Jump to content

Pre-printed Question Cards for Events & Signings


Recommended Posts

This is an idea I jokingly came up during Brandon's Steelheart tour, but the more events I read about, the more I realize that I should probably at least consider it seriously.


In essence, I thought about printing (or writing) a ton of questions (maybe by making sure the Ultimate List of Questions is up to date and then just copying stuff from there) on something like flash cards, and bringing them with me to signings. At the beginning of the signing / personalization part of the event (since pretty much every signing I know of involves at least a general Q&A and a signing "phase") I would, with Brandon's consent, put those on the table with a sign like "Don't have a question? Just pick one!" (and maybe some 17S promo text and/or something about helping the fan community), and just let all the people who don't have a question ask something we could use around here. 


To avoid people accidentally spoiling a book for themselves, while still allowing some freedom of choice, I think that I should:

  • Maybe have some way of allowing the inquirers to choose whether they want a basic (e.g. "what inspired you to make this character the (s)he is?") or more advanced / specific questions.
  • Split the questions into categories - one category per book to start with
  • Add a category for each finished series
  • Add a category for cosmere questions - I'd probably throw Hoid in here too, though he has every right to be a category of its own
  • Add a category about writing
  • Add a category about misc questions


Before you comment, let me say that this feels vaguely... callous to me, but I can't figure out why. I would be doing some good here, expanding the knowledge base we have, but it still feels like I would be doing something wrong. It's not like I am robbing people of their right to ask a question. I guess I am a little worried that it looks like I would be using Brandon for his insight, but it's not like all those people couldn't have come to this site and/or came up with the questions on their own. It's effectively the same as doing a promo campaign for the 17S and strongly encouraging people to become passionate about the books, learn more, and ask questions. But it still feels kind of wrong.


So I wanted to get some input from all of you - including Peter. I still have a couple of weeks until the Chicago signing, so I am not in a terribly rush, but it would be nice to either polish up the idea a little and give it a shot, or shoot it down so I can rest. I will confess, the first option sounds much more appealing to me though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wouldn't have liked to say it myself, but I must say that I get the same feeling of callousness.


Perhaps a compromise? We all know that repeated questions are the bread-and-butter of those less educated than us (*Snobily pushes up glasses, drinks tea, then scotch, then red wine (after smelling and swirling it) while smoking a cigar*), but maybe we could prompt the greenvines with some of the more interesting questions we already know the answer to?


So instead of "What is the Realmatic composition of Investiture?", it would be "how did the Shattered Plains end up in the WoK?", or "what inspired the kandra as such limited shape-shifters?" Things we know the answer to, but that have genuinely interesting answers that don't require a bachelors degree in Realmatics to appreciate. That would also serve to draw people to a site that knew so many interesting tidbits.

Edited by Kurkistan
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes! It is the same topic I raised  long, long ago, sometimes in chat, and, I think, at least once on forums... But I am timid and afraid of downvotes, so I didn't pursue it at the time...

But yeah, the idea was to essentially circulate the cards with questions in the line, as well as, maybe, providing a link to the theoryland database so people would stop asking something like "Who is your favorite" <_<

I don't feel that it would be callous, just efficient :lol:  But then again, I have learned most of my emotions (or maybe reactions to them?) from fantasy books and cartoons, so they might be a bit off.

I also thought about fancy cards. Why, just last day I daydreamed about going to a signing with a pack of cards, like MTG (on cardboard and all) but with 17thshard logo on the back, and maybe an avatar of the person asking instead of artwork, and letting Brandon draw one or two... (Drools a little) Alas, it is unlikely that I'd ever get to a signing...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

How about adding some random facts which are the answers to very common questions Brandon receives?


Did you know that Brandon Sanderson loves the Terry Pratchett, Robert Jordan, Melanie Rawn, Barbara Hambly and Anne McCaffrey and Tad Williams books? He also loves Les Miserables.


Did you know that Hoid/Wit/Dust is a recurring character through many of his books?


Did you know that many of his books are set in the same universe, the Cosmere?


Did you know that Lightsong is one of his favorite characters?


Did you know that he plans to do a sequel to the Mistborn, Elantris, and Warbreaker novels?


