Recent entries

    Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
    #4853 Copy

    Questioner

    So, I was actually wondering whether Tanavast constructed the confrontation with Rayse in such a way that *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    That nailed his foot to the floor?

    Questioner

    He's stuck on Braize - at least for now.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah, yes. That was, in effect, that was an intentional -

    Questioner

    It was deliberate? Okay.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was deliberate. Yup.

    Questioner

    *Inaudible, possibly 'Rayse'* started to win?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um, well...

    Questioner

    I'll keep it secret until it shows up on Facebook.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it... so, Odium came at him, and he gave - not as good as he got - but he made it cost.

    Questioner

    Did he sacrifice himself, or is Odium better at that sort of thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wouldn't say that he sacrificed himself, I'd say he went out swinging.

    Questioner

    Is Odium just better at that sort of thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say, yes.

    Oathbringer San Diego signing ()
    #4855 Copy

    Questioner

    Can you give us some of the magic systems that you've rejected?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Magic systems I've rejected. Rejects for me are kind of a weird thing in that they stick in the back of my brain, and when I reject something, it's more along the lines of "this isn't ready yet." And I'm constantly thinking, do I want to do this, do I not want to do this. I've wanted to do one with sound waves forever, visualizing sound waves and things, and I have not been able to write it in a way that either felt different enough from other magic systems that approached this, or that just worked on the page. It's very hard to take something auditory and make it-- put it into a book for some reason. Some things work, I mean, Pat [Rothfuss] has made an entire career of having music to his language... so it can work, but I've never been able to get a really solidly sound-wave-focused magic to work, but I think of and discard tons of these things everyday. Sometimes, I discard them, because I'm like, "No, that's too Brandon." It's like, it's too much, a challenge. "Can I make peanuts into a magic system?" That's one I haven't done.

    By the way, I wanted to do a story about a leekromancer, who had power over legumes. Yeah? Uh-huh. See. That's just too Brandon. You can read that, and say, "He wrote this entire story just to make the leekromancer pun!"

    Footnote: Brandon has mentioned a leekromancer character in relation to the potential story Mullholland Homebrew's Sinister Shop for Secret Pets.
    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4860 Copy

    Questioner

    How do states of matter affect how things look in the Cognitive and Spiritual Realms?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, generally, how people perceive something is very important to the reflection in the Cognitive Realm, and so the physical state of matter is going to be involved in that, but generally, it flows the other direction from the Spiritual Realm.

    Questioner

    Do the forms of Investiture that we've seen, Stormlight, metals, Shardpools, do the fact that those happen in general the same types of states of matter, all physical, solid, is kinda going to be like metal for Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that is generally the way it will be.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4863 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you design the mistcloak cloaks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because it looks cool, obviously!

    Questioner

    It is highly impractical!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not if you're Mistborn! The only trouble we really had is stepping on the tassels. 

    Questioner

    And getting tangled up in them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, a lot of the tassels, a lot of the ones for mistcloaks we've made, use thicker material in them, and they lie straighter, and they don't tangle nearly as much. As long as you don't make them too long, 'cause if you do, you step on them, particularly on stairs... We've got some costume persons that work-- you'll find, if you use a thicker, stronger material-- yeah.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4865 Copy

    Questioner

    I want to ask you a question about Pattern. Could you speak to anything about where your idea for...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I wanted different spren to look drastically different. And, as I was building-- Like, I wanted a lot of the spren of a lot of the Orders of Knights Radiant to kind of have an internal, natural conflict. Like, that's one of the division lines between a spren that's not sapient, and spren that is. For instance, Windrunner, honorspren, right? Honor is about rigidity in a lot of ways, and Syl is the embodiment of a lot of the opposite of that. And Pattern, who is so interested in lies, is a mathematical fractal-- a mathematical equation. This sort of thing, like naming the inkspren Ivory is just-- I want that internal, natural contrast to be part of them. And Pattern, I really wanted a spren that wasn't just another ball of light. 'Cause Syl is basically a ball of light. And a lot of the others are basically balls of light. And I'm like, I need something that's different, I want something that looks different, that feels different. That's where I went.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4866 Copy

