ChocolateRob

Manchester Signing - August 5, 2014

51 posts in this topic

PLEAAAASE PM me the answers to any white sand qs :)

 

also will be hyped to hear any silence divine excerpts

Edited by Sabrina Stormshard
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Oh. Pm me too! :)

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And me!

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Okay, I finished transcribing stuff

 

Here is the Silence Divine reading:

 

[Eelyell?] was awakened by the whispering of the dead child who followed him.

“Haszh betaszh bejzak” The girl’s words were often gibberish, though usually he could make out a few of them. Tonight he couldn’t even understand a single one. Which made the whispering even more eerie.

[Eelyell] sat up in his cot realizing he had fallen asleep in his uniform again. He looked across the darkened room, seeking out the child. There, she hid in the shadows beside the wooden bin that held his canes. Small, maybe four years old, she had long straight blonde hair that hung down by her face, ears peeking out like rocks in the sand.

She met his eyes, “Haszh betazh bejzak,” she whispered. It would be nice when that particular Echo passed.

[Eelyell] rose tugging at his crumpled jacket, still enough of a soldier to feel ashamed at its state. His father would have had [Eelyell]]’s head if he’d seen such a uniform. Climbing from bed [Eelyell] took the cane beside it for support, then walked out onto the balcony. He put his back to the dead child, she was a figment, an echo, a side-effect from an Incubation he’d done a few years back. It was so long ago that he was losing hope that this Echo would ever fade. He might be stuck with a hallucination, for good.

He stepped out onto the balcony, using the cane by habit though he was currently strong enough that he didn’t need it to walk. He was recovering from his Incubation two months back. The grind from that one had finally worn off. In fact he was probably too strong, he’d been getting too much sleep lately, eating too well. He needed to keep a certain level of physical weakness so he could be open to Incubations, assuming he wanted to remain effective in his duties. And he did want to remain effective, for his own reasons, if not for the Corps themselves.

Outside on the balcony, the sky burned. It smoldered high above, deep red lines, the color of a serpent’s tongue, like rips in the air. The magma cast a warm red light across the city of [suigmaat]. As always the air smelled faintly of smoke, though he only noticed it when he was first stepping out of the building into the open air. He knew logically that the burning place he saw above was actually the ground. He knew [suigmaat] flew in the air, a city reversed, one of the few bastions of life left in the burning land. [Eelyell] was the one who was upside-down, as were all of the city’s inhabitants. It didn’t feel that way to him, he’d lived here too long. Upward was towards the burning ground and the land, downwards was toward the sky and the sun. Things he never saw except on the rare occasion he was called upon to visit the farms and orchards on the city’s sunward side.

[Eelyell] stood for a time, holding to the cast-iron railing, staring up at the burning swathes high above. Molten rivers, a land destroyed. A warning flag, raised to them all. Omnipresent. Undeniable. The city itself slept beneath that scarlet glare, bathed in red.

“Hiszh betaszh druk,” the girl whispered from behind. She’d crawled out onto the balcony and now sat there looking up at the air.

[Eelyell] glanced at her, “Kareem’s gaze you’re a creepy one,” he whispered, “What must I do to be rid of you?”

“Hiszh beaszh diruk.”

He tapped his finger on the railing and then strode back into his quarters, splashed some water on his face, and checked the sword blade of his walking cane. Seconds later he was out the door.

The offices of the Corps did not look as a police station should. A police station was supposed to be a box like thing, stable and functional, designed to indicate to all who visited that this was not a place where nonsense was permitted. Those ornamented columns, etched with the silver serpents of [Mokdeelor], those golden doors, those soldiers with ridiculous feathered helms. Those were not the symbols of efficient law-keeping. In [Eelyell]’s opinion they were quite the opposite.

He walked up the steps and approached the guards, who were at least armed with functional halberds and two foot-long pistols at the belt. They saluted him by raising fists to their sides. As an incubator he outranked everyone in this building, except of course the ones who actually mattered. [Eelyell] felt a moment of lightheadedness at the top of the steps and was forced to pause there, gripping the railing and leaning on his cane. So he wasn’t completely well, good. Neither guard stepped to help him, weakness was expected of Incubators, one of the marks of their station and being near one of them at the wrong time could be dangerous. One need only to look upward at the burning land to be reminded of just how dangerous.

When his head cleared, he continued up the steps, cane clicking, and passed the men without returning their salute. He stopped just inside the building however, coming alert. Motion. Lesser watchmen calling to one another in a large room, aides carrying stacks of paper. Red eyes and yawns accompanied both groups. Many of these people had been called up unexpectedly, despite the very early hour.

“[Eelyell]?” A woman rushed up to him through the bustle. [Cual] wore the yellow and blue uniform of an Incubator, like his own but better fitting and far better cut. “You look like ash man,” she said, “Aren’t you still on grind leave?”

[Eelyell] looked back at the hall, reading the motion of the bodies. Nobody was going to the weapon’s locker, though riot gear had been set out to the side. Large metal shields and larger swords cordoned in rubber from trees that grew on the sunward side. The people here were getting ready for something, but he didn’t know what yet. A prophecy, he guessed.

“I still can’t believe they called you up,” [Cual] said, “You deserve some relaxation after--”

“I will visit [Patseepa],” [Eelyell] interupted, striding through the room and leaving [Cual] behind. He tried not to let himself be carried away in the chaos. The event that he was waiting for would come eventually, but this might not be it. [Patseepa] made prophesies with some frequency, that was why the Corps maintained her, and why she carried her terrible burden.

It was difficult not to feel tense however, in the rooms frenzy. Nearby a scribe turned and accidentally knocked over an hourglass, smashing it to the floor and spraying sand across it. He spared the sand a glance, it always drew his attention, but he otherwise ignored it, focussing on a set of doors at the back of the room. This must have been an alarming prophecy in deed to cause such a fuss. The guards at these doors were even more flowery with feathers on their shields after an old fashion style almost no one used any longer. The [Moknee] people were now as advanced a people as [Eelyell] had ever known. His own browning-tan skin and dark hair blended in here well enough that he could have passed more [Moknee] himself, assuming he didn’t open his mouth. Which he was never good at doing.

These guards let him pass too and no scribes or watchmen beset him in the hall beyond. Only Incubators were allowed in here. Unfortunately while they presented a more solemn group, it was no less unruly in its own right. Some two dozen of them clumped together at the other end of the darkened hallway like a clot of hair in a drain. [Eelyell] strode forward passing doors on either side set with glass. The small, well-lit rooms beyond weren’t exactly cells, just like their occupants weren’t exactly prisoners, they just couldn’t leave. With the hallways dark and the rooms lit, each window glowed, like they looked into other worlds. Other worlds inhabited by the sick.

It was hard to think of it that way, after so long in this land. The people in those rooms were not simply ill, they were lay Incubators, their job was to stay in those little rooms, bearing their afflictions until they started to recover. Whereupon another individual would be brought in to catch their malady, ensuring the Incubation itself didn’t vanish. It was good money, assuming you didn’t mind the discomfort, which could range from the sniffles to deadly fevers, depending on the Incubation you agreed to receive. And of course there were... other benefits. In one room he passed the occupant, a young man, hovered in the air, reading a book and in another an elderly woman idly tapped on a cup, changing the color of the liquid inside with each tap. In [suigmaat], in fact on this entire land, every disease also granted a special capacity. That ability lasted as long as the ailment did. Many of these blessings were minor, while others were grand. Some few were very, very dangerous. Hence the existence of the Incubators, and of the Corps itself.

 

I was very interested in the question about Hoid's language:

 

 

So in Words of Radiance you’ve got a character named Wit [Yes], who has a conversation with Kaladin in which he uses the phrase “bunny rabbit” which obviously doesn’t exist in the language that Kaladin exists.  So my question is where and when did the language he used come from?


