Do you use Scrivener?
I do not use Scrivener. I know some people who swear by it. I just have never tried. I probably would like it if I try it.
Do you use Scrivener?
I do not use Scrivener. I know some people who swear by it. I just have never tried. I probably would like it if I try it.
If you could do that, [write Kaladin's fourth Oath], I would very much appreciate it.
Yeah I know, the whole internet would very much appreciate it. You're gonna get a RAFO. Or do you want me to write one of the other ideals instead? I gotta keep a few things close to my heart. Now, that can also be a RAFO that, when the appropriate book is out, and you know what it is, you could come and have me revise the book to put it in.
What book are you currently working on?
The sequel to Skyward. Skyward is my Fall release this year. It is a YA fighter pilot book. Space opera. It's a lot of fun.
I know Allomancy is, like, "alloy" and "mancy." Were you inspired by "alomancy", which is the divination of salt?
I wanted to use "mancy" because in part I was working in a seeing-the-future with atium. And I thought: number one, it's resonant; and number two, it works because we are looking at the future. So that's where the name came from.
No future salt-based magic system, though?
No. I've toyed with it for a while, but I just have never come up with anything that I'm satisfied with.
The Letters in Stormlight Archive. Wit and Sazed; are those the two people that are talking to each other?
Wit and Sazed are both involved in the Letters. Sazed is in there, and there are others, as well.
Rithmatist? Is there...
Someday, there will be a sequel. I sat down and tried to write it. And I ran into some things that were just kind of problems, both in the worldbuilding and in the story I was gonna write, and it just didn't work. So I put it aside, and I've been working on the outline, and when I feel comfortable that I can do a sequel that's as good as the first one, I will write it, but it was not going well enough, that I felt it was... something was missing. So, I will take another stab at it before too much longer...
I now wish that I had not left that little teaser at the end of the first one. If I would have wrapped that up a little tighter, then you wouldn't have... I mean, I would still write it, but I feel bad about that teaser that there's more when it has been hard to get that sequel done.
Vivenna. That was her in Stormlight?
That was her. Azure is Vivenna. You have that confirmed.
How much longer will that Oathbringer series...
So, it's two arcs of five. So, we've got three books out right now. Book Four and Book Five will be about two, two-and-a-half year things, maybe as much as three between. They are big books. I write them as a trilogy, so they take about three years. Each volume is a trilogy with three books put in together as one. That arc shouldn't take me too much longer, though; I'm starting on Book Four in January, and it is-- I will write until that one is done. Then, there's gonna be a second five-book arc. So, if you're waiting, wait until Book Five is out. My editor says I have to finish it before he retires, and he's in his sixties. Moshe, yeah. We'll see if I can manage that, but that's what he wants.
What was the metal that Hoid gave Vivenna and her crew to use the fabrial?
You're asking, what metal it was that let them use the fabrial without the screamers detecting them? So, should be aluminum. I don't think there's anything sneaky about that. The only thing that I've had to change is, I wanted the sheathes that they use with Shardblades to be aluminum, and Peter tells me I just can't do that. It's not in continuity. So we have to have some sort of aluminum... alloy, or something like that. I'm not sure exactly what I wrote that broke the continuity on that, but he is certain that those can't be aluminum. So, those aren't aluminum, but it was aluminum around that. And Hoid's bag has an aluminum lining, too.
When are we gonna find out about the Secret Project?
Before State of the Sanderson, I would guess. Around that time, probably, is when it will be announced.
The assassin Liss. Have we seen her anywhere else?
Do you have any general advice for an aspiring fantasy writer, things I should be doing to try to--
Yeah. So, coming to WorldCon's a good start. I don't know if you found them, but going to any panels that editors are sitting on. Often, there's a panel that will be like, "What's new from Tor.com" or "What's new--" That's just a good place to watch what the editors are excited about and learn from them. Maybe if you see them at a party or something later on, you can ask them about the things that they're releasing, and stuff like that.
The number one thing that makes a great writer is a mediocre writer who's willing to practice. Try not to put too much investment into any one piece. You wanna put your whole heart into it, but don't base your whole career whether on that piece turns out right. I'm not explaining this well, but idea is that the purpose of your writing time is to train yourself to be a better writer. And hopefully the product is this awesome book that you're passionate about, but if it goes haywire, that's gonna teach you, sometimes, a lot more than anything else. So just stick at it. Practice. Be willing to do it regularly and consistently. And if you can teach yourself to be consistent, that's your number one goal.
