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Interviews: Firefight Signing Line Audio

Summary:

Entries

56

Date

Jan 6th, 2015

Type

Paraphrased

Location

Seattle, WA

TourCon

Firefight

Bookstore

University Bookstore

Reporter

Wetlander

Links

17th Shard (Report)

17th Shard (Report

  • 1

    Wetlander

    Were any of the original Shardholders related? We know that Honor and Cultivation were romantically involved, but were any of them brother and sister or child/parent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There was at least one relationship of that style.

    Tags

  • 2

    Wetlander

    Was Adonalsium shattered all at once? Or did each Shard form at a separate time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All at once.

    Tags

  • 3

    Wetlander

    Do Cryptics have the same general dislike of honorspren as Syl has towards Cryptics?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO!!

    Tags

  • 4

    Wetlander

    Prior to becoming pregnant, did the queen spend most of her time at the Shattered Plains, or in the capital?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She has spent most of her time in the capital. She obviously has been back and forth. I would say she has spent more time off the Shattered Plains than at it.

    Wetlander

    But she was at the Shattered Plains, rather than Elhokar going back to the capital?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has been back at least once, but it is a long trip.

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  • 5

    Wetlander

    In addition to the two abilities given by each surge, does a Knight Radiant order have a third blended ability, the interaction of its two given surges?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not specifically as phrased there, but each order has quirks that are unique to it. They are magical quirks, but it's not necessarily a blend of the powers.

    Wetlander

    So Shallan's Memories is kind of a...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is associated with her Order, yes.

    Wetlander

    It's not just because she had that wonderful ability, and Pattern came along and went, "Oh, I like this one!"

    Brandon

    No that is not necessarily what attracted Pattern.

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  • 6

    Wetlander

    When Shallan does Lightweaving, is that a combination of Illumination and Transformation, or is Lightweaving just of Illumination?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lightweaving is just of Illumination. Lightweaving is a long-established power in the cosmere. Very early books, in fact one of the very first stories I ever wrote, Lightweaving was the magic. (That story is unpublished, written long ago—long before Liar of Partinel) And so, this stems from my own personal affection for illusion and my feeling that it had not been used as well as I wanted it to be used in fantasy fiction. So I consider it only Illumination truly in The Stormlight Archive.

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  • 7

    Wetlander

    The bit with the bandits out there, and the deserters, and she convinces them to all go... Was she doing Lightweaving? Was she doing Transformation? Was she doing some combination?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She was... You have seen what she was doing before, done by another character.

    Tags

  • 8

    Wetlander

    Have you actually written out the Diagram, and Words of Radiance, and so on?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, heavens, no. That's the sort of thing that falls into the worldbuilders' disease thing; there's no way that writing those out is worth the effort, so no, I have not. Definitely not the Diagram. If I were going to write any of them, I would write The Way of Kings, but even that, it's probably 30 or 40 thousand words in-world.
  • 9

    Wetlander

    How much time elapses between the beginning of the main part of the story (where they start out at the Shattered Plains) and the end of the series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    And the end of the series? Because the end of the series, um, we have a 15-year gap between [books] 5 and 6. So, the first five will probably be Wheel-of-Time-ish, sort of, each one picks up where the last one left off; we have a little more time, maybe, than Wheel of Time, but not terribly much, so it will probably be just a couple of years for the first ones, but then we will jump.

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  • 10

    Wetlander

    Human, spren, splinter sliver shard Adonalsium – which of these is most similar ontologically to Nakomi?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *laughter* I can't say anything about Nakomi! Robert Jordan did not want anything said about Nakomi! I can't say anything at all about Nakomi! Dig into the notes when they are released, and then you can find out things said about Nakomi. The little tiny hints we have, I told you he wrote that thing at the end, and I'm like well, okay. So.

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  • 11

    Question

    I loved the ending of Words of Radiance. When you come up with an idea for a new cosmere book, do you have to go oh, now I have to figure out how this fits in with everything else, or do you have it pre-made?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have a few little holes that I can slot things into, and I try to get them to fit the roles, like I know there are certain things that need to happen, and if it doesn't fit the role, I just go ahead and make it a minor planet, like Shadows for Silence, where I can write a story, but I can't put as much magic into those books. So I've got a few restrictions on me, but I think that's important for maintaining the continuity.

