Recent entries

    FAQFriday 2017 ()
    #11301 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had a pet animal that you could communicate with (just like dæmons in the trilogy His Dark Materials by Phillip Pullman) which animal would you choose?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Can I cheat and make an animal that doesn't exist? Because if so, I'd pick a dragon. Because then I'd have a cool animal to talk to AND I'd be the only person around with a DRAGON.

    If it has to be an animal that's real--a kind of spirit dragon--I would pick some kind of intelligent bird. A parrot or a raven. Something that can fly, do things I cannot, and look totally awesome sitting on my shoulder and glaring at people.

    Yar.

    FAQFriday 2017 ()
    #11302 Copy

    Questioner

    Are Hemalurgic spikes fabrials? Is a body that has been spiked a fabrial? Are koloss and kandra also something similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, actually.

    Fabrial means specifically a bit of Investiture that has been trapped by a gemstone and then modified to do something else. Hemalurgy is its own thing--though there is a slight similarity. In most Hemalurgy, Investiture keyed to the Identity of someone (a bit of a soul) is ripped off, and then magically grafted onto someone else's soul. Not the same, though I can see the confusion.

    Koloss and kandra are similar, though in this case, the soul is mostly just being distorted by using an Invested spike. In the cosmere, the body will attempt to match the soul, and so a twisted soul (Spiritual aspect of a person) can have profound effects on both mind and body.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #11303 Copy

    Questioner

    So how tough a decision is taking on Wheel of Time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was very tough. It uhh-- Man, I was-- I was scared. But I realized, after being offered it, if I said no and somebody else screwed it up, it would be partially my fault for being too cowardly to take it, right? Or too frightened or whatever. I don't know if it would be cowardly, but too timid? So I had to-- I eventually said yes because I figured, if someone is going to write it I want it to be me. Because at least I knew then a fan was in control.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #11304 Copy

    Questioner 1

    In Shadows of Self Paalm tells Wax she hasn't killed his father-- she hasn't killed his father yet. Is Wax's father still alive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, that was not who she was referencing.

    Questioner 1

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm.

    Questioner 1

    Was it Marasi's father?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um--

    Questioner 1

    Because that's who Wax assumed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, um--

    Questioner 1

    It was what he assumed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is what he assumed, yeah-- No no no no no! It's not what he assumed, sorry.

    Questioner 1

    Then she tells him she's not talking to him, so--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope, no, no. She is not talking-- she was talking about something else completely. Not Wax's father and not Marasi's father.

    Questioner 1

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, sorry. I had to work through that scene, that's why-- yes. There is a different reference there.

    Questioner 2

    Is it the one that it turns out to be? Is that what she was talking about, or is there more trick there that we don't know yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um-- It's-- No, don't work to hard on this one.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #11305 Copy

    Jennifer Liang

    Okay, so I think the question everybody wants to ask you all the time is, what are you working on right now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What am I working on right now. Well--

    Crowd

    *assorted cheers of Stormlight and other title*

    Jennifer Liang

    This isn't a vote. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I think they say that because they all know-- they watch the progress bars on the website. Which I actually put there early in my career, before I was-- As Dan, my friend Dan, Dan Wells-- he says "You used to be Brandon Sanderson. Now you're BRANDON SANDERSON." So before I was BRANDON SANDERSON I put those bars on the website because I was a Wheel of Time fan. And it helps so much to know how far along a book is, if you're waiting for it. I know not all authors work that way, so don't go harass other authors who do that. Some-- I have some friends who, y'know, if they-- The more they talk about the book to people, the harder it is for them to write. And so they get very closemouthed and quiet. And I am not that way, I am a very open person, so posting that up there gives me some kind of accountability in some ways. Like, alright the fans get to know what's going on--

    So I'm working on the third Stormlight book. *cheers and applause* That is currently 330 thousand words long. *cheers* Which, for comparison, the original Way of Kings was around 300 thousand and Words of Radiance was around 400. And so-- And it's only three-quarters the way done... *laughter* So I've prepared the publisher that they have to go through this again. Maybe I'll be able to get the future books in the series a little shorter. But this one is going to be a big one. Which I know you guys are so sad about. *laughter* I anticipate it being published about one year after I hit 100% on the first draft. So if you watch that progress bar, right when that ticks to 100, you're looking at about a one year period. I've been doing really well, momentum's being really good lately. And so I'm expecting that to be October, but just watch as that goes. It will slowly tick up. It's not ticking up right now because I'm actually doing revisions for Part 3 of the book. Which I'm doing the revisions as I write the book this time to get my editior-- Who's bipolar-- I give him the cha- parts when he's manic, so he revises them, and that let's us get through the periods where he's not manic. And he's manic right now, so I'm going to send him a part and be like "Okay Moshe, time to work on this." You just have to learn how to work the business this way when you've got an editor like Moshe. Book's going really well. This will have, most likely, Dalinar's flashback sequence in it, and I will be reading one of those at my reading tomorrow. *cheers*

    Which I like to read from those, because they take place before the first book so it's not a huge spoiler for people who haven't finished, like, Words of Radiance, or anything like that yet. Because it takes place before the series, but they're also very self-contained sequences. They read very well.

