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    Mistborn era 3 is chronologically after the back half of Stormlight, but will be written first. With the ever-increasing cosmere connections, how will you keep era 3 from spoiling Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a challenge. I mean, technically era 2 is post-Stormlight 5, so I have been juggling that so far, it's not long after Stormlight 5 but it is post-Stormlight 5. Karen has to, when I force her to lock down certain parts of the timeline various places but there's certain things we haven't locked down, for instance, I still haven't decided how long the time jumps are going to be until I write the various series. Let's just say, I've managed to write Sixth of the Dusk I hope without spoiling too much, and it's not the only future era Cosmere thing that is perhaps coming through the pipeline eventually, before we get through with Stormlight 5, so I will just juggle this and balance this very well, I hope. I will try. I will do my best to keep this all balanced without spoiling too much. 

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    When Sazed ascended into Harmony, he recreated many extinct plants and animals based on the fragments of knowledge he learned about from various religions. Many ancient and medieval texts in the real world had pictures of animals with wildly inaccurate features and proportions. Were the texts that Sazed drew on fairly accurate, or are there herds of monstrosities roaming Scadrial now like on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fortunately, Sazed was able to work with something that you wouldn't be able to here. Which is—remember that Realmatic Theory is based on the theory of the forms by Plato. This is where I got it. I've been very open with that idea, that the first glimmers of that occurred when I was taking my philosophy classes in college. I liked the idea of there being this perfect version of something somewhere in another realm. Now, the thing I've done in the Cosmere is that that perfect thing can change and be shaped over time, but the remnants of those things were still there. He could latch onto something, something that knew what these things were supposed to look like, because he had this deific power.

    So the answer is no, there are not versions of very very weird lions as drawn in illuminated manuscripts. I love where your brain went on this one. We were actually talking about, I can't remember the name of it, the wolf that they thought was killing all the people in France in the seventeen or eighteen hundreds, that they had these drawings of this monstrous wolf—where it was probably just a pack of wolves that were particularly hungry because their normal food source was being impacted by human expansion or something. But for a period of like five to ten years, perhaps hundreds of people got killed by this wolf, and all the depictions of it are these giant werewolfy sort of scary things.

    I love seeing the pictures of all of those things, the pictures of giraffes on illuminated manuscripts that have just been described thirdhand to someone. Your brain is going cool places. You can make monstrosities like that with Hemalurgy, but fortunately Sazed did not run into that problem. 

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    Was Glys a deadeye before being Enlightened by Sja-anat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, good question. You may have to wait for a while to get answers to some of those questions, sorry. And I'm not even promising that I'll answer them.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    If Thaidakar / Kelsier could get access to one non Scadrian power / set of abilities, regardless of how difficult that would be to obtain, what would he be most interested in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a pretty big RAFO. I mean, Bondsmithing is really dangerous, so Kelsier would be attracted to it, let's point that out.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    Denth and Shashara, and Arsteel and Yesteel, are referred to and refer to themselves as siblings, despite being Returned. Does that mean they have knowledge of who they were while alive, and Vasher is the only Scholar who doesn't?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooh, what a wonderful question. What a wonderful question! Guess what! RAFO. You are supposed to be noticing and asking that. You're supposed to be asking some of these questions about them and about the scholars and about poor Vasher and how this all plays together.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    Now that Kaladin has Radiant Shardplate, could he trap others, particularly other Surgebinders in the Plate and neutralize their powers like the end of Iron Man 3?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, but with a "I don't think this works the way you think it works."

