Recent entries

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2902 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do you lie on the "BrandoSando" versus "Branderson"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would probably go "Branderson", but I don't mind either of them.

    Questioner

    Because I'm firmly in the BrandoSando camp.

    Brandon Sanderson

    BrandoSando? What about "BrandySandy"? I get that one too... No one goes with the cool ones. "Oh, the Sandman". I'm not cool enough.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2903 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a maximum speed a Coinshot can propel themselves or something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. It will vary slightly based on the strength of the Coinshot, but there are maximum velocities, just kind of-- you would burn yourself up at certain points.

    Questioner

    So imposed by the laws of physics.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, laws of physics are going to-- Those aren't normally going to come in play in Allomancy, because Pushing that hard will be really difficult... But, as we are getting into more mechanical uses of Allomancy, those laws of physics become more and more relevant.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2907 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your favorite guild in Ravnica?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably Dimir, probably. I mean I'm Esper, but I'm more interested in Dimir than I am in Azorius.

    Questioner

    That's exactly where I am, actually. I have an Esper Commander deck, been drafting Dimir heavily. Thank you so much!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm glad Dimir's finally good, 'cause in the previous two, Dimir has not been a place you wanted to be, either in original or in returns.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2908 Copy

    Mr Fancy

    The Returned. When they come back, they appear really attractive. Is that based on their own idea of what's attractive, or society?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is going to be society. But they are definitely having an influence over it, so let me say both in that case... Yeah, there could be a short, bald one. That is totally viable, but it's maybe what the person views as a societal ideal, how about that, an easier way to explain that.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2909 Copy

    Questioner

    How has your worldbuilding changed over time to date.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, it's become a lot more deliberate. And it has become more-- One thing is I've let myself push further. I've found that worldbuilding is one of those areas in storytelling where I can let myself kind of off the chain, off the leash, and go steps further than I thought I could, and it still turns out well. A lot of times if you do that with story, for instance, if you do that with plot, the way to kind of go off the leash and do something unexpected with plot is to do something that's not foreshadowed and is not satisfying, which can make for a really interesting story. Go watch Into The Woods if you want to go see something that-- Yeah, half the audience groaned when I mentioned Into The Woods, for a good reason. That's not a reason to not tell those stories, but experimenting with plot can, in many ways, be something that fails pretty spectacularly. Good to do it, it's good to learn those things, but worldbuilding, I've found, I haven't found that I've gotten ever too far where it's failing because the worldbuilding is too different. I've failed with my worldbuilding because I haven't brought the elements together. In fact, Apocalypse Guard, one of the reasons I pulled it is the worldbuilding was not working. And I can't release a Brandon Sanderson book with bad worldbuilding, right? *crowd laughs* That's like the baseline, "No." It's not the only thing that was broken in it, but it was one of the things that was broken in it. So, more deliberate, allowed myself to stretch further, and I would say I'm always kind of looking for those conflict points, nowadays, in the worldbuilding. The points of conflict are really interesting to me.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2911 Copy

    Questioner

    For the Saint in Skyward, I just love the funny prophet character. What was your inspiration for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, the Saint in Skyward. Not giving any spoilers. When I was working on this character, I was really looking for something-- I look for linguistic cues. Because if you can have linguistic cues to who's talking and what the character's like, and something that'll characterize them through their language, that makes it so much better in storytelling, because you don't have to put that in narrative, you can put it in the flow of a conversation. And you'll notice, at least I've noticed, that a lot of the great screenwriters look for these sorts of things, so they can tag who is speaking, even if it's offscreen, by the way that they are talking, and I just love to do this. And a lot of these things come out of me taking a scene and working with it and casting different people in the roles and trying their voices until I hit on one that I say, "That's interesting, let's dig into this further", and that's what happened there.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2912 Copy

    Questioner

    What's your favorite Wayne one-liner?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably "defecation of character". My favorite Wayne moments are the ones that you could conceivably miss. Like, there's one for the next book where he calls being pressed into the army, "corporal punishment," that I'm just totally over the moon over, that I think people will probably miss, and that's what makes them fun.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2913 Copy

    Questioner

    When you do the big twist at the end of a book, do you always have that twist in your mind when you begin writing the book, or do you do the twist after?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I generally have it ahead of time. I am an outliner. I like-- Writers tend to fall into two camps with a lot of variety in between--they're not polar opposites--between what we call "gardeners" and what we call "architects." I'm more of an architect. I like to build a structure and then hang my story on it. That said, you need to be flexible and willing to take something better if it comes along. For instance, Secret Project, which I can't tell you anything about, had a different ending than the ending I just put into it, because the ending just didn't land, right? I'm like, "Alright, I need to go back to square one and I need a better twist for this story," and I dug into it and came up with one. That causes a lot more revision to have to be done, but at the end of the day, I think you need to be able to do it. Sometimes when you're writing you just come up with something better, you're like, "I need to try this instead 'cause it's stronger".

