Recent entries

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4451 Copy

    matgopack

    About your characters - they're always a lot of fun to read about, and varied. Do you have a method while coming up with them and their personalities/motivations that you use?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Character is the most difficult for me to pinpoint my process on because I do a lot of experimenting, trying different things, and searching for the right voice. The most important thing for me tends to be finding a way this person sees the world that I want to explore more in depth.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4453 Copy

    BusinessCress

    In Stormlight Archive, all three main characters, Dalinar, Shallan and Kaladin, suffer from various mental health issues. Is that a normal psychological condition for all Radiants or the lead three is an extreme example of how people break?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am very interested in mental health, and the way that we--as human beings--react to and interpret the world around us in different ways. This is a theme of the Stormlight books, but it's going to take a lot of work to do it justice--and I want to approach it from different directions. So yes, it's a theme, and these sorts of issues were common for Knights Radiant.

    But I'd point out that they are also common themes for being human. And one of the correlations between orders of Knights Radiant is people who overcome, persist, and push through very difficult trials.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4455 Copy

    basham09

    I am looking forward to picking up this new story and I had no idea it was coming out so soon! What made you decide to put aside all of your other stories to write Skyward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually need a big break between Stormlight books to recharge, and I look for something different in style and genre. A space opera fight that really well, and gave me a much-needed breather.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4458 Copy

    Genabackan

    By the time of Sixth of the Dusk, are the Ones Above undisputably the most technologically advanced society in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they aren't. There has been some concurrent development, and a lot of sharing technology--to the point that you could make an argument for several societies being equal, though some better in specific areas.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4459 Copy

    Genabackan

    Shalash will be having back-five flashback POVs. In Oathbringer, you seemed to portray her as pre-Shattering. For example, "Oh, Adonalsium!" and referring to Hoid as Midius. Will later Stormlight books focus on pre-Shattering stuff at all or will we have to wait for Dragonsteel for that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There will be more of a pre-Shattering focus, but not as much as you're probably hoping.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4461 Copy

    DammyJerry

    Have you ever thought (just for fun) which KR Order your characters for other books would fit the best? Like, Sazed is Bondsmith, Kelsier is probably Skybreaker.

    Which Rosharian Shard, Honor, Cultivation or Odium, better fits with Dalinar's personality?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd agree with the other commenter that Kelsier isn't much of a Skybreaker. But picking orders would depend on what point in the person's life we're talking, and the situation. It's not a hard-fast rule.

    For example, young Dalinar is very Odium. Modern Dalinar is very Honor.

    Seifersythe

    What about Magic: The Gathering color alignments?

    Like, would Kelsier be Red/White or Red/Black?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kelsier is blue/black. Vin is Red/green. Sazed is white/green--with arguments for mono-white. Elend is red white. The LR is white/black.

    mithrilnova

    This actually surprises me a lot. I would have expected Sazed to be Bant-colored, and Elend seems much bluer than he does red.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Actually, I don't know why I said red/white for Elend. Must have been answering quickly. You're right, blue/white is a better match for him. Ham is red/white.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4462 Copy

    Yata

    If a person with Breath (let's say 100 Breaths) dies. After a while (let's say a hour), are the Breaths still in the corpse ? If yes, are those destined for the same fate as an object with Breath inside ?

    If a Returned dies for mundane ways (let's say a dagger in the back) and therefore he has still his Divine Breath.Would the Divine Breath keep the CS stampled to the corpse until he run out of fuel/Investiture ? (Like a Ghost in the CS anchored to his corpse until the Breath lasts)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Breaths in a dying person usually escape with the soul.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4463 Copy

    Yata

    Spensa has this habit in citing "X is one of my ancestors". Is it possible that sometimes she has actually right ? Regardless if this lineage is relevant to the story.

    Brandon Sanderson

    She's right--but in the way that all of us have a (relatively recent) common ancestor, if you look at the actual genetics. I believe that by her point, centuries in the future, everyone on her colony could trace linage back to both European ancestors and Asian ones. So she's right--but everyone in her colony could say the same things she does.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4464 Copy

    Tetau

    As far as I aware, Skyward is your first attempt to write techno fantasy. Will this new experience be useful for Mistborn 3 and 4, which is supposed to be a sci fi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think it will help a little--but not a ton, as the real challenge to Mistborn Eras three and four is going to be making good on the promises of the earlier trilogies, and using them well. They will need to be more "hard" SF than Skyward, except with made-up science.

