Recent entries

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12551 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a question about the Stormlight Archives you’ve always wanted to answer but nobody has asked?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The answer is no, because everyone is so good at asking them. They ran out of those question 10 years ago. [Talks about the development of the Cosmere and Hoid. Talks about the development of Timewasters Guide and when people started to figure out the Cosmere stuff].

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12553 Copy

    Questioner

    At this point, a lot of your work has been optioned. I was wondering if you would be interested in some of it being a serious animated tv show? Maybe that might also work for Wheel of Time.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would be totally on board except for one thing, that there is no market for it worldwide. There are markets in very small places, but so far every animated in the US and in large parts of the world as well has either been something like The Simpsons, which is comedy, which can work for adults and they’ll watch that, or it’s been child-focused with some hidden depth of themes like the Last Airbender, which is the quintessential example. If I could get a television show on one of my books as good as that, I’d love it, but nobody’s going to finance it, because there’s no audience for it unless it’s a children’s show. And there’s nothing wrong with being a children’s show, this is what Pixar has figured out how to do, it makes movies that everyone will love. But anytime someone even tries to make a teen focused one, it’s a huge disaster. Treasure Planet was an example of this, which is famous in Hollywood for being a disaster, even though it’s a fun movie. Until US audiences grow up in their treatment of animation, it’s not a realistic thing, because the cost-to-earnings… I can’t just say, okay guys, spend 50 millions dollars on this, I know it’ll only make 5, but it’ll be really cool. Maybe if your aunt is an executive at Netflix, you could tell her, and they could be on the forefront of this, but until then, we are looking at Netflix-style, complete season, Stranger Things-type stuff, or traditional feature film.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12554 Copy

    Questioner

    How is it that you’re able to write such real and strong women characters that are feminist in their own way but in very different ways from book to book? Is your wife your inspiration? Can you do a workshop for other male writers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a huge compliment, thank you. It is something that I’ve worked on a long time. I would blame the authors I read getting into fantasy, Barbara Hambly, Melanie Rawn, Anne McCaffrey. They were the first three authors I read. I internalized some of the things they were talking about. I also do have some good models. My mother graduated first in her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in the accounting department. She’s currently the accountant for the city of Idaho Falls. So getting it wrong was a big deal to me, and I did get it wrong on my first few books. The unpublished ones, fortunately. What I realized was, it was a bigger problem than just doing the female characters wrong, though that was the biggest sign that I was doing something wrong. What was happening was I was writing people to roles in the story, rather than writing them as people having a role in the story. That sounds really simple, right? But once I realized people don’t see themselves as the plucky sidekick, usually, and people don’t see themselves as the romantic interest. People see themselves as a person who plays a part in someone else’s life, but plays a different part over here, and a different part over here. Those of us who are extraverts might be introverts in some situations where we don’t know very much. Those of us who are introverts might be extraverts when you put us in front of a room and tell us to do a reading, we’re like “Yeah! I can handle that!”. We all fulfill lots of different roles in different settings, in different people’s lives. Everybody has motivations and passions, and gender identity, racial factors, your upbringing, your culture, these are all parts of who you are, but when you let one of those things define you too much, you become a flat character, in fiction. [Talks for a minute about Lost, where the character who loses his son becomes a flat character because it comes to completely define the character. He’s talked about this before in his lectures so I’m not going to type it out]. When you’re writing people to just a role like that, you end up with these flat characters, you end up with people who don’t really live. And I think the first big revelation for me was that I was doing that. And this was particularly true of the female characters. When you start writing, it’s very normal to just write a protagonist who’s much like yourself and then writing people who aren’t like yourself like, this is this role, this is this role, and then boom. But there was something else I had to learn. There’s still lots of things for me to learn, but there was something else big that I had to learn. This was the problem that I’ve only recently begun reading essays about it, which is the natural inclination of someone is to first off write everyone as kind of a stereotype, and then you learn and you get better. But then the next inclination is to write the person who is different from ourselves as super super awesome. Just so that we’re not accidentally being sexist. And you’ll see this a lot too, this happens a lot with African Americans, in video games in particular. I was playing a video game once, and it’s a bunch of burly white guys who are awesome with guns and they’re killing stuff. And they talk about their friend, the black guy. You don’t know he’s black at the time. And then they get into trouble and they can’t save themselves. And the black guy bursts through the ceiling with guns blazing, mows down the enemies, says “Alright guys, go for it!”, and then runs off into the sunset. He’s like the coolest guy ever. He only stops short of doing a rap song for the end song, right? They don’t want to be racist, so he’s awesome, but he also doesn’t get a character arc. Everybody else has deep character arc and is messed up. They didn’t want to, and I understand this instinct, they didn’t want to make the black guy messed up because he’s the minority and they are so worried about screwing it up that instead they put him on a pedestal. You see guys do this with women, and you see women do this with the men characters. If you read a book, often the guy, by a female writer, the guy has very few faults, he’s just this guy, and the woman is this messed up, neurotic, interesting character. Same in reverse with the guys. The woman in the book ends up being the one who is very responsible, the one who’s like “We need to go do this”, the kick-ass “strong female character” [he literally says “quote-unquote” about strong female character] who just awesome, but doesn’t have a character arc and isn’t messed up in the ways that make people interesting. That’s another level, when you’re like, we have to make all the characters interesting, and all the characters messed up and individual, rather than even doing that level. And that one’s been even harder to internalize and figure out how to do.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12556 Copy

