Recent entries

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2351 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the concept of the King's Wit inspired by Shakespear's Twelfth Night?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, a lot of Shakespear's fools. But the fool in Twelfth Night, and the fool (for a different reason) in King Lear, both are inspirations. And I think you would find that as a blanket truth for a lot of us writers. I haven't asked Robin Hobb this, but I'm willing to bet that there's some Shakespear's fool characters in that. Twelfth Night is my favorite of his fools. In fact, in the very first versions that I wrote of him, he was way more jester-like than he ended up being in the published version of the Cosmere. But if anyone reads Dragonsteel, the one at BYU, he'll feel even more like a jester.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2352 Copy

    Questioner

    Would you have someone do what you did for Robert Jordan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I would be one of the biggest hypocrites in the universe if I didn't, I think. And earlier in my career, I said the books just weren't... there hadn't been enough of them. But I'm getting to the point where I think that they could be. There's still so many to write. But I would at least have someone finish four and five of Stormlight if I got hit by a car, and four of the Wax and Wayne books. Whether it would be reasonable to have someone finish the entire Cosmere, I don't know. But at least the ones I haven't finished of main sequences, yes.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2354 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you think you'd have more creativity with ironpulling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you do. I really want to do something with ironpulling as a main character to show all the creativity, and stuff. But, I just feel like it'd be easier. There's so much metal around, bouncing off of stuff would be so much fun.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2355 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you decide what perspective you put it in? First person, third person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of it depends on the number of viewpoints I'm gonna have for a book. It's a pretty easy thing, but if I'm gonna have one viewpoint, I'll put it almost always in first. Not always, but almost always, because I can use the tools. Genre influences it also. First person's more prevalent in YA than it is in adult. And kind of, like, what tone do I want for it? Like, the first person book I'll do in the Cosmere, I probably won't do one until I do Hoid's book. Because he's the storyteller telling you the story. And the other ones, I want to be trustworthy, like the narration of which, even if a specific viewpoint is untrustworthy, the narration is trustworthy.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2356 Copy

    Questioner

    The natural sarcasm in Wit, is that just purely natural? Or do you have inspiration for all of those sarcastic comments?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I often, if I have to write a lot of the character, will look for a similar humor style, and see if I can channel it. If I'm writing Wit, for instance, I'll go to somebody more biting. Some modern comedians, or occasionally Oscar Wilde. If I'm writing Shallan, I'll try to look for something softer and more wordplay-ish, like Jane Austen. And just kind of read a bunch of it, and try to get the feel. It just depends. If I'm writing Lopen, I will try to look for the kind of uplifting humor, self-effacing style. Like, I just kind of have a different style for each type, and I try to find a person or writing in the real world that has that type of humor and try to use it.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2357 Copy

    Questioner

    In Secret History, Fuzz mentions having buried something. That's the atium, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Questioner

    So, I was just thinking, if it's something of greater import, I'll just leave it to that it's not the atium. But it's something else, I think. But, I was just thinking, if he wanted to hide something, he could build a planet around it? Because he built a planet. I'm guessing, if I asked a question about that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You would get RAFOd. Excellent question.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2358 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you think when the Alcatraz series is done, you can make a short story where they have a Smedry family reunion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh, what a great idea. I'll have to think about that. I like that idea a lot. If I write it, you can take credit for it, if I forget to credit you.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2360 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering, where did you get the idea for <crystals>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It came from the crystal sword, and just grew out of that. Most of the things in the Alcatraz books, I start with an idea, and then I grow it outward. Which is the reverse process of how I normally write books, where it's where I outline and then build according to the outline. The Alcatraz books are me practicing the other style of writing, which we call discovery writing. Because I think writers need to know how to do both.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2361 Copy

    Questioner

    If his name wasn't Stephen Leeds, what would it be? Did you have an alternate name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I didn't have an alternate name. If I were naming it now, I would think of something that works really well as a one-word title, because Legion is just too fraught with too many other different properties. And the name Leeds works okay, but not great. It's not as good, and so I would need a name like that, that works as a last name, but also works as a title. Like, when they did Castle. That works really well as both a title and as a name. And so it needs something along those lines. Monk was another good one. Like, this genre tends to do that. And so I wasn't thinking of Leeds. I was thinking of Leeds as a small internal pun, because he's the middle management of his own brain. But I don't think it works as well as its own in a  title. So it would still probably be Stephen, but I would find another word there.