    Skyward, I could create what I needed from the technology specifically to fit this story. (For the most part.)

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4465 Copy

    ASIC_SP

    Was it intentional to introduce Musicspren as the first spren in TWoK?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was intentional in that I knew I needed some spren very early in the book, to establish the world--and that was the scene I was working with to do that. It isn't supposed to be hugely meaningful that those spren are first, though they are more relevant to later parts of the story than some of the earlier ones.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4466 Copy

    Stormstoyou

    I was wondering about origins and meaning of Dalinar's name. It's a shame we know name meanings of minor characters like Oroden, but don't know about our main character. How you came out with Dalinar's name and what does it means in-world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dalinar is actually a chicken-egg thing. I had his name way before I had the linguistics of Roshar, and it was always just the RIGHT name for me. I built a lot of the naming conventions around the fact that I liked the name.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4467 Copy

    Stormstoyou

    So, Skyward is gonna be a trilogy. Each book will contain it's own stand alone story or it's a one big story splitted into three books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Each of the books stand pretty well on their own, though the final one (this will probably be four books, not three) is a lot more reliant on the previous ones.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4468 Copy

    IBNobody

    The [Skyward] Audiobook narrator is Suzy Jackson. How did you end up finding her?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We asked the audio publisher for several samples of readers they thought would be good, and then we listened to them, asked for follow-up and finally chose. Sometimes, we don't like any of the options, and ask for more--but this time, we didn't need to go through that.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4469 Copy

    Phantine

    Stormlight has a lot of parallelism with Mistborn, but with protagonists who are now on the other side of the slave revolt. In particular, there's a very strong through line going from Kelsier to Miles to Moash, with characters attempting to overthrown a corrupt system being treated differently by the narrative in each case.

    How much of this inversion is intentional? I know Warbreaker had a lot of deliberate parallels to Mistborn.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is pretty intentional. I like to approach things from different sides, and I knew Stormlight was about the establishment, while Mistborn about the revolutionary. I like to try to show both sides of things like this, when I can.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4470 Copy

    KillerSlipper

    What was your biggest challenge when writing Skyward? And possibly as a follow on - are there any new challenges or surprises that come to you as a writer even after all these years of doing it ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The biggest challenge to Skyward was getting the actual fighter-pilot stuff right, followed closely by the fact that I didn't really have a safety net for this book. Having already pulled a book from the publisher, and having a very small time to get this one written, I felt I really needed to nail it on first try--and I did, fortunately.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4473 Copy

    zorro_pickanalytics

    Did you know from the start Skyward would be a good fit for an existing world or was it something you realized after starting to develop the story?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was once I started developing the story. I often am working on the elements of stories separately before I combine them into one whole--and so it wasn't until I sat down to do the outline, officially taking several pieces of various story ideas and combining them--that I knew for certain that this was a good fit.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4479 Copy

    TupaczHologram

    How emotional do you get when you write the sadder parts of your books? I sobbed like a baby at the end of Hero of Ages, and I wonder what it’s like to conceive something like that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm generally more emotional about the books when planning the first ideas of them--when I'm listening to the right music and planning the way the story will play out. When I actually get there in the writing, I'm more focused on sticking the landing, so to speak, than being emotional myself.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4480 Copy

    TupaczHologram

    Who’s your favorite character? As in who would be your favorite if you were reading the novels like the rest of us?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The first is kind of hard to answer, because my favorite tends to be whoever I'm writing at this exact moment--and I'm not sure I could separate myself from being the writer enough to pick my favorites if I weren't writing.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4483 Copy

    Stromeng

    In Oathbringer Cultivation calls Dalinar Son of Honor and Son of Odium. Why? Does he Connected to both Shards and technically can be a Vessel for Odium.

    Also, why Cultivation says it'd be good for her to have a part of Dalinar inside of her? Is it important?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is partially RAFO territory, but let's just say that Cultivation takes the long view on someone--and to her, Dalinar represents both the the best and worst of both Honor and Odium.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4489 Copy

    Argent

    Skyward: With Apocalypse Guard sharing a universe with Reckoners, and Snapshot (originally) being in there too, it looks like you are playing around with the idea of developing a sci-fi shared universe similar to the cosmere, if smaller in scope. Are these non-cosmere shared universes random one-offs that just happen to work together, or do we have something bigger to look forward to in the (distant) future?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm not actively trying to create anything else like the cosmere. More, there are ideas I really like that I've tested out in novellas that I want to expand upon.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4490 Copy

    ReadAndFindOut

    [Wheel of Time TV Show is] official! Is this the Secret Project?

