Recent entries

    YouTube Weekly Updates 2021 ()
    #151 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I also wanted to get back to you on the results of the poll from last week [about the complexity level of a potential Stormlight board game], which I really appreciate you guys, again, responding. This is something we had that was kind of a conundrum for us. I don’t have another poll or anything for you today. I just want to talk about this one.

    This one was tighter of a poll than the previous one we’d done. This one, our results were mid-30% being the winner for a medium-sized game. And if you want to go look at the previous post, we kind of defined what that means. So that’s what we’re going to move forward with. We’re going to be looking at companies and ideas. Again, this is a long, multi-year process, and we’re only probably going to work on one of these at a time. I don’t think that any of you want us to release five Stormlight board games in the period of a year or two and be like, “All right, now buy them all.” We’re going to start with this kind of medium-scale one.

    The other thing that we will investigate, so lowest on the list was really hardcore game, and very light game, the faster game. Most everyone wanted something kind of more in the middle. And so–. Not everybody. There definitely were people who wanted the very complicated game. And that’s not off the table some time in the future, but we aren’t going to pursue that quite yet. We want to do things right and do things well, and we want to just take these one at a time. And so legacy game and pen and paper RPG both were in the low 20s, kind of neck and neck. I think maybe legacy game won by a percentage point. However, we don’t want to have two board games in the mix at the same time. So I will probably investigate doing a pen and paper RPG also, because I think that’s distinctive enough. And so those are the two things that we’re going to start working on.

    YouTube Weekly Updates 2021 ()
    #152 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Last time I asked you what you guys were most interested in regarding art books for the Stormlight Archive. And 66% of you prefer the guidebook style. You can look last week if you want to know. This is what I thought you would say. It’s the one that I thought would be most interesting, an in-world guidebook that features a lot of art but also is kind of like a coffee table book you can put out that you can give to a friend who hasn’t read the Stormlight Archive and they’re like, “What’s it about?” Well, here is some cool artwork with some in-world descriptions.

    I kicked around some ideas with Isaac on this. We’ll probably start working on this. Again, this is probably not for four years or so. But we will start working on this. It looks like you guys are excited. We did get 20,000 responses from you, so that’s really good. And the overwhelming majority of you, 76% of you, said that we would buy all three if we put them together. And I chatted with Isaac, and right now we’re going to take the first two on this list, because we think that we can make the coffee table art book and the guidebook kind of combined into one. But what we can’t really combine in that is the encyclopedia-style book, which we’d actually want to be alphabetized, and things like that.

    And so what we’re going to do is we are going to start kind of working on these two things together but as separate books that we would sell together and sell separately. But probably do a Kickstarter for the two of them together, and then later on you can just buy them individually. So like, a larger art book/guidebook as one, and then an encyclopedia-style sort of companion book, and things like that. I really think these will work well matching the first five books, because we will probably have to do separate ones after book 10 that would cover that era of Stormlight, the 6 through 10.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #153 Copy

    Turtlebots

    When I first read through the books I thought of mistcloaks like normal cloaks with strips of fabric sown into like how a normal ghillie suit is not the shredded cloak style it actually is. Did anybody else think this?

    Ben McSweeney

    There’s some variety in mistcloaks, depending on Noble House and the Era involved. They all have tassels or strips, but some are interwoven and some are layered, some start above the shoulders while others split below, sometimes they have hoods and sometimes they don’t.

    There’s room for other types.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #154 Copy

    somewheretomorrow

    I was wondering why the male peak spren is built with a lot of muscles but the female isn't? Is there a specific reason for it?

    Ben McSweeney

    The appearnce of Highspren is as varied as the humans that imagine them. There can be skinny peakspren and fat peakspren as well, I think... these two are just some examples that Shallan has seen in her travels. 