So Hoid, or Wit, is actually using magical means to communicate and so when he says a word it just transliterates it or just doesn’t translate it into anything in that language.  So you’ll notice him slipping up on a number of occasions, because he is the only one who uses certain words in the course of-- That’s not the only one in The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, because he’s just speaking normally and allowing his other means to translate for him.  And that’s a sign, a symbol, of that happening.

 

I know there have been long discussions on this.

 

And anyone who is asking to be pm'd the White Sand questions, do you want to get added the the existing PM thread?

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Since Weiry didn't post it, here is the interview:

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Mistborn books, when I originally conceived the, I pitched them to my editor as a trilogy of trilogies.  It was going to be an epic fantasy trilogy, set in the past of the world that played with the ideas of epic fantasy tropes.  There was going to be a contemporary trilogy, set around 1980’s level technology that played with some of the ideas of spy thrillers and things like that.  Then a science fiction trilogy that was a space opera set in the future where the magic became the means by which space travel is possible.  That is not, and Alloy of Law is not, a part of the second trilogy.  What happened is that I started working on the Stormlight Archive and I felt that with my main focus being on the Stormlight Archive I didn’t want to do another thick set of a trilogy books, I wanted to do something a little bit more light reading, a little more focussed on one or two characters, that would make for quick books.  So you wouldn’t forget Mistborn and you’d still [have fun if you liked the world???] and I could explore some of the different time periods but also wouldn’t take me 18 months of writing to write, because most of what I have to do right now has to be focused on the Stormlight Archive and those books take a long time.  So I wanted something, basically, that I could do on off years with the Stormlight Archive.  It takes me maybe 13-14 months to do a Stormlight book, and maybe 6 months or so to do one of these.  So the idea is that I can release one book a year, but I can alternate with the shorter book and the longer Stormlight book.  So that is an answer to a question you are going to ask, many people do.  When is the next Stormlight book?  It is scheduled 2 years from the date of Words of Radiance.  I know, but hey, I’m still faster than George… [laughter] I’m still faster than George, I’m still faster than Pat Rothfuss.  They’re good writers… [???]  But this one should be out next fall, next year and the following will be third Stormlight book.  Other sequels that people ask me about, invariably: the Legion sequel is going to be this fall sometime, and that’s another short one, those are novellas they’re not full novels; and let’s see what else is there in the pipeline, The Reckoners, Steelheart, that will be my January release, I generally try to do one teen book a year [???] that will be my teen release for next year and the Rithmatist 2 will be the teen release the year after.  So that’s kind of where we’re looking for those sorts of things, let’s go back for a few questions. What do you guys want to hear from me?  I’ll let, Charlie was it?, distribute the microphone


[15:33]


Hi Brandon, nice to see you again.


Good to see you too.


I wanted to ask, at the beginning you mentioned that you had 12 books written before your first book [YEAH] was published, can you tell us, or are you allowed to tell us how many have actually been published?


Yeah, I can actually go down the list for you.  It is somewhat interesting, I think, for people.  My very first book was a book called White Sand, and it was basically kind of a Dune rip-off.  Your first book is always kind of a rip-off, right, of somebody?  And that doesn’t count the one in high school, which was a SUPER rip-off, it was basically a Tad Williams meets Dragonlance, full blown with elves and things yeah it was totally [???].  White Sand is the first one I finished, and then I actually went and wrote a science fiction book called Star’s End.  And then I wrote the second half of White Sand, because I just stopped and said “This is long enough to be a novel” and then i wrote the rest of it, that’s actually the only sequel I wrote.  And then I wrote a comedy, where a lot of the thesis of that Comedy came out in Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians ten years later, so that one’s kind of half been published.  White Sand and Star’s End have not been.  And then I wrote something called the Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, which was really weird and sci-fi-y and stuff, and that one was really bad and has not been published.  And then book number six was Elantris which was pretty good.  Book number 7 was Dragonsteel, which became my honor’s thesis for my undergraduate and half of that wound up in the contemporary Way of Kings, the Bridge Four sequence was all from Dragonsteel and I ripped that out when I re-did Way of Kings.  After that was a re-write of White Sand, with better writing nowadays, and that one we’re turning into a graphic novel, that one’s good enough to read the only problem it has is its a little too bloated.  It’s like 300,000 words with 150,000 words of story.  And so we are going to condense it-- into a graphic novel, so you will eventually see that one.  The next one was called Aether of Night, that one didn’t get published, it’s really two decent books that don’t work well together, like one half is a Shakespearean farce about a guy who takes his brother’s place on the throne, it’s mistaken identify, yadda yadda; the other half is this dark brutal war book with an invasion going on, and the two halves never really translate well.  People read this and they’re like, that chapter is hilarious and fun, and OH MY GOODNESS, and yeah, so….  Maybe someday I’ll do something with that.  After that I wrote a book named Mythwalker which became Warbreaker, I ripped out the good parts of that and wrote Warbreaker later on.  Then I wrote a book called Final Empire, which is not Mistborn: The Final Empire, because then I wrote a book called Mistborn, and neither of those books were working very well.  And then I wrote a book called Way of Kings and then I sold Elantris and then I wanted to take two books that weren’t working very well and I think if I combine them-- because Mistborn had a cool magic system and the Final Empire had this thing about the Hero who failed and the Dark Lord took over and mixing these too ideas made a great book and that became Mistborn: The Final Empire.  And basically everything from then on got published, Warbreaker came next which was a re-write of Mythwalker, The Way of Kings that you hold is a complete rebuild, I started from scratch, and added the Bridge Four sequence form Dragonsteel and some of these things. [...] The only good one in there, that wasn’t published, is White Sand I think, and I think it is going to make a really nice graphic novel because the characters are really solid, the story is solid.  I just wasn’t a good enough writer to condense where I needed to.


[19:57]


My question was about your writing process.  When you are writing do you become emotionally attached to the characters you are writing about?  Does it become hard to distinguish between what you think the characters should be doing and what you actually have planned out for them?  And how did that affect your Wheel of Time writing?  You didn’t create them, but you took over their story arcs and did you become attached to any of those?


What an excellent question.  I do grow attached to all of my characters, however character is the weird one for me.  Character is very hard for me to define how I do it. With my plot I can talk about outlining the plot and these things.  And my worldbuilding, I’ve written lots of essays about worldbuilding, and building magic systems and things like this.  But with character I really sit down with this plot, this world, together and i start writing someone in a role and I write a chapter and I see how they feel.  It’s almost like casting someone in the role.  If that doesn’t work, then I get rid of them, I get rid of that and I write a new chapter using a different character’s personality but who feels very much the same in some ways.  For instance, Mistborn quite famously, Vin started with a guy, I tried Vin as a guy and then I tried her as a woman, but a different, a very different person from what you read, who was very confident and more Artful Dodger type person, and then I tried the Vin that ended up in the book.  I can’t really explain why I knew those first two were wrong, they just were. So I ditched them and I tried again, I do that until i’ve hit the right character and then I let them start growing and developing as I write the book and if the person they turn into is not the person who would do the sort of things in my outline I either have to change my outline, which I will sit down and do, or I’ll say “this character is awesome but they don’t belong in this role.  I will write a book around them later, I will find a place for them.”  And that’s-- usually I just re-write the outline, once in a while I pull out the character and put someone else in that place.  If a book is going wrong for me, it almost always because of one of the characters, something is wrong with them, and I wish that I could explain it better.  It’s actually very thrilling for me, when a character is alive and working well enough that I know they wouldn’t do what is in the outline.  That’s not a sad moment that’s a “Aha! I’ve got something good here.  This character is working, they are strong enough on the page that they can balk these restraints that were place upon them.”  Because an outline, while it is a great tool, the danger is that the outline restricts your story and it doesn’t allow it to actually feel alive.  This is when you get these wooden characters that just kind of cardboard cut-out through a book.  That’s when often the outline just takes too much-- takes over too much of the characters. So it’s exciting, but it can be very frustrating when it’s not working.


