lot of work into the omnibus) will do that.

    And I think that my opinion on it is kind of shared. If you go on Goodreads, the responses are: "Eh. It's okay." Which is not what we want to have. But I don't know that it was trepidation for the cosmere as much as us knowing "graphic novels are gonna take some work." Dark One is just a lot better; and hopefully the White Sand omnibus will be up to that level of quality.

    I do appreciate those who supported it, because it's basically you financing us figuring out how to do this, and hopefully then eventually learning how to get you more cosmere stories in different formats. It would have been much safer to pick one of my novels that was already out and finished and do an adaptation (which is what people normally do), but it just wasn't interesting to us. We want to be telling new stories, not telling the same stories over and over again.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #67 Copy

    Rick

    Was Lasting Integrity inspired by Escher, or the movie Inception, or something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm sure that both Escher and Inception had a role in that. Absolutely. Though, curiously, I was writing these weird walk-on-the-walls things long before I saw Inception, so it's probably both kind of reaching toward the same dream-like state. One of my earliest stories involved this surface-specific-gravity stuff, and I read a little bit from a later story that did the same thing. (The story I read at the launch party, The Sixth Incarnation of Pandora.) That dream-like quality. I wanted something about Lasting Integrity that said, when you got to it, "This is just not part of our world. This doesn't feel like it could be in the real world. The laws of physics are different here. And it's inhabited by beings that see the laws of physics in a different way." And that was what I was reaching for in creating that situation. Where my inspirations were? Probably all over the place. But Escher is definitely an inspiration there. And some of those descriptions in the Harry Potter books, of how the stairwells in Hogwarts work, I'm sure, were partially inspirations.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #68 Copy

    Elebie23

    If you had creative input on a Stormlight Archive adaptation, how would you design the music of Alethkar? Which regions or instruments would inspire you or have inspired you while writing in the world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the core inspirations for Alethkar is medieval Mongolia. And I don't know if pulling from things like throat-singing is going to just be too immersion-breaking for people, but that's the first place I'd start looking. Really, I kind of imagine the Alethi... if you're really getting down to their core influences, it's kind of like when the Mongolians conquered China, and Kublai Khan and that era, where the Mongolians became empire-builders rather than just conquerors and raiders. And that's what I was looking at specifically, kind of, in the Dalinar/Gavilar era, where it's like, "We were these kind of ruffians. And we got some momentum and had a leader with vision, and suddenly we made a kingdom out of a bunch of different groups. Reforging a kingdom that used to exist. But now we have to deal with running a kingdom." Which Genghis Khan never had to do. Genghis Khan was all about "we ride in, we pillage, then we ride off with the goods. We're not interested in empire building." So that whole concept interests me a lot.

    And then, of course, there's also a lot of Middle Eastern influences on the linguistics for the Alethi, and kind of some of their scientific learning and things like this is leaning on those medieval-era Islamic scholars, and things like that, are a bit of an inspiration. Though I've said before, Shallan's more Pliny the Elder, so that's reaching back a little bit further.

    I would look around for those sorts of things. Really, I would want to hire someone who's just really good at this and let them research into it. I would probably give them an explanation like I just gave you, and then let them look at it, and let them dig into it. Because my music theory is very surface-level.

    YouTube Livestream 27 ()
    #69 Copy

    Benji

    Are the three realms of Realmatic Theory are based or inspired by Viktor Frankl's dimensional ontology?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. I was reaching more toward Platonic theory when I came up with those, and the idea of a place where everything exists in a perfect version of itself, and that was where my mind was going when I was developing this.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #70 Copy

    ABC

    In Rhythm of War, Navani mentions that perhaps Soulcasters, specifically Soulcaster metal, are another form of a Radiant spren. She uses the line ''Somehow the ancient spren had been coaxed into manifesting as Soulcasters instead of Blades?". Could this somehow be related to Testament and the brokenness of the Soulcaster Lin Davar and then Shallan had?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not exactly sure what you mean by related. But just in case, Testament was not the Soulcaster. But the fact that spren become Soulcasters is related to this in some ways.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #71 Copy

    Evilsmiley

    Was Elantris built before the Shards were [Splintered] on Sel or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, in my outline right now Elantris existed before Odium did his dirty work on Elantris.

