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Home | Interview Database

Interviews: Cosmere Q&A - 17th Shard

Summary:

Entries

207

Date

Sep, 2012

Type

Verbatim

Links

17th Shard

  • 1

    Rubix

    Hey everyone, we have some exciting news! Brandon Sanderson will be doing a Q&A this week, right here. It is an amazing honor and privilege to have him here, and we're all really excited about this.

    Here's how things will go down. You'll come to this topic to post your questions, which will be open for questions on Tuesday from 12:00am MDT to 11:59pm (so all of Tuesday), and then Brandon will come in and answer them sometime on Wednesday.

    Some requests:

    *Keep the length of your questions reasonable, and don't ask a ridiculous number, either

    *No Wheel of Time questions

    *Please read through the questions that have already been asked to see if your question has been asked before you post

    Zas

    Hello,

    Just letting all of you know that Brandon recently did a signing in Orem, where he answered many of the general questions that we'll hear here (har har har).

    Here's the link, if you want to hear what Brandon had to say about things like the release dates for various books, some writing process, and some Cosmere clues.

    Thanks!

  • 2

    Chaos

    Hey Brandon, it's Eric. I can't tell you how amazing it is for you to actually come here. I really hope you enjoy 17th Shard. We did, after all, build it for you and for Brandon fans everywhere. Hopefully, you approve. (I'm actually totally terrified the site will go down with all the traffic with you here. I highly doubt it will. But hey! At least we won't get DoS'd again.) It is such an honor for you to join us.

    I have just a few questions for you. Cosmere, of course. What else did you expect, though, deep in the den of the crazy theorizers of 17th Shard?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You guys are awesome, and I really appreciate what you've done here.

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  • 3

    Chaos

    Is Splintering a Shard permanent?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

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  • 4

    Chaos

    In the Ars Arcanum of the Way of Kings, next to the Essences are listed ten Body Focuses. Are these Body Focuses the focus (in Cosmere terms) of Surgebinding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO.

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  • 5

    Chaos

    Is there a Cosmere-specific term you use to describe, say, a Shard's power inside someone? For example, people on Scadrial had little bits of Preservation in them that made them sentient (and, with enough Preservation, Allomancy). This obviously doesn't make these people Slivers or Splinters, so I was just wondering if you had a word for it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    In my own terms, I refer to all of this as types of investiture. The degree, and effects, can be very different - but those people are invested. I term this Innate Investiture, and it is similar to what happens with people on Nalthis. That is also innate.

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  • 6

    Chaos

    A lerasium Mistborn's kids would surely be Allomancers. If such a lerasium Mistborn traveled to, say, Nalthis, fell in love and had kids with a native Nalthisean, would those kids be Allomancers? Or something else?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In most cases, they would still be Allomancers. Mixed, potentially, with something else depending on the native innate investiture. That mixture could do some strange things, though.

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  • 7

    Emeralis00

    Does the intent/personality of the Shard affect the personalities of the humans they create?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It has some very small effect.

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  • 8

    Emeralis00

    What do you call a human from each Shardworld (demonyms like Scadrialeese) ?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Selish, Scadrian, Nalthian, Rosharan

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  • 9

    Kchan

    How does Snapping work after Sazed changed it? If you don't want to reveal it all right now, are there any hints you can give us?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He couldn't get rid of this entirely. I don't want to spoil things, but Snapping was built into Allomancy primarily because of larger-scale magical issues. This is getting deep into the issue, but it has to do with a person's spiritual makeup and a 'wounded' spirit being easier to fill with something else, kind of like a cut would let something into the bloodstream. Sazed made this threshold on Scadrial much easier to obtain.

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  • 10

    Kchan

    Can obligators marry?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 11

    Kchan

    Can anyone with access to Shadesmar learn how to worldhop?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In theory. Getting to Sel is really tough...

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  • 12

    Kchan

    In your books, we see a lot of really interesting and diverse world elements that make these places and cultures really come to life. What are some of the world elements you've had the most fun creating, and what do you like best about them? Thanks again, and I hope you enjoy it here! We're crazy, but we like it that way.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd say that the spren on Roshar have been my favorite so far--they are so different, but also so RIGHT. They have a mythological fae-feel to them, but also fit into the cosmere arcanum just perfectly. I also like writing them.

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  • 13

    Sweetness

    So, those things on the inside cover of WoK. Crabwasps, or crabdragons?
    (These guys, for clarification.)

    Brandon Sanderson

    They range between the size of a hand to perhaps the size of a small melon. You'll find out more about them eventually. Like most things from Aimia, they're pretty odd, and are also now very rare since the scouring.

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  • 14

    Sweetness

    Just after the Shattering (but before they started created humans or something), did all Shards have roughly the same amount of raw power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Good question.

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  • 15

    Sweetness

    Can Demoux burn malatium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Interesting theory.

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  • 16

    Sweetness

    Does Forgery use the Dor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 17

    Windrunner

    Can all Investitures be classified as end-positive, neutral, or negative?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, though in the overwhelming majority of cases, it's end-positive or at least neutral. Hemalurgy really is an oddity in the cosmere

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  • 18

    Windrunner

    Why does Devotion's Shardpool act so differently from Preservation's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For similar reasons to why the Dor acts so differently from Preservation's essence...

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  • 19

    Windrunner

    Did people exist on Nalthis prior to Endowment's arrival there?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some planets had people before the shattering.

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  • 20

    Windrunner

    Is the Dor made up of both Devotion and Dominion's power?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Dor's nature, and why it acts as it does, is in part related to this question.

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  • 21

    Irothtin

    Is Wax's sister a Duralumin ferring?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm curious what makes you guess that particular power.

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  • 22

    Satsuoni

    Is it possible to give cats intelligence with Hemalurgy? Or transfer cat's identity to a human?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgy can do some very, very odd things. And the endowment of intelligence is a common result of tinkering with shard-based magic.

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  • 23

    Satsuoni

    How is heat a mental attribute in Feruchemy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because I messed up. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but that power was supposed to be swapped with another one. (You might be able to guess which one.) However, by the time I realized my mistake, it had already been canonized in print in the trilogy, so I was stuck with it. I've been tempted to go back and correct the error, but it reaches pretty far back. People drawing upon warmth is mentioned in the first book. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that in general the 'physical, mental, etc' things are applied by people--they are boxes that people investigating the magic have used to describe it.

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  • 24

    Satsuoni

    How much power does a Breath and a freshly charged Hemalurgic spike have relative to each other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is a RAFO. I don't want to be pinned down on this one quite yet

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  • 25

    Satsuoni

    Tell us something new about Cognitive Realm, please

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will get plenty in the next Stormlight book. But more than one type of spren live there

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  • 26

    BLU3

    Just wondering, are you ever going to go back and write about The Further Adventures of Lestibournes? I think his character is pivotal to the Mistborn trilogy and felt cheated that the trilogy mostly focused on Vin, Kel, Sazed, and Elend. I would like to know more of his backstory and how he became the stud that he is.

    Brandon Sanderson

    He became quite the 'stud' in the years following the first trilogy. I might be persuaded to show some of this at some point. He also knew many things he really should not have.

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  • 27

    Thoughtful Spurts

    Are there any racist jokes in the Mistborn world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, I would think there are lots of racist jokes everywhere. It's more of a thing on Roshar, however, where the races are more distinct and rub each other the wrong way more often.

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  • 28

    Thoughtful Spurts

    What do the Terrismen who aren't stewards or breeders do? Are there castrated Terris craftsmen around in the Terris dominance? what do the terriswomen who aren't breeders do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Lots of things. There is a full society up there. Lots of small villages.

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  • 29

    Thoughtful Spurts

    If there's really no upper limit to feruchemy for practical reasons* , why didn't Sazed just fill steel at ridiculous levels for a few minutes in WoA, and then go back to running instead of leaving his steelminds there?Say, being some 100,000 times slower than he would normally be for about a minute. Meaning that a feruchemist should be able to fill a given metalmind in very short periods of time if you fill at a high enough rate.

