WOR, why can no one hear/see Sylphrena but they can see Pattern?
Different spren have different properties. They talk about this in the series at some point, I believe.
WOR, why can no one hear/see Sylphrena but they can see Pattern?
Different spren have different properties. They talk about this in the series at some point, I believe.
A couple years ago Peter answered in this post that as of May 2015 (3 years ago now), Brandon had sold ~7 million copies (not including Wheel of Time). I am curious now if Peter would be so good as to give us an update, especially after I saw this from his source in that comment that in the first week alone of Oathbringer's release it sold over 300k copies. That number, especially when taken in context with this other comment of Peter's from that thread, means that OB did way better than the average #1 NYT bestseller.
When a movie hits #1, millions of people saw it that week. On a slow sales week for books, it's possible to hit #1 on the New York Times list and only sell 12,000 copies. (Though that is rare; it's also possible to sell that much and miss the top 15.) The #1 usually sells much less than 100k copies in release week. Publishers don't want people to know, without digging for the info, how small the industry really is.
I'm sure Oathbringer's sales were pretty frontloaded given it's place in a series and how anticipated it was, but I'd love to know how well the books are doing, and I'm just curious if he could give us an idea of how well Stormlight does compared to Mistborn or anything like that. I assume the SA books are Brandon's top sellers, but I obviously don't know that for sure, and I just wonder if each SA book sells like twice as much as an average Mistborn book, or is it closer to 1.5x, or 3x. I imagine they must sell very well to be worth the huge amount of time and the incredible toll it takes on him to write given they are 2-3x longer than his other books.
Anyway, I'm just a curious and nosy guy who loves learning about sales figures, I follow boxofficemojo.com every Sunday to see how much each movie makes for no reason whatsoever aside from I'm interested in it. I also, like many of us I assume, wish for the best for Brandon and the rest of Team Dragonsteel and hope his books are kicking ass and flying off shelves.
Total sales are now over 11 million worldwide (still not counting WoT). Mistborn, with more books, is a higher proportion of that than Stormlight is. Stormlight is catching up, but it still has quite a way to go. Oathbringer has sold more in hardcover than anything except WoT books.
Mistborn's mass market paperback box set is usually in the top ten box set sales for the year. Way of Kings mmpb has sold more each year than the year previous since 2014. So did Mistborn until 2017, which is also the first time that Way of Kings mmpb passed up the Mistborn mmpb and box set combined. But Well of Ascension is still outselling Words of Radiance by the same metric.
Those are just print numbers. I don't have the ebook breakdowns handy. Generally ebook has been selling twice as much as print, with audio a bit lower—but with Oathbringer, the print, audio, and ebook numbers are nearly identical. Readers seem to really like the hardcovers, probably due to all the art, and Oathbringer was the most preordered Audible audiobook of all time—which I believe means it had the highest-selling audiobook release week of all time. (It won't pass up books like Harry Potter in the long run.)
When you say "Those are just print numbers" do you mean the paragraph preceding that statement, or is the "over 11 million" just print? I am assuming over 11 million includes all print/ebook/audible etc, but just want to clarify. Again, thank you.
The 11 million does include ebook and audio. Though also, that number was from June so it doesn’t include Oathbringer. But that fact doesn’t change anything I said here, yet.
I wonder - considering the three main Stormlight books are about as many words as all the Mistborn books combined, which series has "sold the most words"?
Interesting! I suppose it's somewhat expected considering Mistborn was released first. If you'll indulge me, is it still the same if we rescale for time? Sort of a "word sales rate" - is the average Sanderson reader more likely to currently be reading Stormlight or Mistborn?
Hard to say right now because the good numbers reporting only happens every January and July. The sales period from July to December 2018 will be best to look at for comparison purposes, since neither series will have a super-recent book out in that period. We'll get those numbers in July 2019.
That's an insanely long delay for getting good data.
It's because the publishing industry borrows from the future by paying authors royalties 6 to 11.97 months after book sales take place. And it's the royalty reports that include the actual sales numbers.
If you could write a story in any other world/authors work what would it be and why(discounting be obvious of you already did [The Wheel of Time])?
If you could let any other author write a story in one of your universes, what story, which author?
Now what if the answer to both those questions where pat rothfuss?
First one would be tough. I've turned down, for example, writing on a Marvel property--and could likely write a Star Wars book if I wanted, but am not particularly interested in either. Not because I don't enjoy those stories, but because I'm happy doing my own thing, and don't know that I can add in a meaningful way to what is already happening with properties like that.
