Recent entries

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11251 Copy


    Can Hoid jump through time? If so, can Shards jump through time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid, so far, has only moved forward in time. He has not 'lived' all of those years, but has used some time dilation techniques. That said, he is far older (both in relative and real time) than a normal person can live.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11252 Copy


    How often is a "weeping" in Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Once a year. Opposite it in the year is an extremely powerful highstorm.


    When, relatively to the events in Way of Kings is/will be the nearest Weeping? (I ask, because I started wondering, if this powerful storm was, coincidentally, the one, during which... you know... the face in the clouds and all that.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, there are ten months in year. If I haven't mentioned dates in the last book (I may or may not have) I am planning to in the next. So a timeline should be possible for fans to figure out...

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11253 Copy


    You've mentioned that other books in the Stormlight Archive will have different characters as their focus, is this linked to the 10 orders of the Knights Radiant? Or is this just coincidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is linked. I may not be able to completely link it, but I'm going to try. The first book's symbol (on the front) is the symbol of the Windrunners.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11255 Copy


    I've read that you were thinking of 32-36 books total for the Cosmere, but it seems like the series are going to go beyond that if numbers you've given before are published (e.g. Mistborn being a trilogy of trilogies so 9, Stormlight Archive 10, Warbreaker 2, Dragonsteel 6 or 7, and still White Sand and others to come) so has the estimate of 32 been thrown out the window?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Eh...I don't know. My original breakdown:

    Mistborn 9 Wabreaker 2 Elantris 3 White Sand 3 Stormlight 10 Silence Divine 1 Dragonsteel 7 (A two book and a five book.)

    That's the 32, with allowances for a few side stories to get us to 36. There are planets not included in that, however, that I may write stories about. So maybe. But the core cycle is this (in order)

    Dragonsteel Mistborn first trilogy Stormlight - Mistborn second trilogy (around the same time.) Mistborn third trilogy.

    Everything else is important in their own stories, but as we're talking about the connections between the worlds are considered, this is the prime cosmere cycle.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11256 Copy


    Why are the people of Roshar so much more aware of the Cosmere? They seem to know more than any other world you've written to date.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I believe the people of whom you are speaking are mostly not native to Roshar. On another side, however, it is the first planet we've seen with three Shards, and it is the furthest along in the timeline. One final thing is that they had some very unique experiences early in the planet's history. It involves the Heralds, and various items I think would be spoilers right now.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11257 Copy


    What made you decide on a 10 book length for The Stormlight Archive? Do you have the entire thing planned out, including how it will be paced and plotted?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had eight characters I wanted to tell a story about, and wanted to give each one a book to include flashbacks and specific character development. Once I got to outlining, I realized that I had material for about ten books, and ten was a very special number in the world. So I settled on that.

    It will be paced and plotted much as the first, though I plan the future books to be a little shorter than the first establishing one. There will be two primary five-book arcs, so you could consider it two series of five, if you'd prefer.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11262 Copy


    Why did you settle on a Nicrosil Misting for your second Mistborn trilogy? Did you consider any other types?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I considered others, but in the end this was one aspect of the magic system I hadn't explored yet but which is very important for the future of the series. I wanted to start establishing it.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11264 Copy


    Do you plan to write the stormlight archive books with the same POV characters throughout the series (like WoT) or do you think that you give other characters POV (aSoIaF) as the series continues?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of the main POV characters have been introduced. Each book will take one major character (Kaladin, Dalinar, Adolin, Jasnah, Shallan, Navani, Szeth, Taln) and give them 'flashback' sequences in the same way Kaladin got flashbacks in the first book. There are some open spots for which I'm toying with other characters being used.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11265 Copy


    Regarding the ending of the Mistborn Trilogy: What was up with Ruin having red hair? Is that significant? Does it mean that Ruin was originally a human who gained his powers somehow? My friend thought that Ruin was actually another red-haired character in the series, though I don't remember his name. I think he was a minor captain or something.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I try to make all of the cosmere stuff "bonus material" so to speak. I don't think it's essential to understanding Mistborn to know Ruin's origin. Those who want expanded information can find it, and theorize upon it. However, I intend to warn people up-front before writing any book where you have to know this to understand it.

