Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Where are the Updates? (Now with updates).


Where are the updates? 

Well, I didn't have much of an opportunity to get online in Barcelona.  I apologize!  But, I don't want to ignore you, my dear readers.  So, I have three things for you today.  Pretend these were spaced over last week.

1)  New Warbreaker Chapter: Chapter Thirty-Five 

2)  New Mistborn Annotation: Chapter Fourteen Part Two (For Last Friday.)

3)  New Mistborn Annotation: Chapter Fifteen (For Last Monday.)

This will catch us up on the essentials until this Friday, when I expect to be back in the states and with Internet access.  Sorry for the lack of other updates (silly puns, various rants, links to comics.)  Hopefully, those will all be back next week when I can get on the web more reliably.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Warbreaker + Spain


New Warbreaker:  Chapter Thirty-four.  Sorry it's late, but hey, considering that I'm halfway across the world with very slight Internet access, you'll have to take what you can get. 

I'm enjoying Barcelona so far.  The flight was a bear, as you might imagine.  Two layovers, 16 hours total time, and two exhausted people lost in the airport.  But, we got to our hotel (which, amusingly, doesn't have queen or king sized beds--just two singles that you can push together.)

We went out and walked about the city today.  Europe is fun.  It's so OLD.  Everything's old.  The buildings, the lamps, the cheese.  Old.  Tomorrow we'll start hitting museums and the like.  The only real problem I'm encountering is the fact that nobody in this country seems to believe in the concept of ice for drinks.  Sigh.  My kingdom for an ice-cube tray and a freezer!

I'm still not sure how often I'll be able to post.  I'm working off of some borrowed bandwidth from...well, I don't know.  Some place nearby, I guess.  The hotel charges about 15 bucks for a day's worth of Internet, so I'm not likely to pay that.  I'll see if I can find an Internet cafe about here somewhere. 

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

You can imagine why....



And, I'm off to Spain!  I will do my best to update.  Until then, Don't Stop Believin'!  Even though we go our Separate Ways, I'll have Open Arms for the Wheel in the Sky!  

If you need more clues, look here:

Spain + The Prestige + Annotation


So, in case you haven't noticed from my book tour page, I will be going to Spain tomorrow for a 10 day trip.  I'm really not sure what my Internet connection will be like, but it's unlikely that I'll be making many posts over the next two weeks. 

I'll do my best to at least throw up my consistent constant--that means an Amphigory Tomorrow, a Warbreaker on Wednesday, and annotations on Fridays and Mondays.  However, some of these may come late, and if my Internet situation looks bad, I may just get on once and then publish all of these things together on one day.

For now, however, let me post a New Annotation: Mistborn Chapter Fourteen Part One.

Also, I went to see The Prestige on Saturday.  I wasn't exactly sure what to expect--a lot of people had spoken very highly of the movie, and the book was written by a Tor author.  (Christopher Priest.)  The year that Moshe, my editor, was sitting on the World Fantasy Award committee is the year the book won for best novel, and so it's very special to him.  (He was the one who first brought the book to the committee's attention.)

The movie was, in my opinion, a masterpiece.  The directing was excellent, the acting wonderful, and the storytelling very well done.  There was only one problem.  I didn't really care.

That didn't stop me from enjoying the movie.  It was, as I said, very well made.  However, the story is essentially a warning about letting an obsession--and a rivalry--take over one's life.  Both of the main characters, then, represent men who let their passions destroy them. 

That left me feeling little empathy with either of them, probably on purpose.  However, because of that, the movie felt like it lacked heart.  I couldn't really understand either character, and couldn't connect with them.

And so, the movie--despite being very well made--affected me intellectually more than emotionally, and for that reason will probably fade from my memory.  I tend to remember emotion far more powerfully than thoughts.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Signings, Annotation, and Idea

Remember, I'll be signing in West Jordan today at 6 and in Layton tomorrow at 1.  Please come visit!  Also, remember that David Farland and L.E. Modesitt Jr. will be with me in West Jordan.  Come get your books signed by them, and pick up copies of their new novels--both had books come out on the 15th, so this is just about your first chance to get them!

New Annotation: Mistborn Chapter Thirteen

I wanted to do an Idea today.  However, the best idea I came up with recently was a character idea.  People ask a lot where I get my ideas for characters, and it's always hard to explain.  The thing is, a character is more a feeling--a sense of personality--than they are a set of definable traits.  So, it's harder for me to give character ideas than it is for me to talk about setting or plot ideas.

But, I'm going to try it with this one.  Partially to, as always, give you a story prompt if you want one.  But, partially just to give more explanation of how I craft books.

Idea of the Day: Write a story about a tyrant named Ivan the Merciful.  This is a man who is a tyrannical conquering ruler, but who has a reputation for great acts of mercy.  He will, for instance, slaughter the people of an entire village as a sign of warning for other villages--but he will let all of the children go, or will rescue a few select people from his own carnage.