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  • 12

    Question

    Do you have any, or will you ever write a gay character into any of your books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are several. Drehy, in The Stormlight Archive, the bridgeman is gay, because he's based off a good friend of mine who's gay. Ranette in the Wax & Wayne books, the woman that Wayne's in love with, she's gay, and it's hinted at in the first book. By the second book, they're like "Dude, she's gay, just leave her alone." So yes, I have written gay characters. I've never written a gay main viewpoint character, maybe someday I will, it's not something I've done yet.

    Footnote

    Note from Wetlander: "At this point I asked about Jasnah, and I'll summarize our conversation; Brandon specifically asked me not to transcribe it directly. He'd momentarily forgotten that he had actually written Jasnah viewpoints, so his 'I've never written a gay main viewpoint character' comment wasn't intended to quell the speculation about her either way. He clearly didn't intend to say that she's not gay, but he didn't want to rephrase in such a way as to say that she is, either; at this point, he really doesn't want to give a WoB about her either way. He'll deal with that if/as it becomes relevant to the story—and he refused to give any indication whether that was if or as. We are to continue our speculation if we're interested in the question."

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  • 13

    Shardlet

    If Vin and Elend hypothetically each blindly ingested equivalently sized beads of lerasium, would Vin be a stronger Mistborn than Elend, or would they be equal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, Vin would be stronger. It is additive, not just an overwrite.

    The same thing happens with Hemalurgy; with Hemalurgy when you're spiking someone's soul, you're ripping off a piece and adding it.

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  • 14

    Question

    First of all, how confident are you in your race with [Patrick] Rothfuss for use of the word "Stone" in your title?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You know, it's looking more and more like this might not even be Szeth's book. And if it's not Szeth's book, I may not even name it Stones Unhallowed; I might name it something else relating to another character, but then again, Kaladin's book was named after the book Dalinar was reading, so anyway. We'll see. I'm pretty sure I will... He has said his "isn't coming out next year," as in coming out this year, and so... I'll have mine done by the end of this year, and it will be coming out next year, so it'll just depend.

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  • 15

    Question

    Second question, if completely hypothetically, and forbid, somebody had to do for you what you did for Robert Jordan, who would your choice be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would probably either pick Brent Weeks, who has a very similar style to me, or Brian McClellan, who is one of my students who is now publishing books, and writing very good books. Those guys, either one, I think would do a fine job.

    Question

    I read McClellan's book on your recommendation. Can you let him know that he needs to put women in his books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that's what I actually told him. My number one criticism when he called me and said, "What do you think of my book?" I said, "You only put one woman in your book, and she's a cliché. She's the friendly cliché, *audio obscured*. The first thing that happens is you get the clichéd damsel in distress, then when people realize "Oh, that's being sexist," they then make the girl awesome, but have no personality. That's like step two. Then step three is real characters, and so I did let him know, and he promised he would do better with future books. I think it is the most legitimate criticism of that book, is that he's just bad with women. But you know, my first book I was terrible; I just didn't publish that one. He's unfortunate that he published it. But even in Mistborn, I only had Vin, so we all fall into this trap, and I've read many women who only put one guy in the book, and he's perfect. It's just something that new authors have a problem with very naturally, so hopefully he'll catch on the same way I caught on.

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  • 16

    Question

    I was wondering if you were thinking along the lines of a movie of Alcatraz?

    Brandon Sanderson

    We tried really hard. We actually even got storyboards and things with Dreamworks Animation, which was going to be awesome, but then they eventually let it die. So if you buy the big art Dreamworks Animation book, there's actually Alcatraz concept art on one of the pages, which is kind of excruciating that it never happened.

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  • 17

    Question

    Why couldn't Joel be a Rithmatist? He wanted it so bad.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will explain as the series progresses. That is a plot point. Every book like that, they get the power in the end, and I thought it was a much more interesting story if he has half—the knowledge—and Melody has half—the talent—and together they create a whole. It just worked, and it was much better for me as a story. I knew going into it that he wasn't going to be able to by the end of the book, but the reasons for it you'll find out as the series progresses.

