Recent entries

    Skyward release party ()
    #2001 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have to sometimes reread a novel or a series when you're making a sequel to that series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I do. In fact, I'm gearing up to reread all the Stormlight books so I can write the next one.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2002 Copy

    Questioner

    David's similes or metaphors. Was Megan correcting them as to be metaphors intentional from the start? Or is that something that afterwards, lots of people had been complaining?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was aware they would complain. But their complaining did prompt me to make sure I mentioned it.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2003 Copy

    Questioner

    For the interior art [for leatherbounds], do you find the artists, do your publishers find the artists?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends. A lot of these are covers. And in those cases, I picked my favorites. Otherwise, Isaac commissions where we have holes. The Miranda piece here. He and Peter are the ones, these are kind of their babies, putting together the leatherbounds. So I give them leeway to kind of do what they want. He commissions the endpages, and things like that.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2005 Copy

    Questioner

    How can you make someone fall in love with a character? <Make them interesting?>

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are both very different things. A couple quick tips. Relatable problem, even if it's not the main problem of the book. Making a character want something and not be able to have it is always instantly relatable to us. Making someone really capable and competent is another way. One of the reasons Indiana Jones works is we see how good he is at what he does, we are instantly intrigued by that as people. A good question, a good book question, can also work. Like, "Why would the character be doing this thing? It seems so odd." But likeable and interesting are very different things.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2006 Copy

    Questioner

    The magic systems. How much do you have to research, and how much can people just believe?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the situation. Like, for instance, Skyward. I was doing actual fighter pilot stuff. I researched, wrote it, and it was wrong. And my fighter pilot alpha readers were like, "This is gonna kick out anyone who's a fighter pilot. You need to get this right." That sort of stuff, you can't fudge. But something like the Shattered Plains, where it's a combat situation no one in our world has ever been in before, I feel like I can control and say "This is what they would do because of the way their traditions are." So even if there might be an absolute better way to do something, I can make it reasonable. So, there's both. It depends on what's gonna kick people out of the story, and things like that.
    Skyward release party ()
    #2007 Copy

    Questioner

    Warbreaker. Any modifications to it to fit it better to Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I think that the connections are where I want them to be. We will do, when we do the tenth anniversary leatherbound, we do small continuity error changes and typos, but there shouldn't be any major changes.

    Questioner

    I was just thinking because of the whole Breath, the colors, and the Stormlight, I'm assuming...

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is where I want it to be right now, in those relationships.

    Skyward Anchorage signing ()
    #2008 Copy

    Questioner

    Do the Heralds know about Aons? I am asking specifically about Shalash. Shao, Ale, Ashe. Transformation, Beauty, Illumination.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's say that some of them do and some of them don't. The question is "do the Heralds know about Aons?" How cosmere-aware are the Heralds? It depends on the Herald.

    Skyward Anchorage signing ()
    #2009 Copy

    Questioner

    The way I'll phrase this then is, will everything else written in the Skyward universe be chronological going forward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Everything in-- The Skyward books will be going forward, and they'll be delving more and more deeply into the ideas brought up in this short story.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2010 Copy

    Questioner

    When you're thinking about parallel stories and writing them, how do you keep them disparate so that you don't have characters from one story overlapping with another story...

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a balancing act I perform when writing big, long books, because a lot of times for narrative reasons, it is better to write them "this set of characters, then the next set, then this set, then that", and go back and forth, but a lot of times, for continuity of theme and character building, it is better to write them straight through, right, that one character's throughline, so you make sure it has an emotional arc to it. And the longer the book gets, the more delicate that balancing act gets, right?

    So on a Stormlight book, I usually split the book in my head into three parts, like I write a trilogy of books, and then bind them together as one, with a short story collection making up the interludes and things. And I usually would go, alright, part one, Kaladin from beginning to end of part one. Part one, Shallan from beginning to end of part one. Now I will weave these chapters together and I will read through for theme and make sure that the pacing is working, because the pacing and tone can really get messed up when you're doing that.

