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Weblog for Writer Brandon Sanderson
It's time to talk novellas. I commonly do one or two of these a year (this year, I did Mistborn:Secret History and the Stormlight novella Edgedancer, coming out in November in Arcanum Unbounded: The Cosmere Collection). These shorts are ways for me to explore cool or intriguing ideas in a briefer form, so that my attention isn't drawn too far away from my main projects.

For next year, I only have one novella scheduled right now: a science fiction detective thriller called Snapshot. I wrote it during my trip to Dubai this year, and I'm quite pleased with it. I think you'll all enjoy it quite a bit.

Normally when it comes to one of my novellas, I just release it and then start promotion. With this one, however, some of my professional colleagues (including the bookseller who long ago organized my first real signing) are starting a specialty press, and so we wanted to announce this one early to give a little momentum to their company. Therefore, Snapshot is up for preorder at Vault Books right now. (Exciting!) It releases February 2017.

I do want to warn you, however, that their edition is the expensive, leatherbound collector's edition we sometimes do for these books. If the price tag makes your eyes bulge, realize that there will be a simultaneous cheap ebook (which will also be included for everyone who buys the limited edition), and then later in 2017 we will have a non-limited-edition hardcover on my webstore along the lines of the Shadows for Silence/Perfect State double. (We might publish Snapshot alongside Dreamer, the horror story I did for a Charlaine Harris anthology.)

As always, thanks for reading!

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Tomorrow (Wednesday) is the final day to back the Mistborn: House War board game Kickstarter campaign. All stretch goals have been unlocked, including an expansion covering the time period of The Well of Ascension called Mistborn: The Siege of Luthadel, which is now available as a $30 add-on.

The fifth installment of the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, "The Box," is now live! If you missed last week's episode, "World Building," you can catch up on all the videos here. Enjoy!


In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, Elemental Thriller as a Subgenre, we look at the thriller element as part of a story whose principal driver is one of the other elemental genres. We consider some examples of blended-with-thrill stories, and then drill down a bit into how we can incorporate this in our own work.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, our friends began to cope with a changed world in the aftermath of the great clash. This week, in Chapter 88, secrets come creeping out: the Ghostbloods, the Sons of Honor, the Skybreakers, and Shallan’s past.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for July.
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The fourth installment of the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, "World Building," is now live! If you missed last week's episode, "The Illusionist Writer," you can catch up on all the videos here. Enjoy!


In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, Impostor Syndrome, with Alyssa Wong, the Campbell Award nominee and Nebula Award winner joins us. Impostor Syndrome is the frame of mind that many successful writers suffer from, in which they worry that they’re not really good enough at writing to be enjoying their success. Worse, this mindset can prevent us from continuing to create. Many of us suffer from this, and we have some strategies to cope with it.

Update on the Mistborn: House War board game Kickstarter campaign: It's now at 632% funded, and is working on the final listed stretch goal. Though I hear they have something up their sleeve for another stretch goal after that.
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The third installment of the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, "The Illusionist Writer," is now live! If you missed last week's episode, "Cook vs. Chef," you can catch up on all the videos here. Enjoy!


In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, The Elemental Thriller, we discuss the difference between the drivers in thrillers, horror stories, and mysteries, and use the elemental genre tools to assist in the differentiation. We also cover the tools we use to develop and maintain the tension that is so critical in a thriller.

Update on the Mistborn: House War board game Kickstarter campaign: It's now at 530% funded, and is working on the 12th stretch goal.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Shallan evacuated the armies while Kaladin battled. This week, in Chapter 87, in the aftermath, they face rearrangement of the world as they knew it.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for June.
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Many of you have been asking for details about the release of White Sand. For those who don’t know, this is a book I wrote around the same time as Elantris—but which I didn’t ever sell. It needed a solid revision before I could send it out, and there were so many things I had to work on that the revision kept getting delayed. When the comic book company Dynamite Entertainment came along a few years ago asking if I had anything that would make a good graphic novel, it seemed the perfect opportunity to make use of White Sand.

Dynamite has been excellent to work with. Rik Hoskin, the person hired to do the adaptation, is a fantastic writer—and he really managed to preserve the core of my story, using my own dialogue and descriptions, while cutting out all the unnecessary stuff. The artist Julius Gopez, the colorist Ross Campbell, the letterer Marshall Dillon, and the editor, Rich Young, have all done a wonderful job.

The novel is big (no surprise), so it’s going to be released in three volumes. The first of these comes out today!