    Brandon Sanderson

    The low end is bounded. You can pull out tons--but in filling, you can only go so far. I didn't ever explicitly talk about this in the series, but the implications are there. Not all have the same bounds, but in your example, the body just can't slow beyond a certain point. Think of it this way--you can only fill a weight metalmind with as much weight as you have to give. So you can become very, very light--but you only add to a time for doubling your weight. You can't make yourself 100,000 times slower and gain 100,000 times multiplication. You can give up all of your normal speed, and so when you tap that speed out you are at 200% for an equal period. (And that's a theoretical maximum; realistically, you can only go to down around 75% slower or the like.)

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  • 30

    Thoughtful Spurts

    If tapping heat means your own body gets hotter, does it also mean you become immune to hot temperatures so long as you're tapping it, or should you fill heat and grow colder for that to happen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    As everything in Feruchemy, you become immune to the effects of the ability only. Like weight doesn't crush you, but at the same time doesn't have a net gain in strength. Growing colder, however, would be more helpful in this regard.

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  • 31

    Joe ST

    Are we going to be seeing Eastern Slang/High Imperial throughout the whole of the mistborn sequence? How about on any of the other shardworlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. (But you will see it again.)

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  • 32

    Joe ST

    Is there any relationship between Hemalurgic bindpoints and the body focuses in Surgebinding? Specifically, the eyespikes and the eyes being a body focus in Surgebinding?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The relationship is there, but it's not a very strong connection.

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  • 33

    Joe ST

    Can a misting burn the god-metal alloys of their metal? If not, do the god-metals even 'exist' if there are no full mistborn?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are metals which exist that any Allomancer can burn, regardless of their own orientation.

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  • 34

    Nemuri

    How has writing Shallan as the focus character been compared to Kaladin in the last book? Easier? More difficult?

    Brandon Sanderson

    So far, I've only done her flashback sequence--but this was a little easier than Kaladin's, as I've been kind of chomping at the bit to tell her story.

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  • 35

    Nemuri

    Will the point of view characters be the same as Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Main viewpoint characters will be the same, with a touch more Navani. We will have a glimpse from a few side characters as well, including a sequence of Parshendi viewpoints.

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  • 36

    Nemuri

    Can Knights Radiant of one Order see the spren of someone from another Order?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 37

    Nemuri

    If a Shardblade was used on an awakened object, would it physically harm the object, destroy the Breath, or a combination of the two?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You will someday know.

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  • 38

    Kurkistan

    BioChroma:

    Do Breaths inherently possess the ability to interpret and carry out commands, or does the Awakener need to impart that decision making ability on Awakened objects?

    If the Awakener does need to impart the decision-making ability, then does Awakening consist of an Awakener copying a portion of his/her Cognitive aspect (as determined by his/her visualization and verbal Command) onto the Cognitive aspect of the object being Awakened, with Breath then providing the "juice" for the object to actually follow its Command: powering both physical motion and "cogitation" based upon the copied Cognitive aspect?

    -If so, is that copying what drains color?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're very close here.

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  • 39

    Kurkistan

    Time Bubbles:

    If you are standing inside of a time bubble, and throw a spear out of the bubble, what happens to that spear as it traverses the border of the bubble? Are different parts of the spear ever in different "time zones," going fundamentally different speeds?

    On that line of reasoning, what would happen to a train and its occupants if Marisi stood next to railroad tracks holding up a Cadmium bubble while that train sped by?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In general, a large object going through a time bubble is not going to notice. An object is either in or out, and it depends in part on how the object views itself. People inside the train would be inside of its influence, and wouldn't notice the bubble. The spear would go from one to the other, but would never be in both.

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  • 40

    Kurkistan

    What is/was Endowment's gender? Is Endowment the same being as Austre (making him male)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 41

    Kurkistan

    Is Wax's hemalurgic earring in Alloy of Law giving him slight Allomantic Pewter, enabling Harmony to fuel Pewter Allomancy directly in the final fight sequence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 42

    Kurkistan

    Can Hemalurgy be used to steal Shardblades directly, transferring ownership from the victim to the spike's recipient without a need for the recipient to physically take the Shardblade first?

    Brandon Sanderson

    A novel use of Hemalurgy which is not outside the sphere of its powers.

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  • 43

    Kurkistan

    And also to give cats various powers through Hemalurgy, resulting in uber-powerful Catquisitors forming a Caton of Inquisition and taking over the Cosmere (then renamed the Catsmere)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Of course. They'd have to fight the Mistborn Llamas, though.

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  • 44

    Kurkistan

    Would it be fair to describe the three realms as the Spiritual realm providing motivation/general directives (gravity, desires, energy, etc.), the Cognitive realm interpreting and applying those directives, and the Physical realm as where these directives--as interpreted by the Cognitive realm--are actually implemented? All of this with interactions/change flowing back and forth between the realms as well (Physical phenomena affecting thought affecting the spirit, for example).

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha! That's a very interesting way to look at it. The theory isn't all there, but it's thinking along the right lines.

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  • 45

    Ryan

    Hey Brandon, thanks for doing this. My question is only tangentially related to your books. See, I've already read all of them. What book (or series of books) would you recommend while I wait for the next one?

    Current "Brandon Suggests" list:

    *Anything by Guy Gavrial Kay (Tigana in specific.) Slight content warning.

    *Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly

    *A Fire Upon the Deep by Vernor Vinge

    *Anything by Robin Hobb, but particularly the Fitz books.

    *Brent Weeks (Black Prism in particular.)

    *Going Postal is my favorite Pratchett right now. (If you read him, don't start with the first book. Start here or with Guards Guards.)

    *Anything by Daniel Abraham under any of his various pen names.

    *Anne McCaffrey if by some miracle you haven't read her yet.

    *The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by N.K. Jemisin (Slight content warning.)

    *And, of course, Pat Rothfuss--who is a genius.

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  • 46

    Voidus

    What would happen if you allomantically burned an awakened piece of metal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 47

    Voidus

    Would an Archivist who was sufficiently practised be able to store memories at different strengths? (Keep a vague recollection of the memory as well as a stored copy which would degrade faster)

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't think this is outside of reason for one to do, if they wanted to. I'm not sure if they would want to, but it's plausible.

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  • 48

    InsurrectionistFungus

    Does aluminium have any effect on the other Allomantic metals aside from iron/steel and zinc/brass? If yes, does that include god metals and their alloys?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes and no.

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  • 49

    InsurrectionistFungus

    Are there more kinds of kandra blessings than just the four we've seen?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Potentially, yes.

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  • 50

    InsurrectionistFungus

    Did Sazed do anything with the bodies of Ati and Leras after he ascended?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, I'm afraid not. Those might have been useful to have around, though.

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  • 51

    Link389

    Before Adonalsium was shattered, was there magic in the Cosmere and what form did it take?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, and when I write Dragonsteel, you shall see the answer to this.

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  • 52

    Link389

    With Stormlight being in your mind 2 five book arcs, is there still a single "through-line" so to speak (aka, the Everstorm, A clash with Odium, or the like).

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 53

    Link389

    Are there any other shards on Nalthis aside from Endowment

    Brandon Sanderson

    I suppose I can answer this if I haven't already. No, it is only Endowment.

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  • 54

    Kaist

    Are the Parshendi of Honor?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 55

    Kaist

    If Kabsal hadn't been trying to kill Jasnah, would him and Shallan have gotten together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's uncertain. He actually did care for her, but he was an assassin trained to infiltrate and gain the trust of people like Shallan. If he hadn't been trying to kill Jasnah, he would never have had a reason to begin spending time with Shallan. However, I assume your question is if they had somehow started interacting, would they have gotten together. It's possible, but I don't think--in the end--it would have lasted.

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  • 56

    Kaist

    Are the lighteyes descendants of the first people who took the Shards after the Knights Radiant abandoned them?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'm afraid I have to RAFO this too.

