Recent entries

    Arched Doorway Interview ()
    #12501 Copy

    Rebecca Lovatt

    And just touching on this again, do you have any tentative dates for the sequel to Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really don't. I was wanting to try and do it for this year, but the fact that I have Stormlight on my plate means that I won't. The time to have been able to do that would have been last year, but I wrote the new Wax and Wayne novels instead. It is going to happen, in the timeline of the Cosmere it needs to have happened by the time that I am doing Mistborn Era 3; the 1980s-level-technology trilogy. We need to be caught up on where Elantris is, so that the whole Cosmere timeline can happen. So it will happen, but I know it won't be for at least another few years.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12505 Copy

    theravenchilde

    And I was trying to figure out how jazz could possibly develop on Scadrial in Alloy of Law.

    Brandon Sanderson

    How what?

    theravenchilde

    How jazz could develop on Scadrial.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jazz? Okay.

    theravenchilde

    *audio obscured* Would it be appropriate to compare the Steel Ministry to the Catholic Church? Not so much in doctrine but...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sure, that would be appropriate. I mean when I'm writing Alloy of Law era they are only hitting big band stuff.

    theravenchilde

    That's what I figured.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Their music would lag behind ours.

    theravenchilde

    'Cause big band stuff started around the 1920's.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They're not even quite there yet. In the second or the third... anyway one of the Alloy books Wax hears someone and they've added to a band brass and he's like "that's not right" he's expecting violin concertos or a pianoforte and he's hearing brass.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12509 Copy

    Questioner

    I assume I'm going to learn a lot more about this in Stormlight 3 but Nightblood, is he more dangerous or less dangerous now that he-- obviously he needs Investiture that is why *audio obscured* any Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say more dangerous, a little bit easier to get the Stormlight.

    Questioner

    I assumed I'd learn a lot more about him...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will, and he's pretty dangerous, but he is also less dangerous because other people have Shardblades, if that makes sense.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12511 Copy

    Questioner

    How much involvement does the other planet in the same system as Roshar have with Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *long pause* Your question has a fundamental flaw to it.

    Questioner

    And that is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That there are multiple planets that have an influence on Roshar.

    Questioner

    I thought there were multiple planets in the system that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are, but you said "the other", there are more than one so the phrase, "the other" doesn't make sense.

    Questioner

    How much influence do the other planets have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A great deal.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12512 Copy

    Questioner

    What are the other books in The Stormlight Archive going to be about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well each one is going to cover a flashback sequence for one of the characters and each one will focus on a different order of the Knights Radiant. And that's not always the same, like the flashbacks for the first one were Kaladin and it was also Windrunners, but we won't always have them be the exact same.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12514 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there anything in the works right now roleplaying-wise for any of your other works?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not yet, the response to the Mistborn rpg has been good so I do think we'll do something eventually but right now we just want to support that. It takes a lot of effort to keep one of these supported, because they make it but we have to read everything and talk about continuity and stuff. Maybe eventually.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12515 Copy

    Questioner

    What's lerasium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is the bead of metal that Elend finds at the end of Book 2, that Vin finds and gives to Elend.

    Questioner

    Oh so there were only two and the Lord Ruler kind of left it there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There actually were a bunch of them, and the first Mistborn came from people who ate that. The Lord Ruler took one for himself and he left others there to use if he needed them.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12516 Copy

    Newan

    I asked a question at the panel, I asked if the person you refuse to say who he is, I was trying to talk about Taln.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh!

    Newan

    Not Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So what about Taln?

    Newan

    Is there anything you'll tell us about him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you want to know? Ask me a specific question.

    Newan

    Are the Heralds...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Heralds are from the same place that Taln is from.

    Newan

    Is he Rosharan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is he Rosharan? Taln is Rosharan.

    Newan

    *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Define Rosharan, how about that?

    Newan

    Native to Roshar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That I have to RAFO.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12517 Copy

    Seonid

    Is the level of burning a continuous distribution, can I burn 0.1 level of steel all the way up to flaring? Or is it just I burn or I flare?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The more skilled you are, the more you have the ability to moderate that. For most people it is burn or flare. But you can kind of burn up to a flare, does that make sense? Going below is really hard.

