Recent entries

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3201 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever played Dungeons and Dragons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have. I played a whole lot of 3.0 and 3.5. A little bit of Second Edition when I was younger. And a little bit of Fourth. But mostly 3.5 was my game.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3202 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you keep everybody straight? Do you use a program like Scrivener?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I use something called Wikidpad, a personal wiki. Just like Wikipedia, but only on my computer. And then I have a continuity editor, and her job is to go, after I've written a book, and put everything from the new book into it, into the wiki. And then to also warn me of continuity errors that I've made.

    I wish I could say I did it all perfectly, but I don't. I still make a ton of mistakes. We catch most of them. But you can see, like, the Mistborn books have way more continuity errors than Stormlight, because I didn't have her back then. And so, we're doing the leatherbounds, they have to come to me and say, "Uhhh... this person walks, like, five times as far as a human being can travel in this amount of time. Maybe we need to move this building across the city," and stuff like that.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3203 Copy

    Questioner

    What kind of books do you like to recommend to people who ask? What's your favorite book to read?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a Goodreads account that I tend to post books I've liked up there. Basically, the ones that I like, do I write about. So that's a good place to go.

    Growing up, my favorite authors were Anne McCaffrey, Barbara Hambly, and Robert Jordan. And David Eddings. Nowadays, I tend to like stuff that's a little more... fantasy that's a little more avant-garde, doing different things. Because I've read a lot of great stories that have the more traditional hero's journey stuff. So the stuff you'll see me liking now tend to be things like N.K. Jemisin, doing weird things. But I like a wide variety of things.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3204 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm curious, how much interaction do you get with the people who narrate the books out loud?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So usually I record pronunciation guides and send them to them on a tape recorder. And usually I pick them beforehand. My tape recording doesn't always get there in time. So if their pronunciation's wrong, it's usually my fault, and not theirs. Because it just means that we haven't gotten that recording done by the time they need it to record. But I like to pick my own audiobook narrators. And when I can, I like to meet them.

    Questioner

    So if you were ever to make one of these into a film, would you ever meet the people who would actually be in the film?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but I would not be in charge of the film. I have clauses that require them to let me come to the set and meet people and be involved that way, but I don't have final say.

    Questioner

    So you don't have in a say in who's cast?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't. I can always offer my opinion, and hopefully they would listen to it. But usually, as a writer, you just don't get say in that. When someone's spending $200 million making your book into a movie, they're writing the check, so they get the final say.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3205 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever met Michael Kramer and Kate Reading?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have met Michael Kramer. I haven't met Kate. I've met Michael, he came to one of my signings. They live in the D.C. area, so he came and did the reading for one of my signings.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3206 Copy

    Questioner

    How would you handle dragons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dragons, I feel, are inherently cool. And they're one of those things that, personally, I think you can just get away with without having to, like, make your own. I'm tired of orcs, but I'm not tired of dragons. So if I were gonna handle dragons, they'd feel like pretty classic dragons.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3207 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm a bit of an aspiring author myself. How would you deal with ADHD writer's block?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some things I know that work for some writers... Do you like hiking? Do you like walking? Because I have known professional writers who have trained themselves to write by talking into a microphone, in order so that they can be walking somewhere, and kind of being visually stimulated while they're writing. I wish I knew better how to write, like, ADHD.... How do you motivate yourself to do other things? Is it a reward mechanism? Is it a short burst sort of thing?

    Questioner

    The issue that I have is that whenever I sit down to write, I sit down, and I'm either just sitting down and writing for five minutes, and then I get bored and move on, switch over to playing video games or surfing the web. I do a lot of thinking about what I want my world to do, stuff like that, but I don't actually have an outline.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Have you tried writing longhand, when you're away from the internet, getting a notebook, going out somewhere, writing in a notebook. That helps a lot of people who are getting distracted by the internet frequently, if there's just no internet to get on. And sometimes it works really good because you also are writing it, and can be, like, "You know, it doesn't have to be perfect while I'm writing in the notebook. I'll make it perfect when I transfer it to the computer." That gives you permission to be free. I don't know that you need to have an outline. Like, Stephen King never uses one. It's a tool that works for some authors and doesn't for others.

    Idaho Falls signing ()
    #3208 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you do go about worldbuilding for religion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a little bit of a mix between the way I see religions work in our world, and trying to find a fantastical version. Something that couldn't really actually exist in our world, 'cause that's part of why I write fantasy. So what could people worship, what methods of worship could they have, that kind of echo things in our world, but aren't actually anything that could ever exist here. We did a Writing Excuses podcast on worldbuilding religion that you might find handy. If you Google "Writing Excuses Religion," we've got a podcast for you.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3210 Copy

    Questioner

    Are these old Radiants?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those are Heralds. That's Ash, who you'll see that the very end of this [Oathbringer]. That's Jezrien who's also near the end. You haven't met her [Vedel] yet. Ishar, you have heard about. And it's identified in this book who he is. But those are artist interpretations of them, in-world. They're like the Sistine Chapel versions of the Heralds. They might not look exactly like that, but that is an in-world interpretation of them by an artist.

