Recent entries

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #4201 Copy

    shadeslayer0930

    Can we dare hope for a crossover like [Lift and Wayne] in the future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can hope for such things, but I won't do them "just because." If the timelines align, you will see things like this in the future--but it's probably not going to happen for a while. (Except in certain, specific instances.)

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #4202 Copy

    rehash101

    There are a few items I've read in stormlight that initially made me uncomforatble, such as the class/eye color dynamic, safe hands/glove, or the Parshman, and their use of song as a tool.

    However, I get the sense that you are aware of the implications, which makes me really curious to see how it all unfolds.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm quite aware, and it's intentional. However, some of the most controversial (and in some cases straight up racist) pieces of storytelling done in the modern era were done by well-meaning, but at the same time oblivious, white people trying to tackle the topic. (see Save the Pearls or the current kerfuffle about "The Continent.")

    So writing a series where racism and class-ism are major themes--and an entire minority population has not only been enslaved, but had their cultures stripped away and their souls partially stunted, preventing them from thinking--is a dangerous thing. It's entire possible that I'll stumble on this, and make a big offensive, embarrassing mess.

    So let's just say it's something I'm watching very carefully. The Herdazians, to a lesser extent, are ones that I'm walking a line on. Where do some Hispanic cultural markers--like big families and feeding visitors--stray from being a fun and accurate representation into, instead, being offensive stereotypes? I have to be careful. They're in the books in the first place because I noticed that I couldn't think of many Hispanic-inspired fantasy cultures that weren't Aztec exaggerations. But I wouldn't want to instead turn this into something that is essentially fantasy blackface or characterture.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #4203 Copy

    midobal

    Snapshot sounds very interesting! Knowing that it's set on the Reckoners universe, I was wondering if I should change my reading plans and start with them now, or if Snapshot can be read without previous knowledge.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is unconnected to the Reckoners story. You can read it without reading the series.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #4204 Copy

    WeiryWriter

    Does Snapshot take place on the Reckoners' Earth, or one of the other Core Possibilities? (Based on the reading you did I would assume the latter, but it doesn't hurt to get confirmation on that).

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's one of the Other Core Possibilities.

    The idea of going meta-series with Reckoners is to offer me the chance to play with quantum possibilities and alternate dimensions, which is something to cosmere's not set up to do. We'll see how big this one gets, but I'm fond of silver age comics, and the idea of alternate realities they explored. (Often in goofy ways because...well, silver age.) This also gives me a realm to do some magic, like the Epic powers, that I can hand-wave a little more, rather than confining everything to the structure of the cosmere.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4206 Copy

    Snote85

    I had asked you a little while ago if Commander Gaval would be retaining his rank that he received from Kaladin. You told me that he'd been allowed to keep it as he'd earned it. I was now curious, do you think we might see him again in the future of the series or find out anything more about him?

    I know it's a silly little side character that was probably only there to facilitate that one interaction but I swear there is potential there to mine. It would be amazing, at least to me, to hear of him joining the recruitment drives, spending his days meeting the members and eventually soaring the winds with Bridge 4. He must have some form of affection for Kaladin after he aided in his major move up the ranks of Dalinar's army.

    lol, these are the questions that keep me up at night... "I wonder if Taleb ever felt true respect for the man who'd killed his Brightlord, or if he was simply a man of honor and kept his word after Dalinar's agreement to not sack the city were he to join the Elites." He's another character that I am dying to know more about. The tragedy of Taleb is a short story that needs to be written.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I really should do more with Teleb, at least in some kind of flashback or the like. There was a lot going on inside of that mind of his--not the least of which a loyalty to a throne that his own line would have been ruling, had things turned out differently.

    I'll see what I can do with Gaval. It would be nice to bring him back, as you mention.

    General Reddit 2016 ()
    #4207 Copy

    fireflambe

    This is a slightly old comment, but is the marvel cinematic universe similar to what you envision happening with the cosmere movies? The moment that was announced the first thing I thought of was how great it would be if it followed the MCU formula.

    Brandon Sanderson

    well, and its popularity is part of why I think the film companies were suddenly interested in things like the cosmere. I'd like to think I presaged the MCU with what I was doing--but the truth is that Marvel and DC had been doing crossovers before I was born, so...

