Recent entries

    Celcius232 ()
    #1251 Copy

    Javi (paraphrased)

    I'm really curious about Aimia and I hope to see more about in the fourth book. Have the Heralds or Hoid been there and will they reveal some stuff about it?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, the Heralds have been there and yes, Hoid has been there. However, I don't think there will be info about Aimia in book four, but in a novella I'm planning to write, like Edgedancer. The story will be about some characters travelling to Aimia.

    Madrid signing ()
    #1253 Copy

    Javi (paraphrased)

    Could you compare the Ones Above's technology with your idea of Scadrial Era 4?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes

    Javi (paraphrased)

    So could the people be related? Could Scadrial be the origin for the Ones Above?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, they are definitely related

    Footnote: In previous exchanges structured similarly to this, Brandon has taken a significant degree of latitude in his answers, stating that simply existing in the cosmere is enough for two things to be considered "related".
    Direct submission by Javi
    General Signed Books 2019 ()
    #1255 Copy

    Dwarven_Hydra

    When an Allomancer tries to burn a bad alloy, it can make them sick, or even kill them. Are there similar consequences for Feruchemy and Hemalurgy, such as being less efficient when storing and leaking power more quickly, or would such metals just be unusable?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes! Bad metals in Feruchemy/Hemalurgy would work poorly.

    Stormlight Book Four Updates ()
    #1257 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Back in update #3, I promised to check back with you mid summer. I'm here a little early, as this felt like a good point to let you know how your book is going. Yesterday, I finished Part One of the novel, which (at 111k words) puts us at just under the 28% mark, assuming the book is 400k words total. (The first book was around that; the next two were longer, so fair warning, the % may not be entirely accurate.)

    The short, TLDR version, is this: Part One is done, the book is looking good, and I'm modestly confident in a 2020 release.

    Read below for a more fiddly, numbers oriented analysis of how things are going.

    I gave myself 10 months to do the rough draft as a hypothetical deadline. That is a little on the quick side, but doable. That translates to about 1300 words a day, if I were writing seven days a week. (Which I don't do--I usually manage to write new fiction four days a week, with one day dedicated to email, meetings, newsletters, grading student finals, that sort of thing.) Once in a while, I sneak in a little work on Saturday, but I don't count on it.

    What this really means is during those four days writing time, I need to do about 9k total words to keep pace. This wordcount number, I should warn you, is more a way for me to judge my progress rather than it is an absolute requirement. The writing process needs to remain flexible, even for someone who likes a strong outline like myself, and while guidelines for wordcounts are helpful, I'm careful not to treat them like a factory quota, to be achieved regardless of quality.

    They are helpful for pace, though. In an average week, I commonly do between 8k and 15k of writing, so this is a manageable goal. With that in mind, how is it going?

    Well, as talked about in the last post, I started Stormlight about a month late because of some work I decided needed to be done on Starsight. That meant I started the book at about 44k words behind in April. Steady writing through April up until May saw me making up ground. When I flew to Germany for the tour there, I was 31k behind instead, and was feeling good about the progress.

    Germany was, of course, a disaster for new writing. (Tours almost always are.) I got some work done on a sequel novella to Sixth of the Dusk, but no Stormlight writing. (Really complex narrative is difficult for me to do when traveling a lot, as it requires more focus than I can often give.)

    When I got back, I had slipped to 52k words behind. I dove back in, and restored the writing grove for Roshar, and have made back most of that time. As of yesterday, I'm 33k words behind, assuming I want to have the rough draft done by January 1st. (Which is pretty much a must if I want to release the book in 2020.)

    As before, I do need to give the warning that if the book needs more time, I WILL take it. I recognize that is what most of you would like anyway, so we'll see what happens. Part One, however, turned out very close to my plan--and I'm pleased with it. As I said, this book follows more of a Book One style plot than a Book Two or Three style plot. The characters will be mostly isolated doing their own thing in three separate plot lines, interwoven in the narrative, but with little interaction between them. In fact, the three different arcs should (if I work it out right) hit their climaxes at three different points, giving a more sequential hit of more intimate plot moments rather than one big enormous finale, like happened in Books Two/Three. (Not that there's anything wrong with that; I just prefer some variety. Book Five, as you should be able to guess, will be more like Books Two/Three than Books One/Four.)

