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Showing content with the highest reputation since 04/23/2018 in Blog Entries

  1. 19 points
    I'm retiring this mirror blog, after the launch of my new website. I'm pretty sure very few people actually followed this mirror. My new blog is right on my new site's front page, and it has a new RSS feed. You can also get more frequent updates from me on Twitter and Facebook. <a href="http://mistborn.blogspot.com/2013/09/retiring-this-mirror-blog.html">Source</a>
  2. 18 points
    My website debuted a major redesign yesterday. I kick it off with a post about winning two Hugo Awards this past weekend. <a href="http://mistborn.blogspot.com/2013/09/website-redesign-launch.html">Source</a>
  3. 15 points
    Hey, all! I had an exciting time at Worldcon, as you might have heard. I'm working on a long blog post about the experience, and it will go up tomorrow. (Actually, be sure to check my site tomorrow, regardless...) For today, though, I wanted to announce the release of my second and final Infinity Blade novella! It's out now on the iBookstore, with a short exclusive period for them. It will move to other ebook platforms next week. If you aren't familiar with this project, these are based on a game series made by some friends of mine in Salt Lake City. The games are awesome, and have been bestsellers on iOS devices. I did one other novella bridging the first and second games, and now have written one taking place after the second game. It's been a fun experience; they've really let me onto the team, and I've been able to have a lot to do with the story development of the entire series. Pictures of Hugo Awards tomorrow! In other news, my assistant Peter has uploaded another Twitter posts archive, covering August. A bit of catch-up on the Writing Excuses podcast: We did episodes on making non-human characters relatable, survivorship bias, and a guest episode with Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content about digging yourself out of holes. Brandon <a href="http://mistborn.blogspot.com/2013/09/infinity-blade-redemption-updates.html">Source</a>
  4. 11 points
    Put together this spreadsheet based on the Statistical Analysis data on Coppermind: Stormlight Analysis (2018-9-7).xlsx. The Oathbringer data I entered myself when the book was released, so I feel pretty confident in that. Not certain about the other two, but I expect they're fairly accurate. Had to enter in the Edgedancer data for this myself, along with character genders. Otherwise it was just minor edits, separating the data, etc. Some fun charts I put together with it below. Let me know if you'd like to see any other interesting comparisons and don't feel like doing it yourself. Spoilers: There aren't any real spoilers below, UNLESS you don't want to know which characters appear in future books or how much screen time they get. If you don't want to know that, you've been warned. (as someone pointed out on Discord, I've lumped femalen listeners in with female. might be some other odd cases that I overlooked.)
  5. 2 points
    Yeah, you know the drill. I accomplished exactly as much work as I expected I wouldn't. See you next month.
  6. 2 points
    TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38) 17S 50%: Brandon 99% (93/94), Peter 99% (99/100), Isaac 0% (0/100), Ben 0% (0/89) Reddit 42%: Brandon 99% (122/123), Peter 10% (10/96), Isaac 0% (0/14), Ben 0% (0/77), Adam 0% (0/5) Twitter 35%: Brandon 99% (115/116), Peter 8% (9/116), Isaac 7% (9/123), Adam 19% (9/47) Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (202/203) Social Media Total: 61% (1013/1648) Theoryland Review: 3% (35/1183) Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397) No progress on the backlog, unfortunately. (I haven't even kept up with November social media, as you can see by a bunch of things moving backwards to 99%. Except the blog, which is still rounding to 100%.) The start of the Skyward tour kept me pretty busy, and then I've been unexpectedly hammered at work since a little bit before Thanksgiving. There may not be much more progress on the backlog for the next couple months, either - the unexpected work should finish up just before Christmas, and then January and February will have a ton of expected work. Like ya do. But there will be all the Skyward stuff to tide everyone over for a while (looks like Atlanta and Houston still have a good bit to transcribe still), and I will try to keep my Twitter account running. If you haven't seen that, I'm posting cool WoBs on Wednesdays under the oh-so-imaginative hashtag #wobwednesday.
