Recent entries

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    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.  

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    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 ()
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    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.

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    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 ()
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    John203

    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!

    John203

    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.

    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."

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    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 gremlin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Starsight Release Party ()
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    Shadow Guardian

    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.

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    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 ()
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    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.

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    Questioner

    So Bavadin's avatars, right; Autonomy's avatars.

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of Bavadin's avatars. 

    Questioner

    Of those avatars, are some or all of them actual Splinters of Autonomy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The terminology gets kind of sticky here. In Cosmere terms, some would say that counts as Splinters, some would say not. The avatars aren't necessarily aware but Bavadin always is. A lot of people in Cosmere would call that a Splinter. 

    Questioner

    My follow up to that would be, is it possible for a person to Ascend and become a Vessel of one of those Splinters?  

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is plausible. Yes. It could happen. It would be tough because they will have personalities of their own and so something would need to happen... but yeah.

    Starsight Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    I'm an aspiring writer and I really relate to one of your characters that has really smart days and really stupid days. I feel like I've had maybe a handful of really smart days and every other day, I just feel like an idiot and I don't know what I'm doing. I wonder if that's you maybe writing some of yourself into the story or into that character...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. Yeah. Totally. 

    Questioner

    ...and how have you gotten over those stupid days. 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually got it… Howard Taylor, who's a cartoonist friend of mine, one time was talking about, on our podcast, how some days he just feels dumb. And I'm like, I feel like that sometimes too. Sometimes, it's not working. It's not flowing. What I've found with writing is—now your mileage may vary—readers can't generally tell which of the two it was. It's more in your mind and more about your mood than it is about the actual quality of what you're writing. What's happening is on some days, you're just upbeat and you see what you're doing is working. And on other days, you're doing basically the same thing but you're a little bit down and your minds like "Oh, this is terrible. You are crap. No one's ever going to want to read this" and the truth is that it's actually still pretty good. The other thing that causes that a lot is… particularly if I'm reading something really good, like I go read a Terry Pratchett novel… and then I go to write and I'm like, "What am I even doing?" What you're doing there is you're comparing your first draft to published, final drafts by authors who've been doing this for 40 years and that's just not a fair comparison to you. If you want to go read my terrible first story that I wrote, the one that won the award, you can read that be like, "This is what Sanderson was writing? I'm better than this!", and you probably are. In fact, I hope you are. I would recommend trying to silence that voice as opposed to trying to reach for the smart days or not because the truth is, you're probably just as smart on both days; you're just feeling down. And instead, try to look for some of the things I talked earlier. The idea of creating good habits. Knowing the things that you can do that put you in the mood to actually do what you want to do. Listening to music will do it for me. Going on a walk, if I'm having trouble while listening to that music and if it's the right epic music. My playlists are on Spotify by the way, the stuff that I do this with. Just look for "Stormlight 3 writing soundtrack" and I have on for Skyward, too, that I think I posted. Just listen to whatever works for you. But you have to find out what tricks yourself like I talked about earlier. Every writer feels this, you are not alone, and that part of your brain is probably wrong.

    Starsight Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    What criticism of your work do you feel is the most apt?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a bunch of them. I would say that the criticisms of my handling of Mat in the Gathering Storm are pretty on point. I actually had an inkling before I released the book that they were because some of the beta readers had told me. But, I didn't know how to do it better yet. Generally, my weakest part of my books is probably going to be the prose. I strive for what we call Orwellian prose which is Windowpane prose where the prose is transparent and you can see the story happening on the other side. But, a lot of times, if you come to some of my prose, I repeat too many words, too often. We try to watch for those and things. But you're not going to go to a Brandon Sanderson novel and very often get the really beautiful prose that you're going to get like from a Pat Rothfuss book or something like that. It's partially a stylistic choice on my part but it's a stylistic choice because I know where my strengths lie, if that makes sense. So, I think that's a pretty valid criticism. The other thing would probably be that Stormlight is really hard to get into. That's by—not by design, in that I don't want a book that's hard to get into. But the story I wanted to tell was one that was hard to get into. If that make sense. It's kind of like a drawback of the story that I didn't want to change because it would make it a different story. But it's totally a legit drawback to getting into Stormlight. There's a lot of stuff to track. I wanted to be upfront with it because the whole series was going to involve a lot to track but there are people for whom Stormlight is just not the book for them.