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  • 57

    Shivertongue

    do you ever try to match the music with the setting of a specific book or scene? Is there any one artist or style of music that works no matter what?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, indeed I do. I actually listened to era-appropriate music when working on Alloy of Law. In general, a good stoundtrack can work no matter what, but for some scenes I need something more powerful. (Szeth's scenes in TWoK were usually to Daft Punk.)

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  • 58

    Shivertongue

    What aspect of a new setting do you find to be the most difficult to develop?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hmmm.... The everyday stuff is actually the hardest. For example, the question about racist jokes. They'd have them in world, but getting everything like this into a novel can be tough--particularly since it has a chance of squeezing out the story if you do too much.

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  • 59

    Shivertongue

    Finally, do you have any of the Power Nine, and if so, which ones?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Pearl, Emerald, Ruby, Time Walk, Recall. Four left to go. I try to pick them up at times when it means something--for example, I bought my Ruby in Taiwan during my visit there earlier, and my wife gave me one as a gift...that sort of thing.

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  • 60

    Brendan

    Now that you have finished writing WoT, how does it feel going back to telling your epic story that you have wanted to share with the world and being able to write a story naturally without the outside constraints that came with WoT? What if anything has been the biggest challenge getting back into writing Stormlight Archives after working so hard on WoT?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It feels great, though it's a feeling I've felt before. It was the feeling I had when jumping out of the Mistborn world after finishing all three books and instead doing Warbreaker. For most of the process with the WoT, I didn't feel 'constrained' really. It was more a sense of difficulty--it was difficult to do for unique reasons. Matching RJ's story, making certain to keep characters consistent, that kind of thing. It is refreshing to move to a new project, but this one presents difficulties of its own. I have to follow up The Way of Kings, which I feel is the best book of my career so far. I poured twenty years of effort into that book. Now, the sequel needs to be equally awesome, which is a real challenge. Also, I keep wanting to use WoT curses.

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  • 61

    Brendan

    What are the chances of another tour here in Australia in the next five years?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The chances are pretty good. Supanova says they want to bring me back, so theoretically I should be joining them again in a couple of years.

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  • 62

    FireArcadia

    When Dalinar and Honour are having a "chat" at the end, Honour says "I don't know who you are, or how you found your way here." Does Dalinar visit the Spiritual realm in his dreams then?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. (Sorry.)

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  • 63

    FireArcadia

    Does the world map in the Way of Kings show all of the landmasses of Roshar? Does that make the continent on Roshar a Pangaea-like supercontinent? And as I think about it, are there tectonic plates on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It is a supercontinent. I won't say there is NOTHING out there, but (unlike Scadrial) there is not another full continent. Plate tectonics are not a factor on the supercontinent.

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  • 64

    FireArcadia

    You once told me that Roshar is the name of the planet from the cosmere-literate point of view. Were the dawnsingers cosmere-literate?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are various levels of cosmere awareness.

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  • 65

    FireArcadia

    Is there any use to being a Copper compounder, from a feruchemical point of view? I think the same point would also apply to an Aluminium compounder.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Some combinations, like some abilities themselves, aren't really that useful. That said, being able to compound copper...that could do some things. Aluminum, not so much.

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  • 66

    Telcontar

    First, let me thank you for giving us this occasion. Unless you're planning to come to Germany in the next few years it'll be hard to ask my questions.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, Dan (my friend from Writing Excuses) lives in Germany now, so there has been talk of going to visit him.

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  • 67

    Telcontar

    Is one of the symbolhead-spren (or maybe all of them) responsible for Shallan's ability to Soulcast (in the way that Syl is responsible for Kaladin's Lashings)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is indeed a similar relationship there.

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  • 68

    Telcontar

    When Surgebinding, the person is Binding a Surge (the elemental force). Are those Bindings (the spiritual link) the focus for Surgebinding on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 69

    ReaderAt2046

    1. Do Stephen's aspects exist in the way bonded spren exist (independent Spiritual and Cognitive aspect but tied to a human.)?

    2. Did Razon's camera use the same spiritual gravitational anchors as time bubbles?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Legion does not exist in the cosmere, so Realmatic Theory is not at play in the story.

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  • 70

    ReaderAt2046

    If two people grabbed the hilt of a Shardblade at the same time and then it got knocked out of their hands, which one could resummon it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The one it's bound to.

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  • 71

    ReaderAt2046

    How do worldhoppers communicate on all the Cosmere worlds? Is there one universal language? Do they just learn a new language for each world?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is not a universal language.

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  • 72

    ReaderAt2046

    What would happen if Nightblood and a Shardblade hit each other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    Footnote

    Brandon has stated that Nightblood is, "orders of magnitude," more powerful than a Shardblade.

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  • 73

    ReaderAt2046

    What would happen if, right after someone died, they were made into a Lifeless, and then Endowment tried to Return that person?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Oooh...now that's a spicy one. Endowment's gift of a superpowered Breath would come down, strike the Lifeless, and all kinds of craziness would occur. You'd end up with a drab god, which would be hilarious.

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  • 74

    ReaderAt2046

    Is Soulcasting mass-conservative (Soulcast a 1kg goblet, you get 1 kg of blood.)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    In most circumstances, yes.

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  • 75

    ReaderAt2046

    Could vampires survive on Soulcast blood?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 76

    ReaderAt2046

    Does chocolate exist in the Cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes. Not on Roshar, though.

    Footnote

    Brandon has stated that Scadrial is an Earth analogue, so if chocolate exists anywhere in the cosmere, it's probably there.

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  • 77

    ReaderAt2046

    Is it at all possible for Kelsier to be reincarnated/posess someone/show up as a ghost/whatever and become a character in a future Mistborn book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He's shown up before, so I'd say that's a pretty good indication for the future.

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  • 78

    ReaderAt2046

    Can a Feruchemist store an attribute in a metalmind that someone else has already stored in and if so, do the charges affect each other in any way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but the charges are just stored in separate pieces of the metal, and don't really influence one another.

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  • 79

    Millennium

    Do Honorblades have the same sort of relationship to Honor (possibly to a much greater degree) that Shardblades do?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You're on the right track.

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  • 80

    Millennium

    Is it necessary to touch a Shard -not necessarily to become its Holder, but to at least touch it briefly- to Splinter it?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 81

    Millennium

    Some dictionaries list two meanings for the word "odium": the feeling of strong hatred, and that which provokes hatred from others. Do both of these apply to the Shard with that name?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 82

    Millennium

    Does the Shard Odium seek to separate things, much like the Shard Honor seeks to bind things together?

    Brandon Sanderson

    An interesting theory.

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  • 83

    Millennium

    Can a Shard tell the difference between itself and its current holder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Tricky question. Depends on the circumstances. The power as a whole, no. Pieces of it, yes. (Ala Spinozism.)

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  • 84

    rags

    We know that there are 10 orders of Radiants and 10 different powers, with each order having access to 2 of them. Any reason why this "class restriction" exists (they are lot more combinations possible with 10 powers)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is a reason. I don't know when I want to get into it, however.

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  • 85

    rags

    How is Harmony balanced when a part of Preservation's power is expended on human sentience? Isn't that what caused all the trouble to begin with?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Indeed. Hm... What could Sazed be doing with that extra power...

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  • 86

    rags

    You have told us there are more than 30 magical systems on Roshar. I am assuming there are 10 surgebindings and 10 voidbindings. Do the next 10 belong to another such classification? If yes, can you give us the name for it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Fabrials are part of it.

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  • 87

    rags

    If I used a hemalurgic spike charged with allomantic powers on a person on say Nalthis, will the focus of allomancy change because the power is being used on another planet?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 88

    dyring

    A coinshot able to store weight can, as you showed us with Wax push in a ridiculously powerful manner, as the weight/mass is the largest factor wich controls the push strength.

    I'm wondering if the same can be done with soothing(or rioting). If you where to increase your identity, that may/should increase your emotional imprint(or whatever you might call it), would your soothings/riotings become wastly more powerful in a simular way as weight makes steelpushing more powerful?