I did happen with the wheel of time in a different way.  The Wheel of Time characters were like my high school friends growing up, these were my buddies.  I was a nerdy kid who sat in my bedroom and read books, and these were my friends.  So writing them I was really worried that it would be difficult to write them.  But it was actually very easy, their voices snapped for me quite quickly, I knew what they would do.  So much in fact that Mat was a little off in Gathering Storm, I didn’t notice it because I was so used to characters coming very easily to me.  And yes I feel very much in love with writing them because of these sort of things but it was because of my past familiarity with them that allowed me to do that.


Can everyone hear this [Yes] Do you like this better than the microphone [Yes] Okay I’ll do this


[24:05]


Hi, I was wondering, in your books you have a lot of mentions of gods, and spirits and I was just wondering what your opinion on religion is?


Excellent question, excellent question.  And oh sure the microphone works for you.  So I’m religious, I’m Mormon.  Yes, I am.  And I’ve grown up religious, I’m a religious person and I’m fascinated by religion in all its different aspects.  One of the things I love about being a writer is the ability you have to jump into the heads of various different people who are very different from yourself and explore.  [...] character coming alive thing, it’s really a fun aspect.  I feel that, since I am a fascinated by religion, my passion-- and if you are writers you will know this yourself-- whatever you are passionate about translates usually to good fiction, as long as you are willing to look at it from all directions.  Where fiction goes wrong is when you allow your perspective to color everything too much and you end up with a story where everybody thinks the same.  However if you can allow something you are really interested in to have five or six different characters on different sides of an argument.  Because there aren’t two sides, there are as many sides as there are people in the world on these sorts of issues.  You can show a lot of those different sides and show the way they kind of-- the rough edges bump into one another, then what you are going to be doing is you are going to start exploring what it means to be human and what it means to have faith, or whatever it is you are fascinated by.  This is where I find your fiction can get really good.  I love reading fiction, I love science fiction and fantasy I think sometimes-- I do love the escapist aspect of it, getting out of the world and going someplace imaginative, but I think sometimes because we have this escapism-- which is a lot of fun and there are a lot of fun aspects to this-- we miss out on the importance of what fiction does.  I think fiction allows you to see out of the eyes of someone very different from yourself and experience their life and their role.  A good piece of fiction I feel it’s harder to hate the people because you’ve lived in someone else’s shoes for a while.  Maybe that's a very lofty opinion that I have of what my job is where really it is telling stories about magic and knights hitting each other with swords.  but that’s the soul of what I think is very noble about fiction and I think it was very Tolkien.  You get done reading Tolkien and you’re like “I can see how these different races in this world, the hobbits and the kings, and dwarves and the elves and I can see how they all view the world differently.”  I think that does something for us, something wonderful.  One of my favorite books of all time is Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly this is the book that got me into reading.  I was a 14-year-old boy, who was not a reader and my teacher handed me this book .  This book should not have worked, this book is about a middle-aged woman who tries to choose between her career and her family, that’s basically what the book is because she’s been told she could be the greatest magic-user ever by her teacher if she would just focus but she the reason she can’t focus because she’s got these two crazy little boys who distract her and a husband and things like this.  And I read this book and its about the last living dragonslayer who has to go and kill a dragon, except he goes and does it with crossbows ballista instead of a noble ride up with a sword because who does that its stupid.  It’s great, its from her perspective.  I get done with this and I’m like ”this” was amazing.  I loved this book, why did I love it so much?”  At the same time my mother had graduated first in her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in the accounting program and had been offered a really prestigious scholarship to go along with her education, instead she had me.  She felt it was important to stay home with me while I was young.   she took care of me and as a teenage boy knowing this I was like “Of course she did, I’m awesome” of course that’s the right thing to do.  And I was reading this book about dragons and I understand my mother better.  That’s what we can do with this, and I’m kind of going off in weird directions.  That’s what I love about fiction, that’s what I love about science fiction and fantasy.


[28:58]


Your magic systems, their genius.


Oh thank you very much.


[???] How early in your process with magic systems [???]


Every book is different.  For some books its a plot idea that starts things and for some books it’s a setting idea, and magic systems are setting ideas in my head, and some its a character idea.  With a character idea its usually a conflict, “that’s an interesting conflict, what can I do with that”  With Magic systems it’s usually “this will allow me, as a writer, to force me to stretch.  It will have interesting limitations, it will do interesting things visually on the page, it will change the world in a very subtle but important way that I can explore”  If we change one little piece of physics what does it do to the world, this sort of thing.  I’m usually getting a lot of my ideas from reading science articles and things like this.  Stormlight Archive is based off the fundamental forces, Mistborn is based off of vector physics and metabolism.  I like having one foot in science and one foot in superstition for these magic systems.  I usually don’t start a book until I’ve fleshed out the magic system pretty well.  That said when I was doing Stormlight Archive, the version that you have read I didn’t have the terminology and how it was going to feel for the lashings until I wrote Szeth’s opening scene, and that is where I really nailed down how this would look on the page and how it would feel.  Sometimes you just need to write, you can’t just plan endlessly and not write.  But most of the time I have that nailed down.  If people are interested in this you can look up my essays on writing magic systems, I think they are fun, but I humbly titled them Sanderson’s first law, second law, and third law.  So I think highly of them.  They talk about my philosophy on writing and on magic systems.


[31:24]


Do you ever find it difficult writing for  two kinds who read your books, the kind that only want to read it and have fun and the people who obsess over every sentence [...]


Right, right, right.  For those of you who don’t know, though I’m not sure there are many who don’t know still, all of my epic fantasies are in the same universe and there are characters in each book who are interfering with each other’s stories.  There are characters from Mistborn in Way of Kings, and there are characters from Elantris in Mistborn.  This was done, for a little bit of backstory, I love big epic fantasy works, if you can’t tell  Wheel of Time is one of my favorites ever, I like the big things.  Breaking in I felt that it was a lot to ask readers to take a chance on me as a writer by saying “it’s book one of 25”  I felt it was better to say “here is a standalone novel, self-contained that you can enjoy reading and kind of figure out who I am as a writer.  That’s kind of my purpose for Elantris and Warbreaker, and lately Emperor’s Soul.  Here’s how to try out my writing style to see if you like it.  But loving these epics I couldn’t help connecting them and hiding an epic behind the scenes.  This was partially inspired by Asimov, who later in life joined his two main series, his Robot books and the Foundation books in what I felt was a clever way.  But it had some problems in that he had to juryrig it after the fact.  He’d been writing these books for decades and then he brought them together and I thought wouldn’t it be cool if someone were to take that idea and start it from the get go.  It’s this whole shoulders of giants thing, people try something out and you go “that was awesome, can I improve upon it?” or “whoah I’m not ever going to try that  because that had certain issues”  Book 10, the Wheel of Time fans know… Robert Jordan actually talked about that book about how he wish he hadn’t written it the way he did.  I have the advantage of having read Robert Jordan, so I can see how that book went wrong and I can avoid making that pitfall.  I went ahead and did this hidden epic because I thought it was really interesting, I did not expect it to come to the forefront as much as it has.  Which is awesome, people started peeking these things out.  Secrets that I embedded in Elantris. that I didn't expect to come out for another ten fifteen years people are already asking me about.  Which means I kind of need to step up my game to make sure that all this stuff is very subtle.  The whole idea is that you don’t have to have read Elantris to read Mistborn, you don’t have to have read Mistborn to read Way of Kings, they are all easter eggs right now.  Eventually I will write a series that ties them all together in a direct way, that’s many years off, and I will be very upfront with “You have to read all the others, you will be very lost if you aren’t familiar, at least go read the summaries of the books before you start this one.” We are far away from that.


