Recent entries

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #103 Copy

    Questioner

    Could you rewrite Elantris to make Allomancers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Could you rewrite Elantris to make Allomancers. If you really knew what you were doing, could you create a program?

    Questioner

    Right.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would be way easier with Forging and even that would be really hard. I could see you imitating the powers the right way, that you could end up with something that was functionally the same. It just wouldn't be an Allomancer.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #104 Copy

    Questioner

    I have a theory. Because the center of gravity for a female is naturally lower, but when Vin burns iron or steel, the blue lines come from her chest, does that come from her center of self, rather than the center of gravity?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. That's probably a more accurate way to put it. 

    Questioner

    Would it be possible for that to change, then? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is possible. I should say it like that, because it's not going to actually be... Because center of gravity, where you would actually put it, is not where I'm having those lines come from. You came in costume. You can just make that canon now and we will put that on all of the lists that that is what it is.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #106 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Sixth of Dusk, where does the magic come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The magic comes from the same place that the magic comes in all of the Cosmere.

    Questioner

    That doesn't help. What Shard or Splinter of Shards...

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a RAFO.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #109 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you explain the difference between a singer and a listener? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Singer is the name of the people in their own language. Listener, this group that split off from the singers and did not want to be called singers anymore, called themselves listeners and that name perpetuated. You could say that singer is the name of race and listener is the name of the nation.

    General Twitter 2019 ()
    #110 Copy

    Jofwu

    So should we *not* read into the colors [on the Warbreaker leatherbound Nalthis symbol]? Or are Tears of Edgli purple and yellow? (and some black?)

    Oh wait, they come in several colors of course. Nevermind.

    Isaac Stewart

    Yeah, don't read into the colors of the symbol. :) That's just what looks good on the leatherbound.

    Stormlight Book Four Updates ()
    #112 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hey, all! Dropping in to give you another quick Stormlight Four update. (See the previous update here.) Though most of my team is gearing up for the Starsight launch in a few weeks, I’m buckling down for the final push to finish writing Stormlight Four.

    I didn’t get a ton written during my tour last month, but I didn’t expect to. I did, however, have a little time--and I’ve focused lately on getting the last parts of the outline hammered together. There’s still some work to do on book five’s outline, but I’ve had the team move the outline progress bar to 100%--indicating that the book four outline is completely finished.

    Right now, Parts One and Two of the book are done as well. Parts Three-Five have been finished for everything but the main, core viewpoint cluster. (So, if you’ve been following along, that means viewpoint clusters two and three are finished.) I’ve also done some work on the interludes, getting a nice chunk of those done, most notably the "through line" viewpoint for the Interludes.

    Remaining to do are a handful of interludes and the core story for the second half of the book. Together, that should be around 100k words, though it’s possible I’ll go longer.

    Now comes the toughest part of the push for me. I’ve got just under two months left before January first, which is the deadline by which I’ll need to have the rough draft done if we want to publish in 2020. Since the book is looking really good, and the outline is solid, I’m confident that we won’t run into any problems. By this point in a book (the 75% mark, which is where I am right now) I’m generally aware if the book will require any major edits or revisions. This one shouldn’t, which means if I do hit that deadline, we’re going to be in really good shape.

    This means I need to write 100k(+) words in two months, with a book launch in the middle as well as two major holidays. So...we’ll see. I was wise enough to know ahead of time that I’d need these weeks for writing, so decided not to do a tour for Starsight. I hope everyone will support the book anyway; my publisher is really worried that by not doing a tour, we might be leaving the book without support.

    I, however, am confident that the majority of my readers would rather have me working on Stormlight than traveling about trying to persuade you to buy Starsight. (I assume this is particularly true for those of you on this subreddit.) I’m not terribly worried; from the reception Skyward has gotten, the second book should do just fine. So other than the launch party (which should be quite the extravaganza) I’ll be keeping my attention on Stormlight.

    As always, you can follow along via the progress bars on my website for more clarity. Also, Adam should be posting pictures there from my tour in Europe the next few weeks, along with some shots of me on the set of the Wheel of Time television show. (Assuming they ever get approved.)

    I’ll try to keep you updated as the deadline approaches, but it’s likely the next big update you’ll get will come at the annual State of the Sanderson blog post on or around my birthday next month. This should also be the last reddit update until you get the "It's done" update, hopefully right before the end of the year. (And, if you'll forgive me, I'm unlikely to be answering a lot on Reddit these next few months--and likely won't be saying much in this thread either.)

    As always, thanks for your support and enthusiasm. Journey before Destination!