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  • 18

    Question (Paraphrased)

    Why do you have so many series going on at once instead of finishing one of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A couple of reasons. The main one is that it's the way I stay fresh as a writer, I find that I get burned out on things. Another main one is that I feel if I'm not practicing different styles, I'll get into a rut, and my writing will repeat itself. It's kind of like a philosophical reason and an instinctual one. I tell people who are annoyed that I'm not writing Stormlight that you wouldn't get Stormlight any faster if I weren't writing these other books in between&mdas;you might get it more slowly, because it's working on other things that really rejuvenates me as a writer. So I would be writing at a Rothfuss speed if I weren't jumping between things.

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  • 19

    Question

    So do you ever put a page length limit on yourself?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't, but I know by gut generally after I start writing how long a book feels.

    Question

    Does the publisher ever put any limits on you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, they actually haven't. They do ask me if I'll write them shorter, but it's always an ask, and I usually ignore them. In fact, Words of Radiance is the largest book they can physically print with their printer, but the font is not the smallest font they could do yet. So I could actually get about another 100,000 words longer before it gets unreadable.

    Question

    So by the time we get to Stormlight 6 or 7, they'll have to go buy a new printer?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, I've warned them. I will write it at the length that feels right.

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  • 20

    Question

    Any more [pen and paper] RPGs in the works?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know that Crafty is planning another supplement to go in line with the new [Mistborn Adventures] books I'm releasing, because there are various things that are important to the new books that would make another good supplement.

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  • 21

    Question (Paraphrased)

    Note from Wetlander: "This is one where the exact transcription is impossible because everyone is talking over and around one another. Basically a couple of fans were talking with Brandon about making Legion into a TV series; one person thought that in the pilot, the aspects need to be actors, while the other thought that (for the pilot only) they should not be seen, so Stephen looks like a wacky eccentric talking to himself about solving mysteries, and then the episodes would reveal the individuality of the aspects. Brandon agreed that the second approach would be very clever, but that it would be very hard to convince someone [not sure if it was himself, or the aspects, or who!] to do that, because he has them all cast in his head. But then there was this fun bit:

    Brandon Sanderson

    Normally I don't cast actors in the roles in my books, they're just who they are, but each of the aspects is an actor to me. If you look really closely, you might be able to guess who they are, because they're all famous actors.

    We sold it to Lionsgate, and they never made it, and the option lapsed. We've sold it to somebody else now, but we'll see if it ever gets made.

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  • 22

    Question

    One thing when I was reading The Alloy of Law, in Mistborn, all the Feruchemy were the Mistborn version of Feruchemy, and then it changed to the Misting version of Feruchemy. Is there--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there's a reason for that, and I'll delve into it a bunch more later, but basically, there's two things going on. Number one, the bloodlines have thinned, and that's the reason they’re talking about here. Also, full-blooded Feruchemists mixing, like the populations mixed, is really dangerous, and Sazed knew this. So, I'll just leave it at that.

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  • 23

    Question

    In the Mistborn trilogy, was it hard to write the final twist, or had it been planned that way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is always the way it was planned. There are some smaller things that I'll allow spontaneity to change the book, but the general structure of the book is always planned out. And if something changes while I'm writing I go and throw away the plan and rebuild the plan, so I'm always writing with a plan.

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  • 24

    Question

    Have you come up with the title character for Book 3 of Stormlight yet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not. I have to finish Calamity.

    Question

    Do you still think 2016 is realistic [for Stormlight 3]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it is realistic. One every two years is very realistic for me, and you can just watch along. I'll have Calamity done by March, and then all I have to do is finish the book by January next year and we'll be fine, so I'll have eight months. Considering I have the outline done, that's about a third of the work for me.

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  • 25

    Question

    What was the book that was the hardest to write for you?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It would definitely be A Memory of Light, the last Wheel of Time book.

