Saturday, June 30, 2007

Idea of the Day

It's been a while, so why not do a story prompt?  People seem to like these, and so I like to post them fairly often.  This is actually one I've been considering using myself, though I don't know that I'll get the time, considering how many books I WANT to write and how few I actually can.

Idea of the Day: Deaf magic.  Only people who are deaf from birth can use some special power in this world.

One of the grand traditions in sf/fantasy is to take something that many would consider an ailment or hindrance, and turn those select people into a source of reverence or power in society.  One of my favorite examples of this is where Orson Scott Card made people with OCD into religious figures on a certain planet in Xenocide. 

This theme has always fascinated me, as does the nature of the deaf community.  They have a very special sort of relationship with one another, one that I don't think a hearing person could quite grasp.  Their world would seem alien to me, and yet for many deaf people, they prefer not to think of their situation as a handicap.'  Rather, it is simply the way they are, and it gives them access to a community that is their own.

I wonder if there would be a way one could play this up and enhance it in a fantastical world, making a magic that only those who cannot hear can use.  Either it causes great crashes of sound to which they are immune, or it requires 'hearing' in a way that people who aren't deaf are to distracted to notice or touch. 

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Mistborn Prime

All right, as promised, here is the first chapter (actually, the prologue) from Mistborn Prime.  That's my name for the original 'Mistborn' book I wrote back in 2001. 

This isn't too bad editing wise, but the writing itself isn't up to my current skill level.  So, please don't hold that against me.  However, I thought some of you might enjoy looking at this book to see how I've progressed along the way.  Plus, you'll get to see the origins of some of the ideas that became Mistborn.

Note that, as I've said, the current book Mistborn is a combination of two books.  Mistborn Prime and Final Empire Prime, which I wrote a number of years back.  The Lord Ruler and Vin were, in a way, stolen from Final Empire Prime.  Mistborn had the setting and magic system.  So, don't expect to see anyone you recognize here.


Download the chapter

Tuesday, June 26, 2007


Um...didn't intend this one to turn out as creepy as it did.  Ah, well.

If you're confused, try looking up prehistoric sea dwellers and mix them with a certain New York real estate mogul.

I'll have something more interesting tomorrow.  Perhaps a chapter from the old Mistborn book I wrote long before I got published.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Book Tour + Pemberly Moment

I'm setting up dates for the book tour this year.  It looks like I'll be touring from October 1st through Saturday the 20th.  I've posted the following preliminary schedule in the con news page.  If you live in this area, keep an eye on this page for updates!  If you're a bookseller who lives in the area, drop me an email if you want to do a signing!  I've got most of these dates at least tentatively planned, but I can probably slip you in.

Of note is this: If you work at a school, and would like to have Dave Farland or myself in to do an assembly about writing, contact me as well.  We'll be doing school visits to promote our kids books.  Alcatraz will be out by then, and so I'll be doing presentations for 4th-6th graders, maybe the occasional middle school as well.

THE DATES (Tentative.  Times will come later)

Saturday, Sept 19th: Denver
Monday, October 1st: Las Vegas
Tuesday the 2nd: San Diego Mysterious Galaxy bookstore *CONFIRMED*
Wednesday the 3rd: LA
Thursday the 4th: Fresno CA *CONFIRMED*
Friday the 5th: Half Moon Bay (San Francisco area)
Saturday the 6th:  Sacramento *CONFIRMED*
Sunday the 7th: Day off

Monday the 8th:  San Francisco Area
Tuesday the 9th:  Sacramento area
Wednesday the 10th:  Portland (Powell's Beaverton) *CONFIRMED*
Thursday the 11th:  Portland Area
Friday the 12th:  Seattle (University Bookstore) *CONFIRMED*
Saturday the 13th: Seattle Area
Sunday the 14th:  Day Off

Monday the 15th:  Boise
Tuesday the 16th: Idaho Falls Barnes and Noble *CONFIRMED*
Wednesday the 17th:  Logan
Thursday the 18th: Layton
Friday the 19th:  Salt Lake Area
Saturday the 20th:  St. George

And, so that we're not all business, here's another lovable quote from my wife, taken completely out of context: "Except I look like a fat monkey with pig tails!  Waaah!"

(She had a rough week last week with cold sores mixed with feeling sick and pregnant, so if you see her, wish her well.)

Saturday, June 23, 2007


First off, new annotation: Mistborn Epilogue Part Three

I'm sorry to post this so late.  I try to do four updates a week, and I usually make it--but I don't like posting on Saturday.  I try to get the last one in on Friday, but sometimes I get busy and...well, forget. 