  7. 2 points
    You are going to love this theory. I guarantee it. I was reading Andrew's article the other day, and that got me thinking about what makes magic work on a fundamental level in the cosmere. This will be somewhat of a rebuttal to you, Andrew, because this direction is far more fruitful. But it's much more than a rebuttal. In my opinion, this is quite a paradigm shift. In any given Shardworld, magic is directly tied to a Shard. Everyone has pieces of Shards inside them. In Mistborn, everyone has fragments of Ruin and Preservation inside them. In Warbreaker, everyone has Breath. It's not unimaginable to think that this generalizes for any Shardworld, so I'm going to assume that always holds. In order to use Allomancy, you need to have "enough" Preservation in you. There's other stuff you need, too, like Snapping, but we'll discuss that later; it's not important anyways. The only real requirement for Allomancy is that you have enough Preservation. The rest is just book-keeping. And likewise, for Awakening, you need Breath, a fragment of Endowment. So here's a question: why is Awakening different from Allomancy? Before you go saying this is a totally obvious question, let me remind you that there are distinct differences between Awakening and Allomancy. Awakeners never need to Snap, though Allomancers do (and the Shaod is sort of similar to Snapping, too, in a way). We want to discover the fundamental rules of how magic operates, right? So the question about the difference between Awakening and Allomancy isn't so dumb. Now that I've made the question sound important, let me completely trivialize it with the easy answer: they are different because the Shards are different. Duh. That's fairly obvious. But in fact, this is precisely the key to understanding all magic. My principle is simple: To interact with the spiritual power of the Shard inside you, it must be in accordance with the Shard's intent. (That is, the name of the Shard. Ruin. Preservation. Endowment. It is what the Shard wants to do. Look at the bottom here for that reference.) I'm going to call it the Principle of Intent, simply because that makes it sound important. Now I simply have to show you how important this principle is. Let's say that Breath is the Nalthis equivalent of those fragments of Ruin and Preservation on Scadrial. These latent powers of a Shard can be accessed and manipulated. With Preservation's magic, I can do lots of cool things, but one thing I can't do is move that fragment of the soul around. But, I could do such a thing if I was using the right magic system. On Nalthis, Endowment endows. It makes perfect sense that Awakening can move pieces of souls around, because that's Endowment's intent. Indeed, I can do similar things with Hemalurgy, because it is inherently destructive. Ruin ruins. Endowment endows. Preservation preserves. "But wait, why does Allomancy cause such rapid changes if it's from Preservation? That seems antithetical to Preservation's intent." There was a thread about this on Adonalsium.net, actually, and I couldn't come up with a proper explanation. Now I can. Watch closely, because this is fancy footwork. Think, for a moment, less about the external effects of Allomancy. Brandon's said that powers don't need to have rational explanations, just that they are bound by rules. Is there any particular reason why iron does the Physical Internal power rather than pewter? No, and that's okay. Instead, let's consider what happens to that piece of Preservation inside you when you utilize Allomancy. Awakening moves spiritual energy, or endows it to something else. This doesn't happen with Preservation. There ought to be some reason why Preservation provides a net gain of energy with Allomancy instead of Awakening's system, and there indeed is. Preservation does preserve, it just preserves the piece of Preservation inside you (and for that matter, every aspect of your body. There is no direct physical cost to Allomancy in the act of burning metals). When you think about it from a Shard level, each Shard has a focus. Ruin and Preservation share a focus in metal. This metal activates some spiritual action, I'd imagine. Lock and key. The metal is the key to all the Metallic Arts. The metal must do something with respect to Preservation, and what's it going to do? With the Principle of Intent, that fragment of Preservation inside you wants to preserve itself, its spiritual energy. It also wants to preserve yourself. So, the only place it receive energy from is some external source, in order to preserve your own energy. Slight side note: Another issue with Allomancy and its net gain is the idea that if Preservation "designed" Allomancy--though that term is a bit misleading, as I suspect no Shard explicitly could design something like that--he's losing energy. That's not true. The Well of Ascension refills every thousand years (technically, 1024 years). Utilizing it doesn't make it go away. Burning atium also regenerates eventually in the Pits of Hathsin. Likewise, there's no reason why this Allomantic energy actually goes away. It regenerates, too. Wait a minute. I just got the