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Home | Interview Database

Interviews: Chicago

Summary:

Entries

136

Date

Feb 20th, 2015

Location

Chicago, IL

TourCon

Firefight

Bookstore

Andersonís Bookshop

Links

Firefight-Chicago

  • 1

    Question

    Whatís your favorite RPG?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Pen and paper or computer?

    Question

    Hmm, give me computer.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Dark Souls, lately.

    Question

    Seriously?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Mmhmm. Dark Souls is the only young series making games halfway close to the difficulty level of the games I grew up playing.

    Argent

    Oh yes.

    Question

    Old games were so much harder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The new games are all like such cakewalks, so finding a game-- I donít think Dark Souls is actually that hard.

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  • 2

    Question

    How does it feel to be now known as a mentor to younger writers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How does it feel to be a mentor to younger writers? Well I think the fact that Iíve taught a university course on How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy for ten years, I kind of had to get used to that pretty early. I took over the class because they were going to cancel it because there was no one else to teach it. The teacher who had been teaching it retired. And so I stepped in and took it over and I still teach it to this day. My requirement being that I get to post the lectures online. So if you want to read them-- err watch them, you can watch them at brandonsanderson.com/writing-advice. Or you can ask for one of these little cards that has my url on it when you come through. Howís it feel? It feels pretty cool honestly. I like interacting with new, young writers. I like helping them out. Iím really proud of like Brian [McClellan] and Janci [Patterson] whoíve gotten published. [aside to the booksellers] You have Brianís book right there? Itís really quite good. Heís one of those ones I really canít take credit for, because he came through and he was writing awesome stuff and so I told him like the business side. Hereís how you go get published. Some of the other ones, Iíve been able to give them pointers on their actual writing, that I think have helped out. But I think with Brian he was there already, he just needed the boost to get into the industry. It feels pretty cool.

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  • 3

    Question

    Do you draw from any kind of like specific set of life experiences for your writings? Or is most of it just from your imagination?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Do I draw from a specific set of life experiences for my writing or is it just from my imagination? I would say my imagination is fueled by my specific life experiences. So the answer is both. Everything I see can become a part of my books, but at the same time sometimes itís just a happy accident. People ask about Steelheart, the bad metaphors. One of the things about the main character is he is really bad with metaphoric language, comically bad. That happened on accident, I was writing his viewpoint and Iím like ďThis character is dry, he needs more of a soul, he needs more life. How can I make him work?Ē and I accidentally wrote a bad metaphor. That happens a lot when youíre writing, you know, purple prose and bad metaphors just come out when youíre not looking. Itís like they sneak out onto the page and youíre like ďThat was really badĒ. Then I paused and thought ďWell, letís go ahead and leave it in *laughter* and run with this.Ē And it was great because it became a metaphor for Davidís metaphor-- kind of coincidentally or ironically or whatever-- that bad metaphors become a metaphor themselves because he became the character who tries too hard. Heís /really/ earnest and heís going to get stuff done but heís trying a little too hard. And thatís where the bad metaphors come from, he overthinks them. He tries too hard to put something together and it ends up as just a big mess. But his earnestness comes through it, and that became his character and it works really well. But that oneís just an accident.

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  • 4

    Question

    What is the favorite character you have written?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What is the favorite character that I have written? I would say Perrin, from The Wheel of Time. Because I canít pick my own characters, because they donít feel like Iím-- They are my favorite while Iím writing them, whoever they are. But Perrin was my favorite Wheel of Time character and when I got to finish the Wheel of Time he was the character that Robert Jordan left the least amount of notes on. In fact there was one sentence, for three books-worth, about him. And so I got to take him and really Perrin was the one I had the most influence on through the course of those three books and it was very special to me him being my favorite character and being able to do that.

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  • 5

    Question

    Were there any specific fantasy books that you read as a child that inspired you to write fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, excellent question. I was not a reader until I had a teacher, eighth grade teacher--this is true--Ms. Reeder. *laughter* Yes, itís really true R-E-E-D-E-R, was my teacher in eighth grade and she gave me a fantasy novel for the first time and convinced me to read it. It took a little work on her part because I was not a reader. It was Dragonsbane by Barbara Hamley, a kind of classic standalone epic fantasy-- And itís standalone because the sequels she wrote twenty years later when she was really depressed are /very different/. Theyíre worth reading but they donít feel like sequels. Dragonsbaneís a fantastic book. All of Anne McCaffeyís books were next to that in the school library, like in the card catalogue, under the title so I went to them next and they had a huge influence on me. I would say those two were the biggest. And then Melanie Rawnís books were next to those, so I read all of those. And then the first book series I discovered on my own, when it wasnít already finished, was the Wheel of Time. Wheel of Time, the first book came out about a year after I got into reading fantasy novels and I found the big one on the shelf and was like ďOooh thatís a big book. *laughter* Iím going to read that big book.Ē And I had no idea what I was getting myself into. *laughter* Now lotís of Wheel of Time fans can say that, they didnít know what they were getting into. I trump them, okay? I really didnít know what I was getting myself into in picking up that first Wheel of Time book and reading it.

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  • 6

    Question

    Do you ever write like two versions of a scene in a book and if you do how do you decide which--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Two versions of the same scene. I do it quite frequently. Every book there will be a couple times. Usually what happens is Iím writing a scene and Iím not pleased with it and so I put it aside and I write it again the next day. And usually letting me subconscious work on it means I end up fixing it. About one out of ten times I start writing it and I realize ďIt was right the first way, why am I writing something new?Ē And then I just go back to the book, and it wasnít that the scene was bad itís just I had a bad day. And sometimes you do, no matter what you write you are going to think it stinks. How do I decide? Itís very instinctive, Iíve never had one like ďThese are both equally goodĒ Always I know one of them is not working. In fact the best way to get over writerís block, I find, is to write the scene anyway, have anything you can think of happen--even if it doesnít make sense in your story--so that you get the scene out, and then attack it again the next day after you have had time to think about it.

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  • 7

    Argent

    Are there, or will there be, unicorns in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Are there, or will there be, unicorns in the cosmere? I have no specific plans for unicorns currently. *laughter* But there are unicorns in The Rithmatist so if you--Theyíre drawingsÖ *laughter*

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  • 8

    Question

    Where did you get the idea for the Reckoners series?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Where did I get the idea for writing the Reckoners series? I almost got in a car wreck. I was driving to a book signing and I was late and somebody cut me off in traffic. And it was like-- I had to slam on the brakes and things like that and I thought-- At that moment Iím like ďYou, person in front of me, are so lucky I donít have superpowers, Ďcause if I did I would blow your car up right now. BOOMĒ Itís a great Michael Bay effect, like it explodes and I drive through the smoke. It was really awesome I remember it. And then I was immediately horrified, right? Iím like ďHere I write all these books about people protecting the world with their powers and what would I do if I had them? Iíd be blowing up people because they inconvenience me.Ē *laughter* And this is where the series came from, I thought about that the entire rest of the drive, which was about another hour. And I thought ďWhat if-- What could we do if people just started manifesting superpowers and-- You couldnít throw them in prison, or if you did theyíd just break out. You couldnít defeat them with the armies. What would the society do if there were legitimately superpowered individuals?Ē Itís kind of the same tactic that Watchmen took, if youíve ever read that, but it kind of goes the other direction with ďThey are all evil, what do we do?Ē That was the origin and I wrote a whole book series about it.

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  • 9

    Question

    How do you decide who lives and who dies? Do you know before or is it up to the characters?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How do I decide who lives and who dies? I just decide based on the demands that they make to me by their character arcs and the risks they want to take. I donít ever feel like Iím killing characters off, I feel like I am writing the stories that need to be written the way they have to be written. They often are planned out ahead of time, Iím an architect as a writer, I come up with an outline and then I hang my story on it. But characters have veto power over the story, if they decide they want to go somewhere else. If who they are growing is somebody the story demands-- I say they decide, it doesnít really happen that way for me. If when Iím writing the story Iím like ďThis character would not make this decision. I either need to put in a new character in this place or I need to rebuild my outline to match who this person is.Ē And both of those have happened to me. Usually Iím not replacing the character except in the early parts. Usually if I like the character enough as Iím going I replace the plot.

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  • 10

    Question

    When you develop a character, like as the change over time, does it come naturally or do you have to force it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As I develop characters and they change over time, does that come naturally or do I have to force it? For me it comes very naturally. I do a lot of planning ahead of time on my plots and a /lot/ of planning ahead of time on my settings. I do less on my characters. I cast people in roles. I start writing someone in this role and I see what becomes of them in the first few chapters and if Iím not liking that I put it aside and cast someone else in that role and write for a few chapters and then set that aside until I find a mix that I like and then it is a very natural progression as I write them. Thatís just the way that it works for me. Itís a matter of practice making that happen.

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  • 11

    Question

    How do you consistently create compelling magic systems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    How do I consistently create compelling magic systems? Well you will maybe want to read Sandersonís Three Laws of Magic, which are basically each essay on this. The short answer is I look for something awesome and what that means is I look for something no one else is doing, or a ramification of a magic system that no one else is using and I extrapolate from it. As a reader of fantasy, who loved fantasy, and still does, for many years I got very tired of seeing the same two or three magic systems in every book that I read. It was really frustrating to me as a writer because I felt fantasy should be the most imaginative genre, it should be the most distinctive and different. And so it was bothersome to me that there werenít enough people doing interesting things with magic and so I just started doing it myself.