I was asking my agent the other night, just last night actually, I'm like, "So what breaks someone in these days?" 'Cause the market's so different. He said, "It's the same thing that always broke someone in: they write a great book." He says, "I've never picked up a book by an author as an agent that I have been passionate about and thought was great that didn't sell." So it says that a good book still sells, in his opinion. Breaking through that agent veil can be really tough, and self-publishing is a totally valid method of going these days.
I have a series of YouTube lectures, which are my university course that I just recorded. So go give those a watch. We talk a whole bunch about writing and the business and things like that.
How do you get illustrators for your leatherbounds?
My assistant Isaac, who's my art director. He just looks around on the internet, and finds people who are doing really interesting art, and he asks if he can license them. So, if you know an artist, or are an artist, that's done art of my work, you send it to Isaac.
When you finished a book, or years away from a book, when you realized, "Oh, there was a loophole here, something didn't make sense." How do you react to that?
I react to it by saying, "Well, that always happens." Happens to everybody. You got two options. Well, maybe, like, three. One is, you just leave it alone. One is to do what Tolkien did, where he just rewrote the book. The Hobbit, he just did a new version that had the loophole closed. Or you can later on find a reason to explain it in world, which we call 'retconning' it. Any of those are fine. Don't stress about it: everybody makes mistakes. If Grandpa Tolkien had loopholes, then everybody's gonna have loopholes.
I'm an aspiring writer. I want to be a writer, and I'm working on submitting a story to Writers of the Future. Would you recommend starting shorter? Something less ambitious?
So, here's the thing: there are advantages to both ways. Sometimes, if you're the type that might get discouraged by trying something so big, and having it spiral out of control, then sometimes it's better to start small. Most of the time, as long as you're okay with the fact that your first one might spiral out of control, that process will teach you so much, that it's better to start ambitious, and just see where it goes. And just know, you may have to come back to it. Like, my first book, I never finished. I started when I was sixteen. But I wrote a big chunk of it, and it taught me so much. And then my next book, I did finish. And then eventually I came back to that first one, and used those ideas again for another book later on. So as long as you're okay with the idea as a new writer, it may not turn out exactly like you want it to, go ahead and start with something ambitious. Write what you're passionate about, and what you're excited about, and just be willing to let the process teach you. 'Cause nothing will make you a better writer than practicing.
The Girl That Looked Up. Is that a real story that happened in Roshar? Or just a metaphor?
So, Hoid heard it from someone. He did not make it up.
Because I think Shallan told the story...
Well, he told the story, too- He knew the story, she knew the story... What you're asking is if it's actually historical?
Yes. Did it happen?
I'll give you a RAFO. Because there's actually a little bit to it that I can't talk about. That probably tells you more than I even should already...
There are some weird things about that story, particularly the version that Hoid is involved in.
...Shallan tells half the story, and then later on, Hoid comes, and the story happens again differently. But there are weird things when Hoid is involved in the story that are relevant.
And finally, whether a duralumin compounder could break into a kandra?
Um... yes, possible, yeah.
Does the message that Dalinar continues to receive about "uniting them" refer to more than simply Roshar? Or is it...
That is a RAFO.
Is Kelsier more of a coffee or a tea guy?
Is there still some movement on possible Mistborn tv show-- movies?
Slow movement, yes. There is definite movement; DMG are good folks, and they are trying hard. So, there is a chance still.
Is there a TV show or a movie that you really like in the fantasy genre?
My favorite fantasy movie? Uh... probably Willow. No, it's gotta be The Lord of the Rings... Probably the Peter Jackson Lord of the Rings. They're just better. But I really liked Willow.
I'll check that out.
It's from the '80s, so... It's still fun.
I'm really curious if a tinmind could store the ability to sense pain.
Yes, that is theoretically possible, yes. Yes.
In the '80s arc of Mistborn, is there going to be a lot of traffic in Elendel? Because I worked for Google Maps for two years mapping Paris and London, downtown, and I take one look at that map, and I'm like, "Oh, they're gonna have traffic problems."
Yeah. We anticipate really tough traffic. And they thought they laid it out well, but...
My daughter... wants to know how old you were when you finished your first novel?
I started my first when I was sixteen, but didn't finish a novel 'til I was twenty-two.
So how's Waxillium doing?
Slow but sure. I'm pretty sure I will be finishing it up soon here.
