Do all Epics' weaknesses come from things in their past?
Do all Epics' weaknesses come from things in their past?
Can a Seeker inside a Coppercloud Seek someone out of one?
It is possible.
What about a Soother instead of a Seeker?
Yes, again possible.
Does Khriss write the Ars Arcanum?
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"?
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.
What has been your favorite book to write so far?
I've liked them all for different reasons. Some are fun and fast, others are deep and challenging. My favorite would change day by day based on my mood.
We know that Pattern was with Shallan before the murder of Shallan's mother. Will we see in the next books how they met?
Yes, you will probably see this some day.
Zahel/Vasher is in Roshar for Nightblood? Will we know in Stormlight Archive why these two were separated? Or in the sequel of Warbreaker?
The Warbreaker sequel will give clues about this, but the actual event happened between that and [The Way of Kings]. So I'm not sure where I'll slip it in.
You said that Shallan will have different apprenticeships, we know 2 , Will be Hoid another?
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?
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!
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?
:) 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.
Brandon, your books are always seamless and so well put together. Do you use any specific software when compiling a story?
I'm afraid I don't. I use Microsoft Word. Compiling is all done the old-fashioned way with lots of editing.
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?
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.
What kind of college classes (not English courses) would best prepare someone for writing fantasy?
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.
Were the aliens in Sixth of the Dusk from [Scadrial]?
All I've said is that they're from a planet you've seen/heard of before.
In the Wheel of Time books, did the Creator have a power, similar to the True Power that the Dark One had?
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.
Do Zahel and Hoid know each other?
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?
Some can. Not all.
Did the Lord Ruler know how to worldhop?
He was familiar with the idea that people lived on other planets, but had no interest--or experience--in visiting other places. During his Ascension, he could have left Scadrial, if he'd wished.
How much do you use science to influence/guide your world building in what most people would identify as a fantasy setting?
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.
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?
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.
On Roshar, do they have an equivalent for cats, like how they have axehounds instead of dogs?
No, they do not. Though there are various domesticated animals fulfilling a similar role across the planet. (Domesticated minks and pigs come to mind.)
What was your inspiration for Kaladin?
Kaladin was inspired originally by reading about surgeons in the middle ages.
How do you keep so many different worlds you created separate so they don't "float" into each other?
Lots of notes, a good internal wiki, and an even better continuity editor. (In the form of Peter Ahlstrom.)
As [Feruchemy] is the magic system combined from Ruin and Preservation's powers, and they created humankind on Scadrial, how is it that it only occurs in persons with Terrispeople in their ancestry?
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?
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.
In [Words of Radiance] Shallan notes that spren don't appear around dense groups of people, even if emotions are high. Why is that?
You'll find out more eventually. There are several reasons, but imagine how a creature attracted to a specific color would respond if you dumped every color together in a big mess.
How quickly are you able to get back into the storyline flow when you begin another book? e.g. Do you have to review notes extensively for a few days?
This is one of the most difficult things for me to do. I wish I had a better way to do it, actually. I usually lose a few days or more while trying to get into a book I've stopped for some reason. My primary method is to read what I've written before (or, if it is a new book in a series, the last part of the previous book.) That tends to help get me into a mood, so to speak. But it can take days of thinking, working, and throwing away my work to get into the groove.
Who is the oldest character we know?
Frost is almost certainly the oldest by a small amount. After that, Hoid.
Does Shardplate have one general style as a pattern, or do different types exist (like European armour vs. Japanese armour), as the different kingdoms have different cultures?
Different types exist, but it's more along order lines than cultural ones. (That said, a person's culture could certainly influence their armor.)
Won't it be difficult to keep the storyline interesting for 10 books straight?
We'll have to see! I think the storyline for the series is quite captivating, but I've never done something this long before.
I love stories in any medium, and I would love to tell one myself. But, I don't think I have anything in particular to say that hasn't been done a thousand times before. I invariably come across some story that already parallels my ideas. What makes a story worth telling even when its like has been done before?
The answer is simple: YOU are what makes your story worth telling. Harry Potter wasn't an original story, and yet told very well, it became an excellent series.
My suggestion to you is to ask what unique passions or life experiences you have that aren't found in the average fantasy book. This genre still has a lot of room to grow. A person passionate about sports could write a very different fantasy novel from one passionate about lawn care—assuming they take what they know and love and make us, as readers, come to know and love it as well.
You've said that there are three types of Blades in The Stormlight Archive. We've seen "dead" Shardblades, Honorblades - is the third type the "living spren" Shardblades, or is there another type we haven't seen?
Nightblood is a very unique kind of Shardblade, but IS a Shardblade.
Do all Surgebinders breathe Stormlight in, or are there other ways? Is Lift one-of-a-kind in this regard?
Lift is one of a kind.
The "God Surges" you mentioned recently, are they a part of the Way of Kings frontsheet?
All I said regarding this was to tell a fan that it was possible to make an analogy between the god metals on Scadrial and certain powers on Roshar. However, these are not a codified part of the magic system.
How much time do you usually spend on creating a magic system?
