Recent entries

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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    Stormstoyou

    The Third Bondsmith Ideal that Dalinar swears in the end of Oathbringer. About taking responsibilities and becoming a better man. Is it the basic Ideal for ALL Bondsmith or this is Dalinar’s personal interpretation of the Ideal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is Dalinar's personal interpretation, but ideals for a given order do have similar themes person to person.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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    Turambar97

    Will there ever be a point in your books where different or all types of investiture clash ?? What I mean will there be a fight between people with different kinds of investiture or will there be a team composed of such people ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this will happen.

    Look for the future of the cosmere to be about the interaction of ideologies, magics, and settings. It's less about an avengers style team up, and more about the clash between cultures.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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    kdt05b

    Can Megan manifest a Cosmere reality? The Reckoners is not part of the Cosmere, but one of they main character's power is reaching into alternate dimensions. I want to see some epics on Roshar!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted to avoid multi-verse theory type things in the Cosmere, in part because the Wheel of Time delved into these concepts, and even before working on the WoT was looking for ways to keep the Cosmere distinctive from it.

    Beyond that, multiverses (along with time travel) really play havoc with continuity. I felt the cosmere was stronger if I kept to the three Realms--that's complex enough. Assume that in the cosmere, while different possible futures/pasts do branch (and can be seen) things like Allomantic gold are NOT looking at other realities--and there is only one reality, once events actually occur.

    This does mean that time travel into the past is not going to be a factor in the cosmere.

    This separation does let me divide these concepts off and play with them in other realms (like the Reckoners) where they're 'quarantined' so to speak.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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    Kyrroti

    If I were burning iron, where would the line point to on a steel hula-hoop?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For something like that, it would depend on the Steelpusher's power. For some, it would just be pointing generally toward the center of the hoop--but for skilled Steelpushers, they'd be able to see softer lines pointing in all directions around the hoop.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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    Kyrroti

    What's your process for writing Rosharan Myths such as Fleet's race? They are always my favorite parts of the Stormlight novels.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I love folklore, and spend a lot of time looking into the folk myths and stories for various cultures. I try to make the various myths, particularly those shared by Wit, have a different "Voice" from my normal narrative voice, as I want them to feel like legitimate ephemera from the world.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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    mbue

    Do people on Threnody get really old or something? I can't work out the timeline of the events leading up to Shadows for Silence. She says her grandparents were among the first to reach the Forests of Hell, but also that the waystop has been safe for over a hundred years. Given Silence's age, her grandparents couldn't really have founded the waystop over a hundred years ago if life expectancy on Threnody is similar to other planets.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd have to look at the timeline myself. That might just be me not looking at continuity closely. I wasn't trying to imply people living very long.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
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    valmeister

    Though question on Skyward, you recently said it was going to be 4 books instead of 3, and also said you have sent the second novel to your editor. Also you said next you will be doing Stormlight Archive 4. Do you think you will hop back in to Skyward after, or will it be much later? I just normally hate starting series that are underway, and Skyward sounds like a refreshing change of pace, so curious roughly how long the wait to see the end would be.

    Brandon Sanderson

    My hope is to keep the Skyward books at one a year. Their shorter nature, and the extensive outlines I've done, should let me hop over to keep myself fresh while working on Stormlight.

    If there's a break, it will be 2020 when Stormlight four (hopefully) will come out. But as I already have 2018 and 2019's books done, I'm confident that at the very least, we'll have Skyward 3 and 4 in 2020 and 2021.

    TWG Posts ()
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    Arabas

    The question is about the Lord Ruler's death.  He is basically killed because Vin was able to remove his Feruchemy storage bracelets thus depriving him of his stored youth and strength correct?  Once he didn't have access to these she could simply kill him like a normal man.Now on page 627 about the 3rd paragraph down the Lord Ruler states " I've survived burning and beheadings.  I've been stabbed and sliced, crushed and dismembered." (I also think this is also reference somewhere else in the book that I could not locate)If all it took to drain the Lord Ruler of his power was to remove access to his Feruchemy items wouldn't he have died if he was dismembered?  Remove the storage devices from the trunk of the body and he would die?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    I asked Brandon about this once, and I'm pretty sure he said the beheading survival part was a lie/exaggeration. I'd have to go back and check my notes.

    The Lord Ruler would have reason to want people to believe he had survived beheadings and being burned to ash.

