Recent entries

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4801 Copy

    Questioner

    When Marsh and Sazed go to the Conventical of Seran, Marsh kind of tells Sazed, "You go do whatever you want, I gotta go do something, I'll be back." What was Marsh's purpose there? Why was he there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I intend to do some Marsh stuff, from his viewpoint, eventually. I don't know if I'll ever get to it. There is actually something there. There is something that I intended to leave a place for me to play later on with. So the answer is a RAFO, but a legitimate RAFO. Not a "I'm trying to lead you on," or a "I don't feel like answering this right now."

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4802 Copy

    Chaos

    Is atium Invested?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is atium Invested? Atium is Investiture distilled into the Physical Realm, right? So is electricity electric? Or is it--

    Chaos

    Well I think the question Sharders had was if it's Invested, how can people Push and Pull on it. That was the struggle.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Atium breaks a lot of rules, in the same way that you will see other things break rules. Atium plays weirdly. When you get distilled Investiture, you're starting like-- My kind of rule for myself is it's kind of like when you start going on the quantum level, the rules just start playing weirdly. Because it's like, what Realm does atium exist in-- is another thing. Because-- Pure Investiture like that is like a mini black hole, right? It's like existing in three Realms at once. Kind of, and things like that... There's lots of weirdness.

    The writerly answer is there is lots of weirdness because when I built atium, I didn't have the rest of the cosmere built, right? And so it breaks a lot of rules that I later set up that everything else has to follow, right? So the writerly answer is we just have to accept that atium and lerasium and some of these other distilled Investiture things are going to play very weirdly with the magic systems. But that's okay. Nightblood will too, and some of these things that were built even after the cosmere was coming together.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4803 Copy

    Questioner

    Speaking of Rosharan calendar-- So seventeen year old Kaladin, is he the equivalent of a seventeen year old Earthling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's 1.1, I think is what is it. Right, they're 10% older than their accounting system. So no.

    Questioner

    So Adolin is 27, true?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

    Questioner

    So then a year is obviously a lot more than 1.1 but--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well no. The years are 500 days, but they're 20 hour days. Keep that in mind. So when you run the calculations kinda together, you end up with around 1.1.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4805 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have, like on-- Like the actual gem inside a Stormlight sphere, do you have an idea of how large it actually is and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, we do have an idea of that, and how much it can hold, and things like this. And that's all known so that's going to start with the basis. But it's going to take math, it's going to take real math.

    Chaos

    Math is hard!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, math is hard! And we're going to have to look at things like-- Yeah just make stuff up then make Peter shake his head.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4806 Copy

    Questioner

    Do you have-- Or have you determined an equivalency between how much Breath it takes to make a certain gem's worth of Stormlight?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have recently assigned Peter to this task, and he is feeling overwhelmed by it. It was actually during the writing of Oathbringer where I finally said, "Yeah we need to standardize this, so start working on it." So it was like, "Oh great". Which means he has to read through all the books for references and start figuring it all out. And we're going to need like an equivalent of a jewel or something like this, right? *gestures to a sphere that a fan made* And we've been putting it off because it sounds like an awful lot of work. 

    So the answer is no, we don't have it yet. It's something I've known for years we're going to need. And on this book, I just started saying, "All right.  I'm going to have them do all the stuff they need to do. And then you're going to tell me how many spheres they need to start with." Right? Like, I write the book, and then we retrofit how many spheres they needed to have how much Stormlight, so that we could be consistent with that.

    But we haven't done across magic systems calculations, yet.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4811 Copy

    Questioner

    In our universe, mass and energy curve space. I was wondering if Investiture does the same or something similar

    Brandon Sanderson

    It does something similar. It draws the three Realms together. So it's got like-- Imagine a gravitational pull piercing Realms. Right? Of kind of--

    Questioner

    And that's how a perpendicularity works?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's not the only way a perpendicularity works, but one surefire way to create a perpendicularity is a massive collection of Investiture in the Cognitive or mostly Physical realm. But Cognitive's weird, doesn't always work the right way. But there are ways to do it that way too.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4813 Copy

    Questioner

    So Roshar is pretty small on the map. Are there other species on the planet that we don't know about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Roshar is primarily the one continent. There are no other continents.

    Questioner

    No other continents?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No other continents... There are no other major landmasses on the planet.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4815 Copy

    Questioner

    I was wondering, with resonance. Is that a sort of constructive interference?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Constructed? No. Resonance is more about the way-- It's more of a natural interference.

    Questioner

    So what I mean like, you have two waves, right? And if their troughs, you know--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, is that the formal term? For the constructed.-- Oh constructive? I thought you had said-- yeah. So yes, I would say that that is an accurate phrase. I mean obviously it's not exactly the same thing. But yeah, that's what I was looking at when I was building it, was kinda things like this with waveform patterns and whatnot. So yes. At least, it was inspired by this kind of idea.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4817 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I once--don't do this--I once lit a book on fire. Because I was reading at night, and my mom kept turning my light off so I got out a candle and I was reading by candlelight. And the book started on fire. Yeah, so don't do that.

