Recent entries

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #12801 Copy

    Questioner

    I enjoy the audiobooks. Michael Kramer is awesome.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, he's great.

    Questioner

    Ramon De Ocampo is awesome. So I have two questions. One, when you give the books to the readers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh-huh.

    Questioner

    Do you also, like, record for them the actual names so they know to speak... *inaudible*?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, so naming-- names in the audiobooks. So I get-- I send them a recorded-- recording of all the names. It doesn't always get to them in time. Because the production-- You can imagine, like, I'm not turning the final book in to Tor for probably another month. And then they have to get that thing recorded, and produced, and out by the-- simultaneous with the book that we are recording. So, sometimes they get them wrong. But I don't really mind too much, because I figure-- this is kind of my philosophy-- there are no really right ways to say the names. The right way is how you say it in your version of the book when you are reading it. You're the director; I provide the script. I could tell you how I pronounce the names, but I pronounce names wrong. Like, I say "KEL-see-er", right? And in world they'd say something more like "Kel-see-AY". And stuff like this. Like I say "KAL-uh-din"; they would probably say "kuh-LA-din" in Alethi. And so, I mean, I'm American. We-- I say things like Americans.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #12805 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    So my method of plotting-- I've been asked about, "Do I use seven-point story structure? Do I use three act format?" I actually don't use any of these things. So they're tools that I think are good to study. For me I use just a very simple: Promise, Progress, Payoff. This is what I focus on for plot,and I subdivide my stories into subplots and things and say, "What's the promise? How do I early on promise what type of plot this is. What's the progress? What's the payoff?" And you're asking how do you make sure that the hype lives up to the promise, and that is dangerous. The longer you go between books, the more that hype almost like-- I feel part of the-- If you're looking at The Wheel of Time, there were books when we fans were waiting for them to come out, that we were super frustrated by when they came out, that when I reread them in the whole series I didn't-- were less bothered by. It felt like, when I waited three years for something, the hype of what that needed to deliver was way different than when it was book ten bridging between book nine and eleven. And so that is a consideration.

    My job-- I think that if your progress is right, if you can kind of-- like if you say, "We're moving towards something here," this is the sort of emotional reaction you're going to get from it by showing-- for instance, an easy way to talk about this is a mystery, right? If you want the mystery to be really cool, then it's your progress toward the mystery that's going to indicate what kind of reveal and surprise that's going to be. If, you know, the characters discovering clues and getting more and more horrified, then the payoff at the end has to be something horrific, right? But if they're like, "Ooo! This connection and this connection together are making something really interesting. If I can just figure this out then it'll click together." Then the payoff is, instead of discovering horror, the payoff is then, "Oh, this comes together and I understand now." So you need the reader to understand that's their kind of payoff, is it clicks for them like it does for the character. And it's really-- that progress is the most important of those three in a lot of ways. If you can indicate to the reader, "This is just going to be satisfying. This character is finally going to let down this burden. That's the progress we're working toward. It's not going to be a surprise, it's just going to be satisfying. That's how you do that.

    There are certain things that there's just no avoiding the hype on. In fact, the further the series gets the more I'm worried about that, because-- in part because I'm such a believer in this kind of progress and things like this-- there are very few things, like in the Stormlight for example, that you'll get to that you will be super surprised by if you've been reading the fan forums, because the clues are all there in previous books. And so you just, I think, as a writer have to be okay with, if you're going to lay the foreshadowing, people will figure it out. And I can talk more about like, the third book has some big reveals about the world that I think the casual reader's going to be like, "Woah, mind blown!" where the people who have been on forums are like, "That's it? We've know that for years Sanderson!" But, you know, if you don't-- the only way to really surprise people is to do something completely unexpected. Which is, sometimes can be really nice, but a lot of times it just makes for a twist just to twist for twist's sake, so. I don't know that I've figured this one out a hundred percent across a series, but within a given book, yeah.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #12806 Copy

