Recent entries

    Sasquan 2015 ()
    #12651 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you go about designing new magic systems? Because that's one of the most amazing things you do.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've written several essays about this, so if you go to brandonsanderson.com/writing-advice, you'll find my essays on magic systems. Basically, I'm trying to look for something that I can explore in a way I haven't seen people do before. It doesn't have to be a new power, it just has to be a new take on a power that I can explore, that I can have fun with, that I can find some sort of scientific rigor. I like to have this sort of have one foot in science and one foot in superstition. That's what is fun for me in worldbuilding, this idea that-- I often say a lot of the old scientists, like Isaac Newton, believed in alchemy. Like "If only we could figure out..." and they started applying the scientific method to alchemy. Which is so cool! It's like "If we keep trying, we'll eventually figure out how this works." But it doesn't work.

    I like this idea of applying the scientific rigor to something superstitious, and finding that it does work, and then what do you do with that. So that's what I'm really looking for, particularly in my epic fantasies. It's also got to be the gee-whiz, the wow, "This is really exciting. This is really interesting."

    Sasquan 2015 ()
    #12652 Copy

    Questioner

    My son said if I got to ask a question he wants me to ask when's the next Rithmatist and also when's the next Alcatraz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So I'm currently writing Stormlight 3, that is projected for Christmas of next year. It's really going to depend on when I finish it. If it goes-- Peter's smirking because he's like "Yeaaaah."

    If it goes any later-- the first draft goes any later than March of next year, that means we'll have to push back. So if you watch on my progress bar, if I finish it by-- my goal is to be done by the last day of February, and that's going to take some dedicated writing, *Peter's smirks some more*, but we'll see. If it strays much longer than that, than we'll push it back. They're just big involved books to write. I've already finished enough that would be a finished manuscript for another novel, the same length as Calamity or the new Mistborn books, but it'll go four times that length.

    So Rithmatist is a side project that I will write when I have time. My main sort of focus right now-- I kind of have to focus on three things. Stormlight, Mistborn, and The Reckoners, which I'll have another trilogy with Random House which will be something new, but my mainline teen stuff is the more adventure type stuff. I'd love to do another Rithmatist. I think it was a very fun book, and for people who liked more involved worldbuilding, and more fantastical sort of things that want something for teens, Rithmatist is what that is. Steelheart is more action movie. And so I would like to do that.

    Alcatraz, I did finish Alcatraz 5, which is the last of the ones that Alcatraz will write, and that is scheduled for next summer after we do a rerelease of the Alcatraz books with brand new art. We'll be showing that off on my website soon. The art's looking really great, we finally got a look I like for them, some interior art, a nice map, things like that.

    So those will start being released in January, and the newest one coming out in June.

    Warbreaker and Elantris sequels? No immediate plans, they're happening someday. Really, once I finish Stormlight, I'll go into the next series for Random House, the follow up to Steelheart, and then we'll see where I am, and see if I have time to write another side project which would be one of these books before I jump into Stormlight 4.

    Sasquan 2015 ()
    #12653 Copy

    Questioner

    Which of the roles Hoid has played is your favorite? And will we be seeing him in Dalinar's flashbacks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So which of the roles played by Hoid is my favorite. I would probably say Dust from Warbreaker. I just like-- That's the most true storyteller he's been, kind of based on oral storytelling tradition and things like that.

    I can't tell you.  You'll have to read and find out whether you'll find him in Dalinar's flashbacks or not.

    Sasquan 2015 ()
    #12654 Copy

    Questioner (Paraphrased)

    Do you ever plan on writing a sequel to The Emperor's Soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The first one turned out so well, and it's one of those things that you kind of-- Like I didn't expect-- Like sometimes you're amazed at how well something turns out. I wrote that mostly on the flight home from Taiwan. It wasn't anything I was planning to write. I was inspired by my trip to Taiwan. I sat down, and I lived in Korea for two years, so I was kind of familiar with some of the culture, tojang, the stamps, and things like that, and so I ended up writing a story. It turned out so well, that it feels like it's one of those things that may not need a sequel. Does that make sense?

    There's some things that are just better by themselves. *laughter* So we'll see. If the right inspiration strikes. I'm not planning one right now, though, for those of you that have read it, there is-- we have sold a movie option on it.  

    *applause*

    So a movie option on Emperor's Soul, how would you do that? The producers are working very closely with me, and I'm working on the treatment , and I'm very excited. In fact, [Matt Hughes?], are you in here somewhere? The producer of it flew up from Hollywood, because he wanted to see WorldCon. So he's skulking around WorldCon for the first time. But yeah, so you might see a film.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12655 Copy

    Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

    Is [Mraize] a worldhopper?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, he's been to a few planets, highly supervised by his babsk.

    Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

    So what planet is she from?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Well, that's kind of a hard thing to say. She has 3 planets she's "from". For example, she's living now on Roshar, but then she's from a different planet, but that's not a planet that her people are from.

    Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

    So there was a mass exodus to that planet?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Not exactly. If you were to find a Japanese American, where would they say that they are from? Her people did not have a mass exodus.