    Seonid

    Can you push a flare?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12518 Copy

    Questioner

    So I've recently been able to absorb a lot of your library via audiobooks, and I was wondering how much involvement you had in the acting in those.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I try to pick voice actors that I like, because I do like audiobooks. So Michael Kramer and Kate Redding because I asked them to *cheers* We do try to send them pronunciation guides but sometimes we're so slow they have to record first. So, for instance, a lot of the changes in pronunciation between Way of Kings and Words of Radiance were because we got them a pronunciation guide too slowly. They did it the best they could starting out, and then-- yeah. But I love their interpretations, and I tell them "Interpret the characters how you feel they should be interpreted, rather than how I tell you" because just like with the cover artist, if you give them too much you stifle their inspiration.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12519 Copy

    Seonid

    Aether of Night, aethers also show up in Liar of Partinel...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that was...

    Seonid

    Was that cannibalized...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was a cannibalization, it's an attempt at repurposing and I didn't like it so it probably won't go forward that way but it was an attempt because it worked so well to mash Allomancy and Feruchemy into the same system and I didn't like how it went but...

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12522 Copy

    Questioner

    In Mistborn Elend carried dueling canes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    And I didn't understand why people would be scared of sticks. So is a dueling cane a deadly weapon, a melee weapon, *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, they use dueling canes in martial arts on Earth, so you can look up-- look for these. They are sticks about <two feet?> long, made of a hardwood, and, I promise you, if hit with one of those, it's going to hurt. So yeah, I mean you can go find my references for various types of dueling canes in various martial arts. They are real things. But we needed a weapon that was not metal and that was the best one, I felt.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12523 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you come up with all the different worlds, the magic systems, the religions, the-- everything. How do you come up with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. It's a bigger question than I can really answer right now. But I can give you a few tips and I can point to places where I've answered it better. I've written three essays called Sanderson's First Law, Second Law, and Third Law... Those explain my theories on magic systems, that'll help you a lot. The real thing I'm searching for is conflict. I want to have interesting conflict to each world element that I'm spending my time on. Spend your time where there is going to be conflict. If you've got a story where the conflict is all religious and the character's religion is kind of an intersection between religion and something else, spend your time building your religions. Make them interesting, work things into them. But maybe you don't need to spend all your time building the linguistics for that world. Spend your time as the author on the things that are going to be full of depth and conflict and importance to the characters and don't worry about everything else. Unless you want to pull a Tolkien and spend twenty years preparing. Which-- I mean, you can do. I can't complain about the way Tolkien did it. But I prefer to be able to release a book every year as opposed to every twenty years.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12524 Copy

    Questioner

    So you've written a lot of books. Of all the books that you've written, which do you look back gives you as the writer the most personal satisfaction?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooh, wow. Satisfaction. See I like all of my books for different reasons so picking a favorite is impossible, but you were smart and asked for something more specific than favorite. I would say finishing The Wheel of Time brought me the most satisfaction. Starting reading those books when I was fourteen and then having it be such an enormous challenge and then having it be well received and not screwing it up-- because I was really worried I would screw it up. And for the majority of people I didn't screw it up, for some I did, there are a few that really didn't like it. That's fine. But for the majority of people I didn't screw it up and for myself I didn't screw it up. So at the end of the day I'm very satisfied those books turned out as well as they did.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12525 Copy

    Questioner

    My question is, your stories are so intricate and huge and I-- maybe it's because I'm not as genius as you are *Brandon makes a funny face* but where do you come up with these ideas in the first place. Like are you given a vision by the Stormfather, or-- *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    So here's what I say to this, if you think I'm naturally a genius go read the story I wrote in high school. I posted it on my website and it is terrible... It's a matter of practice and a lot of spending time working on these sorts of things. This is kind of what I wanted to do my whole life now, so I practiced to be able to do it. And it's a good thing I took off because I would be worthless otherwise. I mean I did go to college, I did get a Master's degree, but all the other people in the Master's degree were running right and left to get into PhD programs and being on Student Council/Government or things like that. And meanwhile I was just writing stories. I didn't do any of that stuff. And so I'm very lucky that it took off.

    I do have my own wiki, which you can't find, it's only on my computer and my assistants' computers to keep track of all this, because it has grown to the size that we need tools like that. In fact Peter Ahlstrom's wife, Karen Ahlstrom is the keeper of the wiki and her job is to go through my books and keep the wiki updated and make sure that I'm not contradicting myself.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12526 Copy

    Newan

    So we know a Shardholder who used up his mind to imprison another Shard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, yes.