    Questioner

    So is this [interludes] your way of kind of introducing more world details, worldbuilding--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. This is a way of me introducing more worldbuilding. Because-- See, one of the differences between myself and the previous generation of epic fantasy writers is I tend to be very-- I tend to stick with one location, alright? The generation before me-- and I love these books, but the generation before me-- the Tad Williams, the Robert Jordan, and things like this-- tended to be quest epic fantasy. You'd go one place-- It's kind of following the grand Tolkien tradition. "We gotta get over there. We're either chasing somebody or being chased by somebody." Right? And you then travel across a varied landscape, meet lots of interesting people on your way to the place. Well I don't like to do that. I think it's partially because I grew up reading those. I'm like-- Those authors covered that really well. Or maybe it's just my natural inclinations. I write a little more Anne McCaffrey style, right? She would pick a really interesting location and spend a lot of time on it. And that's what I like to do as well. So you don't get to travel as much in my books. A lot of times in my books it's like, "We're traveling!" Chapter 1: "We're going to go on this trip!" Chapter 2: "Hey, we're there!" We cut out the, you know, the boring stuff in the middle, and we go to an interesting location. And I really like to dig into this interesting location. It let's me as an author really explore various parts of the setting. But what that does is it means you don't get as much of the breadth. Like when you have to traipse with Frodo and Sam all the way across Middle-earth, you feel how big Middle-earth is. And you don't get that in Mistborn, where it's like, "We're going to stay in the city!" and things like this. And so, in Roshar, being able to say, "Here's what's happening across the world in a different culture," is really valuable to me in the interludes. But I also know that some people just don't want to read that, and I wanted to give them a clue that this is the scene that you can skip and read later if you just want to get back to the main character.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12807 Copy

    Tsidqiyah

    On Sel. It costs about 50 sacrifices to become immune to Aons. Is that number essential? Or if someone with 50 Breath was sacrificed...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That number is not essential. But you would have to hack the magic system. You need that much Investiture. So, 50 peoples' souls worth. But if you knew how to hack the magic, Breath could substitute there pretty easily.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12809 Copy

    Questioner

    With Warbreaker and Stormlight Archive, Vasher and Zahel. How does that transition occur?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He went to Roshar because he knew ahead of time, that you could get Stormlight, and how easy it was. So he made his way there because he was tired of sucking people's souls to stay alive.

    Questioner

    How did he know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He, as part of a group of scholars, stumbled upon the nature of worldhopping long ago.

    Questioner

    Could he be the same group of scholars as Jasnah?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's a group of scholars on Nalthis who were studying magic, Investiture, and stumbled upon the means by which you transition into the Cognitive Realm. So, he actually had experience with Shardblades before, and that was part of how he built... well, he was part of it, but really...

    Questioner

    So, is Nightblood kind of like a Shardblade? Is a Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is an attempt to make a Shardblade using a different magic. And it turned out poorly.

    Questioner

    Speaking of Nightblood, how did that transition from Nalthis?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not answered that yet. Eventually, you will find out how they ended up on Roshar.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12810 Copy

    Questioner

    Demoux. Him, also being in the Interlude. How is that one...

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is part of a group called the Seventeenth Shard. [They] are cosmere-aware and travel around the planets and have a kind of pact of non-intervention. Which they aren't doing a very good job on, because they brought the common cold to Roshar.

    Questioner

    How did he actually find out about this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will give you [a RAFO card], because I will answer about the Seventeenth Shard eventually.

    Questioner

    So all these questions are actually going to be answered?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Seventeenth Shard will have a big role to play in future books.

    Questioner

    Is Hoid part of the...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid is not part of the Seventeenth Shard. They're trying to chase him down.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12811 Copy

    Questioner

    In Stormlight, Dalinar mentioned that <if he can die, he's no longer a god>, so to speak. And throughout the cosmere, gods died *inaudible*. Is there an omniscient, omnipotent, actual God in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is there an omniscient, omnipotent God in the cosmere? Some people believe that there is. You guys laugh about this, but I don't mean it to be a laughing thing. There are certain questions I will not answer in the cosmere, specifically because it would too much undermine some of the characters' beliefs. And I want to treat characters respectfully. So whether there is life after you pass into the Beyond, and whether there is a God of gods, an omnipotent, as we would define "monotheistic God," are questions that I don't answer, and I let the characters deal with. Because if I answer that, then the character discussions about this are meaningless. Not really, but they kind of are. So there are a couple things I won't answer about the cosmere, because the characters don't have these answers.

