Recent entries

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1001 Copy

    Ben McSweeney

    There are days when my job is just... really much more fun than ought to be allowed. Isaac came up with all the ideas, but he let me go off on my own for Horneater White and the One-Armed Herdazian. I drew up the head for Chazmfiend and contributed "Sweet Scalespray" flavour, but I think RAFO Soda was all Isaac and Adam. It might be my favorite, too. That or the HW frontside, I had a good time painting that.

    I posted a slightly nicer resolution on the Horneater White coaster last week when it was first revealed, but this is the first time folks are seeing the finished set. I did the "stained" versions for a giggle by using the same texture layers I had archived from Shallan's sealogged sketches. If y'all wants 'em, y'all can has 'em... but I feel we could also just print them clean and then have the fun of staining them honestly. Though I'd love it if the textured ones were like, 1/100 variant cards given away randomly at events or through the store, that'd be fun too.

    I almost never get to indulge my weakness for alliterative copy. You know you want to TASTE the Four-Scream Fury of CHAZMFIEND!! Chase it with a fistful of Cremling Crisps, their satisfying salty crunch swears to satiate your sense of FLAVOUR!!!

    It's like a birthday, every day. :)

    The_Second_Best

    There was one Brandon had a good laugh at on his stream, a Dalinar coaster with "What is the most important drink? The next one."

    Is there any chance of you guys doing a coaster like that?

    Amazing work BTW, really hope we hit the goal!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I love it as a joke, but I don't think we'd do a coaster because it might be a little tone deaf to twist the oaths of a former alcoholic to encourage the next drink. Normally, I'd have no problem with that, but there are some people who use Dalinar's words to keep them going in their own personal struggles with addiction.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #1002 Copy

    Kinolee

    It's surprising me to me that we haven't heard from Venli yet. Considering this is her book, I would have expected her to take more of a center stage. But we haven't even seen or heard from her yet, let alone had a flashback. I wonder why /u/mistborn decided to start elsewhere.

    I suppose it's important to establish the time skip early on, but I wonder why that couldn't have been done from the perspective of Odium's forces so that Venli could take the lead.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Basically, this part you're reading is the "end" of the in-between book, and Venli's book hasn't started yet. Her first chapter is what you might consider the "true" beginning of the novel.

    As a note, though, I decided her flashbacks worked better when spread across a shorter reading space--so I don't introduce them until later in the book than the others started.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    learhpa

    > I could easily have had an entire book with a major thread about toppling her [Ialai's] little empire on the Shattered Plains, but that would have been too backward looking.

    I dunno. I think that could be fun. I'm somewhat imagining a John-Wick-alike character whose job is to take Ialai down and it turning into a surreal action/adventure/spy story.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I absolutely think this could have worked in a different narrative. But in this book, with so much of the focus moving to the greater war and the invasion, I feel that spending a lot of pages on recovering the Shattered Plains (and dealing with a group in the Sons of Honor that have been repeatedly defeated already) would just feel anticlimactic.

    A different style of narrative could have pivoted to political intrigue instead of war epic after the first book or so, and then this sort of plot would have been exciting and dynamic. It's all about scope and the subgenre of your narrative.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #1004 Copy

    simon_thekillerewok

    That's interesting that you had this DID direction planned for Shallan since the beginning (pre-Way of Kings I presume). I had just assumed it was something that you developed in between WoR and Oathbringer. I know you've commented on subjects related to this before - but in light of what you're saying about leaning away from the fantastical, I'm curious to know if you think that if Shallan had become, say, an Edgedancer instead (or just never continued in her truths), that she would have developed DID and those aspects regardless? Or would she just have had her trauma manifest in other ways (such as other dissociative disorders like depersonalization/derealization/amnesia)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that she would have gone the same way she has, but the manifestations of her disassociation would have been different. But this is something I could perhaps waver on.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    I've seen quotes from you before that you didn't intend her to actually have DID, is that just about it originally being more fantastical, and now you're trying to make it actually be realistic more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that's what is happening here. I originally shied away from it, as I didn't want to open that can of worms--but then, I realized I was opening it anyway, and the only way to be honest was to admit what I was doing and get some people who have DID themselves to advise me.

    I think, in hindsight, I was trying to take too much of an easy path--and the path that didn't require me to do the work like I needed to

    pweepweemuggins

    Aha! So that's what you did. I immediately noted in the first chapters that Shallan's illness seemed to have gotten worse. I thought that it was you alludIng to a downward spiral of the characters in conjunction with the world of Roshar - which made sense because, if you place a mentally ill person in a world with no access to mental healthcare and then make their situation worse, what would happen? Their mental illness would get worse.

    I'm surprised that it was just a change in the way you write her.

    If you had the option to go back and revise all of her chapters that way, would you?