It'll be out next year, then? 2019?
Maybe. Maybe. I can't promise yet. It depends on how the writing goes the last half of this year. January 1st, I have to start on Stormlight Four. And so I'm trying to squeeze the last Wax & Wayne in after I finish Skyward 2.
Was the Thaylen accent changed between The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance? Because the Wind's Pleasure crew and Tvlakv all sound a bit different.
Yeah. That's not intentional. That is just more, I leave the accents completely up to the audiobook readers. I don't tell them an accent... I do try to send them pronunciation guides, but those don't always arrive in time, which is why you can see some discrepancies. But, yeah, I let them pick the accents.
Is Eshonai really going to be the flashback character for book 4? Don't you mean Venli?
No, it is Eshonai. (And has always been planned to be Eshonai.) As the series progressed, I knew I wanted to do some unusual things with the flashbacks to keep them all from repeating the same themes and format. My hope is to craft something that is very interesting in the way that it both informs what Venli is doing in the future, and expands upon who Eshonai was in the past.
If Dalinar summoned his perpendicularity during a highstorm, while the perpendicularity was open, would the areas that the highstorm was over not have spheres become Invested/full of Stormlight?
So, that's called The Apocalypse Guard. I'm not exactly sure when it's gonna get published, because I had some real troubles with the plot near the end of the book that kind of broke down. And I'm still trying to figure out what to do with them. I gave it to a friend of mine who's a really good writer, Dan Wells. And he's been working on the book and coming up with suggestions and things like that. Sometimes that happens with books. The Way of Kings, if you've read that one, I originally wrote the first draft of that in 2002. It wasn't until 2010 that the book finally came out. Sometimes you just need to let a book sit for a little while. So this one will sit for a little while. It might be a year or two before I figure out what I want to do with it. But eventually that will come out. My father is planning already for me to have the launch party up here. He is very, very proud of having influenced the Iona part of this book.
How do I decide whether to do first person, or third person?
Good question! If you're a writer, one thing I'll mention to you if you haven't watched them, I recorded my BYU university lectures, which are on writing science fiction fantasy, and put them on Youtube. So if you just Google "Sanderson lectures," you'll find my whole class there, and I do a whole section on first and third person.
It breaks down to a couple of decisions. Third person tends to be really good with a large cast. Because you can take this large cast and you are constantly mentioning their name. It's actually a pretty big deal. First person... How often do you guys finish a first person book and you can't remember what the character's name was? You've read a whole book about them. And if you have three or four characters, jumping between, it gets real easy to lose perspective. And first person also, depending on how you do it, can sometimes lack a little bit of immediacy. Because the person themselves is telling the story, there's a part of your brain that says, "Well, they obviously survived long enough to tell me their story." Even if they're telling it in present tense, or even if you know that occasionally you'll read a first person book where it turns out they were a ghost all along or something like that. Like, that happens. But there's just this sort of thing in our brain that says, first person tends to work really well for a single narrator, maybe two, in a story that they are telling yourself that they can infuse with their voice. Third person tends to work very well for longer epics, and tends to work with multiple viewpoints a little bit better. It's just easier for readers to track and things like that. Partially it's just kind of a gut instinct, what feels right for the book.
The two woman loaded up their single pack animal. A short creature that looked kind of like a camel, but was more the size of a llama. It eyed me lazily, chewing quietly on its cud. After their packs and bed rolls were tied in place, Echo placed a curious item on top. A long tube, wrapped in cloth. It was almost five feet long. A map tube? If so, those maps would be the size of walls. Once that was done, the camp cleaned, Echo looked me over with a critical eye. I looked down at my ripped slacks. Though my flats were sensible business shoes, they weren't intended for extended hikes. She dug in her pack and came out with an extra pair of boots and a pair of trousers. "Uh," I said, taking the trousers and looking them over. Echo was lean and athletic, and I was... not. She noted my hesitance and said something that sounded like agreement, but I did try on the boots. It took several pair of socks to make them fit, but the end result was better than the flats. I didn't much look the part of a heroic Apocalypse Guard member - my jacket was too big, my business slacks ripped, and poorly matched by a pair of hiking boots. But it wasn't like I needed to appear in any company photos. "I'm good," I told them. "Let's go." Echo looked towards the last thing on the ground, near the center of camp. The shadow rig. Right. I considered putting it on, but was instantly reminded of that melting world where everything became paint. Let's pass on that for now, I thought, packing away the rig beside where Echo had put the trousers. After that, we started walking.