    Within the realm of Mistborn only, all you really need to know is that someone was holding this power--and that the 'individuals' of Ruin and Preservation were people, changed by the power they held. It holds to the theme of the story, with what happens regarding Sazed and other characters.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11267 Copy


    I know from reading your blog and various other comments that many of your books are in the same cosmos/universe, specifically Mistborn, Elantris, Warbreaker, and Way of Kings. I also am pretty sure that one day you'd like to do a series that ties all the different series/books together into one super-series. So my question is, would the various magic systems work on different worlds? For example, would a Mistborn be able to use his/her abilities in the world Way of Kings is located on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the magic system. They are all related to a kind of "Spiritual DNA" that one gets from their heritage on a specific planet. However, there are ways around that. (Hemalurgy, for example, 'staples' a piece of someone else's soul to your own, and creates a work around to give you access to magic you shouldn't have.) Some of the magics are more regionally tied than others. (In Elantris, you have to access the Dor, which is very regionally influenced.)

    The end answer is this: With in-depth knowledge of how the magics work, and their connection, one could probably get them all to work on other planets. It may take effort for some of them.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11268 Copy


    When plotting a series of books, how do you account for plot changes you didn't foresee you had to do? For instance, I read that Elend was originally going to be a minor character, but the end of Mistborn wouldn't have been the same without him. How did you work him into the plot later on without breaking the story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    After I wrote the first book, and Elend grew more important in my mind, I reworked the three-book-outline. Usually, when I build a series, I spend a lot of time on the first book and then have a few paragraphs on the rest. Then, after finishing the first book and seeing how it worked (and how the tone was) I go and do much more in-depth outlines for the rest of the series.

    When the first book is happening, things are much more 'anything goes' as I don't have any established canon yet. I allow myself to toss the rest of the outlines out the window, and just try to make the first book the best it can be. From there, I have continuity, and I feel it is important to maintain that for the integrity of the series.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11271 Copy


    Hey Brandon! Thanks for doing this! My question has to do with Warbreaker 2 should you ever choose to write it. Will you be releasing it piece by piece and then in it's entirety for free online like you did with WB1?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I will be.


    Wait... what!? We already have Warbreaker 1 to recommend to friends as a free trial of your work.

    Not that I'm complaining, but why make W2 free too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because it was a part of the experience of writing the book for me. It is something I'd like to try again. (Releasing the book chapter by chapter as I write it.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11272 Copy


    You’ve mentioned some of the characters who we are going to see throughout the Stormlight Archive series (Shallan, Dalinar, Szeth, Jasnah, etc.). However, I don’t remember seeing you comment on Wit. Are we going to see Wit (or plain ol’ Hoid) more throughout the series? Or less? (Hopefully more! :D)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid has a large part of the story in the Stormlight Archive. You will be seeing much more of him. However, he will not get a 'book' of his own, most likely. He will get his own novels, just not among the Stormlight sequence.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11273 Copy


    You've also mentioned that in Elantris, there was more to Seon's than what came out in the book (as far as a magic system, I believe). When you have to omit something like this, do you still consider it canon to the story? For example, if you were to write a sequel, would you feel obligated to stick with the original magic system you put into place (but never published), or would you be fine with drawing up a whole new one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I consider the ideas around Seons to be canon, though I don't always canonize something that is not in the books. If it isn't on paper, I'm usually willing to change it as it needs to in order to fit. One issue, however, is that things like the Seons are part of the greater magic system of the Cosmere (which connects many of my works.) I can't change things too much, or I'll start contradicting myself. (Which I don't want to do.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2011 ()
    #11274 Copy


    The characters in Mistborn all have very French names. My girlfriend insists Vin's name is pronounced almost "Veh", as it would be in France, and I'm almost convinced. How do you pronounce it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Central Dominance is intentionally French sounding. I say Vin's name like an American would, but everyone in world would say it with a French accent. Same goes for Kelsier, (which they would say Kel-syay.) Again, I say it as an American would, but then I'm not from the Central Dominance.


