Recent entries

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14101 Copy

    Tirithna

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Different types exist, but it's more along order lines than cultural ones. (That said, a person's culture could certainly influence their armor.)

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14103 Copy

    Jesse

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Good luck!

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14106 Copy

    Argent

    The "God Surges" you mentioned recently, are they a part of the Way of Kings frontsheet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14107 Copy

    Jerry Dol

    How much time do you usually spend on creating a magic system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14111 Copy

    Scott King

    Out of all the books you've written which do you think is the best?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14112 Copy

    Matteo

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14113 Copy

    Kritika

    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!

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14114 Copy

    Anderson Tiago

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14116 Copy

    Sharade

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14119 Copy

    Jerry Dol

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14120 Copy

    Hanna

    What advice would you give to someone who is trying to write an epic fantasy novel for the first time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14121 Copy

    Shauna Mahana

    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?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think I'd dig hanging out with Sazed. The usual would be, "tell me about a religion you've studied."

    Goodreads: Ask the Author Q&A ()
    #14122 Copy

    M.M. Schill

    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. ??)

    Brandon Sanderson

    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.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con FanX 2015 ()
    #14123 Copy

    Sirce Luckwielder (paraphrased)

    So each anti-investiture is like its world's investiture, but can't be effected by it. So aluminum can't be affected and destroys Allomancy, ralkalest can't be Soulstamped, Shardblades are blunted by that one thing. Is the black filled sphere that Galivar gives to Szeth the anti-investiture to Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    When I asked this, he became much more tight-lipped and said that was an interesting theory and that I would learn more in book three.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con FanX 2015 ()
    #14125 Copy

    Sirce Luckwielder (paraphrased)

    When Kelsier is teaching Vin about the basic eight Allomantic Metals, he talks about not flaring metals, especially tin and pewter, as it does strange things to people. Does this imply that there were other savants before Spook?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    His answer was that there were other savants before Spook.

    Salt Lake City Comic-Con FanX 2015 ()
    #14126 Copy

    Sirce Luckwielder (paraphrased)

    In the flashback [of Words of Radiance] with Shallan meeting Hoid, Hoid pours something from a pouch into his cup and drinks it. Are these Allomantic metal shavings?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    His answer was that there was something indeed significant about what Hoid placed in the cup, but that it was not necessarily Allomantic shavings. He wouldn't tell me what it specifically was and gave me a R.A.F.O. card.

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #14129 Copy

    ZenBossanova (paraphrased)

    I asked if knowing the positions/orbits of the moons would be enough to predict the [highstorms].

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He said not enough. You need the historical records of storms as well because there is a pattern. You need that pattern and the tides, to correctly predict the timing of the storms. He said it was more than a simple beat.

    ZenBossanova (paraphrased)

    I then turned back and asked, "Are you saying the highstorms are music?"

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    He replied, "I didn't say they were music. You said that."

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #14133 Copy

    stormfather (paraphrased)

    Does the plague on the Purelake has anything to do with the fact that the magic fish form symbiotic bonds with spren?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No, worldhoppers brought a disease to Roshar that they didn't have before. It's the common cold. Rosharans' Investiture makes it so they're usually a healthy bunch so something like the cold is kind of frightening. "It's a plague of the sniffles."

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

    Another person asked about the plague in the Purelake.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Turns out, that was a pathogen introduced by worldhoppers. People on Roshar normally have greater health than elsewhere in the cosmere because they are more Invested (Stormlight and all that). This plague was what we call… the common cold.

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #14144 Copy

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    [Brandon] said in the lecture that he took a programming course in college. He was asked if we will ever see a programming language as a magic system?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    We already have. Reread Elantris.

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

    He's taken programming classes, and someone wanted to know if he'll apply that knowledge into magic systems.

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Yes, see: Elantris.

    Firefight Phoenix signing ()
    #14145 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 ()
    #14150 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.