Recent entries

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #13151 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Why can only women read in [The] Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Immediately after the Recreance an old book was used to argue for the idea that only men should be picking up the blades and plate, fighting was a masculine art. Over a period of 20 or so years this became established and some women used the same argument to take back some power by taking literacy for themselves as a feminine art.

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13156 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is my pleasure, it has been an honor. For those who couldn't hear it was a thank you for releasing books somewhat faster and a thank you for finishing The Wheel of Time.

    You know, I've been there. I picked up The Wheel of Time in 1990, my 8th grade year was '89, [...] yeah it's funny, I talk about The Wheel of Time. Everything I picked up while I was coming to love fantasy was all completed series or series in the middle of being written, and so as a kid I'm like "These are all famous series, I want to find one that isn't, what's going to be mine?" You want to be discovering, so I'd go to the bookstore every week to look at the new books coming out and try to find them and I remember grabbing Eye of the World, the first Robert Jordan book, and being like "Oh, this is a big book". I was a kid with not much money, so if you bought a big book it wasn't that much more expensive than a little book but you got a lot more reading in it. It was a good bang for your buck so to speak. So I bought that book and I loved it, and I thought "Oh this is going to be it, this is--" And I remember when the second book came out and they had trade paperbacks and my little bookstore didn't get a lot of those and I went "Oh, OH, something's happening" and then the third book was there in hardcover and I said "Ah-HA! I was right!" So I had this sort of pseudo-paternal instinct for Wheel of Time even when I was 17.

    But then I do know what it's like to wait, and you know George [R.R. Martin] is a guest here [at ConQuest 46], I want to speak toward the fact that he has had a long career and given people a lot of books, he may be slowing down a little bit as he's getting older, we all do. And he just wants to make sure his books are all right. I get tired hearing people-- Because I heard people do the same thing to Robert Jordan, y'know cut George some slack. He spent years and years toiling in obscurity until he finally made it big. I'm glad he's enjoying his life a little bit and not stressing about making sure-- You know getting a book that size out every year is really hard on writers. Robert Jordan couldn't keep it up, nobody can keep it up. Stormlight Archive's every two years. Even I, being one of the more fast writers out there, I'm not going to be able to do one of these things every year, there's just too much going on in one. So thank you, I will try to get them to you very consistently but it's going to be about every other year.

    Bryan Thomas Schmidt

    Another thing to know about George is George cannot write outside his particular environment-- All writers have their craft and I'll ask [Brandon] about it in a second, but George with HBO sending him out to promote, and cons, he's not writing. Whereas Brandon wrote in his hotel room I heard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    On both nights.

    Bryan Thomas Schmidt

    And I often do that too. George can't do that, so that's a difficulty too. There are other factors involved. And people love to meet him but when you meet an author sometimes they're not even writing 'cause they can't keep focus. So let's talk about-- How fast do you write a novel...

    Brandon Sanderson

    My writing approach and how fast I write. I'm actually not a particularly fast writer, for those of you who are writers out there I'll go at about 500 words per hour. What I am is a consistent writer. I enjoy doing this and my average day at home will be I get up at noon, because I'm a writer not a-- I'm not working a desk job, I don't have a desk, I don't go to a desk, I go and sit in an easy chair with my laptop, and I work from about 1 until 5. And then 5 until 9 is family time, I'll go take a shower, play with my kids, eat dinner, spend time with my wife, maybe go see a movie, whatever we end up doing. By about 9 or 10 she goes to bed and I go back to work and then I work from about 10 until 2-4 depending on how busy I am. If I'm ahead on schedules and things at 2 I'll stop and play a videogame or something, that's goof off time, go to bed about 4. And it really just depends on what's going on. If I'm traveling a lot, that puts a lot of stress on the deadline, and I've been traveling a lot lately, so in those cases I try to get some work done while I'm on the road, and it usually is not nearly as effective. I'll get a thousand words out of 4 hours I can sneak out of the day to get writing done. When you're breaking that rhythm, artists are creatures of habit and that rhythm-- Sometimes shaking things up is really good for you, but if that shake up is also kind of tiring, tiring in a good way I like interacting with people and going to cons, but you get back up there I feel like I worked all day and now I have to work all day. It can be rough, and at the same time with the schedule I want to have which is my goal is to release one small book and one big book a year. That’s my goal. One adult book and one teen book, and sometimes those schedules get off so you get one one year and three the next year. Or sometimes I do things like write two books instead of one, I did that this year, or last year. I wrote two Alloy of Law era Mistborn books, the second era of Mistborn books, and together they are half the length of a Stormlight book. So sometimes you'll see three. But I want to be releasing consistently, I want to have a book for teens and a book for larger people who are teens at heart? I dunno. It's hard because you don't want to put a definition on them, I don't want people to go "Oh The Reckoners is for teenagers therefore I don't want to read that" and I don't want to discourage, I've had 7-year-olds come up with their copy of The Way of Kings--