    Orem signing ()
    #4820 Copy

    Questioner

    What was your inspiration for Jasnah?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I had done several times, when I was designing characters in the cosmere, someone who kind of thought they were an awesome scholar but really wasn't. That's the kind of thing with Sarene and a little bit of the thing with Shallan. They're young people who haven't quite made it there yet, whose opinion of themselves is kind of beyond their actual skill level. Who would be, like, the scholar? Like, the ideal Rosharan societal scholar? And I built Jasnah out of that, and then took her in a way that would allow her to also be in conflict with that at the same time. Always a good source of writing a character.

    Orem signing ()
    #4822 Copy

    Questioner

    So Hoid, was he considered a Lightweaver pre-Shattering?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, that would be an appropriate term. There are lots of different terms that would also be appropriate.

    Questioner

    But was it basically the same thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, no Stormlight. No spren. So, not a Knight Radiant. But, similar magic. But you've also seen Elantris magic do this. So there are-- there are certain things that-- I'll just stop there.

    Orem signing ()
    #4823 Copy

    Questioner

    My question is, if you had two nicrosil Mistings, who, feeling like breaking the universe, and they got together and they touched each other and advanced each other's magic power at the same time by flaring nicrosil, what would happen? Would it cause a feedback loop?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *hands RAFO card* Well I'll go ahead and give you one right there! You got one!

    Orem signing ()
    #4825 Copy

    JoyBlu

    The Patji lake, theoretically, could an Aviar fly into the lake on its own and enter the Cognitive Realm? Like, have a bird catcher on the other side waiting for the bird to fly in and catch it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Theoretically... I'm going to RAFO that, but it's not a big RAFO. It's more along the lines of, I'm going to get into the mechanics of how things go through Shardpools in future books. Um, what you just described is not outside of reason.

    JoyBlue

    And could also, one of the grubs or one of the parasites or the rotten fruit, whatever, could that have fallen through the lake?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is plausible. The question is, once it gets to be a non-sentient thing, how does going through the--- to the Realms work, and that's where it starts to get-- that's where you get your asterisk. Like, just a piece of fruit falling. I'm going to asterisk that one.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4827 Copy

    Questioner

    So voidbinding is-- one part of voidbinding is seeing the future. And atium is also seeing the future. And I notice annotations for Elantris, you said something about seeing the future could go weird-- sends assassins. Is that a running--

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a running theme in the cosmere. And it's-- Whatever path you take to do it is dangerous in the cosmere. It's kind of a sign of-- You are in dangerous territory, and drawing upon a Shard that is--

    Questioner

    Potentially...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Potentially-- Yes. I mean to say-- Dangerous territory.

    Salt Lake City signing ()
    #4828 Copy

    Chaos

    So, at the Forbidden Planet signing you said that when Adonalsium was Shattered, all Investiture in the cosmere was associated to one of the Shards... So, what happened with Adonalsium's spren on Roshar? Were those associated to Honor and Cultivation? What happened with them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So they were very-- They were already associated to certain parts of Adonalsium and they went with those associations. There's a lot of Cultivation in all of the spren, particularly the natural spren.

    Orem signing ()
    #4830 Copy

    JoyBlu

    Evi, in Oathbringer, she uses strange idioms and you mentioned you wanna be on the lookout for people who use strange idioms... Is Evi native to Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes... Her people are related to the Iri, who are not native to Roshar. But she is not Iriali herself. And all the Iriali, they are native to Roshar, people who are born now, even if their people aren't. So Evi-- You can say, right, like, no humans are native to Roshar. But, yes, she was born on Roshar.

    JoyBlu

    ...Would she might have some of the same blood in her that Vivenna and Siri would have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Viviena and Siri... Oh, from... Ah, I'll RAFO that.

    Brandon's Blog 2017 ()
    #4837 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    On tour, I did a reading from what up until now was listed as "Mystery Project" on my website. If you missed the newsletter explanation, I've pulled the book I was going to release next year (The Apocalypse Guard) because it needs more work. Instead, I've turned my attention to something else—and after a furious bout of writing, I'm confident in where it's going. So it's time to announce Skyward.

    Like Steelheart and its sequels, this is a kind of borderline YA/Adult project. In the US, it will be published by Delacorte Press (publisher of Steelheart) in the Young Adult section of bookstores, while in the UK it will be published by Gollancz (publisher of almost all my books) in my main line, shelved in the science fiction/fantasy section of bookstores.

