Recent entries

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14351 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned RPGs, what's your favorite RPG?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Final Fantasy X *audience cheers* I love that one. Like a lot of the Final Fantasies didn't make any sense, and it's okay that they don't make any sense, but that one actually really made sense to me and it really worked. I like that they have-- Like it has a character who's not dark and broody? *laughter* For the first time ever? It's kind of a jock. He's just-- He's just a happy-go-lucky jock who gets caught up in saving the world and it was such a fresh-- Fresh of breath air? It was such a fresh of breath air. *laughter* But yeah. Pen and paper, I grew up playing the Palladium. A lot of Palladium, so TMNT was my introduction to pen and paper RPGs.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14352 Copy

    Questioner

    A lot of the magical methods you create in your novels carry with it the birth of nobility.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    And that reminds me a lot of the magic martial arts *audio unclear* Aside from the big influence of Dragonsbane and other novels on your fantasy novels have you drawn any other inspirations--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah.

    Questioner

    --spiritually from Asian, Korean or Chinese *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. The question is, have I drawn any inspirations from Eastern literature. Specifically he asked for Chinese, Japanese, and Korean. *speaks Korean* I lived in Korea for two years and I speak Korean. Mormon missionary, right? So I speak Korean, I actually do have a Korean minor. And even before that, Hong Kong kung-fu movies. OH YEAH. *laughter* I love Hong Kong movies particularly-- You know the modern stuff is really beautiful, like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon or Hero or House of Flying Daggers and stuff like that, but even the old stuff, it's a little bit silly. Yeah, I just ate that stuff up. Jackie Chan. You can't go wrong with Jackie Chan, right? But even the stuff that's just a little ridiculous I love. It's just-- It's cool. There's something about it. So there's that. You're also going to find echoes of RPGs I've played, obviously. I mean I've worked hard because I don't want my books to feel like a video game. But I grew up playing video games, right? That's one of my major influences. Steelheart's going to feel like a comic book, right? And some of my books are going to feel like that. It's a part of who I am, it's part of my geek upbringing, right? So yeah, definitely. There's a lot of-- now that I have become a writer through my twenties there's a lot of different influences. The Alethi are based slightly on the Mongolians specifically-- But there's no horses, which let's me divorce it a little bit. People always expect Mongolians to be a nomadic horse people but you just don't have enough horses. If you guys have studied Subutai, if you know him, a Mongolian general, I based Dalinar a little bit on Subutai. But then you are mixing in Hebrew influences and Arab influences. That's kind of my mash-up that's creating the Alethi. And so yeah,you are going to find all kinds of weird things. Art of War is of course a big influence on how I approach warfare and things. So yes, yes, it's there.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14353 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    So I can turn this into a general question because it's very-- people find it very interesting. How do I plot a series?

    What I usually do is I have independent ideas that are spinning around in my head and they start sticking together. An idea by itself, such as "Hey what if the hero prophesied to save the world failed?" that's a cool seed but it's not a story yet. But when you smash that into "Gang of thieves want to pull off a heist. They're gunna rob the dark lord" those two ideas make something cooler. The sum of the parts, for me, is greater than the individual pieces. And ideas come from this, you start with random characters, and plot ideas, and setting ideas, and magic-- Allomancy was developed for a separate book, that I wrote and was terrible, and then it laid in my notes file until I started needing a magic system a bunch of thieves could use that could complement them and each thief could have a different power. And I pulled Allomancy and redesigned it to go in this book. All of these thing happen, often independently.

    I then build an outline. I'm an outliner. I build an outline. I then do character sketches, which are short in-viewpoint or first-person dialogue/viewpoint things of the character just living their life. It doesn't go into the book. Usually. But it gives me a feel for who the character is, because it's very hard to outline a character. If you do then they start to feel rigid. And so I do this-- try to discover the character, and then I go back and rebuild my outline, then I write my book. And then I outline the next books in the series. Usually.