    It's unlikely to change, but I do have to point out this isn't strictly canon yet, and likely won't be until I write the Elantris sequels.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #73 Copy

    Questioner

    I've had this question burning deep inside me since I finished RoW, is there a truest Surge of Odium? My headcanon for now is Transportation.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hey! So, I'll deal with this eventually in the books, so it's a RAFO for now! But do keep in mind that the Surges on Roshar, as they're understood now, are mostly Honor/Cultivation.

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #74 Copy

    FeatherWriter

    I'm super psyched about the Rlainarin reveal that we've had recently. It was one of those things that reading Rhythm of War I'm like "Oh wow! There's a lot of cool chemistry here. And I don't think it's ever gonna be canon, but I'm gonna just love it quietly in my heart and tell other people that I think it's cool." And then finding out...

    Brandon Sanderson

    It goes back to Oathbringer too if you go back to Oathbringer.

    FeatherWriter

    It has! The scene in Rock's point of view. I'm just so glad it's actually happening. It warms my little Renarin loving heart.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep. I looked for a place to get it into this book, I actually wrote scenes that "should I put this in this book?"  and they're like "No, if it will feel clunky just do it in book five." 

    FeatherWriter

    I think it was there enough, that a lot of us readers, got that the chemistry was there, and it could work very well.

    Chaos

    I think you can really do it justice, doing a same-sex relationship and do it really well. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well having two viewpoint characters - that's kinda one of my go-tos, right? To avoid tokenism, try to make multiple characters who think differently. One of the worries was: with Renarin being autistic, I don't want to conflate these two aspects of his personality. But having Rlain there lets me have diversity among a given representation in a single book. Just way more comfortable for me to write, because it lets me make sure that I'm making people their personalities, and not their defining attributes. Kaladin has depression; Kaladin is not depression. And that's a really important thing.

    If its something that I'm less familiar with personally, it's more important that I have a variety of viewpoints. Even if its something like making sure that Jasnah is atheist and Kaladin is agnostic. And that I'm approaching their different worldviews from their personalities rather than as a cliché of some sort. 

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #75 Copy

    Chaos

    Do you ever worry, like, when you actually need to write Hoid's backstory that it... That's a lot of pressure, in a way, Hoid's backstory..

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a lot of pressure, yeah. I am not worried about the book being great, because the story that I have for it is a great story. What I am worried about is: what random things have I said in books that I didn't write down in the wiki that I need to make good on? That he's mentioned doing at some point. Those are the things I worry about. The actual story is really solid for Dragonsteel, the new one. And I think people will really like it. I think it does cool things. But we will see. We'll see if I can.

    The longer it goes without me writing it, the more expectations there will be on it. And so I should be telling people, "Look, it is just a book like the other ones." It is hopefully a great book that you will really love, but it is just a book. Once I write it, it can no longer be all the things you're imagining it to be, and I apologize for that. I do want to do it, but it is just a book. It's going to read like a lot of my other books. It will be in first person, which is the only planned first-person cosmere series. That will set it off and be distinctive in ways I think will be cool.

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #76 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll release [Dragonsteel Prime] for the Words of Radiance Kickstarter.

    Basically there's not a whole lot that's canon in that anymore. The Sho Del are, the dragons are, and the Tamu Keks are. But all the Hoid stuff is not really canon anymore. He'll get a completely new book backstory. I have really done some work lately on the aethers in ways that I really think is working. So I think I can start canonizing aethers, sneaking [them] into the mainline cosmere books. Whether I can ever write the book about the aethers is another question, but you should see more than just little cameo pieces now that I'm sure about some of the ways they work. I made some major breakthroughs in how I wanted that to all connect.

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #77 Copy

    Weiry Writer

    Why are Seons stuck as floating balls of light in the Cognitive Realm, while true spren get to be people shaped? I feel that is unfair.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a little unfair isn't it. Boy, Sel has all sorts of unfair things going on. But they can leave Sel, so there's some sort of clue there. But lots of unfairness to everybody from Sel in various ways. But the thing that is not unfair is: they're able to get places.

    Chaos

    Just gotta escape the deadly plasma, you know. No big deal.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they can escape the deadly Investiture plasma covering the Cognitive Realm... not even covering, like... suffusing the Cognitive Realm where they are, the Expanse of Densities. If they can escape that they can go places. 

    I'll be honest. I couldn't decided if I should use a seon there at the end or a Tamu Kek. In one draft it was a Tamu Kek, and then I thought, "Eh, seons are way more interesting because they have volition. Tamu Kek is just a bone." It was a Tamu Kek originally, and then it was a seon, then back to a Tamu Kek, and then I released it as a seon. 