I’ll be doing two release events for volume 1 of White Sand. See below, or the upcoming events page on my website. All copies of White Sand will be signed and numbered at both of these events.

White Sand Release and Signings

Tuesday, June 28th

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Address: Barnes & Noble Jordan Landing
7157 Plaza Center Drive
West Jordan, UT 84084
Phone: (801) 282.1324

Wednesday, June 29th

Time: 7:00-9:00 p.m.
Address: Dragon's Keep
48 West 300 North
Orem, UT 84606
Phone: (801) 225.7623
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Several years back, grad student Scott Ashton asked me if he could record my BYU lectures and post them for an online curriculum as part of a project he was doing. I said yes, and it was never supposed to be “a thing,” not really. It was a student doing a project, and using my lectures as a way to explore online education.

Well, since that time, those lectures (which are collected at Scott’s site, which he called Write About Dragons) have been viewed tens of thousands of times, and become one of the big hallmarks of my web presence, at least as far as writing education goes. I’ve been blown away by the reception to them. At the same time, I’ve been keenly aware that the recording was subpar. This isn’t Scott’s fault—he actually did an excellent job, considering his background. But the lectures are at times difficult to hear, and the filming was handled on a single amateur camera.

For years, I’ve been wanting to do something better. And this year I had my chance. My good friend Earl is a semiprofessional filmmaker, and was looking for a new project. I pitched a better-recorded set of lectures, filmed this year in my class, and he jumped at the idea.

I’m extremely pleased with how these turned out. I think the lectures have evolved over time in ways you’ll find useful, and the filming is top-notch. (No promises about the jokes though.) We’ll be releasing these at a pace of around one a week, and it is my hope for them to replace the previous series as the “canonical” version of my writing lectures online.

So, it is with great pleasure that I give you the 2016 Sanderson Lectures, with thanks to Earl Cahill and his assistants for their camera work and editing. (Earl’s company, Camera Panda, gets a shout-out as well.)

I hope you find them useful!


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If you were unable to get your hands on a signed and numbered copy of The Bands of Mourning, now is your chance! </a> Weller Book Works has announced that they have some available to purchase, and they ship worldwide. Click here to see more details and order your copy. They also have a few copies of The Stormlight Archive Pocket Companion available for free—all you have to pay for is shipping. For more information on the pocket companion, email books@wellerbookworks.com.

Also, Audible just released their "Best of the Year (so far!)" list, and The Bands of Mourning is included in the Sci-Fi & Fantasy category. Check out The Bands of Mourning and all the other customer favorites and editor picks.

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Stakes!, we talk a lot about “raising the stakes” in our writing. When we say “stakes,” we’re referring to the things that keep our characters involved in the conflict, rather than just walking away and doing something else. We dig into what this really means, and how everyone in the story must be driven by things that they have at stake.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Shallan located a gate, Adolin made good use of a slain rock, and Kaladin struggled to stand between Elhokar and Moash. This week, in Chapter 84, Shallan begins to figure out the gate, Adolin proves his dueling prowess, and Kaladin stands.

My assistant Adam has updated the Twitter post archive for June.
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I will be at the Orem Barnes & Noble this Saturday, June 11th, for the first ever B-Fest. This is a national teen book festival that will take place in Barnes & Noble stores all over the country June 10th–12th. Hundreds of authors of teen books will be making appearances around the country, so check here to see what's happening at your local Barnes & Noble, or here for everything at the Orem store.

You can see my event schedule below or on the upcoming events page on my website. I hope to see many of you there!


Date: Saturday, June 11th
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Address: Barnes & Noble University Crossings
330 East 1300 South
Orem, UT 84058
Phone: (801) 229.1611

1:00 p.m.: Sabaa Tahir
4:00 p.m.: Brandon Sanderson
6:00 p.m.: Dan Wells

Wristbands will be handed out starting at 9:00 a.m. on June 11th to save your place in line!
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As I shared on Twitter and Facebook yesterday, one of my readers from Australia, David Fonti, for his visual effects class made a cool video of himself in Shardplate. Great work, David. I've embedded the video below.

As a quick reminder, today is the last day to get your copy of the Elantris ebook for $2.99. And now through June 16th, The Rithmatist ebook will be only $1.99. My Hugo Award-nominated novella Perfect State is also still priced at 99¢, worldwide!

In this week's new Writing Excuses episode, Examining Unconscious Biases,
mystery may well be the most common element in use, at least in some form or another, across the many bookshelf genres comprising fiction. We discuss the driving force of elemental mystery, how to evoke those feelings in the reader, and the importance of being able to write mystery effectively.