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #155 Copy

    lepthic

    The dog and the dragon release date? I think Brandon mentioned something about turning this into it's own children book at some point. Has he mentioned when he would release it?

    astrobuckeye

    Yeah the first publisher he reached out to wanted too much creative control I think.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    This, they wanted to turn it into something Brandon wasn't comfortable with.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #156 Copy

    rederel

    Now i'm morbidly curious whether u/mistborn has considered it [cadmium poisoning] while writing his books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have, actually. Though I had to consider it for other metals first. I decided that allomancers are immune to these kinds of effects--they're just physiologically different in that regard.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #157 Copy

    nreese2

    I remember a while back you mentioned providing lore and learning about writing for a game, is this [Kelsier in Fortnite] what you were referencing? If not, are we gonna hear about that within the year?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is not actually that.

    I don't get to choose when the game I'm working on gets announced officially, I'm afraid. I don't think they even know when it will be announced, as it's not close to alpha yet. So...I can't really say.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #159 Copy

    Johansj

    Do you know which book is gonna be the Final book released in the Cosmere? Chronological/Release Date

    Brandon Sanderson

    Almost 100% certain it will be the final book of the space-age Mistborn trilogy. (Right now, that is Era Four--but it's not impossible that I'll slip another smaller era, like the W&W era books, in as a Mistborn cyberpunk story while working on the back five Stormlight books.)

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #160 Copy

    jmcgit

    He wrote two books based on Infinity Blade (though they're currently out of print)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Working on getting those back in print somehow, but there is red tape that so far I haven't had the brainspace to get cut.

    The problem here is that they discontinued the games--and so they, by nature, took down all related materials. They said that the novellas could go back up, but this was happening when it was "all hands on deck" to support Fortnite as a huge surprise hit--and there was a lot of trouble getting them to pay attention to anything else. (They needed to sign a document letting me put the novellas back up.)

    I could probably push that through now, but it's tough, because you really need to have played the games to get the stories. I kind of want some kind of "Summary of the game stories" put into it, and to release them both as a single ebook, but we'll see if if it can happen.

    General Reddit 2021 ()
    #161 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some are talking about the title [of Cytonic]. Why would I not overrule my publisher, and insist on the title Nowhere? Well, if I ignore their expertise, then why am I using a publisher?

    In this case, I expect that my core audience (those who are already invested in the series) will buy the book regardless of title. So if I have a publisher with a lot of experience in what titles work for their core demographic, then it makes sense for me to listen to them. If I really wanted to overrule them, I could. I have that status as a writer. But Beverly and Krista--who head my team over at RH--know their stuff. I won't trust them on every decision, but this felt like a good place to do so.

    The Lost Metal Updates ()
    #162 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hello, all! After far too long, and with many apologies, I'm finally at work on your book. The Lost Metal (this will be the final title; I have more say over my titles with Tor than I do with Random House) is in progress. So far, I have around 10k words, and I'm anticipating a book somewhere in the 120k-150k range. (The progress bar on my website is set for 150k, where it was set at 100k for previous W&W books.)

    A mini reminder for those who are wondering, "Why four books?" I wrote the first book as an experiment during the Wheel of Time days, when I worried about the cosmere (and Mistborn in particular) languishing while I saw to the needs of Randland.

    The book turned out well--and I liked the characters so much that I outlined a trilogy to follow up Alloy of Law. Hence the four books--and this WILL be the final one.

    My current plan is to try to finish this one by August 1st, with a Christmas 2022 publication date. (Skyward 3 being this year, and Skyward 4 being somewhere early 2023.) It will be followed by the fifth Stormlight book in Christmas 2023. After that, the good news is that I plan to write Era Three (three books long, 200-250k each like the original trilogy) all in a row. I'll need a few years on that project, so goal is tentatively to see those start being published in 2025 or so--with one a year for three years after that, followed by Stormlight 6 in 2028.

    That's an ambitious schedule, so we'll see. Fortunately, the schedule for W&W four is not ambitious. If I finish by August, we'll be ahead for like the first time in ten years, giving my team a solid 14 months for editing and the like. (Which will make everyone very happy.)