    Bryan Thomas Schmidt

    They're strong.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah they're strong. My 7-year-old can barely read the Pokemon video game, so-- we played that-- and so I don't want to discourage anybody from picking up a book they think they are going to love, but I do want to be releasing one quote-unquote teen book and one quote-unquote adult book. By the way, since I've started writing teen, I started distinguishing them and it's really hard to say "I write teenage novels and adult fantasy." *laughter* That term does not always evoke the right image I want… I've been introduced sometimes at conventions that are outside my circuit, writing conferences, as the fantasy guy. They say "Here's our fantasy man" *Brandon makes a shocked/confused face prompting laughter* Okay I can take that.

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #13157 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Could you become a double misting if you took two lerasium/metal alloy beads (I think the example was iron and steel) at the same time?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes.

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #13159 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Will Book 3 [of The Stormlight Archive] be Szeth's book?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He used to think so. Now it might be Dalinar's. He is going to do the flashbacks for both (and Eshonai) and then decide.

    Questioner [Alternate wording from stormfather's report] (paraphrased)

    [The Stormlight Archive] 3 pov character? Some say Szeth others say it's up in the air?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said he's not going to canonize it or anything, he's also looking at Dalinar and Eshonai and going to see who's backstory fits the flow of the book best

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13160 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Following a reading* That's called Adamant, and the premise that made me want to start writing it was this idea of basically Silence of the Lambs in Space.

    Right after this humankind is going to be betrayed by the "nice" aliens, who have given them this sidejack technology and helped them in their war against the violent Knockers. And it turns out they've been played the whole time, the "nice" aliens just wanted a nice race of obedient soldiers. They turn off the sidejack, it knocks out the entire command staff of the Armada and that leaves Jeff, who doesn't have one, who's not really a commander, in charge. He's able to grab the flagship and fly away with the Centurion in the brig, who is the greatest military mind that the galaxy has ever known. So what follows is the story of him trying to get the Centurion to give him advice on tactics in the war against the quote-unquote nice aliens while the Centurion is trying to figure out how to escape and get away from him.

    It's a very fun story, but it's not ready to be released. One of the things I'm thinking of doing is if I can maybe slide this into the Cosmere, I haven't decided yet. It would be really fun to get it in there, I think it could, I would just have to lose the Shakespeare line. That's kind of hurting me because I like that line. So we'll see if I can get it in or not...

    Bryan Thomas Schmidt

    Is it part of a series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What I'm going to do is I'll probably do four or five novellas that build-- So it's like a novel told in novella form. I kind of imagine doing some episodes quote-unquote, right? And then have a six-episode season with the last episode being the end, so a mini-series basically. Kind of like what was done with… Wool, that's what it was… I think the the serial has a chance of coming back because of ebooks and things like that.

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13161 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    The question is: Shallan from The Stormlight Archive being an illustrator herself, an artist, gave me an interesting opportunity to show the world through sketches and illustrations, is that something I thought about ahead of time?