Last week, in Tor.com’s continuing reread posts for Words of Radiance, Navani’s fabrials aided in the battle for the Plains, while Kaladin made a difficult choice back in the warcamp. This week, in Chapter 83, Shallan searches for the Oathgate while the battle rages, and Kaladin stands firm.

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I'm heading to Phoenix today along with the entire Writing Excuses team to attend a massive bookstore signing (it’s free!) and for Phoenix Comicon (registration required). You can see my event schedule below or on the upcoming events page on my website. I hope you can make it to either event (or both!)


Date: Wednesday, June 1st
Time: 7:00 p.m.
Address: The Poisoned Pen
4014 N Goldwater Blvd
Scottsdale, AZ 85251
Phone: (480) 947.2974
Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, V.E. Schwab, Pierce Brown, Mary Robinette Kowal, Scott Sigler, Dan Wells, Beth Cato, Jason Hough, Django Wexler, Leanna Renee Hieber, Sam Sykes, Michael J. Sullivan, Adam Christopher, Michael Martinez, Ryan Dalton, Kevin Hearn, Brian McClellan, and Tom Leveen.

The Poisoned Pen says:

We are limiting the number of books that can be signed by Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss to three each per person. We will be issuing colored wristbands that will correspond to 45-minute units of time. We will begin issuing these at 6:00 p.m., and the first group will run from 7:00 to 7:45 and so on. We will be asking people to line up by the front door at the beginning of their group's time. They will have to line up outside if numbers are large, so we want them to be prepared. Wristbands will either be issued by the front counter or, if numbers are large, by staff members in front of the store. Wristbands are free, however we are requesting everyone to buy something at the store, though that is not required.

Phoenix Comicon

Dates: Thursday–Sunday, June 2nd–5th
Address: Phoenix Convention Center
100 N 3rd St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Phone: (602) 262-6225

Thursday, June 2nd

Booth Signing
4:00–5:00 p.m., Dragonsteel/Writing Excuses booth 1378
Brandon’s crew will have hardcover backstock, shirts, and other swag for sale, as well as convention exclusive posters of the new Elantris maps, released this weekend for the first time.

Friday, June 3rd

Writing Excuses Podcast
12:30–2:30 p.m., West 301A
Join Writing Excuses hosts Brandon Sanderson, Dan Wells, Mary Robinette Kowal, and Howard Taylor as they interview Greg Van Eekhout, Trina Phillips, and Victoria Scwab.

Building A Believable World: The Deets
3:00–4:00 p.m., North 129A
Building a believable world is more than just a good map: Discussing the finer points of constructing a believable universe.
Brandon Sanderson, Bradley Beaulieu, Dan Wells, Michael Martinez, Shannon Messenger, Victoria V.E. Schwab

Signing Lounge
4:30–5:30 p.m., 127AB Author Signings
Brandon Sanderson, Weston Ochse, Shannon Messenger, Michael Martinez, Michael Kogge, Jason Hough, Holly Jennings, Dan Wells, Bradley Beaulieu

Would You Lie To Me
Friday, June 3rd
6:00–7:00 p.m., North 128B
Authors lie for a living, but are they any good at knowing when they are being lied to? Hosted by Jason Hough, our two teams of authors will try to outwit each other and discern fact from fiction.
Beth Cato, Brandon Sanderson, Jason Hough, Mary Robinette Kowal, Sam Sykes, Scott Sigler, Victoria V.E. Schwab

Saturday, June 4th

Spotlight: Brandon Sanderson
12:00–1:00 p.m., North 129A
Join Brandon for a discussion of his projects past, present and future.

Glowy Swords: Magical MacGuffins
1:30–2:30 p.m., North 129A
The One Ring, Harry Potter's wand, Excalibur—epic fantasy is full of magical MacGuffins, but is this just a mere plot device or is there a deeper purpose?
Alyssa Wong, Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Sam Sykes, Victoria V.E. Schwab

3:00–4:00 p.m., North 127AB Author Signings
Brandon Sanderson, Alan Dean Foster, Becky Chambers, Dan Wells, Django Wexler, Howard Tayler, Kevin Hearne, Michael Kogge, Scott Sigler, Todd Lockwood

Booth Signing
4:30–7:00 p.m., Dragonsteel/Writing Excuses booth 1378
Brandon’s crew will have hardcover backstock, shirts, and other swag for sale, as well as convention exclusive posters of the new Elantris maps, released this weekend for the first time.
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