Monday, April 28, 2008

Progress Bar Moving Again

Last week, with the pile of final papers I had to grade (thirty pages from thirty students, so around a thousand pages of reading material plus computations of final grades and all of that) I only managed to get 3k written.  (My weekly goal is 10k.)  Fortunately, with the previous week's extra writing (I think I did closer to 15 or 16k that week) I'm still pretty much on target.  I did 1k earlier today, so that--with last week's--gets us one more blip forward on the progress bar. 

If you live in Utah County, then you might want to be reminded of my signing tomorrow!  Sprinville Library at around 5:00.  There will be books for sale, but as always, feel free to come and have me sign a book you've already bought.  (Or, if you read a library copy, you can always just drop by and ply me with questions about writing or the like.)

And, speaking about writing questions, here's a link to this week's Writing Excuses: submitting to editors.  This is an extra special episode, as we have  a guest star.  Stacy Whitman, friend and editor extraordinaire who works with Wizards of the Coast in their fiction department, was kind enough to drop by and fill in for Howard, who was at a con when we recorded this episode.  If you've ever wanted to listen to an editor talk about publishing, then this is your chance.  She is actively buying material right now, and she knows a whole tun about the publishing industry in general, with specialties in children's and YA fiction specifically. 

Friday, April 25, 2008

Aon Showcase: Aon Ehe

It's a little late, but here's another Aon showcase in conjunction with the Aon Pendants we have for sale in the store.  This week: Aon Ehe! (Also, remember my signings this week!)

Aon Ehe Detailed Explanation


Aon Ehe represents the primal force of Fire. A complex Aon with only basic symmetry, its form has often been likened to wisps of tickling fire burning out from a central coal.

While the many poets in history seem to have preferred the overall symmetry of an Aon like Aon Omi or Aon Rao, not a few preferred Aon Ehe for its distinctive look and feel. (Much like Aon Shao, this Aon breaks with traditional Aon form in appearance.) For this reason, and because of the destructive yet vital power of fire, the Poet Lenehe of the fifth century named Aon Ehe “The most inspiring of all Aons, a symbol for those with a creative heart and an unhindered mind.”

Recently, this Aon--easily recognizable, even to the uneducated--has become synonymous with ‘Danger,’ and is used as a warning. In many cases, in fact, it is printed on warnings which have nothing at all to do with fire. One might find it upon an unsteady bridge or a wood hiding dangerous wolves just as easily as one might find it referencing actual flames.

History And Use

All Aons exist independent of humankind, their symbols inherently tied to their meaning, but few have distinct origin stories explaining how the Aon was first discovered. Some modern scholars scoff at such tales, but Aon Ehe’s origin myth is well known among the common people and believed by most.

The story tells of the first princess of Arelon. This was some years after the founding of Arelon following the migration of the Aonic people from other lands. Elantris, of course, had already existed as a city when that migration occurred, and had been discovered empty. While some people assumed it haunted, Proud King Rhashm (later renamed Raoshem) determined to conquer the fears of his people and set up a kingdom centered on Elantris.

The transformation of the first Elantrians happened beginning several decades later. Princess Elashe--the first of Raoshem’s line to be chosen as an Elantrian--claimed to have seen the pattern of this Aon inscribed on a coal in her hearth the day after she underwent the transformation. Whether or not this story is true, a coal or rock written with Aon Ehe on it is considered good luck and a ward against winter spirits. (Though this kind of superstition is frowned upon by the Korathi priests.)

Other uses of Ehe are plentiful. It is one of the primal elements, and is often used in scientific writings. It is a ward and warning against danger. It is used on signs in conjunction with other Aons to mean warm food or warm beds available. Some artists and poets choose it as their symbol, both to hint at the dangerous nature of artistry and to speak of the passion of artistry.

Naming and Usage in ELANTRIS (Warning, spoilers!)

Aon Ehe is often miss-pronounced as “E-hay.” Though scholars of Aonic insist that the proper term, “E-Hee” is more accurate, the former is slowly being acknowledged as an acceptable pronunciation as well. It is infrequently used in names during modern days, as the meaning ‘Danger’ is seen as unfavorable. However, historically, it was a favorite Aon for poets and artists (who often took new names for themselves when entering into their maturity as an artist, a tradition by which they removed themselves from their old body of work and indicated that they were beginning anew.)

