Recent entries

    Orem signing ()
    #3851 Copy

    Zas (paraphrased)

    What about Aon Rii? Talk about Aon Rii. What are the random dots? Are they valuable metals?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    Honestly, I don't remember. [laughter] I'll be straight up honest with you, I designed the Aons—When I designed the Aons, they all had things like that. Like "Oh, that's what this will be," but I was not as good about taking notes of things then. I didn't have the wiki that I now have. I didn't have all of that stuff, so I can say "Yeah, that's going to be valuable metals", and canonize it that way, but I don't remember what I was actually thinking when I designed it. It was my first time doing anything like that, like [?] sort of thing. I hadn't ever done anything like that before, so I was just flying by the seat of my pants.

    In fact, there's a fun story about that, a story I don't think I told during the annotations, I might have. Originally, I wrote it, and used all the Aons as like little things about characters' personalities. Like Rao is spirit, and Ene is wit. Well, all the other ones were things like that, to the point that the traitor character, his Aon's the one that meant Betrayal. Like this, all the characters have little things like that. And then my editor saw it and said "Ah. Do you really want to give away everyone's personality? And who's going to name their kid Betrayal? And I was like "That was really stupid Brandon, why did you do that?" But at the time, I didn't know if I was going to have a dictionary in the back or anything, and so I had to go back and rename almost all of them. I left Rao and Ene, but I renamed almost all the—renamed the wrong word. I shifted all the meanings and things like this so that everyone would have a name that would make sense that you would name a person. And none of them meant anything more than what they actually mean.

    Orem signing ()
    #3852 Copy

    Questioner

    Are Parshendi like a hive mind sort of culture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Parshendi are not a hive mind. I thought people might assume that.

    Questioner

    But because of the pairing, it seems like...

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a connection. It's more Union than Hivemind. You know about Jung? Jung's philosophy was that all people are connected through <collective unconscious>. I think collective unconscious wasactually one of his terms. So it's not hive mind, but there is—there's something the Parshendi can tap into that others.

    Questioner

    With the singing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, like with the singing, where one sings over here, and one sings over there, they are actually in beat with one another even if they start at different times. So there is something there, a connection.

    Orem signing ()
    #3854 Copy

    Josh

    If Odium went to Scadrial, would he be blind to metal there? Because I think you mentioned more than once that focuses are actually determined by planet.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to RAFO that. But that's one of those excellent questions. I'm amused people have figured out enough to be asking questions like that.

    Orem signing ()
    #3855 Copy

    Zas

    So the number of Shards that have been on Roshar is three, correct?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Correct.

    Zas

    People have been thrown by you saying that Odium is not native to Roshar.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Odium is not native... see that's the thing. Are any of them native? So if you dig the deeper question, are any of them native, ehhh, none of them are native to the planets that you've seen so far. What I probably should've said to be more precise is that Honor and Cultivation were there long before Odium showed up.

    Orem signing ()
    #3856 Copy

    Zas

    Marsh, as an Inquisitor, can see Ruin, and Vin sees Ruin, but they're not seeing the same thing. So how does that work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In what way? How about this. I'll give you.... I know what you're getting at. And a lot of these things I know what you're getting at, I'm just trying to force you to... I'll just give you one on this. In some cases, Ruin would manifest directly, and you would see what he wanted you to see. In other cases, that might not be the case.

    Orem signing ()
    #3858 Copy

    Zas

    So you talk about the residue a Shard leaves on a Sliver. So what does that residue have? Like what does it do? If anything?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, one thing it can include is that people capable of noticing Investiture, would know there is trace Investiture from that event.

    Orem signing ()
    #3859 Copy

    Zas

    Does the power of Allomancy come directly from Preservation? Does that imbalance him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Certain things built into a world are not the same. Not used in the same way. Meaning the energy of Preservation and Ruin inside of something living and growing—yes that's "of" them, but that's not direct force that they're using at that time.

    Adam

    Would a good example of that be Allomancy versus the blessings that Kandras have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah sure.

    Orem signing ()
    #3860 Copy

    Questioner

    So are Shards the most powerful thing in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on what you believe. The Shards are the most powerful things currently overtly manifest. There are those who would say there are other subtle forces being manifest. Most people in the know would say that Shards are the most powerful thing.

