Is Cultivation the same thing as the Nightwatcher?
They are related but they are not exactly the same. It's more like the similarity between the Stormfather and Honor.
Is Cultivation the same thing as the Nightwatcher?
They are related but they are not exactly the same. It's more like the similarity between the Stormfather and Honor.
So with the cosmere, do you come up with stories and see if they fit? Or does the cosmere kind of lend itself to stories already?
It's mostly the first. *audio obscured* When I come up with a story I'll ask, "Does this fit the cosmere?" and if not-- Like, for instance, this one, that I read tonight [Perfect State], just doesn't fit the cosmere. I don’t want to be doing far-future science fiction stuff yet in the cosmere, and when I do, virtual reality is not a cosmere thing. So I can't write that as cosmere. Or the Rithmatist which I bounced back and forth. Would have been, could have not been. I just eventually decided it didn't fit the story. When things do fit, I put them in.
Is that a really exciting moment? Or just sort of "Ohhh that's nice"
Yeah, it's just like that. I like all my stories. The Cosmere-- One of my rules for myself is "The Cosmere is not my entire body of work" because then I would just be shoehorning things in and I've found sometimes when authors create a multiverse they shoehorn everything in. Stephen King did this, Asimov did this. It doesn't work. I think if it is an intentional thing I'm deliberately doing, then it gains more power, it's cooler than if I were trying to make everything connected.
Is Investiture universal? By that I mean, if an Allomancer got Stormlight somehow could they use that to fuel Allomancy?
That is always possible, so yes. But in some case it requires some quote-unquote hacking, like an AC vs a DC current or we've got a 120 Volt and they've got 240. Does that make sense? It might require-- I guess hacking is the wrong term, adapters.
Anything you can tell us about Frost?
What do you want to know about Frost?
Then no. I'm not going to tell you everything about Frost. He's still alive.
Yeah. He can be killed, he's just functionally immortal, he doesn't age.
Has he always been able to take the form of that-- *audio obscured*
Yes. He was born as one.
Born as one.
It is a race.
Was there any particular reason that you are looking at doing Mistborn in the 40's?
Just because I want to see-- It's where I feel excited by a story and if I go all the way to the 80's, which I’m going to do eventually, we lose the Age of Exploration, my last shots at it. I think in the 40's we could still have a shot at Age of Exploration even though it's well past that, you know what I mean? The last remnants of my chance of doing that, I think. The exploration hits late here, but by the 80's they're launching satellites, right? The world is known. So if I want to do one more thing before then I could do-- The thing about the Mistborn world is that it is mostly uninhabited. It's like an Earth-sized planet where most of the continents have no people. That’s really exciting from a storytelling aspect.
So my friend wanted me to ask, after we both read Firefight, is there anything you can tell us about Instabam?
Instabam, oh. What do you want to know about Instabam?
Powers or anything.
See facetiously in my head I had Instabam have power over instant potatoes, but I'm probably not going to do that. But that is what I had in my head when I wrote that name. Yeah, instant potatoes, "Poom". Can cook food at the snap of fingers. I don't know what their powers are. I didn't work that out.
You can say instant potatoes if you want.
Shardplate. Are we going to find out where that comes from?
You will eventually find out, but it is not the next book.
And my last one, Obliteration, the Epic, is based on an author.
He is based on an author.
It's Jim Butcher, right?
I couldn't say if it were, with these handsome locks and wearing a trenchcoat, and the goatee.
It's totally Jim Butcher.
Well Jim Butcher doesn't have hair like this anymore. He cut his hair.
My other question is about the phrase "Shadows of Self". It's mentioned in the last Mistborn book *audio obscured* so are we ever going to see the shadows in Shadows of Self?
We are not going-- Well yes and no. What it is referencing in this book is the different roles that each person plays in their life. That is the core meaning of Shadows of Self. But then, there is also, there is a kandra involved, which they change shape and become different people, so "who are you?" and identity is a big thing.
My first question is about Shallan and whether what she does with her drawings and the deserters in Words of Radiance, kind of changing them, is at all similar to what Shai does in The Emperor's Soul?
Umm, that's a good question. There are similarities, but only so much that The Emperor's Soul is cosmere and is relying on the same foundation of magic. But good question. Are you getting at me saying you've seen somebody do it before?
I talked to Alice.
So you have seen what she does before, but that is not what I was pointing at. It's someth-- No one is going to expect it.