    Anyway, I've been trying to warn readers because many are starting to wonder things like you are. Is this like the MCU? Well, it is, and it isn't. The goal of the cosmere is to take individual fantasy worlds, then--over generations--tell an expansive story about their interactions one with another.

    I'm not pointing toward an Avengers style, "Your favorite characters all team up" story. The magics will interact, as will the worlds, and even some of the characters--but the story is not about a super-team.

    Stormlight Three Update #5 ()
    #4209 Copy

    geoffw35

    When a writer can do something like this: Shallan killing the father she loves while whispering that lullaby, I know I've found a gem! I had to stop listening (audiobook) at that point and absorb what I experienced. What an emotional hit! I'd guess you were proud of that one.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am indeed.

    Made a little creepier by the fact that I had my Father in Law (a semi-pro musician) write the lullaby, then I used it this way...

    BYU Writing Class Wrap-up 2017 ()
    #4210 Copy

    Just another guyn

    If a Shard were to wield Nightblood more directly, like Odium's champion and Odium channeling his power through Nightblood, would we see a lot of world ending stuff from that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That-- What you just described would work no differently from a Knight Radiant wielding Nightblood

    Just another guyn

    Okay. And that would be scary powerful?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. No, they'd feed off the Investiture and eventually would either run out or be drawing it so quickly that it would dissolve the person's soul.

    Just another guyn

    So souls are made of Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, in the cosmere, souls are. So you'd have a little while, but eventually the person would just die and get eaten.

    BYU Writing Class Wrap-up 2017 ()
    #4211 Copy

    Just another guyn

    If an Elantrian were to get a hold of Nightblood and draw it, how would Nightblood react to that-- What kind of power would be unleashed?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So Nightblood needs kinetic Investiture to feed upon. The Elantrian would have to be able to get a conduit to the Dor to feed Nightblood or Nightblood would just eat their soul.

    Just another guyn

    So if they used AonDor to fuel Nightblood--

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are some types of AonDor that would work, and there are others that would not.

    Just another guyn

    And would Nightblood just keep going until either the Aon was--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He would dissolve the Aon as he drew the power from it.

    Just another guyn

    So it wouldn't just empty the Dor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it would not empty the Dor.

    Miscellaneous 2016 ()
    #4212 Copy

    BlackYeti

    If you remember from the original version of Words of Radiance, Kaladin rammed a Shardblade through Szeth’s chest, after which Nale found Szeth and healed him with a fabrial. However in Edgedancer Lift tries to heal a girl who had also had a Shardblade rammed through her chest, and it didn’t work. Wyndle then explains that since she was killed by Shardblade, she cannot be healed at all, unless she is healed right after it happened. Since Nale was obviously not with Szeth and Kaladin to heal him immediately, this appears to be a contradiction.

    Therefore, either Nale has some way to remotely heal someone (of which we have no evidence), "right after" is being used very loosely, or when Brandon changed the scene to have Szeth fall to his death instead, he also changed the rules governing what can or can’t be healed.

    If so, what other rules could have been changed at the same time? Is there some additional significance to the change in wording from fabrial to Surgebinding for instance? Moreover this would be a somewhat significant precedent that Brandon is setting, and I’m not sure what to make of it.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The way it worked in WoR's first draft is still canonical. There are subtle things that make the two situations different.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #4215 Copy

    Ruro272

    THIS JUST IN: KELSIER'S EYES ARE HAZEL.

    I have a lot more tidbits and all of them more juicy than this, but this may be the single thing all weekend that actually added to the canon. As far as Peter and Brandon know, they never explicitly stated Kelsiers eye color, only that they were "dark", and Brandon thought about it and went with hazel.

    Does it matter? Probably not lol. But the moment he said it Peter contacted the wiki writer to add it officially. Pretty cool to ask a simple question that Brandon graciously chose to answer and then add to the canon story

    bschnebs

    Since when is Hazel considered dark?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    It isn't. What we said is that Mistborn doesn't give anyone's eye color and only says Vin's eyes are dark. (Shan Elariel's eyes are also dark.) Kelsier's eyes will now be considered canonized as hazel, which is not dark.

