What effect does the world have on the magic system?
It always has an effect.
What effect does the world have on the magic system?
It always has an effect.
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?
Well, one thing it can include is that people capable of noticing Investiture, would know there is trace Investiture from that event.
Does the power of Allomancy come directly from Preservation? Does that imbalance him?
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.
Would a good example of that be Allomancy versus the blessings that Kandras have?
Yeah, yeah sure.
So are Shards the most powerful thing in the Cosmere?
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.
Does Hoid believe that Shards are the most powerful thing?
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.
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?
What are you talking about? Like which shards?
Ruin and Preservation. Since we know the most about them.
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.
So then why are they hesitant to directly fuel Allomancy?
Why are they hesitant to? What do you mean by directly fuel Allomancy?
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.
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?
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?
I would say "each shard has."
Elantris. Where does it fit in the timeline in reference to Hero of Ages? Since that's what most other things are referenced to.
Right. Elantris is far earlier.
Like thousands? Or like hundreds?
It's quite... It's not thousands.
If you were a misting, what would you be?
I would be a Coinshot. Because I would love to be able to have that flight thing going on, jumping around.
When is the next Mistborn coming out?
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.
Are you planning two more or three more?
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.
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"?
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.
So where exactly would the second Mistborn trilogy take place relative to Alloy of Law?
Late 20th century era. Modern technology.
I've heard that's like... 50? years after Alloy of Law.
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.
I heard you're doing another Mistborn Trilogy? Any estimate when the first book might be?
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.
How does one make sense of Spook's High Imperial?
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.
The Words of Founding. What does it contain besides the religions, technological advancements, and layout for Elendel? Is there anything special in there?
There's some other cool stuff in there that eventually I'll talk about.
But nothing specific?
Nothing I'm going to be able to...
I was going to say general outlines. Does that cover the basics of it?
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.
Shallan. What the crap are the headless spren?
You will find out! Read and Find out! I did just finish her flashback sequence, which is the first thing I wrote for the second book.
Can spren die?
Yes, spren can die.
Okay, so Syl, she's been around for at least a few thousand years, right?
How does she forget her memories? Is it in connection to humans that makes it so she remembers things?
And she's what, a Bonding Spren?
You will find out. She's an Honorspren, but you will find out.
Is that bond the Nahel bond?
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.
Because she's windspren?
That's part of it. That's part of something else.
Can one person have possess than one Shardblade?
Yes. A person can possess more than one Shardblade.
I was wondering if you meant to do the arms thing in the beginning of Mistborn with Sazed.
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.
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.
Yeah, so we kind of all do.
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.
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?
Your fan interaction through Magic: The Gathering: planned, or more like luck?
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.
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?
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.
[What is] the last sentence you wrote that you were proud of?
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.
How are you seeing the internet impact the industry?
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.
So is there a third law of magic?
Yes there is. I don't have a pithy way to say it yet.
Do you want to try to describe it anyways?
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.
And how those things affect the magic?
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.
So I know that there's going to be a second Mistborn trilogy. Is Alloy part of it?
No. This is foreshadowing the second trilogy. I may do some more books with these characters.
So is the second trilogy in the same time period?
It will be a little future forward from this. More like mid–20th century.
Shardplate, does it have to be fitted by a smith or does it just kind of magically...?
It magically fits to you.
I’d like to see it fit to someone three foot tall.
If it’s within reason, it can fit.
But they do weld stuff to it to it?
They weld stuff to it to ornament it.
But that doesn’t really stick?
It won’t stay, it can get cut off and things like that. Yeah, and they paint them and things.
So the actual color is gray, right?
Dalinar’s color is the actual color.
He doesn’t have it painted, yeah. It’s kind of stone, right?
It’s not really stone, it’s more like a deep metallic, like an unbuffed steel sort of metallic. A dark charcoal metallic.
I also want to know if there are other ways to Worldhop aside then what Hoid uses.
I want to know if the Seventeenth Shard members come from all of the planets, not just Sel.
They come from multiple planets. You have seen Seventeenth Shard members from several planets already.
How do you buy a contract with a kandra in Alloy of Law time?
You don’t, good question. There’s two of them in Alloy of Law. Shadows of Self has quite a big part with a kandra.
The question is, can you read [women's script]?
I can’t read it, Isaac can.
Isaac can’t read it.
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.
Can Odium pick up pieces of a Shard without changing the nature of his Shard?
Any investiture, over time, will slowly change one’s personality, no matter how small that investiture.
Is there an odiumspren?
You will find out what there is.
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?
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.
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...
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.
Is it going to get published?
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.
Which one is this?
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.
Do the Parshendi need a highstorm to change forms?
They do, good guess! Excellent question.
Do they eat?
Do they eat? Yes.
So, they eat like grains and stuff like that?
You will find out, but they do eat.
