Recent entries

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2701 Copy

    kakarotoks

    How much do you usually work? Do you do about 40 hours/week, and never work on weekends or do you spend most of your time working (work = research, outlining, writing, doing conferences/book tours, etc.. but doesn't include thoughts that pop in your mind at random times during the day/night). Do you consider this as a 'regular job' (one that you are obviously passionate about) and you take the time to have hobbies/family time, and vacations, or is it your passion, your life, and you spend as much time as you can doing it

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's sometimes hard to measure, because the touring aspect of my job is very different from the day-to-day. And there are years when I spent 1/3 of my time touring. But the day to day is about 40 hours a week right now. It used to be more, but with kids and a family, I've pulled back somewhat to get a better balance, and to make sure I'm reading other people's work so that I keep an eye on what they're doing.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2702 Copy

    kakarotoks

    As for Skyward, you said before that you got stuck because you weren't liking it, then you finally figured out how to fix it, will you write a blog post after release about how it was before and what needed to be changed to make it fit your standard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Did I say that about Skyward? I got stuck on Apocalypse Guard, and pulled it for that reason. I don't believe I had any big issues with Skyward that weren't up to standards, just normal revision issues. The biggest hurdle came long before writing the book, as I was trying to figure out ways to approach this plot archetype in a way that wouldn't simply be a rehash of what people have done before.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2703 Copy

    kakarotoks

    In Bands of Mourning, the Connection medallion is filled with "Blank Connection" and Marasi can't understand Allik when she puts it on, but how do you fill the medallion with Blank Connection in the first place? And could Allik fill the medallion with his own Connection so that when Marasi taps that non-blank Connection, she would understand him ? Or even better, if instead of tapping Connection, Marasi decided to fill the medallion with her own Connection, would she become 'blank' herself then get auto-connected to local land? If yes, then why would Allik need to tap Connection when using the medallion instead of just filling it, becoming blank and understanding her? Or would that make him not connected to anything and unable to understand anyone ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right, so I want to be very careful on this. I typed out my response, but I've sent it to Peter to double-check to get another set of eyes on it. Once we get into mechanisms like this, we're digging into the cosmere-equivalent of computers or complex circuits. I need to make sure another person is double-checking my work.

    As a side note for the Sharders reading this, when I dodge these types of questions in physical Q&As, this is kind of the reason. It took me a good thirty minutes to dig into the mechanisms I've written out, re-read to reconfirm to myself I have the methods right, then write it out. And I still have to send it to Peter, just because there are a lot of complex nuances here.

    Calderis

    just looking to prod you about the "blank connection" answer you mentioned running by Peter last week

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I sent my reply to Peter, and he said, "This works, but I don't think you should answer it yet, as it comes too close to revealing things for the next books." So that's a RAFO via Peter, one of the first that has come that way, at least through me.

    kakarotoks

    Hi, pinging you again as you requested to see if Peter ever replied to you.I've waited patiently for you to finish touring (and maybe this is the wrong time now with christmas right around the corner), but can /u/mistborn or /u/peterahlstrom answer that first question. Seeing as BS already spent 30 minutes writing the answer, it would be a shame if it was lost in the end.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I responded to Brandon back in October, and we have an answer, but I'm not sure now is the best time to reveal it publicly. Sometimes Brandon decides to leave the mechanical reveals for the books.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2705 Copy

    Use_the_Falchion

    Do you have a writing/reading soundtrack that feels like it shouldn’t work but it does for you? Or do you ever give books (be it yours or others) theme songs?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't often choose theme songs, but I find that Daft Punk works for me as writing music, even when it really probably shouldn't.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2707 Copy

    NotOJebus

    Okay so Brandon, I've gotta ask, Rig's last name is McCaffrey. I thought, oh haha, nice McCaffrey reference.

    Then I got thinking.

    So Skyward is a story about a girl and her starship (dragon) who join a group to help defend their planet, which is made up of separate caverns (Holds) after humanity crashed (colonized) their world, and who has to defend said peoples from an enemy that periodically comes from the sky called the Krell (Thread).