[34:53]


Hello Brandon, lovely to be here.  Basically Bridge Four, the starting sequence was one of the most intense things I have ever read in my life.  I was in tears, I couldn’t stop it, to the point I kept flipping through to the next bridge four part.  I was just wondering where you got the inspiration to go so dark with Kaladin and what he went through.


That’s an excellent question.  Bridge Four in the original Dragonsteel was a happy accident, back then I wasn’t as good at outlining as I am now.  I kind of got to this place and went “Huh, I want to do something interesting here” and I kind of discovery wrote myself into it.  It didn’t work nearly as well as it did in Way of Kings, but that’s because I was still figuring it out.  I think the original inspiration was-- something that I like to do with fantasy is take the geography and see how the unique geography of the area influences the culture of the people who are living there, in this case the warfare, a subset of the culture interaction.  This happens with the weather on Roshar as well.  I think this is something Fantasy allows us to do, to explore what is fantastical, but keep it very grounded in the human experience because I find books interesting when I’m interested in the characters.  Having this cool place, the shattered Plains, is not nearly as cool as having this cool place and oh no the people I like are dying here.  This idea was one of the ideas, I think the inspiration was medieval siege warfare and how awful that sounds to me.  Having to be one of these people running a ladder to climb up the wall.  Just “Here’s your ladder, good luck”.  this idea of just having to run into the face of something terrible, to know you are probably going to lose your own life or your friends are going to lose theirs was just so awful to consider.  If that happens, as a writer you are like “Oh I got something.  That sounds awful, I’m going to write about it” That’s just what we do.  Anything that inspires powerful and profound emotion in myself is something I look to use in my books because I figure if it inspires profound emotion in myself it will work on the page to do the same thing with my characters.

 

So in Words of Radiance you’ve got a character named Wit [Yes], who has a conversation with Kaladin in which he uses the phrase “bunny rabbit” which obviously doesn’t exist in the language that Kaladin exists.  So my question is where and when did the language he used come from?


So Hoid, or Wit, is actually using magical means to communicate and so when he says a word it just transliterates it or just doesn’t translate it into anything in that language.  So you’ll notice him slipping up on a number of occasions, because he is the only one who uses certain words in the course of-- That’s not the only one in The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, because he’s just speaking normally and allowing his other means to translate for him.  And that’s a sign, a symbol, of that happening.


[brandon reads Rocks name]


[50:00]


[...] Where do you get your people from?  Do you take inspiration from people you know in real life?


Yes, yes I do.  Sometimes, sometimes not.  As I said, usually the seed that starts a character as I grow them is a conflict.  For Kaladin it’s the conflict between being trained as a surgeon and finding out you are really good at killing people, and how do you deal with that.  For some it can be very simple, for Sarene I had a friend who is a woman that is 6 foot 2, or whatever she is, [to the side] How tall is Annie? She’s tall.  Anway, Annie’s tall, and she always complains about how tough it is to be a tall woman.  Which is something I never thought of, I’m like “I’m going to use that.  I’m going to make use of that in a story,”  Of course that isn’t her whole personality, but that little seed, you drop down and I grow a personality around it as I try someone out.  That person I knew, a piece of her turned into a character.  For other things, it’s just trying and trying and trying ‘till something works, as I explained before.  It is “What has their life done to them”, often times it’s “What are the passionate about? What do they want?  Why can’t they have what they want?”  Those sorts of things lead me into creating a character


[51:30]


I have two questions: One, [...] In Way of kings there is a Letter [Yes, Yes].  In that scene the person who is sending the letter says that the Shards on Elantris are broken, sorry there like Shattered, and they can’t be used again.  How is that so, because if Adonalsium was Shattered and people took the Shards.


There are those who believe you could put the pieces back together and their are those who believe you can’t, and shouldn’t.

You shouldn’t put them back...


There are some who believe that.


So will they be able to put it back together?


Well there are some who believe it is possible [Laughter]  Congratulations, you win a RAFO card!  RAFO is something Robert Jordan would say, that means Read And Find Out and I print out little cards so at least you get something.  That means “I’m sorry I can’t answer your question but I’m really not that sorry otherwise I would answer it”


Okay, another question.  [Alright] Again in Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, there are characters from different books.  Some of these books have sequels, like the people from Elantris.  So when are the sequels coming out?  Are they going to come out before the big book? Or…


It’s going to be a while before we do them.  The sequels, I want to do them.  Part of the thing that is holding me back with Elantris and Warbreaker is that I like having them as standalones right now, because so much of the rest of my work is so involved, I want to have these introductory books.  Eventually I probably will do them, but it is going to take me a little while.  I want to number one get further in the Stormlight Archive, I feel that we’ve had too much delay.  Book One and Book Two there was a four year delay.  Which is--  That’s like George R.R. Martin level delay, and granted I did two Wheel of Time books between them.  I should be cut some slack there but that’s too long, I want to be consistently doing them every 18 months to two years.  Then I can stop and say, “Okay I have time to write an Elantris sequel or a Warbreaker sequel.


Can I ask one more question?


Sure [laugter] You’ve got the microphone


There’s a character again who talks about another ???  That character has more information than Hoid about the cosmere.  How does she have more information than Hoid?


Well, she is a very detail oriented person and takes the time to research very deeply into things.  Where Hoid will often research enough as he needs to know to sound really smart and get what he wants.  It is a matter of depth, if that makes sense.


Have we seen her?


Uhh, I don’t know if you’ve seen her or not.  I’m sure I slipped her in somewhere but i’m not sure.  I think I may have, but I can’t guarantee it.


[54:40]


Hi, my question is [can’t quite make things out, something about how he wrote a book] one of things I had difficulty with was coming up with names for the characters and seeing how your names are more than just random collections of letters, a lot of them actually have meanings behind them.  I was wondering how you were able to do that.


That’s actually a very good question and number one you should keep writing, even if you feel like what you are writing is a rip-off, it is better to finish that first book and be acknowledging your influences because you want to be practicing.  And sometimes it is very useful to lean on something else while you do it.  In fact this is how Great Masters did artwork, you can find--  I don’t know if you guys know this-- various different versions of the Mona Lisa, we saw one in Spain, my wife and I, that was done by DaVinci’s student while DaVinci was painting the Mona Lisa.  “Here’s what I painted now you do it too”  That was the means by which the Great Masters would train their students, so leaning on someone is just fine.  You just can’t publish it like that, but it can teach you a whole lot.  Don’t feel bad about that.


Names, I use two general methods, and this is not going to give it the justice it deserves, I’m giving you the five minute version.  One version is I look for the linguistic attribute that is interesting to me that will visually distinguish these people on the page.  So when you are coming across them and you see that name, I want you to say “I bet that there from this country”.  That is really tough because that means they all have to feel similar but you can’t let everyone get confused over who’s who and that’s the real challenge, its the getting confused.  For instance in Warbreaker I tried using some different things like we don’t in our world.  In Warbreaker I used repeated consonant sounds, so you get someone like Vivenna, when you see that double v, you are like she must be-- Llarimar, there’s a double L, you pronounce them both out.  T’telir.  And when you get double repeated consonants you are like “Oh they are from this region, that makes sense to me even though they start with different letter there is something to them”  The same sort of thing is supposed to happen in the Way of Kings, you see names that are mostly symmetrical.  When you see something like Shallan and her name is a derivation of Shalash, who was one of the Heralds and its a symmetrical name.  When you see something that reads almost, or does read, forward and backward the same way you are like “They must be either Alethi or they must be-- They’ve got to be Vorin because that is the Vorin religion influencing this”  And hopefully  it will give you some subconscious cue when you run across those names and you’ll get it.  Now a way to do this that is easier is than doing all of that is going to take a lot of work linguistically is to go get yourself a nice atlas and say everyone from this country is going to have names that are analogous to this region in our world and I am then going to take this atlas and look for these names and use baby names from that culture.  I did this in Emperor’s Soul, I just picked ancient Persia, I picked people who lived there in this era and what they named their cities there and I’m going to take those words and I’m going to screw with them until it is not actually a word but it feels like it could be one.  That way everyone from this region is going to feel like they’ve got a similar name.  Or I can just-- For that book it was much easier because the linguistics were not as big a deal.  I could basically just crib off the bat.  Sometimes I do it intentionally, Mistborn was supposed to evoke a sense of 1820’s Paris, or London, that was what I was shooting for with the grime and the dirt, the ash falling.  So I used French names and Germanic names and Spanish names, so when you run into Vin, Vin is just wine in French and Kelsier [Kelsi-ay] is how they would say-- you can say Kelsier [Kelsi-er] if you want-- and they have Kelsier and Demoux so you can go “Oh this is a French sounding region” so when you get some like Elend and Straff you are like “They are from a different region.  They sound like the eat meat and potatoes and they try to conquer Europe periodically, those guys” [laughter]   That helps you distinguish the regions very easily.