I would enjoy working with specific authors. For example, I'd leap at doing something with Pat--but I doubt we'd want to do anything in either of our worlds. But something new.
Very happy for him that [Dark One] is getting off the ground but also worries me a bit.
I've been through the waiting game with George R. R. Martin, J.K. Rowling and Robert Jordan. I started reading wot when I was like 13 and finished when I was 34 or so. I'm worried that some of the stuff that sounds awesome will never see the light of day or be 40 years in the future. The second half of the storm light or Warbreaker 2 for example
I also wish that this was in the cosmere cause it could be a great tie-in.
I'm also worried that it fails and kills any chance of his other works being adapted.
Either way hoping that my fears are unfounded and it's awesome. Sounds cool
I think that we want this to not be cosmere--because that should both give me a chance to dabble in Hollywood, but also not risk the continuity of the cosmere until I have more of a reputation there.
Also, I don't think you need to worry. So far, this hasn't divided my attention too much from other projects. I've spent maybe a day ever few weeks or so on Dark One--and I don't anticipate letting it consume me too much.
What is the [Dark One] podcast piece going to be like? An old-style radio serial or something?
The original pitch was for something more contemporary, like a fake version of the podcast Serial--but in-world and dealing with a specific character. But a lot will depend on how the series develops.
I've had to hide this news for a long time. It was almost one year ago that the Dark One outline finally snapped together for me at long last. We had interest almost immediately from Fremantle, and I've done multiple flights to LA to chat with them about it. I think this one might finally be the real deal when it comes to a Sanderson adaptation--which is amusing, considering we don't have any books for Dark One yet. But if this goes forward, I'll be sure to write some.
I'm a big fan of this multimedia approach, but I'm wondering what inspired it. Was it your idea or Fremantle's? Is this an experiment for other properties in the future at all? A lot of us on the 17th Shard discord have discussed the sheer size of Stormlight, for example, and worry about DMG either going the Hobbit route (hours upon hours of content for a single book, which'll really rack up even by the time we reach OB), or missing out on a ton of content. If Dark One pans out well, would you use this multimedia approach for Stormlight? (I'm a big fan of the idea of a Black Mirror style show for the interludes, but straight up separating them from the rest of the books would take a lot away, especially with characters such as Szeth and Venli)
With Dark One, I've pounded myself against the idea for years. Finally, I sat down with it and said, "What if I were going to design this for a television show or graphic novel first?" Using Stranger Things and the recent Westworld reboot as guides, I dug into a parallel narrative--half in our world, half in another world. A kind of dark "portal fantasy" story.
It came out as an eight episode outline that I really liked, with a solid outline for two prequel novels about the previous generation. (Characters still important in the episode outline.) With this in hand, I took it to Hollywood and said, "If you guys are interested in doing the episodes, I'm interested in writing these books--and we can intertwine them in a (hopefully) very cool way."
Fremantle was on board immediately. (They'd been intrigued by Dark One from a one-page outline they'd seen, back before I did this new treatment.)
Warning: I can't say how much of my original outline will end up in the show; I've never written for a television show before, and the showrunner will know better than I will what will or won't work. But (theoretically) the graphic novels will follow the outline pretty closely.
If this works, will I apply it to the Cosmere? That's the goal. I do like the idea of getting some experience with TV/Film through non-cosmere projects, particularly as we see how things shake out these next few years in regards to TV/film distribution.
Brandon, I'm curious how you see the same scenario playing out with Cosmere material considering the material already exists and the opportunity for the same intertwining wouldn't be quite the same. Unless of course you go back and interweave new stories with the already completed books?
Very excited to see what comes of this venture! I've loved the concept from the moment you first mentioned it and I can't think of a better way to see it come alive than how you're doing it here.
I can't really say at this point. There are just too many variables. There are a lot of ways these things could be approached, however.
There is that scene where Kaladin takes a sharp turn at high speeds and he almost blacks out. That is normal for jet pilots, since they experience high G forces when their airplane tries to accelerate them by their backs and bottoms.
But Lashing doesn't work that way, it generates fake gravity. Accelerating your whole body shouldn't cause you anything, you can't even feel it.
Is this something that is an admitted physics hiccup or I misunderstood this kind of Investiture usage?
This one is actually in the process of flux, as I do more research on the effects of acceleration (including interviews with fighter pilots, which has been fun.) Basically, I realized I needed to beef up my understanding of all this, and then make some decisions on exactly how this all works, because I've been relying on instinct too much in some of these sequences.