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    Questioner

    It's known you're a big fan of Magic the Gathering and that you like house Dimir and you wrote Davriel Cane's planeswalker. Are you ever going to work with Wizards of the Coast again? And then things about Magic. It's known you play some, where would we find information on that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Will I every work with Magic again? I probably will. I usually can't leave well enough alone. But the thing is, I wrote that story (which you guys can read, it's called Children of the Nameless, it's free online), I wrote that instead of doing other stuff I was kind of supposed to be doing. It is what has put me behind like on Wax and Wayne, which I wanted to have done before the next Stormlight. So, it's not likely that I will do it anytime soon. I need to catch up on things. What I would really like to do is, sometime, kind of go in at the planning stage for a plane. Like, right at the beginning, and maybe even write a book and be like, "This is set on a plane, let's use this to build the mythology of a plane," or something like that, and kind of be in from the ground up on it. But I would probably have to move to Seattle for, like, 6 months for that. So that's far off in the future.

    If you want to play Magic with me, once in a while, I play at local game stores. I go to Game Grid now and then. Mostly I like to draft or to cube draft. You can watch me cube drafting online. The latest newsletter has a link to a place, some people I went and drafted with. It has been harder and harder. Early in my career, when nobody knew who I was, it was great because the signings, I would get there at 7, and they'd get done at like 8:30. And then I'd be like, "Hey! Who wants to play Magic?" and there would usually be some people who went like, "Yeah! Let's go play Magic!" We'd go to like the hotel and sit in the lobby and play Magic and stuff. Nowadays, my signings get done at like 4am. So yeah, that just doesn't happen as much anymore. Sorry about that.

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    Questioner

    Is it true that there's a mural of the cosmere in your basement?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not a mural of the cosmere in my basement. Isaac is painting a mural of the Stormlight Archive Roshar map, but that's not in my basement. There will probably be a mural in my basement as we're finishing the office but it's probably going to be a Van Gogh.

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    Questioner

    If a Mistborn were to burn a piece of a Shardblade, what would happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This would be hard to make happen, but it would be possible. A Shardblade is going to act as, basically, an alloy of the god metal of Honor and so  what would it do? RAFO, but it is possible and it would do something. It would not be inert. It would be Allomanticaly viable.

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    Questioner

    How does a Rithmatist draw a Mark's Cross structure if they can't cross their own Lines of Forbiddance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can get it right up close, and I kind of made it my mind that if you get right up close it kind of snaps together. That was my work around for it, that you can get up and make it. It's also like a magnetism thing where you can kind of push into it a little bit. The harder you push, the more force it pushes back on them. 

    So those were my workarounds in my head. That one actually didn't strike me until I was halfway through the book and I was like "Hey wait a minute, how do you actually make this line work?" So I kind of put those two things on it. That's the in-world in but I didn't talk about it a ton in the books.

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    Questioner

    What's your favorite idea that you're never actually going to get around to writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That I'm never, or that I am eventually?

    Questioner

    Either or.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I always talk about my favorite idea that I haven't written yet which is the idea about the magic system that's based on diseases. Like, when you catch the common cold, you can fly but when you get over it, you lose the power. Which I just think would be kind of cool and kind of chaotic. I had another idea the other day that was really cool but it was for a video game. If I tell you, it would spoil it, so I'm not going to tell you that one. But, I don't know if I'll ever make this one, because I don't know if I will ever be able to make video games. I have tried and it has not worked, so we'll see.