    Questioner

    What happens when you compound copper?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m going to RAFO that for now. I am dealing with the various interactions of the various magics slowly on purpose, to dole out information, so that I have cool stuff to talk about in future books.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12557 Copy

    Questioner

    So, Shai and forgers. She forges the emperor’s soul, then she got to track by practicing on [Gaotona], and it kind of held for a minute since he was close to the emperor, and that means it was right. So it was basically trial and error.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was.

    Questioner

    So even if she have a lot more time and a lot less information, she could’ve guessed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Potentially, there’s a certain distance trial and error will take you; in a reasonable amount of time, there’s a certain distance that can take you.

    Questioner

    And in an unreasonable amount of time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Unreasonable, yes. You can just trial and error your way through a lot of things.

    Questioner

    And by seeing it held on him for 24 hours of time, that means she got really close.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    And when she was forging herself, she was basically forging lies.

    Brandon Sanderson

    She was forging lies, but she knew how to make them really plausible for herself. Plausibility is a really big part of it. Can you convince the soul to not just of yourself...

    Questioner

    The decisions that she could have made?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. That they were realistic, that they were there, that she could have made these, that everything lines up in the past. It’s a little like programming.

    Questioner

    So that’s why she could add a little bit to the emperor’s soul because that’s also plausible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Could she have changed him more if she knew more about him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. She created a fake soul and put it in him, there are possibilities beyond what she did.

    Questioner

    So she could’ve gotten a bit wrong if her trial and error made it plausible instead of what happened?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, at least in her perspective, what she did was create a fake soul and put it in him. What I haven’t answered is did she just take the soul that was lingering on the body and fill in the gaps? Or did she legitimately craft a new soul? That I’ll leave to the cosmere philosophers to talk about.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12558 Copy

    Questioner

    You said writing the sequel to The Rithmatist is really challenging. Why is that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because when I started work on it, it was pre-Wheel of Time. The series got preempted by Wheel of Time, so it’s been ten years now since I wrote the first book. And I held it off and didn’t publish it for like five years, because I knew, I wanted to be closer to publication when I did a sequel. But when I dove back into the sequel a few years ago, I just wasn’t pleased with my outline anymore. One of the real challenging aspects of The Rithmatist is dealing with real history, real cultures, the fact that we have a bunch of colonialists living in America and all of this stuff and what happened to the indigenous peoples, and handling that without sticking my foot in my mouth is also really tricky. So you mix those two things, and I want to be very careful. So instead of writing the book, I read three books on Aztec culture. But then I didn’t have time to write the book. Eventually I will get to it, but it’s got some trickiness because of that.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12559 Copy