    In fact that was one of my big goals with The Stormlight Archive, I wanted to-- So I have this feeling on epic fantasy, one of the cool things about it is this sense of immersion, and then the epic fantasies that I have loved the most, things like Dune, if you count that as fantasy it's one of those hybrids, or The Wheel of Time, what they do is they really make this world real to you and that helps these characters, you know I will say that characters are most important but if characters are caring about things you think are silly or interacting in a world you think is not real, you aren't going to believe those characters. And so for me I am always looking for how I can enhance that sense of immersion, and how can I do that without burdening the reader with huge long paragraphs of descriptions of the world around them. And very early in the process of doing The Stormlight Archive I decided I wanted to base a character on Pliny the Elder, which is one of the early scholars in Western thought who did all these sketches and writings-- Back in those days a scientist was everything, right? Darwin did sketches and things like this. You are going to be drawing and writing and approaching all of the sciences and arts as one. Instead of being a person who makes food or stabs other people you are going to do all the other stuff. And that was a really interesting character for me because I was able to develop this idea of "We are going to put sketches in the books". Now The Stormlight Archive, one of the rules with myself is that these all, all the art and there's some thirty pieces of art plus in each book, all have to be in-world artifacts. That's the sense of immersion, right? I don't think we've lost it but it's become a cliche that every fantasy novel has a map in front of it. And that stretches back to Tolkien, but Tolkien's map was the map they used in the book to travel, right? It's the actual map. And I like that, it says "Here's this artifact from the world" rather than "Here is an illustrator from our world giving you this extra information". And so I've taken great pains to say what kind of art they would have, how can I get this into the books, why is it relevant, and how does it help? I found that this helps, particularly with Shallan being a natural historian, sketching out creatures that I don't have to maybe spend quite as long describing-- I still have to because a lot of people listen to the audiobook and I still want them to get the picture, but it just helps cement those things. Anyway, that was one of my big excitements about the world for years and years and it's one of the things propelling me to write it.

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #13162 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Have we seen the [Seventeenth Sharders] from the Way of Kings interlude before?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    You have seen two of them, the third is from an unpublished work that will be coming out soon in graphic novel format.

    Questioner [Alternate wording from stormfather's report] (paraphrased)

    Who are the 3 travelers in [The Way of Kings]?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    We've seen 2 of them already.

    The third will be in the graphic novels that are coming soon

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #13164 Copy

    the_archduke (paraphrased)

    Is the Ars Arcanum written by a person we have met yet?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said some people have met this person. I pushed and he said this person is from an unpublished work.

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13165 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had a teacher, when I was in 8th grade--this is true, her name was Ms. Reeder *laughter* yes, she's now a professor in California-- and I was what we call in the industry a reluctant reader, that is a fancy term for "me no like-y books" and she couldn't get me to read. I was one of these boys-- it happens to a lot, more boys than girls, but it happens to a lot of kids between about 5th and 7th grade, they fall out of reading. And for me I suddenly found books boring during that era. I joke about it in one of my books actually, these books with the awards on the cover with the boy who has a pet dog and then the dog dies and that's your story. And I thought these were boring. I did try Tolkien, but if you're not a good reader trying The Lord of the Rings, I bounced off that so hard, had no idea what's going on. I got to like the barrow-wights scene, like "Euhhh what's going on? This is boring..."