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #113 Copy

    Ben McSweeney

    The major mandate for the entire Rosharan environment is "coral reefs above water". We leaned into it hardest in the first book, partly 'cause we were still working out what's what and partly 'cause Brandon wanted to put that design theme up front.

    So the luckspren and windspren are evocative of fish and schools. The prickletac rockbuds are actually shaped like branch coral, and the leaves of the stumpweight trees are seawead. Markel trees gots clamshell leaves. Axehounds are turtle-faced lobster-dogs, chull are giant hermit crabs, skyeels are so Moray they even got pharyngeal jaws.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #114 Copy

    Araedox

    I’ve read the books several times and still can’t imagine what grass not in Shinovar is like.

    Ben McSweeney

    it looks like a tall, terrestrial grass, shades of green to gold depending on the variety and life cycle... grass which suddenly whips down into the ground whenever anyone gets too close (probably sensing ground vibrations).

    The actual plant is a sort of shallowly burrowed seed pod with room enough inside to hold moisture and for the long leaf to coil up... any excess leaf will get trimmed by exposure. Pretty sure it tops out around 3 feet, but if it grows longer some critter will eat it. Seeds emerge from the leaf tip to be either consumed and then redeposited in faeces, or blown away and redeposited by the winds.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #116 Copy

    dark-winter-knight

    What is the difference between a person's Spiritweb and their spiritual DNA? Is there a difference?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Soul, generally used in the cosmere, is a spiritual or philosophical term. It refers to the part of a person that continues to exist after death, or to the "being" of the person in a philosophical term.

    A Spiritweb is a measurable, quantifiable thing in the cosmere. (Granted, it's not easy to do either to one, but it can be done.) It is a scientific term, though because the cosmere hasn't reached modern scientific understandings yet, there is a lot of overlap between science, philosophy, and spirituality.

    This way, acknowledging that a person has a Spiritweb does not require an atheist/humanist to affirm religious ideas or concepts--like acknowledging that the Vessels/Shards exist does not require also affirming that a capital G God exists.

    The separation of the two is necessary to allow people like Jasnah to not be undermined by the text. It wouldn't be right of me to work for having representatives of viewpoints contrary to my own if the very foundation of the magic systems and physics proved them wrong.

    So, in short, you can measure a Spiritweb. Whether a person actually has a soul or not (even in the cosmere) is subject to your own personal philosophy on the idea. Even ghosts and other persisting personalities after death, like certain individuals who shall remain unnamed, have a very real and rational magic system explanation for their existence.

    aravar27

    Is a Cognitive Shadow essentially Investiture filling in the molded pattern of a Spiritweb to the point where it resembles the initial person?

    I'm interested in the implications with respect to personal identity--the "soul" would be one of the competing answers for the question "what am I," but some argue for psychological continuity and others for biological continuity. A Cognitive Shadow seems like it might better fit the Psychological Criterion, since it seems like Investiture replaces the biological body as the source of living and experiencing things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're getting into things that are subject to debate among people in the cosmere. Most shadows would insist that they're the same person. Others would dispute this, saying they're essentially a spren--a bit of the power that came alive like you said, taking on the personality of the person when the person themselves died.

    BipedSnowman

    Like uploading a brain to a computer. Made of Investiture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A fitting analogy.

    Aurora_Fatalis

    Does it matter what kind of power it was that filled the gaps? Like, if you were a normal human and made a Cognitive Shadow fueled by AonDor, would you be more able to "possess" a modern computer than if you were made a Cognitive Shadow by - say - Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This can matter. Shades from Threnody, for example, work differently from Returned, who are different from Heralds. But all are Shadows.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #117 Copy

    Shuaroo

    Have I gone crazy or did he misspell Kal's mom's name twice [in the Stormlight Four preview chapter]? It's Hesina, is it not? But its listed as Hessica twice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I always write her name the way it was in 1.0 of the first book, not the place one I changed it (to be more in line with Alethi naming conventions.) So Karen or Peter always have to go through and change it several times for me.

    At least I've stopped writing tin as silver these days. Whatever I do in the first draft tends to get embedded into my muscle memory as far as names.

    Sharuu

    Ha! I figured it was something like that, but started getting paranoid that I completely misremembered anyway. Besides, I imagine that, especially writing at the speed you do, it's easy to overlook the smaller details.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's also something about the way my brain works. I still have trouble writing Galladon instead of Galarion, which was his original name. Often, near the end of a book, I'm making tweaks to get the languages and naming more consistent--and some names just don't fit any longer. But my brain rarely wants to accept the changes. (Notably, though, I took easily to Kaladin--who was originally named something else, but a name I never really liked.)

