Recent entries

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4301 Copy

    Questioner

    The second set of The Stormlight Archive. Is that the same characters? Or different ones, like you did with Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are same characters, but we're gonna see a few main characters fade to being secondary characters. The ones that survive. And we're gonna see a few minor characters fade to be-- The structure of The Stormlight Archive is: one flashback sequence per book, and a focus on one of the Orders of Knights Radiant per book, and I've already announced who these all are, though I have secrets that pertain to them. Our next two books are Eshonai and Szeth. But, of course, Eshonai is dead. We're gonna see flashbacks from her viewpoint that inform our "now," but I haven't promised that these characters all live. Does that makes sense?

    But our back five are Lift, when she's grown up. It'll be about ten years later. I haven't gotten the exact date yet.

    Questioner

    Is she alive, or a grown-up ghost?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...If she survives! *laughter* It will be Lift, Renarin, Taln, Ash, and Jasnah. So, yes, your main characters-- some of them are main characters. People who aren't on that list will still-- some of them will have big chunks of the stories. Just like you will notice that there's a big chunk of Kaladin in Book 4, even though it's Eshonai's book. So, that will happen. But I'm not making any promises about who survives and who doesn't.

    What I really also wanna do is, like-- The big epic fantasy series. I have an advantage over Robert Jordan in that I've read Robert Jordan. And I can see the structure of this, and say, "What can I do to create the structure of a big epic that will have a lot of the things I love about a big epic but avoid some of the potential pitfalls." And I feel that one of those is beginnings, middles, and ends are really hard the longer you go in a series. And if I bring it to five, and then I take a break. And those five tell a story. And then I certainly am gonna leave some things that we start up in the next one, and do the second sequence of five. It's just kind of how the structure of The Stormlight Archive works for me.

    A given book, I usually plot as three novels. And I will do this outline of three novels, and this becomes one volume of The Stormlight Archive. Well, each of those novels has Act One, Act Two, Act Three. And then all of those combine into the thick ones that you get, and then five of those combine into an arc. And then the two books of five combine into their own arc. So, hopefully it'll all work out. When I first pitched this to my editor back in 2003, his response was, "Wow, you're ambitious!" And he was a little frightened when I gave him Stormlight. And then, in 2004, I pitched the whole 9-book Mistborn thing that is somehow now... 13. But, yeah, so. We'll see.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4302 Copy

    Questioner

    After people die, in this universe, where exactly do they go? Because, at first they appear in this one world, and then they go somewhere else.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So where do people go when they die. *laughter* In the cosmere. One of the things that's very important to me as a writer, when I am writing stories, is when we get to these kind of fundamental questions about faith and religion and things like this, that the narrative is allowing multiple characters' viewpoints to be plausibly true, if this makes sense. For instance, I am not gonna come out and say, "Is there a capital-G God of the cosmere, is there an afterlife?" These are not questions I'm gonna answer, because in-world, they can't answer them. What they can say is, your Investiture will leave what we call a Cognitive Shadow, which is an imprint of your personality that can do certain things. And that most of those fade away, and you can see them, glimpse them, and then watch them go. But, are they going somewhere? Or are they not? Is that simply the Investiture being reclaimed, Is it more of a Buddhist thought, where your soul is getting recycled and used again? Is it nothing, you return to, you know, being-- yeah, is it a different type of matter? Or is there a Beyond, is there a capital-G God? Things like this. These questions are not answered. I'm never gonna answer those.

    Now, the characters will try to answer them. But it's important to me that both Dalinar and Jasnah can exist in the same universe, and that the story is not saying "This one is right, and this one is wrong." The story is saying "This is how this one sees the world; this is how this one sees the world." It's very important to me from the beginning to do that, just because-- Like, I hate reading a book where someone espouses my viewpoint only to get proven wrong by the entire structure of the narrative, and in that universe, that person is wrong. But I'm like, "In our universe, I don't think that I am. Just the way you constructed everything makes it so that I have to be wrong, if I were living in your universe, even if it's a universe that's not a sci-fi/fantasy one." If that makes sense.

