Recent entries

    Miscellaneous 2017 ()
    #3001 Copy

    Argent

    That Reddit thread established that the "H" sound is produced by writing another letter, and then marking it to denote that it should be pronounced as /h/ (while still looking like the other letter, for symmetric purposes). And on that note, the name of that traditional Vorin dress is "havah" - how would that get written? Is there a dedicated symbol for /h/ when it's not a "symmetric placeholder", or would the women just pick any letter and mark both instances here? Or something else altogether? 

    Isaac Stewart

    I believe they would just use the dedicated symbol for /h/.

    Miscellaneous 2016 ()
    #3002 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The [Scadrian] calendars don't appear in Arcanum Unbounded, but they're mentioned on the map as old calendar/new calendar. Since the Lord Ruler actually kept the calendar the same, what this is referring to is only the placement of seasons, since those have to change from year to year because of the orbit.

    Miscellaneous 2015 ()
    #3004 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    By the way, Brandon originally wrote the prologue to The Alloy of Law soon after finishing The Alloy of Law and he meant it to be the prologue to Shadows of Self. Then he decided that The Alloy of Law needed a better prologue than its current chapter 1, which was originally the prologue.

    Miscellaneous 2015 ()
    #3006 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    So, Brandon confirmed in the preface to this version [of Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell] that Hoid is definitely not there.

    However, I wouldn't rule out the person I thought was Hoid actually being someone else important.

    Miscellaneous 2014 ()
    #3007 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The red-headed attendant who is Jasnah Prime's ward is named Shinri Davar. Brandon considers her to be not the same person as Shallan at all, unlike Merin who he does consider to be the same person as Kaladin, if his life had gone differently. She has a completely different plot from Shallan's.

    In Prime, Jasnah is much more of a main character than Shinri is.

    Miscellaneous 2014 ()
    #3008 Copy

    Zea mays

    This is not a 'typo' per se, maybe it's a "translation" thing that I notice when reading the book (probably me being far too pedantic):

    In Kaladin's POV's, Moash is consistently described as a 'hawk-faced man'. What's a hawk, precious? Is it some kind of chicken?

    Them again, I can't think of an economic way of describing such a physiognomy that does not reference birds of prey.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Brandon says it's an idiom leftover from centuries earlier.

    Miscellaneous 2014 ()
    #3009 Copy

    AonarFaileas

    That's just an issue of phrasing. As Lashings work by creating localized gravitational forces (don't think, it's magic ) it would have created a localized gravitational force of approximately 0.63Gs upwards relative to Szeth's current position on Roshar, which after competition from Roshar's 0.7Gs of gravity, would have left Szeth feeling only 0.07Gs, or, one tenth of the regular gravitational force.  

    Peter Ahlstrom

    No. Lashing is not a vector addition to the planet's gravity. When you use a Lashing, you dismiss the planet's gravity's influence on you entirely.

    AonarFaileas

    So it would have been a 9/20ths (45%) Lashing, then?  (0.7-0.7*0.45*2=0.07)

    Or do Lashings completely cancel out gravity and then reapply the gravitational force at a different strength?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The general rule when you do a Basic Lashing is that it replaces all other Basic Lashings (including the planet's gravity) on you or the object. The default Basic Lashing strength is 1 Roshar gravity.

    As you get more practiced you can use partial lashings or multiple Lashings, or (Kaladin does this accidentally one time) NOT dismiss the previous Lashings entirely, so that different Lashings are pulling in different directions. But usually when someone does a Lashing, you should assume that Lashing's effect is the only "gravity" that currently exists for that person or thing.

    Miscellaneous 2014 ()
    #3010 Copy

    Paragrin

    You know you're a Sanderfan when... You're reading Beowulf in English class, the teacher is talking about all the Christian references having been added after the original writing, and you're thinking Storming Hierocracy.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Actually Brandon did this in Elantris with a poem based on the style of Beowulf. None of the poem actually appears in the published book though. And we can't find the longer version of the poem. It's probably on a really old laptop.

