Recent entries

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13601 Copy

    Questioner

    Obviously the world covers different planets, but most people on all the individual planets don't know about the other planets. Is there a planet within the cosmere where worldhopping is common knowledge?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is there a planet in the cosmere where worldhopping is common knowledge. Um… it's not a planet.

    Bystander

    It's a space station? *laughter* That's no moon!

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's not as far off as people laughing think that it is. *laughter* It's not a space station, it's not that futuristic, but there is a place in the cosmere where a lot of worldhoppers have settled, is where Iyatil is from, even though her ethnicity is not from there.

    Moderator

    Clarifying question… Is that place in the Physical Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *laughs* RAFO!

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13602 Copy

    Questioner

    When it comes to the epic-level spren on Roshar, like the Nightwatcher and the Stormfather-- Is the number of epic-level spren equal to the number of Bondsmiths that you can have on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmm, is the number of epic-level spren related to the number of Bondsmiths you have? Well, I've said there's a maximum of three. And there are three Shards involved in Roshar. I'm not gonna tell you if that's a coincidence or not. Sorry.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13603 Copy

    Questioner

    When you're not writing or doing everything else, what series or authors do you enjoy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Who do I read? I read… last book I've read was Dark Knight Returns, Frank Miller, because everyone I know - I'm like, why have I never read this before? And everyone's basing every movie off it nowadays, so I finally read Dark Knight Returns. Before that, I read the first book of the Expanse, because it's another one that I've just never gotten to. I like that, those were both good. Dark Knight Returns was good, I was expecting something like Alan Moore level, and it was more… it was good, but it wasn't as mind-blowing, and I think that's partially because everybody's based every movie in existence on Batman since, you know, Tim Burton, on Dark Knight Returns, and so it doesn't feel as fresh as perhaps it would've if I'd been reading in '86 or whenever it was released.

    Um, my go-to is Terry Pratchett, or Guy Gavriel Kay, but if you didn't read Uprooted by Naomi Novik last year, it was extremely good. If you like stuff a little more literary, N.K. Jemison's The Fifth Season is really good, but again that's kind of… that's kind of almost for English Majors, that's got viewpoints in second person future tense, and they work, and they're really good. Nora is a very good writer, if you guys haven't tried A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which is a little bit more accessible than Fifth Season, she's just a really spectacular writer. Um, what else did I read last year that I liked… I mean, yeah, that's a couple. Brian McClellan's Powder Mage, if you like my stuff, you'll like Brian's stuff most likely, he's an ex-student of mine that I can't take much credit for because he was, he was very good when he took the class. But, he's writing flintlock fantasy that is just really good.

    Bystander

    Listen to Writing Excuses…

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Writing Excuses! We recommend a book on every episode of Writing Excuses, um, so.

    Moderator

    Have you read Pat's books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Have I read Rothfuss? Yeah, I've read Rothfuss' books. I've got… I get them early! Um, so, um… I've got my Wise Man's Fear and my The Slow Regard of Silent Things, and both came with a number in the corner like "if this ends up on eBay, we know who we gave it to" sort of thing, it was watermarked, "this is Brandon's copy, don't sell it".

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13604 Copy

    Questioner

    I believe you've said that you've toyed with the idea of writing books more like Secret History from other characters' viewpoints. Would you consider doing one for Marsh, like, during the events after the Ascension of Harmony to The Alloy of Law?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's a possibility, people have asked me for a Marsh viewpoint before. I would like to do more Marsh. So, we would have to see-- Like, when I do-- if I can find the time for it, Secret History 2-- Mistborn: Secret History 2, that would cover time before the start of Era 2 and it's possible I can slip in some Marsh. I mean, in Secret History we got some Spook, so…

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13605 Copy

    Questioner

    On that note, in Secret History, Kelsier's reading the symbols. Does he not-- I mean he is able to understand them...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, right. So, if you go look really closely at what happens with Kelsier before he's able to start reading the symbols and understand the language, you can relate it to things in the cosmere that I've talked about before for how he's able to do that.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13606 Copy

