Recent entries

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1851 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had to make any of your books into a musical?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh. Well, since we already have a canonical version of The Hero of Ages as a musical in the Mistborn world, in one of the broadsheets, we would have to go with that, we would have to do the version in-world.

    Questioner

    I think Warbreaker would translate the best.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's probably true. If you want a real answer, that's probably true. It's probably the best.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1853 Copy

    Questioner

    With a cadmium or bendalloy savant, would they be able to impact the amount of time that they can compress or expand?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah.

    Questioner

    So they could fit-- Theoretically they could make-- fit more time into the same amount of metal.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, that's what you're asking. Yeee-- *pauses* So, yes, technically, because... Yes, but mostly what that's going to do is going to influence your strength and how much you can multiply--

    Questioner

    The size of the bubble?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The size of the bubble and the amount of time, like when you flare, you are pressing more time into it and a savant is gonna get really good at that. They're gonna get good at changing the bubble and the shape of the bubble, they're gonna get good at some of the other things involving the bubble. It does technically, as you become a savant, does mean you're able to squeeze a little bit more out of your metal, because that's just how it works, but that's not the main effect.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1855 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Yaalani a character in any other stories?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right now, no. Good question.

    Questioner

    Does not seem like a Eelakin name. And there are people in Stormlight who seem to have aviar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. People in Stormlight do have aviar. That has happened. But let's just say, during Stormlight era, getting things on or off of First of the Sun is really hard.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1856 Copy

    Questioner

    Are spren able to visit other planets than Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, spren are, because of the nature of their Investiture, connected too strongly to the planet to normally get off. That doesn't mean it couldn't happen, but I will just say, normally no.

    Questioner

    So the Cognitive Realm, or whatever that sort of like-- is that different on other planets?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It looks different on each planet, partially based on perception.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1859 Copy

    Questioner

    As I read about the Parshendi, can't help but think of indigenous peoples. How do you deal with that and respecting the whole experience of colonization?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think one of the things I have to do is embrace it. Like, if I just ignore it, it's worse, and so that's why I've tried to dig into and kind of acknowledge the issues. I mean, it is a minefield, right? I'm wandering into a minefield by writing a story that is basically based off of--

    Questioner

    American colonization?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But at the same time, ignoring it wouldn't work. And the thing about it is, most cultures in our world, this is a question they had to deal with. Whose land is it? I mean, we're still fighting this war--we, I say, we aren't--but war is still being fought in the Middle East over whose land is it, and it's both of theirs, right, depending on how far you go back. And things like that, and so I think ignoring it is the wrong thing to do. But I also think there's a danger in trying to present an answer that is too easy, and so that's the line I have to walk. Embrace it, talk about it, not present an answer that is too easy, present multiple sides on it. It's kind of like the same way like the people in Roshar are both incredibly racist and incredibly sexist, right? Writing people who are racist and sexist without the narrative itself bolstering those sorts of those things is really hard. But, you know, we sign up to do hard things, and if I fall on my face, the best thing I can do is just acknowledge that I've fallen on my face, as I have done in the past.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1863 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Nightblood going to out Vasher or Vivenna on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is Nightblood going to what-- out them?

    Questioner

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood, you can never quite tell what Nightblood is going to do. And so I would say there's a high likelyhood that if that opportunity came, that he would do so.

    Skyward release party ()
    #1869 Copy

    Questioner

    Would Hoid be able to harm a Herald or a Cognitive Shadow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, so, he is curious about this too. I don't know if I should canonize this. Let's say: odds are, no. Cosmere scholars would guess no.

    Skyward release party ()
    #1870 Copy

    Stormlightning

    So Hoid has some sort of magical compulsion that doesn't allow him to hurt people.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is correct.

    Stormlightning

    Is there any other involuntary compulsions he has that would stop him from doing things he'd like to? "Involuntary compulsions" being the kicker there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO that.

    Skyward release party ()
    #1871 Copy

    Stormlightning

    Is there a limit to hordeling size? Like what the size of one is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Stormlightning

    Should I be worried about whitespines being a hordeling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not a hordeling.

    Stormlightning

    So what's the size limit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fist-sized is about how big they get.

    Stormlightning

    And how many can you have? For one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lots. More than you have seen on screen.

    Skyward release party ()
    #1872 Copy

    Questioner

    What would happen if Hoid held Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, Hoid would not do that. Hoid would stay very far away.

    Stormlightning

    Not even hold it??

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would stay really far away. There are very few things in the Cosmere that Hoid is afraid of, and Nightblood is one of them.

    Stormlightning

    I thought he'd be afraid of the blade end.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So let's just say if very, very, very few things in the Cosmere had a chance of destroying you, you wouldn't even pick one up. You'd try to be in a different room entirely.

