Recent entries

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1101 Copy

    Andrassy

    If atium is a metal that is relevant throughout the Cosmere, which seems to be the case from your comment, then it could have special properties that go beyond its use in allomancy, so that this metal that is relevant to everything doesn't only feel useful in Mistborn.

    I'd be interested to know, for instance, if it's at all useful in the forging of weapons or whatever. Anyway I dunno I'm just a very early reader and I'm already trying to give the author ideas, but from my perspective I don't see why atium not being used by all allomancers is a big problem. The usefulness of atium could go way beyond allomancy perhaps.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does! And yes, atium weapons would be very useful (even atium alloy) for doing things like resisting Shardblades. So there is quite a bit of application.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1102 Copy

    DataLoreHD

    The Original (audio book) release date, and an unexpected new story!!!

    The Original. Author(s): Brandon Sanderson, Mary Robinette Kowal. Released: Sep 14, 2020

    Stephen Leeds: Death & Faxes. Author(s): Brandon Sanderson. Released: Sep 01, 2021

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are official. We're trying some new things.

    The Original, which I wrote with Mary Robinette, was a true collaboration. I pitched an idea and an outline, Mary Robinette did the first draft, I did a pass myself, then she did the final touches. It turned out great.

    With Legion, I' wanted to try something different. I've got a partner in Hollywood, and since I've had so much trouble getting a Stephen Leeds television show made, I figured we'd try it as an audiobook series. Basically, we got a writer's room, brainstormed some ideas, and are treating this like a pilot to a "television show" but only audiobook.

    This means I'll be overseeing the project like a show runner, but won't be writing the individual "episodes." We're only doing this first one as a try-out to see what fans think of this process.

    SageOfTheWise

    Does that mean the Legion audio is a reboot or sorts or is it still a continuation from the books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More a continuation, not really a reboot, but not happening after the third novella. More like, "From the case files of" sort of thing.

    dIvorrap

    What about the two "Dark One" titles: Dark One: Prophetic Histories and Dark One: Forgotten?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These are just in the concept stage, but we're getting closer to making them. Dark One is being made into a television show, but I don't have a lot of power over how/when that will happen--so we are doing the graphic novel. Separately from that, we're going to do a couple of audio dramas. One will take my outline and make it into a novel. The other is this wacky idea I had for a "Serial" style podcast, with a journalist tracking a killer, which ties into all of this. Forgotten is that.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1103 Copy

    VorpalAuroch

    It's a good call in the abstract but the choice of character to genderswap is not great. Docks, sure, but I'd rather have Ham stay male (and, superficially, stereotypical), and swap any/all of Clubs, Marsh, and Yeden instead.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I understand this complaint, though you might want to look at the post I made just before this one in another thread.

    Nothing is set in stone, but we need to imagine the Mistborn film as an alternate version of the cosmere, hopefully as close in heart as the MCU to the comics--but distant in some specific choices. In this case, Ham is working really well changed. Remember, you're only going to have a few comments from him/her in the film. The real place to get to know the character will be in the television show that goes between movies one and three (assuming this plan actually plays out--which it might not.)

    taviow

    If a TV show is successful, then it gets renewed. If Books 1 & 3 are already planned to be movies, what do you do with the TV series when, hopefully the show being a big hit, the network renews it for further seasons? Is there additional plot to be explored between books 2 and 3 somehow? Or did I misunderstand what you were talking about entirely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there is a lot of buzz in Hollywood right now about integrated television and film properties. Further seasons, if this all works, would be Secret History blending into the time between Eras one and Two.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1104 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, one thing I think I did wrong in the books was not having more allomancer guards and soldiers who were women. I don't think our same gender norms would be the case on Scadrial.

    One of the [screenplay] revisions is this: Shan is no longer Elend's fiance, but his sister. Their father has left on business to the outer domninances, and so Shan is making a play to secure the heirship, trying to prove she is more bold and strong than her brother. This is what gives the team an opening, and why they're striking now with the heist, as in this version, House Venture maintains the city policing and has access to the atium stash.

    The plan is to put a few Allomancers (including Ham) into the Venture house guard, and exploit Shan's desire to prove herself by creating chaos in the city that she'll think she needs to put down with decisive action. That will involve her pulling out the atium stash, which will in turn let the team know where to go to rob them.

    It streamlines the book's story in some elegant ways to do this. Shan becomes the primary "mark" of the book, in many ways. It also lets me explain a little more succinctly what various members of the crew are doing in the background while we focus on Vin, who is to get close to Shan as a confidant--which is why she's sent to the parties. And why Shan being a brat to her isn't just annoying, it means a major part of the plan isn't yet in place.

    It explains way better, in my opinion, why Shan would act against Elend. It's all clicking into place as I move pieces around. That said, I understand those who want a Television show. I could see going that way, perhaps.

    Trouble is, nobody in streaming needs a big fantasy property. Anywhere I go right now, I'd be in a distant second or third place to Tolkien, WoT, Witcher, or Kingkiller. The offers I've gotten have been for a fraction of the budget of those shows--since everyone has already spent big money on their big fantasy show, and isn't really interested in another.

    I'm confident feature is the place I want Mistborn; but even if I weren't, I'm not thrilled by the idea of being lost on Netflix as their "other" fantasy show.

    Rapharasium

    I don't know if I'm being negative, but these changes really worry and disappoint me. I really like Era 1 as it is, and all this change in the dynamics of society and the plot as too drastic.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This isn't negative; I understand this response, and think it's valid.

