Recent entries

    Manchester signing ()
    #10051 Copy

    Questioner

    Hi, I was wondering, in your books you have a lot of mentions of gods, and spirits and I was just wondering what your opinion on religion is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question, excellent question. And oh sure the microphone works for you. So I'm religious, I'm Mormon. Yes, I am.  And I've grown up religious, I'm a religious person and I'm fascinated by religion in all its different aspects. One of the things I love about being a writer is the ability that you have to jump into the heads of various different people who are very different from yourself and explore. Like that character coming alive thing, it's really a fun aspect. I feel that, since I am a fascinated by religion, my passion-- and if you are writers you will know this yourself-- whatever you are passionate about translates usually to good fiction, as long as you are willing to approach it from all directions. Where fiction goes wrong is when you allow your perspective to color everything too much and you end up with a story where everybody thinks the same. However if you can allow something you are really interested in to have five or six different characters on different sides of an argument. Because there aren't two sides, there are as many sides as there are people in the world on these sorts of issues. You can show a lot of those different sides and show the way they kind of-- the rough edges bump into one another, then what you are going to be doing is you are going to start exploring what it means to be human and what it means to have faith, or whatever it is you are fascinated by. I find that this is where I find your fiction can get really good.

    I love reading fiction, I love science fiction and fantasy I think sometimes-- I do love the escapist aspect of it, getting out of the world and going someplace imaginative, but I think sometimes because we have this escapism-- which is a lot of fun and there are a lot of fun aspects to this-- we miss out on the importance of what fiction does. I think fiction allows you to see through the eyes of someone very different from yourself and experience their life and their role. And when you get done with fiction-- A good piece of fiction I feel it's harder to hate the people because you've lived in someone else's shoes for a while. Maybe that's a very lofty opinion that I have of what my job is where really it is telling stories about magic and knights hitting each other with swords. But that's the soul of what I think is very noble about fiction and I think it was very Tolkien. You get done reading Tolkien and you're like "I can see how these different races in this world, the hobbits and the kings, and dwarves and the elves and I can see how they all view the world differently." I think that does something for us, something wonderful.

    One of my favorite books of all time is Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly this is the book that got me into reading. I was a 14-year-old boy, who was not a reader and my teacher handed me this book. This book should not have worked, this book is about a middle-aged woman who is trying to choose between her career and her family, that's basically what the book is because she's been told she could be the greatest magic-user ever by her teacher if she would just focus but she the reason she can't focus because she's got these two crazy little boys who distract her and a husband and things like this. And I read this book and its about the last living dragonslayer who has to go and kill a dragon, except he goes and does it with crossbows ballista instead of a noble ride up with a sword because who does that its stupid. It's great, its from her perspective. I get done with this and I'm like "this was amazing.  I loved this book, why did I love it so much?" At the same time my mother had graduated first in her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in the accounting program and had been offered a really prestigious scholarship to go along with her education, instead she had me. She felt it was important to stay home with me while I was young. She took care of me and as a teenage boy knowing this I was like "Of course she did, I'm awesome of course that's the right thing to do". And I was reading this book about dragons and I understand my mother better. That's what we can do with this, and I'm kind of going off in weird directions. That's what I love about fiction, that's what I love about science fiction and fantasy.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #10052 Copy

    Brightlord Maelstrom

    When a Dakhor monk leaves his homeland do his bones still give him his abilities? Is it only the creation that's location-dependent or is it also the ability that's location-dependent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The further you get away, the weaker the power the bones will give you will get. It's way better than Elantris at bringing the power with you. That's where it is in the notes right now, I have not written the second book, I could totally change that.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #10055 Copy

    Questioner

    I've got a Mistborn question for you. So, Identity? Can you store, like-- is your physical appearance part of your Identity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is to some people. To most people, it's a part of it, yes.... I don't know the answer-- don't take that as "You can store that." and things like that. It's involved. There are certain things you can do. But it's not as simple as it might have sounded, what I just implied.

    Questioner

    So, does that apply to your Identity, if you're in the Cognitive Realm? Or the Physical Realm? Can you store that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The reason you look like you do in the Cognitive Realm is because it's Identity, things like that. I'm not gonna talk about specifically how storing that works really. Although there is the idea that your soul is the key to Investiture and stuff like that.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #10056 Copy

    Questioner

    With the Heralds we know that there's only one left... one Herald that's still bound to the Oathpact--

    Brandon Sanderson

    OK, only one Herald was about, was abandoned-- You'll find out the mechanics of that in the next book.

    Questioner

    So are we going to see more of Taln...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see more of-- the Oathpact is not completely broken, the others are still bound to the Oathpact.