    DragonCon 2016 ()
    #11306 Copy

    Jennifer Liang

    Alright, so you guys all know who he is but I need to explain why I'm sitting next to him, for the majority of you who have never seen me before. I'm Jennifer Liang, and many years ago I was the Track Director for the Wheel of Time track here [at DragonCon]. *cheers* Awww... I've moved on to other things, I chair my own Wheel of Time convention [JordanCon] now, so if you are interested in that go look that up somewhere. But the reason that Brandon was first at DragonCon, eight years ago, was because I told him to be here.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was really scared. *laughter* See I knew Wheel of Time fandom, as a fan, and I knew how crazy they were. And so when, basically, the queen of Wheel of Time fandom wrote to me and said "You're going to come to DragonCon and talk to us." I was super nervous. I still remember it, I was talking to Jenn about it. I walk in and it was a room, pretty big, not as big , but packed with people. And I walked in and I'm like "I've never been in a panel this size before." right? "I'm used to going--" It was only that same year, I think it was, that I went to WorldCon and did a reading and there was only one person at my reading. *laughter* And it was Eric James Stone, my good friend. *laughter* They did schedule it opposite Lois Bujold's main address, which was part of the problem. But still, I went from one person in my reading to walking into a room like this. Full of a whole bunch of people who are like "You're not my real dad." *laughter*

    Jennifer Liang

    It was very weird hearing somebody who was not Robert Jordan talk about writing The Wheel of Time. Like it was really flipping us out at the time. But he-- you were good.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You were all very nice. Except for the-- The did this thing called... Darkfriend games, right? Are you a Darkfriend. Which is basically like Assassin, one of those party games where you sit around-- Except it's Wheel of Time themed. And they always murdered me, like first. *laughter* Right? Like that's how I knew there was a little bit of subconcious agression going on. We'd look up and they'd say "Who did the Villagers want to kill? Brandon." Every time. I was never the Darkfriend, but they killed me every time.

    Jennifer Liang

    It was funny. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a group of three of them in particular, that I remember, who kind of ganged up and got me. So I actually put them in, I think as Dreadlords, in the books and got them murdered. *laughter*

    Jennifer Liang

    They're extremely proud of themselves.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're very proud. They got in and murdered. So if you look for a conspicuous group of Dreadlords that get killed in a very terrible way, that's them.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #11307 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have another magic system that you haven't written about yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a ton. And, yeah, so there's some that are in the cosmere that I haven't yet gotten to, that I've got planned out. And there's some that I started writing a story on and didn't have time to finish. And I've got some weird settings. And-- yeah. So yes, there are a ton.

    Questioner

    Wow, that's so cool. Would you be able to share a little bit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well the most famous one that I've talked about before, so fans already know about it, is the one where people-- you gain magical talents based on diseases you catch. Like you get the common cold, you can fly while you have it, when you get over it-- it's the bacteria and viruses have evolved to give-- to interface with the magic to try and, you know, they want to keep you alive to let you spread the disease so they-- you get these powers. And that one's going to be very cool when I can write it.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11308 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Last question: Are you planning to come back to Poland somewhere soon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes but I don't know when, but I have to come to Warsaw Book Fair, my publisher has made it very clear I need to eventually, and you guys do keep bugging me so-- I'm sure it won't stop now that I've actually come. I have been to Spain like four times so--

    Bystander

    It's closer to States.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah it's so much closer.

    DrogaKrolow

    We'll definitely come back with some weird questions

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok great. We need a direct flight to Warsaw, that's what we need.

    Bystander

    From Salt Lake.

    Brandon Sanderson

    From Salt Lake. Yeah, not gonna happen. There is a direct flight to Paris so I'm in Paris and there’s a direct flight to London, so I end up both in London and Paris all the time.

    Bystander

    There is loads of flights from London to Warsaw.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Bystander

    To any city in Poland.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah but if there is no direct flight then I have to change planes.

    Bystander

    Jesus.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's hard.

    Bystander

    At Heathrow--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I know! Actually I changed this time in Amsterdam, that's a good airport, so easy to get around.

    DrogaKrolow

    How many hours did you spend traveling here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nine hours.