    Questioner

    On the [star map, there are different systems.]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    And there are constellations.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    But who’s looking at these constellations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So it is from a specific perspective, that Isaac will someday reveal. He drew this at my request; this is from a frame of reference. But we haven’t told you what it is. The best guess is that it’s Silverlight. I haven’t confirmed it, but it is the best guess. The second best guess is Yolen. There are a couple things that people have guessed, but I haven’t confirmed which it is.

    Footnote: The perspective is now known not to be Silverlight. The painting itself resides in Silverlight, but the perspective is from elsewhere.
    Boskone 54 ()
    #12560 Copy

    Questioner

    If you could tell yourself 10 years ago any one thing, what would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ten years ago? Ten years ago, I’d say “Re-read the Wheel of Time. Start early”. I got the call in 2007, September, and this would 2007 in February, and I’d have six months in my re-read going. It took me about a year to re-read the whole series and take notes on it. That would’ve been six months faster, and everyone would’ve gotten… also the book I was working on is one I never published, so I could’ve just dropped that book.

    Questioner

    So is it kind of surreal to you now, then, to be sort of like a [...] in the fantasy genre?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In the fantasy genre? Yes, I’ve kind of started to get over that. The real surreal stuff happened at the beginning, when I’m like, “I don’t deserve to be on a shelf with my favorite authors. I’m just this guy”. And then I kind of got used to that, and the rest has been easier than that initial “Why am I on the shelf with these folks?”. But you hit certain milestones where you’re like, book 3 of the Wheel of Time is when it really took off. None of you were back there then, you guys are all younger than me, but when we were reading them back then, books one and two were known fantasy quantities but not the dominant, and book three was where it was like, this is the dominant fantasy series. And I’m now releasing book three of my fantasy series. I have George Martin wayyyyyyy out beyond, I’m not going to take out that, but it is surreal to have my third book come out and to be selling so well and remembering, this is where Robert Jordan was at this point.

    Questioner

    You’re making your own path, different than Robert Jordan though.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I always say that I’m very famous with a very small group of people. Until you have a film or a television show, you will never become a real household name, and that’s fine. Even if you do, George is not so famous, he’s the most famous fantasy writer, right, unless you count Jo Rowling. George is not so famous that he can’t walk down the street. No author gets so famous, I’ve been hanging out with George and we’re walking down the street and somebody says “Hi George” and he gets an autograph. But he can sit and have dinner and people don’t bug him, there’s not paparazzi at the windows. Even the top epic fantasy writer doesn’t have to worry about that. It’s actually the best type of fame to have. You can go to a convention like this and meet with a lot of people who’s work you’ve inspired and things like that, and it’s perfect, and then you go have a normal life. [...] you be a normal person, and it’s just the right amount. [...] our faces aren’t known, and that is what is so nice about this. If you were to take my salary, I get paid very well even compared to a football star, a music star, or an actor, but nobody knows my face. And it’s mostly because a dedicated group is hardcore [...] to my stuff. That is, thank you guys. You’ve made me the best kind of famous, stealth famous. It’s pretty awesome.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12561 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you do it? (after saying he likes the characters and societies that Brandon writes)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lots of practice. Lots of reading in the genre and loving the genre. A little bit of talent, a lot of loving the genre, and a lot of practice for a long time.