    Footnote: Question refers to the Oathbringer endpaper art
    FanX 2018 ()
    #3211 Copy

    Questioner

    Now that Wax is a major part of society, are people trying to copy his coat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That, you will see in the next book! You'll have to wait and see!

    Questioner

    I thought with that one, I wouldn't get that!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wax has had an effect on the fashion industry.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3212 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Wit a remnant of Adonalsium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Good question.

    Questioner

    I thought I had it figured out! I figured he was going around collecting himself. Getting all the different *inaudible*.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, he is not a remnant of Adonalsium. Good question, though.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3213 Copy

    Questioner

    I want to know what Sazed's robes look like.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sazed robes are long, and they've got a V pattern.

    Questioner

    *Inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is sewn into it. The V pattern is just sewn into it like that. Of alternating colors. Not alternating, various colors. Kind of a rainbow look.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3214 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a lady in the future for Kaladin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a Read and Find Out. Let's just say Kaladin is historically not that great on relationships but he has not given up on trying.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3215 Copy

    Questioner

    My question is a follow up to what you answered in my Well of Ascension. I asked if Hoid had any love interests, and you said, "Several". My follow up question is, have we seen any of those *inaudible*.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They will show up in various books but you have not seen them yet. They're *inaudible*.

    Footnote: That entry can be found here.
    FanX 2018 ()
    #3219 Copy

    Questioner

    In Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell, they use silver to fight Shades. I'm wondering if that's actual silver or they just call it silver and it's a mysterious metal that's known to fall from the sky.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's a good question. I have it as actual silver.

    Questioner

    Would it be effective, at fighting...if you wanted to harm a spren or seon or other types of Cognitive Shadow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3220 Copy

    Questioner

    There is ironpulling and steelpushing. And then there's also the surge of a Windrunner that changes their center of gravity. Are those combined somehow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Combined, no, but trying to deal with different facets of the same idea, yes.

    Footnote: The Surge of Gravitation changes the direction of gravity.
    FanX 2018 ()
    #3221 Copy

    Questioner

    When did Shallan take the First Oath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's been quite a while. She's been on this path longer than almost anybody. Jasnah's been going for a while. If you look at the timeline, I think Jasnah beats her. But she's been on this path for years.

    Questioner

    Do we get to find out when she took that First Oath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I'm planning to delve into that. It's supposed to be a "Wait, What?" I'd have to look exactly at the timeline, Jasnah beats her.  Jasnah definitely beats her.

    Questioner 2

    <Are you sure?>

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe not. I'd have to look at the timelines. This is why I have Karen, to keep my timelines for me!

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3222 Copy

    Questioner

    What is your favorite Italian dish?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on my mood. There are some times where I just want to *inaudible* spagetti and meatballs. But sometimes carbonara. I would probably in a vacuum choose the carbonara. Probably. But it just really depends.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3223 Copy

    Stormlightning

    Do the Natan people live longer than normal humans, because they have Aimian blood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Hesitant* Yes...Let's say, you are theorizing in a good direction.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3224 Copy

    Stormlightning

    You told someone that Nan Balat likes to hurt things. Like, a supernatural tendency to hurt things.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's more along the lines of, "He has suffered some...enhancement of a psychological issue through supernatural effects."

    Stormlightning

    It's not an Unmade thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO! Good question! That's basically a confirmation, isn't it? *teasing laugh*

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3225 Copy

    Stormlightning

    If Hoid could have picked to join any order of the Knights Radiant, regardless of the Oaths he had to swear, just the powers, would he have picked Lightweaver?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would have.

    Stormlightning

    Tell me more!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lightweaving matches him very well, he's quite familiar with it and experienced with it. He's very good at using it and he likes it.

    It's the fulfillment of a long, long quest of his to finally get full access to Lightweaving.

    Stormlightning

    Even though he had some sort of Lightweaving?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He did have some sort of, yes. He's a very very happy Hoid.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3227 Copy

    Questioner

    If an Allomancer were to go to a different planet and burn the metals on that planet from that planet, it still works?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Still works.

    Questioner 2

    Same way, no differences?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No differences. The metal is more of a key to draw the magic out than it is providing any power itself.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3228 Copy

    Stormlightning

    Is there a set number of them[Dawnshards]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Stormlightning

    Are you willing to say?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Stormlightning

    Are you willing to say if they originated in the Rosharan system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am not willing to say.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3229 Copy

    Questioner

    Are we going to find out more about Hoid in the next book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but only little bits and pieces until a little later. The further we get along, the more comfortable I will be giving you Hoid stuff. Particularly in Stormlight. So yes, but it's a tentative yes.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3230 Copy

    ReticentBondsmith

    If you infused a ruby and split it into three or more pieces, would you be able to create a groupchat spanreed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This has been attempted so far unsuccessfully. Good question! It is very plausible in the magic system.

    ReticentBondsmith

    I've always felt this was related to quantum entanglement. Is that part of where you got the idea from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Absolutely. I mean, I know that's not how quantum entanglement actually works. But the magic systems all in the Stormlight Archive grew out of my interest in the fundamental forces. We are several magical steps removed from the actual science in each of these cases, but that was the origin for all those magics. The quantum entanglement fascinates me, particularly the way that we think things should work and find out they don't. I love that stuff.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3231 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Hoid the only one of his kind that we've met in the Cosmere books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What do you mean by his kind?

