Recent entries

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3351 Copy

    Lerasium Mistborn

    Dalinar had two non-Stormfather visions. First at the end of Words of Radiance, and second with Nohadon in Oathbringer. I'm curious if these two are related or they come from different sources?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, by even answering that, this is one of those questions I tend to RAFO because by answering it I'm implying that your postulations are correct, which I am not even willing to do. It's more of a RAFO in that... let's just say I'm not even willing to confirm the postulations.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3353 Copy

    Kidpen

    Do Smedry Talents transferring between marriage have to do with whether the couple sees themselves as married, or the spouse seeing themselves as a Smedry?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question! I am going to go with... whether the... I've thought a lot about this one. And I keep thinking and wanting to distinguish it from cosmere magics, which are all perception based. So I want this to kind of be more about the oath sworn, that the magic kind of seals, which also has a cosmere-ish sort of feel to it but not quite as much. When you have sworn the vows, so to speak, that's what the magic cares about.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3356 Copy

    LadyLameness

    You've said that Tien was beginning to bond a Cryptic before he died – did he use Surgebinding before he died, even unconsciously? If yes, did we ever see it on screen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He was far enough along to start having some of the-- let's just say he was far enough along to have sworn at least one oath.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3357 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    Do the Fused still require a bond with a spren for maintaining a form/full sapience, or does the Investiture that makes them Cognitive Shadows fulfill that requirement?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do not require a bond with a spren, so yes, the Investiture handles all of that.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3361 Copy

    RenegadeShroom

    Have any groups of singers ever had any nonbinary genders? That is to say, a fifth gender recognized by their culture, rather than malen and femalen, which seem to function as more of an extension of the gender binary than anything our culture would recognize as nonbinary.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3362 Copy

    RenegadeShroom

    Can you tell us anything about Elend's mother; her name, the house she was born into, that kind of thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I could, but I don't have the notes handy and it's been a long time. So that one's a "if you can catch me when I have the notes open", then yes, but it is very important to him, not relevant to the overarching story terribly much.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3363 Copy

    Calderis

    Feruchemical aluminum stores and taps a marker that seems to suffuse all Investiture within a person, removing or strengthening Identity. Does Feruchemical duralumin work similarly? Does tapping connection while storing in a metalmind increase the connection of the Investiture stored?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. Mostly because I've got a main character who's going to be doing this, I'm not going to spoil the fun or lock myself down yet.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3364 Copy

    Calderis

    In Shadows of Self, in the scene where Paalm is speaking to Wax from a floor above, she rushes out the window and down past him. The window isn't damaged, the earth that she runs on isn't damaged, and she runs down a flight of stairs at speed. Being as "speed" affects gravity, and physics apply to Paalm as if she were moving at normal speed, is Feruchemical steel a temporal effect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *laughs* Nice. I'm going to ask for more definition. What do you mean by temporal effect. What exactly do you mean by that? Are you reaching into magic system definitions, or are you trying to use our definitions? Give me more.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3366 Copy

    Blightsong

    In Oathbringer it is revealed that the humans who originally came to Roshar were the first ones to be named Voidbringers and that they carried magical powers. The Stormfather also implies that modern Surgebinding didn't exist before the Heralds. Were the original powers that the humans possessed Voidbinding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, we're getting into lots of interesting definitional problems here. And also the ways that different entities perceive the definitions of different terms. I will answer this question specifically as we do the flashbacks from Ash and Taln's viewpoints. So you've got a long ways to wait. But understand that definitions are not always-- the way that people define things cannot always be trusted. That said, humans were not using powers from Honor originally.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3367 Copy

    Jofwu

    Continuity question:

    Just prior to meeting with the Nightwatcher 5.5 years ago, Dalinar wakes up at the end of a highstorm and seems to have experienced a vision from Stormfather. But in The Way of Kings, Dalinar says that the visions only began "a few months ago." He also seems to have specific memory of the "first" even if he can't recall all of the details, and it seems unlikely he would have visions for several years without anyone having noticed.

