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Interviews: Brandon Sanderson - /r/books AMA March 2015





Mar 12th, 2015





  • 1

    Avatar_Yung-Thug (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon! Love your work!

    Quick question: I had a hard time "hearing" the Parshendi's singing in my head while reading The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance. Are there any real world examples you drew from you could give me so we have a better idea of what they sound like to you?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    It was tough, as I didn't want to constrain their language in English to a certain rhythm, as I felt it would be too gimmicky on the page. I used Hindu chants in my head, though, so that might help.


  • 2

    Captainj321 (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon! I fell in love with the first two Stormlight Archives and the Mistborn novels and I am making my way through the Cosmere. I have a few of questions for you:

    1. What is your process for creating a system of magic?
    2. If you could spend the day with any of the characters that you have created, who would it be?
    3. If I mail you one of my books, will you sign it for me?
    4. What are your thoughts on people getting tattoos based on your work?

    Thanks again and keep on being awesome!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)


    1. My essays on the Laws of Magic are probably the best place to start. (Just google "Sanderson's Laws.") The truth is, I'm just looking for something that twigs my imagination in an interesting way. A way to approach a science or fantastical element in a way I haven't ever read before.
    2. Wayne would probably be hilarious, but the truth is probably Sazed. I could learn a thing or two, I'll bet.
    3. Yes indeed! All you need to do is contact me through the webform on my website, and one of my assistants will send you instructions on how to get the book signed. I do this all the time.
    4. I'm flattered.

  • 3

    trevorade (Reddit)

    It has been explained that all things exists between three realms: Physical, Spiritual, and Cognitive.

    I have surmised that different things "exist more" in a certain realm than another though all things have some presence in the three. Humans appear to "exist more" in the Physical realm. Spren appear to "exist more" in the Cognitive realm (Shadesmar in SA). Investiture appears to have various forms in the Physical Realm (e.g., alomantic metals, mist, stormlight).

    Question 1: Does investiture have a consistent form (regardless of magic system and its Physical form) in one of the other realms?

    Question 2: Vasher has shown us that he can substitue his need for Breath with another investiture (presumably Stormlight). To what extent is investiture interchangeable between magic systems?

    Question 3: Is investiture finite? Hemalurgy and a Return's need to consume breath seems to show us that it can be destroyed. If it is finite, is the Cosmere's magic source doomed to the law of entropy?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1. It's consistent in the Spiritual Realm. Location isn't particularly important there.
    2. Very interchangeable, but not always simple to apply.
    3. Investiture can not be created or destroyed. It follows it's own version of the laws of Thermodynamics.

    Joe_____ (Reddit)

    So what happens to the investiture that is lost when a person is spiked and the spike isn't set in the new person immediately? Does it return to the big pool of investiture in the sky like the power from wheel of time where if its not actively being used it returns to the source?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    What happens to someone's body when it's not being used by a particular person? The system is built to work like that.


  • 4

    AGRooster (Reddit)

    Highprince Sando,

    Thank you for the hundreds of hours of entertainment you've provided me with your works. I am currently fascinated by your decision to alter the ending to WoR. I understand it was especially necessary for you considering how intent and self realization are inherently tied to the surgebinding magic system. It must have been a tough decision to move forward with a mass change like this nonetheless. What are the logistical implications? Do you know the time frame or if it will be possible at all to change the audiobooks? I'd think at the earliest those wouldn't be possible until the third book comes out (since Michael Kramer and Kate Reading will already be in the booth) but I'm just guessing at this point. How will the roll out of WoR 2.0 proceed?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)


    It was a tough decision. I think Lucas has ruined doing things like this for a lot of people, and I was certain many readers would dislike it. (Turns out, there have been fewer voices against it than I'd assumed.)

    One of the things I'll be doing is making sure Book Three works with either version of the ending. I consider the changes minor. The big reason I made the swap, however, was that (I hope) these books will be read for years to come, and I wanted to get the right ending.

    It shouldn't be TOO bad logistically. Remember, the changes shouldn't matter too much for the story as a whole. We will be changing the audiobooks if we can, however, but you're probably right--book three will be when it happens.

    I don't plan this to be a common occurrence, but at the same time, I was increasingly certain I wanted this tweak made. So I did it for my own peace of mind, though I figured the majority of fans would rather I not.


  • 5

    manamachine (Reddit)

    What would your advice to aspiring fantasy writers trying to break into the industry be?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    The podcast has been mentioned.

    The number one thing I'd do right now, however, is try to write two books a year--then dedicate one to self publishing and one to traditional publishing. This will greatly increase your chances of making it full time, I feel--and the self-publishing experiences will inform how you approach traditional publishing, if you even end up doing it at all. At the very least, you'll know how much a NYC publisher would need to give you to match what you're doing on your own.

    I'd network by attending sf/f conventions, but I'd focus most of all on my writing. Make sure you're spending time in the chair, working on your fiction. Not all writers write at the same speed, so perhaps two books a year is totally impossible for you. Make sure you are being consistent, though. That's the only way you'll get better.


  • 6

    Saphro (Reddit)

    Hello Mr. Sanderson,

    I've read a few of your books and have absolutely loved them. Please keep bringing joy to those of us that love your work. I have three questions to ask you:

    1. Pepsi, Coke, or RC?
    2. Have you ever snuck references or inside jokes into your books for specific people in your life to find?
    3. What is your advice for those of us who are struggling to get through a first draft of our novels?

    Thank you very much for doing this AMA. Have a wonderful rest of your day.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1. A nice cup of ice water. (Not much of a soda man, I'm afraid.)
    2. Yes indeed! Mostly my editor and agent, who have little cameos here and there.
    3. Remember that the product of your writing career is NOT the books themselves, but YOU. Your purpose in writing is to train yourself to be someone who can write incredible books, and you get there by finishing story after story. Don't get too bogged down in the project of the moment; keep moving forward. YOU are what you are creating, not the story.

    Saphro (Reddit)

    Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions!

    I guess now is a good time to realize that spending a few years on the same story without finishing it is not a good way to become a good writer. Thank you very much.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    It can be tough. You get really invested in that first story; I know how it feels. Often, what holds you back is that you know your skill isn't up to doing justice to the great story you've imagined, so you end up getting frustrated or dragging your feet.