    So my next step is to dive into a revision of Part One. This will put us a little more behind, as it will take about a week--but it will let me get the first chunk (which is book length on its own) to Moshe for editing over the next few months. That way, we can use his time in parallel to mine, as well as let Karen do continuity edits and Peter (eventually) do an editorial pass.

    If that works as it should, and if I do this with each part as I finish them, I'll have 3/4 of the book waiting with editorial work done on it come January 1st. That will let me dive into a third draft immediately.

    My goal after the revision of Part One is to pick one of the character clusters mentioned in the previous updates, and work on it straight through to the end. (I'll probably pick the second arc, which should be around 80k words long and follow three viewpoint characters in their distinct plot sequence.)

    As always, thanks for reading and for putting up with my eccentricities as a writer. As a note, like in the other posts, I will not be sending replies to my inbox--so apologies if I miss something you say in this thread.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #1258 Copy

    mikkomikk

    It just stores wakefulness right? I don't think it gives you the actual benefits of a good night's sleep. So after an extended period of bronze Compounding, your body will start deteriorating and eventually die.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Bronze Compounding will indeed let you never have to sleep. /u/mikkomikk as a good theory, as I haven't really talked about this, and that might be the way to theorize without more info--but it was designed to let people go without sleep, and does give benefits of a good night's sleep.

    ElTigreChang1

    Alternatively, could you compound copper for a supernatural sleeping aid? or would that just lead to accidentally sleeping for 16 hours

    Brandon Sanderson

    Copper? I don't see that working, I'm afraid. Did you mean bronze?

    You could fill bronze to sleep. (This is actually the very first power for Mistborn I imagined, back in highschool. Wishing, as an insomniac, I could sleep when I wanted to and be rested when I wanted to.)

    General Signed Books 2018 ()
    #1259 Copy

    17thCharge (written)

    If a spren’s Spiritual and Cognitive aspects were pushed into the Physical Realm, similar to how the Spiritual aspects of Dominion and Devotion were pushed into the Cognitive Realm, would the spren manifest as an Honorblade?

    Brandon Sanderson (written)

    Answer 1 (book had to be exchanged): Not usually.

    Answer 2: It could. (But probably not.)

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1260 Copy

    ElantrianHypochondriac (paraphrased)

    In Mistborn Era 2 Marsh has a pouch with some atium leftovers. If he burns a bead occasionally (and hereby burns a part of Ruin's body) does this weaken the Ruin part of Harmony/Sazed somehow?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Technically yes, but it's too little atium to make any difference.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #1261 Copy

    Pratius

    My top (realistic) potential options here:

    1) Silverlight novella2) The Silence Divine3) SotD 2

    (But seriously, give me that Silverlight novella. PLEASE, Brandon.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Silverlight novella probably needs to wait until I've done the Threnody novel, for some connective tissue reasons, but we'll see.

    Roosterteethcomplain

    Quick question. Will we ever see the Traveller short story be published in something like Arcanum Unbounded 2?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not, at least not without a rework.

    PM_ME_CAKE

    This just further leads me to bet that the new group that'll be introduced in the Threnody novel will have Silverlight ties.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will.

    PM_ME_CAKE

    Will it by chance be tied to how Nazh has gotten involved with Khriss?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, though we're working on a White Sand graphic novel sequel that will start into that story, hopefully.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #1262 Copy

    ArgentSun

    Huh, I had assumed Rock's or Rysn's novella would be your airplane project. I guess taking a break from Stormlight by doing more Stormlight doesn't really work. Can you share your current plan for these two too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Still hoping to do both of them sometime this year, but we'll see. I would hate for Edgedancer to be the only X.5 novella for Stormlight. Feels more right if I can get those, and the Lopen one happening between books one and two, done some day soon.

    The Rock one kind of needs to happen, so we'll see. I need to get back on schedule with the main book first, though. That takes precedence over all of these smaller projects.

    Hermitxd

    This may be too much to ask.

    For Rock's, is this a prequel in his homeland? Post-Oathbringer, coming to terms with his actions? Something different all together maybe..

    I find either very exciting.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is post-Oathbringer, involving him returning to his homeland.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #1263 Copy

    various

    Asking about the new novella

    Brandon Sanderson

    I suppose I shouldn't be coy, as there aren't many stories this could be. Yes, it's a sequel to Sixth of the Dusk. I've spoken about wanting to do one.