    At the same time, I'm of the personal philosophy that a film should generally be a different beast than a book--a book can lean into the little intricacies of a story, while a film should be a bold but unified statement.

    Nothing will happen to the books; those will remain the same. But if I want this film to work as a film, I believe I need to be willing to re-imagine parts of the story.

    Mycroft_canner

    With Elend having a sister does that mean you don’t need the Zane plot anymore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's from the second book--so it would be in the television show, and we'd likely still do it.

    DataLoreHD

    prove she is more bold and strong than her brother

    Which brother?It certainly could not be Elend, right? Elend had no Allomancy powers (before he ate the lerasium in WoA), so Straff despised Elend and thought him too weak.And Zane was a bastard and also mad dog.If Shan was Straff's legitimate daughter, then her succession was already 100% secure. She wouldn't need to prove anything to anybody.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will be Elend, but it's more that this is the first time that Shan gets to be on her own, leading by herself, and wants to show off for the Lord Ruler. Also, there's the question of whether the male heir--though inferior in this case--might get the nod for sexism reasons. I think it's going to work just fine, but I'll admit, it's getting a little rough to discuss all these details on a thread like this--I can't answer everyone's questions, I'm afraid. I just wanted to indicate the kinds of changes I'm looking at making.

    Whatever I do will go through my standard "show it to tons of beta readers and get feedback" process, so I should be able to catch problems and fix them.

    meh84f

    The bit about atium is a bit confusing. The Ventures are going to have the Atium stash? Not the stash that we don’t find until the end I’m assuming? So it’ll be a stash but much smaller than expected?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I'm not sure I can explain it all in this, but one big change I wished I'd made from the start of Mistborn is making atium usable by all Allomancers. As I've gotten further in the cosmere, using a god metal as just for Mistborn has felt off.

    So the lore change for the films will mean any Allomancer can use atium. This, in turn, lets House Venture have access to the LR's atium as a "Control the city" last resort. They keep a task force of allomancers for this purpose--which Ham can join, in anticipation of being able to steal it once Shan accesses it. (They don't know that House Venture is only given about a hundred beads of atium, not access to the full mythical cache, which will be reserved for the third movie.)

    Makes the worldbuilding and storytelling more elegant, I've found, in the film. And it fits better with more "modern" cosmere fundamentals as have developed over the last decade. I think I'd make this change even if we moved to a television show and long form.

    The Lord Ruler is still the "big bad" but Shan and the Inquisitors both get a little more screen time. (Actually, about the same as in the books--it's just that other parts are being trimmed, making them more front-and-center.)

    Phantine

    Based on that, you're also streamlining away the Sign of Sixteen if it gets a sequel? To be honest, that didn't really work for me in the novel anyway.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's one of my least favorite parts of the trilogy. It (along with Vin drawing upon the mists in book one) are big changes I'm hoping to make to fix weaker sections of the continuity.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1106 Copy

    CephandriusTW

    Stormfather once said that "Three of sixteen ruled but now the Broken One reigns" and that "Odium reigns", is not crazy to think that Odium is the Broken One. My question is, could be possible to fuse Odium's shard (without Rayse) with the remanents of Honor (his Cognitive Shadow) in order to create a new whole Shard? Could Dalinar do something like that? He would be uniting them (two Shards, one of them supposed to be the Broken One and the other that we actually now is a bit broken).

    Brandon Sanderson

    [That] is possible

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1108 Copy

    twiztedterry

    I'm pretty sure that /u/mistborn worked with brotherwise on this game [Call to Adventure: Stormlight Archive], and probably had some say in the artwork.

    Hopefully he sees this, and takes a moment to respond, I really wonder if this just flew under the radar, or if there's a reason that Rock has a different skin color than the rest of his peak.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They worked with my team--but I personally didn't have time to oversee all of the art.

    Getting a lot of the characters' skin tones has been a challenge, as I'm often vague in the books. Rock is a good example; Shallan gets her paler skin and hair from the Horneaters, so a lot of people assume the Horneaters are Irish-looking, though I've intended them to be a variety of skin tones. So while it's not inappropriate to draw Horneaters light skinned (and a lot of fanart does) I intended Rock to have a bronzer tan skin.

    The thing is, it doesn't quite look Alethi either, so they'll describe him through their eyes as looking "tan." It's a skin tone they don't really have, though, so there are passages an artist could look at and assume, "Oh, this guy is white, like Szeth" because of my descriptions, which are at times less specific than I should have made them.

    So yes, failing on our part, but don't blame the artist--I'm sure there are places in the books that they drew on to get this description.

    twiztedterry

    Would you say Rock's skin is closer to a Native American, or would it be lighter, like a Pacific Islander?

    My internal depiction has always placed him closer to native american skin tone.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I envision native American. Where the Alethi tend to run the range between someone who would look Asian to us (though the Vedens are more that skin tone) all the way through to Indian (actual Indians) skin tones. They'd look at Rock and say, "That's a tan" or "that's bronze." It's obviously not Alethi, but the words "light" and "dark" don't really work for the descriptions the way I want--in fact, a lot of the ways in literature we've talked about skin tones through history has been...well, pretty racist. It's sometimes a challenge to navigate this, my own biases, and the problems that come when working with a culture, like the Alethi, who are also pretty racist.

    botanicaxu

    Rock actually sputtered, an amusing mixture of indignation and incredulity, bringing a red cast to his light Horneater skin.

    Though this sentence from Words of Radiance chapter 46 is what used to make me think Rock has lighter skin and it's from Kaladin's PoV. So it doesn't necessarily mean he actually has skin color close to pale/fair one, but just a bit lighter than Kaladin himself (or normal Alethi)'s tan color?