    Fun story about that: A Memory of Light, I did this with some of the things, and I was weaving them together for the prologue, and two of the things I was weaving together, was characters getting engaged, it was the ladies making a bridal wreath to give to Rand, and the other was the fall of Caemlyn and the people who were trying to live as things were happening there. Not to go into too many spoilers, but it was a really dynamic action sequence, with a lot of terrible things happening, and when I wove those two together, the tone whiplash was terrible. And it was like, one of the worst parts of the book was "here's a happy thing where we're gonna get engaged, now this person dies, then we go back to this happy thing". *crowd laughs* So I had to yank the engagement sequence from the book, because there was no tonal place in that novel where it could go that it wouldn't do that.

    And so you run into that trouble, but I think that with the longer books, what you're noticing, keeping the characters' throughline consistent is the more important factor. It's a lot easier, I think, to fix pacing and tone by where you move the chapters and what you cut out and what you add in in revision.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2011 Copy

    Questioner

    A lot of authors say that a lot of their writing comes from personal experiences. For Warbreaker, do you have any personal experiences that led to...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did write it on my <honeymoon>, so that may play into the whole marriage, all that stuff. I'll go with that one. There's a weird one. As I was working on Mistborn, my editor said, "Wow, Elantris and Mistborn both take place in pretty dark and grimy worlds. Do something more colorful next time." And so I'm like, "All right, I can do colorful."

    Skyward release party ()
    #2012 Copy

    the.fulgid

    I feel like knowing both basic and advanced studies of Realmatic Theory are key to understanding not just how the magic works, but how the very nature of the cosmere works. We already have some of the fundamentals, including:

    - The three realms- Shard aspects, knowing that they were made with intent, but the form they building blocks of much of the cosmere- Connection to a Shard is necessary to access its Investiture- I have a bit of an analogy where Identity and Connection work similar to an access badge to a building

    Is there a more advanced concept of Realmatic Theory we don't have yet that you'd be willing to share?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I could buy that.

    the.fulgid

    Is there a more advanced concept of Realmatic Theory we don't have yet that you'd be willing to share?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Too hard to say, something like that, what we don't know. So no, I will RAFO that. I apologize. I will put them in the book when they are developed, and I can explain them in the way that I feel is appropriate.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2013 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering what kind of aviation research you did for [Skyward].

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fighter pilots. I did my best off of YouTube and researching. I still got it way wrong. Fortunately, I had a couple of long-suffering fighter pilots I did some phone calls with, who were able to set me straight. The final version, I think the only thing that I wish I would have changed is, I learned more about ejection seats and the way to eject, after the book had gone in. The things you need to do.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2014 Copy

    Shqueeves

    Stormlight, when you hold it, gives a sense of immediate urgency or movement. Does Voidlight have a similar emotional impact?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Shqueeves

    Is it the same as the urgency, or is it something different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Something different.

    Shqueeves

    What is it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. Good question.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2015 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a group on Taldain that's tied to Autonomy? Directly, like working for Autonomy? I'm after sand mages versus...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say yes. Though there is some wiggle room in that question, I would say yes. I wouldn't canonize it. I would call it Word of Brandon canonized. Until it appears in the books, it's not super canon.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2017 Copy

    Questioner

    Our entire family reads your books, and we have differences in how we pronounce things, so I was wondering if you could read this list of words for me? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright, let's warn you that I do not pronounce the names correctly. Upfront, I will just warn you that I pronounce you like an American, not like a local. So Jasnah, Kelsier, Sazed, Sadeas, Camon, OreSeur, koloss. Kelsier, for instance would be kel-SEE-ay in world, but that's not how I say it, cause I'm American.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2018 Copy

    Questioner

    Mrall is the assistant to Taravangian. He's described as Thaylen but he's bald and no eyebrows. Does he lack hair everywhere else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He does not completely lack hair, but mostly.

    Questioner

    His comments about how it's easy for him to turn off his emotions are a little bit eye raising.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They should be!

    Skyward release party ()
    #2024 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm curious, you mentioned at the Legion release that the Fused were after the spren that Hoid bonded. Was there a specific reason why they wanted that spren? Or was it just because the *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will say they would have done that for another spren in that situation.

