Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Reddit IAmA, Signed THE WAY OF KINGS + Updates

This week's Writing Excuses podcast episode with Mary, Dan, Howard, and me covers worldbuilding communications technology. The state of communications technology can have a wide-reaching effect on your story, so give it a listen.

My assistant has uploaded another chapter of my unfinished and abandoned novel Mythwalker from 2001. There's also a new collection of Twitter posts up.

THE WAY OF KINGS has now been out in hardcover for a year, so I'm adding signed and personalized copies to my online store. Please note that the way my store calculates shipping charges gets confused because TWoK is the same size as THE GATHERING STORM but much heavier. The result is that if you want to buy two copies, it's probably cheaper to submit two separate orders instead of putting two copies in one order. Sorry about that.

Today I started an IAmA on reddit. (Basically a Q&A.) If you're following me on Twitter or Facebook, you heard about it an hour ago. I'll keep answering questions for the next three hours or so, but there are so many questions already I'm likely not to get to anything posted after this point. We'll see.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


My buddy and Writing Excuses cohost Dan Wells recently released his hilarious gothic vampire novel A NIGHT OF BLACKER DARKNESS as an ebook. I'm embedding a preview of it below, and you can get it on Kindle, Nook, iBooks, and Smashwords.

This is still one of my personal favorite novels—quirky and strange, but very amusing and borderline genius. It's the story of a man in the 19th century who fakes his own death, and when he rises from his coffin that makes a bunch of vampires think he's one of them. (The fact that he can go out in sunlight and stand garlic proves to them that he's the vampires' "chosen one," destined to lead them to glory.) With cameo appearances by historical figures like John Keats and Mary Shelley, it's an absolute blast to read.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Forum move, ALLOY preview, Worldcon costumes + Updates

The site that has hosted my forums for years, the Official Time-Waster's Guide, has now officially gone offline. The front page hadn't really been updated in years as staff members moved on to other projects, and few areas of the forum were still active, so it's not a big loss. My official forums will now be hosted by the official Brandon Sanderson fansite, 17th Shard. (They also just posted a writeup of the Q&A from my recent West Jordan signing, covering both my books and the Wheel of Time.) Dan Wells is also moving his forum over there, and the Reading Excuses forum is also there. The admins are currently looking into moving over a read-only archive of relevant TWG posts, so we'll see if that happens.

The catalyst for TWG going offline now rather than some other time is that the old forum software it was running was vulnerable, and a hacker exploited that vulnerability to harvest email addresses and salted/hashed passwords. That means that if you had an account there, you may see an uptick in spam, and if your password was an easily crackable one that you used elsewhere (especially if it was the same password you use for your email account), someone may break in to your accounts elsewhere. So it's a very good idea to change the passwords you use on any other site that shared the login you used at TWG. Because the passwords were salted and hashed they should still be fairly secure if you picked a robust password in the first place, but it's a good idea to err on the side of caution and change your passwords anyway. (If you're wondering, the forum also used a lot of custom code which made updating it difficult, and we decided the effort it would take to secure everything again wasn't worthwhile in the face of its diminished activity and the other available options.)

Remember when I said last fall on Twitter that I had just written the most awesome Allomantic gunfight ever? (Okay, it was also the first Allomantic gunfight ever written.) Well, that gunfight appears in THE ALLOY OF LAW chapter six, now up on This marks the end of the short story that I originally planned, which turned into the new Mistborn novel coming out on November 8th. If you read the six preview chapters that have been released, you'll understand why this really was the only good place to end the preview. I wanted you to get a comprehensive sample of what this novel was really about, and with this chapter all the elements come together. But now the book doesn't come out for more than two months, and there won't be any more preview chapters. Please try to be patient. Anyway, to find out how to get signed copies of the book when it does come out, see here.

I'm very pleased with how THE ALLOY OF LAW turned out. On the other hand, I'm very displeased with how my draft of MYTHWALKER turned out way back in 2001, which is why I stopped writing it. But if you're a glutton for punishment you can check out chapter one. Some of its elements will look familiar, since I cannibalized them into later books.

The newest episode of Writing Excuses is up, and it covers revision focusing on description. This past weekend at the World Science Fiction Convention in Reno, Writing Excuses was beaten in the Hugo voting for the Best Related Work category by a fine book called CHICKS DIG TIME LORDS. Mary contributed one of its essays (among many great women authors). She also won a Hugo for her short story, "For Want of a Nail." (Dan lost the Campbell to Lev Grossman, author of THE MAGICIANS.)

