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Brandon Sanderson / New Q&A! (But Warbreaker only)
« on: January 06, 2010, 08:35:23 AM »
I figure I'll link it here, although Brandon has already linked it to his blog.

EDIT- I have post the first half of his answers online. I'll (hopefully) put the rest up as they come.

Brandon Sanderson / Brandon answering questions at Barnes&
« on: July 09, 2009, 03:36:25 PM »
I figure I might as well post his answers here.
If you want to look at the original, here it is:

First Questions: "What kind of mental "retooling" does it take  for him to work on an already established world/storyline like "Wheel of Time" since this is someone else's work?
Also, were there there a lot of notes or material left by Mr. Jordan to work from?"

I thought about this quite a lot during the months when I was reading the Wheel of Time again straight through, trying to figure out how I would approach writing the final book.  Obviously, this project wasn't going to be like anything I'd done before.  I couldn't just approach it as I did one of my solo novels.  And yet, it felt like trying to match Robert Jordan's style exactly would have made me lapse into parody. 
A lot of the mental 'retooling' I did focused on getting inside the characters' heads.  I decided that if I could make the characters sound right, the book would FEEL right, even if some of the writing itself was different.  I also decided that I would adapt my style to fit the project.  I became more descriptive, for one, and wrote viewpoint with the more intimate, in-head narrative style that Mr. Jordan used.  Neither of these were attempts to match how he wrote exactly, but more me trying to match my style to The Wheel of Time, if that makes any sense.
In answer to the second question, he left LOTS of notes behind.  He wrote complete scenes in places, dictated other scenes, left piles of notes and materials.  The prologue was almost all completed by him (that will be split half in this book, half in the next.)  The ending scenes were written by him as well.  In the middle, there are a lot of scene outlines as well.
That's not to say there wasn't A LOT of work to do.  The actual number of completed scenes was low, and in some places, there was no direction at all what to do.  But his fingerprints are all over this novel.  My goal was not to write a Brandon Sanderson book, but a Wheel of Time book.  I want this novel (well, these three novels, now) to be his, not mine.

Next Question: "Is it possible for someone who has not read all 11 books in The Wheel of Time series to be able to follow and enjoy reading The Gathering Storm?"
My agent did just that, actually.  He said he had a lot of trouble through the first half of the book, then had a blast with the second half.
I honestly wouldn't suggest it.  The Wheel of Time is meant to be an in-depth, immersive experience.  There's a lot going on in these books, and they are not episodic--meaning the story is one long saga.  It would be a little like tuning in to the Lord of the Rings movies and only watching the last chunk of the final movie.
If you're determined, you could read The Encyclopaedia-WoT has some excellent summaries of the books, chapter by chapter.  But you'll be missing out on a lot of fun.  There will not be summaries posted in the books themselves--the WoT is just too long and involved for that to work. (And Robert Jordan always resisted letting the publisher add anything like that.)

"You have created some fantastic, original and well thought out magical systems. Where did you get the inspiration for the metal-based system of the Mistborn series and the breath-based system of Warbreaker?"

Thank you!  During the early days of my career--before I got published--I found myself naturally creating a new magic system for each book I wrote.  I'm not sure why I did this.  I just found the process too involving, too interesting, to stop.
For Mistborn, I came to the book wanting several things.  I wanted a great magic system that would enhance the graceful, martial-arts style fights.  This was going to be a series of sneaking thieves, assassins, and night-time exploration.  And so I developed the powers with a focus on that idea.  What would make the thieving crew better at what they did?  I based each power around an archetype of a thieving crew.  The Thug, the Sneak, the Fast-talker, etc.
At the same time, I wanted to enhance the 'industrial revolution' feel of the novels through the magic system.  I wanted something that felt like an industrial-age science, something that was a good hybrid of science and magic.  I found myself drawn to Alchemy and its use of metals, then extrapolated from that to a way to release power locked inside of metal.  Metabolism grew out of that.  It felt natural.  We metabolize food for energy; letting Allomancers metabolize metal had just the right blend of science and magic.
For Warbreaker, I was looking back a little further, shooting for a more Renaissance-era feel.  And so, I extrapolated from the early beliefs that similarities created bonds.  In other words, you could affect an object (in this case, bring an object to life) by creating a bond between it and yourself, letting it take on a semblance of your own life.
Moving beyond that was the idea of color as life.  When a person dies, their color drains from them.  The same happens when plants die.  Vibrant color is a sign of life itself, and so I worked with this metaphor and the concept of Breath as life to develop the magic.  In this case, I wanted magical powers that would work better 'in' society, meaning things that would enhance regular daily lives.  Magical servants and soldiers, animated through arcane powers, worked better for this world than something more strictly fighting-based, like in Mistborn. 

