Recent entries

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2201 Copy

    Questioner 1

    Can people not from Roshar bond with spren and get the Shardplate and whatnot?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. Well, okay. You don't need me to RAFO on that. You have seen someone not from Roshar bond a spren. You have seen that much happen.

    Questioner 2

    We know for sure that Hoid is a Lightweaver.

    Questioner 1

    Do we know that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hoid has bonded a spren.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2205 Copy

    Questioner

    So Lift gets her awesomeness from food. Is that a Lift thing or is that an Edgedancer thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a Lift thing. She is a very specific thing, and what she is will come out more, as the series progresses. It's not just a little one-off, there is actually something more behind it, but it is not an Edgedancer thing.

    Questioner

    I was starting to think that maybe there was something that Cultivation's people had their own kind of Heralds, that had their own alternative energy so--

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to probably take until Lift's book to start to dig into it too much, but it isn't that far off, 3 books.

    Questioner

    *laughs* Only 3 books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, she is 6th.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2208 Copy

    Questioner

    Is a chull able to receive some form of Investiture? ...I'm thinking of Scadrial... Would it have the presence of mind to be able to use the abilities?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not as it is right now. But you can see in the way that Ryshadium are working that we have animals that are reaching beyond-animal intelligence. Aviar are the same way. And it is possible to assume that you could get to the point where you could use such powers. But none of them are there yet. But the Aviar kind of use their powers, so I guess some of them are. So, yes, I will say that's possible.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2212 Copy

    Questioner

    Did you have trouble killing Vin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, because by then, I was well prepared for it. I was worried about what the response would be, but it wasn't hard for me to do, because that was the story. Sometimes, when I'm doing this, I've outlined for a long time, I've planned it for a long time, it's almost more like I'm writing history, if that makes any sense.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2215 Copy

    Questioner

    So Skyward, do you consider it science fiction or science fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I consider it-- Is Skyward science fiction or science fantasy?

    I generally separate the plot archetypes in my head from the genre trappings, and a lot of times people have plot archetypes that are science fiction. I do a lot of science fiction plot archetypes with fantasy settings. That's what Elantris is, right? The plot archetype is about information and researching information and coming to a scientific understanding of something that happened in the past so you can use it to fix the future; science fiction plot archetype fantasy setting for Elantris.

    Skyward's backwards, right? It's the fantasy plot archetype. It is the the coming of age struggle against society through use of a fantastical boon to prove yourself, right? Very kind of classic fantasy thing but the trappings are science fiction. So I don't know that I look at these things the same way. Like, Stormlight, the Bridge Four sequence is an underdog sports story with fantasy trappings. That's the plot archetype...

    As a writer, where I would shelve it? I would shelve it in science fiction because the trappings are usually-- And because of that. I would shelve Star Wars as science fiction, even though Star Wars is very much mystical, fantastical plot archetypes going on. Shelve it with where the genre trappings are, that's just for our sanity right? So we can know what box to put things in. Just for ease of discussing it and things like that. Nothing ever matches either genre trapping or plot archetype. It's just there for us to be able to have the framework to talk about it. 

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2216 Copy

    Questioner

    How does the destructor blast for a Poco not destroy its own shield?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In Skyward, I have the shields work directionally, the same way a lot of science fiction does. Like you could fly out of a hangar bay that has a shield on it, but you can't fly back into it unless they change the frequency and stuff like that. That's how those are working for me. They will let things not come in but will let things go out... It's Sci-Fi technology that's kind of an old stand-by for how shields work and I just kind of rely on that one.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2218 Copy

    Questioner

    So there's a certain very long chapter in A Memory of Light. There's also a certain very long chapter in Oathbringer. I'm assuming you used similar techniques; both are very effective. Did you come up with that when writing Memory of Light or were you inspired by someone else for doing that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope, that was something I had wanted to do.

    So the question is, there's a very long chapter in A Memory of Light that was done very deliberately. I've used this before and in other books. Oathbringer does one, not nearly to the extent, but there's a certain point in A Memory of Light—and this was me, this was just kind of my love of trying to make the form of a novel match what I'm trying to get across with the novel.

    In A Memory of Light, there was a point where the characters could not set down their swords and take a break, and I wanted to make sure that part was not divided up, to encourage as many readers as possible to have to push through it, even if it was kind of late at night *crowd laughs*, to get to the chapter break, so that they would feel some of the same feeling that the characters were feeling. And that's just my writerly way to get that across. In Oathbringer, it was more like, "This is where the breaks fit most naturally." I wasn't trying to do the same thing, but it's a similar sort of thing, where I want the momentum to not have a break until a certain point in the story. I don't anticipate ever doing-- The one in A Memory of Light was like 90,000 words, which, if you're unaware, an average novel is 80,000 words. So there is a novel-length chapter in A Memory of Light. And so, yeah-- *playfully* eh.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2219 Copy

    Questioner

    As Professor Sanderson, do you get situations where past students have success but you don't really care for it and how do you handle it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That has not happened to me. The students who have gotten published, particularly lately-- To get into my class at BYU, you have to submit an application and chapters and there's a three-day window and we get a hundred applications and we take fifteen. These days, about a third of those students that get in tend to be what we call, "continuing education," meaning they are people who have gone to BYU and take only that class. Oftentimes, they move to Provo to take that class. So there's some pretty stiff competition and the writers who are in the class these days are really good.