    Questioner

    I just have been noticing this, and it's not exclusive to any author, it's just this kind of theme that simply tires me. Main characters, they die, and then they come back to life. or they just don't die. And it makes it so much less exciting for me. So, I wanted to ask you what you think about that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, here's the thing. Because fiction isn't real, death is meaningless in fiction. The only real things in fiction are the emotions we make you feel, and different stories try to do that in different ways with different themes. For instance, I don't think Lord of the Rings is ruined by the fact that Gandalf has a resurrection, because of the emotions you feel, and then the other emotions you feel, and things like this-- and there's something universal about it. And so, I don't think I'm as big on it as that, because deaths-- maybe it's because I'm a writer, everything feels arbitrary in books, except the emotion that I put upon it, if that makes sense? And I always find that what the characters are going through is the more interesting than an abrupt end, but I guess that's just kinda me.

    If you say that, then books can't have resurrection as a theme, or rebirth, which is, like, one of the most interesting themes in existence. But everyone has different tastes, there's no wrong. Not liking it is not wrong. I mean, plot armor also has this thing where we tend to not kill characters arbitrarily, we tend to do it at dramatic moments, and things like this, because the story is better that way, right? And there are some people, like George Martin, who just try to throw this out the window, to tell a different story by doing that. But, of course, resurrection is a huge theme in those books.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4867 Copy

    Questioner

    Why pancakes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My kids love pancakes, I thought Lift would really like pancakes. And pancakes are pretty universal, like, most cultures come up with a pancake-type thing. Now they aren't always the sweet pancakes, fluffy ones that we imagine. But, like, almost every culture, pancakes are a thing. Some weird batter with stuff in it you pour onto a hot skillet.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4871 Copy

    Questioner

    Hoid seems to know things that are not explained. He'll show up places, when the Herald showed up, or when Jasnah comes back. Is that something that's just not been explained yet? Or is that something that's a part of some magic system that we've heard about? Or is that something different?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, so, he has access to things that other people do not. It is explainable, but it has not been explained yet. He can be places he needs to be, but if you watch, he doesn't always know why he needs to be there. He's really good at covering that part up. But he does-- he knows he needs to be somewhere, and so he gets there.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4874 Copy

    Questioner

    Glyphpairs, or glyphs, for the specific Surges. Are they supposed to be slightly different? Or are they perfectly symmetrical?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It depends on who paints them and how. Most of them are supposed to be symmetrical.

    Questioner

    Because I got the Progression tattoo, and my tattoo artist noticed that it was slightly different on both sides, where there was a curve instead of having a square. And he said, is it not supposed to be perfectly squared off? Because then it would be--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some people draw them that way, depends on what they're writing, and things like that. So, I would ask Isaac. Write an email to [email protected] and ask him about it, because he designs all those. I just give him general directions, he's the one that can actually write them.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4881 Copy

    Questioner

    Would all the different powers, or magic. Would they all work on the other--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Almost all of them will. AonDor, and the ones from Sel, are very hard to get to work elsewhere, because of certain things, but others are much easier. For instance, if you can get Breaths to another world, you can just use them, you don't need to do anything special.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4882 Copy

    Questioner 1

    The drawers with the infused gemstones. Is that the Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. That is not the Stormlight Archive.

    Questioner 2

    Is there a Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. But... it means the books. The archive of books that are all named after in-world books. The Archive is a pun on archived collection of books.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4885 Copy

    Questioner

    For Jasnah, it seems like maybe a couple times it's been hinted that maybe she prefers women *inaudible*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just have you Read on And Find Out on that one. There is-- Her book isn't 'til, like-- at the earliest, Book Eight. So, we've got a long ways to go before we're digging into Jasnah some more.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4888 Copy

    Questioner

    Are there historical figures that were inspirations for Elhokar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dalinar is based very slightly on Subutai, the great Mongol general. Elhokar, no one specific. I thought of him when I was a kid, when I was, like, fourteen, I wanted to do a story about a weak king and his uncle who's a really strong figure, and that interplay, and that's where he came from.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4890 Copy

    Hoiditthroughthegrapevine

    Could an Awakened toupee be commanded to act like real hair?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...Totally! Absolutely, yes!