    That was a few years before my 8th grade year where my teacher, she realized I was struggling.  And she realized that I was faking my way through book reports.  And so she called me up after class and she said "The next book report is going to be a book that I have read and then you are going to read and we are going to talk about it." So she took me to the back of the room and teachers have these racks of ratty paperbacks… it's like a hundred kids have read these books, they're stained with school lunch spaghetti sauce and things like that. But these were some of her favorite books that she loaned out to students, and I browsed through those and I found a book called Dragonsbane, Barbara Hambly. Nowadays kind of a lesser known classic of the genre, it's fantastic, I love it. It has this gorgeous Michael Whelan cover on it. And it was longer than books I had tried before but it also looked more interesting. So I dove into that book, and you know the weird thing about this book is that it should not have worked, right? If you've read Dragonsbane it's about a middle-aged woman who has been told that if she would just dedicate herself to her magic-craft she could be one of the greatest practitioners ever. Her teacher keeps saying to her "Look you just need to dedicate yourself more". And at the same time she has a family, several children and a husband who in the book is called to go and slay a dragon. He's like in his fifties now, he killed one once when he was twenty, he's the only living dragonslayer and the story is sort of about him going "Oh I've got to go and kill this dragon" and her saying "Uh… You're in your fifties, you're going to get killed." It's a really interesting story, told through this woman's eyes and it's basically a middle-aged woman having a mid-life crisis, having to choose between her career and her family. Not normally what you would give to a 14-year-old boy and expect him to absolutely love it. But this is the power of fantasy, it's why I love the genre, it's why I came to love it.

    It's the answer to your question, because I feel that in fantasy and science fiction we can blend the sense of the fantastic with the sense of the familiar and we can learn about people around us while having an awesome story at the same time. I remember a few years ago there were books that would come out, it was for parents to fool their kids into eating vegetables, they would say "You can mix this vegetable with this food and they won't taste it". I kind of view fantasy a little like that. You can have this awesome adventure that's really fun and exciting and at the same time you can deal with lots of interesting real-world issues but not be pretentious.  You know there are a lot of great books in a lot of genres, but I'll read some that are "realistic" fiction and they just hit you with this moral so much that you are sick of it after the third chapter. Whatever the reason-- I know what the reason is that this book connected with me. My mother graduated first of her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in the accounting department. After doing that she had received a scholarship to go get a CPA and she had made the decision that "You know what I'm pregnant, I'm going to stay home with my son while he's a little kid until he goes back to school and then I'll go back to a job." And as a kid, you know, when I heard this story as a teenager I was "Well of course she did, it's me". Right? When you're a teen everything is about you, "Well obviously that's the right decision". In reading this book and seeing where it wasn't accounting it was magic I was like "Woooh that's how my mom feels about accounting and she gave that up, it's not an easy decision, it's not the obvious decision. Both decisions are right, she just picked one of the two and she did it for me". And so I get out of this book, this goofy fantasy novel about killing a dragon, and I understand my mother better. And that blew my mind as a kid. I ran back to my teacher, "there have to be more books like this" and so she took me to the library, which I had not spent much time in, and I just went to the card catalogue… the cards in a line, you read them by title and the next book in line was Dragon Prince by Melanie Rawn so I got into those books, and then the next book after that in line was Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey. That was my introduction to fantasy. I spent the next months reading every Anne McCaffrey, Barbara Hambly, and Melanie Rawn book I could get my hands on, to the point that when someone handed me David Eddings that summer I said "I don't think guys can write this genre." *laughter* I was really skeptical. That was my mentorship, those three ladies.

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #13167 Copy

    the_archduke (paraphrased)

    If the Lord Ruler captured Shai and gave her 100 days to craft a soulstamp that could turn an iron Hemalurgic spike into a steel Hemalurgic spike, could she do it?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, but she would need a boost of power to do it. Affecting an Invested object is hard.

    the_archduke [Alternate wording from stormfather's report] (paraphrased)

    Can Shai change Hemalurgic spikes?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, but it costs a lot of power and she wouldn't be able to do it alone.

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13168 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the question is: I use a lot of religion in my books how do I balance that with my own personal beliefs?