    This is just kind of for respecting my characters and for the people who hold the viewpoints of my characters, in particular if they happen to be different from my own viewpoints. I feel there are certain lines I'm not gonna cross.

    So, the answer is: who do you believe? Which of the philosophies in the books do you look at and say "Yeah!" Or, even better: listen to lots of different ones, and maybe these different viewpoints are all gonna have interesting points that'll give you things to think upon.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4303 Copy

    Questioner

    Is Hoid gonna get his own book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, here's the grand Cosmere timeline as I have it right now... I'm going to write Wax & Wayne 4 this fall. This will be the end of the Wax & Wayne sequence. They have been really fun to write, those books. And I've got some really good Wayne stuff in this one, so be excited. So, I'll finish that, and that is the next Cosmere book I will do. January 1st, my requirement is I-- What I'm trying to do now, is I'm trying to do half my time Stormlight, half my time other stuff. That's the kind of balance I'm looking to do for my sanity. So, January 1st is when it's been 18 months since I turned in Oathbringer, and at that point, I have 18 months to get Book 4 done. So, I will start January 1st writing Stormlight 4, rain or shine. Everything else kinda has to be put aside. And then, we'll go until that book is done.

    After Stormlight 4; at this point, the Wax & Wayne books are done, so we finally have opened up room to do either an Elantris sequel or a Warbreaker sequel. I'll do one of the two of those in between. And then we will do Stormlight 5. And then, we have the first sequence of Stormlight books finished. And at that point, my goal is to do Mistborn Era 3. Three of those. 1980s level, spy thriller-ish Mistborn stuff. And then we will come back and start on Stormlight 6. 6-10, different cycle. This is how I make sure this all kind of fits together. So, we will do that.

    And at that point, we will do-- plan is, right now, the Dragonsteel sequence. Which is however many books I decide to do about Hoid's backstory. He has shifted to be the main viewpoint character of those. He was a side viewpoint character when I originally wrote them, but now I've kinda stolen all the pieces of that story that were not about him and put them in other books. So what remains is his backstory. I plan those to be first-person stories that he's telling, if I can get them to work.

    So, then, we wrap out the Cosmere with the Mistborn science fiction series, the kind of Dune-esque far-future science fiction Cosmere thing. That is my grand timeline. Somewhere in there, I want to get one sequel to Warbreaker, two sequels to Elantris, and one Threnody novel. So, that's my goal. And that, I think, is doable before I die. We're just gonna keep that as our goal moving forward, and try not to add too much more to it, though there will be novellas and things like that as they pop up.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4304 Copy

    chaplainchris

    The Ghostbloods. Are they Kelsier's new crew?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, good question... Do I wanna answer this or not? *laughter* I'm gonna RAFO this one. Yeah, we're gonna RAFO this one. It is the RAFOlympics after all.

    Billy Todd

    Have there been interactions between Kelsier and the Ghostbloods?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will RAFO that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4305 Copy

    Questioner

    So, when Vin and Kelsier are running around spewing those coins everywhere. I assume that leaves coins all over the place. So, what happens to all that money? *laughter* ...Are there conceivably skaa who could make a living?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I got asked this in my writing group, way back when. Way, way back when. I got in alpha reads and beta reads too, people are like "They're just throwing coins all over!" I'm like, "Yeah, it's a meaningless amount of money to them at that point, and is cheaper, in a lot of ways, than going and buying bits of metal, because of the way--" Anyway. The answer is, they just get left there. And there are skaa who have a very lucky day the next day. Because to them, that money isn't a throwaway amount. And you could conceivably do very well watching where Mistborn went, and following after them. I'm not sure if there are people who do that. But it would make for a nice story, so we can imagine that there is at least a few people who try to track where they are. I mean, the problem is, once you start into that effort, you start to get to the realm of people who that money is insignificant to again. So, like, no underworld crime lord is gonna track where Mistborn are to go gather the clips that they drop for jumping around. It just isn't worth their money. But one of the things you see in an economy like in the Final Empire is that the wealth disparity is such that, for some people, that could be worth their time.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4306 Copy