This is the last annotation for the story of the book, though I'll probably do a few more annotations--one a wrap-up, one about the appendix.  I'm sorry these last few annotations have been a bit shorter than normal; I'm writing them as I go (rather than doing them during the copy edit) since I didn't get them finished last year.  That means I'm a little removed from the book. 

I'm about halfway through Liar of Partinel, and it's going much better now.  I still worry about it a little bit, since it doesn't feel as streamlined to me as the Mistborn books were.  We'll see what I do to it once I'm done.  Mistborn 3's final edit is looming, and will probably need to be done next week sometime, so I'll have to leave Liar yet again. 

Recent Links of Note
Tobias Buckell's New Book
This week's pun
Review of Mistborn 2
Warbreaker 1.0 to 2.0 visual edit!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Warbreaker 1.0 to 2.0

After much effort and wrangling computer programs, I've finally managed to get the Microsoft Word function to compare the first two versions of Warbreaker.

Download the document here. (Around 2 megs)

I think this is an exciting document to look at.  There's an explanation at the beginning, but essentially, this document lets you see each and every change I made when I was revising Warbreaker from the first draft to the second draft.  For those of you who are learning the writing craft, you might find this very interesting to look over.  Things I added for the 2.0 are in red, things I kept are in white, and things I deleted have a red strikethrough through them.

I'll do this for the 2.0 to 3.0 sometime soon.  If you have any questions about why I did what I did, feel free to ask them on the Warbreaker thread in my forums.

Warbreaker Thread
Download other Versions of Warbreaker


Recent Links of Note
Tobias Buckell's New Book
This week's pun
Interview with Brandon
Review of Mistborn 2

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Amphigory + Annotation

I thought long and hard about just the perfect Amphigory to do today.  I wanted something that was quick, yet powerful--something that would specifically make Tage want to throw things at me.  You have no idea how much I suffer for my art.  (It is truly difficult to continue topping myself.  Ah, whatever shall I do.) 

And now, my latest masterpiece:

It is a metaphor for the human existence.  It is an existential look at the post modern theory of life, death, and truth.  It is...this guy. (Hint.)

New Annotation:  Mistborn Epilogue Part Two

Monday, June 18, 2007

Review of Mistborn 2

Well, over the weekend, we got the Publisher's Weekly review of Mistborn 2.  Here it is, lovingly reproduced for you. 

Sanderson's entertaining second Mistborn novel begins after most fantasy series end, when the team of brave and cunning heroes find that holding on to power is even harder than overthrowing the previous tyrant. Elend Venture, the scholarly new Lord Ruler of Luthadel, clings to power while Luthadel's aristocrats and merchants grumble and two enemy armies-one led by Elend's father, Lord Straff-camp outside the city gates. Fortunately, Elend can rely on help from his lover and unofficial court assassin, the young allomancer Vin, but her magical metal-using ability makes her a target. An orphan of decidedly low origins, Vin is also having trouble adapting to her position as royal consort, especially since the underclass skaa, newly freed by Elend, look to her as their protector. Meanwhile, the ancient evil known as the Deepness is rising once again. This entertaining read will especially please those who always wanted to know what happened after the good guys won.

Not bad, eh?  I'm rather pleased with that.  My first aspiration in any book I write is that it be fun to read.  Making it meaningful, and add something to the genre, all of that--well, those are important, but come second.  I'd rather write something that people really like reading than write something that shakes the foundations of the literary world.  (Of course, the two aren't mutually exclusive--I think Ender's Game does both.)

I'll do a new annotation tomorrow along with the Amphigory.  Promise.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Annotation + Naming

Here's the new annotation:  Mistborn Epilogue Part One

Though I usually write the annotations when I do the copy edit, I was a bit busy when I did the MB1 edit, so I didn't get the last few annotations written.  Therefore, I'm doing them now.  I think I have enough material for about three or four more, so enjoy.

I mentioned Toby's book coming out, but I didn't mention another milestone by a friend of mine.  This week, Schlock Mercenary turned seven.  It's one of my favorite webcomics, and Howard Taylor has one of the most professional mindsets of any webtoonist I've met.  He's a great guy, and I highly recommend his comic.

Let's see...what else is up.  We're still trying to think of baby names.  The trouble is, a lot of the names I really like, I've already given to characters.  How tacky is it to name kids after your own characters?  I'm thinking that's a bad idea.  (I might try to sneak one in that is named after a character in a book I never published, though.)  Again, to me, it's not naming the kid after the character--it's using a name I like, as proven by the fact that I've used it before!