    Questioner

    The Aons on Sel… they're all based on, I assume the Investiture in Elantris itself, all the sigils are based on the general shape of the landscape around Elantris. Could that magic work in other places based on the geography of the other places with high Investiture, or is that exclusive to Sel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is an aspect of the Selan magic system-- Did I say Selian or Selan? I can't remember which one we settled on, Peter knows…

    Crowd

    Selish.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, Selish, that's what we settled on, isn't it, yeah, Selish magic system. This is why we have copy editors *laughter* That's a feature of the Selish magic system that, so far as I know, no one has pulled out in any decent reason for. But there's a distinct reason that could be figured out, but it's one of these things that will make sense when I explain it, but I'm not sure if it's quote-unquote "intuitively obvious to the average reader". I don't think that it necessarily is that, but it will make perfect sense once it's explained.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13607 Copy

    PallonianFire

    If a Shard were to heal the cracks in someone's spiritweb, like Sazed did with Spook, and that person who was getting healed has a Nahel bond, would that break the bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, because the Nahel bond is already filling in those cracks, so you would have to rip it off to put something else in there.

    PallonianFire

    So it wouldn't really be-- the Shard wouldn't be able to heal--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, the Shard-- Like, here's the thing we have to get at with this, what we're getting at, which is the question of, for instance, is Kaladin's depression a flaw in him that needs to be healed? And that is a question for philosophers. There are certainly people, cosmere and outside the cosmere, that say "Yes, this needs to be healed" and things like this. But what about somebody who's-- say, someone who is autistic, and their mind just works in a different way, and this way allows a certain bond to happen that couldn't otherwise happen? Is that a flaw, or is that-- is it a bug or a feature, to speak in coding terms? Is what's up with Kaladin a bug or a feature? I know that my wife would probably get rid of her depression if she could, but it's also been fundamental in how she sees the world and who she is, would that change her into a different person? And things like this. So, I want you when you discuss this, to be very careful about treating mental illness as a flaw as opposed to an aspect of a human personality that allows certain different things to happen. Does that make sense? *applause*

    PallonianFire

    The way I was sort of thinking, was, could Odium say, "Oh, I'm just going to fix this" and then you can't Surgebind anymore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, right, yeah. If he-- if there w-- that is possible, but it would be hard to do without the consent of the person, but that is possible… You can fix somebody in a way that they didn't want to be fixed, and it would ruin things.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13608 Copy

    Questioner

    What are the upper limits size-wise of what a kandra form can take? Could they say eat a chasmfiend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, they would have trouble with the square-cube law, and a chasmfiend does not, because they have a symbiosis with natural spren, which keep them from crushing themselves. *scattered laughter* So a kandra would crush themselves if they tried to do that.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13609 Copy

    Questioner

    In the last panel we talked a lot about people from different planets using magic systems on other planets, one of the things I've been thinking about, we've been thinking about, talking about Breath, and people being born with Breath, is that something specific to Nalthis or do, technically, other people on other planets have a Breath as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question and that is a Nalthian thing. Now, everyone in the cosmere to an extent has Investiture, the Nalthian Breath is part what everyone has and then a little extra, plus the ability to share it around. So a person who gives up their Breath on Nalthis is actually going below what a normal person has. But a normal person on Nalthis has more than somebody-- So if you were for instance to pick a world like Sixth of the Dusk, where there's not a Shard in residence, and you compared them to a Nalthian, Nalthian has an Investiture advantage over them. When they've given up their Breath, they have an Investiture disadvantage.