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #78 Copy

    FeatherWriter

    Can I ask about Glys and Tumi, which are Rlain and Renarin's spren. Obviously they have some weirdness from Sja-anat, but they seem very, very different from the other mistspren we see, whose name is Dreaming-though-Awake. And sometimes they seem like they talk like inkspren, with that focus on the "be" verb at the end of sentences, and things like that. Is there a reason why they are so very different - I mean we've only seen one other mistspren, but... 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there are reasons indeed. I will give you more as the series progresses. Remember, Renarin has (right now) in the sequence book 7, and so you are going to have an entire Renarin book with its own flashback sequence that you can look forward too. It'll be Renarin in his thirties; he'll be older, he may be wiser. We'll see.

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #79 Copy

    FeatherWriter

    We've had some discussion, people wondering whether Taln actually broke the Oathpact, or did something else happen? Like he just got too crazy to be able to hold the Oathpact back or something else, or is that all totally off track?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO! There are scenes in the stories talking about that, so it is a question I expect people to be asking.

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #80 Copy

    FeatherWriter

    I have to ask about using the word "avatar" for Thaidakar sending avatars... does Kelsier actually have anything resembling a real avatar or is he just using the word and lying through his teeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, he's mostly lying through his teeth. Basically — this is not canon, because I might come up with a better [idea] - but in my head, I have him with a large cloak with a Seon on top indicating his face [hosts laugh] It was something along those lines. He wants them to think that he is capable of getting to Roshar in a meaningful, physical way.

    Spoiler! he can't get off Scadrial, and it's really annoying to him. At least by this point in the continuity, in fact a little past it, because the Wax & Wayne books...

    *multiple people*

    [Tangent where he forgets where in the timeline Wax & Wayne actually falls, and Chaos corrects him. Answer ends up being that it takes place after Stormlight 5, as he has usually said.]

    Brandon Sanderson

    As of the Alloy era, he is still unable to get off of Scadrial.

    Chaos

    Guess we'll learn about that in Era 3, if it's all Kelsier stuff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Era 3 will definitely involve some Kelsier stuff. Let's just say he's perturbed.

    Shardcast Interview ()
    #82 Copy

    Chaos

    In Oathbringer, Rayse refers to a group called the "Tisark" that are supposed to secure the Oathgate. What does that term refer to? I thought they were gonna be one of the types of Fused, and so I was just surprised that that was not the case.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will canonize that later. It very well may be one of the types of Fused, we'll see... theorize. Go ahead. It doesn't have the right suffix.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    WeiryWriter

    Every day in Kasitor, Cusicesh emerges from the bay at 7:46 in the morning. If the Iriali started practicing daylight savings time, would Cusicesh emerge at the old 7:46 or the new? Would it make a difference if all of Roshar was changing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would not change their time based on the clocks being changed.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    Weiry Writer

    Kelsier and Thaidakar. At what point did you decide Kelsier would be part of The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thaidakar isn't; his minions are! Pretty early on, there's a whole lot of Kelsier in Era 3 and as soon as I decided that when I outlined the original nine books as I was working on the original Mistborn trilogy I knew that there needed to be some more of him influencing the world/universe at large. He is a really fun character to write because he does not fit in boxes very well. He does like meddling. There are a lot of things I want to do with Era 3. 

    One of my big concerns when I was building the outline with Kelsier, when I was building the outline for all 9 books before I added the Wax and Wayne books, back in 2004 when I was doing a lot of the big outlining for the cosmere - Emily's got to dig out that paper I once wrote out for her - I guess that would have been 2004 to 2006, because I got married in 2006, and it was 2007 where I drew that thing out for her. No actually it was summer 2006, because I didn't have my laptop with me which I wasn't allowed at the family reunion, so I instead had a notebook, because if I'm not allowed my laptop, I will have a notebook, and that's why we have a physical copy of this thing.

    But when I was doing all that one of my big concerns was how to make sure people kept interested in Mistborn while I was potentially spending years and years away from it, at that point in the outline I was going to write Dragonsteel before Stormlight. And I started trying to do that in 2007, either way we're talking 5 to 10 years away from Mistborn at that point. How can I make sure that this stuff-? So I outlined Secret History that I could release in the meantime, and a potential Secret History follow-up. That I've mentioned before that I don't know if I'll ever write. It wasn't until 2010-2011, that I was like "why don't I write some short stories in this world to keep people focused on it?" And I tried one and it was bad, and I'm like "what if I just wrote a little novel?" I can do a little novel, right? And that's where Alloy of Law came from.

