I asked for something about Kaladin.
Kaladin has known multiple Lightweavers.
I asked for something about Kaladin.
Kaladin has known multiple Lightweavers.
In Shallan's drawings during the course of The Way of Kings, she sees multiple Cryptics. Were there other Cryptics accompanying Pattern in those drawings?
Were they approving of Pattern's choices.
Yes. The Cryptics are much like what is happening with Lift, where there is more of a conscious effort on their part. As opposed to what is happening with Syl or Jasnah where there is hesitance. What the Cryptics are driven to do is in part because of what a few of their members have been experimenting with.
Vasher uses Awakening in a very interesting way, off-stage, to modify the memories of the girl he rescues. Can Hemalurgy do the same thing if used carefully?
*long pause* No, I don't really think that it can. Nobody has asked that before, but just looking at the way the magics work, I don't think that is something that Hemalurgy is capable of doing.
Have you considered publishing the rules for Tarachin?
...I have not, but it's possible.
Can a skilled Smoker choose what they mask?
No one's figured that out yet.
Can a Seeker, standing outside a Coppercloud, that is between them and another Allomancer, can he sense the person standing on the other side of the Coppercloud?
Yes, but he might get some interference.
Would you sense the cloud itself, like "Hey, there's a cloud between me and what I'm looking at"?
If you know what you're doing, you might be able to say something is interfering, but you wouldn't be able to determine what. There are multiple things that could cause that, for instance-- Most of them are only-- That they would be able to-- Yeah, there are multiple things that could cause that. Like, for instance--
Are spren equally visible to native Rosharans and worldhoppers?
Are they equally visible-- It is cognitive things that pull them out, not the native investiture of the people who live on Roshar.
In Mistborn, Vin had a set of sapphire jewelry. If Demoux had brought those to Roshar, would they be infused by a highstorm?
Are gems in those mined or exclusively from gemhearts?
Some are mined. Mining is not easy on Roshar.
There's been some discussion about spheres, on Roshar. Are they made by glassblowing or by Soulcasting?
They can be made either way.
When you do get around to giving us Hoid's story is it going to be like Ender's Shadow type of thing where you're filling in the gaps?
You know I know that stuff, but I don't plan to do it that way. I plan to do his backstory more as his own story because while I really like Ender's Shadow, most of the things like that I haven't enjoyed as much. Plus, it would take me books and books and books to do it. We'll see. I haven't closed the door on that idea, but I'm not planning on it right now. There are parallel things like that I am planning to write, but it's not Hoid.
Apparently that’s the southern continent, are we going to see the northern continent?
What, on Roshar? Roshar is only-- it is a pangaea. On Scadrial, you've got a lot more going on-- That's the Mistborn world. So you will see multiple different continents there.
Lines of Vigor, do they behave like light waves?
So a higher frequency means it’s better at penetrating, lower frequency transfers energy and moves stuff?
Nice, I didn't know that one.
So, when they bounce off Lines of Forbiddance, do they follow laws of reflection?
They should always reflect at the same angle. Think of, like, a pool table.
If a Line of Vigor is moving from concrete onto asphalt, is it changing?
It's going to act like light transferring to a new medium.
So it refracts?
It's going to-- Yeah, it's going to refract.
So it changes speed as it moves?
Yep. So you get a different wavelength, or whatever, once transfers onto a new medium.
If you use different circle centers rather than the orthocenter, you can do 9-point conic constructions and make 9-point ellipses?
Is that valid?
I would say yes, that could be valid.
Wasn't there a rule about ellipses being a little--
Yes, they are a little less strong.
--they're weak because the long sides are weaker than the short sides.
Yeah, but this would work. There's not much reason to use it because the other is naturally-- has a stronger integrity than this, but you could theoretically do that. The defenses that make use of an ellipse make use of the strengths of an ellipse already. But yeah that would be possible.
With an ellipse you are asking for your opponent to flank you and come at you from the sides. And then if he pushes your circle out you're in trouble.
So when you have multiple points, that are like a point where there are multiple things, could you bind multiple things to that point?
Um yes, and you can always bind multiple things to a point--
Oh you can always bind--
So you can bind a chalkling and a circle to the same point?
Yeah, but it's going to make it weaker, so you don't usually want to do it. 'Cause you are better off to just stick circle on and get multiple points on of that...
But if it had multiple ones, would that make it less bad to join two?
So it doesn't--
It doesn't. Good question!
So, 9-point circles are important... You can get all the different point placements as special cases of the nine point circles.