    Bystander

    So we're not Drabs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So we're not Drabs. That's exactly it. We're not Drabs.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13611 Copy

    Wetlander

    As of Secret History, is Khriss working with the Seventeenth Shard at that time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Khriss works with anybody who is interested in the information that she has. She is a--

    Wetlander

    Freelancer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not a freelancer, really, she is a-- She'd get along with Edward Snowden, right? She is-- For the good of the cosmere, in her opinion, she is providing this information. She thinks that it'll be useful for everyone. So if the Seventeenth Shard comes to her and says "We want to know this" and she knows it, she will tell them. If Hoid comes to her and says "I want to know this", she would tell him. So Khriss will work with anyone who she thinks their motives are for the good of the cosmere in general.

    Bystander

    Not strictly a mercenary?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not a mercenary, she's kind of a freedom of information type person.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13612 Copy

    Trae

    On Roshar, because of there's no tectonic activity, it would suggest that it's possible that the magnetic dynamo inside doesn't create enough of a magnetosphere to protect life from solar radiation, so my question is, do the highstorms function as a form of protection against solar radiation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's an excellent question.

    Bystander

    That's a RAFO. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a really cool question.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13613 Copy

    Questioner

    This became a question, I thought this had been answered, but kandra can't produce kandra children.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, yes they can. You get them some spikes.

    Questioner

    Can the kandra produce human children with consumed parts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I saw a big thread about this on Reddit and chose not to participate, despite being asked to.

    Questioner

    I thought she said that you did, so…

    Brandon Sanderson

    I gave vague and unuseful answers, and so I'm going to give the same to you. RAFO.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13614 Copy

    Questioner

    I was just wondering if you had any plans for a longer Legion type work.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Plans for a longer Legion type work. The goal was for a long time if I could get a television show off the ground, I would write a novel to accompany it to kind of publicize the show. We sold the rights like two or three times, and no one ever got it off the ground. I still think it's possible someday, but I probably don't envision doing a longer one-- In fact, I'll say, I don't envision doing a longer one right now unless that happens. Though I do envision doing a third story at some point.

    Moderator

    So you would say that Legion is best consumed in forty-four minute blocks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I mean, when I came up with the idea, I thought, this would make a great television show, let me write a few episodes.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13616 Copy

    Questioner

    This whole talk of both Roshar and the highstorms, I'm glad that you said they predate the Shattering. There are some people on 17th Shard, myself included, that firmly believe the entire continent is crem that's accumulated, one highstorm at a time.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good. Let me actually squish that one a little bit because there are mineral deposits that have been mentioned that you have to mine. And crem-- There isactual ferrous iron that you can smelt on Roshar, you have to know how to get to it and things like that, and there are actual gemstone mines and things like that. Much harder to get to and Soulcasting is a stopgap that has helped with this a lot, but there are actual deposits and things like that.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13617 Copy

    Questioner

    Speaking of the Stormfather, would the Nightwatcher and the giant water spren be on the same level of spren as the Stormfather?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...The Nightwatcher, yes. Um... There are, I would say, a level below the Stormfather and the Nightwatcher who are also much-- a much bigger deal than something like one of the sapient spren, and that's what Cusicesh is.

    Questioner

    So the Nightwatcher is a spren you'd say?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Nightwatcher-- I mean, they call the Nightwatcher a spren. Everyone in the books thinks the Nightwatcher is a spren. That's what they would call-- that's what they would call, if they knew what Honor was, they would call Honor a spren. A spren is Investiture that is alive.

    Bystander

    Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So they would call Nightblood a spren. They would call-- That's the word for what all of these things are. They would probably've called Adonalsium a spren…

    Moderator

    What would Hoid call one of those?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What would Hoid call the Nightwatcher? *laughter* What would Hoid call one of what?

    Moderator

    Yeah what would Hoid call the Nightwatcher?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um… *long pause/laughter*

    Moderator

    If Hoid were to use a non-proper noun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Unpleasant names. *laughter*

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13618 Copy

    Questioner

    If the highstorms existed prior to the Shards' arrival, what's the relationship between the highstorms and the Stormfather?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh good question. I was wondering if someone was going to ask that… So, I'll tr-- Let me see… *sighs*

    You know, I'm actually going to RAFO this one. *laughter* And let me tell you why, because I mean, I want to give you some reasons to be interested in the things that Dalinar will be talking about with the Stormfather. So this is a RAFO with an explicit promise that book 3-- These are things that are covered now that we have bonded the Stormfather to a person who can now ask some of these questions. I could totally just tell you now, but where's the fun in that? Read book three.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13619 Copy

    Moderator

    Is there such a thing as… voluntary Hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Voluntary Hemalurgy? Yes.