    Technically speaking these are all solutions to the same problem, which is people can't forget about Scadrial it's really important. They can forget to an extent about Sel; it's still important, but it's not important on the level that Scadrial is gonna be. Scadrial has so many fingers in the technology of the future. So this was another method to make sure we had some Scadrian influence happening while I was in other worlds. Turns out we ended up getting ALL of them, we got Secret History, and The Alloy of Law, and the little fingers in The Stormlight Archive. But it was important to me that the fingers in The Stormlight Archive be through the frame of reference of The Stormlight Archive. 

    Chaos

    I definitely think Shallan learning about cosmere stuff is a good intro for Stormlight-only readers to get interested in the cosmere, kind of like Mistborn: Secret History is for Mistborn-only readers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Roshar if you learn "hey there's more planets out there," and they see Roshar as something with a very valuable resource. That's enough of an intro to the cosmere to make it work in Roshar, and to make you prep for the future. That's why I did it the way I did. And also knowing people were more okay with this. But also I needed to get it in, I almost should have done it earlier. I saw people guessing that one by Words of Radiance. But by the time I was releasing Words of Radiance I was seeing fan theories that were like "what if this."

    Chaos

    So like throwing darts on a dart board. "Ah like this person's this other person."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it might be that. The whole philosophy of the Ghostbloods was suppose to dove-tail with Survivorism. Survival of the fittest type stuff very much. I'm hoping from the things they've read in that they were able to connect the philosophies rather than throwing darts at a dart board, but it could have been the dart board thing.

    FeatherWriter

    It's funny because we already recorded the Kelsier podcast, but it's gonna come out after this one. You've put me in a very weird situation, because loved the Ghostbloods. I guess I still love the Ghostbloods, I have a terrible villain crush on Mraize, he's one of my favorite characters and Kelsier drives me crazy. So finding out they are intrinsically linked I'm like "Noo! Kelsier is ruining my favorite thing." But it does make sense I have to admit.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's okay. Mraize does not have to do what he's told, and Iyatil who - that's the other thing once I dropped Oathbringer, and this is a southern continent Scadrian running around, this is pretty obvious connection to Scadrial. I had to eventually canonize that. Iyatil is - 

    Don't consider people in the Ghostbloods flunkies. That's not a very Ghostblood-ish philosophy.

    Chaos

    I guess that makes sense, they're all trying to backstab each other. Well no I guess not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they're not allowed to backstab each other. [too many people talking at once] [Ghostbloods have]? specific rules, because they need them to be very strong specific rules. If you have an organization of people who are drawn to the way Kelsier works you need some really strong rules. [Hosts laugh] When he is just with his crew, his force of personality, and the people he individually picks you're not gonna have that problem. 

    I always imagine-you can relate it to Tor Books, they're all assassins. When Tor really functioned well, back in the 90s, it's because Tom Doherty could keep a close eye on everything. And he liked his editors being a little bit in competition with each other. And he structured his organization so that if you picked an author who did well, you got bonuses, based on how well the authors did which is just a way of working that could really lead to an unhealthy office environment, if you think about it. But if you have Tom there making sure that that doesn't become the case, and if you have Harriet watching and making it a good incentive, not a bad incentive, then it all works really well and you have one of the strongest sci-fi publishers that's ever existed, because everybody was incentivised to find really good stuff. But they we're corralled by Tom Doherty and kept it from becoming toxic. But now that Tom retired I think they're changing a lot of that, because its grown too big for one person to watch over.

    And it's the same thing with Kelsier, in an immediate organization of Kelsier's you're gonna find a well bonded crew of people hand picked who are going to work together as a team, and you aren't going to have to worry about too much about backstabbing - less than average for the type of organization that they are. But if his structure is outside of his direct manipulation, the type of people who would be attracted to the organization he makes...

    Chaos

    ...are not gonna be nice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...you're gonna have some problems. Mraize would not say that he's not nice. [hosts laughs] Mraize would just say that his niceness is an analogous threshold that does not intersect with the threshold of competence and capability of things he's trying to achieve, those things don't need to overlap in his life.

    He'd say he's a very nice person. He was very nice to Shallan by his definition. [hosts laugh] He was very nice to Lift by his definition of things. Think of all the things he could have done with Lift, and what did he do? He gave her as a present to an ancient being who ruled the tower, who could properly take care of one such as Lift.