    But even in the older days, the people who got published, you can usually tell, and even if you can't, I mean, there's not a lot of writing out there that I can't read and say, "Wow! I understand how someone appreciates this," right? Part of, I think, being a writer and an artist is learning to appreciate things, even if you don't necessarily care for them, to be able to recognize, "This is good and someone is going to love this. This has craft, even it's not something that I particularly enjoy." But none of my students have even been there. All the ones that have gotten published, I'm like, "Wow, this is a great book." So, maybe someday I'll have to deal with that, but I haven't really had to deal with it so far.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2224 Copy

    Questioner

    In Secret History, you talked about Kelsier being attuned to Ruin, more to Ruin than to [Preservation]. How come Vin isn't that way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have to say this very carefully. She is, for reasons I'm not going to explain at the moment, and she isn't, at the same time.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2228 Copy

    Questioner

    In Oathbringer, Taravangian tells Dalinar that there is metal falling from the sky, anything more on that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The rainfall on Roshar is full of elements; and metal is not maybe not 100% accurate. But crem, that solidifies, comes down with the rain water.

    Questioner

    He says that's what they were using to make half-shards.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, you're talking about that! I'll RAFO that for now.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2229 Copy

    Questioner

    The magic system from Elantris has a lot of drawing things, and the system from Warbreaker has a lot of colors. Would you be able to combine that, if you did a rune with colors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible, yes. It's an interesting combination, it would work in interesting ways.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2230 Copy

    Steeldancer

    When a Feruchemist stores their charge in a metal, where is that going? Is that going into molecules, is that going into the Spiritual essence of the metal, is that sort of a Cognitive - what is that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is charging it in...in cosmere terms, more on the Spiritual level, but there are connections to the Physical as well. It's not 100% on the Spiritual.

    Steeldancer

    It's not changing the molecular structure?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is not going to change the molecular structure. If you brought that metal to Earth, somehow, and tested it, you wouldn't be able to tell any difference. Because we just don't have that element.

    Steeldancer

    You can't test for Investiture on Earth

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. In the cosmere, you can.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2231 Copy

    Steeldancer

    When Sazed gives Vin a little bit of pewter that doesn't really have a charge in it, and she isn't able to use that power. What would happen if he gave her a full metalmind and she tried to burn it for Allomantic power.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think I cover that in the book somewhere, don't I?

    Steeldancer

    I looked around for it and couldn't find it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know for sure I've answered it to fan questions before. So go ask. If I haven't, you can come back and ask me, but I'm pretty sure we have answers on that.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2232 Copy

    Questioner

    After Stormlight, Wit was far and away my favorite characters. One of my friends came to me and heard I really liked Wit, and he's like, "Oh yeah. His name is Hoid, he's a worldhopper, he's in a ton of cosmere books. So I went and read a bunch of the other cosmere related books. Why's he so different? Like, in Mistborn, he shows up as a beggar/informant for half a page?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So there's a couple reasons for this. One is, there are certain books where he is a character and other books where I'm just writing him as a cameo. Most of the books I'm just doing a cameo for him. Stormlight's where you see the most of him until he gets his own book.

    The other reason was, at the beginning, I wasn't sure how much people would be interested in behind-the-scenes stuff, and so I was very sparing with it in the early books. You won't see a lot of him until Warbreaker, and even then he's only in a chapter. Even in Wax and Wayne books, you only see glimpses of him. There will be other books he'll be a bigger part in, but if you like Wit, Stormlight's your jam.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2235 Copy

    Questioner

    I read something that said you wish there'd been more between Mat and Padan Fain, in the end.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wish I had done more. I feel like that's one of the things that I, a little bit, dropped the ball on. It was a little too brief. That's one of those things that, if I had a little more time and got more reader response in beta reads, I might have picked up on.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2236 Copy

    Questioner

    Are Mat and Perrin bound to the Wheel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say yes, but I'm not the ultimate authority on that, so it's possible what Robert Jordan would say would be different. I would say yes because we have Odin myths and things like that that are obviously Mat myths.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2237 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 ()
    #2238 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 ()
    #2239 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 ()
    #2241 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 ()
    #2242 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 ()
    #2243 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 ()
    #2244 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 ()
    #2245 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 ()
    #2246 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 ()
    #2247 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 ()
    #2248 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 ()
    #2249 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 ()
    #2250 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.