    Right now, everything is looking great for the book. Writing Group started on the prologue last week, and will be reading the first few chapters this week. Outline was well received by my team, and it feels really great to be writing Wax, Steris, Marasi, and Wayne again.

    I will try to remember to give you an update here in a couple of months somewhere around the 50% mark to let you know how it's developing. (Though note, I've started doing short, weekly updates on YouTube so you can follow along there if the progress bar isn't enough.) Book will have a slightly more complex narrative than previous W&W books, but my goal is still for it to be fast paced and snappy.

    As always, I'll be turning OFF replies to inbox for this thread--so my apologies if your reply or question doesn't get seen. And, as always, thank you for humoring my style of jumping between books and series. 

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #164 Copy

    Alex Herrera

    Have any decisions you've made been controversial within your team?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...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?

    Adam Horne

    I have one, but I think it's hard to say without spoiling a future property.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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…

    Adam Horne

    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.

    Background

    We get controversial feedback among the beta readers.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, beta readers all the time.

    Adam Horne

    *Jokingly*  Yeah, but we don't care about them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    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 of 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.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #165 Copy

    Doomslug

    If Roshar progressed and industrialized, would caffeinespren come to existence with the advent of soda?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I bet they would, absolutely. I mean if you're getting alcoholspren, you're gonna get caffeinespren. They probably wouldn't be called that, you would probably call them like alertnessspren or something like that when you are alert beyond, you know… maybe not even alert. It'd be like a term for when you should be sleeping, but you can't because of stimulants. Stimulantspren? Wiredspren? Hyperspren?

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #166 Copy

    Doomstick

    What is brollin? Slowswift mentioned them in the same breath as spren and shades.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, RAFO!

    Footnote: In the original release, Slowswift mentioned “mistwraiths, sprites, and brollins”, in the 10th anniversary edition, he said "mistwraiths, shades, spren, and brollins."
    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #167 Copy

    Timothy Ketting

    If Adolin originally didn't have a significant role, was there another character that you planned to have a larger role, but changed your mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. There's nobody whose role has been diminished. I mean, part of the reason the books are longer than I thought they would be is… Everyone likes to throw ( justifiably so) the quote of me where I'm l like “I think book one is going to be the longest,” right? I'm like “I don't think the others are going to be this long.” Well, turns out that adding another main character is one of the things that makes books go longer. When I'm like, “well I need to give a nice arc to Adolin in every book now,” and suddenly giving a nice arc to Adolin in every book means that we got tens of thousands of more words that we gotta write in every book. That's not the only reason, but that is one of the reasons why the entire series is longer, is because I did that.

    Nobody's been diminished. I've only found room to expand, which I knew would happen. That's why I built the interludes the way I did, and why I moved things like Horneater to novellas—I do not want the side stories to overcome the main story. It's part of the reason we've got two bricks of five books, rather than one ten book arc—I worried that at that length, it would involve spinning of heels, rather than coming to actual conclusions and climaxes.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #168 Copy

    Alexa Smith

    Has a Shard's Vessel had a child after Ascension? If so, have we seen them? Will one become important to the Stormlight Archive plot?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do you consider all of the people on Scadrial to be children of Preservation? I would count them all as children of Preservation and Ruin, I mean they created them together. I don't know what other way you can interpret that, because the first ones of them would've had no other parents. 

    So, yes to that, but it's not what you're asking. Otherwise, RAFO.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #170 Copy

    Kaladin Stormblessed

    Did Ironsides mean to refer Spensa's pin as the pin of a traitor so early in the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes? I feel like she did. I'm not sure why she wouldn't have, because by that point everyone knows that Spensa's… Unless they're asking maybe if Ironsides didn't... shouldn't have known that that pin was Spensa's father's pin, she could've thought it was given to her by somebody else, but yeah.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #172 Copy

    Questioner

    Who's cleverer, Kelsier or Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the situation and what you even mean by clever. Hoid thinks he's cleverer, so…

    Adam Horne

    He has a lot of practice, too.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has a lot of practice, yeah. Kelsier would lose patience with Hoid before Hoid loses patience with Kelsier.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #173 Copy

    Michael Kernan

    How would a dinner party between Kelsier, Hoid, and Harmony go down, and who else would be invited?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright, Kelsier, Hoid, and Harmony? Hoid and Kelsier squabble the entire time, and Harmony tries to get them to stop.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #176 Copy

    Team Teama

    Vin “sucked in the mists” with a deep breath, also the mist was “leaking” from her arms. Is that similar to Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes it is. One hundred percent. In fact, you should notice that when Shardblades form they take a certain shape... substance.