    Unfortunately, I only had time to get a little ways into it. I suspect I'll pick it back up on the flight to Spain in July. And if I don't finish it then, I have another long haul flight in October to visit France then Israel.

    It's generally hard to do Stormlight on flights like that; the books are too intricate, and the distractions too multitudinous. But novellas tend to work, so we'll see if I can get this one done on these trips.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1265 Copy

    Questioner

    Could the Investiture of two different Shards with separate Vessels create their own perpendicularity together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Two different - so like, the Vessels of two different shards, okay-

    Questioner

    Yeah, not Harmony.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, yeah. This is plausible. There could be a mixed perpendicularity.

    Bonn Signing ()
    #1266 Copy

    Excelsius

    Has ever a Shard been forced - besides Odium in Roshar - to leave their planet after it was destroyed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Excelsius

    Yes - besides Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Besides Odium? Yes. Has a Shard been forced to leave their planet after the planet was destroyed? Yes.

    Berlin signing ()
    #1267 Copy

    rxience (paraphrased)

    Would a single spike be sufficient to staple a Cognitive Shadow to a mistwraith?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, that could happen.

    rxience (paraphrased)

    Did that happen in the past?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    That's a RAFO, I'm afraid. Who are you thinking about?

    rxience (paraphrased)

    Kelsier of course!

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Well, he is somehow in the Physical Realm. And he does look like himself, doesn't he?

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1268 Copy

    Rhapsody (paraphrased)

    How much freedom do you get from Brandon for the maps and symbols and so on?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    I get a lot of freedom with the maps. There were actually times we've changed parts of the books to fit the maps.

    Rhapsody (paraphrased)

    May I have an example?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    We changed around directions in the Kholinar chapters a lot.

    Rhapsody (paraphrased)

    And the glyphs and other symbols?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    For the glyphs I have a symmetry tool which I play around a lot with. We developed the glyphs later in full from those images we liked.

    For the Allomantic symbols I had a couple different ideas which didn't seem to work well. Then I had an idea about a bunch of nails lying around haphazardly and from that image the Allomantic symbols evolved.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1273 Copy

    Krios (paraphrased)

    At the end of Oathbringer, Kaladin says that the Oaths are about perception. So, what would happen when a crazy person bonds a crazy spren? Is there a hard limit to what the Oaths allow or could they just go on a John Wick style rampage?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Perception will get you a very long way, like Nightblood proves. So you can go beyond the Oaths, but there will be a hard limit. Although it will be hard to find a such fitting pair of human and spren.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1275 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Why do Vorin women have to hide their left hand?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Originally, a woman wrote a book about female and male arts, which claimed women could do things like art with one hand while men needed two for their arts, like fighting. Eventually, it evolved and just stuck as a taboo, but it's a cultural thing.

    It's similar to how some things are perfectly fine in our Western culture but would be frowned upon in, say, Korea. I wanted to add some weirdness to their culture, something that is pretty normal to them, but strange to us. Taboos usually are strange.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1276 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    We see Nightblood consuming both Breaths and Stormlight. Earlier you've mentioned conversion between types of Investiture. Is Nightblood doing that?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Nightblood can feed off of any source of Investiture. If you're a Mistborn, burning a metal while wielding Nightblood would directly feed him. So you stay alive for as long as you have metal left.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1278 Copy

    The Forumlurker (paraphrased)

    Can a Windrunner use a Basic Lashing on a specific body part?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, but it works the same way a Steelpusher could push on a specific part of metal. Usually, you'd just affect the whole body, because of its Identity and cosmere magic not working as well on parts of something that considers itself a unit. When you're very skilled, you can isolate a hand, like Kelsier could push on specific sections of metal.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1280 Copy

    Sorana (paraphrased)

    Do you have any tips regarding drawing the symbols/glyphs?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    I always have to copy them myself. I did design a handscript of the Allomantic symbols. You might get to see them later.

    Paleo (paraphrased)

    Will the Steel Alphabet change further with the later eras of Mistborn?

    Isaac (paraphrased)

    Yes, it will. I've already got some designs that look very sci-fi-y.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1285 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    How do you name your characters?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It depends on how much work I've done on the linguistics. Some planets I haven't done a lot of work on that. On Roshar I've built out the linguistics a lot, so I build names out of that.