[59:20]


With the Vorin religion split between men and women [...] do you tend to get women sneaking into the army [covered up by Brandon laughing]


This does not happen as much on Roshar as it apparently happens in Terry Pratchett novels.  I’m sure that on Roshar they have their legends, ‘cause face it every culture has their legends and one thing you have to remember is that whole thing is specifically Vorin.  That’s Alethkar, that’s Jah Keved, that's Kharbranth, and Herdaz to a lesser extent and in there they probably have some of those myths but I don’t think it actually happens that much in Roshar.  That's my take on it, but I’m sure that they have their mythology.


I was suspecting that the girl Kaladin mentions a few times may have snuck in.


Oh right, you’ve got-- I’ve left her intentionally vague.

 
I just copy and pasted straight from the doc.
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Hoid's automagic translation is really interesting. I wonder if there is a magic system out there that lets him do this thing, or if he somehow hacked the effect together from multiple systems...

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Since Weiry didn't post it, here is the interview:

For those of you who aren’t familiar, the Mistborn books, when I originally conceived the, I pitched them to my editor as a trilogy of trilogies.  It was going to be an epic fantasy trilogy, set in the past of the world that played with the ideas of epic fantasy tropes.  There was going to be a contemporary trilogy, set around 1980’s level technology that played with some of the ideas of spy thrillers and things like that.  Then a science fiction trilogy that was a space opera set in the future where the magic became the means by which space travel is possible.  That is not, and Alloy of Law is not, a part of the second trilogy.  What happened is that I started working on the Stormlight Archive and I felt that with my main focus being on the Stormlight Archive I didn’t want to do another thick set of a trilogy books, I wanted to do something a little bit more light reading, a little more focussed on one or two characters, that would make for quick books.  So you wouldn’t forget Mistborn and you’d still [have fun if you liked the world???] and I could explore some of the different time periods but also wouldn’t take me 18 months of writing to write, because most of what I have to do right now has to be focused on the Stormlight Archive and those books take a long time.  So I wanted something, basically, that I could do on off years with the Stormlight Archive.  It takes me maybe 13-14 months to do a Stormlight book, and maybe 6 months or so to do one of these.  So the idea is that I can release one book a year, but I can alternate with the shorter book and the longer Stormlight book.  So that is an answer to a question you are going to ask, many people do.  When is the next Stormlight book?  It is scheduled 2 years from the date of Words of Radiance.  I know, but hey, I’m still faster than George… [laughter] I’m still faster than George, I’m still faster than Pat Rothfuss.  They’re good writers… [???]  But this one should be out next fall, next year and the following will be third Stormlight book.  Other sequels that people ask me about, invariably: the Legion sequel is going to be this fall sometime, and that’s another short one, those are novellas they’re not full novels; and let’s see what else is there in the pipeline, The Reckoners, Steelheart, that will be my January release, I generally try to do one teen book a year [???] that will be my teen release for next year and the Rithmatist 2 will be the teen release the year after.  So that’s kind of where we’re looking for those sorts of things, let’s go back for a few questions. What do you guys want to hear from me?  I’ll let, Charlie was it?, distribute the microphone

[15:33]

Hi Brandon, nice to see you again.

Good to see you too.

I wanted to ask, at the beginning you mentioned that you had 12 books written before your first book [YEAH] was published, can you tell us, or are you allowed to tell us how many have actually been published?

Yeah, I can actually go down the list for you.  It is somewhat interesting, I think, for people.  My very first book was a book called White Sand, and it was basically kind of a Dune rip-off.  Your first book is always kind of a rip-off, right, of somebody?  And that doesn’t count the one in high school, which was a SUPER rip-off, it was basically a Tad Williams meets Dragonlance, full blown with elves and things yeah it was totally [???].  White Sand is the first one I finished, and then I actually went and wrote a science fiction book called Star’s End.  And then I wrote the second half of White Sand, because I just stopped and said “This is long enough to be a novel” and then i wrote the rest of it, that’s actually the only sequel I wrote.  And then I wrote a comedy, where a lot of the thesis of that Comedy came out in Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians ten years later, so that one’s kind of half been published.  White Sand and Star’s End have not been.  And then I wrote something called the Sixth Incarnation of Pandora, which was really weird and sci-fi-y and stuff, and that one was really bad and has not been published.  And then book number six was Elantris which was pretty good.  Book number 7 was Dragonsteel, which became my honor’s thesis for my undergraduate and half of that wound up in the contemporary Way of Kings, the Bridge Four sequence was all from Dragonsteel and I ripped that out when I re-did Way of Kings.  After that was a re-write of White Sand, with better writing nowadays, and that one we’re turning into a graphic novel, that one’s good enough to read the only problem it has is its a little too bloated.  It’s like 300,000 words with 150,000 words of story.  And so we are going to condense it-- into a graphic novel, so you will eventually see that one.  The next one was called Aether of Night, that one didn’t get published, it’s really two decent books that don’t work well together, like one half is a Shakespearean farce about a guy who takes his brother’s place on the throne, it’s mistaken identify, yadda yadda; the other half is this dark brutal war book with an invasion going on, and the two halves never really translate well.  People read this and they’re like, that chapter is hilarious and fun, and OH MY GOODNESS, and yeah, so….  Maybe someday I’ll do something with that.  After that I wrote a book named Mythwalker which became Warbreaker, I ripped out the good parts of that and wrote Warbreaker later on.  Then I wrote a book called Final Empire, which is not Mistborn: The Final Empire, because then I wrote a book called Mistborn, and neither of those books were working very well.  And then I wrote a book called Way of Kings and then I sold Elantris and then I wanted to take two books that weren’t working very well and I think if I combine them-- because Mistborn had a cool magic system and the Final Empire had this thing about the Hero who failed and the Dark Lord took over and mixing these too ideas made a great book and that became Mistborn: The Final Empire.  And basically everything from then on got published, Warbreaker came next which was a re-write of Mythwalker, The Way of Kings that you hold is a complete rebuild, I started from scratch, and added the Bridge Four sequence form Dragonsteel and some of these things. [...] The only good one in there, that wasn’t published, is White Sand I think, and I think it is going to make a really nice graphic novel because the characters are really solid, the story is solid.  I just wasn’t a good enough writer to condense where I needed to.

[19:57]

My question was about your writing process.  When you are writing do you become emotionally attached to the characters you are writing about?  Does it become hard to distinguish between what you think the characters should be doing and what you actually have planned out for them?  And how did that affect your Wheel of Time writing?  You didn’t create them, but you took over their story arcs and did you become attached to any of those?