    Questioner

    <Do you know the answer>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know the answer, yes.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12812 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have any idea what the ratings on the movies are gonna be? Like, is it gonna be R, or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will push for PG-13 with the bit of power I have. I mean, they know, like... I don't have power over that. But that's part of the discussion, when I say, "We can't do Game of Thrones with this. It is not appropriate for my books and audience to have content like that in the books." So, like I said, they know. I can't guarantee

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12814 Copy

    Ward

    At the beginning of Way of Kings, when Kaladin thinks he's being irritated by a windspren, he's like, "Oh, windspren are all like this." Are there other types of spren that have similar personality quirks, that elemental spren...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there are, like flamespren. A lot of the elemental ones have quirks, you'll see more quirk to them than the emotional ones. And the difference between them will come up a little more obvious as the series progresses. You're more likely, for instance, to find quirk to a riverspren or a flamespren than you are to a fearspren.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12815 Copy

    Ward

    When Harmony Ascends, he admits he doesn't have a good view of the Spiritual Realm. Does he develop a better one over time? And are there other Shards that already have a very good view of that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But it is still something that is hard to grok, so to speak, in-canon, *inaudible*, hard to understand. But he has a much better understanding, and the other Shards, some of them have a very good understanding. The thing is, the difference between the Spiritual Realm and the Beyond is not something that is immediately obvious.

    Ward

    So, the Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Spiritual Realm is not the Beyond. There are three Realms of existence. The Beyond, some would say... There are philosophers would would say, the Spiritual Realm and the Beyond are one, that the soul gets sucked into and joins the Investiture. That's the idea of the One. But, most people would say the Beyond is not...

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12816 Copy

    Questioner

    First of all, on the [Arcanum Unbounded] endpapers, what's the position of... Where is it from? What's the reference point?

    My friend asked (and I was there with him asking my own question) Brandon and Isaac at the Provo release where the perspective on the end papers is from – Brandon confirmed that it was from Silverlight, after checking with Isaac. There was some wonkiness in the response though – Isaac said something like as it was “imagined” from Silverlight, and I tried to get clarification for what that meant (is that because Silverlight is mobile?), but stayed pretty vague (got the impression he was maybe saying there was some sort of artistic license taken?). I consider it confirmed that it is from the perspective of Silverlight, but that that there is more going on there. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Reference point in this, I believe, is Silverlight. But it's not how they would exactly see them all. But it is done by someone from Silverlight. Right, Isaac? This is done by someone from Silverlight? And that's gonna be kind of our reference point, but they are imagining a place... right?

    Isaac Stewart

    They're imagining a place where the constellations would look like this. There iss an actual place where it looks that way. *talking over one another*

    sillyslovene

    Is that because Silverlight is mobile? Or is that because...

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Questioner

    You say "imagine." I just wondered what "imagine" means.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm saying, I'm not sure-- *to Isaac* Did you set that from Silverlight?

    Isaac Stewart

    No, no. It is set from a point in the cosmere itself.

    Questioner

    So that they can say they can see all of them in one--

    Isaac Stewart

    So, that is an actual night sky somewhere in the cosmere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, okay. Yeah. I now know what he's talking about.

    *inaudible* [1:11]

    Isaac Stewart

    *inaudible* [2:12]

    Questioner 2

    I've been meaning to ask, *inaudible* in the same solar system, no? And more than one planet can see it? *inaudible* [1:28]

    Isaac Stewart

    There's actually, there's a planet in the habitable zone *inaudible* [1:33]

    Questioner

    *inaudible* [1:46]

    Isaac Stewart

    *inaudible* [2:12]

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12817 Copy

    Viridian

    Why did Hoid give the memory coin to Wax? What was his intention?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He thought that certain information was being kept, and certain lies were being perpetuated. And Hoid was a fan of that information being out.

    Viridian

    I'm still suspicious.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, you should be suspicious of Hoid's motive. He and Kelsier do not get along. Let's just say... Kelsier did not want that information to get out.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12820 Copy

    Sunbird

    Alcatraz, the Dark Talent. How far ahead did you decide that specific ending? I know you always knew it was gonna end up at the altar, but at what point did you decide Attica's fate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was right at the beginning. I was using some mythology, and things like this, and that was the big part. So, if you go back and look, I knew Alcatraz, when I wrote the first book, before I outlined the rest of them, something terrible happened. Something actually terrible happened, which is why he refuses to accept... 'cause he failed in some major way. It had to be a real and kind of awful thing in order to justify the way he is. Because otherwise, you're just like, "You're an idiot." And this turns him into something that had really traumatic, and so you could understand it. And I was worried about that being in a kids book, but I'm like, "It says what it has to be." I knew it was infiltrate the <library>, altar, Attica. But I didn't know all the details, just like I usually don't for the Alcatraz books. Those are supposed to be improv.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12827 Copy