    So, I'm a religious person and what this has done to me in specific is make me really interested in how religion affects people or how the lack of religion affects people. I find that the real fun of reading and writing, raising interesting questions, and approaching a topic from lots of different directions, is a thing that is really fascinating to me. I ascribe to a school of thought that I kind of-- this is a little unfair to these gentlemen but I kind of divide it among the Tolkien and C.S. Lewis line of those two were famously in a writing group together, and if you don't know Tolkien actually converted C.S. Lewis to Christianity, which is very interesting, and they were both deeply religious people, and they approached it very differently in their fiction. C.S. Lewis felt that fiction should be didactic and teach you a lesson and Tolkien repeatedly refused to tell people what he thought the themes in his books were. When they would come up to him and say "It's a metaphor for World War II, isn't it?" he would say "No, it's a story." And I am more a Tolkien than a C.S. Lewis.  I like with fiction-- I consider myself a storyteller primarily, and I hope that a good story is going to raise interesting questions but that has to be focused around what the characters are passionate about and what they are thinking about. And so I try to populate my books with people who are asking interesting questions from a variety of different perspectives.

    I said on a panel I was on yesterday "Nothing bothers me more than when reading a book where someone has my perspective, there's only one person, and they're the idiot. Whatever it is that they are an idiot about that I agree with."  And I'm like ahh can't you at least present my side-- I want everyone who reads my books, regardless of their religious affiliation, if they see something like their own belief system in there I want them to say "Yes, he's presenting it correctly." And part of that means that I have to approach my fiction in certain ways, for instance, I like fiction that is ambiguous to the nature of deity, if there is one. I want-- If you can create a book with really cool atheist characters and then go "By the way here's this all powerful, all knowing benevolent god that he's just refusing to acknowledge" that undermines that character completely. And so I create my fiction so that the different people on the sides of the argument, just like in our world, have good arguments on both sides. And I think that if you present characters with interesting choices, making interesting decisions you will-- truth will rise to the top. That's kind of one of the purposes of fiction, is to discuss these issues. So that's kind of a roundabout answer to your question, that as a person of faith how I approach writing my books. I'm not sure if it's the right answer, but it's the answer I've been giving lately.

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13169 Copy

    Kaymyth (parapharased) (paraphrased)

    I asked another question about the population levels of Mistings, Ferrings, and Twinborn.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The numbers in the [Alloy of Law Mistborn Adventure Game] supplement are off. (It states the occurrence of Mistings/Ferrings is 1 in 50 people.) He said that they're not terrible, but they definitely are shown as somewhat more common than they really are. But he also said that they're not nearly as rare as people seem to think; for example, he stated that virtually everyone would know at least one Coinshot. So there are definitely a lot of Allomancers around.

    And the occurrence of Twinborn would not be a normal statistical spread (alas).  As folks opined before in this thread, the Terris folk do tend to keep somewhat to themselves, so there's not a huge amount of population mix.  So Twinborn will be rarer.

    I did point out that there had to be some mix, else we'd be seeing full Feruchemists around, and to that he mostly just smiled and looked mysterious.  As he does.

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13170 Copy

    Kaymyth

    I asked the question about chromium vs a Compounder with both Invested and un-Invested metals in both their stomach and piercings.

    Brandon Sanderson

    What it boils down to is this:

    1) Yes, the piercings will get burned off.

    2) The non-Invested metals go before the Invested ones. He said that because Invested metals are harder to affect, it takes a little extra time and effort to get them to burn off. So a Leecher trying to clean out a Compounder would have to get a good grip and hang on for a few seconds.

    3) Chromium burns about as quickly as duralumin, so if you're trying to burn off a lot of metals, it is possible to run out of chromium before your target is clean. This would probably only be an issue when dealing with larger pieces (like jewelry) rather than your standard metal-flakes-in-the-stomach deal.

    ConQuest 46 ()
    #13175 Copy

    Vaidd (paraphrased)

    What's the approximate ratio of Epics to "normals?" Is that number increasing, decreasing, or staying roughly the same?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    The ratio of Epics to normal folks is about 1 in 10,000. Brandon then clarified, without prompting, that was pre-Calamity population and the ratio is much higher now because so many normal people died. He then gave an example of Newcago, which has about 1000 Epics in a population of 250,000, so in that particular case the ratio is 1:250.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13177 Copy

    Phantine

    So... CS question here, I'm seeing identity as essentially a 'encryption' on the metalmind - the spike has the decryption key to existing metalminds, but when you encrypt a new one you use your personal encryption key with the spike's hardware, so you still have compounding access to the metalminds even after removing the spike.