As I said, it's kind of tough to write out a character.  In this case, I was getting a sense for a more rounded tyrant character.  Someone who could be very evil, yet show true mercy, at the same time.  It's the type of character that would take me chapters, in their viewpoint on in the viewpoint of one of their servants, to get across right.  So, writing it out in a paragraph works weakly at best.

Yet, I maintain that this could be a very interesting character.  I like the name "Ivan (or whatever you chose) the Merciful" as a villain.  I like the ability you would have to have the character commit acts of terrible brutality, but at the same time commit acts of random mercy as well.  You could use this to show that he was unstable, or just that he has a conscience that itches at him.  Whatever works.

Thursday, November 16, 2006



Just wanted to do a quick post and tell you there's a new Warbreaker Chapter (Chapter 33) up for download.

I've finished the second draft of the book, so I'm feeling pretty good about it as a whole.  It still needs editing--particularly at the beginning, which drags a bit.  I'd also like to insert some more Vasher scenes before Chapter 35, but we'll see.  The 3.0 draft probably won't happen for a few more months.

Until then, please, if you like the book, post links to the thread on forums, communities, and blogs.  Any help you can do in spreading the word about it would be much appreciated.

If you don't know what Warbreaker is, look right here.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

With Thanks to Tage for the Idea


Colon-ary Arts

Hint is in the file name of the original picture.  I'll put it in the optional text too, just in case. 

Warbreaker Tomorrow.   

Monday, November 13, 2006

Annotation + Indoctrination


A new Mistborn annotation for your reading enjoyment: Mistborn Chapter Twelve Part Two.

So, tonight I'm going to be teaching my bride to play Magic: The Gathering.  Permberly is something of a closet geek--of the type I'm realizing isn't so uncommon among the female side of the population.

She read a lot of fantasy books when she was younger, and still enjoys them.  She loves fantasy movies, and even knows the more obscure ones.  Yet, she knows nothing about video games, card games, or role playing.  (Other than that her brother played D&D when he was younger.)

Now, I'm not as brave as my friend Morag (See picture of guy below) who took his now-wife role playing on what was, I believe, their second date.  (She'd never done it before.  She's stated time and time again she will NEVER do it again.  He's lucky she went out with him a third time.)

However, since some friends and I are getting ready to do some fun Magic drafts, Pem has expressed interest in knowing at least a little of what we're going to be doing.

And so, my subtle corruption of her begins....

Amphigory Tomorrow.  It's a good one.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Signing Canceled

Hey!  If you were going to go see me at FYE today, you'll be sad to know that this signing was canceled!  Their shipment of books didn't come in, apparently.  I wonder if the holiday interfered.

Anyway, we're rescheduling this one.  I'll be visiting that store sometime, but not today!

If you're waiting to get a book signed, though, there are plenty of opportunities coming up next week.  Remember, I'll be at:

BYU Bookstore on Tuesday the 14th of November from 6:00pm-8:00pm.

The UofU Bookstore on Wednesday the 15th (along with a whole group of other Fantasy and SF authors) from 5:00 pm -7:00pm.

West Jordan Utah Barnes and Noble on the 1th (along with Dave Farland and L.E. Modesitt Jr.) from 6:00-8:00

Layton, Utah Barnes and Noble on Saturday the 18th from 1:00-3:00

Friday, November 10, 2006

Annotation + Bone


New Annotation: Mistborn Chapter Twelve, First Half

I haven't done a review for a while, so I thought I'd do something a little bit different.  A week or so back, a friend loaned me the complete BONE graphic novel.

This is one I've been wanting to read for a while.  Not only have I done very little reading in the graphic novel genre, but I've heard a lot of very good things about this one.  I remember a friend reading issues from the then-serialized comic back during my freshman year of college.  It was something of an underground hit that went mainstream, and all of the issues--some ten years worth, or 1300 pages--were released in a single volume a couple of years back.

It's a very interesting read.  It's something of a cross between an old Loony Tunes cartoon and a serious, epic fantasy novel.  It's about a group of three 'Bones' from 'Boneville' who get lost and end up in a kingdom far from home, then get caught up in an epic struggle between good and evil.

It owes a lot to Lord of the Rings.  However, much of the writing is excellent, and there's some fairly decent original worldbuilding.  This is fascinating for me, because these are things that I don't immediately associate with comic books.  I know that I'm not doing them justice--and I'm sure there are lots of very excellent ones out there.  However, I was surprised to read one that felt so much like a traditional epic fantasy, all be it one with three cartoony characters mixed in with the rest of the medieval-style fantasy cast.

I felt that the story broke down a tad near the ending.  There were a couple of points where the plotting seemed forced, and I have quibbles with the resolution of a few climaxes.  However, I find I must give a great amount of credit to the author--an independent artist named Jeff Smith.  He not only did this virtually on his own, but managed to release something serialized that he could never change, had to plot and pace over ten years time, and had to bring together into one massive story at the end. 

The restraints of the medium considered, he did an excellent job.  There's a good mixture of humor, pacing, and action--even if the character arcs of most of the characters are a tad weak.  All and all, I can see why this has been named as one of the top ten graphic novels of our time.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Pemberly Moment + Signing


And, once again, here's a quote by my wife taken completely out of context:

"Because people don't talk about holding doors open with their bums!"