Some famous examples of names from Aon Ehe include the poet Ehen, the artist Ehelan, and Mehen the philosopher.

---Note, spoiler deleted for this blog post!  You can find it on this Aon's page on Brandon's website.  This Aon was involved in events near the end of ELANTRIS---


Aon Ehe is one of the most spectacular, useful, and awe inspiring of base Aons when used by an Elantrian. There are many Aons which have destructive or powerful effects, but none are as strong without modification as Aon Ehe.

Drawn simply, the Aon creates a column of flame, acting as a direct and primal conduit to the Dor itself. The diameter of the column depends on the size of the Aon drawn, and the direction the column is launched depends on the direction the Aon is facing. Often, this Aon is drawn on the floor so that a column of pure fire can be launched up into the air. The column is brief--only lasting a few seconds--but incredibly powerful.

With some enhancement modifiers, this Aon can be made to last longer. The pre-Reod AonDor scholars crafted lamps with flames that continued to burn no matter which way they were turned. They would even continue to burn beneath water. This Aon can be used in warfare, if necessary, though Aon Daa is generally a better weapon.

As a modifier, Aon Ehe can be used to create a ward that sets off other Aon chains. It provides one of the more useful tools in an AonDor practitioner’s repertoire, though the difficulty in drawing it can make it difficult to use for the less talented.
Click here to Go to the Aon Previewing screen to see this Aon in different colors!

Suggested Colors

Obviously, Aon Ehe is best rendered in Red. Our suggestions would be:

Carnelian & Silver     Ruby and Silver      Or (My favorite) Ruby and Gold

Also, because of the primal nature of the Aon, it is common to see it without any enamel or coloring, rendered in simple metals.  (Gold and Silver pictured below.)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Signings on Saturday and Tuesday

My assistant keeps reminding me that I haven't posted yet that I'm doing TWO signings in the next week or so.  I haven't done many in the last little while, and people have been asking me when the next ones are.  So, here you go:

Saturday April 26th (this Saturday) from 1-3 at the West Jordan (Jordan Landing) Barnes and Noble. 
7157 Plaza Center Drive
Jordan Landing
West Jordan, UT 84084

Tuesday April 29th at the Springville Utah Library.  5-7pm. 
50 South Main  •  Springville, Utah  •  801-489-2720
I'll be doing a reading of unpublished works at this one--probably from Alcatraz 2 or maybe a short story.  Even though it's at a library and not a bookstore, we will have copies of my books for sale. 

So, come say hello!  I might just have an advanced readers copy of Mistborn Three I'll be showing off. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day

After a helpful note by a LJ reader last week, I realized that today was International Pixel-Stained Technopeasant Day.  I forgot to post something last year, as I didn't find out about the thing until too late.

The problem is, I'm already offering a lot of content on my website for free.  Most of the sorts of 'bonus' things I could pull out at this point wouldn't be of professional level, and wouldn't really apply.  It's too early for Mistborn 3 sample chapters (sorry).  In the end, I decided to just post an extra chapter from the Warbreaker HTML project this week.  Then, as a special bonus, I've posted something else below.

Wabreaker 4.2 HTML: Chapter Nine
Wabreaker 4.2 HTML: Chapter Ten

The next piece requires an introduction.  In 1994, I was a senior in high school.  By this point, I'd gotten into reading fantasy and SF quite passionately.  I'd tried my hand at a few stories, but nothing very extensive.  One of my teachers gave me a flyer for a science fiction writing contest being held by a local sf convention called Andromeda One.  It's the first I'd heard of a literary sf convention.  The guest of honor was Katherine Kurtz, who's books I'd read and enjoyed.

I grew really excited, went home, and tried my hand at writing a REAL story.  I'm not sure what I thought a REAL story was, but I guess I figured it was something with a lot of drama and multiple viewpoints.  The writing contest had a student category, where they said they were looking to encourage "The next generation of Nebula and Hugo Winners."  I remember that phrase for some reason.

I don't know how many students submitted to the contest.  However, I was shocked and excited when they sent me an invitation to the convention giving me free entrance.  Apparently, I was one of the five finalists for the contest.  I can still remember sitting in that ball room as they announced the winners, one at a time, starting with fifth place and counting upward. 