    Chaos

    Mraize is very nice.

    FeatherWriter

    You heard it here, it's canon. Mraize is nice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mraize is nice, and he also wanted to keep is fingers and he felt that was a better way to keep his fingers, was to make sure Lift was someone else's problem. He got what he wanted, which was being able to capture her, which was not that easy, he would say. So he deserves to have whatever reward, because it was quite a difficult enterprise on his part. She is not easy to capture.

    You know those Scadrians gotta keep an eye on things, they like to meddle.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    Chaos

    In Dawnshard we learned that Intent and Command are two different things, whereas in Warbreaker Vasher is clearly conflating these two into just saying it's the Command. What's the difference between Intent and Command?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Intent encompasses more understanding. Command is specifically narrow. A lot of times, these things are gonna be conflated, because they basically can be. Like, if Vasher creates an awakened thing and says "go get me those keys." The Intent is: "I need the keys to get outta here. I want to be free." The Command is: "Go fetch keys." Those are two different things, but they are working toward the same goal. It is important in cosmere terms that the Intent is understood, even if sometimes the words that can speak 'em are clunky and smaller in scale by nature than the Intent.

    Let's say the Intent of a Shard encompasses more than the word that the Shard is described by. It's a similar thing that the Intent of a Command is often vaster than the actual words spoken. And the magic can grasp the Intent, not just the Command, depending on the magic system and how good you are at it, and things like that. The words are there to focus Intent. How about that?

    Chaos

    Bringing the old word "focus" back into it. Let's talk about body focuses; what's going on there? (That's a joke.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll throw you a kernel on that one in the fifth book if you watch for it. That old Rosharan philosophy will actually be relevant for a small thing happening in the fifth book.

    YouTube Livestream 26 ()
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    Ramba Ral

    What is your favorite character archetype or personality type that you haven't used in one of your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't done a real cool traditional revenge narrative, in the kind of Count of Monte Cristo way. Basically, this is the mistaken identity story (if you guys have read the Miles Vorkosigan books), except done more intentionally. Like, in the Vorkosigan early books and what not, it's a person who gets in over their head and has to lie about who they are and what their experience is in order to stay ahead of the lies that they've already told, so that people won't discover that they aren't indeed the person that they say. A Bug's Life is a great example of this. And that one is usually played for comedy, though in Vorkosian books, it's not; done very well. There's a different archetype of this, which is kind of the... Knight's Tale is this thing, and so is Count of Monte Cristo, where an intentional deception of those around you in order to achieve a near-impossible goal. I would say that my favorite story of that archetype is Gattaca, which I just love. I think it's a fantastic movie. And I've never done that, that specific style of story. And I fully intend to someday. I mean, Gattaca being one of my favorite movies would be a clue; I tend to take the things that I love. But I haven't found the exact right place for it yet, let's say.

    YouTube Livestream 26 ()
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    Daniel

    Did the uses of epigraphs in the Robotech novels influence your own usage of epigraphs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't say; I wouldn't even have been able to remember that they did have them. I know I liked them. If I were gonna point toward one, I'd point toward Dune. Because, though I read all the Robotech books as a kid and really liked them, Dune I read during a more formative time in my writing, after I decided I wanted to be a writer and was really looking at the structure of stories, and things like that. So that's probably the one I would point to. And the epigraphs in Dune are ephemera, they're very similar. (Though they all tend to be from the same piece, I believe; I think they're all from the journal.) But it could have had an unconscious influence. There are a lot of great books that use epigraphs. But I would not have been able to tell you if they had.

    YouTube Livestream 26 ()
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    Shawn

    Would children on Roshar be taught the names of the different spren in school, like kids with animals in our world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, yeah, definitely. Good idea. I bet that they would. Definitely, spren would probably be like learning to say "kitty" around here.

    YouTube Livestream 26 ()
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    Markus

    What do Rosharan sporting events look like outside of Alethkar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most places in Roshar, I would say they have not hit the point in society, quite yet, where mass sporting events are really a thing. Basically, sporting events are martial training during non-periods of war, even in the less martially-focused places. I would have to think about it. I haven't built any. I mean, there are sports that were played non-martially on our Earth, but even the ball game in mesoamerica had some pretty brutal aspects to it, that is almost kind of a way to have a battle when you're not having a battle.