Koloss are something I've been trying to work in for a time. Originally, in the very first draft of Mistborn one, I had them make an appearance in the prologue:
The skaa worked the fields with the lethargy of the hopeless, their motions methodical and listless. Though the sun's light was darkened and ruddied by the ever-present smoke, the day was still oppressively hot. Yet, no skaa man paused to wipe his soot-stained brow–being seen resting by a koloss fieldmaster would invite a whipping.
So, the skaa worked. Eyes down, watching the dirt by their feet, they dug at the weeds–daring not to speak, barely even daring to think. Koloss stalked amidst them, blood-drop eyes alert for signs of skaa laziness.
Obviously, I changed their place in the world drastically. During the drafting of book one, I was still working out what I wanted the koloss to be. I knew they were going to be something monstrous, and as the first draft of Mistborn One progressed, I slowly cut them from the book and decided to save them for book two. As the characters talked about them, the koloss reputation became more and more nasty–and I went so far as to explain that the Lord Ruler himself feared to keep them near human settlements.
So, when it came to plan book two, I put a lot of effort into developing the koloss. I wanted them to be cool visually, live up to their reputations, and work within the worldbuilding and magic of the setting. You'll find out a lot more about them as the series progresses.
The koloss army was another thing that got shuffled about in this book. Originally, the Luthadel folks discovered its advance pretty early on. All of their discussions, then, talked about the fact that they had three armies bearing down on them.
I pushed back knowledge of the koloss for a couple of reasons. First off, koloss are scary–and I think they deserve to be treated differently from the other two armies. Their appearance can throw a real wrench into things later on, once Elend and company hear about them. It allows for the reader to know something that most of the characters do not, and leads to anticipation and tension.
In addition, it gives Sazed another good reason to exist in the plot. Now he knows about the koloss and nobody else inside the city does. His mission, therefore, is even more vital. He has to bring information back to his friends.
Some of my readers thought that Sazed expended far too much of his speed in order to get to Luthadel. I don't agree. What he saw in that village disturbed him greatly. Remember, he's been spending the last six months investigating news of the mists killing people, and now he found an entire village where something like that happened. He's worried and he's eager to get back to Luthadel. In the face of that, the use of his metalminds makes sense, I think.
Straff is generally everyone's least favorite character–though that's kind of what I expected. He's not insane; he’s just a terrible person. Those do, unfortunately, exist–given his power and upbringing, he’s not all that surprising in his bullyness.
I wanted to provide a range of villains for this series. The Lord Ruler was one type of villain–the untouchable god, distant and mysterious. Straff is another: the downright, simple bully with too much power and not enough wisdom. Zane is our third villain–sympathetic, edgy, and possibly more dangerous than either of the two.
As I said before, the Zane chapters originally started earlier in the book. I pushed them back in order to keep the mystery a little longer and to streamline the beginning.
Now I can finally get into his story. Zane is important for several reasons, many of which I can't really explain without spoiling not only this book, but the next one. One of his most basic functions is to provide a foil for Elend. An opposite. Elend is safety, and Zane is danger. They share many similar features, but in Zane, most of those features are twisted.
He also represents a throwback to Kelsier. He is more like the Survivor than he'll probably ever understand.
Making him insane like this was a gamble on my part. I worry that, at first, it seems cliche. There's a whole lot more going on with Zane than you might assume, but your introduction to him is that of a schizophrenic villain who likes to cut himself. This might just seem like a grab-bag of psychosis, but I ask you to stick with me on this one. Zane has been many of my alpha-readers favorite character.
This is Matthew Scott, the CEO for Little Orbit, and I think we're overdue for a final update on Mistborn: Birthright.
First, we can now definitively say that this project isn't going to happen. Please know that it's not for a lack of effort. Even as a publisher, the video game industry isn't easy, and sometimes the best will in the world isn't enough.
Second, I want to thank all of Sanderson's fans who reached out with their feedback, encouragement and support over the years. It was truly a great experience to be adopted as part of the Cosmere community.
Lastly, I would like to thank Brandon, himself. He was a patient, great business partner, who produced an amazing story for the game. I still hope he finds a way to release the details or reuse it in some fashion.
Mistborn has been a personal passion project of mine, that we started back in 2011.
Many people don't know that by mid 2012 our internal development group at Little Orbit had a completed vertical slice for the game that we showed to a few journalists at E3. The game was much smaller in scope at that point, but progress was good. Then in late summer, a partner in our development studio sold his stake to a major publisher, and we had to get creative on how to split up Little Orbit / Game Machine / Papaya Studios. In the end, half of the development team went along with the deal, so Mistborn got shelved for a time.