    DrogaKrolow

    Nine hours?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah-- Oh nine hours-- Sorry, nine hours on that flight to Amsterdam, and then two hours to Warsaw.

    Bystander

    Not bad.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, not that bad. Two hour layover, so total of 13 hours.

    I wrote a really bad short story that I don't think I will ever release. It's kind of dumb. So that still happens to me.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11309 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    How many more secret societies are on Roshar? What-- More of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a few but most of the ones you haven't found out about are either in countries you haven't gone to and spent much time with or they are offworld societies that are involved in Roshar. You know most of them.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11310 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    I need to ask, Dalinar lost his wife's name. I was talking about it with Klaudia yesterday and I need to ask, is it punishment or it's-- was it his wish?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    DrogaKrolow

    When will it be revealed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will be revealed in Oathbringer. You will get flashbacks of Dalinar going, you actually see him visit the Nightwatcher.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11311 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Do you have your favorite fan theory? You don't have to say if it's untrue or not, but--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Favorite fan theories. Oh wow. I'm always really curious about which two characters people like to "ship" together

    DrogaKrolow

    Shalladin!

    Brandon Sanderson

    That one would be pretty interesting. What else-- Favorite fan theories-- I've read a bunch of them that I just chuckle about, but some of them-- I mean it's a mark of pride for me when somebody gets it right. That means that I have done my foreshadowing well. The unfortunate part of that is, when it actually happens in the books there will be a whole lot "I knew it" rather than "Oh I'm so surprised". It's getting so hard to surprise you people. If I do my job right and I put in the foreshadowing then you will be able to guess things even though sometimes you guess things you are not supposed to be able to guess yet, because there is no foreshadowing. But yeah like there will be big revelations in Oathbringer that I think will blow the average reader's mind and the people who have been reading closer "Oh yeah, that. What they don't know that yet?"

    My favorite fan theories-- I can't think of one of the top of my head, I've heard some really good ones though.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11312 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    I think you are really active on the subreddit for The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am fairly active, the problem is every time I post I get like 300 hundred responses and I'm like "I can't respond to all of that I have to write books".

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11313 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    OK another one about programming the AonDor. Could you go lower-level, like assembler, so like you-- The AonDor would be higher so you go even deeper--*waves arms to illustrate*

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's gonna be more of a RAFO because to go deeper you have to know what's going on with the magic on Sel and I haven't revealed all of that and things like this. Like why the Aons or why the various symbols-- What's going on with all of that, I mean I think people are starting to guess it but I haven't really talked about it a lot so you would have to go, to get to that level I would have to give you information I don't wanna talk about right now.

    DrogaKrolow

    So that's a RAFO

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11314 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    Do you think that Oathbringer will be released faster than Winds of Winter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I guarantee it will be, because I have a publication day. Now I guess can't guarantee it because George could always just decide it's done and call the publisher and then they would probably-- they would publish it and they could probably pick the same day as mine and I'd have to be like "Oh no." But I think the chances that I will beat it are pretty good, I just hope that I don't beat the next one too, cause George's fans really deserve to get--  to get those last two books.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
    #11315 Copy

    DrogaKrolow

    This might be a really weird question, but how do you feel about killing your characters in books? Are getting sad, or angry, or you are just like you feel it just has to be done and "sorry, not sorry"--

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's kind of the last one, it has to be done. It's more along the lines of, this is what the character has been pushing toward and kinda demanding all along, and I will let them do what they feel they need to. I rarely feel like I actually kill off characters, I more feel like, characters take risks all the time and I can’t always pull the punches, once in a while I've just gotta let them pay the consequences.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #11316 Copy

    Questioner

    Who's your favorite character to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Usually the characters I look more-- forward to the most are the ones that are goofy.

    Questioner

    Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So like Wayne and Lift. Like, but not up to like-- Wit I-- is hard to write, right? It's the kind of wacky but don't have to be too clever characters that are most fun to write.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11317 Copy

    TheBlueShifting

    As a writer I love world building. However the detail and culture of your stories are so incredibly thought out. Do you storyboard and document all the family lines, kingdomes, traditions, languages, ect before hand or do these things evolve as you write them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the book and the worldbuilding element in question. I do some of each, and do more for longer series. I've done a lot more work on the languages of Stormlight, for example, than did on something like The Rithmatist, where I outlined the magic in detail but discovery wrote other parts of the setting.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11318 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    My big question right now, mostly because of wiki reasons, is whether the Team Sanderson has a system for naming Core Possibilities in the Reckonerverse. The reason I ask is because we on the Coppermind would just refer to different versions of Earth as "Earth (series name)" but that kind of broke down in Calamity where two Earths are relevant, and I'm guessing Apocalypse Guard will also have that issue. Can you help us out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will once I write Apocalypse Guard, which will have these notations. I don't want to canonize it right now, though, because I'm still working on the right terms.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11319 Copy