most brilliant idea ever as I wrote that. Brandon said that Preservation or Ruin could, in principle, fuel any of the Metallic Arts, but he said that it expends power in ways gods are hesitant to do (I can't find the citation right now, but I think it's in the Hero of Ages spoiler thread). Why would it expend energy? Doesn't it all regenerate? No, I think not. Not exclusively. What if a Shard's power only regenerates when the Shard is doing something according to the Shard's intent? Atium is of Ruin, and so using that energy with respect to Ruining something will make it regenerate. The Well put Rashek into severe Preservation mode, making him extremely reactionary. So in a roundabout way, that again is Preservation. That kind of explains why dispersing the power broke Ruin's prison--it was an act not of Preservation, so the power wasn't conserved. Also, if this was true, it makes a heck of a lot more sense why Endowment Returns people, and why he isn't dead from doing so. The power all comes back eventually. Ahem, that got off track. I'll build that theory in more detail, with better citations, later. Back to the Principle of Intent, with respect to the other Metallic Arts. It's been noted in the annotations that Ruin is selfish. So, fragments of its power wouldn't want to destroy itself, but it is perfectly okay with destroying other things. Hence Hemalurgy doesn't do much to yourself, and instead destroys other things. To use the analogy with Preservation, Preservation preserves spiritual energy, while Ruin destroys spiritual energy. I suspect that the greater amount of Ruin inside you, the more likely to perform Hemalurgy, however. So why does Feruchemy work? Well, it's perfect balance. I can't utilize the power of either Ruin or Preservation here. They are balanced. I can't use either power up now. Were I to use or "access" the Shard's powers, they'd cancel each other out, so to speak. Nothing happens on the spiritual side of things (Okay, that's probably not true. It's just no spiritual energy is changed. I'm sure on some Realmatic level, both Ruin and Preservation act equally) So what happens if not doing something with spiritual energy? I draw from myself. This fits the Principle of Intent just fine. You may be wondering why there'd be such a principle at all. Sazed could do all sorts of things when he held both powers. The difference here is that the body acts as a conduit--and not a very good one--for the power. Only once Vin's body vanished did the power become more expansive. I suspect this effect is due to the Physical, Cognitive, and Spiritual Realms. When a Shard's power is in a physical form, it does one specific thing (lerasium, atium). The Physical Realm seems to have a restricting effect. Thus, for humans, they access the power in their Shards in a more restrictive manner simply by being human. That's why the Principle of Intent appears to hold. Of course, even as a full Shardholder, the same principle applies eventually. The Shardholder's mind would be shaped to the Shard's intent over the centuries. Furthermore, Brandon said that Preservation or Ruin could, in principle fuel any of Metallic Arts, but he said that that expends power in ways gods are hesitant to do. Presumably, this is because while a Shard is a part of the power of creation and can do lots of amazing things, the Shard can more easily do things in line with its intent. Or, if I was right about the conservation thing, it's that a Shard knows the power will come back eventually. A Shardholder's consciousness apparently "feeds" off the spiritual power of the Shard, so if that power is all gone, that person dies. Maybe you're not buying my principle. Don't believe me? Well, no theory is good unless it has some predictive power, so let's do some theorizing on other magics. I'd like to work with Elantris, but I don't know either Aona or Skai's Shard name, so it's going to be challenging to know just what they do. But Stormlight Archive is the perfect testing ground for a theory. We know all the Rosharian Shard's names, and there's a bunch of magic systems that don't exactly make sense. I began pondering what exactly would Honor--the Almighty's Shard--do. Knowing the answer to this would give an intuitive understanding to the mechanism of his magic. But Honor is hard to pin down. Ruin ruins... Honor honors stuff. That's, uh, super helpful. But you know what's really honorable? Oaths. Promises. Bonds. Oathpact. Surgebinder. Peter said on TWG that a Surge is what people on Roshar call a force (I'd assume things like gravity). Surge, plus a bond with a spren? Surgebinders. Congratulations, you are now a magic user. Honor's power comes from oaths and bonds. Perhaps it creates a spiritual bond of sorts. That's what Honor does. There was also the question of what happened to Kaladin at the end of Way of Kings. He spoke the Second Ideal of the Knights Radiant, then he burst with power. Seems to me that this near unequivocal evidence that Honor uses these oaths in a specifc, magical way. Then there's good old Szeth. How is he a Surgebinder if he doesn't have a spren? I'm not totally sure, but perhaps his