    R'Shara and Sunbird and JoyBlu

    *Whispering about Nightblood being able to destroy Hoid*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't say, I said theoretically. I said "had a chance of", I did not confirm. Hoid doesn't know. But there's a chance, and so he is not going to risk that.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1874 Copy

    Questioner

    The second set of Stormlight books, [six] through ten, will that-- will those be more focused on the Heralds' point of view, is that the idea?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, so Taln and Ash, who are both Heralds, are going to be main characters, and they'll each get books dedicated to them. The characters who survive the first five will still be main characters as well, but it's gonna turn more on what happened with the Heralds and things like that. The first five are turning more on what happened with the Knights Radiant and then the last five are more what happened with the Heralds... 'Cause we'll get flashbacks to the time of the Dawnsingers and things like that.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1876 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we be finding out more about the Ryshadium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it's one of those things we're gonna find out in little bits here and there. I mean, I think I've told people they are animals that have managed to form a spren bond, which has given them more-than-animal intelligence. It is the symbiosis there that is letting them. So if they did not have the spren bond, they wouldn't be--

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1877 Copy

    Questioner

    Were you intending to kill Eshonai off from the beginning of the series, or is that a decision you made later on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was a decision I made later in the outlining process. It was not begun that way, but it became obvious I needed to do it fairly early on. Why?

    Questioner

    I was just wondering, because as I was reading Way of Kings, a lot of people thought she was going to be a continuing character, maybe even be one of the good guys later on.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. The decision I came to, and it was probably-- Trying to remember exactly when it was. When I came to the decision that Venli was more interesting as a perspective, viewpoint character than her sister was, because we already had characters in the series whose attribute was paragon of their-- This kind of paragon soldier who's trying to do the right thing is well covered in The Stormlight Archive. She was intended originally, but pretty early in the revision process, I decided it needed to go the other direction, 'cause Venli just worked way better as a viewpoint character.

    Questioner

    Is Eshonai still getting a flashback book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, she's still getting a flashback book. I didn't change any of that. In fact, before I even began the series, I knew there were some characters who would not make it to their flashback book, and I wanted to make sure that I made clear that that could happen.

    Questioner

    You said that before, I was like, I want to hear it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Eshonai was intended to continue through, but I changed that pretty quickly, when I realized-- like I said.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1878 Copy

    Questioner

    I just finished rereading through Legion, and I was curious what led you to write so much about religion and that sort of thing. As a religious person, I really appreciated the fair way that you dealt with it in those books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Being religious myself, it fascinates me, and the different ways that people intersect religion. Having one person who had all of these different personas that can all have different, varying levels of interaction with religion and the divine was also really fascinating to me. It offered me an opportunity that I probably couldn't do in any other story.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1879 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspired you to write Dalinar's amnesia and all that? What was your inspiration for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That, all of that, was really just partially narrative necessity. I didn't want to dig into that until I got to the right book, and so I needed the meddling to have pulled a little bit of that back. Plus, the fact that he was an alcoholic let me get away with a little bit of what was going on there. I really liked the intriguing element of someone who had had a piece of their memories ripped away and then was being given it back at the right time, right? That deliberateness of it was really interesting to me. I thought it made for an interesting story hook, when you meet a character and then realize he's had part of his memory excised. It's a bunch of things moving together.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1880 Copy

    Questioner

    Why did you write Zane for the Mistborn series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Zane was a character that I found fascinating. When I designed him, I felt that the setting and characters needed more nuance, and he provided it. I feel that Zane could've gone either way, and he made a bad decision at the end, but could've absolutely gone the other direction and I was really interested in the idea of someone who thought they were insane but actually weren't. So a bunch of things collected, making Zane.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1881 Copy

    Questioner

    Have we seen Kelsier outside of Mistborn yet, and will we see him outside of Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No you have not. And RAFO, but realize, he is-- The way Investiture works, you would consider him similar to how you would consider a spren. It's gonna be hard for him to get off-world.

    Questioner

    It also means that he can still-- He gets kind of close, he gets really close--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I considered him still--

    Questioner

    Still on this side.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but he got close to the line. But I would say he did not get off [Scadrial].

    Questioner

    So it's gonna be hard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1887 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do you lie on the "BrandoSando" versus "Branderson"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would probably go "Branderson", but I don't mind either of them.

    Questioner

    Because I'm firmly in the BrandoSando camp.

    Brandon Sanderson

    BrandoSando? What about "BrandySandy"? I get that one too... No one goes with the cool ones. "Oh, the Sandman". I'm not cool enough.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1888 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a maximum speed a Coinshot can propel themselves or something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It will vary slightly based on the strength of the Coinshot, but there are maximum velocities, just kind of-- you would burn yourself up at certain points.