Emma's Instructions for hiking. One, wear comfortable shoes, so when your feet hurt anyway, you can at least feel like you tried. Two, remember tons of bug spray, so you smell like a vat of cleaning liquid. Bonus points if it makes the dirt stick to your skin while walking. If you can, wear a backpack filled with things that you won't end up using, but which will somehow always manage to arrange inside so they can poke you in the gizzard. Four, return to your sweet air conditioned, bug free, shower containing home, renewed and reminded how nice it is not to be a caveman.
People always assume that I'm inexperienced at outdoorsy stuff, just because I tend to throw things at them when they suggest camping. Truth is, I'm very experienced with camping. I spent countless nights with my family, huddled up in the cold by a barely working fire, listening to Father tell stories of when he was a kid in Iona. Shockingly, it had been even more rural back then! Nowadays, we have a stoplight. It's practically cosmopolitan! So yes, I've done lots of camping, and hiking, and canoeing, and backpacking, and skiing. I kind of like that one, but don't tell anyone. Truth is, there's not a lot to do in Iona that doesn't involve pretending to be a caveman. Back when I was little, and apparently brain dead, we kids would spend two entire weeks every summer up at Scoresby's Ranch without even running water, let alone wifi. In my later years, my family and I had even kind of come to a truce on the matter. I pretended to look forward to our yearly camping trip, and they pretended not to notice the phone I always brought along. Or the sets of instructions I may or may not have posted relating to the experience. None of this meant I was prepared for the extended hike through the wilderness with Echo and <Whisprien>, but at least I knew how unprepared I was. I could spot the warning signs of a blister forming, and do something about it. I knew how to pace myself, and how to let others know when I needed a break. These two were obviously experienced survivalists, so even <Whisprien>'s endurance put mine to shame. I tried not to focus on my embarrassment at that, instead studying the landscape. Strangely, it didn't look that much different from Idaho. Mostly filled with scrub grasses and weeds. More of those were brown then back home for some reason, but they seemed healthy anyway. It was a lot more humid than home was, and less dusty. There was real dirt here, not just powdery dried clay and Iona topsoil, also known as rocks. And then there was the sky. Any time I was feeling a sense of familiarity with the hike, I caught a shimmer on the ground, or a shadow passing overhead. Then I'd look up, and my brain would break anew. There was a freaking ocean in the sky. Despite the distance, I could see ripples and waves from passing wind. The things that moved within it were mostly just shadows, but I got a sense of darting schools - not just noble leviathans. Were there sharks? Sky-sharks? The idea made me smile. My adopted brother would have found that incredible; I'd have to tell him. If I survived. Don't be like that, I thought, you'll get out of this. Look, nobody has even tried to kill you all morning.
We stopped for lunch, and they gave me more guard rations while they ate something that looked like beef jerky. Nearby, a strange herd of animals passed through the brush. How to explain them? They were big, almost as tall as a person. And covered in armor that almost looked like a football helmet. Seriously, they had this ball of a body, and a little flat head stuck out the front, with a stumpy tail and flat beak. I'd have called them dinosaurs, except for the face. I was pretty sure they were mammals, like, prehistoric armadillo turtles. Echo didn't seem concerned about them, so I just perched nervously on top of my fallen log and watched them wander by, then felt stupid. I'd faced the <Hex>! I could face an armadillo or two, even if they did seem to be on the wrong side of a radioactive spill.
Echo was obviously a practical woman. She didn't smile often, but it wasn't that she was stern. Maybe just straightforward? Compass in hand, she calmly picked our heading after each break. She would occasionally try to draw her daughter into conversation. <Whisprien> resisted these. The thin girl trudged along in her rugged backpack, eyes down. I never heard her speak in anythingbut a whisper, and her attitude seemed to be more then your average "sullen tween resents life" sort of thing. But who knows? Maybe she just really hated camping.
Echo would periodically seek a tree or something to climb so she could check to make sure we weren't being followed. Her voice was always upbeat when she came down, and I could sense a lingering concern from her. She was very worried about those soldiers. One of them had a rig, I thought again. It didn't take a math degree to notice that a lot of things weren't adding up. Part of the secret perhaps lay stowed away in that camel-llama's pack. I walked up beside the animal, who walked placidly beside <Whisprien>, and placed my fingers on the partition that held the shadow rig. I had the distinct sensation of blending realities, of the grass around me melting into colors, like a wet watercolor painting left in the rain. I snatched my hand back. <Whisprien> looked away, and grumbled something, falling back in the line. A short time later, I caught her glaring at my back, eyes narrowed.
