Recent entries

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12554 Copy

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    What would a Shardblade do to [a "zombie" Elantrian]?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Um, a Shardblade would...oh boy. A Shardblade...a Shardblade would still be dangerous to them, um, the trick is, um, the Shardblade's gonna treat them half alive, half dead. So, it probably would be kind of a flicker, so it depends on when you hit them. It might cut the arm off.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    It might cut the arm off...

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    And it might just leave it dead.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12555 Copy

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Most of my questions are actually about the Reod Elantrians.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Okay.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    So, could they be felt by life sense?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    They would, um...they are in the middle of a transformation. I would say that yes they could be, but you're going to get like a stutter is what I'd guess you would get, it's like you would get a...a flashing.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Because they're kind of alive, and kind of not alive.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah. And so, yeah, you'd just get a flashing sort of....something.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12556 Copy

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Could you spike Elantrian-ness? Like, could you Hemalurgically spike Elantrian-ness?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Theoretically, yes.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Could you out of a Reod Elantrian? The zombie ones?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Um, yes you could.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    You could?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    So what you would be spiking there is their Connection to...to the planet, first. That's gonna be the big important thing. So you're going to overwrite your Connection. Um, and then you're going to....it's going to be a complicated process because you're going to have to spike the actual ability to have been transformed, that's gonna be harder.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Does that make sense?

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Yeah, so it's gonna take two spikes.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It's gonna take two spikes.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Alright.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    And you gonna have to get the right Connection to the right place. Let's say you spike somebody from MaiPon, and then you spike an Elantrian, you're not going to be able to use it, you're not connected to the right area.

    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12558 Copy

    ProfessionalLurker (paraphrased)

    Any news on Alcatraz 5?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said he wrote the book last summer, and is waiting for the greenlight from Tor to hand it off, basically. They want to publish books 1-4 first, followed by this one. But the only thing needed is a schedule and edits! Still sounds like an early/mid 2016 thing to me.

    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12561 Copy

    leftinspace

    I've picked up in bits in pieces that it's possible, for some people at least, to use the Shardpools to worldhop...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    leftinspace

    Can non-Invested people do that, or do you have to have some form of Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *hesitantly* Every individual is Invested to some extent...

    leftinspace

    Do you have to have any special Investiture above and beyond the normal spark of life?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm gonna go ahead and RAFO that.

    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12562 Copy

    leftinspace

    Can you tell me how long it was from the Shattering of Adonalsium to the prelude of The Way of Kings when the Heralds abandoned the Oathpact?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Current timeline, which I have NOT canonized, is around 6,000 years... I have not finished with my outline document yet.

    leftinspace

    'Cause I've looked at the current chronology and it's very, very spotty...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes it is... the real trick is... making sure that I fit in, for instance, White Sand and things with the proper amount... because I haven't released that book series yet, I have to make sure while we're doing the graphic novel, that it fits the chronology, which is why I can't quite canonize things yet.

    leftinspace

    That one takes place before Way of Kings doesn't it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

    leftinspace

    'Cause I know one of the worldhoppers from there shows up in Way of Kings...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, White Sand is one of the very earliest.

    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12564 Copy

    Lady Radagu (paraphrased)

    Since Horneaters don't really go for Vorin dresses, what would your average Horneater guy and girl wear? Anything special to differentiate a Nuatoma and their retinue?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    I'm going to have to RAFO that. We're actually working on the sketches for those, and until they're finalized, I don't want to say anything to canonize them. But we will get you that information.
    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12565 Copy

    Lady Radagu (paraphrased)

    Were there cadmium/bendalloy and possibly chromium/nicrosil mistings in the Final Empire? If yes, were the mists Snapping those too?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Um, yes, there were, but since the mists were trying to create a pattern to be a sign, and people didn't know all the metals, they (the mists) had to use substitutions. They were acting the way we've seen other cognitive shadows, who are deceased, act.

    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12566 Copy

    PrncRny (paraphrased)

    How and when is the type of Misting you become determined? Can you tell what type of Misting you are before you Snap?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It's determined at birth. The cosmere by combining 3 aspects of self. Your physical self, mental self, and spiritual self. The spiritual self is tied to the Investiture of the world that you come from. When an Allomancer snaps, a piece of their soul is broken and some of that power leaks into them, giving them their abilities.

    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12567 Copy

    PrncRny (paraphrased)

    Why is Breath not consumed in Awakening, unlike most all other uses of Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Not all Investitures are "used up." Much like energy, it isn't typically created or destroyed, just changes for. With Breath, in what it's used for, it is just more easily and readily recovered than in other forms.