    And if it does, is this how the lord ruler improved his Soothing in such a spectacular fasion?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, the Lord Ruler--don't forget--could compound any Allomancy he wanted. That creates some crazy effects. As for what you discuss in your first question, I don't want to touch too much on Identity yet as I am saving it for later books. Talking too much here might undermine my ability to reveal interesting and cool things in books when the time is right. I like your theory, and it has merit, but I'm not going to give you a yes or a no as it delves too much into what Identity, as an attribute, can do.

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  • 89

    Lightflame

    You've confirmed that several Heralds have appeared or been mentioned in the modern (non-prelude, non-vision) parts of The Way of Kings. Have any members of the Knights Radiant (the one from the days of Urithiru, not near-Radiants like Kaladin) appeared in the modern parts of The Way of Kings? And if you have to RAFO me, could you give me a hint about the Heralds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can answer that--no, no Radiants from those days have appeared on screen in TWoK.

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  • 90

    Lightflame

    When Shallan is appealing Jasnah, Jasnah reveals that she has heard about Shallan's step-mother, Malise Gevelmar. Has Malise Gevelmar ever met Jasnah or one of her associates (excluding Shallan)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, she has not. You'll learn more about Malise in Book Two. She really is just a rural lighteyes of not much consequence. Shallan's mother, however...

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  • 91

    Lightflame

    Do all Shards have some sort of Shard-induced weakness, like how Ruin and Preservation can't see metal?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 92

    Lightflame

    Can you give me a hint about Nafti, the Uvara girl that Derethil brought with him when he left the Great Abyss?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There is more truth to that story than some may think.

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  • 93

    Lightflame

    Do any characters from Nalthis appear in The Way of Kings?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 94

    Straff Venture

    Are any of your book's locations (barring legion) based on real-life places? If so, where? If not, what propels your creative drive to make new worlds?

    All of the keeps in the Mistborn series are based on real structures I've visited. The mists are based on a trip to Idaho, were I drove through a fog bank at high speeds.

    Warbreaker's setting was inspired, in part, by a visit to Hawaii.

    Much of Roshar is inspired by tidal pools and coral reefs.

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  • 95

    McCullough

    In what ways do you feel that finishing the Wheel of Time helped to prepare you for The Stormlight Archive and how did it change your writing in general, if at all?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I gained three things, I feel, by working over the years on the WoT. (And, in particular, by studying RJ's work in depth.) I learned how to better balance lots of different viewpoints, I got a better grip for foreshadowing and subtlety over many books, and I gained a deeper understanding of how to write a really sold third person viewpoint.

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  • 96

    McCullough

    I love Wax as a Skimmer and a Coinshot. Is that your favorite Twinborn combination? If not, what is?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's certainly one of my favorites. However, some of the characters in the modern day trilogy have some really neat combinations as well.

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  • 97

    McCullough

    Having to do with Legion, if you could take a picture of any historical event what would it be?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Wow, tough question there at the end. Hmmm.... So many choices. Sermon on the Mount, perhaps?

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  • 98

    Lance Alvein

    Did Cultivation come to Roshar with Honor, or was she already on Roshar when Honor arrived?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. They came together.

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  • 99

    Stroniax

    Is JeksonsonVallano important? Is JeksonsonVallano SzethsonsonVallano's brother?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He is the same person as Szeth; I just changed the name. Sorry, no hidden truth there.

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  • 100

    Stroniax

    What did Jek and Szeth do to become Truthless?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This will be answered in his book, during his flashback sequences.

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  • 101

    Stroniax

    Does SzethsonsonVallano's Surgebinding require HonorSpren like Kaladin's?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, it does not. (Hm....) Gold star to you.

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  • 102

    Stroniax

    Can people from one are of the cosmere Ruturn to the place from the cosmere where Awakeners are from (forgot the name)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Meaning, can they travel to Nalthis, where Warbreaker takes place? Yes, they can.

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  • 103

    Stroniax

    Are Surgebinding and Awakening related?

    Brandon Sanderson

    All of the magic systems are related, and these two do share some defining fundamentals.

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  • 104

    Stroniax

    Is there a way to harvest BioChromatic Breath from a planet, if it holds any? (If a person dies, and their body turns to dusty he dust of the earth, then doesn't the earth--or sharever planet they have--therefore hold thousands, if not millions, of BioChromatic Breaths?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Possible. It would be the same thing as harvesting the nature of Preservation or Ruin, which--on Scadrial--took the form of nuggets of metal.

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  • 105

    Stroniax

    What is your favorite world of the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Favorite world? Probably Roshar, as it's the most unique.

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  • 106

    mycoltbug

    Could a shard blade holder potential drill a hole through the planet by using his blade like Dalinar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh... I think that you'd hit the core and that would not be a good thing for you.

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  • 107

    mycoltbug

    Would a breath imbued object stop a shard blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 108

    mycoltbug

    Is there any ramifications to the holder of a shard blade for using a blade in a manner that it wasn't intended?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on the type of Shardblade. (You have seen three different kinds in TWoK.) For most, no. For some, most certainly.

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  • 109

    mycoltbug

    Is it possible for a non-native being to use a shard blade?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 110

    mycoltbug

    Hoids base magic system Lightweaving?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 111

    mycoltbug

    Are there any ramifications beyond leaving one's world behind when they world hop to other worlds? IE physical ailment, aging, time travel lag X1000

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 112

    mycoltbug

    Is there a magic system that best allows people to world hop between worlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, but it isn't needed. Some do help more with understanding how to traverse the Cognitive Realm.

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  • 113

    mycoltbug

    Are there any world hoppers that we should recognize as world hoppers in anything other than tWok beyond Hoid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They aren't recognizable, and aren't intended to be, as of yet. There are some around, however.

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  • 114

    Kuri Shardweaver

    Are there any plans for a world where the magic system operates through devices that transform and empower individuals with spectacular abilities? Like...say...a belt with an ornate buckle...a bracer..things like that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 115

    Kuri Shardweaver

    I've heard tell of an upcoming book where the magic is based on forging. This excites me greatly, and I was wondering if you could give us just a smidge more information regarding it? Either the world, the magic itself, or how it impacts said world? Though something like the Shard behind it would be awesome too..

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sure, the story is The Emperor's Soul, and it actually takes place on Sel. (Same planet of Elantris.) The magic system works by using a carefully designed stamp to rewrite the past of an object--creating a 'forgery' of its past, and that changes what it is in the future. Rewrite the past of a beat-up chair so it was owned by someone who cared for it, and suddenly it's polished and maintained. It's not illusion; it's an actual transformation.

    It works on the same mechanics of AonDor and its kin, using written characters to access the Dor and channel its power.

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  • 116

    Kuri Shardweaver

    What's your opinion on golems/constructs/robots? The Lifeless are a somewhat similar concept, but I was curious as to whether there's a world in the Cosmere that might have a more classical take on ye ol' fantasy standby guardian, or are Awakened suits of armor as close as we can get? Is the Future Mistborn trilogy going to have Anti-Allomancer Alluminaughts?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. I am fascinated the idea of golems, and when I play an RPG I'm often trying to make golems of one sort or another. However, I worry that the idea is a little overdone in fiction, so my takes on that sort of thing come in more unusual flavors.

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  • 117

    Kuri Shardweaver

    Unrelated to the Cosmere, simply from one guy who fancies himself a writer now and again to a wildly successful author I respect deeply; I run a forum RP here on the site called Seeking The Eternal Conflux, and it would pretty much make my year to hear your opinion on the concept and Races I've constructed thus far, and whether or not it's a foundation for a compelling story.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Looks pretty good to me. I like how you've got a major goal in finding the intersection of the laylines. I think that alone gives a good foundation for a story. With the races, I was worried at first because the first race looked like it might be just an "Orc with a new name" type race. However, they grew very diverse from there, and I found them interesting to read about. I'd say it looks good to me. Nice work.