    Because as it is, the real-ness and definition of her other egos reads like a downward spiral.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What you're noticing is not just me changing the way I'm writing her. More, I realized that her downward spiral was going to require me to actively deal with her mental illness in a responsible way, if that makes sense.

    I wouldn't change much about the past books. It was more that I realized that the place she was going in this one required a more delicate touch than I could manage without some expert help.

    YouTube Livestream 16 ()
    #1006 Copy

    Questioner

    How would Adolin fare against the greats like Lan, Rand, Galad, and how would Kaladin and his spear fare against Mat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s really hard to say this, because what are different characters’ skill levels and things? For instance, I generally count Lan as the strongest and the best. My [Wheel of Time] books that I wrote show that. I think Lan would beat Adolin. You just can’t replace the twenty years of intense practice that Lan has, and the wisdom, no matter how talented of a rookie you are -- even though Adolin is not a rookie. I think Lan could go toe-to-toe with anyone non-immortal in the cosmere, because a lot of the cosmere people have an advantage, right? Taln has spent 4,000 years practicing with weapons. Granted, he spent a bunch of that time being tortured as well, but you know. He has many lifetimes behind him, and has been able to be killed making mistakes and never make those mistakes again. That is a leg up on someone like Lan or like Adolin that is just of a supernatural level. And so, while I think Lan would beat any swordsman in a fair fight from the Cosmere, I would count anyone who has a greatly expanded lifespan as an unfair fight. Like, I don’t think Lan would be able to stand against the better duelists among the Heralds or even against Vasher. Vasher’s got multiple lifetimes of practicing with the sword.

    How would Kaladin do against Mat? It depends, Mat’s luck is a very big wildcard, and how is the luck on Mat’s side and how is karma working in Mat’s favor or against him in that given moment? That’s part of what makes Mat fun. So Kaladin is a soldier, again, not a duelist. Kaladin is really good with a spear, but his training is in war, his training is to be a battlefield captain. What even is Mat? Mat has been trained by fate itself with weapons, which is just really hard to play. Let’s call that a tie, edge probably to Kaladin.

    Lan beats Adolin or basically any duelist but you put him up against the Heralds and he has a much harder time.

    YouTube Livestream 16 ()
    #1007 Copy

    Chad

    Would Adolin or Dalinar have a heron-marked blade if they were in Randland?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Adolin would, Dalinar would not. Dalinar is not a duelist, Dalinar is a destroyer. Dalinar is someone you let loose on a battlefield and couldn’t -- he does not care if he has a heron-marked blade, if he’s considered a swordmaster. He will use any weapon he can get his hands on, and is proficient in a lot of them. What he is most proficient at is striking terror into your heart and laying waste (this is young Dalinar) to everything in his path. Dalinar is a general and a warlord, not a swordsman. 

    Footnote: “Randland” refers to the Wheel of Time universe in this context, where swordmasters are given marked with a heron.
    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1008 Copy

    Chiberty

    What happens if you try to summon a Shardblade, but there is a wall where it would appear? What about liquids in the way, or person, and what if Shardplate is in the way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Generally, the Blade isn't going to appear inside of something solid--and will appear (shoving aside) in liquid. It can be hit or miss on people, but generally doesn't work--and Shardplate would stop it from materializing.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1009 Copy

    HA2HA2

    Ooh, I think that's a really good point, Marsh probably should have flared steel or iron or something? /u/mistborn ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you're right. Good catch, /u/Thevulgarcommander! I believe we caught this already, however, and tweaked future printings.

    Stormtide_Leviathan

    So does this mean that tin doesn’t enhance Allomantic senses when burned? You’ve said before that windwhispers can store Allomantic senses, so I’m surprised at the difference there

    Brandon Sanderson

    I just think the passage is confusing, and was better of being tweaked. The new version, if you find it, makes it clearer--I believe he flares both tin and steel/iron.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1010 Copy

    Jurble

    I'm reading my Stormlight books in anticipation of the newest and I noticed Teleb being an Oldblood - a detail that I hadn't noticed or remembered the first time around. A search on Coppermind shows that you said they were simply a previous dynasty that ruled Alethkar back in 2014.

    I wonder if I'm reading too much into it - but are the Oldbloods perhaps descended directly from the Knights Radiant whereas other Lighteyes are descended from later non-Radiant Shardbearers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're not reading too much into it--Oldbloods claim to be able to trace their lineage to Knights Radiant, but don't talk about that aspect of it as much because of the poor reputation of Radiants until just recently.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1012 Copy

    Doc_John

    Hey, you've mentioned before that for the Lord Ruler to be able to be a Mistborn and a Feruchemist he had to alter his spiritweb in some way because a person can't normally hold all 32 powers. What about a Mistborn Ferring? Would it be possible for someone born with all 16 powers of Allomancy to also be born with a Ferring power? What about a Ferring Misting? Thanks

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible now, when it once wasn't, but would be very unlikely.