    Idaho Falls signing 2014 ()
    #12568 Copy

    PrncRny (paraphrased)

    So Alethi hair "breeds true" based on the individual's ancestry, why then does Renarin have more black than Adolin?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    As with us regular people, different shades of skin can be had within the same family with the same parents, its just a matter of how their DNA falls out. No different here. Nothing special with Adolin and Renarin's hair.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12573 Copy

    Questioner

    When is the second book of The Rithmatist coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't written it yet. I started doing the research, and it was so much work I realized I needed more time to do it, because I'm going to South America in it, and I just needed to know South American cultures better, so I decided I need to take another year to do research. So I'm doing research for it right now, I'm going to write it hopefully after I finish the next Stormlight book, and then we'll release it soon after. So it's a little ways away.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12575 Copy

    Questioner (Paraphrased)

    In the acknowledgements of Firefight you promised that if you ever became an Epic you would go after your alpha, beta, and gamma readers last. What would their best defense be, i.e what would your weakness be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mac'n'cheese? Well, No 'cause I like mac'n'cheese too much. Fish sticks. It would be fish sticks.

    Questioner

    I thought you disliked fish sticks.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Exactly. That's why they'd be my weakness.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12576 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you think is the difference between SciFi and Fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    SciFi works with the improbable becoming reality; Fantasy works with the impossible pretending to be reality. I think the line is between what could be and what can't be. By my definition, that kind of takes Star Wars into Fantasy. I don't necessarily like Asimov's definitions, just because he was very down on fantasy. A lot of the fantasy of his era was very Conan-ish. He was a great writer, I respect his fiction a lot, but I don't think he gave fantasy its fair due.

    I would count Star Trek definitely science fiction, they're trying to talk about - even though they're using fantastical teleporters and stuff - they're trying to say this is what's possible. It's social science fiction, a lot of it.

    Questioner

    But wouldn't you say Star Wars is really both?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say it’s a mash-up hybrid. It’s a fantasy magic system in a space opera science fiction setting.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12577 Copy

    Questioner

    In Sixth of the Dusk, it feels like it's a crossover...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is true.

    Questioner

    So is it a planet that we've seen before, or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Well, you have seen the people they are calling the "Ones Above".

    Questioner

    And you're not going to tell any more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope.

    Questioner

    When will we know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, fifteen years maybe? Hopefully it won't take me that long, but I only just finished the outlines for Era 3 Mistborn, which is now what we're calling the 1980s, so I haven't even at the moment got the sketches of the sci-fi one, I don't have the outlines and things. So in other words, we aren't to the science fiction era; we're a ways off from that.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12578 Copy

    Questioner

    What was the main inspiration for Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My main inspiration for Elantris was reading in the New Testament, actually, about lepers and leper colonies, and wanting to write a story about a magical leper colony. And that's where the idea for the people who got this disease, and the city, and everything like that.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12580 Copy

    Questioner

    When you started writing Cosmere novels, how much of it had you outlined? How far ahead had you thought?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I started writing Cosmere novels? When I started started, I was a teenager. Totally hadn't thought very far ahead. When I was an adult and I was writing them, I wrote one when I was like 20, and I had an inkling, and I played around with things. The first one that I wrote with a real, conscious eye toward the cosmere was Elantris. So the ones that have been published, yes. But when I first started, I had a little bit of an inkling.

    Questioner

    Have you ever backed yourself into a corner with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not yet! I have backed myself into corners by saying things to fans that I've already changed in my notes and hadn't realized I had, and stuff like that - I do that all the time. But usually when I do that, I just tell them. "Ah, I'm sorry, I just changed this, guys." I'm still convinced that Stayer and Stepper - that [Robert Jordan] didn't know those were two different horses. I'm utterly convinced that he made the mistake, and then just covered it. Because that's the sort of things we writers do.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12581 Copy

    Questioner (Paraphrased)

    What was your involvement with the Infinity Blade franchise?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What happened there was, I came in when the first game was already made. They said we'd really like to do something, and I really like the guys, they're friends of mine, and I'm like, "You don't have a story here. You've got to have a protagonist and things like this." So then I said, "Okay, let's take what you have, tell me what you have for the world, and let's brainstorm together, and let's construct a narrative. And so we did it together. We spent a lot of time in their offices constructing the next two games, then I was able to write the novellas between the two.

