Is there a Connection Aon?
Yes, but it has only slight cosmerological ramifications. It does have them, though.
Is there a Connection Aon?
Yes, but it has only slight cosmerological ramifications. It does have them, though.
What is the order of the Stormlight books? Like the first one is Kaladin's--
First one's Kaladin's. Second one's Shallan's. Third one is Dalinar's. Fourth one is Eshonai. Fifth one is Szeth. Sixth one is Lift. After that, I'm not sure if it's Taln or Renarin next. Probably Renarin.
Is Skyward gonna be related at all to Silverlight universities?
It is not, good question. Skyward is not related to the cosmere. It does mention Earth, which is kind of one of my dividing lines. But it is related to something else I've written.
Did Kelsier leave Scadrial when he went to the Ire fortress?
I consider him not having left, but being very close to leaving. He couldn't have actually gotten off-planet with the way that he existed at that point. So, no, he did not leave Scadrial. At least the sphere of influence of Scadrial.
The device the Ire were planning on using in Secret History. Were they testing it for something?
They actively wanted it to work there.
Like, say, something involving Sel and the Spiritual Realm?
There are different applications that they had considered, but I wouldn't call what they were doing a test, right then. They wanted to use it for what it was used for, yes.
When Lift eats food, does she convert it directly into Stormlight, or some other form of Investiture?
She noticed that the race in Skyward that the people are fighting are Krell, and that there are krell in Sixth of the Dusk.
That is not a direct connection. It's just, the Krell are a race of aliens from Forbidden Planet, one of my favorite classic science fiction movies, and I'm just doing it in Skyward as an homage to that. Krell in Sixth of the Dusk is just me looking for a thing that sounds like the right name for the thing.
So they're completely unrelated?
Completely unrelated. Other than the fact that I've watched Forbidden Planet, like, six times.
How did Preservation create the Terris prophecies in the first place, to make them known to people?
I'm gonna RAFO that, just because it gets really sticky when I have to explain this exactly, and I'm gonna shy away from that right now.
Kaladin kind of went back on his Oaths in the second book, right?
Yes. He started down that path.
How could Shallan or Lightweavers go back on the Truths they make? And did Shallan do any of that in Oathbringer?
No, the Cryptics-- remember, how the spren is viewing this is very important. The Cryptics have an interesting relationship with truth. Harder to break your Oaths in that direction with a Cryptic. Harder to move forward, also, if you're not facing some of these things and interacting with them in the right way. But, while I can conceive a world that it could happen, it'd be really hard to for a Lightweaver to do some of the stuff. Particularly the ones close to Honor, you're gonna end up with more trouble along those lines, let's say.
So then, what happened with the Lightweavers during the Recreance? Did they break their Oaths?
They did break their Oaths. I mean, breaking your Oaths as in "walking away from the first Oath" will still do it, regardless of what Order you are. You can actively say, "I am breaking my Oaths and walking away." Anyone has that option. But you also are holding the life of a spren in your hand.
Other Shards, other than Odium and Cultivation, can take physical form, right?
Are there any Shards that can't?
Could Ruin have taken physical form in The Well of Ascension?
So, yes. What it really counts to be physical, for someone like a Shard, is subject to debate, but he could have done some of the things that others have done. There were certain restrictions on both Ruin and Preservation, because of the deal that they had set up, that would not have made doing that very useful. But there is possibility he could have.
In Stormlight, with Kaladin and his brother Tien, is there a connection or a reason why, whenever his brother finds a rock, that keeps coming up several times?
Yes. So, there's a couple themes going on here. One is just the subtle theme that Tien tends to find beauty in things that Kaladin finds dull. That's, of course, kind of the metaphor. But Tien also was a budding Lightweaver, and he saw color and light a little bit differently than other people did. And he has the same general effect that you'll see Shallan having on people, which is how the Lightweaver views you influences a little bit more how your mood is, and things like that... And there is a magical element to that, as well. There's both a metaphoric reason and an in-world reason.
In The Rithmatist, in the Inception chamber, there's that chalk creature. Does that have anything to do with how they gain Rithmatic powers?
