Recent entries

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #10151 Copy

    Questioner

    Has Mistborn: Birthright officially tanked?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Has Mistborn: Birthright officially tanked?

    So this is the video game. So the kind of longer-- the short answer is yes. The kind of longer answer is the developer who was making the video game bought the movie rights for a year, because we wanted to combine the movie rights and the video game rights. We gave him only a year, because we were like, "You haven't made any films. But we want to tie these rights together. It sounds like a good thing." We gave him a year, and he lives in LA so he knows a lot of Holywood people. "Sure, give it a try." In a year he couldn't get a film made, or really moving. You can't make one in a year anyway, and so the rights for everything have lapsed, and now he's talking to the people that we sold the Mistborn rights to, to say, "Hey, maybe I can make the video game if you make the film."

    The problem being that new IPs in video games are very hard to get funding for. And those who work in video games and know them are nodding their heads. And so he tried very hard. He's made a lot of video games. Most of his games as you know from looking at his developer site are all movie tie-ins, right? He wanted to try a book tie-in. He's made good games. He has a lot of people on his staff who've made really good games with a lot of different companies. They could make a good Mistborn game. They needed, you know $20 million. Which, they can usually go to people who give them funding, and say, "Hey, we're making the video game for, you know, Kung Fu Panda." Which they did. And they're like, "Oh, okay here's you're--you know-- $10 million, $20 million. We know this is a safe bet. This video game will sell."

    When they say they're making one on Mistborn they're like, "Where's the movie?" And so it was very hard for him to get the funding. It was very hard for him to get things built. I think he still wants to make it. But now he's in talks with the guys making the movie, and I don't think it will ever happen unless the film gets made. If the film gets made I think it will happen. I pitched to him last week doing a 2D side-scroller Symphony of the Night style Metroidvania Mistborn game, which is something we can fund in-house, right? And just kind of do what a lot of the cool indie games are doing right now. It's like modern design aesthetics, but a 2D sort of thing. Salt and Sanctuary comes to mind, if you guys played that. You know, you can do some really cool stylized stuff and really interesting game mechanics, but if you want to go full 3D, this generation console, like 20 million is like the low end of what you need. And so that's where we are.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #10152 Copy

    Questioner

    How involved are you in the Wheel of Time [television] development?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How involved am I in the Wheel of Time development? Not at all. They haven't contacted me. If they did I would be involved, but they have not contacted me.

    Questioner

    That's disappointing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, well. I mean, I don't think they're as far as long as Harriet's limited communication to the fact has made it sound. I don't-- I think they are just starting the process. Now they own the rights outright, which is a big advantage for actually getting something made. I think the chances are pretty good. But I doubt they're beyond looking at screenwrite--scripts and things like that. Maybe they'll write a script for a season of a TV show and come to me and say, "Hey Brandon, do you want to consult on this?" But I would expect that they would wait until then. I don't know. If they ask me... But I-- the Wheel of Time is not mine, and so I have very limited creation with any of the business side of stuff on the Wheel of Time.

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #10158 Copy

    Czanos

    Would anything interesting happen if an Allomancer Burned a Hemalurgic spike, or a Feruchemist Tapped one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #10159 Copy

    rrjr010

    Would you be willing to take bribes to start "Nightblood" before finishing WoT!?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    rrjr010

    Then you shall have both when you come here this winter. Help turn a few years into six months, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    rrjr010

    Wow, an Elantris sequel would be awesome too. Where would it fit chronologically after the end of Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elantris direct sequel would be 10 years later and use Kiin’s children as viewpoint characters living in Fjorden.

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #10160 Copy

    mnehring

    How did you come up with what metal would give what powers in Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #10163 Copy

    onelowerlight

    What first gave you the idea for Warbreaker? What was your first inspiration for it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #10164 Copy

    kqrpnb

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #10165 Copy

    Graendal

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.).

    #tweettheauthor 2009 ()
    #10166 Copy

    jamesgubera

    where do you get your inspiration to create new worlds & characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    General Twitter 2010 ()
    #10168 Copy

    TheMightyTweet

    Why didn’t the Parshendi use fire arrows? The bridges are made of wood for Storm’s sake!

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    General Twitter 2010 ()
    #10169 Copy

    agdeeds

    Did anything help inspire Navani’s character in tWoK?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #10170 Copy

    Questioner

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Questioner

    I just wondered if you had someone in mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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. 

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #10171 Copy

    Questioner

    What are your favorite books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly--it got me into reading. Les Misérables--my favorite classic. And then book four of The Wheel of Time. *inaudible*

    Questioner

    Really? Book four?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep, book four. Rand going to the pillar in Rhuidean? It's my favorite. Have you read those?

    Questioner

    No.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, okay. It was one of the experiences I loved growing up. And I still love it, despite the fact that I *inaudible*.

    Questioner

    Yeah, that's got to be pretty awesome you got to finish it. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    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."

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #10172 Copy

    Ravi

    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. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-huh.

    Ravi

    <You were kind enough to send me that.> You know, you were very descriptive.

    Brandon Sanderson

    <And it didn't translate well?>

    Ravi

    Not so much-- although I did see <glimpses of you popping through>.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, so, I focus on the positives. <But there might be some things I might not agree with.>

    Ravi

    I think that's fair. Of course.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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>.

    Arcanum Unbounded Hoboken signing ()
    #10173 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there anything about Eshonai *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #10174 Copy

    Questioner

    So in the past five years or so the contents of the magic system has come to kind of dominate current popular fantasy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah!

    Questioner

    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*--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right.

    Questione

    So you can just have magic that *inaudible*, but it's still cohesive and logical and effective?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #10175 Copy

    Questioner

    So you've branched out into graphic novels. What about other types of media--?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    White Sand vol.1 release party ()
    #10176 Copy

    Questioner

    Will Emperor Kai get his own book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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 ElantrisWarbreaker, 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.

    White Sand vol.1 Orem signing ()
    #10177 Copy

    Questioner

    ...Really?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup. Most of what you see him doing, Renarin did in the original outline, much more awkwardly.

    Questioner

    Did you keep him in for longer because he has an important part to play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #10178 Copy

    Blightsong

    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!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is a similar relationship.

    Blightsong

    Is there a similar Ideal system? Are Elantrians transformed because of their character? Maybe their closeness to the culture of Arelon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Blightsong

    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.

    Brandon Sanderson

    To an extent, yes.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10180 Copy

    Questioner

    What made you decide to split Stormlight into two arcs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10183 Copy

    Questioner

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can already be gifted other powers if you're an Epic... no, it interferes, you can't. You can already... Maybe, maybe.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10186 Copy

    Questioner

    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..

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Questioner

    But will we see some of societies soon or is that further in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *RAFOes* You'll find out.

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10188 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10190 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

    I figured as much, for slaves to...

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10192 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10195 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10197 Copy

    Questioner

    What is your favorite Dresden Files book?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Footnote: part of the audio is obscured
    Shadows of Self Portland signing ()
    #10199 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

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

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