    On Scadrial, however, I went more with real world inspirations or stuff I liked, like "Wax and Wayne", which is a pun they can't really understand. Names like Elend or Straff are Germanic in origin, Vin, Demoux or Kelsier are French.

    Paleo (paraphrased)

    Is Wax's name pronounced French in Scadrian?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, it is. I can't even pronounce it. [Various people pronounce "Waxillium" with a French accent]

    Stormlight Book Four Updates ()
    #1291 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Time for another update on your book, everyone! If you missed the previous update, it can be found right here. This update will get into some nitty-gritty outlining and wordcount details, which some of you might find boring. (Just a fair warning.)

    Since the second update, I've indeed started into the book full-time. However, you might have noticed a little delay in the progress bar ticking up. This is because at the end of February (just before going to Hawaii) I decided that Starsight (Skyward Two) needed some more work.

    I requested that the publisher push that book back a couple of months (it's now scheduled for first week in December) as I did a medium-sized overhaul based on some decisions I'd made after reading the beta reader comments. I'm pleased to say that revision went really well, and Starsight is in excellent shape. It did put me a little behind on Stormlight Four, I'm afraid. Looking at my tracking spreadsheet (which I used to gauge how I'm moving along) when I started into Stormlight four first part of April, I was about 45k words behind. I'm moving at a good speed, and am about 42k words behind now, with about 15k words finished.

    This is merely a way of marking guideposts; I don't intend rush the story in order to meet arbitrary deadlines. This is partially me just trying to give you, and my publishers, an idea of when to expect the book. If I finish it by January 1st, the book can come out Christmas 2020. If I don't, we will probably have to nudge it back.

    For reference, one percent on my progress bar is 4k words, and I anticipate the final book being 400k words long. A lot could happen during the next year of writing--the book could go super long, like happened with Oathbringer. Or I could run into some serious plot problems, which require time to work out. (For example, I've already thrown away chapter one after doing a short reading of it at an earlier convention--trying again with a slightly different tone.)

    That said, I really like the new first chapter, and am now well into the fourth chapter. I promised you an update on the outline this time, and I'm looking at this book in a different way from the last two. As you may remember, I tend to plot each Stormlight book as if it were three volumes, combined together. (Along with a short story collection in the form of the interludes.)

    With books two and three, the outline divided the novels into "books" by section. Part one of Oathbringer, for example, was "book one" of my three-part outline. Rhythm of War, however, is plotted more like The Way of Kings--meaning the separate books in it are divided by viewpoints.

    In TwoK, Kaladin's complete arc was "book one" of my outline. Dalinar's was "book two" and Shallan's was "book three" with all of them being interwoven into the final product, and with Part Five being a capstone epilogue to them all. This novel is similar, though with more viewpoints.

    We have what I'm calling the Primary Arc, which focuses on four characters who are all together in one place, their plots interweaving. The Secondary Arc is three different characters, their arcs interweaving, but in a separate location from the primary arc. The Tertiary arc is the last two characters, in a third location.

    There will be ties between the three arcs, but the book will read a little more like TWoK than Oathbringer--with several separate stories that imply interesting things for one another, but which generally focus on their own goals. Book Five should, then, be an interweaving like Book Two or Book Three.

    That's the plan, anyway! I'm not 100% done with the outline yet, as I want to explore some viewpoints first to make sure everything is lining up the way I want.

    The next update probably won't be until mid summer, as I want to take a nice chunk of writing time to determine how things are progressing before I come back to talk here.

    Until then, please enjoy listening to the community playlist of favorite epic tracks that remind them of Stormlight. This is what came of the previous thread, where I asked for suggested music to listen to while I work on Book Four. I've been doing so, and am slowly cultivating a shorter list of my favorite tracks that I'll release at a later date. Thanks to /u/DevilsAndDust- and my assistant Adam for putting this together.

    Stormlight Book Four Updates ()
    #1294 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hey, all. Brandon here, back for another update on your book.

    January went well, and the outlining process is moving along. I've set the percentage bar perhaps a little higher than it deserves to be, considering that I plan to get the outline for Book Five done as well y the time that hits 100%, but I haven't started it yet. That said, I'm feeling very good at what I've accomplished so far. I've cracked a few tricky problems in the plotting, ones I anticipate being the toughest parts of the outline--which makes me optimistic that I'm further along than the wordcount might indicate.