    Is it possible for there to be a 'key collision' with Identity? Two people just randomly end up making compatible metalminds, because the pieces of their Identities that the magic looks like happen to be the same.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This would be about as likely as two unrelated people ending up with the exact same genetic sequence.

    But, so far as I understand, that WOULD be possible.

    Lucadaw

    So identical twins could share metalminds ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    :) RAFO.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13178 Copy

    katkov

    How important is Intent to Hemalurgy? If two people who didn't know about Hemalurgy were running and tripped, falling perfectly onto a spike, would Hemalurgy occur? What about if it was a sick psychopath who liked stabbing people with spikes instead of an accident?

    Would the planet these events occurred on matter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Location is not relevant to most of the magics.

    As for those specifics of Hemalurgy, I will RAFO for now.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13179 Copy

    Lucadaw

    If someone used Hemalurgy to take someones Feruchemical abilities would they be able to use that persons personal metalminds? Most relevantly perhaps to take that person's knowledge from their copperminds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Lucadaw

    If someone stored their identity in an aluminium metalmind, then had their powers and metalminds stolen via Hemalurgy, then the person who took the powers used the aluminium metalmind to draw out the first persons identity would it permanently overwrite their personality with the original persons ? ( would kind of be a long winded way of stealing someone else's body and becoming immortal )

    Brandon Sanderson

    All Identity questions are a RAFO until I deal with it more in the books. (Sorry.)

    WeiryWriter (in response to the first answer)

    If the spike granting Feruchemy were to be reforged/split into two distinct spikes which are then implanted into two different people, could those two people "share" a metalmind (as in actually be able to tap something the other stored and vice versa?).

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's complicated, but no.

    There would be too much of the other person mixed in. Both could use the metalminds of the person the Feruchemy was stolen from, but when they made their own, their own Identity would "muddy" the creation.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13180 Copy

    Xluxaeternax

    Is the chronology through the whole cosmere fairly linear, or are there some Interstellar-relativity timey-wimey stuff at play?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Relativity is in play for sure, but I am not allowing time travel into the past in the cosmere. So while you might find places that move at slower/faster speeds, and while foreseeing future timelines is in play for sure, nobody will not be pulling serious time travel shenanigans.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13181 Copy

    Phantine

    A friend of mine was thinking Harmony's two-power combination 'perk' was the ability to use them together to create instead of just to destroy or preserve.

    Was that 'chemical reaction' rule in the plan from the beginning, or was having Harmony more a precedent to develop a rule from it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was pretty early. (The idea that the two together can create was mentioned very early in the series, long before Harmony came to be.)

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13182 Copy

    Phantine

    Dumb personal-obsession question - mistwraiths are people with "a blockage between the Physical and the Cognitive Realms" - does that mean if they set foot on Threnody they turn into actual undead-type-wraiths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a very cool theory. I don't think I can shoot it down.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13183 Copy

    zotsandcrambles

    Have we seen any soul-stamped objects in any of the non-Sel books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For you to have seen this, someone would have to have cracked the issue with Sel magics losing power greatly when taken from the planet.

    zotsandcrambles

    Is this a feasible task for someone like Shai or Hoid? We know the Moon Scepter is a Rosetta stone, so the task seems less daunting, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The task is less daunting for certain. I don't want to say more, however, as I think the clues are there about Sel's magic, and I want to avoid saying too much.

    zotsandcrambles

    Thanks for taking the time (again) to answer me!

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, here's the thing. The problem with magic on Sel is not one people are looking at the right way. And I'm really loathe to dig into it more, because I won't be able to write the books set on the world for a few more years yet.

    Already, great moments in upcoming books aren't going to be as powerful to the hardcore fans, as they'll know the answers already.

