Recent entries

    Skype Q&A ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
    #3667 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 ()
    #3668 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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
    #3672 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 ()
    #3673 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 ()
    #3674 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 ()
    #3676 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 ()
    #3677 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 ()
    #3679 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.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3680 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 ()
    #3681 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 ()
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    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 ()
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    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 ()
    #3684 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 ()
    #3686 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 ()
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    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 ()
    #3688 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 ()
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    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.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Are there any possible plans for The Rithmatist becoming a virtual reality game?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We have tried. We get a lot of interest from people who don't actually make video games, who are like "I think this would be a great game. Here's my concept." I'm like, "That's great. But we would need somebody who's actually made video games." So, I think it would make a great one. BYU students did a little fun prototype one that turned out very well. But nothing real so far. So far, I have no interest from game developers who have actually developed games.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    What does the Sylspear look like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Write to Ben McSweeney, he's got concept art for it. He can send it to you.

    I had to keep pushing him. He kept drawing things that looked like the ashanderi from Wheel of Time. I'm like, "No, it has to actually look like a spear."

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3693 Copy

    Questioner

    What is the weirdest thing that you have signed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A baby. Baby is up there. I've signed some pretty weird things lately. License plates, I sign a lot of license plates.

    Questioner

    You ever signed someone's skin? And they turn it into a tattoo?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, at this signing, someone earlier had me sign their Life Before Death tattoo, that they were gonna get the signature tattooed. It's on Twitter.

    Someone brought a really strange thing through Idaho Falls. It was something like a muffler, something like that. No, it was the bumper that ripped off their car.

    I have had requests to sign inappropriate parts of bodies, and I have refused that one.

    FanX 2018 ()
    #3694 Copy

    Questioner

    I love Emperor's Soul. Are you going to expand that into more in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have an idea for a sequel. But I'm timid about writing it because the first one turned out so well, and I don't want to Lucas it. So we'll see.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Do you have a Calling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am a Gospel Doctrine Teacher. Going on my eighth year. I'm on my third bishop. I just don't say anything, because I really like the Calling.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Which Shardblade is this one? *points at illustration* I actually asked Isaac which one it was, and he told me to ask you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh. I bet we haven't canonized it yet. Which is why he doesn't want to say. Normally, I let... 'Cause it's not any of the named ones, it's not Adolin's unnamed sword (well, it actually has a name now), it's not Sunraiser, it's not Oathbringer, so it's probably...

    The one who has to do that is Ben McSweeney.

    Questioner 2

    Mark was thinking it was Gavilar's sword.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It could be Gavilar's sword. Who else has one... Khal only has armor, not a blade. Really, what happens is, we have Ben McSweeney just draw a bunch of these, and then we canonize them as we need them to belong to certain people. But you can write to Ben and ask him to canonize it. And we'll just take what he says. Because it's not one of the ones that we... It's from one of Shallan's illustrations? Yeah. So, she saw it in the training field. So it's gotta be one of the Alethi blades. Could be the King's Blade.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    Is Michael Kramer's pronunciation usually the correct pronunciation?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is on more than he is off, but we did not get him the pronunciations in time. So a few of them, he had to do on his own. He is more often right.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    And I heard you're also considering jumping into the second book of Warbreaker, eventually.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, eventually. I don't feel as much urgency on that one as I do something like Stormlight. Because I wanna have regular intervals. And that sequel is one I've said I will probably do, but it's not, like, a promise thing.

    FanX 2018 ()
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    Questioner

    I really love the female protagonist in the Way of Kings series. I was wondering where you pull your inspiration for a woman like Jasnah?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, my mother graduated first in her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in most of her accounting classes. So, I draw of inspiration from my mother. But, also good authors I've read. Anne McCaffrey, I would recommend. Melanie Rawn. Some of these people who were my introduction to fantasy were also very good at writing characters and taught me a lot.