    Questioner

    Does Hoid believe that Shards are the most powerful thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You'll have to ask him sometime. Or see him get asked something like that sometime. There's argument to be made that right now Harmony is the most powerful thing in the Cosmere.

    Orem signing ()
    #3861 Copy

    Zas

    So what's up with the regeneration issue? With Shards? Because they only have so much power they can access at a certain time, but yet they still have more energy. So how does that work? Is it just they have so much power they can use at any given time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What are you talking about? Like which shards?

    Zas

    Ruin and Preservation. Since we know the most about them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ruin and Preservation were a specific instance, because almost all their energy was thrown into resisting each other. Keep that in mind. Even after Preservation was only a shadow, basically all of it was "Let's keep Ruin from destroying the world." So they were polar opposites. Set in balance. But slightly unbalanced in a couple of ways, that eventually, that slight imbalance... They are a special case, because of that.

    Zas

    So then why are they hesitant to directly fuel Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Why are they hesitant to? What do you mean by directly fuel Allomancy?

    Zas

    You mention in the Hero of Ages Q&A that they can directly fuel Allomancy, like Vin does with Elend, but it requires expending their energy in a way they are hesitant to do.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because it imbalances them more. Does that make sense? Like, if you are putting your energy here, rather than fighting the other force, you give them an edge somewhere else by trying to gain an edge here. And you have to make sure that's really worth it. Imagine a chess game. Is it worth sacrificing my pawn here to expose myself over here?

    Orem signing ()
    #3862 Copy

    Zas

    So Power of Creation. Is the Power of Creation this thing of power that powers Allomancy and powers the Aons, or is the Power of Creation just what each shard has?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say "each shard has."

    Orem signing ()
    #3863 Copy

    Zas

    Elantris. Where does it fit in the timeline in reference to Hero of Ages? Since that's what most other things are referenced to.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. Elantris is far earlier.

    Zas

    Like thousands? Or like hundreds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's quite... It's not thousands.

    Orem signing ()
    #3865 Copy

    Questioner

    When is the next Mistborn coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will probably come out after the next Way of Kings. Next Way of Kings is next Christmas, the next Alloy of Law era book is probably the following Spring or something like that.

    Questioner

    Are you planning two more or three more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will do as many of those as strikes me. Because The Alloy of Law books are a deviation from the main world plotline. So those are for fun. I'm not going to commit to how many I'll do or not do.

    Orem signing ()
    #3866 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you come up with your magic systems? Do you just open the dictionary and point to a word, and say, "Oh, I'll make something with that"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I'm always looking for something that strikes me. And I'm looking for things that haven't been done before. Things that will make nice conflict, that walk the line between science and superstition. If you will Google Sanderson's First Law, and Sanderson's Second Law, I have two essays that I wrote about how I do magic. They're both on my website, but Google will find them easier than trying to find them on my website.

    Orem signing ()
    #3867 Copy

    Questioner

    So where exactly would the second Mistborn trilogy take place relative to Alloy of Law?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Late 20th century era. Modern technology.

    Zas

    I've heard that's like... 50? years after Alloy of Law.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, right around there. Roughly. Not quite information age, is what I was looking at. So there's no direct comparison, because the different technology aspects, but you would see it as something around the 80s. Maybe early 90s. Allomancer SWAT team is what it's about. First book is a Mistborn serial killer versus an Allomancer SWAT team. With deeper ramifications to everything.

    Orem signing ()
    #3868 Copy

    Questioner

    I heard you're doing another Mistborn Trilogy? Any estimate when the first book might be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I might do some more Alloy of Law era things in between, they are not the second trilogy, but I will do them. The second trilogy will come between the break between the first sequence in the Stormlight Archive, and the second sequence of the Stormlight Archive. it's two five book sequences, and during that break I will stop and do the second Mistborn trilogy. So it will depend on how quickly I am able to write those.