    Questioner

    So imposed by the laws of physics.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, laws of physics are going to-- Those aren't normally going to come in play in Allomancy, because Pushing that hard will be really difficult... But, as we are getting into more mechanical uses of Allomancy, those laws of physics become more and more relevant.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1892 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your favorite guild in Ravnica?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably Dimir, probably. I mean I'm Esper, but I'm more interested in Dimir than I am in Azorius.

    Questioner

    That's exactly where I am, actually. I have an Esper Commander deck, been drafting Dimir heavily. Thank you so much!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm glad Dimir's finally good, 'cause in the previous two, Dimir has not been a place you wanted to be, either in original or in returns.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1893 Copy

    Mr Fancy

    The Returned. When they come back, they appear really attractive. Is that based on their own idea of what's attractive, or society?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is going to be society. But they are definitely having an influence over it, so let me say both in that case... Yeah, there could be a short, bald one. That is totally viable, but it's maybe what the person views as a societal ideal, how about that, an easier way to explain that.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1894 Copy

    Questioner

    How has your worldbuilding changed over time to date.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, it's become a lot more deliberate. And it has become more-- One thing is I've let myself push further. I've found that worldbuilding is one of those areas in storytelling where I can let myself kind of off the chain, off the leash, and go steps further than I thought I could, and it still turns out well. A lot of times if you do that with story, for instance, if you do that with plot, the way to kind of go off the leash and do something unexpected with plot is to do something that's not foreshadowed and is not satisfying, which can make for a really interesting story. Go watch Into The Woods if you want to go see something that-- Yeah, half the audience groaned when I mentioned Into The Woods, for a good reason. That's not a reason to not tell those stories, but experimenting with plot can, in many ways, be something that fails pretty spectacularly. Good to do it, it's good to learn those things, but worldbuilding, I've found, I haven't found that I've gotten ever too far where it's failing because the worldbuilding is too different. I've failed with my worldbuilding because I haven't brought the elements together. In fact, Apocalypse Guard, one of the reasons I pulled it is the worldbuilding was not working. And I can't release a Brandon Sanderson book with bad worldbuilding, right? *crowd laughs* That's like the baseline, "No." It's not the only thing that was broken in it, but it was one of the things that was broken in it. So, more deliberate, allowed myself to stretch further, and I would say I'm always kind of looking for those conflict points, nowadays, in the worldbuilding. The points of conflict are really interesting to me.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1896 Copy

    Questioner

    For the Saint in Skyward, I just love the funny prophet character. What was your inspiration for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the Saint in Skyward. Not giving any spoilers. When I was working on this character, I was really looking for something-- I look for linguistic cues. Because if you can have linguistic cues to who's talking and what the character's like, and something that'll characterize them through their language, that makes it so much better in storytelling, because you don't have to put that in narrative, you can put it in the flow of a conversation. And you'll notice, at least I've noticed, that a lot of the great screenwriters look for these sorts of things, so they can tag who is speaking, even if it's offscreen, by the way that they are talking, and I just love to do this. And a lot of these things come out of me taking a scene and working with it and casting different people in the roles and trying their voices until I hit on one that I say, "That's interesting, let's dig into this further", and that's what happened there.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1897 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your favorite Wayne one-liner?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably "defecation of character". My favorite Wayne moments are the ones that you could conceivably miss. Like, there's one for the next book where he calls being pressed into the army, "corporal punishment," that I'm just totally over the moon over, that I think people will probably miss, and that's what makes them fun.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #1898 Copy

    Questioner

    When you do the big twist at the end of a book, do you always have that twist in your mind when you begin writing the book, or do you do the twist after?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I generally have it ahead of time. I am an outliner. I like-- Writers tend to fall into two camps with a lot of variety in between--they're not polar opposites--between what we call "gardeners" and what we call "architects." I'm more of an architect. I like to build a structure and then hang my story on it. That said, you need to be flexible and willing to take something better if it comes along. For instance, Secret Project, which I can't tell you anything about, had a different ending than the ending I just put into it, because the ending just didn't land, right? I'm like, "Alright, I need to go back to square one and I need a better twist for this story," and I dug into it and came up with one. That causes a lot more revision to have to be done, but at the end of the day, I think you need to be able to do it. Sometimes when you're writing you just come up with something better, you're like, "I need to try this instead 'cause it's stronger".

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1899 Copy

    MarShadow

    What new statement can you give us about the cosmere that would give us a bunch to speculate on?

    Brandon

    I'm not sure if there's something new I can say. Um, I think rampant speculation about the Threnody novel would be cool. So, you have seen a hint in the books about the Threnody novel that no one has asked me if this is the thing.