Author Topic: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com  (Read 8206 times)

RazorSmile

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #30 on: July 20, 2009, 07:52:41 PM »
If Sanderson is still answering questions, I have one on Feruchemy: if you splurge a brassmind, does the feruchemist unleash a blast of heat, give herself heatstroke or both?

little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #31 on: July 20, 2009, 07:55:11 PM »
He's not taking questions anymore, he's just answering the ones that have already been asked...But I think I heard he might be doing a Q&A on here sometime. If so, you can always ask this then...
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Czanos

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #32 on: July 21, 2009, 08:35:03 AM »
If Sanderson is still answering questions, I have one on Feruchemy: if you splurge a brassmind, does the feruchemist unleash a blast of heat, give herself heatstroke or both?

However, I did ask Brandon a little while ago if the warmth stored Feruchemically was real or just a mental effect, and he said it was real heat, and really warmed them up. So I assume it would be a little of both.
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little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #33 on: July 27, 2009, 05:52:32 AM »
Since you established that all the worlds you created in your books are linked, any chance to see in the (very) distant future a book/series that delves into this overarching story/universe/rules more directly? Possibly with a crossover of characters from your different stories, specifically characters that became "immortal" or at least achieve a "different" state: Sazed, Kelsier, Raoden. Is that something you would even be interested in doing?

Or will you stick to placing subtle hints in your different books/series about the overall system?


VERY distant future is correct.† I will confirm that I do have stories planned that delve into what is going on behind the scenes.† There will be short stories dealing with Hoid, most likely posted to my website.
 
Some of these stories are novel length, and I can't say what I'll do with them.† Perhaps I'll write them out in novel form and release them in bookstores, but I have a feeling that most of my readers would be completely confused by them.† So perhaps these will all just be on my website only.† (If they are released that way, they'll most likely be free for download and reading.)†
 
The subtle hints will continue until then.† Mostly, I want the stories to be enjoyable and self-contained.† I don't want anyone to HAVE to know any of the behind the scenes, regarding Hoid, Adonalsium, and the rest.† (Yes, there is more.)† Those are there for the readers who want to dig, and who want to see the greater story.† But I don't want them to overshadow the stories of the books themselves.† At least not yet.


Is the world of Alcatraz part of this whole system or is that completely different since targeted to different readers?

Alcatraz is NOT part of this system.† The Alcatraz books (indeed, most of the YA books I've planned or written) need to be off on their own.
 

WOT question: Did you go through ALL the notes from RJ on the Wheel of time (if that is even humanly possible) or just those related to Memory of Light?
 
Mr. Jordan left behind notes for the series which, word-length wise, is in EXCESS of the length of the written novels.† That was just too much for me to handle.† I've used Mr. Jordan's assistants for fetching information from these reserves, and have focused most of my efforts on the notes specifically left for AMOL.† The Guide has been very helpful.† But mostly, if I need to know something from the notes, I send Maria and Alan searching while I work on the actual prose.
 
 
WOT question: Rereading the series right now to get ready for TGS, currently on book 4. Has RJ included details in his note about who made Callandor and who placed it in the Stone of Tear† (and how).
 
There were notes on Callandor, and the sword will play a part in the final three books.† More, I cannot say.† However, I'll make a note to suggest that Harriet consider this question when creating the Encyclopedia, so anything that doesn't end up in the last books is revealed there.
 

WOT question: Probably RAFO, but same question about the land beyond the Aiel Waste (don't remember the name)? Has RJ done some worldbuilding on it and are we going to see it before the series ends or is it some Tolkienish "Oh yeah, forgot to mention or include it on the map but there's some other kind of lands out there, just so you know. But you ain't going to see it, besides they probably don't care about the fate of the world out there".

 
RAFO.† (But don't hold your breath.† Robert Jordan said specifically: "I have no plans to send Rand to Shara" and I know several other times where he said similar things.)    


You mentioned in an earlier answer that learning to revise was one of the biggest factors in making your work publishable.

Would you give us an idea of the process you go through when you revise?


Thanks for the question, Isaac!† (Isaac, by the way, is the person who introduced me to my wife and set us up on our first blind date.)