    Brandon Sanderson

    While this is pretty big news (a series order is the real deal--it means this show is going to happen) I'm not very involved in this. I've had some conversations with the show runner, and am very impressed with him. I think the series is in good hands.

    But I'm not involved in any official way, and this isn't Secret Project.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4491 Copy

    polaristar

    So in Words of Radiance, at the end of the book, the singers in their Stormform can summon red lightning and it's revealed Shardplate can neutralize it. I was wondering, can Shardplate neutralize ALL electric discharges or just the "special" kind from Voidlight/voidspren powered from.

    And if Shardplate can defend against lightning in general is their a maximum voltage/amperage before it loses effectiveness?

    nagewaza

    In my mind - the plate likely acts like a Faraday cage - essentially allowing the lightning to never have a path through the user's body (electricity moving through your body is how you get injured). This would assume that Shardplate is conductive.

    If they jumped, then likely the lightning would again travel through the outside Shardplate metal and then to ground - again avoiding the human altogether..... That said, small aluminum airplanes have been known to have damage to wings from strikes. In the case of Shardplate, I doubt that thermal shock or melting temperature is an issue for the material.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is along the lines of what I was thinking, though I'm not sure I have a maximum volt/amp answer handy.

    polaristar

    Was basically asking to find out if I can use Shardplate users against Electromaster characters on /r/whowouldwin

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then I give you an official, "Yes you can."

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4492 Copy

    selwyntarth

    Why does Ruin's voice constantly tell Vin not to trust Kel or Elend? Especially when she trusted their advice? Weren't the 'good guys' enablers of his plan?

    Oudeis16

    It's also generally useful. Her having solid, stable relationships makes her harder to control. Even when he expects all of them to work towards his goals, if he needs to break them up, or get them to keep secrets from each other, it'll be easier if their alliance is tenuous.

    Remember, Vin did a lot of trusting in that final book. She delayed the attack on Fadrex City by convincing Elend, just with a look, to play along with her as she tried to fool Ruin into thinking she had the atium.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is on target.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4493 Copy

    JKOustin

    Rand/Dark One confrontation through The Wheel of Time series...was it some kind of inspiration for Dalinar/Odium confrontation from your own series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's very heard to separate out what in my series is WoT influenced--since all of it is influenced deeply by reading the WoT when younger. So I'd say it most certainly was.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4494 Copy

    BipedSnowman

    In theory, could you create weird structures or even alloys [with Forgery]?

    Two scenarios: using Forging how you might use Soulcasting, such as turning something into wood, bending and carving it to make a new shape, then breaking the seal so it turns back into the original material without changing shape.

    Second: Forging one metal into another, and forming an alloy to reduce operation costs. For example, tungsten has a melting point of about 3.5k C, but it's useful as part of a steel alloy for certain applications. Could you Forge it into, say, zinc, which has a melting point of about 500 C, create the steel, then turn it back into tungsten? Presumably the investiture would adjust the molecular structure so it acts as if it has been alloyed with tungsten originally too, otherwise the same process happening with food could be deadly.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, this is in theory similar to Soulcasting. The difference is that a Forged object, upon "Forgetting" the rewriting to its spiritual nature is going to try to snap back and match what it "thinks" it should be like--which isn't going to lead to as much stability as Soulcasting, where the actual soul is changed. The object is going to try to get back to the way it "should" be, with varying results.

    The reason the Lord Ruler aged hyper-quickly is related to this as well.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4495 Copy

    sockmop

    Who would win in a fight, Kaladin with no Shards but with Surgebinding and his favorite spear (aluminum tip) or Kelsier with the first nine metals of Allomancy?

    AndTwoYears

    Kelsier, I think, if Kaladin doesn't have Syl with him. But it may depend on nearby metal sources.

    Alternatively, they come to a shaky alliance where they both fight against the nobility but still get on each other's nerves. [Brandon] care to weigh in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they came to arms, Kelsier would try to kill Kaladin in his sleep, most likely. But it depends on a lot of factors, and I think your alternative is the most likely.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4496 Copy

    polaristar

    Not sure about my favorite scene in OB, but one I'd like to see drawn is Shallan when she's in the midst of her "experiment" to find out what Shamespren look like after occupied Kholinar.