Did you know that he plans to write ten stormlight archive books?


Did you know that Warbreaker is available for free on the internet?


Maybe have each card contain one or two random facts or questions. We could have a few other things too, like cosmere timelines, brief articles explaining cosmere concepts, and bring a couple along to leave.




In Brandon Sanderson's novels, there are powerful beings called 'Shards'. When these beings live on a world their power often breaks off to form sentient beings with some power. Aons, spren, and divine breaths are all examples of these. Spread the word! ~17thshard

Edited by Nepene
Link to comment
Share on other sites

That would be nice, I think. It's not a perfect solution, but it sounds much more like something we can coordinate with Team Sanderson - it's kind of a promotional campaign (and Brandon has mentioned the 17S, so it's not like she is ashamed of us or anything...), but it also kind of draws people further into the books. And I can't see a situation where Brandon is unhappy about his readers dwelling deeper into all the little things, Easter eggs almost, he has hidden throughout his work. 


It would work much more nicely with the questions too, especially if we manage to tie the pieces of trivia with the question we want an answer to. So one of the cards could, for example, be:



Trivia: In Brandon's cosmere, most humans worship beings known as Shards or Shardholders (though they think of them as gods). In Mistborn, for example, we see the Shard Ruin, while the Stormlight Archive series mentions Honor.

Want to learn more? Come visit Brandon's official fansite, The 17th Shard (www.17thShard.com) for more information!

Want to help us learn more? Ask Brandon about the real name of Endowment, the Shard in Warbreaker.


Or something along those lines, of course. The information will have to be relatively spoiler-free (you will note, for example, that I don't describe the circumstances around each of those Shard's appearances in the books), and the question would have to relate to it pretty directly. It has to make sense to whoever is going to ask it. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd be worried about being too spoilery- mentioning the existence of Ruin early could spoil the first two mistborn books. I'd prefer to just do general concepts, and things that are very clearly telegraphed in the novels.


So maybe something like 


"Trivia: In Brandon's cosmere, most humans worship beings known as Shards or Shardholders (though they think of them as gods). In Warbreaker for example we see the god Austre, who we suspect is Endowment, while the Stormlight Archive series mentions the Almighty, Honor."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

See, @Nepene, I feel that is spoilery. Saying that the Almighty is Honor reveals that Vorinism is at least on the right track when it comes to choosing a deity - when something like the Thaylen Passions seems pretty far off, as far as we can tell. Though in Ruin's case I may be persuaded to agree that it might be too much - though not as much as you suggest; I (would) only say that he is mentioned in the book, not that pretty much the entire plot revolves around him. The Stormlight Archive mentions Cultivation, but so far we haven't seen her be a major player.


Either way, this is all wording. It's the concept we need to discuss, not its implementation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Ruin drives the plot of all three mistborn books- his conspiracy to kill LR in the first, his attempt to be freed in the second, his destruction of the world in three. Revealing his existence early is a massive spoiler.


In the very first chapter, the Heralds reveal they worship the Almighty. That clearly indicates that, to some degree, the people are right. I don't feel this is a plot significant spoiler. Anything revealed in chapter one is fair game I feel.7


Also, getting the implementation right is also important. We should make sure that our core concepts are sound, so that if anything goes wrong it doesn't shut us down. This could be a big issue- we could be stopped if we do the wrong spoilers and annoy someone.

Edited by Nepene
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not quite, Nepene. We didn't even find out that Honor was the Almighty's Shard until we asked Brandon about it.


The identification of Honor as the Almighty is a potential spoiler, though not what we were talking about- we were talking about revealing whether Vorinism was right through saying that the Almighty was the true god of the Vorin religion. Since the Heralds talk about him, that issue isn't there so much.


To resolve your separate issue, maybe we could just use the intent names of the Shards? Say Honor in the Stormlight archives. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

I insist that those are minor details at the moment - we all do agree that we should try to limit spoilers as much as possible. Since we have neither received input from more forum members, nor have we ran the idea by Peter and Brandon, I find discussing such details a moot point. Which started with a random example I came up with in less than two minutes time. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...