Recent entries

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2201 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Lhan from the [Way of Kings Prime] reading the same one from Book 2?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that is the same Brother Lhan. I knew he wasn't going to get to have a big part in the books once I moved Taln so far off. So I gave him a nice cameo with his own interlude so that at least he would be in the books. Because in that version, he basically wandered around, following Taln, complaining for the entire book.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2204 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the inspiration for the Parshendi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are a lot of different inspirations. One is wanting to build out of the setting a species that interacted with the setting and had a symbiotic relationship with the setting. The other was the idea of a people whose caste system, you could change castes and physically change into other castes of the system. So something like the hives you see, where you can switch from worker to various different tasks. I liked the cultural aspects of what that did.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2205 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your Smedry talent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I usually say "being long-winded." But the truth is, when I wrote the books, I kind of did all the stuff that I do as the first powers. So I'm habitually late, bad at dancing, good at breaking things... But if you actually go "What's the core one," probably being long-winded. I can say things that could be said in one word, in seventeen instead.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2206 Copy

    Questioner

    I have a quick question about the uniforms in Skyward. Is there a specific color for Skyward flight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not for Skyward flight. They are all using the same jumpsuits, and things like this. By the second book, they probably will have... once they kind get ahead of it a little bit, they can start doing things like painting the ships. But in this book, really, you're basically wearing a jumpsuit--

    Questioner

    It's blue, it's unceremonial.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2207 Copy

    Questioner

    I did have a question about Doomslug and M-Bot, where they came from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are questions that will be answered, I promise.

    Questioner

    Are they connected?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's what we call a RAFO, Read And Find Out. You will find out; I'm not gonna tell you know. You'll find out some of those answers in the next book.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2209 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you approach creating scenes? Do you create how you want the scene to play out, and then make the magic system? Or do you make the magic system work first?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Usually, I do magic system first. The way scenes, I construct, is usually I have big goals in my story. For instance, in Mistborn, Vin is going to learn to train all the powers of a Mistborn. By the end, I want her to be fairly competent. So then I have that goal, and I write down, "What are scenes that can move me toward that goal?" In that outline, it would be: she trains with Ham in one scene, she trains with Marsh in another scene, she trains with Breeze in another scene. What else can I make those scenes do to move character and stuff, to try to pack more into those scenes. But I'll construct those scenes as goals towards the ending.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2210 Copy

    Questioner

    It kind of felt like you let Adolin off the hook for murder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say no, I didn't. There will be more implications there, but what you've gotta understand is, Adolin does not view what he did as murder. His dad is uncertain if it is. And his dad is the ultimate judge of legality. There will be far-reaching implications of this, but kind of the way a society like that works, if you didn't get caught and you are the son of the king, then you get a little-- you know what I mean?

    Questioner

    Is it yet to be resolved?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yet to have the full extent of its implications, how about that? I would say that you are perfectly right if you were to say he did something morally wrong. There are many who would agree with you; there are many who would disagree with you. And that disagreement is part of what the story is about.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2211 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Someday... once I'm sure everything that it would spoil has been released, I will release [Way of Kings Prime] so you can read it. You can probably see that, if you read Stormlight, a chunk of the book belonging to Taln moved to Szeth, instead, who was a character in the first book but had a slightly different plot. Eventually, we will get to the whole story, though.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2212 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your inspiration for Wayne?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wayne had a lot of inspirations... Obviously, there's some Mat Cauthon going on for me when I do Wayne, particularly the way that Mat would see the world differently from the that way he would act. The original inspiration for Wayne was a character who changed personalities based on which hat he wore. He was actually the lead in a Mistborn story I was writing, and he didn't work well without someone to play off of... Some characters work way better when they are surrounded by more normal people. Not gonna say anything about things like the Minion movie (which my children loved), but it's very hard to tell a story about everyone being crazy instead of having a framework of someone to keep it going in the right direction. So that was a big inspiration for Wayne.