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  • 12

    Question

    Did you ever consider going back to some of your earlier work and doing a prequel or expanding the world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Did I ever consider going back to one of my previous books and doing a prequel or expanding the world? Yes, I will be doing these things. The Cosmere Sequence. So if you are not familiar my epic fantasy books, so anything that doesnít mention Earth, theyíre all set in the same universe. So Elantris, and Mistborn, and Way of Kings, and they all have crossover characters that you can spot if you look really closely, that are interfering. So there will be some parallel stories that show what some of these other people were doing behind the scenes. There will be a series that starts it all off, long before the first books happen, and then there will eventually be-- Mistborn kind of forms the core of this. I pitched Mistborn to my editor as an epic fantasy trilogy, followed by an urban fantasy trilogy, followed by a science fiction trilogy--a science fiction trilogy where theyíve learned to use the magic system to make space travel possible. That was my original pitch. The Alloy of Law was actually a happy accident, and so weíve added a fourth one in, an early industrial era. Iím actually doing four of those, because I really fell in love with them. So youíll be getting two more of those, one in September or October and then one in January. And then the final Reckoners book should come sometime early next year like probably April or May and then the new Stormlight book will be in the fall. So yay Stormlight. *cheers*

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  • 13

    Question

    So if you had a character in Wheel of Time who was in the cosmere, who would that be? Jain Farstrider?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh Jain? Thatís a good choice! Jain makes a lot of sense. I was going to say one of the Aelfinn or Eelfinn, Ďcause they cross dimensions already. That would be the most likely. But you could totally make an argument for Jain or one of the Heroes having fallen through the portal. I intentionally didnít put any cosmere references into the Wheel of Time. It felt like hubris to do that. The cameo in the Wheel of Time for me is the sword that Robert Jordanís cousin gave to me out of Robert Jordanís collection, so I wrote my sword into it. So if you look, itís not too hard to find, youíll find Rand gets a new sword. Thatís my sword. *laughter* I got it hanging on my wall with a little plaque that says ďLet the Dragon ride again on the winds of timeĒ and then Robert Jordanís name and his lifespan underneath. Itís very cool. Itís a katana out of his collection, itís really cool.

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  • 14

    Question

    Talking about reading unpublished material.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I always like to read something that is unpublished. So that is something new that you get only by coming to my signings or going to the internet where people will have inevitably posted it online already. *laughter* Itís really exclusive for like the first signing that I do and then after that everybody on the 17th Shard, which is the fan website, are like *hilarious ďooohĒ sound* NoÖ I have to be very careful about what I read because the publisher has certain deals about exclusivity on new releases. Like for instance I canít read any more from the new Mistborn books because Apple has an exclusive release of new material on that and things like that. Itís just part of the deals that we do and so-- I also have to make sure that itís not making big spoilers for other books. I have to make sure that itís not containing errors that are glaring continuity errors and things like that. So we are going to read from a novella called Perfect State. This is a novella that I wrote oh about two years ago now and I didnít really L-- get it done. Like I wrote it and then there was something wrong with it and I wasnít sure what it was. I actually finished it a couple months ago. I finally figured out what it was that was wrong.

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  • 15

    Question

    Did you purposely make the Church of the Survivor sort of like Christianity or not?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kelsier intentionally made it like Christianity. In kind of a false way, meaning he read about and had Sazed tell him about religions that were similar and then he built that his own way.

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  • 16

    Question

    Oh so did Sazed tell him about... (Kelsier)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sazed told him about religions that were similar. I wouldnít say Christianity specifically, but their version and things. So there is a yes and a no.

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  • 17

    Question

    I was wondering how you schedule all the books that you write. Do you have adhere to a solid schedule or is it more like you finish a book and go into one you are more excited to write?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, at this point in my career I have the ability to have a little more influence over that. I do try to keep to kind of a regular schedule. My publishers have learned Iíll turn in what Iíll turn in, and then theyíll publish it. Because I am more productive if I can jump between things.

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  • 18

    Question

    Iím a graphic designer and I want to know how you visually communicate-- You have such great visuals in your books...Do you draw them all? Or do you just tell someone what you need?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lots of practice. It really is just practice. So I have artists. I commission concept art for my descriptions and thenÖ That doesnít always end up in the book. In fact usually it doesnít. For the things that end up in the book Iíll often do like a quick sketch and say ďmake this awesomeĒ or Iíll do a paragraph or two of description.

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  • 19

    Question

    You know how usually you read a good book and it will change your perspective on some aspect of life, do you ever finish writing a book yourself and-- From your own writings do you ever ďAh Iíve neverÖĒ

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís usually the research I do. Like when Iím like ďI need to get in the mindset of /this/ type of personĒ and I go read about it. I see the world in a different way after I become immersed in that.

    Question

    So what character have you written that was the hardest to imagine or get into?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Jasnah was very hard originally, and that took a lot of research into the mindset of people who think differently from myself. In the Wheel of Time books Aviendha and Tuon are both very different cultures so getting into those.

    Question

    How was it writing Mat? Was it pretty easy or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Mat blindsided me. Mat I thought would be easy because Perrin and Rand were and I grew up with Mat, Perrin, and Rand, right? But the thing is Mat is a really hard character to write, meaning actual-- you look at him, he says one thing, he does a second thing, but he /thinks/ a third thing. And so there is a lot of contrast to him and I just started writing him naturally and I wasnít getting all of that contrast because I was like ďOh I know who Mat is. Matís my--Ē But he was saying the things that he never said, if that makes sense? I got his actions right but I flipped what he said and what he thought. It was actually really hard to get him down.

    Question

    You mean how he would say that he was going to avoid trouble and then run straight into it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, itís like ďIím going to avoid troubleĒ, he runs into trouble, and heís thinking all the way about something completely separate, and then something else leaves his mouth.

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  • 20

    Question

    Iím a physical chemist and Iím reading your book [TWoK] right now and at some point you have someone studying flamespren and what they saw, thatís one of the fundaments [sic] of quantum mechanics--So you got that from quantum mechanics?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I did get that from quantum mechanics.

    Question

    How did you come across that and decide to incorporate that into your epic fantasy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well the Way of Kings magic systems are based on the fundamental forces. That was the original idea and the extrapolation from them. Iím fascinated by quantum mechanics and I have worked them into the way that-- Remember in my worlds, my books, the magics are a new branch of physics, in these worlds. And so they interact with our normal physics, itís not like they are ignoring them, so they obey the laws of thermodynamics, even when they appear to be breaking them, and they interact with quantum and all the stuff. Itís just very natural that they are going to, to me if that makes sense? It would be weird if they didnít interact with them.

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  • 21

    Question

    I was just interested in the religious aspects of the books--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Being religious myself I am fascinated by religion in all of its different forms. So I constantly find myself returning to religious concepts and dealing with them in my books. I donít look to put any sort of message into my books, I look to create characters who feel real and let them determine what the message of the book is, does that make sense? What they are passionate about. So what you get from the books will depend on which characters you empathize with.

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  • 22

    Question

    You have said you are an architect, so I was wondering if the plot twists at the end of the book, did you have those at the beginning?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would say most of the time I have them at the beginning but sometimes during the writing I rebuild my outline to do something different. You always have to be open to that I feel as an architect, to rebuilding your plot for when the creative process takes you in a different direction.

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  • 23

    Question

    So what are your thoughts on the Wheel of Time pilot?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Wheel of Time pilot? IÖ thinkÖ See this is kind of on the record because of the recording. I think the actors and the director are to be praised for doing so much with so little time. I donít think it should have been made and I donít think it is a good direction for the Wheel of Time to be going. But that is in part because I know Harriet was not pleased with it.

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  • 24

    Question

    So what about the things you left out when you finished-- What was the one thing you wish you could have gotten in there most?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most that I wish I could have gotten into the Wheel of Time? My favorite sequence that got cut, writing-wise, was the sequence where Perrin travels in the Ways and defeats Machin Shin with the Ogier. Itís a beautiful sequence, it came out really well. The problem is reading the book you donít miss it because it was a big deviation. So Iím not sure if I wish that one would have made it into the book. I tried to get Rand engaged, and that one I think-- I think as a whole a lot of people are confused when they come to me and wish that they could have known a little bit more about that relationship and I tried to have the three-- I tried to write a scene where the three women weave a bridal wreath together to give to him and Harriet did not like that scene because she thought it might contradict Rand later wondering if any of them would follow him, which is a scene that Robert Jordan wrote. I didnít think it contradicted but since we had that scene from Robert Jordan and since Harriet-- sheís the boss, I was happy to cut it according to her wishes. I miss that one.

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  • 25

    Question

    Is there anything-- Is any of that going to be in the Encyclopedia coming up and are you doing anything with it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I am not doing anything with it. It is all Harriet. In fact when Robert Jordan and she signed the contracts for it it was always going to be her project and not his.

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  • 26

    Question

    When do you know a book is finished and send it to an editor/agent/whatever, wherever it gets sent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would sayÖ that my process is I write the first draft and I do a second draft where I am fixing the problems that I recognized on my first draft. Then I do a third draft where I try to clean up the prose, thatís just making the writing line by line better. I try to cut 10% and I just try to take each line and make it tighter. At that point I send it off. But I generally send it-- At that point I send it to my alpha readers, which are my agent and editor for me. If you are doing it I would suggest giving it to a round of readers from friends first. Get feedback from them, then do one more draft and then send it off.

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  • 27

    Question

    Why would you choose Chicago as a setting?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I grew up in Nebraska, Lincoln, and Chicago was the big city we would travel to. I liked that it was-- This is kind of going to sound weird but it was a big city full of mid-westerners. Like when I went to LA everyone talked and acted different, when I went to New York everyone talked and acted different, but in Chicago it-- they were kind of like a bunch of hokey mid-westerners had somehow built a big city? *laughter* If that makes any sense. So I have always had a fondness for Chicago. Itís like the big city of farmers or whatnot. I donít know thereís just something about it, the being on the lake and the profile of it and things like that. And Iím a Batman fan and Gotham is Chicago. Chicago was my go-to when I was going to destroy a city in our world; I picked Chicago.