Recent Links of Note
Tobias Buckell's New Book
This week's pun
Interview with Brandon

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Various Notes + New Fiction

Well, it's Wednesday.  We're done posting Scribbler sample chapters.  (Sorry!)  But I've got something else.  How about a sample chapter from ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS?  I've gotten permission from Scholastic to post two of these, so we'll do them this week and next week.  You can find chapter one right here in html format.

In other news, we got the Ultrasound on the baby today, and discovered that it will be a boy.  So, huzzah!  In other exciting news, my friend Toby's new book came out yesterday.  If you didn't read Crystal Rain, I recommend it.  Great novel.  I'm sure the follow-up is equally entertaining.  I intend to get to it as soon as I can find a moment.

Well, those are all cool things.  So, how about something that strikes me as freakishly Creepy to round the day out?  Something about that just gives me the shivers.  Don't know why. 

Oh, and I've decided that, on the blog, I should start running a little list of recent links of note in each post.  These are things from previous days on the blog.  I know you Livejournal folks can just scroll down, but my main blog works differently.  So, from now on (when I remember) I'll have the following section at the bottom of my posts.  I'll keep about four or five links there, and rotate old ones off as new ones arrive.

Recent Links of Note
This week's pun
Interview with Brandon

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Amphigory + Pemberly Moment

All right, this one makes up for the last one, which was decidedly weak.  We're back with a really great one this time!  Are you crazy enough to figure out the pun?

For this to really work, however, you're going to have to know what element it that atom is from.  I'll give you a hint, it's one of the most important in the universe--at least, as far as life is concerned

Pemberly's computer hasn't come yet, but in an odd twist, we got the backpack for it we ordered from the Apple store.  It's almost evil, sending us a teaser like that without the actual computer.  (They were shipped from different warehouses.) 

However, in a strikingly amusing moment, she of course had to try it on, then wear it around for a while.  An empty backpack.  When I noted that I found that strange, she explained that she ALWAYS tries things out.  Once, she bought a new sleeping bag, and was so excited that she slept in it for TWO WEEKS (on her bed) just to enjoy having it.  "After all," she said, "I wasn't going to go camping for a while, and I wanted to try it out!"

If you've been waiting for an email--or have posted on the TWG for me--and I haven't responded, never fear!  I'll be getting back into my forum going and my email answering during the next couple of days.  The vacation is over, and it's back to business.  You can watch the little progress bar on the main page fill up (hopefully) as I write on Dragonsteel. 

Monday, June 11, 2007

Interview + Annotation

First off, new Annotation: Mistborn Chapter Thirty Eight Part Four

We're almost through the Mistborn annotations.  Actually, we're a bit early!  Mistborn 2 won't be out until August, and so I won't start the annotations for it until then.  That means I'll be digging up other kinds of Mistborn bonus material through July.  Probably some deleted scenes and worldbuidling essays, that sort of thing.  I'll probably even post some of the chapters from the earlier book I wrote using Allomancy, the one that will never be published now.  So, fun times!

And, speaking of fun times, here's an interview I just did with the Times and Seasons blog.  Be aware that Times and Seasons is an LDS (Mormon) themed blog, where a group of LDS bloggers post primarily about LDS literature.  The interview itself, then, deals with several religious topics. 

It's actually quite a good interview.  (Meaning, not my part, but the depth of the questions asked.)  Kaimi really did his homework and knows a lot about my writing.  I hope I wasn't too harsh on LDS publishing in some of the questions.  But, ah well.  Feel free to comment there to let me know what you think, or to drop my by forums to do the same.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Annotation + Back!

New Annotation: Mistborn Thirty-Eight Part Three

The California Trip went really well.  It was a long drive, of course--some ten hours each way.  However, it was fun to hang out on the beach, and I drove around and met a lot of booksellers.  Even dropped in on one book group, which was fun. 

I drug Pemberly along to a lot of the bookstore visits this time.  It was her first time--I don't know if she was ready for how exhausting it could be to stop every fifteen minutes and go duck into a bookstore.  It's also surprisingly hard to find some of these places.  Good thing I have Google Maps. 

We'll know the gender of the baby--probably--next week, so look forward to that announcement.  Also, I'll go back to a regular schedule with the blog, updating four days a week. Thanks for your patience with the week off!

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Gone! + Annotation

Well, I'm off to sunny California.  (Actually, from what my wife says, the place where I'm going is rather chilly a lot of the time right now.  Ah, well.)

Here's your parting gift: Mistborn Chapter Thirty Eight Part Two Annotation!