    Elantris Annotations ()
    #4216 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Conclusion

    That is about it for the languages in Elantris. There are books for which I’ve spent a lot more time on the languages, but there are also books for which I’ve spent far less. Overall, I like how the sounds in this book add to the feel of the various nationalities, though I realize that Aonic names (in particular) are difficult to pronounce at first. If you have your own way of saying them, well that’s just fine. I do the same thing with books I read.

    Elantris Annotations ()
    #4217 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Duladen, Jindoeese, Svordish

    Duladen is a language purely of tonal convenience. My only rule for this language was to use that which ‘sounded right.’ It seemed wrong, in a way, to force any firm linguistic constructions on the Dulas. In addition, Galladon’s use of Dula slang was to become a major mood element of the book. I didn’t have enough time in the book to develop the language in detail, but I needed its sounds to give atmosphere.

    Duladen implies a laid-back, loose culture. Its words flow smoothly, and even have a hint of ridiculousness to our English-accustomed ears. Even the Dula word for Hell, ‘Doloken,’ has a kind of rhythmic nonchalance about it. Ironically, the part of the Dula language I was most unsatisfied with was its lead character’s name. I eventually changed it from “Galerion” to “Galladon” to make it fit better.

    JinDo is probably the least original of the languages in the book. It is an unabashed rip-off of Chinese, as can easily be distinguished. I did this with some hesitance. I worried that I had too much of a ‘learning curve’ in the setting of the book already, especially with the strange circumstances Raoden was going to be forced to endure. When it came to the JinDo language and culture, I feared that stuffing too much development into such a minor part of the book would make it unwieldy.

    JinDo is most important for the philosophers it spawned, three men who eventually became the religious foundations of the continent. I chose an Oriental culture to mimic in this case because of the mystical way in which most western cultures regard Asian-sounding names. Simply by calling something “JinDo” gave it an instant sense of foreign-ness.

    I went, perhaps, too far by making the adjectival reference for the nation ‘Jindoeese.’ I probably should have gone with simply “JinDo” as both noun and adjective. Other than that, I am satisfied with the culture, despite its lack of original sounds.

    The final language, Svordish, was almost an afterthought. I wanted to make it a dialect of Fjordell, something I could point out to show that all of the nations beyond the mountains weren’t just one big stereotype. By giving Svorden a minor identity of its own—with a side character and the ‘sv’ pattern of sounds—I hoped to give a bit of roundness to the unseen Fjordell empire.

    Elantris Annotations ()
    #4218 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fjordell

    The Fjordell language was a little more formed in my head in the pre-writing stage than Aonic was. I already had an idea of what I wanted this culture, and its language, to represent. I’ve always been fascinated by the rise of the Roman empire, first in military power, then in theological power. Latin and Catholicism fit very will with Rome’s logical, almost bureaucratic, culture.

    I wondered what would happen if a similar train of events had led a more war-like, barbarous culture to power. What would happen if the Scandinavian tribes had been able to unite and conquer all of Europe? The answer was simple, in my mind—they didn’t have the bureaucratic skill to run an empire. It would have collapsed.

    And that was where Fjorden came from. I imagined three distinct periods in its history. First, the rise of a war-like tribe to imperial dominance. However, once the empire was established and it ran out of foes to conquer, I imagined the new empire struggling to maintain control. Eventually, the First Empire collapsed under its own weight.

    However, this experience taught the Fjordell leaders what it was they did wrong. They learned order, organization, and—most importantly—they learned patience. Under the leadership of an inspired ruler, they abandoned their conquering ways and focused instead on Shu-Korath, a newly-budding religion that combined their ancient pantheistic beliefs with a more modern sense of theological order. This religion, which held the power of forced unity as one of its major themes, appealed to the warrior sense of the Fjordell.

    With that, the Second Empire was born. Now, instead of an army of warriors, Fjorden had an army of priests. The empire learned to lead more subtly, using its doctrines to control, rather than its swords.

    This country had to sound Scandinavian—the more like Beowulf the better. I had Hrathen’s name from almost the beginning, though I quibbled a little more on Fjorden itself. (I realize the name itself is a little gimmicky, but so far I’ve had good reactions from it.)