    Orem signing ()
    #3869 Copy

    Questioner

    How does one make sense of Spook's High Imperial?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One thing about High Imperial, or Eastern Street Slang, is that it was devised by those who spoke it in order to be intentionally obtuse. So it was hard for people to understand. And so there are a lot of nonsense words thrown in the middle. But, it's also got reversed grammar. ‘Wasing the wanting of doing the thing' is ‘I wanted to do that.' But you can also throw random words in there. As long as those parts are in there, it'll make sense to those they're speaking to. ‘I wanted to do this. Wasing the wanting of doing the thing.' You're putting everything into a gerund. You're starting with the verb and the tense. And you're turning everything into ridiculously bad gerunds. That's it in brief.

    Orem signing ()
    #3870 Copy

    Questioner

    The Words of Founding. What does it contain besides the religions, technological advancements, and layout for Elendel? Is there anything special in there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's some other cool stuff in there that eventually I'll talk about.

    Questioner

    But nothing specific?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nothing I'm going to be able to...

    Questioner

    I was going to say general outlines. Does that cover the basics of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That definitely covers the basics of it, yeah. There was stuff from Sazed's metalminds. A lot of that stuff that was in there. Basically everything that was in there, he tried to get in the books. And then some other additions. Such as Elendel, which he created as a basin for life and things. And stuff like that. They are very interesting. These guys are here recording everything I have to say. So I have to watch myself.

    Orem signing ()
    #3872 Copy

    Questioner

    Can spren die?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, spren can die.

    Questioner

    Okay, so Syl, she's been around for at least a few thousand years, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    How does she forget her memories? Is it in connection to humans that makes it so she remembers things?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Questioner

    And she's what, a Bonding Spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find out. She's an Honorspren, but you will find out.

    Zas

    Is that bond the Nahel bond?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a certain amount of... It is a symbiotic bond that is gained by Syl. And things gained by the person bonding. And the stronger presence in the physical realm, and the ability to think better in the physical realm is a part of that bond. She is mostly getting [something] of the physical realm. Without the bond, it is very hard for her to think in this world.

    Questioner

    Because she's windspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's part of it. That's part of something else.

    Orem signing ()
    #3874 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering if you meant to do the arms thing in the beginning of Mistborn with Sazed.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did, I did. I feel kind of silly because it actually is a pun. And the entire Mistborn trilogy is therefore based on a pun. The first paragraph of the first chapter, like, the first epigraph. But you know, if you can't tell from me naming my character Wax and Wayne, that I have a slight problem with puns.

    WorldCon 2013 /r/Fantasy Flash AMA ()
    #3875 Copy

    Questioner

    A bit of a different question: I've been trying to write a fantasy story for a few months now, but I have a chronic procrastination tendency.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, so we kind of all do.

    Questioner

    I've tried to write, but I think I've written about five lines so far. It's pretty ridiculous, I know. It's just very hard for me to do. Have you done something similar in the past, and/or do you know any writers that just have the utmost trouble with actually writing something? It's not about a writer's block, where you don't know what to write. It's more along the lines of a cringing feeling you get when you try to write. It just does not feel right even though you want to. Would love to hear from you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, this is perfect. This is a great question, okay? Here's the thing. You are in the unenviable position in that you know good writing, and you're trying to write right now. This is unenviable because when I started, I was stupid. I was a teenager, and I was not a very good reader or a very good writer. I had just discovered fantasy novels, and kind of found myself in them, and I started writing. And I had the sense of everything I did was awesome because I couldn't recognize good writing. I could, deep down, but I couldn't, you know . . . I thought everything I did was awesome. And that gave a sort of... I didn't get embarrassed by my writing. A lot of people do, especially if they have a better eye for editing and a better eye for writing.

    What you've got to remember is writing is like any other art. You don't start off doing it the right way. It's more like playing the piano than you would think. And when you sit down to play the piano for the first few times, you're not going to be very good. You've got to push through, anyway. You've just got to write. Get a notebook, go outside, go away from the computer so you can't self edit, and sit down without any distractions and try writing longhand–that works for some people. But remember, you are not writing the perfect book, you are training yourself to write the perfect book. Just like an artist has to train himself to be an artist. Just like a baseball player has to train himself to hit the baseball. And in the future, you will get to the point that you will know how to swing at this baseball naturally. And you don't know that yet. Right now you're missing with every swing, and you recognize it. But you just have to put your dues in. You just have to work hard. And you have to be willing to suck at this long enough to get good at it. All right? And you can do it, you gotta go for it. Okay?