    Protaokper

    Huh! Sorry if you’ve answered this before, but what was Kaladin’s original name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Merin. I know. In my defense, it fit the linguistics at the time.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #118 Copy

    classicalkhlennium

    A while ago I was talking with my friend about the presence of isotopes in Mistborn, and we thought surely the metals have ions and isotopes like they do in the real world, otherwise how else would they exist on an atomic level? We wondered if there were radioactive isotopes on Scadrial or even in the Cosmere as a whole, else they would never discover nuclear weaponry and fuels. None of the non-god metals in Mistborn have radioactive components, but that isn't to say that radioactive metals don't exist in the cosmere. Radioactive elements such as uranium (a necessary discovery for the 3rd and 4th Eras of Mistborn if they want to have long term fuel sources/weapons) and radium (necessary discovery in the field of medicine) seem necessary to the advancement of civilization. This also raises the question of where would the god metals, lerasium, atium, and harmonium, fit on the Periodic Table, and would all of their isotopes be stable, would they perhaps have radioactive isotopes that can somehow affect their Allomantic properties?

    Brandon Sanderson

    These are things we'll start answering in the modern day Mistborn novels, so RAFO for now.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #119 Copy

    havoc_mayhem

    I'm sure others have spotted this already, but I just noticed that the titles of the first 5 Stormlight Archive books are on track to form a palindrome.

    • (The) Way of Kings
    • Words of Radiance
    • Oathbringer
    • (The) Rhythm of War
    • ...

    WoK.WoR.O.RoW...

    This is really cool! Whether coincidence or deliberate, I hope that Sanderson continues the trend.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that abandoning the title of book two way back when let me rebuild the title sequence to do something I hadn't been able to make work in my original series draft. Stones Unhallowed isn't likely to be the last book's title any longer.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #120 Copy

    KingKaliYuga

    Children of the Nameless sequel, when?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sequel someday. But not until after I've caught up on Stormlight and Mistborn.

    KingKaliYuga

    Catch up as in finish or catch up as in get up to date on release windows? Cause I can't spend like 10 years waiting to see what happened to that girl after she disappeared, even if I get some radical Stormlight books while I wait

    Brandon Sanderson

    I put off writing Wax and Wayne 4 to do Children of the Nameless, and so I need to make sure I've finished that at the very least--and it has to come after Stormlight 4.

    General Reddit 2019 ()
    #121 Copy

    Swedish_Doughnut

    Numuhukumakiaki'aialunamor, his nickname. Its Rock. And do ya know what he does? He cooks. THE ROCK COOKS. Adonalsium damn you Sanderson! Why would you do this to me, WHY? Why would you make a character just to have an IN UNIVERSE "what the Rock is cooking?" joke? why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Would you believe me if I told you this was actually a coincidence? I DID notice it, though, when writing the first book way back when.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #122 Copy

    Questioner

    If something is heavily Invested, it's harder for a Shardblade to go through it, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kind of. It depends on the kind of Investiture and things that are going on. But yes. If you want to block a Shardblade... Like a metalmind would be a good thing to use to fight a Shardblade.

    Questioner

    A person with a lot of Breath, like the God-King, would you be able to chop them with a Shardblade or no?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to get very tricky on that, so I'll RAFO that for now. Let's just say that there are things. For instance, a Shardblade excising someone who's been Hemalurgically spiked is a theoretical possibility. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #125 Copy

    Questioner 1

    So the white hair. Did she have white hair or did Shallan just imagine that she had white hair?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is another RAFO.

    Questioner 2

    There are a lot of RAFO's about The Girl Who Looked Up

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a lot of RAFO's.

    Questioner 1

    So, the girl who looked up, could her hair change like the royal locks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Questioner 1

    Was her hair long or short? Or does it not matter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is long.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #126 Copy

    Questioner

    Why are there no spren in the prelude chapters for Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No specific reason. There's nothing happening there. Mostly, what happens is I write the initial write-through without very many spren and then they have Karen go through and say, "this would be a good place." Just kind of like special effects for a movie. It might just be that I've already released those and read those so much she doesn't want to add as many.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #132 Copy

    Questioner

    In the characters of Stormlight, who's the most enjoyable to write about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like them all for different reasons. I really have been enjoying writing Navani lately, so she's been the most enjoyable. But it changes.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #133 Copy

    Questioner

    Do we have a tentative working title for Stormlight Four?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it's called Rhythm of War, most likely. But I have to work that in as an in-world book. And if it doesn't work, then... And I have the place that I'm going to work it in, but when I get there, if it doesn't work, then I'm gonna have to go back to the drawing board. Which is why I haven't said for sure that that's what it is, yet.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #136 Copy

    Pod

    The combination of a Shard and its Vessel leads to sapient mind with access to a virtually infinite pool of Investiture. Are avatars the product of a similar combination of a mind and a pool of Investiture, only on a smaller scale, with less power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that is an accurate representation of what an avatar is. It’s not the only way, but it is an accurate... some avatars are that. I would say that’s the standard.  