    So Reckoners is a good example of this. I built the first book, wrote the whole book, had no ideas for sequels when I wrote the first book. Then once it was done I sat down with my team, they read it, and I said "Alright, here's the feel I want for this. We-- For instance I want illusionist powers that are very different from what Shallan does. I want to have this and this and this. Let's design sequels, and then I'll go back and re-write the first one to match, with the new outline for the sequels. I release the first book and then I write the sequels." That is kind of the basic process for designing a story for me.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14354 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you come up with Prof's powers *audio obscured* did you come up with them prior to setting up the context to the story or after--

    Brandon Sanderson

    That one was prior. That's the only power for the entire series that I came up with before, and it's part of why I wanted to write it. In fact there is a certain scene, with the ceiling opening up and someone landing and being very superhero-ish for a little bit of time. That was the first scene I came up with for that book after-- even before the prologue I think. So yeah-- Every other thing I did in that I developed.

    ...Those powers were the thing I wanted most in that book. The second thing was the idea in the prologue-- If you haven't read this book there's a supervillian doing awful things and then a superman-analogue floats down from the ceiling and then says, basically, "Hey good job, wanna join my team?" That's the scene I wanted to kick off the book, and it's this idea that there are no heroes. There are only villians. And so what do you do if you have to bring down an evil superbeing and you have no powers yourself.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14356 Copy

    Argent

    There's a scene in... Way of Kings, where Syl appears full-sized, like a human. It’s the only time she does that, why is that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was a very special moment. And there’s was some matters of Connection going on. In the Cognitive Realm she's full-sized, when she's there, and so this is echoing that. So that when, later on, if you were to see her in Shadesmar, and if you're like "Oh she's human sized!" Well--

    Argent

    That's how she would appear.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you should know.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14357 Copy

    Argent

    You mention... No you didn't mention Arthur Clarke. The guy with the "Any sufficiently advanced technology is distinguishable from magic" ...In, at least, one of the Mistborn trilogies you are probably going to have to deal with the distinction between magic and technology. So can you talk a little about how you are going to address that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So yeah, addressing the-- This is a really good question, thank you. So Clarke's Law says that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". Right? And this is kind of a science fiction truism that we use in writing. It's a really cool concept when you think about it. But he asks "Well we're pushing the Mistborn trilogy more and more towards science fiction--"

    For those who don't know, I pitched the Mistborn trilogy to my editor, long ago--this was 2003 when I pitched it to him-- I pitched it as a trilogy of trilogies. An epic fantasy trilogy that then after the epic fantasy trilogy we would jump hundreds of years and do an urban fantasy trilogy in a more modern setting, where all of the events of the epic fantasy trilogy became the foundation of religion and superstition and even culture to a modern society. What if our heritage were something like The Lord of the Rings? And then I was going to write a science fiction trilogy where... magic became the means by which space travel is possible. So there is, built-in to Allomancy, Feruchemy, and Hemalurgy, FTL-capability. *audience mutters* *nervously* It's not there yet don't worry. *laughter*

    Argent

    Somebody found the rabbit-hole.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's all RAFO's. I'm not answering any of that.

    So I did Alloy-era, by the way, as a stop-gap between the epic fantasy and the modern because I wanted something smaller-- The modern trilogy is going to be very thick books, and I wanted something to balance Stormlight while I was doing the first five Stormlight...

    So he's asking how I'm going to deal with this whole collision... between science and magic. So there's a-- I don't know if corollary is the right term. Probably not, but there's a version of Clarke's Law which you inverse. And you say "Any sufficiently understood magic is indistinguishable from science". In the cosmere the magic is science. What I would call-- say is science fantasy because we've added to the Laws of Thermodynamics. We have this other thing called Investiture, which is what powers all the magic. Which is the souls of the things they call gods, their substance. And you can change matter or energy into Investiture and back. And so we've got a third circle in the old Laws of Thermodynamics and so because of that it's science fantasy. I would still call this fantasy because science fiction is where they go "We're going to take the Laws of Thermodynamics and try to explain what we can do using them" I'm like "No, we're just going to add to them, right?" But yeah that's where we're going. There will be a collision of that but it's really going to be-- To them it's indistinguishable, once you get far enough along, that it really is science.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14358 Copy

    Questioner

    Does the Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shard of Ambition have anything to do with the Bondsmith, no, good question. Oh! I see what you guys are getting at. Who's the third Bondsmith... So, uhh, this is a RAFO. I will eventually start talking about the third Bondsmith. I'm gonna RAFO all questions about it for a while though. So just warning you guys.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14359 Copy