I ended up winning the contest.  Probably one of the proudest moments of my life to this date.   The award was a fifty dollar savings bond or something like that.  I still have the fanzine they published the winners in; I seem to recall that there weren't enough submissions in the adult category, so the fanzine only contains the five stories by us students.

I had a blast at the convention, hanging out with the other sf/fantasy student writer nerds.  To this day, I wish that I'd somehow been able to connect with that community earlier.  I left for college a few months later, and eventually hooked up with the sf community at BYU.  However, I look back at my high school years, and wonder what would have been different if I'd actually been able to find sf/f geeks like myself to hang out with.  Ah, well. 

Katherine Kurtz, by the way, was awesome.  I can still remember in detail the few minutes when I happened to be sitting in the lobby and she came to sit down and wait for a ride.  We chatted for a good ten minutes, with her offering a lot of encouragement my direction.  She was the first pro I ever met, and she left a great impression on me in regards to the entire community.  I sent her a copy of ELANTRIS when I got published eleven years later.

Anyway, enough reminiscing.  I've posted the story that won the contest to the library.  Warning, I did NOT edit this.  I think there's a run-on sentence in the first or second paragraph.  It was written by an inexperienced high school student who really had no idea how to write.  But it is a glimpse into my mind when I was that age, I suppose.  Enjoy.

The story is called Centrifugal.  (And, we're working out some bugs in the coding, so there's an extraneous 'chapter' in the title of the page on my website.  Sorry; that should go soon.)

Oh, and one more note.  If any of your reading attended or--more importantly--were part of organizing ANDROMEDA ONE in Lincoln NE in 1994, fire me off an email.  I'd like to give you guys a personal thank you.  I may not have won a Hugo or Nebula yet, but I think I've come a long way riding that boost you gave me fourteen years ago.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Progress Bar

You may have noticed that the progress bar on A MEMORY OF LIGHT moved up pretty quickly last week.  That was due to a number of factors--one of which being that I knew I wouldn't be able to get as much done this week.  I teach a class at the local university occasionally, and final projects just came in.  That means I get to spend a lot of time this week grading.  In order to keep up with my work on AMOL, I decided to really push the writing hard last week.

My goal is to get two or three percent each week done on the rough draft.  Some weeks may go faster, others slower, depending on how much of Mr. Jordan's original material I have for a given week's work.  Remember that the progress bar is based on 400k at the end (which is only a guess) and so 1% is equal to 4k writing on the rough draft. 

Other news and notes:  New Writing Excuses is up.  This week, we talk about how to be both a businessperson and an artist.  This is the second of two episodes we did where we were having microphone issues, FYI.  it still sounds just fine, and you can hear all of us, but we had to use a center microphone rather than individual ones.  We'll be back to the old way next week, so don't worry. 

My pal Brandon Mull, the other Brandon writing fantasy in the Utah area, just released his new book.  It's the third in the Fablehaven series.  Congrats, Brandon!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

You guys are great....

I got a large batch of email about the other email I posted last week.  Thank you all for your kindness and your thoughtful responses.  I thought I'd share a few selections from some of the emails I got.  (I probably have too many of them to respond to individually, by the way, so I apologize in advance if you don't hear from me!)

From a reader in Ohio:
"I just wanted to say that as a reader I like to think that all stories go on, that writers only managed to capture and write down one part of the story. To me the story always continues as is shown in Cornelia Funke's 'Inkspell' book where the author of the book 'Inkheart' ends up in his own story some 20 years after where he left it, and its completely different from the world he had created, the people in the story had continued on; died, had children, got married, became evil, became good, their lives had continued, they hadn't stopped just because the book that their stories were written down in ended."

From a reader in Ontario:
"One of the things that makes Elantris remarkable as a book is that  it is capable of being a stand alone. Fantasy is far too reliant on sequels, trilogies, or series in order to a story. Most fantasy novels are daunting enough to new readers since it is fairly common for a fantasy book to break 1000 pages. When you add in 4, 5,or 11, more books the entire series can become very overwhelming. I found Elantris to be a refreshing break from this. Which is important as being an undergraduate student I find my reading time of non-course material almost non existent."