    I did have to stop to do a quick 3.0 revision on Starsight, the sequel to Skyward, which is coming out in November. That's finished as of around 1:00am this morning. I'll be diving back into Stormlight now, though I'm in LA this week doing pitch meetings for Dark One as a television show. (So far so good, but these are very preliminary-type meetings, so don't expect any big announcements anytime soon.)

    Plan is to be finished with the outline of Book Four by March 1st. (Tentative title: The Rhythm of War, but I'm not 100% on that yet.) Then I'll dive into the book.

    Writing a Stormlight book is not an easy or quick process. To finish on time, I'll need to do 40k words a month every month this year--which is a tall order. (My average is around 30k a month, though, so it's not impossible.) That would have the first draft done by January 1st, then give me six months of grueling revisions to finish the final draft by July, which would allow a Christmastime release. This isn't set in stone, though, and if I don't meet this schedule the book could slip into the beginning of 2021.

    For now, I'm going to solicit a little help from you. While writing Stormlight 3, I built a specific playlist of some of my favorite epic-fantasy-feeling songs. I've posted it before, but if you missed that, find it here.

    You can click on my profile to find the similar playlist I made for Skyward. I have been searching through other playlists people have made on Spotify with the right kind of music so I can build a similar playlist for Stormlight 4, but I thought I'd kick the question to you folks as well.

    Do you have any suggestions? What songs in specific (songs are better than artists, as I try to keep my playlists varied with only a couple of songs from any one given artist) do you listen to while reading the Stormlight books? What songs would you suggest to me that I listen to while writing the book? (Other than the Kaladin album, of course.)

    Generally, I prefer things that have an epic instrumental feel to them--though I don't mind words here and there. And I get tired of things that sound TOO trailer-esque. (Inception sound. Inception sound. Inception sound.

    For reference, my favorite song on the Oathbringer playlist--and the one I play in my head at the climax--is Alive by Phil Lober. Anyway, please suggest things for me to put on my playlist. Songs that are on theme, or even songs you just think are epic for whatever reason. (Though do look through the other two playlists I've made first, to double check the song isn't on one of them. I probably won't put any repeats on this playlist.)

    And as a final note, I won't be having replies from this thread sent to my inbox, and I don't know if I'll have time for many specific replies to questions. But I do plan a more involved AMA sometime in the near future, where I can answer questions. I will also hop back on the thread at some point and grab the suggested songs.

    Anyway, I'll give you another update when the outline is finished. Until then, Journey before Destination.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1295 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Would magic from one world work on another and if so, how?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Generally, magics in the cosmere work on different planets. But it depends on the magic. Things like the Dor on Sel are locked to the geography, so it gets difficult. The Metallic Arts work pretty much universally though. Making Surgebinding work on another planet would require Stormlight and the spren are bound to Roshar, so getting them off planet is quite hard.

    So the magics kind of work differently depending on whether a sentient being is involved, how the magic works and how it's powered. It would be very easy to take some Breaths off of Nalthis, which is a problem for them. It gets very complicated.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Can there be a mixing of magic?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, there can be.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1296 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Was Shallan's ability to draw intentional, just so you could have her draw all the maps?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, basically that was the seed for her. I was inspired by people from history like Darwin who was a scientist and did drawings. That was part of the concept that made me put Shallan into the books. All those drawings are intended to give you a sense of immersion.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1297 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    What idea sparked Stormlight for you?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The very first seed for everything was a man who's brother to a king. The king gets assassinated and the nephew becomes a bad king. How he copes with that is what I started thinking about. We all have somebody in our family. That became Dalinar and Elhokar in The Stormlight Archive.

    Stuttgart signing ()
    #1300 Copy

    Paleo (paraphrased)

    How is Dark One coming along?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    It's coming along very well. It's like Harry Potter from the perspective of Voldemort, where the good guys want to get the bad guy. It's like Narnia was trying to assassinate those who come over to their world to destroy it.

    The outline is really great, we pitched it across Hollywood. We had a really great response, but no contracts are done. We're planning to release it as an audiobook original. We haven't closed the contract on that yet, but we have an offer.