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  • 28

    Question

    I really enjoy the systems of religion and the religious questions that you bring up and so I was wondering-- Well first whether in your worlds there is a relationship between the efficacy of religion and the efficacy of magic?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is but the relationship is not a direct one-to-one parallel. In other words the beings that are worshiped have an influence over the magic. Whether they are actually God is disputed by various people. And there are people who worship things that are not the various beings the magic is-- Does that make sense?

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  • 29

    Question

    Yes. Also what is it about about the Fantasy genre in particular that lends itself to these sorts of questions about the nature of religion? Itís the same reason why I like Star Trek, you can kind of create a scenario and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well I think that there are a lot of things. One of them is that fantasy is one of these genres where we can take away a lot of the contemporary baggage. For instance, since it is hard to talk about things like the Catholic Church and the religion without getting into the social issues in our world right now, but if you create a fake religion that you can narrow down and focus on one aspect of it-- Fantasy is really good at that. Tolkien did it with racism, letís have an elf and a dwarf and have them interact, and take away all the baggage of civil rights era America or England and instead said ďletís see if these two races can get alongĒ But I also think that because of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis having such an influence on the genre you can do Good vs Evil, which lends itself. Like Robert Jordanís works thereís no religion thereís just a lot of spirituality. So there is no religion because people can actively check and see if God is real, the Creator. The magic is there, itís the proof, they donít /need/ a religion. Which is a really interesting way to approach it.

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  • 30

    Question

    How do you come up with the ideas for the powers and the names of the Epics?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The names are actually really hard because comic book heroes, there are so many names theyíve already used. And so I have to a lot of searching and thinking and itís usually my fifth choice. Lots of looking in the thesaurus for ďalright was a word that is like this one that has been used way too oftenĒ. The powers Iím look for usually something cool that somebody has done in a movie or a book or a comic book that I donít think they extrapolated far enough. Iím like ďNo thatís not how it would really work. This is how I think it would really workĒ and kind of taking my own spin on it.

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  • 31

    Question

    How much research do you have to do in sciences and technology and history to create a world that is more relatable if not as believable as they are?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What it takes is a lot of general knowledge, meaning you read a lot of history books, a lot of science books, and this general knowledge that you then incorporate. Itís not like I go and say ďI need to know more about this thingĒ. Iíll do that for characters and some aspects of the worlds sometimes but mostly this is coming from spending 10 years learning all this stuff. Does that make sense?

    Question

    It makes total sense, and my 10 years of community college will help me write.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes it will.

    Question

    My 120 credit-hours.

    Brandon Sanderson

    120 credit-hours, thatís what makes a good writerÖ That really turns-- You can pick out ďOh thatís my linguistics classĒ and Iíd be like ďOh thatís my chemistry class. Oh thatís the class I snuck into, the psychology classĒ.

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  • 32

    Question

    Can Worldhoppers travel forwards and backwards in time or are they stuck going forward?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are stuck going forward. Good question.

    Question

    So Hoid has to move in a straight line?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has to move in a straight line. It can squish-- stretch or squish that line but he canít go back along the line.

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  • 33

    Question

    How do you think about reddit or the 17th shard and the Coppermind-- All the different theories going around? Do you ever find one that hits your plot line or something?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yes. I donít change it. Iím just like ďThereís a smart person.Ē But what I learned in Wheel of Time fandom was that you canít-- There is madness that lies in trying to change things once someone figures it out. Like particularly with the way that I do my plots, thereís foreshadowing so thereís someone whoís going to be able to figure it out. If they /canít/ figure it out I havenít put in the foreshadowing properly. So almost everything that Iíve put into the books, /somebody/ knows. Some of them are really obvious and everybodyís got it, and Iím okay with that because the people who donít read the forums, a few of them will be surprised, but mostly it will be like ďYeah of course we know this Brandon. Of course we know yada yada yadaĒ I donít--I donít *mutters* I think youíve figured it out-- But there are things like that. But there are other little things that there are a dozen theories on, and one of themís right.

    Question

    You are probably going to get that when thereís large populations...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thereís large populations and thereís proper foreshadowing, somebody is going to get it, and I think thatís appropriate.

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  • 34

    Question

    I was curious Mat and then the second-hand man TalmanesÖ Did you have inspiration for those-- Because I absolutely enjoyed, I laughed out loud multiple times reading those characters. And I wondered--

    Brandon Sanderson

    With Mat it was always just me trying to match Robert Jordanís style, sometimes awkwardly at first but I think I got it down. With Talmanes there was more room for interpretation because I had always-- In fandom people interpret his personality in a lot of different ways, and I was a certain theory because weíd never seen through his eyes. When I did write scenes through his eyes I used my interpretation. There are some people ďNo thatís not how he isĒ. There are some people ďYes I always knew he was like thatĒ. But thatís how Iíve always viewed him, with kind of the tongue in his cheek as heís talking to Mat. And Iíve always loved him as a character because of that. Which is why I wanted to write him and include him. There weren't any notes to use him.

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  • 35

    Question

    Thank you for writing everything, and I know your guilty pleasure. And thatís why I want one of those special card things, otherwise Iíll reveal it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh you will? Whatís my guilty pleasure?

    Question

    Writing the Alcatraz books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah, that is the guilty pleasure. Here you go.

    Question

    Are you going to continue writing those? Or is your guilty pleasure just writing ďYou are about to be sacrificed on a pile of old encyclopedias. Iím going to write five books where it doesnít happen and then just stopĒ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, that would have been fun but I felt that the scene needed to be in the series. So the scene is in Book 5. But there is a different evil thing.

    Question

    Iíve actually read everything that youíve published. I really only read Alcatraz because I thought ďHe really canít be good at /childrenís/ booksĒ. My ex-girlfriends a preschool teacher, and I wanted her to have a book that was somewhat childrenís.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are people who actively hate those books, because Alcatraz is so mean to the reader, they are so fourth-wall breaking.

    Question

    Theyíre not, I actually wrote a letter because I was waiting for so long and I knew you had so many people.

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  • 36

    Question

    Do you ever listen to your own audiobooks?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do on occasion. I donít listen to them for long because I will find myself wanting to change things. And thatís dangerousÖ

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  • 37

    Question

    Do you have a favorite narrator that you--Of your books and of other books.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is Michael Kramer, who did the Wheel of Time books. Which is why I asked for him on my books.

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  • 38

    Argent

    If I may, how do you feel about Graphic Audio?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I, personally, love that they are available but I find them kind of distracting when Iím listening to them. Yeah. Iím glad-- I mean I want to sell as many of them as we can because there are some people who just love them. But I actually love straight reads, like I like Wil Wheatonís reading, where thereís very minimal voices.

    Argent

    Well thatís because itís Wil Wheaton.

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is Wil Wheaton but I-- I do like Graphic Audio because they use women for womenís parts, men for menís parts, which is really helpful. Men doing womenís voices in books, and Women doing menís voices as readers, a lot of them are like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.

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  • 39

    Question

    When it comes to major, pivotal plot twists. Moments where the reader goes ďWOAHĒ or ďOh my godĒ. Are those something you write as starting point or ending point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What I do is I plot my outline backward, starting with those scenes. And then I write the book forward to those scenes. The reason I can do it that way is because in the plot I donít need to know the charactersí emotional state, I can just come up with ďThis is going to be a great sceneĒ. But I have to have been with the characters through the journey to write their reaction to the scene. So I canít actually write it early.

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  • 40

    Question

    My question was, have you ever written a scene and had it published and then wanted to change one of your scenes?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I have. There have been a couple of them. Thereís one at the end of Words of Radiance, when it came time for the paperback I reverted to a previous version of the scene. So yeah you guys will see that when the paperback comes out. One of the ending scenes-- Itís a very minor tweak but I had done like four different drafts of this scene and I didnít like the one we ended up with. Even immediately after we sent it in I was like ďNo thatís the wrong oneĒ. So we reverted.

    Question

    Will you post that online?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Iíll post that online when the book comes out. Iíll be like ďBy the way guys, Warning. Thereís a change here.Ē

    Question

    The internet will freak out.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. The other thing is the ending of Elantris, the spatial-ness of it, and things, I got some of the math wrong. I didnít have Peter back then. And so now that we are doing a 10th anniversary edition I actually had Peter and Isaac, who does all the maps, get together, work out the actual math. The size of the city, the size of the continent, and all this stuff and Isaacís doing a new map and we are changing the text to now match that map. So for instance where it says something is in the original text it will actually move now that we have an actual real map, rather than my MS Paint thing that I was using Ďcause you know me and maps. So yeah you nodded, there are a lot of mathematical-- just problems. Weíve got the new map now and it all works. So Iím glad that it all actually works, once you get the math right. But like the number of steps is way off at the end of that one for instance. [To Argent/Kurk] Have you guys figured that out? Like it makes the size of the planet stupidly big.

    Question

    When is that coming out by the way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím not sure, we just have to see when we turn it in. I think maybe later this year. Maybe early next year. I wouldnít be surprised if they tried to get it out with one of the Mistborn books, at around the same time.

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  • 41

    Question

    If you could live on any one of the worlds, which one would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If forced to, because I would stay here if I could Ďcause internet, internetís really cool, mac & cheese, I like mac & cheese, I like instant ramen. But if I were forced I would pick Scadrial, the Mistborn world, because itís the closest to all of those things, but beyond that it would, post-Catacendre, a very good place to live...