    P.S Brandon was that scene inspired by an "fan-service comedic" moments in anime?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not specifically, but perhaps unconsciously. I was simply looking for a way to make the conversation more interesting, and to remind readers that Shallan's way of seeing the world is not always...healthy.

    Skyward Pre-Release AMA ()
    #4498 Copy

    Portugal_Stronk

    What is the status of that Arcanum Unbounded Nalthis essay you said you'd like to do one day? Is that still the plan? And, speaking of Nalthis, will we ever see a map of it? I think Warbreaker does a good job of showing the relative locations of places, but us map nerds would really like one, even if just a sketch.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually sat down to write it the other day, after someone reminded me on Reddit about it. But I quickly got distracted by something else. Soooo... Yeah, it WILL happen, I just have to squeeze it in.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4499 Copy

    DTF_20170515

    Why refrigerate food when you can just stamp spoiled food so that it was stored properly before?

    Aurora_Fatalis

    You'll have to ask Brandon how that'd interact with gastric acid breaking down the stamp. Or how porous/loose material interacts with stamps in the first place.

    Come to think of it... There's a WoB saying the Nightwatcher could change your species, but have a hard time making a spren bond to you. So... could the Nightwatcher turn you Scadrian and make you eligible for Allomantic powers? Or does the Nightwatcher's boons operate on soulstamp principles?

    Hell, let's say you bought a vial of the wrong metal on your field trip to Sel. Could you pay a Forger to stamp the vial into being a vial of the right metal (it's believable that you would check before such an important trip) and then drink the metal contained in the vial to fuel your Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All right, all right. Let's see... /u/Aurora_Fatalis, changing metals around with other forms of Investiture is generally going to work, according to how I view the magic right now. The power is there, you just need to align the matter the right way. So forging new metals: not too difficult. This is because Allomancy isn't actually using Investiture in the metals, but using it as a key to get power from somewhere else.

    Forging a sword to be a Shardblade, however, would be very, very difficult for multiple reasons. The most obvious one is that the Investiture required would be enormous. A Shardblade is a highly-Invested object, with its own self-aware soul.

    If you could overcome the initial resistance invested objects have to being influenced by other magics (something that Forgery is particularly good at doing anyway) you'd theoretically be able to change Shardblade/spren's personality like you could a person's.

    Fooling the magic via Connection and Identity is not so hard, under the right circumstances, so making a Forger into an Elantrian (or an Allomancer) for a short time is plausible. Making yourself into a Radiant, however, would be more difficult--because the limitations placed on that magic have to do with persuading a sapient being you are worth the bond.

    Aurora_Fatalis

    How about regular food? If I stamp a pineapple pizza into a pepperoni pizza and eat it, what nutrients do I end up with?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The way I have it working now, I believe (though I'd have to do some double-checking, as it's been a while since I've been working on Sel) soulstamps are more fragile than things like Aons, and it would be very hard to eat something with one without breaking it. But assuming you could, you'd get nutrients from what it had become--but those would change back once the stamp broke or ran out.

    It is possible to go so far down this rabbit hole, however, that the chemistry of Forging (like the physics of Allomancy) it just can't make sense any more. So be aware.

    Oversleep

    With things like Stamping metals for Allomancy, you have said that it'd be possible for short time, but then burning it would break the Seal and metal would revert back.

    I guess it would be similar with food, right?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that's the big problem with Forging. Getting the stamp to stay in place once you start to change the object that has been stamped.

    General Reddit 2018 ()
    #4500 Copy

    coredumperror

    Wait, how long are Shardblades supposed to be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shardblades vary in size, most of them being locked in as a result of the Recreance. However, most of our concept art puts them in the 5'-7' range.

    A typical knightly arming sword in our world would have been 3' long, which is where I believe the "double the size" comment came from in the books--though I don't immediately remember the context.

    raptor102888

    Do you have a size in mind for how long Syl would be manifested as a spear? I guess I'd imagine it would vary quite a bit depending on the situation.

    Brandon Sanderson

    [Ben McSweeney] did some concept art for us that I've used as a rule of thumb--but her size is going to vary a lot more, as you expect. In flight, she'll move to a more pike-like size of 15' or more. On the ground, she's going to be the size of a spear like Kaladin is used to using, so in the 6-7' range.

    Ben McSweeney

    In flight I imagine she is less a spear, and more a lance.