I view working on a book in the same way a sculptor might view working on a block of wood.† The first draft is generally focused on getting things in place so I can work on them.† In essence, I cut out the crude features of the sculpture--but when itís done, there is still a lot of work to be done.† Readers who see the book in this stage can tell what the basic arcs and characters will be, but the emotional impact is lessened by the crude edges and unfinished lines.

Hereís my process in a nutshell:

Draft one: Write the book in draft form.

Draft two:† Read through the entire book, fixing the major problems.† Often, Iíll change character personalities halfway through the first draft as I search to figure out how I want the character to sound.† I donít go back then and revise, as I need to try out this personality for a while before I decide to actually use it.† Similarly, often Iíll drop in new characters out of the blue, pretending that theyíve been there all along.† In the second draft, I settle on how I want things to really look, feel, and work.

Draft three:† Language draft.† Here Iím seeking to cut the book down by 10%.† I write with a lot of extra words, knowing Iíll need a trim.† This will make the prose more vibrant, and will make the pacing work better.

In a perfect world, this is where I writing group the piece and/or send it to my editor.† (For lack of time, my writing group is getting Draft Two of THE WAY OF KINGS.† Hopefully, Iíll be able to do draft three by the end of the year.)

I let readers read the book, and I take some time off of it.† I begin collecting things I want to change in the book in a separate file, called ďRevision notes for ***Ē, listing the name of the book.† I organize these by character and by importance and/or pervasiveness.† For instance, a need to rewrite a characterís motivations will be at the top.† Fixing one specific scene so that it has proper foreshadowing will be near the bottom.

Once this is all done, and Iíve gotten feedback and had time to think, I read through the book again with my revision notes file open beside the book file itself.† I actively look for places to change, kind of like a sculptor looking over the statue and seeking places to knock off jagged chunks and smooth out the sculptureís features.

Iíll do this process several times, usually.† In-between, Iíll often do line-edit drafts, like the language draft above, where Iím focused on getting rid of the passive voice and adding more concrete details.†


A bit left of center question. Are you a role player? I ask because on writing excuses I think I heard you mention it.


Yes,† I am a role player.† Have been since I discovered the TMNT RPG back when I was a young teen, and have been doing it pretty much ever since.† When I play, Iím almost always some kind of magic user (duh).† When I GM, I prefer to homebrew my own system.

The question that I have for you is, now that you know the ending of Wheel of Time after the final book has been released will it be a world that you could set a game in? Or will it be like Tolkien where after the end of LOTR the world is pretty much over? I ask cos it looks to be a great place to set an RPG and I want to know if I should be looking to a time before Eye of the World or if I should run a new age?


Iím going to stick pretty close to things Mr. Jordan has said or implied regarding this.† Things he has said have implied strongly that it is not going to be like Tolkien; though the Wheel will eventually turn to a point where the One Power is forgotten and the land becomes like our world, that is NOT the 4th age.† I think it would still be a fantastic place to set an RPG game.
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little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #34 on: August 03, 2009, 12:06:03 AM »
WOT questions: Will all three AMOL books feature Rand, Mat, and Perrin?

Short answer:† Yes.†

Longer answer:† They will all three appear in all three books, but it will not be equally balanced.† Some characters will be more of a focus in some of the books, and other will be more of a focus in others.† This is† particularly true of the first two volumes, where I had to juggle which characters would be a focus in one, and which will be a focus in the other.

I ask because you said the prologue Robert Jordan wrote would probably be split over two books.

Yes, it will be.† I donít know yet if the third volume will have a prologue or not.† The Material Mr. Jordan wrote for the prologue is split, half in the prologue of TGS, half in the prologue of the second volume.†

Does this mean story arcs are getting split as well?

I tried to keep story arcs contained in a single book.† Weíll get glimpses from some of the characters in the first book, with a more complete story arc in the second book.† And weíll get story arcs in the first book from some characters, followed by glimpses in the second.

The split actually turned out really well.† I think I managed to get a balance working where characters donít vanish for entire volumes, but we still get to have complete character arcs.†

Also, who was your favourite character to write? And don't say Bela.

Itís really, really hard for me to answer this, since when Iím in a characterís head, that character is the most important in the book.† Theyíre all my favorite when Iím writing them--thatís just the way it has to be as a writer.