It has everything to do with how they gain Rithmatic powers.
Really, the third [White Sand graphic novel] is where we've done the most work, because authors-- this happens to a lot of us. Early work, we're good at doing scenes, and we're bad at endings, we're bad at bringing them together. And that's one of the things that I got better at over the years. And the ending of this one had some good things, but it had some really off-kilter things that we're fixing.
Are they gonna go to [Darkside]?
Don't have the plans yet, because I never wrote that book. But I do still have the outline, so it's possible that I'll go and I'll get with Ric. (Who I really like; Ric has been great to work with. One of the best experiences I've had in collaborating has been working with Ric.) I can see myself saying, "Here are our story beats. I'm doing some dialogue, you're translating." We can maybe do something. But I can't promise.
The other thing is, we have that old Mistborn script, from the video game, that I could also turn into a graphic novel.
I liked Snapshot quite a bit. Is there any chance you're gonna do more with that world in the future? Crossing over with Legion, or anything?
It's possible. They're kind of in the same cycle of me exploring reality and [plots], slightly futuristic. Snapshot, right now, is the best shot that we have as a movie. The screenplay came in, and it's great. It is better than the story is, which is fantastic. It's what you want to have happen with a screenplay, you want to have a collaboration, and someone take and integrate and do a better job. It's the first time I've gotten a screenplay back that has been better than the original... So, we have a really good shot, I think, at that one. The screenwriter knocked it out of the park.
You have a good amount of accountants in your books.
My mother is an accountant. So accounting is one of my go-to references to my Mom. She's an accountant for the city of Idaho Falls. So that is why so many accountants pop up in my books.
Is that where [Lightsong], is that a direct, for her?
Yep. [Lightsong] is also based on a friend of mine who is a computer programmer, and you don't have computer programmers in fantasy worlds. So I'm like, "Well, what's the closest thing to that?"
How do you deal with hecklers? Do you ignore them, do you take their advice?
So, it depends. Hecklers, I ignore. Criticism, I don't. I am lucky in that I have a team, and I, these days, have my team watch. Like, "You read the one-star reviews. Tell me if there are things popping up that I need to pay attention to," and things like that. Reading one-star reviews is generally a bad experience, but reading three-star reviews is usually a really handy experience for you to do. That's what you're looking for, those three-stars, the people that could have loved the book-- and if you give it three stars, you liked it, but there were things that bugged you. And if you start seeing themes like that pop up, try to address them.
But also understand that art is about taste. Every type of art. And you are going to write things that are the right piece of art, but that somebody doesn't like. Just like some people don't like my favorite food. Some people hate it. I like mac and cheese, other people hate it. I have a friend who hates ice cream. I'm like, "What? Who hates ice cream?" But he hates ice cream. It's okay. So, learn to separate taste from things that are actually skill level problems. And as you're a new writer, in particular, focusing on craft, just practicing, is more important than the feedback, often, on your first few books. 'Cause you'll know. You'll figure it out. Your first couple books, you'll be like, "They don't have to tell me; I know what parts are not working." But you can't get better at that until you write them.
How long did it take you to figure out how to kill your characters without really ticking off your readers?
Well. I think it still does tick them off. But my thing is, if I make sure that somebody has a satisfying resolution, even if they don't get to see it, usually people are satisfied then. So, if what the character wanted finds satisfying resolution eventually, that is where I go.
How do you decide what book you're gonna work on each day? Do you have, like, a schedule or something?
Good question. So, I can generally only be writing new prose on one book at a time. And so, I usually make the decision when I finish a book. I usually need something very different, once I finish a book, to try, to have a break from that world, rather than going right into it. So often, I have a lot of different projects floating, and I decide when I finish a book. A little bit of it is making sure, trying to keep myself from doing too many new things, when I still have things hanging. And that has been a constant struggle in my life. I taught myself how to write novellas, so that I could do some of these ideas-- Those are in Arcanum Unbounded. And most of those exist because I had ideas, and I'm like, "No no no. Don't start another series. Don't write another 300,000-word epic fantasy book that people are going to be asking for sequels to. Tell the actual story that you're excited about, but do it in 30,000 words, and then you can be done with it." And that's where Emperor's Soul came from, and that's where things like Edgedancer came from. Not having to balloon into their own huge series.