    I've mentioned Skyward before in summaries of stories I'm working on, but haven't said much about it. I started noodling with the ideas in 2012, I believe. (The year that the Write About Dragons recordings of my lectures happened, where I mentioned it briefly—but not by name.) The first outline thoughts are dated summer 2013. It's a book I've been wanting to write for a long time, and it finally came together this year.

    It has its roots in some of the very first books I ever read as a young man getting into fantasy. Like many young readers, I was captured by books about dragons, specifically books about boys who find dragons and learn to fly them. These have been staples of the fantasy genre for some fifty years. For me, it was The White Dragon by Anne McCaffrey and Dragon's Blood by Jane Yolen. For others, the "boy and his dragon" story that captured them was Eragon, or How to Train Your Dragon.

    I've always loved this story archetype, but I've never written anything using it. This is in part because…well, it's a familiar story. Too familiar. I wasn't certain I could add anything new to it. So I left it alone, letting ideas simmer, until in 2012 something struck me. Could I mash this together with a flight school story like Top Gun or Ender's Game, and do something that wasn't "a boy and his dragon," but was instead "a girl and her starfighter"?

    Skyward was born, much like Mistborn, with me taking two ideas and mashing them together to see where they went. And they went someplace incredible—I grew increasingly excited about the project, as I saw in it a chance to both play in a space I loved, and do some very interesting things with story and theme. It wasn't until this year that I got the personalities of the characters right, but I really got excited when I found a place for this in the lore of stories I'd been creating.

    The official pitch is this: Defeated, crushed, and driven almost to extinction, the remnants of the human race are trapped on a planet that is constantly attacked by mysterious alien starfighters. Spensa, a teenage girl living among them, longs to be a pilot. When she discovers the wreckage of an ancient ship, she realizes this dream might be possible—assuming she can repair the ship, navigate flight school, and (perhaps most importantly) persuade the strange machine to help her. Because this ship, uniquely, appears to have a soul.

    As I've played with Skyward over the years, I tried to pull it into the Cosmere, then found it didn't work there. However, it is in the continuity of something I've written before. Something that isn't the Cosmere, and isn't the Reckoners. And no, I won't say anything more for now.

    The goal right now is to have Skyward done in time for a publication date of November 6, 2018. We'll see if I can meet that deadline! I'm optimistic. As always, you can follow along on the progress bar on my website. Look for a cover reveal and chance to pre-order soon!

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4838 Copy

    Phantine

    Would Lord Mastrell be a good name to disambiguate it [the original draft of White Sand] from the Graphic Novel and the Prime version?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    No, Lord Mastrell (actually spelled Lord Mastrel at the time) was the third book Brandon wrote, but it's essentially the second half of White Sand Prime. That book didn't finish, he just got to where he had written 243k words and said "guess that's the end of the book." Then Lord Mastrel was another 204k.

    Both together cover the same amount of story as the later version of White Sand. Glancing quickly at the end of Lord Mastrel, a big difference was that Kenton got 6 months to prove himself instead of two weeks. (Also, for some reason Lord Mastrel has all manual page breaks. The horror!) There are also some...interesting differences in how the final vote went.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4839 Copy

    Lurcher

    Here are the lists of things that I've noticed could be reasons why certain Herald images get chosen. I also picked up on alot of this stuff because the folks over at Tor have done a WoR re-read and have a dedicated "Heraldic Symbolism" subsection they devote for each chapter. They speculate as to why the specific herald(s) were chosen. Specifically Alice Arneson (one of the re-readers) has seemingly done some good research into this, so I'll give her credit for a lot of this.

    I mostly listed these out for my own reference as I've been meaning to do so (since I usually keep them in my head when figuring this out when reading).

    1. Herald themselves (mentioned, talked about, or actually has an appearance)
    2. Some object associated with a herald (example: A specific herald's honorblade)
    3. Member of Order (ex: Kaladin=Windrunners=Jezrien)
    4. Characters portraying divine attribute behavior (example: Loving and Healing)
    5. Characters portraying the inverse of divine attribute behavior (example: Hating and Destroying)
    6. Herald of <concept> - things associated with that concept. Known examples: 1) Shalash: Herald of Beauty 2) Nalan: Herald of Justice 3) Jezrien: Herald of Kings 4) Taln: Herald of War 5) Ishar: Herald of Luck

    7. Roles associated with a herald Known Examples: 1)Chana: Guards 2)Taln: Soldiers/war 3)Ishar: Ardents/religion 4)Vedel: Physicians

    8. Essences (https://coppermind.net/wiki/Ten_Essences ): Essence, body focus, Soulcasting properties...(this one is a stretch as I've never really could pinpoint this well enough)

    9. Jester/Masked face (as mentioned in other posts on this thread). This can be tied to chapters with Wit them or tied to concepts related to him, the biggest one (I think) being storytelling.