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    Questioner

    When will the second Rithmatist book come out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So here's the deal with the Rithmatist. Rithmatist was the book I wrote right before the Wheel of Time hit me like a train going very fast. I was not expecting this in my life. The books I was working on at the time were the Liar of Partinel, which is Hoid's backstory, and the Rithmatist and both of these books got derailed to one extent or another by me dropping everything and working on the Wheel of Time. When I sat back down to write the Rithmatist 2, I had been derailed for so long and so much had happened in my life that the outline that I had just did not work. I wasn't pleased with it. It is one of things that I considered a mandate that I must do. I will finish it, but it's gonna take me a little bit more time. I've been trying to write things, like novellas, that don't promise sequels as much and finish off the things that did promise sequels. So I finished off Legion. The last Alcatraz book is basically done. It is called Bastille Versus the Evil Librarians or subtitle "Alcatraz Versus His Own Dumb Self." We're actually sending that off for artwork and things, so that should happen pretty soon. There's like one little scene that needs to be revised and then Rithmatist will be on the list of things to do. So, I promise it someday but I'm just not sure when. Stormlight 4 is going to take all my time for the next 7 months still, most likely. I won't be done with that until July 1st and then I really need to get the next Wax and Wayne book done and there are 2 more books of Skyward that I need to write. So, we'll see. My biggest goal is to not, whatever I do, let myself slip behind on Stormlight books because these kind of form the backbone currently of the cosmere sequence. So those can't come out less frequently than about once every 3 years. Once every 3 years is about as fast as I can do them. They take about 18 months and I need about 18 months off between them, otherwise I'll get burned out. There's an answer that's not a full answer for you. I'm sorry. It will happen. I'm not sure when.

    Starsight Release Party ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Now, just another warning, that has huge continuity problems with what’s come before. I was really searching for getting sure I’d have Eshonai’s voice and I would be interested in making these flashbacks work, making sure that they would be really interesting to read for this book. So, don’t expect the final version to be quite like that. (That’s just to cover Karen. She hadn’t edited this or done her continuity edit, so you can’t go to her and say, “But Karen! Brandon said in the previous book that…” Don’t worry, I know.)

    Starsight Release Party ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    Eshonai had heard it said that mapping the world removed its mystery. Some of the other listeners in her camp insisted that the wilderness should be left wild, the place of spren and greatshells, and that by trying to lock it down into paper, they risked stealing its secrets. She found this to be flat-out ridiculous.

    She attuned Awe as she entered the forest from the back way. Closer to the Shattered Plains, almost everything was flat, grown over only by the occasional rockbud. Yet here, not so far away, was a place where trees grew in abundance. She’d started her map by going around the perimeter of the forest until she found the river on the other side. Now, after a few days of walking, she intended to head back along the river until she came out on the other side, closer to her camp.

    Everyone had been so worried about the storms and her being trapped in them alone. But she had been out in storms a dozen times in her life, and she had survived just fine. That had been without the forest here. These trees made a wall before the storm, like the ones that encircled the ten camps.

    Those camp walls had fallen long ago, like most of the ancient listener creations. That was proof: you couldn’t steal the secrets from nature simply by exploring them. The mere thought was laughable. Yes, listeners could create mighty walls, but they were a poor imitation for what nature presented. This forest had likely stood when the ancient city at the center of the Plains had been new; and it stood, still, now that the city was little more than a scattering of lumps in the crem.

    She settled down near a rock and unrolled her map, made from precious paper. Her mother was one of the few among all the camps who knew the song that outlined the steps in creating it. With her help, Eshonai had perfected the process, and made certain her cases were sealed against the rain. She used a pen and ink to sketch the path of the river as it entered the forest, then dabbed the ink until it was dry before rerolling the map.

    Though she was confident, Resolve attuned, she did admit that the complaints of the others had seemed particularly bothersome to her lately.

    “We know where the forest is! Why draw it out?”

    “The river flows this direction. Everyone knows where to find it. Why bother putting it to paper?”

    “You try to capture the songs, but the songs aren’t meant to be trapped. Save writing for marking debts. Don’t force something as alive as spren to become as dead as a sheet of paper.”

    Too many of her camp wanted to pretend the world was smaller than it was. She was convinced that was why they continued to squabble and fight with the other camps. If the world consisted only of the ten camps and the ground around them, then fighting over that land made sense.

    But their ancestors hadn’t fought one another. Their ancestors had united. Their ancestors had turned their faces to the storm and marched away, abandoning their very gods in the name of freedom.

    Well, Eshonai would use that freedom. And with her maps, she would show the others, expand their minds, bring them with her next time she visited the forest, and would show them the wonders out here.

    They would sit by the fire and complain that she was stealing Cultivation’s secrets away, never experiencing the beauty she offered, never knowing the best wonder of them all, the ultimate question: What will I discover next?

    The river wound through the heart of the forest, and Eshonai mapped its course using her own methods of counting the distance and rechecking her work by surveying sites from multiple sides. It flowed after highstorms, but often continued for days once one had passed. Why? When all the water had drained away or been lapped up, why did this river keep going? Where did it start? Once she had this map done, she intended to head all the way up the river, further than she’d ever gone before, and try to figure out its origin. Rivers excited her. They were markers, guideposts, roadways. You could never get lost if you knew where the river was.