    One further question on pronunciation- Sazed. Is it sayzd, sayzed, or sah-zahd? I always pictured the Terris people as somewhat Arabic so Sah-zahd came more naturally to me, but I'm curious as to what the intended pronunciation is.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I say Sayzed, as does Kelsier. The Terris a is not as harsh as that, but it's not quite a soft "a" either.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11276 Copy


    Here's the best I can do at what each of the dahns includes, without spoilers. Stuff in italics is unconfirmed but is reasonable to guess based on the information we have from the books and Brandon.

    • 1st Dahn: The King and the King's direct heir.
    • 2nd Dahn: Highprinces, their direct heirs, and the King's direct heir*.
    • 3rd Dahn: Generals?, Highlords, and the non-inheriting children of 1st and 2nd dahn lighteyes.
    • 4th Dahn: Battalionlords, Citylords, Shardbearers, and other mid-ranked nobles.
    • 5th Dahn: Companylords?, along with lower-ranked nobles.
    • 6th Dahn: Captainlords, along with the lowest-ranked nobles and landholders?
    • 7th Dahn: Lower-ranking landless officers, along with higher-ranking (or very wealthy) landless lighteyes?
    • 8th Dahn: Soldiers, along with high-ranking (or moderately wealthy) landless lighteyes?
    • 9th Dahn: Landless lighteyes with some wealth, like merchants and master craftsmen.
    • 10th Dahn: "Tenners", essentially any lighteyes who has to work for a living.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm very impressed by this list. You did a great job. Note that only the king is first Dahn under the Alethi system, however. His heir is second, until crowned. Sixth Dahn, as you've identified, is the "landed" cutoff--if you have land, even a little, you're at least Sixth Dahn.

    If you were of a specific dahn (say, seventh) but were elevated by something unusual (say, you got appointed to an appointment that would raise you above this) your children will often be elevated to a rank just beneath you. So, for instance, if a tenner got a shard, he'd immediately be elevated to fourth, and his family would likely be elevated to fifth.

    The only thing I'd offer a warning on is that sometimes, people shortcut "Captainlord" to just "Captain" which drives Peter crazy, and so it can be hard to pick out rank from title.


    That's interesting... so, is the dahn system new since Alethkar was unified? Or was it modified once they got a king? Or was it always this way, and there just used to not be someone at the 1st Dahn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kings existed in other places, and had existed in Alethkar before. (Dahn is a Vorin cultural ideal, not just Alethi.) So the system is not new, but for many years, the Alethi refused to accept a king. (Following the division of the kingdom among the Sunmaker's sons.)


    Oooooooh... fascinating. So, this implies that before Gavilar unified Alethkar, King Taravangian and the King of Jah Keved would both have been First Dahn, while the highest-ranked ten people in Alethkar were only Second Dahn. Interesting. In the interests of adding a few more names to the list of "known people of the First Dahn" on the Coppermind, would you be willing to confirm if King Taravangian (let's say at the start of the Way of Kings to avoid spoilers) was First Dahn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Traditionally, the monarchs of city-states (like Kharbranth, Bavland, and at some points Silnasen) do not claim the first dahn. There have been leaders of New Natanan who have, same with Herdaz. Depends on how much they want to aggravate the Alethi.

    Unification era, there'd be two people of the first dahn: The queen of Thaylenah and the king of Jah Keved. Non-vorin monarchs in the west would be treated like first dahn, sometimes, depending on the situation.