    Glorious_Infidel

    The part of Mistborn Era 1 that I absolutely loved was how the flower drawing made its way among characters, eventually allowing the Hero to place them on Scadrial again. How early was that little plot piece put into the outline? Did the idea for it come from somewhere in particular that you remember? Little details like this are what make me love your work and I just want to get an idea of where they came from.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The flower plot started as a way to characterize Kelsier. As I've talked about before, I generally start an outline, then write my way into characters with some actual chapters, then go back and finish the outline with these characters in mind.

    I knew I needed a way, after writing a few chapters of the book, to indicate to readers who might have missed it that this world has some strange ecology. Providing the picture of a flower, and talking about how strange it was to them (and the legends of it) became a method of showing this, but also showing Kelsier's feelings about Mare. Once I had it written into the book, I planned for it to show up other places, as a kind of visual reminder of what the characters were fighting for. (Even if the reader didn't quite understand how far it would go.)

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11320 Copy

    mmSNAKE

    There isn't anything story specific I'd want to ask, I wish to discover by reading. I was wondering if Stormlight Archive books are going to get a special edition limited prints from Subterranean Press, like some of your other work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Our plan is to do tenth anniversary books of all of the cosmere novels, though right now I plan to put the four Wax and Wayne books into two volumes. (So, sell them as two-in-one.) Likewise, it's possible that the Stormlight books will be better as two volumes each, sold in a slip case together, so that you don't risk ruining bindings by reading them.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11321 Copy

    ItsRainingBears

    Hi Brandon.

    Is there anything from one of your published books that you would go back and change/remove if you could?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tons of stuff.

    I'd better foreshadow Vin drawing on the mists at the end of Mistborn 1.

    I'd take another stab at Mat in Gathering Storm.

    I'd see if I could come up with something better for Fain at the end of AMoL.

    I'd change some things about Words of Radiance that would be spoilers to mention.

    But yes, there's lots I would change. I think it's best, for right now, to just let them be. Constant revision leads to madness.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11322 Copy

    Bradtholomew

    What is the origin of the name Kaladin?

    My wife and I recently had our first child and that's what we named him. Just curious if there's any story behind the name.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I use Arabic in some of the creation of Alethi names, and Kaled (or Khaled) was the root I started playing with to come up with a new name for Kaladin, as I didn't like the one I'd used in 2002. I'd already designed Kalak after this, the Herald, and wanted a common name version of this.

    When I arrived at Kaladin, it sounded right to me--likely because of the similarity to Paladin, as others noted below.

    Dragonsandman

    So if Kaladin's name is derived from Khaled, is it fair to assume that the Alethi language sounds similar to Arabic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alethi has some Hebrew to it too. I used Semitic language roots for the Dawnchant, which had a huge influence on Rosharan languages. While there are a few oddballs rules, and some linguistics that stand on their own, both major language groups on Roshar (the Azish family and the Vorin family) would probably sound very Arabic to you.

    For example, the Alethi Kh is a voiceless velar fricative. The Azish kk or q sound is a voiceless uvular, sometimes stop, sometimes an affricate. Sometimes a uvular ejective.

    No, I can't make those sounds on demand. Peter can, though. It's helpful to have a linguist on my team.

    Shin is its own language, as is Iriali.

    BeskarKomrk

    What can't Peter do? He seems to be an expert on everything!

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is amazing. But, in this case, he was a linguistics major in college. So there's a little extra amazingness from him in these areas.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11323 Copy

    sxeQ

    Given the chance, what stories would you like to write in the Wheel of Time universe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I felt it appropriate, I'd choose to finish the prequels. I'd write one about Tam going to war, and one about Moiraine and Lan's adventures leading up to visiting the Two Rivers. Those were two things Robert Jordan had talked about writing.

    He didn't leave much in the way of notes, though, so I don't think it would be right to do them.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11325 Copy

    Adontis

    I've always wondered, how do you determine where the line between "Word of Brandon" and "Read and Find Out" is? Has it ever caused issues where you've said something, but later that thing changed when it went into a book making your first statement now false?

    Thanks so much for writing as much as you do, I'm looking forward to all your upcoming books, keep up the great work!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Boy, this one is an art, not a science.

    I've several times said something that I later decided to change in a book. I've always got this idea in the back of my head that the books are canon, and things I say at signing aren't 100% canon. This is part because of a habit I have of falling back on things I decided years ago, then revised in notes after I realized they didn't work. My off-the-cuff instinct is still to go with what I had in my head for years, even when it's no longer canon.