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    How was spren society impacted by Nale (legally) murdering wannabe proto-Radiants in the years before the Everstorm? Were they aware of what he was doing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, most spren thought that anyone who was trying to bond a human was--let's just say most of them responded as the other inkspren did to Ivory during his desires or Syl during her desires, and so if your foolish spren cousin goes to try to bond humans, they get what is coming to them is how most of them would probably regard it. It's not gonna be too bad for the spren, they're not going to be "killed" by what Nale was doing to the people. It's much worse for the people in that instance. But still, not a fun experience for a spren.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    If the only variable we change, during the creation of Nightblood, is to use a different Allomantically viable metal (say, iron or bronze instead of steel), but keep everything else constant (the same Breaths, same people doing the same visualization, and whatever other factors were involved), would it have manifested different powers/capabilities?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Most likely.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    Evi was shown to have very strong moral convictions in Dalinar's Oathbringer flashbacks, do you think she could have become a Knight Radiant alongside the majority of the Kholin family had she lived long enough? If so, which Order would she fit best?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that she would've definitely had a good shot at that. Where would Evi go? Like a lot of people usually there's... most people I know who took the test and talked to them there's often two or three they bounce between. I could definitely see Evi as an Edgedancer in the way that she liked to pay attention to people that sometimes weren't being paid attention to, but I don't think that's where she would land. I don't think that's the strongest one. I would probably put her in Truthwatcher myself, but I would perhaps prefer to sit and think on it. This is one of those things that when I actually sat down to build the outline I'd have to really dig into it, but those are my gut reactions right there. Not a Bondsmith, not a Windrunner, neither of those fit Evi really well, but there you go, there's two she could've been.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    In The Way of Kings, when Shallan first goes to Shadesmar, she says something grabbed her ankle and was pulling her into the ocean of spheres. Was Testament the one doing said grabbing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO! I wondered if people were ever gonna pick up on that one, I haven't been asked that yet.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    What happens if a Radiant is ready to swear an Ideal above the one they can't swear (i.e. a Windrunner who can swear the Fourth Ideal but not the Third)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would have to wait until they can swear the Third.

    YouTube Spoiler Stream 3 ()
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    Which Invested Art does Khriss find the most interesting to study? (or is it one we haven't seen yet)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think Khriss is really fascinated by aspects of all of them, but lately she's been most into the weirdness of Allomancy, for instance things like how speed bubbles work and how weight manipulation works and how that interacts with mass, and the weird, weird, weird science of all of that that drives the arcanists mad.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
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    Isaac Stewart

    11/30 - 3359 words (51,584 final for November)

    My biggest worry is that I'm not quite halfway done with the story being told. And here I thought I'd be able to finish in 60k words! I'll keep moving through this, though, with the hope to get around 1500-2000 words a day till it's finished.

    The TV Guide description of the book: An adventurous woman with erratic magical powers travels with an expedition to an island to find a legendary book with the power to raise an undead army.

    This has been a lot of fun. Thanks to everyone for letting me be along for the ride!

    Brandon's Blog 2004 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    So, today I think I’ll post part of a proposal I’m working on for Tor. I’m going to send this to them, so that Tom Doherty can read about my plans and goals for the future before he and I meet in New York next week.



    Writing is art, but publishing is business.

    I’ve always believed that in order to succeed in this field, I would need two things. First, I’d need an excellent work ethic. Second, I’d need an eye toward my eventual goal of becoming a professional writer. When I started writing in earnest seven years ago, I realized that the chances of any one book getting published were slim, even if it was a superior manuscript. Therefore, I didn’t let myself stop writing–I figured that the more books I had to send out, the sooner I would get published. When Moshe finally called to purchase ELANTRIS, I was working on my thirteenth novel.

    This background gives me an advantage, I think, over other first-time authors. I understand my writing style far better than a writer sold the first book he wrote. I know what I do well, I know what people enjoy from my books, and I have had time to hone and practice my craft. I also have a great wealth of intellectual property in the books I’ve already written. I don’t want to publish any of those books themselves–readers deserve to get books that represent my best and most current skill level. However, the ideas and settings I developed in those previous works can provide models for what to do in the future.

    My foremost distinguishing attribute as a writer is my ability to create interesting settings and unique magic systems. I don’t use the standard fantasy setting–nor do I even use an iteration of it. I strive to push this genre to its full potential, giving my readers something new with each book. Another of my strengths is my ability to push my books’ plots toward dramatic climaxes with well-foreshadowed surprises and twists. I also think that I have a flair for witty side-characters and powerfully-motivated viewpoint characters.

    My weaknesses are offshoots from these strengths. My books build slowly sometimes, and so the first quarter or so of a given novel tends to be the slowest. My books also have very steep ‘learning curves,’ meaning that because they have original settings and magic systems, it can be difficult for readers to grow accustomed to all of the new elements. Finally, I’m not a brilliant prose craftsman, though I think I’m getting stronger in this area. One of the things I’ve learned during my years practicing is how to focus my books around my strengths as a writer, while at the same time minimizing the effect of my weaknesses.

    I’m at an interesting point in my career. My original goal, that of getting published, has been met–indeed, I’ve succeeded beyond what I dared dream was possible. I’ve been picked up by the most prestigious publishing house in fantasy, and am releasing a book in hardback.

    However, getting published was always just a step. My real goal is to build a career as a writer. You don’t do that by publishing one great book–you do that by publishing a great book, then publishing an even better one the next year, then an even better one the year after that.