What an excellent question.  I do grow attached to all of my characters, however character is the weird one for me.  Character is very hard for me to define how I do it. With my plot I can talk about outlining the plot and these things.  And my worldbuilding, I’ve written lots of essays about worldbuilding, and building magic systems and things like this.  But with character I really sit down with this plot, this world, together and i start writing someone in a role and I write a chapter and I see how they feel.  It’s almost like casting someone in the role.  If that doesn’t work, then I get rid of them, I get rid of that and I write a new chapter using a different character’s personality but who feels very much the same in some ways.  For instance, Mistborn quite famously, Vin started with a guy, I tried Vin as a guy and then I tried her as a woman, but a different, a very different person from what you read, who was very confident and more Artful Dodger type person, and then I tried the Vin that ended up in the book.  I can’t really explain why I knew those first two were wrong, they just were. So I ditched them and I tried again, I do that until i’ve hit the right character and then I let them start growing and developing as I write the book and if the person they turn into is not the person who would do the sort of things in my outline I either have to change my outline, which I will sit down and do, or I’ll say “this character is awesome but they don’t belong in this role.  I will write a book around them later, I will find a place for them.”  And that’s-- usually I just re-write the outline, once in a while I pull out the character and put someone else in that place.  If a book is going wrong for me, it almost always because of one of the characters, something is wrong with them, and I wish that I could explain it better.  It’s actually very thrilling for me, when a character is alive and working well enough that I know they wouldn’t do what is in the outline.  That’s not a sad moment that’s a “Aha! I’ve got something good here.  This character is working, they are strong enough on the page that they can balk these restraints that were place upon them.”  Because an outline, while it is a great tool, the danger is that the outline restricts your story and it doesn’t allow it to actually feel alive.  This is when you get these wooden characters that just kind of cardboard cut-out through a book.  That’s when often the outline just takes too much-- takes over too much of the characters. So it’s exciting, but it can be very frustrating when it’s not working.

I did happen with the wheel of time in a different way.  The Wheel of Time characters were like my high school friends growing up, these were my buddies.  I was a nerdy kid who sat in my bedroom and read books, and these were my friends.  So writing them I was really worried that it would be difficult to write them.  But it was actually very easy, their voices snapped for me quite quickly, I knew what they would do.  So much in fact that Mat was a little off in Gathering Storm, I didn’t notice it because I was so used to characters coming very easily to me.  And yes I feel very much in love with writing them because of these sort of things but it was because of my past familiarity with them that allowed me to do that.

Can everyone hear this [Yes] Do you like this better than the microphone [Yes] Okay I’ll do this

[24:05]

Hi, I was wondering, in your books you have a lot of mentions of gods, and spirits and I was just wondering what your opinion on religion is?

Excellent question, excellent question.  And oh sure the microphone works for you.  So I’m religious, I’m Mormon.  Yes, I am.  And I’ve grown up religious, I’m a religious person and I’m fascinated by religion in all its different aspects.  One of the things I love about being a writer is the ability you have to jump into the heads of various different people who are very different from yourself and explore.  [...] character coming alive thing, it’s really a fun aspect.  I feel that, since I am a fascinated by religion, my passion-- and if you are writers you will know this yourself-- whatever you are passionate about translates usually to good fiction, as long as you are willing to look at it from all directions.  Where fiction goes wrong is when you allow your perspective to color everything too much and you end up with a story where everybody thinks the same.  However if you can allow something you are really interested in to have five or six different characters on different sides of an argument.  Because there aren’t two sides, there are as many sides as there are people in the world on these sorts of issues.  You can show a lot of those different sides and show the way they kind of-- the rough edges bump into one another, then what you are going to be doing is you are going to start exploring what it means to be human and what it means to have faith, or whatever it is you are fascinated by.  This is where I find your fiction can get really good.  I love reading fiction, I love science fiction and fantasy I think sometimes-- I do love the escapist aspect of it, getting out of the world and going someplace imaginative, but I think sometimes because we have this escapism-- which is a lot of fun and there are a lot of fun aspects to this-- we miss out on the importance of what fiction does.  I think fiction allows you to see out of the eyes of someone very different from yourself and experience their life and their role.  A good piece of fiction I feel it’s harder to hate the people because you’ve lived in someone else’s shoes for a while.  Maybe that's a very lofty opinion that I have of what my job is where really it is telling stories about magic and knights hitting each other with swords.  but that’s the soul of what I think is very noble about fiction and I think it was very Tolkien.  You get done reading Tolkien and you’re like “I can see how these different races in this world, the hobbits and the kings, and dwarves and the elves and I can see how they all view the world differently.”  I think that does something for us, something wonderful.  One of my favorite books of all time is Dragonsbane by Barbara Hambly this is the book that got me into reading.  I was a 14-year-old boy, who was not a reader and my teacher handed me this book .  This book should not have worked, this book is about a middle-aged woman who tries to choose between her career and her family, that’s basically what the book is because she’s been told she could be the greatest magic-user ever by her teacher if she would just focus but she the reason she can’t focus because she’s got these two crazy little boys who distract her and a husband and things like this.  And I read this book and its about the last living dragonslayer who has to go and kill a dragon, except he goes and does it with crossbows ballista instead of a noble ride up with a sword because who does that its stupid.  It’s great, its from her perspective.  I get done with this and I’m like ”this” was amazing.  I loved this book, why did I love it so much?”  At the same time my mother had graduated first in her class in accounting in a year where she was the only woman in the accounting program and had been offered a really prestigious scholarship to go along with her education, instead she had me.  She felt it was important to stay home with me while I was young.   she took care of me and as a teenage boy knowing this I was like “Of course she did, I’m awesome” of course that’s the right thing to do.  And I was reading this book about dragons and I understand my mother better.  That’s what we can do with this, and I’m kind of going off in weird directions.  That’s what I love about fiction, that’s what I love about science fiction and fantasy.

[28:58]

Your magic systems, their genius.

Oh thank you very much.

[???] How early in your process with magic systems [???]

Every book is different.  For some books its a plot idea that starts things and for some books it’s a setting idea, and magic systems are setting ideas in my head, and some its a character idea.  With a character idea its usually a conflict, “that’s an interesting conflict, what can I do with that”  With Magic systems it’s usually “this will allow me, as a writer, to force me to stretch.  It will have interesting limitations, it will do interesting things visually on the page, it will change the world in a very subtle but important way that I can explore”  If we change one little piece of physics what does it do to the world, this sort of thing.  I’m usually getting a lot of my ideas from reading science articles and things like this.  Stormlight Archive is based off the fundamental forces, Mistborn is based off of vector physics and metabolism.  I like having one foot in science and one foot in superstition for these magic systems.  I usually don’t start a book until I’ve fleshed out the magic system pretty well.  That said when I was doing Stormlight Archive, the version that you have read I didn’t have the terminology and how it was going to feel for the lashings until I wrote Szeth’s opening scene, and that is where I really nailed down how this would look on the page and how it would feel.  Sometimes you just need to write, you can’t just plan endlessly and not write.  But most of the time I have that nailed down.  If people are interested in this you can look up my essays on writing magic systems, I think they are fun, but I humbly titled them Sanderson’s first law, second law, and third law.  So I think highly of them.  They talk about my philosophy on writing and on magic systems.

[31:24]

Do you ever find it difficult writing for  two kinds who read your books, the kind that only want to read it and have fun and the people who obsess over every sentence [...]