    Questioner

    I haven’t read Mistborn, but I’ve read this one [Stormlight]. How do you come up with the culture, the society?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the book. Stormlight is my best series. If you haven’t tried Emperor’s Soul, it’s the other thing that I think is on Stormlight’s level, but it’s a short. What I’m looking to do with something like Stormlight is to say that the fantasy genre should be the most magical genre, right? Classically, science fiction has done a better job with the worldbuilding, and fantasy has tended to do a better job with things like characters and story. Not that there’s not science fiction that has great, you know, but usually science fiction’s been about the ideas and the interesting settings, but in fantasy we play it safe with the settings and try to do interesting characters. Which I’ve always thought, “Why do we do that? Why do we play it safe with our settings? Why don’t we have really bizarre, fantastical settings?”. So for years, even before I became a published author, I was searching for ones that would have one foot in science fiction. I want to do something magical as an origin, like the highstorm, you know, the physics of the highstorm don’t actually work, but we take it for assumed and then we try to extrapolate a realistic extrapolation of the world from that. That’s just what I’m doing, I’m trying to set up some sort fantastical setting or environment and then let science fiction take over and try and build how it would grow. On the cultures, usually I’m taking things I’ve learned about our culture and I am just trying to [...] a fantastical version. Sometimes when you do that you can say something interesting about human society, removed from the baggage of human society. There was a brief time in the pre-Victorian era where, for women, showing your ankle was more taboo than showing your chest. In fact, they would have pictures painted of them, noblewomen, in a state of what you’d call topless. Not a problem; a little risque, like what wearing a low-cut shirt is now, but no big deal. That’s bizarre to us, because, our society that’s not how it is. But if I put that in, in a fantasy book as a safehand, I can say, look, human beings do bizarre things as far as gender roles, socialization of gender, and what we find attractive. This should be very bizarre to you, but the reactions are normal. That disconnect is what helps build a fantastical society and lets me say a few things about our society, I hope in interesting ways.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12562 Copy

    Ironeyes

    What kind of qualities attract an inkspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Inkspren do not like how variable humans are. It’s a thing out of honor, and they like people who are logical and willing to think about their lives and not react as much by instinct.

    They are looking more - the scholar is the perfect example, but a soldier who is very thoughtful and is not just rushing into battle could be chosen as well.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12563 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do the people in the Stormlight Archive get all their leather?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They have great farms of pigs. You notice, leather is usually called hogshide, but it’s all hog leather.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12564 Copy

    Questioner

    So with Soulforging, are you able to Soulforge yourself so that you die?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, can you Soulforge yourself to death? So, Soulforging that requires large state changes of Investiture and/or inputs of Investiture are very difficult. However, killing yourself is not that hard, but basically you could - so, Soulforging yourself so that you are already dead would a little bit harder, but Soulforging yourself would be, yeah.

    Questioner

    <background noise> and be able to check in the afterlife and then return--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, because transfer of Investiture to and from the Beyond or even into the Cognitive Realm is going to require more investiture than a Forger pulls through, you can Forge yourself to death.

    Questioner

    So I can kill myself but I can’t come back.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. That would be one of those things where you kill yourself, your soul passes to the Beyond, your body when the Forgery is broken comes back, and just dead.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12565 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Could a Soother prevent a listener from attuning a given rhythm?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No. A coppercloud could, but I hadn't thought about emotional allomancy interacting. See, the rhythm isn't your emotion and doesn't determine your mood. It is a direct connection to the spiritual realm. So I guess soothing could make it harder just like it makes anything harder, in the same way that driving a car would be harder. [recording starts here] And so, for the same reasons that you can, um, it is possible that a coppercloud can play with it. Not a normal power of a coppercloud, but you’ve seen them do stuff similar.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12566 Copy

    yulerule

    I know you’ve thought out a lot, especially like the Cosmere and how the magic works and everything, but I know the Sharders and everybody have been doing really ridiculous tiny details. Have they thought of something that made you revise anything or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I generally try to avoid revising to what the fans come up with.

    yulerule

    Not what they come up with because of ideas that you haven’t thought of or…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, on occasion they say something where I’m like, “Yes, that is the right thing,” and then I just canonize it. So yes they do influence it that way.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12567 Copy

    Questioner

    From all of your Cosmere books, do you have anywhere written what the timeframe between the series are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven’t done that officially. We have it ourselves. What I’ve told people is that they are basically in order of being released. I haven’t jumped back. At least if you count the first of each individual series. So they’re roughly in order chronologically. White Sand is out of order because that’s chronologically one of the earliest. And now Stormlight and Wax & Wayne… Wax & Wayne are post-Stormlight, but I’m releasing… You know, it’s a little mixed up now.