    P.S. Sort of a fanart question: Do Rock's family members all have bronzer tan skin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's one of the ones. So I try to walk a line with Rock, where he doesn't have an Alethi skin tone, but a Horneater one--which is why I blame myself for the interpretations here. I haven't been the most clear.

    Oh, and for your P.S. Yes, they should. I imagine them bronzer than him.

    Miscellaneous 2020 ()
    #1110 Copy

    Christopher Paolini

    Without spoilers, what can readers look forward to? [In Rhythm of War]

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a character moment that was one of the pillars of my outline from the very beginning. This scene that I was working on. There were only two or three scenes that were core pillars. My beta readers feel like it landed. There won’t be a moment like this again until Book 7 or 8.

    Miscellaneous 2020 ()
    #1111 Copy

    Isaac Stewart

    It’s been a dream of ours here at Dragonsteel to get to work with Donato on a piece of epic fantasy art depicting a scene or character from one of Brandon’s books. We were admirers of Donato’s work even before he created the illustration for “Firstborn” on Tor.com, and wow, did he create something beautiful there. So when Brandon came to me with the idea of paintings of all ten Heralds from the Stormlight Archive, the first person that came to both of our minds was Donato.

    And again, Donato has knocked this one out of the park. His rendition of Taln (Talenelat’Elin) is gorgeous. It strikes the right balance between realism and symbolism, and gives us a heroic, yet tormented, version of this beloved Herald. We love what Donato has done!

    We have several paintings of the Heralds in the works, so this one is likely to appear on the end pages of this book or the next, depending on which Heralds we feel look good together and best represent the themes of the books.

    Miscellaneous 2020 ()
    #1112 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The time has come! Though I’ve had an instinct for many months that the title of Book Four would be Rhythm of War, I had to make certain it fit into the last chapters of the book as I wrote them.

    Indeed it does, and I feel comfortable announcing this at long last as the official title of the book. Like previous titles in this series (The Way of Kings, Words of Radiance, and Oathbringer) this one is taken from the title of an in-world volume of text. To tell you more would, of course, be a spoiler. Let’s just say that this is the first of one of these in-world books that has involved the writings of someone who is not human.

    I’m hard at work on revisions, and am excited for the end of the year—when I can finally share Rhythm of War with you all!

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1113 Copy

    Adam Horne

    They want to know who your favorite character of Brandon's is.

    Emily Sanderson

    Oh, favorite character of Brandon's.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stick. *laughter*

    Emily Sanderson

    No, I really like Lift. I'm enjoying Jasnah quite a bit.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you don't get a lot of Jasnah in these early books though, unfortunately. There's a couple Jasnah viewpoints in the new book [Stormlight 4], so that's good. You'll get a little Jasnah, but you really aren't going to get a lot of Jasnah for a while.

    Emily Sanderson

    I kind of think... It's hard because it's like whichever one I happen to be reading at the time is my favorite. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's what Robert Jordan said, when someone asked him who his favorite character was, is, "Whoever I'm writing right now."

    Emily Sanderson

    It's kind of true though. Whoever I'm reading right now, I'm like, "Oh, I love this character." I read a Kaladin chapter and I'm like, "I love Kaladin." Then I read a Dalinar chapter.

    Adam Horne

    Did you say who your least favorite character was?

    Emily Sanderson

    My least favorite character? Can I choose Padan Fain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Padan Fain, Padan Fain.

    Emily Sanderson

    He's not technically one of your characters.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's very hateable. He's pretty despicable.

    Emily Sanderson

    Moash is pretty despicable, but I don't know that he's my least favorite.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1114 Copy

    calvinist-batman

    In the last SoS, Brandon mentioned that a new Audible original called "The Original" was coming out soon that he wrote with Mary Robinette Kowal. I haven't seen any news of it in the last six months. Does anyone know anything about it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The publisher decided they wanted it to come out later this year, rather than earlier. I'm still a little baffled as to why. I think they're looking at August right now?

    Audio original, though it's not published by Audible. (I think it should be still available there; I just did it with a different company, one I've worked with before. For the record, the only ones Audible has published directly are the Reckoners and Skyward.)

    This one isn't full cast, but does have some audio mixing and the like, with a little original music.

    General Reddit 2020 ()
    #1115 Copy

    CephandriusTW

    We know for previous WoBs that Truthwatchers are worried about knowledge and helping people with it (wob#8500). In the test you recently released, the new info about them says that they are worried about the use of the knowledge and the leaders trying to deceive the people they lead. So, I think they have some things in common with Windrunners and Edgedancers, because the three Orders are more worried about the common people than about the elite. Protecting those who can not protect themselves, remembering those who had been forgotten; both of this Second Ideals refers to the common people, that people that the leaders don't really care about.

    Considering all of this, and following the example of the Second Ideal of Windrunners and Edgedancers, which are the most worried about the common people with no epic powers, I wrote a theoric PURE (without corrupted sprens like Glysn) Second Ideal for Truthwatchers:

    "I will seek truth, to prevent others from being deceived."

    I know you are RAFO'ing this, but I would only like to know if my approach of the Truthwatchers Order is correct.

    Brandon Sanderson

    [That] is, I'm afraid, a RAFO as I don't want to talk too much about the oaths of given orders until I write books about those orders, as it would constrain the story a little too much. Your theorizing is sound, however.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1116 Copy

    Questioner

    (To Emily Sanderson) Which of Brandon's books did you like least or were the biggest critic of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh boy! Which one would that be? Which one didn't you like?

