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Weblog for Writer Brandon Sanderson
Hey, all! I need to make you aware of a time change to one of my events on the upcoming Shadows of Self tour. Soon after announcing the schedule, I had a reader mention to me that they were sad to have to choose between me and Jim Butcher, who was apparently going to be signing in Denver the same day. (And not too far from my own event.)

The reader wasn’t complaining to get me to change; they were simply lamenting their wealth of options, so to speak. However, I still felt bad. Jim had his event scheduled first, and we (unwittingly) then dropped something down by way of competition. I’m a big fan of Jim’s writing, and I think what we did was unfair to the many readers who enjoy books from us both. Though the realities of publishing mean we won’t always be able to do something about conflicts like this, I was able to persuade the publisher and bookstore to allow me to move the time of my signing.

So, my signing in Denver (which was scheduled for 7:00 on the 6th of October) has been moved to 6:00 p.m. on the same day. I will try to arrive a half hour early (at 5:30) and quickly sign the books of those who were planning to attend both signings. I’ll do my presentation/reading from 6:00 to 6:45, giving enough time (hopefully) for those who want to attend both signings to slip out and still get to Jim’s reading.

Thanks! And sorry if this inconveniences anyone. I will still be at my signing past 7:00, so if you can’t make it until then, I will sign your books. (Most of my signings go three or four hours, depending on the location and the day, so it’s a safe bet I’ll be at the bookstore until 9:00. But no promises, so if you’re going to be very late, please call the bookstore and get an update on how late I’ll be staying.)

Best,

Brandon

p.s. You should all go read Jim's new book, The Aeronaut's Windlass.

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The previous Writing Excuses episode on pacing covered the sense of progress. In this week's episode, Q & A on Pacing, we wrap up this month’s discussion of pacing. Here are the questions we received from Twitter for answering during the episode:


  • What are some early indications of a pacing problem?

  • How do you chart pacing so that it remains even?

  • Can you control pacing using scene/sequel format?

  • How do you handle character progression during travel without making it choppy?

  • It feels like new authors are required to deliver breakneck pacing. Is this true?



Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Adolin is repeatedly disturbed by people and events which are beyond his power to affect; it’s a rough evening for our boy. This week, in Chapter 49, he takes over another of Dalinar’s roles as he goes out to meet with Eshonai about the Parshendi proposal.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for August.

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My Cosmere novella Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell is on sale at 99¢ in the US on Kindle and a few other ebook vendors, for the rest of August. (And several people have been asking about audiobooks for this and for Perfect State. Those aren't available yet, but they are in the works.)

I will be leaving for Worldcon in Spokane in a couple of hours, and I hope to see many of you there this weekend. You can see my full schedule at the bottom of this post, or in case some things need updating, you can find the full details on the Upcoming Events page on my website. I will also bring this year's con exclusive hardcover, which is the Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell/Perfect State double.

I sent some signed copies of the new hardcover printings of Legion and Legion: Skin Deep to the Mississippi Book Festival which is this Saturday, August 22 from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You can find the books at the Basement Books booth. You can also find them on my store.

In this week's Writing Excuses episode, Combat, with Marie Brennan, we discuss writing combat. Marie Brennan has studied fencing, combat choreography, and is *this close* to having a black bet in Shotokan Karate, and we are lucky enough to have her sit down and share her invaluable perspective with all of us. She's also written the book Writing Fight Scenes, so she knows how to talk about this stuff.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for August.

Sasquan, the 73rd World Science Fiction Convention



Thursday 14:00–14:45, Spokane Falls Suite A/B (Doubletree)

Reading
Brandon Sanderson

Thursday 17:00–17:45, 401C (CC)

31 Flavors of Fantasy Devoured by Kids and Teens
Fantasy has become a catch all category for all of the subgenres featuring "fantastic" elements from action adventure to urban and epic fantasy, romantic fantasy, and more! How many subgeneres are out there and what elements help to define them? Does the reader's age affect the growth or definition of a subgenre? Join our panel of young adult and middle grade authors for a lively discussion that gives you a little taste of each subgenre as they share some of their favorite works across the fantastic spectrum that help to define the various subgenres.
James Van Pelt, Alma Alexander, Cassandra Rose Clarke, Esther Jones, Brandon Sanderson

Friday 11:00–12:15, 300C (CC)

Writing Excuses Recording
Sit in on a recording of the popular podcast Writing Excuses, with special guests selected from Worldcon attendees.
Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells and Howard Tayler

Friday 15:00–15:45, 202A-KK2 (CC)

Kaffee Klatche – Brandon Sanderson
Join a panelist and up to 9 other fans for a small discussion. Coffee and snacks available for sale on the 2nd floor.
Requires advance signup. ALL SLOTS CURRENTLY FILLED.