From there it took about a year to get the project back on track.
During the break, we internally agreed that Mistborn fans deserved a bigger/better version of the game. During this second iteration, we engaged a number of larger RPG developers, and we started talks with Obsidian. Chris Avellone was a huge advocate, and he has always been a big fan of Brandon. But after months of discussion, their schedule proved to be too complex, and the game went back on the shelf.
We spent more time to rethink our approach, and we decided to increase the budget as our search continued. In 2014, we started talks with High Voltage Studios. The goal was to use their Saints Row technology to make a spectacular open world Mistborn game. I still believe that this is the best vision for the game. It combined elements of Assassin's Creed and Dishonored with the physics gameplay of Allomancy. We got our funding secured and even had a kickoff with Brandon in early 2015.
And then the unthinkable happened.
In a series of months two of Little Orbit's retail distributors went out of business taking large chunks of our revenue with them. Funding for future titles was immediately canceled, and it nearly bankrupted the company. We barely survived.
In the end, I am deeply saddened we couldn't get this made, but rather than continue to hold onto the rights, I'd like to see someone else make the amazing Mistborn game we would all love to play.
Thank you for your support.
Sincerely, Matthew Scott CEO
Are you just getting these questions off of the 17th Shard?
No, these are mine.
These are actually yours? OK, i'll keep going then. If these are actually yours you can have as many as you want, yeah. Some people just go to the list of all the questions to ask Brandon and then they come and like "i'm just going to ask all of these" and i'm like "no, you can have three or four", but if they're your own questions you can have as many as you want.
Have you ever considered doing graphic novels?
I have! Good question... So, yes I have. We're working on one of my unpublished novels, that is one of those thirteen. I think it is a good book, but not good enough to publish. But I think if we can rewrite it as a graphic novel I can cut out stuff that was bad. Because what was bad about it was like 100 thousand words of plot smashed across 200 thousand words of story. I think condensing is going to work really well. So we are going to do that. We actually got pages from that and things, and it's looking very nice. So we should have a graphic novel, and it is cosmere. It is part of the main continuity. So hopefully people will enjoy that.
Do you feel there's anything different when writing for a video game?
Writing for a video game? You know I haven't truly written for a video game yet. What I've done is I've written novellas that bridge between video games, and that's kind of the single thing that I've done. So I can't really say yet. You'll have to track down some people who have actually written for video games.
I expect that it's lots of dialogue, and you have to understand that people might skip part of the story so you have to have a lot of refreshing on plot.
Do you have any other [video game] favorites right now?
Yeah, favorite video games. The Dark Souls series, I started on Demon Souls when it was actually hard, *laughter* but I like them all. I like the level design, I like that they're not coddling you, things like that. I've always loved the Civilization games, I play those quite extensively. In fact when I was in college I spent many a long night in my friend's room, because I didn't have a computer, playing Civilization, until he was like "Go to bed". Let's see, what else have I liked. I just played Skyrim, I tend to wait on those Bethesda games until they've been out a few years so I can get mods and things like l like. I thought Skyrim was the best of the Elder Scrolls games, I've played them all since Daggerfall-- Never played Arena, I played Daggerfall all the way through, and they fixed a lot of the problems like the leveling was always bad and some of the dungeon designs were so repetitive. This one they fixed all that and I had a blast with Skyrim.
Did you like to write as a child?
Did I like to write as a child? Actually no, I did not like to write when I was a child. I'm one of the few people that's a writer that was not a kid writer. I didn't like books when I was young. It was a teacher who taught me to like books when I was in eighth grade, Ms. Reader, that's her real name. *laughter* She just emailed me a few weeks back, I'm still in touch with her. Ms. Reader, she's now a professor taught me to love fantasy books, she gave me the book Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly and I became a reader
Do you care if all we read is audiobooks? Do you mind if people are like [???]
No I don't mind. Whatever format you want to read in. I would love for them to-- Whatever you like to read in is the best. People sometimes say to me "Well do you make money if I do this or this?" And the true answer is "Both" but-- *laughter* The honest answer is I don't mind. Check them out from the library, buy a copy here, borrow it from a friend. If you read my fiction, more people will be talking about it, and more people will be interested in it. And that is going to generate momentum for me. So pick your favorite format and your favorite place to get it, whether it is Cousin Billy or whether it is buying it from UBooks, and read the books. I'm just glad people are reading my fiction.