    Question

    Why?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, number one, I had been following that series for 20 years, and I was finishing off the writing of an author I respected a lot, and trying to fill his shoes, and not being able to do it because no one could, and the end of a journey. Every other book I've finished, I know if I wanted to I could go back and write more about those characters. Wheel of Time, I can't. It's done. It's not mine; I can't go write another book about Mat or Perrin or anything like that. So there's a finality to finishing that book that I haven't had with any of my other books. And then in addition, logistically it was a very difficult book to write.

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  • 26

    Question

    I've gotten both Legion books from Subterranean Press, and I was wondering if you've planned on doing any more through them.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would like to. The thing is, it is kind of a hassle, just because working out release dates and things like that, part of the reason to do—I think they do gorgeous editions—but part of the reason to do the e-book things is so that I can be a little bit more spontaneous in releasing them and things like that, and so I'm likely to continue, but it is a bit hard. This time, we were like, "Why don't you guys just release a limited edition, and we'll do a print edition," but then they were like, "No, please don't do one." So I think I'd go back to letting them do a cheap edition and a limited edition if I did another one with them, I don't know.
  • 27

    Question

    Infinity Blade, are there other plans to continue with that, and are they going to release a print edition?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What the plan is right now, if I can convince them to do it, is to do a nice print edition that will include the script of the first one, annotated by the guys who wrote it, my story in between, then the script for the second, then my story, then the script of the third, so it's a complete story, with the cut scenes illustrated, and things like that. So even a graphic novel, then prose, then a graphic novel—something like that.

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  • 28

    Question

    *audio obscured* Do you like to connect with your reader on an emotional level?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do. So here's the thing: I am not an emotional person by my nature, and one of the only things that makes me feel very strong emotions is fiction. A really good piece of fiction makes me feel like the characters do, and the rest of the time, I'm just kind of—I won't say emotionless—but not emotional. It's not that. It's like some people have wild mood swings; one day they're a 20 and one day they're an 80, on a scale of 1 to 100, right? I'm always a 70, right? Like almost consistently always pleasantly happy. I don't know what depression feels like. I don't know what it really feels like to be sad. I've never really felt that—except when I'm reading a book. Does that make sense? So that's one of the reasons I write, because I want to be able to go through those emotions with people.

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  • 29

    Question

    What was your inspiration for coming up with Szeth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... I designed his culture first, one of the odd cases where I was working on the culture, and out of that grew his character, at odds with his culture. So I wanted somebody who was both the paragon of his culture and the person who was at odds with it. That concept just worked for me.

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  • 30

    Question

    I read online, something about one of your original drafts, I think it was about Gavilar, and it was where he was blind?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah that was actually Taravangian, in the oldest version. One of the very first things I wrote was that, though Taravangian had a different name then, and was very different. Szeth has stayed the same through all the revisions. Kaladin has changed wildly, and almost everybody has changed dramatically, except Szeth is the same person. Him and Dalinar are the same.

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  • 31

    Question

    Do you ever have trouble keeping your characters straight? How long does it take to get back into them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If I stop writing and go back, it is hard. It takes about a month to get back into a story after I stop. I don't get the characters mixed up.

    Question

    *audio obscured*

    Brandon Sanderson

    I try to, but I don't always manage it, because of deadlines and things. It's always going to cost me, and I know it will, sometimes you can't avoid that. In the old days, I never did it, when I didn't have a publisher, but now it's my job. When they say, "We need this revision done," I stop and do the revision, but it costs me.

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  • 32

    Question

    What was your inspiration for Sixth of the Dusk? It feels so, Polynesian or Hawaiian...

    Brandon Sanderson

    I love Hawaiian and Polynesian culture, and it was basically me reading some stories about Kamehameha, and his unification of the islands, and all this stuff, and I'm like, "Ah, I've got to use this someday." It was years later before I got to use it, but I did find a time to use it. And then we got Kekai [Kotaki] to do the illustration, and he's Polynesian, so...