So...that's a RAFO, I'm afraid. More because I'm still tweaking some of the little details of how I want this all to work. (In ways that become increasingly relevant as I look forward toward things like Windrunners in space.)
There are a ton of details to consider, even if I eventually hand-wave some of it with the magic. (For example, the heart pumping blood in a high-g environment. How does that interact, if at all, with stormlight? And the direct oxygenation of the brain implied by not needing to breathe while holding stormlight...)
We have several very large math-ish projects going on behind the scenes.
I think it depends on if lashing independently impacts each atom within your body simultaneously, or if it is only a subset.
There's one important fact you're not considering, but which is vital: reader expectation.
One of the questions I have to ask myself is this: What will the reader expect to happen? How will they expect to feel? Granted, none of us have ever flown like this before--but we generally imagine similar things, similar feelings.
As a writer, one thing I need to balance is when I go against reader expectations and when I don't. Going against the expectations can be interesting, but often takes a large burden of words and explanation to keep reminding them something is not how they'd imagine it to be.
For example, it took a relatively large amount of reader attention (and explanation) to keep reminding people in Mistborn that plants weren't green and the sky wasn't blue. In many ways, making something new (like a chull) is easier on readers than making something familiar into something strange (like the horses in Dragonsteel, which were smaller than Earth horses--and kept causing confusion problems in my alpha readers.)
As annoying as this example can me, this is why Lucas had sound, fire, gravity, etc in space. Starships banking in formation felt real to the viewers, even if it didn't make sense in context. I hope to not go that far, but these questions are something in my mind.
I try to be careful not to remove the sensations of magic, in order to keep the movements of characters grounded. Windrunning has left me having to decide how far I want to go with things like this, in order to preserve the visceral feelings for the reader.
Did "dun spheres" start as a typo of "dim"?
Yeah, as has been noted, it's an actual word in English. There was no typo, though I have adapted it to mean something slightly different in the books.
I still can't remember for certain where I got crem from, though.
So once upon a time Brandon was going to write Szeth as the flashback character for book three, but then Brandon changed his mind, decided to write Dalinar's flashback chapters to see how that would go, and then after writing them made book 3 Dalinar's book instead. Here is a quote from the first Stormlight Book 3 Update post Brandon made in this subreddit
As someone else has posted, I have finished the rough draft of Dalinar's flashbacks for Stormlight Three. I consider the experiment of writing his flashbacks for this book, instead of waiting for book five, to be a success. Therefore, I'm proceeding with the Dalinar/Szeth flip.
The reasoning for this is something I can't discuss in detail until the book is released. I'd be happy to revisit this topic once you all have a chance to read the novel.
Now that the book has been out for 6 months or so, I'd love to hear Brandon discuss the reasoning behind this. Personally, I have a very tough time imagining how this book would have played out if Szeth had been the flashback character. Clearly we wouldn't have had to Dalinar/Odium confrontation if we didn't have Dalinar's flashbacks, as those were integral to the overall storyline. I'd love to hear what the plot of this book was originally supposed to be when Szeth was going to have the flashbacks. Does anyone know the answers to this, or am I going to have to hope Brandon sees this post and decides to answer more than a RAFO? :)
Hmm. This is going to be difficult to answer without straying into spoilers for books four and five. It's also hard to say how the books would have played out if I'd swapped these back.
The Dalinar/Odium confrontation would still have happened, as that was something I'd been planning for a while. But how would things have played out? Hard to say, as an outline is only a rough guide--even for someone like me. It's when you get to the nitty gritty of the story that things come together.
Having finished the book, it's hard for me to imagine going another direction--as I made the decisions I did because I felt they were the ones that were right for the story. And a lot has changed over the years as I've worked on the details. (Kaladin's arc from book two, for example, was originally plotted for book three--parallel to Szeth and his flashbacks, which share some similarities.)
Dalinar's flashbacks would work very well for book five for reasons I can't explain yet--but it became clear to me that I needed them for this book, despite the outline looking at the Szeth/Kaladin dynamic. (Which was upended anyway when I moved Kaladin's second character arc to book two.)
So...that's a whole lot of not saying much, I'm afraid. I can answer a lot more once book five is out.
Does it mean that we shouldn't expect any explanations or clues about what happened with Dalinar at the end of Oathbringer before book 5?
Ask just to know if we'll know more in book 4 or we'll have to wait a bit longer.To avoid false expectations:)
There will be explanations and clues, but I would anticipate more Dalinar in book 5 than in book 4.
Anyone really want Wayne and Lopen to have a conversation?
I have no idea what they would have to say to each other but it would sound magical. Michael Kramer is awesome.