So, I decide. And once I get into the book, I need to keep momentum on it. I can't stop. If I stop, that's really bad for a book. You can see this with Rithmatist. Rithmatist was the series I was working on when The Wheel of Time came along. It was the one I was actively writing and working on the sequel to. And when Wheel of Time hit me like a freight train-- I actually wrote the first one in 2007, and it's been really hard to get back into that, because of that big interruption.
Let's go down the sequel list.
My next book coming out is Skyward. You can read sample chapters of that right now, we've been doing a lot of publicity. If you watch my social media, I'm sorry; you probably are done hearing about Skyward. But you can go read the chapters of that, it comes out in two weeks. I turned in the sequel to that, and I'm gonna try and squeeze in the third book before the year ends. We will see. 'Cause I would like to have that series done and ready to be read, and not have to--
Because, starting January, I promised my attention turns back to Stormlight. *crowd cheers* Everybody cheers for Stormlight. And I will be on Roshar until Book Four is done. Those books take, like, eighteen months. The Skyward books each took 3 months. So, you can see, a Stormlight book's a major undertaking, and nothing else gets done during Stormlight. Which is why it'd be really nice if I can squeeze in that third book, but I only have two and a half months, so I don't know if I'll be able to do it. But I'll start on Stormlight Four.
So that leaves you hanging on a few things. What about Wax and Wayne Four? Wax and Wayne Four will happen. I'm not sure when, but it will happen. I need to keep steady progress on Stormlight. It'd be really easy to get behind on that series, because they are so big and take a lot out of me... I have to take a good year, year-and-a-half break after a Stormlight book to make sure I'm not burned out on the series when I start again. At about eighteen months, actually about a year, I start to get really excited for working on it again, which is where I am right now. And that's where you want me to be when I'm writing a 400,000-word epic fantasy. So, Wax and Wayne Four will happen. But we will see.
Probably not any new Reckoners books for a while. That series is done. There's a Mizzy book in me somewhere, but I don't know when I would do that. Who knows.
Elantris and Warbreaker, sequels wouldn't be approached until after Stormlight Five. Probable they'll happen, but again, wait 'til Stormlight Five. Stormlight's two five-book arcs.
The Rithmatist. Oh, man, that book has been hard to do a sequel to. I tried to write a sequel, and it just didn't work. So I set it aside. I've got a new outline that I like for it, but it has to get slotted in. It's been a really tough book, probably the toughest book to figure out how to do right ever.
If the book is not on that list, then probably not a sequel coming anytime soon.
I was told that in the end of... Alcatraz versus the [Dark Talent], it says that you would be writing another book from Bastille's point of view.
Yes, I am. So, if you are not familiar with this series, I did this weird thing with this series. Alcatraz books are kind of making fun of epic fantasy series. Part of the joke is that they're making fun of them. So when I pitched it to my editor, I said, "I want to tell everybody there's five books. But then end on a massive cliffhanger, and then have the main character refuse to write the last book. And then have a different character in the series write the last book." And the reason I did this is because the character, Alcatraz, had been promising that the books would end on a downer note. And I both wanted to have a downer note and not. I wanted to have my cake and eat it too. So Bastille insisting she will write the last book has worked. I've got about half of it done. I have been having some friends read it and help me with it, because I want the voice to feel different, and I want the voice to feel right. So it's been a little tricky to make sure it doesn't just sound like Alcatraz, that it sounds like somebody new. But it will happen, and it's making progress.
Let's just say that Alcatraz's view on events is not very trustworthy, considering that's, like, the main theme of the books. So I'll let you know that.
Do you have any idea when it might be coming out?
I don't know for sure.
I'm loathed to ask two questions but this is a clarification - it was reported way back that you confirmed that the ardent in the Palanaeum is Pailiah. Are you willing to confirm?