strong oaths as a Truthless provides the sufficient bond for Honor's magic to work. Maybe there does exist a spren. Either way, those oaths are intricately tied with Szeth's Radiant powers. So, I'm calling it right now: if Szeth breaks his oaths, he will lose his powers. I read a little bit of Way of Kings today, and I had forgotten that Jasnah said that two orders of the Knights Radiant have natural Soulcasting abilities. Now, recall that in the 17th Shard interview with Brandon, he said that there are ten powers (it seems to be ten Surges is the technical term), and you make an order of the Knights Radiant by picking from two of those Surges. I never realized before, but that must mean Soulcasting is a type of Surgebinding. That's kind of a scary implication. We've seen, what, Windrunners and Soulcasters, and there are ten more powers? Plenty more magic systems to go around, clearly. But a more detailed analysis of Stormlight Archive magics is for another day, I think. Other theories for other days. Source: The Principle of Intent
  8. 2 points
    TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38) 17S 51%: Brandon 100% (93/93), Peter 100% (99/99), Isaac 0% (0/99), Ben 0% (0/88) Reddit 43%: Brandon 100% (122/122), Peter 11% (10/95), Isaac 0% (0/13), Ben 0% (0/76), Adam 0% (0/4) Twitter 36%: Brandon 100% (115/115), Peter 8% (9/115), Isaac 7% (9/122), Adam 20% (9/46) Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (202/202) Social Media Total: 62% (1013/1634) Theoryland Review: 3% (35/1183) Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397) We're cruising right along with the social media backlog. I wasn't able to find my old tracking spreadsheet, so I had to make a new one, but I was able to make it better this time since I remembered some things I had done inefficiently before. I don't have to do any manual math anymore for percentages, I've got Excel updating it all automatically. I've got all my percentages based on how many months of activity I've reviewed, and they all add new activity at a rate of around 1 month per month, but Excel is updating those numbers for me as the goalposts keep moving. I just gotta mark in X's when I've finished a month, and then copy-past over here. It really is a very nice spreadsheet. Green indicates it's progress made this past month. So I did a lot of checking on TWG and on 17S. Some of it was easier than others (Brandon's forum posts were all in already, as expected). But I've only got a little bit left before I close up the forums and move onto Reddit. I also got a count on the threads in the Events and Signings forum (I don't think I'll update that as new threads get posted, but rather stay on top of them the old-fashioned way. These are just old ones I want to review and double-check for late reports or claimed questions.) I did add some things from Peter in the TWG event and the year-by-year Miscellaneous events, but the most interesting thing was something you won't be able to find in Arcanum. It would just cause too much confusion, but it is fascinating to see some really old misinformation, a misunderstanding of what Shards were. Apparently, people thought there were a couple of Shards in Dragonsteel; Hoid had a Shard, the main character had a Shard, there was a Shard opposing them. I guess the assumption was that anyone with magic had a Shard. Peter had this to say about them: That second part makes me think of "giving up on the gemstone, now that it is dead": Hoid was known as Topaz in that book. It almost seems to me like he absorbed the Investiture of the Topaz, rendering it useless. (And bestowing the term "selfish" upon himself.) Basically all of this got officially walked back; Brandon stated that some of the people who had Dragonsteel were making too many inferences. But it's still an interesting insight into the unreleased book, and always fun to see what other crazy corners the fandom had managed to get itself into over the years. You can read the full threads here and here, if you're interested. So, that's all I've got for this month. I'll try to polish off the rest of the 17S posts this month, but the Skyward tour begins next week, and that will keep us really busy staying on top of the new signings.
  9. 2 points
    No Backlog Progress Man, I picked a bad time to start this blog up again. WorldCon was less than a week old at the time of my last blog post. And then in September there was the HUGE FanX (with, like, 20 hours of audio when it was all said and done) and a very dense Legion release party. Add in the Read for Pixels live chat, this surprise Reddit Skyward AMA, and all the Brandon social media since June, I haven't had any time to look at the other backlog items. Those above-mentioned events still aren't done completely, and November will kick off with the Skyward tour. So... I'll at least try to do some stuff and update my percentages next month. But no promises. But at least it was because there was so much new stuff. It's not that I'm lazy - it's that Brandon has been entirely too generous, and the fans have been entirely too good at getting his appearances on audio. First Shardworld Problems.