    So, should we assume that (1) this strange "dream" in Oathbringer was not actually a one of Honor's visions? Is that just a weird dream, or perhaps some OTHER vision from Stormfather?

    Or, (2) this is one of Honor's visions and any contradictory details from The Way of Kings are superseded by Oathbringer?

    Or, (3) this is one of Honor's visions, and Dalinar just doesn't remember his history of the visions very well.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, I did this quite intentionally, it's not number two. But I expected these questions to be asked, and it's a RAFO, but it's one of these RAFOs where I wrote it very deliberately the way I did on purpose, and I'm going to leave it to your speculation as to what it means.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3368 Copy

    Jofwu

    Is the current year number (1174) just a Vorin convention, or is everyone on Roshar using the same calendar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a Vorin convention, but the Vorin convention has been adopted by a lot of cultures.

    Ravi

    Just like our Gregorian?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. But there are different numbering conventions.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3369 Copy

    Alyssum

    How would someone with naturally perfect pitch be affected socially on Nalthis, even though they only have one Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They would be regarded-- they would be well-regarded, let's say that. Now, you say on Nalthis, but there are a lot of cultures on Nalthis, and so they're not going to be a monolith, but a lot of cultures are going to consider this person someone who's touched by the divine, or someone who's-- it's going to be a sign, perhaps, that there's something about this person, depending on the culture.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3370 Copy

    Alyssum

    You said previously that someone with synesthesia wouldn't be affected by Heightenings differently, unless they had a lot of Breath. What would those effects be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's going to depend on the type of synesthesia, because there are so many different types.

    Skype Q&A ()
    #3371 Copy

    Lightweaver Gaz

    SPEAKING OF Shallan's Red I would like to know what his actual name is for fanfiction purposes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh. Fanfiction purposes... I have not named him. I just call him Red.

    Ravi

    This is the "Ultra Gaz" fan I told you about. And she wants to write a fanfic about--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't have a name for him right now. If you write a fanfic, he'll call himself Red. So that's reasonable.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #3376 Copy

    Questioner

    In Calamity, Calamity's part of a mysterious group or civilization, really weird motives, we don't find out much about them. Was that <pointed, in any way,> part of the plot from the start?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was.

    Questioner

    Do you have a plan to explain that civilization?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will someday  explain that. At the very least, if I just have to sit down and write an essay on it, to give the closure. Yes, I will. And I do apologize for that. Apocalypse Guard was going to delve into this, but then the book got cancelled. By me.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #3377 Copy

    Questioner

    You mentioned that you thought Rithmatist was gonna in the Cosmere. Did you have a Shard in mind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Very early on, I did. But I won't tell you who it was. It it not a Shard we've seen. If I ever do write Rithmatist 2, you might be able to piece it together. Though I'm, in revisions of the outline, really trying to push it away from where it was originally, so it will have a distinctive feel of its own. So I'm trying to write out some of the cosmere elements. But this is one of those things that, if I write it out too much, it just won't match with the first book. So I have to be okay with some of the sort of cosmere relationships.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #3378 Copy

    Questioner

    What technology that you have heard of recently in real life has inspired fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's gotta be something in Skyward, right? Maybe?

    Obviously, the Legion stories are, all three of them, inspired by real-world technology that I read something interesting about, and then go and write a story about. The first one, taking pictures of the past with a camera, not a real-world technology, but I was reading about photography and things like that. The second one, storing data inside of human cells, that's a real thing that lots of people are trying to do that, it's very interesting. And I didn't want to do a story about that, because I thought other people would do stories about that, so I did a story where someone storied data in a body and then lost it. And the third one is directly inspired by my kids love of their VR.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #3379 Copy