It really depends on the book, the length of the story, and how integral to magic is to that particular story. Some are as fast as a couple of days; some take months and months. It is also difficult to answer this question because I spend a lot of time thinking about a book before writing, and the Magic is often part of that. I will often spend years with an idea growing in the back of my mind before writing--and in those cases, the actual "outlining" may take a month, but that doesn't begin to cover the time spent on the idea.
Which of your worlds, if any at all, have ice cream, or at least, the ability to make ice cream?
Scadrial probably has it already. Roshar is farthest, not having as much in the way of milk products.
Of the 7 remaining Stormlight Archive books (or 3 in the sub-series), which one are you most looking forward to writing?
Did the Davar Soulcaster ever work?
Yes, it did. (Good question.)
Out of all the books you've written which do you think is the best?
Well, Emperor's Soul is the one that won a Hugo, which gives it some objective credibility for being the best. [A Memory of Light] was the hardest by a long shot, and in some ways the most satisfying, but I'm perhaps most proud of The Way of Kings. So one of those three, likely.
Why do you so often include some sort of religious government in so many of your worlds? Is it something that comes from looking at how history developed on Earth, or do you think your religious faith influences the way you write/worldbuild?
There are a lot of reasons. One is because it happened that way so often in our world. Another is my fascination with religion, and wanting to explore what people do with it. The biggest one, however, is related to how I worldbuild. I like things to be very interconnected, as I think that's how real life is. So, when I build a religion, I ask myself what its political ties are, as well as its relationship with things like the magic, economics, and gender roles of the culture.
I'm blown away by all the different types of people you portray in The Stormlight Archive (different cultures, social classes, genders, varying levels of...morality). What kinds of things help you create such diverse casts of characters? I'm imagining that you have a secret encyclopedia somewhere that helps you keep all your cultures and customs straight!
I do, actually, have a secret encyclopedia. It's a wiki on my computer, filled with information. That helps me keep things straight. However, specific inspirations are often in the people I meet. I do spend a fair amount of time looking through the internet for blogs/forums populated by people who think very differently from myself. This helps me create realistic portrayals.
How do you feel on being read and worshiped as one of the best writers in the world by people that doesn't even speak English?
Humbled, honestly. I don't know if "worshiped" is the right term, and I would hope that most people are focused on the stories, rather than on me. They're what matter. That said, it has been incredible to see the reception my work has received.
Both Parshendi and Horneaters are able to see spren, ordinary humans can't. Is there a connection between these abilities, or do they come from completely different sources?
Horneaters are human/Parshendi hybrids. (There are several Roshar races that have Parshendi blood in them.)
The fantasy universe is very fond of antiheroes lately, so I was surprised when I read your books with charismatic and inspiring lead characters, who, almost single-handedly, give faith to people and make them claim back their dignity. What is so compelling about creating characters such as Kaladin or Kelsier?
I find that the antihero angle is very well covered by other authors. I am fascinated by people who are trying to do what is right because most everyone I know is actually a good person--and a good person needing being forced to make unpleasant decisions is more interesting to me. The great books I read as a youth inspired me; I'd rather dwell on that kind of story than the opposite. (That said, it's great that the genre is big enough for both types of stories.)
It IS interesting to me that over the last twenty years, what I do has become the distinctive one.
When Kaladin helped Adolin fight in the arena, did Elhokar notice him Surgebinding?
Is there any chance we will have a deeper backstory for Bridge 4 members? Maybe an anthology or something with short stories that detail backstory for Rock, Lopen, etc? That would be amazing!
I do intend to dig into some of them a little. (Rock, for example, is currently plotted to have a viewpoint sequence in a later book.)
Do you think that there will ever be a movie trilogy or tv series of The Stormlight Archive like they have done with Game of Thrones and Harry Potter?
Boy, I'd love it if there were. I will work to make it happen, though with Stormlight I probably won't be optioning the books for film until a few more are out. I don't have a lot of power over what Hollywood decides to do, though.
What advice would you give to someone who is trying to write an epic fantasy novel for the first time?
Turn off the internal editor. Write with passion, and don't spend a lot of time on revision. You will grow so quickly as a writer during your first book that you want to power through it, learn a lot about the process, THEN do your revisions. Otherwise, you might end up stuck in an endless loop of revising the first few chapters.
Also, don't spend so long planning that you don't get around to writing. The goal is to train yourself to learn how to write—and you only do that by actually writing.
If you had to pick any one of your characters to be your new best friend (besides your wife) for the rest of your life, who would would it be and what do you imagine would be your weekend "Let's hang out, but I don't want to plan anything, so let's do the 'usual'" ritual?
I think I'd dig hanging out with Sazed. The usual would be, "tell me about a religion you've studied."
I always wondered. You say you produce clean drafts, and you apparently produce stories quickly (relatively to a lot of people I've met.), how do you keep cranking it away? What is the motivation to keep creating? (I think this might be the key to why some many people start and never finish projects. ??)
I'm not actually a fast writer, hour by hour, but I am very consistent. I enjoy writing, but I will admit, some days it is hard. What keeps me going? This has changed over the years. At first, it was a desire to prove myself, and to make a living doing this thing I love. Eventually, it has transitioned into a feeling of obligation to the readers mixed with a desire to see these stories in my head told.