    Fjorden is defined in my mind more by its sounds than by any specific set of linguistic characteristics. The language prefers guttural sounds. ‘U’ sounds, ‘F’ sounds, ‘H’ sounds, and ‘G’ sounds. I added in a Hebrew ‘Y’ sound in the form of a ‘J,’ and placed emphasis on the ‘Hr’ combination. From this language, we get names like Dilaf, Jaddeth (pronounced yah-death,) and Sycla.

    Elantris Annotations ()
    #4219 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aonic

    In the initial stages of Elantris‘ development, Aonic was one of the more difficult elements to construct. The Aons themselves—then still unnamed—were to become a major part of the novel. I wanted all of the Aonic names—including the names of two POV characters—to include references to the language. In addition, the magic system had complex connections with the Aons, influencing their actual forms and design. Furthermore, one of the greatest puzzles in the novel—that of Elantris‘ mysterious fall—was intimately tied to the power and shape of the Aons.

    I began looking for sounds and themes. Usually, when I construct a language, I try to develop something with a few basic sound patterns that are easily recognizable. When a reader runs across a name in the book, I want them to be able to instantly determine which country that name came from. However, the names can’t be too similar, otherwise they will become a jumbled mess in the reader’s mind.

    So I started, as I often do, with a couple of names. The first one I devised, I believe, was Raoden. The sound “Rao” (both vowels are pronounced in their long form) struck me. One of the things I wanted from Aonic was resonance with ancient classicism. I wanted the reader to reference a culture with a great, majestic history. Golden age Greece or imperial Rome—lands were gods were very real, and were thought to interfere with the workings of mortals. To the modern mind, these cultures bear a weight of age.

    Rao. (Pronounced Ray-Oh). I liked the repeated long vowel sounds—they seemed to bear the weight I wanted. From there, I constructed other morphemes. Ene. Ashe. Dio. I started combining these, constructing a language that references modern Japanese with its combination of a natural tongue and imported Chinese characters.

    The result was the Aonic language. Each name or word contained an Aon—a two-syllable morpheme that contained two log vowel sounds—and a non-Aon prefix or suffix. Raoden, for instance, contains the Aon ‘Rao’ with the non-Aon suffix ‘den.’ Seon contained the Aon ‘Seo’ with the suffix ‘n.’ The accent in these words is always placed on the Aon.

    Then, like any good modern language, I was forced to bend a few rules. The name of the city was very important to the book, as I intended it to be in the title. I played around with several different words, including one that stayed through the entire rough draft of the novel—a word based on the Aon ‘Ado.’

    In the end, however, I grew very partial to the word ‘Elantris.’ Again, this was for connotative reasons. It brought to mind ancient cultures without actually being too similar to any names I knew. The word seemed to have mythic import. Unfortunately, it didn’t contain an Aon. In the end, I went with it anyway. Any good language has sound-changes and broken rules. Elantris, therefore, is based off of the Aon ‘Ela,’ which is a very Aonic sound. When combined with its suffix, however, the secondary vowel is weakened—though not completely. When I say the word in my head, the ‘a’ sound is stronger than it probably is to most readers.

    The second bent rule references Sarene’s name. Originally, her Aon was ‘Ana,’ with two long ‘a’ sounds. Unfortunately, ana looked too similar to the word ‘anal’ to me. Eventually, I changed her from Sarana to Sarene. Still, in my head, I pronounce this word ‘Sar-Aynay,’ though the Aonic usage of the name would be more appropriately rendered ‘Sar-eenee.’

    With the Aonic language finished, I could easily fill in the names of side-characters and places. I threw out a few sounds—there is no ‘u’ sound or ‘th’ sound in Aonic—and from there could construct hundreds of names from Aonic combinations of sounds. I designed a few of the characters for referencing in the book, and the language grew from there.

    Elantris Annotations ()
    #4220 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Basic Process

    I take several approaches to constructing languages for my works. The first thing I ask myself is how much I’m going to be using this language. How many characters will speak it? Will the setting take place in a land native to that tongue? How important, overall, is language to this particular book?