    Doc_John

    Just as getting a Mistborn nowadays is very unlikely but that hasn't stopped people from trying ;) ;)

    Follow up, having past a certain number of medallions doesn't work currently in world. Is this because of this same issue? Or is it more of a technical hurdle with the medallion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The core root is the same issue, but it's not insurmountable with technological improvements.

    The Ten Orders of Knights Radiant ()
    #1013 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Adhesion allows you to bind things together.

    Gravitation allows you to change the direction and strength of an object's gravitational attraction, including that of yourself, which essentially gives you the power of flight.

    Division allows you to manipulate the rate an object decays.

    Abrasion allows you to make objects, including yourself, frictionless.

    Progression and Regrowth allows you to heal organisms and alter their growth.

    Illumination allows you to create illusions.

    Transformation allows you to soulcast objects from one material into another.

    Transportation allows you to travel between the Cognitive and Physical realms.

    Cohesion allows you to alter the shape of solid objects.

    Tension allows you to alter the stiffness of objects.

    Footnote: This information is only shown on the results pages of the Official Knights Radiant Order Quiz.
    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1014 Copy

    MoriWillow

    Hello, I hope this message finds you well. I was wondering if you might be able to answer a question. Was going back through the Stormlight books in prep for Rhythm of War, and I realized I didn't actually understand what was happening with the Stormlight when someone used a Basic Lashing. What actually happens to the Stormlight in the creation and maintenance of a Basic Lashing? (Especially when someone is Lashing themselves?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Whew. It's complicated. Basically, the magic is persuading the Lashed object that it is not actually bound to the gravity of the planet--but to the gravity of a supermassive object in the direction indicated. (But which doesn't actually exist.) Imagine it as a Lightweaving that creates an illusion, but the illusion is of something massive that only is seen by the Spiritual aspect of the Lashed object/individual.

    It works pretty well inside of the cosmere's magical framework, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense if you approach it from the physics of our realm.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1015 Copy

    LewsTherinTelescope

    How long after Warbreaker does Way of Kings take place? I know you usually don't finalize timeline details until they actually are stated in-book, but are you willing to say how far apart the books are, in the current plans?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have Warbreaker happening a few generations before, right now.  However, I'm very likely to move Elantris up in time, so it's a little in the air at the moment.

    LewsTherinTelescope

    Thanks! I assume asking why Elantris being moved affects how far apart Warbreaker and Way of Kings are is a behind-the-scenes thing and/or RAFO?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it does.  The big linchpin is going to be when I need Sel and Scadrial to align when big crossovers start happening.  We'll know in a few years; there are things I intend to write that I could imagine needing to change, after they're finished, that will influence the timeline structure.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #1016 Copy

    Nazh8

    What does CP4 stand for? A bunch of people on 17th Shard are wondering about it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's nothing really exciting here, I'm afraid. It's a rank, like E6 or the like in the American military. Only the Windrunners use these, as they decided on ranks that one could earn while advancing as a squire. The old stories say that some squires never advanced to full Windrunners, and it felt it would be good to continue to promote these individuals to different ranks within squirehood. It stands for Commission Placement.

    Miscellaneous 2020 ()
    #1017 Copy

    Argent

    Hey Peter,   I've been meaning to ask you about this since Alice's article on the Heralds went up. In it, she lists each Herald's role (e.g. Jezrien is the King, Battar is the Counselor, Kalak is the Maker, etc.), and I noticed that those same roles were listed (but not used) in the Radiant Quiz as the archetypes for each Order. Some of these show up in the books, but a few don't, and the source for those appears to be an old old email from you. I wanted to know how canonical these are, and whether I can include them in the Coppermind (and if I can, it would be nice to know what they are - roles, titles, archetypes?)

    Peter Ahstrom

    These, along with Jester, are the names of the Photoshop layers for the faces on the chapter arches. Since the words themselves don’t really appear in the books, I couldn’t say that they’re canon. In our internal wiki we call them Face/Title. I don’t have an opinion on putting them in the Coppermind.

    Footnote: The roles, starting with Jezrien's and going clockwise, are: King, Judge, Guard, Healer, Scholar, Artist, Counselor, Maker, Soldier, and Priest.
    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1019 Copy

    Pixel-error

    Just like hiding a safe hand it can become sexualised if it is always covered in public.

    Ben McSweeney

    Amusingly enough, not intended to be a sexual taboo, as it was written.

    Fans did that all by themselves.

    raltyinferno

    I mean it was explicitly mentioned that whores in the Warcamps had their safe hands uncovered, or wore gloves with the fingers cut off.

    Ben McSweeney

    Something can be taboo, and signify taboo behavior, without it being explicitly about sex. I made a mention of lacy gloves being equivalent to lingerie at Brandon years ago, somewhere between WoK and WoR, and as I recall he told me, "Safehands are not a sex taboo".