    Sometimes, the answer is to tell yourself, "I'll do this one after I've practiced some more." Give yourself permission to do something else, knowing that you're not abandoning your story--just delaying until you can do it right.


  • 7

    jmarsh642 (Reddit)

    I appreciate the time you take to communicate with your fans and your prolific and consistently excellent work.

    1. In honor of Sir Tery Pratchett's passing, which of his works has most impacted you as a writer?
    2. What has been your favorite Magic draft format?
    3. At what point did you first realize that you had fans scouring your works for hints of the Cosmere?
    4. Can an Awakened form a nahel bond with a spren on Roshar?
    5. Are spren bound to Roshar or can they travel to other worlds? Could they do so if they were bound to someone that traveled to other worlds?
    6. Will we eventually see a collection of short stories from various worlds in the Cosmere like Shadows for Silence and Sixth of Dust?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1. I'd say The Truth, which was the first Pratchett that really got its hooks into me. Something about newspapers, the quest for what was true, and the themes of writing.
    2. If cube counts, cube. If not, triple ROE followed closely by Innistrad. (Have set cubes of both, now.) Shards block was fun too, as was original Ravnica.
    3. Right around Mistborn Three's release--while I was working on Warbreaker, I think--where people started to realize this "Hoid" thing was relevant.
    4. Depends on the spren!
    5. RAFO. Excellent question, though.
    6. Yes, you will. Tor is trying to pin me down on one as we speak, actually, but I'm not sure when I can promise one. (I'd want a collection to have at least one new story, original to it.)


  • 8

    KapinKrunch (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon, just one question for you today.

    Out of the genres you haven't written in, which one do you really want to give a shot?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Hmmm... Noir. Maybe true urban fantasy, though I have one unpublished manuscript in that genre, which means technically I have given it a shot.
  • 9

    Windrunner17 (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon!

    I'd like to open by thanking you for changing the method of Szeth's death. When I read it the first time, Kaladin's actions in that moment didn't ring quite true for how I saw the character. I'm glad Kal does what he does in the revisions.

    I have three questions, if you wouldn't mind. I'm trying to avoid the obvious RAFO's xD

    1. Threnody and Scadrial are both noted as having unusally bright patches of stars in their skies. Are these two planets near to one another?
    2. Did Ashyn ever have a Shard, or is its magic a natural manifestation akin to Threnody or First of the Sun?
    3. As you've stated that the magic of First of the Sun is natural and independent of any particular Shard, what is the nature of the pool on Patji? Is it also a natural manifestation of magic, a Perpendicularity, or simply a pool like any other?

    Thanks for taking the time to answer these questions, Brandon. I know you've always got family stuff, and writing, and all the other host of things that fill up a life to do, so it means a lot that you take the time to interact with us fans. Thank you for sharing your stories with us.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1. They are both seeing the same thing, yes.
    2. RAFO on Ashyn, as--being in the same system as Roshar--there are going to be some spoilers relating to Stormlight in anything I say here.
    3. It's a natural manifestation, but on a much smaller scale than you might find on other worlds.

    kabili207 (Reddit)

    Regarding #1, does this mean that Threnody and Scadrial are part of the same system, or are these bright patches visible from other worlds as well?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Visible from other worlds as well. The cosmere is a relatively small place (on a galactic scale, that is.) We'll publish the star map when that becomes relevant in a decade or so.


  • 10

    _0_-o--__-0O_--oO0__ (Reddit)

    Where is Hoid's flute and does he want it back?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Sadeas had it.



  • 11

    keithli (Reddit)

    What is the plan for Rithmatist #2?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I'm going to take another stab at writing it soon after Stormlight 3 is done. (I'll be writing that for most of this year.)


  • 12

    dissociation844 (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon and thanks for coming to answer our questions!

    As a women, I loved reading about Vin who was a strong female leading character in Mistborn. It's not something easily found in the fantasy world unfortunately. While I loved Vin, I felt pretty sad after reading about the swooning-over-an-older-man tripe that was Marasi in The Alloy of Law. It felt like kind of a 360 for me after reading about Vin.

    I really loved Mistborn and The Way of Kings was great, but I am just wondering if you are planning any more work with strong female leads?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)


    Marasi was designed specifically to be a contrast to Vin, and to put her in a place where she really had some growth to do. I spent periods of time as a Marasi (though, in my case, swooning over women) when I was younger. I think most of us are like that at some point in our lives, and I like trying characters with different types of arcs and personalities, so I suggest giving her a little time.

    I have several stories in the works I think will fit this conversation, though when they come out will really depend on timing. The 1980's era Mistborn series also has a female lead, as does one of my YA projects.


  • 13

    willherpyourderp (Reddit)

    How do you come up with names for your characters? Sorry if you've been asked that before.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I use a variety of methods. In a deep worldbuilding piece, like The Stormlight Archive, I delve into actual linguistics and develop my own rules. But for many pieces, I look for something that feels right, and allow myself to be guided by the real-world linguistics of a culture in our world to give a "feel" for the culture.


  • 14

    lanternking (Reddit)

    What is a current goal you have for your writing, or something that you are currently working/hoping to improve in your writing? What's different about trying to improve your craft now that you're a published author who has found a great deal of success?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    My primary goal in the macro sense is to make a long series, where every book stands on its own. This is very difficult in epic fantasy, and I'm trying to learn from authors who have come before.

    On a micro sense, I'm playing with ideas to create suspense that doesn't lean too heavily on action set pieces. I like those action set pieces, but don't want them to be a crutch.


  • 15

    bubblesRme (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon, The Wheel of Time series is what got me into reading when I was a kid. Starting the day you were announced to continue the series I picked up Mistborn and couldn't stop reading everything you've had published. Thank you for being an amazing writer. After watching the WoT production I've been considering how poorly many live action adaptations were done. Would you allow your works to be animated instead if you found the right group? Maybe not Stormlight Archive, but Mistborn or Warbreaker where the coloring is an active part of the world.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I would absolutely allow an animated version. I think that animation can do incredible things, and would like to see the general American public become more accepting of it in a wider variety of types of storytelling.