    In Elantris I realized that Aonic was going to be an integral part of the novel. The magical power of AonDor was once accessed through the form of the Aon characters. In this culture, language is a very literal power, and the practice and use of it would denote royalty, high-breeding, and even divinity.

    The other languages included were of varying lesser importance. Fjordell—the language of Fjorden’s priesthood—would be second in importance, for it was to be the native tongue of the only non-Aonic point-of-view character. To Hrathen, language was to become a symbol of purity and of the chosen race. It had religious significance, and was to be a subtle model of the elitist culture from which Hrathen hailed.

    The languages of Duladen, Svorden, and JinDo were of least significance. They had important characters representing them, but no major point-of-view characters. With the weight of Aonic and Fjordell already bulking up the linguistic part of the novel, I decided I wanted these three languages to provide flavor only. I wanted their representative words and names to give an instant clue to the nature of the society, and then add variety through the novel without becoming unwieldy.

    Elantris Annotations ()
    #4221 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    Introduction

    I am not a linguist. I have some understanding of morphemes and the history of language, but only enough to avoid looking like a complete idiot. That’s all right. I am not Tolkien; it was never my intention to create viable languages in Elantris. I was busy enough crafting the story without worrying whether or not someone will be able to someday release an Aonic transition of Hamlet.

    That isn’t to say that the languages in my books are not important. In fact, they’re vital. A novel, at its basest level, is constructed of words—and words, at their basest level, are constructed of sounds. The sounds of names and phrases give the first subconscious clue to a character’s motivations and origins. Before you know a man’s thoughts in a book—before you see him act—you often know his name. The sound of that name is your first impression.

    Like many fantasists, I use linguistic themes to give characterization to the cultures in my books. Even for the best author, containing an entire world in the meager 200,000 allotted words of a novel is a difficult task. We can’t afford to use names and languages lightly—they must give clues to the nature of the cultures involved, otherwise we might as well call the hero ‘Tom’ as opposed to ‘Raoden.’

    General Reddit 2014 ()
    #4222 Copy

    Kaladin_Stormblessed

    It would be an honor to even have a passing mention in any of your works....

    My real name is Lyndsey, I'm about 5'4", 29 years old, pretty plain looking really, brown hair/eyes, not fat but not skinny either (about average in most respects). Huge tomboy though...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Got it. Be aware, it will be a good while before the second book is out--next year sometime, if we're lucky, spring 2013 if the writing takes more time than expected. Look for someone who has a name like yours, and who looks like you.

    Footnote: This conversation occurred privately through PMs in 2011, and was shared publicly after the release of WoR.
    Sources: Reddit
    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4223 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    You do know that I've got a character in one of the books named Bowen?

    Herowannabe

    Really?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. He's actually been in the books so far, but not by name. He's one of the Worldhoppers. If you go look and talk to them they may have identified him, some people who have read. He's from White Sand. I wrote the book in '98. Yeah, he's one of the Purelake guys.

    Herowannabe

    Is he Blunt?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah. So yeah, Bowen, you'll have to see because when I redid the linguistics for the world, his name I think got changed. I think it's now Baon. But in the very first draft of the very first book I ever wrote his name was Bowen. And the reason I think I changed it - is because he's a bowman. And I'm like "I named the bowman, the archer, 'Bowen.' That's kinda dumb." But in my head he's still Bowen.

    JordanCon 2016 ()
    #4224 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    1) The Nightwatcher and Stormfather are parallel entities such that Nighwatcher:Cultivation :: Stormfather:Honor.

    2) There is sort of a parallel for Odium, but the parallel is the various Unmade instead of a single entity.

    3) They are parallel in that they are all Splinters.

    4) The Unmade are voluntary Splinters, because Odium ("like almost all of the other Shards") voluntarily Splintered part of it's power.