    Moderator

    ...Where you can give a power to someone through those sorts of means.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Through any means, or through Hemalurgic means?

    Moderator

    Er, explain what you mean by that question. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Nalthis, you are giving up your power voluntarily to someone else.

    Moderator

    Specifically in the context of Scadrial here.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I mean, can you not imagine a person who's like "Yes I am crazy and will give up my power to this…" you know?

    Bystander

    But don't the end results negate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can't imagine somebody who would do that? …I am absolutely sure that at some point even in creating Inquisitors there's somebody who would be like, "yes, I will give my life to the Lord Ruler." So, yes?

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13620 Copy

    Questioner

    So for the Old Magic, in this classification system of end-positive, end-neutral, and end-negative, where would that fall under?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, almost every magic in the cosmere is end-positive, almost every magic is relying upon an external source of Investiture to power it. So that phrasing is mostly more relevant to Scadrial than anywhere else, because that concept is how I'm dealing with things like the laws of thermodynamics, and even what they call end-neutral is relying a little bit on the power of Investiture to facilitate. So even an end-neutral magic system as they define it on Scadrial is actually not end-neutral. What you get put in you get out, but the power is facilitating that transfer… So that phrasing is kind of a... Take that as a science on.. Scadrial that does not extrapolate well, and may not even be 100% accurate.

    Moderator

    That would have been a great thing to know before we did the cosmere magic panel. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I look at it as, is an Investiture externally powering the magic, and if you look at Allomancy, yes it is. You are drawing that power out. Feruchemy, you are putting Investiture in from your own body, it's your energy transferring to Investiture, which is being stored, which you are then drawing out, and things like that. But that changing forms is facilitated by the magic. Whereas you're stealing stuff with-- So you could look, for instance at the magic on Nalthis, you could look at that one as being-- as kind of working as end-negative, meaning "I am taking it away from someone else", or end-positive depending on if you're the one receiving it or not. So again, it's a phrasing that can be useful as a tool but doesn't scale well to the other magics.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13621 Copy

    Questioner

    Did the Dawnchant originate on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Dawnchant originate on Roshar? Um, the Dawnchant… Yes… What I won't tell you or not is whether the Dawnchant is an evolution from a different language, but the Dawnchant itself is from Roshar.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13622 Copy

    Questioner

    I get the impression after reading Stormlight 1 and 2 that a lot of what you would consider to be flora, plant-life, is actually something like coral in the ocean which is actually an animal. So is there actually any flora on Roshar outside out of, like, Shinovar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah, like almost all the things you see as flora are actual flora. Like, rockbuds are flora, trees are flora, shalebark is not, and some of the things like that-- haspers are not, and some of these things are more-- are animal life, are fauna. But grass is actually a flora, and trees.

    Now I mean one of the big adaptations they've had to make is that they have to use crem, so a lot of the trees that you'll find on Roshar, they will be using crem that falls and you use this to create shells, you use this to infuse your bark, they use this in a lot of different ways, the minerals there are very important because they're not getting from the soil what plants on our world get from soil, a lot of them do. You have to get all of your minerals and things basically have to come from the crem.

    Bystander

    Which the farmers already knew.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Which the farmers already knew.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13623 Copy

    Questioner 1

    So you mentioned earlier that a lot of the characters that we see in multiple books are functionally immortal-- that interact between the different stories are functionally immortal. Can we-- But some of them when we saw them in actual just books, before we saw them jumping between worlds, were not functionally immortal at that time. Can we then take that to mean that they somehow became functionally immortal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can take that to become that. Now--

    Moderator

    Correctly. There's an implied correctly.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can correctly. Now here's the distinction. Some of them are not. Some of them are using tricks of *searches for correct word* relativistic time travel to move forward in the future. Some of them are not aging and others are just aging really slowly. And those are three separate things among characters you have actually seen.