    The other big inspiration for Wayne was something I noticed about human nature, where I wanted to tell a story about a character who had some really deep-- Wayne should bother you. Like the way he treats Steris. And the way he treats Ranette. And the way he treats some of the people in his life should really bother you. And one of my goals with Wayne was to tell a story that mimics what I see in real life, where there are people I know and I love who also have this way about them that you realize they aren't quite-- grown-up's the wrong term... Like, all of us are the heroes in our own group of friends. We're all the hero of our story. We each have different things we're working on. And some of them are classic good storytelling things, like "I'm gonna learn to be more bold." Which is totally me. Totally something I need to work on. But some of them are "I treat people who aren't in my inner circle really poorly, especially if they're trying to get into my inner circle. And then when you're in my inner circle, I have a dysfunctional relationship with you a lot of time." And I thought I could only really do that with a character that you loved while you were really annoyed by them, because otherwise I feel like the character wouldn't work. Maybe I could do it a different way, but I really wanted to dig into that in these new Mistborn books, and Wayne was my vehicle for doing this.

    Some kind of nebulous sort of writerly things going on there.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2213 Copy

    Questioner

    I like Mistborn: Secret History. Is there going to be a Mistborn: Secret History 2?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I hope to be able to write one. But this comes back to the "Let's make sure I'm getting the things that I have promised sequels to moving at a reasonable rate before I do side projects like that." So, I'd like to do one, but I'm not promising one.

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2214 Copy

    Questioner

    What do you feel about people who take your books and are really inspired by them and taking them as their life motto? For the example, the Stormlight Archive mantra "Life before death..."

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am honored. Absolutely. The things that I am putting in the books are things I'm passionate about, things I'm thinking about, things that I think are relevant. I am completely honored. And I guess it would depend on whose motto you take. But absolutely honored, I think it's awesome.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #2215 Copy

    lupicorn

    I had a question about what it means to swear the Ideal of Law. Several fans have told me it means to define the law, in the Nixon, "when the president does it, that means it is not illegal," sort of way. I interpret it as becoming the embodiment of the law such that they can't willingly violate any law without breaking their oaths.

    Do either of these interpretations hit the mark? Nale seems to follow the law more so than most and that doesn't just seem like a personal preference.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say that both of these interpretations could work for a given Skybreaker, which is why there is disagreement among the order itself. Perception is a big part of the oaths.

    I wouldn't want to squish this discussion by offering too much on one side or the other, as this is exactly where I want the conversation to be going right now.

    Oathbringer Leeds signing ()
    #2218 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Lift and Hoid disagree on bacon. 

    Questioner (paraphrased)

    Is this because food on Roshar is usually either Spicy (male) or Sweet (female), so salty bacon would just taste wrong to Lift?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    She just doesn't like the taste, please don't think too much into it.

    Skyward Houston signing ()
    #2220 Copy

    Aerin

    What does M-Bot have against Doomslug and Rig?

    Brandon Sanderson

    M-Bot treats Rig kind of like you might treat a doctor. Even though he's good for you, you may not enjoy having someone poke around at you.

    With Doomslug, it isn't that he has a lot against Doomslug. Doomslug just isn't a good conversationalist. She does a lot of repeating back at you what you say. So getting trapped only with Doomslug would be--

    Aerin

    Can the second book have Doomslug with a bow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In a bow? I will try to get Doomslug a bow.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2223 Copy

    Questioner

    Could a skilled Awakener Awaken a gemheart?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but you got to remember, some of these things like metal and gemstones and things do not Awaken well, how about that... Technically yes, it may not do the thing that you want it to do.

    Questioner

    But it'll do a thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It'll do a thing.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2227 Copy

    Questioner

    Would you be able to cure addiction with Forgery?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You could temporarily mask the symptoms of it, but I wouldn't call it being cured. You would also-- If you did something like the Emperor where you're constantly getting it renewed, the big danger is, since you haven't solved the problem at its core, falling back into it. But it's theoretically possible you could cover up the symptoms and have someone pull out of it that way.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2229 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there anything about the Stonewards that you can share that's not a RAFO? I know they're coming later.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are coming later, so not really. They were more of the Knights Radiant front line troops, as opposed to the Windrunners who were scouts. But you probably already knew that.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2233 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do the lines point, exactly, when burning steel or iron?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Generally, right toward your center.

    Questioner

    On the objects?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, the objects. Center of mass, unless you are starting to get really good at it, whereupon you'll be able to kind of see a sort of spectrum that you can pull on and yank on.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2234 Copy

    Questioner

    If someone had a Hemalurgic spike and they burned aluminum, would the negation of-- am I going to get RAFO'd?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're asking if it would destroy the Hemalurgic power? Burning aluminum at that point would not destroy the Hemalurgic power. It would pull the Investiture through whatever you're doing. It would blank your power, but it wouldn't destroy you being an Allomancer with the spike...