    She stopped for lunch near one of the bends, and there discovered a type of cremling that was green, like the trees. She’d never seen one that shade before. She’d have to tell Venli.

    “Stealing nature’s secrets?” she said to Annoyance. “What is a secret but a surprise to be discovered?” Making a map didn’t lock down or constrict the wonders of nature. Nature would keep on changing, growing and providing new wonders! All a map did was provide a path to experience them.

    Finishing her steamed hasper, she put out her fire and continued on the way. By her guess, she could travel through here only a day and a half before reaching the other side. Then, if she rounded the other side of the forest, she’d have a finished picture of how this land looked. It might take months of work after that to map the interior of the forest; if it could be mapped. How would she keep from getting lost without the river to guide her or the edge of the forest to mark a barrier? Such an intriguing problem. Such a wonderful problem! There was so much to see, so much to know, and so much to do; and she was going to discover it all. She was going to…

    What was that? She frowned, stopping in her tracks. The river wasn’t particularly strong right now; it would likely slow to a trickle by tomorrow. The trees grew far back from its banks, evidence that the flood during a highstorm was dangerous. That could be so loud, she could follow it from a distance, just by listening. Now, though, the water made barely a gurgle. And over it, she easily heard the shouts in the distance.

    Had others come to find her? She’d told them not to expect her back soon. She hurried forward, in part overjoyed. If someone had come after her, perhaps they were growing more willing to explore.

    It wasn’t until after she was almost to the sounds that she realized something was very wrong with them. They were flat, no hint of a Rhythm, as if they were not made by listeners, but by the dead.

    A moment later, she rounded a bend and found herself confronted by something more wondrous and more terrible than she’d ever dared imagine.

    Humans.

    Starsight Release Party ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    I’m going to read to you from the flashback sequence from [Stormlight Four], and the flashbacks are being split between Eshonai and Venli.

    Now, there’s some things to be aware of in this flashback. The first is that, when I wrote this, I was specifically trying to get the tone and character right, ‘cause I wasn’t sure if I was gonna do Eshonai or if I was gonna do Venli. Turned out that I decided to do a hybrid between them. But what that means is, when I wrote this scene in particular, I wasn’t really even planning for it to go in the book. What I was doing is searching for the tone.

    Which means it has some continuity problems that I knew about, even when I started it. For instance, I think there might have been more people with Eshonai when this event happened, mentioned earlier. It may not happen at the time or place that it says in here. Basically, a version of this chapter will end up in the final book. But the actual exact details around it might change a lot.

    The flashbacks tend to go through some of the most rigorous changes because of continuity. Because we have a whole timeline that Karen is very good at keeping track of. And when I write a chapter like this, I’m just not paying attention to it at all. I’m just ignoring it, ‘cause I want to see if the character works. But we’re gonna just see briefly from Eshonai here.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Paleo

    How did lerasium get its symbol when it was already in use as "A" during the Final Empire? Similarly, who decided in-world what symbol harmonium gets?

    Isaac Stewart

    I imagine, like with a lot of symbols, these things grow organically in the world. With the alphabet... at some point, probably, what happened is: they had all of these symbols for the metals. And they started using them as an alphabet. And somebody along the line, probably under the Lord Ruler's watchful eye, assigned symbols for the different letters. And then as new metals are discovered, they just assigned symbols that hadn't been used for a metal.

    So, probably what they did is, they said, "Okay, we know there are this many metals. We'll assign these symbols to letters. But hey, we have a lot more letters than we know of Allomantic metals, so we'll make more symbols." So they did. And then, as they found more Allomantically charged metals, then they would assign them the next one in line.

    So, I imagine if we see more metals in the future in the books, that the letters that don't have metals associated with them will get assigned to metals. But that's what happened with lerasium.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Gamerati

    What's going on with the "diya, tiya, niya, siya" at the bottom [of a prototype Steel Alphabet chart] there?