Maybe I can find a way to do this as some kind of non-canon easter egg, like the Kelsier/Moiraine conversation.
I sought refuge in the silent caverns. I didn’t dare go back to my mother and grandmother. My mother would undoubtedly be happy. She’d lost a husband to the Krell, and dreaded seeing me suffer the same fate. Gran Gran, she would tell me to fight. But fight what? The military itself didn’t want me. I felt like a fool. All this time, telling myself I’d become a pilot, and in truth I’d never had a chance. My teachers must have spent these years laughing at me behind their hands. I walked through an unfamiliar cavern on the outer edge of what I’d explored, hours away from Igneous. And still the feelings of embarrassment and anger shadowed me. What an idiot I had been.
I reached the edge of the subterranean cliff and knelt, activating my father’s light-line by tapping two fingers against my palm. The bracelet glowed more brightly. Gran Gran said we’d brought these with us to Detritus, that they were pieces of equipment used by the explorers and warriors of the old human space fleet. I wasn’t supposed to have one of course, but everyone thought that it had been destroyed when my father crashed. I placed my wrist against the stone of the cliff, and again tapped my fingers against my palm, an action the bracelet could sense. This command made an energy line stick to the rock, connecting my bracelet to the stone.
A three-finger tap let out more slack. Using that I could climb over the ledge, rope in hand, and lower myself to the bottom. Once down, another tap made the rope let go of the rock above then snap back into the bracelet housing. I didn’t know how it worked, only that it needed to recharge it every month or two, something I did in secret by plugging it into the power lines outside the caverns.
I crept into a cavern filled with kurdi mushrooms. They tasted foul but were edible and rats loved them. This would be prime hunting ground. So I turned off my light and settled down to wait, listening intently. I had never feared the darkness. It reminded me of the exercise Gran Gran taught, where I floated up toward the singing stars. You couldn’t fear the dark when you were a fighter. And I was a fighter.
I was, I was going, I was going to be a pilot...
I looked upward, trying to push away those feelings of loss. Instead, I was soaring. Toward the stars. And again I thought I could hear something calling to me, a sound like a distant flute. A nearby scraping pulled me back. Rat nails on stone. I raised my speargun, familiar motions guiding me, and engaging a smidgen of light from my light-line.
The rat turned in a panic toward me. My finger trembled on the trigger but I didn’t fire as it scrambled away. Why did it matter? Was I really just going to go on with my life like nothing had happened? Usually exploring kept my mind off my problems. Today they kept intruding like a rock in my shoe. Remember? Remember that your dreams have just been stolen?
I felt like I had those first days following my father’s death. When every moment, every object, every word reminded me of him and of the sudden hole inside me. I sighed, then attached one end of my light-line to my spear and commanded it to stick to the next thing it touched. I took aim at the top of another cliff and fired, sticking the weightless glowing rope in place. I climbed up, my speargun rattling in its straps on my back.
As a child I’d imagined that my father had survived his crash, that he was being held captive in these endless uncharted tunnels. I imagined saving him, like a figure from Gran Gran’s stories. Gilgamesh, or Joan of Arc, or Tarzan of Greystoke, a hero. The cavern trembled as if in outrage, and dust fell from the ceiling. An impact up on the surface. That was close, I thought. Had I climbed so far? I took out my book of hand-drawn maps. I’d been out here quite a while by now; hours at least. I had taken a nap a few caverns back.
I checked the clock on my light-line. It had passed to the next day, the day of the test, which would happen in the evening. I probably should have headed back. Mom and Gran Gran would worry if I didn’t show up for the test. To hell with the test, I thought, imagining the indignation I’d feel at being turned away at the door. Instead I climbed up through a tight squeeze into another tunnel. Out here my size was, for once, an advantage.
Another impact rocked the caverns. With this much debris falling, climbing to the surface was definitely stupid. I didn’t care. I felt reckless. I felt, almost heard, something driving me forward. I kept climbing until I finally reached a crack in the ceiling. Light shone through it, of an even, sterile type; too white, not orange enough. Cool, dry air blew in also, which was a good sign. I pushed my pack ahead of me, then squirmed through the crack and out into the light.
The surface. I looked up and saw the sky again. It never failed to take my breath away. A distant skylight shone down on a section of the land, but I was mostly in shadow. Just overhead, the sky sparkled with a shower of falling debris. Radiant lines like slashes. A formation of three scout-class starfighters flew through it, watching. Falling debris was often broken pieces of ships or other space junk, and salvage from it could be valuable. It played havoc with our sensors though, and could mask a Krell incursion.