    Adam Horne

    Oh jeez, yeah...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Did you never notice that?

    Adam Horne

    No, I did, but you know… you don't think about it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Before they solidify, yeah.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #177 Copy

    Questioner

    Do the Terris prophecies only refer to the Hero of Ages on Scadrial, or could they also apply to a person or people in other systems? Are there “Heroes” for other systems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That theology was only talking about Scadrial. Doesn't mean that there aren't people in the Cosmere who would interpret that and take it and run with it, but they were talking about Scadrial.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #179 Copy

    Blackflame Omega

    Does “Light” in a vacuum become unkeyed until exposed to a vibration upon leaving, and what happens if that vibration isn't actually a pure tone?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It can be overridden and things like that. You can unkey that vibration and then kind of separate it. Whether it's even fully unkeyed, to be perfectly honest, I can't even say. Like, you are dampening it, and then overriding it with something else.

    This is kind of outside the world, they wouldn't be able to measure it—but I don't even think it's completely unkeyed, like Navani thinks it is, before she rekeys it. The mental component on her part is pretty important to what's happening.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #180 Copy

    Brad

    Will every death rattle have a canonized point of reference at some point in a coming novel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't intend them all to. I intend most of them to, but I don't intend them all to. Some of them happened, but were not relevant to the story on screen, is what I've decided.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #181 Copy

    CephandriusTW

    Since Teft is dead, may he rest in peace, could you tell us what his fourth Ideal would have been if he had spoken it before Vyre killed him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmmm... Fourth Ideal for Teft. I would like to give that more thought, rather than be on the spot for it here, so it's a RAFO, but not a promise that I'll answer you. There are things I would want to consider before I answer that. It's a great question. That's the one I'm saddest not to be able to answer, but I don't think I can answer that on the spot, while I'm doing other things right now. It deserves more consideration than an off the cuff answer. 

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #184 Copy

    Tony Patrick

    Where did you get the idea to have multiple moons on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no idea, it's gone back so far. I mean... Yeah, no idea. I like doing weird things with the cosmology and with planets and things like that. For the 2010 version, looking at the moons, I wanted to subtly indicate the presence of three gods and kind of subtly give some color scheme indications of them and things like that, but they aren't one to one. Just that idea, because everything was based around ten, I wanted some threes hanging around in the world building as well.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #186 Copy

    Ben Puffer

    For the Steelheart series, do you feel like the main protagonist is on the spectrum? Because when I read it I identify the most with him, and only realizing now that I am on the spectrum, I realize that he could be too.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He could be. Definitely has some aspects. I didn't intentionally write him that way, but I wrote him to a personality. He's definitely got some things going on there that there's a good argument. That's David Charleston of the Reckoners.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #188 Copy

    Amber Burningham

    Would someone with a strong moral compass such as Kaladin and Dalinar consider Wit's alignment moral?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dalinar is more likely to understand than Kaladin, because Dalinar's been in positions. Kaladin is less likely to, but it depends on what aspects of what Hoid's doing you're taking about.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #190 Copy

    Questioner

    Which Cosmere character would dominate the world fastest, and why is it Jasnah?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jasnah's a good choice. Why would it be Jasnah? If Jasnah decided it needed to be done… Jasnah is most self aware of her own moral philosophy and why she makes the choices she does, and because of that she is able to act decisively, because she has already considered the conundrum and the moral dilemma of the item ahead of time. Which gives her just ex... She doesn't need to second guess herself at the level that, for instance, Dalinar spends a lot of time second guessing himself, Jasnah does not. She does spend a lot of time upfront making her decision about what will happen in certain circumstances if she has to decide.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #191 Copy