    Lightning

    If you have a metalmind, you have, like, weight stored in it, and you want to transfer it to a different metalmind, can you just transfer it directly? Or does it pass into you, and then you lose some of the power, and then it goes...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You don't have to draw it completely out. You are gonna lose a little in the transfer. But it's not as much as you probably think. You can kind of do a little hack thing where it goes through.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12833 Copy

    luckat

    What is something that you would have put in the Nalthian essay if you had one in there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I probably would have talked about how close some of these scholars are on Nalthis to understanding all of this. They're probably the closest to understanding the nature of the cosmere of anyone outside of the people who are actually worldhoppers. I probably also would have given some hints where the pool is.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12834 Copy

    Djarskublar

    So, say you have a gold/gold Twinborn and they worldhop to Roshar and they study the magic and do the whole Khriss and Nazh thing for a while so they know a lot about the magic, but they've also left themselves a lot of options with what they can do. So then they manage to pull up a gold shadow of them having actually become a Surgebinder and then kind of meld themselves with that shadow a bunch, could they change their Cognitive Identity enough so that they could, like, tap a lot of gold and grow the spren and actually be a Surgebinder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Unfortunately, no. It's a good question, but no. That won't work for a couple of reasons. One of which is, simply creating Investiture is not something that can happen, right?

    Djarskublar

    They are a gold Twinborn, so they can tap a lot of gold...

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can tap a whole bunch, that's true, they can do that, but simply having it is not gonna create a spren because the spren is from a different god, right, a different Shard.

    Djarskublar

    So if they had Regrowth cast on them, would that do it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *hems and haws for a second*

    Djarskublar

    A really, really big Regrowth, like in the middle of a Highstorm.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmmm, this, you are getting to the realm of plausibility at that point. I still don't think gold is the way to do it. I think you just get all that Investiture. It would become sapient by you sticking a whole bunch of Investiture in, and then you can bond to that. But it's not like people gain what you would have done. Does that make sense? That's just what's going to happen, is you're gonna, you can create a, potentially create a spren that way, but you are more likely to end up with something like Nightblood. But you could potentially create a spren, but I mean you're just gonna end up...

    Djarskublar

    So there are other, more optimal ways to do that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, go bond a spren. (evil grin of course)

    Djarskublar

    But you can't easily bond multiple, and if you did this you could maybe get multiple.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nyeaaahhh... The spren still has to choose. If you want to be a Surgebinder, the choice is being made. You can't fake your way into it. Decision and Honor are too much a part of Surgebinding for you to be able to fake your way into that. Other magics you might be able to do that. Other magics that don't require, like... Surgebinding works because a piece of Honor or Cultivation or a mix has chosen you specifically. There is will from the actual Investiture involved in it in Roshar. So it's not something you can cheat your way into, right. But cheating your way into Breath might be easier.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12835 Copy

    Djarskublar

    *inaudible* [I asked if it would be possible to recall Breaths from an object that you had not placed there if the Awakener who did place them there had no Identity at the time.]

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, this is a very detailed, specific question, if you didn't hear it. It's dealing with the idea of Investiture and Identity, and things like this. If you can unkey the magic with Identity, for almost any case, it's going to make it much easier for other people to use. That's gonna be a blanket statement through the cosmere. If you can blank your Identity, it's at least gonna be able to be used by someone else with a blank Identity. Sometimes it's keyed, so the blank will not work with somebody who is themselves keyed. But if you can blank and they can blank, you can almost always guarantee the magic will be able to be used.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12840 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    For instance, Lopen did become king of Alethkar. For a short time. Because he and his family hid King Elhokar and, at least in his perception, convinced the king to abdicate for a short time so they could not lie when they said "We don't have King Elhokar with us." This is canon, okay. And, so, Lopen became... In his mind, at least, they got the king to agree for a fifteen-minute "Lopen is king of Alethkar" abdication, so that they wouldn't have to lie (because it was very important to them), so they could get him out of danger when some people were looking for him. That story, some day I might write it, I don't know if I'll ever be able to. But when he says (I think he references that at some point in one of the later books) "I was king," he really was!