    Questioner

    In The Stormlight Archive, there are letters in the epigraphs. With those letters, is there some sort of Shardic postmaster? Who's delivering these letters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've been asked this before, actually. I wasn't asked it as early as I thought. I only started getting this one kind of recently. And my answer is RAFO. because, in part, it depends on the two planets you're talking about.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4307 Copy

    Kaymyth

    So, the Synod in Elendel in Era 2. How much political control or guidance do they have over the other Terris enclaves? Do they have some sort of central government that makes decision for everyone? Or are they all--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Excellent question. No... I would say... let's see if I can find a real-world example. I'm not sure off the top of my head. I'm gonna say, they do not have any official control. They are well-regarded and respected, and sometimes ignored. And different groups regard this differently, the authority that they have. They would claim to have more than they do, how about that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4308 Copy

    Questioner

    Are the Ghostbloods affiliated with Autonomy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    "Affiliated with" is very wiggle-room-ish. And so I'll go ahead and give you a RAFO on that one, even though I can totally wiggle on this one. I'm just gonna say "RAFO"; I'm gonna do the ultimate wiggle. There have been dealings.

    Billy Todd

    Interactions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there's been interactions.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4309 Copy

    Trae

    Previously, you've revealed that the mechanism that determines the Returned on Nalthis is a decision of a sapient entity... Is the determination by which the entity that selects the recipient of a Divine Breath to come back as a Returned predicated on that recipient fulfilling some purpose in the Physical Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...Basically they are asking... "Why does the entity that picks who Returns, why did they pick who they did?" And, your question kind of implies there's, like, specific tasks to fulfill. I'm gonna say, there aren't specifics, but there are certain things this entity is looking for--

    Trae

    In the Physical Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. There are certain things that they are looking for. Now, sometimes-- let's just say this entity is not necessarily the most consistent of entities in the cosmere when it comes to making decisions like this. But there are certain things they are looking for.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4310 Copy

    Mac

    If one Feruchemist Keeper, a full Feruchemist, spiked another Feruchemist and got one Hemalurgic imbue from that person, would the first one now have enough of the second Keeper's Identity to use all of their metalminds? Or would it just be--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ooh, that's a good one. I'm gonna say "yes," but it's a hesitant yes, because it's actually a question I haven't worked out yet. So you can have that as a yes, unless I hit it in the books and am looking at the notes and decide that it wouldn't work. I think that it would.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4313 Copy

    Pagerunner

    Wit says an expression, "Speak your fears at a mirror when you get home tonight." I've never heard that. Is that a real-world thing? Or is that, like, a Yolish thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's not a real-world thing.

    Pagerunner

    Any clues to what's going on with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I won't give any clues. I'll RAFO that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4315 Copy

    Pagerunner

    Do all three of the Drominad worlds share a culture? Like, they don't worldhop on the second planet. Do they call themselves Second of the Sun, do they have another name for themselves?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They have another name for themselves.

    Pagerunner

    Would one of those be Obrodai, by any chance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4316 Copy

    Pagerunner

    The Drominad name. Where does that come from, for the system?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Where did we come up with that? I came up with that.

    Isaac Stewart

    I think you just named it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think I just named it. It's a name. I mean it references--

    Pagerunner

    Because it doesn't fit with the First of the Sun culture.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know. That's intentional, because--

    Pagerunner

    Is it Latin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's not named after-- It's not named after-- It is intentionally-- The name comes form somewhere else. It's not meant, Latin, don't read too much into Latin.

    Pagerunner

    It's not a Yolish name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it's not a Yolish name. Once in a while, I'll make them very, very Roman if I want you to make that connection.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4322 Copy

    Questioner

    If you had a choice for a game format, would you go single-player story? Or would you go multiplayer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For a video game? I would do single-player probably. 'Cause that's what I play most of, myself. If I could do anything, I would probably do a Mistborn video game, single-player, with a strong narrative.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4324 Copy

    Questioner

    In Mistborn there's no flowers or anything. So how do they get dyes for their dresses and things?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on the dye. Some come from animals like snails. Some are metallic. Or, metallic is the wrong term. From minerals like lapis and things like that. There are a lot of non-floral dyes out there, even in our world. And they had extra resources in that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4325 Copy