    An example of this are Shardblades. In the first draft of TWoK in 2002, I had the mechanics of the weapons work in a specific way. (If you wanted to steal one from someone, you knock off the bonding gemstone, and it breaks the bond.) I later decided it was more dramatic if you couldn't steal a Shardblade that way--you had to kill the person or force them to relinquish the bond. It worked far better.

    But in Oathbringer, Peter had to remind me of that change, as I just kind of nonchalantly wrote into a scene a comment about knocking off a gemstone to steal a Shardblade. These things leak back in, as you might expect for a series I've been working on for some twenty years now--with lore being revised all along.

    So...short answer...yes, I've contradicted myself a number of times. I try very, very hard to let the books be the canon however. So you can default to them.

    As for what I answer and what I RAFO...it depends on how much I want to reveal at the moment, if I'm trying to preserve specific surprises, or if I just want people to focus on other things at the moment. Like I said, art and not science.

    damenleeturks

    In WoR, Navani muses to Dalinar about how the gemstones in the Blades could be the focus that allows the bond with the Blade to exist. If this theory is correct, it would follow that someone could damage that gemstone and thus be able to steal the Blade with it then having no intact bonding mechanism, right?

    I guess I'm having trouble seeing how the example you describe isn't possible.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The gemstone is needed to create the bond and operate the bond's functions. If you remove the gemstone, the person the sword is bonded to can't summon it or dismiss it to mist. But neither can anyone else. If they eventually pop another gemstone in and try to bond it themselves, they will fail, and the original person can then resummon their Blade. The bond is with the dead spren of the Blade, not with the gemstone. The stone facilitates the bond.

    So, you can haul around a de-gemstoned Blade with you all the time and successfully steal it that way. But this makes it very easy to steal back. You'd have to kill the holder of the bond in order to rebond it. Which is no different from usual.

    And in general, if you can get close enough to a Shardbearer to steal their Blade, you are also close enough to kill them anyway.

    Phantine

    So that scene where Dalinar crushes the gemstone and hands the Shardblade over, he's also doing some sort of mystical de-bonding?

    Or is it just 'if you WANT to give it up, you gave it up'?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Yes, if you want to give it up, you gave it up.

    Phantine

    If nobody is currently bonded to it, does the attuning still take a week?

    Otherwise it seems weird people would figure out putting a gemstone in hilt lets you summon it, since nothing would happen without a week of bonding time.

    ricree

    Not that weird. One of the books (WoK, I think) mentions that many years passed before the gemstone bonding was discovered. Shardblades were still really valuable, though, and even more vulnerable to theft, so it makes sense that people would have kept them close at hand long enough for the bonding process.

    Other than that, all you need is someone to accidentally decorate the blade correctly, which is something that took a long time to happen, but was probably bound to happen eventually considering how key infused gemstones are to the world.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Well said.

    /r/fantasy AMA 2017 ()
    #11326 Copy

    AryaGray

    Hi! I just finished Warbreaker, and I caught my mind that they have animals that exists on Earth (at least by the name, like monkeys, panther, and so). Is this a common thing in the all the planets of the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is common on many of the planets, though it is more likely to happen on a planet (or an ecosystem on a planet) created by Shards, as they're often basing the animal life on creatures they've seen before. That said, some planets with life predating the splintering had Earth-like ecosystems too.

    The writing answer is that this was a way for me to control learning curve in my series, so that I could have some (like Roshar) that take a lot of effort to get into, and others that are a little more easy to get into. This lets me save the really crazy worldbuilding for a few specific series.

    Warsaw signing ()
    #11327 Copy

    Questioner

    Thank you for finishing The Wheel of Time. How do you think it influenced your writing style? Did you adjust your writing style through The Wheel of Time to the original writing style of Robert Jordan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What an excellent question! So, when I first started working on The Wheel of Time, I tried to imitate his voice exactly, and it came off like parody. So, instead, I backed off on trying to imitate every word and instead I tried to match the character voices as best as I could, and this ended up working a lot better. I often say, it’s like the same actors, but a new director. It had huge effect on my writing as well. I had to lift heavy weights, so to speak, and I feel like I came out of The Wheel of Time being much better at juggling a lot of different smaller viewpoints and combining them into a whole.

    Warsaw signing ()
    #11328 Copy

    Questioner

    OK, so I haven’t read all of those books, but, judging by the books that I've read, one married couple is particularly important to you. Is it true?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I would say. This is in part because I think that stories ignore family a little too much. Too often, I feel that stories that I've read either ignore the family by making someone just an orphan with no family or ending the story when the heart stuff starts, such as being a couple.