I stood in the grey-blue dust and let the awe of the sky wash over me, feeling a particular sensation of wind against my cheeks. I’d come up close to Alta Base, which I could see in the distance, maybe only a thirty-five minute walk or so away. Now that the Krell knew where we were, there was no reason to hide the base, so it had expanded from a hidden bunker to several large buildings and a walled perimeter, antiaircraft guns, and an invisible shield to protect it from debris.
Outside that wall, groups of people worked a small strip of something I always found strange: trees and fields. What were they even doing over there? Trying to grow food in this dusty ground? I didn’t dare get close. The guards would take me for a scavenger from the distant caverns. Still, there was something dramatic about that stark green of those fields and the stubborn walls of the base. Alta was a monument to our determination. For three generations, humankind had lived like rats and nomads on this planet, but we would hide no longer.
The flight of starships streaked toward Alta, and I took a step toward them. Set your sights on something higher, my father had said. Something more grand. And where had that gotten me?
I shouldered my pack and my speargun, then hiked the other direction. I had been to a nearby passage before, and I figured with more exploring, I could connect some of my maps. Unfortunately, when I arrived, I found the passage’s mouth had collapsed completely.
I saw some debris hit the surface in the near distance, tossing up a spray of dust. I looked up and found a few smaller chunks streaking down overhead, fiery burning chunks of metal. Heading right toward me. Scud! I dashed back the way I had come. No! No! No! No! No! The air rumbled, and I could feel the heat of the approaching debris. There!
I spotted a small cavern opening in the surface, part crack, part cave mouth. I threw myself toward it, skidding and sliding inside. An enormous crash sounded behind me, and it seemed to shake the entire planet. Frantic, I engaged my light-line and slapped my hand against the stone as I fell into the churning chaos. I jerked up short, connected by the light-line to the wall, as rock chips and pebbles flew across me. The cavern trembled, then all grew still. I blinked dust from my eyes and found myself dangling by my light-line in the center of a small cavern, maybe thirty or forty feet high. I’d lost my pack somewhere, and I’d scraped up my arm pretty good.
Great, just great, Spensa. This is what throwing tantrums gets you. I groaned, my head throbbing, then tapped my fingers against my palm to let the light-line out, lowering myself to the floor. I flopped down, catching my breath. Other impacts sounded in the distance, but they dwindled. Finally, I wobbled to my feet and dusted myself off. I managed to locate the strap of my bag sticking out from some rubble nearby. I yanked it out, then checked the canteen and maps inside. They seemed okay.
My speargun was another matter. I found the handle but there was no sign of the rest. It was probably buried in that mound of rubble. I slumped down against the stone. I knew I shouldn’t go up to the surface during a debris fall. I had practically begged for this. A scrabbling sound came from nearby. A rat? I raised the handle of my gun immediately, and then felt doubly stupid. Still I forced myself to my feet, slung my pack over my shoulder, and increased the light of my bracelet. A shadow ducked away, and I followed, limping only a little. Maybe I could find another way out of here.
I raised my bracelet high, illuminating the small cavern, which had a high ceiling. My light reflected off something ahead of me. Metal? Maybe one of the water pipes? I walked toward it, and my brain took a moment to realize what I was seeing. There, nestled into the corner of the cavern, surrounded by rubble, was a starship.
Can you sleep through a highstorm?
Some people can. I probably wouldn't be able to.
So it's not impossible.
It's not impossible... The guys in Bridge Four? They can sleep through anything.
I was wondering what is your favorite book was to write?
...That's really hard to answer, I like different books for different reasons. The big ones are more satisfying, but a lot of the shorter ones can be funner. So, probably Bands of Mourning, from the Mistborn series is my favorite for the fun. But the Stormlight books are more satisfying.
This book seemed a little sadder, I thought Kaladin would reach the next level.
Yeah, he's still got some things to work out.
I was surprised that Elhokar getting killed *inaudible*
At least, in this draft, it wasn't Dalinar that that killed him like in the original version... That didn't work.
How did you know that Stormlight and Mistborn were going to be the focus [of the cosmere]?
A lot of writers figured out the *inaudible* exploration. And I had the advantage when I broke-in that I had written all these books before, and I was able to go back and say, "The Way of Kings, there's something special about--" right from the beginning, there's something special about that.
I was able to look back at say, Mistborn, which had I had tried the magic system. The magic system really worked, my best magic system. I know this has the best magic magic system, if I can match a plot to it that makes it a good book, I can make that magic system kind of the spine of what I'm doing.
