Recent entries

    Skyward Anchorage signing ()
    #1951 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you go about jumping from something like Stormlight into a science fiction instead, of something like Skyward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is an interesting question for me because, as a writer, I don't look at genre trappings perhaps the same way that you might. I look at story structure and genre trappings as two very different things. Two very important things, but two very different things. And story structure is different.

    For instance, the Bridge Four sequence from Way of Kings and the movie Hoosiers and the book Ender's Game are all what we call underdog sports stories. And those are three different stories in three different genre trappings. Modern-day, science fiction, and fantasy; and yet all three of them use the same plot archetype as the core of their story. And you'll find, for instance, that a buddy cop movie and a regency romance will sometimes use the exact same plot archetypes, despite being different subgenres. And so, as a writer, one of the things we do is we start to learn to divide plot archetype, character archetype, genre trappings, and all of these things to build the story that we want to with the feel we want to.

    So that's kind of like, when people ask me, "Star Wars. Science fiction, or fantasy?" Well, it's a fantasy plot archetype. (Really, it's a western plot archetype, but they both use the same idea.) The plot archetype is fantasy, it's the hero's journey epic; and the genre trappings are science fiction. So I would place it in science fiction, but with fantasy underpinnings.

    So when I'm moving from Way of Kings to Skyward, it's not so much about how the shift between fantasy versus science fiction is. Really, the things I'm looking for that are the big shift are: a narrow focus on one character, versus a wide focus on a large cast. That's the biggest difference for me. Also, the kind of setting-as-character in Stormlight Archive, where you're going to get to know this deep setting, versus setting-as-mystery, which is the setting archetype I'm using for Skyward. We don't know what the enemy is. We're trying to figure out what's going on. We don't know our past.

    So those sorts of things, I look as very differently as a writer than I think maybe a reader might look at them.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1952 Copy

    Questioner

    Does bronze detect Investiture or only Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Investiture. It can be used for other things. But like most detection methods, it doesn't look for wells of power, it looks for power that's being used, generally. You get enough power together, and bronze will be able to find it no matter what.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1954 Copy

    Questioner

    Steris and Marasi. Did you plan the love interest to be [Steris] from the very beginning beginning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did... Very beginning is a weird thing as an author to explain. Because the very beginning of that story, Wax didn't exist, it was only Wayne. Then I built Wax in, then I started building Wax's back history. Then I started building Marasi. Then I started building-- right? By the time that the outline for the four books was done, but even before that when I was just writing the first one, I knew what I was doing, there.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1955 Copy

    Questioner

    In Elantris, there's the three ways that AonDor's manifested. Through the Aons, through the Dhakor, through the ChaySan. With Emerpror's Soul, there's two major ones that we see with the Forging and Bloodsealing. And also that parallels with, there's one - kind of like, in Mistborn where there's one that's positive, one that's neutral, one that's negative. Where does the third one fit in on the Emperor's Soul side?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Emperor's Soul, there are way more. It's not a split of the three.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1957 Copy

    Questioner

    The people on Scadrial have innate Investiture from Preservation. If someone from another planet, say Roshar, were to get Allomancy, from Hemalurgy or Feruchemy, would that person have to have Stormlight as well as the metal in order to do their--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question. They would just need the metal if you were Hemalurgically getting the ability. Remember, Hemalurgy is basically ripping off a piece of someone else's soul and stapling it to yours. Short circuiting the soul, so to speak... All the pieces of the soul you would need, it is giving you. It has dangerous ramifications, but you wouldn't need Stormlight also.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1958 Copy

    Questioner

    Yesteel from Warbreaker. At the time of Oathbringer, is he still at large?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO, I'm afraid... I will let you know the fates of all Five Scholars, probably, in Nightblood, the book, when I write it. The ones you don't know already. It's a RAFO-- Well, if I write Nightblood... Of the cosmere books, it's probably the... most in jeopardy, other than maybe the Threnody novel.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1959 Copy

    Questioner

    You've made it clear that on Sel, all magic requires both location and shape to be dependent. But we also know Elantrians are consistently being renewed by [the Dor]. Is that because Elantrians' bodies have been changed a certain way or is that due to a large Aon Rao?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a little bit of-- It is more about the way they have been changed than about the Aon.