    Questioner

    What does that have to do with Legion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, Stephen Leeds. Stephen Leeds has a very, very large family, he just makes most of them up.

    Warsaw signing ()
    #11329 Copy

    Rasarr

    Is Khriss on Roshar during The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Khriss is... RAFO.

    Questioner 2

    I'll follow up on that: Does that mean she's in Shadesmar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ehhhh... There's some trickiness with answering that.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Questioner

    How was it to do The Wheel of Time, how was it to finish the words of a giant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was scary. For those who don’t know the story, I did not apply to finish The Wheel of Time. I got a phone call out of the blue one day from Robert Jordan's widow, and what she said was exactly, I got her on the phone and she said, "I was wondering if you'd be willing to finish my husband's series." I was not expecting this at all, so I replied, "Arrrgggahhhhh." Seriously, I could barely speak. That night, I wrote her an email that said, "Dear Harriet, I promise I'm not an idiot." I was just so surprised, but I was also extremely honored. She asked me because she knew I had read all the books since I was young man, and I had this moment where I realized, if I screw this up, it is a big deal! But if I turn it down, and someone else screws it up, it’s a bigger deal. So, I said yes, because I figured, if he couldn’t do it, I at last wanted it in the hands of someone I knew cared.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Questioner

    Are there, in the Cosmere, any gas giants inhabited by people or other sentient beings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Actually on the gas giant?

    Questioner

    Or in their atmosphere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the actual atmosphere of the gas giant? I do not have any currently planned. There are gas giants with satellites.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Questioner

    With the genre becoming more mainstream with stuff like Game of Thrones opening the door, or like American Gods, which of your particular series, including Wheel of Time, would you like to see converted to big or small screen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is good question. A lot of people wonder the answer to this one, so I'm glad you asked it. It'll prevent me from having to answer it seven times or 70 times going through this line. As a basis for the question, we have sold the rights to almost everything. Hollywood is very good at buying properties, and very bad at actually doing anything with them. I sold Mistborn for the first time in like 2006. We're now on our third company who has bought the rights to Mistborn. But if I could pick anything, I would have Stormlight done as a Netflix Original Series. So, if your uncles are the Duffer brothers, have them call me. I should say that Stormlight is currently in development as a feature film. The screenplay has been turned in and it’s huge. So, we'll see if it can be cut down to feature length. If it can't, we will explore television shows, but the people who bought it want to try to make a feature film.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Oversleep

    Okay, so if we spiked a Listener with Feruchemical Nicrosil, could he store that spren and lose their form, and then bond another spren and then switch them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gonna give you your third RAFO, because he's already got two. In part, because I don't wanna give spoilers for Oathbringer, and this answer could spoil some little bits of that.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Questioner

    If someone out of Roshar knows the Immortal Words, and he's, for example, a kandra, can he become a Knight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, becoming a Knight Radiant is up to the spren, right? Saying the Ideals, swearing the oaths, these sorts of things, you have to convince a piece of sapient Investiture that you deserve it, and that's the main thing.

    Questioner

    And the kandra?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the kandra would have to lots of fast talking, and there are a few more difficulties involved, but this is theoretically possible. For instance, taking some pieces of Investiture offworld are difficult.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Questioner

    In The Emperor’s Soul, Forgery allows you to Forge your soul to create a different past. My question is, would on Scadrial burning gold in a controlled way allow you to do something like that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow, you guys are good. So, they are similar but different. I would say that no, gold is not gonna do this exact thing. They're working from the same fundamental roots, but gold is a lot more bounded in what it can accomplish.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Questioner

    What was the very most fun writing Legion? Was it writing aspects, or creating each of the new aspects, or was it thinking up the twists, or maybe thinking up crazy stuff like a hallucination with a hallucination?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, so the most fun for Legion... I don't know if I can say specifically what was the most fun, there were a lot of things which I'll go into. One thing that was really fun to me was this idea of coming up with a detective who was themselves more of a middle manager than a hero. A lot of detectives or people are these action stars, these Tom Cruise types, and I instead wanted this guy to just be a manager who kept all these other crazy hallucinations targeted on the right thing. But I also wanted the Legion stories to have some sort of science fiction element to them. Because I always point out: "Why not have some sci-fi or fantasy?" They always make a story better to me. So I’d say the idea that first made me want to write the Legion story was the idea of a camera that could take pictures in the past.

    Warsaw signing ()
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    Questioner

    So my question is how'd you create the Legion *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh! Good question! So, Legion is a lot of fun, and it's very weird. What happened is, I really do think, as a writer, I have all these weird voices in my head who are telling me to do different things.