It is also hard to answer without giving spoilers that Iím not certain I want to give.† For instance, some characters were interesting to write for different reasons.† In some places, I was expanding on things Mr. Jordan left behind, in other places I was trying to piece together what I think he would have done based on the momentum of the books.† In some places, I was writing based mostly on my instincts as a writer.† I was doing a lot of different things with a lot of different characters, getting a balance of action, drama, and fun.† Which is my favorite among all of that?† It depends on what Iím feeling like that day.

If really pressed on it, Iíll probably say that going into this, my favorite thing that I anticipated would be finally (after all of this time) writing Randís character through the end of the series.† Like many, I was initially hooked into this all by his story, and--regardless of other favorites at different points in the series--who he is as a person is vitally important for driving these last books.

Any plans to tour Warbreaker or The Gathering Storm in Toronto or other Canadian cities?

Iíll be in Montreal on Saturday the eighth!† Less than a week away now.† Iím hoping to get to other cities in Canada for future tours, but Iím going to start with this one visit.† Weíll see.† We might be able to manage a several-city Canadian Tour next year.


I'm not English and I hope you won't mind too much the grammar and spelling errors left leave here and there.

Well, I do speak English as my native language--and Iím certain Iíve got my fair share of errors here and there in my posts.† So if youíll forgive me, Iíll of course forgive you.† :smileywink:

As many, I'm a huge fan of the wheel of time series, I can't say why it appeals to me so much but it just feels so epic, so detailed, so grand, I wonder how can anyone not love it.

I'm also really eager to read the end of the saga, and I must say that I'm really happy with your decision to split the book in 3 and cover all that is left to be answered.

Knowing you will finish Robert Jordan's book I was curious to read your previous works and see if† I will like or love them as I do with wot.

I must say that I found them quite enjoying and yet, and I beg you not to be offended by my impressions, I could not find the epic feeling I love so much in wot.

I find your characters to be very practical which is great in a way but for me it takes away the epic feeling, the unknown, the maybe, the what if.

So finally reaching my question, if it's not too silly, do you plan to make the characters react, speak and think, as they do in your books or will you follow a more Jordan's way of doing.


I think the thing youíre talking about is something very intentional on my part, related to the fact that I wanted my books (particularly the ones I did at the beginning of my career) to be more self contained.† Elantris, Warbreaker, and even Mistborn exist (in my mind) as a kind of Ďcalling cardí† to readers.† Something that says ďI want to show you that I can tell a story, so that youíll trust me--eventually--when I do something much larger in scope, something where the pay-offs arenít as immediate.Ē

I love the self-contained fantasy epic form.† However, one of the things I felt that those books needed was cohesion.† I had to make my magic very, very tight.

Unknowns are great, and they DO lend to the epic feel of a story.† One of the things that the WoT has over my books (beyond Mr. Jordanís fantastic storytelling ability) is the sheer power of scope.† The magic is far from being understood, and itís larger--and vaster--than the characters can understand.† Thereís a vast wealth of history and world--not to mention numerous machinations by dozens of different groups and secret cabals--making the characters (particularly at the beginning) feel very small compared to it all.

I think thatís the sense of what youíre talking about.† It has to do with the characters, and it has to do with the magic.† But it also has to do with the scope.† You donít always get an immediate pay-off in the WoT books.† Some threads hang through books, finally getting revealed or resolved long after they were introduced.

Iím not trying to imitate Mr. Jordan.† Instead, Iím trying to adapt myself to the Wheel of Time.† (If that makes any sense at all.)† In other words, I want to maintain this feel, and write these books appropriate to the Wheel of Time.† I donít want these volumes to feel like Brandon Sanderson books; I want them to feel like Wheel of Time books.

But artists in any medium learn to work with different styles and forms.† Many of the things that seem like natural voice in a novel are conscious choices we make, as we work to create a certain feel for a novel.† If you read and compare my Alcatraz books to my Epics, youíll see what I mean.† Even the Mistborn novels have a different feel from the stand-alones.† (And Mistborn 2 and 3 have a different feel from number one.)

So, the end answer is this.† Yes, Iím trying very hard to maintain what it is you love about the Wheel of Time, rather than trying to force the Wheel of Time into a different box or style.


So, Brandon. Hoid. I remember you saying at the I.F. signing last year that he was in WoA. We, your dedicated fans who like scouring books searching for obscure characters who have any possibility of being the mysterious Hoid, have yet to find him. Peter sent us on a hunt for him (Hoid, not Peter...) in the deleted scenes, and we found his boot-print.