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #2914 Copy

    MarShadow

    What new statement can you give us about the cosmere that would give us a bunch to speculate on?

    Brandon

    I'm not sure if there's something new I can say. Um, I think rampant speculation about the Threnody novel would be cool. So, you have seen a hint in the books about the Threnody novel that no one has asked me if this is the thing.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2920 Copy

    JoyBlu

    At the end of Oathbringer there is an agreement between Odium and Taravangian.

    "If you help me, I will save your family.  Anyone within two generations of you."

    Taravangian says "Not enough."

    "Then we have no deal"

    And so then they go on and they make the deal that says "The city itself, and any humans who have been born into it, along with their spouses."

    Was the grandchildren included in that? -- or was it meant to be ambiguous?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on where they were born.

    JoyBlu

    And then, Grandchildren. There are three listed of Taravangian's: Gvori, Karavangia, and Ruli.  There is also the one that Shallan drew the picture of which I think is a different one.  Is that right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *nods head in agreement*

    JoyBlu

    So far we have four granddaughters.  Karavangia is obviously named after her grandfather, Right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *nods head in agreement*

    JoyBlu

    Does he have more grandchildren named after him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *shakes head no*

    Why are you asking?

    JoyBlu

    I was wondering if Tarah was somehow related to Taravangian.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question, no.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2921 Copy

    OrangeJedi

    In several instances of the highstorms, several characters mention seeing large creatures walking in the highstorms; they don't seem to be super fazed by this. Do they know these creatures exist, is it part of their lore?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But you've got to also remember that people who are out in highstorms, they expect it to be... they expect to see odd things. When you're out in a highstorm, it does not faze you in the same way that if you go to a horror movie, you expect something horrific to happen.

    OrangeJedi

    Do they have a name for said creatures?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are names in various parts of the lore, but there is no one name.

    OrangeJedi

    Could you give us one of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2924 Copy

    JoyBlu

    As I was reading about nightmaws, I thought that nightmaws were like dinosaurs. Is that...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but they are feathered.

    JoyBlu

    Like a pterodactyl?

    Brandon Sanderson

    More like a giant...

    JoyBlu's Daughter

    Chicken!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Giant chicken. We're looking at a giant evil bird.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2926 Copy

    JoyBlu

    I dressed up as Kokerlii from Sixth of Dusk. I want to know, red and green are in the book are these [rainbow-colored array of feathers] appropriate, or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kokerlii I had not imagined as fully rainbow colored.

    JoyBlu

    So red and green, were there other colors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I was imaging red on green.

    JoyBlu

    What about the green Aviar? If I wanted to make a green aviar costume? Green and white?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes that would work.

    JoyBlu

    Is it just those two colors? Are there different shades of green?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are aviar that are like this *gestures to JoyBlu's costume*, full parrot. Totally legit. But There are a lot of breeds of aviar.

    JoyBlu

    *inaudible* What would be the best <pattern>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Solid colored feathers *inaudible*

    Skyward release party ()
    #2929 Copy

    Ethour

    Would an Aviar be capable of a spren bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What they do is the same thing, by cosmere terms. It is not as powerful; because of that it is easier to shift between people. What you gain is not as strong, but you also gain flexibility. But it would be, cosmerologically, considered the same thing.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2931 Copy

    Questioner

    Mistborn Era 3. Are you going to make a steel Twinborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a very dangerous combination. Let's just say that certain elements in-world are very, very interested in finding and/or making them.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #2932 Copy

    Questioner

    What has been the craziest, most off-the-wall, unexpected kind of feedback you've ever gotten--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh. *crowd laughs*

    Questioner

    ...you know kind of how it sent you in the right direction.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow, craziest off-the-wall feedback I've ever gotten and what direction did it send me. I have so much trouble with these things. Some people ask me the line "what's the weirdest thing a fan has had you write in a book". And I know, if I took the time, I could think of it, but off the top of my head it's kind of hard. I'm not sure what the craziest, most off-the-wall sort of feedback I've gotten. I've given a lot of crazy, off-the-wall feedback. Legion... came about because I was trying to convince my friend Dan Wells to write this book. *crowd laughs* "Oh, you could do this thing, and it could be like schizophrenia but not really, it could be a superpower," and he's like, "Brandon, that's not a Dan Wells book. That is a Sanderson book". And so I ended up writing the book, but that has happened. I've given weird feedback. I'd have to think about that one a little more.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2934 Copy