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  • 42

    Argent

    Will Scadrial actually develop internet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    UmÖ We will see, wonít we?

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  • 43

    Question

    I was wondering about , how much of your day do you spend writing? Because you have five(?) books coming out, I didnít count them all.

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, Iíve only got two books this year. I do two books a year, with a third book occasionally. It just depends on how long the books are. For instance a Way of Kings book is four of these [Firefight?] in length, so when I do a Stormlight book you get less, fewer other books. When I do-- For instance I can do two of these [Reckoners?] and two Mistborn books in the same length of time. I work a normal workday usually, plus a little bitÖ I donít write particularly fast. I do write a large amount but mostly Iím very consistent. I just write a little bit each day and then it happens.

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  • 44

    Question

    How did Kaladin heal his shardblade wound without the power of Regrowth?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís partially a RAFO. Remember that healing in the cosmere usually has to do with how you view yourself. And as long as there is some outpouring of Investiture you are usually capable of healing. More the weird thing is not that Kaladin healed itís that Szeth couldnít.

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  • 45

    Question

    Can Hemalurgy steal other manifestations of Investiture?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. If it is part of the soul, Hemalurgy can steal it.

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  • 46

    Question

    Can someone be sacrificed for both Hemalurgy and the magics of Dakhor simultaneously?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So this is going to require the soul being ripped apart, so it depends on what pieces of the soul are left and how easily you can capture them. Thatís a theoretical possible-- possibilityÖ Know that most of the horrors of Dakhor are twisting a soul not stealing a soul.

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  • 47

    Question

    In, I believe, Well of Ascension, when Hoid-- Vin was going to talk to Hoid and get information but she sensed something.Can you reveal anything about that? [questioner doesn't have a theory] [bystanders]: theorize

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, But you can have a RAFO card... Do you have a theory? The clues are all there. Theyíre very obscure. Stop theorizing! I shouldnít have said anything.

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  • 48

    Question

    Was Vinís mother under Hemalurgic influence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vinís mother was under influence of Ruin.

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  • 49

    Question

    Is there any possibility of Vin and Zane being half-siblings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Is there any possibility? NoÖ Good guess, but no.

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  • 50

    Question

    The symbols before the chapters, are those alloys for the god metals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, the symbols before the chapters are the same symbols as in the first book from a different era. Same thing for the third book, they are the exact same symbols from a different era.

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  • 51

    Question

    Assuming that itís possible-- There are alternate Physical Realms, is Shadesmar common between them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    YesÖ They donít always call it Shadesmar.

    Question

    Sure, but there is one Cognitive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Thereís one Physical too if you think about it.

    Question

    WellÖ Between the booksÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah but thereís one Physical-- Thereís one universe, itís all the Physical Realm, just like there is one Cognitive Realm.

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  • 52

    Question

    Where did you come up with the idea for Allomancy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís a combination of several things. One is I started with wanting a group of powers that would complement a gang of thieves. So I designed the powers to work within the roles of a thieving crew. The burning metals came from reading about biology and metabolism and it felt very natural to me because thatís how we get our energy as human beings. The whole connection of the metals and the visualization stuff came from mixing the periodic table of the elements with alchemy. All of those things kind of spun together to make it.

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  • 53

    Question

    Do you get a cameo in one of your books when it gets adapted to a movie?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, we actually had it written into the contracts that I get to have a cameo.

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  • 54

    Question

    How did you sort of develop and write the character of Vin? ĎCause her upbringing is so different from anything we-- that I have experienced and Iím guessing you had a similar experience. So did you have a model or somebody you could talk to?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I-- Not really. Now I did have two sisters, which helped, but my sisters were not raised in such a manner. It is more just trying out personalities, like I talked about in my speech until I got one that worked. Lots of practice if you want to be a good writer, lots and lots of practice. Try writing people very different from yourself and try to get them right. Give it to people and have them see if anything ďYes this feels rightĒ and things like that. Just do lots of practice.

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  • 55

    Question

    So a lot of your books are very cinematic in nature and lend themselves very well to other forms of media and I was wondering if you had to choose what would you do-- video gamesÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    I would want to do all of those.

    Question

    All of the things?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I would love to do a big cross-media sort of deal. Whatever I can get away with, right? So weíre doing a White Sand comic book right now, you probably know about that. White Sand, my unpublished novel, weíre doing a graphic novel of that. Iím working hard to get the movies made, I will do anything I can get made. Just because I love storytelling in all its different weird varieties.

    Question

    Thereís the Mistborn dice game, do you know of anything for The Stormlight Archive? If theyíre ever going to do something with that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I think the thing we are going to do with Stormlight Archive-- Weíre going to try a chasm assault boardgame. Where you put together chasms and bridges and things like that. Thatís what we think would work really well. We have a developer-- well game designer who wants to do one of those so weíre going to work with them and try to get it made.

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  • 56

    Question

    You are releasing a graphic novel version of White Sand, which one is going to be canon to the cosmere, the graphic novel or the novel you originally wrote?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh definitely the graphic novel. The book I originally wrote has its problems, and I never released it. The books donít become canon until I release them. This will be the canon release of White Sand. I donít think-- If the graphic novel does well we are not going to write novels, Iím going to do the second one as a graphic novel original. Thatís just how we are going to do it-- is my plan right now. There are things when we went back to it that we tweaked, for instance Hoidís appearance in the original novel was only a reference. He was mentioned by, what did I end up calling him, Eis? Ais, I had both names for a while, it was only a reference to one of his old cases, thatís his only appearance. And weíre like ďEhh people are going to expect more nowĒ. So we are writing in a better appearance for him. Stuff like that, I feel Khrissí character needs better development than the novel had, so we are working on that. Stuff, you know. Things you would do in a major revision.

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  • 57

    Question

    Is there any possibility of the novellas being released in like a bound--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, we will eventually do-- Tor really wants to do a collection of all the cosmere novellas. So likeÖ [Brandon stumbles over the words] Shadows for Silence, The Emperorís Soul, Sixth of the Dusk. But I was trying to say Shadows for Silence but I almost said Shadows of Self, thatís going to be a problem for me going forward, using Shadows in two. But all of those in one collection is what weíre probably going to see.

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  • 58

    Question

    At the end of Firefight when it says that if you overcome your fears that the corruption kind of ceases to exist. Does that mean an Epicís weakness is resolved [also?]

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a question for the sequel.

    Question

    So would that imply that maybe David has a power but he doesnít know it because he overcame the water fear?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís entirely possibleÖ Youíre asking good questions.

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  • 59

    Question

    I really like your idea with the whole Mistborn series, taking it further in history and we are both PhD physicists.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh sweet.

    Question

    I always think about that and I was wondering if you were worried about going that sci-fi fantasy route? Like for instance--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím not worried about it, Iím just excitedÖ In my mind all of my books are sci-fi as well as fantasy because Iím making weird new branches of physics and trying to adhere to as many of the laws as I can.

    Question

    Yeah thatís one of things I love about how well thought out the magic systems are.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Like I-- You are actually not the first physicists to come through another one came through earlier tonight and talking about the quantum mechanics that are in The Way of Kings.

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  • 60

    Question

    Do you set out to write a specific-- like a teen book or an adult book? Or are they just--

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually do set out these days. Originally I was not as cognizant of it, but I do think keeping audience in mind is an important attribute of writing. The thing is when you are doing a teen book its not about writing down itís about dealing with issues, like itís the type of conflicts that really make something a teen book in my opinion. And those conflicts can transcend into adult books but-- I donít know itís just thereís a feel for it.

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  • 61

    Argent

    Awakening and Surgebinding, Stormlight and Breath seem really similar in some aspects--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    --except Breaths seem to stick to things better--

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do.

    Argent

    --than Stormlight. So when you are holding the Breath it doesnít expire when you put it in something it doesnít go away. Can you tell me something about why thatís happening?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Part of this is kind of inherent to the Shard and the power itís coming from. I mean the power of Endowment is just going to stick, thatís part of the nature of its magic. Does that make sense? But it also kind of has to do with how the ecosystems are working. For instance the Stormlight is essential to the ecosystem of Roshar, it needs to be expended, it needs to get out and-- Itís like evaporation, does that make sense?

    Argent

    Recycling? Not the recycling but the cycle of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, yeah like the cycle of water. And so just part of the way the nature of it works, it /has/ to get out, it /has/ to leak out, it has to run out. I mean it leaks even from spheres, right?

    Argent

    And when you lash things itís temporary--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yep. And even though Szeth says that he thought Voidbringers could hold it they canít. Like it is just not the way that it works.

    Argent

    Can they just hold it better?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They can hold it better. Itís not permanent. Now there are things that can do it permanently but--

    Argent

    Like the black sphere for example?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well we are not going to...The black sphere is something different. You guys have guessed what the black sphere is, right?

    Argent

    Well we have some ideas. I support that it holds an Unmade. Am I wrong?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím not going to answer that.

    Argent

    But you said--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím just curious what the theories are. Book 3 the black sphere is-- Everyone who reads the books will know what the black sphere is by the end of Book 3.

    Argent

    I can live with that.

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  • 62

    Argent

    Renarin, his visions of the future are they connected to one of his Surges? Both of them? Are they a side-effect of his order? Renarin, his visions of the future are they connected to one of his Surges? Both of them? Are they a side-effect of his order?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Alright, how much of a spoiler do you want on this?

    Argent

    All of it. Is that even a question for me?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Really? Do you want to know something secret that you then canít post?