    Questioner

    Okay, I was almost expecting that in the Arcanum.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, we will do that eventually. There are just some secrets in there that I’m not sure I want to release, and there are other things I’m not sure I want to canonize because I’m still tweaking the dates a little bit.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12568 Copy

    Bromo_Sapien

    When somebody travels into the Cognitive Realm, what happens to their physical self? To their body? Like Elsecalling or through a Shardpool?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well it depends on the way they’re doing it. The two ways you’ve mentioned transport the physical body. It’s actually creating a rift and slipping them through. But there are other ways that you kind of peek in, where your body’s saying it’s a little more astral projection-y in those cases.

    Bromo_Sapien

    So their physical self would also be in the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Bromo_Sapien

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which is weird.

    Bromo_Sapien

    As opposed to somebody like Kelsier who died and no longer has a physical self.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, right. Or when Shallan is Soulcasting and peeking in, and things like this. It can still be dangerous, because what’s happening is that little soul bubble there that’s manifesting into a version of your soul and then things can get at it in different ways and stuff. So... But yes, going in physically means you just pop between realms, and yeah, yeah…

    Bromo_Sapien

    And when they leave the Cognitive Realm their Physical self just leaves the Cognitive Realm the same...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep, mhm, yep.

    Bromo_Sapien

    Perfect.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Basically you’re transferring into Investiture and popping out of Investiture, so...

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12569 Copy

    Questioner

    Are Odium and Harmony aware of each other, and will they ever directly come at each other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are aware of each other, and they are both frightened of the other one for different reasons. Or at least “wary of” perhaps is a better term.

    Questioner

    That’s interesting. Is that in the narrative perhaps at some point in the future? (another person?) [...] between Harmony and Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    [RAFO cards]

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12570 Copy

    Questioner

    If you gather the essence of a Shard can you reassemble a [disassembled?] Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    [Jokes and shows him a RAFO? Never answered?]

    Footnote: Sounds to me like he had a RAFO card already in the book when Brandon opened it or something like that
    Boskone 54 ()
    #12571 Copy

    Questioner

    When Vin hears Reen’s voice in the beginning, is that Ruin at that point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there are times where it’s just her remembering him actually talking to her. And there are times when it’s Ruin. It’s usually pretty obvious when it’s Ruin. The ring will be in, and it will kind of force its way into her head a little more directly. So kind of watch for that. If the earring isn’t in, or if it just kind of flows naturally and she’s remembering something he talked to her about, it’s not always going to be Ruin.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12572 Copy

    BeskarKomrk

    It’s fairly heavily implied in the Stormlight books that there’s some sort of correspondence between the Chasmfiends and the Thunderclasts. They’re described very similarly and... I was wondering if there’s a similar sort of correspondence, possibly, between the Whitespines and the Midnight Essences?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh... yes, yes. More tenuous, but yes.

    BeskarKomrk

    But kind of similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. The Midnight Essence generally imitates what it sees around it.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12573 Copy

    Questioner

    What powers does Mizzy have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m not telling people that yet, mostly because I haven’t decided 100% how I want it to work yet. I know basically what I want to do, but I haven’t decided how I’m going to play it out. I’m not telling people until I get the book actually written.

    Questioner

    Does that mean there’s another book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, if I write another book, it will be a Mizzy book.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12574 Copy

    Questioner

    When are you going to finish the Alcatraz Smedry series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Soon. Now, Alcatraz Smedry series is finished, but Bastille’s series of one book is not. Right? Have you read that?