    Emily Sanderson

    I wasn't super fond of Snapshot honestly.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Snapshot is a little brutal for Emily.

    Emily Sanderson

    Yeah, its a bit much.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I could have guessed that.

    Emily Sanderson

    Some of the fight scenes in Mistborn are too violent for me too.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You didn't particularly like Dreamer did you? *Emily hmmms* You were okay with Dreamer?

    Emily Sanderson

    I was okay with Dreamer. Perfect State was kind-of...not my favorite. A lot of people have a hard time with Alcatraz and I love Alcatraz. It's kind of a love it or hate it. I'm in the love it camp for sure.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1117 Copy

    Questioner

    Emily, what is your personal favorite of Brandon's books?

    Emily Sanderson

    That's hard. I kind-of have a special place in my heart for Warbreaker because Brandon started writing that after we meet and was writing it after we meet and he was writing it while we were dating, engaged, and first married-

    Brandon Sanderson

    And on our honeymoon.

    Emily Sanderson

    *laughs* Yes. *laughs* I was reading a book while he was writing a book.

    Partly too because he was doing the experiment of putting it online as he wrote it, he would send it to me to make sure there weren't any huge, horrible, glaring errors and I would read through it. For the first time I was getting Brandon books right after he had written them, and that was really fascinating. It was really fun to see that this conversation these characters were having was inspired by a conversation that we had last week. Or this is the kind-of thing we've talked about. That was really fun. So [Warbreaker] has a special place in my heart for that reason.

    I think honestly that my favorite book is the last one that has come out. I read Way of Kings and was like "This is amazing! How can you possibly do better then this?" and then I read the next one as was like "He did! This is amazing too!" I do really love Stormlight Archive.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But you have to read them when they are bad, the first time through.

    Emily Sanderson

    That is true. Maybe that's why I think they are so amazing. I read them when they are bad then I read them again when they are all cleaned up...

    Brandon Sanderson

    We're in the middle of Stormlight 4 right now, in writing group. It's bad, it's got so many problems. There not huge fundamental problems, but there are big problems.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1118 Copy

    Deana Whitney

    I'm working on a food article about Roshar, so a few questions. Lavis equals corn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, ish. That would be a nice *indistinguishable*

    Deana Whitney

    Is one of the other grains like buckwheat, do they have bananas or similar-tasting fruit, and what is the Earth equivalent of the most popular vegetable in Alethi cuisine?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably a sweet potato, though I hate them, would be the closest thing to the tuber that they use. There is a somewhat buckwheat-ish grain, but most -- like the Thaylen bread that they talk about and stuff, you've got to be getting wheat in from Shinovar. But yes, they have a grain that's slightly more of the consistency, so if you saw it or if you ate something from it you would be like this is some weird form of wheat. They're forming the flatbreads out of it. I would have to go to my notes and find out which one it is. I know I've mentioned it in the books before. If I didn't end up mentioning it I got it in the wiki, so you can drop us an email and I can pull it out of the wiki for you.

    Deana Whitney

    I was also hoping they have garlic.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They have things similar enough to garlic that you could just use garlic.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1119 Copy

    Lightning Captured

    Is their anything you can share about your books and TV/Movies?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not a lot. There's just not really any motion; I wish there were.

    I'm excited for Dark One with Joe Straczynski, he just makes really good television. But really there's nothing more to announce than that. It was really fun to go to Hollywood and pitch with Joe. If you don't know Joe Straczynski, he was the show-runner on Babylon 5 and the creator of it. He's also done a bunch of other stuff like Sense8 and he has written a lot of comics and stuff like that. He is really just a fascinating guy. There is not really any motion on that.

    We were really close on Snapshot and then I haven't heard anything from them for a while. We have new deals in the works for both Alcatraz and Skyward, though I can't announce those yet because I don't think they have been officially done. But at least there are deals in the works for both of those.

    You can go and read my big huge spiel about movies [in] last year's State of Sanderson, or two years ago or a year ago but for two years ago where I talk about it. Nothing has made any progress lately. This is why in this year's State of Sanderson I basically said I'm to the point where I'm realizing if I really want to do anything I probably have to do it myself. I may have to just sit down and write screenplays and go find directors myself and see if that works, but historically that's very hard to do and I am not an experienced screenwriter, I have written one screenplay in my life and it was kind-of bad. So who knows? I'm moving into the stage where I am starting my own production company and I am taking the rights and leaving them in the production company rather than selling them off with the hope that whoever buys them will make it because so far no one has done any of that.

    I hear Witcher is great, I haven't watched it yet. It's a really good sign that there is good a fantasy show out that is not Game of Thrones, because everyone thought, well this could only happen once. But if it is proven by [Witcher] and hopefully by Wheel of Time, when it is ready, hopefully those will prove that fantasy is viable not just as Game of Thrones which will help the rest of us get a bunch of stuff done. So thumbs up to Henry Cavill for really pushing for the Witcher to get done and doing it right. If the rest of this all takes off we will really owe a whole bunch to him pushing to get that Witcher show made.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1120 Copy

    Questioner

    Were did Lift come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the things I did when I was developing the Knights Radiant, was that I knew I wanted the Knights Radiant to come from variety of walks of life and a variety of ages. This was especially important because I knew my some of my central characters were going to be around the same age and come from various similar cultures. So I knew when I was developing them I was going to need someone like Lift. I wanted a tween who became a Knight Radiant. That was the thing, who's going to be my tween, whose going to be the older, the person in their 60's or 70's who becomes a Knight Radiant.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1121 Copy

    Katie Gerskey

    Earlier you have stated that Spensa's story in Skyward was inspired by the 'boy and his dragon' stories that you read in your teens. Is Rysn and Chiri-Chiri's story in Stormlight 4 based upon this plot archetype as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But only in small, minor ways.