    I think that the modern concept of sporting events, the only place you're gonna find that right now in the cosmere is on Scadrial. And Wayne accidentally started a sporting league. I'm not sure if I'll get to that in the next book, or not. If you remember, in the last book, where he was like, "What we need is a way to get everybody drunk at the same time without them being drunk." And there are some implications and ramifications of that for the advent of professional sports, let's say.

    YouTube Livestream 26 ()
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    Joe Collins

    What was your inspiration for the Knights Radiant

    Brandon Sanderson

    I prefer stories about magic awakening and magic being discovered and investigated. So the idea of these Orders of Knights whose powers were lost, and people are now recovering them, was really cool to me. You certainly would have to point at the Jedi as a theme for that. Like, I grew up in the '80s and '90s; there's no way that Star Wars wasn't a huge influence on everything that I did. I wouldn't say that I thought it was the single influence, but you cannot separate someone of my generation, so steeped in pop culture as I was, from Star Wars as a deep cultural influence.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    FeatherWriter

    Looking toward book five; is the prologue with Gavilar going to be enormous at this point? Trying to wrap up all of the rest of the threads? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do need to wrap up a lot of threads in that one.

    Chaos

    20,000 word prologue?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We'll see. I haven't written it yet; we'll see how long it gets. I hope I'm not straying into Robert Jordan prologue territory. 90,000 word prologue? Oh really...

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    WeiryWriter

    What made you decide to canonize not one, not two, but FOUR new Shards? A whole quarter of Adonalsium in this book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It had been long enough. I had been coy with them long enough. I had worked out enough of the outlines moving forward that I knew what Shards I needed and things like that, and they had gotten locked in enough that I could just do it. And they would mention it. We're getting to the point where if I didn't start mentioning them I'd have to do verbal gymnastics in the stories to not. 

    When Harmony is trying actively to figure out what happened, and who they all are, and where they all are. It was time for me to go ahead and stop dribbling that. The reason I was dribbling is there were still a few I was still deciding upon. And now that they're all locked in. There's no reason to hold it back.

    I don't hold things back from you guys out of glee. I hold things back because narrative drama, and because things are not locked in yet.

    WeiryWriter

    So there's still two [Shards] we don't know. Do you have those locked down or are those still...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are a little more vague, like I haven't picked the words for them. I look for the right word, and sometimes I have the word that's the wrong synonym. Odium in this case would be Hatred. Calling the villain Hatred doesn't work in the same way that calling the villain Odium works. I'm looking for those right words.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    WeiryWriter

    In a lot of Navani's viewpoints, Navani is very uncertain of how genuine is Raboniel being. Beyond the obvious deceit considering her true intentions. Did she really not know about Sunraiser being Elhokar's Blade, how true was her grief over her daughter's death, and with Venli what were her intentions, revealing the survival of the listeners and dismissing her from service. I just love Raboniel. I want to know everything about Raboniel.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will only answer one of those. Her grief over her daughter's death was completely authentic, as was her desire for bringing an end to the war. That part of her is completely authentic and legitimate. Her motive is to make sure [the war] can't keep going; whether she's right in that, wether it can keep going or not, is a subject for discussion. But she believed this was the best way to make sure the fighting ended, that was her primary goal, and that was at cross purposes even at times even with Odium. So that is legit. Some of the other stuff I will leave subject to reader interpretation.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    But now since Veil has been incorporated, so Veil is Shallan now, again. Which is one of those things that as I was doing it, I recognized could be controversial in the D.I.D. community, because there are various different opinions about whether incorporating alters is good for the individual, or not. The decision I made on this is, it was good for Shallan in that circumstance. Using my best understanding of the psychology, and the treatment recommendations, and knowing both sides of that argument. It was the right thing for Shallan right then. That doesn't mean necessarily that she has to incorporate Radiant in order to be healthy. I will just point that out.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    Chaos

    In Rhythm of War, when we see Veil in the scene in the bar when she's expressing interest in women. Was that meant to confirm Shallan is bi[sexual] in-text?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. That was meant to be read as Veil legitimately - I realize you can read that as she's just joking around, but that was Veil expressing interest in the ladies.

    Chaos

    Well I suppose, what some people were saying, maybe Veil is bisexual and not Shallan.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that they are both, and maybe Veil kind of in a way to make less threatening to Shallan has started really only talking about women that way. Partially for Adolin's comfort and for Shallan's comfort. If that makes sense. It's more of a safe place, because for them they know she would not go and act on those if it were about men or women, but it would be more threatening if she were talking about men that way. 

