Recent entries

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    So, you've mentioned-- you have an idea of how the Cosmere's going to go. The ending of the Cosmere, considering you have seven more Stormlight books to write and years to go, does the ending of the Cosmere hang over your head?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does the ending of the Cosmere hang over my head 'cause I've got a ways to go-- Yeah, it's starting to loom a bit! You know, when I was in my twenties and thirties doing this, "Ah! I can write every story, I've got plenty of time!", but now that I'm in my forties I'm-- let's make sure we focus and keep going on this. So one of my goals has been to try to learn to write novellas so that the random ideas that pop in my head became novellas and not novels, because the way I work, I can't stay on one thing between books I find that it burns me out really fast if I don't have something new to work on, but if that new thing to work on can be a novella like one of the Legion books, or like Perfect State, or Snapshot or something like that and then I can jump back on the kind of mainline book I can reset myself quickly. And that why you see me practice that and things like that.

    My goal is kind of closing things off faster than I open them. This is why Legion got finished this year, why Alcatraz will probably get finished next year. Those of you waiting for a Rithmatist sequel *sighs* eventually. I need to get those other two closed off first. For those of you waiting for Reckoners, I consider Reckoners to be done. If I eventually fix and release Apocalypse Guard, that might answer some of the questions you have about the end of that series. Elantris and Warbreaker are both part of the Cosmere arc, what I'll probably do is I'll write Stormlight 4 and 5 and the last Wax & Wayne book over the next few years-- five years, next five years probably. *laughter* And then I'll probably stop and do Mistborn Era 3, which is the 1980s Mistborn, and maybe some Elantris sequels. And then I'll come back and do Stormlight 6-10 which take place about 10 years in-world after Stormlight 5. Same characters, at least the ones that survive. *eruption of laughter* That might be all of them! No spoilers there. But Stormlight is ten books. The way Stormlight will go is Book 4 is Eshonai, Book 5 is Szeth, 6 is Lift, 7 is Renarin, 8 is Ash, 9 is Taln and 10 is Jasnah. That doesn't mean that the person survives, it means that it's a flashback sequence. *nervous laughter* Just keep that in mind. So if your sequel wasn't on that list then don't hold your breath.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
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    Questioner

    You said thirteen failures, right, with The Way of Kings being the thirteenth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. My thirteenth.

    Questioner

    Are there any other [unpublished books] that you had-- that turned into published books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any others that ended up being published? Yes. White Sand, which was my first book, I rewrote as book number seven or eight and I eventually  turned it into a graphic novel. Big chunks of book nine turned into Warbreaker, and books eleven and twelve - one was called The Final Empire and one was called Mistborn. Remember how I told you about two ideas mashing together and what made the story finally work? The best parts of those books turned into a new book, the magic system of one merging with the lore of the other is how it worked out. So, um, I did not publish any of those books as they were written except for Elantris. The Way of Kings I started from scratch when I rewrote it, and Mistborn I started from scratch when I rewrote it. But certainly ideas that were part of that ended up in those books.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
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    Questioner

    I was intrigued ever since I saw your State of the Sanderson about Death Without Pizza.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's good. I'm one chapter, or no I guess it's like three chapters. I'm one day's work away from finishing my revision, to then kick it back to Peter [Orullian]. I'm really, really excited how it's turning out. He knows his metal culture really well, and one of the tricks has been integrating that without making it feel jokey and things like that. I'm very pleased with how it's going.

    Questioner

    What kind of metal influences were you going for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...Peter really likes the lyrical metal like that, like Dreamtheater. I don't know my subgenres very well, but Apocalyptica gets a mention, that's one I knew, Dragonforce gets a mention, I knew them. But I guess Dragonforce is the same subgenre. My job is worldbuilding and plot, and his job is character voice and making sure all of that works. I'm fascinated by it all.

    Questioner

    So is he more in the editing process, or is he an official co-writer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's a co-writer! I came up with the plot and the worldbuilding, I sent it to him, he wrote the whole first draft. Now I'm doing the next draft and then I'm kicking it back to him to do another pass and make sure the voice still matches, and then we'll take it out to publishers.

    Questioner

    What's the character's name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The main character's name is Jack Solomon.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
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    Questioner

    I was wondering about the pictures in the cover of this [Oathbringer]. Are they specific characters in the book, or just art?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are the Heralds. I went to some artists and said, "Do me your rendition of something that would be on the Sistine Chapel in-world for the Heralds," so that's four of the ten. So that is what we ended up with.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
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    MiToRo94

    When Dalinar first goes to meet the Nightwatcher and he sees Cultivation as well, presumably.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He does.