    WorldCon 2013 /r/Fantasy Flash AMA ()
    #3876 Copy

    Questioner

    Your fan interaction through Magic: The Gathering: planned, or more like luck?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Magic: The Gathering actually came about because of Jim Butcher. Jim Butcher LARPs with his fans. And he was telling me once that this LARPing thing–it was wonderful because when you go to a signing, it's all so kind of formal, and people get like a couple seconds to talk to you. And everyone's like . . . awkward–you're awkward, they're awkward. He said, "I found that doing something that was just my nerd hobby allowed for a natural interaction." I thought, "That is awesome. I want to do something like that." And I've always been a Magic: The Gathering addict, and so I just started playing Magic at cons, but because of Butcher's advice. And it's been great because even people who don't play Magic know that during that time, you can come talk to me. And it's not going to be me across the table. It's going to be me shuffling my cards and geeking out because I drew a mythic or something like that.

    WorldCon 2013 /r/Fantasy Flash AMA ()
    #3877 Copy

    Myke Cole

    And so, you had this dream of being a writer, and you achieved it. You achieved it probably beyond your expectations. Is it what you expected? I mean, you're on tour all the time, you have deadlines barking at you. How do you like it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Man, that's a good question. You know, I like meeting readers—that's fun. Being on tour, as much as I go, is not so much fun. And I think this is the first year where I said "yes" to too many things. I've just made too many appearances, and it's impacting the writing. Nobody tells you—that's why you make such an astute question. No one warns you that when you first break into this business—you know, you think, "Oh, I'm going to sell a book, and then I can go full time as a writer, and all my time will be writing."

    But then, you break in and you realize the touring and stuff almost becomes like a second job to you. You become . . . I describe it like in Hollywood you have the writer who writes the script and sends it off, and then the director who directs the script, and then the actors who go out and do the publicity later on. And in writing you're all those people, plus the business person financing it all in the back end. And so you have to wear so many hats. It's bizarre, how many things you have to do.

    That said, I really love doing signings. I just wish that I could manage that a little bit better. So we're trying to, starting next year. Just a few fewer cons, making the tours a little bit shorter—make sure that I'm not stretched so thin. And it came about partially because we released three books this year, and last year released zero, which is a really stupid idea of us. Right? You really would rather be releasing a book or two a year, instead of three in one year and none the year before. But that's how things played out.

    WorldCon 2013 /r/Fantasy Flash AMA ()
    #3878 Copy

    Questioner

    [What is] the last sentence you wrote that you were proud of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wish I could say, because things go through so many transformations as I'm writing. I would have to have a book open before me, and go look and say, "Wow, which of these sentences is the best?" The honest truth is that I am less of a sentence person than someone like Pat Rothfuss. Rothfuss writes beautiful sentences, and I'm in awe of his sentences. I try for workmanship prose. I try for prose that does not distract from the writing. And often if I write a really beautiful sentence, it stands out like such a sore thumb in my writing that it's better to kind of tone that sentence down. We call it windowpane prose. My goal is to write prose that doesn't ever distract you from the story. And there are certain level of writers that can do beautiful prose and not distract from the story. I have always just tried for . . . if there is a mark on the window, you'll look at that and not the story. This is George Orwell talking about this—I learned it from reading about him. And some writers, like in literary fiction, they will try to write this beautiful stained glass window, and what you see on the other side doesn't really matter. It's the stained glass window that you're paying wonderful attention to. I don't want the window to distract you. And so, I do like to have a clever witty line now and then, but my goal at the end is for you to not notice the writing and only pay attention to characters and story.

    WorldCon 2013 /r/Fantasy Flash AMA ()
    #3879 Copy

    Questioner

    How are you seeing the internet impact the industry?