    Argent

    Iíll bear the burden.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Youíll bear the burden meaning I can tell you? [Answer does not get recorded]

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  • 63

    Argent

    Can Nightblood damage or kill a Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood is not powerful enough for-- *weird ehhh sound*

    Argent

    Is he that powerful?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Damage? Yes. How damaging? Is a subject to discussion. Nightblood contains a /lot/ of Investiture.

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    Argent

    Can a sentient object be created on Roshar? By just-- In a way similar to how the Scholars created Nightblood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No I wasnít saying no I was saying well thatís kind of what the shardblades are.

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  • 65

    Argent

    Does Lift turn food into investiture directly or is it similar to the metals on--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Similar to the metals.

    Argent

    So like a gate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    Okay, thatís good to know.

    Brandon Sanderson

    She can metabolize-- She can draw-- Itís not actually the food, itís-- Itís not like the metals, not exactly. Itís not-- What she can do is she can metabolize into investiture instead of sugar. Does that make sense?

    Argent

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    We metabolize food into sugar. She can metabolize it into investiture. Does that make sense?

    Argent

    That makes a lot of sense. So if she eats--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sheís got to have a blood sugar spike.

    Argent

    So if she eats like a cake it will give her more investiture--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Faster. It will give her faster.

    Argent

    Whereas if she eats a vegetable...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vegetable... More calories is going to equal more. But the better comparison would be a sausage and bread. Because bread is a fast blood sugar spike and the sausage is not. And thatís how Iím working in my head. Itís kind of a magical version of a blood sugar spike and I have it happen to her faster than it could happen. Like normally you eat a piece of bread and your blood sugar spikes in a half hour, itís going to go faster for Lift.

    Argent

    Herís is like five minutes.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Herís is like five minutes, but a sausage would be slower.

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  • 66

    Argent

    Are there any other end-negative magic systems out there other than hemalurgy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    Have we seen either the system or the world one of them is in?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Literal RAFO.

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  • 67

    Argent

    Can a Returned like Lightsong go to Roshar and form a bond with a spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Investiture interferes with other investiture.

    Question

    And they have a lot of it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And they have a lot of it. That is not-- Itís not completely-- For instance you can Push on Invested metal, but itís hard. Thereís a resistance, the more invested the harder-- So a bond for instance-- forming a bond-- Itís, yeah-- It can be done-- I mean Sazed took two of the powers up, right? But I kind of imagine what he did as a nuclear reaction. Where breaking an atom is hard, unless you are in the middle of a sun. And he was in the middle of the sun. At that point-- Argent: There was a lot of stuff going on around him that facilitated. Brandon: Yes, definitely. But when youíve got that much power youíll-- In other words if there is a lot of power going around, these things become easier.

    Question

    So, possible but difficult is--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 68

    Question

    Iím 66 in a couple months and I want to make sure I live long enough to read the whole Stormlight--Am I going to? I just retired so I have plenty of time to read.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Youíll definitely make it through the first five. The thing about it is Iíll break in the middle, but the first five come to a natural climax, and then thereís an in-world break of 15 years. Not 15 years away for us but an in-world break. And then Iíll do another trilogy. I think youíll make it through them all. I think youíll easily make it, you look very hale and healthy.

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  • 69

    Question

    Did I read that they were going to make a movie out of Mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The question is-- Somebody bought the rights. The question is whether they are actually going to use them for anything, and that I canít say. I really like the people who have them.

    Question

    Would you be involved in it if--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. I would be involved.

    Question

    How much?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The contracts say I have to be able to go to the set at any time.

    Question

    You wouldnít be helping writing the screenplay?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh I donít write screenplays, itís a different skill. I think you do an expert do what an expert does. But so far they have sent me all of the stuff theyíve done and Iíve given feedback and theyíve taken it. Itís a good sign.

    Question

    In your opinion what percent--

    Brandon Sanderson

    How close?

    Question

    --that they are going to start it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    15?

    Question

    That small?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís high. I think thatís very high for this business. My agent says one out of 30 gets made.

    Question

    So whatís the criteria they would--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Investors, if there are people who are willing to give us a 100 million dollarsÖ So if you happen to know anyone willing to sink a 100 million dollars into a film we could do it tomorrow.

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  • 70

    Question

    So Iím in the middle of Hero of Ages, and Iím noticing there are constant parallels between Vin and the Hero of Ages and Elend and the Lord Ruler? Is it going to hurt?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís done intentionally. Is the ending going to hurt? The ending is the right ending. Itís going to be satisfying, but it also might hurt.

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  • 71

    Question

    Can I generally ask what the plot is somewhat like for Wayne and Wax?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, so there is a murderer in town who is not human.

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  • 72

    Question

    So are the rumors true are you [and Pat Rothfuss] going to write a book together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, but every time we are on a panel we are like ďAH we should write a book together.Ē Itís highly unlikely, that we would ever do anything together. Just because our writing styles are so different. Patís writing process-- Itís not so much style itís the writing process-- is so different. But you can hold out hope. Perhaps some day I will have a pitch for Pat or something like that. But I would hate to inconvenience his fans by distracting him with something else.

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  • 73

    Question

    When you finish a book how do you celebrate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I usually, unless I have a really tight deadline, I pick a video game and I play the video game. Usually once a year Iíll do that and Iíll take like two weeks off and just play through a game.

    Question

    I like that idea. Iím trying to finish up my masterís thesis and deciding what I can do when Iíve finished it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh okay, I donít know if you can take two weeks off.

    Question

    Well Iíve already told my boss Iím going to take three weeks off. But iíll probably go somewhere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    See traveling, I travel so much for work that I donít really want to go anywhere. I just want to stay home where I donít have to do anything. I played Skyrim, I broke it out over the holidays. I hadnít ever played that one. Thatís my latest.

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  • 74

    Question

    Do you have any good book recommendations?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sure, what kind of book do you like?

    Question

    I like your books, I like the Rothfuss books--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay.

    Question

    Jim Butcherís, big fan of thatÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, have you read Brent Weeks?

    Question

    I have not.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Brent Weeks is pretty good, Lightbringer is the one you want to get. I think they are better than his first series. I would also recommend-- Letís seeÖ Brian McClellan, who was my student, who is writing books and they are very good.

    Question

    What are those called?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Promise of Blood, is the first one. Itís just called Promise of Blood.

    Question

    I think I saw that on Amazon, I was looking at that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís flintlock fantasy which means gunpowder, early gunpowder fantasy stuff and itís awesome. Those are both great. I read Naomi Novikís-- ???: [...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    Heís already read Rothfuss. Naomi Novikís books are very good as well.

    Question

    Have you read the one that comes out in July?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iíve read it! I did, itís so good!

    Question

    YES!

    Argent

    Oh you are the worst.

    Question

    Itís /so good/.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís really, really good. Itís--

    Question

    What was the name of that one?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís called Uprooted, itís like a dark fairy tale, but less fairy tale and more epic fantasy.

    Question

    [...] I donít like grown up books so the fact I--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís /totally/ YA. Sheís-- Or itís New Adult. Itís /totally/ New Adult. Even though theyíre not publishing it that, that book totally reads like New Adult.

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  • 75

    Kurkistan

    So, could you give us some examples of how the ideals that spren represent work in other magic systems, like we have Forging where you get plausibility, or Returned how they're beautiful or any other systems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Okay, one more time on that.

    Kurkistan

    Okay, so you know the ideals the spren are manifestations--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kurkistan

    How-- Do those have impacts on other magic systems?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, yes, in the same way the Returned- that's the exact same system at work there.

    Kurkistan

    Is it the same reason why the Lord Ruler has to die of old age, and why you can't heal yourself into being an octopus or something?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Um... Yes, that is all connected in the exact same way.

    Kurkistan

    Okay, so it's all like these high falutin' spiritual ideals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kurkistan

    And are there like, median Cognitive ideals that gradually kind of influence these, or--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, they transcend between the three. I mean the original concept for the three realms is Platonic philosophy.

    Kurkistan

    So it goes up *makes absurd reverse-waterfall hand gesture*

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, it goes up and it comes back down. A lot of the Cognitive is-- So like, the Cognitive has a bigger effect on how you can heal and things like that. Does that make sense?

    Kurkistan

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But the power to heal is a actually a spiritual thing.

    Kurkistan

    So it's like the spiritual says "I want to be like this" and the Cognitive is like "okay I'll try really hard to be like that, but I have a limit."

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right. Right. Filtered through how you see yourself, yeah.

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    Kurkistan

    So is that the same thing with Commands, are there like ideals that are Commands?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is more of a-- For you to interface with the magic, you need to be able to comprehend it. And so forming a Command-- The same thing happens in Elantris, you know they don't accidentally draw runes, right? The intention is part of interfacing with the magic. So it's like your mind reaching into the spiritual realm and you have to like conceive something.

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  • 77

    Kurkistan

    Speaking of time bubbles, can iron and steel and emotional Allomancy go beyond the boundaries of time bubbles; like if I'm inside a time bubble can I just like super steel push outside?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, time bubbles interfere with almost all forms of investiture.

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    Kurkistan

    Speaking of interfering, if you shot an aluminum bullet through a time bubble, what would happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooooh, that's a good question. I'm gonna' RAFO that one. It's an excellent question.

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  • 79

    Question

    You said in an earlier interview that the glittery things in Elantris..

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, Seons.

    Question

    I believe that you said that the Seons on Roshar would bond similarly--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

    Question

    Would that work in the opposite direction?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Meaning what? Someone from Roshar could they bond a Seon? Oh, would spren bond-- Yes that could happen.

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  • 80

    Question

    I do have a question for you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, you want the Ghostblood symbol. I think this is the one we settled on, but Isaac has final say on art things. So you might have the one that was the one before we settled on one.