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  • 33

    Question

    If you drew a stick figure of a chalkling, would it be able to spike other chalklings and get their powers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *laughter* No, because no one in this world knows what that is, because they're separate universes, but it is very clever. If you were doing it, I'd probably let you get away with it.
  • 34

    Question

    At the end of A Memory of Light, it mentions that Rand is no longer ta'veren. Does that apply to Mat and Perrin as well? And if it does, how does it apply to Mat's luck?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Everything I'm saying right now is not 100% canon, because I'm only working off of my guesstimates based on his notes. I believe that Mat's luck is a soul attribute that is independent of him being a ta'veren, but enhanced by his ta'veren nature. Part of the proof of this is the Heroes of the Horn knowing him as Gambler, which means in other Ages when he's been born and not been ta'veren, he's still had luck and attraction to things like that. Plus things in the notes, I'm basing on that. So it does not necessarily mean they aren't ta'veren right now, but even if they weren't, I think Mat would still have his luck.

    Question

    So you don't know whether they're ta'veren or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not know. My suspicion is that if he would have written the outriggers, Mat still would have been, and maybe Perrin, because Perrin was going to be in the outriggers, we know this. But I don't know for sure. But I think it would have been fun, if in some parallel dimension if I were to have written them, which I'm never going to, I would have not made Mat ta'veren, or Perrin, I would have made Tuon ta'veren, and forced Mat to deal with someone else who was ta'veren, which I think would have been interesting.

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  • 35

    Question

    Can women be ta'veren? Because in the entire series there is not a single female ta'veren.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not, but I'm very sure that they can be, based on things that I read in the notes. So, that's what I would have done, but I don't know if that's what Robert Jordan would have done. Can you just imagine that, Mat having to think that he's in someone else's story now?

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  • 36

    Question

    In The Rithmatist, you mention that Joel actually sneaks into the classroom, is that a spin-off of what you did?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually had a teacher once ask, "Who are you?" One of them actually picked me out. Fortunately, that was one that my roommate was going to, so I was able to [pretend I was just there with him].

    Footnote

    The last part is paraphrased due to "what he said involved too many gestures and non-word sounds".

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  • 37

    Question

    How do you keep it all organized when you're doing so much at once?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A wiki. An internal wiki is where I keep all the cosmere and all the notes on that. The other things, I don't have to worry about as much. For instance, Reckoners, I've got one viewpoint character and one major plot; that I can keep in my head. I've got note files and things like that, but the cosmere? Big old wiki full of stuff.
  • 38

    Question

    In The Emperor's Soul, when did you decide to change the beginning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It was Mary, from the podcast with me, is very good at short fiction. She read it, and she said, "This intro is just holding the story back". And I read it again, and I'm like, "I really feel that she's right". I felt at the end of it that the intro was interesting for people who liked Hoid already, but for people who didn’t, it was just distracting and confusing. So at the end of the day, I cut it out, and I think it was a good move, even though it was sad. If you google the phrase "killing your darlings", it's a phrase we talk about in writing and storytelling. That scene was what made me want to write the book, it's what started me off in writing the book, and then I cut it out. But sometimes you have to end up doing that.

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  • 39

    Question

    When are you going to write the other Warbreaker book? Last time I came to hear you talk, you said you were going to, and now you have 3000 other projects!

    Brandon Sanderson

    I know, and the Warbreaker fans really get on my case about that. Well, I wrote Words of Radiance, and I got Vasher into it, so that would kindle interest, and make sure that you at least got to see your characters again. But did you hear the story about that? So, I wrote The Way of Kings in 2002, the first version, and in that version Kaladin trained with a swordmaster, and that swordmaster, a guy named Vasher, had a mysterious past. After I finished that book, later on I wrote Warbreaker as a prequel to The Way of Kings, to show Vasher's backstory. But then Warbreaker came out before The Way of Kings, which was a really kind of interesting thing. So in my head, Warbreaker is the prequel, but to everyone else...

    Yes, it is a totally different world, different planets, people get around...

    Wetlander

    So how much of Vasher's backstory do we actually have?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, a huge chunk of it! If you were reading The Way of Kings, you would know nothing, and then you'd read Warbreaker and you'd be like, "Oh, here's a whole past that he had!" That doesn't mean it's all of his past.