  10. 2 points
    TWG 33%: Brandon 100% (113/113), Peter 0% (0/113), Isaac 0% (0/75), Ben 0% (0/38) 17s 0%: Brandon 0% (0/91), Peter 0% (0/97), Isaac 0% (0/97), Ben 0% (0/86) Reddit 40%: Brandon 99% (119/120), Peter 0% (0/93), Isaac 0% (0/11), Ben 0% (0/74), Adam 0% (0/2) Twitter 29%: Brandon 99% (112/113), Peter 0% (0/113), Isaac % (0/120), Adam 0%(0/45) Blog 99%: Brandon 99% (170/171) Social Media Total: 33% (514/1572) Theoryland Total Review: 0% (5/1183) Events and Signings review: TBD What is this? A progress update? Hasn't Arcanum been out for almost a year now. What is going on here? So, Arcanum is great, to the surprise of no one. It's got everything Brandon has ever said in it; all that's left to do should be to keep up with new stuff in a timely manner. But me, being the overachieving individual that I am (and freed from the shackles of modhood to pursue my own endeavors), I want to take personal accountability that Arcanum is absolutely comprehensive. I don't want to just say "the Internet has made sure everything of Brandon is in here." I want to say, "I swear to you on a stack of Stormlight books that nothing is missing." I can already say that with almost complete confidence about Brandon's online presence. (I haven't gone through all his forum posts here on the Shard, but I don't expect any of those could possibly be missed. But I am gonna check anyways, of course.) I have a lot of confidence that items from Theoryland or the Events and Signings forum has made it over. There have been a couple of confirmed instances of these things being missed, so I'm gonna go over everything and put my personal stamp of approval on it. (And I also, you know, like WoT, and I'm taking the opportunity to read through the entire Interview Database. I'm learning stuff already; did you know the Horn of Valere was from the Age before the Age of Legends?) But I also want to get back to my social media dredging, to look through other Dragonsteel team members. (The way I'm gauging progress, up above, is by months of activity reviewed. The percentages will move in fits and starts - some people aren't as busy as others, and activity habits ebb and rise. But assuming it will all smooth out, this should provide a pretty reasonable metric.) There are occasional goodies from these individuals that I'd like to get recorded in Arcanum, so I will go ahead and do the dirty work of digging back through the archives. I don't expect there to be much, but I do expect there to be something. I'm not sure how many of you are familiar with the 80/20 rule. It's an idea in projects, that the first 80% of the project will only require 20% of your total effort. The last 20%, though, that requires the other 80% of your effort. And that's where we are with Arcanum (maybe more like 90% or 95%) - there aren't any big things missing, and the only missing stuff is either very recent, barely notable (like some of the general Q&A or writing advice from recent cons), or extremely obscure. I'm gonna get us up to snuff on the obscure stuff. I do need some help on a couple of things. Ben McSweeney, one of Brandon's artists, is someone on my list. But I couldn't find a Twitter account for him. He often goes by Inkthinker, but he doens't have that handle on Twitter. Does anybody know if he's on Twitter, and what his handle is? Also, I'd like to check Facebook comments, and since Facebook is in the business of collecting selling your personal information (heyo!), I figured there'd be some kind of way to see all someone's public FB comments. But I haven't had any luck so far. If you know of a way to do a good Facebook dredge, please hit me up, and I'll add that to my worklist, as well. So I'm gonna go back to my progress updates, since I liked how they kept me on track before. I'll share anything interesting I find (although you'll also be able to keep up with those through the Recent Entries tab on Arcanum itself), I'll let you all know how things are going. My tentative goal would be to get this all done before Stormlight Four is out, but we'll see how quick it goes. (I've got more projects to think about once all these review are done; a full review of all Arcanum's audio, a couple Collections to help with beginners, getting my old tag database up and running. Those kind of things. But for now, I'm gonna work on the import.)