When the sun finally settled beyond the envelope of water, I was exhausted. But it was more a wholesome exhaustion kind of exhaustion than I felt yesterday. It was the exhaustion of having been forced to weed an entire potato field.
Echo chose a camp that looked like it had been used by other weary travelers. A forested nook beside a weathered section of rock. I heard water gurgling somewhere nearby, which seemed like a good sign that I might actually get to take a bath. Echo unpacked the camel-llama, then grabbed her large water jug and moved off towards the sound of the stream. When she returned with a filled jug, I held out my canteen eagerly, but she shook her head and gestured towards the fire pit. "You have to boil the water first?" I asked, "Probably a good idea."
Fortunately I'd been immunized from all the local viruses, both from here, and from a host of other planets that the Guard was working with. That was standard procedure. I wasn't certain how the Guard prevented themselves from carrying diseases to the worlds they worked on. I hoped I wasn't the latent carrier of, like, smallpox or something. Accidentally harboring the advent of an all-consuming pestilence would be super embarrassing.
<Whisprien> started working on the fire, and she gave me a glance that distinctly seemed to say "Isn't there anything useful you can do?" So I powered up my phone for today's ration of power and snapped a picture of her for my blog. I snuggled back against a comfortable looking log (it wasn't) and ate up a little of my batteries working on some instructions, hoping the whole time my distress beacon would bring a response from those looking for me. No such luck.
About halfway through my allotted half hour, I brought up the map and had Echo point out out current location. She noted a very small distance traveled. Crap on a stick. (I got that one from one of my Iona friends.) Was that really the only progress we'd made? How were we going to reach the Guard outpost in three days? It didn't seem possible. Particularly because we were going the wrong direction. "Echo, isn't that the wrong way?" I tapped the map, then tried to make myself understood by pointing. The outpost was north of where we started, but we'd been walking west. I suppose I could've told that from the sun, if I'd thought about it. Echo said something in her language, then pointed at something on my map. Not a town or an outpost, but a little spot of brown. It was hard to tell what it was on the two dimensional map, only barely touched on topographical features. "Okay...." I said, "I guess I'll trust you know what you're doing." She nodded and went back to working on the fire, which was crackling nicely and boiling our water. She could be leading me into a trap, of course. Perhaps she hadn't saved me out of goodwill, but to gain a potential hostage against the Guard. But it wasn't like I could do anything about that. I'd be laughably ineffective at trying to sneak off. Echo would track me down with little effort, assuming I wasn't immediately devoured by some prehistoric carnivorous elk or something.
I moved to sit on a rock that looked somewhat comfortable (it wasn't) and continued working on my blog, trying not to think too hard about how sore I was going to be from. A harsh whisper hissed from behind me. I jumped, and turned to see <Whisprien> standing behind my seat. She pointed at my screen and hissed something angry. I glanced at what I had been working on. The picture of <Whisprien> I had taken with some handy instructions about living in the wilderness. I switched off the phone, but <Whisprien> reached for it. I barely kept it out of her reach, worried she'd shatter the screen. "Okay, okay," I said, "Sorry, no pictures. I'll delete it, chill!" I tried to do so, but <Whisprien> kept hissing at me and reaching for the phone. The scuffle drew Echo, who barked a question. Finally <Whisprien> backed off, and I reluctantly showed her mother the screen. Echo just nodded. Again, it didn't seem like she was unfamiliar with technology. She didn't demand I delete the photo or anything, but she did pull her daughter over and have her help make what appeared to be an evening soup. Great job Emma, I thought, I apparently needed a set of instructions on not being a giant idiot.
"Hey," I said, walking over to Echo, "is it alright if I go take a bath?" I pantomimed swimming, and washing my hair, then pointed to the water. "Is it safe?" Echo said something, then dug from her pack an old-timey bar of soap and a hairbrush, which she handed to me. I nodded in thanks, then made my way over to the small river. It was more muddy then I'd hoped, but I supposed I couldn't expect something out in the middle of these plains to look like a Grand Teton Mountain spring. I made sure I had line of sight to the other two, just in case, then I stood there, holding the bar of soap, uncertain. Was this a good idea? Taking a bath in the middle of the wilderness on a foreign world, while potentially being chased by mercenaries? I was basically guaranteed to be attacked by, like, a dinosaur or something the moment I stripped down. But what was I gonna do? Go the entire way without ever washing off? I was still bloodied and smudged with ash from the explosion, not to mention caked with sweat. Perhaps taking a bath was tempting fate, but this way if a dinosaur did eat me, at least I'd taste like soap. Truth was, it actually felt empowering to take that bath, like this was my choice. Getting clean was something I wanted, and I wasn't going to let myself be too scared to accomplish it.