    Questioner

    Even though they kind of sort of said they were abandoning it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, so there's still connection there, so you'll find out more about all of this and how it works.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #10057 Copy

    Questioner

    So I have a question about the cosmere. I recently read The Stormlight Archive books and I love them, and then I reread Warbreaker and I noticed something. When Siri was teaching the God King how to read, she says one of the letters is called shash and this is the name of one of Kaladin's slave brands. I was wondering why.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was just a coincidence, that one's been asked of me before, yeah it's just a coincidence.

    Salt Lake City ComicCon 2017 ()
    #10059 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the relationship between the Knights Radiant and their opposite gender spren? Is that important or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah it is slightly important.

    Questioner

    I have to RAFO it though?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's more important narratively than it is in the world. It happens more often but it doesn't mean anything when it doesn't happen, does that makes sense? So it's slightly important, partialy it's a narrative trick. I want to keep some gender balance and it's a lot easier to play off someone different than yourself, and things like that so I naturally do that. It doesn't necessarily mean anything when I don't. It depends on the personality of the spren.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10064 Copy

    Questioner

    Aluminum, when you burn aluminum, does it actually destroy the metals or just take away their power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It destroys the metals.

    Questioner

    Same with chromium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner

    So it actually gets rid of the metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It actually trans--  It does a--  matter, energy, investiture are the same things in the cosmere.  You have some sort of transfer happening relating to those things.

    Questioner

    The question sort of relates to metal poisoning--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you would not get metal poisoning after that.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10066 Copy

    Questioner

    So nicrosil.  Wax couldn’t use a blank gold metalmind because he’s not a gold ferring, why can he use a blank nicrosil metalmind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So this will all come out eventually but the idea is there are certain ways to connect yourself to magic, to hack the magic and make it think you have the Spiritual DNA that you don’t actually have.  And this is one of the ways.

    Questioner

    So then the people who made this medallion have this thing that a regular nicrosil Ferring couldn’t--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you’re picking up on it. We’ll dig deeper into it as the series progresses.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10069 Copy

    Questioner

    When you are burning a Compounded metal are you getting the metal’s effect and the stored power? Can you explain, I’m unclear on the Compounding.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Compounding is a way to hack the magic system so you can get a Feruchemical attribute out of-- basically powering Feruchemy with Allomancy.  If that makes sense.

    Questioner

    So you’re not actually burning the metalmind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kind of? There’s a big explanation on Reddit, if you send me an email I can link you to it, that steps you through exactly, easier than explaining it here

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10073 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the two-way radio a fabrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The two-way radio? Which one?

    Questioner

    In Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is actually real.

    Questioner

    It's just a two-way radio.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is actual technology. Good question.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10074 Copy

    Questioner

    Who were Kelsier’s parents?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kelsier’s parents? I haven’t talked a lot about Kelsier’s parents. He's obviously a half-breed. So he was raised in noble society, unlike a lot of the half-breeds. He knew his nature. He gets his skaa half from his mother, but they hid in plain sight. Like, she pretended to be noble.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10076 Copy

    Questioner

    In the event that.. so, say if you've got someone who went through a certain event, and it would have Snapped them. Take that person away from Scadrial, and move them to a different world. Would that still Snap them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Remember that the Shards are mostly Spiritual Realm things. Space and time do not matter to them. Time does, space does not.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10077 Copy

    Questioner

    In Secret History we find out that when Kelsier had the power of Preservation, whenever he was near someone with cracks in their minds he would end up healing them up naturally, right? When he tried to--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not heal them up but--

    Questioner

    The intent was that he would Preserve them, right?  So my theory is that Snapping, when they’re getting physically damaged their cracks are wider and wider and that it ends up Preservation, if they have a good Connection with Preservation or whatever randomly comes in those cracks.  Am I anywhere along the right track?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This theory has merit.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10079 Copy

    Questioner

    What Shard is the opposite of Odium in the sense of the *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are several that could be considered opposites--

    Questioner

    I mean in the assimilation sense, you’ve said that Odium doesn’t want to absorb any of the other ones but which one would want to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, which one would want to join with him?

    Questioner

    Or any of them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that if personalities had been different, Honor and Odium, there would have been a very natural pairing, not that they’re opposites but they would have attracted. [...]

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10085 Copy

    Questioner

    What would happen if the King’s Wit, Wayne, and Mat Cauthon from these last three Wheel of Time books went into a room and locked it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think they’d all like each other. And they'd try to one-up each other, it’d be an epic thing.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10091 Copy

    Questioner

    I like how you made it so [Hoid] doesn't know everything. Before Words of Radiance, his mind, he wasn't familiar with this world. Like, other people who live in that world, they were familiar with the animals. I like how you did that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thank you. I'm glad you noticed that. Did you notice, in the first book, he's the only person in the book who uses the word "coin"? Everyone else is used to spheres, he's used to coins. So, a little teaser about Hoid. He'll slip up in his terminology.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10093 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever considered doing a pronunciation guide for your characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I should do that, shouldn’t I?