    FirstSelector

    So if I'm a Surgebinder, I have my own Cognitive entity with me. Can I go off-world with that and will everything continue to work in exactly the same way? Because we've seen Cognitive entities that don't--

    Brandon Sanderson

    So taking a Cognitive entity off-world is hard. So, Surgebinding, if you can find out how to make it happen, remember, the Investiture is keyed to Connection. This is why Kelsier is-- Oh, sorry, spoilers! When a certain somebody *laughter* had trouble getting off Scadrial, because he basically was a spren by that point so--*laughter* ...So, yeah Surgebinding would work off planet, but you'd have to get the spren off-planet first. That's hard to do. Cosmere-wide it's not hard hard but it is-- You'd have to know some stuff. You could learn how.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14360 Copy

    Questioner

    So we know that you can't just have someone-- If someone were to do something similar to Hoid, he can't just pop and go "Oh look, I can now do Allomancy or I can now do Surgebinding". What about Breath? If someone could somebody get Breath-- Maybe not *audio obscured* Could they still get the benefits of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, good question... Yes you can, actually. Breath is-- Once it is given to you, it is being keyed to you. Your Identity. So that transfer makes it yours to use however you want.

    Questioner

    So you could Awaken?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could Awaken. If you-- If you were to somehow make it there, you would be able to Awaken. It's the easiest of magic systems to get the magic from, and then to manipulate. Because it has keyed into it Identity.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you can take Breath onto another world. In fact, you've seen characters do this.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would work, yes.

    Questioner

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it would work the same way.

    The only magic that is location-dependent--  The ones who aren't interested in this, just hum to yourself, okay? *laughter* You don't need to know any of this stuff to enjoy the books, okay? I write them so that you could just-- each series can be read independently, and enjoyed. There is behind the scenes stuff, and if you want to dig, it goes pretty deep.

    So on Sel, we have AonDor. AonDor is based on the fact that the Dor, which is an amalgamation of Dominion and Devotion, has been pressed together and stuffed into the Cognitive Realm by Odium who didn't want it to gain sentience, as Investiture will do if it is left alone. It will either seek someone to be its Vessel or it will gain sentience. He pressed it in there; he pressed it together, which creates the violent reaction, because those two intents are opposed. And that is the foundation of the magic. Because it's stuck in the Cognitive Realm rather than the Spiritual Realm (the Spiritual Realm is location-independent; Cognitive Realm is location-dependent), it makes the magic on Sel only work in close proximity to what is keyed through there to the location they're keyed to. This has to do with Identity and Connection. Mostly Connection. So that means you can't do AonDor on another planet, but you can do other magics works anywhere, because they're drawing the magics specifically through either the place, or they're end-neutral, like Breath is, and you don't need any extra power.

    Arcanum Unbounded Chicago signing ()
    #14361 Copy

    Questioner

    I want to know how Hoid travels between worlds. Or, if you're not going to tell me right now, will we ever find out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid has travelled between the worlds by getting in one Shardpool in Shadesmar and coming out a different one. *pause* Okay? So that is one method he has used to travel between the worlds. The worlds are connected through Shadesmar. Um, things that people don't think about as much reflect very minorly in Shadesmar, so when you-- all the-- most of the space between planets is cut out, and there's some weird, twisted geography going on there. So that's basically how he does it, Cognitive Realm.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
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    life_b4_death

    I would love to know how Mr. Sanderson comes up with such wonderful names.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I use a bunch of different methods. Some involve creating a language, or parts of it, and building names out of that. Usually, though, I'm looking in those for something with the right sounds. I'll usually "audition" a name for a while by trying it in a book and seeing how I like it.

    I also look for certain linguistic markers that can signify a character's country of origin. Symmetrical names for some people from Alethkar, for example.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
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    Phantine

    Is there any noble house in Elendel that plays up their relationship to Kelsier and Marsh?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They tend to leave Kelsier/Marsh alone and focus on the other crew members. Getting authority from Kelsier is kind of presumed, a little like the Catholic church using Peter as its line of authority, rather than Christ--because the Christ part is assumed.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
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    havoc_mayhem

    Would an Alethi be turned on by the sight of a woman's right hand reflected in a mirror? I wonder if [Brandon] would care to elaborate.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Attraction is a mental thing that provokes a physiological response. So I guess it's going to depend on the person.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
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    faragorn

    Hey Brandon, you mentioned you like A Fire Upon the Deep. So if we could get an artifact, what would happen to a resident Shard if we could create a local Slow Zone? Or better yet, an Unthinking Deeps (although that might be bad for the mortals nearby).