I mean I spent-- I wrote thirteen books before I sold one guys. That's how much I like doing this. I wrote over a dozen of them when no one was paying me to do it, right? And now that people actually are, it's just like so cool to be able to have things like the cosmere come together and everybody really be in on this thing. If you don't know a lot of my books are connected. There are characters from different books showing up in each other's books and fiddling with things and stuff.
Can you talk a little about your editing process? After you get through the first draft-- You go through it, you look at the acknowledgements in a lot of your books, and other books, there's this huge team of people that have been pouring over this thing.
Yeah, so editing for me. Here's my drafting process. First draft I just write-- I write it straight through. I don't stop, I try not to let myself stop. If there is something major I need to change I just change it in the chapter and keep going forward. And then I can change it back later, like two chapters later if I think "No that was the wrong thing". So there will be a new character sometimes in my book that will just pop up for three chapters and everyone acts like they've always been there and then they vanish and no one talks about them not being there anymore. That's just so I can keep momentum and see what works. Draft number 2 I fix all of those things. Draft number 3, polishing draft. Line by line trying to cut 10%, get rid of the passive voice, make descriptions more active, and make sure that I'm finding the right words and things like that. Really Draft 4 is where it turns into true drafting, and by that point I've given it to my editor and my alpha readers which are basically my assistants, my good friends, my wife, people like that. They read it, they come back with comments for me and I've been thinking about the book, working in my writing group with it and I make a goal-based document, where it's like "Here are the major issues. Here are the medium level issues. Here are the little things I need to fix." And I start on page one, read through with this open on the screen next to the book when I'm working on it and I try to like-- It's almost like a bug report for programming, I'm trying to clear things off the list. Major things I have to re-write the whole way through so I can't clear them off until the end. Medium issues are things I can put in two or three times to fix through a couple of chapters where they are wrong and then clear it. Little things are just fix this one little thing and it's easy to clear off the list. I do that, I don't get to everything. I move around things on this list, like I maybe [???] I move it down the list.
Then I send the book out to beta readers, who are gathered by my assistant, he handles this, Peter Ahlstrom. Then they do a thing with us on a Google Doc, where it's chapter by chapter there is a document for each chapter and they all put their comments and interact with each other. It's like having a very large focus group, with like 15 people who are all reading the book at the same time and working on it. Once that is done and I've heard back from my editor on the new draft I will then make another draft. I will do this as many times as necessary to make the book good. Last draft is proofreading and those people are also drawn from fandom, usually, my assistant picks them off forums and things like that and people we've used before. And they are just looking for-- At that point we can't change anything really bigger than a line or two. They are looking for continuity and things like that. But my process is that goal-based "I want to fix this let's see if I can do a draft where I fix this." And I'll do a couple more polishing drafts as I go along.
Probably a question you are not going to want to answer but how old is Hoid?
How old is Hoid? ...Hoid is older than the Shattering of Adonalsium. Hey there is an answer for you! He is very old.
You talked a little about short fiction, what do you think about flash fiction?
Flash fiction I think is awesome, and microfiction. I'm terrible at it. I've tried a couple times.
I've got a good friend... Eric James Stone, he's won a Nebula Award, and his business cards have a story on the back. That's the coolest thing ever isn't it? I want to steal that and do that but every one I come up with is junk. I mean it takes like eight pages to write my name, so…
Are you going to write a sequel to Sixth of the Dusk?
Am I going to write a sequel to Sixth of the Dusk. I am not planning to write a sequel to it, though you may see people from that world, or even Sixth himself, in other books if you keep your eyes open.
Do you actually know what's wrong with Stephen Leeds?
Do I know what's wrong with Stephen Leeds? I do know what's wrong with Stephen Leeds. Thank you for promoting that one. Legion's another of these novellas I did. It's got a fun story behind it.
So I was in a writing group with mutual friend Dan Wells, he writes twisted books about people who are messed up, and he was doing a book about schizophrenia. He was deep into a schizophrenic’s mind, Dan does a lot of research hits these things really well and meanwhile I'm over here being me and I’m like “Oh this would make a great magic system” *laughter* I'm like “No, no, no, really if you had a schizophrenic and what if they heard voices and saw hallucinations, but the hallucinations helped them. Like their superpower was seeing hallucinations." He's like "That's weird." I'm like "No, you should write this” and I tried to convince him to write it and I tried to convince him to write and finally he said “Brandon, write the dumb book, it’s not my book it’s yours” So I wrote it, it’s called Legion.