    But your theory, while very cool, wouldn't work--and stems from you attacking the problem in the wrong way.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13184 Copy

    Bat_Mannington

    If a Windrunner lashed Wax upwards, could he dump all of his weight into his metalminds and be unaffected or would the lashing affect his clothes and whatever else he had on him too?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wax could mitigate the effect (unless he was in a vacuum) but not eliminate it completely.

    faragorn

    Vacuum or freefall?

    It can be easy to confuse them in the context of surface to orbit.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was talking about a Vacuum, but it's good to clarify. What I'm saying is that without wind resistance, his mass doesn't matter--and the books have established that what Wax does is a freakish transformation of his mass, not just his weight.

    Kaladin changes how much gravity pulls on someone, and in what direction. Wax (basically, it's more complex than this) changes how much mass he has. The two, then, have some very distinctive effects.

    Worldbuilders AMA ()
    #13185 Copy

    zotsandcrambles

    In a way I felt that The Emperor's Soul was a bit post-singularity - in the sense that humans were capable of downloading new identities and histories. I know you've planned on doing FTL cosmere work, but have you any interest in doing post-singularity cosmere work? I'd be fascinated to see 'multiple-consciousness beings' using breath or soul stamps. Seeing human development push the boundaries of the shards would be quite intense, and I'm tickled pink at the notion of humans bamboozling the rules of [Shardic] Investiture - how far can Spiritual or Cognitive Identity stretch?

    tl;dr - do you have any plans to bring post-singularity stories to the cosmere

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have plans for some of this, but the main-line cosmere stories I'm planning seem to adapt better to grand space opera than true post-singularity stories. That said, I've certainly got some short story ideas that will play with this. (And you'll see more hints like this even in the mainline books that I think you'll like.)

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    AmbiguousPuzuma

    In Chapter 19 of The Way of Kings, when Dalinar has a vision of fighting Voidbringers (maybe something else?) as a farmer, he says that he felt the Thrill in the vision. Does this mean that Nergaoul was active there, at the time that vision was "recorded" or was it Dalinar's viewing of the vision that was affected by the Thrill? Would the actual person whose perspective he was seeing have felt the Thrill if he had fought?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a great question, and one I've never been asked before. The answer is going to be a little vague.

    First, Dalinar could have felt the Thrill from Nergaoul, and imported it into the vision.

    Second, Nergaoul could have been active then, and the farmer could have felt it when he fought.

    So both theories are valid. Which is it? I am going to hang back from answering this for now, as I am digging more into the Unmade in a future book.

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    bmanny

    At what point in your writing did the ending of [Shadows of Self] become a thing in your mind? Was is there from the beginning? Did it unfold naturally? Or was it something you saw before even writing [The Alloy of Law]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wrote Alloy of Law as kind of a free write. Once I finished it, and liked it a lot, I sat down and said, "Okay, if this is going to be Mistborn, it needs to have a tighter series outline." So I outlined three sequels, so I knew where Wax and the characters were going. Then I wrote the prologue of Alloy of Law. (It originally didn't include that scene with him and Lessie meeting Bloody Tan.) That scene was the first I wrote knowing the entire three book sequence, including the ending of SofS.

    From there, I did a revision of Alloy of Law to match what was to come. The biggest change was adding in the trauma to Wax, which wasn't a piece of the initial story. (It was also something the book needed. Wax didn't have an arc in the original draft; he was kind of just "stoic sheriff." Building into him this longing to escape responsibility, and an underlying worry that his failures would break him, made it possible to create for him a four book arc.)

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    jmass12

    Quick question on genetics and investiture on Scadrial. Is it weird that Wax would have a different Allomantic power than his predecessors, or does it only matter that you have the ability in the first place, and then it takes different forms generation to generation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Great question! I don't think anyone has asked it.

    It is the second of your two theories. The power manifests differently in different people; specific powers are not hereditary.