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12841 Copy

    Questioner

    Broadsheets of Bands of Mourning. The story that Allomancer Jak's sidekick... in it, there's this <part>, "After disembarking the the lift, I walked to the location where my foe would have hit the ground. I found no trace of him, and though no one witnessed his fall, a young white-haired man was there and offered to tell me a story. I declined." Is that Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, there's a reference to a young white-haired man offering to tell a story. Whenever those words combine together, chances are very, very good that Hoid is involved. Yes, that is Hoid, but one thing I have to tell you is, not everything in that story... you are getting a story which was written by somebody, and then turned into a thing for a broadsheet. So, there have been some inaccuracies perpetuated in the broadsheets. So, yes, that's where that came from.

    Arcanum Unbounded release party ()
    #12843 Copy

    Slowswift

    When you take a memory out of a coppermind it starts <degrade away>.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Slowswift

    Would that happen with someone who has an eidetic memory?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well... no. With the exception of, a photographic memory is disputed by science. In the cosmere they exist, magically enhanced. But there is science in our world that says these aren't real things. So, I'm not sure. You'd have to go to the science and see if they're actually real.

    Slowswift

    But if it is real, then it would...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then it would not degrade. It's the brain's own failings that are causing this.

    Ad Astra 2017 ()
    #12845 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll be reading to you from one of the interludes, which are interesting things to write.

    So if you haven't read Stormlight-- Epic fantasy has this sort of problem, right? I love epic fantasy. I grew up reading epic fantasy. It's my first love of genres. And I have an advantage over some of the people writing epic fantasy in that, like you know, [George R. R. Martin and Robert Jordan], in that I've read [George Martin and Robert Jordan], and they don't have that advantage... Robert Jordan couldn't read Robert Jordan and necessarily had to write the stories, and I feel like at-- when I sat down to approach Stormlight Archive, which I kind of want to be my big epic, right? Hopefully I don't do anything bigger than this... *laughter* 520,000 words long. The writers in the crowd-- Yeah, 520 is pretty long. It's a quarter longer than Words of Radiance was. I am trimming it in my fifth revision. That's where I normally trim. So maybe we'll get it down to like 470 or 450 or something. But at 540... *inaudible* wants to go up. So I looked at these epic fantasy books that had come out before it-- series-- and I said, "What can I learn from them? How can I prevent myself from following in some of the same problems?" And I noticed that a lot of these big epic fantasies have this issue, kind of mid-series, where the side characters kind of take over the story, and the story deviates from its focus on to a side character focus for a while. It seems to happen very commonly. And as a writer my instincts said what's happening is the writer is wanting to show the expansiveness of the world, which is one of the big things we try to do in epic fantasy, right? They're trying to show the breadth of it, and they do this by adding characters from lots of different walks of life and different parts of the world. Which is a good instinct, right? It's gonna give you that sense of size and scale to the epic fantasy. But what happens is you kind of promise them these side stories will have their resolutions, and as you're pushing kind of towards the ending of your series you realize, "I need to tie in all these side characters." And so you end up with these books that are really focused on side characters, wrapping up their stories, and it feels like it creates a speed bump in the series. And so I said, "Well what can I do with like the format of my books that will mitigate this? Is there something I can do?" So I was kind of-- I'm a big fan of...

    My thought was, I would write the books and I would find natural breakpoints inside of each book where it wouldn't feel like as much of a speed bump to kind of go off to somewhere else. Like, one of the problems with like some of these side stories would be like you're really into one of the main characters' stories and then it's like, "And then here's viewpoint from random person that you don't care about," right? Which you do care about! Some of the side characters in Wheel of Time were some of my favorite. But it's just that momentum you've got on the main characters, and then it feels like it's a break, we don't see them forever. So I try to find natural break points, that I would then insert completely random things from around the world, but I would only give myself, like, two of those per break and then I have to be done. And you know-- this forcing myself in this format with the interludes I felt like allowed-- would allow the reader to be able to know what's coming, so that, you know, if you can anticipate-- if you're like, "Alright, we have our break now. We can go to the side characters. Really enjoy them. Get to see the breadth of the world," And then we can come back to the main story and know that it's coming back very quickly. And also know that these side characters aren't going to take over the story. That there's only going to be this space for them. And you also kind of know-- for those -- I do know some people who read an entire Stormlight Archive book and then go back and read the interludes, as if they-- They're basically a short story collection in the world of Roshar. Now, skipping them is dangerous because I usually use the interludes for one important character. And each interlude has one really relevant character for each book. So in the first one, Szeth has interludes, right? And he's a very relevant character. And in this one-- well you'll see who it is in this one.