  • 16

    Costnungen (Reddit)

    The Kandra were my favorite part of the Mistborn series. What was your inspiration for them? What was your inspiration for the style you used for their names?

    Additionally, where do you look to for inspiration for character names?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I've answered above about character names, though there is a lot of variety to the ways I can answer that--since there's no one place I get name inspiration.

    For the kandra, I started with the idea that a thieving crew would need a good "inside man" type, who could do costumes. None of the powers fit this, but I knew I also wanted to foreshadow Hemalurgy. From there, developing them was an organic process digging deeply into the history and worldbuilding I was doing.

    The idea of the wolfhound kandra appealed to me a great deal before even starting the first book, and was where I targeted my plotting after it struck me.


  • 17

    notnicholas (Reddit)

    I picked up a signed paperback of Well of Ascension at the O'Hare airport last year while traveling for work.

    Random question to you and other authors: do you ask permission to sign or do you just meander in and start signing your own books?

    Have you ever been second-guessed when doing so?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I do it half and half. At a good bookstore, like the ones in O'Hare, I will usually introduce myself. But at some airports, the bookstores are little more than news stands, and the people working there aren't always very alert. I doubt they hand-sell books, so it's just easier for both of us (and sometimes more fun for fans) if I just stealth sign and go.

    I've been stopped once or twice, but usually with an "Oh, are you the author?" never a "What are you doing to those books?"


  • 18

    i_am_a_watermelon1 (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon! Thank you so much for doing this! I love your work, and I just had a couple questions regarding it...

    1) I've heard somewhere that you already have a backstory for Hoid written, but you're waiting to release it as it would reveal too much about the Cosmere universe... is this true?
    2) Do you ever plan on bringing different realms together?
    3) Do you have a favorite series to write? Or is one more difficult to write than another?
    4) What is your favorite book (or series) to read for pleasure (either by yourself, or another author)?

    Again, thank you so much for doing this AMA, and I'm really looking forward to the rest of your work!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1) Yes, this is true.
    2) Yes I do.
    3) Stormlight is most difficult, but also the most fulfilling. Not sure if it's the most "Fun." It's a lot of work. But that's a good thing.
    4) Anything by Terry Pratchett. (See my blog post today for more.)


  • 19

    tbk50 (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon. I must say, I had never heard of you until I read the last three Wheel of Time books. I loved your writing style and found the wrap up (well three books worth of wrap up) immensely satisfying. This prompted me to check out some of your other work and I'm currently listening to Mistborn on audio book during my daily commute and am loving it. So not a whole lot specific to ask that you probably haven't been asked already (though I would love some interesting facts on your completion of the Wheel of Time series), but more of a thanks for making reading awesome, can't wait to read/listen to the rest of the Mistborn Trilogy!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    My pleasure! Hope you enjoy the trilogy.

    Facts about the WoT. Let's see... Of the viewpoints in the last books, I had the most to do with Perrin, as RJ left very, very little about what to do with him. The one I had the least influence over was Egwene, where he left a lot of material.

    In both cases, I had a wonderful time. In some ways, it was more fulfilling to take the master's vision and see it applied in a way that I could see he specifically wanted. In other ways, it was very satisfying as a long-time fan to be able to fill the holes with things that I wanted to see happen in the series.


  • 20

    francosantos (Reddit)

    Do you have a favorite character? (Of your own works).

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I am usually befuddled by this question, as I tend to not play favorites. It's whoever I happen to be writing at the moment.


  • 21

    Karbine (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon.

    I am a huge fan of your work. A few years ago a friend introduced me to the Mistborn series and since then I have a vampiric urge for your work. Thank you for building this amazing Universe of Cosmere.

    I play Dungeons & Dragons and Pathfinder with my friends. I have a lot of notes and detailed descriptions of each session we played. It is like a big jigsaw puzzle. I wanted to write a book based on the campaign. Not to publish but just to pass around and for record keeping in novel format along with using these jigsaw pieces to play out the story as a GM.

    When you have your ideas and when you jot them down, how do you actually start putting those jigsaw pieces together? Do you mostly spend time on planning or do you just look at notes and go with the flow?

    PS: As you may have noticed, English isn't my first language. I will increase my vocabulary!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I'm a planner, but that doesn't work for everyone. Some like it to be more organic. But since you already have the pieces, let me suggest this:

    Identify the most important moments in the story. Those "stand up and cheer" moments--or the ones that feel like a punch to the gut. Build your outline around those. What pieces are necessary for those important moments to have the impact they demand? What things might be distractions? What things would be good to include, but not needed?

    Try to build your story so that you are pointed toward the moments of incredible power, emotion, and connectivity.


  • 22

    soupslurper (Reddit)

    What kind of gaming do you do? Console? PC? Tabletop RPGs? Magic? Just curious!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    All of the above.

    Most recent game: Endless Legend, PC. Most recent console game: Dark Souls 2. Favorite Tabletop: West End's old Star Wars.

    Pariah_The_Pariah (Reddit)

    What's your favorite faction in Endless Legend? Would you consider doing some writing for it?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I actually have only had time to play two factions: Wind Walkers and Vaulters. Of the two, I preferred the Vaulters. I enjoyed the game a lot, but my time is limited, so I'm going to wait for some DLCS to change up the game before coming back to try another faction. The cultists are really intriguing to me.

    I was disappointed that end of the faction quests didn't give story resolution to me, and that prevented me from feeling REALLY eager to jump into another faction until there's more of an ending. I was sad to not hear what happened to vaulters robot dude, for example.

    weirdcookie (Reddit)

    Uhh any chance of some dark souls influence spilling into your books, or maybe not directly but thematically (a bit of grim-dark fantasy coming from you)? have you seen vaati vidya's videos about dark souls lore, they are amazing I highly recommend them?