Also at Worldcon a group of us attended the Girl Genius Steampunk Ball in costume. Here's a sample photo, taken by Pemberly's assistant Kathy. I'm dressed as an Elendel Allomancer and my assistant Peter is Allomancer Jak from the Elendel Daily broadsheet. Pemberly and Peter's wife Karen are dressed to accompany us to the wedding dinner in chapter four of THE ALLOY OF LAW. (Not that Allomancer Jak was there.)

You can see a few more photos on Facebook. I'll try to get more tagged soon.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

THE ALLOY OF LAW Release Events

This is going to be a long post. If you want to know how to get numbered copies of MISTBORN: THE ALLOY OF LAW, scroll down.


This year's tour will have two legs: A North American tour (for the first time it's not just a U.S. tour—there's a stop in Vancouver BC) and a UK tour. My North American signings are listed on my events page, so check out that page to see if I'm signing near you. I don't have locations and times for my UK tour yet (those will come in September), but I'll be there between November 18th and 26th.

If I'm not going to be appearing near you, there is still a way for you to get a signed book. Please scroll down to the section on Sam Weller's by mail. I am also going to Australia in April (see the events page)—in Perth, Melbourne, and Gold Coast on the weekends, probably with stops at the cities in between on weekdays (that schedule won't be worked out for quite a while). I'm also going to be somewhere in Asia in February, but that hasn't yet been announced.

The focus on my tour stops will be on getting everyone's books signed. I like to do a reading and answer questions at every stop, and I also try to pre-sign some stock so if you just want a signed book and don't want to stand in line for me to personalize it for you, you can just grab the book and go. However, I already know that there won't be a reading or a Q&A at the Brooklyn stop or the daytime UK stops (they won't have room for seating), so keep that in mind.

Some of the events might be ticketed (such as Murder By the Book in Houston), which means that the bookstore requires you to buy the book FROM THEM in order to get it signed. I've asked for this to happen at as few booksellers as possible, but each store has the final call. Why would they do this? Well, a lot of stores have to bring in extra staff (or even rent extra space) in order to handle an enormous event like this. In the past, they've spent this money and then had everyone bring in books they bought from Amazon to get signed. It makes them very bitter, as they lose money after all the work they put into holding an event. (In one famous case I heard of, a small bookstore held a signing where they spent hundreds on staff, promotion, and cookies, only to have over a hundred people, out of the hundred and twenty who came, bring in books they bought from Amazon.)

As I said, I've requested that the signings all be open to anyone. However, I can see the bookstores' point. Please be respectful and realize one of the reasons that places like Amazon can give you the books so cheaply is that they don't have to maintain or pay rent on expensive storefronts in retail areas. Support your local booksellers; it's because of them that we can have signing events. If possible, I'd ask that you go and buy the book from the store where you're planning to see me. You can buy it early and keep the receipt. If you bring the receipt with you to the signing, that's as good as buying the book at the signing. Generally, at ticketed events, as long as you buy any hardcover book, they will let you get your other books signed. So, for instance, you could buy THE ALLOY OF LAW and then get paperbacks of the Mistborn trilogy and THE WAY OF KINGS or my two Wheel of Time books signed. And even if you don't buy your copy of ALLOY at the signing, it's nice to support the store hosting me by buying at least one book (by any author) while you're there.

I don't know which events will be ticketed—other than Murder By the Book, which is confirmed. I'm slowly gathering information on this. There probably won't be many that are, but I wanted to lay the groundwork just in case. I'll add more information to the events page as it trickles in.

Finally, there may be a cap on the number of books I will personalize for you at a time. I'll sign all your books, but personalizations can take a while, so if there's a large crowd, to keep the line moving I may only personalize three books at a time. However, it's just fine if you want to go to the end of the line again and wait to get three more books personalized. I WILL sign paperbacks. I WILL NOT sign books I did not write—e.g. the Wheel of Time books before THE GATHERING STORM. Yes, people have asked; often about one per signing.


I will be doing two special signings in conjunction with the book's release on November 8th. Like with my previous books, I will be numbering copies in conjunction with these release events. The two events are: the BYU Bookstore midnight release and the Sam Weller's mail order event. (Details below.)