    Newan

    Can a Splinter use up its mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Something that small probably will not be able to accomplish the same thing.

    Newan

    Okay. But it could...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is possibility that it could for something smaller.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12527 Copy

    Questioner

    The Lord Ruler, sixteen-- all sixteen metals, full metalminds, and can compound versus Rand at the end of A Memory of Light *laughter/cheering*

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...At that point probably Rand. Sorry. *cheering*

    Questioner

    But the Lord Ruler has luck, he can Compound luck.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He can do a whole lot of stuff. Now if it's the Lord Ruler during the moment of Ascension, it's the Lord Ruler, but post-Ascension? No.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12531 Copy

    Questioner

    So Stormlight and Breath are both just different manifestations of Investiture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's correct.

    Questioner

    So Nightblood and Shardblades are both kind of powered by Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, in fact you can call Nightblood kind of a miss-made, evil Shardblade... more miss-made than evil but yes.

    Questioner

    But a Shardblade wouldn't shear through Nightblood.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes a Shardblade would not shear through Nightblood. In fact I wrote Way of Kings first and then I wrote Warbreaker and Way of Kings came out after Warbreaker but in my mind Warbreaker is a prequel to Way of Kings, where I was telling Vasher's backstory.

    Questioner

    Oh really, so the Warbreaker we know takes place after Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it takes place before, it's a prequel meaning I wrote Way of Kings and then I went back in time and told Vasher's backstory but Warbreaker ended up coming out first because Way of Kings wasn't ready yet.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12532 Copy

    Questioner

    So do Inquisitors, when they use Allomancy, have to actually ingest the metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They actually do. So what is happening is Hemalurgy rips off a piece of one person's soul and spikes it somebody else and so it is basically taking off the piece of someone's soul that makes them an Allomancer and adding it to someone else instead and so then they act as an Allomancer just as it would happen.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12533 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm not sure if it was duralumin or something but the Feruchemical ability to store Connection, is that how Hoid worldhops? It stores Connection to another world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a good question, it doesn't have anything to do with worldhopping but what it does do is once you have worldhopped you can change your Connection to which planet you are on, which helps you with magic systems.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12534 Copy

    Questioner

    How does Nightblood work on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well Nightblood feeds on Investiture, which is the general life-force/magic-force in the cosmere and so he can feed on basically any source of magical energy.

    Questioner

    And do other magics work on other worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've been describing it lately more like you see DC current and AC current, where they're similar things but slightly different. It is possible to make magics work on other planets, some it's easier than others.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12538 Copy

    Questioner

    My brother and I disagreed, at the very end of Words of Radiance, the sword that-- Is it the same as in Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes it is, in fact Vasher is in the book.

    Questioner

    Is that Vasher?!?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, look for somebody making color metaphors and when they are waking up they feel like they can sense other people's presence and things like that. There is one character who is Vasher. He doesn't go by that name anymore.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12539 Copy

    Questioner

    So I've been told there is one character who is in each of the series.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes there is.

    Questioner

    Is that Wit by chance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is.

    Questioner

    Does he show up in some of the others?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, in this [The Final Empire] he shows up briefly, Kelsier meets with a blind beggar at one point who is introduced by the name Hoid and that is the name Wit uses through most of the books. If you read Warbreaker he's in that one, there is a storyteller who uses dust and sand. He's in most of them Way of Kings is where you see him the most he's not in the other ones nearly as much but he's mentioned by name in most of them.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12540 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your inspiration?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the book. If you want to know the inspiration for the Mistborn books, you can google Sanderson's First Law. It's an essay I wrote about how I came up with the magic system. That'll help you see where some of the ideas came from and how I take them and use them.