    Questioner

    So did you have any input on the game stories, then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I did. I had a lot of influence, though I did not write the dialogue, so sometimes it's a little bit cringe-worthy. They sent me the script, but I just didn't have time to go over the scripts for them. Sometime I'd like to actually do a game with them, because they make great games.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12582 Copy

    lightningrani

    Can you tell me anything about Kaladin's maternal grandparents?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that his mother [Hesina]--you're asking a very astute question--gave up more than most people gave up in that city to go be what she became. She's definitely fallen in social standing since her childhood. She took a hit.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12583 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have any word on the Mistborn video games that are coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no official word, other than to say that we did option the rights to the film to the people who are making the video game, and told them, "You have to make the video game or you can't make the film." I actually really like them, and their script treatments on the film are great. And it's not their fault, really, that the game hasn't taken off. It's just that they've had - these things happen in video games. The studio they were working with went under, and another one split, and this sort of stuff happens.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12584 Copy

    Questioner

    Elantris, though, how you came out with The Emperor's Soul, it didn't involve any of the magic or anything, I have a feeling they're going to collide?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there will be - you will see much more of that. Definitely.

    Questioner

    So we'll be able to see the actual Elantris again? Shining and beautiful again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you will.

    Questioner

    It was very sad, to see them all in pain, the continual pain and...

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the reasons I wrote Warbreaker was that I didn't think I could get back to Elantris yet, but I realized I'd written this entire book about the city of the gods, and you never got to see the city of the gods. So Warbreaker was another take on that idea.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12585 Copy

    Questioner (Paraphrased)

    So have you decided who is going to be the focus character for Stormlight 3?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not. What I've decided is that I need to actually write out, rather than just having the outlines, write out the three backstories that are left of the first five, and then compare them to the story as I'm writing it, and see which one works. Because any one of them could work, but as I'm writing the book... yeah. It's one of those things that I know I need the flexibility on, as I write, to make it work.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12587 Copy

    Questioner

    There was the poem at the end of Way of Kings. How long did that take?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It took an embarrassingly long amount of time. I am not a poet, so mixing poetry with a really rigid form... Yes, the keteks take a long time. Both of them.

    Wetlander

    Are you going to do that in every book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A ketek? Yes, I probably will do that.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12589 Copy

    Questioner

    When are you going to write the other Warbreaker book? Last time I came to hear you talk, you said you were going to, and now you have 3000 other projects!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know, and the Warbreaker fans really get on my case about that. Well, I wrote Words of Radiance, and I got Vasher into it, so that would kindle interest, and make sure that you at least got to see your characters again.

    But did you hear the story about that? So, I wrote The Way of Kings in 2002, the first version, and in that version Kaladin trained with a swordmaster, and that swordmaster, a guy named Vasher, had a mysterious past. After I finished that book, later on I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel to Way of Kings, to show Vasher's backstory. But then Warbreaker came out before Way of Kings, which was a really kind of interesting thing. So in my head, Warbreaker is the prequel, but to everyone else... Yes, it is a totally different world, different planets, people get around...

    Wetlander

    So how much of Vasher's backstory do we actually have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, a huge chunk of it…! If you were reading Way of Kings, you would know nothing, and then you’d read Warbreaker and you’d be like, “Oh, here’s a whole past that he had!” That doesn’t mean it’s all of his past.

    Wetlander

    (He’s not giving any hints as to whether Vasher had any connection with Roshar prior to Warbreaker – or at least not without someone asking a much more direct question.)

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12590 Copy

    Questioner

    In The Emperor's Soul - when did you decide to change the beginning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was Mary, from the podcast with me, is very good at short fiction. She read it, and she said, "This intro is just holding the story back." And I read it again, and I'm like, I really feel that she's right. I felt at the end of it that the intro was interesting for people who liked Hoid already, but for people who didn't, it was just distracting and confusing. So at the end of the day, I cut it out, and I think it was a good move, even though it was sad. If you google the phrase "killing your darlings". it's a phrase we talk about in writing and storytelling. That scene was what made me want to write the book, it's what started me off in writing the book, and then I cut it out. But sometimes you have to end up doing that.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12591 Copy

    Questioner

    At the end of A Memory of Light, it mentions that Rand is no longer ta'veren - does that apply to Mat and Perrin as well? And if it does, how does it apply to Mat's luck?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Everything I'm saying right now is not 100% canon, because I'm only working off of my guesstimates based on his notes. I believe that Mat's luck is a soul attribute that is independent of him being a ta'veren, but enhanced by his ta'veren nature. Part of the proof of this is the Heroes of the Horn knowing him as Gambler, which means in other Ages when he's been born and not been ta'veren, he's still had luck and attraction to things like that. Plus things in the notes, I'm basing on that. So it does not necessarily mean they aren't ta'veren right now, but even if they weren't, I think Mat would still have his luck.