    MiToRo94

    They are surrounded by a green mist. So is that mist comparable to Preservation's mist on Scadrial? Would that be like "Cultivationlight?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is in the same sort of vein. 

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
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    Questioner

    Reen and Ruin, how much of the personalty that we saw in the books was Ruin, her actual memories, and how much of it was actually Reen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most of what you saw was this kind of weird amalgamation, because it's getting filtered through her memories and things like this. You can see mostly Ruin at that point, but there is some actual Reen in there mixed in. Maybe twenty-eighty. Eh, twenty five-seventy five.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
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    KalynaAnne

    Lift has lots of pancakes and you only describe six of them. I was wondering if you could tell me of any of the other three?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, sure... One is a terrible, awful, seafood one that Rosharans would eat and I would hate, and people that I know would love. Not sure what the other two would be. Probably a very spicy one, a savory spicy one. Probably a vegetable greenish one, something that over here would look like it has spinach in it.

    KalynaAnne

    Is that different form the one-- she mentions one that has chopped vegetables in it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that would be different. It would be a pure green one as opposed to one more like--

    KalynaAnne

    Like a fritter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Yeah.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    mikkomikk

    Seeing that Vin and Kelsier was able to absorb Preservation's power due to Connection, is it theoretically possible for a duralumin Compounder to compound Connection so much to the point where they could draw in the mists and 'absorb' some of Harmony's power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    simon_thekillerewok

    I just finished my copy of Skyward (I got it at launch, but I've been finishing up your other books) - did the story of The Eyes (Fermi's Paradox space opera novella) end up being rolled into Skyward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yup, it did. I actually still imagine The Eyes mostly being in continuity, with tweaks.

    simon_thekillerewok

    Is this to say we should expect a tweaked The Eyes novella to come out in the Skyward universe sometime in the future? Or were you just saying that The Eyes was basically the first draft of Skyward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I imagine the characters from The Eyes are still around. (You'll see the alien race from the story in the second Skyward book.) It requires a few tweaks because of how humans are regarded, but otherwise, the story could have happened--so maybe I'll eventually finish it and release it.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    simon_thekillerewok

    Without a commitment, how many books long are you guessing the Death (Without Pizza) series will be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    3+ if it turns out well. Depends. Once the first book is done and looks good, that's when I look at the series and make some calls on how it feels like it will go.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    chaoticdust75

    I have a couple questions about when Tacenda sang and played her song for the demons while Davriel Slept.

    From the description it seemed like she was evoking her own story of loss and in so doing the demons saw visions. Miss Highwater was flying while Crunchgnar seemed to be seeing the fires of his home go out.

    What was the magical song doing to the characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Part of Tacenda's power is to use music to enhance people's experiences, memories, and emotions. This song was exploring that power--and looking specifically at things they had lost.

    chaoticdust75

    Why did Miss Highwater see herself flying? Did she used to be able to or envy angels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid I'll RAFO this for now. But you are asking the right sorts of questions.

    chaoticdust75

    What did Davriel see?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Another RAFO. He was very disturbed by it, though.

    chaoticdust75

    I'm also just curious about the soul of the Nameless Angel. Do you have an in universe explanation for why Tacenda could see it yet no one else could? Or is it just a powerful moment that had something to do with the Bog being afraid of faith?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're theorizing along the right lines, but I wanted to leave this one ambiguous. Suffice it to say that odd things were happening.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Jay13x

    Are Vex and Cabralin meant to be the names of planes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't get specific permission to name any planes--so while I intend them to be planes, for actual MTG canon I believe they have to be taken as regions inside of planes (that haven't been named yet.) You'll be safer assuming that unless Wizards decides otherwise. I don't think we should go around adding them to lists of planes on MTG wikis, for example.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    DataLoreHD

    I'm confused of the book title. Isn't "Children of the Bog" more accurate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends. Some of the characters were children of the angel, some were children of the bog (which also has no name), and some might be considered children of something else which has no name. Notably, Davriel doesn't speak of his actual name in the story, but only the various aliases he has made up.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Kenobi_01

    Crossover Time: Which Planeswalker would fit in best/worst/most interestingly into a Cosmere story, and ditto for one of your characters, in an MTG set? (Outside of Hoid: we both know the Mending would be nothing compared to the carnage he would cause in the Multiverse). I suspect Sazed would have an... interesting time with Gideon. Especially on Theros and Amonkhet.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like your Sazed/Gideon idea. Tamiyo trying to figure out the science of Roshar's moons might be fun, also. (Hint, it's weird.)