    Did we know that Thaylenah is currently ruled by a Queen, or is this a small tidbit you have just given us?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not sure if I've mentioned it or not, honestly. Queen Fen. You'll get to meet her soon. Note that Thaylenah is kind of a plutocracy, with merchant councils holding a lot of power, which changes its dynamic a little when compared to Alethi or Jah Keved.


    I see you may have sneakily included an explanation for the 4th/5th dahn thing I noticed in a certain father-daughter duo. I promise not to read too much into it....

    Brandon Sanderson

    Note that getting a Shardblade isn't the only reason someone could be elevated, and isn't the only reason why children might not be the same dahn as their parent. Most of it has to do with titles, and who inherits, and that sort of thing. The answer is probably more boring than you're hoping.


    Not sure if this is entering RAFO territory, but are highprince candidates (that is, people who can be elevated to highprince status if the post is empty) only people from the 3rd dahn? Or can a 4th dahn also be elevated to highprince, for example?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Highprince is a tricky one, as the definition of "highprince" is a person who can convince others to call him by the title. I guess that's the same for all of them, but as highprinces tend to be near the top of the pecking order, it's more about military than anything else.

    Gavilar was 4th dahn before becoming highprince, for example. His branch of the Kholin family wasn't considered a prime contender for the highprince throne--until he took it for himself.


    His branch of the Kholin family? Does this imply there are other branches of the Kholin family? Meaning, there are other Kholins elsewhere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, not as many as there once were...


    So if I'm understanding this correctly, before Gavilar's branch of the Kholin family started their conquest of Alethkar they conquered Kholinar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup. (There's some minor mention of this in Book Three, I believe.)

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11277 Copy


    Brandon Sanderson's city of Kharbranth from "The Way of Kings" looks jus tlike Positano, Italy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually wrote the book without a specific place in mind--just trying to build off of the setting, and create cities that would work with the highstorms. Once I gave the book to Isaac (my mapmaker) he went and looked for real-world inspirations for drawing out cities. I'm pretty sure this is one of them, though I'd have to grab him and get the photo references to know for certain.

    It was actually one of those gratifying moments, when something I've imagined and described turns out to not only be plausible--it turns out to have been done in our world.

    Standard disclaimer, though: It's totally possible I saw a picture like this at some point in my life, and drew inspiration without remembering.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11278 Copy


    Is all the chickens who are not chickens in Stormlight a big fat joke about [Terry Goodkind]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Loan words into Alethi (chicken, wine, hound, etc) are a little bit of linguistic worldbuilding I am using for quite a different reason...


    I'm guessing you aren't willing to elaborate on that point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Book three will make it clear, but it is not so hard to guess right now. I will avoid saying more until November.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11280 Copy


    One thing about the sex scenes (or hints of) between Vin and Elend that strikes me, and those I've discussed it with, as odd is that there seem to be no contraceptive in the Final Empire. That'd be the most logical conclusion, seeing as skaa raped by Noblemen needs to be killed, there seem to be no other way to handle it. But that means that, to our understanding of the character, Vin wouldn't have sex unless she actively wanted to get pregnant. She's all too paranoid in general to just leave a thing like that to chance it, even despite loving Elend. How does it work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are indeed contraceptives, but noblemen tend to not trust them. After all, they can be executed for making a mistake.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11281 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've watched this conversation with interest, and wasn't planning to step in, as it's exactly the sort of thread that's generally better without me. Author intervention can derail a good discussion.

    But after considering, I decided I did want to talk about this topic a little. There are two things going on here. One is the mistake I made with Jasnah in Words, which I've mentioned before. One is a larger discussion, relevant to the cosmere.

    Warning, WALL OF TEXT. This is me we're talking about.

    You see, Jasnah wasn't originally meant to be a fake-out. Jasnah originally was going to go with Shallan to the Shattered Plains--but she was really messing up the outline, diverting attention from Shallan's character arc and pointing it toward Shallan/Jasnah conflicts instead.