    Let's just assume the world takes place in the DE universe and that Spensa and Co will eventually work out how to psychically teleport and... Brandon... Is Skyward just a sci fi retelling of the Dragonriders of Pern...

    Brandon Sanderson

    The White Dragon (along with Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen) are direct inspirations for Skyward. And Rodge's last name is a nod to Anne McCaffrey.

    I wouldn't say it's only a sci-fi retelling of these stories. But the plot archetype that inspired me is the "boy and his dragon" story. (Including Eragon and How to train your Dragon as well.) I've always wanted to do a story like this, but wanted to find a way to put my own spin (heh heh) on the story.

    You'll see how they diverge as the story progresses. But much as Mistborn was inspired by heist stories, this one was inspired by dragon egg stories.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2709 Copy

    DammyJerry

    Does Dalinar know about Adonalsium? Stormfather dropped the term during one of their talks, so did he tell Dalinar the whole story of Shattering and Shards? Also, does he understand what exactly he did when summoned perpendicularity or not? Does he understand what’s going on with him now (that he’s connected with Honor’s remnants)? Does he even know what “Shard” means?

    I guess, the question is “How cosmere-aware Dalinar is?”

    Brandon Sanderson

    As of Oathbringer, Dalinar isn't specifically aware of the larger cosmere story--though he would have numerous "Aha" moments if it were explained to him, as pieces of what he does know would fall into place. The Stormfather isn't particularly interested in the larger story, however, and that's one reason.

    Jasnah is a different story...

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2711 Copy

    Govir

    In the Mistborn series, when you were writing the prophecies, did you start with the "non-corrupted" versions and then corrupt them, or vice versa (or something else)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I started (as is my usual process) with the end in mind, and outlined backward. In this case, that meant constructing the final version of the prophesies first.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2712 Copy

    Govir

    An actual Skyward question: Were you inspired by the anime Gurren Lagann at all for this? That anime starts out with humans living in caves and being attacked in order to keep their population down. The cave dwelling and constant attacks is the only connection so far that I see (the rest of the anime gets pretty crazy and I don't think you'd go that far).

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid I haven't seen Gurren Lagann, which is probably an oversight--a lot of people talk about it being great.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2713 Copy

    WritesGeekyStuff

    1) What is the name for a Tineye/Archivist Twinborn?

    2) How would copper compounding work for a double copper Twinborn? Would you relive the memories stored in the burned copperminds extra vividly?

    Brandon Sanderson

    1) I'm not ready to open the floodgates for giving names to each twinborn combination yet. So RAFO.

    2) Another RAFO here. I'll delve into these ideas when/if I do this combination in a book series.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2714 Copy

    WritesGeekyStuff

    How much of Defiant has been colonised by humans? Do the caverns cover the entire world, or are they restricted to only a small area around Alta?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're seeing the most populated part of the world. There are some little enclaves all over the planet (which is smaller than earth) but most everything is congregated near where the original fleet landed. (Note that the Defiant was the name of the flagship they crashed on, not the planet's name.)

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2717 Copy

    vanahian

    Is possible that I'm overthinking about it but in Oathbringer, in Puuli's Interlude he spoke about what seems a new kind of faction-to-be in Roshar. Given how Puuli talks about them one can think he is describing the Knight Radiants we know. But he also mentions that, "They will come from the Origin," and that them are, "The sailors lost on an infinite sea." My question then is... Are they direct descendants of the original humans that migrated from Ashyn eons ago? Yeah, I know that in some way all are descendants of those humans but my question, to be clear, is if they are more Odium inclined for example. An Odium-winning-card.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2728 Copy

    Djoic

    You previously confirmed Kaladin has a depression. What about other two characters? Does Shallan has split personality disorder? And Dalinar has PTSD?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know that I'd say Shallan has straight up DID--and that is a controversial topic even under the more current terminology. More, Shallan is certainly disassociating herself, but the result is something I consider very individual to her. (Unlike Kaladin's fairly textbook chemical depression.)