    One day, I was talking to a friend of mine who writes a lot of psychological horror, and I was talking about schizophrenia, and I said, "Hey, what if all those voices helped you out instead of drove you crazy?" And he said, "That doesn't sound like a horror story. That sounds like a fantasy story, you should write that." So I did.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    The last one, a bit offtop, Me and Klaudia-- We dream about becoming a fantasy writer. I'm sure she's wondering too: how does it feel when your first book was published...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Man that's so hard to define. I'm a writer, I should be able to do this, but it was amazing. It's validation for having spent twenty years trying to learn how to do this. Maybe not twenty. Fifteen years trying to learn how to do this. At the same time, theoretically in some way it's also just a released breath. Okay it happened. It worked. But at the end, you write for yourself. I don't know if you guys have heard this story; I've told it before, but I had a really down point in my writing career before I got published. 

    DrogaKrolow

    Yes the four hundred-- uh, when you sold Elantris.

    Brandon Sanderson

    See, when I was trying to get published, everyone was telling me you need to be more like George RR Martin. They really did. They'd say that, and they would also say my books are too long. So they would tell me these two things. You need to be more like George Martin and your books are too long. They were all looking for Joe Abercrombie. That's who they wanted to find, right? They wanted short, brutal books. And Joe's a great writer, so there's nothing wrong with that, but that's not me. And I tried doing that. That's what Final Empire Prime and Mistborn Prime--unpublished novels--were. I took some of my ideas and I tried to write something more Joe Abercrombie-esque, even though Joe hadn't been published then. So it was just a short, sort of grimdark thing, and they were terrible. They were absolutely terrible. And so I sat back and I'm like, "Okay, nobody wants to read what I'm writing, but if I try to write what they say to write, it turns out to be a terrible book. Should I just give up?"

    And I thought about that for a while and I eventually came to the decision: I'm not writing for them. I'm writing for me. That's the point. And if I die at age 90--let's say age 100 *laughter*--and I have 150 unpublished books in my closet, then I'm a success, because I kept writing, because that's what's important, was enjoying and loving that process. Even if I never got published, I wanted to be that person. And that's when I sat down and wrote The Way of Kings [Prime], which was my proverbial flipping the bird at the industry. I said, if you say my books are too long, I'm writing one twice as long. If you say my books are not George Martin enough, I'm going to go the complete opposite direction. High magic, high fantasy, all the awesome stuff. Knights in magical power armor. All of this stuff. And I wrote that book fully expecting no one would ever publish it. And that's when I got the call from an editor buying Elantris, which I'd written five years before at that point. It might have been four years, but you know. 

    But when Elantris came out, I'd already made the decision that I'm a writer, no matter, I don't give up. I write for me. And so in some ways it was hugely relieving and thrilling. But in some ways the more important decision had already been made. I was a writer, and I didn't need that validation to be a writer. Because the only one that says whether or not I'm a writer is me. I get up every day and I do it.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    OK, I’ve got a question about AonDor.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ok.

    DrogaKrolow

    So it's a lot like functional programing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    And my question is: could you write a higher-level language of programming with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    DrogaKrolow

    Oh...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. But. Only an Elantrian could make it, like, work, right? Not compile but could execute the function. They would have to type it out and execute it. Like if you were just-- Even if you just gave it to them, they would have to retype it and go. But yes, you could.

    DrogaKrolow

    Couldn't you like-- Is there an Aon for define, definition? So like you could go and define some really long sequence of Aons and then assign it to a simple shape.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right.

    DrogaKrolow

    Then draw the symbol, and would it work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right right, object-oriented. This is realistically plausible, you would have to write all this stuff and call the function and have this constantly in a state of kinetic Investiture. But that is reasonable. I mean it's not so far off from things they actually did with much fewer-- much fewer lines of code, if you wish, in the past. It's what Elantris itself was.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    We have this one bizarre question, that actually was really, really weird but we have to know it.

    There was a question about Siamese twins. If they were born gold Feruchemists, and they they were split apart, would they like, form together again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uhhhnn... It depends on how they view themselves

    DrogaKrolow

    That's the answer to every question like that!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right! But that's the whole point of the cosmere is that-- Spiritual Realm is filtered through the Cognitive Realm to the Physical Realm, right? And this lens is going to filter how things work. Perception is really important in the cosmere. That's where most of these things come from, and so-- Yeah that is the answer to everything. But that's the point of the answer to everything, is that there aren't a lot of hard and fast rules when it comes to a lot of these things, with Identity and whatnot is going be filtered through perception.

    DrogaKrolow

    So it is technically possible for them, if they are seeing each other as one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right.

    DrogaKrolow

    So we can--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now the big hard question is, what if one of them views them as one and one of them doesn't?

    DrogaKrolow

    Oh.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aaaaoooohhh! Then it depends on who's using the magic.