    Questioner

    Have you ever written something else that you pulled into the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, I don't do that very often. In fact, I'm trying to think of one that was outside the cosmere that pulled into it, and I can't think of one. I have pushed stories out of the cosmere very frequently. And the reason I do this is because I don't want to be setting things in the cosmere just because of the cosmere. I want to be setting things in the cosmere because they work and advance the story of the cosmere in a way I want it to be. And I want to be sure that I'm not just saying "Well, we'll shove this in the cosmere." So I very frequently try things out in the cosmere, and then pull them back. One of the main reasons I pull them back is I don't want any connection to Earth in the cosmere. So if a book needs a connection to Earth, or for some reason I like how the connection to Earth works, I will pull it out of the cosmere. The only thing I can think of that was out and went in was Dark One. But then it went out again.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3380 Copy

    Questioner

    In Alcatraz series, he talks about a lot of things. Religion, fame, particularly fame, stuff like that. I was wondering if that is his voice entirely, or if it's also partially you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a lot of me in Alcatraz. My mother says Alcatraz is her favorite character because he sounds the most like me.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3381 Copy

    Questioner

    What book was the most fun to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The most fun to write was probably the third Wax and Wayne book, which is called Bands of Mourning. It was just a blast.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3383 Copy

    Questioner

    What Order of Knights Radiant would you be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't know. I've thought this before. Probably Bondsmith would be definitely my personality. But it depends. It depends on, if I were living in Roshar, what would my life be like, and things like that. A lot of people could be in multiple Orders, depending on the spren they meet, and where they go from there.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3384 Copy

    Questioner

    I listen to a lot of your books, and the fight sequences are <seriously good>. How... Do you have people, like, live-action it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not, but I do a lot of having beta readers. And you can ask my beta readers, the action sequences are often the things that need the most work. Because I will not know what things are working or not working until I get those reads back where people say, "I'm not clear here, I'm not clear there." A lot of times, when I'm writing the first draft of the fight scene, I'm looking for the emotional connection to the character. What they're trying to accomplish. And then I see which of the things I wrote work with the readers and they can visualize, and then I back up and try again on the ones that don't.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3385 Copy

    Questioner

    What kind of Radiant do you think Shai would be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's a good question. I would go with Edgedancer. Listening is one of the things, but also the ability to get places where you're not supposed to be would be very up her alley. There is a argument for one with Lightweaving power. Shai a Lightweaver... does she lie to herself? No. She's very good at not lying to herself, which is part of it. I would go Edgedancer, followed by Lightweaver. We could make an argument that she, depending on situations, could end up in either order.

    Which is not that uncommon, depending on the spren that you need.

    Questioner

    What would Kaladin's second Order be if he weren't a Windrunner?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would have to think about that. I haven't considered it.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3387 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have a character that's your... a way to be interacting through a character through a first person viewpoint.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably the closest thing I have is Alcatraz, from the Alcatraz books. Who is my method of blowing off steam about the writing process.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3388 Copy

    Questioner

    So, in Steelheart. The symbol of hope, they're thinking it's the Superman symbol.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is. But I couldn't say that, because it's trademarked. But that is what it is.

    You can imagine it as not. Because, I can't ever talk about Superman in that world. You can imagine it's an alternate version of our world where it's not. If it were ever made into a movie, it would not be.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3390 Copy

    Questioner

    Is there a specific ear that Vin's earring goes in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and we've canonized that, but I can't remember which one it is. If you look online, we have posted it to the fans, and they've put it in the wiki.

    Footnote: Peter has since canonized that Vin's earring is in her left ear. See this entry.
    FanX 2018 ()
    #3391 Copy

    Questioner

    What inspired Steris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Partially, me feeling that I didn't do a fair shake by an autistic character in Elantris, and wanted to do a better job of it later on after I had read more and more about it, and I'd known some people with autism, and things like that, and I wanted to try approaching someone on the spectrum from a more realistic viewpoint. Not that Elantris is completely wrong, but it's more Hollywood interpretation, rather than the real-life way that a lot of people who have autism live with it. That was part of it.

    Part of it was also, I wanted to write a character based on a friend of mine, who when I first met them, was very kind of abrasive. And as I got to know them, became one of my best friends ever. And I'm like, "I want a character like that for fans." So if you read the book, you're like, "I hate this character." But at the end, you're like, "Oh, when I can see from their eyes, suddenly they're one of my favorites."