That said, I did still watch my surroundings with keen attention as I quickly bathed in the cold water. Unfortunately, once finished, I was left with the same dirty clothing I had taken off. Lance's jacket, my incredibly wrinkled blouse, and the torn slacks. Quite the inspiring uniform. Still, I felt a ton better as I put it all back on. Echo offered me some thread as I rejoined them, and I thankfully started working on sewing up the rips along my leg.
The stew was kinda good. And I turned in feeling kinda clean, kinda full, and kinda not in extreme danger. I woke up the following morning to shouting. Echo called me in her native tongue, and I shook awake, then scrambled to my feet. "What?" I said, "Dinosaurs? It's dinosaurs, isn't it?" I paused. "Do you have dinosaurs here?"
Echo gestured toward the sky. Morning at dawn, and through the branches above, I could see an enormous disturbance in the waters, like ripples of a dropped boulder, only moving inward in a ring. The center of that shrinking ring of waves looked like it was just above our position. Great. I had been starting to feel ignored.
"The flood can't be happening already!" I shouted as I scrambled back into camp, "We're supposed to have weeks before the apocalypse!"
Echo shouted something back as she grabbed the llama-camel's harness and towed it after her through the trees. <Whisprien> had climbed on its back. "Wait," I called after them. I waved toward the bedrolls and boiling water, "Our stuff! What about..." I trailed off as <Whisprien> looked toward me from the camel's back. The girl's face was still blank of emotion, but her eyes were glowing. They had a ghostly cast to them, pupils melded into the white, shining forth like something bright was behind them. It reminded my of the floodlight eyes of the <Hex>. I stumbled to a stop, gaping, until Echo sent the animal and the girl on ahead, then looked back to me, waving urgently. Above, the sky darkened. The sun faded behind the ocean, as if growing suddenly distant, or as if the water were somehow growing deeper up there, thicker. Echo shouted something at me that sounded a little like "Run", so I ran. I grabbed the shadow rig from inside my bedroll, and left everything else, dashing after the two of them. Once I was past the tree, Echo fell into place beside me. The llama-camel ran on ahead with a loping gait. <Whisprien> clung to it's back.
I wasn't in nearly as good shape as Echo, nor was I, shockingly, a camel. But I made a pretty good showing for myself, and didn't lag behind too much. At least, not until I glanced over my shoulder. The sky rippled, and then broke. Water crashed downwards, the front edge fuzzing, like mist. The enormous column of water seemed to drop in slow motion because of the distance. It wasn't as nearby as I first assumed. Man, it was big. A ring of water the size of a small village just dumping billions of gallons of water down from the sky. I stopped in place, jaw dropping, staring until Echo grabbed my arm and towed me away. What good would it do to flee? We were three little specks before an ocean of destruction. We couldn't outrun the end of the world.
Still, Echo seemed determined. I started running again, but I was built to deliver coffee and the occasional sarcastic quip, not run across the freaking wilderness. Pain seared up my side. I slowed, gasping. A violent crash suddenly washed over us, an engulfing sound that made the very air vibrate. Holy heck. How much water had to fall before it hit the ground with the sound of a bomb going off. Echo looked back at the sound and hesitated in front of me, as if torn between protecting me and running after her daughter. She lingered, urging me on, and I did my best. "What," I said, panting for breath, "What's the use?" Sweat streamed down my face. Echo gestured in front of her, then made a raising motion with her hands. High ground, I thought, She's saying we need to get to high ground. And considering it, the direction we were running did seem to have a gentle slope to it. It wasn't like we were running for the mountains or anything, but maybe this would be enough? If this really is the end though, the high ground won't matter. Most of the planet will end up submerged.
Still, I broke into a weak jog. Ahead, I saw our goal: a rise in the grasslands, a kind of ridge, like a long low hill. <Whisprien> had stopped there with the camel-llama. A cracking sound behind along with the low roar of rushing water made me glance over my shoulder. Water flooded between the trees of our camp, first slow, then in a rush that ripped away branches. Another surge of muddy water engulfed the entire stand, shattering the trees.