    I read the 4 mistborn books. After I'm done with Malazan (halfway through book 8), I plan on going back to your novels but everything seems to be connected and I don't know how to tackle the ecosystem you've created, it's kind of intimidating so what's your recommendation?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Don't worry too much about the connection; it's basically all easter eggs at this point. If you liked Mistborn, you could read Steelheart--which has a similar feel, and is completely unconnected to anything else. If you want something less intimidating, you could try Elantris or Warbreaker, which are both stand alone stories. But finish Malazan first for sure. :)
  • 23

    mooglefrooglian (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon! Thanks for doing this. I may have made some embarrassing sounds when I heard you were answering questions. I have a few questions:

    1. You've said previously that the molecular structure of metals serve to act sort of like the Aons in AonDor. Why, then, can mists power Allomancy? Shouldn't the metals themselves be the things causing the powers? And if metals don't cause the effect, how can a non-Feruchemist burn a metalmind that has been 'unlocked' through identity tricks and get a boost of an attribute without Feruchemist sDNA?
    2. If a Surgebinder went to another world with infused gems, would they still automatically be able to Surgebind, or is that an effect limited to Roshar? (I ask because you've said someone with a Seon bond who went to Roshar would gain some powers because it would be treated like a Nahel bond.)
    3. Hoid uses Allomancy in one of Shallan's flashbacks. How can Hoid draw on Preservation's power on Roshar? Does it teleport? Shouldn't he only be able to burn metals on Scadrial?
    4. Breath seems like it doesn’t run out like Stormlight. You Awaken something, and it lasts basically forever. But if you Lash something, the Lashing ends a short time later. Why does Stormlight run out and Breath not?

    Thanks for answering!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I was trying to figure out how to answer this, and then I realized while driving to get a hair cut that you were regarding this wrong in a fundamental way. Remember, the source of power for Allomancy is EXTERNAL while the source for Feruchemy is INTERNAL. This is a fundamental difference discussed in the series.

    When you burn metals, you're drawing power from another place. When you tap a metalmind, you are drawing power that the person has created--a battery developed by themselves, so to speak.

    So I think that's going to answer the source of your confusion.


  • 24

    Lightylantern (Reddit)

    Thanks a lot for doing this, Brandon. You're my favourite author, and I have a million things I want to ask you, but since I'm not the only one asking questions, I'll ask the ones most important to me.

    1. I'm fairly invested in the pairings of The Stormlight Archive, with my favourite being Jasnah/Szeth. Do either of these two have any romance planned in their future?
    2. In The Hero of Ages, Demoux gets together with a woman named Aslydin. He's then seen on Roshar in The Way of Kings. Knowing how loyal Demoux is, he wouldn't just leave Aslydin behind like that. Is she connected to his reasons for becoming a member of the Seventeenth Shard?
    3. I'm pretty interested in the integration of magic and sport, like in Harry Potter and The Legend of Korra. Will we be seeing any allomantic sports in the second Mistborn trilogy?
    4. Was the guy Dalinar met in his flashback really Nohadon?
    5. Will Lift get a Shardfork?
    6. Finally, can you tell us what Regalia's weakness is? We never did find that out.

    Again, thanks a ton for doing this.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1) I am purposefully vague about upcoming romantic pairings in my books, because most of the characters would not want to be defined by their romantic inclinations--and at the top of that list is Jasnah. So I'll remain quiet on this one for now. Sorry.
    2) Aslydin is in the Seventeeth Shard, and had her own work to be about. I've given subtle clues about her before, but the ethnicity of the name should strike you.
    3) Probably the third. Scadrial is behind on a couple of things, technologically, and they've been very practically minded lately. I have some hints of professional sports in the Era Two books, but they're slight.
    4) So far as he knows.
    5) You know, she's likely to do something like that...
    6) Not ready to talk about this one yet, as I haven't finished the third book yet. It's likely irrelevant, but I'll RAFO in case I decide to reference it.


  • 25

    coldforged (Reddit)

    I believe I'll speak for most when I ask: how on earth do you maintain such a prolific output of quality material? You don't slow down, you don't let up, you don't put out tripe... how is this possible?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    This is a tough one for me to answer, sometimes, because I don't think I write all that quickly. I do about 2000 words a day, most days. That's 250 words an hour working a normal schedule, and I often work more.

    250 words an hour is NOTHING. Try typing a few emails, and you'll find out how fast 250 words goes by. I think for me, there are two secrets.

    First, I jump projects often. I understand my own psychology, and I know that nothing gets me revved up for writing than doing something fresh and new. This can mean returning to a series, if I haven't been working on it for a while, or it can mean doing a novella or the like.

    Second, I'm just very consistent. I write a little each day, and I love what I do. I spent ten years writing books and earning no money from it. Why would I slow down now that people are actually reading my works? It's incredible!


  • 26

    WeiryWriter (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon! So glad you are doing another AMA!

    1. Could you explain a little more about Cognitive shadows? When you first mentioned the name and gave the examples of Kelsier and the Shades from Threnody you kind of gave the impression that they were kind of like ghosts. But this past December at the Orem signing you mentioned that the Stormfather and the mist were also Cognitive shadows. The first makes sense to me, I had an entire theory about that (although I argued he was specifically Tanavast's and not Honor's). The second however really doesn't make sense to me, unless it was actually the mist spirit that is the shadow and that got missed in the report (it wasn't verbatim), but even still Preservation is still alive at that point so how can he have a "ghost"? (Unless him sacrificing his mind to form Ruin's prison counts as "death" in this situation?)

    The rest of these feel free to pick and choose which ones you want to answer (I'm finding it difficult to narrow things down, so I figure I'll leave it to you to decide which ones you want answered).

    2. Are the Unmade Splinters of Odium?
    3. Is the Well of Ascension Preservation's Perpendicularity? Or at least related to it (i.e. one is in the Physical Realm but the other is in the Cognitive but are still essentially different aspects of the same "thing")?
    4. What if the Throne of Idris passed to someone who was not the child of the monarch? Like if they were the niece or nephew of the previous monarch. Their parent would not have passed on the Royal Locks to them, but if they gained the throne would they spontaneously manifest the Royal Locks? Would their children if they were born before?
    5. Does hair that is still attached to a person's head get cut if a Shardblade passes through it? If not, if that person had the Royal Locks could they change the color of the hair "below" the cut?
    6. You've mentioned there is a big Hint in Elantris, and later clarified that the hint is an Aon that Raoden mis-interprets. Is Aon Rao the Aon that Raoden mis-interprets? Is its true meaning something closer to "Investiture"?
    7. According to Peter, Mraize is from Thaylenah, does Shallan just never mention his eyebrows or is he not ethnically Thaylen?
    8. What are your current plans with regards to the Jasnah novella you wrote last summer?
    9. Honorspren and windspren have been described as "cousins"; do Cryptics share a similar relationship with creationspren?