    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    And finally, media properties.

    1. Mistborn: Birthright. (Video Game for consoles and maybe PC, cross platform.) We’re looking at 2015 for this right now. (Sorry.) The new console generation made us push it back. I’m still planning to write it, and development is still moving. It’s far from dead.
    2. Mistborn film. Option runs out in January. I’ve had a very good experience with the producers, but so far, we do not have funding for the film. We’ll have to see where we are in another six months.
    3. Legion television show. Lionsgate still has this under option!
    4. Steelheart Film. I had lunch with the producer at Comic-Con. It’s still early in the process, but they’re very engaged and very excited.
    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
    #2364 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    As for non-sequel, original projects, here’s what might be coming in the future, as they stand now.

    1. “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell.” Cosmere novella set on a new world. Find it in GRRM and Gardner Dozois’s anthology called Dangerous Women, which I believe is coming out Christmastime. Read an excerpt on Tor.com.
    2. “Sixth of the Dusk.” Cosmere novella set on a new world. Written following a Writing Excuses brainstorm. Still needs a revision, but should be released later this year.
    3. The Silence Divine. Standalone Cosmere Novel. Modestly far off, but maybe not too far. I don’t want to be stuck writing only sequels. Though, since I did release two new books this year (Rithmatist and Steelheart) in new worlds, starting new series, I will probably wait on this one until those series are done.
    4. The Liar of Partinel. Cosmere Novel, set on the original planet of Yolen and dealing with Hoid’s origin story. Very far off right now.
    5. Skyward. (Working title.) Young Adult cosmere novel. In the early stages of development. Probably a few years off.
    6. Dark One. Non-cosmere YA novel. Still haven’t been able to get this one off the ground. I had a chance, but The Rithmatist worked better, and I wrote that instead. Don’t hold your breath on this one, though someday I might post the sample chapters that I wrote a few years back.
    7. Death By Pizza. (Urban Fantasy.) This book was fun, but not remotely good enough to publish. We’ll see if I ever get the bug to go back and fix it.
    8. White Sand. Cosmere trilogy. Some fun things are happening here, but I can’t really talk about them right now.
    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
    #2365 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    What does this mean for future projects? Well, let me go down the list of sequels in order of current urgency.

    1. Rithmatist Sequel. I will hop on writing the next one very soon.
    2. Shadows of Self. (The next Wax and Wayne Mistborn novel.) I’ve finished some sample chapters of this and have a fairly solid outline. Expect to see me writing on this sometime early next year.
    3. Book Three of Stormlight. I don’t want to let this series languish with three year gaps between books, as I was forced to do between books one and two. Because of this, I’ll try to be doing them at 18 month or 24 month intervals at the most. Do note that the books, at around a thousand pages each, are HUGE undertakings. The way I write, I have to space out projects like this. They’ll be regular, I promise, but part of the reason I’m so productive is because I allow myself freedom to work on different projects, instead of being beholden to one series.
    4. Calamity (Book Three of Steelheart.) This will be the final of that trilogy.
    5. Elantris Sequel. (This is getting close. Should be doing this in the relatively near future.)
    6. Legion Sequel. I have sample chapters of this done, but as it’s a side project, it can’t command prime writing time. I will probably slip it in between some of the books above somewhere, but I can’t promise when.
    7. Final Rithmatist book. (I’m not 100% sure this will be a trilogy. It might just be two books.)
    8. Nightblood. (Warbreaker sequel.) This one is still fairly far off.
    9. Alcatraz 5. Still planning to write this. We have to find a home for the series, however, as I bought the rights back to it from Scholastic earlier this year. Within the next couple of months, my US readers will be able to buy my British publisher’s omnibus edition of the first four books.
    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
    #2366 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    During July, I took time off from major projects to have a breather. If you aren’t aware, I prefer to do smaller projects between big epics as a means of helping me stay fresh. This month’s “breather” stories include a novelette (9k words) piece set in the Steelheart world, which should be published as an e-original around Christmastime. I also did some work in the Infinity Blade world. (More on that later. If you aren’t aware, this is a video game that friends of mine make. I’ve enjoyed being involved to practice my video-game writing chops, with an eye toward doing Mistborn video game writing.)