...So I got lucky on that. In some ways, not publishing for a long time was the luckiest thing that could have happened to me.
The reveal at the end of The Bands of Mourning was just the biggest surprise ever. I held off reading Secret History... When I read Secret History, it feels like reading Hero of Ages all over again. It was so great... Kelsier, what it's going to mean.
You'll see, next book. RAFO card.
Do you know when we're going to get Nightblood?
I don't know for sure. Your best bet at Nightblood is after Stormlight 5. I'll take a little bit longer break than normal between 5 and 6 because there are two five-book arcs, and I'm really hoping to squeeze Nightblood in there.
What is your favorite magic system you've read?
That I've read? I really like Melanie Rawn's Sunrunner books. Probably the best magic system is either Brian McClellan's, I really love Patrick Rothfuss'. Probably the best three are those, as far as magic systems.
Is Adolin going to be an Edgedancer?
That's a RAFO.
For the Stormlight series specifically, I feel like there will be things I don't really fully get until I start to get until the second or third read-through, how do you keep all that straight?
I use a program called Wikipad, which is a personal wiki. I just do a lot of outlining in a wiki, it's like wikipedia but only on my computer... I have the ability to--now I can hire continuity editors. So it gets better and better the further I go along.
I'm in <a MFA and> one of the things I'm interested in is writing multiple perspectives. So how do you go about that and make the characters sound distinctive?
I think really distinctive viewpoints is a big part of it, particularly in the third-limited. It's much easier in the first to distinguish them in some ways, though it's harder to keep track. But in third limited you want to make sure your viewpoints are really distinctive. I always ask myself the question, "How would they describe a cup of water?" Would they see that as if they are thirsty, or how would they describe that thing...
Third limited gets away with a sort of more general voice of the narrator a little bit, to kind of lean on that as long as the focus on descriptions and voice and thoughts of the characters.
What is the weirdest thing you've ever been given at a signing?
All the normal things: license plates, swords, armor, pens, lots of pens. Weirdest thing-- I need to write these things down when I get them. Sculptures... stickers, I would ask my wife. I'm going to go with license plates, that is pretty odd. They got two, put one on their car and gave one to me.
*Inaudible*<how long it had been like that...or just a weird thing>
I was so excited to be able to do that.
How long were you sitting on that secret?
I've sat on that secret since the first book. I don't know if you've read Arcanum Unbounded and the scene in there, but I was building in all these little things, it was a lot fun. But it took me forever to get that book written.
We are doing more graphic novels. Now that I've experimented once, we've got some sweet stuff on the way that we should be announcing later this month.
I loved writing Steris. Part of the fun was, I wrote her in Alloy of Law knowing that a lot of people were going to have an opinion of Steris they would have to change over time, and I liked watching fans come to that realization.
If a Thaylen and Alethi had a child, how would their eyebrows look?
Their eyebrows would probably have streaks of white. You would just see the kind of hybridization how bushy and long their eyebrows got. The color would breed kind of half-way true.
Why Odium is stronger and worst evil than Ruin?
One reason is that Ruin had a person in control of it who, for many years, fought against the impulse to destroy--and in the end, channeled it toward entropy and decay, necessary elements of the universe. Odium represents something else entirely.
How long is the [Skyward] series going to be?
Skyward is a trilogy. And I usually write--you'll find my style for a trilogy is the first one stands very well on its own, and the second two will have more cliff-hangery sorts of things.
What was your inspiration for kandra?
So, I knew that I wanted to do a shapeshifter, but I worried about the whole-- The first idea was that you take the bones of the person you killed, sort of thing. I worried that that would be too-- I wanted a limitation on that. So I'm like, "Well, what if they can't kill people? Why can't they kill?" and I kind of extrapolated from there. But the first idea was that idea of you can become someone if you can get their bones first.
So far during The Stormlight Archive we've seen that the spren bond appears to have some distinct advantages (i.e. armor, more efficient Stormlight consumption, access to a variety of weapons) over what Tanavast via the Oathpact provided the Heralds. With the exception of Nale, and the fact that the Heralds had no need for Stormlight, can you please tell me one way in which a Herald had a distinct advantage over a level 5 Radiant of their corresponding order?
Rebirth. *pause* The Heralds had access to raw levels of power that no Radiant could obtain.
I'm still upset that mistpren is not the Truthwatcher spren. Logically, they're like the only ones that didn't fit.
Yeah, okay. I can see why you would be annoyed by that.