    Questioner

    Is that a spiritweb based or is that body change kinda similar to the Dhakor monks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a mix of both.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1960 Copy

    Questioner

    In the past, you've said that kandra have size limitations. They can't just lop off a chunk and make a squirrel or anything like that. If a kandra was in full human form, somehow consumed and absorbed an aviar, kept it fully attached to their shoulder, it wouldn't be able to fly off but it was still attached to them, they're one contiguous body, could they get the abilities of that aviar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, good question. They would have to-- They're just replicating the body, they're not replicating the soul.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1961 Copy

    Questioner

    Silence Divine, are you allowed to talk about when it's going to happen in the timeline?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...It is late Stormlight Archive era. I image it being around book 8 or something like that.

    Questioner

    So it was after the Dawnchant was written.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But since it hasn't been written yet, the timeline is not canon for that yet.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1963 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had a huge block of metal, a single block of metal that's big enough to build a city on, would that just show up as a single bead?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on how people think of it. The perception of the people in the Physical Realm has a big effect on how things appear. And also the effect of how people see it on that side shapes it over time as well. And often times-- We'll leave it at that. It gets a little complicated.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1964 Copy

    Questioner

    Metal in the Mistborn world, is it renewable somehow? Because when you burn it, it just goes away and then it's converted somehow into energy. Can they run out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The way that atium gets back into the system is a bit of a hint... Atium grows out of crystals, and that is being distilled. Let's just say... Investiture is changing into matter as atium is being made.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1966 Copy

    Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

    Can modern-day Felt get his hands on atium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would know how to try going about it, he would not be able to get ahold of it right now. It would be outside-- It's not something he can just pop off. He would have some ideas on how to try to go about it. I doubt he could pull it off.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1968 Copy

    Questioner

    Back to the callsigns. Did you come up with Jorgen's name first, or did you come up with his callsign first?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The callsign was first. And then the name followed out of some of the linguistics I was using... Yeah, the callsign was first.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1969 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you find it harder to write from a male or female's point of view?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is harder to write-- The more different someone is from me, the more difficult they are to write. Gender is only one part of that, however, and so some characters who are very like me, but maybe-- maybe a woman, would be easier to write than someone who is very different from me but is a guy. But that's all kind of part of it.

    Early in my career, before I got published, I was actually really bad at this; but the main thing I learned from that era of my writing was that I was writing people to a role in the story. It wasn't that I was bad at writing women, it was that I was writing all women as the love interest. Which resulted in bad storytelling and flat characters. And if you start to be able to learn: treat each character they are the protagonist of their own story, treat each character like they see themselves, not as a bit part, but as the story themselves; and start to explore who they are rather than putting them in a role in the story, your characters will get better all around.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #1971 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there anything more significant to Tien's obsession with rocks? Or is that just an example of him being a unique kid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a little bit to the way he's seeing color in mundane things. It's less the rock, and more the things about the world he finds interesting. So I'm going to say it's the second. It's an aspect of who he is; the rock itself is not the important thing.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #1974 Copy

    Kurkistan

    What's it like inside a time bubble on a windy day?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I've had to play around a little bit with the air. Air moves in and out, you would still feel it windy, but as I have it you will not feel it from the direction the wind is coming, it will be deflected a little bit. So you might be a little bit in a wind tunnel or something, probably a swirl.

    Skyward Chicago signing ()
    #1977 Copy

    Kurkistan

    How much wealth, approximately, does it take to buy enough Breaths for the Fifth Heightening? Like buying a house, buying a ma-

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh, okay. This is going to wait for official--

    Argent

    Oh for that project.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well I put some people on it, let's just say, so wait until we have the official project telling your conversion rates and then you'll be able to answer that theoretically once we get that all down.