    Questioner

    So you don't know whether they're ta'veren or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not know. My suspicion is that if he would have written the outriggers, Mat still would have been, and maybe Perrin, because Perrin was going to be in the outriggers, we know this. But I don't know for sure.

    But I think it would have been fun, if in some parallel dimension if I were to have written them, which I'm never going to, I would have not made Mat ta'veren, or Perrin, I would have made Tuon ta'veren, and forced Mat to deal with someone else who was ta'veren, which I think would have been interesting.

    Questioner

    Can women be ta'veren? Because in the entire series there is not a single female ta'veren.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not, but I'm very sure that they can be, based on things that I read in the notes. So, that's what I would have done, but I don't know if that's what Robert Jordan would have done. Can you just imagine that, Mat having to think that he's in someone else's story now?

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12592 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you keep it all organized when you're doing so much at once?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A wiki. An internal wiki is where I keep all the cosmere and all the notes on that. The other things, I don't have to worry about as much. For instance, Reckoners, I've got one viewpoint character and one major plot; that I can keep in my head. I've got note files and things like that, but the Cosmere? Big old wiki full of stuff.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12595 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your inspiration for Sixth of the Dusk? It feels so, Polynesian or Hawaiian...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I love Hawaiian and Polynesian culture, and it was basically me reading some stories about Kamehameha, and his unification of the islands, and all this stuff, and I'm like, "Ah, I've got to use this someday." It was years later before I got to use it, but I did find a time to use it. And then we got Kekai [Kotaki] to do the illustration, and he's Polynesian, so...

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12596 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you ever have trouble keeping your characters straight? How long does it take to get back into them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I stop writing and go back, it is hard. It takes about a month to get back into a story after I stop. I don't get the characters mixed up.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I try to, but I don't always manage it, because of deadlines and things. It's always going to cost me, and I know it will, sometimes you can't avoid that. In the old days, I never did it, when I didn't have a publisher, but now it's my job. When they say, "We need this revision done," I stop and do the revision, but it costs me.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12597 Copy

    Questioner

    I read online, something about one of your original drafts, [I think it was about] Gavilar, and it was where he was blind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah that was actually Taravangian, in the oldest version. One of the very first things I wrote was that, though Taravangian had a different name then, and was very different. Szeth has stayed the same through all the revisions. Kaladin has changed wildly, and almost everybody has changed dramatically, except Szeth is the same person. Him and Dalinar are the same.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12598 Copy

    Questioner

    *Something incomprehensible about emotion* Do you like to connect with your reader on an emotional level?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do. So here's the thing: I am not an emotional person by my nature, and one of the only things that makes me feel very strong emotions is fiction. A really good piece of fiction makes me feel like the characters do, and the rest of the time, I'm just kind of - I won't say emotionless, but not emotional. It's not that. It's like some people have wild mood swings; one day they're a 20 and one day they're an 80, on a scale of 1 to 100, right? I'm always a 70, right? Like almost consistently always pleasantly happy. I don't know what depression feels like. I don't know what it really feels like to be sad. I've never really felt that - except when I'm reading a book. Does that make sense? So that's one of the reasons I write, because I want to be able to [go through] those emotions with people.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12599 Copy

    Questioner

    I've gotten both Legion books from Subterranean Press, and I was wondering if you've planned on doing any more through them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would like to. The thing is, it is kind of a hassle, just because working out release dates and things like that, part of the reason to do - I think they do gorgeous editions - but part of the reason to do the e-book things is so that I can be a little bit more spontaneous in releasing them and things like that, and so I'm likely to continue, but it is a bit hard. This time, we were like, "Why don't you guys just release a limited edition, and we'll do a print edition," but then they were like, "No, please don't do one." So I think I'd go back to letting them do a cheap edition and a limited edition if I did another one with them, I don't know.

    Firefight Seattle UBooks signing ()
    #12600 Copy

    Questioner

    What was the book that was the hardest to write for you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would definitely be A Memory of Light, the last Wheel of Time book.

    Questioner

    Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, number one, I had been following that series for 20 years, and I was finishing off the writing of an author I respected a lot, and trying to fill his shoes, and not being able to do it because no one could, and the end of a journey. Every other book I've finished, I know if I wanted to I could go back and write more about those characters. Wheel of Time, I can't. It's done. It's not mine; I can't go write another book about Mat or Perrin or anything like that. So there's a finality to finishing that book that I haven't had with any of my other books. And then in addition, logistically it was a very difficult book to write.