    Sofia

    Are any of the Lord Ruler's descendants alive during Era 1?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. A lot of people have asked that. The descendants of the Lord Ruler only are things I've confirmed in Words of Brandon, they are not confirmed in book. RAFO. They did exist, he has had progeny.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #192 Copy

    m4ge

    If Kaladin wasn't in the arena in Words of Radiance, would Zahel have intervened to help Adolin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will RAFO that, but a different kind of RAFO—in that I don't think Zahel himself knows what he would do in that situation. The better part of him would want to have, but he is not living his best life right now, shall we say. He is not living up to his potential, and he knows it. And so would he have? He should have. But would be have? Good question. Even he doesn't... I don't think that he could answer.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #194 Copy

    Lass Adventurous Arith

    How did you decide to turn Taravangian into Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How did I decide to do that? There are a couple reasons I decided to do that. This was one of the things didn't have to go this way. It is actually a good one I can talk about because I had multiple options here. Even until I was turning in this outline to my team and saying "Alright, it's time to sink or swim, do we like this or not?", I was going back and forth on it. Really until I had written the scenes and given them to my alpha readers and said, "alright, are you guys ready for me to pull the trigger on this?" because there are costs. The major cost is that Odium is a better ancient unknowable evil. Odium was filling the role in the books of Sauron. Ancient thing, very dangerous, very strange, very powerful and whatnot.

    The thing is, my books aren't really about that. I will write books dealing with some of that sort of stuff, but that's not the sort of thing that is as exciting. It's not really as much a theme of my stories, the ancient unknowable evil. The whole purpose of Mistborn—one of them, it's not the purpose—is that even the Lord Ruler you've got to know. Even Ruin became a character that you understood. It is a cost, I will admit. It wasn't as strong for me as it might have been somewhere else. I do know that some people would prefer that, and I can understand why. Sauron makes a pretty great bad guy. Ancient, powerful, unknowable, evil forces—but I feel like I get that in the shard itself. One of the things that I plan to play up more as the Cosmere goes forward is that these powers have some sort of primal sense to them. That's always in my mind been the bigger danger than than Rayse is that.

    That is, the negatives were not that big of negatives. And what are the positives? In Oathbringer, Dalinar did not fall to Odium. That is a huge blow to Odium, Rayse-Odium. The fact that at the end of book three he was defeated in a major way, and in book 4 he gets defeated again, this time by Kaladin. We have proven that two of our primary viewpoint protagonists of the Stormlight Archive are able to resist and defeat him. My opinion was that by that point in the Stormlight Archive, Odium would no longer, Odium-Rayse would no longer be a threat. You run into this in lots of long running epic fantasy series. I've talked a lot about how when I was designing Stormlight Archive, the things I had read in other long running fantasy series were a big part of why I designed it the way I did. For instance, in the Wheel of Time it was very difficult—even in the ones I was writing—to maintain a sense of threat for the Forsaken when they had just been defeated right and left every book. They do get their licks in now and then, but it's real hard to keep considering Ba'alzamon from the first one to be a threat when boy, Rand just defeats him and defeats him again and defeats him again and then defeats him again. This is a problem for a lot of media. How threatening is Magneto really when he never wins?

    At this point in the series, what I wanted to do was hit you with a left hook from somebody that I considered more frightening, more dangerous, more capable, and who had been growing as an antagonist for a while. And while some of his ploys had not turned out, he is still very threatening. My hope was that this reveal to a portion of the audience—I knew that some would prefer Odium, but to I hoped a larger portion—would be like, "Oh, this just got real."