Right, right, right.  For those of you who don’t know, though I’m not sure there are many who don’t know still, all of my epic fantasies are in the same universe and there are characters in each book who are interfering with each other’s stories.  There are characters from Mistborn in Way of Kings, and there are characters from Elantris in Mistborn.  This was done, for a little bit of backstory, I love big epic fantasy works, if you can’t tell  Wheel of Time is one of my favorites ever, I like the big things.  Breaking in I felt that it was a lot to ask readers to take a chance on me as a writer by saying “it’s book one of 25”  I felt it was better to say “here is a standalone novel, self-contained that you can enjoy reading and kind of figure out who I am as a writer.  That’s kind of my purpose for Elantris and Warbreaker, and lately Emperor’s Soul.  Here’s how to try out my writing style to see if you like it.  But loving these epics I couldn’t help connecting them and hiding an epic behind the scenes.  This was partially inspired by Asimov, who later in life joined his two main series, his Robot books and the Foundation books in what I felt was a clever way.  But it had some problems in that he had to juryrig it after the fact.  He’d been writing these books for decades and then he brought them together and I thought wouldn’t it be cool if someone were to take that idea and start it from the get go.  It’s this whole shoulders of giants thing, people try something out and you go “that was awesome, can I improve upon it?” or “whoah I’m not ever going to try that  because that had certain issues”  Book 10, the Wheel of Time fans know… Robert Jordan actually talked about that book about how he wish he hadn’t written it the way he did.  I have the advantage of having read Robert Jordan, so I can see how that book went wrong and I can avoid making that pitfall.  I went ahead and did this hidden epic because I thought it was really interesting, I did not expect it to come to the forefront as much as it has.  Which is awesome, people started peeking these things out.  Secrets that I embedded in Elantris. that I didn't expect to come out for another ten fifteen years people are already asking me about.  Which means I kind of need to step up my game to make sure that all this stuff is very subtle.  The whole idea is that you don’t have to have read Elantris to read Mistborn, you don’t have to have read Mistborn to read Way of Kings, they are all easter eggs right now.  Eventually I will write a series that ties them all together in a direct way, that’s many years off, and I will be very upfront with “You have to read all the others, you will be very lost if you aren’t familiar, at least go read the summaries of the books before you start this one.” We are far away from that.

[34:53]

Hello Brandon, lovely to be here.  Basically Bridge Four, the starting sequence was one of the most intense things I have ever read in my life.  I was in tears, I couldn’t stop it, to the point I kept flipping through to the next bridge four part.  I was just wondering where you got the inspiration to go so dark with Kaladin and what he went through.

That’s an excellent question.  Bridge Four in the original Dragonsteel was a happy accident, back then I wasn’t as good at outlining as I am now.  I kind of got to this place and went “Huh, I want to do something interesting here” and I kind of discovery wrote myself into it.  It didn’t work nearly as well as it did in Way of Kings, but that’s because I was still figuring it out.  I think the original inspiration was-- something that I like to do with fantasy is take the geography and see how the unique geography of the area influences the culture of the people who are living there, in this case the warfare, a subset of the culture interaction.  This happens with the weather on Roshar as well.  I think this is something Fantasy allows us to do, to explore what is fantastical, but keep it very grounded in the human experience because I find books interesting when I’m interested in the characters.  Having this cool place, the shattered Plains, is not nearly as cool as having this cool place and oh no the people I like are dying here.  This idea was one of the ideas, I think the inspiration was medieval siege warfare and how awful that sounds to me.  Having to be one of these people running a ladder to climb up the wall.  Just “Here’s your ladder, good luck”.  this idea of just having to run into the face of something terrible, to know you are probably going to lose your own life or your friends are going to lose theirs was just so awful to consider.  If that happens, as a writer you are like “Oh I got something.  That sounds awful, I’m going to write about it” That’s just what we do.  Anything that inspires powerful and profound emotion in myself is something I look to use in my books because I figure if it inspires profound emotion in myself it will work on the page to do the same thing with my characters.

 

So in Words of Radiance you’ve got a character named Wit [Yes], who has a conversation with Kaladin in which he uses the phrase “bunny rabbit” which obviously doesn’t exist in the language that Kaladin exists.  So my question is where and when did the language he used come from?

So Hoid, or Wit, is actually using magical means to communicate and so when he says a word it just transliterates it or just doesn’t translate it into anything in that language.  So you’ll notice him slipping up on a number of occasions, because he is the only one who uses certain words in the course of-- That’s not the only one in The Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, because he’s just speaking normally and allowing his other means to translate for him.  And that’s a sign, a symbol, of that happening.

[brandon reads Rocks name]

[50:00]

[...] Where do you get your people from?  Do you take inspiration from people you know in real life?

Yes, yes I do.  Sometimes, sometimes not.  As I said, usually the seed that starts a character as I grow them is a conflict.  For Kaladin it’s the conflict between being trained as a surgeon and finding out you are really good at killing people, and how do you deal with that.  For some it can be very simple, for Sarene I had a friend who is a woman that is 6 foot 2, or whatever she is, [to the side] How tall is Annie? She’s tall.  Anway, Annie’s tall, and she always complains about how tough it is to be a tall woman.  Which is something I never thought of, I’m like “I’m going to use that.  I’m going to make use of that in a story,”  Of course that isn’t her whole personality, but that little seed, you drop down and I grow a personality around it as I try someone out.  That person I knew, a piece of her turned into a character.  For other things, it’s just trying and trying and trying ‘till something works, as I explained before.  It is “What has their life done to them”, often times it’s “What are the passionate about? What do they want?  Why can’t they have what they want?”  Those sorts of things lead me into creating a character

[51:30]

I have two questions: One, [...] In Way of kings there is a Letter [Yes, Yes].  In that scene the person who is sending the letter says that the Shards on Elantris are broken, sorry there like Shattered, and they can’t be used again.  How is that so, because if Adonalsium was Shattered and people took the Shards.

There are those who believe you could put the pieces back together and their are those who believe you can’t, and shouldn’t.

You shouldn’t put them back...

There are some who believe that.

So will they be able to put it back together?

Well there are some who believe it is possible [Laughter]  Congratulations, you win a RAFO card!  RAFO is something Robert Jordan would say, that means Read And Find Out and I print out little cards so at least you get something.  That means “I’m sorry I can’t answer your question but I’m really not that sorry otherwise I would answer it”

Okay, another question.  [Alright] Again in Way of Kings and Words of Radiance, there are characters from different books.  Some of these books have sequels, like the people from Elantris.  So when are the sequels coming out?  Are they going to come out before the big book? Or…

It’s going to be a while before we do them.  The sequels, I want to do them.  Part of the thing that is holding me back with Elantris and Warbreaker is that I like having them as standalones right now, because so much of the rest of my work is so involved, I want to have these introductory books.  Eventually I probably will do them, but it is going to take me a little while.  I want to number one get further in the Stormlight Archive, I feel that we’ve had too much delay.  Book One and Book Two there was a four year delay.  Which is--  That’s like George R.R. Martin level delay, and granted I did two Wheel of Time books between them.  I should be cut some slack there but that’s too long, I want to be consistently doing them every 18 months to two years.  Then I can stop and say, “Okay I have time to write an Elantris sequel or a Warbreaker sequel.

Can I ask one more question?

Sure [laugter] You’ve got the microphone

There’s a character again who talks about another ???  That character has more information than Hoid about the cosmere.  How does she have more information than Hoid?

Well, she is a very detail oriented person and takes the time to research very deeply into things.  Where Hoid will often research enough as he needs to know to sound really smart and get what he wants.  It is a matter of depth, if that makes sense.

Have we seen her?

Uhh, I don’t know if you’ve seen her or not.  I’m sure I slipped her in somewhere but i’m not sure.  I think I may have, but I can’t guarantee it.

[54:40]

Hi, my question is [can’t quite make things out, something about how he wrote a book] one of things I had difficulty with was coming up with names for the characters and seeing how your names are more than just random collections of letters, a lot of them actually have meanings behind them.  I was wondering how you were able to do that.

That’s actually a very good question and number one you should keep writing, even if you feel like what you are writing is a rip-off, it is better to finish that first book and be acknowledging your influences because you want to be practicing.  And sometimes it is very useful to lean on something else while you do it.  In fact this is how Great Masters did artwork, you can find--  I don’t know if you guys know this-- various different versions of the Mona Lisa, we saw one in Spain, my wife and I, that was done by DaVinci’s student while DaVinci was painting the Mona Lisa.  “Here’s what I painted now you do it too”  That was the means by which the Great Masters would train their students, so leaning on someone is just fine.  You just can’t publish it like that, but it can teach you a whole lot.  Don’t feel bad about that.