    Questioner

    Would it be convincing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Would it be convincing? Yeah, I think that it would be. It depends.

    Questioner

    It depends on the number of Breaths?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it depends on factors, but I totally think that could be very convincing. Yes, yes, yes.

    Questioner

    Could it also be given enough Breath to Command "Protect me?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it could. That would be really weird. But yes.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4892 Copy

    Questioner

    How did you come up with Shardpools and travel between the worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...So, what happened is (close as I can remember; it's been a long time now), close as I can remember, I wrote Elantris in, like, 1998 or 1999, and I, at that point, didn't really have the cosmere in place. I knew I wanted to do some sort of grand epic, I knew I wanted to do some sort of thing, but I just wrote that book-- Elantris is mostly a discovery-written book, rather than an outlined book. And I wrote this book, and that's when I started a lot of these ideas. I stepped away from it, and I started writing a book called Dragonsteel, which was Hoid's origin story. And then I kinda got into the dark age where I was trying to be George R.R. Martin for a while. And then when I came out of that, I wrote The Way of Kings [Prime]. And during those days, I was really looking for these tying agents. When I put the first Shardpool in, I had-- I'm just like "Here's a well of power. I don't know what this does." I was discovery-writing the book. By the time I sold Mistborn and Elantris, I sold those two in a deal in 2003, that's when I'm like, "All right, now I'm gonna do this for real." I've had all this trial run-- I'd written thirteen novels at this point, and I'd sold #6 and #14, Mistborn not being written yet... So, I sat down with Elantris, and I built out the cosmere, and I built out these things, like "Why do I have this pool of power? What am I gonna do with the pool of power in the next book? I want this to be a theme." And I started building out the cosmere from there. So, part of it was organic, part of it was by design.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4893 Copy

    Questioner

    If a kandra were a Parshendi, would he be able to take the forms?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Forms? The actual-- To an extent, yes. To an extent, yes, but part of that is the spren bond. You're not gonna get everything. You could look like one, but there'll be certain things you won't be able to do, even with the Form. You couldn't take a form of power... You could pass.

    Oathbringer Portland signing ()
    #4895 Copy

    ShadowSgt

    The history of Nightblood, we know that it's created by knowledge of the Shardblades. Would you say that Vasher's first trip to Roshar coincided with a certain individual that tried to take over all of Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're talking about Sadees?

    ShadowSgt

    The Sunmaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...I'd have to look at the timeline, but it was not-- it is not something I have present in my mind. It could have overlapped. So, it might overlap, but there's not a cause-and-effect there.

    ShadowSgt

    So, Sunmaker and Vasher are sep--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Are not the same people, good question. Sunmaker is legitimately Dalinar's ancestor.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4896 Copy