    Question

    That means itís unique.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, itís unique, but Iím pretty sure thatís what we settled on.

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  • 81

    Question

    My question has to do with the color of Shallanís eyes currently, because weíve noticed over the books that Kaladinís eyes, as heís continued to use his Surge, changed to lighter and lighter blue. Whereas one could argue that Shallan is farther in her Ideals than Kaladin is, yet her eyes have not changed at all.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Right, Ďcause they were already light.

    Question

    ĎCause they were already light? So it only affects lightness or darkness in the eyes, not necessarily any other color?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís not like it is-- Itís not like itís saying ďLight minus 50%Ē.

    Question

    Itís not like Honor is blue and--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. It is not. It is just kind of the way that the changes the Stormlight is making the body and certain people are already descended from people who had repeated, over time, changes by the body which stopped physicallyÖ Thatís not to say that all lighteyes thatís where they came from. There are some that are natural mutations.

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  • 82

    Question

    I am very convinced that Adolin, with the events that happen with the last book. Youíre sending him down a like a dark path. Is he possibly going to be a-- Antagonist(?) protagonist(?)-- A bad, eventually? Or is he--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím going to say this, the things that Adolin did do not contradict some of the moralities on Roshar, in fact they follow them directly. Some of the moralities on our planet would say what he did is the right thing to do. I think treating it as a ďdark pathĒ is too reductionist to say. There are people who would seriously argue, and they would have a good argument, that what Dalinar was doing by leaving Sadeas around was a good idea. And then there are other people who would say ďYou know what Sadeas did was a challenge and it was rightly then responded toĒ and then there are people who would say it was absolutely immoral. So, it depends on your philosophy. What would Honor say? Well, Honorís dead, so-- *lots of laughter* You know Honor would not have been behind that action, but Honorís dead.

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  • 83

    Question

    [I love Writing Excuses and Iím actually going on the Retreat this year. I think the cruise is a good idea.]

    Brandon Sanderson

    See Mary did the Steampunk cruise, and she just kind of asked ďWait a minute, what are people paying for this?Ē and it was less than we had to charge them for the retreat at her house, because of all the food and stuff we had to do. We were like ďWait a minute, you can do this for the same price or less? Why are we doing this at her house?Ē

    Question

    Cruises are a blast.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iíve been on several and Iíve enjoyed everyone of them.

    Question

    The Alaska cruise has been one of the best experiences of my life. So itís going to be good for writing and inspiration.

    Brandon Sanderson

    My cruise story is the Taravangian interlude [in Words of Radiance] was written on a cruise with my family. I sat on the little balcony to our room typing while everyone else went off and did stuff where there were people. And I was by myself and it was great.

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  • 84

    Question

    When Syl says in The Way of Kings that she had been with other men who have killed. Is she-- Why is she able to say that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sylís memories, the longer sheís bonded the more access to them she has, from times before. She knows some of these things. Sheíll never get it all back.

    Question

    From the time before Kaladin.

    Brandon Sanderson

    From before Kaladin, from before the Recreance, yes.

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  • 85

    Question

    Is Hoid from Elantris, the same from The Stormlight Archive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 86

    Question

    Is the sword given to Szeth at the end of the book related to Nightblood from Warbreaker?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís the same sword.

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  • 87

    Question

    How was Dalinar able to bond Talnís shardblade-- honorblade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís not Talnís honorblade.

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  • 88

    Question

    Is Cultivation alive?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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  • 89

    Question

    Szeth says in the first stormlight book that he canít heal from a shardblade--

    Brandon Sanderson

    He canít.

    Question

    So when he got cut he couldnít heal thatÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. Not with his powers.

    Question

    Not from an honorblade.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not from an honorblade.

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  • 90

    Question

    How has the fantasy publishing industry changed with the global popularity of [...]

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has changed, but really what weíre seeing is what happened in the States in the seventies, the States and the UK following Tolkien, is now happening in a lot of countries that it hadnít happened in before. Which is cool. But itís not just Game of Thrones, since the Lord of the Rings movies, itís Harry Potter. The last ten years are wakening fantasy. See the thing about fantasy is we donít find fantasy doing well in developing countries. Itís kind of the thing where if you are going to be reading about knights and wizards, you are not going to be somebody whoís struggling for your bread each day. You know what I mean?

    Question

    People in developing countries read more aspirational--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. So you see for instance as countries transition out of that you see a lot of fantasy and things. For instance it happened in Japan in the seventies. It happened in the US even earlier. Itís happening now in Brazil and Taiwan. Those are two of the places where it is just appearing. India, itís just starting in India. Mainland China hasnít quite caught on yet but thereís hints that it is going to happen. But it has been in Europe for quite a while.

    Question

    So do you have translations of your books in Portuguese?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, Iím in 26 languages, or something like that. But you can kind of use that as a map for the places that read-- you know. Like the only South American country is Brazil, I donít have any other distribution in South America. Not a single country in Africa, except South Africa, the UK editions. None of those. Japan, China, Korea? Yes. Europe? Almost everybody in Europe.

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  • 91

    Question

    I heard earlier, through people I know, that Syl will eventually develop her memories from before the Recreance. Does that mean any spren that are alive currently have been alive for that long as well? Or are they--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not necessarily. Some spren-- The thing about spren is that when does the energy become conscious? So yes they will have all existed before but at what point is consciousness attained. Thatís kind of their birth. It happens much more rarely than it does on the other-- on the Physical Realm, like regular people and things like that. But there can totally have been spren who have been born since then. And they would count most of the spren that you see as not being alive, well not being born. Not conscious. Whatís the word for the difference between humans and animals, itís not just sentience, thereís another word. Starts with a C. Sapient, youíre right it starts with an S.

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  • 92

    Question

    I noticed in a lot of your cosmere books, like for example Elantris or Mistborn, they have something to do with some sort of subject matter or school or something. For example the Steelpush and Ironpulling in Mistborn is based on physics.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Question

    If you push too hard itís based on...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Vector physics, yes.

    Question

    And then like Warbreaker is just like math, adding Breaths together. Did you intend that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not necessarily. I read a lot and I like science and I like philosophy and I like and things like this. And those spark most of my ideas. So yes in a term but Iím not like ďLetís do this subjectĒ. I would say Warbreaker, the big part of Warbreaker is the idea of sympathetic magic. Which is the idea that like affects like, which is a very common type of magic throughout all cultures on the planet, on our planet. When people believe in magic they believe in sympathetic magic. A voodoo doll is sympathetic magic. And thatís where the idea came from.

    Question

    So in Elantris, which is different and then--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah thatís basically fantasy programming, is where that one came from.

    Question

    And then there is the Stormlight Archive, which basically violates all the laws of physics by just saying everything comes from spren.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well no they still have arguments on that, are spren attracted to these things or do they cause them.

    Question

    Yeah thatís kind of weirdÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    Stormlight Archive was based on the fundamental forces, if you want go read on physics google fundamental forces.

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  • 93

    Question

    What was the hardest part of finishing the Wheel of Time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The hardest part, I would say, was the battle logistics.

    Question

    So A Memory of Light took a while?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, A Memory of Light is all battle logistics, it was really hard. And the second half was really tough to get that all right. And just to work with the assistants and things like that.

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  • 94

    Question

    I was wondering when you first thought to put Nightblood in Words of Radiance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Nightblood in Words of Radiance happened becauseÖ So I wrote the original draft of Way of Kings in 2002 and Vasher was Kaladinís swordmaster and I thought ďThis guy has a really interesting past, heís not natively from RosharĒ. So I went and wrote his backstory and that became the book Warbreaker. So he predates-- And then I came back and I re-wrote Way of Kings and I cut him out of it to save him for the later books. So when did I first think of it? Well 2003 probably? Was where that was happening.

    Question

    Nightblood was our apartment's collective favorite character.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have some other quote-unquote cons going on the fans so to speak that are going to be very cool when they happen.

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  • 95

    Question

    Why do you do interludes? What possessed you to go that direction instead of just including it as another chapter?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I felt that one of the foibles of the large series epic fantasy genre is the tendency of authors to go afield down paths of side characters. It happened to Robert Jordan, it happened to George R.R. Martin. And so reading theirs I hoped to learn from them and say ďIím going to do this thing that gives me a pressure valve to tell these stories that are outside the main line but Iím not going to give myself enough room that I can just turn this into a full character, yet.Ē That allows me to do goofy stuff around the world but have a form for it built into the book.

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  • 96

    Question

    Which of your books do you think would be most appropriate or interesting for your kids to live in? Or most fitting.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Most interesting? hehe The most fittingÖ Well Iíve got a child named Joel and I wrote a book about a kid named Joel so itís probably most fitting there.

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  • 97

    Question

    Can spren die?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Spren can die but they are energy which cannot be destroyed. So dying means something different to them than it means to us.

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  • 98

    Question

    The thing that struck me is the concept of Stormlight [...] stand up [...] more powerful [...] stand up to it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    If you stand up to it? There is definitely a [view?] with the Parshendi, you need to go in and stand up to get what happens, yes.

    Footnote

    question seems incomplete

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  • 99

    Question

    Do you have a plan for the entire concept of the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes I do.

    Question

    Do you have an Allomancy dude fighting a Surgebinding dude?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh yeah itís going to be cool. Itís going to be super awesome. The Allomantic space battles are really great. Itís going to be like 15 years, sorry. But they are really cool.

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  • 100

    Question

    Why can Rock see Syl?

    Brandon Sanderson

    *pause* Okay time to pause the record-- This doesnít go online, okay? [Audio paused]

    Question

    Thank you sir.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe you already knew that.