    Anyway, thank you so much for answering any of my questions!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    On the first question, I did not say the mists themselves were a cognitive shadow. That must have been a misunderstanding. The Stormfather totally is, though. Cognitive shadows are basically ghosts, which can take a lot of different forms in the Cosmere, but follow general rules.

    2. Yes. Good guess.
    3. You're on the right track.
    4. This will be discussed in the Warbreaker sequel, most likely.
    5. Yes, hair gets cut. It counts as dead in my mind--but not to someone who has the Royal Locks. They could only change below, as you state, and wouldn't get their hair chopped off. (I'm not 100% sure on this, but I Think I've mentioned in Stormlight before that you can cut things like shells on living animals with a Shardblade, but then it doesn't cut the flesh.)

    Lots of questions here. More to come, if I find time.


  • 27

    focoma (Reddit)

    First of all, I'd like to thank you for e-mailing me White Sand and Aether of Night last year, and for just being so awesome and giving to your fans.

    Here are my questions:

    1. Sel question: What are the names of the Aons for West, North, and South? I'm assuming that these are also the names of the other cities around Elantris besides Kae ("East"). Is that right?
    2. Scadrial question: We've seen Kandra True Bodies made of crystal, stone, or wood. Can a kandra use a True Body made of metal? If so, what happens if each metal "bone" had a Hemalurgic charge, and each one is touching an appropriate bind point?
    3. Roshar question: Looking up the meaning of "lucentia", I see that it's a Latin word related to light and visibility. Why isn't the Surge of Illumination connected to the Order of Edgedancers, which is the Order associated with Lucentia?
    4. Nalthis question: This is a two-part question about Perfect Invocation. (A) When an old God King passes down his Breaths to his infant heir, does Perfect Invocation turn him (the old God King) into a white drab and does that grant him any cool powers? (B) Secondly, do God Kings create white Lifeless instead of grey ones and are these white Lifeless special in any significant way?

    Those four questions will do for now. I hope you'll visit the Philippines one of these days. Anyway, I need to go back to sleep. Happy writing!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1. Yes. Peter pointed out to me that we really needed these, so they should be in the Elantris 10th anniversary edition.
    2. Yes. And that would work, better than you think, because Kandra have fluid bind points. But too many spikes can be dangerous to the psyche, even with Ati not messing things up.


  • 28

    potterhead42 (Reddit)

    Hi, Brandon, I read Mistborn last year and now you're my favorite author. Thanks for writing books that make me go "hell yeah this is awesome!". Also, your video lectures are great. I have no writing aspirations myself, but it is really cool to know all that inside info on the craft and the publishing industry. So, the questions...

    1. You recently changed up the text of Elantris and Words of Radiance. Do you feel like you need to change something about the Mistborn trilogy? I think it's perfect
    2. Will we ever see you write a series with a non-rigid magic system? Not that there's anything wrong with allomancy etc. (they're pretty cool to be honest), but I would be really interested in seeing you handle something vague.
    3. On Scadrial, humans were created as the result of deal between Ruin and Preservation. But what about the rest of the humans on the other worlds of the Cosmere?
    4. Do you think Kelsier could defeat Miles one on one?
    5. I recently started the Wheel of Time (2 books down), and it is quite fun. What would you say is your favorite book a. among the ones written by Mr. Jordan? b. Among the ones written by you?
    6. What can you tell us about your new book, Rampart? ;)

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1) I've expressed that my one regret with Mistborn is the climax of Book One, where I think I bring in drawing upon the mists too early in the series without enough foreshadowing. That said, I'm not planning to revise it, even if we do a 10th anniversary edition like with Elantris. The problems with Elantris created continuity issues; the problem with Mistborn is more of an artistic choice, making it similar to the problem in WoR. The difference here is that I'm still working on Stormlight, so it is considered to be an open book in my head--while Mistborn is done, and it's time to leave it alone.
    2) I understand exactly what you mean, and I've played with some, but they don't work as well in the Cosmere. I think I might be able to slip one in, or, do something non-Cosmere.
    3) It's split. Some predate the shattering; others were created. The humans that existed before were always a model, which is why they're so similar to one another.


  • 29

    ArgentSun (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon! It was lovely interrogating hanging out with you in Chicago, so I'll keep this somewhat brief :)

    [Cosmere] Can any two Shards be joined together, like "Preservation and Ruin", or does it depend on their Intents?
    [Mistborn] What difference does Allomantic strength make when using gold/electrum, if any?
    [Stormlight Archive] Have you planned out the interludes for Book #3, and if so - any returning characters? Share one?
    [Fandom] Can you do another Q&A with The 17th Shard, so we can ask the good questions there? :P

    Thank you for doing this - and everything else you do :)

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Cosmere: Any can be joined, theoretically, but boy, some of the pairings would have an odd resulting pressure on the one holding them. And similar intents make for an easier time melding.
    Stormlight: Yes, I have. Taravangian will be one, unless I move it to an actual chapter. We'll have to see how things play out.


  • 30

    _0_-o--__-0O_--oO0__ (Reddit)

    With Jasnah not being dead when we thought she was dead and Szeth coming back to life; how will you retain tension during future battles if the audience thinks that death might not be the end of someone?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I try hard to make sure things like this are well foreshadowed, but it's always a concern as a writer. Basically every book you write, in an action/adventure world, will contain fake outs like this.

    There's certainly a balance. Gandalf coming back in LOTR worked, and Anakin turning out to be alive Empire Strikes back is a powerful moment--but I feel RJ, for example, may have brought people back too often.

    Not sure where this balance is for me yet. I know the story I want to tell, though, and I try to leave clues when something like this is going to happen so that it feels less like a fake out and more like an "Aha. I knew it."


  • 31

    neart_roimh_laige (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon! It was so great seeing you in Seattle a while back.

    I actually had a couple questions:


    First of all, it seems that when Returned give their blessing that requires their life, to do so is to give up all of their BioChroma. Well, there was a time where Vivenna can't sense Vasher because he was a drab. Since that would mean he put all of his BioChroma somewhere and is SPOILER one of the Returned, why isn't he dead?