Names, I use two general methods, and this is not going to give it the justice it deserves, I’m giving you the five minute version.  One version is I look for the linguistic attribute that is interesting to me that will visually distinguish these people on the page.  So when you are coming across them and you see that name, I want you to say “I bet that there from this country”.  That is really tough because that means they all have to feel similar but you can’t let everyone get confused over who’s who and that’s the real challenge, its the getting confused.  For instance in Warbreaker I tried using some different things like we don’t in our world.  In Warbreaker I used repeated consonant sounds, so you get someone like Vivenna, when you see that double v, you are like she must be-- Llarimar, there’s a double L, you pronounce them both out.  T’telir.  And when you get double repeated consonants you are like “Oh they are from this region, that makes sense to me even though they start with different letter there is something to them”  The same sort of thing is supposed to happen in the Way of Kings, you see names that are mostly symmetrical.  When you see something like Shallan and her name is a derivation of Shalash, who was one of the Heralds and its a symmetrical name.  When you see something that reads almost, or does read, forward and backward the same way you are like “They must be either Alethi or they must be-- They’ve got to be Vorin because that is the Vorin religion influencing this”  And hopefully  it will give you some subconscious cue when you run across those names and you’ll get it.  Now a way to do this that is easier is than doing all of that is going to take a lot of work linguistically is to go get yourself a nice atlas and say everyone from this country is going to have names that are analogous to this region in our world and I am then going to take this atlas and look for these names and use baby names from that culture.  I did this in Emperor’s Soul, I just picked ancient Persia, I picked people who lived there in this era and what they named their cities there and I’m going to take those words and I’m going to screw with them until it is not actually a word but it feels like it could be one.  That way everyone from this region is going to feel like they’ve got a similar name.  Or I can just-- For that book it was much easier because the linguistics were not as big a deal.  I could basically just crib off the bat.  Sometimes I do it intentionally, Mistborn was supposed to evoke a sense of 1820’s Paris, or London, that was what I was shooting for with the grime and the dirt, the ash falling.  So I used French names and Germanic names and Spanish names, so when you run into Vin, Vin is just wine in French and Kelsier [Kelsi-ay] is how they would say-- you can say Kelsier [Kelsi-er] if you want-- and they have Kelsier and Demoux so you can go “Oh this is a French sounding region” so when you get some like Elend and Straff you are like “They are from a different region.  They sound like the eat meat and potatoes and they try to conquer Europe periodically, those guys” [laughter]   That helps you distinguish the regions very easily.

[59:20]

With the Vorin religion split between men and women [...] do you tend to get women sneaking into the army [covered up by Brandon laughing]

This does not happen as much on Roshar as it apparently happens in Terry Pratchett novels.  I’m sure that on Roshar they have their legends, ‘cause face it every culture has their legends and one thing you have to remember is that whole thing is specifically Vorin.  That’s Alethkar, that’s Jah Keved, that's Kharbranth, and Herdaz to a lesser extent and in there they probably have some of those myths but I don’t think it actually happens that much in Roshar.  That's my take on it, but I’m sure that they have their mythology.

I was suspecting that the girl Kaladin mentions a few times may have snuck in.

Oh right, you’ve got-- I’ve left her intentionally vague.

 
I just copy and pasted straight from the doc.

 

 

Yeah I didn't think there was anything really new, that we hadn't already heard before so i didn't see the point in transferring the whole thing.  Probably should have though (especially the women sneaking into the military question...)

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Can someone PM me those White Sand Q&As please?

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I was very interested in the question about Hoid's language:

 

 

I know there have been long discussions on this.

 

This was actually my question, though I didn't expect the answer to be as interesting as it was.

 

I'd guess that it's not just Hoid doing this, since I've noticed this kind of slip with other characters such as Vasher.

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Can someone PM me those White Sand Q&As please?

MEGA DITS it would be bukcets of fun to read witesand comic with INSIDE INFO :) :)
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Honestly, Hoid's universal translator is kind of a let down for me. It seems like a massive cop-out. I always assumed that Hoid was just not caring about careful regarding language specific words. Which kind of fits his character more.

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He still namedrops things like Adonalsium and Cosmere though.

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There’s a character again who talks about another ???  That character has more information than Hoid about the cosmere.  How does she have more information than Hoid?

 

Well, she is a very detail oriented person and takes the time to research very deeply into things.  Where Hoid will often research enough as he needs to know to sound really smart and get what he wants.  It is a matter of depth, if that makes sense.

 

Have we seen her?

Uhh, I don’t know if you’ve seen her or not.  I’m sure I slipped her in somewhere but i’m not sure.  I think I may have, but I can’t guarantee it.

 

 

 

Oh, great... another bug hunt. Hmm. I'd say we need to be on the lookout for a dark-skinned woman taking notes. Unless BS was giving a devilish smile while he said the above, it's likely a pretty minor appearance, without speaking lines.

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I've also written down the answers to the questions that I asked when he was signing my books, two of them are about White Sand, so I don't think I should copy them here, but the rest of them are as follows:

 

Can you please PM me the answers to those questions?

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I got Brandon to sign a few of my books and write some stuff in it. First, I asked him what Sazed was up to and he said he was "Harmonizing". Then I asked him to tell me something about Nazh and Khriss and he wrote that "Khriss is Nazh's employer. He gets the worst end of the deal" lastly i asked him to write something about the Nightwatcher and he said "The Nightwatcher isn't the same as Cultivation"

 

I thought of hundreds of better questions later but I completely forgot them when I saw him and fan girled majorly :( from what I got from him it confirms Khriss and Nazh's relationship and that the Nightwatcher is likely Cultivations spren like the Stormfather. When I asked him about the gender of the Nightwatcher he hesitated a bit and seemed uncertain and first said its not the same as cultivation which is female then referred to it as a she which was confusing.

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I think that the Nightwatcher is to Cultivation as the Stormfather is to Honor. That makes the most sense to me.

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I believe this was asked and got a "no" for an answer. 

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I thought of hundreds of better questions later but I completely forgot them when I saw him and fan girled majorly :( from what I got from him it confirms Khriss and Nazh's relationship and that the Nightwatcher is likely Cultivations spren like the Stormfather. When I asked him about the gender of the Nightwatcher he hesitated a bit and seemed uncertain and first said its not the same as cultivation which is female then referred to it as a she which was confusing.

 

... Cultivation is male? But, but Honor said Cultivation was a 'she'. That's... rather confusing.

 

I kind of want the Lift book now purely to see what visiting the Nightwatcher entails. Though I'd prefer a Taravangian flashback...

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Just before the event began I was discussing with my cousin Saskia whether we had a question to ask, after mentioning my Polly Oliver question she pointed out that she did not have a question to ask but was interested in talking about the essay he had written about his views on homosexuality and more specifically (in her words) whether he was homophobic. To which my response was "Don't you Dare!" Now we have the same (sometimes dark) sense of humour so I knew she did not mean it quite like she phrased it but I was quite sure that was a conversation more suited to having during the personal signing section than the public Q&A (she still may have phrased it as badly you see). She was jokingly annoyed with me for shutting her down.

Anyway when came her time to get her book signed I felt quite vindicated by the very slight look terror on Brandon's face as she brought up the subject.. the look lasted for the few seconds until she mentioned how much she approved of his essay at which point he looked much more relaxed and briefly discussed it.

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bit of a necro but can I have the white sands questions as well?

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Can I be added to the White Sands \ Aether of Night PM as well? 

 

Thank you

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Would someone please add me to the White Sand PM group? I just got a response back from Sir Sanderson an hour ago with the attached file! Thank you!

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I didnt know there was a white sand pm group. I´d love being added as I liked it. Even if the file screems for a continuation. ;)

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