    Argent

    Do you ever get annoyed with us?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No. I thought I talked about the--

    Kurkistan

    Sparkflickers?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah the-- So I mentioned both of them?

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  • 101

    Question

    What you do with religions in your world, in your stories more generally. [...] Tokien, he says his books are fundamentally Catholic works, but he never mentions religion explicitly. It kind of just breathes religious air, is the way I describe it. So like you address religion in your books with the characters, sometimes positively sometimes negatively. How do you deal with that in your world and in your books, like with the air that they breathe kind of, to steal the metaphor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah I just-- The characters are everything to the books. What they are passionate about becomes what the book is about. For me my job in writing is to explore different sides of issues through the eyes of different people. That said, who I am shapes what I am interested in and what ends up in the books. I think at the end of the day I think you could call my books fundamentally Mormon books, in the way that Tolkienís were fundamentally Catholic, because I canít separate myself from my religion. I am trying to explore the world through the eyes of people who see the world differently from the way I see it.

    Question

    So you would say youíre-- Through your characters-- It comes out through how different people would approach it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís my goal.

    Question

    So how then, does Mormonism affect, like you said-- In what way would you say your books are fundamentally Mormon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well if the philosopher in me steps aside, and the writer in me just wrote what the writer is passionate about. If the trained english major says-- One of the biggest fundamental tenets of Mormonism is deification of normal people, right? Mormonism believes that we are gods in embryo and we are here to learn and have experience so we will be better in the afterlife, and growing and weíll eventually-- Joseph Smith taught ďWhat Man is God once Was, and what God is Man may BecomeĒ maybe not ďwill beĒ but ďmay becomeĒ Thatís what he said. And so if you look at my books thereís a whole bunch of deification going on, right? Thatís like fundamental to the cosmere is ďWhat do people do with the power of the gods when theyíre given it?Ē And I would say thatís totally my upbringing that made me fascinated about that. Does that make sense?

    Question

    Yeah, i never thought about that. Fantasy really lends itself to that.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it does. But I mean deification of a normal person is a very Christian tenet also, itís just one person did it, and it was a person who was God before, but it is still part of that whole thing which is part of why I think Christianity and Fantasy ended up kind of hand in hand.

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  • 102

    Question

    Do you have any sort of set pattern for when you are getting ready to do a rewrite on a novel?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I grit my teeth, bang my head against the wall, and try to do anything else except the rewrite.

    Question

    Yeah itís...

    Brandon Sanderson

    You must be like me then, I hate revising but deadlines are what make me do it. Setting them on my own, you just have to learn to do it. The number one thing I think held me back as a writer is my dislike of revision. And it wasnít until I learned to do it..

    Question

    And just get it doneÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    ...and just get it done that I started writing books that would be publishable.

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  • 103

    Question

    What can you tell us about what magic was like in the cosmere before Adonalsium was Shattered? Was it very different orÖ

    Brandon Sanderson

    Magic was... It was-- I mean-- It was similar, different in some fundamental ways but the things that were done youíll be able to see other-- Youíll be able to see the pieces.

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  • 104

    Question

    You have like tons of spren, right? And the the ones like rotspren, and you have your characters and some point will be able to harness those spren and be completely evil with them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    And be completely evil with them? *pause* There are-- There is an order of Knights Radiant that has to do with the breaking down of matter into smaller pieces.

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  • 105

    Question

    Now the Wit, does he have a spren, is he a Herald, is he one of the older people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So, Wit is an immortal who travels between worlds. Who-- His magic is not from Roshar. He is in all the other books, if you look for him. So heís in Warbreaker, heís in all three Mistborn books, heís in-- yeahÖ. [points to Argent and Kurkistan] These guys can point you to everything, theyíre from the fansite and theyíve found out about all kinds of things about him. But he is popping up everywhere.

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  • 106

    Question

    Why didnít you have Vin talk to Hoid? She sort of saw him and then just ran off.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have not answered that question yet. But that means you can have one of these [RAFO card].

    Argent

    That doesnít come up very often but we got it twice.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, itís not that big of a thing.

    Argent

    You should take the hint.

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are going to have to wait a while to get that answer.

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  • 107

    Argent

    Since Chicago came up, will Atlanta have a special name as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Atlanta will have a special name, itís now a theme of the books.

    Argent

    Because Peter said ďHotlantaĒ and people think heís joking, like he usually does

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím not going to ruin one of Peterís jokes if it indeed is a joke. But I havenít written the book yet so he hasnít read-- I mean Iíve written parts of it but he hasnít read anything of the book.

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  • 108

    Question

    Are there differences in pronunciation between the different worlds in the cosmere? Do you have any record of that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. So, it depends on the culture and things like that, what itís going to be like. You can kind of bet in Mistborn itís going to be French, if itís from the central dominance. So theyíll say ďKelsi-ayĒ and ďDemouĒ but where Elendís from is a lot more Germanic so ďEE-lendĒ ďStrahffĒ and stuff like that. The other worlds are all going to have their things. In Roshar you are going to get some of the ďYAS-nah kho-LINĒ [kho being a back of throat guttural sound, kind of like Scottish ďchĒ as in loch] itís going to be a little more semitic in its language family.

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  • 109

    Argent

    Since Chicago came up, will Atlanta have a special name as well?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Atlanta will have a special name, itís now a theme of the books. Argent: Because Peter said ďHotlantaĒ and people think heís joking, like he usually does. Brandon: Iím not going to ruin one of Peterís jokes if it indeed is a joke. But I havenít written the book yet so he hasnít read-- I mean Iíve written parts of it but he hasnít read anything of the book.

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  • 110

    Question

    In that world are we going to get more of her [Jasnahís] backstory?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, youíll get a lot more.

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  • 111

    Question

    Are shardblades made out of atium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shardblades are not but it is the same thing but from a different planet... Itís made out of the godís body. See, you thought I was saying something really cool there but I wasnít.

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  • 112

    Question

    Was Androl, from Wheel of Time, your own creation?...I love his use of Gateways.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. When I went into the trilogy I actually asked them ďIs there a character I can have to just do whatever I want with?Ē and they looked through for one Robert Jordan had left no notes on and they gave me Androl. I went crazy... He was a little bit of a pressure valve, for me, being able to do the things I like to do in a novel, in the Wheel of Time, so I didnít then take over other characters too much. A bunch of me creeped into Perrin too but...

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  • 113

    Question

    And are there parts-- Are the cosmere novels chronological so far? So when you eventually go back to Warbreaker the effects of Vasher being on Roshar...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh, no, they are not all going to be chronological. Most of them have been chronological so far, but we are getting to the point where theyíre stopping to be because like Way of Kings was before Alloy but now weíve gone back and done Words of Radiance which is a jump backward and then we are going to be jumping to the next Alloy which is a jump forward. Iím pretty sure thatís how it goes.

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  • 114

    Question

    In your talk earlier about character arcs do you have a character who surprised you the most in how they ended up developing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Spook from the Mistborn books, he was not in the original outline having the role he did in the third book. But when I finished the second book I was like ďEnnnh heís grown into something that needs more explorationĒ.

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  • 115

    Question

    So the first one is Kaladinís backstory, the second is Shallanís backstory, whoís next?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I actually havenít been able to decide yet. Itís going to be one of the five for the first five books are Kaladin and Shallan and then Dalinar, Szeth, and Eshonai and I canít decide which one matches the next book best. And Iím going to have to write it...

    Argent

    Whatís the current list for the back five?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Current list for the back fiveÖ Jasnah, Lift, Ash, Renarin, and Taln.

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  • 116

    Question

    I know at the end of Words of Radiance Syl shows she can turn into different forms, not just a sword. Why do they not-- Or why do none of the other past Radiants really show that they have done that. Because normally in the flashbacks they are shown just being swords.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the shardblades came from spren seeing the Honorblades, which were created for mankind, and being like ďI can do thatĒ. That is what they were imitating.

    Question

    So thatís what they wanted--

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, thatís how they see themselves and how they are seen. They can change into other things--

    Question

    They just never--

    Brandon Sanderson

    But when you let go of one itís going to become a sword again.

    Question

    Oh, I just meant in all the visions they were always portrayed as swords. Was that just for--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Thatís cultural, like this is-- One thing that is interesting is you are going to see that the new Radiants donít have-- I mean the Radiants you have seen almost all of them are after thousands of years of Radiants and Orders and you have certain things that you do. So the writing reason was I didnít want to give away--

    Question

    Thatís what I was going to ask.

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a writing reason behind it. I didnít want to do that and give too much away. I already worried that having Syl shift shapes as often as she did through the first book was going to be a big clue to people and I wanted to hold off on giving away too much.

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  • 117

    Question

    Who would you wait in line this long to get a book signed from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Terry Pratchett in a heartbeat.

    Question

    Yeah, yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Robert Jordan, my first question would be ďHowíd you come back?Ē *laughter*

    Question

    You might have to get him tell you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iíve waited when I was younger, I donít have to do it anymore, but when I was younger I waited this long for Orson Scott Card. The thing is most authors these days I wouldnít have to wait for, like most of them are my pals and things. But there are some that arenít. Like if I could get my copy of Watchmen signed, I would wait for him.

    Question

    It might be kind of hard to get him to go anywhere

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, or to do anything. Or to not just curse about-- But yes.

    Question

    About everyone in the industry.

    Brandon Sanderson

    But if you could wait in a three hour line to get Alan Moore to sign your book it would be worth it, right?

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  • 118

    Kurkistan

    Is there-- Can you explain the relationship between spiritual DNA, spiritual aspects, and the spiritweb, or are they all just terms for the same thing?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are all similar terms for the similar stuff, yeah.