    I've mentioned before that my favorite antagonist is Magneto, I've brought him up before. I like characters who have clashes, antagonists who have clashes of ideology, not just clashes of forces. A reason I'm not excited to write about somebody like Sauron is that, while there are clashes of ideology behind the scenes, on screen for the movies and books it's basically: Sauron wants to rule the world and we don't want him to. That works really well in Lord of the Rings because you have, as I've talked about, part of the brilliance of the Lord of the Rings is both having Sauron, Saruman, and Gollum to represent three different kinds of evil and three different antagonists that work in tandem really well together. It's part of the brilliance of the Lord of the Rings. But I like having a villain like Taravangian. Taravangian, who has a world view that is a certain world view and that is terrifying because of how that world view is. Elevating him to Odium so that you mixed that with the kind of ancient spren of hatred that is still a very big, dominant part of what he's now become—I just thought made for a more compelling and interesting villain for the fact that we have many more books left in the Stormlight Archive and in the Cosmere, and I had done what I wanted to with Rayse-Odium.

    There's my answer. It is totally viable to have, viable is the wrong term, totally understandable that some would have preferred me to go a different direction, but my instinct says—and I haven't done any polls or things on this—that the majority of fans are going to like this direction better, and I certainly think the story will turn out better. That's what led me to make that decision, but these were all things I was heavily considering. Adam was there watching those emails go around with me and the team when I was asking if I should pull the trigger on this or not. There are a couple of things that I've made decisions on that have been some of the most difficult or most far-reaching in that regard, but that I think I made the right decision on.

    The other one was bringing Kelsier back. Kelsier, so I seeded all the stuff in the original books to bring Kelsier back, but then I backed off on it, and for a while I'm like eh, I don't think I'm going to bring Kelsier back. During that whole thing, oh this is a fun spoiler thing that I don't think I've talked about before: during that time in the outlining—some of you may again have much preferred this—TenSoon was actually going to be Thaidakar, wearing Kelsier's bones. There was a time where I was going to play with a kandra believing they were Kelsier, in this case TenSoon. I was going to go this direction where it's like, I'm the survivor, I'm picking up the survivor's heritage and I'm doing all of this sort of stuff—I did warn you all about spoilers—and there was a time in there where I decided no, I'm going to leave Kelsier dead—that I'm going to go this direction. Why did I back off on that one? A couple reasons, number one I feel like I really did a solid job with Lessie in the second of the Wax and Wayne books, which was a similar conflict. I felt like I got that out of my system. I did it well, I think that story has some really heart-wrenching things, but as I wrote that story I felt that it was a one-book story.

    One of the things I've come to be aware of as I've written, this stretches back to the days of Elantris where my original ending had too many twists. It's been changed, like I had some weird twist where Hrathen had secretly come to Elantris at some point and had a heritage that made him Aleth—not Alethi—made him Aonic and things like that and it was dumb and it didn't work. It was twisting for twists sake. And part of me worries, and part of me actually doesn't just worry, I think that if I had done that whole thing with TenSoon it would have been less cool than what I just actually wanted to have happen, which was to give a full finished character arc to Kelsier. At that point I went back to what my original plan had been and I picked up those threads, and that's when I wrote Secret History, after I had finally made that decision. And it comes with costs too. Everything comes with costs. Having main character die in such a spectacular way and then not being quite dead yet has certain costs in your narrative. The more you do that less that death is meaningful in the stories, the more it feels like a gotcha and things like that. Yet at the same time on the other side, I don't think the Lord of the Rings is weaker for having brought back Gandalf. I think the Lord of the Rings is stronger, and why is that? Gandalf comes back changed as a different person and makes the story more interesting for having returned. My original plan with Kelsier was just more interesting in the long run. Forcing Kelsier to do these things and fi—he did not complete his character arc, and that's part of why it was so heart-wrenching to lose him, which I understand. Bringing him back in that regard lets me finish his story, and I just think that's going to be more satisfying. I gain more than I lose.