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  • 118

    Odium's_Shard

    Is the Cognitive realm the only way to access the Spiritual Realm from the Physical Realm, and vice versa?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No.

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  • 119

    Odium's_Shard

    Can magic systems from one world work in any given other?

    Brandon Sanderson

    For some, it will take quite a bit of work, but it's possible to get them each to work. Sel's magics are regional, and so they are going to be tough. Scadrial's magics are the easiest.

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  • 120

    Odium's_Shard

    Lastly, less pressingly, do Spirit Points (hemalurgic spots) apply to ever magic system, and through the Cosmere at large? Ie. could Hemalurgy be used to take any other magic systems aspects, and do other magic systems also have these 'Points', such as Body Focuses, that work in similar ways?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgy crosses magic systems. You could steal things from people on other worlds, if you knew the right places for the spikes.

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  • 121

    Yamato

    Where did you get the idea for your Adonalsium mythos? Did it develop in your head for a while, or did you have a sudden flash of inspiration.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Over time, particularly when building Dragonsteel as a novel. I was planning it as I wrote Elantris. Hoid has been around forever, long before Adonalsium became the central plot of his story. I have an old short story from the early, early, early days where he's on a planet trying to figure out how the local magic system works.

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  • 122

    Yamato

    How did you portray Jasnah's aitheism so well? As a staunch aitheist myself, I think you did an absolutely brilliant job. Honestly, It made me happy that a religious person was trying to understand my mindset. Anyway, who did you ask to get such accurate ideas of aitheist thought?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I found some really good atheist forums. Not the 'hate on religion' type atheist forums, but the kind with some serious depth. People asking one another about morality, talking about how they felt when people reacted to them being an atheist, and expressing their philosophy. I gained a great deal of respect for them during these readings.

    From there, I went and chatted with some atheists I know to gauge if I had a good handle on things. It was important that I get this right, as it's different enough from my own worldview that if it went wrong, it would have gone VERY wrong and I'd have ended up with something insulting.

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  • 123

    Yamato

    What is your favorite of your own books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I can never answer this. It's like trying to choose your favorite child.

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  • 124

    Yamato

    Any advice for an aspiring fantasy writer? Besides the obligatory "Read a lot and write a a lot!!!" Characterization advice is especially appreciated.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Well, I do have my lectures on this topic. Go to writeaboutdragons.com and listen to the characterization lecture. I think you'll find it helpful.

    Do remember that your characters should have passions, goals, and flaws that are distinct from the plot of the story. They can sometimes align, but a character should have a life and passions outside of what happens TO them.

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  • 125

    Yamato

    What has turned out better for you, starting with the characters, the plot, or the world when you are beginning the writing process for a book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Any time I have the characters from the get go, I feel like I'm leaps and bounds ahead. Having a very strong ending in mind before outlining is also very, very helpful.

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  • 126

    Yamato

    Out of all your magic systems, which one would you choose to be a user of?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I'd be a Mistborn if possible. So many fun interactions. Not quite as powerful as some of those on Roshar, perhaps, but very fun.

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  • 127

    Yamato

    Will you ever go into more detail about the dead original shardholders? I'd love to know what kind of people Tanavast, Ati, and Leras were.

    Brandon Sanderson

    They will all be characters in the Dragonsteel series.

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  • 128

    Yamato

    I am currently trying to write a book in which the world is drastically different from earth. Do you think it is too ambitious to start out with such a complex setting?

    Brandon Sanderson

    No, not at all. Just don't try TOO hard to describe every aspect of it. It's good to be ambitious. However, be careful to keep you number of viewpoints down for your first few attempts--that will spiral out of control faster than worldbuilding will. Don't feel the need to explain too much, keep the focus on the characters, and you should be fine.

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  • 129

    Robospawn

    How extensively do you outline?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Depends on the book. Alloy of Law had a few pages. The Way of Kings had hundreds of worldbuilding notes. The outline for Book two sits open on my computer right now at...12 pages single spaced. It's maybe 2/3 done.

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  • 130

    Yados

    Could a Shardblade sever a Nathel Bond? Could it slice a Spren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 131

    Yados

    Could a Shardbearer materialize his or her Shardblade inside another person? What about something inanimate like stone?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 132

    Yados

    Are the Heralds native to Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO (Man, you're good at asking those, aren't you?)

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  • 133

    Yados

    What's up with those fish in the Pure Lake?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Haven't you always wanted magic fish?

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  • 134

    Yados

    Between the Parshendi and the Alethi harvesting gem-hearts, how long has it been since a Chasmfiend got to finish pupating?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Aha. I wondered if someone would ask that. Much like whaling in our own world, there is a big ecological price building for what is going on here. You are right to worry about this.

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  • 135

    Yados

    Does Sazed's biological body still exist somewhere? If so, does that body still possess Feruchemical abilities?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes, it does exist, though kind of...blended-in, so to speak, as happened with the others when they ascended. Yes, it still has his abilities, though they are kind of moot now.

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  • 136

    mcalton2

    Can we expect to see a fight between a Windrunner, an Awakener, and an Allomancer in one of the Stormlight books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've said before that it's unlikely that the Stormlight books will ever delve strongly into the connections between worlds. There will be some cool things happening for the cosmere-literate, but this series isn't focused on those concepts. I want it to maintain its plot cohesion for those who aren't aware of all of the behind-the-scenes stories. Epilogue to Book Two should excite you, though.

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  • 137

    luminos

    What are the chances that you will eventually write a fifth Alcatraz book? Does Alcatraz ever actually end up tied to a stack of encyclopedias, about to be sacrificed by evil librarians?

    Brandon Sanderson

    I bought the rights to the Alcatraz series back from Scholastic earlier this year, and they were given a 'sell-off' period to sell the rest of their stock. I now own the rights again free and clear, and will probably be putting out an omnibus ebook. (Perhaps a print one with Tor as well.) I can now write the fifth book (which Scholastic did not want.) It was always planned as the book where he ends up on that stack of encyclopedias. I'll do this sometime next year, hopefully.

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  • 138

    Thought

    Would you (and the other Writing Excuses crew) considering putting a ticker up on the website indicating what books you guys are reading? Given how useful the podcasts are, I suspect that an insight into what you four read would be equally fascinating.

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is an excellent suggestion, and I will bring it up with the others. We're doing a new website soon, so that might be a good thing to include.

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  • 139

    Thought

    What question do you wish that readers would ask you but that no one has?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Surprisingly, I get this exact question every few months or so. (Mostly in interviews.) I can never come up with something.

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  • 140

    Thought

    Could an iron twinborn "fly" by drastically increasing his weight, pulling hard on a counterweight so it flew above him, then decreasing his weight drastically and pulling himself up by the counterweight, and repeating?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's plausible. It's kind of a 'Thor-like' way to fly, isn't it? (For those unaware, he throws his hammer and it carries him with it, and STOP THINKING.) I played with this idea, but the trick is not getting hit by the counterweight as you pull it to yourself. If you could stop that, you might be able to manage it, but it felt pretty hard to pull off to me.

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  • 141

    Thought

    It seems that certain colors and numbers appear frequently in specific cosmere books, like the number 5 in Warbreaker or red and blue in Elantris. Do these colors or numbers happen to refer to a specific shard, and if so, would they be consistent across the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Certain colors and numbers are important in reference to certain shards.

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  • 142

    Thought

    And finally, to speak non-canonically, would burning copper mask someone channeling the one power, and would burning bronze allow one to detect when someone was channeling?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Uh... You should ask Kelsier. He probably tried it when he hung out with Moiraine.

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  • 143

    Zenith

    Szeth mentions that Lashings don't work with shardplate (on?). Is there any way to get around this (As in, lashing with shardplate on, or lashing people with shardplate on), and, if so, does it have anything to do with the Knights Radiant and/or their ideals?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This has to do with the nature of the magics in the cosmere. They interfere with one another. Something that contains a lot of power--we call it investiture--resists the efforts of magic to influence it. A strong spirit can interfere as well.