What does it mean to get a numbered copy? Well, just what it sounds like. If you get a book from one of the two release events, I'll number your copy. I intend to give out as many numbers as there are people who participate in those events (unless we run out of books). In a way, these numbers are less about being limited editions and more about getting a special add-on, an indication that you made it to one of the initial events. This is something I started doing for fun with my first book, and I had originally intended to limit the numbers to the first fifty people who got to me. However, I found that I felt bad stopping numbering if someone went to all the trouble to come to the release party, so I shifted to doing it this way.

I generally stagger my numbering so that lower numbers can be picked up from each signing. Each number is unique. I will rotate by 100s. (So, 1–100 are at BYU, 101–200 are at Sam Weller's, 201–300 are at BYU, etc.)

Each event will have its own rules regarding how you get your number and which number you get. Read on for info.


At 12:00 a.m. on November 8th, I will be doing the world's first signing for THE ALLOY OF LAW. Numbers 1–100 will be given out at this signing. (Though everyone who comes will get a numbered copy unless they run out of books.) Number twelve will be reserved for Dan Wells because of a funky thing he and I do. (He has number one of my first book, number two of my second, and so forth. I have number one of his first book and so forth.) Other than that, all numbers will be given out in the ORDER YOU ARRIVE TO WAIT IN LINE IN. Let me make this clear. It doesn't matter how early you preorder. Numbers will be given out based on line order. Details follow.

The line will start forming at the northwest entrance here:

In past years, people have started lining up even a few days ahead of time, so the BYU Bookstore is going to be handing out numbers to people in line to take some of the pressure off you. They will start doing this MONDAY MORNING at 8:00 a.m. Book #1 will be reserved for the first person in this line at eight. #2 to the second. And so forth. (With the exception listed above.) You can only buy ONE copy of the book in the low numbers per person waiting. (In other words, if you are there in line, you can't buy #1–10 by yourself. You have to have ten people if you want to do that.) If you need multiple copies but don't have multiple people, that's fine—we'll give you #1 and then some higher numbers. This restriction goes for anyone in the first hundred spots.

Here are some more details from the bookstore:

  • Numbered tickets will be given out on Monday, November 7th, beginning at 8:00 a.m.
  • Numbered tickets will be given out in the ORDER YOU ARRIVE TO WAIT IN LINE.
  • You may hold a place in line for NO MORE THAN ONE PERSON for NO MORE THAN ONE HOUR.
  • Each person in line will only receive ONE ticket for ONE numbered book. ONE numbered book per ONE numbered ticket per person.
  • The number on your ticket will be written on the back of your hand with a permanent marker.
  • You will be asked to prepay for your book to receive a numbered ticket. If you have already prepaid, bring your receipt or confirmation number to claim your number, but that doesn't affect which number you receive. Please check in at the guest table to make sure your paperwork is in order for the book distribution.
  • Once you have paid for your book and received your numbered ticket, you are free to leave until right before 11:30 p.m., BUT:
  • The northwest entrance of the BYU Bookstore will be opened at 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. (exact time is yet to be determined) when the Alloy of Law of Midnight Release Party will begin.
  • There may be games, a drawing for prizes, and treats!
  • Beginning at 11:30 p.m., fans will be asked to line up, in order, according the numbered ticket that they received.
  • If you are not in your numbered location by 11:45 p.m. you will be asked to get in the back of the line. You will still need to present the numbered ticket to get the correct numbered book.
  • Once you have received your numbered book you are free to get into a separate line to have it personalized by Brandon.
  • Brandon will personalize up to three books per trip through the line. If you would like to have him personalize more than three, you are free to get back in line.

The bookstore has asked me to get there a bit early so I can be finished signing and numbering all the books by 9:00 or so. Once I am done, they will let everyone in and we'll have a meet & greet where you can talk to me, ask me your burning questions, take pictures, etc. (The idea is that this will help the personalization line move more quickly after midnight.) There will also be things like trivia contests going on during this time.

Around 10:30 I will do a reading and/or a general Q&A, and at around 11:15 there may be a prize drawing. (At least judging by last year. I'm not totally sure what they have planned this year.) Then at 11:30 they want everyone to line up again in preparation for midnight, as explained above.