    Questioner

    When Kaladin jumps in to help Adolin, and he's fighting and he says he feels like he can fight with his eyes shut. Is that just Kaladin being cocky? Or is that Investiture related? ...It reminded me of atium.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There's a little more going on there, but it's not as far as you think.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4327 Copy

    yulerule

    Are Inquisitor spikes, kandra Blessings and koloss spikes interchangeable?  Like if you it spiked in a different way--

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Hesitant* You could make that work and it wouldn't be that hard. But just as they are, no.

    yulerule

    Would nothing happen or would weird stuff happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Weird stuff would happen

    *pause*

    But that one's not very hard to make work.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4328 Copy

    yulerule

    Can you reuse a spike?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Uh, yes, technically, but not as easily as that question makes it sound.

    yulerule

    Can you re-use it if it's for the same exact thing or for a different thing? Will that change?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Spikes are going to get keyed by Identity--

    yulerule

    So you can't already spike that person. But if you spike and don't kill them can you spike the same person again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah and if you can somehow strip the identity of the person or the spike-- So yes you can use them again but it comes into a sort of-- Like, you can't just take that spike and spike somebody else.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4329 Copy

    Argent

    Was the reason the Listeners or the parsh people turned into parshmen, was that because Ba-Ado-Mishram was imprisoned by the Radiants? That she was Connected to all of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, yeah, yeah. That plays into what happened there.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4330 Copy

    Argent

    Back in ['14] you referred to Honor's Purposes to me at one point. Is that still a thing in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Honor's purpose?

    Argent

    Honor's purposes. You referred to ten of them. Using the concept of Shardic numbers. But I don't have that on record, I don't know anything about it, it's been a confusing topic ever since.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So that's still a deal. It just plays into the ten names of the Almighty and the ten attributes of the Fools and the ten attributes of the Almighty.

    Argent

    Are Purposes something every shard has?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wouldn't say-- No. It's playing more into the nature of Honor itself.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4331 Copy

    Questioner

    Rosharans are good with math, because you did the whole... They're aware of the normal distribution and all that. So, do like, complex numbers, imaginary numbers, do they live in the Cognitive Realm? And would prime [numbers] be the brighteyes of the Cognitive Realm?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We will get into this. I would say--I've actually thought about this--that right now, there are spren that kind of represent abstract mathematics but not individual concepts within abstract mathematics. Like when you draw a spren that represents creativity, it's not necessarily divided into, "Painting," even though some of them may edge in that direction. So you could perhaps find a spren where you go, "Oh!"

    Questioner

    I just want to see pi and phi arguing.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4332 Copy

    Ravi

    Does [Nazh] ever have any arguments with Khriss?

    Isaac Stewart

    All the time.

    Ravi

    But, they're basically best friends anyway right?

    Isaac Stewart

    I don't know about that, I'd have to ask Brandon. But I imagine that they get along pretty well and he feels okay being grumpy around her.

    Ravi

    So it's not like Mythbusters where they're only friends on TV but not actually friends in real life?

    Isaac Stewart

    I would imagine it's not like that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4333 Copy

    Mrs. Jofwu

    At the end of Calamity, I was wondering if the Prof and [David] together repair their relationship. They were kind of built up as a father/son kind of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I do any more books in direct sequence, what's going on with Prof would be be a factor in them. So I'm going to RAFO this just because I am planning...

    Apocalypse Guard will not be a straight up follow up, but a sidestep, but I might do one someday.

    Mrs. Jofwu

    ...Does he ever get the chance to build a relationship with Tavi in another reality, similar to how David does with his father?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'll give you a RAFO card on all of that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4334 Copy

    Argent

    ...The reason Odium dealt with the Selish Shards in the way that he did, whether that was primarily because he was inexperienced in Splintering and so he knew that he wanted nobody to take the Shards--

    Brandon Sanderson

    There were better ways he could have done what he did.

    Argent

    And he then learned at least a little bit better?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He learned at least a little bit better.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4335 Copy

    Argent

    How do visions in the cosmere work? And I'm thinking Realmatically.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So almost always [it's] glimpsing into the Spiritual Realm. But you are often seeing it through the Cognitive, and so like a vision that...