    Questioner 2

    And which are which? *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I will give you hints as you read the books.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13624 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned the ecology on Roshar, and also you mentioned that mostly the non-sentient spren predate the Shattering of Adonalsium. So my question is about the evolution of life on Roshar, and how essential the highstorms are to life on Roshar, how the plants evolved, so can we assume that life that is dependent on the highstorms predates the Shattering of Adonalsium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um… You--

    Questioner

    Can we correctly assume?

    Brandon Sanderson

    --yeah, *laughter* I'll tell you this. The highstorms predate, and there was a lot of natural evolution on Roshar, resulting in a lot of what we have there.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13625 Copy

    Questioner 1

    So, it's been established when Syl transformed for Kaladin that a living Blade can become any weapon, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, based on the perception of the wielder.

    Questioner 1

    Right. So, why is it that there are only dead swords?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good question that will be answered in the future.

    Questioner 2

    Could they make a lightsaber?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Could they make a lightsaber? W-- They could make metal weapons of a similar style to that, so no, we're not talking lightsabers because… Creating plasma is not something that we're looking at.

    Moderator

    But like a bow, for example?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They could create, probably--Well, let's RAFO that one, I'll show you what's going to be happening.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13626 Copy

    Questioner

    Much like in The Wheel of Time where there are false Dragons, are there people on Roshar who are pretending to be Heralds that are not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Are there people on Roshar who are-- There are definitely lots of people who have claimed to be Heralds who were not.

    Moderator

    You said "have." The question was, are there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm sure there are people around who've-- *laughter* I'm sure you can go to any city in the United States and find someone who claims to be Jesus, right? So yes! Absolutely!

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13627 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a relationship between the Parshendi and the airships?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Parshendi and the oh-- Okay. So the relationship is that I assumed when people saw the picture they would think Parshendi, and that was an intentional red herring.

    Moderator

    Or red and black herring.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, red and black herring. *laughter* We spent a lot of time on that picture, Where I'm like "It has to actually look like the people, but it can't be straight up where people are like 'Oh! This is like what we've seen before here!' " And so we went back and forth on it a lot. That picture took a lot of revision to get right.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13628 Copy

    Questioner

    This actually came out of a panel today. You'd originally said that Nightblood is way more powerful than a regular Shardblade, but at the time that question was asked of you we didn' know about live Shardblades, we only knew about dead Shardblades. So is that still true, now that we know we have at least two--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh he is more powerful than a regular Shardblade. *groaning and laughter* that is 100% still true.

    Moderator

    How does Nightblood compare to a more living Blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More living Blade? Hehe, you’re asking the same--

    Moderator

    No I'm asking a different question. *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, let's just RAFO that one.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13629 Copy

    Questioner

    As your characters have evolved and grown, as we've seen in different books-- We've also seen, like with your character Wayne, kind of the sense of humor inside of the characters changed, and with him we've kind of seen this-- I guess, uh, kind of more seedy and base sense of humor with him, which in some ways made him more lovable and more of a favorite sense of humor. But like with kids, I've kind of been like-- worried a little bit.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah Wayne is…

    Questioner

    --with the age level and I'm wondering if we're going to see more characters like that grow in as we're looking at Mistborn Era 2 and 3 coming out, and if so, do I need to be more concerned, or is it really gonna be, or is it… what methods, do we need some rating system.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *amused* Rating system… *laughter*