I will personalize as long as I can. The past couple of years' events have finished up by 3:00 a.m. Since all of the books will be pre-signed and numbered, everyone will get a numbered edition if they come. However, since I'm local, you can always just come, pick up a book, and leave—then get it personalized at some other signing when things aren't so crazy. This will probably be a busy event, but it should be very easy to just come, get a pre-signed/numbered book, then buy it and take off without waiting in line after midnight.

Now, here's the important part. It's hard for stores to judge how many copies to order for this sort of event, and I'm worried that BYU might not order enough. THEY MIGHT RUN OUT. Therefore, they are letting you preorder to be assured you get a book. If you don't preorder, it's first come first served. If a lot of people preorder, they will get in more books to make sure everyone who ordered early is covered.

So, for this event, I strongly encourage you to call and buy your book ahead of time. It will save you money and will make things easier for us. Let me say one more time, however, that you do not get your number based on when you preorder. You get it based on when you arrive in line, starting at 8:00 a.m. Preordering just guarantees that you get a copy, not that you get a low number. Still—please, please preorder soon so they can be sure to have enough books for the event.

BYU Bookstore, Provo, UT
12:00 a.m. November 8th (Monday night/Tuesday morning) (book released)
~9:00 p.m. November 7th (doors open)
8:00 a.m. November 7th (numbers distributed)
Preorder by calling (800) 253-2578. You'll need to bring your receipt or confirmation number to the midnight release and stand in line with everyone else.


I realize that not everyone can make it to one of these events. It's unfair if you live in Germany but want a numbered copy. Therefore, I've started doing virtual booksignings with Sam Weller's—a wonderful independent bookseller in Salt Lake City that has been a supporter of my books since I was a nobody—alongside the standard signings I do there.

I will be going in to Sam Weller's after the middle of October to sign, number, and personalize 500 copies. Sam Weller's will then ship them out; they will try to time the shipping so the book arrives at your door on the 8th. However, they're not allowed to deliver before that date, so they can't cut things too close and some books may arrive after the 8th. If that's the case, though, they'll try to keep the delay as short as possible. International orders will be shipped first, since those have the longest transit time. THE ALLOY OF LAW isn't as thick as last year's books, so that keeps the shipping price lower. The book itself will also be discounted to $19.99. Shipping will be $5.50 in-country, $12 to Mexico and Canada, and $13.75 to other international destinations. (Note that Sam Weller's cannot track packages internationally. They've tried.) If your order is shipped inside Utah, or if you pick it up in the store, there will also be sales tax.

SPECIAL NOTE ABOUT MULTIPLE BOOKS: When the book is released, Sam Weller's will be in the middle of moving to a new location. So for this year, they need to keep things as simple as possible. That means that they won't ship out any signed book other than THE ALLOY OF LAW, and you can get a maximum of three copies. (If you want another signed book of mine, you can always use my store.)

When you call Sam Weller's, please be certain to tell them (even if they don't ask) specifically how you want the book personalized. If you don't tell them specifically, they will have it signed but not personalized. Simply telling them your name is not enough. You have to tell them "I want it personalized to John" (for example). If you don't want it personalized, tell them "Signature Only" just in case.

Sam Weller's Bookstore
Order by phone or by email:
Phone: (801) 328-2586 or (800) 333-7269
Preorder deadline: October 14th
Note: You may pay by credit card (over the phone) or PayPal (via email) only.

Thank you all for reading, and I hope to sign a book for you at one of the tour events. Let me apologize in advance for how sloppy my signature is, though.

Monday, August 15, 2011

MYTHWALKER Prologue + Updates

This week's Writing Excuses podcast episode covers making descriptions serve multiple purposes. This helps keep your descriptive passages from being dry, among other things. Give it a listen.

I haven't mentioned it here yet, but put up chapter five of my new Mistborn book, THE ALLOY OF LAW. There will be one more preview chapter after this; I think it will go up before the end of the month. Then there's a bit of a gap before the book comes out in November, but has other surprises planned.

The WARBREAKER annotations are finished, and the only annotations I have written now are for THE ALLOY OF LAW. I hardly think you would appreciate me putting those annotations up before the book is even out. In a perfect world I would put up annotations for THE WAY OF KINGS, but I didn't write any. I usually write annotations for a novel while going through its copyedit, but last year I was so busy writing TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT that I had my assistant Peter Ahlstrom handle the copyedit for THE WAY OF KINGS instead. And now I'm busy writing A MEMORY OF LIGHT. I may yet write annotations for THE WAY OF KINGS, possibly when I finish AMoL and am gearing up to write the second Stormlight book, but that won't be until November or so.