    FeatherWriter

    I definitely got the vibe that Veil is more the sort of person who was willing to say those sorts of things, but knowing that a lot of the speculation about Shallan went back to book one, before Veil had even become a character, this has been with Shallan for a while way back when.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think Shallan would express it. She might be too culturally biased to even acknowledge it, but Veil? No.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    In fact the original draft that I submitted to my writing group didn't yet have that scene where he go-goes. I was like "I'll get around to it eventually." They almost revolted. They're like, "WHAT? He's still alive?" I was like "No no. He will go-go. I just have to find the right way to write the scene." So they didn't actually get to read that scene with El and [Lezian].

    Chaos

    Definitely one of those Brandon ending scenes that are just like "Wow there's some weird stuff going on here."

    FeatherWriter

    So many new questions.

    Brandon Sanderson

    All these weird Fused who've been around way too long. The guy [El] that they gave his name [Vyre] to Moash.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    FeatherWriter

    The Navani and Raboniel storyline was one of my favorites in Rhythm of War, and I'm really sad we're probably not gonna get any more Raboniel for now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's an anti-Investiture death, so yeah. She's gone, I'm sorry.

    FeatherWriter (paraphrased)

    Fingers crossed maybe Herald's flashbacks we might see a little more [Raboniel]? Maybe my favorite new character in Stormlight that we've had introduced later on.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, right you can see her in Herald flashbacks, definitely as somebody you can see back then.

    Well the other thing I wanted to do with this book, was really get some Fused to show their viewpoints on life, because it's not something I've really been able to do yet. I've had her waiting in the wings in order to - basically as Rayse/Odium became, in my mind, less of a threat because Dalinar had just completely defeated him. I also I needed a more personal antagonist for this book, that we could approach in a different way. Rayse is the unknowable evil, I wanted the knowable antagonist. Not even necessarily evil, evil-ish in Raboniel. I was really looking forward to be able to write her, and one of the decisions by being able to make Navani a main character, by saying "Brandon I'm gonna let you do this" to myself. Let me pull off that dynamic between them, that was extremely fulfilling to write.

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    Chaos

    How much do you plan in the cosmere? There were a few things in Rhythm of War [that went in] a different direction, like anti-Investiture, that black sphere Gavilar had in the prologue being anti-Investiture, and Testament and Shallan, were those always part of the plan or options?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those were always options. Anti-Investiture has been pretty core for a long time, there are a couple reasons for this. Number one I need to get certain resources into the cosmere for use in the future, and anti-Investiture is one of those. Another reason is I want to push Stormlight Archive more towards magic-tech, because I'm pushing Mistborn more towards Earth analog with Earth technology and then some cool fantastical things thrown in, but when you're using the technology. When you're using a radio on Scadrial, it's a radio. You know what a radio is. It works based on radio principles, and maybe you can do some wacky things with weight, but an airship is kind of an airship to them where as I want Roshar which is on the opposite end of that spectrum. Where an airship on Roshar is not an airship like you would imagine. Its not being propelled in normal ways it's working off all these weird magical things. And anti-Investiture was an important thing to get into the series for the future for that reason.

    From book one I knew I needed magical healing for Roshar, [for] the stories I wanted to tell to work. And I needed some really powerful magical healing. Particularly for the Knights Radiant, because of the stories I wanted to tell, this meant I was going to be very much under cutting the danger of physical violence in The Stormlight Archive as we move forward as the characters became Radiants. It is really hard to kill a Radiant in combat and there need to be foils to that. 

    Beyond that from the first chapter of the first cosmere novel Elantris, death has not been the end. [hosts laugh] We start the first book with someone being resurrected. That's one of the main themes of the cosmere is a second chance at life. This is Raoden's story, this is Lightsong's story, this is Kelsier's story, this is a major theme of the cosmere, and I needed to be introducing into the cosmere a "dead is dead" mechanic. And I considered Shardblades for that for a while, before I even released Stormlight. No, it can't be Shardblades, because I can't have every battle - once lots of people have Shardblades then there's no purpose to the magical healing. So I needed another tool for the late part of the cosmere, when people have figured out Cognitive Shadows; How do you destroy a Cognitive Shadow? Well there are ways, but throw some anti-Investiture at them and that's guaranteed, you are gonna kill that Shadow, and I'd been pushing towards where to get this in, and this book felt like the right place. It was either this book or book five, and where it settled into this book is where I finally made the decision that I was gonna let Navani be a main character, which she had been pushing to be for a while, and I'd been pushing back. No, I deserve to have a scientist, an actual straight up scientist main character in The Stormlight who can dig into some of this stuff. I can self-indulge by doing that, as long as I balance it with Kaladin behind enemy lines fight sequences and things, for a more traditional structure. Because Navani's scenes do not have a traditional structure. They're like "we're going to do science now! But we're making up the science also?!"