From a reader who didn't mention their location:
"Brandon, in reading your most recent blog I was concerned for the writer, as if he reads the final tome of the Wheel of Time, I am sure there will be stories yet to be told, after all if Rand succeeds the very point is the Wheel continues to turn. I've read many different styles of writing, some writers do try to tie up each and every loose end that they have revealed so that by the end of their story they would need a new catalyst to have any storyline other than "and they lived happily ever after", however I prefer the style where we feel like we are viewing a window on events for a certain time, and after that time is gone and the blinds are pulled on the window, we know events are still going on, that sparks the imagination and makes the characters more believable, as well as having the effect of making us want to know more about that world.  Unfortunately however, it seems that the reader prefers the first style, and for that there is nothing you as a writer can do (changing your style is not an option as a writer has a style they are comfortable with, and changing that can be very detrimental to the writing process) and it is too bad that the reader can't see that, and though they will move on to other authors it would have been nice if they were able to move on without malice and venom."

And finally, my personal favorite, a note from a reader in California:
"It's an evil plot to distract you from "A Memory of Light". The person is obviously a darkfriend and could possibly be one of the forsaken."

Ah!  Of course!  We finally know what Demandred has been about all of this time!  He's been writing angry emails to authors. 

Thank you all for your replies and thank you, as always, for reading. 

Friday, April 18, 2008

Reader Mail

I got an interesting email the other day.  I'm not sure what to make of it.  Perhaps you all can interpret for me:

I am furious at my new found understanding that there will be no further installment of Elantris. I was under the impression that Mistborn was the second installment of the series, but no, it a entirely different book altogether. I don't understand why your not making another book to at least finish the story that you produced through Elantris. The book is UNFINISHED. There is no ending. What happens to Roaden and the other elantrians? What happens to the war between the Elantrians and the Wyrm? You didn't explain one-fourth of the **** you wrote in that book, and I was expecting an explanation in the second and possibly third installment. You screwed me. I have these unanswered questions that will never be answered because you have forgotten a crucial rule to being a writer. You never leave a story UNFINISHED. I have to say that after realizing that you would actually do something as horrible as publish an unfinished piece of literature and then claim to not finish it, without a doubt makes you the worst author... no... you don't deserve to be called an author. An author wouldn't do this to his reader, his fan, his own **** creation. I do not regret to inform you that i will not be reading anymore of your trash in the fear that the book/garbage will not be completed due to you lack of professionalism. You don't deserve your hands, eyes and mind for this sin against literature. I know you won't care about what i write. You'll probably delete this and mistake it for a piece of hate mail. No, Brandon Sanderson this is not some trash talker trying to make you feel bad in hopes of making you feel like **** for what you have done, even-though that would be nice. No, this was a fan who you disappointed and caused that fan to lose faith in you, your writing, and your characters who's actions and morals were just lies that you couldn't give a **** for.  I hope you lose your ability to write so that you can fully understand and appreciate the joys that came with that of a completed accomplishment for you would! never know that feeling of joy again.

Sincerely, with all the malice and frustration i can muster without physically assaulting you,

[Name Removed by Brandon.  Also, some edits were made by Brandon to remove curse words.  Otherwise, that's exactly how I got it.]

So, what do you think?  I'm honestly not sure I even want to reply to that.  If I were to, I don't know even how to approach it.  I could:

1)  Explain that NO story is ever finished.  Is LoTR done just because Frodo is gone?  Do any stories ever end as long as there are people alive?  We have to choose, as authors, to end somewhere.  With Elantris, this is the ending I chose.

2)  Explain that in my opinion, the ending to ELANTRIS is very complete.  No, you don't know everything about the future of the characters, but the major conflicts introduced in the opening chapters are resolved by the end of the book.  Sure, there are hints that there is more, but I often do that at the end of stories so that the reader can continue to imagine where the characters go and what happens in the world.  I want my stories to continue to live after I finish them, even if I never return to that setting. 

3)  I've never been sure that I won't do an ELANTRIS sequel.  Just because I often say I have no concrete plans as to when I'll get back to the world doesn't mean I won't some day.  How long did it take Stephen King to get back to Dark Tower?  What about Orson Scott Card and his Alvin Maker series?  Chances are good that there will someday be an ELANTRIS sequel.  It's just not on the list of things I'm actively writing right now.

4)  Calm down!  I'm glad my story had such a powerful effect on you, but it's not worth this level of emotion. 

