Recent entries

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12551 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 ()
    #12552 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 ()
    #12556 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 ()
    #12557 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 ()
    #12558 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 ()
    #12559 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 ()
    #12563 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 ()
    #12564 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 ()
    #12565 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 ()
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    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 ()
    #12567 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 ()
    #12568 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 ()
    #12569 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 ()
    #12570 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 ()
    #12571 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 ()
    #12573 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 ()
    #12574 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 ()
    #12575 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.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12576 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you do the same thing with Kaladin's depression?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes I did but that one is a little closer to home, [several people in Brandon's life have depression].

    Questioner

    I have depression as well, it's pretty inspiring to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had never seen a hero who had depression and I was like "I need to do a real, legitimate that it's not about their depression, they just have it" Does that make sense? Like whenever I read a book it is all about them having depression. And I'm like "No, your life is not about you having depression, your life-- that is part of your life but--" So it was very important to me that I get that one right.

    Questioner

    I just, yeah I just find your book so inspiring so I just really appreciate you doing all this for us.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
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    Questioner

    My background is twenty years of military, and as I've been reading your Way of Kings, I've found that your insight into what it like to be a member of the service, all the mental trials including post-traumatic stress disorder is all very well thought-out and I'm curious how you came across that knowledge.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lots of interviews and lots of reading on forums. People who post their hearts and souls on-- if you find the right forums, where people are among like-minded individuals, you can watch like a fly-on-the-wall and see what people are saying and how they are feeling. Because I strive for authenticity, that's what I-- whenever someone is feeling I want it to be authentic, and the more far removed from my own experience the better it is, if that makes sense to me, to get it into my books. So I try very hard for that.

    Questioner

    In fact I'm going to be suggesting to the Veterans' Administration to use the series for treatment for PTSD. There are literally some things in there I've never seen anyone actually understand or get before. Some of my military friends have just been in absolute tears after reading your book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is an honor to hear.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12578 Copy

    Questioner

    And all the different powers kind of run off the same type of power? Like Breath is the same as Stormlight.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeees, they have their own different sort of layers to them. It depends on the Shard that is there and things like that but yes there are little differences but it is more like the differences between alternating current and direct current, they're both electricity. So if you know how to use them.

    Questioner

    'Cause Szeth's not going to be getting any new Breaths on Roshar so I was thinking about that.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12579 Copy

    Questioner

    Hemalurgy, does the person having the metal shoved through them have to die?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has to rip off a piece of their soul. That normally results in death.

    Questioner

    Because I'm thinking you're going a bit into the future, surgery, precise things like that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's plausible but-- I mean it would leave the person like-- it's ripping off a piece of their soul. But the same thing happens when you give up your Breath. So you're giving up a piece of your soul. There are-- It's plausible you could take off pieces of a soul without killing the person.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12580 Copy

    Questioner

    I love that book [The Rithmatist], the world, I'm looking forward to those...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The sequel is going to be very fun, it's called "The Aztlanian", it's taking place in South America.

    Questioner

    Where in South America?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I've rebuilt South America so it's kind of weird. The Aztek empire, which is the main name the Northerners have for it, they call it something else. The problem is I shrunk the planet, so I had to smash South America and Central America a little bit into each other so the islands that they are is it South America? Central America? What is it?

    Questioner

    So is it Spanish-speaking? Or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, the Spaniards got fought off, they actually speak Nahautl.

    Questioner

    No Portuguese or Spanish? It's all...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a couple Portuguese/Spanish islands but-- They grabbed a few of them but the main empire speaks Nahuatl.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12581 Copy

    Questioner

    I just started Part 3 [of The Final Empire?] and I actually went over to your booth to ask them because I was confused. There are different symbols for the Allomantic metals but I only recognize one of them here. Why are there different symbols you don't know about at the beginning of different parts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Part of it is they don't know all the metals yet, in the books, and so that's a hint. Part of it is because that their writing system is more than 16 letters and so there are symbols that do not represent a metal, necessarily, or an Allomantic metal so they can-- They write with them as well. It is both a writing system and each symbol is a metal.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12582 Copy

    Questioner

    In Warbreaker how did you come up with the idea of using colors for magic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know it's the goofiest story. A lot of them have really awesome stories and this one is just goofy. In this one I had written Elantris and written Mistborn and they are both kind of dark and my editor said to me, I kid you not, "Your next book needs some color to it" and I said "Oh I'll do a color-based magic system then". And that's where it came from.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12583 Copy