    Getting the gift of a strange and unusually pet is one of those things ever since I read Dragons Blood by Jane Yolen, ever since I read The White Dragon and Jackson getting his dragon. There is something in me that loves this sort of fantastical pet - I mean own a macaw. [As far as] pets that are responsible to have go, excluding things like getting a lion, it's one of the weirdest things you can get as a pet. And that's going back to that love of dragon stories. That's why I bought <Cock>, my love bird, that was my buddy all through high school, it was because a flying, talking, little creature just feels so fantasy to me. So yeah, definitely Chiri-Chiri is playing into that trope to an extent.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1122 Copy

    Emily Fell

    What has been your favorite trope to subvert?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's got to be the one that did Mistborn right, the- no, you know what, oh I can't say it.

    I like subverting my own tropes the best. Finding something that I've been leaning on and recognizing it for what a good thing [it has been] in my books in the past, understand that readers are going to expect me to do it more, then subverting it is really fun for me. There is a moment like this at the ending of Oathbringer, that I won't mention because it is a spoiler, where something that has happened in the previous two books does not happen in this book. That is intentional, when I was building the outline for the series, I'm like "hey, I'm leaning on this idea a lot." It is a central theme of the [Stormlight Archive], so its okay, but I need to subvert it a couple times, otherwise it will get stale.

    But if there is one I can talk about it is subverting the Hero's Journey in ways that are still satisfying. It's easy to subvert a trope and make it unsatisfying; most tropes work because they are satisfying to [an] extent. So the subversion [of the Hero's Journey trope] has to be still satisfying in its own way, and that can get tricky.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1123 Copy

    Bob Solburger

    If you were to write an eleventh Stormlight Archive book whose backstory would you explore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow, what a great question!

    Maybe Navani, there might be enough there. It would either be her or be one of the other Heralds.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1124 Copy

    Sarah Palmer

    How did you come up with the idea for a bead ocean?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The bead ocean? I honestly have no idea where the bead ocean came from. It's one of those images that grew out of building the world for Stormlight. I hit upon it and I just went with it and it works. It wasn't directly inspired by anything specific that I can think of. Maybe you'll find some journal entry from me as a kid being like "I went to the ball pit and it was awesome! What if they were made of glass?"

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
    #1125 Copy

    Bruno Santos

    Of all your books, which cover is your favorite?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The cover of the original Way of Kings. Because of the meaning Michael Whelan's pictures and paintings have in my life. The fact that I got a Whelan cover, it so iconic for me and for Way of Kings.

    We are doing a repackage of the Mistborn books, it's going to be hard to ever do that with Stormlight just because that first cover is so iconic and such a favorite of mine. It is interesting that both Elantris and Warbreaker's covers have become iconic as well in that there has never been conversation about changing those. But for whatever reason Mistborn, we change all the time. I doubt this is last the repackage we'll do; every few years we get new covers for Mistborn. Something about Mistborn lends itself well to us doing that. Maybe it's because we did once already by moving from hardcover to paperback, we changed the art style between the those two, maybe we are just used to it.

    YouTube Livestream 6 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Axies the Collector would probably be fine. We would just have a chat.

    But bad luck follows him because of the Curse of Kind, so maybe not. Maybe I wouldn't want to be around Axies the Collector, he is channeling the wrong kind of Fortune. Channeling is not an actual term - don't take that and put it in the wiki. 

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    Questioner

    So you said you play Esper in Magic: the Gathering, the central color of which is blue. All the Shards shown black/blue. Is this intentional, saving the Shard you identify with for the later bits of the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, yeah, if you were going to say blue, who is blue? I would say that definitely we do have some blue Shards, but it didn't just naturally fit to do the stories the blue way, it just didn't happen. So it wasn't that I was saving back the traditionally sneaky or conniving Shards, or at least the powers that are related to that, it's just how it played out. It was very natural for Mistborn to play around with black-aligned and white-aligned, if you are giving a single color to the various Shards. And then on Roshar, it just made a lot of sense for what I was building to have a red-aligned, a white-aligned, and a green-aligned. I don't really think of the Shards that way - I can retrofit a Magic color identity to them, when thinking about it. But White Sand, there's some blue going on with what is happening there, so you have seen some, but you're right. 

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    Questioner

    Will the tenth book of the Stormlight Archive be the last book in the cosmere universe, or there a plans to continue with other stories in the cosmere universe indefinitely?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the last chronological book of the cosmere sequence is the final Mistborn book. So the way that the structure works right now. Elantris, Mistborn era 1, Stormlight Archive first five, Mistborn era 2, Elantris 2 and 3, Stormlight Archive 6 through 10, the the final Mistborn era, is how I'm going. 

    Right? Did I miss one? I missed an era. So, I'm going to do the Wax and Wayne era and the 1980s era kind of together, and mash those together. 

    So, era 1, era 2/3, Stormlight 1-5, Stormlight 6-10, era 4 of Mistborn, is how it is right now. Era 4 of Mistborn will the the last chronological. We will have the flashbacks to Dragonsteel after Stormlight 10 but before era 4 of Mistborn

    I do not intend it to go indefinitely. If I manage to get all of that done before I die, which I hope I will - I move pretty quickly, then there's a decent chance I will write other cosmere books that happen in the cosmere, probably during this time frame at some point, unconnected or only tangentially related and things like that. But I do intend that to be the final book of the cosmere sequence, and I have no plans for anything chronologically after that. 