    Also, it seems as if only the royal family has the ability to change their hair color. However, when Vasher kills Denth, his hair flashes through a ton of colors before he dies. What are his ties to the family? Is there something I missed? Will there be another book explaining this?

    Thanks for all your hard work!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I did mention these things in the annotations, as has been pointed out, but boy--it's been a while. I don't remember what I wrote in the annotations and what I didn't.

    All Returned are, in a way, "related" to the royal family in their investiture. (The magic they hold.) Vasher has some specific and powerful control over his own powers, which I didn't go into much in the book. But if you delve into the annotations, you'll get more.


    Brandon has separately confirmed that Denth has the Royal Locks independently of being Returned.



  • 32

    Dancingedge (Reddit)

    Hello Mr. Sanderson, given that I can't go to signings this is actually pretty exciting. Anyway, on to the questions.

    1. Concerning the terminology for Epics, the definitions given for High Epics and a prime Invincibility are effectively the same, meaning every High Epic should have one. However, in Steelheart David says that only a couple of the hundredths of High Epics in Newcago have one. Did David change his terminology between books or is there another reason. (I would also appreciate definitions for what differentiates a minor from a lesser Epic.)
    2. While Epics already age slower can their powers protect them from aging completely, be it by simply negating it or for example returning them to a specific age, upon resurrection.
    3. What exactly is needed to make a motivator? In Firefight they operated on Obliteration to build the bomb, yet people still trade with any amount of Epic cells. Does the amount simply relate to power or is there something else?
    4. Why doesn't Nighwielder's weakness penetrate his blanket over Newcago when it does pierce the shadow tendrils he attacks David with? Could the reason be that his clouds act as some kind of “security blanket” if for example he got his weakness from being stranded in the dessert clouds like his would have protected him from the sun, which keeps the UV-rays of the sun from triggering his weakness, because they can’t recreate the situation it originates from.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1. Prime invincibility is the cream of the crop of High Epic, in David's estimation. The hardest of the hard to kill. However, other people define things differently. "High epic" means "I have a power that, if you stand there and try to shoot me, it doesn't work." That's why in his definition, Regalia doesn't fit the bill--though many others would say her power of keeping herself hidden as she does would totally count. All a matter of semantics, but to him, there's a specific gradation.
    2. There are no known epics who don't age at all.
    3. This is covered in detail in book three. I've been pretty sneaky about some of this stup, on purpose.
    4. I've been dodgy about answering this one, as I thought I might get into it in Book Three, but as I work on it I don't know that I am. The answer is actually pretty simple--it's for the same reason that someone manifesting Regalia's weakness in Babilar doesn't make the waters suddenly retreat. Or that Steelheart's powers didn't leave pockets of open material around anybody who hadn't ever heard of him. (Which is where this exception started in my mind, as without it, the first book would never have worked.)
    Basically, I had to make the rule that a large scale, general use of the powers had a kind of immunity to the weakness--one of diffusion. But the general spreading of the powers on the large scale were also far less precise. (For example, Nightwielder could cloud the sky with darkness, but not stop rain from falling.)
    Otherwise, you could just find the pockets where the Epic's powers on the grand scale were not working, and easily figure out their weakness. Hence, engaging Nightwielder directly ruins his immediate powers, but on the grand scale the darkness remains in place over the city.
    It's the only way I could make the powers work on the grand scale I wanted, in turning Newcago to Steel or sinking NYC.


  • 33

    zuriel45 (Reddit)

    First off I want to thank you for all your works. They're each up there as some of the my top favorite books, from chracter to world building, and I immensely appreciate the work you've put into them.

    I have far to many questions about the cosmere to put into one post (nor would I want to pester you with all of them), so instead I just wanted to ask if my theory for how FTL could be achieved with scadrial magic is possible.

    Some preliminary questions.

    1)Would it be possible to invest a metal such as bendalloy so that it's "active" and create a time bubble? 2)Would an invested object creating a bubble move about the bubble like Wayne does inside his? Or would the bubble move with the invested object? 3)Wayne implies that it takes a couple seconds between dropping a time bubble and creating a new one. Is this a biologically related limit, or magically related limit? 4)Would more powerful allomancy/investment increase the size of the bubble, or change the time differential?

    My theory is that if someone created a large bubble that sped up time inside of it (so time outside seems slower) You would cross the bubble faster than light would cross the same difference outside of it. Of course the journey would take the same time inside as it would without the bubble which would mean the need for a generation ship. To compensate someone could then create a smaller pocket of slowed down time (cadmium) which would cancel the sped up time and create a normal time flow. This would allow living humans to experience the same flow of time as someone on scardial itself while the ship still travels are FTL speeds. If the bubbles traveled with the ship then there wouldn't be any additional strain the structure. If the bubbles couldn't travel with the ship but if the time it takes to create a new bubble could be overcome you could theoretically turn on/off the bubble maker at a very high frequency to allow the bubble to be re centered with the traveling ship.

    So I'm curious if my theory is feasible? Also in case you decide to RAFO this one I had another quick one.

    Is it possible to become a Stormlight/Breath savant, what would the effects of that be?

    Regardless of the response I want to thank you for taking the time to do the AMA, love your books and am very excited for the new ones later this year! Also, sorry this question got a bit out of hand.

    P.S. If you ever want someone with a physics degree to do some calculations I'm happy to be your physics monkey!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    You've got some serious RAFOS in there, I'm afraid, but let's see what I can answer.

    First, I'd love to have your contact info through my website for running calculations. We've got some people, like Eric, who know their stuff--but having more physicists to help out is important when I start figuring things like red shift and what not.

    As for the other questions, I'm digging out answers for you, where i can. Might take me a little longer, though.

  • 34

    rszrama (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon, long time reader and avid fan. When I found out you were taking over The Wheel of Time, I waited until you'd finished it and then read it straight through for the first time ever. I started in May 2013 and finished in December 2014 - and I absolutely loved it. I especially appreciated that you maintained the "character" of the characters. I laughed at Mat's quips as easily in A Memory of Light as in any of the earlier books, and honestly, you may have injected a bit more humor than Jordan was capable of. I seem to remember laughing a lot (and tearing up) through the first Mistborn as well.