    My biggest breakthrough when outlining the book in detail was the realization that the book would work so much better if things I'd planned to do with Jasnah in it were diverted to later books. When that came together, WORDS really started working. Hence her jaunt into Shadesmar. I initially wrote the scenes with it being pretty clear to the reader that she was forced to escape--and it was super suspicious that there was no body.

    In drafting, however, early readers didn't like how obvious it was that Jasnah would be coming back. I made a crucial mistake by over-reacting to early feedback. I thought, "Well, I can make that more dramatic!" I employed some tools I've learned quite well, and turned that into a scene where the emotion is higher and the death is more powerful.

    HOWEVER, I did this without realizing how it mixed with other plotlines--specifically Szeth's resurrection.

    We get into sticky RAFO areas here, but one of the biggest themes of the Cosmere is Rebirth. The very first book (Elantris) starts with a character coming back from the dead. (As I've mentioned before, a big part of the inspiration for Elantris was a zombie story, from the viewpoint of the zombie.) Mistborn begins with Kelsier's rebirth following the Pits, and Warbreaker is about people literally called the Returned. (People who die, then come back as gods.) The Stormlight Archive kicks off with Kaladin's rebirth above the Honor Chasm, and Warbreaker is meant as a little foreshadowing toward the greater arc of the cosmere--that of the Shards of Adonalsium, who are held by ordinary people.

    Szeth's rebirth, with his soul incorrectly affixed to his body, is one of the things I've been very excited to explore in The Stormlight Archive--and the mistake with Jasnah was letting her return distract from that.

    That said, you're not wrong for disliking this theme--there's no "wrong" when it comes to artistic tastes. And I certainly wish I'd looked at the larger context of what happened when I shifted Jasnah's plot in book two. (Doubling down on "Jasnah is dead" for short term gain was far worse than realizing I should have gone with "Jasnah was forced to jump into Shadesmar, leaving Shallan alone." I consider not seeing that to be the biggest mistake I've made in The Stormlight Archive so far.)

    However, the story of the cosmere isn't really about who lives or dies. We established early on that there is an afterlife (or, at least, one of the most powerful beings in the cosmere believes there is--and he tends to be a trustworthy sort.) And multiple books are about people being resurrected. What I'm really interested in is what this does to people. Getting given a second try at life, being reborn as something new. (Or, in some cases, as something worse.) The story of the cosmere is about what you do with the time you have, and the implications of the power of deity being in the hands of ordinary people.

    More importantly (at least to me) I've always felt character deaths are actually somewhat narratively limp in stories. Perhaps it's our conditioning from things like Gandalf, Obi-Wan, and even Sherlock Holmes. But readers are always going to keep asking, "are they really dead?" And even if they stay dead, I can always jump back and tell more stories about them. The long cycle of comic books over-using resurrection has, I think, also jaded some of us to the idea of character death--but even without things like that, the reader knows they can always re-read the book. And that fan-fiction of the character living will exist. And that the author could always bring them back at any time. A death should still be a good death, mind you--and an author really shouldn't jerk people around, like I feel I did with Jasnah.

    But early on, I realized I'd either have to go one of two directions with the cosmere. Either I had to go with no resurrections ever, stay hard line, and build up death as something really, really important. Or I had to shift the conversation of the books to greater dangers, greater stakes, and (if possible) focus a little more on the journey, not the sudden stop at the end.

    I went with the latter. This isn't going to work for everyone. I'm fully aware of, and prepared for, the fact that things like Szeth coming back will ruin the stories for some readers. And I do admit, I've screwed it up in places. Hopefully, that will teach me better so that I can handle the theme delicately, and with strong narrative purpose behind the choices I make. But do warn you, there WILL be other resurrections in my books. (Though there are none planned for the near future. I took some extra care with the next few books, after feeling that things happening in Words and the Mistborn series in the last few years have hit the theme too hard.) This is a thing that I do, and a thing that I will continue to do. I consider it integral to the story I'm telling. Hopefully, in the future, I'll be able to achieve these acts with the weight and narrative complexity they deserve.