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  • 144

    Zenith

    Is Szeth bound to his Oathstone by anything but honor (not the shard. No loopholes here )?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 145

    Zenith

    In one of the death sentence things it says something like three of sixteen ruled, but now the broken one reigns. Is this referring to the Shards on Roshar and if so, is the broken one Odium?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 146

    Zenith

    Are Dawnshards the same thing as Honorblades?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 147

    Zenith

    Are spren Cognitive aspects?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You guys are figuring this all out pretty well. I want to hold off on talking much about the nature of the spren because the characters in world are discovering this as the books progress.

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  • 148

    NeverKnowsBest

    In Mistborn 3, what spooked Vin off from meeting Hoid? (My theory is Ruin's influence, because he didn't want Hoid interfering(sub question that just occurred to me. Was Ruin aware of Hoid on Scadrial?)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. Well, by this point Hoid had been to the Well--getting there just before Vin--and had retrieved something from it. That should have been enough to get him to leave the planet entirely, but he got involved in events. (He tends to do that.) It's pie in the sky, but I would someday like to do parallel novel to the Mistborn series with Hoid in the background like they did in the second(?) back to the future move. I don't know that I'll ever be able to do it, but we shall see. I would answer this question there.

    Footnote

    Brandon has since confirmed that the thing Hoid took from the Chamber of Ascension was a bead of lerasium.

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  • 149

    joh-wee

    Can male members of the Idrian royal family and or Returned grow out their facial hair at will? If so, can this lead to epic beard competitions?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Totally

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  • 150

    moochboy

    The Way of Kings was named after an in story book, as is the would be Shallan's book if you don't change like you siad you might "The Book of Endless Pages", do you plan on naming all the books in the Stormlight Archive with in world literature?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That was the original plan.

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  • 151

    PricklyBear

    When Scadrial was closer to the sun, can we safely assume that the middle section of the planet was scorched clean of anything living? Could there have been some underground life thing going on? Anything cool or interesting sitting out there (like ruins or some lost technology)?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The middle section was scorched pretty clean. I know of a few interesting tidbits, but it's not technology. (The tech level before the Lord Ruler took over was nothing particularly special, early industrial era.) The cool and interesting things are on the southern continent.

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  • 152

    PricklyBear

    What's up at the south end of the world (during the 'closer to the sun' phase)? Life there? Cultures? Allomancers? Assuming that there is some life down there, can we assume that we'll have some interesting 'culture clashes' in future books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They will be known by the modern trilogy, so it's safe to assume that a discovery will happen soon. Either during the Alloy of Law era or soon after.

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  • 153

    PricklyBear

    What's the closest that humans had gotten to the 'inhabitable' zone of the planet during the events of the first Mistborn trilogy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There were groups who would go out there to escape the Lord Ruler, and the Final Empire in general. Survival was practically impossible. It's possible someone might have gotten across to the southern continent, but it would take a small miracle.

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  • 154

    PricklyBear

    Dalinar ever getting an honorspren?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. (You knew I'd do that.)

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  • 155

    PricklyBear

    Is there a functional/structural difference between modern-day Shardplate and the stuff the Radiants wore? Did the Radiants have to use infused gems to keep their suits going or could they just 'breathe in' Stormlight and feed the suit off of their 'inhaled' reserves?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Something is different. You will find out what.

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  • 156

    astalduath

    After reading The Way of Kings, I couldn't help but to wonder this: hypothetically if there were two equally skilled combatants in every way, one armed with a Shardblade and the other with a Lightsaber, and take magic and the Force out of the equation (except for the weapons themselves), who would win? And yes, the Shardblade would have already been summoned and the two are just squaring off in a dual. Have fun with it.

    Brandon Sanderson

    A lightsaber is actually a little more easy to wield than a Shardblade, I would guess. Shardblades were designed to fight something larger than another person; you don't actually need all of that size when fighting someone. So that gives a slight edge to you average Jedi. If it's someone like Szeth, who has a more modestly sized Blade, then I don't honestly know.

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  • 157

    astalduath

    2) I am formerly a Sergeant in the United States Army Reserves. Having read all of your work except for your Wheel of Time additions, I couldn't help but to see that you have a good grasp of leadership displayed in your writing. When I finished reading the scene in The Way of Kings about Kaladin ordering Bridge Four to carry their bridge into battle in a way that would protect them, but ended up causing defeat for the rest of the army, you wrote a well described contrast between an NCO and a high ranking officer (not saying an officer would act like Sadeas by the means of using bridge men like he does), and how the two types of leaders look at battle. I was wondering, do you draw from your own experiences, or study others, or something entirely different you use when you write leadership roles in your characters and how they act in different situations utilizing that trait?

    Brandon Sanderson

    That's very flattering to hear. I've made a study of leadership in many different areas, the military being one of them. It's a topic that fascinates me, and I try hard to get it right. I wouldn't say I have any practical experience in it, unfortunately--just a lot of study, questioning, and curiosity.

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  • 158

    Observer

    What are the smoke-y spren that appear around a dead chasmfiend?

    Brandon Sanderson

    They are in a symbiotic relationship with the chasmfiend, and are part of what allow the creatures to grow to the size they do with an exoskeleton. (Along with a high-oxygen, lower-gravity world.)

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  • 159

    NinjaMeTimbers

    How intelligent is a mistwraith? Could you raise and train mistwraiths like dogs or horses, controlling what forms they take by the bones you give them? Would you be able to train yourself a horsewraith steed by giving it only the bones of a horse?

    Brandon Sanderson

    This is feasible. One thing to keep in mind is that mistwraiths are people who have a blockage between the physical and the cognitive realm, messing with their ability to think. Think of them as mentally-stunted people. There's enough there to train, but then you have to dig into the ethics of it...

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  • 160

    NinjaMeTimbers

    What would happen if you gave it a spike imbued with steel allomancy? I'm assuming that wouldn't be enough to grant it sentience but could it then use steel powers? Can you give allomantic powers to a kandra?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Hemalurgy can give allomantic powers to a kandra. The process to do so is not known to anyone but Harmony.

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  • 161

    E. Hyde

    Is Honor the only one who created people on Roshar?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 162

    E. Hyde

    Since we generally don't see inhabitants of your worlds refer to their planets by name, where do the names come from?

    Brandon Sanderson

    From world-hoppers, Shards, and those who know about the cosmere.

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  • 163

    E. Hyde

    You said that a person can have more than one Shardblade--can they be dual-wielded?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Someone did exactly this in the original draft of Way of Kings, back in 2002.

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  • 164

    E. Hyde

    You've already given some information about the origins of the custom of a safe hand (feminine arts being those that can be done one-handed) but why the word "safe?"

    Brandon Sanderson

    It grew out of the culture and linguistics somewhat naturally; nobody 'named' it that.

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  • 165

    E. Hyde

    Shinovar seems more earthlike than the rest of Roshar; does this occur naturally or was it somehow changed to be that way?

    Brandon Sanderosn

    RAFO

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  • 166

    E. Hyde

    Will we see illustrations of Shardplate and/or blades in the next Stormlight Archive book?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Shallan will likely be doing some sketches from dueling grounds where Sharbearers fight.

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  • 167

    llwvyn

    My question is in regards to the writing system. In Warbreaker, when Siri is teaching Susebron to read, she mentions the letter "shash," which we now know better as a Glyphair from WoK.

    so onto the questions:

    Are the two writing systems related, or is this a chance coincidence of names? If they are related, did they stem from the same source? (i.e., do the people of Nalthis and Roshar both descend from a more ancient group of people?) If I haven't gotten a RAFO yet, did the separation from these other people create the legends of being cast out of the Tranquiline Halls?

    Brandon Sanderson

    There are interesting connections around the cosmere between linguistics and some cultures. Though different groups of humans were created on different planets, the Shards all share a single point of origin. However, the Tranquiline Halls legends are not related to a Nalthis/Roshar connection.

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  • 168

    ROSHtafARian

    Will the fact that Roshar and the Silence Divine planet exist in the same solar system come into play at all in The Stormlight Archive, or is that only relevant for later books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's mostly relevant for later books, but there are some things here and there.