You can also get 5 point; is that valid Rithmatically?
Yeah, that would work.
8-point they haven't done very much experimentation with.
But you could!
But you could, yeah.
We got a RAFO ticket so--
Did you actually get a card? Those are so cool. I've only gotten one, and I've been working for this man for five years.
You have to ask more questions
I basically have to hit him at a signing and then I'm not supposed to be taking them from the fans.
Right. The thing is, he can have the answers he wants.
I get some. You RAFO'd me once.
I RAFO'd you once.
I actually think that's how I got the card. 'Cause I did it and you were like "No."
If you had to be stranded on an island with Patrick Rothfuss forever, who would drive the other one more mad?
That's a pretty good one.
It is a pretty good one. I don't know who'd crack first. We're both kind of quirky guys, we both have our writer's egos. I would just fear for a third person trapped with us. *laughter* We'd just go to our separate sides of the island and write books for each other.
You'll just yell at each other about where is your next book. "I finished mine, where's yours!"
It's in the sand over here, where's yours...
...the giant South American glyphs.
Yeah that is super RAFO.
*in response to a discussion about RAFOs* There was the one about what painspren look like.
Yeah, what do painspren look like on the Cognitive Realm.
That's a RAFO.
That's a RAFO because it is actually relevant to future stories.
It'll be important.
Not that it's a big deal, but I got to hold some stuff back.
She wanted to know, the safehand, is it always the left hand or is it--
That's what I thought, she thought it was just the non-dominant hand.
Nope, it is the-- So it's rough on lefties. But remember, most non-nobles they just wear a glove, so it's not such a big deal for them. It's when you're noble and left handed that you kind of have a problem.
What’s the hardest power you've created to find a balance for?
Hardest power to create a balance for? I'd say first is Wheel of Time, but I didn't create that... Hardest to balance… They've all been fairly easy so far. My guess is that it will end up being Stormlight just because I am doing so many books in that world, and I'm not resetting characters as much as I am in Mistborn, that I'm going to have to be careful about power creep... That's an excellent question.
And are there established trade routes between Epic-controlled areas?
Are they patrolled by Epics?
Umm, yes to an extent. For the most part you know that if you hit an Epic's trade caravan you're all dead, y'know? So they don't have to worry about it that much. But some are patrolled. Not by the Epics, but by their people.
What do painspren look like in the Cognitive Realm?
That's a RAFO.
In the book [The Way of Kings] you discuss that if you were to lose a piece of Shardplate you have to regrow the part back, or else someone takes it and tries to regrow the entire plate. One thing that has been bugging me for a while now is if you were to take a small piece of the armor, such as a glove, and fuel it with Stormlight to regrow the whole armor, does it retain the original armor? Like does it retain how it looked before, the glove?
So it just transfers over.
Yeah, and the original glove will disintegrate.
Was all of your work on Firefight, is that based on the Butterfly effect?
It is a little bit, definitely.
There's a huge movement in the genre, almost away from heroic, truly good figures and it seems to me like a lot of your books are kind of, there is some darkness in them but you are holding really tight to the light… What do you think about the idea of the true heroic character and where they're going?
I think that people can be truly heroic and I'm happy that the genre has lots of room for different types of storytelling, but the books I'm most interested in are the ones that are people still trying to do what is right, and so that's what I want to write about.
I've been watching some of the videos online and you say writing-- ideas are cheap, and they are, you can get ideas pretty easy, but how in the world do you get-- I can get the beginning and figure out an end but how do you do get all the stuff in the middle?
So if you've got your end, try and say what things, try to get a brainstorming session where you write with bullet points underneath it what things will help me earn this ending so that it feels-- that it has the emotion that I want. And try to brainstorm five or six things and make those waypoints along the way, if that makes sense, between-- Where it's not just one point and two points, it's five points, "I'm going to hit this one, this one, and this one" and if you can come up with four or five interesting things to happen through the end of your book that you can earn that way you're going to have a sequence of like twenty touchstones that can each form a chapter or a couple of chapters that you can work on to get to that ending.
Why did, when Alcatraz got his father's soul back, why did he poof back wearing his suit? Since when you get turned into one they're incinerated, your clothes are gone. Why does he have his?
Why did he have his? Because he was prepared for this. He was ready and he had done something so it wouldn't go that way.