    Brandon Sanderson

    One thing it's really changed is allowing authors to have a lot more direct interaction with fans, which is wonderful because we are directly supported by readers. Even though there are editors and people, there are very few middlemen even in fantasy, even in writing. To the point that, when you interact with me, what I mean is you're interacting with the content creator directly, which is fun. It's awesome. It allows me to actually get feedback from fans, to talk to fans, to thank the people who are supporting me. And like I said, there's very few layers between, but in the old days there was that buffer. You know, people used to send letters to the publisher, and then the publisher would send to the author, right? And granted, the publisher's not opening them and stuff. It's not like there's a big buffer there, but it's taking time, and there's just that step. And that step has vanished, which I like.

    It is changing publishing. It's democratizing publishing. I really think this is a good thing for particularly our genre, where you will have a lot of things in sci-fi/fantasy that are not even the mainstream of sci-fi and fantasy. And sci-fi/fantasy alone is already not the mainstream. So when you go a couple niches down, you can find these things that a certain core audience would love, but it's very hard to market nationally. And this helps a lot more variety come into the genre. And that whole connecting directly with fans helps with people building a brand and breaking in, even if they aren't going traditional. The whole self-publishing has been a great boon, I think, specifically to science fiction and fantasy, in helping to add variety.

    Ebooks mean that when I write 400,000 word novels, I don't have to apologize quite so much. Because people can buy it in ebook, and I say it weighs the same amount. So there is that. Otherwise, there are so many things changing.

    Orem signing ()
    #3880 Copy

    Questioner

    So is there a third law of magic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes there is. I don't have a pithy way to say it yet.

    Questioner

    Do you want to try to describe it anyways?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, the best magic systems are interconnected with the world, the society, the culture, and the development of the setting as a whole. The next level you want to think about is how does your magic affect your gender roles, how does it affect your governments, your religions, all these things.

    Questioner

    And how those things affect the magic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But I don't have a pithy way to say it, so once I come up with a good pithy way to say it, then I can actually write it.

    Orem signing ()
    #3881 Copy

    Questioner

    So I know that there's going to be a second Mistborn trilogy. Is Alloy part of it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. This is foreshadowing the second trilogy. I may do some more books with these characters.

    Questioner

    So is the second trilogy in the same time period?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It will be a little future forward from this. More like mid–20th century.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3882 Copy

    Questioner

    Shardplate, does it have to be fitted by a smith or does it just kind of magically...?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It magically fits to you.

    Rubix

    I’d like to see it fit to someone three foot tall.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If it’s within reason, it can fit.

    Questioner

    But they do weld stuff to it to it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They weld stuff to it to ornament it.

    Questioner

    But that doesn’t really stick?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It won’t stay, it can get cut off and things like that. Yeah, and they paint them and things.

    Questioner

    So the actual color is gray, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dalinar’s color is the actual color.

    Questioner

    He doesn’t have it painted, yeah. It’s kind of stone, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It’s not really stone, it’s more like a deep metallic, like an unbuffed steel sort of metallic. A dark charcoal metallic.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3886 Copy

    Questioner

    The question is, can you read [women's script]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can’t read it, Isaac can.

    Rubix

    Isaac can’t read it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He came up with it!

    I told you where it came from, the writing system, right? That I told Isaac, “I want it to look like waveforms,” and he developed it to look like waveforms on the little thing when you speak voice- and things like that, and that was my goal for the system was something that was a line with waveforms across it. And he developed it then.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3889 Copy

    Questioner

    The name of the metal escapes me, but it’s the one that allows you to speed up your own bubble while everything else is outside of you, in Mistborn. What happens if you have that and you burn the duralumin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is an excellent question. The trick about that is you would have to be Mistborn to do that. Or you would have to have one other specific set of circumstances because- yeah I’m not gonna get into it. But you basically have to be Mistborn and there aren’t Mistborn anymore.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3890 Copy

    Questioner

    When you were talking about the Rithmatist, you said that he wasn’t genetically capable of doing magic and I was wondering if you actually had like a genetic system for how...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, this one actually isn’t genetic. I said genetic, but it’s not. But I don’t want to give away what it is that makes someone use the magic in that world. I did actually develop a genetic magic system that was very interesting that is in a book that didn’t get published.