    So like the vision that Dalinar sees. What's going on is-- being pulled, and kind of stretched a little bit through the Realms, into the Spiritual Realm.  Where a Cognitive construct is adding a framework to seeds that are set in place.

    Argent

    So that you can kind of comprehend the Spiritual?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You can comprehend-- and also there's a little bit of a life to it. Meaning it can respond to you and things like this, to an extent. So imagine, it kind of works like an AI. Imagine there's some-- You've got that power in the Spiritual Realm and you're adding a framework to it, that it is shining through, and that is giving you the vision. Complicated, I know. Spiritual Realm is supposed to be weird, and we aren't supposed to quite comprehend it, but that's why we've got the Cognitive framework there.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4339 Copy

    Argent

    Do any of the characters in The Stormlight Archive share a familial relationship that we don't know about? Considering that we know about Jezrien and Ash. Not necessarily Heralds but--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Yes. No more on that.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4342 Copy

    Argent

    Are mandras gravityspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *Very hesitantly* Nooooo? Kind of-- So the actual gravityspren, you're talking about the things Kaladin saw stuck to a wall? Those are not mandras.

    Argent

    Oh no, I was thinking about the ones that appear around dead chasmfiends.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, dead chasmfiends, yes. The arrowheads, yeah.

    Argent

    But you're saying those are not gravityspren? They're mandras?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the things Kaladin saw stuck to the wall are not gravityspren, right. So I want to make sure.-- So arrowhead spren, that Shallan is philosophizing, theorizing about, are mandras.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4343 Copy

    Argent

    Do Feruchemical metalminds experience physical change such as wear and tear, due to just being used as Feruchemical metalminds

    Brandon Sanderson

    Never thought of it.

    Argent

    Do you want to make up canon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sure...

    Argent

    Half-canon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's say half-canon. Wear and tear being used as metalminds, not counting clasping them on and things like that. Simply tapping or taking out? I would say no, but I would really have to think about that. Are we losing any particles to the transfer, the change? I don't think you are, but I don't know. I'd have to really dig into the physics of that. I had not even considered of that. There are ramifications of things-- So I'm going to say no, half-canon.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4345 Copy

    Argent

    How many waves of human populations have migrated to Roshar? So I'm thinking the Ashynites coming from Ashyn, right? Was that just the only humans that ever came as a population?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on if you count the Iriali?

    Argent

    That's specifically the one I'm thinking of.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They came in a separate migration.

    Argent

    Not from Ashyn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not from Ashyn.

    Argent

    From whatever the Third Land was.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4346 Copy

    Argent

    Lightsong's personality is very different than Stennimar's. If the Returned are their previous lives--Cognitive Shadows as you've said before, just stapled with Divine Breath--where do their new personalities come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My argument there is when I was writing him, getting into a kind of writer-thing, this is the person he would have become... My philosophy there was, the way that the Returned happen, and you losing your memories, it comes down to this nature versus nurture thing for me. The personality-- He is the same person, but with certain life experiences removed. Different circumstances. And in his case, that resulted in, let's say, a secondary mode of personality that had never been encouraged before.

    Just like how, you put me in the right situation I'm an extrovert, but in a lot of situations I'm an introvert. So you remove a lot of the cultural conditioning and that is who he becomes.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4347 Copy

    Argent

    Spren grant control over surges because surges are perceived as fundamental powers on Roshar. Would other Cognitive beings grant different powers based on what they perceive to be fundamental? Such as electromagnetism is on Earth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is plausible, although this was set up in a specific way.

    Argent

    By Honor or Adonalsium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO on that. Set up might be the wrong word. There were seeds that caused this to happen the way it did.

    Argent

    The Surgebinding thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, specifically... Those influenced what people perceived as fundamental forces.

    JordanCon 2018 ()
    #4350 Copy

    Argent

    Would Aons work even better if they were drawn with a cartographer's or calligrapher's attention to detail? ...If you draw a map of Arelon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *long pause* Yes and no. The answer really is, it depends. I'm going to say, on average, yes.