    Questioner

    If Vin had not killed the Lord Ruler. I would think that the Lord Ruler would take up the Well of Ascension a year later. Would he have just fixed the world to be what it was pre-...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think there are various theories of where this could have gone. Some, it would have been okay. I think that assuming things would turn out the way the Lord Ruler thought he was capable of doing would be assuming a lot, for what his state was at the time that he was *inaudible*. It is possible that things would have gotten much much worse. I'll just say that. I'm not gonna canonize either way, but I think there's a good argument in both directions.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2936 Copy

    Questioner

    There are honorspren and cultivationspren on Roshar. The other spren that are tied to orders of Knights Radiant, do they have any relationships with any other Shards?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are all going to be a mix of the Shards on Roshar. Some weight a little further one direction or the other. They are not off-world Shards. Good question.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2938 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have it planned out to a final ending?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do. It's interesting how the outlines work. The further you get in a given series, the middle books have the least, and the last books have the most. It's the same for the Cosmere. Last books of Era 4 have a lot more than the first book of Era 4 does.

    Questioner

    Is there a point where you foresee basically ending the Cosmere and moving away from writing the Cosmere, start doing prequels?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The fact that I will probably not finish this until, like, my 60s if we're lucky. I feel like that point, I could do more jumping around, but that will be an endpoint. I like things to end. So I won't write off doing some other things in the Cosmere, but that will be an endpoint.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2939 Copy

    Questioner

    What made you want to write Skyward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Skyward is a weird book in that it is a science fiction book based on a fantasy idea. Some of my favorite books when I was growing up were stories about a boy who finds a dragon egg or a dragon, and raises the dragon and then flies on the dragon, all sorts of fun stuff happens. And I've always wanted to do one of these stories. One of the very first books I ever read in fantasy was Dragonsblood by Jane Yolen, which I just reread so I could write a little review of it. And it's great. One of my favorite books of all time is The White Dragon, by Anne McCaffrey. And you'll find some Anne McCaffrey references in this book, you won't have to look that hard. But the idea was I wanted to do one of these books, but I never felt like I could give a good spin to it. And it is when I combined it with some other worldbuilding I had done in a science fiction universe and changed it from "a boy and his dragon" to "a girl and her spaceship" that the story really started to connect, because the worldbuilding that I had built for this galactic science fiction really clicked with this story. And that was kind of the breakthrough that I made, was combining these two things together.

    So, Skyward came from me wanting to write a story about a dragon. It just turns out the dragon is a spaceship with a really weird AI.

    Skyward release party ()
    #2940 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have any updates on the Dark One TV series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's got an interesting history. Dark One is one I've been working on for a long time, and I actually wrote out a big pitch for it when I pitched Apocalypse Guard to Random House, and I said, "Here's one of the other ideas I'm gonna write someday." They're like, "Woo. We'll keep this in our binder." And that binder made its way to their TV department, who read the pitch and was like, "We have to have this!" and came to me and said "Can we buy this?" I'm like, "Well, I haven't written the books yet." They're like, "We don't care. We want this pitch." And the pitch, the idea is that a young man in our world, a knight shows up to assassinate him, and he finds out that there's kind of a Narnia-esque fantasy world that his father visited when he was a kid and screwed up, and they are super mad. And they have prophecies that this kid is gonna be the next Dark One, and so they're gonna assassinate him before the whole epic-fantasy-thing can happen, and the Dark One tries to conquer the world. They're just gonna take him out first. And so it's kind of this twisting the story on its head idea. And it's a really fun pitch.

    So they bought it from me. I expanded it to a 30-page outline, sent it to them. I can't tell you who they got, but they've got somebody very big attached to it, which I'm very excited about, someone who I was excited about that my assistant Peter just about fell over dead when he heard the person attached. And we should be flying out to do pitches to studios and places early part of next year. We wanted to be doing it now, but I have a book launch, and they want me there with them.