    Isaac Stewart

    This was based originally, the sounds, and we kind of diverted from this direction... So, I was a missionary in the Philippines, and I speak Tagalog, and I was really interested in the way that old Tagalog has this symbol system, where they would put marks in different places, depending on which vowels and things. So those are Tagalog sounds right there, that they use in their language, and I just threw those in there as extra letters. I didn't know what we were gonna do yet.

    The "diya" actually is a "J" sound. Tiya is a "CH" sound. "Ñ," we find that in Spanish, we find that in Tagalog. And then "Sh." But we didn't really go down that path completely. That was more experimentation. You can see here there's a letter "NG," which is another very common letter in Tagalog.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Gamerati

    Have you ever considered making [the Steel Alphabet] into a TrueType font so people could just type in symbology?

    Isaac Stewart

    So... we have one. We just haven't released it yet. And it's actually the Alloy era that we have in the font, because we needed it for the broadsheets that we do in those books. So we actually have that as a TrueType font that we use internally, but we haven't gone through all the things that we need to do to make it work nicely.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Gamerati

    Do you have a "look bible" [for collaborating artists]? Or do you literally give them the stuff that you've already produced? Do you say, "This is my map of X," or "This is the way the Lord Ruler works," or do you kind of go, "Hey, here's what Vin has been for the last ten years, but these are the things you can't change"? Do you have guidance like that that you give people?

    Isaac Stewart

    Usually the guidance we give them is the words in the book. We sometimes give pictures and things, reference. We did that for the cover for Oathbringer, where we provided reference of, "Here are some pictures of people who look kind of like Jasnah that might work."  We're doing that more and more, but at this point...

    I know that Magic: The Gathering has these big look bibles that they share with their artists, and those are really cool. And then they wind up turning them into these gorgeous art books that they've been putting out, using a lot of the same stuff from there. And we haven't gotten quite to that point where it's like, "You know what? This person has to look this particular way." We're moving that direction, slowly, but that's because we're based on books. We want people to be able to imagine the characters as they would.

    We hesitate sometimes, when it's like, "Okay, here's the look of what this person is." Even with the Heralds, that we were putting at the endpapers of the Stormlight books, we are careful to say that those paintings are somebody's interpretation. We like ot think of these as in-world interpretations, and each of the artists who are painting them for us are maybe artists actually on Roshar, and they've painted these paintings that are hanging somewhere in some prince's palace or queen's palace, and they've got all of these pictures of the Heralds. So we treat these as in-world artifacts. However, they were not painted from the real people that the Heralds are, so it's more of the tradition of what this Herald looks like.

    Gamerati

    It's very interesting you say that, because you even said that, when you showed us your early sketches of Vin, looked very much like what [fan artists] made. So, the words are descriptive enough that they're fairly clear.

    Isaac Stewart

    I mean, there are some thing that we have to canonize later, like, "Which ear is Vin's earring in?" Well, it's not mentioned. It's not mentioned until we got to the leatherbound books, and we said, "We have to figure this out!" And then we made a few notes in the leatherbound books, "This is her left ear." But there are things we run into like that. And the more secondary the character is, usually the less words that are written about them, so there's more wiggle room on how to define them.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Paleo

    Was Nazh married? Do you know how to pronounce the full name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We call him Nazh (næz), and his name is Nazrilof (ˈnæzɹɪlɔf).

    We're not ready to reveal whether he was married yet, or not. Or if he still is married. A lot of questions there. However, this is something that we are actively working on, is Nazh's backstory and Khriss's backstory right now. Actively working on them.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Gamerati

    What's interesting about the difference between the classic era Allomancy symbols and the Alloy of Law era ones is, when you get to Alloy of Law, the rusty nails become railroad spikes almost, right?

    Isaac Stewart

    Yep, they do. We codified that, we decided, "Okay, now they're turning these things into typefaces, they're turning them into fonts." We even have some that hopefully we'll use later in the 1980s era trilogy, Era 3, where we've made them really thick. They're just different font, too, we've been playing with different ideas of, "How would they use the Allomantic symbols as typefaces?"

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Isaac Stewart

    Those dots [in Allomancy symbols] can move around. They are an alphabet, so you can use these as an alphabet to write things. And the placement of the dot will tell you where the vowel is that comes after it.

    So, if you do tin and duralumin... tin is the "I." (It looked like an "I," so I assigned "I" to it. Plus, I thought it was cool. My name starts with an "I," and I wanted it). Duralumin is the letter for "S." And the ones that are not vowels, you can move the dot around for different things.