    Questioner

    Did you mention Warbreaker in there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Warbreaker is a side project. I do count Warbreaker, there will be a sequel to Warbreaker. But Warbreaker, Emperor's Soul, Silence Divine, all of these things I might write, the unnamed Threnody novel, these are not what I consider the core, essential cosmere books that I need to write. I need to do Dragonsteel, Mistborn, Elantris, and Stormlight, and that's like your core sequence of stories, and if I can get Aether of Night in there - I sure hope that I can - if I can get the Threnody novel in there - I sure hope I can - and some stuff like that.

    The requirement I placed on myself is no more than three years between Stormlight books, with a slightly larger break between 5 and 6, cause the first five are an arc. But I'm hoping no more than five years there, but we will see. And gotta just keep moving, keep going, keep writing, so that my own mortality does become a factor in the cosmere sequence.

    YouTube Livestream 1 ()
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    Sethel

    What color of Magic [the Gathering] decks would some of your characters play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to depend on the character right? I often say Kelsier is black-blue. I feel that Vin is red-green probably. And Sazed is about as mono-white as you get. It's going to depend on the characters. Kaladin is pretty mono-white, though some of his powers are blue based so you could make a very good argument <for that.> That's the thing in Magic, you have both personalities and power suites of characters influencing what colors they [are] and what they would play. So you get Kaladin where personalty: white, power set: blue, would be pretty common. Dalinar is going to be mono-red for most of his life moving slowly into white-red. And you'll get someone like Jasnah who is very mono-blue with some touches of black or Shallan who is also just mono-red.

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    teknopathetic

    Seeing as what is happening in the world, it got me wondering if there is a Shard along the lines on Anguish? Seems like a pretty important aspect of consciousness, but this isn't something I have seen tossed around.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a good theory, and while I can't confirm yet for various reasons, I think you should share that idea.

    The Ten Orders of Knights Radiant ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Bondsmith

    I will unite

    Bondsmith oaths are focused on unity, unification, and bringing others together. However, this is a loose theme, as there are so few Bondsmiths—and the three sources of their powers are so different in personality—that the oaths can end up taking a variety of different shapes, depending on the situation.

    Anyone can become a Bondsmith, subject to persuading one of the three spren who grant Bondsmith powers. Those powers tend to work differently for one Bondsmith than another, and even those Surges they share with other Orders tend to work differently for Bondsmiths.

    The Bondsmiths are unusual in that there are never more than three full members. Historically, they worked to resolve disputes and help set up functioning governments. Even though there can only be three full members, there were times that some Bondsmiths did take squires. Beyond that, many of the retinues that protected the Bondsmiths were considered members of the Order–going so far as to swear oaths, even though they didn’t have a spren and never would. Some even called this the most pure form of being a Radiant, because these were oaths sworn not in the name of gaining powers, but simply for the good of the oaths themselves.

    Bondsmiths are generally the heart and soul of the Radiants, the most protected and highly regarded of the Orders, capable of doing incredible things with the nature of oaths, bonds, and power. The Order, including the aforementioned squires and attendants, tends to attract the peacemakers of the world, those who want to bring people together rather than divide them.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Stoneward

    I will be there when I'm needed

    Stoneward oaths focus on team dynamics, on learning to work with others, and on being there for those who need them. They put the interests of others before their own, and will not bend their Ideals for the sake of convenience.

    Stonewards are the infantry and ground troops of the Radiants and are renowned as their finest soldiers. (A title that, on occasion, the Windrunners dispute.) They tend to attract those who are most interested in warfare, prowess with weapons, or athletics of any sort. They like a challenge, and in times of peace are seen engaging in (and running) various sporting events of both a military and non-military nature. Many enjoy the outdoors, and you’ll find exploration enthusiasts among them, as well as those who just like the fresh air. They tend to be known for their can-do attitudes and for taking on enormous projects (sometimes more than they can handle). However, most agree that the primary attribute of the Stonewards is their dependability. Though sometimes gregarious, they are never flighty. If a Stoneward is your friend, they will be there for you, and that is a core tenet of their Order—to be there when they are needed. Another key attribute is their ability to take a difficult situation with few resources and make something better of it. Though not known as inventors or creators, they are good at improvising solutions to problems in the moment.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Willshaper

    I will seek freedom

    The Willshapers believe strongly that all people should be free to make their own choices. Their oaths are themed toward freedom and letting people be free to express themselves and make their own way in life.

    The Willshapers have a reputation for attracting builders, craftspeople, and creators to the Radiants. However, while this aspect of them is accurate, the actual membership of the Order is far more varied. Their powers lend themselves to creation, true, but their oaths are focused on freedom and personal fulfillment. Many among the Willshapers are warriors focused on freeing those who are captive, and others are focused on radical self-expression. The Willshapers contain many gregarious and even flamboyant characters who make their own way, taking the path they choose. They are united through a love of building, but some consider the building of society to be more important than the building of structures. Among the Willshapers, you’ll find both those who dress very conservatively and those who wear very daring and original styles. The common ground is that both agree that freedom to express who you are is the important part. Among the Radiants, they are generally focused on building, training, and making infrastructure. In war, they might be sent to a town to fortify it against an oncoming invasion. Before or in the wake of Desolations, they would teach the people things like sanitation, bronzeworking, or other essentials. Anywhere you find someone resisting tyranny or oppression, you’ll often find a Willshaper cheering them on.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Elsecaller

    I will reach my potential

    Elsecaller oaths are, like those of the Lightweavers or Skybreakers, themed toward the individual. In this case, the theme is progress—becoming better with each oath, seeking to explore their true potential and reach it. Because of this, the Order is open to many different types, so long as they want to improve themselves.