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #137 Copy

    Questioner

    Was the Blackthorn... Is that a reference to Tad Williams' character Camaris and the sword Thorn that's black?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not intentionally but I've read those books.

    Questioner

    Do you see the connection?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I totally see the connection. I mean I've read Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn, so totally could be there in the back of my head.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #140 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do gemhearts come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They grow naturally, just like your fingernails grow.

    Questioner

    Where do they get the resources?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The rain that falls on Roshar is [hard] water, full of crem that crystalizes. If you drink that water, it gives you the nutrients that you need to make gemhearts.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #142 Copy

    Pod

    You’ve said that you would call Surgebinding, Voidbinding, and fabrials the three magics on Roshar. Would it be more accurate to say that Surgebinding followed and emulated fabrials and/orthe possibility of fabrials or vice versa?

    Brandon Sanderson

     Vice versa. Fabrials are... generally, Surgebinders first, fabrials second. 

    Pod

    So you couldn’t have done fabrials when it was just Adonalsium. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, before the [Shattering]? *deep in thought mmming*

    Pod

    Would the spren have still been able to do Surges then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say... no. No, Adonalsium probably would not have let that happen. You could theoretically do it, if Adonalsium allowed it. 

    Pod

    He had boundaries against it. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So, I would say no. 

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #143 Copy

    Questioner

    So, at the beginning of Way of Kings, Kaladin's in the slave wagon. He sees an unusual cremling after the highstorm.

    Brandon Sanderson

    *enthusiastic* He does!

    Questioner

    Is that one that can see that he is a budding Radiant?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that that cremling is more than it appears.

    Questioner

    Awesome!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll give you a RAFO card, because I didn't fully answer, but you got kind of an answer. You'll be able to... Keep your eyes out for people saying, "That cremling looks odd."

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #146 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the inspiration for Lift? Because she's super crazy and unique.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The absolute first was when I was designing the Knights Radiant, I said: I need to have a variety - I need to have older Knights Radiant and I need to have younger Knights Radiant. She grew - like a lot of my characters - out of me naturally trying some viewpoints, practicing different characters, and seeing where it goes, eventually landing on what I thought worked. And I really wanted her to be different, so. 

    Questioner

    So, you wanted her to be a <inaudible>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #147 Copy

    Questioner

    You have mentioned that the Shards... they did not make an oath to have only one per planet, although the suggestion was made. Have any of the Shards made an oath that has bound themselves, expecting the others to follow suit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Oaths have been made, that have been unwise oaths. You have even seen one of those - the oath between Ruin and Preservation. But that's not the only example of oaths being used in ways that bind the Shards in ways they weren't expecting.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #148 Copy

    Questioner

    So, Sel: Investiture has been pushed into the Cognitive Realm. Threnody: Has it seen something similar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has not seen... Okay. Yes, something similar. It would count. Something similar, yes.

    Questioner

    If that's the case, what would happen if you were to push Investiture into the Physical Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It generally manifests either as a solid, liquid, or gas

    Questioner

    I thought about that. I was like, "We've seen that," but it seemed like a concentrated form. What if you did for like a whole Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would probably have disastrous effects. 

    Questioner

    That's why I was thinking for Threnody, but if it hasn't been that, then something else happened.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It hasn't been that. Something else happened.

    Starsight Release Party ()
    #149 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Stormlight Archive series, we have not yet seen Vasher or Vivenna Awakening.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You have seen Vivenna Awaken stuff, technically. She is Awakening part of her... what's she doing, she's got her cloak out and stuff. You see <very> glimpses of it in the [third] book, so you technically have seen her. You've also seen Hoid Awakening in the epilogue. So yes, you can Awaken on Roshar, it's just been really subtle so far.

    Questioner

    So, does the Investiture just feed off of the...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can make a Returned feed off of Stormlight very easily. You can't use Stormlight to power Awakening very easily, but if you still have those Breaths, you can use them and reclaim them.