    Plus there's the fact that someone comes back from the dead in the first chapter of the very first Cosmere book. Second chances at life is a major theme of the Cosmere. Both Warbreaker and Elantris that's kind of—Warbreaker it's the primary theme: second chance at life. You're doing a different thing with your life than you thought you would do, and let's take a second stab at it. I think that being able to play with that with Kelsier is a stronger narrative thing to do. This was also influenced by my, as I've talked about before, sort of shrinking the timescale a little bit of the Cosmere so that more of the characters from the different books can interact. It just makes better storytelling. I would say that those are the two things that in outline I could have gone different directions when I actually got to the story. When it was time to write Secret History I had to make the call. He had been dead, he had been alive, he had been dead, he had been alive, at least in my head, and I made that call. The same thing actually happened with Taravangian. It had been am I going to pull the trigger, was he going to become Odium or not? I actually vacillated on that and eventually have made the decision I made. 

    Adam

    Are you ever going to reveal what the alternate was going to be, kind of like what you just did?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe eventually I will, but for now I will not. It's easier to reveal in Mistborn because it's basically all in the past. It isn't to say that I won't do something else like that, with a kandra. I might, but Lessie's story covered that real well. Who knows what I'll do, but I've backed off on, for those who have read Way of Kings Prime, Taln's original story was the story of am I an angel or am I not? Am I a herald or am I not? Am I this divine being or am I a normal person? And that actually plays real well in Way of Kings Prime. It is just not a thing I could make work in the actual published version of Way of Kings. It's one of the things that's cool about Way of Kings Prime, is being able to see some of these ideas that I can't express in the actual series. Part of the reason I can't is also, number one I wanted to bring the voidbringers in and all of these things, and you just can't... The more fantastical your book is, the less the reader will be able to suspend disbelief about your character who claims that they're not some mythological legend from lore actually not being that mythological—they walk onstage and are like, "I think that I'm this mythological legend from lore but my powers are gone." Ninety-nine readers out of a hundred are going to be like, "yep, I believe you", even though all the rest of the people in the books are going to be like, "No of course you're not." The reader—because it's just cooler that way. It's very hard to fulfill on good promises by not having that turn out that way. Beyond that, the story I wanted to tell involved Taln and so big surprise, Taln is a herald!

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #198 Copy

    Lotus

    If one was worldhopping to Nalthis, what type of customs would they have to go through?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Laughs* Nalthis customs? There'll be some tariffs to pay depending on what's going on. It is kind of not that different from what you would imagine. What I have read about in sort of Renaissance times, like pay your fees and things like that. But there's not really something you have to worry about... quarantines because of the disease factor, it's just not on their radar for the reasons I've explained. They don't have to worry about that. Like, dangerous items, what sort of dangerous items are you talking about, right? I do think they try to prevent people with Breaths from leaving the planet, particularly lots of them. Getting off I would say is a little more tricky because they do not want the Breath bleed of Investiture leaving their planet, but I think you will find some notable examples of it happening, so. They are not impossible to dodge, those customs.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #199 Copy

    m4ge

    If a Splintered Shard is somehow reformed, is it possible to change the word that expresses its Intent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but that's a very implausible thing depending on how... so, you're getting into some weird Cosmere stuff here. Most of the ways that these different Shards could manifest could be described differently. Odium is trying very hard to describe his Shard as something different, and there's an argument there. But it depends on if you're like actually changing it or if you just want to call it something different. You could just call Odium hatred and it's not going to change anything, but if you wanted to change Odium to mean Passion like Odium thinks that it means, then that's more difficult.

    YouTube Livestream 32 ()
    #200 Copy

    snowdayplease

    Does the fact that singers have red bones mean that they have red teeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not indicated that to the artists, so I'm going to say no. It would cause a revolution in fanart. Though Isaac can overrule me on that as he's art directing and things. It probably would make sense for them to have red teeth, but we haven't done much color art and I don't know if they've ever been smiling. They probably would but I have not described them that way. I don't think I've described it the other way either, so we could move forward that direction. They probably should have red teeth. It looks pretty cool, red teeth looks kinda nifty, I do like that. Sinister to our preconceived notion of what is sinister is how I'm kind of designing the singers.