    If it helps, I have several built-in rules for this. The first is that actual cosmere resurrections (rather than just fake-outs, like I did with Jasnah) can happen only under certain circumstances, and have a pretty big cost to them. Both will become increasingly obvious through the course of the stories. The other rule is more meta. I generally tell myself that I only get one major fake-out, or one actual resurrection, per character. (And I obviously won't use either one for most characters.) This is more to keep myself from leaning on this narrative device too much, which I worry I'll naturally do, considering that I see this as a major theme of the books.


    (Sharders, please don't start asking me at signings who has had their "one death" so far. This is me drawing the curtain back a little on the process, I really don't want it to become an official thing that people focus on. Do feel free to talk about the mechanics of resurrection though--it should be pretty obvious now with Elantris, Warbreaker, Szeth, and a certain someone from Mistborn to use as guides.)

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11282 Copy


    Fishtank beads aren't spheres, they're ovoids. They aren't flat on any sides, they're just oval-based.

    This is a sphere that's flat on one side. Otherwise, the side of the sphere being flattened (since it's specifically only one side) would be pushed out to the sides, and it wouldn't end up being very circular at all.

    /u/mistborn, please lmk if I'm misunderstanding it, because I'm genuinely curious now.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, your image is close to what I imagined.

    Footnote: This discussion is about Rosharan spheres
    Sources: Reddit
    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11283 Copy


    If Wax/Marasi had worked out, he'd probably have been okay with it, for example.

    Was there ever a chance this was going to be the case?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there was a slight chance. It wasn't what I had planned, but even an outline writer like myself must be willing to change plans as a story adapts. So until a book is published, there's a chance things will change.

    However, in this case, the more I wrote, the more confident I was that this path was the right one.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11284 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I don't know how much I've talked about this, but there are two things going on with Wayne in regard to Steris.

    The first is that Wayne is a highly instinctive person. He DOES think, and more than people give him credit for, but he judges a lot of what he does by what his gut says. I've known people like this and they can be extremely charming, but have more trouble articulating why they might make a certain decision--or why they don't like a particular person.

    Wayne doesn't like Steris. She feels off to him, and his instincts say she's hiding something. Trouble is, his gut is misleading him in this case. Steris doesn't think and react like Wayne does, but it's not because she's hiding something--it's because she doesn't pick up on the same social cues that someone highly sociable like Wayne sees.

    There's a second issue here, and that's Wayne's over-protectiveness. Wayne tends to lump people in his head into "my mates" and "those other folks." Once you're "in" with him, he'll do basically anything for you. You'll never find a more loyal friend. At the same time, it's hard to get "in" with him--and if he perceives someone as "stealing" someone from him, he gets very defensive, even mean.

    He doesn't realize it, but his subconscious sees Steris as taking Wax away from him and--even more importantly--away from Lessie. He'd be belligerent toward anyone Wax started dating, but the fact that he gets lots of false positives off of Steris doesn't help one bit. If Wax/Marasi had worked out, he'd probably have been okay with it, for example.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11286 Copy


    Is it too early to ask if you'd continue with the story you made for the game?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have been tempted to do it as a graphic novel, if White Sand continues to be popular.

    For my part, I want to point out that Matt Scott was awesome to work with. He really did try to make this game--but we were trying during a time when original IP in video games was a dodgy thing to start with. Several console changes, the revolution in mobile gaming, and various issues on the business side meant we could never really get this going. But there was a never a problem with their vision, passion, or enthusiasm.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11287 Copy


    I think he is a bit hesitant to incorporate these stuff openly because he thinks that it might be perceived as tokenism. Do I have it right u/mistborn ?