    5) The Stormfather is different from the others because it's a Sliver.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4231 Copy

    Snote85

    Have the Highstorms always existed on Roshar? The excerpt that talks about how one of the Bondsmiths had resigned himself to fight the Voidbringers but woke up and had a new idea, one that had to do with the nature of the Heralds themselves. Then, inside the Oathgate, we see "mythical creatures" like lions and such. It would make sense that the world might have been different when the KR were last around. So much so, that if the Highstorms "Opposite" is the Everstorm and it was made by followers of Odium, then the Highstorm would have been made by followers of Honor.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Highstorms did predate the arrival of Honor and Cultivation on Roshar, but it has evolved much during the thousands of years since that event. It was not created by followers of Honor, but there is more to this story that you'll find out as the series progresses.

    Superstars Writing Seminar 2018 ()
    #4233 Copy

    MiToRo94 (paraphrased)

    This is a question about both The Stormlight Archive and the Mistborn series. Does The Thrill have anything to do with zinc, Rioters, or Allomancy in general?

    Brandon Sanderson (paraphrased)

    "They work on very similar principles." Their magic is based on similar ideas, and they do have a lot in common. A specific example would be that, "they both can affect different people to different extents and in slightly different ways. You can see that in how the Thrill affects Dalinar, and how burning zinc affects kandra differently than others on Scadrial. That is because kandra have pierced souls, so Allomancy affects them differently."

    Miscellaneous 2016 ()
    #4234 Copy

    Questioner

    How does electrum work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Electrum can see future shadows only as far in the future as is done with atium in the books. They use it to counter atium in that they see their own future shadow fighting, and if they see their shadow get hit by an attack, they know to avoid that attack, and they change their own future. This compounds the future shadows they see, which makes it practically as effective at countering atium as atium itself.

    While the scope of an electrum shadow is very limited, it could be useful in many situations. Like if you were playing tennis, you’d be able to look at your shadow and tell if you managed to hit the ball or not, and adjust accordingly. That would still take a lot of practice to master, but it could be very effective.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4235 Copy

    Snote85

    Is Nohadon a herald. There are tons and tons of little things that make me think this. Like the KR have the Way of Kings to base their views and policies on. Which, as was stated, was written by him. In Dalinar's vision of Nohadon, he says things about surgebindings and implies the man he's speaking to is a leader of an order, like he himself is. We know, from the WoR (In world) excerpts, that all the orders were lead by the heralds, after a time anyway. That's my reasoning, not that you need it, if it's true or not true. I just thought I might clarify why I came to that conclusion.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nohadon is not a Herald, but I can see what lead you to think otherwise. Let's just say that even among kings and surgebinders, he was someone special.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4236 Copy

    Snote85

    Also, funny question, what happened Nacomb Gaval, the soldier that Kaladin gave a field commission to during the Battle of the Tower? Did Dalinar let him keep his new rank? How does he feel about Kaladin after those events? He is obviously a minor character but I feel like he would be a good friend to Kal if the need ever arose for them to interact. [...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    [...] As for your question, yes, Dalinar let him keep his rank. (He earned it.)

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4237 Copy

    Snote85

    I did have a question about the story if you're willing/allowed to answer it for me. In the TWoK and WoR when the Highstorm and Everstorm meet, we're told that they will feed each other and that their strength is increased. What I wonder is that if that increased power is sustained after they pass, so that they get bigger each time they meet. Because if that's the case, it will basically turn into a Fibonacci Spiral of planetary destruction. (at least if my terrible understanding of both that sequence and math itself is right.)

    So, if you could just say if I was supposed to understand that "They will feed each other" means only during their interaction or gives a more permanent upgrade.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    That's a good question. The answer is that they feed each other only while they're interacting. Once they pass they return to normal.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4238 Copy

    Snote85

    I feel (strongly) that Hoid might be a conjured being. As he states he started life as words on a page. Either he knows that he's a character in a book or someone wrote a spell and poofed him into existence. (or you have another origin for him that I'm not considering) I just figured I'd ask and see what you thought.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. (You expected something else?)

    :)

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4239 Copy

    Snote85

    Did Vasher do to himself something similar to what Cultivation did to Dalinar, with his memory? I know in Warbreaker he says he knew the commands to take Denth's memories of things they'd done in the past away. Is there a chance he is not "whole" in his ability to recall his past?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's safe to say that Vasher's memory has a few holes.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4240 Copy

    Snote85

    Is the story of the girl who looked up a story that is only known to Roshar? I know it could have spread out, especially since we see paintings alluding to it in the cosmere seen by a non-Rosharan but could it be a story they talked about on... say... Yolen?