So I need to start putting up a different kind of bonus content for a while, and that means dipping back into something I've already written. For now, that's MYTHWALKER, which in some ways is a very early version of WARBREAKER. I gave my thoughts on it back in the first chapter annotation for WARBREAKER:

Back around the year 2000 or 2001 I started writing a book called Mythwalker. It was an epic fantasy novel, an attempt to go back to basics in the genre. I'd tried several genre-busting epics (one of which was Elantris) that focused on heroes who weren't quite the standards of the genre. I avoided peasant boys, questing knights, or mysterious wizards. Instead I wrote books about a man thrown into a leper colony, or an evil missionary, or things like that.

I didn't sell any of those books. (At least, not at first.) I was feeling discouraged, so I decided to write a book about a more standard fantasy character. A peasant boy who couldn't do anything right, and who got caught up in something larger than himself and inherited an extremely powerful magic.

It was boring.

I just couldn't write it. I ended up stopping about halfway through—it's the only book of mine that I never finished writing. It sits on my hard drive, not even spellchecked, I think, half finished like a skyscraper whose builder ran out of funds.

One of the great things about Mythwalker, however, was one of the subplots—about a pair of cousins named Siri and Vivenna. They switched places because of a mix-up, and the wrong one ended up marrying the emperor.

My alpha readers really connected with this storyline. After I abandoned the project, I thought about what was successful about that aspect of the novel. In the end, I decided it was just the characters. They worked. This is odd because, in a way, they were archetypes themselves.

The story of the two princesses, along with the peasant/royalty swap, is an age-old fairy tale archetype. This is where I'd drawn the inspiration from for these two cousins. One wasn't trained in the way of the nobility; she was a distant cousin and poor by comparison. The other was heir to her house and very important. I guess the idea of forcing them to switch places struck some very distinct chords in my readers.

Eventually, I decided that I wanted to tell their story, and they became the focus of a budding book in my mind. I made them sisters and got rid of the "accidental switch" plotline. (Originally, one had been sent by mistake, but they looked enough alike that nobody noticed. Siri kept quiet about it for reasons I can't quite remember.) I took a few steps away from the fairy tale origins, but tried to preserve the aspects of their characters and identities that had worked so well with readers.

I'm not sure why using one archetype worked and the other didn't. Maybe it was because the peasant boy story is so overtold in fantasy, and I just didn't feel I could bring anything new to it. (At least not in that novel.) The two princesses concept isn't used nearly as often. Or maybe it was just that with Siri and Vivenna I did what you're supposed to—no matter what your inspiration, if you make the characters live and breathe, they will come alive on the page for the reader. Harry Potter is a very basic fantasy archetype—even a cliché—but those books are wonderful.

You have to do new things. I think that fantasy needs a lot more originality. However, not every aspect of the story needs to be completely new. Blend the familiar and the strange—the new and the archetypal. Sometimes it's best to rely on the work that has come before. Sometimes you need to cast it aside.

I guess one of the big tricks to becoming a published author is learning when to do which.

(If that sort of authorial analysis interests you, be sure to read the rest of the annotations. I also annotated ELANTRIS and the Mistborn trilogy. Check them out.)

At this point I'm still too busy finishing up the Wheel of Time to comment much on these chapters, so my assistant will fill in when he feels there is something to say. He has a few comments at the end of the MYTHWALKER prologue that went up today.

But as I said, the book is boring. I know it's possible to pull off writing yet another book about a peasant boy coming of age, but it didn't work for me. I wish I had something better to put up for you than a bad book like this, but this is what I've got. The good books that I want you to read are MISTBORN and WARBREAKER. But I still put up WARBREAKER's draft chapters for you to see, warts and all. I think looking at the early seeds of an idea and comparing them to the eventual successful novel can be valuable to the aspiring writer. Please don't read MYTHWALKER expecting it to be any good. If you read it at all, do it to see the origins of the much better novels that I eventually wrote.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Worldcon Schedule

Next week I'll be at Renovation, the 69th World Science Fiction Convention, in Reno. My schedule is below, with a few comments from me interspersed. Worldcon is a great place to meet industry pros, so I'm looking forward to seeing many of you there. Highlights for me this year include the live Writing Excuses recording and the Girl Genius Ball on Thursday and the Hugo Awards ceremony on Saturday.