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  • 169

    ROSHtafARian

    In the Mistborn trilogy, the base 16 Allomantic metals separate into different groups like the Enhancement metals, etc. Given that there are 16 Shards, do they also separate into different groupings as well? For instance, are Shards like Honor and Devotion part of one 'grouping', with Shards like Cultivation and Endowment part of another?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question.

    ...

    RAFO

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  • 170

    ROSHtafARian

    There's been enough speculation that an Elantrian world hopper appears in Way of Kings and that an Elantrian world hopper wrote the Ars Arcanum in Alloy of Law to make it likely that by the time of both books, at least some Elantrians can world hop. So my question is, at the time of Way of Kings, does Sel have the most cosmere-awareness out of any of your shardworlds (including ones we have not seen yet), or is there another Shardworld that's more aware of the greater cosmere at this time?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sel is very cosmere aware at this point, but getting to and through Shadesmar (that's not the local term, by the way) is very difficult on Sel. That stunted them for a long while. They're still fairly far ahead.

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  • 171

    ROSHtafARian

    We're aware by now of eight of the sixteen Shards (Devotion, Dominion, Ruin, Preservation, Endowment, Honor, Odium and Cultivation) and seven of the ten core Shardworlds (the Dragonsteel world, Roshar, Scadrial, Nalthis, Sel, the White Sand world and The Silence Divine world). Given that you now how we love to obsessively speculate based on only the tiniest of information, and also given that it seems an endless source of amusement to you that we do, would you perhaps like to tease us with a smidgen of information about one of the remaining eight Shards or the three remaining Shardworlds?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha. If I give you this, what will you speculate on in the future? I hate to do this, but I'm going to RAFO that one for now. Sorry.

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  • 172

    Karkat Vantas

    Does the Physical Realm of the Cosmere have more or less the same structure as our own? It's obvious from Mistborn that solar systems function as they do in our universe, but it's less obvious if there are galaxies, clusters, superclusters, and so forth. Are there? If the Cosmere does have the same structure as our own, are the Shardworlds all in the same general area (a galaxy, for example), or are they completely spread out?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Good question. I designed the cosmere to have much the same structure, but imagined the action happening in a compact dwarf galaxy. Still a lot going on, but far, far fewer stars and systems than our own.

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  • 173

    Douglas

    When Kelsier destroys the Pits of Hathsin in Final Empire, it is mentioned that they'll take something like 300 years to start producing Atium again. Do the Pits of Hathsin still exist in any form after Sazed reshaped the world, and is that timeline for them still valid?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

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  • 174

    Douglas

    In Alloy of Law, evidence is uncovered that the bad guys are attempting to breed a Mistborn. The time span of the gap between this and the original Mistborn trilogy, perhaps with the interval I vaguely remember being stated for between Alloy and the next main trilogy added, is suspiciously close to 300 years. Does the organization Wax's father is part of know the location of the Pits of Hathsin, or otherwise have access to Atium, either now (as of Alloy) or in the time period of the planned second trilogy?

    Brandon Sanderson

    You are on the right track

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  • 175

    Douglas

    And now some magic mechanics questions:

    1) What benefit does compounding copper get? Exceptionally clear and detailed memories? Memories that can be split into a new coppermind while still remaining in the feruchemists mind? Something else?

    2) How does Feruchemical luck work? If a chromium compounder tried his hand at day trading on the stock market, what would happen? Would it make him choose stocks that were coincidentally going to go up anyway? Would it change stock prices by altering the world around him? Would it fail because the required scale of action is too large? Something else?

    3) This might have been specified in the books, I don't remember, but does Duralumin expend itself as well as the metal it's used with? If it does, I've got this theory that its effect is actually just to cause a regular flare, not a superflare, but it affects itself in a feedback loop that keeps forcing the flare higher until it runs out.

    Brandon Saderson

    So, I've said before that I want to hold off on talking about different forms of compounding and types of twinborn until I can address them in the series. So I'll have to RAFO the first two. However, in answer to the third one, yes you DO expend Duralumin in the process.

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  • 176

    Douglas

    What benefit does an aluminum savant get? Yes, I know this would normally never happen because aluminum burns itself up. Suppose a mad scientist with a willing Mistborn test subject shoved a feeding tube down the Mistborn's throat to pump in a continuous stream of aluminum, replenishing it steadily so there's always a new unburned supply. Add another tube to pump out excess water if necessary. What would he discover? Alternatively, what would Sazed with his Shard-granted knowledge know?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha, that IS a little silly of a method. However, on the extreme end of aluminum, I have in the notes the possibility of cleansing the spirit of unwanted effects of other investitures. You'd get really good at this, and maybe even be able to cleanse the body of other impurities.

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  • 177

    Douglas

    What about a Lerasium savant? Or would that require so much Lerasium that the person attempting it would ascend to become a new Shardholder?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Basically, this is what ascension is.

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  • 178

    JamesW

    Are all of the orders of Knights Radiant human?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 179

    JamesW

    Are there non-human races on Roshar, or non-humanoid races that are sentient?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The Parshendi are not human, but you probably already knew that. The two races of Aimians are not human either. There are many races of sentient spren. From there, it depends if you call something like Ryshadium sentient or not.

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  • 180

    JamesW

    You said that Preservation created the Terris Prophecies. Why couldn't ruin see into the future and counter Preservation's plan? Is it because Ruin's intent has him focusing more on the present than the future, while Preservation (wanting to preserve forever) looks more into the future for that goal.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Looking into the future was not something Ruin was good at doing. That ability is confined to certain shards, and not others.

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  • 181

    zebobes

    Since allomancy is powered by burning metal, isn't Scadrial going to eventually start running out of metal?

    Brandon Sandersom

    It could happen. However, it's not really a danger with the current population of Allomancers. There just aren't enough of them.

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  • 182

    Nesh

    Was Realmatic theory known to Kwaan or his people?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Realmatic theory was part of the ancient Terris religion.

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  • 183

    Nesh

    Is Hoid an older Alcatraz Smedry? (This is a joke I know Alcatraz isn't in the Cosmere but with Hoid being present at the Shattering and Alcatraz's Talent being braking things... That could include Gods)

    Brandon Sanderson

    Ha!

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  • 184

    Nesh

    There's also been a long standing debate on whether an Allomacer could burn the One Ring, stance on that?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Burn the One Ring, eh? I think it's such a powerfully invested object that it would be very, very dangerous to try.

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  • 185

    Cheese Ninja

    For the modern day Mistborn trilogy, have you decided on whether the Nicrosil Misting main character will be male or female yet? I haven't seen you mention it anywhere.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I have him as a guy right now, but that could change. (It has before.)

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  • 186

    Cheese Ninja

    Did Amaram ever find out who the Shardbearer that Kaladin killed was?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 187

    Cheese Ninja

    Nightwatcher's curses all appear to be neurological in effect, are the boons limited in any particular manner?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes.

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  • 188

    Cheese Ninja

    Is it hypothetically possible to Awaken an object using a Divine Breath?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Yes

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  • 189

    Cheese Ninja

    If a character bears multiple Shardblades, can they summon them all in the same 10 heartbeat span, or does each Shardblade require a separate summoning? Dying doesn't count.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Separate summoning.

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  • 190

    Cheese Ninja

    Does Hoid have a safety-deposit box somewhere, or does he carry all his souvenirs with him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He has a home base.

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  • 191

    Cheese Ninja

    Do you ever plan to continue "I Hate Dragons"? I have a theory that Skip does not have a separate knack to make him smell delicious to dragons, but rather that he is high in levels of human magical potential, which the dragons need in their diet.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Perhaps. I've got a few more chapters than I've posted. Including some viewpoints from the most powerful magical sword ever created. Most powerful...in that he has the most powers. Thousands of them. All useless.

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  • 192

    Kurkistan

    Was it Shallan's brother, by the way?