    TWG Posts ()
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    MsFish

    I am glad Dragonsteel will not be on the front of the book, because Tage tells me there aren't really any dragons. If I picked up a book called Dragonsteel and then realized there weren't really any dragons (in the classical sense) I would feel extremely cheated and never read it just because of my anger.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    There was one dragon in the original book, of whom Brandon added more appearances in the later drafts. He was almost completely exciseable from the plot of that book (at least, in a simple, non-spoiler explanation), though he was clearly important to the universe as a whole and the series' overall arc.

    TWG Posts ()
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    Peter Ahlstrom

    Okay, just for my amusement, here's an analysis of your books so far (the ones I have):White Sand I 1.0 - 0.49 pptt (pause per ten thousand words)Star's End 1.0 - 0.34 pptt Lord Mastrel 1.0 - 0.83 ppttKnight Life 3.0 - 0.40 ppttThe Sixth Incarnation of Pandora 1.0 - 1.48 ppttElantris 6.0 - 3.51 ppttElantris 8.6 - 4.16 ppttDragonsteel 7.0 - 5.70 ppttWhite Sand II 2.7 - 6.11 ppttMythwalker 0.6 - 10.2 ppttMistborn Prime 4.0 - 9.63 ppttAether of Night 3.0 - 11.99 ppttFinal Empire Prime 1.0 - 9.65 ppttWay of Kings 2.1 - 8.1 ppttMistborn Final Empire 2.0 - 10.97 ppttMistborn Final Empire 3.1 - 11.56 ppttMistborn Well of Ascension 3.0 - 13.25 ppttAlcatraz Initiated 4.0 - 8.71 ppttMistborn Hero of Ages 3.0 - 9.68 ppttWarbreaker Parts 1-2 1.2/1.0 - 11.5 ppttStar's End and Knight Life only have 3 pauses each! Anyway, there's an upward trend, and then it more or less levels off. It took reading the book out loud for me to notice it. I have no idea how this compares with other writers. Well, the book I just rewrote has 2.47 pptt.Make of that what you will.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Mason Wheeler

    I was re-reading the original Mistborn trilogy, and I was struck by how devoutly Demoux believes in the divine nature of Kelsier.  And I just had to wonder, what must it have been like for him when he later became a Worldhopper and got a peek behind the curtain?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's a very interesting aspect of his character, for specifically that reason, and I am going to write about it and explore it more deeply at a later point.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    Back closer to the release of Rithmatist, you were talking about it being two to three books. Is it pretty much two books now?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's still three books in the outline. But if I can make that second book have a satisfying ending, so that it doesn't have a cliffhanger like the first one, I will be very much more happy. Even though the outline's still for three books. But, I just have to... getting Legion cleared off my list is a big step forward. Getting Alcatraz off my list would be another big step forward. Rithmatist is the most popular of those three. But it's also the one that I had the most trouble getting the sequel done with. But things are looking better and better as I clear other things off my list.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Shadow Guardian

    If you had to pick three topics to learn and you have an aspect like Stephen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Great question. I would love to have an interpreter with me who can interpret all languages. Maybe... because there's no one aspect who does all of that. It might be too big of an aspect. But I would love to be able to go on tour and be able to do that. So that would be definitely number one. Probably a writer, to look over my shoulder and improve my books. Speed up the editing process, and things like that. And then I would pick something probably like physics or chemistry. Something I know a little bit about, enough to know that I really don't know what I'm doing. Because I have to rely sometimes on Peter and people on physics questions and things like that, and it would be nice to just have it.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    Do you have [Stormlight] Four and Five <plotted out> already?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but the outlines are such a mess. I mean, you could do it, you could take those outlines. But by February, they'll be in really good shape. Because now at this point, what's happened is, as I've written the books, I've moved things. And so, the outlines got to be bigger and bigger messes as I moved things around. But after I outline Four, Five by nature kind of reorganizes itself, because all the pieces that get left over, I have to make sure fit before I can write Four. So our outline should be in really good shape come February. Right now, they're a mess.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    Does it get harder, or does it get easier, to write the Stormlight Archive books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight Archives get progressively harder. The more to keep track of, the more difficult. Each one's been a little harder than the one before.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #3383 Copy