    How'd I do? :)

    Note: I loved the "Four Lifetimes" chapter's heraldic symbolism in Oathbringer (I'm a little over halfway through the book), but I thought that was great showing the different roles/lives Kaladin has filled: Surgeon (Vedel), Soldier (Taln), Guard (Chana), and Leader/Windrunner (Jezrien). Bravo.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    How did you do? Pretty much a home run. There's only one thing you're missing, which you may have implied, and that's the gemstones. Also, there's a little bit more to #5 that will be explored further later in the series.

    Your "Four Lifetimes" analysis is spot-on. Congratulations.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4840 Copy

    jamiedgreen

    In chapter 37 [of Oathbringer], as Rock is looking for his family after the Voidbringer attack, he notes an arrow fletched with goose feathers.

    Was this intentional? Should it be chicken?

    Peter Ahlstrom

    Horneater language has a word for goose, and they have them in the Peaks. I'm pretty sure geese used to be mentioned another time by Rock in an earlier draft, but that might have been cut.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4843 Copy

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't even put spren in on the first draft, that's just too much to keep in my brain. Afterward, I do a draft where I just go in and add all that stuff. It's like adding the special effects to a movie.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    So, Brandon actually does put a number of spren in the first draft. But part of Karen's job as continuity editor is to find more places to add the spren and mark those in the document. Then on the next draft Brandon puts spren there if he judges them to be good places for spren.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4844 Copy

    Peter Ahlstrom

    The labels on the [Oathbringer Oathgates] map are written by Nazh. Anytime you see this font used, it's Nazh writing it.

    Ray745

    I assume this means Nazh somehow got his hands on this ancient/priceless piece of art/map and had no compunction writing all over it? I'm honestly just a little surprised Nazh didn't write a note to Khriss somewhere on it.

    Peter Ahlstrom

    All his notes are written for Khriss.

    Probably this isn't the only copy of this page on Roshar. It's like the manuscripts copied over and over by monks in our world.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4846 Copy

    airsicklowlanders

    If someone shaves with a shardrazor is that shave their last shave?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not unless you cut down beneath the skin--so nicks maybe would be a problem...

    Jimbyl

    Would a living spren be able to choose whether or not they cut something? Like could Syl make herself cut nonliving objects without also harming living things? If that's possible, could that go even farther and make it so a radiant's blade could only harm specific targets?

    I'm starting to think up a ridiculous scenario where a radiant cuts through an ally without harming them to get to an enemy.

    Brandon Sanderson

    As it stands, no, this is not possible. (Sorry.) It's possible the spren could dismiss in time, then reappear on the other side, and FAKE that they'd done this--but couldn't simply choose not to do damage while cutting someone.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4847 Copy

    Phantine

    What's up with Mare? Here's my Conspiracy Wall about her.

    TL;DR Paalm was Mare. She spent most of Shadows of Self trying to imitate Kelsier.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This one is a RAFO, I'm afraid. As I've said, there are things about Mare I haven't gone into.

    Phantine

    Putting aside whether this theory was accurate...

    Have you seeded anything else in the books that this level of newspaper-clippings-connected-with-string thinking would be necessary to figure out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have put things in like this, but generally I don't think I'm putting in enough foreshadowing for them to be recognized--I'm just working under an assumption on my part, which then reflects in the writing, which then people put together. (Which sometimes surprises me.)

    So, I don't generally put in puzzles this complex intentionally to make people figure them out. But the puzzles do end up in the stories, and can be figured out, nonetheless.

    General Reddit 2017 ()
    #4848 Copy

    [unknown]

    Rereading Words of Radiance... Are the Herdazians a caricature of Mexicans? Is that ok?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Parts of their culture are inspired by Mexican culture in the same way the Alethi are inspired by Mongolians, Lift's origins are indigenous Bolivians, and the Final Empire (Central Dominance) was 1800's France. Human beings need a launching-off point for creativity to work.

    I don't consider them a caricature. Lopen is extreme to say the least, but I made sure to include Palona, Huio, and others as a balancing factor. That said, I don't get to decide if what I did works--I get to try, and explain my motivations, but the decision on whether or not I succeed is not in my hands. Many a writer has had the best intentions, but has failed anyway.

    I think it's important to diversify my inspirations, and push myself. If I were going to say the true inspirations for Herdazians, it would be a Mexico mashup with Korea (where I lived for several years.) The smaller country that has long been overshadowed by a dominant neighbor is a very common thing in our world, and it really felt like Alethkar would have a similar effect on kingdoms around it.

    I will take a moment to note that chouta wasn't inspired by burritos, really, but more the "street food" explosion that accompanied the industrial revolution. I took what they had in the society (flatbread and Soulcast meat) and tried to build something that would replicate the things I've seen and read about in our world during that era, because it fascinates me.