Wed 1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., A01+6 (RSCC)
Panel: Tourists: Creating Characters and Stories in an Existing World
Paul Cornell (m), A. C. Crispin, Brandon Sanderson, Dean Wesley Smith, Melinda M. Snodgrass
Writers discuss working within the confines of an already existing world. They’ll discuss how they create something unique and original within the space of something already established and loved. What are the issues at work in that situation? What freedoms exist there that don’t exist when creating a completely original work?


11:00 a.m.–12:00 noon, A03 (RSCC)
Reading: Brandon Sanderson

3:00 p.m–4:00 p.m., A09 (RSCC)
Panel: Creating Gods
Brenda W. Clough, Brandon Sanderson (m), Carrie Vaughn
How does an author introduce superbeings into a work without pushing the human characters into insignificance? Gods are often gigantic projections of human characteristics. Can they serve other functions as well? Why are polytheistic settings so common in fantasy? What sources are authors using, and why? Why do readers find them so compelling?

5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m., D05 (RSCC)
Writing Excuses Podcast
Mary Robinette Kowal, Jordan Sanderson, Brandon Sanderson, Howard Tayler, Dan Wells
The Hugo-nominated crew from Writing Excuses will record one of their podcasts—a series of interviews with well-known writers.

Recorded in front of a live audience, with guests such as Seanan McGuire/Mira Grant and Patrick Rothfuss.

8:00 p.m.–1:00 a.m., C03 (RSCC)
Girl Genius Ball
Kaja Foglio, Phil Foglio, James Myers (m), Cathleen Myers (m)
A Grand Ball Hosted by Phil & Kaja Foglio, featuring Victorian Steampunk & Gaslamp Fantasy Dancing in the European Style. Music by one of the top Celtic fusion bands, Avalon Rising. Victorian, Victorian Steampunk, or modern evening dress is admired, but not required. Mad Scientists, Minions, Clanks, Constructs and Innocent Villagers are all welcome, as are visitors from other Dimensions and Realities. Neither dance experience nor partners are required. All set dances will be taught and called, and frequent partner changing is encouraged in the spirit of true scientific inquiry.

Pemberly and I plan to attend in costume; I'll be an Elendel Allomancer. My assistant Peter and his wife will also be there, and Peter will be dressed as Allomancer Jak from the Elendel Daily broadsheet. (By the way, Peter will also be on two panels himself; you can see any program participant's schedule here.)


11:00 a.m.–12:00 noon, A16 (RSCC)
Panel: Lighting the Fire for Reading
David-Glenn Anderson, James Bacon, John DeChancie, Ellen Klages, Brandon Sanderson (m)
How do you get your kid/young relative/neighbor to read? Why not an SF/F book? What about comics and graphic novels? Where do you start? Start with your own kids—read to them! Authors, editors, and educators discuss genre books to give to the next generation.

2:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m., Hall 2 Autographs (RSCC)
Autographing: Brandon Sanderson

5:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m., D03 (RSCC)
Panel: Post-Modern Fantasy, Epic and Otherwise
N. K. Jemisin, William Lexner, Nick Mamatas, Peadar Ó Guilín (m), Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks
There’s been considerable discussion of Fantasy, Fantastika, and Post-Modernism. What is this about, and why is it interesting for those who read, review, or critique present day fantasy?


12:00 noon–1:00 p.m., KK1 (RSCC)
Kaffeeklatsch with Brandon Sanderson.

This will be a small group of 9 people sitting around talking with me; signing up ahead of time is required. You can sign up at the Information desk on Friday from 2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., but you may want to line up a little earlier than that. If you've had an opportunity like this before or see me regularly, please give someone else a chance! Drinks will not be provided this year (but you can bring your own).

Also, if you're a writer looking to break in, kaffeeklatsches or literary beers with editors are extremely valuable, so consider signing up for those. Don't ever try to pitch anything at a kaffeeklatsch unless the editor asks you to, but just let them talk about what they love. Later on you can mention it in a cover letter: "When you mentioned _____ at the kaffeeklatsch in Reno, that made me think my novel would be right up your alley."