Realize what I sacrifice for you, my readers.  She threatens me with my life every time I post one of these....  Maybe she'll forgive if I post some wedding pictures. 

Also, those of you in Provo/Orem might want to know that I'll be doing a signing at FYE on Saturday.  That's the place where Media Play used to be.  Come say Hi!  That's this Saturday, November 11th, from 2-5. 

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Warbreaker + UPC


First off, new Warbreaker chapter is up!  Chapter Thirty-Two.

In conjunction with this, I've finished the 2.0 draft of Part Two of the book.  It's up as well.

Want to know more about Warbreaker?  Go read the first thirty-one chapters by starting here!

In other news, I polished off my speech for the UPC Science Fiction award.  I'll be flying to Barcelona, Spain to give the speech at the awards ceremony. 

(No,  not that UPC...)

It was an interesting process.  As you know, I'm a fantasy writer, not a SF writer.  Apparently, I'm the first fantasy author to ever be invited to give a speech at the awards.  That's a bit humbling.  I hope that my remarks are meaningful.  If you write SF, you might want to consider looking into the award--it's a pretty big deal, and you can win with works written in English.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Self explanatory


If you need a hint on one, look here.  It should be enough of a clue.

As I mentioned yesterday,  the webcomic Sheldon--a personal favorite of mine--has a new home.  Give the site a visit and poke through the archives.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Sheldon + Annotation

New Annotation: Chapter Eleven.  Double sized!

As many of you may know from my frequent posts, the webcomic Sheldon is one of my personal favorites.  A few years back, its artist decided to join a comic syndicate.  I was originally eager, since I thought this might mean seeing one of my favorite webcomics finally make the transition to a newspaper comic.

Soon, however, I became disillusioned. only allowed up 30 days of archives, which meant any links I threw to the comic would be outdated in thirty days.  Plus, I wouldn't be able to go back and find my favorites.  On top of that, the site is filled with banner adds and pop-ups, not to mention the fact that they seem to be very lax about posting comics on time.  Mix that up with the fact that Sheldon never did get to be a newspaper comic, and I think I can figure out why Dave is taking the comic freelance again.

Tomorrow is the first day at his new website,  I highly recommend a visit to show solidarity for the move. 

Oh, and today's comic--the last, I assume, at rather amusing

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Annotation + New Mistborn Art!

First off, new Annotation.  Sorry this is a day late!  Chapter Ten Part Two (in which I talk about the origin of the idea for Sazed's Character.)

Also, good old Nethermore has finished off interior art for Mistborn 2!  Here's a sneak peek!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Warbreaker 2.0

I've posted a revision of Part One of Warbreaker on my forums. 

You might want to have a look, particularly if you're interested in the process of writing.  While I've posted the new file, I've also posted one where I used the Microsoft Word Track Changes function to highlight each and every change I made between drafts.

I'll do this every time I release a draft, so you can see the evolution of a book. 

This draft is really just a consistency draft.  I haven't read through the book since I finished it, and so it really needs to be looked at again. 

It's interesting how a book evolves.  Though I have a rough draft done, I don't KNOW the book yet--not like I need to.  By the time I'm finished drafting a book, I've read it so many times that it's very familiar to me.  My editor can quote just a phrase, and I'll know where in the story he's reading. 

Getting to that point takes time.  I kind of imagine a book a little like a sculpture.  The rough draft knocks out the basic shape of the novel, but each time I read through it I'm chipping away at it, taking off some large chunks, just smoothing it out in other places.

The end, after eight or ten drafts, is a finished work.

And, for those of you with attention spans to short for reading a big long post like this, here's another wedding photo:

That's me punching CtlZed/Nethermore with Morag looking on in amusement.  I can't remember what Zed did.  Probably stole my penguin or something. 

He's always doing stuff like that.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Warbreaker + Daylight Savings

Warbreaker Chapter Thirty-One

Link to all Warbreaker Chapters (and an explanation of what the heck it is.)

Okay, now on to the real meat of the post.  You see, I've figured it out.  I know the TRUE purpose of Daylight Savings.  All of that talk about saving money on electricity, on saving lives by not making people drive in the dark as much--those are all lies. 

It's a conspiracy, I tell you. 

The REAL reason has to do with clocks.  You see, I know someone out there wants to frustrate us.  They've created all these digital gizmos which all, for some unexplained reason, all have chronometers on them.  (I mean, why does my microwave need a clock?  Nobody has been able to explain this to me.  I want it to tell me when my burrito is done, not explain that it's time to watch Lost.)

All of these devices have obscure, incredibly complex methods of changing the time they display.  Each one is a puzzle of increasing difficulty, like the separate tests or challenges placed before a Greek hero before he was allowed to win the prize. 

This is the point of Daylight Savings time. To force us, for good or ill, to undertake the challenge of the chronometers.  The time between changes is just long enough to let us forget how, exactly, we changed the clock the last time.

I'm convinced the Librarians are behind this somehow.