    Also, was the "god" from "God's love" mentioned by Hoid a piece that either should have or did belong to/with Passion/Odium? Cause that would make all the sense in the world to me that somehow Odium was Passion but because Odium once he lost love from his being... I know it doesn't make a lot sense in the timeline. I just can't get the thought out of my head.

    Thank you for the time you spend answering my inanity or was it insanity. Either/or.

    Brandon Sanderson

    These are actually both RAFOs, I'm afraid. I do appreciate you asking, but I'm going to remain silent for now.

    FAQFriday 2018 ()
    #4241 Copy

    Questioner

    What idea for a book you loved didn't work?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. It happens all the time, absolutely happens all the time. There's one that I did some readings from, that I got a scene written, where I wanted to do this cool book where I had this setting. The pitch on it was, what if viruses and bacteria evolved to give people magical talents when you caught the disease. This idea that a bacteria doesn't actually want to kill you, or a virus doesn't want to kill you. It wants you to live and spread it. You getting sick is a side effect. What if the side effect is, you got the common cold, all the sniffles and everything, but you could fly as long as you had the common cold? What would that do to society? What happens when someone invents penicillin and can wipe out half of these magical talents? What happens if people start catching a disease that makes everything they touch start on fire. So it was a story about basically fantasy Jack Bauer, who's a member of the fantasy CDC, who tries to stop diseases and things like this. But in order to do his job, he has to keep his immune system terrible, like this weakling who can barely get up the steps, so that he can quickly catch diseases to get the powers he needs to deal with outbreaks of these things. It's just a really cool concept that I've never been able to gel into an actual story. It hasn't worked every time I've tried to write it.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4242 Copy

    holdencaufld

    I feel like society on Roshar would develop a bit differently because of emotion spren. You'd have to be very careful talking/ interacting with people since you can't hide things like fear, anger, awe, anticipation, joy, passion and shame. Imagine going through high school having to deal with them...

    The_Bravinator

    I have to imagine it alters things like, say, the concept of masculinity. Obviously the Alethi have very strong ideas about masculinity, but attracting fearspren/feeling fear doesn't seem to be a negative within that like it would be in our culture. Men attract fearspren all the time, and it's totally fine.

    It also seems like it might be taboo to mention someone else's emotion spren. People are constantly noticing internally that other people are attracting them, but they NEVER EVER comment on it (until the part in OB where they're investigating it in Kholinar). There must be a really strong boundary around commenting on other people's spren.

    It's one thing I did want to ask Brandon about if he does another AMA--how emotion spren affect Rosharan culture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is some good theorizing here. I'd agree with what /u/The_Bravinator says.

    The effects are all over the place, but they are just how life is on Roshar, so I rarely point them out. For example, the classic Alethi sort of idolizing being "straightforward" with people. No assassinations. (Well, supposedly.) You're used to being able to see people's emotions, so you take it for granted that only hyper untrustworthy people do things in ways that don't expose emotions. Emotions aren't bad, they simply are, and everyone has them. Views of masculinity are certainly changed.

    The_Bravinator

    Is it taboo to mention emotion spren that other people are attracting, or do people just not generally think to do so?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on the situation, really. Not exactly the same, but note how in Earth societies the different responses to something like passing gas, depending on context, culture, etc.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4244 Copy

    Oudeis16

    I will confess that over the course of my study I learned that we're nearing the 10th Anniversary edition, and that [Brandon] has asked [Peter] to go over the book, take Brandon's notes, and make sure there is a consistent system behind the scenes. Humbly, I do hope that perhaps by at least locating the times in the book when Breath-count is mentioned, I have saved Peter a bit of busy work, if nothing else.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, a more precise system of how many breaths it takes to do X (and the exchange rate, so to speak, with other magic systems) is something on the list to do for Warbreaker 10th anniversary. I have the resources now, with more assistants behind the scenes, to get more precise on this sort of thing than I've done before.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4245 Copy

    Aurora_Fatalis

    Would [Kaladin using a Shardblade to pick his teeth] work, or would it burn out your eyes immediately?