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I would say that this is more, "I write the character that fits the situation" rather than any sort of an evolution on my part of this, so… I don't know. I will… really, I would leave that to other people. This is kind of one of those weird things where, like, I will both get on the same day, sometimes, e-mails from someone who's like "how can you be so crude in your books, I thought your books were supposed to be family-friendly" followed by "why won't you address adult topics in your books *laughter* why do they all feel so children-esque, child-esque", and I would assume that those are the types of e-mails that everyone gets, even George RR Martin. *laughter* "When are you gonna get to some real adult themes, George?" I'm sure there's someone who's sent that e-mail to him. Um, yeah, I write the books, you know, I have… I'm certainly not as interested as some authors in digging into the more... quote-unquote "explicit content", but at some points there are characters like Wayne where I'm like, "you know, I need to write this character who they would be", and I can have them dance around the worlds-- words to obstinate *laughs* that was not an intentional slip! Dance around the words to obfuscate things and stuff like that, but if I don't let Wayne say some of the things he wants to say, then I'm not being true to that character in the same way I wouldn't be being true to Dalinar if I didn't let him, you know, be the strictly "I follow the rules" type person that he's become, because both of those types of people exist in the world.

    Um, your specific question on Era 3 of Mistborn, um, is… I don't anticipate a Wayne-like character, but who knows? Right, Era 3 right now is kind-of focused on two Terris people, the main character and her brother, and she's a computer programmer in the early days of computer programming, and--

    Bystander

    Fortran.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, like a Fortran programmer or something like that… And, you know, it's going to be-- Her story will be a little bit more geek-culture-ish and things like that. You'll have very fun with the artwork in those, let's just say that.

    I can't promise you one way or the other what I'm going to do, so I think what you're-- what you should be doing is reading them yourself and then deciding for yourself with whom you will share the books.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13631 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there any detrimental side effects to worldhopping, and if so, have we seen/read it in any of your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, it depends on what method you're using to worldhop.

    Moderator

    And the second half of that question?

    Brandon Sanderson

    And the second part of that is RAFO. *laughter*

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13632 Copy

    Questioner

    I know the whole, like, "all those characters are your children" type of thing, but is there a favorite one of yours, from your writing and/or how the character is played out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, I-- You know-- Robert Jordan always said, "It's whoever I'm writing at the moment", which I've stolen wholesale and said that a lot of times. If I'm pressed, I'll usually pick Dalinar, just 'cause he was one of the first, but that doesn't do it justice, because you really do need to-- when whoever you're writing needs to be your favorite at the time.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #13633 Copy

    Questioner

    I get it that sometimes writers have organic process when they're writing sometime, they start on one thing and end on something else. Is there a particular character, situation where you started that as you were writing it, it kind of evolved on its own, and really kind of surprised you. If you don't mind, could you tell us about it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So… there are always things when you're writing that evolve beyond what you expect them to be, and it happens even to the most strict of outliners. And I do, even as I usually call myself an outliner, say that you shouldn't be too strict on outlining. Just because the more--

    What happens with the writers, the more you steep yourself in your story, the more your subconscious will start to make connections and the more your skill as a writer will start to-- Um-- Start to take over? It's hard to explain in a lot of ways, but it's similar in-- Honestly, like hitting a baseball, right? Where you, when you're practicing, you can be very conscious about it. "Alright, here's how my stance should be, here's what I'm doing wrong, let's work on that consciously". But in the moment when you're, like, swinging at the ball in the game, most of that's out of your head and you're just letting instinct go. The planning is all of that sort of stuff beforehand that you do, like a baseball player, and then the writing often involves a lot more of the "just swinging", and then the revision goes back to a lot more conscious, if that makes sense as an explanation. And so as you're going, a lot of times the instincts start going somewhere, and you'll get this chapter and say "Ehhh, something's wrong with this", or "Oh, this is a better path, let's go look at my outline and see what needs to be rebuilt."