    I think you can throw the dot outside of it, and it will make a different sound, and I can't remember. Like, it might go from "Sah" to "Say." And if you don't change it, then it just acts...

    I think, on the Badali [rings], they're just transliterating it one-to-one.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Herowannabe

    I've always wondered if there was any rhyme or reason to the designs of the original Allomancy symbols. Do the number of spikes signify anything? The direction they're point? In, out, the number of dots, etc.

    Isaac Stewart

    No. For the most part. If I remember right, some of them have the dot inside the circle, some of them have the dot outside of the circle. And that signifies whether they're a Pushing metal or a Pulling metal.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Isaac Stewart

    At one point, we were going to do little sketches in Mistborn, and then we decided on just symbols. But there were going to be little sketches in front of the parts.

    Gamerati

    So how did you move away from sketches into the current symbology that we have?

    Isaac Stewart

    I honestly think that I just wasn't good enough an artist at the time (maybe not even now) to pull off this sort of illustrative thing that we wanted to do, so it kind of morphed into symbols instead.

    Crafty Games Mistborn Dice Livestream with Isaac Stewart ()
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    Gamerati

    How did you meet Brandon?

    Isaac Stewart

    Kind of in a roundabout way. We were both at a magazine at BYU called The Leading Edge. I didn't go as often. He was the editor; I met him once or twice. He didn't remember me, but I met a lot of other people that worked at the magazine who, now, some of them are my coworkers here at Dragonsteel. But I stopped going to the magazine at some point, finished my schooling, went on to start working, and decided that I needed to go back to school for optometry. I just didn't know if there was going to be a future in art for me, so I went back to school for optometry. I already had a lot of the prerequisites because I had tried a stint at dentistry for a few years before going into animation.

    So I went back to school, decided to take the science fiction writing class again at BYU. By this time, Brandon was teaching it. He and I were closer in age than the other students there. This was, like, his second year teaching it. And we just clicked. We became friends. One night at dinner (because we would go out after the class and eat on those nights), I was drawing on the tablecloth at a Macaroni Grill (where they give you the crayons and things), and he said, "Oh, I didn't know you were an artist." 'Cause I was going to school for optometry at the time, I wasn't really advertising that I was an artist. So, doodling on the tablecloth, he said, "Hey, wanna do maps for my next book?" By this time, Elantris wasn't out yet, but it was about to come out. So I said, "Sure, I'll do your maps." He didn't know that I'd been doing fantasy maps on the side just for fun for quite a while, so it was kind of serendipitous.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
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    Ben McSweeney

    i do have a rough design for this, because we had Dalinar's bridges appearing on the endpaper illustration that I helped Michael with. We ended up making them veeeeerrry small in the final, but a design was roughed out for 'em nevertheless.

    I should warn it's even less canon than my sketches for Sadeas bridges. But I'll see what I can dig up.

    -EDIT-

    Threw this together out of some loose stuff I had laying around. In the corner is part of the original sketch I had sent to Michael. Then I added some step-by-step sketches and filled out the remaining space with miscellaneous unseen stuff.

    I must emphasize once again, these are not Brandon-approved concepts. Half of it isn't even that well thought-out, it's just a draft so I could wrap my head around the idea for the purposes of background details. I am also not an engineer.

    http://i.imgur.com/WNRJsS8.jpg

    Anyhow, I had the idea that the hinge is the weak point, but it also doubles the length you can extend, so I added two large posts that would extend to counterweight the bridge during operation and then push the other way to support the surface of the bridge during the crossover of the tower. Not only does the raised bridge shield your troops from fire up to the drop point, you can station archers in the upper portions to rain fire down upon the enemy that defends your landing position.

    The downside to all of this, of course, is that it's sllloooowwww... and of course, these big towers with their support crews and complex engineering are a lot more costly than throwing thirty or forty slaves under a wedge of timber and forcing them to run, drop, lift, run, drop, lift, run, drop, die. Dalinar's crews have a decent chance of actually surviving their runs. Dalinar's bridges can also cross slightly wider chasms than Sadeas's (I don't recall if that's from the books or just me trying to give this design a bit of an advantage).

    There's probably a smarter way to handle the hinge and counterweight issue than those long posts, but I haven't given it much thought.