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO

    Footnote

    Kurkistan is referring to the Shardbearer who Kaladin killed.

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  • 193

    XFER

    Are you planning to include a gay character in the second book of the Stormlight Archive? I know there is that bridge guy, but I mean a character with some weight on the book. Would be cool.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I've tried to be more GLBT aware in recent years, but I want to be careful. Doing it poorly could be more insulting than doing it not at all. Having Ryan, the real world Drehy from Bridge Four, as a friend does at least give me access to someone who can give early feedback and tell me where I might be going wrong. So let's just say maybe.

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  • 194

    XFER

    And I saw on facebook about the discussion about the name of the second book. This is more like a request, please, keep the name of it being The Book Of Endless Pages. That title is awesome! Oh and another suggestion, please, keep making huge books! Now, after reading your books, I expect books to be at least 600 pages, so you can see I get disappointed quite often lol

    Brandon Sanderson

    I will keep the books, in this series at least, long. It's what the story demands. As for title...it does have a certain charm, but I worry that it just feels wrong to too many people. Three out of four laugh when I mention it. That doesn't bode well...

    Footnote

    Brandon has since renamed the second book of the Stormlight Archive to, "Words of Radiance."

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  • 195

    Master_Moridin

    1. What is the relationship between blood and the Spiritual Realm? (Since Hemalurgy needs blood to graft the sDNA in a spike into someone else's sDNA)

    Brandon Sanderson

    The blood being in motion is part of it.

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  • 196

    Master_Moridin

    Why does Preservation fueling Allomancy not weaken Preservation compared to Ruin?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Because the power, once used, returns to him--much as water, after passing over a turbine, continues on in its system.

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  • 197

    Master_Moridin

    Why aren't Seons affected by the lack of a chasm line in their Aon?

    Brandon Sanderson

    If they tried to actualize their Aon, it would have an undesirable result. In addition, the chasm broke their bond to the humans they were tied to, and you can see the result of that. So they were affected.

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  • 198

    Aethling

    Where did humanity originate in the cosmere?

    Brandon Sanderson

    The first planet with humans on it was Yolen.

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  • 199

    Aethling

    Is there a chance that any dead protagonists will miraculously come back (IE Vin, Elend, Lightsong) to help fight later battles? You have shown Kelsier having influence after he died, and Sazed makes a statement about keeping in touch with Vin and Elend.

    Brandon Sanderson

    I don't want to be unsympathetic to people's love for these characters, but I feel that as a writer I must resist the urge to bring back characters in this manner. I feel it would undermine my storytelling. I never want to get to the point where people read and the tension of a character being in danger is ruined by the thought, "Well, even if they die, they'll probably just be brought back in the future."

    I'm not saying I won't ever do it, but I want to be very sparing. I like how Robert Jordan did it with a certain character's return in TofM. It was foreshadowed, built into the story itself, and relevant.

    There are characters--in the 36-book-cosmere-superoutline--who return when thought dead. Some have not met their perceived end yet, while others have. So it's going to happen, but I want it to be very rare.

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  • 200

    Arcanist

    1.A few years ago you posted a long post about your future plans on your website: Do you plan a post like this again or could you perhaps describe the current version of your plans right here?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Sure.

    BOOKS YOU WILL SEE SOON: (The books that are done.)

    AMOL: January

    The Rithmatist (once named Scribbler): Summer 2013

    Steelheart: Fall 2013 or spring 2014.

    BOOKS YOU WILL SEE SOMEWHAT SOON: (Working on right now.)

    Stormlight 2: Hopefully Fall 2013.

    Shadows of Self (New Wax and Wayne): 2014

    OTHER:

    Alcatraz 5: I own the rights again now, and hope to write this book sometime in the near future.

    Stormlight 3: Goal is to write this soon after Stormlight 2

    Steelheart and Rithmatist Sequels: I will probably try to do one of each of these between Stormlight 2 and 3.

    MAYBE MAYBE:

    Elantris 2: I'd still love to do a sequel for 2015, the 10th anniversary of the book's release.

    Warbreaker 2: Long ways off.

    STALLED PROJECTS

    Dark One: Unlikely any time soon.

    The King's Necromancer: Unlikely any time soon.

    I Hate Dragons: Unlikely any time soon.

    Death By Pizza: Turned out mediocre. Won't be released anytime soon.

    The Silence Divine: Will be written someday.

    White Sand: Will be written someday.

    Mistborn modern trilogy: Will be written during the gap between Stormlight 5 and 6.

    The Liar of Partinel Didn't turn out well. Scraped.

    Dragonsteel: Won't be written until Stormlight is done.

    Not a lot of changes from back then, except that Steelheart got finished and Rithmatist got a release date for certain.

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  • 201

    Arcanist

    2. According to the Second law of Sanderson your characters have flaws, weaknesses. What is the reason, that in a lot of them (Vin, Elend, Kaladin, Dalinar, Spook, etc) the most significant weakness is the lack of self-confidence?

    Brandon Sanderson

    It's because of mode-shifting. The people you noted have been doing one thing for a long time, and are now forced into something else. The self confidence is a side effect of that. However, I wouldn't say it's the primary character attribute for any of them, however. I think you're blanketing self confidence as a larger issue, when it's the smaller part of something larger for each character. Vin: Trusting Others Elend: Idealism Dalinar: Conflict between the killer he was and the man he wishes to be. Spook: Self Worth

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  • 202

    Arcanist

    3. And related to this last question: most of your heroes are true traditional "heroes", because they want to be useful for the family/society/other, and they often lack selfish, "dirtier" motivations. Will we sometimes see characters, who are not villains but are rather egocentric?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Kelsier. :) Expanding that, however, I feel that in general, other people are telling stories about "dirtier" characters and doing it well. I don't feel characters who are generally good characters are any less realistic, however--in fact, almost everyone I know is more like Vin or Dalinar. They want to be good people, they TRY to be good people. Fantasy has taken a very dark turn in many ways, and this is fine, but it is not the type of story or characters in which I am interested. That doesn't mean I won't ever do it. There are some far more borderline characters mixed into some of the series, but they are more the exception than the rule.

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  • 203

    Arcanist

    4. Do you plan a magic system which enables the character to manipulate the four elements with their will? I mean not so bounded, like Allomancy with Pushing or Pulling but shaping/summoning the elements according to the wishes of the person. I ask this, because in the whole fantasy genre I rarely find something like this (except: Arc Magica RPG), so I had to develop it myself at home . But from the authors I know you are the person who has the creativity to do this without doubt.

    Brandon Sanderson

    Maybe, but there are a few problems here. For one, "Four elements" magic has been done over and over in books and video games, so it feels hard to make fresh. And in what you describe, it sounds like the characters would be very powerful, which makes for a challenging story to write.

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  • 204

    Arcanist

    5. Are the intelligent sprens like Syl the “seons of Roshar”?

    Brandon Sanderson

    What a clever question. Gold star for you.

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  • 205

    Arcanist

    6. As Dalinar gave his Shardblade to Highprince Sadeas, was his motivation only to free the Brigdemen as “Thank you” for the help? Or did he already plan to build a team from soldiers who are loyal only to him?

    Brandon Sanderson

    He certainly saw the side benefits. However, his primary motive was to make a statement. Not just as a thank you, but as a way of proclaiming to all of the Alethi "What we have been doing is wrong. This wealth is not worth the lives of men."

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  • 206

    Arcanist

    7. When will be see the whole Cosmere-concept (Shards, the plans of Hoid) at the level of the books? In the third Mistborn trilogy or earlier? In which books do you plan to finish the “hidden story” which connects all your earlier books?

    Brandon Sanderson

    Third Mistborn Trilogy will certainly include some of this. We shall see if I do any of Hoid's stories before then.

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  • 207

    Arcanist

    8. A bit RAFO but: Is Szeth bounded to the Oathstone (master) with magic/force or just with his honour? As I can remember, in the end of WoK he nearly killed Taravangian.

    Brandon Sanderson

    RAFO. :)

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