The Nightwatcher is described as having an amorphous, vague, humanoid form of dark green mist with a smooth, defined face. This is similar to how the mistpren are described (faces like porcelain masks and bodies of swirling fog). Did the Nightwatcher serve as the progenitor of the mistspren similar to how Honor, and later the Stormfather, were progenitors of honorspren like Syl.
One more time.
...Did the Nightwatcher serve as the progenitor of the mistspren similar to how Honor, and later the Stormfather, were the progenitors of the honorspren like Syl.
...Are you talking about author inspirations or in-world sort of things?
No, not in-world. And out of world, it's the reverse. Mist spirits came before. I ended up doing--
Oh, mistspren. So you're saying the ones in Shadesmar... You're using terms for things, because I haven't given you other terms.
They are named mistpren in the books.
Yeah. So ask me one more time.
Did the Nightwatcher serve as the progenitor of the mistspren similar to how Honor and later the Stormfather were the progenitors of the honorspren like Syl.
Okay, I see what you're asking now. I was thinking mist spirit the whole time. We'll RAFO that. More because-- yeah we're just going to RAFO it.
How do you think Elend would deal being on Roshar with the fact that men can't read?
Oh man, he would have so much trouble with that. He'd have huge problems... Though he wouldn't look Alethi to them, they'd be like, "Oh the Shin do weird things."
I just got done with Elantris the other day. Are all of the planets--is Shadesmar the same place? Can you access all planets from Shadesmar?
You can walk through Shadesmar between the planets. Yes. A little bit of bending of space/time in that, but yes.
Just a minor request: Kaladin have some semblance of long term happiness? I know he struggles with depression and PTSD, but just a little bit of-- as happy as someone struggling with that can be?
I think you can be very happy when you're struggling with those things. There, obviously, are things you have to learn and things you have to work with, but it is, I think, totally possible that he could. Whether or not I'll do it-- I'll take that as a request.
If you ever get the go for a movie or TV show, who do you want to pick as Kaladin?
Kaladin is a hard one to cast. Because all of the Alethi are going to be hard to cast, because they're basically half Japanese/half Arab... So I'm not sure. I've been thinking for Dalinar lately, the guy who plays Drax the Destroyer. He's half Filipino and he has just the right look for Dalinar. You gotta look at him not in his make up for Guardians of the Galaxy. Get a little silvering hair on him. That's my latest casting choice. But I do not have a Kaladin.
I feel like you're the kind of person who sneaks little details all over the place. Do you have a favorite that you've ever snuck in somewhere?
Oh yeah. Most definitely, the first line of The Final Empire. I have never been able to, so far, pull off as long a con as the first line of the first book being the climax of the third book. I do have some other long cons going, but they haven't paid off yet.
Have we seen Wayne in any other series besides Era 2?
No, you haven't. Good question!
So Kaladin's in charge of the Windrunners, right?
Is Lift in charge of the Edgedancers?
You'll have to see in the next book. Lift is the first Edgedancer they've found. Lift is not so good at being in charge of anything... So I wouldn't probably say the first one discovered has to be in charge. Different Orders of the Knights Radiant lend themselves to different styles of organization. Like, some of them are a lot more disorganized than the Windrunners, who you'll see have a very militaristic organization to them.
At Emerald City Comic Con earlier this year, you stated that Singer gemhearts are a "milky white" color, and looked like bone/bone marrow. You also said they were related to something in Dragonsteel. Having read the sample chapters of The Liar of Partinel a while back, I couldn't help but be reminded of the skullmoss, which is a bone-white color. Are the singer gemhearts related to the fainlife in any meaningful or important way?
Yeah they are very similar to Tamu Keks.
Tell me Rand went to the Wise Women.
I believe he did. Absolutely. Now Robert Jordan did not say for sure. He just wrote what he wrote. But if I have any influence over it, yes.
Who is Vin modeled after? Is she modeled after a real person?
She was not... I don't think there was a specific model for Vin.
If you could have any two characters cross over from different series, which ones would they be?
Well, you will be seeing that as it happens, right? Because Stormlight and Mistborn are in the same universe, so you will see. If it were not limited to the Cosmere, then I'd be very interested in seeing Moiraine from The Wheel of Time.
At the present who is Odium more afraid of? Harmony, Dalinar or Hoid?
Harmony. Odium is extremely confident that he can out-smart Hoid
Is Hoid's real name Cephandrius?
No, but it is one of his earliest aliases.