I forced myself forward, practically crawling the rest of the way up the hilltop. Water flooded the plain we crossed. It looked deceptively lethargic, like seeping tar, until you focused on something like an individual sapling. On the smaller scale, your mind could comprehend that this was an enormous river, rushing with might and power, pushing debris before it.
I reached the top and collapsed beside <Whisprien>. The waters came, and I realized, I'd just let them swallow me, if it came to that. I couldn't move another step. Blessedly, the rise was high enough. The front of the wave turned aside and fled the other direction. In the distance, the spout of water from the heavens slowed to a mist, then to rain, and finally stopped altogether. This wasn't the end of the world, not yet. More like a warning shot. I lay on the rough grass, listening to the sound of the water growing below. I already felt sweaty and dirty again - so much for my bath. Of course, if I wanted another one, it didn't look like I'd lack for water.
The other thing that was working for this character, that really made me interested in writing her story, was that she had a really failed Instagram. Not very good at it, thought she was better than she was. And I started putting little... she'll write out (you'll see one of them, when I get to it), she writes out what she calls Emma's Instructions. And these are just lists of things on how to live your life, that she writes out. The theory is, she's gonna post them on her blog.
So this character was really, really interesting to me. Particularly when I matched her up with the story I was working on, which is: the secretary to the Justice League has to save the world. So what it is is, Emma (I'm gonna read from the middle of the book, so I'll catch you up), she is an intern to a group called The Apocalypse Guard, which is basically a super hero team. They are not in the book. She is in the book, because they end up getting called away to do something, and through a kind of weird set of circumstances, she ends up on a planet that is doomed to be destroyed in a couple of weeks that they were planning to save. But they all have been called away to something else, and she's the only person from the Apocalypse Guard on the planet. She's the intern. And she's not very prepared for this, she does not speak the local language, it's kind of an apocalyptic wasteland that she's landed in. She's found a couple of people to be her guide, at this point, you'll see. But she has no idea what she's doing. And all she knows is that the planet's going to be destroyed in three weeks.
I actually did the worldbuilding on this based on some of the old-school concepts of the Flood. Where some of the old writer's believed, before Noah's Flood, all the water was in the sky, and you could see it up there, in the firmaments they called it, and then it came crashing down. And before that, some of the medieval theologians thought that there were no oceans until the water came crashing down. So I've always found that a really interesting image, so that's what's happening on this planet. She'll look up, and there's water in the sky. Big ocean in the sky... that is going to come crashing down in three weeks.
If Nightblood were in the cognitive realm and was used to stab a bead that was the cognitive representation of a castle, would the castle be destroyed in the Physical Realm?
If you could get Nightblood into the Cognitive Realm, then yes.
What would happen to people who were in the castle at the time?
They wouldn't be affected (other than possibly plummeting to their death).
How about a carpet that had been in the castle for 50 years?
No, 50 years most likely wouldn't be enough time.
Is this like the "Ship of Theseus?"
I asked if Mraize had enough breaths to have achieved the 4th Heightening giving him perfect life sense, and if this could explain his infallible ability to kill cremlings and other hidden fauna with his blowgun during the GB meeting in the Unclaimed Hills
Is Hoid the girl who looked up? Is this the story of the shattering of Adonalsium, and did the group shatter adonalsium to figure out analytically the nature of Divinity. Was this an attempt to separate the different components of god to understand the unitary whole better?
He said that this was not quite right but thinking along the right track
Excuse me [Mr. Sanderson], I’m just reading Words of Radiance & something struck me. Is Bridge Four’s salute anything like the Wakandan salute from Black Panther?
Very close. It isn't done across the chest though, but with the hands held out.
So Rock and the Horneaters—what culture did you... Did you find any real-life inspiration?
Yeah. So they're a little bit of a mashup between Hawaiians, Scotsmen, and Russians.
What book would come first in this timeline?
I've written them roughly chronologically so far, though Dragonsteel will take place first, which I haven't released yet. White Sand is chronologically (the graphic novel) before the other Cosmere books.
You said the The Rithmatist is a little ways out, the sequel.