    Questioner

    What were the Allomantic metals based on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Allomantic metals were based on two main concepts, magic that feels one step science one step superstition so I was reading things like alchemy and I wanted something that was one half chemistry, one half alchemy. The idea of eating the metals and metabolizing them was really interesting to me because it's kind of almost scientific but not really. That mixed with me wanting to have a thieving crew have different powers that would help different members of a crew and I built the powers to match people like Ham and Breeze.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12584 Copy

    Questioner

    I had a question about White Sand, we both read the draft of it, it's going to graphic novel. What's your involvement with that? Are you kind of passing over the draft?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We passed the book to the writer, the writer is sending us scripts, and we are commenting on them and things like that. There are a few big changes I've made to the story, that it needed, and things like that. But we are letting the script writer write the scripts and then we are reading them over.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12585 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Is Dalinar clean-shaven or does he wear a beard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the day, and the time. Dalinar is clean-shaven through most of the books you have seen.

    Questioner 1

    That's what I thought but he thought not.

    Questioner 2

    The audiobook reader just gives me an impression of a wizened person with a well-kept beard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's see if I've got... if I've got enough internet...

    Questioner 2

    I get the impression that Sadeas has a creepy mustache from the audiobook as well.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Beards are not in fashion in Alethkar right now.

    Questioner 1

    Which is why Kaladin shaves it off.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's see, Way of Kings, I've got the artwork I used as-- *shows secret canon drawing* So there is the concept art we used for Dalinar.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12586 Copy

    Questioner

    How many of the Mistborn do you plan on writing still?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mistborn, when I pitched it to my editor, I pitched it as a spectrum running from an epic fantasy series eventually arriving at a space opera, with Allomancers on spaceships. So we have several hundred more years of history. So right now I'm doing a few more Wax and Wayne books, the Alloy of Law era. Then we will jump forward, I've got a modern trilogy that's going to be like 1980's level technology. And then maybe near-future and then full-blown science fiction space opera.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12589 Copy

    Questioner

    I actually have a weird question. From the Mistborn series it says there are 16 Allomantic metals but then you go into Alloy of Law and the 16 are listed there, minus the atium and another one, so are there really 18 metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, you see those two were not really metals. Those were pieces, fragments, of a god.

    Questioner

    I thought that might be it but the symbols are the same above them from-- the atium symbol is the same as--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's a different symbol, it might be reversed though.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #12590 Copy

    Questioner

    My one question is how do you make it so writing isn't work, because if I'm writing for work I don't write as well. How do you get in the mind set?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know for me, taking a walk before hand, listening to some awesome music, and just imagining why this scene is going to be awesome and the emotional impact of it really helps. But at the same time writing is always going to be a little bit work and there is no getting around that. I mean, it's hard sometimes and so-- I don't know. For me I've enjoyed it more as it has become work and I can devote more time to it and things like that. But... Try that.

    Questioner

    Just get in the mood...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Listen to music and put myself in that scene, what it feels like, what it sounds like, smells like. Just put myself here and think about what is going to make it incredible and I'll get really excited about writing it. Excitement translates I think at least for me onto the page.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #12592 Copy

    Catherine

    Does the metal on [Scadrial] contain within it any sort of spren-like being, or anything similar to that, and also, does the Splintered nature of the Shards on [Sel] have anything to do with how the magic manifests itself without a physical representation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Scadrial did not have an analogous, self-aware Invested set of entities. The power has to be "let go of" in a way.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #12593 Copy

    Jaz

    When you're writing/planning a new series, how much time would you say you spend on world building? Do you like to have a good sense of the world before you starting writing or do you adapt and evolve the world as you write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do a moderate amount ahead of time, but it depends on the series--most importantly, the length of the book. If I'm writing a shorter work, I can develop more on-the-fly, knowing I can make it all consistent after the fact. If I'm writing in a series, I need much more ahead of time. Developing the world for The Way of Kings took years.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
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    Kurkistan

    Could Miles heal back his Allomancy if it was spiked out of him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, he could not. He would no longer be an Allomancer. Also, he'd probably be dead. :)

    Kurkistan

    Thanks!

    I'd thought maybe he could just do some super-tapping from his existing Health in his goldminds (since he'd still have his Feruchemy)...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, I see what you're asking. Using Feruchemy to heal the removed portion of soul. That's actually plausible, not so different from healing other kinds of soul-wounds. If he survived, then yes, this actually might work. (That's why I get for reading the questions so quickly.)

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #12600 Copy

    Kirsty Cabot

    Were there any characters you found difficult to connect with when writing the remaining books of The Wheel of Time series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've never really been able to get into Cadsuane as a character, and so she was the most difficult for me to do. I love Aviendha and Tuon, but both of them think so differently from the rest of the characters that they gave me a challenge.