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3392 Copy

    Questioner

    Kaladin is one of my favorite characters, and I noticed he's a really good leader, but he also does have his very hard moments. And I was wondering, what inspired you to make such a strong character that is allowed to cry and be weak?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is partially my philosophy on writing coming out. And is partially me noticing some things about characters in books that I felt hadn't been covered very well. Certain styles of characters had not been done as much, and I wanted to explore that direction. I take a lot of inspiration from my wife for Kaladin, actually, who has depression.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3393 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you see yourself as a certain character in the book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are all one part me, one part not me.

    Questioner

    I was wondering if you see yourself as Hoid.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Definitely not Hoid. Hoid is very different from me. If I'm like anyone, I'm either like Sazed, maybe older Dalinar.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3394 Copy

    Questioner

    With Allomancy is of Preservation, and you have Hemalurgy, which is of Ruin. Is Feruchemy a joint effort between the two? Or is it a third party?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Joint effort.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3395 Copy

    Questioner

    What's the plan for a book on Threnody?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Book on Threnody? I have a plan, but no promises when. I don't even have a title for it.

    Questioner

    Similar question for a book on First of the Sun?

    Brandon Sanderson

    First of the Sun is probably not going to have its own book. I might do a sequel short story, but it's not planned to have a full novel at this point in the Cosmere.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3397 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am not an economist like Lee, and I'm not an accountant like Larry, but I've done enough research in this to be dangerous. Just a little bit of research. And I found two kind of fundamental theories that have always been very useful to me in building a magic system if you want to relate it to your economics. And there are two different theories that people talk about. The basis for an economy. And one argument is, the economy is run by those who control the food sources. And if you can relate your magic system to the food (that can be transportation, getting food from one place to another; 'cause if you can get food unspoiled to a large city, you can urbanize, and things like this), they look at the idea of food running countries. And the other direction that people go is, violence running countries. The people who have a monopoly on violence in a society are the people who are in charge of that society. And they're both very interesting ways of looking at the economics of society and then relating your magic to that.

    There's a reason why the Stormlight Archive, I said, "All right, I'm gonna make the magic have a one-to-one, you can correlate it to how much food the magic can create." This lets me understand using some real-world examples how to move armies around, how much magic you would need to keep the army fed, which also kind of ties into the monopoly on violence in society and things like this. But I wanted to relate it in that way because it gave me a way to correlate. "This much magic is worth this much bread. This much bread is worth this much in our world." And obviously, you can't exactly tie it one-to-one. But it gives me a ballpark, so that I can kind of keep a scale going, and I can know how much value these things have. Obviously, scarcity and ease of creating that food and things all play into how this works. It's not exactly, directly across. But it's been really handy for me in figuring out "How much is my magic worth?"

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3398 Copy

    Questioner

    In your opinion. Arcanum and the 17th Shard. *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have never felt creeped out by anything that they do there. But once in a while, I'm really overwhelmed by it.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3399 Copy

    Questioner

    In Bands of Mourning, there's the people that show emotion with their hands. Who was first, you or Patrick Rothfuss, with people that emote with their hands?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hey, you can go read Defending Elysium. Which came out before Name of the Wind. Where I have an alien species that use hand gestures as a lot of its emotional accents. I would say it's probably parallel sort of things. Pat and I read a lot of the same books growing up. You'll find this; all of my group of writers around my age all grew up reading the same people, so we're kind of remixing things in similar ways. Brent Weeks and I both released color-based magic systems within a year of each other. I beat him to it by a couple months, which made him really mad. Of course, they were both in development at the same time. Why are these ideas sometimes similar?

    Why are me and Pat doing these very scientific magic systems? It's because we read the same books growing up, and we're kind of in the same school of thought as we're pushing in different directions in fantasy.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3400 Copy

    Questioner

    How long did the writing process take for Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Elantris was about an eight-month write. And then after I sold it, I needed to do maybe another four months of revisions. So maybe about a total of twelve months.