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Argent

    There is a mention of a shorthand for the women's script, for faster taking of notes - is that just the script with the top/bottom half cut off (which would lead in no loss of information, since the letters are symmetric), or is more like a code or a compression algorithm (like how someone might write "u" instead of "you")?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I imagined the shorthand of the women's script being a combination of the two--squiggles instead of full lines, mixed with some actual shortened words or replacement words.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    tharmsthegreat

    You did tell us to keep an eye open for future sets. Well then, in your head, what are the colors of each main character (Tacenda, Highwater, Crunch, Willia)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tacenda is GRW. The demons would be mono black, though Miss Highwater has some red and blue to her, while Crunchgnar has some red and green to him. Willia is White Green Black.

    yahasgaruna

    Is [Tacenda] still GRW at the end of novella, after picking up the entity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I imagine that entity actually being green. A darker side of green, but still green. It evoked a feeling of destiny, and of putting it back together (which would be natural) and a kind of survival of the fittest attitude. You didn't get to see much of it, but this is my intention for it.

    Think of the Entities as enormous mana reservoirs--the collected mana of a plane--that can be tapped to power spells, but with dangerous results. Davriel's Entity is pure black mana, while the entity of the bog is pure green. (Though in its shattered form, a lot of its instincts were about self-preservation, which comes across black in the story.)

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Gruuler

    And where did the essence [Entities] come from? There's like a million questions in that one question, everything from the specific plane, how did it gain sentience, etc, but is it possible to give us at least a brief overview of how it came to be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can't say too much on the second, though I can tell you that the Entities both came from ancient planes that were destroyed, their power condensed into these "entities." (The Soul cards from M15 were an inspiration here.) If I do another story in coming years, I would want to dig into this more specifically.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Gruuler

    So did the essence of the plane give [Tacenda] the ability to planeswalk, or did she have a spark already?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was left vague on purpose, because I didn't want to put the lore team in the position of being saddled with a second planeswalker I'd created--or with the lore implications of the entities granting planeswalking ability. So yes, I intended her to become a planewalker, and the entity to be the source of that ability--but I don't consider that official canon. Only that Tacenda vanished at the end of the story, and nobody is certain exactly what happened to her.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    KaladinarLighteyes

    Is there a specific plane that [Davriel] is from?

    You mentioned in the article on your site that Wizards integrates him into the larger story, does that mean there’s a chance that he will show up again and things that happened here are related into the future Magic story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, though I've been asked not to confirm this for right now. He is from a known place in the multiverse.

    Yes, he should show up again in the future, before I have a chance to write another story. So keep an eye out for him.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Korombos

    Vorthosy How-does-magic-work Question: In your mind, is Planeswalker magic a different kind of magic than clerics, wizards, druids, and such who are not Planeswalkers, or just different in scale? Does every plane have its own rules for magic (and other existential things) or are they all sharing a common rulebook (if-you-will)? Are there different kinds of planeswalkers, do you think (different sorts of sparks)? Have you ever played Mage: The Ascension?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is Brandon canon, not official MTG canon. I've always imagined that growing up with the mana all around them in MTG planes that almost everyone has some kind of little, innate magical gift that you wouldn't really call a spell. More powerful ones manifest in dramatic ways. But you can also learn to do more with study, becoming a wizard or the like. I do imagine that every plane has some slightly different tweaks of physics, and metaphysics.

    I think there are probably different kinds of planeswalkers and sparks, but again, this is my instinct--not official canon. Here, I'm just a fan talking about how he sees the game.

    I have played Mage, and like most White Wolf games, I found the experience to be very fun--but reading the sourcebooks tends to be even better.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    tharmsthegreat

    Davriel is UB just like Brandon's favorite colors.

    Tacenda is probs WG before the entity but I guess we could see her Abzan.

    I hope both of the demons get cards too.

    Brandon Sanderson

    As for color identities here, I'd mostly agree with you. I see Davriel as mostly black, but with a blue element to him. I could see him printed under mono black, UB, or even--under just the right circumstances--esper. (He believes in the structure of laws and society, though admittedly mostly as a thing for "other people.")

