The Stillness, in all its glory

So, I still don’t like the idea of maps in fantasy novels in general. But I needed one as I wrote The Fifth Season, so after I scrawled something hideous in a Microsoft Word file and sent that to Orbit, and the collective screams of horror died down, they worked with artist Tim Paul to create something much better (click to embiggen): Yeah, OK, I could get to like maps a little now. Maybe. Seriously, Tim did an awesome job, especially considering he got a lot of vague guidance from me like, “I can’t remember if those pokey things are …

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It’s a(nother) book!

So strange and amazing to be here at the publication of my sixth novel. I remember being a newbie writer and struggling just to imagine myself publishing one book. That was only… hmm, eight years ago? I got my agent in 2007, as I recall. I remember despairing, as it became clear that my first book wasn’t going to sell first, and giving serious consideration to quitting all this shit. Wow. Confession: I had a despair moment again while writing The Fifth Season. Convinced myself that it was just too strange, too dark, too hard to write, and no one …

It’s a(nother) book! KEEP READING

Worldbuilding 101

I did a recent talk for the Writers’ Digest Online Workshop and Annual Conference on worldbuilding, in which I basically explained how I do what I do, and led participants through an exercise in creating their own world. I’d hoped to actually do the exercise in realtime, using some poster paper and audience participation, but alas, ran out of time. There’s a good example in the Powerpoint, though. Note that if this doesn’t make sense in places, remember that it was meant to be shown alongside me talking and filling in conceptual gaps. But hopefully you can figure it out. …

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The Fifth Season is coming!

And I’ve got some stuff lined up in the next few weeks. I will not be doing a book tour; I’m still in Deadline Hell on book 2 of the Broken Earth trilogy, which is due at the end of August. So this is it for big events… but I’m amenable to the occasional podcast appearance or phone interview. (No guestblogs or text interviews, sorry; those eat up too much writing time.) Week of July 27th: Goodreads giveaway Some lucky people will have a chance to win a free signed copy of any of my novels, including The Fifth Season. …

The Fifth Season is coming! KEEP READING

The Apocalypse of Unfortunate Implications

Just saw a trailer for the Shannara TV series that’s soon to exist: Very pretty. Don’t think I’m going to particularly go out of my way to see it, because at this point I’m a little tired of New Zealand landscapes, orcish hordes, and John Rhys-Davies. I like Tolkien, but I was never a fan of Tolkien clones in textual form, and the film medium doesn’t make them any more palatable. But those of you who are Shannara fans, yay! Enjoy. I got distracted from the cool landscapes and glowing beads and so on, though, by the fact that once …

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Now it can be told!

I’ve been sitting on the news of this for a few months now, waiting for the cover, etc., so I could squee about it in the shiniest way. But in addition to writing “The Awakened Kingdom” as a palate-cleanser after The Fifth Season, I also wrote some shortier shorts. I’d intended them to just be fun stress relievers, a chance to play with style in a familiar milieu, but the result ended up being so good that I thought, “Readers should see this.” So now you can. From the shadows of the greater stories, away from the bright light of …

Now it can be told! KEEP READING

An open letter to the WSFS about unintended consequences

ETA: I missed that there’s been a new development since I started writing this; the folks putting forward the proposal are dropping the novelette clause. Still not liking the “saga” portion of the proposal either, for the reasons I’ve said here and which Scalzi said in his post, but at least the proposal isn’t actively harmful anymore. Whoa. Did you guys think this through? No, seriously. Beyond whether “The Wheel of Time” could get a Hugo, or whether you, personally, like short fiction or not. Did you consider how proposal B.1.3 looks, both within and outside SFFdom? What message it …

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New author photo, starred review

For those of you not be-Twittered or a-Facebooked, these are the new author photos I got recently, since my old one was a whopping 7 years old. (Time flies when you’re having fun.) And while that old photo was awesome — taken by fellow pro author and amateur photographer E. C. Myers, with a little touching-up by fellow pro author and graphic designer Kris Dikeman — it was time to retire it. Haven’t worn my hair that way in years, and also I’ve earned my “older and wiser”, and I wanted that to show. So this time around I went …

New author photo, starred review KEEP READING

Not the affirmative action you meant, not the history you’re making

So many people have said so many good things about the Hugo Awards debacle in the past few days. I haven’t said much myself because a) I’ve got a book to write, and b) I don’t really care. I mean, I do care about the Hugos; this is a respectable award, which as George R. R. Martin wisely points out has value because the people of Worldcon over the decades have worked their asses off to build its value. Unlike GRRM I think the contributions to that value actually go beyond Worldcon; it’s also been built up by the librarians …

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A Tale of Two Characters

Awhile back I mentioned offhand in another post that readers seem to be harder on my female characters than my male characters. This was in the context of analyzing one-star reader reviews culled from Amazon and Goodreads, and a few folks in the comments asked me to explore that topic further. So here’s a (hopefully) interesting exercise. I’m going to compare reviewer comments on two of my protagonists: Oree Shoth from The Broken Kingdoms, and Gatherer Ehiru from The Killing Moon. (For those who haven’t read either book, remember, you can read the first few chapters here and here, respectively. …

A Tale of Two Characters KEEP READING

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