    Questioner

    Is it going to get published?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Probably not, but I might recycle the magic eventually. The magic is spread around everyone of a certain family lineage. So if there's lots of family members, they each have a little bit of magic. And if there's only one, they're very powerful. But there's only one.

    Questioner

    Which one is this?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mythwalker. You have these weird family dynamics, where it's like, "If I assassinate my family members, I get stronger." But as a whole, it's weaker. It's not like if there's two of you, you each are one and one; if there's one of you, it's two. If there's one of you, it's like 1.5. So you get stronger, but you overall are stronger as a house if you have lots more people. It was really cool magic, but the book was awful. Half of it was Warbreaker. But the genetics one didn't end up in it.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3891 Copy

    Questioner

    Do the Parshendi need a highstorm to change forms?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do, good guess! Excellent question.

    Questioner

    Do they eat?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do they eat? Yes.

    Questioner

    So, they eat like grains and stuff like that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will find out, but they do eat.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3892 Copy

    Questioner

    We’ve been arguing about how to pronounce the character, either it’s “Say-zed” or “Sayzd”?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, that’s one of the most contentious name decisions that I’ve chosen. Before I tell you the answer, I will preface it by saying I don’t say the names right, in a lot of times. For instance I say “E-lawn-tris” like everyone else, but in world they say “Elayn-tris” because of the system of language that’s been built. I say “Kel-seer” and they say “Kel-see-ay,” in-world. And so I’m American and I use my pronunciations I say “Say-zed”.

    However, that may not be the way they actually say it. And beyond that, every reader of a book has the ability to rewrite the book as they wish. A book doesn’t exist until you’ve read it. I write a script, I write- I get you hopefully seventy five percent of the way there but the last twenty-five percent is you, it’s participatory. And as you write, you create the images of them in your own imagination and that becomes the right interpretation for you. And you have line [inaudible] veto.

    When I read Anne McCaffrey’s books the dragons are these unpronounceable things in my head that I could never actually because it’s just something a dragon can say. And it has very little relationship to the letters that are there on the page. I have a friend, who when he reads the Wheel of Time- the first time when Thom Merrilin shows up in the books, on screen, it says he has these big drooping moustaches. My friend said, “No he doesn’t.” And he cannot imagine Thom Merrilin with a moustache. To me, the moustache is an integral part of who Thom Merrilin is. It’s like him, he’s the moustached guy! Well, theres a couple other moustached guys but Thom’s the first moustached guy in the Wheel of Time! And so, you have the right to say it however you want.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3894 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    How did I come up with the magic system for Emperor's Soul? A couple of things. One was the procedural magics in Elantris based on coding, and things. But also, when I was at the Royal Museum there in Taiwan, one of my guides was showing me this piece of beautiful jade. And it had a stamp in it. You know, the stamps, are you familiar with these? They call them chops, we call them dojangs in Korea, you use them as a stamp for your name. They're round, sometimes they're square. I saw this, I'm like, "Why is there a stamp on this piece of jade artwork? That's been carved and sculpted?" They're like, "Well, there was this emperor, who was hot stuff, and thought he was very important. And so he ordered his stamp carved into the piece of artwork, because he thought it was a good piece of art."

    And lo and behold, I go through and I start seeing these. There's this great poem, and it's covered with, like, forty stamps. And I asked, they're like, "These are all the scholars who are like, 'Yeah, I like this.' *stamp*" It's like carving your signature into Michelangelo's David, like the forehead. It's like, "Yeah, I think this is pretty good. 'Brandon approves.'" And that's what these people were all doing. And those stamps, the ubiquity of the stamps... I don't know how I got from that to "rewrite something's history by stamping it." But that was the inception of it.

    I have several of these stamps that I brought home with me from Korea. Mine actually says Sainja, which-- "Sa" in Korean is "Sand," and "In" is "Person," and "Ja" is "Son." So, it's the Son of the Sand Person. It's really, it's a pun. They see that, and they're like, "That doesn't make any... Oh. That's really dumb." It's exactly what I was shooting for. Either that or they look at it and "Salinja" with an "l" is "Murderer," and read it and they're like, "Oh, wait."