8:00 p.m.–10:00 p.m., Tuscany Ballroom (Peppermill)
Hugo Awards Ceremony
The Hugo Awards, nominated and voted for by your fellow Worldcon members, are presented for excellence in SF and fantasy for 2010. Masters of Ceremonies Jay Lake and Ken Scholes will introduce the presenters: our Guests of Honor and previous Hugo Award winners (Robert Silverberg, George R.R. Martin, Nancy Kress, Stu Shiffman, and others). The ceremony will also include the Big Heart Award, and a video highlighting Japanese Fandom including the Seiun Awards for the best SF published in Japan.


1:00 p.m.–2:00 p.m., A01+6 (RSCC)
Panel: Twenty Years of the Wheel of Time
William Lexner, Jennifer Liang (m), Brandon Sanderson, Linda Taglieri
The Wheel of Time series is perhaps the most influential epic fantasy after Tolkien. The panel looks back at the series and its importance to the genre.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Final WARBREAKER Annotation + Updates

On this week's Writing Excuses podcast episode, Mary, Dan, Howard, and I talk about Orson Scott Card's M.I.C.E. Quotient. That stands for Milieu, Idea, Character, and Event, and it is a valuable tool for improving your writing.

The final WARBREAKER annotation is up. Next week my assistant Peter will start putting up draft chapters of MYTHWALKER, the unfinished book that I lifted Siri and Vivenna from, among other things. These will go in the deleted scenes section of the library filed under Warbreaker. I need to warn you though that the book is really bad. I abandoned it with good reason. But sharing it with you is in line with my philosophy on the whole WARBREAKER experiment, as I explain it here. All the old drafts are still available here, so you can see how things progress from clunky, malformed initial idea to polished final execution and one of Library Journal's five best science fiction and fantasy novels of 2009.

There's also a new collection of Twitter posts up.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

Signing tonight in West Jordan with Peter Orullian

Just a quick reminder that I'll be signing in West Jordan tonight. I'm going to be driving back from Idaho, so if I end up a tiny bit late that will be why. But I shouldn't be late. I'll try to bring some of the Elendel Daily broadsheets to give out, and maybe two or three THE ALLOY OF LAW advance reading copies. (Whether this happens depends on logistical concerns, since I don't have them with me here in Idaho.)

Peter Orullian, author of The Unremembered, will also be signing at the same time. So if you want to get signed books from two different epic fantasy writers, this is a good opportunity.

If you haven't heard about this signing before, you probably haven't been watching my events calendar. Also make sure to drop me a note mentioning the city where you live if you want me to send you email reminders of signings near you.

Date: 08.04.11 Time: 7:00 p.m.–9:00 p.m.
Place: Barnes & Noble Booksellers – Jordan Landing
Address: 7157 Plaza Center Drive
West Jordan, UT 84084
Phone: (801) 282-1324
Type: Signing

Monday, August 01, 2011

Mistborn Adventure Game preorders + Updates

Today's WARBREAKER annotation covers the epilogue. There's just one annotation left, folks. The WARBREAKER html version is also now completely uploaded.

This week's Writing Excuses podcast has another of our microcasting episodes. Mary, Howard, Dan, and I fielded questions from people on Twitter and answered them briefly. We discussed the following topics:

  • How do you hold the whole story in your head when it's a thousand pages long?
  • What steps do you use when creating a character?
  • As an outliner, when do you start putting in the details?
  • How do you patch plot holes?
  • How do you come up with names?
  • Is there one writing skill you'd like to get better at?
  • Writing groups: what do you look for?

In other news, Ta'veren Tees, the officially licensed Wheel of Time T-shirt company, is giving away a free T-shirt every Friday during August. Just hit "like" on their Facebook page and then watch their wall on Fridays to see if you are a winner.

I also did an interview with SciFi Bulgaria. If you read Bulgarian, check it out.

Now for the big announcement. Crafty Games' Mistborn Adventure Game tabletop RPG's cover art has been revealed, and they're running a preorder special from August 4th through 7th. The RPG comes out in November, but you can preview it at Gen Con this weekend if you're lucky enough to be attending. The book's many illustrations, including the cover, come from artist Ben McSweeney, who also provided illustrations for THE WAY OF KINGS and THE ALLOY OF LAW.

The book also includes the Kelsier short story that I mentioned back during the Mistborn 2 annotations. Some readers have been clamoring for this for years, so if you want to find out about Kelsier's training with his master Gemmel, pick up the RPG.