Recent entries

    Skype Q&A ()
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    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 ()
    #2652 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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
    #2656 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 ()
    #2658 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 ()
    #2661 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 ()
    #2662 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 ()
    #2666 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 ()
    #2667 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 ()
    #2668 Copy

    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 ()
    #2669 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 ()
    #2671 Copy

    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 ()
    #2672 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 ()
    #2673 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 ()
    #2674 Copy

    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 ()
    #2675 Copy

    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 ()
    #2676 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.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2681 Copy

    Questioner

    In Calamity, Calamity's part of a mysterious group or civilization, really weird motives, we don't find out much about them. Was that <pointed, in any way,> part of the plot from the start?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was.

    Questioner

    Do you have a plan to explain that civilization?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will someday  explain that. At the very least, if I just have to sit down and write an essay on it, to give the closure. Yes, I will. And I do apologize for that. Apocalypse Guard was going to delve into this, but then the book got cancelled. By me.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2682 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned that you thought Rithmatist was gonna in the Cosmere. Did you have a Shard in mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Very early on, I did. But I won't tell you who it was. It it not a Shard we've seen. If I ever do write Rithmatist 2, you might be able to piece it together. Though I'm, in revisions of the outline, really trying to push it away from where it was originally, so it will have a distinctive feel of its own. So I'm trying to write out some of the cosmere elements. But this is one of those things that, if I write it out too much, it just won't match with the first book. So I have to be okay with some of the sort of cosmere relationships.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2683 Copy

    Questioner

    What technology that you have heard of recently in real life has inspired fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's gotta be something in Skyward, right? Maybe?

    Obviously, the Legion stories are, all three of them, inspired by real-world technology that I read something interesting about, and then go and write a story about. The first one, taking pictures of the past with a camera, not a real-world technology, but I was reading about photography and things like that. The second one, storing data inside of human cells, that's a real thing that lots of people are trying to do that, it's very interesting. And I didn't want to do a story about that, because I thought other people would do stories about that, so I did a story where someone storied data in a body and then lost it. And the third one is directly inspired by my kids love of their VR.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #2684 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever written something else that you pulled into the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I don't do that very often. In fact, I'm trying to think of one that was outside the cosmere that pulled into it, and I can't think of one. I have pushed stories out of the cosmere very frequently. And the reason I do this is because I don't want to be setting things in the cosmere just because of the cosmere. I want to be setting things in the cosmere because they work and advance the story of the cosmere in a way I want it to be. And I want to be sure that I'm not just saying "Well, we'll shove this in the cosmere." So I very frequently try things out in the cosmere, and then pull them back. One of the main reasons I pull them back is I don't want any connection to Earth in the cosmere. So if a book needs a connection to Earth, or for some reason I like how the connection to Earth works, I will pull it out of the cosmere. The only thing I can think of that was out and went in was Dark One. But then it went out again.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2685 Copy

    Questioner

    In Alcatraz series, he talks about a lot of things. Religion, fame, particularly fame, stuff like that. I was wondering if that is his voice entirely, or if it's also partially you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a lot of me in Alcatraz. My mother says Alcatraz is her favorite character because he sounds the most like me.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2686 Copy

    Questioner

    What book was the most fun to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The most fun to write was probably the third Wax and Wayne book, which is called Bands of Mourning. It was just a blast.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2688 Copy

    Questioner

    What Order of Knights Radiant would you be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know. I've thought this before. Probably Bondsmith would be definitely my personality. But it depends. It depends on, if I were living in Roshar, what would my life be like, and things like that. A lot of people could be in multiple Orders, depending on the spren they meet, and where they go from there.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2689 Copy

    Questioner

    I listen to a lot of your books, and the fight sequences are <seriously good>. How... Do you have people, like, live-action it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not, but I do a lot of having beta readers. And you can ask my beta readers, the action sequences are often the things that need the most work. Because I will not know what things are working or not working until I get those reads back where people say, "I'm not clear here, I'm not clear there." A lot of times, when I'm writing the first draft of the fight scene, I'm looking for the emotional connection to the character. What they're trying to accomplish. And then I see which of the things I wrote work with the readers and they can visualize, and then I back up and try again on the ones that don't.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2690 Copy

    Questioner

    What kind of Radiant do you think Shai would be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good question. I would go with Edgedancer. Listening is one of the things, but also the ability to get places where you're not supposed to be would be very up her alley. There is a argument for one with Lightweaving power. Shai a Lightweaver... does she lie to herself? No. She's very good at not lying to herself, which is part of it. I would go Edgedancer, followed by Lightweaver. We could make an argument that she, depending on situations, could end up in either order.

    Which is not that uncommon, depending on the spren that you need.

    Questioner

    What would Kaladin's second Order be if he weren't a Windrunner?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would have to think about that. I haven't considered it.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2692 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have a character that's your... a way to be interacting through a character through a first person viewpoint.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably the closest thing I have is Alcatraz, from the Alcatraz books. Who is my method of blowing off steam about the writing process.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2693 Copy

    Questioner

    So, in Steelheart. The symbol of hope, they're thinking it's the Superman symbol.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is. But I couldn't say that, because it's trademarked. But that is what it is.

    You can imagine it as not. Because, I can't ever talk about Superman in that world. You can imagine it's an alternate version of our world where it's not. If it were ever made into a movie, it would not be.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2695 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a specific ear that Vin's earring goes in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and we've canonized that, but I can't remember which one it is. If you look online, we have posted it to the fans, and they've put it in the wiki.

    Footnote: Peter has since canonized that Vin's earring is in her left ear. See this entry.
    FanX 2018 ()
    #2696 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspired Steris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Partially, me feeling that I didn't do a fair shake by an autistic character in Elantris, and wanted to do a better job of it later on after I had read more and more about it, and I'd known some people with autism, and things like that, and I wanted to try approaching someone on the spectrum from a more realistic viewpoint. Not that Elantris is completely wrong, but it's more Hollywood interpretation, rather than the real-life way that a lot of people who have autism live with it. That was part of it.

    Part of it was also, I wanted to write a character based on a friend of mine, who when I first met them, was very kind of abrasive. And as I got to know them, became one of my best friends ever. And I'm like, "I want a character like that for fans." So if you read the book, you're like, "I hate this character." But at the end, you're like, "Oh, when I can see from their eyes, suddenly they're one of my favorites."

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2697 Copy

    Questioner

    Kaladin is one of my favorite characters, and I noticed he's a really good leader, but he also does have his very hard moments. And I was wondering, what inspired you to make such a strong character that is allowed to cry and be weak?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is partially my philosophy on writing coming out. And is partially me noticing some things about characters in books that I felt hadn't been covered very well. Certain styles of characters had not been done as much, and I wanted to explore that direction. I take a lot of inspiration from my wife for Kaladin, actually, who has depression.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Do you see yourself as a certain character in the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are all one part me, one part not me.

    Questioner

    I was wondering if you see yourself as Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Definitely not Hoid. Hoid is very different from me. If I'm like anyone, I'm either like Sazed, maybe older Dalinar.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2699 Copy

    Questioner

    With Allomancy is of Preservation, and you have Hemalurgy, which is of Ruin. Is Feruchemy a joint effort between the two? Or is it a third party?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Joint effort.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #2700 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the plan for a book on Threnody?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Book on Threnody? I have a plan, but no promises when. I don't even have a title for it.

    Questioner

    Similar question for a book on First of the Sun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    First of the Sun is probably not going to have its own book. I might do a sequel short story, but it's not planned to have a full novel at this point in the Cosmere.