    I can do this. However, I realize the need for a plan. Therefore, I’ve begun to look at the various books and series that I’ve written recently (within the last year) or am planning to write very soon. I’ve never published before, so I’m not sure which direction to take my career. Therefore, I developed this list of my most promising new and upcoming works so that I could get your advice on what plan I should use during my next five to ten years of writing.

    Summaries of five series I’ve been developing follow. At the end, I’ll give a summary of my thoughts regarding my future.

    Brandon's Blog 2004 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Here’s the second segment of the proposal I turned in to Tor before visiting the offices. If you want to read a little more about my visit, hop over to the Time Waster’s Guide (

    This section focuses on sequel opportunities in the ELANTRIS world. We’ll see whatever comes of this–whether or not I ever do another book in this world will depend on several factors.


    Elantris is an excellent book that does a good job of introducing people to what I do well as an author. It has a unique, interesting setting with a clever, rule-based magic system. One of the main characters, Hrathen, is a very good example of the type of character I like to write–a person with deep personal demons related to the setting, magic, and theme of the book. People who come out of Elantris wanting more of my work will not be disappointed, as many of my other works have a similar feel.

    However, Elantris itself doesn’t provide as good a launchboard to a series as some of my other projects. By the end of the book, I’ve resolve most of my conflicts–both plot and character related. In the grander picture, the characters were developed in a kind of ‘superhero’ mold. They were designed to be extremely competent, then thrown into extreme situations to provide conflict. It would be difficult to provide a challenge for them in further books.

    None of these things would necessarily prevent a sequel–indeed, I left plenty of plotting room at the end of the book to expand the series. However, I believe that an Elantris sequel would have to be episodic in nature, taking place a decade after the first book and dealing with different characters. I think continuing characters provide more of a draw for a series, and this is why I haven’t pushed very hard for an Elantris sequel. I think Moshe has sensed the same thing, since we’ve only spoken marginally of future books in this series.

    Brandon's Blog 2004 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, here’s another little segment from my Tor proposal. This was the section that got the most attention, which is good, since I delivered a finished copy of MISTBORN to my editor that day. The way things are going, this will be the book that comes out after ELANTRIS.


    Mistborn, Book One: The Final Empire is my most recent work. I wrote it this year, and it’s the first book I wrote completely knowing that I was now a ‘published’ writer. I wrote the book knowing that my audience would probably have read Elantris, and I wanted to craft a book that would impress them even beyond what they had experienced before. I was worried that The Way of Kings (discussed below) was too different from Elantris, and might disappoint readers.

    I pitch Mistborn as a combination between Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, my own Elantris, and George Clooney’s Ocean’s Eleven. Mistborn is the story of a typical fantasy world: One where a young peasant hero came along, fought an evil dark force—only he failed. A thousand years later, the world is dominated by the Lord Ruler, a dark, god-like tyrant. The people have been enslaved, ash and soot rain from the sky, and plants grow wilted and brown.

    In this setting, a group of daring thieves determine to overthrow the Final Empire. However, they’re going to do it like thieves: They plan to steal the Lord Ruler’s fortune while at the same time undermining his financial base of rule, hoping to cause the collapse of his empire. Using a mixture of magical skills, the team begins their bold plan—but ends up getting themselves involved in something more daunting than even they imagined.

    Mistborn has one of the most unique, interesting magic systems I’ve ever created. In addition, it has a marvelous setting. Plagued by a smoky red sun by the day, cloaked by an aura of mist at night, the visual setting of this world is unique and interesting. MISTBORN shows off what I do well as a writer. It has an original setting, a clever, rule-based magic system, witty side-characters, and an interesting growth character at the center of the story. The ending is full of twists and surprises, and it launches the story quite nicely into a larger plot while at the same time giving a strong resolution to the first book.

    Dragonsteel Mini-Con 2021 ()
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    Questioner (paraphrased)

    End of RoW, Dalinar Connects Kaladin to something to give a vision of Tien, was that to Tien's soul, and does Dalinar know?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Most common in world answer, he Connected to a possibility in the SR. Also could be Connecting to actual soul in the Beyond.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Where did the horse come from?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Coincidence, or Fortune leading to the right path.

    Dragonsteel Mini-Con 2021 ()
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    Questioner (paraphrased)

    What would a kandra look like in Shadesmar, do they have special abilities in Cognitive or Spiritual Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    RAFO what they look like. There is nothing that they would have as a special power over a human in the Cognitive, except that they have mental training to manipulate self perception which is very powerful.

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    So less limiting than Physical?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    They'd go there Physically, so same limitations. Maybe some weird circumstances if they died and persisted as CS, they would have advantages.