    Tacenda has a strong red streak to her--in fact, my initial concept for her was a mono-red character, but one who expressed the red aspect through music, song, and passion. The entity inside of her is green, however, and the white/green nature of her society has had a big influence on her beliefs in fate, the needs of the many, and that sort of thing. So I'd make her RWG.

    sskeeto620

    I was considering the same colors for both of them as well. Definitely black and blue for Davriel. I was personally leaning towards Esper, however. Like you said, he does believe in structure of law and society. Also, his ability to summon weapons seems like a white effect to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, he stole the weapon-summoning spell. I was told I could have Davriel steal and use spells of any color, so long as it was painful for him, and it was clear he was using them as part of a theft mechanic--meaning he only had access to them for a limited time.

    BreezyIsBeafy

    I personally thought he was grixis. I know I am wrong but, he is a demonologist, and I know demons are mostly black, but secondarily red. As well, most devils are also red. As for stealing powers is also very dimir, so I understand that. I would like to know what is the white mana coming from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He doesn't use white mana--he can use black mana to cast white spells, if they are stolen. However, there's not a lot of red in Davriel, despite his fondness for devils. He's not emotional, or artistic, and is more about planning and forethought than intuition.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
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    KaladinarLighteyes

    Are you able to comment on when [Children of the Namesless] takes place on Innistrad?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is about a year or so after Eldritch Moon, though I section off my own little part of Innistrad that is off in the woods, without a lot of influence from places like Thraben. Though the story does touch on the social ramifications of some of the events in recent sets, it's mostly concerned with its own lore and history.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
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    Personification

    With the ten Silver Kingdoms, what were actually their roles and what kingdoms did they correspond to? Can you say that, or-?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, what do you mean by correspond?

    Personification

    Did the ten Silver Kingdoms each have a job like Alethela was the kingdom of War?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would all consider themselves specialized but it wasn't official like that. It was more like their own philosophy and how they view themselves. And I wouldn't align them straight up with orders of Knights Radiant or anything like that.

    Personification

    I wasn't saying that, I was saying, maybe different job or it was like--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They all did kind of have different roles but its not like they had any-- you know, Thaylenah is your navy, right? Its not necessarily that it's-- if that makes sense, but Alethela has like the view of itself, it had a very distinctive view of itself.

    Personification

    Okay, so it wasn't like each one actually had a different role?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they were not quite, quite, organized enough for that.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Smackashi

    Who is your favorite planeswalker story wise? And who is your favorite non planeswalker character!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really enjoyed all the lore of the Brother's War, and so Urza has a soft spot in my heart. I liked the spin that MTG took on the "Gandalf" character, making him quite flawed--even dangerous.

    For newer walkers, I love the design (both the visuals and the card) on Ashiok, though they don't have a lot of lore associated with them.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    mbue

    Did Tacenda and Willia start out as a pair of twins who visited the Nightwatcher in your head? Their background sounds a lot like a boon/curse pair. :)

    Brandon Sanderson

    More, I was looking for a curse to be involved in the story (because I liked the flavor of the curse mechanic in Innistrad) and curses/boons tend to be connected in my brain--probably from playing too many D&D games where I got a ring of wishes, and the DM was feeling grumpy.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    Aurimus_

    From a writerly perspective - as part of your process, how do you come up with magitech solutions that feel like they're a natural part of the magic system - IE fabrials, medallions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As for magitech, I try to make them still have a sense of mystery and magic to them--but also have those who, in world, do understand them. To walk that line between science and the fantastic.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    drostandfound

    Are these characters yours, as in you have claims to them for future writing, or do you hope to see other authors take them and move them through the multiverse?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I absolutely want to see other authors do things with these characters. Part of the fun for me in doing an MTG story was the chance to do something like create a character for the Marvel universe--I wanted to add to the story, and throw some of my creativity into the mix, and hope to see them get used in the future.

    I'd hope that if there's ever a main-line story involving Davriel or Tacenda that I get a chance to write it, or at least consult. But I don't consider them "mine." They were a chance for me to add to the lore of something I love.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    drostandfound

    Is the similarity between an entity and a Shard intentional? They both are objects of great power that allow their holders to move between planes and try to twist the holders personality.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this is intentional. When Notch designed a card, I liked that he had a nod to his own creation in it. I wanted to bring something that would have a "Brandon Sanderson Lore" feeling to MTG, kind of in the same way.

    Children of the Nameless Reddit AMA ()
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    drostandfound

    As far as I know, the Entities are new to the Magic lore. Were they your idea? What was the process like of working with creative to develop a new type of being within a very defined lore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These were something I wanted to do and create, and a pitch I brought to the lore team. They were on-board from the beginning, though they did a lot of work to help me bring my idea into line with something that would work with MTG lore.