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. You know, I'd never considered this? I guess it depends. I'd say these zones change Cognitive Realm issues--so wouldn't stop the Shards themselves, as they exist in a place of perfect thought and speed. (Spiritual Realm.) It might change how things get between Spiritual and Physical, though.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
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    gingermancer

    How are the main characters like with regards to homosexuality? I imagine the likes of Sazed wouldn't care, but it'd be interesting to see how much of a deviant the characters we've come to know are, when compared to their world's societies.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Again, you're going to see a wide variety of attitudes and impressions here. Some are very deviant from society, while others are good expressions of it.

    One thing I do downplay in the books is how often characters are terribly biased. Basically all the protagonists in the Stormlight books are, for example, HORRIBLE racists. I bring it up now and then to make sure the text, at least, knows this fact--but it's also something that, if I did with a dose more realism, would be very offputting. So I try to walk a line where it's an ugly thing that rears its head now and then, but it is still possible to like the characters, acknowledging they are products of a very different society from our own.

    Views on homosexuality are the same. You'll see, for instance, that Sigzil has a problem with Drehy in Bridge Four. Similarly, some characters have more progressive views than their society, as I think would be realistic for the types of people they are. So you don't see as much from the text as there might otherwise be. Ranette's relationship is not quite as accepted in Scadrian society as Wax and Marasi's viewpoints would lead you to believe, for example.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
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    TimAnEnchanter

    How is homosexuality regarded across the cosmere?

    I know one member of Bridge 4, though I forget who, is gay, but I'm asking more in the sense of legality, societal view, etc.

    Barleyjuicer

    It would probably depend on the planet and culture involved. Roshar has many varied cultures and probably has multiple different acceptance levels. Scadrial is much more progressive and really only has two cultures so it's more likely that most if not all of the world accepts it. Maybe this is something you could ask [Brandon] at a signing or during an AMA.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this varies widely based on the planet, and even culture, TimAnEnchanter.

    Roshar, for instance, has a lot of different perspectives on homosexuality. In Iri, the more religious segment (who believe that life is about new experiences) would approve, while the more rigid modern, secular society has outlawed it.

    In Azir, you'd find something like existed in middle-ages India. (Some societies there had this curious system where a gay man would be given "social reassignment" so that he was treated like a woman, dressed like one, and had relations with men--even if he wasn't actually transsexual.)

    Vorin culture is concerned with oaths. Extra-marital sexuality is strictly forbidden, but homosexuality is regarded the same by most as heterosexual relationships. If the proper oaths are spoken, then the Almighty approves. (This usually means marriage, but there are certain official forms of other relationships that would allow it also.)

    There are actually a couple of scenes in Book Three talking about it, for those who are interested, as the family and romantic relationships of the bridgemen are becoming a larger part of the story. (Still a small part, I should note, for space limitations.)

    On Scadrial, it's going to fall between Pathian lines (each individual decides for themselves) and Survivorist lines (you follow church hierarchy, which forbids it.)

    Don't even get me started on Bavadin's religions.

    fbstj

    What reasons do Survivorists use to rationalize heterosexuality? Thank you so much for these tidbits it's really interesting to hear more about this stuff from you. It would be great to see some of this canonized, maybe in an interlude, or random background discussion somewhere. Thank you again for your books! Also very interested in hearing why secular Iriali have decided to 'regress' on that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Survivorism calls it unnatural, and not conducive to the survival of the species. More than that, though, Survivorism has become very conservative and slow to change. What early thinkers had to say is regarded very strictly in the religion. Back during the early days of the new era, repopulating the basin was of prime concern, and this became a big part of what led to moral codes in Survivorism.

    General Twitter 2017 ()
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    Yata

    Hi, the community has a [question], we have two WoBs: Shardblades can cut aluminum and Shardblades can't cut it. Which one is true?

    Brandon Sanderson (Part 1/Part 2/Part 3)

    Hm. Yes, I wondered last night if I'd ever answered this before. Truth is, the answer is contentious at Team Sanderson.

    I've been pushing for one answer, but Peter (whom I trust) is pushing back. We will see what ends up in the books as canon.