    Questioner

    Is the concept of the King's Wit inspired by Shakespear's Twelfth Night?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, a lot of Shakespear's fools. But the fool in Twelfth Night, and the fool (for a different reason) in King Lear, both are inspirations. And I think you would find that as a blanket truth for a lot of us writers. I haven't asked Robin Hobb this, but I'm willing to bet that there's some Shakespear's fool characters in that. Twelfth Night is my favorite of his fools. In fact, in the very first versions that I wrote of him, he was way more jester-like than he ended up being in the published version of the Cosmere. But if anyone reads Dragonsteel, the one at BYU, he'll feel even more like a jester.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    Would you have someone do what you did for Robert Jordan?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. I would be one of the biggest hypocrites in the universe if I didn't, I think. And earlier in my career, I said the books just weren't... there hadn't been enough of them. But I'm getting to the point where I think that they could be. There's still so many to write. But I would at least have someone finish four and five of Stormlight if I got hit by a car, and four of the Wax and Wayne books. Whether it would be reasonable to have someone finish the entire Cosmere, I don't know. But at least the ones I haven't finished of main sequences, yes.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    Do you think you'd have more creativity with ironpulling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you do. I really want to do something with ironpulling as a main character to show all the creativity, and stuff. But, I just feel like it'd be easier. There's so much metal around, bouncing off of stuff would be so much fun.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    How do you decide what perspective you put it in? First person, third person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lot of it depends on the number of viewpoints I'm gonna have for a book. It's a pretty easy thing, but if I'm gonna have one viewpoint, I'll put it almost always in first. Not always, but almost always, because I can use the tools. Genre influences it also. First person's more prevalent in YA than it is in adult. And kind of, like, what tone do I want for it? Like, the first person book I'll do in the Cosmere, I probably won't do one until I do Hoid's book. Because he's the storyteller telling you the story. And the other ones, I want to be trustworthy, like the narration of which, even if a specific viewpoint is untrustworthy, the narration is trustworthy.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    The natural sarcasm in Wit, is that just purely natural? Or do you have inspiration for all of those sarcastic comments?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I often, if I have to write a lot of the character, will look for a similar humor style, and see if I can channel it. If I'm writing Wit, for instance, I'll go to somebody more biting. Some modern comedians, or occasionally Oscar Wilde. If I'm writing Shallan, I'll try to look for something softer and more wordplay-ish, like Jane Austen. And just kind of read a bunch of it, and try to get the feel. It just depends. If I'm writing Lopen, I will try to look for the kind of uplifting humor, self-effacing style. Like, I just kind of have a different style for each type, and I try to find a person or writing in the real world that has that type of humor and try to use it.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    In Secret History, Fuzz mentions having buried something. That's the atium, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    Questioner

    So, I was just thinking, if it's something of greater import, I'll just leave it to that it's not the atium. But it's something else, I think. But, I was just thinking, if he wanted to hide something, he could build a planet around it? Because he built a planet. I'm guessing, if I asked a question about that...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You would get RAFOd. Excellent question.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    Do you think when the Alcatraz series is done, you can make a short story where they have a Smedry family reunion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh, what a great idea. I'll have to think about that. I like that idea a lot. If I write it, you can take credit for it, if I forget to credit you.

    Legion Release Party ()
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    Questioner

    I was wondering, where did you get the idea for <crystals>?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It came from the crystal sword, and just grew out of that. Most of the things in the Alcatraz books, I start with an idea, and then I grow it outward. Which is the reverse process of how I normally write books, where it's where I outline and then build according to the outline. The Alcatraz books are me practicing the other style of writing, which we call discovery writing. Because I think writers need to know how to do both.

    Legion Release Party ()
    #3393 Copy

    Questioner

    If his name wasn't Stephen Leeds, what would it be? Did you have an alternate name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I didn't have an alternate name. If I were naming it now, I would think of something that works really well as a one-word title, because Legion is just too fraught with too many other different properties. And the name Leeds works okay, but not great. It's not as good, and so I would need a name like that, that works as a last name, but also works as a title. Like, when they did Castle. That works really well as both a title and as a name. And so it needs something along those lines. Monk was another good one. Like, this genre tends to do that. And so I wasn't thinking of Leeds. I was thinking of Leeds as a small internal pun, because he's the middle management of his own brain. But I don't think it works as well as its own in a  title. So it would still probably be Stephen, but I would find another word there.

    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    And finally, media properties.

    1. Mistborn: Birthright. (Video Game for consoles and maybe PC, cross platform.) We’re looking at 2015 for this right now. (Sorry.) The new console generation made us push it back. I’m still planning to write it, and development is still moving. It’s far from dead.
    2. Mistborn film. Option runs out in January. I’ve had a very good experience with the producers, but so far, we do not have funding for the film. We’ll have to see where we are in another six months.
    3. Legion television show. Lionsgate still has this under option!
    4. Steelheart Film. I had lunch with the producer at Comic-Con. It’s still early in the process, but they’re very engaged and very excited.
    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    As for non-sequel, original projects, here’s what might be coming in the future, as they stand now.