5)  Mistborn, by the way, DOES continue on and has some really nifty resolution in Book Three.'s not out yet, so I can't prove that to you.

6) If you want to be more close to the ELANTRIS world, you could always buy a nice Aon pendant.  (Hint hint.)

Any other responses you folks can think up?  I doubt I'll actually respond to this; it's pretty negative.  But, then, those of you who know me understand that I'm something of a peacemaker at heart, and I like to try to smooth out negative emotions in people when I can. 

Either way, maybe the email there will be an interesting read for you, and give you a bit of a glimpse into what it's like to be a public figure, if only a minor one like myself.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Two New Annotations and Other News

I didn't get around do doing one of these last week, so I thought I'd post two for you this week.  Both from Mistborn: The Well of Ascension, of course. 

Mistborn Two: Chapter Thirty
Mistborn Two: Chapter Thirty-One

In other nifty news, the new Mistborn: The Final Empire paperback cover is up on Amazon.  I've posted it here before, but I'll do it again for you.  Remember, this has a coupon in it for $5 off of Mistborn 3.  So, you can buy a copy of Mistborn One, keep the coupon, and give away the paperback as a gift or have it as a loaner.  If you do that, the book is essentially free.  All it costs you is tax and a stamp to send off for your rebate in October.  (Assuming, of course, you're planing on grabbing a copy of Mistborn Three in hardcover.  Heck, I'm not sure how the coupon works, but I THINK you could just order both books off of Amazon with a copy of Mistborn 2 as well, then get free shipping and Mistborn Three--after rebate--in hardcover for about $13.  That's an entire trilogy, with one hardcover, for about $26.)


Also, we posted a new podcast this week, and I forgot to blog it.  I make special note here since I think it was one of our better podcasts.  We talk about how to keep up the pacing in your stories.  I hope that people are finding these podcasts useful; I get a lot of emails asking for writing advice, and those are the most difficult to find time to answer, since I usually have to do some long explanations in order to provide anything useful.  These kind of questions are what made me want to do the podcast, where I could (hopefully) offer help to aspiring writers on a regular basis and cut down on the need for the writing questions.  If you've never listened to a podcast before, it's easy--there's a player set into the browser when you visit, so you just have to push play and listen.  (Note, sorry for the microphone quality on this week and next week's podcasts.  We go back to individual microphones the week after.  There were issues.)

Finally, if you missed the big news about ELANTRIS pendants, click on the Aon image below!  Hope you guys don't mind me posting links and reminders of things like this.  My philosophy on this blog is to always offer lots of free content (such as the annotations and the podcast) and I hope I don't overshadow it by the marketing aspects (such as talking about the Mistborn paperback or the Aon pendants.)  I've often talked about how odd it is, as an author, to look at yourself both as an artist and a businessperson.  Part of me just wants to give EVERYTHING away for free, just so that more people will be able to experience my art.  It always makes me feel crass to self-promote.  And yet, the enthusiasm people have shown for things like the Aon pendants tells me there is a great interest in these kinds of issues.  Just let me know if the businessperson side of me ever starts to get too annoying.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

ELANTRIS Jewelry For Sale!

I'm proud to announce the official release of Aon jewelry in the store!  About a year or so ago, I visited a book club that had read ELANTRIS for their monthly meeting.  One of the people there happened to be involved in Badali Jewelry, which does jewelry for quite a number of F&SF related properties.  (Including The Wheel of Time, which is an interesting coincidence, since this was long before I was involved in writing A Memory of Light.)

She mentioned that she was interested in maybe doing Elantris jewelry, and I said I was  amenable.  Months later, we finally have these beautiful pieces to sell!  If I had known how gorgeous these would turn out to be, I'd have pushed my agent much harder to make the deal go through.  I love how they look! 

Badali has given us a merchant account to allow us to sell the pieces on my website.  I thought that I'd do a special showcase about each Aon being sold, as this would not only would this give me a chance to show off a pendant each week, but would also give me an excuse to add some more bonus content for ELANTRIS and its setting.  Lately, everything around here has been focused on MISTBORN and its sequels. 

If you're not familiar with ELANTRIS, these Aons are characters which form the basis for the writing system for the world.  The mystical symbols predate mankind and their meanings are inherent.  The use and manipulation of the Aons is integral to the magic system of the world, which revolves around drawing Aons in the air.