    Questioner

    Any other spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not any other spren; but there wasn't something uniquely identifying about that spren that they were hunting.

    Questioner

    They wouldn't have done it for any spren, but there were other spren they had done it for?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2026 Copy

    LizBusby

    They were talking about, on the cosmere podcast, if cosmere dragons can breathe fire?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. They can fly. So they--

    LizBusby

    Okay. That's good to know. I was just thinking, Frost like, doesn't sound very fiery to me. It sounds icy to me.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. *significant look* RAFO on that. You won't even find that in Dragonsteel, the old one, if you read it. It doesn't say.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2033 Copy

    coltonx9

    What would Elhokar's Fifth Truth be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...Oh, Elhokar's last Truth? He would have had to have been on a long journey before he could even get to that. It would probably be-- I'm going to RAFO that now, because I think it would tell you too much about the way I'm thinking for the way the Truths work. I could probably tell you that now, but I will choose not to. Let's just say it would involve kind of a journey that starts kind of-- negative is the wrong term. Being more aware of himself and then coming to a deeper awareness of himself that is perhaps not-- that leaves him in a good place.

    coltonx9

    Could you tell me what his First Truth would have been?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would have been to admit the thing that he knows, which is that he's a bad king.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2035 Copy

    Questioner

    Of all of your characters, were some of them based off of people that are part of your life?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Definitely.

    Questioner

    And are there any of your characters that you wish were real?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, I'd have fun chatting with some of them. I would like to chat with Sazed, that would be a lot of fun. A lot of the side characters are based off of friends; not a lot of main characters. The most main character that's based on a friend is Skar, who is based off of my friend Skar.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2036 Copy

    coltonx9

    If you were to [Forge] a car to say, that car had parked in a different space in parking lot what would happen, would it just disappear, if there were no other spots?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, so you [Forge] the whole parking lot--

    coltonx9

    No, just SoulForge a car, in the parking lot to say it parked somewhere else.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That sort of temporal thing is probably not going to be something you can make work very easily with [Forgery]. You could rewrite this car so it had parked in that spot yesterday, but it's not going to change where it is, most cases. I think you might be able to contrive something that would work out, but that's normally not going to work... You can cause paradoxes with this sort of magic, that I have worked my best to make just not work.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2037 Copy

    Questioner

    What do Shardblade Cryptics look like? They can't really have crossed out eyes. Would their pattern-

    Brandon Sanderson

    You mean like a deadeye?

    Questioner

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will be noticeable, but it won't be the same as the eyes. Let's just say their algorithm is messed up.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2041 Copy

    the.fulgid

    During his conversation with Shallan, Wit said that, "Failure is the mark of a life well lived," and I'm glad that you shared that because this question has been on my mind a lot, and he says, "And in turn the the only way to live without failure is to be of no use to anyone." Is there anything Hoid has failed at that we haven't seen on screen that you would be willing to share?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are certain people he thought he was going to be able to help who ended up not surviving.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2045 Copy

    Questioner

    At the last signing event, I was asking about a Shard[blade] and paint, if it disappears, comes back, what happens? You said the paint never disappeared with it. But you seemed intrigued by other possibilities, and then I thought of some too. One of them would be a foundry, showing people how to make weapons, you put your Shard in the sand, make a sword in there, dismiss it, fill it with your molten metal, stuff like that sounded like...interesting ideas.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I like that, I like that a lot.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2048 Copy

    Questioner

    Can a coppermind be Awakened?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible.

    Questioner

    With the memories already in it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is going to be harder because those memories are going to be keyed to someone else, who, by nature, would not be the individual that it was made into. You would have to key those memories to who the metalmind was becoming. There would be an extra step in there; It wouldn't just naturally be that way. We're talking wild, wild, these are possible, but far out, stuff. Possible, but there is an extra step in there.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2050 Copy

    xnkvbo

    If an Awakener with Perfect Invocation turns something white, can they or another Awakener then use the white thing back to gray, back to white.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually thought about this. My answer ended up being a no.

    xnkvbo

    Can you give a little explanation why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will delve into it more as I delve into the nature of color and why it's relevant to multiple magics in the cosmere. So it's a RAFO.