    DrogaKrolow

    What if both of them are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Both of them what? Are gold? If both of them are healing and one doesn't want to and one does, magic's gonna cancel each other out and nothing will happen.

    DrogaKrolow

    Ok.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. Yeah I made your question harder and weirder.

    DrogaKrolow

    Well it was a very logical answer to a very unlogical question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I've had to answer a lot of these. My feeling is that if I can make the fundamental magic principles work then you can answer those questions rationally but really what you would have to do is-- Even I'm not the expert on these things. Like I'm the ultimate word in some ways but in another ways the answer would be "I don't know, let's have a thought experiment and if it ever comes up, try it out and see what happens". But yeah, there you go. There is my best answer to you.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    Few days ago I was in my family home to take some books for tomorrow's signing and my grandma which was reading The Way of Kings couldn't let me because she was somewhere in the middle and she was... taken by it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent, happy to hear that. How many, how many of the older generation in Poland read fantasy novels?

    DrogaKrolow

    I don't know, my mom does.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Your mom does?

    DrogaKrolow

    Your mom is probably not that old.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Your mom is probably my age so yeah.

    DrogaKrolow

    I think it's more the-- It seems so a lot of old generation reads fantasy in Poland, its involving all the time.

    My parents think these are just fairy tales not worth telling.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What's that? Your mom does? That's ok, my parents were very, very scared. They wanted a doctor and I changed to write fantasy novels. They were very scared for me. They were like "What are you doing?" Now, they don't complain at all.

    DrogaKrolow

    My grandma was scared at first too when I gave her Mistborn and she likes it the best I think.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent, I'm happy to hear that. Good job spreading the word to your grandma.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    Who do you think is that we’re way too young to understand? Star Wars but I was thinking-- What do you think about the target of your readers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My target audience? I write primarily for myself as a fan of fantasy genre. I trust my instincts as a reader, I read a lot. I read what other people are doing. And my primary audience is "What awesome book is nobody writing that I could write?" And so I don't know that I have-- I focus too much on that. I think madness lies in that direction, so-- I do appreciate my readers. I do rub my hands thinking "Ooooh they are gonna love this part" but at the end of the day I'm just writing the book I want to read.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    Speaking about other movies, do you have your favorites?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Favorite films? Picking favorites is always so hard. In recent years I really liked-- I don't know if it's my favorite-- but I really liked Live.Die.Repeat./Edge of Tomorrow.

    DrogaKrolow

    The book is better.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The book is better? I really liked that. I really liked Lincoln. I mean, it’s not science-fiction/fantasy but I really liked that-- Classics, Fifth Element, it's like my go-to guilty pleasure space opera, I really like that. I really like the movie Gattaca… You guys ever seen Gattaca? Gattaca is good movie. It's an oldie now but it's great. It's a science-fiction. What else have I really liked? I like Chris Nolan's movies, I like them all.

    DrogaKrolow

    Inception.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Inception would be my favorite, I think. Though I really like The Prestige also. But on that one the book is legitimately better, also. But Prestige turned out very well.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    If you were choosing-- If someone messaged you that they wanted you to end a series that was not ended before, because the author died. Some other author, OK? Would you agree once again to end a series that wasn’t ended?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would depend on the situation. There are very few authors I have read as much as Robert Jordan and that I felt my style was a good match to. I would have to feel like I was a good match and that I was needed and it's a job that someone else couldn't do. I don't know that I could think of any authors that that’s the case for right now. But if I could go back in time and rewrite the prequel Star Wars movies for George Lucas I would do it.

    DrogaKrolow

    What would you improve in the prequels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, everything? I don't know if I would be able to fix it because that's hubris but I sure would've liked a stab at it. You know, as many people...

    DrogaKrolow

    Couldn't agree more.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mean, George Lucas has lots of talents but the stories do not come together very well for me. I was there opening night. You guys are too young to know what it was to go wait in line overnight and go to The Phantom Menace and be like "hmm…" after waiting so long. If I were to continue anyone else's legacy I would go back in time to rewrite those scripts when George Lucas wasn't looking.

    DrogaKrolow.pl interview ()
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    DrogaKrolow

    Will there be some other books concerned with the Wheel of Time maybe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Chances are not good. I feel that Robert Jordan didn't want there to be more-- And I'm not the final decision maker on that, Harriet is, but I've mentioned to her that I don't feel it would be right to continue doing [Wheel of Time] books. So I don't think it's likely. If she decides that she wants more that's certainly not my place to say that she can't, or things. But I don't think I would write anymore just because I feel like he wanted it to be an ending. If he were still around, he would've written more. But I don't think he would want me to.