    Thoughtful, careful, and cautious, the Elsecallers are generally regarded as the wisest of the Radiants. They seek self-improvement and personal betterment in their lives, but aren’t limited to one specific theme or set of Ideals. This makes them one of the most open and welcoming of orders, though they do tend to attract those who are less flamboyant. They have their share of scholars, and often a large number of theologians, but also attract those who are interested in leadership. They are good at encouraging others, but some are known to set their sights upon the things they want and then seize them. In the Knights Radiant, they tend to be among the best tacticians, and are logistical geniuses, aided in part by their abilities to create food and water for armies, but also their ability to move in and out of Shadesmar.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Lightweaver

    I will speak my truth

    Lightweaver oaths are an oddity, perhaps because their spren tend to be the oddest among all Radiant spren. Instead of speaking specific words, or even words along a certain theme, Lightweavers speak truths about themselves—things they must admit to themselves in order to progress as people. It is theorized that because Lightweavers live on the line between reality and fiction, it is important for them to be able to separate the real from the lie, and only with the proper ability to do so can they move forward.

    Lightweavers are the Radiants most interested in the arts, including all kinds of visual arts and theater. They range widely in personality from the quiet and introspective painter to the outgoing and gregarious stage performer, with everything in between. What unites them tends to be a love of art, though there are some few who are more interested in intrigue, secrets, and espionage. They are the spies of the Knights Radiant and are often untrusted by others (such as the stoic Skybreakers) for their love of subterfuge. They have a reputation for having looser morals than other Orders, but the Lightweavers are quick to point out that their personal values are strong. They just don’t feel they need to match what other more hardline Orders tend to require. They can be vague with oaths, and many say there is far more Cultivation in them than Honor. (Others dispute this, saying that all Orders have an equal mix, despite some spren naming themselves “honorspren.”) Lightweavers tend to be free spirits, and many among their Order see the importance of entertainment, beauty, and art in a person’s life, and strive to make sure that the world doesn’t just live through the Desolations—because mere survival isn’t enough unless there is something to live for.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Truthwatcher

    I will seek truth

    Truthwatcher oaths are themed around seeking to find ultimate truth and sharing it. They are very concerned with knowledge and the proper exploitation of it. Note that this should not be confused with the Lightweavers, whose oaths are themed toward personal truths about themselves, said for reasons of self-actualization. Truthwatchers are more concerned with the fundamental truths of the universe, and whether or not those in power are being truthful with the people they lead.

    The Truthwatchers are seen as quiet, largely known as the most scholarly Order of Knights Radiant. They tend to attract scientists primarily, but also scholars or thinkers of all types. This extends to some who might not normally be known as scholarly but instead as someone often consumed by their own thoughts. In general, they tend to be reserved, particularly in person, though a small minority of Truthwatchers are greatly concerned with the actions of the powerful and might be likened to investigative reporters. These make their opinions known loudly and forcefully, particularly if they think someone in power is abusing that power or lying about fundamental truths. Note that, as with all Knights Radiant, there is great disagreement within the Order about what is the truth. However, Truthwatchers tend to approach these discussions with enthusiasm, even if they generally prefer to write their opinions rather than speak them. Among the Knights Radiant, the Truthwatchers tend to be those who hold the knowledge and secrets of Surgebinding and are the ones to discover many of the newer advances in things like fabrial technology.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Edgedancer

    I will remember

    Edgedancer oaths are themed around remembering the ordinary people of the world—those who aren’t powerful generals or Radiants. Too often, the actions of the powerful have terrible effects on the people with no voice, and the Edgedancers consider it their solemn duty to remember that the people are the ones they truly serve.

    The Edgedancers are known as being caring and graceful. Among the Knights Radiant, they see it as their duty to care for the people and are often less interested in war than they are about trying to improve the daily lives of the common folk. Often, a mid-sized town would have an Edgedancer or two on permanent assignment, where they’d use Regrowth to provide healing and would work for the common good of the town.

    Edgedancers tend to be among the more religious of Radiants and are the Order where you’re most likely to find former religious leaders who end up bonding a spren. During wartime, they often act as the mobile medics, eschewing actual combat to heal or pull out the wounded or those trapped in terrible situations. However, there are some renowned for their graceful and skilled prowess in combat, occasionally used as scouts or special forces troops in conjunction with a team of Windrunners or Skybreakers. One should never assume the Edgedancers are in any way base just because they often ignore high society; they are renowned as some of the most refined and graceful of Radiants.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Dustbringer

    I will seek self-mastery

    Dustbringer oaths were themed toward responsibility. They were led to understand that the powers they used needed to be properly channeled, much as their own desires and wills needed proper form and shape. As a Dustbringer moved through the oaths, they were taught greater powers of destruction—and are one of the only orders where their abilities weren’t all available at the beginning, but instead were delivered slowly, as they made the proper oaths. Each oath led to a greater understanding of power, the nature of holding it, and the associated responsibility.