    1. “Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell.” Cosmere novella set on a new world. Find it in GRRM and Gardner Dozois’s anthology called Dangerous Women, which I believe is coming out Christmastime. Read an excerpt on Tor.com.
    2. “Sixth of the Dusk.” Cosmere novella set on a new world. Written following a Writing Excuses brainstorm. Still needs a revision, but should be released later this year.
    3. The Silence Divine. Standalone Cosmere Novel. Modestly far off, but maybe not too far. I don’t want to be stuck writing only sequels. Though, since I did release two new books this year (Rithmatist and Steelheart) in new worlds, starting new series, I will probably wait on this one until those series are done.
    4. The Liar of Partinel. Cosmere Novel, set on the original planet of Yolen and dealing with Hoid’s origin story. Very far off right now.
    5. Skyward. (Working title.) Young Adult cosmere novel. In the early stages of development. Probably a few years off.
    6. Dark One. Non-cosmere YA novel. Still haven’t been able to get this one off the ground. I had a chance, but The Rithmatist worked better, and I wrote that instead. Don’t hold your breath on this one, though someday I might post the sample chapters that I wrote a few years back.
    7. Death By Pizza. (Urban Fantasy.) This book was fun, but not remotely good enough to publish. We’ll see if I ever get the bug to go back and fix it.
    8. White Sand. Cosmere trilogy. Some fun things are happening here, but I can’t really talk about them right now.
    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    What does this mean for future projects? Well, let me go down the list of sequels in order of current urgency.

    1. Rithmatist Sequel. I will hop on writing the next one very soon.
    2. Shadows of Self. (The next Wax and Wayne Mistborn novel.) I’ve finished some sample chapters of this and have a fairly solid outline. Expect to see me writing on this sometime early next year.
    3. Book Three of Stormlight. I don’t want to let this series languish with three year gaps between books, as I was forced to do between books one and two. Because of this, I’ll try to be doing them at 18 month or 24 month intervals at the most. Do note that the books, at around a thousand pages each, are HUGE undertakings. The way I write, I have to space out projects like this. They’ll be regular, I promise, but part of the reason I’m so productive is because I allow myself freedom to work on different projects, instead of being beholden to one series.
    4. Calamity (Book Three of Steelheart.) This will be the final of that trilogy.
    5. Elantris Sequel. (This is getting close. Should be doing this in the relatively near future.)
    6. Legion Sequel. I have sample chapters of this done, but as it’s a side project, it can’t command prime writing time. I will probably slip it in between some of the books above somewhere, but I can’t promise when.
    7. Final Rithmatist book. (I’m not 100% sure this will be a trilogy. It might just be two books.)
    8. Nightblood. (Warbreaker sequel.) This one is still fairly far off.
    9. Alcatraz 5. Still planning to write this. We have to find a home for the series, however, as I bought the rights back to it from Scholastic earlier this year. Within the next couple of months, my US readers will be able to buy my British publisher’s omnibus edition of the first four books.
    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    During July, I took time off from major projects to have a breather. If you aren’t aware, I prefer to do smaller projects between big epics as a means of helping me stay fresh. This month’s “breather” stories include a novelette (9k words) piece set in the Steelheart world, which should be published as an e-original around Christmastime. I also did some work in the Infinity Blade world. (More on that later. If you aren’t aware, this is a video game that friends of mine make. I’ve enjoyed being involved to practice my video-game writing chops, with an eye toward doing Mistborn video game writing.)

    My next major writing project will be the sequel to Steelheart, which is called Firefight. (And if you haven’t seen the trailer, Prologue, or teaser chapters for Steelheart, please go give them a look! We’re hoping for big things from this novel.) As you might be aware, I will often be preparing for/writing one piece while I do revisions on another. I generally can only do new prose on one piece at a time, but I like to be revising and writing on two different things at once. So, for the foreseeable future, I’ll be writing Firefight and revising Words of Radiance.

    State of the Sanderson 2013 ()
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    Brandon Sanderson

    First off, of course, is Words of Radiance. If you weren’t watching, I finished the rough draft of this book (the second book of the Stormlight Archive, and sequel to The Way of Kings) late June. I sent it off to my agent and editor for commentary and advice. I got back my editor’s notes last week, my agent’s notes today, and Peter just finished assembling everything together and doing a tight, continuity-focused copyedit of the entire manuscript. At 360k words, it’s roughly the length of A Memory of Light.

    Obviously, there’s a lot left to do here. Tor keeps talking about January as a publication month, and I’d like to meet that, if at all possible. That’s going to require me to do several drafts of the novel over the next two months. More updates as we progress, but I’m pleased with the book. It has only a few large flaws, and I think they can be fixed fairly quickly.