  11. 1 point
    TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38) 17S 99%: Brandon 99% (97/98), Peter 99% (103/104), Isaac 99% (103/104), Ben 99% (92/93) Reddit 75%: Brandon 99% (126/127), Peter 99% (99/100), Isaac 94% (17/18), Ben 0% (0/81), Adam 89% (8/9) Twitter 39%: Brandon 99% (119/120), Peter 12% (14/120), Isaac 11% (14/127), Adam 27% (14/51) Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (206/207) Social Media Total: 80% (1357/1704) Theoryland Review: 10% (121/1183) Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397) Made it a ways through Theoryland this month. Didn't get to any of Brandon's stuff. And I'm not able to make it out to JordanCon, so I didn't push too hard to try to get through it. I also knocked out Isaac's and Adam's Reddit histories, which were both extremely small, and had nothing new added. Turns out, Ben has, like, 10,000 comments on Reddit, more than everybody else combined. He uses it more as a personal platform, so the vast, vast majority is unrelated to the Cosmere, and a good chunk of what's actually about the Cosmere is just him being a fan (and thus won't get added to Arcanum). But, for the sake of being thorough, I'm still gonna put eyes on each and every one of those posts, make sure there's nothing useful in there that's missing. So that might hold me up for a little bit. Since I didn't add any new WoBs this month from the review, I have nothing to share this update. Sorry! I don't like it any more than you do.
  12. 1 point
    Sorry, guys. It's been another really busy month for me, and I've been hard-pressed to keep up with this project... SIKE! I have actually been busy, but I did manage make some progress this month. TWG 100%: Brandon 100% (116/116), Peter 100% (116/116), Isaac 100% (75/75), Ben 100% (38/38) 17S 100%: Brandon 100% (96/96), Peter 100% (102/102), Isaac 100% (102/102), Ben 100% (91/91) Reddit 58%: Brandon 100% (125/125), Peter 63% (62/98), Isaac 0% (0/16), Ben 0% (0/79), Adam 0% (0/7) Twitter 38%: Brandon 100% (118/118), Peter 11% (13/118), Isaac 10% (13/125), Adam 27% (13/49) Blog 100%: Brandon 100% (204/205) Social Media Total: 77% (1284/1676) Theoryland Review: 3% (35/1183) Events and Signings Review: 0% (0/397) 63% complete on Peter's Reddit comments is a little deceptive, since I count month-by-month for my progress, and Peter spent a lot of time doing very little on Reddit before ramping it up more recently. But a good chunk of that is personal use, as well, so there isn't too much coming from there. Don't expect too much new stuff; however, here's one that I just added: This has made rounds on the forum before, but it could use some more airtime. This was, like, nine months after WoR was released, so I can't imagine Peter's referring to Mraize's collection. There's gotta be another reason they're part of the canon. After Bands of Mourning, I found the Southerner masks very reminiscent of an Aether, and Iyatil's presence in WoR means that she could have been what Peter was referring to... not much to go on, but I'm stumped for other options. It must be something well and truly buried.
  13. 1 point
    Since this has been primarily a personal project, I figure it deserved a post in this blog as well. I'm not going to talk about the content of the timeline itself here. This is more about the background and (ongoing) development of it. Link to the timeline for reference: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1Wdigy6ZNX4EGRAaUskfM0LXNANksyM1JintSn4yKSyM/edit#gid=2005334307 Inspiration There were two primary inspirations for creating this timeline. First was this Wheel of Time timeline, which mostly just made me jealous that we didn't have a similar overall timeline in the works. Second was the Words of Radiance Timeline that was primarily created by WeiryWriter. Between the Everstorm countdown and a list of highstorm dates revealed in an epigraph, were were able to pin down most of the events in Words of Radiance with great accuracy. Weiry had started a timeline for The Way of Kings, but there just wasn't much concrete information to work with in that book, unfortunately. Because these timelines were living on Coppermind, we didn't want to post anything there that was more assumption than fact. Concept So the idea here is to have a timeline that DOES allow for assumptions and guesswork. But it was important to me that the whole thing be as well-researched and supported as possible. I wanted to support every date on the timeline with some kind of sourced information. Assumptions needed to provide the supporting evidence. And the confidence or certainty in an event needed to be transparent. I began by importing the Words of Radiance timeline and building out my concept for how this would work. There are two ideas that stood out: "events" and "intervals". An "event" is some event that happens in-world. A point in time that happens on a specific date. An "interval" is some period of time that passes in between events. Both events and intervals can have a "range" or "error" associated with them. This is introduced by uncertainty and assumptions. For example, if a flashback happened "Five Years Ago", we can use an interval of exactly 5 years... But we know that this doesn't mean precisely 5 years. Brandon isn't being that specific. So we attach some wiggle room to the interval. Instead of an interval of "minus 5 years" we use "minus 5 years, plus or