    Anyway, it came from that trip.

    Footnote: Sa, In, and Ja are the Sino-Korean pronunciation of the Chinese characters 砂, 人, and 子, respectively.
    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
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    Questioner

    When does Emperor's Soul take place in relation to the events of Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    After them.

    Questioner

    Like how long after?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't answered that yet. A lot of people keep asking. But after them, but not so far after them that the technology level has shifted, which I allow, in my worlds, to happen. And also not so far after that the Emperor's Soul- if you keep your eyes open you will see a Derethi priest in full armor. And so, not so far after that the kingdoms we are familiar with no longer exist. They do exist and the tech level has not shifted dramatically so you can use that to kind of ballpark for yourself, a range. It's certainly not thousands of years later, in other words.

    Salt Lake City signing 2012 ()
    #3896 Copy

    Questioner

    You sold the rights for Mistborn for a movie, right? How is that coming along?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have had no major updates, I'm afraid. You know, I really like the script. They're pitching it in Hollywood. They're good guys, the producers are. The script is really awesome and is pretty faithful. It's adapted in the ways that adaptations need to happen. Like it's really cool, like the beginning they did this thing where they said, "You know, we really need to focus the movie on Vin, so the opening needs to be on Vin instead of Kelsier." Which is a really good move for a movie like that that's got such a shorter length of time. So, you know, they start with Vin and Reen, actually. And you know, Vin being part of a heist that goes wrong, with her brother, and things like this. And you know, there's changes like that that thematically, you know, are the same concept as the book but then work really much better in the only two hour block that you have. Then Kelsier is a mysterious figure who invites her in and recruits her into the team, which works much better in that format. So there's changes like that.

    There's this really cool prologue where they start the prologue with the march up the mountain toward the Well of Ascension, a thousand years ago and an interaction there that changes into a stained glass window and then you see stained glass windows of the interim periods until you hit the Final Empire. So there's some really awesome stuff.

    So, we'll see if this actually ends up working or not. Again, if your father is the owner of Warner Brothers, go and put in a good word for me. We're kind of long shots because all we are is an author and several producers who have no major credits to their name. And I sold it to them specifically because- you know, I sold Alcatraz to Dreamworks for a lot of money and then I just had to like say goodbye to the project and I like what they did with it but it was basically they took the project. And I, for Mistborn, wanted to have more control which also means my chances of actually getting it made go down quite dramatically. Ask Orson Scott Card how long it took to get made Ender's Game made and you will see the same sort of thing, but then he's getting it made his way, eventually. So that's what I'd like to do with Mistborn if I have that option.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    Is there a way to reverse the Shaod?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um-- *pause* There is a way to do basically anything.

    Chris King

    So it's kind of a RAFO? Will we ever find--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No that's not what they asked, they asked if there is a way. Yes there is but how reasonable a way that is is very... vague...

    Chris King interview ()
    #3898 Copy

    Chris King

    Would it be easy for a Forger who'd once almost lost her arm (freak guillotine accident is the example that is used) to make a stamp to lose it temporarily, or would it require some more involved Forging than "my arm actually got cut off that one time"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, and-- The more plausible something is the easier the Forging is definitely.

    Chris King interview ()
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    Chris King

    Did the Lord Ruler use lerasium to gain his super Allomantic abilities or did he grant that to himself with the Well's power? If he used the bead, does he count as one of the nine original Allomancers that Sazed mentions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. He did not use the bead. He-- In all of this he granted himself basically, he rebuilt himself to be extremely powerful and he did not use one of the beads.

    Chris King interview ()
    #3900 Copy

    Chris King

    A lot of people wanted clarification on weight in regards to Pushing and Pulling, whether or not it has a direct correlation to the power or if it's just something people say because generally someone heavier is going to Push--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, right. It's more-- I mean, the whole-- If you really dig down into it, and I've talked about this before, the whole mass, weight, Push, and Pull thing gets a little tricky when--particularly when you throw Feruchemy into the mix-- Are we changing mass? Or are we changing what the power of the earth pulling upon you is, and things like this. Generally understand that most people who are talking about this are not speaking in scientific terms and they are speaking in colloquialisms.