It is indeed about a guy who is a genius and he can become an expert in any topic but that knowledge manifests as a hallucination that he sees, which can than talk him through things. Like if he studies, say, computer programming, he can't program computers, but a hallucination could walk him through programming a computer...
I'm going to warn you, they only do limited editions of the hardcovers on most of these. So they're expensive. But if you buy that I will send you the ebook for free. The only thing I can do that on are my novellas, that and Emperor's Soul, but it is also online for a couple bucks as an ebook. Or you can buy the very nice edition by Subterranean Press.
So he gets worse...
*hesitates* Over the course of the series he is getting worse and worse, despite what he says.
I really enjoy things like Alloy of Law and Emperor's Soul, do you see yourself doing any more of those in-universe novellas? Maybe more tightly cobbled to the stories they're from?
Yes I do see myself doing many more novellas. I enjoy the process, it helps me get stories out of my brain that are itching at me without having to start another 7 book series or whatever. What I'll be reading to you tonight is from a novella though it is not cosmere. Though I do have several more cosmere novellas going. If you haven't read the ones I've released, there's one called Sixth of the Dusk which is ebook original and in the Writing Excuses anthology, and then I have another that is in George R.R. Martin's Dangerous Women anthology... called Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell. And that is the other weird place you can get one of those. I'm planning to do many more, I really enjoy it. I think short fiction is fun and exciting and I'm-- short for me
In The Stormlight Archive, you have your interludes. As you said they are short stories. Are some of those characters going to be making reappearances?
Will some of the characters from the interludes in The Stormlight Archive make recurring appearances. Yes some of them will, I am seeding characters who are main characters for later in the series by what I'm doing in that book, in those interludes. Not all of them will be. I have ten characters that are forming the spine for this series-- and some of them-- Lift is one of the ones who is going to be in the back five books which will take place-- After Book 5 of Stormlight we will have a break, in-world, for about fifteen years. Not out of the world, not in our world, but we will have a break and when we come back fifteen years or so will have passed and we will start on the back five characters.
So I know your kids are probably too young to have actually read your books but are they familiar with your characters and if so do they have favorites?
They're not familiar with my characters. They-- Seven, five, and two. The seven-year-old is starting to get old enough where I could maybe read him books, but I don't want to read him my books first. *laughter* I want to read him stuff like Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen and things like this. We'll let him read my books if he wants to.
I remember I was reading an interview with Tad Williams once and he said "People ask, you're a famous author, how do you stay humble" and he said "Well the other day we all went out to dinner as a family because I finished a book. And my son said 'What's the celebration?' and he said 'Well I finished my book' and his son said 'That's a good job, finishing reading a book.'" *laughter*
What's your favorite magic system?
Favorite magic system? I'm-- ...If I could pick anything I would probably be an Allomancer, just because there is so much metal around us in our daily lives that I think it would be a lot of fun. That may not be the smart choice but it is the choice I would make.
So when you are doing a kind of in-depth and very long story-- like The Stormlight Archive... Can you-- Do you tackle that, like, in short-- For like an outline?
Oh good question.
Do you outline the entire thing? Do you outline one at a time, or two at a time?
…So outlining. You picked the hardest one to outline, by far. Normally the outlining process for me is-- it goes like this, I sit down and I write Plot, Setting, Character in a new sheet. I put them in outline level one. And then I put all the things that I have been thinking in my head for a while, that I've been brainstorming with friends or-- Every book that I write I spent a long time planning it out, it's when ideas connect together that you know you have a great book. One idea is not a book, multiple ideas that influence each other in cool ways is a book, to me. So I write all this down and then I start looking for the structure and what are people's plots. The way I outline is I outline goal-based. Say I want to have an interesting relationship dynamic between these two characters, how can I achieve that? What's my goal at the end and what are my steps to get there? That is part of my outline. And I don't like-- And then I do another one. Okay, someone's got to learn to use the magic, what's my end goal, what are my steps to get there, what are cool scenes out of this? Those are all separate in my outline, it's not like in my outline there's "Chapter one: this, this, this, and this". It's Goal, with how to achieve. Goal, how to achieve it. Goal, how to achieve it. That's my normal outline process.