    Dustbringers—though they sometimes objected to the common name for their order, preferring instead to be called Releasers—are living contradictions among the Knights Radiant. They believe great power requires a strong will to control it. They often attract tinkerers who like to dig down into the shape and soul of a thing, break it, and see what makes it work. However, their oaths are themed toward control—that they need to be able to control, contain, and channel the terrible power inside them. They tend to object to those who focus only on their destructive sides, as they argue that in order to create, one must understand the pieces of the thing they are trying to make. They don’t see themselves as being about destruction—though their powers are the most destructive of any order of Knights Radiant. They instead see their nature as being about control, precision, and understanding. In the Knights Radiant, they tend to act as the equivalent of artillery in a modern army. If you want a large swath of land destroyed or burned, you call in the Dustbringers. However, they were also often used as sappers, engineers, and strategists.

    They attract anyone who likes to take things apart, who likes to know how things work. They also attract those who are a little foolhardy at times—brave soldiers who see themselves as containing and controlling terrible destruction so it won’t get out of hand and hurt innocents.

    The Ten Orders of Knights Radiant ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Skybreaker

    I will seek justice

    Skybreaker oaths are themed toward justice, fighting for causes, and enforcing social rules. They generally reinforce the importance of moral codes, legal structures, and similar boundaries that protect civilization.

    The Skybreakers were the enforcers of the Knights Radiant, often tasked with keeping the peace, policing the other Orders, and making certain that dangerous or dark forces in the world were contained. This sometimes gave them a bad reputation among the more free-thinking Orders of Knights, but the Skybreakers (at their best) were not merciless. They were the ones who believed that nobody, not even a Radiant, should be above being questioned. They were the ones that did the sometimes tough job of making certain that the Orders didn’t abuse their power to become tyrants, as the Skybreakers saw that those with powers could easily oppress those who had none.

    They tend to attract those who believe in the importance of legal code, those who have strong moral codes of their own, and those who think the best defense against anarchy are things like patriotism, moral fiber, and rules to govern behavior. Note that the current incarnation, led by the Herald Nale in his madness, is more rigid than the ancient order, which understood that the law was not perfect, but instead represented an ideal to try to reach over time. Anyone believing in finding true justice, in defending the innocent, and in punishing the guilty would be welcome in the Order.

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    Brandon Sanderson

    Windrunner

    I will protect

    Windrunner oaths are themed toward protection, particularly defending innocents or those who are unable to protect themselves.

    The Windrunners tend to attract “big sibling” types, who seek to protect the defenseless, but also enjoy action and fighting for what they believe in. They’re primarily scouts, though they often work as special forces groups, able to deliver teams of Radiants behind enemy lines for secret missions. They tend to be the most like conventional soldiers, believing in structures of command, team dynamics, and the importance of a squad of brothers and sisters. They often have larger numbers of squires than other Orders and focus more than any other Order on mastering their weapons.

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    Adam Horne

    This next one is from Paleo. They want to know what's your opinion on the term Cytoverse for the Skyward universe? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, I like that.

    Adam Horne

    They were hoping to have a dedicated term for it, and I thought that was a pretty good one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll go with it. Thumbs up. Cytoverse I'm on board. Good job. I can totally buy that.

    Footnote: While Paleo was the one to ask the question, the term was originally coined by thegatorgirl00.
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    Ben McSweeney

    Stuff like this [Minecraft Urithiru] is why I wanted to draw orthographic views of the tower-city. :) The dimensions on Shallan's page are rough, but they will line up.

    Each tier has approximately 18 floors, each floor is roughly 15' (interior ceilings vary from 8' to 14' unless they're incorporating the next floor). Total tower height is just over 2700'

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    Stromeng

    What kind of revisions [do] Brandon's fourth drafts usually incorporate?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The fourth draft is the final substantial revision. It's the one where Brandon looks at the feedback from the beta readers and his writing group and makes the book better. Sometimes there are new scenes written during the fourth draft—in Words of Radiance, Brandon wrote the Sadeas POV scenes during the fourth draft, and maybe one of Adolin's duels.

    Note, no beta readers ever said "I want some Sadeas POV scenes." Brandon decides when the book needs something because of the overall synthesis of the pre-reader comments plus his own feelings on how the book has stood up in the couple months since he wrote the third draft.

    Sometimes chapters also get moved around during the fourth draft. This happened with Words of Radiance but not with Oathbringer.

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    VincePontiac

    Please give us a full novel about Shai!

    Brandon Sanderson

    No promises--but I do have another novella I want to write about her.

    Iamsodarncool

    Wow, that's exciting! Previously you've said that you don't want to write a sequel to The Emperor's Soul, as you were worried you might devalue that perfect story by adding something that isn't so perfect. Has something changed your mind? Or would this novella be something other than a sequel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I simply had a really strong idea that I think would compliment the first story. Assuming I can pull it off.

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    Questioner

    Can Skybreakers vow to follow a code of rules some might consider outlaw-ish, like the Pirate Code. Are they obliged to adhere to changes in the law after their vow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and yes.

    What you're running into with what's happening right now, the Skybreakers are under the thumb of someone who has a much more rigid interpretation of what they should do than is necessary for the Order. And so you could totally be a Skybreaker who is not of this group, and this group would not look kindly on something like the Pirate Code necessarily. (Though the Pirate Code kind of works for them, because it's in international waters, so even with the current crop of Skybreakers you could probably argue the Pirate Code, and they'd probably be okay with it.)

    But you could have even less, codes that's like, "I'm going to follow the code of the criminal underground. I'm going to follow the Mafia code." Current crop of Skybreakers, that would not fly with them. But in the Order in general, and the way that highspren work, and things like that, you would totally be okay.

    Which is kind of dangerous, yes. But you would have to follow the code as the code changes. So that could get you into trouble, also. Skybreakers, they've got an interesting way of going about all this. Hopefully, all the Orders do; that's one of my goals with them.