    A Memory of Light Seattle Signing ()
    #3016 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Seasons on Roshar are based around the storms (ie long lighter storms in the winter, short stronger storms in the summer) rather than time or temperature

    Temperature stays fairly constant because of the lack of an axial tilt

    Despite not having traditional seasons they have the concept of seasons which must have come from somewhere else (read as: cosmere shenanigans)

    Miscellaneous 2018 ()
    #3020 Copy

    Storm Cellar

    We know Snapping is not the same in Mistborn Era 2.  We know Wayne knew he was a slider, but could not afford bendalloy for his early life. How do the poor skaa know they can burn rare metals?  Is there a ceremony, or a formal process of testing skaa for metal powers?

    (The assumption is that nobles can just give their children a mix of metals to see if any of them are reactive.)  

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are lots of ways--remember that lots of groups are seeing Allomancy as valuable to them, and are actively recruiting.  There's no formal process, at least not for everyone, though some houses do have them. But there are events, even at fairs and the like, where you can get a vial and see if you feel anything--in exchange for promises of service if you do turn out to have abilities.  Beyond that, just like getting gold foil to put on food is not horribly expensive in our world, getting little bits of many of these metals is not THAT expensive. It may not give you enough power to do anything useful, but it can be enough to tell.

    Miscellaneous 2018 ()
    #3022 Copy

    Storm Cellar

    If you have a child that can't stop making up/writing stories and never wants to sleep at night, what is the best way to encourage them without letting them be nocturnal? (Child in question is about 13.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well...I'm maybe not a great person to ask, because I was nocturnal myself.  So I don't have experience at forcing the kid to go to bed--I stayed up myself, doing exactly this.  It's not a great thing, because it can have implications for school work and the like. But I never figured it out myself.  I STILL go to bed at around 4:00am. In high school, I stayed up late and took a nap every day, which I wouldn't recommend. But making sure they have time each day to write--like piano lessons, but for stories--might be a way to channel that energy and perhaps make sure they get some done each day, and are more relaxed, as they feel the story is progressing.  This helps me a lot.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3024 Copy

    Wifrin

    I noticed on re-reading Well of Ascension is that duralumin is described as a mix between aluminum and copper. However one of the first things we are told about the metals is that each metal is paired: one base and one alloy. Copper already has brass as an alloy. Is this an error, a case of incorrect in-world understanding, or is this implying something further about aluminum?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The below reply thread covers it--when I was building these, I wan't using the alloyed-in metal(s) as being unique. Rather the purity of the original against a mixed form was my guide. I mean, steel is an alloy of iron and carbon, making it really odd compared to the others, which tend to be alloys with metallics instead of nonmetallics.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3029 Copy

    LerasiumMistborn

    Why is Dalinar so hard on himself? He values his intellectual capacities very low (Well, he constantly thinks he's dumb) and so on. Considering how wise and humane he really is, I'll admit, it's sad that he sees himself in such a negative light.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a tough one to answer. Why are people hard on themselves? It's something a lot of us tend to do, and doesn't correlate with how much we deserve it. That doesn't stop it from happening, though, even when pointed out.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3030 Copy

    LerasiumMistborn

    What was Gavilar's opinion on Dalinar? I can't help myself, but I feel Gavilar saw Dalinar more like an effective tool rather than his brother.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He DID have affection for his brother, but Gavilar had a tendency to use everyone like tools to further his goals. Including people close to him.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3031 Copy

    LerasiumMistborn

    There has been evidence that Dalinar was able to heal with Stormlight (unintentionally) even before he said his oaths. How is this possible, and if Dalinar was able to do it, why does he have all these crazy scars? We know that Stormlight healing doesn't leave scars.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3032 Copy

    vanahian

    We know that Bavadin has several 'avatars' allocated at some Shardworlds, major and minor, over the cosmere...is Austre from Nalthis one of them? Is the Wyrn of the Fjordell Empire or Jaddeth one of them?