Now, I think he broke the pottery there too--the one holding the larasium--and since there's broken pottery in the actual version, I think he may have snuck into the cavern and broken it as well. If so, is this Hoid's part in WoA? This trace of him? I commend you if it is. It is clever, making us think it was a person, when in fact it's just something he did.


You are on the right track, but wrong on one point.† Hoid does appear in the book.

I had originally toyed with making his touch on the novel more obscure, but decided that I wanted to be consistent with the other novels by actually having him appear.† Once I realized Iíd probably cut the scene with the footprint, I decided I needed this actual appearance even more badly.

Fortunately, I knew what Hoid had been up to all this time, and had placed him in a position where several characters could run into him.† In WoA, Hoid believed (as Vin did) that the Well was in the North, even though it was not.† He spent much of the book pursuing this idea.

Through events, however, he discovered he was wrong.† He made the realization after Vin did, but only because of a chance meeting.† (This is recorded in the books.† Letís just say he was listening in when someone implied that the Well was in Luthadel.)

He hurried to Luthadel, and was in the town, skulking about in the last parts of the novel.† He isnít seen here, though he does still infiltrate the Well.† (Hoid is quite proficient at manipulating Shadesmar for his own ends.)
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Zhalfirin

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #35 on: August 03, 2009, 01:20:29 AM »
He hurried to Luthadel, and was in the town, skulking about in the last parts of the novel.† He isnít seen here, though he does still infiltrate the Well.† (Hoid is quite proficient at manipulating Shadesmar for his own ends.)

What is this Shadesmar that he mentions with? Hoid's shards name?

Plasman

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #36 on: August 03, 2009, 01:31:22 AM »
i believe it is the word for "shard magic" in general, not a specific shard
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little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #37 on: August 03, 2009, 02:58:05 AM »
I think I know what chance meeting Hoid overheard....After Elend came across the Terris refugees, he and Spook talked.

Quote from: pg 722 WoA ppb
"Luthadel has not been destroyed," Elend said, looking sharply at Spook.
"The koloss--"
"Vin will have found a way to stop them," Elend said. "For all we know, she already found the power at the Well of Ascension."

I think it fits perfectly. Vin's already realized the Well is in Luthadel, and left. It was purely by chance that Elend and Spook came across the Terris refugees and it makes sense for Hoid to be with or near those refugees since he had been up North. Plus, Elend does imply that the Well is in Luthadel....
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Peter Ahlstrom

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #38 on: August 03, 2009, 06:39:56 AM »
Brandon already defined Shadesmar in that thread.
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Plasman

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2009, 06:58:21 AM »
oh ok. got it now.thanks ookla. r u able to confirm our hoid guess at all?
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little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2009, 05:09:32 AM »
Just a sudden question that popped into my head:† Do you like Joss Whedon's work, specifically Firefly and Dr. Horrible?

I enjoyed Firefly quite a bit; I was actually among the (apparently small) group of people who watched it during its original broadcast run.† Iím impressed with Jossís writing, though Iím not an enormous fan of his on the level of many of my friends.

I missed Dr. Horrible.† Been meaning to watch that, actually...

There.† Just added it to my Netflix queue.

Additionally, how much time would you say that you spend researching on any given work, and what are some of the things that you research?

That oneís really too hard to judge.

Research for me is on-going for any given work, and I donít track how much time I spend on it.† Generally, I dig into specific topics when the need arises, then do more Ďcast out the netí general reading for ideas the rest of the time.† Generally, Iíll only dig in deeply if a topic is important to a specific story.† (Such as--for Mistborn--researching canals or the effects of being made a eunuch at various ages.)


I hope this isn't a RAFO, but how accurate is the WoT 12 product description on the Amazon and Barnes and Noble websites? It implies Rand and Egwene get the spotlight in book 12.

Well, it so happens that I wrote the majority of that product description myself, and so I'd say that it is rather accurate.

Jason's review (http://www.dragonmount.com/News/?p=585) implies some things about the focus of the book as well.