    My next major writing project will be the sequel to Steelheart, which is called Firefight. (And if you haven’t seen the trailer, Prologue, or teaser chapters for Steelheart, please go give them a look! We’re hoping for big things from this novel.) As you might be aware, I will often be preparing for/writing one piece while I do revisions on another. I generally can only do new prose on one piece at a time, but I like to be revising and writing on two different things at once. So, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be writing Firefight and revising Words of Radiance.

    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
    #2367 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    First off, of course, is Words of Radiance. If you weren’t watching, I finished the rough draft of this book (the second book of the Stormlight Archive, and sequel to The Way of Kings) late June. I sent it off to my agent and editor for commentary and advice. I got back my editor’s notes last week, my agent’s notes today, and Peter just finished assembling everything together and doing a tight, continuity-focused copyedit of the entire manuscript. At 360k words, it’s roughly the length of A Memory of Light.

    Obviously, there’s a lot left to do here. Tor keeps talking about January as a publication month, and I’d like to meet that, if at all possible. That’s going to require me to do several drafts of the novel over the next two months. More updates as we progress, but I’m pleased with the book. It has only a few large flaws, and I think they can be fixed fairly quickly.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2372 Copy

    Mestiv

    What do you think about Arcanum (the website)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Very cool! I am happy to see this sort of thing happening, and different directions going, it can be a little intimidating.

    Footnote: Mestiv is the lead developer of Palanaeum, which is the platform Arcanum runs under.
    Skype Q&A ()
    #2373 Copy

    Mestiv

    Cosmere is a dwarf galaxy. Does Investiture exist in other galaxies? Do those galaxies have their own Adonalsiums?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is beyond the scope... that's a RAFO, but not a RAFO I'm going to answer, that is a RAFO that we are concerned only with the cosmere.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2374 Copy

    Extesian

    Can you give away a Divine Breath to another human? If so would they have the same powers as a Returned or would they just 'store' it like an inanimate object that Breath is stored in when not Awakened? Does a human require a 'crack' in their spirit web to receive a divine Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, a Divine Breath-- you're kind of going along the wrong direction on that line of reasoning. Divine Breaths cannot be transferred. When they are used they immediately become kinetic Investiture and are activated. This manifests normally as healing the person, both body, mind, and soul, but you can't give it up, transfer it in the same way you can regular Breaths.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2375 Copy

    Extesian

    You've said that Nalthians without Breath have something missing (are less invested) than other humans. Was this the case before Endowment invested on Nalthis? Would a non-Nalthian given Breath, who then gives up that Breath, be less invested than before they got the Breath? Would there be something missing in their spiritweb compared to their original state?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, no. If someone from Sel went to Nalthis and got a Breath and then gave it up, would it give up more, the answer would be no, they would be who they were before.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2376 Copy

    Lerasium Mistborn

    Will we know why Dalinar has a "warm feeling" sometimes? More specifically, in Oathbringer Hoid calls (covertly) Adonalsium's Power a "God's Light". Is it the same Light Dalinar senses?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2377 Copy

    Lerasium Mistborn

    Dalinar had two non-Stormfather visions. First at the end of Words of Radiance, and second with Nohadon in Oathbringer. I'm curious if these two are related or they come from different sources?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, by even answering that, this is one of those questions I tend to RAFO because by answering it I'm implying that your postulations are correct, which I am not even willing to do. It's more of a RAFO in that... let's just say I'm not even willing to confirm the postulations.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2379 Copy

    Kidpen

    Do Smedry Talents transferring between marriage have to do with whether the couple sees themselves as married, or the spouse seeing themselves as a Smedry?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question! I am going to go with... whether the... I've thought a lot about this one. And I keep thinking and wanting to distinguish it from cosmere magics, which are all perception based. So I want this to kind of be more about the oath sworn, that the magic kind of seals, which also has a cosmere-ish sort of feel to it but not quite as much. When you have sworn the vows, so to speak, that's what the magic cares about.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2382 Copy

    LadyLameness

    You've said that Tien was beginning to bond a Cryptic before he died – did he use Surgebinding before he died, even unconsciously? If yes, did we ever see it on screen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was far enough along to start having some of the-- let's just say he was far enough along to have sworn at least one oath.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2383 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    Do the Fused still require a bond with a spren for maintaining a form/full sapience, or does the Investiture that makes them Cognitive Shadows fulfill that requirement?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do not require a bond with a spren, so yes, the Investiture handles all of that.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2387 Copy

    RenegadeShroom

    Have any groups of singers ever had any nonbinary genders? That is to say, a fifth gender recognized by their culture, rather than malen and femalen, which seem to function as more of an extension of the gender binary than anything our culture would recognize as nonbinary.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2388 Copy

    RenegadeShroom

    Can you tell us anything about Elend's mother; her name, the house she was born into, that kind of thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I could, but I don't have the notes handy and it's been a long time. So that one's a "if you can catch me when I have the notes open", then yes, but it is very important to him, not relevant to the overarching story terribly much.