Are going to do anything else in that world [of Dreamer]
Probably not. She [Charlaine Harris] wanted me to write a horror story, and I'd never written one before so I said, "All right, what is the most frightening thing I can think of?" The most frightening thing I could think of was the kids who play Xbox having power over real people’s lives, and that’s where that story came from.
As a physicist I appreciate you being so consistent with your magic systems.
It is something I try very hard to do, though I do recognize that we do bend a lot of rules. When we were doing the time-based one in this [The Alloy of Law], I'm like, "Oh, boy, redshifts. Oh, no, conservation of energy." We had to do some bending to make it so that the radiation from the light passing out of the time bubble wasn't deadly.
I was deployed in Afghanistan when I read The Way of Kings. And I was wondering how do you put yourself in the mind of a soldier? Because it was very--
I have a good friend and I asked them when I interviewed them and that was a big help to me.
When they got to the Shattered Plains it felt like I was reading a story about myself--
Reading about how the rank structure, that was really-- It wasn't quite the same but--
I've got a good friend. His name is actually Skar--he's the bridgeman Skar, I put him in the book because he helped me so much--who is in the army. He had lots of advice for me on how to make everything work.
So [Edmund] is Conflux, and you say the Epics are supposed to turn evil. How come [Edmund] hasn't turned evil yet?
Well they think it is because Edmund is a Gifter and isn't using his powers directly. That's their philosophy on it. Whether that is true or not remains yet to be seen.
Do you think any of your characters have ever been influenced by people you know in real life?
Yeah, it happens. It definitely does happen. Sarene, from Elantris is based on somebody. Most of Bridge Four is friends of mine, most of the lesser Bridge Four members. Not the main ones, but like Skar is a friend of mine, Drehy is a friend of mine, Peet is a friend of mine.
So I was going to say-- What about, what's his name?
No, not the core group. Not Lopen or--
None of those guys.
But everyone else is like a cameo of my friends that I stuck in Bridge Four and, y'know, then mutilate in horrible ways.
I am doing a GURPS rpg right now where my character is a lawyer and I'm in law school. And I was wondering if you have ever considered having a character in the books who is a lawyer?
An attorney? There is a story I've wanted to tell forever... I'll never do it. But it's one of those ideas. I wanted to do a story where aliens come down and decide that throughout human history possession of land indicates ownership, by our historical record. We have to convince them in court that that's not the way we do things. They just want to annex the planet. "Look at the Americans. You just took this land and said it's yours. So we want to do that to your planet." And have a science fiction story that is a legal battle about why they can't take over our planet.
How do you pronounce Jasnah?
I say Jasnah. But you may say whatever you want.
And then is it Szeth?
The "s" is more silent than the "z" but it is sort of sub-vocalized. Szeth.
In the drawings, who is Nazh?
He is kind of like a cosmere special agent, who gathers things for the person who is writing the Ars Arcanum.
Have you thought of titles for the rest of The Stormlight Archive?
No, I only named the first five when I was doing my outline. They were Stones Unhallowed, Oathbringer, and I don't like the other name so I'm not going to mention it.
Will there be a book about the Southern Pole of the Mistborn world?
That's a RAFO. By the end of the Era 2--Alloy of Law Era--you will know more about them.
I was wondering if Sazed was based on any of your own explorations when you were developing your own path?
Yeah, definitely he is a part of me, but there are big things that are different from me as well. Really the main concept for him was "the Missionary for Every Religion" and that was a cool idea to me.
In Firefight you said Obliteration... he wasn't an ordinary Epic, he was a force of nature. Why did you say that?
It was in David's voice, and that is kind of how he views it. It's not necessarily true, it is what he viewed.
I had another question, did you ever read books by other authors to get your ideas?
Yes I read a lot of books by other authors and what I usually do is I will read something and if they did it really well, I don't want to do anything like it. But if I think they messed it up then I'm like "Oh I need to do a story that does this the right way" Does that make sense? It is one of the most fun parts of being a writer. You can watch a movie and go "Ah they totally did this the wrong way... and then do it yourself, the way you want it to be.
I had one that you were going to answer when I came?
Oh yeah. So, he secretly feared people who weren't intimidated by him. Remember he was a night watchman before. And anyone who didn't respect his authority, that was his secret fear. He wanted everyone to obey him and when no one was afraid of him he lost his powers.
Do you have kids?
Do I have kids? or pigs? 'Cause I have both, the kids are the pigs. I have three young boys, they are 7, 5, and 2. They are too young to read my books. We spend time reading Don't Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, that's a very good book, or Supertato, one of their favorites, about a potato who is a superhero.