    Kurkistan

    Okay. So it's not like the core is spiritual DNA then things as you spread out is all spiritual aspect?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

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  • 119

    Argent

    Back in, I think, Words of Radiance I asked you-- Somebody asked the question that had to do with the number 10 on Roshar and I didnít get the question on the recording--which was horrible--but your answer talked about Honorís purposes. Is what you said, and you mentioned 10 of them and that is why the number 10 is so sacred. Could you say something so I have something on the record? So we know what you said about that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Honorís purposesÖ

    Argent

    Or Shardís purposesÖ Like what is that all about?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That will become-- I said it vaguely on purpose.

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  • 120

    Kurkistan

    So time bubbles... How much control does a bubbler have over the bubble before and after it's cast? Can they just grow and shrink it or...

    Brandon Sanderson

    Not very much.

    Kurkistan

    So Wayne could flare his metals make time go faster--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kurkistan

    But if he'd stopped flaring--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah, but-- they have a bit of control over the speed of it, but once it's up moving it or anything like that, not much. The flaring of it and things like that, yes they can-- it's mostly set when they start.

    Kurkistan

    But they have some discretion when they start it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They do have some discretion , yes.

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  • 121

    Argent

    At one point Syl turns into a hammer when Kaladin fights Szeth. Are there any actual advantages to a Shardhammer over a Shardblade or knife?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Very minimal. It has mostly to do with a-- How much thrust or swing or things you can get to it. The impact of blade or weapon against armor is not going to be-- The hammer could in some ways get more leverage. But itís not that the impact is going to do--

    Kurkistan

    So it didnít help against Szeth.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah

    Argent

    It was like the flow of the fight was-- Syl turned--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 122

    Kurkistan

    Why does Awakening need to drain color, and what determines the amount of color that's drained?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm going to RAFO Awakening because I'm going to write another book and I-- Mostly it's a RAFO because I don't want to canonize things until I've got the book in hand.

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  • 123

    Argent

    Can a Shard and its holder be separated without the holder dying?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 124

    Kurkistan

    So for soulcastingóI talked a lot about those ideals that a lot of things are based onóis that also like there's an ideal of stone that when you soulcast stone if you don't do anything special, it just defaults as that-

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, there will be a default of all of them.

    Kurkistan

    And that's the same exact thing as spren and why the Lord Ruler dies of old age and all that stuff?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is-- Yes, that's the same sort of concept. Yes.

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  • 125

    Argent

    Weíve noticed that each world, or most worlds, seem to have something that Investiture likes to stick to. So on Nalthis itís life, on Roshar itís gems, metal on ScadrialÖ Do you have a term for those things?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I do not have one yet. But I probably should.

    Footnote

    question about a concept in-universe that Brandon has not made up a word for yet

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  • 126

    Kurkistan

    You've said that the the laws of physics in the cosmere are ours except where they're messed with by the spiritualÖ But are the laws of physics actually in the Physical realm all the time, or are they in the spiritual realm doing their stuff on a spiritual level that's trickling down to the physical as a matter of course?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The three are more closely aligned than-- [Breaks off to focus on the books heís signing, the speaking was distracting him]

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  • 127

    Question

    Are the chasmfiends that we have seen the last stage of their life-cycle?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, you have seen the last stage of their lifestyle.

    Question

    But thatís--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Youíve seen the second and third stages mostly.

    Question

    Are you counting the cocoons?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Cocoons are a stage, yes.

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  • 128

    Kurkistan

    So you were saying that physics- laws of physics- that the realms are a lot more closely bound and the laws of physics are not just tied to one of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah.

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  • 129

    Argent

    In terms of timeline-- So The Way of Kings and the Stormlight Archive takes place 1173-4 right now, how far ago, approximately, was the Recreance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So you-- Letís see-- Heralds leave at what, 4500?

    Argent

    Thatís what it says.

    Brandon Sanderson

    So the Heralds leave at 4500 and weíre at 11--

    Argent

    So we are at 5500 years after--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah. So Recreance is more recent than late.

    Argent

    SoÖ In the thousands--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Iím going to have to pull out the timeline.

    Argent

    But itís not like three hundred years ago.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís not like three hundred years ago, but itís also not like 4000 years ago.

    Argent

    Okay, so from the middle--

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Hierocracy happened after and the Hierocracy was a couple hundred years ago. Itís longer than that even, itís like five or six hundred years ago I think.

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  • 130

    Kurkistan

    So you've said that healing is like the spiritual wants to heal and then it filters through the Cognitive, but how's that work with healing wounds to the soul like Hemalurgy or Shardblades? What do you refer to to heal the soul at that point?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You need to make a patch on the soul with investiture.

    Kurkistan

    So how's the investiture know where to go, what to look like?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well your soul is an ideal. So if you can get it up there, there are ways to do- to recreate that with um- see I'm getting into stuff for later books.

    Argent

    No, thatís okay.

    Kurkistan

    So when Hemalurgy rips something off the soul, is that the ideal soul or some sub-soul?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is off of your soul, and it can be healed; but what it's going to be doing is creating a patch of new soul. So it will not be your original soul. Does that make sense?

    Kurkistan

    Okay, that- well, not completely, but I think that's your intention.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Store Employee

    If you do that, is that like Frankenstein's monster, or is it like a graft that's absorb-

    Brandon Sanderson

    Less horrifying- Less horrifying than Frankenstein's monster, but it is a graft that is like- it is not your original soul.

    Store Employee

    Yeah, but in modern medicine stuff like that is absorbed-

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yeah; in this you will always have a scar on your soul that something else has patched over.

    Kurkistan

    So Kaladin shouldn't just keep getting his arm chopped?

    Brandon Sanderson

    [ignoring/not-hearing Kurkistan just now] But that is what happens with most forms of investiture in the first place.

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  • 131

    Argent

    Did people on Roshar have half-Shards before-- like many years ago say before the Recreance?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That is a new invention.

    Argent

    New in years, or new in hundreds of years?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Those have not existed before.

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  • 132

    Kurkistan

    Is there- have you come up with a Realmatic explanation for why light isn't affected by time bubbles besides handwavium "please don't burn people with microwaves"?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Peter's got one for us. 'Cause we were going to do redshift: like the actual original writing for it had redshifts; Peter's like "Dude, you will microwave everybody" I'm like "Oh man". So the handwavium of that: there is a real- there is an actual explanation, but itÖ [moves to outside the store

    Brandon Sanderson

    What's the middle of this question?

    Kurkistan

    Middle of the question was you were thinking about explaining the Realmatics behind light for time bubbles.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oh right, right right right right. I can't because it spoils future books; like that's spoiler for Mistborn... 10?

    Kurkistan/Argent

    *laughter*

    Brandon Sanderson

    So... if you count the four Alloys, so really gotta stay away from stuff like that.

    Kurkistan/Argent

    That's fair/fine.

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  • 133

    Argent

    Are there power modifiers for Soulstamps like there are for AonDor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Argent

    YesÖ Does Shai know them-- Or any of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    UmÖ HeheheheheÖ

    Argent

    Not ďhas she used themĒ, Iím not going to go there, but does she know any of them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    She knows more than she thinks she does.

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  • 134

    Kurkistan

    Could a Feruchemist manipulate their identity such that they could make a metalmind that anyone could tap?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah... RAFO.

    Kurkistan

    Okay; could they manipulate their identity such that they could pull Breaths out of something that somebody else Awakened?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ah.. ahahah, Awakened, oh yeah... That one's going to be harder, but you're thinking along-- You're thinking with portals. *smiles* Do you know what that means.

    Kurkistan

    Yes, I know what it means--

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're starting to think with portals.

    Kurkistan

    I'm thinking with portals, okay, thank you.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. In other words you're wrapping your head around the way that the magic system is working, so.

    Argent

    Thatís so excellent.

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  • 135

    Argent

    Would a parshman who received multiple breaths, or any other type of investiture, be able to gain sentience or become more like listener-- Kind of like mistwraith/kandra?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That would require some Identity changes and transformations.

    Argent

    So itís not just a dump of--

    Brandon Sanderson

    Itís not just a dump. Itís a biological thing for them, theyíve adapted. So theyíve evolved to the point where this sort of thing-- It would be like trying to power DC with AC current or the wrong voltage or something like thatÖ I mean once you figure it out it could be an easy hack but finding out that hack itís like-- You know itís like going back to people in the 1800ís and being like ďWhy donít you guys have electricity?Ē *laughter*

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  • 136

    Kurkistan

    Okay, so I'm contractually obligated to ask about time bubbles one more time.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

    Kurkistan

    So what's up with frame of reference for time bubbles; in that obviously if you make a bubble and it's still it's not really still, like time moves differently but-

    Brandon Sanderson

    We deal with that a little bit in Era 2 Book 2 [Shadows of Self], where we talk about the fact that you know- obviously the bubble is moving with the planet. So they're not-- the frame of reference is not absolute.

    Kurkistan

    Yeah.

    Brandon Sanderson

    And so we talk about sorta' the idea of mass and momentum and time bubbles and things like that.

    Kurkistan

    Okay

    Brandon Sanderson

    For instance you can make a time bubble on a train.

    Kurkistan

    Oh and it stays on the train?!

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but when you start catching stuff off of the train, it's gonna' jar each time, and it's probably going to ruin your time bubble, right?

    Kurkistan

    So does it get it's "anchor" from-- it's asking all the things that are within it what they think "still" is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. That's a good way of looking at it. Frame of reference for the cognitive things around. Make sense?

    Kurkistan

    Okay; the things around or the things within it, specifically?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The things that it's cutting into, specifically, but yeah.

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