minus 2.5 months". This error introduced by interval uncertainty factors into the dates themselves, of course. And it adds up. So if there was some event that happened "one year plus or minus 2 months" after the flashback of that last example, this event now has +/- 4.5 months of error with respect to the event that the flashback date is based on. The range alone doesn't account for what I call "confidence". There's a bit of gut feel involved here, and it's certainly true that more error/range tends to come with less confidence. But there are certainly cases where something with a range is still something we can be fairly confident in. Development After importing Words of Radiance I began to work on The Way of Kings, which is where things got really challenging. You have to really dig into that book, digging for any scrap you can get. For example, at some point there is an implication that Sadeas's bridge crews are supplemented with new men on chachel, the third day of the week. We can use this tidbit later in the book to pin down the days that Lopen and Shen join Bridge Four. Another thing I had to do a lot was work backwards. Most of Kaladin's TWoK timeline is actually worked backwards from the end of the book. Because the time that passes during Part 1 is incredibly ambiguous. There's also some contradictions, or just things that don't seem to fit very well. A comment by Elhokar at the first feast put the Chasmfiend hunt disaster on a date that doesn't work with the story, for example. Another thing involving the Chasmfiend hunt--Kaladin was strung up for the highstorm on that same day, which doesn't entirely make sense because Sadeas was out on the hunt. Prior to the release of Oathbringer, Karen Ahlstrom gave us some tidbits that helped pin down some of the dates. This helped a lot. Some of them I wasn't entirely sure about, and I regret that I didn't keep better record of those disagreements. In any case, I've tried my best to align my timeline with hers and make note of any clear contradictions that exist. I got some help pulling together notes for chronology in Oathbringer. It isn't, unfortunately, as precise as WoR was, but Brandon is more free with mentioning the passage of time at least, and Karen seems to be doing a pretty good job of tweaking the numbers so that it makes sense. I have not worked out all of my timeline to match her dates yet, however, because there are a few tweaks here or there that I think need to be made. In any case, I've still got a bit more content from Oathbringer that needs to be worked out. Issues One frustrating thing about the timeline is that it's SLOW. It takes forever to open/load, and this is only going to get worse with more books. The calculations that happen in the spreadsheet aren't terrible, but every row of the sheet does have more calculations going on than you might think. And on the timeline sheet there's a lot of string concatenations that slow things down pretty badly. I'm also frustrated by the way each entry has to exist on a single row. There are some cases where an event is based on TWO other events/intervals, and the only way to do this is by doing the math manually. This gets dangerous because many thing in the timeline are subject to change, so a shift in one of those dependencies can cause an error and I wouldn't know it readily. The sources and notes are also crammed into a single cell, which is terribly sloppy organization. Adding new rows has also caused some problems. Each entry has to be referenced by an ID, and I'm uncomfortable creating these manually for fear of making a mistake. Future Plans To solve a lot of these problems, I've been looking at moving the whole thing to an offline relational database. Anytime I made a change I would have to manually update the spreadsheet posted online, but I think it should be easy enough to automate most of that process. The idea is to have 3 separate tables for "events", "intervals", and "sources". Each one has a unique ID. Events are linked to one or more interval--it uses the average resultant date if so, and the overlap of their ranges to determine error. Intervals are linked to one or more sources. I don't have to put events/intervals/sources in some logical row on a spreadsheet. I can just add new ones to the end, letting the database assign them a unique ID. I should be able to build an interface for inputting this info so that I don't have to add it directly to a table myself. From there it's a simple query to compile everything. And with all of the information in a database I should be able to do a lot of other cool stuff that would be harder to do in the original spreadsheet. For example, I'd like to see what happens if I filter out everything below some confidence threshold. Because the information is more transparent, and not put together by a chain of concatenations, I can do some other cool stuff like create links between an entry on the timeline and the source info. Here's an output from the (very much work in progress) new version I'm working on: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1zq5bJoKE83ggDCjH43i1hZi0CIpB2iAx7v37zQPVFK0/edit#gid=856252766 All this to say, not much should change to the front end of the timeline. But there might be a bit more transparency/functionality, and inputting new data should be a cleaner process. Anything else to say? I don't think so. Feel free to ask questions though.