There is a Herald in close proximity to Taravangian, but she's not anyone in his immediate inner circle seen commonly on screen.
I recently got the opportunity to ask you a question about Feruchemical steel and if it was a temporal effect and you told me to define that better. When tapping steel, the mind of the Feruchemist is sped up and physics affects their actions normally. When storing, their mind is not slowed and the effect seems tortuously difficult to amass. Storing generally seems to be the more dangerous/difficult option in Feruchemy, so does [Feruchemical steel] alter a person's personal relationship to the flow of time, with the disconnect between the Physical and Cognitive as a drawback of storing?
I see what you're asking. The mind-altering effects of [Feruchemical steel] are similar to the slight strength you gain from [Feruchemical iron]--it is your Spiritual nature adapting to the new influx of an attribute that it's not really expecting, and siphoning some of that investiture to make you capable of actually using it. So there is a slight temporal effect here, but nothing as big as I think you're looking for.
Does the nicrosil portion of the medallions function identitically to how a Soulbearer Ferring would use Nicrosil?
Not exactly. The medallion is a little more restrictive, for one thing.
Aluminum in the cosmere cannot be Invested or generally affected by Investiture processes. The exception to this however is the Metallic Arts where aluminum can be burned, turned into a metalmind, or charged with Hemalurgy. Is this due to an exception in the normally Investiture-proof properties of aluminum specifically for the Metallic Arts? If so, what kind of Connection is there between the Metallic Arts and aluminum which allows this to occur?
Would an Honorblade be considered as an equivalent to a god metal?
There are some who would draw that parallel.
So since Adolin has blond and black streaked hair and Shallan has red hair, would their potential children have all three of their parents' hair colors to have blond, red, and black hair?
Is there any updated news on a 10 year anniversary (Hero of Ages?) leather bound book for the holidays?
Do you plan on doing the leather bound books for works outside the Cosmere as well in the future?
Just that the printer is suffering (another) delay. (I think this might be our third printer, so I'm not sure if we are unlucky, or if this is just how the business works.) We sent it in back in August, but still haven't seen the books. Hopefully they'll come while I'm out on tour, for a December release.
We are thinking we might do Steelheart when it comes around. So there's a chance. We'll see where we sit once Warbreaker is out.
Do you feel like audiobooks change how people perceive characters in books? I’ve seen people on r/Stormlight_Archive say that the audiobooks make Elhokar sound much more whiney than he was meant to be in the text.
Yes, they do--but that's part of the experience, and part of what makes audiobooks interesting.
Where do spheres come from in Stormlight? Is there a giant factory somewhere that turns gemhearts into spheres?
It's similar to mints in various kingdoms on Earth. They're made by different regional powers, and sometimes there are exchange issues because of it--but since Roshar had some unique forms of societal unification in the past, a lot of things like this got standardized.
Is there an important reason why Lukel is the only character of Aonic descent in Elantris whose name is not based around an Aon? (Since "u" does not feature in any Aon.)
Yes, but it's more social than magical. Like when I ran across someone in Korea named Moses, and it was so interesting linguistically compared to other more traditional names.
I so badly would want to know if Hoid knows he's a character in a book... or at the very least if he would accept it as a possibility...
Hoid does not know he's a character in a book. The cosmere doesn't break the fourth wall. (Sorry.)
So in a recent conversation I brought up the relationship between the names of Urithiru and Ur (the ancient Mesopotamian city-state), in retrospect I realized that I was treating the similarity of names as a given but I don't think you have ever been asked about it. Was the reference intentional on your part from the outset (i.e. starting with the idea to reference Ur), or did it arise coincidentally as you played with the linguistics of Roshar (i.e. stumbling across the "ur-" syllable and going "I can work with that!")?
Ur was part of it, certainly. But it was more the second--I was playing with things, and liked the feeling of Ur in part because of the ancient our-world references.
What was the hardest aspect about building the three-chapter structure of Elantris?
Not making it feel odd to the reader that all the important moments were happening in the same beats with one another, in the chronology of the story.
How much work, time, care and difficulty goes into constructing each book's ketek in the Stormlight Archive and sticking every phrase into the different parts of the book?
