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.

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