    Problem with magic like I do is sometimes you have to wait for the scientific consensus... :) Err on "no" for now.

    Peter Ahlstrom (Part 1/Part 2/Part 3)

    Oh, I think aluminum would stop Shardblades from magical cutting. But if it's too thin like foil, a sword...

    ...would cut it anyway. What I'm arguing is that something else that Shardblades don't cut doesn't need...

    ...to necessarily be made of aluminum, for various reasons.

    Yata

    For example Invested objects (metalmind,spike,etc) or polestones (from some SA's Quote) ?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    RAFO

    General Twitter 2017 ()
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    Zachery Farner

    I tweeted Brandon and Peter last week about you writing a cosmere novel. Can you give an idea about what it would be about?

    Isaac Stewart (Part 1/Part 2)

    Hi! The book is already plotted, though it will have major changes before writing begins. Let me ask Brandon what I can say.

    FYI, this might never happen. Even after the writing, the book will have to be very good before we'd ever release it.

    Zachery Farner

    Alright! Well we love your work and I for one can't wait to see more of it, whether it be drawn or otherwise!

    Isaac Stewart

    Thank you! I've thought some on this, and I think we're too early on to release details. When there is news to share, I will!

    Idaho Falls signing ()
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    Valhalla (paraphrased)

    Did Odium Splinter all the Shards for the same reason?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    No. Some Shards he Splintered because he feared the Shard itself, and some Shards he targeted because he feared the Vessel. He was working his way down his list in order of the Shards and Vessels he felt would be most dangerous to his plans until he got stuck on Roshar.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
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    Valhalla (paraphrased)

    Other than Vessels, how many beings have lived from before the Shattering until the time of The Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    More than you would think. Longevity is not hard to come by in the cosmere. That much longevity would be a little uncommon. But certain species are particularly long lived, and certain magic systems enable longevity.

    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Kogiopsis

    Finally, what point, usually, is society at when a Desolation comes? Because Taln was prepared to introduce them to bronze...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kogiopsis

    ...and Alethi society is so far beyond that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Historically a lot of the-- What would happen with the Desolations would destroy all civilization and then the Heralds would leave, and leave people basically in the Stone Age again. And they came back numerous times and found humankind still in the Stone Age, after having left. And so they are prepared-- Sometimes they would come back and they would already be in the Bronze Age or-- and things like that and get them beyond that but frequently they had to be ready, the Heralds learned they had to be ready to try and bring humankind forward several thousand years worth of technology in a year.

    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Kogiopsis

    Is neurodiversity a requirement to become a Radiant? Like do you have to be non-neurotypical?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Read the back of Words of Radiance for your answer, the back of the cover.

    Footnote: The relevant passage from the back of Words of Radiance reads: It is the nature of the magic. A broken soul has cracks into which something else can be fit. Surgebindings, the powers of creation themselves. They can brace a broken soul; but they can also widen its fissures.
    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Swamp-Spirit

    Shallan's Memory ability to capture an image doesn't seem to be working exactly like an eidetic memory...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Swamp-Spirit

    ...because she can erase it by drawing. Is that tied directly to the magic of Lightweaving? And if so would other creative Lightweavers have similar abilities.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you look at the epigraphs there is a big hint on this, where it talks about it and yes... I have problems with eidetic memory, just because scientifically most scientists say this is not a real thing. So I would say that whenever-- Because of my knowledge of the science of it understand that you would need some sort of magical enhancement to be able to do what she does.

    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Swamp-Spirit

    How do you-- Like both Shallan and Kaladin obviously haven't had good lives, but like-- How do you write these really tragic backstories without them feeling kind of gratuitous or forced?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question... This is really about the whole idea of making sure you are avoiding melodrama... And melodrama-- the defining aspect of a melodrama is a story in which each character only exhibits only one emotional state. A great example of this done poorly is--despite me liking a lot about it--there was a show called Lost... So there's a character whose son gets kidnapped, and from that moment on the only thing he cares about or talks about is the loss of his son. And it's a very tragic thing for him. Losing your son, I can imagine how tragic that would be, and yet this character became so defined by that one attribute that it turned into melodrama for him. The rest of the characters will be standing around saying "Alright we need to do this thing, these guys are over there with guns, they are going to take us down. What do we do?" And they're like "We should do this." "We should do this." and this guy is like "My son!" They're like "We know you want your son back but--" "My son!" "What do you want for dinner?" "My son is gone! How can I eat dinner?!?". And so having a character exhibit only one emotional state is always going to feel like you just set-- It's going to ruin the character, whatever that is.