    But I kinda knew it would be like this, so... maybe he's seen my point. I haven't asked about it since then.

    I don't recall as there's any scenes of Adolin's heart racing 'cause he got a glimpse of Shallan's fingertips. Dalinar doesn't wax on about Navani's knuckles. I might have missed it, but I feel fans have taken this much further than any Rosharan culture.

    raltyinferno

    He may not have initially intended for them to have been, but he certainly has pivoted that way, I don't recall the exact wording, but when Adolin walks in on Shallan, and when Shallan is talking to Tin about non-vorin cultures, she compares it to walking around naked, having her breasts out, and being in her underwear at various points.

    Ben McSweeney

    I will say that when we first talked about it, this predated stuff like safehandhub and every picture of a left hand getting an NSFV tag. It's possible that his view has changed over time as he sees what I saw then (because he is pure of heart, and I am... not). Even if it wasn't a sex thing, people will make it a sex thing.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1020 Copy

    Ben McSweeney

    It's one of the few strict mandates for all interior illustrations, across most of the Cosmere main books (with a very few exceptions).

    We work to make sure they all appear diagetic in nature, representative of some in-world document or imagery. You don't just look at a map, you look at Dalinar's map. That's not just a picture of the tech or the wildlife, you look at Navani's notes, Shallan's drawings. We did something similar with the Era 2 broadsheets, using mockup in-world documents as a means of adding details, secrets and general flavor to the book.

    Iamsodarncool

    What are the exceptions?

    Ben McSweeney

    Arcanum Unbounded had much more traditional chapter illustrations that just depict a scene (or the feel of a scene) from the following story. Chapter icons in Stormlight are not meant to be diagetic (though I think the archway Herald sculptures might be). And we don't follow the rule when it comes to covers (also worth noting that we don't do the covers, that's the publisher's privilege).

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1021 Copy

    Kabsal

    Exciting news - Brandon just confirmed via livestream that the Leatherbound Tenth Anniversary Edition has an official piece by Ben McSweeney showing off the bridges - presumably it'll be similar to the one I linked, but more shiny.

    Brandon Sanderson

    At some point soon I think they’ll share a digital scan, or add it to the Way of Kings gallery on the website in a similar quality as you see the others.

    It is not a Shallan piece, but rather a study by another ardent. It’s a little more mathy than Shallan’s work. I don’t think Shallan ever witnesses a real bridge run. By the time she reaches the Plains, Bridge 4 is part of the Cobalt Guard.

    But yes, for everyone still confused, or confused in the future, by the mechanics of the bridge run, we got you covered. And a little something for the cosplayers as well. :)

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #1022 Copy

    JauntyLurker

    Navani's fabrial ship is amazing. When you think about it, they're moving at ridiculous speeds technology wise, though I suppose you can attribute it to war. I want to see where this technology race is going to go.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    A knot on Roshar may just be shorthand for one mile per hour.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1023 Copy

    marethyu316

    It does seem like Shallan's trauma came later than [8 or 9 years old], but it's possible there was some event farther back in her past that we don't know about.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    All Radiants are broken somehow before they become Radiant. And Shallan became one at a quite early age.

    marethyu316

    Brandon has sort of hedged on whether being broken is just an in-world theory or not. Are we talking about a matter of degree, then? Or whether he thinks the word "broken" is appropriate?

    I'm thinking of this WoB and ones about Lopen:

    Questioner

    How was Shallan able to bond with Pattern before she was broken?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She was open to him even before she went through a lot of that turmoil

    Questioner

    I thought everybody had to be broken in order to--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, that's their philosophy in-world. But I'm not going to say whether it's correct or wrong. I will imply that there are other means as well.

    https://wob.coppermind.net/events/175/#e8418

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Well, I will bow to Brandon's comment there.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #1025 Copy

    Ben McSweeney

    I'm curious to know when someone is Lashed to a "point in the sky", is there a place where they'll reach and stop, hanging in mid-air? Or do they keep going until the Stormlight runs out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They keep going. Lashings are in a direction.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
    #1026 Copy

    Metagross22

    Hey Brandon while you’re here and we’re talking about Kal’s relationship with Lyn, we know he’s had at least one romantic relationships in the past being Tarah I was wondering if he was still a Virgin. Were these relationships just romantic? Also how negatively is sex before marriage viewed on roshar and namely vorin culture? I know these topics sometimes can make you uncomfortable but I’m really curious about this part of their culture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In these cases, I generally allow it to be vague enough that people can think/assume what they want. However, some of Kal's relationships in the past (including the one with Tarah) progressed to the point that in our world, most people would have been sleeping together.