    Or if we recall what the followers of Shu Dereth believes that 'Jaddeth rewards devotion in his followers, as well as ambition' + something you said some time ago about the ramifications of Ambition demise... Is the Wyrn or Jaddeth Himself connected with Ambition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can expect things on Sel to be either Dominion or Devotion. People can be ambitious--even Shards--and reward ambition even if they're not specifically tied to the Shard of Ambition.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3033 Copy

    vanahian

    Any news you can share with us about the rewriting of Aether of the Night novel? I suppose that if continues inside the cosmere that story will have its own Shardworld and its own magic system... If so, can you tell us the Shardworld's name and something about its Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Can't say anything right now. So RAFO.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3036 Copy

    WritesGeekyStuff

    Do you take a consciously different approach when writing YA versus writing an 'adult' fantasy? How do you vary your prose, or themes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The biggest difference tends to be that in YA, I focus in on a single character and do their story in an intense and intimate way, where in the epic fantasies I'm trying to approach it as the story of the world as it moves forward.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3037 Copy

    ZuperzubS

    In Words of Radiance, when the sailors were being killed, Jasnah/Shallan sees the flames representing the minds of the sailors vanishing in Shadesmar, but the sailors don't appear in the cognitive realm. In contrast, in Secret History, we see that all sapient entities do transition to the Cognitive Realm before going to the Beyond. Is there something strange here? Or am I just overthinking this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're not overthinking it--but it's also not as strange as you might think. The one seeing the spirits on Scadrial was in a different state than Jasnah/Shallan.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3038 Copy

    Blightsong

    Nightform seems to be a form capable of powers but doesnt seem like it destroys the original [singer] and replaces it with a Fused like other forms of power, at least based on what they have said in the Listener songs and its surrounding historical context. Am I right here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3039 Copy

    Blightsong

    I noticed in Dragonsteel that the Sho Del use silver sheathes and that stuck out as an atypical material for an ancient technology scabbard, does the metal hold some kind of significance within Sho Del culture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This was done intentionally, and will probably still be a thing when Dragonsteel enters canon--but that's a LONG ways away, so don't read too much into it for now.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3042 Copy

    Himenss

    Do you choose cover arts for your books yourself or you give your artist to choose. As for Oathbringer, why that particular moment with Jasnah was chosen? I like the cover, but I guess I wanted the see Dalinar , who would be more appropriate for this book.

    Brandon Sanderson

    With most books these days, I suggest scenes and take a more hands-on approach. Michael Whelan, however, is one of those that I generally step back from and let him do his thing and try not to meddle too much. I DID note to him, though, that we've so far not matched the book to the character. (Kaladin's book got Dalinar and Eshonai on the cover, while Shallan's book got Kaladin.) So it made sense, actually, to have Jasnah here.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3043 Copy

    Himenss

    How do you choose flashback character for each Stormlight book? Do you rather build present day narrative around someone's flashback sequence or just choose whose flashbacks better fit with already existing main narrative? As an example, when you moved Dalinar's flashbacks from book 5 to book 3, did you re-outlined book 3 narrative to make it a better match, or you already had both Dalinar's narratives for books 3 and 5 present day and merely decided where flashbacks play the best counterpoint to what Dalinar is doing in the main timeline?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Moving Dalinar's flashbacks was based on the instinct I had from where book three's narrative was going to go. (After finishing the first two.) Though I have outlines for all of the books, a lot of my outlining process involves starting with a big event, then working backward from it. Sometimes, the steps toward a big event are themselves pretty big events.

    People imagine, I think, an outline that is like the traditional "Heading A" "Subheading a" format. But it's not that, it's a big list of things I am pointing toward--and the most interesting steps to get there. So the process of building a novel is more about looking at that timeline, figuring out what steps make their own powerful moments, and constructing a narrative around them that makes sense. I will often be doing this with a dozen or more different sub-plots at once.

    So when I "move things" from one book to another, it's often a matter of me building a book (say book two) and realizing that the break point for Kaladin's story makes way more sense if it stretches all the way to include the falling into the chasms sequence. From there, I realize I might not move as far along on Dalinar's plot as i might have thought, and I turn book three to focus more on that plot. Etc.

    The flashbacks are the most flexible of these, in some ways, as they are compliments to a story--but don't need to come at any specific chronological point in the series itself. So I look for the places where they will simply fit the best and match the tone of the story the best, either by contrast or compliment

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3044 Copy

    Portugal_Stronk

    If Adonalsium was based and shattered on the cosmere galaxy, what of the rest of the universe? Does it also have Investiture or is Investiture something strictly bound to the cosmere galaxy? Are there even other galaxies on that universe? 