You'll notice that I'm not flat out answering the question you seemed to be getting at.  (Is this book mostly about Rand and Egwene?)  That's because I don't want to dig into this too deeply.  If I begin talking about which characters have the focus in this volume, people will start trying to pry out of me if "such and such" character appears, and if so, how often.  I want to spoil as little of this book as possible.

Therefore, I refer you to the two sources above (the product description and Jason's review) and will say that they are accurate in as much as what they say, but will note that neither talks about everything that is in the book.  I have said before that almost all major viewpoint characters appear in TGS (there is one absent) and that it focuses on several of the characters, while the second book focuses on others.  But even the characters not being focused on have parts in each book.  Some of the things you've been waiting a long time to see happen in this book.  Others were reserved for the next volume.

Let's leave it at that for now.


One other question, what is the name of the planet that Elantris is on?† † †

Elantris:† Sel
Warbreaker:† Nalthis
Mistborn: Scadrial
Way of Kings:† Roshar
White Sand: Taldain
Dragonsteel: Yolen

There are others, but I haven't talked much about those yet, so I'll leave them off for now.
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little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #41 on: August 04, 2009, 05:12:33 AM »
Are there any useful exercises you could give to a writer who's trying to improve their technique?† I've heard the one about four different people describing the same place, but I was wondering if you had any other good ones.

Try to describe an extended scene, with various things happening, four different times, once with a focus on visuals, once on scents, once using touch, once using sounds.† See if you can evoke a different feel each time, using the same scene but different senses.

Practice both discovery writing and outline writing.† Meaning, practice writing stories where you just go off on whatever strikes you, and practice writing a story where you spend a lot of time on an outline.† Try to figure out which method works best for you when trying a specific type of story, and perhaps try some hybrids.† Anything that helps you write better stories more regularly is a tool to keep practicing.

Try a dialogue scene, where you try to evoke character and setting using ONLY dialogue.† No descriptions allowed.† (This is best when you're focused on making the characters each distinct simply through how they talk.)

Finally, listen to Writing Excuses.


Any idea when you'll be releasing the full table of Allomantic metals and associated phonetics shown in your blog post about vinyl decals? (http://www.brandonsanderson.com/blog/735/Allomantic-Metal-Vinyl-Decals!)

Very, very soon.† It's at the printer right now.† Should happen this month, if all things go well.† We will start with the limited edition prints on the nice paper with the expensive inks, signed and numbered by myself and Isaac.† Poster prints will come eventually too.† And, of course, we'll also release in standard desktop sizes for free, for those who can't afford a poster.



And...I think that's it!† Wow.† Sorry to take weeks to answer all of these.† I got to the end, however, which is progress.† (The last time I did this, I didn't give a cut-off date for the questions, and got swamped quickly.)†

Thank you again, Paul, for inviting me.† And also for those who spent time reading my books and discussing them.† I'm going to make a final attempt to put in an appearance in the Warbreaker thread here in a bit.

I hope to do this again.† It was fun.† Beyond that, I'll probably do something like this on my own forums here in the next few months.† So if you've got other questions, you can save them up for then.

Best,

Brandon
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little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #42 on: August 04, 2009, 05:13:46 AM »
I'm glad he'll be doing one of these here. It makes me happy....Especially since I've got a few more questions that I've thought up in the last few days that I'd REALLY like to hear his answers on...Now I just have to remember them until then...
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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #43 on: August 04, 2009, 05:51:45 AM »
i know what you mean. but i'll be glad to get a chance to throw a few of my own questions at him. maybe we'll get a confirmation then about Hoid in WoA.
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little wilson

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Re: Brandon answering questions at Barnes&Nobles.com
« Reply #44 on: August 04, 2009, 06:03:35 AM »
Oh, I'm sure Ookla will see that post eventually (if he hasn't already). And he'll probably say something...Hopefully...unless Brandon tells him not to...

I'm just really glad that I was able to throw so many questions at him at the B&N forum. I think I threw in like 5 or so questions, and then there were the other 5 that Mi'chelle and I co-asked. Good stuff. I got some really good answers too (although I think my favorite was the answer to my Hoid question, since that answer led us to the elderly steward...). But really, there were a LOT of answers that were just really good.

Like, for some reason, I got really excited to see the names of all the planets. That sounds like something odd to get excited about (for me, anyway) and yet I was....At least now we can refer to the Elantris planet as Sel and not the planet that contains Opelon...haha.
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