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    #13191 Copy

    yurisses

    If Miles stored a very tiny bit of health into a gold bead and then burned it, what would happen? Would he see goldshadows for a time and then obtain Compounded health when reaching the charged part of the bead? Would the bead be evenly charged and deliver only health, no gold shadows, but at a very low rate since only little health was loaded in it? Would the bead be evenly charged and deliver only health, but at a standard rate the user would always get when compounding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He'd hack the system to deliver health for a short time instead of doing what it was supposed to do, but only until the small portion of gold Invested with his Investiture ran out.

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    JamesCRNA

    There seem to be several black trinkets in your books (Vin's obsidian chunk, the polished-to-a-metallic-look pendant Roadan receives as a wedding present, & the sphere Gavilar gives to Szeth) My question is...are these things related?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Unfortunately, you've seen a coincidental connection. Several of these things are important, but for different reasons.

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    JamesCRNA

    Is there any substance that reflects Allomantic power? (For example, such that a Coinshot could appear to be a Lurcher if this substance were behind the piece of metal being Pushed, or perhaps said Coinshot could Push things around a corner if this substance were angled properly?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nothing like this is known right now.

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    #13194 Copy

    danimalod

    I just read Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell and loved it. How did the first shade come to be? Are there shades in other worlds? Do shades have bones?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shades are what we call "Cognitive Shadows" in the cosmere. They're basically "spren" or "[seons]" created from human souls. (Where Investiture--or magical power--keeps a consciousness alive after it has lost its Physical connection.) Yes, shades all once had bodies.

    Think of them like petrified souls, where instead of stone replacing the tissue of a corpse, magical power replaced the parts of a soul that connect that soul to the Three Realms.

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    #13195 Copy

    tay95

    A theme throughout a lot of the Cosmere novels is that form, of one sort or another (patterns, aons, etc.) has a crucial role to play in unlocking or using Investiture.

    As a chemist, I'm curious about the role of form in Allomancy and Feruchemy. Does the underlying molecular or crystalline structure of the metal or alloy play a roll? Different processes, doping ratios, and metal mixtures result in different molecular packing, lattices, and ultimately structure. It seems like that kind of very defined, orderly matrix would be right in line with other forms of unlocking Investiture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes! I've actually mentioned to people before that the chemistry of the various metals acts, for Allomancy, in the same way that the Aons work for AonDor. It's more a key than it is a source of power itself.

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    WeiryWriter

    Can a person who dies but somehow hasn't passed Beyond the Three Realms (a la Kelsier) serve in place of a spren for Radiant purposes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is theoretically possible, but it would require an unusual sequence of events.

    WeiryWriter

    We know that the Stormfather is a Cognitive Shadow and is also acting as a spren for Dalinar but is he able to do that because the "unusual sequence of events" took place or is there something else going on specific to the nature of the Stormfather?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. :)

    Carluun

    If Kelsier became a "spren" for a Radiant, would he grant Surgebinding or Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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    #13199 Copy

    Argent

    The updated Elantris map (from the anniversary edition) includes a city map, and the interior of Elantris looks awfully like Aon Ela. Was it indeed designed so the streets for Ela, and if so - does this merely augment/support the giant Aon Rao, or does it have a separate effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was designed this way! It is separate from the shape of the city itself.

    Argent

    But does it have an actual effect, or is it just aesthetic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It doesn't have an effect at the moment. It might once have.

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    djscrub

    Since burning Feruchemically charged metal seems to require a choice between getting the Allomantic or Feruchemical property (e.g., Miles only sees gold ghosts when he wants to, not as a side effect of compounded healing), is there any special advantage to compounding pewter and tin, where the Allomantic and Feruchemical use is the same? Is their compounding even stronger than normal compounding because you can tap both power sources simultaneously, or maybe because Preservation is particularly attuned to providing those powers through those metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Remember that compounding is a "hack" of the magic. You're looking to fool the magics, and use one to power the other. The value in it is that you can use Allomantic power to fuel Feruchemy. It's like hooking a power cord up to a device that, up to that point, you'd powered by using a hand crank.