    Questioner

    I have not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So in the end of the fifth book Alcatraz says it’s the end and refuses to write any more. Cause there is a fifth book. And then there’s a note from Bastille, and she says, “He’s an idiot. I will finish the series so that you can get the actual ending.”

    Questioner

    So, is the whole Alcatraz Smedry series out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The fifth book is out. And then, but you’ve got to remember that there’s one more book that Bastille is writing because Alcatraz is stupid, and he won’t finish his own series.

    Questioner

    That’s cool!

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, you can read the fifth book and it is his ending, but it’s a downer. I’m just warning you. Because he thinks he’s not a hero and he wants it to be a downer of ending to his series. And she is going to write a different ending.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12575 Copy

    Questioner

    I was actually curious how you ended up with such a mathematically heavy magic system in The Rithmatist.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to do something different. I wanted to push myself and stretch, and it is where it went. It was very much a discovery written book, rather than an outline book. I was writing it to avoid writing something else that I didn’t want to be writing.

    Questioner

    What were you avoiding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was avoiding Dragonsteel, the Liar of Partinel, which didn’t work. I didn’t know how to fix it, and I still don’t.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12576 Copy

    Questioner

    With the introduction of ebooks does that really like, open up a way for new authors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It did. It’s actually-- what we find is in general, more authors can make it professionally, though across the board everyone earns a little bit less. Um, and so, but that’s like… that’s a very good thing for new authors. It means there’s more opportunity to break in. And I do talk in the lectures-- I have a self-published person come in and talk about breaking in through self publishing, which is totally viable these days.

    Questioner

    Is it easier to move to actual publishing from the ebooks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is... It is. Usually they say your threshold is when you’re selling ten thousand books. If you can get to ten thousand. Then New York publishers will be willing to give you enough of an advance that it’s worth it for you to take it. So that’s kind of your threshold. Between two thousand and ten thousand they’re willing to look at you. So that’s kind of where you want to try to hit. And the best thing you can do with self publishing is… The best thing you can do for your writing is just to keep writing. And the best thing you can do for self publishing is to maybe save up until you’ve got a couple books. You know, write one, then go write the second, then revise the first and make it good, then release that, then revise the second and release that. So you can kind of do two…

    Questioner

    So get like some books in your holster before you start…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah yeah, you probably at least want to know that you’ve been able to take a little time and get two or three done. Then release them in rapid fire and use them to promote one another. Plus you will learn so much writing your first few books that by the time you’re done with your third one you can revise the first and they’ll have an even quality rather than kind of-- you know--

    Questioner

    Better every time

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12577 Copy

    Questioner

    I just finished Rithmatist, so just a general question, where did the idea come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Rithmatist began as the magic system as you probably could guess. I wanted to do an interesting magic system that people played a game with. Because I have used most of my magic… You’ll read in these, that they’re kind of martial arts based, warfare based, things like that. I’m like, people play games with everything. Why do I have no games-- magic systems with games. So it kind of just spun out of that.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12578 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you update your own website? [...] I was wondering because you’re [...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    If it’s in my voice, then I wrote it. Uh… Anyone who updates-- Like you go sometimes [wording?] say “Assistant Adam here, here is something Brandon told me…” So if you hear an “I”, it is me. If it’s not an “I”-- it’s in third person or something-- then it’s one of my assistants.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12579 Copy

    Questioner

    I’m a big fan of Jasnah. And I hope you’ll do her justice in the next book. Do you say it “Jasnah” or “Jasnah”? [different pronunciations]

    Brandon Sanderson

    I say “Jasnah” [soft-J], but you can say it however you want. Remember she’s got a--- she will get a book in the series that has her flashback sequence--

    Questioner

    Good!

    Brandon Sanderson

    --but it’s a little ways off.

    Questioner

    Does she get a [???]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She will-- She… You will see a lot more of her, but she is intended to be one of the main characters of the second five Stormlight books. In the first five Stormlight books she’s a supporting character. So we’ll reverse some of the supporting characters and some of the main characters in book 6. Um… So you just gotta to wait until we get some more. But she is on the cover of book 3, so...