We’ve been arguing about how to pronounce the character, either it’s “Say-zed” or “Sayzd”?
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.
If Stephen Leeds read your books would he get you as an aspect or a 17th Sharder?
Definitely a 17th Sharder. Definitely definitely, it'd be one of these guys. *Points to Josh and Mi'ch*
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.
When does Emperor's Soul take place in relation to the events of Elantris?
Like how long after?
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.
You sold the rights for Mistborn for a movie, right? How is that coming along?
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.
Is there a way to reverse the Shaod?
Um-- *pause* There is a way to do basically anything.
So it's kind of a RAFO? Will we ever find--
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...
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"?
No, and-- The more plausible something is the easier the Forging is definitely.
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?
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.
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--
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.
[Eshonai] I believe is one that Michael Whelan intended to be one figures on the covers, one's Dalinar, and one's Eshonai. But that scene is not 100% accurate from the book. Usually with book covers we are looking for a poster for the book, like a movie poster, which isn't necessarily an exact scene from the book. But I believe it's who it was intended to be.
If you slash somebody with a Shardblade, kill them, and then cut them again, will the Shardblade make them bleed?
Yes. Just like a chasmfiend once it dies, they are chopping it apart with Shardblades.
So, what I’ve been doing lately is writing on Stormlight 2. And Stormlight 2, if you’re unaware with what’s going on in the Stormlight series, I conceived the series as ten volumes, two five book arcs, with each volume focusing on a character by giving them a flashback sequence. So if you’ve read the first one, Kaladin, one of the main characters, there’s a sequence of flashbacks that kind of inform how he came to be where he is at the start of the book. And I intended that for each of the ten primary characters because I kind of began them all in the middle of their stories, which is what happens when you’re writing a book. The beginning of a story is not the beginning of a book. It’s impossible to tell the beginning of a story because there’s always something more that could come before. So you start with people who have passions, who have lives, who have things going on and then I wanted to use these sequences to bring you back up to where they were when they started.
This was a method I thought I would use in order to help divide each book and help me envision each book as a stand-alone volume in the series. Because one of the challenges of writing a big series like this is you don’t want them all to blend together. You want them each to feel distinct, to have their own climaxes and their own story because when they start to blend together, it can be detrimental to the series in the long run. So in my original outline, I spent a lot of time figuring out what everyone’s story was going to be, but I didn’t actually have to do them in a certain order because they all are flashbacks. It means I didn’t have to have the flashbacks in certain parts. And so I wasn’t sure whether I was going to do Dalinar or Shallan for the second book, I always knew I was going to do Kaladin for the first book. And I ended up deciding on Shallan, in part because I want to get into her story because of things that are happening in the plot but also because I wanted Dalinar’s sequence to come later.
Now, I’m not promising that characters all survive that long. It’s entirely possible, just so you know, that I would kill someone off and still show their flashback sequence. Because the flashbacks aren’t them having a flashback, the flashbacks are- it’s not them sitting there and remembering that, it is simply a non-linear way of telling their story. So just so you know, that doesn’t necessarily mean that Dalinar survives til book five.
Are you telling us you're going to kill one of our viewpoints?
I'm not saying. I'm just saying, that I reserve the right, the outline, you know? I don't like giving spoilers. I like keeping people guessing.
So what’s going on here is, for Stormlight 2, I needed a lullaby in-world. And poetry is not my forte. However, my father-in-law is a semi-professional singer/songwriter. He’s released a couple of albums, they’re just local, he does stuff like that. So, I asked him to compose a lullaby that I just left blanks in the story from. And he actually turned it in just like a couple of days ago. And it’s quite good and it fits in.
Was the Reod natural?
The Reod natural? *laughs*
Here’s the thing, you’ve answered this question for us already, we just need it on audio.
It wasn’t the Reod that was the question it was was the earthquake natural?
No, Eric’s [Chaos] asking if the Reod was natural.
To heck with Eric, we don’t care about him.
You’ve told us that the earthquake was not caused by natural events.
Yeah, but it’s a complicated question because the earthquake was not caused by natural, but the Reod was a natural effect of the earthquake, then... does that make sense? So the Reod is natural, a natural result of... does that make sense? That’s why it was a tricky question.
But the earthquake was not natural.
No, it was not.
So the Reod is a natural reaction to an unnatural occurrence.
And wasn’t it because there was like magical strain on the land?
That is certainly part of what was going on.
What is the technology level of the singular society that existed when Adonalsium Shattered?
What was the technology level of the society that existed when Adonalsium Shattered? It was less than our own.
Are you going to give us anything more specific than that?
Less than our own. You've read the book that is the preface for all of that. So you can guess.
Wait, really? That's the preface to it?
Well, it's the series where that happens. I've said before: Dragonsteel is the series... Adonalsium is not Shattered in Dragonsteel.