More than I expected, that's for sure. Not being a poet, it takes a lot of work for me to get something that I feel isn't embarrassing for the keteks.
Is Hoid going to be Jasnah's Wit?
I've seen you said you sent the same scene description to both the US and the UK publisher for Oathbringer's cover. Why choose precisely Jasnah?
It's partially based on the scene I think that will look best being illustrated. Also, since book two had Kaladin, I thought it would be a nice change to make sure someone else was on book three.
Has the Nightwatcher ever changed anyone's eye color?
Yes, she has. Good question.
In the spirit of my obsession with Nalthis (please Nalthis novella please) - We know you can store Breath in highly Invested things without Awakening them. Can you store Breath in aluminum?
I'll RAFO Breath and aluminum for now.
The light lines/lances are a very fun concept. Is there anything in particular that inspired the idea of grappling combat in space?
Probably watching too many cartoons or B movies where someone turns a corner in a vehicle by throwing out an anchor or something. (Didn't the batmobile do this once in the old Adam West batman?)
Do Mental Commands require words, just not speaken out loud? Or does the wordless thought suffice?
Mental Commands do not always require verbalization, but many think it is, as they've never been able to do it otherwise.
If we spike a Soulbearer with some Metallic ability, what happens to the Hemalurgical charge of the spike if the ability is stored completely in nicrosil at the time?
Does it matter how fast are the metals burned in relation to Seeking? For example, would a flared metal be easier to Seek? Could duraluminum burned metal be Seeked through coppercloud by regular Seeker?
Flaring is noticeable to the right Seeker, and strength does correlate as you theorize.
What does count for Hemalurgic control? The total Hemalurgic charge or number of the spikes? If we let four spikes decay for a few years and then pierce a human with it, would that person be controllable? Does that work the same for all Hemalurgic constructs?
Good question to be asking, as there are spikes that come in sets that only count as a single one... I'd say you're getting close, but not quite there.
This is a follow-up on something I asked you in person last year. What is the bronzepulse of atium? They thought that it shares pattern with gold so I guess there would be some resemblance between those patterns? Also, did it Push or Pull, or something else even (like those uniform pulses Ruin's avatar set off)? Cause I can't help but wonder why did they not notice something very odd about it. And, well, what pulse would even atium alloys have?
I'm liking Skyward so far. I can't wait to read about using light-lances, they're rusting cool!
I gotta ask, though: what does "scud" mean? It seems it is an equivalent of "damn" but is there any etymology behind it? Cause, "scud" is also name of Soviet tactical ballistic missiles. Any relation?
Scud came from the Soviet missile, as a nod to some of my inspirations for the setting of the caverns.
Would humanity be better or worse off by the end of Oathbringer if Honor ended his visions with:
"This has been a pre-recorded message from Honor. If you have any inquiries, please direct them to the Stormfather or to a local spren representative."
Dial 9 to refill with Stormlight.
Did Sazed reforge (or have reforged) any atium Inquisitor spikes to use as earrings for Pathians?
If you have a Hemalurgic spike made of atium, that grants atium Allomancy, could you use the spike itself as a source of atium to burn?
During the perpendicularity scene in Oathbringer is it safe to say that what Dalinar did is akin to super powered versions of his surges? Tension to make the realms ductile and formable, adhesion to bring them together. I know the specific ability is unique to Dalinar but I'm fairly attached to this rationalization
I wouldn't immediately shoot down this particular theory.
If you have two written books, Book-A and Book-B, and you are prouder of Book-B, does it feel weird if Book-A is more popular and better received?
I know this does happen to writers, but I've not really experienced it. Generally, if I write something a little more niche, I'm aware ahead of time. (And am doing it on purpose.) I also don't tend to be "more proud" of certain books--I write a wide variety of things because I'm interested in a wide variety of story types.
But I guess I'm also comfortable with the idea that a lot of work does not equal a successful piece. I, of course, would prefer to write things that everyone loves--but I learned early in my unpublished career not to chase the market, and that attitude has served me quite well.