    Questioner

    What about The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight, the original inspiration was the storm of Jupiter. The big storm that rotates around Jupiter, and I wanted to do something that had a perpetual storm like that.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12541 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do you come up with your leaders, because they're phenomenal.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It takes a lot of reading and thinking and coming up with who the character is. I don't know how do any of the characters-- they just kind of come, but there is a lot of hanging out on forums where people are talking about leadership positions in the military so I can kind of get a view on how they're thinking. Sun Tzu was very helpful as well.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12542 Copy

    Questioner

    So there is one part in Alcatraz where he notices that Bastille has red hair and goes "No that's important I can't tell you until later" Is there any significance to that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, her dad has red hair so it's a clue that she's the princess because she's the daughter of the king and she dyes her hair because she doesn't want anyone to know.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12543 Copy

    Questioner

    Who is your favorite character you've written, if you had to pick one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a hard question, I can't pick a favorite character. Dalinar is what I normally say, just because I've been working on him the longest. Honestly, I don't know. It's whoever I'm working on at the time.

    Questioner

    Dalinar is a good character, I like Kaladin a lot too.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kaladin has really worked out well. It's interesting because Kaladin-- the first time I wrote The Way of Kings, in 2002-- did not work and I had to rip him out and try a completely different personality and things for him. So it's cool to see it finally working.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12544 Copy

    Questioner

    What differentiates a minor Shardworld like First of the Sun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The amount of Investiture, and whether there is actually a Shard in presence.

    Questioner

    I'm assuming there is not one there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not one there.

    Questioner

    So it's like a Splintered one from something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No what you'll find is that the worlds were all created with a level of-- a little bit of sort of ambient magic. What you'll find in worlds like that is things like, Shadows for Silence and things like this, the magic, it's not necessarily "people with magic" it's you can interact with nature...

    Questioner

    So there is inherent Investiture...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is inherent investiture in every world created but you are going to see-- You aren't going to find Mistborn on a world like that but what you might find is a way there are magic aspects to the setting. Spren could exist on a world like that but they would be like the minor spren, you wouldn't find Syl, but you would find something like lifespren.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12545 Copy

    Questioner

    Stormlight, I know it heals wounds and stuff like that but can it heal illnesses like colds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes it can.

    Questioner

    So if Kaladin suddenly contracted brain cancer...

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's plausible-- it depends, see what it does is it takes your body and makes it align with your spirit, and partially through the filter of how you view yourself. So if you view yourself as sickly, then you won't.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12546 Copy

    Questioner

    Who is Wit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is a character who has been in all of the books so far and is somehow getting between all of the different planets these are taking place on and is somehow surviving the fact that these books are hundreds of years apart.

    Questioner

    I have a good idea that he's a Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well he did steal a bead of lerasium.

    Questioner

    And he has extra Breath because he said it was easier with perfect pitch.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He did indeed say that didn't he... I will eventually write a book series that is about him, but it is a ways off.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12548 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you come up with the idea for the cosmere? Because I just think it is the greatest idea ever and the more I learn about it the less I realize I know.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was partially me wanting to do a big fantasy epic that also had room for standalones, I wanted to do both and so the idea of the hidden epic behind the scenes was really appealing for me 'cause it let me do everything I wanted to do.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12549 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you come up with Shardblades?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Here's the thing, I've seen a lot of fantasy art-- I love fantasy books, right-- and people often depict these enormous swords, which are completely impractical. So one of my pitches for Stormlight was "I want a world where they had to have weapons like they depict in this fantasy art" and I retrofitted it, what would they need these to actually fight? So that was the pitch for myself on Shardblades. And I was also annoyed that the coolest magic swords were in a science fiction story, Star Wars, I want cool magic swords that are not in a science fiction story.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12550 Copy

    Questioner

    I do have one question, A Memory of Light couldn't be better, except for the Padan Fain thing.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the Padan Fain thing is that I have a little bit of regret on that one. That's the one thing-- You see he didn't leave anything about Fain at all. Just completely blank. That was worrisome to me. The only thing he said was "Padan Fain cannot be Gollum" actually, he wrote that in the notes. So I was left with trying to figure out what to do and in the end I feel it just ended up feeling tacked on because there were so many other things I was interested in doing and Padan Fain I had never really enjoyed as a character that much. You are seeing my biases come through on that. Looking back at it I'm like "I really should have done something more with him". That's the big one that I feel I would change, if I could change something.

    Questioner

    'Cause it's kind of a threat that goes away…

    Brandon Sanderson

    The other one is I would've liked for the viewpoint chapters from Demandred to be in the book instead of separated out and put in that charity anthology [Unfettered], but I didn't have any say in that one.