AON-E11 PearlFeel free to go poke around on the jewelry section and order any piece that strikes you--they're all gorgeous, and each of the chosen Aons has a nifty symbolism for both the book.  However, you can also watch each week as I offer detailed explanations of each Aon, and maybe that will help you make up your mind. 

Each Aon pendant comes in a wide variety of colors and in several different metals or finishes.  They run about $40 ~ $50 for the sterling silver versions and around $300 or $400 for gold versions.  Click through to each Aon's page for more details and to preview the pendants in various colors. 

I thought I'd start the showcases with Aon Omi.  Once I do these write ups, I'll stick them on the appropriate Aon's page in the store.  Then, when I'm done, I'll collect them all and put a list of them on the ELANTRIS portal.   


Aon Omi Detailed Explanation


In its most basic form, Omi is used to represent love and benevolence. It is a common root Aon for a wide variety of words, including affection, care, passion, piety, zeal, and some synonyms of loyalty.

A complex Aon with strong symmetry, the Aon has often been used as an example of balance, and even perfection. The great AonDor scholar Enelan of the fourth century called it “The most perfect of Aons, fully incorporating the base of Aon Aon and spinning it into a complex icon that is artful and complicated, yet somehow basically simple at the same time.”

In later centuries, the symbol has come to mean not only love, but divinity as well, an association created by the Korathi Church’s appropriation of the Aon. Many Korathi devout also regard the symbol as representing the potential unification of all mankind through peace, temperance, and love.

History and Use

Aon Omi is best known as the official symbol of the Korathi church in Arelon. It was chosen by Korath (known as KoWho in JinDo) himself to represent the church and God. Scholars of the time say that Korath made the decision late in his life, after decades spent preaching his interpretations of the tenets of Shu-Keseg (which eventually became the Korathi religion) in Arelon and Elantris itself.

The choice was shocking to many, as the young Korathi devout saw the Elantrians and their worship as a competing religion. Their Aons, the basis for Elantrian magic an power, were then regarded as heathen symbols. Korath was always bothered by this competitive streak in his believers, and it is widely accepted that he picked an Aon to represent God and his religion as an attempt to show that all people were acceptable beneath the blanket of the Korathi doctrines. He himself called the Aon a “Thing of Beauty” and asked an Elantrian smith of his acquaintance to craft a silver pendant for him bearing the symbol.

That event, and the subsequent adoption of Aon Omi by the Korathi church, led to the odd relationship between the Elantrians and the Korathi religion which found root in their homeland. (Though, following Korath’s death, his right hand man and follower ShanVen moved the religion’s center of operations to Teod instead, where the young monarchy there had embraced Shu-Korath as its official religion.)

Over the years, many other Aons have been adopted by the Korathi religion, but this one--Aon Omi--has remained their most powerful and important symbol. It is used extensively in Korathi religious services, and pendants bearing Aon Omi are commonly worn by the devout. (Many simply call them Korathi pendants, or Korathi religious pendants.) Such pendants are commonly exchanged during Korathi wedding services. (See the end of ELANTRIS the novel for an example.)

Many Korathi priests now look at the use of Aons by their religion as symbol of the potential unity of all mankind, when different beliefs, sects, and cultures will be drawn together through sincere affection for one another.

Naming and Usage in ELANTRIS

As can be expected from its meanings, Aon Omi is a common root Aon for names in Arelon, particularly among those who follow the Korathi religion.

The most obvious word using Omi as a root is the name Domi itself, the Korathi word for God. This usage did not become common until the seventh century; before then, the Jindoeese name Dashu was used by the Korathi, and the Elantrians preferred a word using Aon Daa as its root. In an interesting exchange, the Aonic word ‘Domi’ eventually became a loan word back to Jindoeese, where the word DoMin eventually came to mean ‘god.’

The head priest of the Korathi chapel in Kae, Father Omin, also uses this Aon in his name. (As a side note, like many Korathi priests, Omin chose a new name for himself once he joined the priesthood. In his youth, he went by the name of Elenan.) Father Omin wears a jade pendant of Aon Omi.

Eondel wears a pendant of Aon Omi, his sky blue. Sarene wears one of green and gold, while Raoden wears one of black.