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    Questioner

    Is being a Knight Radiant at all genetic? Because you have Jasnah, Dalinar, and Renarin in the same family.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not genetic, however… Um… Families or people close to one another are more likely. It’s not genetic. So for instance, if everyone were adopted it would still have the same prevalence.

    Questioner

    Okay, fascinating!

    Questioner

    [interruption hard to hear]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, there are a couple of reasons for that. One is which, attracting the attention of a spren can mean that other spren are paying attention to that area. There are also things in the Cosmere (the shared universe of them) where people are connected spiritually. Um… and that’s part of the magic as well. So… You are more likely to become a Radiant if you know a Radiant.

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    Questioner

    In the Stormlight Archive we saw the sword from Warbreaker and we also know that the royal line can change more than just their hair, will that come into play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can! What’s that?

    Questioner

    ...will that come into play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That will come into play, keep your eyes open.

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    ccstat

    We know that recording things can lock spren into position in the cognitive realm. Does the existence of the written Diagram have a significant Realmatic effect.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Diagram has Realmatic significance.

    ccstat

    Did Taravangian know that when he wrote it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Define “know.” On the same level perhaps that a table on Roshar knows it’s a table.

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    ccstat

    Nalthis has 5-centric numerology.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay.

    ccstat

    Do regular humans count as the 5th type of biochromatic entity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    [laughs] Um, I will RAFO that, not for any real good reason, but for a mini-good reason.

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    ccstat

    (written in book: Is there a radiant order that would accept Allomancer Jak?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    (written in book: It would depend on the spren, but possibly. There are a few that would have liked him once...)

    There’s some portent in that answer.

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    Questioner

    Lopen. Is he a squire, or does he actually have a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He’s a squire. You’ll find out a lot more about what the squires are in the upcoming book. For most orders, squire were knights radiant potentially in training, so you can see what happens in the next book.

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    Questioner

    (Paraphrased) [Something about treating religion fairly]

    Brandon Sanderson

    I feel that a story is best when there are multiple people with strong viewpoints who disagree.

    Questioner

    In a lot of books, religion is the weakness.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I always hate it when there’s a character in a book who expresses an opinion I have, and they’re the idiot.

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    Questioner

    First, I have a message from my older brother

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay

    Questioner

    He says, "just tell him that Szeth is the man, and he expects a bloody revenge story, where he whoops off all the heads of all the Shin guys who still have honorblades

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tell him that Szeth is anticipating that too.

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    Questioner

    Why does Stormlight make things cold?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s not the Stormlight, it’s condensation because something is going directly from a gas into a solid. The coldness is caused by that, it’s not necessarily that the Stormlight is making things cold, but that the Shardblade is condensing.

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    Steeldancer

    The Heralds, back before Honor died, were they directly powered by Honor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. You’ll find out more about that, but the Shardblades [pretty sure he means Honorblades here] were pieces of Honor’s soul that he gave them and direct access to his essence.

    Steeldancer

    Like Vin and Elend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, a little like that. That’s why Honorblades don’t work like Shardblades do, like Radiants do.

    Steeldancer

    The second part of the question is, what would happen if they were directly powered by Honor and they were holding Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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    Questioner

    How do you keep your characters’ voices distinctive? Because Jordan is terrible, all the women sound exactly the same, but you don’t.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s weird. Character is the one I have the hardest time talking about. I’m naturally an outliner and planner for everything but my characters. What I do is, I cast my characters. I put a person in this role and I write a scene from their viewpoint and, if it is distinctive and it works, I go with it. If not, I set it aside and I try some other personality until I get something that  feels distinctive, and then I use that chapter as a model. Anytime I’m going to go back to that character, I go back to that chapter like, this is who they are. Later on, I’ll have touchstone chapters where they change and I’ll use that one instead.