    But I also like doing readings from the interludes because reading the interludes don't spoil the book nearly as much for those who haven't read the first ones, or things like that.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12847 Copy

    Questioner

    [...] Do you find in writing that your faith informs some aspects?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s a good question. The things I am fascinated by end up in books. I am not a CS Lewis or a Phillip Pullman. I don’t sit down with a message I want to get across. I explore who a character is and try to figure out what message they would want to get across, then try to make it work. But you can find all kinds of things. My upbringing is going to be deeply influential on what is in the books. So yes and no. I leave that more to people who want to analyze and find things. I think that’s legit--I got an English degree. It’s totally fine to take it and be like, “This is the unconscious influence.” I more just write the books. Tolkien insisted to the end of his days that Lord of the Rings was not a metaphor for WWI, and you read that book and if you know anything about WWI you think, “This really feels like a metaphor for WWI.” It’s that sort of thing. You write the book and explore themes that are important to certain characters, and theoretically some of that does come out to the readers and they can connect it and put it together.  That’s basically how I approach it. I am very fascinated by religion, as you can tell. So I try to have characters--Stormlight is a good example. I wanted to have characters who are on all different types of spectrums. You’ve got Kaladin who’s agnostic. It’s basically the classic “I don’t know if there’s a god. If there is, I’m angry at him.” You’ve got Dalinar, who’s a reformist. He’s a Martin Luther, he’s a Mohammed, he’s a Joseph Smith. You know, “Religion is not doing what it needs to right now, we need to expand this.” You’ve got someone like Navani who’s a traditionalist, who wants the old religion to really work, who is trying to reconcile this. You’ve got Jasnah who is straight-up atheist. And then you’ve got someone more like Taravangian who would claim to be an atheist, but what he’s done is taken something nonreligious and ascribed religion to it, sort of like Confucianism, where something that was a philosophy is turning into a religion. And I try to get people on all sides of this thing. And also the religions. You’ve got the Alethi, you’ve got the Passions, you’ve got different ways to approach it, because I think that makes for a more interesting story when you like all these people and then they all disagree.

    Boskone 54 ()
    #12849 Copy

    yulerule

    In the annotations for Elantris, you were talking about the shardpool. I know that it was the earliest one of three, and the cosmere wasn’t fully developed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have expanded it since.

    yulerule

    So that annotation felt a little odd.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I’ll have to go back and look at it. I knew that they were going into the cognitive realm when I wrote it, but I had changed… Roshar for instance, did not have the spren when I wrote that. And Mistborn was only in the outline stages. No, when I wrote Elantris I hadn’t even written Mistborn. I also, you have to remember, early in my career I was being very vague about all of this. Because I was worried that people would get distracted by this and it would hurt my career. So you notice in the early appearances of Hoid, I used pseudonyms for him. Even in unpublished books where it’s obvious it’s him, he’s got a pseudonym and you never know. Because I didn’t want people to get this and be like, “He’s trying too much.” So I was really coy about a lot of things. But other things I didn’t figure out until later on, when I’m like “How exactly is this going to work?” It really helped once I had Peter to help me work out the physics of it and I could bounce ideas off of someone who knew enough about realmatic theory and stuff like that.

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    Questioner

    [For Mistborn Era 2-3, with taking technology forward]. Were there specific concerns you had, or concerns you have going forward, about how they will integrate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I think I’m going to be fine on that. I mean there are things that will pop up, and I’m just used to the fact that I’m just going to have to say, “This is how this works, because we didn’t think of this ahead of time.” I’ll just deal with that. That’s the biggest thing that will probably happen. But, you know, I’m very confident that I can make it work. I’ve done it enough, and I’ve been working on Mistborn long enough. My biggest concern is not that, my biggest concern is that there are a certain segment of fantasy readers who just don’t like guns in their fantasy, and will never get to experience the later era Mistborn books because of that. And that’s just, well, you just have to deal with that.