    Footnote

    Note from Wetlander: "He's not giving any hints as to whether Vasher had any connection with Roshar prior to Warbreaker. Or at least not without someone asking a much more direct question."

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  • 40

    Question

    In Sixth of the Dusk, and where that fits in the timeline, are the visitors from anywhere we've seen before?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You have seen people from that place before.

    Question

    And if I were to speculate more on which one, you'd say...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Then I would say RAFO.

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  • 41

    Question

    There was the poem at the end of Way of Kings. How long did that take?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It took an embarrassingly long amount of time. I am not a poet, so mixing poetry with a really rigid form... Yes, the keteks take a long time. Both of them.

    Wetlander

    Are you going to do that in every book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A ketek? Yes, I probably will do that.

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  • 42

    Question

    Warbreaker. Will we see more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes you will. It is the project that is the most distant right now—the major project that is the most distant. Getting back to that, I feel like I have to do more Stormlight before I can get back to a different epic fantasy.

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  • 43

    Question

    Elantris, though, how you came out with The Emperor's Soul, it didn't involve any of the magic or anything, I have a feeling they're going to collide?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, there will be... You will see much more of that. Definitely.

    Question

    So we'll be able to see the actual Elantris again? Shining and beautiful again?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you will.

    Question

    It was very sad, to see them all in pain, the continual pain and...

    Brandon Sanderson

    One of the reasons I wrote Warbreaker was that I didn't think I could get back to Elantris yet, but I realized I'd written this entire book about the city of the gods, and you never got to see the city of the gods. So Warbreaker was another take on that idea.

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  • 44

    Question

    So have you decided whose book is going to be the [focus for Stormlight 3]?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not. What I've decided is that I need to actually write out, rather than just having the outlines, write out the three backstories that are left of the first five, and then compare them to the story as I'm writing it, and see which one works. Because any one of them could work, but as I'm writing the book... Yeah. It's one of those things that I know I need the flexibility on, as I write, to make it work.

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  • 45

    Question

    Do you have any word on the Mistborn video games that are coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have no official word, other than to say that we did option the rights to the film to the people who are making the video game, and told them, "You have to make the video game or you can't make the film." I actually really like them, and their script treatments on the film are great. And it's not their fault, really, that the game hasn't taken off. It's just that they've had... These things happen in video games. The studio they were working with went under, and another one split, and this sort of stuff happens.

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  • 46

    lightningrani (Tumblr)

    Can you tell me anything about Kaladin’s maternal grandparents?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Let's just say that his mother—you're asking a very astute question—gave up more than most people gave up in that city to go be what she became. She's definitely fallen in social standing since her childhood. She took a hit.

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  • 47

    Question (Paraphrased)

    *audio obscured--concerns his involvement with the Infinity Blade series*

    Brandon Sanderson

    What happened there was, I came in when the first game was already made. They said we'd really like to do something, and I really like the guys, they're friends of mine, and I'm like, "You don't have a story here. You've got to have a protagonist and things like this." So then I said, "Okay, let's take what you have, tell me what you have for the world, and let's brainstorm together, and let's construct a narrative". And so we did it together. We spent a lot of time in their offices constructing the next two games, then I was able to write the novellas between the two.

    Question

    So did you have any input on the game stories, then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I did. I had a lot of influence, though I did not write the dialogue, so sometimes it's a little bit cringe-worthy. They sent me the script, but I just didn't have time to go over the scripts for them. Sometime I'd like to actually do a game with them, because they make great games.

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  • 48

    Question

    When you started writing cosmere novels, how much of it had you outlined? How far ahead had you thought?

    Brandon Sanderson

    When I started writing cosmere novels? When I started started, I was a teenager. Totally hadn't thought very far ahead. When I was an adult and I was writing them, I wrote one when I was like 20, and I had an inkling, and I played around with things. The first one that I wrote with a real, conscious eye toward the cosmere was Elantris. So the ones that have been published, yes. But when I first started, I had a little bit of an inkling.