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've been RAFOing that particular question--though it only just started popping up, at least with people asking it to me. :)

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3045 Copy

    Flack17

    Is there any new information on Dark One? As a lover of your books, graphic novels, and podcasts, I'm very excited for this!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dark One is proceeding nicely behind the scenes, and we're about ready to go take it around the town for pitches. I'd be doing that this week, actually, if I didn't have a book release coming up that I have to prepare for.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3047 Copy

    meramipopper

    What is a song that you really love that a lot of people who know you would never expect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hm. Most people don't expect me to be enjoy Metallica as much as I do--but that tended to be more in the past, when Metallica was considered somewhat edgy before it became classic rock.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3048 Copy

    PM_ME_WRITER_ADVICE

    I love writing and it is what I feel I am the best at. When I finish this life, I want to leave behind a positive legacy through writing Fantasy and Science Fiction. Particularly, I would like to write in a way that will lead to greater depth of thought regarding paradigm shifting philosophical questions. I honestly believe that some of the worlds biggest problems are rooted in the rapidly increasing superficiality of thought among societies.

    The problems that I encounter the most when I try to write are self-doubt and depression. I find it difficult to actually sit down and begin writing, as I have a bad habit of immediately beginning to over-analyze and over-criticize every word that ends up on the page. Have you ever dealt with similar issues, and if so, how were you able to overcome them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I always love to get a writing question mixed into these, so thank you! This is actually an extremely common problem for new writers--perhaps the most common. (Though the second most common is the one I had, which is the reverse--that of never wanting to do revision.)

    What's happening here is that your ability to recognize good writing has outstripped your actual skill at making it. This can be super frustrating, because you know stories--and you can physically do the act of writing. You've been learning that since grade school. Yet, the story you write doesn't quite live up to it.

    Mixed with that is likely an over-critical eye, treating your work like it is worse than it actually is.

    I often use this metaphor: I played trumpet in high school. I'd played since fourth grade. Senior year, I took jazz band, and fount it extremely frustrating. I knew how to play trumpet, and I could hear the improv jazz riffs in my head--so why couldn't I make them come out of the horn? Everything I actually managed to produce felt pedestrian at best.

    The answer is both mental and procedural. The mental side this this: Recognize that what you're doing right now (by writing) is NOT producing your grand masterwork. It's the equivalent of sitting down in your garage with the trumpet and stumbling through riffs until you start to get that important connection between brain and instrument that lets the vision in your head actually flow unimpeded.

    Don't think of this writing as something you're going to sell, any more than you'd tape and record your practice music sessions. Don't think of what you're writing as "wasting" an idea or "failing" at a story--you can and will re-use these story ideas in the future after you figure out your process. Remove the performance anxiety, the need to be great from the get-go, and the expectation that your first draft needs to look like your favorite authors' final, published draft.

    As for procedure, try some strategies that work to limit self-revision while writing. Try writing stories longhand, both to separate yourself form computer distractions and to make it harder to revise. Try going to a specific place to write, like an office or library, and treating your hour or two there like work time--a destination for writing. Make good habits, be consistent, and note the things that work on some days to make you achieve your goals.

    Good luck!

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3049 Copy

    Pagerunner

    Four clues you've given over the years about unknown Shards: 1) One that wants to hide and survive. 2) One that's not on a planet, but not Ambition 3) One that Hoid would have taken 4) One that would have been used for Rithmatist

    I'm not looking for a new clue. I'm wondering if there's any overlap between the clues. Are these four separate Shards? If not, which hints apply to the same Shard?

    Also, since clue #3 was from before Ambition was revealed, was Hoid going to take Ambition? He certainly is an ambitious individual.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll tell you this--those aren't necessarily four different shards. But I do have to RAFO which one Hoid might have taken.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #3050 Copy

    thegatorgirl00

    You've changed so many lives, including mine, with your stories, and so is there anything we as a community can do for you in return?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As for what you can do for me in return, I'm not sure. I mean...I already get to write books for a living, which is the thing I wanted most in life.