    In Vorin culture, I'd say that they're not as relaxed about such things as most modern cultures are, but aren't as strict as the more religious cultures on Earth are. Alethi are concerned about oaths in specific--what have you promised, and do you keep those promises. So, for example, cheating is a far, far worse offense in their eyes. And opinions and strictness in areas of moral chastity would vary depending on upbringing and personal beliefs. To some, a promise of, "We'll be together until we split" that is kept would be considered honorable--while to others, that would be too lax a treatment of oaths.

    Also, lighteyes are expected to be circumspect and maintain an image of certain decorum. But that's something else entirely...

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Huffletough880

    The fight between Kal and this new Fused is already one of my favorites and had my heart pounding. I always find the detail in your fight choreography so well defined and visceral. Have you trained any martial arts or done in depth research on fight techniques?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I use a lot of research--but also rely upon the help of people who know more than I do to tell me when I'm going wrong. My personal martial arts abilities are too laughable to be call the result of "training."

    meh84f

    When you mentioned the Fused grabbed Kaladin in an "arm triangle", were you referring to the Jiu-Jitsu move? Because that is a specific Jiu-Jitsu hold, but it’s usually done from on top of someone rather than behind. Like this: https://www.studentofbjj.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/arm-triangle-1024x724.pngBut then the Fused was behind him and stabbing him, so that made me think perhaps you didn’t intend it to be the Jiu-Jitsu position.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't intend this to be the official position.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    Beejsbj

    So the whole book [Rhythm of war] is a Sanderlanche?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, don't get me wrong. Imagine previous Stormlight books starting with a build-up, then ending with a mini-climax at the end of Part One. (For example, in book three, we are building toward the reveal of the Unmade at Urithiru, and the confrontation, which happens at the end of Part One.)

    In this book, Part One starts with the climax--a kind of indication of what the missing months were building toward. What follows is more introspective and quiet through the second half, as we react to events and get our bearings.

    You'll probably get some books in the cosmere that, like A Memory of Light, where the Sanderlanche takes up an unusually large chunk of the story--but it isn't time for that quite yet. We still have slow, building parts of the story that need to be in place for both contrast and grounding of characters. Like a symphony works better with softer and louder sections.

    UpperFlatworm

    I really enjoy this action-packed intro (though just a little sad that Dalinar doesn't have viewpoints)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dalinar does have viewpoints in the book, but they are reserved for later on, for reasons I can explain better once the novel is out.

    aldayeah

    It reminds me of those Bond/Lucasfilms blockbusters (well, and everything that came after) that would open with an in medias res action setpiece.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I'm a big fan of the cold open. (As one might be able to note from the Wax and Wayne books.) It's not the right tool for every story, but it felt appropriate here.

    Rhythm of War Preview Q&As ()
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    therealflyingtoastr

    I'm pretty convinced that Brandon's approach to building a magic or technology system starts with the question "how can I fly with this?"

    Airships!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, now. Give me some credit. I started this one with "How can I have magical Power Armor."

    "How can I make Airships?" was, like, question number three or four.

    jofwu

    We've been having some hot debates on how the airship works, if you don't mind shedding some light...

    Does the aluminum allow for the Urithiru-lattice and Plains-lattice to be active/conjoined at the same time?Or is the aluminum just about allowing the Plains-lattice to be reoriented to allow "forward" to be different directions?

    It's interesting that they need aluminum to do the force-redirect thing because spanreeds could already do that. (their orientation being relative to the spanreed board) Is there a reason they don't work like spanreeds in this way? Or do spanreeds not work that way after all, requiring the boards to be oriented along cardinal directions (or something like that) so the reference frames match up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll get a big long explanation in the book. I just didn't want to front load it.

    I've been dodgy on spanreeds, even in the books, because the locals don't actually quite understand how things are working with them. But suffice it to say that as they enter a kind of early industrial age in relation to their scientific understanding, they're realizing things they took for granted have principles behind them that can be tweaked.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    PoisonousPlayupus

    I could see [Captain America] being a Windrunner, definitely, but also a Stoneward too. Maybe a Willshaper, especially considering Civil War, or a Bondsmith, seeing as he was kind of the unifying force for the Avengers.

    Do you have an official designation for him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't, but I think each of your suggestions here would be arguable.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1031 Copy

    calvinist-batman

    Could Shallan or Jasnah, with the help of a Bondsmith, take a bead from the Cognitive Realm back into the Physical Realm, thereby creating a version of remote controlling something in the Cognitive without having to go there in the moment?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is RAFO territory for now.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1032 Copy

    dIvorrap

    Was the LongPen [from Margaret Atwood] an inspiration for Roshar's Spanreed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not specifically. You find me wanting as far back as Elantris to have improved communication methods in my fantasy worlds. This one was a natural evolution of the magic system.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1033 Copy

    tylerrhagan

    Something that I’ve been interested in while reading TWoK Prime is the different names and the different spelling for names (like Dalenar) compared to the canon-TWoK. What made you want to change names and spelling when rewriting TWoK?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For a lot of them, the names just evolved in my mind the longer I used them. For others, I never quite liked them, and tried to find new names to evoke the proper feel.