    How do you manage the personalities of all of your characters? And how do you go about creating and "enlivening" these characters whose personalities are necessarily so very different from your own?

    Keep doing great work! <3

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Thanks! I do think I finally started to get Mat right in AMOL.

    I manage character personalities with a careful mix of notes, instinct, and free writes in their voice. For the WoT, many of the characters were easy, as I'd been reading about them since I was a young man. They were like my high school buddies. They WERE different from my own, but in part because I created my characters as reactions against these characters--I didn't want to do what RJ had already done.

    A lot of what I do with character, however, is very instinctive. It is the one big part of my writing process that is difficult to explain, as I often go with my gut.


  • 35

    bmanny (Reddit)

    If I ate a Lerasium spike, that had be hammered through the heart of a radiant, then infused with stormlight, given breath, and filled up by a feruchemist with whatever property that metal holds... then burned it. Would the universe just explode?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    The Cosmere might... :)
  • 36

    ajthesecond (Reddit)


    I got to meet you in Austin last year, at some point I'm going to take you up on that MTG match.

    I'm sure you saw that Terry Pratchett passed away today - what is your favorite type of humor/comedy to use in your book? Obviously you have characters that act as comedians/entertainers within your book, is that process different than writing a serious or plot-driven character? Also, what is your favorite "funny" book or short story?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    My favorite funny book would be The Truth, by Terry Pratchett, because it is the one I connected with the most. Though if someone wants a good laugh, this one never fails to get a chuckle out of me:

    In my own books, I find characters interacting in a way that--through rubbing against one another--you learn something about them, but also laugh at their idiosyncrasies, to be my favorite type of humor. The way Wayne and Wax interact, for example, or the members of Bridge Four when you get them all together.

    I don't look at "humorous" characters and "plot" characters differently. My favorite characters to read are ones that are funny, like Mat from the Wheel of Time, because their own unique perspective is so interesting that it makes me smile. Cracking a joke is all well and fine, but any great character will be both a plot and a humor character, depending on who their around and what situation they're in.


  • 37

    c3rbutt (Reddit)

    Hello, sir. Really appreciate your work.

    1. Who is Jon Snow's mother?
    2. Why do people like Kvothe so much when he's such a Mary Sue?
    3. I would love to read an encyclopedia on the Cosmere. Any thoughts on writing something like this, or would that be too meta?

    Thank you for your time!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1. Not qualified to answer.
    2. We tend to like characters for a variety of different reasons. Sometimes, we like characters because they're like us--but other characters (like Superman and James Bond) we like because we admire things they can do or who they are.
    Mary Sue has become a bad term in storytelling circles, but I think we're too hard on it--and in dismissing it, we dismiss a huge part of what makes us human beings. It is natural to like reading about Kvothe because, like James Bond, he is just naturally good at a lot of things--and that, in its heart, is just cool. It's like enjoying the character of Indiana Jones. Character arc? None. Mary Sue? Yeah, probably. Still very fun.
    At the same time, it's very natural to DISLIKE that kind of character, and the difference between Indy and Kvothe is that the narrative keeps bringing Indy down (making him seem like the underdog) so we maintain rooting interest. Kvothe, on the ohter hand, is telling his own story--and is arrogant about it. There's nothing wrong with disliking this narrative style.
    In Kvothe's specific case, I enjoy reading about him because he's so self-destructive. Every time he takes a step forward, he seems to take another back by ruining it with his own arrogance or stupidity. He's one of the few characters I enjoy reading about, while disliking as a person immensely. I think that takes a lot of talent to pull off, and watching him destroy himself is much like watching King Lear or Hamlet destroy themselves.
    For the third question, there will be one some day. But it's far off.


  • 38

    radda (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon!

    You're pretty well known for your more conservative approach to sex in your writing, which is very unusual in the fantasy genre. Was this a conscious decision of yours, or is it just a natural consequence of your writing style?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    A little of this, a little of that. I'm glad that the genre is big enough to accommodate a large variety of writing styles. Personally, I'm fond of the old-school classics of film and literature who, in this area, seemed to be able to get so much more across while showing so much less.

    I try to write my books in such a way that if you want to go further in your mind, you know which characters are most likely getting it on. But if that's not your thing, you can leave it out.


  • 39

    Heartlight (Reddit)

    What is Nightblood's opinions on gender, and who decided on him having he/him pronouns?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Nightblood is fascinated by gender, and trying to figure it out. Unlike spren like Syl, Nightblood has not self gender assigned as an influence of interacting with humans. That said, Vasher was probably the one who just started calling him He, so if you want to take the issue up with anyone, go to him.


  • 40

    AltF4WillHelp (Reddit)

    Hi Brandon! Like everyone here, I'm a big fan of your work! I'm very much looking forward to seeing the Elantris changes/corrections you've recently mentioned. It'll give me a great excuse to read it again, especially since I read both it and Warbreaker before knowing of the Cosmere, years ago.

    Rather than asking about any specific and intricate details about the books themselves—others will have that covered, I'm sure—I'm interested to hear how your stories are flourishing (or are soon to flourish) in other media.

    1. The tabletop RPG is pretty fun! Do you ever play it yourself? I've had a rather great experience. I played an A:Gold F:Copper twinborn, who fell in love with a mining tycoon's daughter. There was a lot of intrigue and we faced a cult dedicated to the rediscovery and development of hemalurgy for clearly nefarious purposes. My character was of a minor noble family that fell on hard times. Drawing upon his other potential lives to glean and store some otherwise unobtainable information, he was becoming a suspiciously good prospector who always seemed have some tidbit of knowledge that'd help in any situation. That's probably not quite how that metal combination actually works, but I'd be interested to know if I'm close. Our GM was pretty flexible with it, and it allowed for some cool plot hooks. I was trying to emulate some of Shai's abilities with this character. I probably would have needed F:Aluminum, too, I think, to actually switch to 'being' the other potential self.
    2. At one point, there was mention of a Mistborn video game. What can you tell us about that? Is it still being worked on?
    3. I remember hearing that Legion might be looking at having a TV show (I don't recall; didn't it start as a show proposal?). Is that still the plan, and, if so, how far along is it?
    4. Are there any plans to bring the Cosmere to the big screen? (OR as a bunch of crossing-over TV Shows. I love that. The CW has been having some great success doing that with Arrow and Flash.)