    Dalinar has had some PTSD, though you'll see more of the traditional symptoms in Kaladin, and is a recovering alcoholic--and a few other things.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2730 Copy

    sv15249

    Venli is going to be a main character in Stormlight 4? With big focus like previous flashback characters had? I wanted to read more of Dalinar considering how Oathbringer ended with massive cliffhanger (sorta) for him.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dalinar will get more in 5 than in 4. Eshonai will have the flashbacks in 4, though Venli will be featured in them.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2731 Copy

    Firm_Spell

    How does Connection to a Shard actually work? 16 random people took 16 Shards in the past, I don't think all of them had special Connection to a certain Shard each of them picked. We even know that Ati, Ruin's Vessel, was a kind, generous man, direct opposition to Ruin's Intent.

    However, in Mistborn we find out that you must gain certain amount of Connection to become a Shard Vessel. Kelsier wasn't Connected to Preservation well enough (he's more of Ruin), Sazed was somehow Connected to both Preservation and Ruin? So, should you be Connected to a Shard to Ascend? Why was it different in the past?

    Also, what would happen if, theoretically Dalinar, a good, honorable man, kill Odium's Vessel and take a Shard for himself? Will he change Shard's Intent to something...let's say less destructive or Odium's intent will just devour his personality and he'll act just like Odium's current Vessel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's pretty big RAFO territory, I'm afraid. I'll just say that this is something I do intend to delve into in the books.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2733 Copy

    LameLamas

    I was surprised to find out Skyward trilogy is not a trilogy anymore, but four books. How did this happen? You have more stories in this world or book 3 is growing too big, so you decided to split it in two smaller books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My normal mode for a series is to write the first book, make sure it works and that I have a good feel for the characters, then sit down and really hammer out the outline for the series.

    When I did that for this book (sometime in early July) the outline that worked best was four books instead of three because of where the breaks and climactic moments were.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2734 Copy

    Govir

    During a reread of The Way of Kings, I noticed Kaladin mentions a light eyes by the name of Katarotam. Will we ever find out more about this light eyes? (For some context, Katarotam is listed along side Roshone and Amaram as a light eyes that Kaladin believes to be corrupt).

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. (This is possible, but not likely, in a Kaladin flashback.)

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2738 Copy

    tschan22

    The one thing that impressed me the most [about Skyward] are the awesomely vivid and thrilling dogfight scenes. How did you come up with these dogfighting techniques? Any particular inspiration that you can share with us? Thank you!

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, one of the things I try to do in combat situations is define a few rules that are different from the way our world works, nudging the combat to be more fantastical. This (hopefully) allows even those who are familiar with the situation to better suspend disbelief--since the rules of combat are different, then battles can theoretically play out in (plausible) ways that I decide and present, rather than running into real-world situations.

    For Skyward, I started with studying real-world dogfights, then added a couple big changes. One was some anti-gravity, the other was nudging the battles more toward the way they might work in a vacuum by removing some of the air resistance. The final piece was the light-lances, further pushing the combat into a direction where pilot maneuverability was enhanced. (And the battlefield could be different each time, allowing more variety.)

    That all together gave me the way I went about these battles. But I will say this--watching what some fighter pilots can do with their jets was enormously impressive. I had no idea, honestly, the things they are capable of doing.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2739 Copy

    MavenSoul

    I'm wondering if Shai could create a stamp that would turn someone into an Allomancer. Or, alternatively, create a stamp that would break a bond between a Radiant and their Spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is possible--but likely beyond Shai's ability. It would require large amounts of investiture. The second would be easier.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2743 Copy

    mikkomikk

    SKYWARD QUESTION! I've just read the prologue, did you do anything special to get in to the mind of a 7 yr old girl? Any inspirations for Spensa?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This one took a few tries--you can probably find earlier readings of it where the age was different, and the speech style was different. As with most things, it's a matter of trying something out, then looking for feedback.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #2744 Copy

    Zireks

    Generally when do you think the next time you will write a book set on a new, never gotten a book, Cosmere shardworld?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Does Threnody count? It got a short story. It's most likely, and could happen in the space between Stormlight 5 and 6 (though that is a busy time period for me--I've put a lot of books in there potentially.

    I think the chances of seeing a new world in a novella is much more likely.