    Questioner

    It would help so much...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The thing about that is I’m kind of of the philosophy that however you do it in your head is the right version in your version of the story.  Because the characters won’t look the same to everyone.  Everyone imagines them differently, might as well say the names differently...

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10094 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you played the Mistborn board game? Are you involved in that at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My assistant loves board games. I play Magic: The Gathering. Not necessarily board games. So I've just been *inaudible* to him. They have been very involved, my team has been. When they do a CCG, I will be involved.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10096 Copy

    Questioner

    At the end of Hero of Ages, there’s the--I forget what it’s called, when the kandra all remove their Hemalurgic nails--and then I forget which character wakes up and just sees the blobs everywhere, and then after what everything that happens I don’t really know what happened to the kandra after that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They returned their spikes but that left them with holes in their memory.

    Questioner

    Who did?  The survivors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the survivors.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10097 Copy

    Questioner

    The worldjumpers in [Secret History] are they ones that have shown up in other books? And we just don’t know their names?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they’re only tangential in the other books.  I think one of them has only shown up on screen once.  The other one’s shown up a couple of times but mostly in certain annotations and things like that.  In the books, like on the maps.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10098 Copy

    Questioner

    The visitors in the Sixth of the Dusk, do I know who they are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven’t answered this for sure, but I have told people that it takes place in the future and is related to the rest of the cosmere…

    Questioner

    Do we know how soon we’ll find out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s a little ways off.

    Manchester signing ()
    #10099 Copy

    Questioner

    My question was about your writing process... When you are writing do you become emotionally attached to the characters you are writing about? Does it become hard to distinguish between what you think the characters should be doing and what you actually have planned out for them? And how did that affect your Wheel of Time writing? You didn’t create them, but you took over their story arcs and did you become attached to any of those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What an excellent question. I do grow attached to all of my characters, however character is the weird one for me. Character is very hard for me to define how I do it. With my plot I can talk about outlining the plot and these sorts of things. And my worldbuilding, I've written lots of essays about worldbuilding, and building magic systems and things like this. But with character I really sit down with this plot, this world, together and I start writing somebody in a role and I write a chapter and I see how they feel. It's almost like casting someone in the role. If that doesn't work, then I get rid of them, I get rid of that and I write a new chapter using a different character's personality but who feels very much the same in some ways. For instance, Mistborn,  I did this quite famously, Vin started with a guy, I tried Vin as a guy and then I tried Vin as a woman, but a different, a very different person from what you read, who was very confident and more Artful Dodger type person, and then I tried the Vin that ended up in the book. I can't really explain to you why I knew those first two were wrong, they just were. So I ditched them and tried again. I do that until I've hit the right character and then I let them start growing and developing as I write the book and if the person they turn into is not the person who would do the sort of things that are in my outline I either have to change my outline, which I will sit down and do, or I'll say "this character is awesome but they don't belong in this role. I will write a book around them later, and find a place for them." And that's-- Usually I just re-write the outline, once in a while I pull out the character and put someone else in that place. If a book is going wrong for me, it almost always because of one of the characters, something is wrong with them, and I wish that I could explain it better. It's actually really thrilling for me, when a character is alive and working well enough that I know they wouldn't do what is in the outline. That's not a sad moment that's a "Aha! I've got something good here. This character is working, they are strong enough on the page that they can balk these constraints that were placed upon them." Because an outline, while it is a great tool, the danger is that the outline constricts your story and it doesn't allow it to actually feel alive. This is when you get these wooden characters that just kind of cardboard cut-out through a book. That's when often the outline just takes too much-- takes over too much of the characters. So it's exciting, but it can be very frustrating when it's not working.

    It did happen with the Wheel of Time but in a different way. The Wheel of Time characters were like my high school friends growing up, these were my buddies. I was a nerdy kid who sat in my bedroom and read books, and these were my friends. So writing them I was really worried that it would be difficult to write them. But it was actually very easy, their voices snapped for me quite quickly, I knew what they would do. So much in fact that Mat was a little off in Gathering Storm, I didn't notice it because I was so used to characters coming very easily to me. And yes I feel very much in love with writing them and these sorts of things because of these sort of things but it was because of my past familiarity with them that allowed me to do that.

    Calamity Seattle signing ()
    #10100 Copy

    Questioner

    So, one of the things I know, you have your own universe that you've produced, and it's fantastic. what's the series you're gonna create or have created that's the cornerstone, that will have the largest impact on the universe.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say Mistborn going all the way through is probably the most impact. Stormlight is gonna have a decent one, so is the Elantris world.

    Questioner

    Is there gonna be a union book or series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the final Mistborn series.