    Skype Q&A ()
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    Calderis

    Feruchemical aluminum stores and taps a marker that seems to suffuse all Investiture within a person, removing or strengthening Identity. Does Feruchemical duralumin work similarly? Does tapping connection while storing in a metalmind increase the connection of the Investiture stored?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. Mostly because I've got a main character who's going to be doing this, I'm not going to spoil the fun or lock myself down yet.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2390 Copy

    Calderis

    In Shadows of Self, in the scene where Paalm is speaking to Wax from a floor above, she rushes out the window and down past him. The window isn't damaged, the earth that she runs on isn't damaged, and she runs down a flight of stairs at speed. Being as "speed" affects gravity, and physics apply to Paalm as if she were moving at normal speed, is Feruchemical steel a temporal effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *laughs* Nice. I'm going to ask for more definition. What do you mean by temporal effect. What exactly do you mean by that? Are you reaching into magic system definitions, or are you trying to use our definitions? Give me more.

    Skype Q&A ()
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    Blightsong

    In Oathbringer it is revealed that the humans who originally came to Roshar were the first ones to be named Voidbringers and that they carried magical powers. The Stormfather also implies that modern Surgebinding didn't exist before the Heralds. Were the original powers that the humans possessed Voidbinding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, we're getting into lots of interesting definitional problems here. And also the ways that different entities perceive the definitions of different terms. I will answer this question specifically as we do the flashbacks from Ash and Taln's viewpoints. So you've got a long ways to wait. But understand that definitions are not always-- the way that people define things cannot always be trusted. That said, humans were not using powers from Honor originally.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2393 Copy

    Jofwu

    Continuity question:

    Just prior to meeting with the Nightwatcher 5.5 years ago, Dalinar wakes up at the end of a highstorm and seems to have experienced a vision from Stormfather. But in The Way of Kings, Dalinar says that the visions only began "a few months ago." He also seems to have specific memory of the "first" even if he can't recall all of the details, and it seems unlikely he would have visions for several years without anyone having noticed.

    So, should we assume that (1) this strange "dream" in Oathbringer was not actually a one of Honor's visions? Is that just a weird dream, or perhaps some OTHER vision from Stormfather?

    Or, (2) this is one of Honor's visions and any contradictory details from The Way of Kings are superseded by Oathbringer?

    Or, (3) this is one of Honor's visions, and Dalinar just doesn't remember his history of the visions very well.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I did this quite intentionally, it's not number two. But I expected these questions to be asked, and it's a RAFO, but it's one of these RAFOs where I wrote it very deliberately the way I did on purpose, and I'm going to leave it to your speculation as to what it means.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2394 Copy

    Jofwu

    Is the current year number (1174) just a Vorin convention, or is everyone on Roshar using the same calendar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a Vorin convention, but the Vorin convention has been adopted by a lot of cultures.

    Ravi

    Just like our Gregorian?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. But there are different numbering conventions.

    Skype Q&A ()
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    Alyssum

    How would someone with naturally perfect pitch be affected socially on Nalthis, even though they only have one Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would be regarded-- they would be well-regarded, let's say that. Now, you say on Nalthis, but there are a lot of cultures on Nalthis, and so they're not going to be a monolith, but a lot of cultures are going to consider this person someone who's touched by the divine, or someone who's-- it's going to be a sign, perhaps, that there's something about this person, depending on the culture.

    Skype Q&A ()
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    Alyssum

    You said previously that someone with synesthesia wouldn't be affected by Heightenings differently, unless they had a lot of Breath. What would those effects be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to depend on the type of synesthesia, because there are so many different types.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #2397 Copy

    Lightweaver Gaz

    SPEAKING OF Shallan's Red I would like to know what his actual name is for fanfiction purposes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh. Fanfiction purposes... I have not named him. I just call him Red.

    Ravi

    This is the "Ultra Gaz" fan I told you about. And she wants to write a fanfic about--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't have a name for him right now. If you write a fanfic, he'll call himself Red. So that's reasonable.