    In Dalinar's case, it was more that I just have had the name in my head for years, and wrote it out differently when I started typing again.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I bet Brandon changed Dalenar to Dalinar so it wouldn’t be pronounced as two syllables. Maybe his brother Jordo kept pronouncing it wrong on purpose. After all, that’s how in White Sand we got Kerztian instead of Kershtian.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1034 Copy

    GungieBum

    Women flirting is like men raping? "Using a fetching face to make men do as you wish is no different froma man using muscle to force a woman to his will..." I get that BS likes his women prudish but damn try to convey this in a way that doesn't so stupidly and unintentionally wrong

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that line doesn't read well upon a second look.

    For what it's worth, I wasn't thinking rape when I wrote it. I was thinking more about a situation where a stronger man forces people to do what he wants (like, obey him) through threat of violence. Basically, I was trying to say that in Jasnah's opinion, "Buy me that thing or I'll punch you," isn't far off from "Buy me this thing, or I'll stop paying attention to you." Whichi itself is intended to say something about Jasnah. But it's easy to accidentally mess expressions of power dynamics in language, and I certainly did so here.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    majutsuko

    Anyone know if WoK Prime is more or less a complete/conclusive story? I’m just wondering if it’s like a stand-alone or if it gives the sense of “this is part 1 of X more books to come.” I’m actually nervous about cliffhangers and such never being resolved—alternative storyline or not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid there are some. It's worse than the published Way of Kings in that regard, I'd say. It IS a complete story; it doesn't just end in the middle. But it also is obviously part of something larger that I will never now write.

    jaxonflex

    Will you be releasing a general over view of what you intended with the cliff hangers?

    Also was Taln going to remain dead?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's been a LONG time, so remembering exactly what I was going to do will be tough. But Taln was going to be proven a Herald, so he wasn't DEAD dead.

    aldeayeah

    I was left with three implied backstory questions with no equivalent in the published SA, dunno if either can be answered without spoiling published SA:

    What happened "17 years ago" around the end of the conquest war, around the time Merin/Shinri/Renarin were born, that reawakened the ancient powers?

    Who killed Nolhanarin (sp?) and why. Was it Ishar? (who we know lied about it)

    What's the deal with Meridas' mysterious past?

    As for other stuff (such as what the hell are the Shin leaders up to, who is in cahoots with Odium and who's just a bastard, what's the endgame, etc), they're somewhat similar to published SA so I'm guessing RAFO.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, I'm stretching here because it's been a LONG time.

    But I believe what happened is that the other Heralds did something that caused the return to begin, and the powers to reawaken. This was related to Taln being abandoned, which he didn't realize had happened.

    Meridas was involved in something very similar to the Sons of Honor, and much of his mysterious past relates to that.

    I don't remember who performed the murder.

    ThurgreatMarshall

    Was it also related to Jarnah's/the Shin Invasion, which also happened 17 years prior?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. The Shin had a much stronger cavalry in this edition, and had a little more of an Aiel feel to them. I eventually started to go a different direction, because I realized I was subconsciously leaning on Wheel of Time with the Aiel invasion.

    A_Shadow

    So sorry to bug to you, but I just finished Prime and I had one burning question at the end. And I don't think it will ever be answered in the current iteration of the Stormlight Series.

    What was the real drawback of Merin using his Windrunner powers? Your book kept on hinting that pain was just merely a side effect and not the real danger.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Real danger was, I believe, drawing the attention of the enemy. (Book two was going to start with his home being attacked because the voidbringers--can't remember what they were originally called--had picked out a budding Radiant and as soon as they Returned, sent everything they had to kill him.)

    Isilel

    Was Vasher supposed to be Jarnah the Conqueror in disguise? Is this why one of Vasher's friends said that Dalenar was a liar? That maybe Dalenar didn't win the duel at all, but Jarnah decided that he was wrong about the Return and gave up?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll be honest...I don't remember. (Sorry.)

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    Priddling

    I was sorted into Dustbringer/Windrunner. Before I choose I'd love to know, are the Dustbringers going to be as bad ass as they sound?

    I'm a martial artist and the thought of controlling your power speaks to me. But perfecting your weapon is also windrunner.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They will be--but it will take a few books into the back half before we really get into them and their ways.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    sigismond0

    Sort of off-topic here, but it would be super cool to see all 9-10 Stormlight novellas (assuming you do one between each main book as hinted) bound up into a single leather-bound collection.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll consider it, though I think it's likely we do an Arcanum leatherbound--so I wouldn't want to ask people to buy two copies of the same story. But maybe we could eventually bind them all as a different option for people.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    I_Go_By_Q

    If you have the time, I’d love to known how the writing process for Book Four has compared to other Stormlight books. Now that you’re in the meat of the saga, has it been more satisfying to see story threads come closer to resolution? Is it more stressful now that the cast of characters is more fully realized?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's been very satisfying to see things coming together, but the work to maintain continuity has grown exponentially. (Mostly because of the way I include non-linear narratives, like the flashbacks, which have to interweave.)