    Questioner

    How do you come up with the David analogies and the metaphors?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, man, this is so much harder than you think it is. For those who haven't read them, the main character is really, really bad at similes. And where it came from is, there's actually a contest every year, where people intentionally try to write bad similes, and submit them. And every year it comes out and makes me laugh. Just-- I love it. And I started writing Reckoners, and-- Normally, you read this things as an author, to watch out for things to not accidentally do. If you read the bad metaphors, you can be like, "Oh, this is why you don't want to do this. You don't want people laughing." You get aware of this sort of thing. It's very good for you as a writer to watch. And, lo and behold, I'm writing a book series, and I wrote a metaphor, and I looked at it, and I'm like "That is really bad." And you do this as an author sometimes, and sometimes they slip in the books, you just write it and they're really bad. And I went to delete it and I'm like, "What if I ran with that?" This is because I tend to discovery-write my characters. So, I outline a lot for my settings, and I outline a lot of my plots, and then I go freewrite who these characters are, and then usually I have to do a lot of rebuilding of my plot after I figure out who's who. And in the Reckoners, I just ran with that, I did the whole sequence, I did the whole first chapter like that, and I'm like, "This is really fun." And then I locked myself into it, and it got so hard. Being bad on purpose is, like, ridiculously difficult. But it was also part of the fun. I would save them up, I'd be walking on the street, I'd think of something, and I'd be like "Ooh, how do I make that bad?" And I'd spend the next fifteen to twenty minutes writing a really bad metaphor. And sticking it in my pocket, because they all have to be bad in different ways. If they're all bad in the same way, then that's not any fun, you get used to it. So they all have to be bad in different ways, too. So, yeah, it was harder than I thought, but it was a blast.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4897 Copy

    Questioner

    So, most of your magic systems are limited to only a slight portion of the population. Is that a conscious decision? Are there any that are open to anybody?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Certainly, the Warbreaker magic is open to everybody, and that's part of what I was doing, was I wanted to contrast the other ones. And this is just because it makes for good storytelling, honestly. And when I do this, I'm doing it too much, I go the other way. That's why Sixth of the Dusk is open to everyone, that's why different things are done differently in the magics. But, really, when I'm working on the books, I'm like, "Well, we need something dramatic and cool." And I would argue that at least some of them, such as in Stormlight Archive, those are open to anybody if you can convince a spren. And you're sincere, right? And I like going that direction. Certainly, the kind of old standby of "you're born with it" is really easy. It's really, what we call in Sci-Fi/Fantasy "grokkable." You can instantly, kind of, get it. You're like, "All right, this is just like a talent. Some people are born with different talents. Makes sense." It doesn't take a lot of explanation, you don't have to worldbuild a ton up front. Where something like Stormlight, you gotta send a lot of worldbuilding words to explain how it happens, why it happens, things like that. But the trade-off is, it's in many ways more satisfying if you do it the other way. So, I do try to balance those. But sometimes those short-hands are very handy.

    Questioner

    Is Forgery?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Forgery is a Selish magic system, so it is birth-based, tied to location.

    Oathbringer Chicago signing ()
    #4898 Copy

    Questioner

    My fiance and I have been reading through the books, I introduced them to her, she's been reading them in Mandarin. And, so, our question is about what level of enforcement/authority you guys have at Dragonsteel for things like translations, because the atium in the Taiwanese/Mandarin version of the book is translated as "sky gold." Which loses the connection to Ati.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it does a little bit.

    Questioner

    How does-- has that changed, since you started?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has changed since we started, definitely. We try to involve-- Those were translated by Lucy, right? We try to stay really in contact with our translators and offer them as much as possible. Who translated that one? ...Oh, no, that's not Lucy, that's-- he contacts us, too, he writes to us. And, we do our best. But sometime we just don't make people aware of things early enough for them to be relevant. Like, they start, they get a book out, and then they're like "Oh, no, this need to be related." We try, and our translators try, and usually are really good at contacting us, but things slip through. I've worked with both of the Chinese translators quite a bit, actually; Peter does most of that. But if there are things that we get wrong, we love to hear about it, we pass along to translators-- the Chinese translator is a big fan of the cosmere. And sought out the project actively to work on it. So... if there are translation issues, just write to us.

    Oathbringer Houston signing ()
    #4900 Copy

    Questioner

    How much is a stone-weight on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh... that is actually a question for Peter. I actually, often, will just write in brackets "this much," and he comes up with the weights and measures, because I can never be consistent in my first drafts. So, yeah, you ask Peter, he can get that for you. I do the same thing with spheres, right? I'm like, "This costs roughly 100 bucks in our world," and he'll go "All right, fine" and go look up all the things. I used to keep it all in the first book, but since then I just let him do it.