    Question

    Have you ever backed yourself into a corner with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not yet! I have backed myself into corners by saying things to fans that I've already changed in my notes and hadn't realized I had, and stuff like that. I do that all the time. But usually when I do that, I just tell them. "Ah, I'm sorry, I just changed this, guys." I'm still convinced that Stayer and Stepper—that [Robert Jordan] didn't know those were two different horses. I'm utterly convinced that he made the mistake, and then just covered it. Because that's the sort of things we writers do.

    One of the ones I've been working on a lot lately is, how much can you affect things that are Invested with other magic systems? Should it be not at all, should it be a little bit, should it be... But then I have to go back to Mistborn, and I've got canon here, where people are pushing and pulling on things that are Invested, but I tried when I was even writing Mistborn to make sure that the someone was drawing on the Mist, or had extra power for some reason before they were pushing on... and so I left myself that room, but at the same time I've established that you can do it, so anyway.

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  • 49

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually plot The Stormlight Archive books as a trilogy; each book—like I would plot the entire Reckoners series—I plot that for a book, and then I plot the short story sequence, and then I plot the novella. Usually the flashback sequence is a novella. And so then I write basically three books, a short story collection, and a novella, and put them all together woven as one book.

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  • 50

    Question

    Which is your favorite Epic to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    To write? Obliteration, because he's creepy in the way I like people to be creepy.

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  • 51

    Question

    In Sixth of the Dusk, it feels like it’s a crossover…

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is true.

    Question

    So is it a planet that we've seen before, or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Well, you have seen the people they are calling "The Ones Above."

    Question

    And you're not going to tell any more?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nope.

    Question

    When will we know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, fifteen years maybe? Hopefully it won't take me that long, but I only just finished the outlines for Era 3 Mistborn, which is now what we're calling the 1980's, so I haven't even at the moment got the sketches of the sci-fi one, I don't have the outlines and things. So in other words, we aren't to the science fiction era; we're a ways off from that.

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  • 52

    Question

    What do you think is the difference between SciFi and Fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    SciFi works with the improbable becoming reality; Fantasy works with the impossible pretending to be reality. I think the line is between what could be and what can't be. By my definition, that kind of takes Star Wars into Fantasy. I don't necessarily like Asimov's definitions, just because he was very down on fantasy. A lot of the fantasy of his era was very Conan-ish. He was a great writer, I respect his fiction a lot, but I don't think he gave fantasy its fair due.

    I would count Star Trek definitely science fiction, they're trying to talk about—even though they're using fantastical teleporters and stuff—they're trying to say this is what's possible. It's social science fiction, a lot of it.

    Question

    But wouldn't you say Star Wars is really both?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say it's a mash-up hybrid. It's a fantasy magic system in a space opera science-fiction setting.

  • 53

    Question

    What was the main inspiration for Elantris?

    Brandon Sanderson

    My main inspiration for Elantris was reading in the New Testament, actually, about lepers and leper colonies, and wanting to write a story about a magical leper colony. And that's where the idea for the people who got this disease, and the city, and everything like that.

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  • 54

    Question (Paraphrased)

    Note from Wetlander: "In the acknowledgements to Firefight, he thanks his beta-, gamma- and proof-readers and promises that if he ever becomes an Epic, he will kill them last. This triggered a discussion among said readers regarding their defense, and the primary question… what’s his weakness? Chocolate? No, not chocolate."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mac'n'cheese? Well, No 'cause I like mac'n'cheese too much. Fish sticks. It would be fish sticks.

    Question

    I thought you disliked fish sticks.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Exactly. That's why they’d be my weakness.

  • 55

    Brandon Sanderson

    We will eventually be doing a collection of those on my website, so if you want to wait on those, I'm going to do three novellas, and then we'll collect them into a three-novella thing, so it's a regular book size.
  • 56

    Question

    When is the second book of The Rithmatist coming out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I haven't written it yet. I started doing the research, and it was so much work I realized I needed more time to do it, because I'm going to South America in it, and I just needed to know South American cultures better, so I decided I need to take another year to do research. So I'm doing research for it right now, I'm going to write it hopefully after I finish the next Stormlight book, and then we'll release it soon after. So it's a little ways away.

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