I do mean to keep meaning to get to it sooner than I have. It's one of the-- It's the one that's been the most difficult to figure out how to do the sequel. I'm confident-- Let me get Alcatraz [6: The Worldspire], which-- it should be done pretty soon here, cleared off my plate. The last book of that one is-- had significant progress on it lately. Once that's done I'll look at Rithmatist, which is the other thing that's been dangling over my head.
What's the timeline looking on the next Mistborn book?
Uhhhh, indeterminate. It's going to depend on how Skyward 2 goes and whether I use [The Lost Metal] as a break in the middle of Stormlight or if I do it right before Stormlight 4. It shouldn't be too long.
I'm really curious about Ryshadium. Is there something bigger about them?
It's not super-huge. They are non-native species who have started to form spren bonds like native species do. So, a symbiotic bond with a spren has started happening. Ryshadium are horses that have done that, basically. You could say that humans have done the same thing. Non-native species that have started to form spren bonds. The Ryshadium are the only other non-native species that that has started happening. Like the chasmfiends have a symbiotic relationship with the spren that they have, the Ryshadium have a spren.
It's not as visible, but it is there.
Did Harmony change the laws of Feruchemy and Allomancy just so that people wouldn't want to do Hemalurgy by making it possible to get those powers otherwise, or was that already...
No, that wasn't the purpose. It was already built in.
I made the call. I didn't built that Sazed did it, but it's a little bit of a retcon, breaking Feruchemy into its separate powers. I felt that would just be a more interesting narrative.
So, the behind-the-scenes answer is, I just broke those apart. My rationale for myself in-world was that now that the bloodlines were spreading out more, this was a natural effect of the bloodlines mixing.
Makes sense. Just Sazed didn't want people looking at Hemalurgy so I figured maybe he retconned it a little bit just so [you?] wouldn't.
That isn't the answer I came up with. But it sounds rational. I want to be careful not to have too much Sazed retconning going on. But at the same time, it is kind of a retcon, so maybe I should have.
I would like to know more about Wit. What is he?
Wit was born on the planet where all of this started. Long ago, in the early history of the Cosmere. Certain things that happened there made him immortal. A bunch of the people who were involved in this became what we call Shards of Adonalsium. They took up deific power. He did not, but he is one of the only other people who was around during that time who's still around.
So does he get a flashback book?
He gets an entire series which is where all of this happens, in the beginning. That should be a trilogy right now. We'll see. I'm going to write it after Stormlight is done.
Have there been Mistborn, and other people from other books, with powers in Stormlight?
Yeah. Captain Demoux. You've seen Captain Demoux. You've seen, of course, Wit. He used Allomancy in one of the books. There are others. There is a Terriswoman running around. Those are the big ones. There are others, but they're much smaller...
There's Felt, but he doesn't count.
I know I don't have a lot of di-Shardic worlds to deal with, but I notice a pattern on Scadrial of metals*inaudible*, kind of a focus *inaudible* of magic. And with Roshar, it's gemstones, it tends to be. Is that determined by the Shardworld or the Shards?
It's kind of one and the same.
Are there Awakened objects on Scadrial because it talks like, "Hello, do any of your metal objects talk to you?" Or is that just you having fun with the broadsheets cause the broadsheets may not be a hundred percent true?
The broadsheets are definitely not one hundred percent true, but we didn't put anything in there that didn't have a reason. So that is a RAFO.
Those short stories on Threnody and First of the Sun, will we have full books for those?
Unlikely. Threnody yes. It's likely that you'll see a Threnody book. That's not a one hundred percent promise though. A Threnody book would not be about Silence or anything. Threnody's been a place I've wanted to do a book about for many years. And there's a group that's important later in the Cosmere that it'd be nice to have had a book about. But this comes down to where does my time end up getting spent? Sixth of the Dusk it's unlikely.
Will we at least get more short fiction about it then?
That is possible, but no promises.
My question is can you spike to or from spren?
That's a RAFO, right now.
So, you mentioned in your Q&A about how you're usually writing one [book] and revising another. Where are you at in the process right now?
I am writing the sequel to Skyward, I am outlining Stormlight 4, and I am revising Secret Project that I can't talk about that's a secret project. The one that was on my website. We had a progress bar for it, but I haven't said what it is. There are many, many theories online about that one.
Have you ever thought about doing like a Cosmere cookbook? Different recipes from different planets.
I would totally do this if I knew someone who was a good chef. If fans can come up with recipes, I could totally see us doing something like that.
That's true. We could make a cookbook.
He wrote the foreword for Oathbringer, didn't he?
Yes, he did.