    So a tragic backstory-- People joke about Batman. When Batman is written poorly it's always about "My father's d-- My parents are dead" and when he's working well that's an aspect that influence things he does but it's not the only thing about him. And so that would be my warning to you. You can do all of these sorts of things but make the character's not about-- You know we are in part defined by things like this but as real people we are not about the bad things that have happened to us, we are about so much more. And make that the case, alright?

    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Swamp-Spirit

    When you're writing YA do you ever feel-- Because I was feeling this while reading the Alcatraz novels-- Do you ever feel like you're limited in what you can explore by not wanting to go too dark or too complex for a certain audience? Or when you are writing that sort of story does that not really...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Complexity does not enter into it, for me, except for the fact that I generally focus on one character. And so there is a complexity issue there, in that, you know, it's like I'm doing one, maybe two, viewpoints. And I think it's basically coming because when I'm choosing a story I'm matching a story to an age, I'm not matching an age to a story, does that make sense? So when I say "this is a YA story" that's because it exhibits the sorts of things I want to tell-- exhibits the sort of things that work for that market. I don't tend to write down but I do tend to keep the number of viewpoints more limited, just to keep the books a little less thick. So yeah, yes but not really.

    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Swamp-Spirit

    We have a lot of Renarin questions just because he is a character we both care a lot about, just another what could you-- give us a tidbit about Renarin's relationship with Bridge Four?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can tell you this, here's a good tidbit. You know the books are about ten characters. Renarin's one of them. But Renarin, you know the first five, he's not one of. So Renarin is one of the main characters for the back five, which are focused more on the Heralds, and he is one of the characters with the flashbacks there. So Renarin, you are not going to get everything you want about him until the back five books. So just keep that in mind.

    Swamp-Spirit

    I can live with that.

    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Airred

    You said that you liked video games. What would you say is one of your favorites?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of my favorites, I like the Dark Souls games quite a bit. And I've been playing those since they were called King's Field, it's the same company. So I've played all of them since way back when. And I really like the Infamous games, and I really like Civilization, all of those, I've played every single one of those.

    Airred

    You said you played Infamous, have you played Prototype?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Y'know I've been tempted a lot, but what I've read from Prototype is that-- Like I played Infamous because I knew you had the choice to not be the bad guy, and I've heard that Prototype you basically don't really have that choice.

    Airred

    Yeah...

    Swamp-Spirit

    Dishonored gives that choice *talking over each other*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, my brother's been suggesting Dishonored, but I'm not-- When I play video games I like to play people that I would admire, you know what I mean? Like I am-- If I have a moral choice system my character is a boy scout. I don't...

    Komekoro

    Paragon to the max.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, those little walking pixels, I'm not going to, y'know I'm going to mourn if I accidentally run over one of them.

    Words of Radiance Portland signing ()
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    Kogiopsis

    How did koloss-blooded people happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Koloss-blooded people-- A koloss-blooded is the result of two koloss having a child. A full koloss is only made once you accept the spikes and are mutated into the final form. And so a koloss-blooded-- The koloss can breed true now but that's what you get. And so they actually have a ritual at coming-of-age where you can accept the spikes or you can leave. And so all koloss in the wastes-- in the Roughs that are in the koloss tribes are-- have chosen that and outsiders can choose it too.

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    Kogiopsis

    What would Zane have been like without Ruin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Zane without Ruin would have been-- It's so hard to say, is it Zane without Ruin but still having the terrible family life that he has?

    Swamp-Spirit

    Probably yeah.

    Kogiopsis

    Still has Straff.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then still have Straff but he would probably be more of a Straff heir type thing. Like he would be less crazy, maybe more ruthless and... I mean he would still be his father's son.

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    Kogiopsis

    Since Returned come back as kind of an idealized form of themselves, if somebody was transgender in their original life would they Return as the sex they had been assigned the first time or the gender they identified as?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would think that a transgendered person could definitely come back as how they identify. Perception is very important in these sorts of things. It would really depend on the person, but yes.