Now The Stormlight Archive is a strange beast, because it is plotted as ten books, each focusing around a character. And for that what I did was I sat down and wrote out my outline more in prose form, my vision for the whole series and then I wrote a paragraph about each book. Then what I just told you, I did for the first book, then I wrote the first book. Then I went back and created a much bigger and more detailed outline for the rest of the series. So it's kind of this process. The really weird thing about the Stormlight books is that I actually plot each one like I plot a trilogy. So for instance, Words of Radiance you can find-- people have noticed them-- breakpoints between quote-unquote books, that this volume is actually written as three books with a short story collection as the interludes woven between. That's how I approach those books.
My publisher has a love/hate relationship with The Stormlight Archive because they feel they could publish them as four volumes and make four times as much money but I won't let them. But they don't want me to write other things because they really want more Stormlight because Stormlight is the one that sells the best out of everything. So they are like "Write more Stormlight, but can we split it please?" and I say "No, you can't split it" and they're like "arghhh" So they release them as these big volumes, as I told them to, even though they know they are each like these three volumes-- And anyway...
That's kind of the shorter version of it. If you guys are... writers, and you want some help, I have two resources. Ask when you come through the line. I have a podcast, with a bookmark that says where it is. Fifteen minutes of writing advice every week. It's called Writing Excuses. I also lecture at Brigham Young University, and part of my requirement for lecturing for them-- I don't take salary-- is that they have to let me put my lectures online for people to see. So my lectures, for the last few years, of my university course, are posted online.
We hear a lot in The Final Empire about various titles and such from the Steel Ministry. Can you give us very little as to their actual structure and what they do...
Yeah I can talk about this.
They only thing you can't is the ranks.
So the Steel Ministry, in the Mistborn books. The interesting thing I considered when I was writing them was "What is the purpose of the priesthood when god is there in the palace and everyone knows it? And if you disobey you just get your head cut off." So what do you do? I made the Steel Ministry more government, like the post office is run by priests. And a lot of what priests do is witness official business, take your money for doing so and give you a stamp that "Yes I witnessed this" and things like this, but they also run all the public works. It's not like they're cleaning the sewers themselves but overseeing the sewers, overseeing engineers, most of the engineers who built the city plans would be obligators.
Which by the way you named didn’t you? There he is, Nate Hatfield was in my writing group for many years. We were driving to writing group once and I wanted a cool word for a priest, because I was just using priests in the original version of Mistborn. I'm like "I need a great word" and he-- How did you even come up with that word?
You really want to know?
...There's Nate. You can congratulate Nate on coming up with obligator. And was it you that came up with the Conventicle, or was that Peter? Conventicle was Peter.
I want to know what process you follow through building your vocabulary. Also, do you use a thesaurus?
What process do I use for developing my vocabulary, and do I use a thesaurus. My vocabulary development comes through reading other people's books and seeing the cool words they use and writing them down. And I can often pinpoint who I learned which word from. Like miasma I learned from Anne McCaffrey. Things like this-- Just seeing the words they use and looking them up when I don't know them. That's my favorite way. Do I use a thesaurus? I do use a thesaurus but only to come up with a word I know I should be using. There's two times I use it. One, when I come to a word I know there's a word there but I don't know what it is yet. The other time I use a thesaurus, which is really useful, is when I'm naming something. Like when I was naming the Reckoners, I need a cool word for this team. One that Marvel or DC hasn't used yet *laughter* They used everything. So I may use a thesaurus, but using a thesaurus is dangerous. It's a good tool but it's a dangerous tool for a writer. Because you don't want to use a word because it sounds cool, usually you want to use the right word. That can be difficult to balance.
...I'm actually a video game designer.
And the one thing that I kept thinking as I was reading The Stormlight Archive was "Oh my god. I want to play that" Is there any, kind of, y'know-- Do you see those moving in to some other media besides just books, or video games or...
Excellent question. So, other media. I like video games a lot. I remember-- You're going to get a lot of stories tonight, this is what happens, I'm a storyteller-- I was 11 years old, my father shipped me off to visit my uncle for the first time on my own. Got on the airplane and everything, went to Utah from Nebraska. And my dad gave me two hundreds, two one hundred dollar bills, he said "Pay for your food" and things like this... *laughter* You're laughing you know what happens. I just let my uncle pay for everything and at the end of it my conscience had gotten to me and I said "Uncle [Don?] my dad gave me money, I should give this to you to pay for the food". And he just laughed at it, like "No you're not going to do that. We're going to the mall right now. We're going to spend that money because if you don't your dad will take it back" And I went and I bought a Nintendo, original NES, with my two hundred dollars at KB Toys. And I came back with it and my dad was like "Where did you get that?"