Aon Omi is a powerful Aon, and before the fall of Elantris could perform powerful magics. When drawn it puts out a powerful and pure white light; any who are touched by this light find their negative emotions wiped away, replaced by a sense of serenity and peace. It is difficult indeed to maintain a sense of hatred while Aon Omi is in force.

So powerful is this Aon, however, that using it requires much of the Elantrian who draws it. The Aon will be weak unless the one drawing it feels a sincere affection for those around him, making this Aon very difficult to use in tense situations. This strange requirement has fascinated AonDor practitioners for centuries, as it is one of the few Aons which requires something other than skill in drawing from its Elantrian.

Aon Omi is also used in other places in AonDor equations. It can be used to tie other Aon chains together, and is also a weaker power modifier, if used in the correct way.

Suggested Colors:

Omin’s Pendant: Jade and Silver
Raoden’s Pendant: Onyx and silver (Shown Above.)
Eondel’s Pendant: Sapphire and silver.
Korath’s Pendant: Silver with no enamel (Shown Above.)
Sarene’s Pendant (If you’re feeling rich): Jade and Gold.  (Shown Above.)

Monday, April 14, 2008


Well, I'm back from my trip to Charleston.  We got some really good work done and I'm excited to get back to writing.  Expect that percentage bar to go up a couple more points this week.  Just so that you know, I've decided to use 400k as the wordcount basis for the progress bar.  I'm still not sure how long the book will be--it could be longer than that, it could be shorter--but that seemed an appropriate base line.  I'll be able to tell you more as the process continues. 

Look for a Knife of Dreams blog post soon, as well as some regular updates.  For now, a couple of links.

First, I'll be teaching at BYU's Writers for Young Readers conference this summer.  They suggested I post a link, and I thought it would be a good idea.  I think my session is filled up, but there might be other authors you can work with.  Conferences like this one are expensive, but can really give you a leg up if you're wanting to break into publishing.  alcatraz_color

Secondly, Amazon has put up the cover art for Mistborn 3,, which is nifty.  It's still odd that the promotional Mistborn 1 and Mistborn 2 paperbacks still have no cover art posted, but whatever. 

Finally, here is an amusing Librarian reaction to Alcatraz.  If you haven't read the book, then you might want to know that this is tongue in cheek.  All part of the joke.  Which reminds me, I really need to get around to posting some of the Alcatraz concept art I commissioned from the talented Shawn Boyles.  I keep intending to use these things on, which I own, but I never can find the time.  Here's one he did of Alcatraz.

Wednesday, April 09, 2008


As you might have noticed, things have been a tad dead here this week. That’s because I’ve been out here in Charleston visiting Robert Jordan’s house. Harriet, Alan, Maria, and I have been working on things for Book Twelve, and there was also a panel at the Citadel (where Mr. Jordan went to college) about Mr. Jordan and his effect on the fantasy genre. Harriet wanted me to be part of it, and I was very happy to do so. (David Drake also flew in to sit on the panel. I know it was video taped; I don’t know if it will get posted anywhere. If it does, I’ll try to get a link up here for you all.)

Regardless, it’s been a busy few days. I flew out on Monday and have to be back on Thursday to teach my class. However, we’ve put our time to very good use, working out the outline for Book Twelve. (There were some holes in the plot and questions about characters we needed to work through.) Maria put it best with some of these holes: It’s like we’re putting together a jigsaw. We need to sift through Mr. Jordan’s notes and figure out what he wanted to have happen, then figure out the best way to make it happen.

This, of course, is only for the sections that are more ambiguous. We’re doing our best to make certain this book has as much of Mr. Jordan in it as possible.

Just a few notes on the way out the door here. 1) I blogged about THE NAME OF THE WIND last week, thinking I’d be able to get a copy of book two this week. Looks like my information was out-dated! I was going off of the DAW catalogue I picked up at a trade show last year, and that information was reinforced by the release date of Book Two as presented by the Amazon data aggregating website I use. (Titlez.) Both said book two was out this week. Only, I forgot to watch Pat’s own blog, because he admitted a few months back that the book had to be pushed back because of family issues. It’s a bummer, but it looks like Pat has been through the wringer lately, and my heart certainly goes out to him. Looks like Book Two will be out next April, but that’s no reason not to go grab the brand spanking new paperback of book one.