    Thank you for answering, and thank you so much for gifting us these great stories!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    1) I do play it on occasion, and I think the guys at Crafty knocked it out of the park on that one. The game is a lot of fun. This was a really cool way to use the magics, by the way. I commend you for it! In your version of the story, you're playing an alternate timeline, and what your characters discover is possible is totally valid there.
    2) Still in development, but moving sloooowly. Hopefully info will come out soon.
    3) That option lapsed, but someone else picked it up, so it's being developed again! Keep your fingers crossed, but we basically started over last winter. So not much done yet.
    4) I'd love to do this, and I think that media is getting to the point where this wouldn't be frightening to studios. I have big dreams, but mostly, this is out of my hands until I can get Brad Bird on the phone and bully him into making one of my films.


  • 41

    pat_skelly (Reddit)

    Hi there Sanderson,

    I have two questions,

    1. What are you really excited about that is being released soon? Like screaming fangirl level. It doesn't have to be a book either. It could be like you are getting a puppy. 2. What are your thoughts on Kramer's depiction of a Herdazian accent? Is it what you were trying to go for or no? When I read WoK I thought they had more of a Mexican accent but Kramer has brought me over to his, what I believe is, Australian accent.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Bloodborne. I love, love, love From Software's games. I've been playing them since King's Field One, so get off my lawn you kids.
    It makes me laugh, and I like that there are other interpretations out there--since it's a fantasy world, and their accent doesn't have a 1-to-1 correlation with our world. That said, the were originally Hispanic inspired, so you were on the right track.


  • 42

    Mazrim_Tiem (Reddit)

    Thanks for jumping on today Mr. Sanderson!

    I just wanted to pop in and say you're one of the reasons I even read Wheel of Time. When I heard you were finishing the story up, I decided to take six months to read it. All I can say is thank you for finishing what Robert Jordan set out to do.

    I guess since I'm here, I'll ask:

    Which Wheel of Time character is your favorite now, and which one do you feel you identify with most?

    Thanks again for doing this AMA, can't wait to meet you someday!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    It was an honor.

    My favorite now, after actually finishing the series, is Mat. But my favorite all time is Perrin, and he is the one I identify with the most.


  • 43

    NoFortress (Reddit)

    Wheel of Time question here. My understanding is that the title A Memory of Light refers specifically to a particular scene that actually happens at the end of The Gathering Storm. This has always bothered me that the title does not match up to the scene it references. Could you comment on this and how you decided to title the books?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    The answer from the other poster is, in part, the correct answer. (I wrote most of TGS hoping I'd be able to publish the entire thing as one book.) However, philosophically, I always envisioned "A Memory of Light" to not mean any specific moment, but instead, the idea that the shadow was so strong upon the land that light had become but a memory--yet a very important one, driving people to seek it again and fight in the Last Battle.

    Because of this, it felt as if the final book of the three was the right place to use the title. Beyond that, I'm pretty sure RJ would have wanted that title on the final volume of the three.


  • 44

    benthebat89 (Reddit)

    Today is a sad for fantasy readers, Terry Pratchett passed away at the young age of 66. Can you share any memories you have of him or of reading his books and what they mean to you.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I put up a blog post soon after starting this AMA, but let's see...a memory. One of the things I love about his writing is how, soon after I got into his books, I kept thinking, "This is the best Pratchett I've ever read." Over and over, and I realized, he was actually getting better and better as a writer. That's rare to find, I feel. A lot of people seem to peak early, and it's always worried me as a writer that I might face a slow decline as a storyteller--but here was proof that there was at least one writer who just kept getting better.


  • 45

    _0_-o--__-0O_--oO0__ (Reddit)

    You've been known to say that the fantasy genre is the best genre because you can do anything another genre can do and you can have dragons. And yet, we haven't had a dragon from you yet. Well we see a Sanderson Dragon anytime before Dragonsteel? I'm assuming Dragonsteel has dragons?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Yes, I smile inwardly as I say that, because I know that--indeed--I don't use a lot of dragons. I do like reading about them, but I haven't found myself eager to put them into my works. I think it's because I've read so many excellent dragon books, I figure, that area of fantasy is being covered by others--and I should try different things.

    That said, Dragonsteel has dragons, and so you will eventually see them there. I don't know that I'll do them before.


  • 46

    aheffy (Reddit)

    Hey Brandon, thanks for taking the time to do this.

    After Well of Ascension came out you did a book signing in Seattle. To my shock, only ~4 people, besides myself, showed up. It was really cool because I got to ask a lot of questions. More recently I went to a book signing in Utah and there were hundreds of people.

    My question is, when was the turning point of your career, in terms of popularity?

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Hero of Ages was the biggest single jump in sales I experienced, I believe, and I'd probably call it the turning point. By then, people had started to read the trilogy in earnest. The Wheel of Time, which happened shortly thereafter, was also a huge boost.
  • 47

    kagesars (Reddit)

    Can you comment on this thread/question, I'm very curious!

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    I like this strategy. Thinking outside the proverbial box. I think it has a good chance of succeeding, depending. Remember, emotional Allomancy is NOT mind control. And a duralumin-fueled blast of emotion is going to draw a lot of attention to itself, but will still be stunning. So yes, I'd say this is a valid method of taking on someone with atium.


  • 48

    legionaires (Reddit)

    Thanks for doing another AMA. I'm like a previous poster and making a reddit account so I can ask you a question about the Alloy of Law setting. How fast would you say technology is developing at that time? I ask because I tried to start a Mistborn game with my friends and they decided they wanted to build a zeppelin and give the rail companies competition due to party grudges against the rail barons.

    Brandon Sanderson (Reddit)

    Zepplins are totally believable for that era in Mistborn. (Also, rail barons are basically a big theme of upcoming books, so you guys are totally in line with where the story is going anyway.) Tech on Scadrial is following a kind of loopy progress, both because of the Metallurgic Arts and because of the artificial suppression of some technological paths by the Lord Ruler. So you can make arguments for just about anything.