Friday 21:00–03:00, Grand Ballroom: Salon IV (Doubletree)

SpoCon Presents: Magic the Gathering Tournament with Brandon Sanderson
Brandon loves playing Magic the Gathering. Brandon enjoys it so much that when he travels, he often puts out the word that he's up for a game. Now Brandon is here for Sasquan, and he's not just putting out the word, he's offered us a tournament. So, come out and play in a MtG tournament with Brandon Sanderson! Did somebody say prizes? Why yes we did! Per Brandon, this will be a "Booster Draft." Seats are limited to 15 players, and please note that there will be an additional $25 fee to participate in this event. ALL SLOTS CURRENTLY FILLED.

Saturday 14:00–14:45, Exhibit Hall B (CC)

Autographing
Mark J. Ferrari, Mark Oshiro, Jessica Rising, Brandon Sanderson, J. Neil Schulman

Sunday 13:00–13:45, Grand Ballroom: Salon IV (Doubletree)

SpoCon Presents: The Great Debate
Author L. E. Modesitt will moderate this Great Debate between a cast of colorful characters; and you, the audience, will determine which of our candidates will reign supreme. You can be assured that every vote will count in this hilarious battle of circumlocution and doublespeak, so join us as our candidates dazzle you with their political impotence and stupefy you with feats of circular logic. You will laugh. You will cry. You will sit and stare in bewilderment. And, in the end, you will decide.
L. E. Modesitt Jr., Patricia Briggs, James C. Glass, Brandon Sanderson

Sunday 14:00–14:45, 300D (CC)

The Long View – Writing the Multi-volume Series
First there was the novel. Then the trilogy. But some stories go way, way beyond two or three books. Writers working on lengthy series talk about the advantages and disadvantages of world-building, history-building and character development across decades of writing and many volumes of books.
Kevin J. Anderson, Scott Lynch, Brandon Sanderson, Eric Flint

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For the Shadows of Self release on October 6th, I'll be touring several cities in the US. You can see my tour stops on Tor.com, and full details (such as bookstore ticketing policies) will be posted on my events page as they come in. (And you can also see on that page my UK stops as currently announced.)

The previous Writing Excuses episode on pacing covered the sense of progress. This week's episode, How do I Control the Speed of the Story, talks about the passage of time. We discuss the tools we use, some of which are very mechanical (scene breaks, chapter breaks), and some of which are quite intricate and require finesse to get right.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, we got to go back in time to see a young Shallan enjoy an afternoon with the two brothers she was able to help, and redeeming the one she couldn't. This week, in Chapter 49, we get to see Shallan and Adolin go on their first real date and chat about poop.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for August.

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This month the Writing Excuses Master Class divides the concept of pacing into two parts: the sense of progress within the story, and the sense of the passage of time. In this week's episode, How Do I Control the Reader’s Sense of Progress?, we tackle that first part, and discuss how we communicate progress to the readers.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Shallan pored over maps and practiced her Lightweaving on the way to meet with her dazzling betrothed. This week, in Chapter 48, we jump back in time to see the effects of her Middlefest interventions . . . and the lack thereof.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for July.

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Steelheart has been nominated for another regional award, the 2016 Pacific Northwest Library Association Young Readers’ Choice Award, the oldest children's choice award in the U.S. and Canada. It was established in 1940 by Seattle bookseller Harry Hartman, who believed every student should have an opportunity to select a book that gives him or her pleasure.

News organizations are reporting that Carter Blanchard (of the new Independence Day and Glimmer) has been tapped by Fox as the screenwriter for the Steelheart movie adaptation currently under development for Shawn Levy's 21 Laps. (Shawn Levy is the director/producer of Real Steel and Night at the Museum.)

In this week’s Writing Excuses episode, Q&A on Middles, with Marie Brennan, Marie joins us again to help us field your questions about middles. Here are your questions that we collected from social media:

  • How do you maintain interest without having something explode every other chapter?

  • In short fiction, how do you prevent try-fail cycles from bloating the story?

  • How do you prevent the introduction of POVs during the middle of the story from being jarring?

  • How do you keep subplots from turning into side quests?

  • In longer stories, how important are “breather” chapters that ease the tension?

  • Do you have methods for weaving plot and subplot threads together? Do you outline this, or keep it in your head?


Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Kaladin went out for drinks with the guys and met some decidedly problematic patriots. This week, in Chapter 47, Shallan continues her researches into Urithiru and Lightweaving, with dubious help from Pattern.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for July.

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As I tweeted about a couple of weeks ago, io9.com revealed the cover for Calamity. They also posted the prologue and first two chapters for you to sink your teeth into.

We have some more fantastic news about Steelheart: it received another nomination for a state book award. This time it's the Green Mountain Book Award, a readers' choice award for students in grades 9–12 in Vermont.

In this week's Writing Excuses episode, Why Should My Characters Fail Spectacularly, we talk about why character failure helps make the middle of your story work and provide some tips about how to use it effectively.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, we enjoyed Middlefest with Shallan, her family, and a certain someone. This week, in Chapter 46, we return to the bridgemen, and witness some of Kaladin’s turmoil as he attempts to make sense of his duties and desires.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for July.

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In case you missed my tweets about it, Tor.com has put up a few excerpts from Shadows of Self, which will be released in October. You can read the prologue, chapter one, and chapter two here.

At Comic-Con this past weekend, Joel Cunningham of Barnes & Noble interviewed me about this book and its sequel. Watch it here.

The last Writing Excuses episode in June was a Q&A on scenes and description Here are some of the questions:


  • How do you “Show, don’t tell” a character’s thoughts?

  • How do you describe a character’s appearance when they’re in their own POV?

  • What’s the difference between scene and setting?

  • How does your writing environment affect the scene you’re writing?

  • Can an evocative fantasy setting be described effectively in a short story?



In chapter 44 of Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Kaladin and some of his men began Shardblade training. Chapter 45 goes back in time to a festival in Jah Keved, attended by the Davar family.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter archive for June.

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Over the last few months I've mentioned various awards that some of my books have been up for or won. Here's some more news and a few award photos for you.

It's been a particularly exciting time for Steelheart as it has been nominated (along with The Rithmatist) for the 2016 Oklahoma Sequoya Award (one of the oldest book awards in the country) as well as the 2015–2016 South Carolina Young Adult Book Awards. It has also won the 2015 Kentucky Bluegrass Award (6–8 grade category), which is a statewide student choice award, and has been named an honor book in the Georgia Peach Book Award for Teen Readers. (Pictured below.)

Georgia Peach, Steelheart

Thanks to the community at reddit (/r/fantasy) who voted and selected Words of Radiance as the Best Novel of 2014 and made it so I get to hang this awesome dagger on my wall!

Stabby

I posted a few weeks back about Words of Radiance winning the 2015 Audie from the Audio Publishers Association. Michael Kramer and Kate Reading did such a phenomenal job bringing this story to life. I'm honored to have their voices lent to the Stormlight Archive.

2015 Audie for Words of Radiance

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I’m at Comic-Con today and tomorrow doing a couple of signings and panels. Hope to see a number of you there! For future events, keep an eye on my events page.

San Diego Comic-Con International 2015

Date: Fri, Jul 10, 2015 – Sat, Jul 11, 2015
Address: San Diego Convention Center
111 W Harbor Dr
San Diego, CA 92101

Notes:
Grab a Calamity chapter sampler at the Random House booth #1515 and a Shadows of Self bookmark at the Tor booth #2707.

Schedule:

Friday, July 10th

2pm Signing with Brandon Sanderson ­ at the Tor Booth (#2707)
In-booth sales by Mysterious Galaxy

Saturday, July 11th

12–1pm Family Feud: Sci-Fi vs. Fantasy, Room 7AB
Calling all Nerds! Since the dawn of time we have argued and contemplated crucial matters: What’s cooler? Who would win in a fight? Who would lose? Star Trek or Star Wars? Ironman or Captain America? Now, in an open forum, join us as other diehard Nerds and geek experts prove their mettle by squaring off into furious debates about the hottest topics in geek culture.
Brandon Sanderson (The Stormlight Archive series), Patrick Rothfuss (the Kingkiller Chronicle series), Ernie Cline (Armada), Naomi Novik (Uprooted), Chuck Wending (Zer0es), Leigh Bardugo (The Grisha Trilogy), and Austin Grossman (Crooked)

1:30–2:30pm Signing in the autographing area, Table AA09

4–5pm Epic Fantasy, Room 29AB
Learn about fantasy literature and book-to-movie adaptations from New York Times bestselling authors Heather Brewer, Jonathan Maberry, Kami Garcia, Brandon Sanderson, and Maggie Stiefvater. Moderated by Henry Herz.

5:45–6:45pm Signing in the autographing area, Table AA09
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