2) There’s a new Writing Excuses podcast this week. It was posted on Monday, and we’re continuing to do this every Monday. Just a little reminder!

3) Those of you from forums where I am occasionally known to haunt may have noticed a lack of posts from me recently. I haven’t simply turned to my lurking ways, unfortunately. I’m swamped with AMoL, and have had to scale back on my forum visitations. I think this is going to be a busy year, and I need every spare moment I can to work on this book and to try (ha ha) to keep up on my email. So, I’m sorry to all you wonderful folks—no offense or anything like that. Just too busy to visit. I’ll try to still make appearances on my own forums, though. (Note if you haven’t seen the Allomancy conversations going on there, you’re missing out. Also, you guys in those discussions are crazy. Fun, but crazy.)

4) There is no number four.

I think that’s everything for now. Annotations and Warbreaker should get posted on Friday after I get back and recover from Thursday. (Six hours of travel followed by a three hour class. What fun…)

Thursday, April 03, 2008

NAME OF THE WIND paperback out! + New Spring

Just in case you've been living under the proverbial rock this year and haven't heard about Patrick Rothfuss, you should know that his fantastic first novel--THE NAME OF THE WIND--is now out in paperback.  (As of Monday, I believe.)  Book two is due out next week.  The first book is great, and I suspect the second one will be too.  And he didn't even pay me to write that or anything!

I'll actually be picking up one of the paperbacks here soon myself, since my hardcover got lost on book tour last year.  (I'd brought it on the tour for David Farland to read, and somehow one of us ended up leaving the book behind.  So, if you work at a Best Western on the west coast and somebody left their hardcover of NAME OF THE WIND in a hotel room, you know who to send it to!)

Now, a response to NEW SPRING. 

As I mentioned, I've finished reading through the entire WoT series again and have moved on to actually working on Book Twelve.  (Two chapters writing  are done as of right now, by the way.  Neither were chapters that Mr. Jordan left any actual prose for, as I'm practicing with writing particular characters, and want to get a feel for writing them.  I'm writing them and sending them to the experts in Charleston for feedback as I adapt my style to writing in the Wheel of Time world.) Anyway, I'm behind on these blog posts, and so while I read NEW SPRING a few weeks back now, I'm only now doing a response for it.

I've said before that I think Mr. Jordan's greatest strength as a writer was his ability to do viewpoint with such power.  His second-greatest strength was probably his ability to plot on the large scale, planning for things that weren't going to happen for several books, leaving foreshadowing for novels that wouldn't be written for years.  As part of that, he knew what happened in the past with his characters to a far greater extent than I think most writers do. 

NEW SPRING seems to me an experiment in showing off these strengths.  Here we have two characters from the main series shown many years before.  I am impressed at how well Mr. Jordan was able to make these characters feel twenty years younger, yet at the same time show them being the same people.  Both Moiraine and Siuan exemplified this , and it was interesting to read from a writer's viewpoint, as I was aware of how tough this must have been to pull off.

What happens itself is less interesting only in that we already know most of it.  (The classic problem with prequels, after all, is that you generally already know how it will end.)  While I enjoy a good prequel, the feeling is different than it is for a main-line story.  Reading a book like NEW SPRING is more of a fan experience for me, as I get to see how Lan and Moiraine met, and we get a record of the infamous river dunking.  Despite what the cover says, I wouldn't say this is the "New starting point" for the Wheel of Time.  That's why I read it here, when it was written, rather than when it occurred in the series chronologically.  Half of the fun of this book comes from having read the other books in the series first.

It was strange to read a book from Robert Jordan that was only 120k long, though.  I remember when I first saw it, years ago.  I thought "Man, that's barely a short story!"  120k.  Barely a short story.  That would be a LONG book in many genres.  Here, it's tiny.  (Like many of you probably did, I can remember being annoyed at getting a prequel instead of the next novel in the series.  Now I'm happy to have it, though, as it's one of our only glimpses into the world pre-Rand.)

Anyway, it was great seeing Siuan being a punk.  I think her character in this added the most to my understanding of the series as a whole.  Lan was pretty much Lan, and while Moiraine was interesting, I found myself liking Siuan more.  Perhaps because I really enjoy her storyline in the main series.