    Book four was, I'd say, about an average amount of work in revisions. Less than Book One, more than Book Two, similar to Book Three.

    Chris5176

    This is kind of an odd question but how in depth are your Stormlight outlines? I know for Skyward it was more bullet points, but for Stormlight do you outline every chapter bit by bit and what you want to do/ accomplish in it? I’m asking for my own stuff, as I’ve found it’s a very hard thing to grasp just what you should include in the outline vs what just flows naturally.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight outlines aren't as neat or organized as ones like Skyward. I've been working on this series far longer, and it's more complicated, so it's harder to put into a shape where others can understand it. But the latest one I sent to my team was mostly me talking about each character, and what I wanted to accomplish with them in this book, asking the team if I was missing anything. From there, it was a big mess of plot threads, reminders, and narrative sketches of arcs.

    Chris5176

    How often would you say you forget to put something of relevance in an outline?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Quite often, but it's rare I forget something in the final draft. (More often, things are in, but the draft gets tweaked to the point that they either get cut or get de-emphasized.)

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    ArgentSun

    I am curious about your process of writing the Ars Arcanum (Ars Arcana? Ars Arcana.) for each book, Stormlight ones in particular; I don't think I've seen you talk about that. Obviously you use them to explain or recap some of the things going on in the book, but there's also potential teases for the future, and there's some worldbuilding. So, I wonder, how do you go about it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the past, they were more a glossary--but that turned out be kind of a hold over from my days reading pre-internet, where we needed large glossaries in some books to keep everything straight. Now, one can just look up a website with all that information.

    So these days, I look at them as scholarly essays in-world to help with immersion, and to expand understanding of the magic systems, digging in a little deeper for the cosmerenauts who want specific mechanics to think about.

    TriggerWarning1337

    I appreciate all of your ars arcanum. I know you can find it on the internet, but it’s way too easy to accidentally spoil stuff doing so. Like someone can look up “what’s a windrunner” and accidentally find Kaladins entire background

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I keep thinking we should do some kind of official app that has you put in your current place in the books, then creates a glossary for you that lists only what has happened to people up to that point.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
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    ProteanShard

    Larimar, a rare blue stone found in only one place on Earth, the Dominican Republic, it reminds of a tropical Ocean!

    Name inspiration? I would definitely think it fits the Hallandren aesthetic!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I believe this had an influence on the name, though it's been a long time.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m almost 100% settled on the title for the novella. It’s not gonna be Wandersail. Because Wandersail implies that it has something to do with Wit’s story. Which it doesn’t; it’s just the name of the boat. So I have another name that’s actually much better that talks about what the story’s actually about. Once I’m sure that I like that, we’ll do an announcement on that.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Would you be willing to take the Order Sorter quiz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did take the Order Sorter quiz. I can’t remember which one was on top; I was close in Elsecaller and Bondsmith. Which is where I would have placed myself. People say, “Who do you see yourself most as?” I’m kind of a Dalinar/Jasnah mix. It very closely sorted me into those two, and it’s when I said, “Isaac! You did a good job! It put me where I belong.”

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Jofwu

    Can you talk about the idea and inspiration for “The Narrative”? It reminds me heavily of The Wheel of Time’s Pattern, and I imagine it struck a special chord with you as an author of the Narratives.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Really, it is a balance between those two things. It is me wanting to do a magic system that has something to do with this modernist take on the narrative shaping who I am and my stories and my characters and things like that. Like Stranger Than Fiction. That is, obviously, one of the inspirations for this kind of thing. The Pattern is a very big inspiration as well for the Narrative. You nailed both of them, and also Stranger than Fiction, I would list as an inspiration.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    What form is a listener at birth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Listeners are technically dullform, but they kind of view it as childform. And it is vibrant and alive in a way that dullform, later on, is not. It dulls as you get older. The listeners, I think I have them hitting maturity, right now, at seven or eight. I don’t know if that works with the continuity. I just mentioned it in the lastest draft, so Peter and Karen will have to make sure that that’s in continuity.

    I don’t bring it up a lot, because it would be really weird to people. But I think, in these Venli sequences, in the flashbacks… I think Venli, right now, is probably fourteen. Because listeners mature, like… their eight is our sixteen. They just mature faster. But I don’t bring it up because it’s one of those things like the fact that I don’t often mention that Roshar has twenty-hour days, or I stay away from the five-day week. Just because it really kicks people out. You’ve gotta be really careful about how you write things like that. I’m like, “Venli is fourteen.” You’d be like, “What? Venli does not feel fourteen.” Well, she’s not fourteen; she’s fourteen for a listener. And some of these flashback sequences, she’s ten. But she’s gonna read like she’s sixteen or seventeen. Because that’s what she would be in maturity level for a human.