    Edit: If Mr. Sanderson decides to show up; the deleted comment was about you mentioning one of your characters was gay but he didn't get a chance to date anyone yet therefore it is not really out there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's partially that, certainly. But in the case of Bridge Four, it's more about the fact that the guys just haven't had time to start many relationships. It's only been a few months, in-world time, between thinking they were doomed to having respectable jobs. Give the fellows some time. Most of the guys, gay or straight, are looking. (Excluding the married ones and the asexual one.)


    I hope I didn't offend, it was exaggeration for effect, nor do I think the lack of sexual depiction or even mention is done ham-fistedly, there's always a well formed, even subtle, reason WHY your characters don't tend to be particularly sexual, at least not the major POV characters, be it culture or circumstance, I've just noted that it's something of a theme, which I ascribed, perhaps erroneously, to "delicate mormon sensibilities".

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wasn't offended. I do tend to respond quickly to threads, however, so I know I can come across as terse sometimes. No worries.

    By way of conversation, you might enjoy a story from when I was writing the second Mistborn novel. My editor called me one day, and said, "All right. I can't figure it out. Are Vin and Elend having sex or not?" I said, "Of course they are. They've been together for over a year at this point." His response was, "Well, why not say so?"

    It was the first chance I had to vocalize something that I hadn't even really figured out myself--something that just felt like the right way to tell my stories. I explained that there were many readers, like my sister, who wanted to be able to pretend that the male lead and female lead in the story were going to do things the way she wanted them to, with a level of chastity that made no sense in the culture. There were other readers who would want to imagine wild Allomancer sex happening every night.

    In this case (though it may not be every case in my books) I felt it was best not to intrude as the author, as what was going on in the bedroom wasn't plot relevant. In addition, there was a certain...privacy I wanted to afford them, because of Vin's difficulty with intimacy in the first place. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, but while Wayne's sexual exploits can be front-and-center, it felt specifically wrong to go into Vin and Elend.

    That said, I'm totally a prude. The Daenerys chapters from A Game of Thrones, for example, were too much for me, and are a large part of why I didn't continue with the series despite thinking the first book was very well written.

    You should go listen to the Writing Excuses episode we did where we interviewed an erotica writer on how to write sex scenes. Mary spent basically the entire episode poking fun at me. (Though I'd like the record to stand that I was NOT blushing as much as she implies on the recording.)

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11288 Copy


    What is the final page count? The first two books were monsters (in the best way). I think part of what sets you apart from some other authors is that you're very transparent with your writing progress. The progress bars on your site, your updates on twitter, et cetera. Anyway, long story short, I am really freaking excited to read what's in store for everyone, and I may just re-read WoK and WoR to get back in the mood.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Words of Radiance was spring 2014, incredibly.

    Oathbringer would have been out last year, instead of this year, but the story went long. First draft was 520k words, compared to 300k words for TWoK and 400k words for [WoR]. However, in revisions, I buckled down and did some serious pruning for the good of the book--so Oathbringer is somewhere around 450k words now, going into final proofreads. November 14th drop date in the US.

    More and more, I'm certain I can't do these every two years, as I had originally hoped. They are to intricate, and I need to take a break from the world to let things simmer and brew between books. But we'll see.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #11289 Copy


    What is a lait?

    Used in Stormlight Archive "was in a lait"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's not an Earth loan-word. Like crem, it's transliterated, not translated. It roughly means, "A place where the storms are blocked." Generally, it means some kind of depression or location in the shadow of a larger rock formation.

    Stormlight Three Update #8 ()
    #11291 Copy


    Just wondering what color the book is and what are the glyphs on it for the hardcover version? (book one and two are blue and red and have the glyphs for justice and something else IIRC)

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is the Bondsmith book, so the color (yellow) and glyph should match that. (Theoretically.)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #11294 Copy


    Did you write Wayne as a sociopath? Or just troubled?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As usual, I prefer not to interfere with theories that people are making, to confirm or deny them. I WILL say this, however.