    Arthur Dent (paraphrased)

    Have we seen mass exoduses before?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, there are some in the cosmere. There's a mass exodus that is mentioned in one of the interludes in [Words of Radiance].

    Sasquan 2015 ()
    #12656 Copy

    Questioner

    And the Steelheart film?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Steelheart film is owned by Fox, different company, Shawn Levy's company, 21 Laps at Fox, they are the ones who did Real Steel if you ever saw that, the Richard Matheson story, and I thought their adaptation of that was really good. They also did the Night of the Museum films, and so when they came to me asking for Steelheart, I said yes, but I only signed on that in June, so I don't know- it's only been a couple months. I wouldn't expect an update for another couple months.

    We signed on Emperor's Soul in November, October of last year, so I've been able to see the progress on that one come along.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12657 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Shadesmar- you can WALK to the other planets. It’s a pretty far ways away (at least days, if not more), but you can go to Shadesmar, walk in the directions where it says "The Realm of the Vapors" and it runs into Scadrial (which is confirmed). In Shadesmar all of that empty space doesn't really have any human interaction, so it doesn't really have an aspect in the cognitive realm, so all of that place gets shortened immensely. Whenever a planet has enough thinking life on it that's it's considering it a planet, it drops into Shadesmar.

    Eventually, he’ll come out with a Shadesmar map of the Cosmere, and a Starmap as well.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12658 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    So what happens when Shards die?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Well, it depends on how long the Shardholders have held the Shard. After it dies, the Shard is often able to continue acting, a kind of "Cognitive Shadow" of sorts. For example, the mists were able to continue doing what Preservation wished in helping out Vin and Snapping people. With the Stormfather, he is that Cognitive Shadow, and he's semi-sentient. It's that power, but no one is actually holding it. We also see this on Threnody.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12663 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Could Shai Soul Forge herself into becoming an Elantrian?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That would be really hard. First of all, she'd have to change where she's born, then Soul Forge the fact that she became an Elantrian. Even then, she'd probably look like an Elantrian, but not have any powers. There would probably need to be some kind of bridge, or she would need some kind of super push from AonDor to make it work.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12666 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Another thing he talked about was some common themes that appear in fantasy. One of them is that Rennassaince air of the Rise of the Common man. You see that in Mistborn for example. The great writing question of the Cosmere, the underlying theme is, What do men do when given the Power of the Gods? How do they act? What do they do?

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12673 Copy

    zas678 (paraphrased)

    And my other question is about Taravangian. It becomes clear that when he's smart, he's less compassionate, and when he's dumb, he's more compassionate.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah, he mentions that in his interlude.

    zas678 (paraphrased)

    Is that intentional, or is that just how you believe intelligence works?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No, that's intentional. There's plenty of really smart people who are also compassionate, and dumb people who aren't.

    zas678 (paraphrased)

    So when Taravangian is smart, his Cognitive aspect is stronger. So when he's dumb, is his Spiritual aspect stronger?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    *With a sly grin, pulls out a RAFO*

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12674 Copy

    zas678 (paraphrased)

    Can Odium influence people the same way that Ruin can?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Well, you see, the kandra and the koloss have a "hole" in them that allows Ruin to come in and take over. The Parshendi naturally are protected from this, but when they expose themselves to the storms, and the spren come in, many of these spren have that kind of "hole" in them, and that's what allows Odium to take control of them.

    zas678 (paraphrased)

    No, I'm talking about how Ruin was able to push people, place things in their minds, stuff like that. Can Odium do the same thing?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Well, Odium wasn't around when those people were created, so it's a little different for him than Ruin. So if he influences people in that way, it's through the Unmade.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12680 Copy

    sanderfan (paraphrased)

    Did Kelsier chose not to move on after he died or did he want to move on but couldn't for some reason?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    RAFO. The thing is, Kelsier's wife Mare had certainly moved on, and that would be motivating him to go on to the next life.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12681 Copy

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Shouldn't the rest of Roshar be more Earth-like, more Shinovar-like, kind of, with Cultivation on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Um, you are mistakenly assuming that Cultivation means Earth-like flora and fauna. Roshar is very bountiful, and, um, like it's not a barren land. Um, Roshar is very, um...

    zas678 (paraphrased)

    Thriving?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It's thriving. Yeah, it just has a different ecology. Um, you're mistakenly assuming that our ecology is the only sort that can be bountiful.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12682 Copy

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    Does a more Investiture-poor world make it so its magics are easier to use off-world? Because, you said that Scadrial is really Investiture-poor, and it can be used easily off-world, but Roshar is very Investiture-rich, and how can you get Stormlight off of Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yeah. Um, I would say that there is a correlation.

    mail-mi (paraphrased)

    There is a correlation?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Mmhmm.

    Orem signing 2014 ()
    #12686 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 ()
    #12687 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 ()
    #12688 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 ()
    #12690 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 ()
    #12693 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 ()
    #12694 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 ()
    #12696 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 ()
    #12697 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 ()
    #12698 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 ()
    #12699 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 ()
    #12700 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.