    Kurkistan

    Just in terms of wealth on Nalthis? Like money?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would take a large amount of wealth.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1980 Copy

    Questioner

    So the scene at the end of Oathbringer, when Odium is confronting Taravangian and he uses futuresight to expand upon the Diagram, we have this blacked out section with Renarin's name linked to it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    Is that because Renarin's abilities interfere with Odium's futuresight similar to how electrum interferes with atium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any time that someone else is seeing the future in the cosmere, it's going to have ripples against your ability. Like they are-- you can't-- It's the same sort of thing that if-- someone who has access to atium is going to mess up anyone else's futuresight in any way, because once you use that it's going to cause you to act differently, which then-- And remember futuresight is not very good in the cosmere anyway. But yeah, it's just gonna mess things up.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1983 Copy

    Questioner

    The way Sazed describes the people group [of Trell] in the first time he explains it and later on in Hero of Ages seems fairly different. Is that because of different perspective on religion, or how the religion is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that is intentional.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1985 Copy

    Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

    *written* Is Felt and agent of Harmony? If not, is he a member of a secret society that we have seen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *written* Felt is different in his allegiance depending on the part of his life.

    *spoken* Felt's allegiance has changed at various times during-- yeah, we'll just say that. His allegiance has changed over the years. There are times he's been a rogue agent.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1986 Copy

    Questioner

    The lighteyes-- Do their eyes actually glow or is it just blue or green?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. It's a very pale blue or green though. You can tell pretty easily looking at them who's lighteyed and who's dark. They don't glow. So--

    Questioner

    It's otherworldly?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some of them would look-- You would say otherworldly, but not impossibly. You can find people on Earth who have eyes the shade that they are. Not all of them, right? Because some of them are yellows and things like that that we don't have. But if you looked at them and they were here, you might wonder if they were wearing contacts but it wouldn't be unusual to find out they weren't.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1987 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Shallan's truth, "I am hap-- It's okay that I can be happy?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to dig into that, but this is a big part of it. Let me RAFO that because I'm not sure exactly how I'm going to express it as it goes along, but that sentiment is a huge part of what's going on with Shallan.

    Questioner

    I was expecting her to manifest Shardplate in the middle of her wedding because she had spoken such a core truth of her identity.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that I'm being very careful about how I show off the first manifestations of Shardplate for narrative reasons.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1988 Copy

    Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

    So were the Dawncities, the ones based on cymatic patterns, created using a supercharged combinations of the Surges of Cohesion and Illumination? Using Cohesion to make the ground liquid and using Illumination to create the frequency.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are theorizing in the right direction.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #1993 Copy

    Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

    If a Dysian Aimian had the Elsecaller honorblade, could just a single hordeling transition to the Cognitive Realm? 'Cause I think I've heard that a person couldn't just transition a single part of their body.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They could transition a single hordeling, but as it works right now, they would probably lose contact with the host and would become broken-off and no longer part of the hive. It's not truly a hive. But it would be like of your finger got cut off and sent to-- something like that. It would start acting independently.

    Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

    So would you have to have the preponderance of the Dysian Aimian transition to the Cognitive Realm? And the ones that stayed in the Physical Realm would be cut off?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It would be bad for half-and-half to go. Let's say that, one thing that they would love to be able to do is to have a little more versatility there. Let's just say that.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1995 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the crem--is it natural--are the highstorms magically created and that's why--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah the crem is there to keep the continent from washing away. So I had to add a magical element that, if it were not in the cosmere with magic, this would not work.

    Questioner

    Is that why the Weepings don't have crem, is that's a natural storm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is because I didn't want there to be too much crem at that point. These are all story structure things, instead. World-wise, I would say a little more natural, sort of blow off steam, there.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #1996 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the reason that the Fused have access to unlimited voidlight is because Odium's alive, and the Radiants have that access that limited access to Stormlight because Honor is dead?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not exactly... They do not have access to unlimited voidlight, how about that.

    Skyward release party ()
    #1999 Copy

    Questioner

    In the Stormlight Archive, you've got the actual book The Way of Kings, are you planning to write it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I am not. I feel like it would be an exercise that would take a lot of effort for very little value to the community or to myself. I like it also being opened-ended so I can be like, "Oh, this should be in there," and then be like "Hey, here is a new quote from The Way of Kings".

    Skyward release party ()
    #2000 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had to pick actors to play Kaladin, Lopen, Skar, Dalinar, and Rock, who would you pick?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not sure if I could pick them all. I really like Dave Bautista for Dalinar, he is somebody that I think would do a really good job. I can give you that one; I'm not sure about the others.