    Questioner

    Is he the only one from the planet he's originally from that we've met?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Because Ati and Leras, the Ruin and Preservation, were both from that same planet.

    [...]

    All of the Shards of Adonalsium were from that planet.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3232 Copy

    Questioner

    How would an Awakened with Breath piece of cloth react if it got hit with a Shardblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A Shardblade would probably be able to cut it, but it depends on how much Breath we're talking about.

    Questioner

    So if it had enough, it might be able to block it

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3233 Copy

    Questioner

    Approximately how much Breath would it take to invest a regular object enough to that a Shardblade couldn't cut it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would have to look at the notes. One of the things we're doing right now is, we're unifying the actual unit of investiture. So, I'm not going to answer that until I have that codified, but it is one of the projects we're working on right now. I'll have some answers for you more...we'll just get a unit of measurement that we can use, probably based on that.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3234 Copy

    Questioner

    Has Hoid just collected--<like he does>--the spren, or...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has legitimately bonded the spren. Let's just say, he has given up on trying to cheat some of the systems and has decided to try to play by the rules.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3235 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you already have the Ideals figured out for all the other orders?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but I don't always stick to 100% the wording. I got the sentiment and a sample phrase. But for a lot of them, they vary based on the individual. So there's some flexibility. I don't tell people what they are, generally, because I need the freedom to change just in case I decide to.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3236 Copy

    Questioner

    If someone was a good enough writer, would you ever consider letting someone else write in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a possibility. I'd be very wary of doing it, but right now, Isaac, who's my illustrator, wants to do it, and he's been a friend for many years. So I've said, "If you really want to you can." So I'm open to the idea. You probably want to be a professional writer first, and have your own things published.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3237 Copy

    Questioner

    When you were writing Elantris, did you think of the artwork for all the symbols and stuff as you were writing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did, I drew them myself. Those are the only ones that I did the symbols for. After that book, I went and got somebody who knew what they were doing, so they look a little pedestrian compared to the other ones, but I did them all myself.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3238 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there any possibility of a Legion television show?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is, we have sold the rights to a company called Cinaflex in Canada, they are trying to develop one right now. Hopefully, it turns out alright. We probably have to change the title because there is a Marvel Legion series, we would probably just call it Leeds.

    Questioner

    That would be awesome. What about Snapshot?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Snapshot's at MGM, they have a really sharp screenplay that I love. Best screenplay based on my work that anyone's ever turned in. I'm really, really excited and hopeful for that one but there is no greenlight yet so who knows.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3240 Copy

    Timsama

    Is finding out what the deal was with Mare, is that an Era 2 thing we're going find out or is that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, unfortunately it is to be left, probably, as a mystery. It is a minor secret that I do not consider a major Cosmere thing, more of a backstory thing. I might eventually get around to it. The chances of it factoring in are very, very slim. I stay closed lipped about it because there is a part of me that thinks I will work it into Secret History 2, sort of like flash-backing material, but I'm not 100% sure I will.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3241 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a reason Kaladin is always talking about the Survivor.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. The Survivor? No. You're trying to get me to slip up on something; no. He does not know Kelsier, nice try.

    Questioner

    But are they connected?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Only thematically.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3242 Copy

    Questioner

    I have a question, because I really like Magic: the Gathering. What set are you collecting right now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm always kind of collecting some of everything. Right now I'm building a Theros cube, so kinda working on that. It's just, I have all my old ones so I'm just like, "Eh, I'll build a cube out of these", so I've just been putting that together, and then I've been building this really weird one that's a commander cube. So I'm grabbing specific cards from here and there and putting them together.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3246 Copy

    Questioner

    So why does Rand bow to the Empress when the actual prophecy was that she was supposed to bend to him, it was changed by one of the...

    Brandon Sanderson

    So that was actually in Robert Jordan's notes, that this is what he was supposed to do. It was to fulfill that prophecy, and so I don't have an explanation to that other than he made sure to include "this needs to happen", so I did it.

    Questioner

    Even though the prophecy was not supposed to be that way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. That one was very clear in the notes; needs to happen.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3247 Copy

    Questioner

    If you could choose to cast someone for Vin who would you pick?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ellen Page from 10 years ago. Is that ok?

    Questioner

    *laughs* Yes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think she would've been very good.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3249 Copy

    Questioner

    I'm just curious, there are 16 Allomantic metals, 16 Feruchemical metals, there are 16 Shards of Adonalsium. Are there 16 surges?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

    Questioner

    So there's no correlation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    10 is an important number on Roshar.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3250 Copy

    Questioner

    Where do you come up with your names for books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It really depends on the book. Sometimes I'm using a real world culture's linguistics as inspiration, sometimes I'm building a linguistic trick for them, so it really depends. Listen to my podcast, Writing Excuses, look for the episode on, we're doing one on con-langs or naming. We've got some episodes on that.