Have any decisions you've made been controversial within your team?
...Yes. Famously, Peter Ahlstrom doesn't like Dreamer, which is my goofy little short story, that's his least favourite Brandon Sanderson story. I don't know that that counts though, deciding to write that story… What's been controversial among us?
I have one, but I think it's hard to say without spoiling a future property.
You can tell me what that one is after… You probably want to talk about Cytonic, right? Is that the one? There are some things we did with Cytonic, and I don't want to talk about that either, because it's spoilery, but when Cytonic's out we can talk about some decisions I made which were controversial. But they were more controversial with my editor and my agent, the actual Dragonsteel team was onboard with changes. The vibe, like… Peter, and the team, the editorial side here, we vibe really well together—decisions I make are rarely unpopular because the team…
Well, this might even be more of a question for me, where sometimes when you've given us outlines of what you think you're going to do I might have some reservations, but every time you do it, you do it so well that you've built up a huge amount of trust, and I'm sure I'm speaking for a lot of the people watching right now so, it's hard to have reservations when you deliver every time.
We get controversial feedback among the beta readers.
Oh yeah, beta readers all the time.
*Jokingly* Yeah, but we don't care about them.
No we do care about them, and I like that they disagree. I make a lot of decisions that the beta readers… I would say there are very few that I make that the overwhelming majority of beta readers don't like, but the beta readers get split fifty-fifty quite a bit on things. It's one of the interesting things, you know, the beta readers hating or loving something is interesting to read.
Within the team though? Hmm… I mean, probably… this is going to be funny to people, but probably… So, the way that I describe the front of the Fourth Bridge airship coming down and the art for it—Peter pointed out “this art does not match the description as well as I would like it to”, and Isaac and I were like “eh, it's close enough. We're close to the deadline, we're just gonna go with it”, that was a pretty controversial choice because Peter was like “but it doesn't actually match”, and Peter's job is to be detail oriented on letting us know “this is a continuity error, you are introducing a continuity error, and you know it”, but at the same time, getting another draft drawn on that piece was not something we just had the time to do. And so I just said to Peter, “eh, it was an early draft of the plans that Navani drew, and it actually ended up being a little different”.
You know stuff like that, that can be controversial, because we have some very detail oriented people in the team who's job is to be very detail oriented, and anticipate what the fans are going to complain about, and sometimes we don't have the bandwidth to actually make those changes. It's like when Moshe wanted me to change “podium” and “lectern”, and we went the rounds on that. Those are more controversial than other things like this, which is kinda funny.