    I actually considered this in building it and that would be too easy a way to remove Inquisitors, particularly if there were dissension between them.

    Skyward Atlanta signing ()
    #2237 Copy

    Questioner

    In The Stormlight Archive, are there any on-screen appearances of dragons in any form?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. Sorry.

    Questioner

    Dragons can be shapeshifters, correct?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can, yes.

    Questioner

    Do they only have a humanoid form they can appear as, or can they appear as many humans?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2242 Copy

    Questioner

    How about something related to Emperor's Soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had a really good idea for a sequel earlier this year, but I don't know if I'll ever do it. I don't want to Lucas it. I don't want to take something that works so well on its own, and then make something that makes it not work as well on its own. I might do it, I might not.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2243 Copy

    Questioner

    You've written a lot of novels and talked a lot about form. Are you interested or excited about any new formats of writing that you might take in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would like to try my hand at video games. I play a lot of games. I am really interested in the way that video games tell stories in ways not like books. I generally (though I can enjoy those games) don't like the stories of games that try to do it like a book. So I like things like Dark Souls, that does its worldbuilding and storytelling in a way very different from the way that a book does its storytelling. Or even something like Infamous, where they make you run across to do something, and while you're doing it someone calls you on the phone and gives you an infodump. That's really interesting to me.

    So I would like to try my hand at it at some point. My first attempt, which was getting a Mistborn videogame going, did not work out. But I have not given up. I have no news on that, but let's just say I have not given up on finding a way to worm my way into video games. And you see me doing this periodically. The Infinity Blade books were me wanting to work with video game storytellers to try and figure out how this format works better. And you'll see me doing more of this in the future.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2244 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have any places where you put worldbuilding material out in public?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Once in a while. I put up the outline for Steelheart once the series was done. I usually keep things close to the heart if there are things that have not yet been finished. The dramatist in me does not want the spoilers to get out there. (Even though... studies have all said that if you have spoilers, you generally enjoy a story more than if you haven't. I am incapable of believing those numbers, and doggedly dislike spoilers.) There are some that I'll release, and you can look on my website where I talk about some of this stuff. The Steelheart outline's floating around out there somewhere, and it has a bunch of the worldbuilding elements for that in it. And I'll do more of this as I finish up series and release them.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2245 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm planning a game for Mistborn roleplaying. What are your thoughts on an obligator, an Oracle obligator Misting who (and this is pure theorycrafting on my end) can, burning the alloy of atium and cadmium, put himself into a stasis to last into Alloy of Law era, realize "Where has my Lord gone?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think that's a great story. I don't know if it would work 100% in canon, but in a roleplaying game, that sounds feasible and great.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2246 Copy

    Questioner

    Are you ever scared someone's going to ask you a question you don't want to answer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Scared, no. But the thing that worries me is I flub some of the questions 'cause I'm just not paying attention. I get into the groove of signing and they hit me with something. And I usually flub one or two a night, where I'm just not paying attention. Or I think they ask something, and I'm thinking they asked something they didn't. Those are the ones I don't like. I don't fear them, but I'm like, "Argh." They only happen once a night. But it happens consistently.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2247 Copy

    Questioner

    If you write down a measurement of a firespren, it locks into that. If you write down a measurement that's not true, will that still work? Can you just write down the measurements of a firespren and quadruple its size?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let me just say this. Human perception of spren has an intrinsic effect on how they act, react, and interface with the world.

    Questioner

    So if I were to take a picture of a firespren, increase the brightness on my phone by 5000, and then write down that recording, the firespren would multiply brightness by 5000?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't say that. I said, "Human perception of spren influences their behavior and their form."

    Skyward release party ()
    #2248 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm an illustrator. I know a couple illustrators in the area have worked with you on some illustrations. So how does that work? I know usually the art director is the only one who has a say in the art.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Isaac is my art director. We have enough influence with the publisher that we hire out everything except the cover, and we say, "You're just putting this in." I pay for it. I started that on my second book, after they didn't pay my illustrator on the first book, because they forgot and lost the check. And it took them, like, eight months to get another check. I'm like, "I'm just gonna pay for this. So I make sure my illustrator gets paid." And from then on, I've just done that. When you're paying for it, the publisher lets you do a whole bunch of stuff.