Brandon Sanderson / Mr. Sanderson won the Whitney award!
« on: May 07, 2009, 03:51:33 AM »
I just found out that Brandon Sanderson won the Whitney award for Best Speculative Fiction!
The Whitney award is an award given to LDS authors who write novels (at least 50,000 words long).

The other contestants were:

"Ender in Exile," Card; "The Great and Terrible: From the End of Heaven" (Vol. 5), Chris Stewart; "The Hero of Ages" (Mistborn, Book 3), Sanderson; "The Host," Stephenie Meyer; and "The Wyrmling Horde: The Seventh Book of the Runelords," David Farland.

More information can be found here:

Brandon Sanderson / **SPOILERS! The Shards of Adonalsium
« on: December 11, 2008, 03:30:43 AM »
Ok, I think that there is a lot of speculation on the Shards of Andonalsium, but there is something going on.
Here is what Brandon Sanderson has stated in the Hero of Ages topic
Ruin and Preservation were not the only Shards of Adonalsium, though they are the only ones on Scadrial at the moment.
(Scadrial is the planet Mistborn is on)

A manifestation of Ruin's gathered consciousness, much like the dark mists in book two.  The lake was still around in Vin's era, but had been moved under ground.

You've also seen one other manifestation like this....
Such as...this?
The "lake" was barely ten feet deep—more like a pool. Its water was a crystalline blue, and Raoden could see no inlets or outlets.
If that's what you're hinting at...I never thought of the connection before! I just kept thinking of Aether of Night, and never thought of this pool at all.

Both are accurate, but the first is what I meant, as most people here don't have access to Aether.

The powers of Ruin and Preservation are Shards of Adonalsium, pieces of the power of creation itself.  Allomancy, Hemalurgy, Feruchemy are manifestations of this power in mortal form, the ability to touch the powers of creation and use them.  These metallic powers are how people's physical forms interpret the use of the Shard, though it's not the only possible way they could be interpreted or used.  It's what the genetics and Realmatic interactions of Scadrial allow for, and has to do with the Spiritual, the Cognitive, and the Physical Realms.

Condensed 'essence' of these godly powers can act as super-fuel for Allomancy, Feruchemy, or really any of the powers.  The form of that super fuel is important.  In liquid form it's most potent, in gas form it's able to fuel Allomancy as if working as a metal.  In physical form it is rigid and does one specific thing.  In the case of atium, it allows sight into the future.  In the case of concentrated Preservation (Lerasium), it gives one a permanent connection to the mists and the powers of creation.  (I.e., it makes them an Allomancer.)

So when a person is burning metals, they aren't using Preservation's body as a fuel so to speak--though they are tapping into the powers of creation just slightly.  When Vin burns the mists, however, she'd doing just that--using the essence of Preservation, the Shard of Adonalsium itself--to fuel Allomancy.  Doing this, however, rips 'troughs' through her body.  It's like forcing far too much pressure through a very small, fragile hose.  That much power eventually vaporizes the corporeal host, which is acting as the block and forcing the power into a single type of conduit (Allomancy) and frees it to be more expansive.
(Lerasium added by me)

Readers have met four shards other than Ruin and Preservation.

You've interacted with two directly.
One is a tough call.  You've never met the Shard itself, but you've seen its power. 
The other one you have not met directly, but have seen its influence.

Something I noticed is that Ati pulls with his magic (energy lost)
And that Leras/preservasion pushes with his magic (energy gained)
Maybe we could use that to help find the other Shards?

I think it's safe to assume that the Dor is a Shard, and we met it when Raoden fell in the pool.

I don't know about the others. Possible canditates are:

Lifeless? ( I don't know who would power them. Maybe they gave people Breaths?)
Iridescent Colors (powering the returned)

Jaddeth (powering the monks of Dahkhor)

Maybe whatever powers the Smedrey Talents? (Alcatraz)


Maybe we will be able to figure out who Hoid is as well...


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