    It's going really well. It's been a wonderful experience. I'm very hopeful with that, I think it will be a very interesting story if it happens.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2944 Copy

    Questioner

    I had a question about [steel] Ferrings. So, I saw that you had mentioned in a previous talk that you could only move so fast with air resistance, like eventually you'd start burning up. If you were to become an Edgedancer as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you can combine those two powers, Edgedancing and [steel] Ferring, then you are able to do things that would circumvent that restriction. Yes, indeed.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #2945 Copy

    Questioner

    When are you going to tell us about your Secret Project?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I have an NDA that I have signed, which says I will not tell people what it is. So, because of that, I'm staying just far away from it. I have said before, I'm letting them announce it when they want to announce it. It will be announced probably, and released, before the end of the year, is my expectation. I can't say anything else. Even if you guessed right what it was, I would have to say, "I don't know." Or "That sounds like it would be fun." But I will have to imply that I don't have any idea what you're talking about, even if you guess right.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #2947 Copy

    Daz925

    Where were you in your writing process for Elantris-- I know it was your sixth book and you were on your nineteenth when you got it published or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, good question.So, where was I in my process when I wrote Elantris and when I got published, which was my sixth novel. So what happened with my career, it's kind of a very weird thing. You find that everybody has a different path to success as a writer. I heard early on that your first five books are generally terrible and this was really relieving to me, because I--a part of my brain-- this would not-- someone else, this might've been the worst thing to tell them. But for me it was the best thing because my brain said, "Okay, good, you don't have to be any good at this for your first five books".

    And so my first five books I experimented quite a bit in story and tone. I did a gritty cyberpunkish thing. I did a comedy. I did an epic fantasy. I tried a lot of-- I did a space opera. I did a lot of different things. And once I had done all that, I came back and said, "You know, my first love is epic fantasy, and it's what I really want to do." So I sat down to write book number 6, which was Elantris.

    And at that point, I had gotten a few books underneath me. I kind of knew what I was doing, though I was not-- I hadn't figured out my process quite as well as I would have liked. Elantris and a lot of the books during that era I did a lot more discovery writing, and I naturally am better when I have a stronger outline. But that's where I was.

    My biggest weakness as a writer at that point was revision. I had spent those five early books just trying different things, and that permission for me to not be good yet also kind of gave me the psychological ability to be like, "Well, I don't have to revise this one, because I don't have to be good yet." But what that meant is I didn't practice revision. So once I finished Elantris, I was not good enough yet to know how to take a good book and make it great. So it went the rounds in New York and got rejected; rightly so, because it was very flabby and had not been focused. And I know, from a guy who writes thousand-page books, focus is a weird thing to say. *laughter*

    And so, when I actually sold Elantris to Tor, it was after it had gone through four or five drafts and I had finally sat down and kind of buckled down and said "I need to learn revision and learn how to make my books better". So I sold it right after-- right while I was working on Way of Kings in 2002, 2003, somewhere around there.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #2948 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned that the Heralds could sense each other's location--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Only in that version of the story... In that version of the story he actually gets his sword and it lets him sense and it leads him, not to the other Heralds, but the other Honorblades. He was mistaken even about that power because they have never separated from them before. And so, he thinks that he's going to find the other Heralds and he just finds their abandoned Blades.

    It was very cool in the context of that book. But of course, where the other Honorblades are now is not necessarily a mystery anymore. It doesn't kinda work in the current continuity.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #2949 Copy

    Questioner

    Are we going to see any other viewpoints from the Heralds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you will see-- I mean, Taln and Ash are both main characters, right? But you should see other viewpoints of other Heralds as we progress. The ones that survive long enough to get viewpoints.

    Questioner

    Are they gonna be viewpoints in this current timeline?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will see more in this current timeline. I know specifically several that are going to be interludish sort of things coming up.

    Skyward San Diego signing ()
    #2950 Copy

    Questioner

    If someone were to create a human shape, with full articulations, made out of the four Feruchemical Spiritual metals and copper and do like a full dump into them, would it be able to-- I mean, Investiture attains sapience on its own. And then with-- If those were mixed with the memories in the copper would it be able to effectively become an android of the person who created it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So we got a couple of issues you have to overcome in creating this. Number one, the memories are not going to attune to the Investiture itself, they're going to be attuned to you. The Investiture as it attains sapience is gonna create its own Identity, which is then going to be a mismatch for those memories. So you would have to find a way to get those memories to work for that creation.

    Questioner

    It wouldn't tie with the Identity that was stored in the aluminum?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it would not... The other thing you were getting at there though, is that just Investing it alone, you would have to leave it alone for a long time, naturally, for it to start developing anything. And so we're looking at thousands of years, probably. There are ways to speed that process along, but just doing that and leaving it, it's gonna take a while.