    The scenes where he interacts with Ranette and Allriandre are supposed to be uncomfortable, though I don't anticipate the average reader being able to pick out why. Anyone with any sort of experience with similar situations, however, will identify that something is deeply wrong with the way Wayne sees the world. His inability to understand boundaries, and his almost pathological need to PROVE that he's not a bad person any more, lead to him far, far overstepping. (His treatment of Steris is another example.)

    Wayne is trying. This is all what makes him work for me as a real character, not as just a goofy sidekick, but you shouldn't just laugh it off and say, "Oh, that Wayne." He is deeply troubled, and isolation in the roughs--with someone who just kind of let him do his thing--did not help.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #11295 Copy


    I have a question about the Everstorm.

    It appears the Parshendi kept singing long past the point necessary to summon the storm. It could be they didn't know when to stop, but there are other possibilities. Could the storm have been stopped or weakened if the Alethi armi had hit them earlier? Does the time they were stopped affect the number of Odium-spren in the storm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #11296 Copy


    I have to say though, I don't get annoyed by the fact that you want to write the side projects, but I do get perplexed by how big the State of the Sanderson is getting. You keep adding more things that I want to read, and it gets no closer to getting written! I've been waiting for a sequel to Warbreaker for 7 years now, and a sequel for the Rithmatist for over 3 years, and I've been getting excited about Silence Divine and Dark One for years just reading the chapters or descriptions you've read out at signings. Now you're adding a novel set on Threnody, and one on Silverlight?


    Brandon Sanderson

    Original Cosmere sequence (from around 2003 or so.)

    Core books:

    Dragonsteel (7 books)

    Mistborn (9 books)

    Stormlight (10 books)

    Elantris (3 books.)

    Secondary stories

    Unnamed Vasher prequel (1 book)

    White Sand (3 books)

    Unnamed Threnody novel. (1 book.)

    Aether of Night. (1 book.)

    Silence Divine (1 book.)

    This version was after I decided I'd trim back Aether of Night, but felt confident that Dragonsteel would be coming out soon. (I tried a rebuilt version of it in 2007.)

    By 2011, some things had changed. First, I'd rewritten Stormlight, and had sucked Bridge Four off of Yolen, following Dalinar (who had been moved to Roshar for the first draft of TWOK.) Warbreaker had been given a sequel. Dragonsteel, having lost the entire bridge four sequence, refocused to be more about Hoid and shrunk from seven books to between 3 and five, depending on what I decided needed to go there. Silverlight had grown from just a place I referenced to a place I wanted to do a complete story for. And, of course, Mistborn got another era. (Dark One also moved to the cosmere somewhere in here.)

    So, a lot of these have been brewing all along, and I haven't really been adding that many books--I've actually been shrinking the numbers as I feel certain things combine, and work better together than alone.

    I still suspect we'll end up in the 40 book range, but most of the new ideas for the cosmere I have, I try to limit to novellas so that we don't end up with too many promised books.


    Thanks for the answer! I'm going to go ahead and believe there are even more books hidden in your outline you've never talked about because that makes me feel better, especially something like Skyward (since I remember you saying that was YA).

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are, but I'm very aware of how much I've put on that list so far--so I've been trying to combine stories, or make others into novellas.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #11297 Copy


    Is Cephandrius the real name of the character who goes by different names on different planets?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but it's one of his earliest aliases.


    I'm positive this is RAFO bait but would one of Hoid's aliases possibly be Cephandrius?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is Cephandrius. It's less an alias and more a long term identity. If you read Dragonsteel, it is super obvious.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #11299 Copy


    Leras mentioned something like Cephandrius had the choice/chance to take up a shard but declined. So was the shattering an event that was predicted to happen so that people like Leras, Ati, Rayse, etc to be present at that time to pick up the shards after the shattering.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's more to it than that, but some of what you say is close.