    It gets very sticky in those sorts of things. The answer is, they are dullform. But dullform acts differently with children.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    If you could choose three aspects to have with you, what would their specialties be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Languages. I would love to have an aspect that could help me interact with other people who speak different languages. People often ask, “What superpower would you have?” Being able to speak all languages would be among the coolest superpowers that I can imagine. Because I travel so much, because I interact with people from other cultures, and because I think language is so shapen of the way we see the world, that would be high on my list. Aspects who can do other languages: really handy.

    An aspect who was really, really good at continuity that could help me when I write something, the aspect would say, “You know, this is going to give Karen a huge headache later on for continuity. Maybe you should just change it to this. I’m sure Karen would be really happy.” Reading over my shoulder as I’m typing, like, “Nope. That character can’t be over there, because you said they were over here ten years ago. So this flashback, they can’t be in it.” Stuff like that would be really super-handy.

    Number three. I’ve got a linguist, and I’ve got an editor. Number three, a psychologist. I would go with an Ivy; a psychologist would be super handy.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Alexis

    How did the Knights Radiant treat their transgender members? Assuming that some underwent a physical transformation once they gained access to Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the past, you will find the Knights Radiant being way more progressive than the societies at large. They would treat the transgender person as the gender that they see themselves as being.

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Now that you’re writing the Mistborn screenplay, what would be your ideal way to show emotional or non-physical Allomancy on the screen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m playing with a lot of different things. The screenplay right now, we’re using blue as a signifier that Allomancy’s being used. The blue lines work pretty well. Mostly, you’re gonna see a very faint blue line, and you’re gonna see the object that the person is pushing or pulling on flashing blue. That is your indication.

    And right now, I have someone’s eyes flash blue when they’ve been hit by emotional Allomancy. The problem with that is, it can’t be diegetic. It can’t be in-world; it has to be a thing for the audience. Which, non-diegetic music is fine. Everyone’s used to that in movies. But something like this, we may want to try to find a better way. But right now, that’s what we’re doing. That’s at least what the screenplay is. The person uses their power, someone’s eyes flash blue; they are being affected by emotional Allomancy. You now know. Again, I assume most people who watch the film will assume that’s diegetic. Which makes for problems and a huge weakness in emotional Allomancy that I don’t intend.

    It is a trick, right? To show, “How is someone using Allomancy?” I kind of want someone, when a Thug is lifting something and burning pewter, you’d be able to see. I have it written right now that blue veins move across their arms like lightning, being like, “They are using Allomancy to enhance their strength right now.”

    And it might be the answer, just make emotional Allomancy be diegetic. That it’s got this big weakness in the film version of the cosmere that it didn’t have in the books, in order to actually make it visual so that people can understand what’s going on. But there might be another answer.

    And remember, I am not going to be writing the screenplay. I am going to write a rough draft of the screenplay, and then I’m going to work with a real screenwriter to actually make it into a screenplay. My goal is just to get down on paper what things I think are justified and important changes to make from the book to the film, and what things I think still have to be there. My goal is that anyone I work with would be able to take this screenplay or treatment, look at it, and say, “I am willing to commit to any changes we would make to this being approved by you.”

    Because what they won’t do, is they won’t give me creative control. I don’t have enough power in Hollywood to get creative control over a film. J.K. Rowling got it. But Stephanie Meyer had to go to a second-string film studio to get it. And George Martin didn’t get it. That’s kind of your hierarchy. And I am below George; I’m probably actually where George was when he got that deal, I would say. I am in the category of, I don’t have enough power to demand this. I would have to be two ranks in popularity and influence more than I am, and I don’t think that is legitimately something we could wait to happen, because to get to Twilight or Harry Potter level popularity is just not something that you can count on. I don’t think you can count on getting to the level of popularity we’ve gotten to.

    So I think, moving forward, my goal is to find ways that I can work with the system. And I think that if they have a screenplay and a treatment, and they’re like, “All right. We can agree that this is good enough that if we have to make any changes to this, we will let you have approval.” Having them say, “Brandon has to have creative control” without any screenplay or thing like that, no one’s ever gonna give me. So that’s the main goal of this. The main goal is to say, “Here is Brandon’s vision. Are you willing to make Brandon’s vision as a film?”

    Dark One Q&A ()
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    Questioner

    Unkalaki jobs are decided by birth order. Is this cultural? Or are there more significant reasons? Specifically, Rock can see spren other can’t and pull a Shardbow. Are either of those related to his birth order after the death of his siblings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, that is not related to his birth order. Most of what they do is cultural. I will dig into it deeply in the book Horneater, which will be the novella I write between Books Four and Five. So wait for that.