I love video games and I want to be involved-- Which is why, some of you have watched, I did the novellas for Infinity Blade, which is a video game. Which you can read online but if you havenit played the games they won’t make any sense. I'm just going to warn you right there. I am involved-- We have sold the rights to Mistborn as a video game, but we have entered some development problems, the video game industry is almost as bad as the movie industry when it comes to delays and things like this. You have studios fall through, get divided, all sorts of things. I'm still hoping but the deal was I got to write the story and all the dialogue for the video game. It's going to be-- We are going to do it-- an action RPG, the model I told them I wanted to use was Infamous, which was one of my favorites from lately, in the Mistborn world. If we can get that working then I bet I can get a Stormlight book turned into a video game.
As movies go, movies are even harder. I was on the phone with movie producers right before I came here. I got a phone call, and we're doing a lot of that, talking with them, we've sold a lot of rights, we've seen a lot of scripts, but nothing's ever been made. So right now we have Legion, Emperor's Soul, Mistborn, and Steelheart all have significant motion but far from actually done. And The Wheel of Time is kind of off-again, on-again, off-again, on-again with adaptations. I think television show is what they are currently working towards.
Somebody asked a question about Shinovar and whether all Shin go through some combat training (but don't actually become warriors) at some time during their lives.
Brandon said that we'll learn a lot more about the Shin in book 3, which has Szeth's flashbacks.
Why do the Returned need to sleep?
Sleep is necessary for many reasons - different from the reasons we need food and water, for example. One of those reasons (for sleep) is memory storage. Like humans, Returned need to sleep so their (important) short-term memories get moved to long-term storage.
How does one erase/alter memories using Breath?
Did all orders of Knights Radiants use Shardplate?
It was available to all of them, and they could (all) use it. Many Knights (not Orders) chose not to. There were Knights who were not soldiers and had not interest in wearing Shardplate.
Why can lerasium be burned by anyone in the cosmere, while atium is restricted to a small portion of the population of one planet?
Is spiritual DNA inherited the same as regular DNA?
Inherited similarly, but not 100% identically, to regular DNA.
What effects does being a Sliver have on a person?
It can vary (on the Shard, the length of time the power was held, the power itself, etc). In some way a Sliver is someone who has had their mind, body, and spirit expanded due to holding a great deal of power, and then have had that power leave.
Is the bond between a seon and its master similar to the Nahel bond between a Surgebinder and his spren?
Can Shards travel backwards in time?
Anything is possible.
What is the definition of a focus (in [The Way of Kings]'s Ars Arcanum)?
Foci, though linked to the magic system, are more like artifacts of the philosophy surrounding the magic system. A focus is a philosophical concept, rather than a hardfast rule related to the magic system. A man-made, artificial way of explaining the magic system. Like the periodic table.
How is it that Nightblood, who is merely a near-sentient awakened object, was able to read minds, something a Shard like Ruin was unable to do?
It requires bonding (with the person whose mind is to be read) to read minds.
Ruin and Preservation were often represented in the Mistborn trilogy in terms of black and white. Is this imagery limited to that series, or do other Shards also have an associated hue?
This (Ruin & Preservation's colors) was because of the specific world and their perception of the world and themselves. Essentially, because of the dynamics of the interplay between Ruin and Preservation, they "chose" to view themselves as black and white respectively, so that's how they were represented. Also, because the only two Shards on Scadrial, and their natures were opposites, after the long period of time they spent on the same planet, they kind of "polarized." If similar thing happened on another world, similar coloring effect could happen.
Any news on Mistborn: Birthright?
Pushed back to 2015, so it can be developed for the next generation consoles.
None of the Heralds mention or address the Almighty in the opening scene of [The Way of Kings]; it's a little strange, considering they are his champions. Have they seen or spoken to the Almighty?
Yes, the Heralds have spoken with the Almighty. They also feel that what has been done to them is partially his fault. They are all broken in some way and aren't really honorable anymore.
Was that how and why the deal with Odium showed up?
Why can Shallan draw the Cryptics without seeing them, and can she do the same for other invisible spren?
Shallan and the Cryptics have a "special connection" that allows her to draw them.