    Um, some examples of this, if I can give them… uh, well, I mean, I write the Alcatraz books completely just as free-written books, but in books you've read, for instance, Spook's story in Hero of Ages was not in the original outline. Um, you know, what happened to him and things like that in Well of Ascension was, and then I was like, um, I want to take this character further and I feel like I need more to this story, I'm missing something and Spook's story is where I started taking that. So that was a more natural, uh, sort of outgrowth of the storytelling. But that happens in every book, there are certain things that'll-- that go off target a little bit and turn out to be better. Yeah, there's a target that you're at that your subconscious is shooting for that your conscious doesn't know about yet. Yeah, it happens every book.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    In Nalthis, when is Breath first bestowed upon a person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When is Breath first bestowed? Um, so I went-- Oh, so you're getting at this sort of-- I got it. *laughter/pauses* So, are you saying is it at birth or conception?

    Questioner

    Pretty much. I'm just wondering *audio obscured by laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    …What's that?

    Questioner

    I'm wondering if mothers have autonomy over their own bodies when it comes to Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Uh, I'm going to go ahead and RAFO that one for-- Let's just let it-- Let's let-- Let's let the fanbase discuss that one and come to their own decisions.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    Was the other god in Scadrial, Trell or whatnot, they're kind of mentioning him, does that imply there other really powerful beings out there outside of the Shards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are possibly really powerful beings, but… how should we say… *long pause* I mean, there are those who would call Hoid a very powerful being, who exist outside Shards, but if you're talking deific level things in the cosmere, they're all related to the Shards… Or demigod level.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    A dullform listener is indoors when the Everstorm passes over, will they be transformed into a Voidform?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. It depends on the strength of the boundary between them, but it is possible for them-- And also being transformed, taking new forms is-- There is a measure of will behind it, meaning-- For instance, even when Eshonai took the new form, she had herself open to taking a new form. By the time she didn't want to, it was too late. But she had made the decision, even though she'd been kind of misled in some ways. If a parshmen were in-- even in the Everstorm, and aggressively didn't want this to happen, I'm not saying it won't, but I'm saying there is room for discussion of whether or not they would change there. But also one who does want to, and is-- there's only a little pane of glass and things like that, then-- Yeah.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    In the original Mistborn series, when Leras plans the 1 in 16 Snapping, was he not aware of chromium and nicrosil? Or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was aware that they would not be aware of and were not aware of it. He was using the kind of vague ability in some of the cosmere magics to read possibilities on the future. He was also already not completely there when he was building this.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    If a kandra where to get the bones of a Dakhor monk, would they get the Dakhor monk's abilities?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If a kandra got a hold of the bones of a Dahkor monk, yeah, would they get the abilities… It would take more than just the bones, but that would be a big part of it.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    Just in the cosmere alone, are there any--Do you believe there are any specific magic systems that are stronger than the others, or have an advantage? Or do they kind of even out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, do-- Yeah. Do any of the magics have advantages or stronger-- Definitely some are stronger than others. Definitely. There is no attempt made on my part to power balance between magic systems and things. Power balancing is for RPGs where it's very important, it's not for storytelling.

    A lot of people like to ask the "Who would win, X or Y?" sort of thing, and I don't get into a lot of that, I usually say, "Well, what's the situation?" I'm not big on the-- I will, if people clash, or if different powers clash, I will write the situation, but it's so conditional. So I have a hard time with these cage match things that people really like to do and things like that, because they're fun, but as an author I'm like, "I can come up with a dozen situations where either one of them wins or someone else does". Right? That's what you do, in writing. You say, what is the context of this?

