Recent entries

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13051 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13052 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13053 Copy

    Questioner

    What were the Allomantic metals based on?

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13054 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13055 Copy

    Questioner 1

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner 1

    That's what I thought but he thought not.

    Questioner 2

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner 2

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

    Brandon Sanderson

    Beards are not in fashion in Alethkar right now.

    Questioner 1

    Which is why Kaladin shaves it off.

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13056 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13059 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con 2014 ()
    #13060 Copy

    Questioner

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Questioner

    Just get in the mood...

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13062 Copy

    Catherine

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13063 Copy

    Jaz

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13065 Copy

    Kurkistan

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Kurkistan

    Thanks!

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13070 Copy

    Kirsty Cabot

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

    Brandon Sanderson

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

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13073 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    In Elantris the Aon used for healing is Aon Ien, but the definition given in the back of the book says it means "Wisdom". The other Aons have effects and definitions that go together, but "Healing" and "Wisdom" don't seem to match. Is there something there or is it an error?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's more a cultural thing. When I was naming the Aons I had some of them cross-align like this because I feel that languages, and cultures, are often messy. (Drive on a parkway, park in a driveway kind of issues.) This is the only one that ended up in the glossary that was like this, though, so I probably should have spotted that and changed it.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13079 Copy

    Adrienne

    In Well of Ascension, it mentions that the language of Terris had a gender neutral pronoun. If you actually constructed the language, what was that pronoun? Or did you just leave it as its English translation of "it"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't spend a long time on the languages in Scadrial, since most people were speaking the same tongue. I just used "it" in my own writings. Roshar has a lot more detail on the languages, because culture-clash is a bigger part of the theme of the series.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13084 Copy

    Brian Seavey

    Do you have any advice for aspiring writers who are educated in a field other than literature and in a profession already that is not centered around writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes! I'll tell you that you're in luck. Take what you've learned in your field of education, and in your profession, and apply it to your writing. RJ used his experience as a solider; Grisham made a career out of writing books related to his work. You have special experience and knowledge that will make your books distinctive. Make use of it!

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13085 Copy

    Moogle

    If a non-Windrunner Surgebinder (who had spoken all the Ideals of their Radiant Order) summoned Jezrien's Honorblade, what color eyes would they get? A blend? Different colors for each eye?

    Brandon Sanderson

    :) I'm going to RAFO eye color questions for the moment. We'll actually be dealing with some of these in the books. Maybe not the specific ones you ask, but the concepts in general.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13087 Copy

    Justin Carmony

    One of my favorite things about being a Brandon Sanderson fan is how consistently you publish books, I always know you'll have a new book coming out without having to wait years. What do you do to help keep up the consistency and overcome the times when you sit down and the "creative juices" aren't there, or at least not easily accessible?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I throw away a fair amount of fiction. If it isn't flowing, I write anyway, then file that chapter away under junk. I also hop projects a lot. I've found this makes me much more creative and eager to write.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13088 Copy

    Brady Dill

    What kind of college classes (not English courses) would best prepare someone for writing fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Whatever you're fascinated by! You can incorporate basically anything into a story. If you love numbers, study economics. If you like history, pick an area and type and become an expert. Whether it be law or botany, you will find a way to use it in your books.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13090 Copy

    Annie Lown

    In the Wheel of Time books, did the Creator have a power, similar to the True Power that the Dark One had?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid I don't have the answer for this, not for certain. I think that readers of the text could argue both ways. For example, a certain event in the epilogue of [A Memory of Light] could be interpreted this way--though everyone in Team Jordan seems to have a different opinion on what is going on, and [Robert Jordan] didn't leave an explanation.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13092 Copy

    Adrienne

    Can the various forms of Investiture on other worlds in the cosmere be classified as "end positive" or "end negative" like they are on Scadrial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some can. Not all.

    Footnote: This question excludes "end-neutral" and Brandon has previously established that all magics do fall into one of these three classifications.
    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13094 Copy

    Krystal Hammond

    How much do you use science to influence/guide your world building in what most people would identify as a fantasy setting?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I use it quite a bit, but as I'm writing fantasy, I go by the rule "do what is awesome first, then explain it." Meaning, I am looking to tell a certain kind of story, and while science is often a springboard into a magic, I will sometimes chose to do what I think makes the story better as opposed to what is scientifically rational. The way the Metallic Arts work with mass is one example.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13095 Copy

    William Anderson

    Why are do the Windrunners, Elsecallers, Stonewards, and Dustbringers have an extra connection on the Surgebinding diagram? Why do the Edgedancer, Skybreaker, Lightweaver, Willshaper's have a broken connection on the diagram? What are the dragon type things in the back of the diagram?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The dragon type things are a certain animal you've seen several places in the story so far.

    These connections will be explained eventually, but remember it's not the orders being connected, but instead their elemental representations. This diagram is very metaphysical, and some of the elements of it are cultural.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #13100 Copy

    Leinton

    So a friend and I who share a passion for sword fighting have been trying to find the real world correlates for the stances that Sharbearers use. So far we've made connections between Windstance and Haidong Gumdo, and Smokestance and the late Medieval/early Renaissance fencing. I was wondering if you could give us more information or at least hints on the other real world correlates?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I developed these with Ben McSweeney's help, and we plan to include representations of all the stances eventually. However, a few are NOT based on real-world equivalents, because of the size of Shardblades. Look at how various very-large weapons like zweihanders or Zanbat's were used.