What do they think? I don't think they really get it. They don't understand, they're like "Daddy is working on his book" and my son will be like "I'm going to write a book too!" And it's like one picture on a page with one word "Hat" or something and he'll be "I wrote one, why does it take you months Dad? This took me an afternoon." I hope that someday they will enjoy them and be able to come on tour with me and things like that. Excellent question.
You talked about creativity earlier, and if you look back on your career until this point as a writer, how have you changed over that time? What has writing done for you as a point of self-improvement?
What has writing done for me as a point of self-improvement over the course of my career. That's excellent. I discovered writing when I was 15, that was when I was this young, gangly boy who is trying to figure out what to do with his life and I found solace in books and writing, which I had not done when I was younger. It was a teacher who handed me, it was a book called Dragonsbane, when I was 8th grade that changed my life. What it did, right off the bat was give me purpose, and that is so important. Knowing there is something you want to do. All through college, you know I had friends who "I'm taking this degree because it's what was expected of me but I don't know if this is what I want to do". I knew what I wanted to do, and knowing that-- that alone has been worth it's weight in gold.
Spending the time writing and practicing gave me confidence, that's been very important. Like when I finished that first book, it took me three years to write it. I said "You know what, I can do this. I can create this thing." Then being able to see myself get better and better and better, the confidence from that was great.
The big decision I also made late in my career, before I got published, I had to decide who I was doing this for. Because once you've got a dozen unpublished books, you start asking yourself the questions everyone is asking you. At the end I just decided this idea of "I'm just going to keep doing this. If I am 70 and I have a hundred unpublished manuscripts on my dresser. I love doing this, it is very fulfilling. I'm getting these stories out of my head, I can see myself getting better. I'm not going to be a failure if I have a hundred unpublished manuscripts, I'm going to be more of a success than if I never wrote them." And that decision is what drove me to write The Way of Kings, because before I'd been really hunting how to get published and trying to write things like I saw getting published and people kept telling me "Your books are too long" so I've been writing these shorter ones. And I just said "I don't care what you people are saying, I'm going to write the most awesome epic of the style I would love to read, that I don't feel enough people are doing. It's going to have this crazy world and all these characters and all this stuff and I know no one is ever going to want to publish it, but I'm going to write it" And that's when I wrote The Way of Kings, it was right after that decision.
So is there one book from college that you were forced to read that when you look back now was the best reading you've done?
One book that I was forced to read. That was the best reading-- Probably Paradise Lost. I now think that book is awesome but when I read it when I was younger I was like "Ahhh what is this aehhhh epic poetry noooooo".
Do you consult with other fantasy authors? Or do you keep things close to the vest *audio obscured*
Do I consult with other fantasy authors? Or do we keep things to the vest? We consult a lot. We talk to each other a great deal. The ones that I know best are the ones I often go to but sometimes-- I talk to Pat Rothfuss quite a bit, and Brent Weeks, we're kind of in the same area but with three different publishers and that's really useful to us. I consult with my Writing Excuses buddies all the time. Somebody who knows a ton that I don't know very well but I know he knows a ton so I'll often ask him question by email is Cory Doctorow. He just like knows everything. We talk a lot, whenever we can. Because it is a very solitary business, so having people to talk to about it is great.
What is your favorite Aspect to write in /Legion/?
What is my favorite Aspect to write in Legion. It's J.C. by a mile. *laughter* Can you guess who J.C. is based off of? ...J.C. is based off of the actor Adam Baldwin, from his various roles. He's almost always played someone with the initials "J.C." Go look it up. That's Jayne from Firefly or from Chuck and things. I just think he is hilarious. In my head that is who would play J.C.
I would want to know what is your favorite character you've ever written.
What is the favorite character I've ever written. I actually can't pick one, because they are like my children and picking a favorite child is basically impossible. I don't have one. Robert Jordan, I quote him a lot because I studied his life a lot, he always answered this question by saying "My favorite character is the one I'm working on right now" and I like that answer.
One of my favorite aspects of your books is you always have this character that kind of has a submissive personality starting out and they evolve into a more dominant personality. Do you have an author for a series that kind of inspired this?
Inspires me? He says frequently I have a character who's in a submissive position that becomes dominant through the course of the series. Do I have an author that I'm relying on specifically. No more than the "Hero's Journey", the general idea of the person growing and becoming master of their domain where once they were not. I don't think I have a specific person I'm looking at for that. But it is a fun type of story to tell, just because of the way you can show progression with a character.