You've always said that your favorite sort of magic was being a Coinshot or being a Windrunner because you really want to fly. So I thought that iron Feruchemy you can fly using just iron Feruchemy. So if you had a paraglider and a place to jump off of, you're paragliding, go downwards, your momentum increases, you increase your weight when you're going downwards. You pull upward and then you decrease your weight. Your velocity will increase and you'll go up--
We have thought about that. I'm not sure if the math-- Like, we're trying to conserve momentum. We're trying to follow the math of that. So the question is, would that work? It probably would, but I'd have to look at the math. Because I tried to make very clear in the Wax and Wayne books that we conserve momentum...
Really what we're doing is, we're breaking potential energy, right, when we're doing this. Because iron Feruchemy is just the weirdest of all of them. Because we're breaking potential energy, what you just said probably works, doesn't it.
That was in context with the thing I was saying yesterday, about Feruchemical savants. If you did that every day for years, would you potentially get to the point where you could potentially make one side of your body heavier than the other side?
...There are many people in the cosmere who would think this idea has merit and they would want to test it.
In your magic systems, they all require the character to go over a great stress before they obtain that-- Do you use the concept of the price that comes with magic in a plausible magic system when you came up with that idea, or was it more about the idea of flawed characters are awesome?
In the cosmere magics, a lot of times in order to get the magic, there needs to be-- the internal logic argument is: Souls, once they have gaps in them, those gaps can be filled with other things, which often give you access to magical powers. Great trauma or stress--this is an age old fantasy idea, goes back many many years in the genre--will let you attain some of these powers, kind of as a balancing thing and mostly this is for narrative reasons.
Flawed characters are just way more interesting to write, and I gravitated to it pretty naturally as I was building the magic of the cosmere. And I would say it was mostly narrative reasons, as opposed to, when I was building the magic, some rule that felt like it needed to be there. But it's also a little of a balancing factor. It's trying to build into--whoever asked the question about the god--having god-like powers, but their flaws making it hard for them to use it.
It's a check on giving the powers to my characters, if I make sure to establish, this character has some holes in their-- some gaps and flaws in who they are, that might make them use their powers wrong once they get them, and that is in some way a narrative check on that, if that makes sense.
How do you do the Bridge Four Salute?
It's very similar to the Wakanda salute. When they did that movie I'm like, "Oh no!" If we ever do get a live action thing, they'll probably have to do it differently. But I've always done it out in front. *Does the salute*
The fandom found out about The Way of Kings pretty early on. I don't know how this happened, but Amazon put up a listing for it in like, 2006. The book was eventually published four years later. I hadn't written it in 2006. I'd written a version of it that I sent to my editor at Tor when he wanted to buy Elantris. I said, "Here's the other thing I'm working on."
And he read Way of Kings and he called me back, terrified. Because it's 400,000 words long. Well, the print version is 300,000 words. And they say, you should shoot for maybe 120,000 for your first novel. So it's big, and I had all these notes for this art I wanted to put into it. So it was going to be really expensive to print, really expensive to edit. And he called and he was like, "Uhhh can we cut this? This is enormous!"
And I'm like, "No we can't cut it but it's not right yet." So we did a contract for Elantris and Mistborn. We never had a contract for Way of Kings. I don't know how anyone found out about it, but Amazon put up a listing for it anyway...
So the fandom started putting up fake reviews for this book. And they also devised fake pictures of it. Amazon has this Show Your Version. So they printed off fake covers and put them around books and took pictures and sent them in. So eventually, Amazon just put one of their covers up as the cover. And it had a picture of Elvis on the front. It was called The Way of Kings. And it had a quote from Terry Goodkind that said "A hunka hunka burning good book!"
This is what happens when you give fans a blank space on the internet and say "Fill this!" I didn't ask them to do this by the way. They just did this. I just started looking and people were like, "This book cured my dog's cancer!" Stuff like that! You know how they are.
How advanced is astronomy on Roshar? Because it's something you haven't really talked about, and I'm thinking--
Depends on the region. Some people, the astronomy's getting moderately well.
Surely they've seen Ashyn and Braize in the sky, and I'm wondering how long it will be before they start detecting signs of civilization on Ashyn.
That would depend on a couple of things, such as, the easiest way to detect civilization is with radio waves, so-- You need some good telescopes. I don't think that would be, even if they spotted it, as revolutionary as you might think it would be, because we thought there were people on all of our planets for most of the history of mankind, and it didn't really affect how we viewed cosmology. I think if you went to Roshar and asked them, they'd be like "Yeah, totally, people live on those planets. Obviously." Just like if you went back and said "Do people live on the moon?" in the 1700s, people would be like, "Yeah probably, seems like they must."