    But that's a tangent from your question, which is the powers are not equal. The Shards were generally equal. Some have given up more power than others.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    So in Words of Radiance, when Hoid has-- switches places with the carriage driver, who was mentioned as having a hat and a strange accent - is that carriage driver important?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hehehehe… That's a-- I'll leave this one to you. It's a RAFO, but it's not a big RAFO.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    You recently said that dragons in the cosmere can take the form of humans.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    A kandra from Mistborn can do something very similar. Is there a meaningful connection between what the dragons and kandra can do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Noooo, except for on fundamental cosmere rules stuff, but that's-- I would say no, in the same way that if you're like, "Is there any similarity between the way that bats fly and birds fly?" Well, there is some similarity 'cause-- But there is [convergent] evolution and stuff like that.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    In the Letter, in The Way of Kings in all the epigraphs. It was mentioned that the author of the Letter was accused of perpetuating grudges regarding Rayse and Bavadin.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    That being said, are there any Vessels or Shards i.e. Bavadin, sympathetic towards Rayse's cause?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are some who are more li-- more willing to go along with it than others, yes.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    You have, like you said, thousands of years of history--mostly I'm talking about Stormlight Archives--you have, you know, Radiants have done this, and Heralds have done this, you have in some ways figured out what happened and what's going to happen with that stuff. And you have a, at least I think, friend/author Patrick Rothfuss who also has kind of this mythos of stuff that happened many, many years ago, have you guys ever talked to make sure you're not going to do the same cool thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know we-- *laughter* Good question. No I haven't ever asked him about that. We haven't spent a lot of time-- Like the only thing I ever remember talking to Pat with-- about world-building wise was magic and his magic and things like that. I was really interested in sympathetic magic also, Warbreaker has an element to it. I really liked how he did his sympathetic magic in Kingkiller. But when I get together with Pat I try not to ask the questions that I know the fans are asking him a lot, I try to be somebody who's a colleague that we can talk about other sorts of things to give him a break from that. I never ask him when the next book will be out *laughter* That's your job not mine. I ask him how his kid is, and I ask him how has it been working with DAW lately, are there any frustrations for you in the business, and that sort of stuff. The stuff he can't talk with other people about. He can talk about his kids but he can't really talk about publisher stuff with a lot of other people.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    In Awakening an object when you give it the sort of Command like, go get the keys, or something. How does that object perceive the world around it? Since it doesn't have standard human senses, how does it see? How does it touch?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not--

    Moderator

    Repeat the question.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh… go ahead.

    Moderator

    The question was, how do Awakened objects actually perceive the world.

    Brandon Sanderson

    …The closest correlation you have to this is how Inquisitors see.

    Questioner

    Okay, following up on that say, someone who has-- say someone with bronze who-- a bronze Misting managed to somehow get access to Breath and Awaken would he then be able to tell that object "Hey I sense this Allomancer over there, can you find it".

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is not outside the realm of possibility.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    KalynaAnne

    In The Rithmatist you previously confirmed that Lines of Vigor behave a lot like light waves.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm.

    KalynaAnne

    So if two lines of vigor collide do we have wave interference patterns? Does it matter if--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I am planning some wave interference patterns and things like that, definitely.

    KalynaAnne

    Does it matter if they come from the same Rithmatist?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Eh... It should not, no.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    Question about Hoid--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay. RAFO. *laughter* No, no, go ahead…

    Questioner

    When Hoid said that Ivory wasn't capable of harming him, is that related to his stated difficulty in harming others?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
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    Questioner

    Spren. The phenomenon that creates spren. Is that Roshar-specific or is that a general effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, yes and no. So the question is, the effect that creates spren, is that Roshar-specific or is it general. The general fundamental rules that create spren are cosmere-wide. Spren are pieces of Investiture, usually pieces of Investiture that come straight from one of the Shards of Adonalsium, split off in some way, that because of human or other sapient creatures thinking about it or interacting with the power, the power starts to take on a life of its own. Develops personalities and comes alive, so to speak. And this can happen on any pla-- in any place where there is Investiture. So it could happen on any planet in the cosmere with significant amounts of free Investiture. The places you've seen this happen most commonly are on Sel and Scadri-- err Roshar. You haven't seen it on Scadrial, and you've seen little kind of hints at it on Nalthis, but not quite. And so-- But it's possible for it to happen anywhere. Seons and spren are basically the same thing with different powers-- powers kind of pushing them in different-- growth out of them-- That said, the non-sapient spren, so the spren that are not quite as-- They're not going to stand up and talk to you. Those all existed-- not all, but most of them existed on Roshar before the Shattering of Adonalsium.