    Assuming Syl doesn't just became a Shard-toothpick, but remains a sword.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I suppose I'll go with the other responders--yes, you could make this work, in a perfect world.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4246 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, a couple of things here. First off, I'll take any knocks I get--and try to do better. I'm not an expert on mental health, and though I do my best, I'm going to get things wrong. I'm going to risk defending myself here--and hopefully not dig myself deeper--as I at least explain my thought process, and why I built Shallan the way I did.

    However, one of the rules of thumb I go by is this: individual experience can defy the standard, if I understand that is what I'm doing. Like how Stephen Leeds is not trying to accurately portray schizophrenia, Shallan is not trying to accurately portray dissociative identity disorder (if a scholarly consensus on such a thing even exists. I haven't glanced through the DSM5 to see what it says.)

    In Legion, I have an easy out. I say, point blank, "He doesn't fit the diagnosis--he's not a schizophrenic, or if he is, he's a very weird one." I don't have the benefit of a modern psychology voice in the Stormlight books to hang a lantern on this, but my intention is the same. What Shallan has is related to her individual interaction with the world, her past, and the magic.

    Is this Hollywood MPD? I'm not convinced. Hollywood MPD (with DSM4 backing it up, I believe) tends to involve things like a person feeling like they're possessed, and completely out of control. The different identities don't remember what others did. It's a very werewolf type thing. You wake up, and learn that another version of you took over your body and went out and committed crimes or whatever.

    Shallan is coping with her pain in (best I've been able to do) a very realistic way, by boxing off and retreating and putting on a mask of humor and false "everything is okay" attitudes. But she has magical abilities that nobody in this world has, including the ability to put on masks that change the way everyone perceives her. She's playing roles as she puts them on, but I make it very clear (with deliberate slip-ups of self-reference in the prose) that it's always Shallan in there, and she's specifically playing this role because it lets her ignore the things she doesn't want to face.

    She's losing control of what is real and what isn't--partially because she can't decide who she wants to be, who she should be, and what the world wants her to be. But it's not like other personalities are creeping in from a fractured psyche. She's hiding behind masks, and creates each role for herself to act in an attempt to solve a perceived shortcoming in herself. She literally sketched out Veil and thought, "Yup, I'm going to become that person now." Because Veil would have never been tricked into caring about her father; she would have been too wise for that.

    I feel it's as close as I can get to realism, while the same time acknowledging that as a fantasy author, one of my primary goals is to explore the human interaction with the supernatural. The "What ifs" of magic. What if a person who had suffered a great deal of abuse as a child COULD create a mask for themselves, changing themselves into someone stronger (or more street-smart who wouldn't have been betrayed that way. Would they do it, and hide behind that mask? What would that do to them and the world around them?

    DID is indeed controversial, but I really like this portrayal. Not of a disease, but of who this character is. And I've had had enough positive responses from people who feel their own psychology is similar that I'm confident a non-insignificant number of people out there identify with what she's doing in the same way people with depression identify with Kaladin.

    State of the Sanderson 2014 ()
    #4247 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's the list of things people often ask me about. Unsurprisingly, I have other projects in the back of my mind. For example, I have two more Cosmere series that will need to be written before we can get to the third "big" Mistborn trilogy. (The sf one.) But that's the long, long-term plan.

    For now, my goal is to get Calamity and Stormlight 3 finished. As always, I appreciate all of the enthusiasm you show for this crazy thing that I have somehow managed to do with my life. Thank you for sharing my books with others, and for being willing to try the more unusual projects (like Legion) that I do.

    I feel humbled to have a great crowd of fans who are willing to put up with my eccentricities as a writer—particularly my desire to not work on just one project, but to have an entire body of varying stories. You guys are awesome. May you have a happy holiday season, and do go munch some heads tomorrow in my name.

    Brandon

    p.s. If you aren't on the newsletter mailing list, please consider signing up! In the summer, the newsletter included exclusive looks at some of the Stormlight 3 scenes I was working on. We plan to do more of this sort of thing in the future. As always, if you include your city, we'll send you notifications when I'm going to be doing signings in the area.