    Shardcast Interview ()
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    Ian Weiry Writer

    You killed Rayse this book. Could you talk about why you decided to kill him off, and have Taravangian be Odium instead. Was that always part of the plan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I always work in a way where I have different options and opportunities. Was it always the thing that I was absolutely going to do? No, I keep myself open on some of these things. 

    The reason Rayse needed to go: he had been essentially defeated at the end of Oathbringer, when Dalinar does not go over to him. All of his rage, and everything he's trying to do cannot make that happen. He's defeated, at least in a philosophical sense. Now you can bring a defeated enemy back to be a threat again. You can find a new way to make them a threat, but I knew - in this book - Kaladin was not going to fall to him either. But once you've had two books in a row with the characters machinations not - things stymied by the heroes. I needed a different villain at that point.

    And I also think that [al]though a lot of deep into the cosmere people are interested in the original Shards and getting their stories, for the average reader Taravangian is a much more identifiable villain. And I've been building him from book one to be not just really scary, but a philosophical opposite to Dalinar. These are all the reasons this book needed to go the way it did.

    It has benefits and costs. The cost is Odium stops being the evil you don't know. The evil you don't know is a very powerful force in fantasy literature. The evil you do know does different things. And I lose that evil you don't know though you still have a bit of it, because the power of Odium - the Shard itself - I wouldn't say has volition completely, but it's still there and its a thing. It is constrained by Taravangian and directed by Taravangian, but it's the rage of a deity separated from its morals should be a scary thing. In the hands of someone who is essentially a fallible mortal, should be an even more scary thing. Rayse had gotten to the point where I no longer felt - if I was going to write the books the way I did. This basically became inevitable when I swapped and made Dalinar's book book three. [host reactions: OHhh sure!] I knew something big needed to shift, but fortunately I had several options. There is a version of The Stormlight Archive, where this doesn't happen. I think it's a worse version, but until something is written no matter how much something is in the outline, it's not canon even to me. I like to be willing to reassess what I'm doing.

    Talking the other direction, the foreshadowing I put in the books the more I foreshadow, the more I do, the more that locks in what I need to do going forward, because I don't want to undermine that foreshadowing. 

    There's a longwinded perhaps a little wishy washy answer to you. I can tell you why I made the decision, but I can't - the outlines are these things that are really organic, because I'm always working on them, and will often have lots of division points, these are different places it can go - because of the way I write characters.

    I'm sure this will cause contention. But I did not decide in the original outline, who Shallan would end up with, or who anyone would end up with. I write character relationships as I feel they are appropriate on the page, and I revise the outline to match from that how things are feeling and how it's going. I know there are some shippers out there who are like 'that means there was a version of the ship I wanted, and you didn't do it. It was the nefarious beta readers who forced you not to! [Chaos denies] It was ?Calin's fault!' [hosts laugh]. I'm sure you've heard that before. I don't want to fuel that because these decisions are made not necessarily based on beta reader feedback. These decisions are made based on me giving life to the characters, and feeling where I feel they would legitimately they would go. And rebuilding my outline to match.

    While I outline a lot more than my contemporaries, I am not a slave to the outline. I will change major things such as moving Dalinar's flashback sequences to book three which had ramifications all down the line. Or deciding I need to do more with Eshonai and Venli earlier in the series, which had other ramifications to their viewpoints later on because I feel it makes the best story.

    Miscellaneous 2014 ()
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    grinachu

    "The sun hadn't quite set, but in the darkening sky, stars had begun to appear around Talns Scar. The Tear hung just above the horizon, a star much brighter than the others, named for the single tear Reya was said to have shed." ([Words of Radiance] Kindle Edition, pg. 362 of 1080)

    Since we know the names of all the Heralds, I can only surmise Reya is Cultivation's real name and that the tear she shed was when Tanavast died.

    Thoughts?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Reya is somebody female and important.