Recent entries

    Skyward Seattle signing ()
    #3253 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Nightblood going to out Vasher or Vivenna on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is Nightblood going to what-- out them?

    Questioner

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood, you can never quite tell what Nightblood is going to do. And so I would say there's a high likelyhood that if that opportunity came, that he would do so.

    Skyward release party ()
    #3259 Copy

    Questioner

    Would Hoid be able to harm a Herald or a Cognitive Shadow?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, so, he is curious about this too. I don't know if I should canonize this. Let's say: odds are, no. Cosmere scholars would guess no.

    Skyward release party ()
    #3260 Copy

    Stormlightning

    So Hoid has some sort of magical compulsion that doesn't allow him to hurt people.

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is correct.

    Stormlightning

    Is there any other involuntary compulsions he has that would stop him from doing things he'd like to? "Involuntary compulsions" being the kicker there.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll RAFO that.

    Skyward release party ()
    #3261 Copy

    Stormlightning

    Is there a limit to hordeling size? Like what the size of one is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Stormlightning

    Should I be worried about whitespines being a hordeling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are not a hordeling.

    Stormlightning

    So what's the size limit?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fist-sized is about how big they get.

    Stormlightning

    And how many can you have? For one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lots. More than you have seen on screen.

    Footnote: Dawnshard featured a single hordeling the size of a greatshell, showing that hordelings can indeed be larger than fist-sized.
    Skyward release party ()
    #3262 Copy

    Questioner

    What would happen if Hoid held Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh, Hoid would not do that. Hoid would stay very far away.

    Stormlightning

    Not even hold it??

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would stay really far away. There are very few things in the Cosmere that Hoid is afraid of, and Nightblood is one of them.

    Stormlightning

    I thought he'd be afraid of the blade end.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So let's just say if very, very, very few things in the Cosmere had a chance of destroying you, you wouldn't even pick one up. You'd try to be in a different room entirely.

    R'Shara and Sunbird and JoyBlu

    *Whispering about Nightblood being able to destroy Hoid*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I didn't say, I said theoretically. I said "had a chance of", I did not confirm. Hoid doesn't know. But there's a chance, and so he is not going to risk that.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3264 Copy

    Questioner

    The second set of Stormlight books, [six] through ten, will that-- will those be more focused on the Heralds' point of view, is that the idea?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, so Taln and Ash, who are both Heralds, are going to be main characters, and they'll each get books dedicated to them. The characters who survive the first five will still be main characters as well, but it's gonna turn more on what happened with the Heralds and things like that. The first five are turning more on what happened with the Knights Radiant and then the last five are more what happened with the Heralds... 'Cause we'll get flashbacks to the time of the Dawnsingers and things like that.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3266 Copy

    Questioner

    Will we be finding out more about the Ryshadium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it's one of those things we're gonna find out in little bits here and there. I mean, I think I've told people they are animals that have managed to form a spren bond, which has given them more-than-animal intelligence. It is the symbiosis there that is letting them. So if they did not have the spren bond, they wouldn't be--

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3267 Copy

    Questioner

    Were you intending to kill Eshonai off from the beginning of the series, or is that a decision you made later on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was a decision I made later in the outlining process. It was not begun that way, but it became obvious I needed to do it fairly early on. Why?

    Questioner

    I was just wondering, because as I was reading Way of Kings, a lot of people thought she was going to be a continuing character, maybe even be one of the good guys later on.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. The decision I came to, and it was probably-- Trying to remember exactly when it was. When I came to the decision that Venli was more interesting as a perspective, viewpoint character than her sister was, because we already had characters in the series whose attribute was paragon of their-- This kind of paragon soldier who's trying to do the right thing is well covered in The Stormlight Archive. She was intended originally, but pretty early in the revision process, I decided it needed to go the other direction, 'cause Venli just worked way better as a viewpoint character.

    Questioner

    Is Eshonai still getting a flashback book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, she's still getting a flashback book. I didn't change any of that. In fact, before I even began the series, I knew there were some characters who would not make it to their flashback book, and I wanted to make sure that I made clear that that could happen.

    Questioner

    You said that before, I was like, I want to hear it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Eshonai was intended to continue through, but I changed that pretty quickly, when I realized-- like I said.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3268 Copy

    Questioner

    I just finished rereading through Legion, and I was curious what led you to write so much about religion and that sort of thing. As a religious person, I really appreciated the fair way that you dealt with it in those books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Being religious myself, it fascinates me, and the different ways that people intersect religion. Having one person who had all of these different personas that can all have different, varying levels of interaction with religion and the divine was also really fascinating to me. It offered me an opportunity that I probably couldn't do in any other story.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3269 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspired you to write Dalinar's amnesia and all that? What was your inspiration for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That, all of that, was really just partially narrative necessity. I didn't want to dig into that until I got to the right book, and so I needed the meddling to have pulled a little bit of that back. Plus, the fact that he was an alcoholic let me get away with a little bit of what was going on there. I really liked the intriguing element of someone who had had a piece of their memories ripped away and then was being given it back at the right time, right? That deliberateness of it was really interesting to me. I thought it made for an interesting story hook, when you meet a character and then realize he's had part of his memory excised. It's a bunch of things moving together.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3270 Copy

    Questioner

    Why did you write Zane for the Mistborn series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Zane was a character that I found fascinating. When I designed him, I felt that the setting and characters needed more nuance, and he provided it. I feel that Zane could've gone either way, and he made a bad decision at the end, but could've absolutely gone the other direction and I was really interested in the idea of someone who thought they were insane but actually weren't. So a bunch of things collected, making Zane.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3271 Copy

    Questioner

    Have we seen Kelsier outside of Mistborn yet, and will we see him outside of Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No you have not. And RAFO, but realize, he is-- The way Investiture works, you would consider him similar to how you would consider a spren. It's gonna be hard for him to get off-world.

    Questioner

    It also means that he can still-- He gets kind of close, he gets really close--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I considered him still--

    Questioner

    Still on this side.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but he got close to the line. But I would say he did not get off [Scadrial].

    Questioner

    So it's gonna be hard.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skyward San Francisco signing ()
    #3277 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 ()
    #3278 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 ()
    #3282 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 ()
    #3283 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 ()
    #3284 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 ()
    #3286 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 ()
    #3287 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 ()
    #3288 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 ()
    #3289 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 ()
    #3295 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 ()
    #3296 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 ()
    #3299 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.