  14. 1 point
    I'm retiring this mirror blog, after the launch of my new website. I'm pretty sure very few people actually followed this mirror. My new blog is right on my new site's front page, and it has a new RSS feed. You can also get more frequent updates from me on Twitter and Facebook.
  15. 1 point
    If you haven't seen the Steelheart book trailer, the prologue, or the teaser chapters (Chapter Ten and Chapter Eleven), please go give them a look! The release date is fast approaching, so think about preordering the book from your favorite vendor. Weller Book Works has a few signed & numbered copies left. You can also come to the release event at the Orem Barnes & Noble on September 24th. (More details later.) Mysterious Galaxy and Shawn Speakman's The Signed Page will also have signed books available to preorder, but they won't be shipped until I sign them in October. I have worldwide links to other places you can preorder the book here. Many of you know that my good friend Dan Wells’s Serial Killer books were published in Germany before they were printed in the US (see Writing Excuses Episode 8.29 for a description of how this happened). Since then, Dan’s books have done very well in Germany. In fact, he’s living there now partly because of this. Dan’s success in Germany has made me curious about what my readers think of the German translations of my own novels. I’ve never visited Germany. It’s a big market that I don’t know very much about, and I’m curious about it. In fact, I would love to know how my foreign translations in any language compare to the original English. If there are those of you out there who are familiar with both editions of some of my works, we would love to hear from you, particularly if you are bilingual or have read both the original and a foreign translation. Specifically we would like to hear from my German readers. We would also like to know who your favorite translators are in your language. Are there ones that do a particularly good job? Please email your thoughts through the contact form on my website or post on Facebook.
  16. 1 point
    My website debuted a major redesign yesterday. I kick it off with a post about winning two Hugo Awards this past weekend.
  17. 1 point
    Hey, all! I had an exciting time at Worldcon, as you might have heard. I'm working on a long blog post about the experience, and it will go up tomorrow. (Actually, be sure to check my site tomorrow, regardless...) For today, though, I wanted to announce the release of my second and final Infinity Blade novella! It's out now on the iBookstore, with a short exclusive period for them. It will move to other ebook platforms next week. If you aren't familiar with this project, these are based on a game series made by some friends of mine in Salt Lake City. The games are awesome, and have been bestsellers on iOS devices. I did one other novella bridging the first and second games, and now have written one taking place after the second game. It's been a fun experience; they've really let me onto the team, and I've been able to have a lot to do with the story development of the entire series. Pictures of Hugo Awards tomorrow! In other news, my assistant Peter has uploaded another Twitter posts archive, covering August. A bit of catch-up on the Writing Excuses podcast: We did episodes on making non-human characters relatable, survivorship bias, and a guest episode with Jeph Jacques of Questionable Content about digging yourself out of holes. Brandon
  18. 1 point
    Hey, all. This is a post that may not be relevant for everyone, but I thought it was an important one to make anyway. I had the pleasure of being Guest of Honor a few weeks back at SpoCon, a sf/fantasy convention in Spokane, Washington. Well, it turns out that the same group who run SpoCon have a bid out for Worldcon in 2015. The voting will happen this weekend at Worldcon in San Antonio, which I'm attending. (Though kind of last-minute.) Voting costs $40, and unfortunately it's too late to mail in ballots; it has to be done in person. Voting also gets you a supporting membership to whichever Worldcon wins for 2015—meaning you can vote in that year's Hugos as well (and get that year's Hugo Voter Packet), for cheaper than it will cost to buy a supporting membership once 2015 rolls around. And a supporting membership can be upgraded to an attending membership very easily. Since I was just hosted by these people, I think I'm in a unique position to give them—and their Worldcon bid—a shout-out. The guest liaison team was top-notch, and the entire convention was extremely well organized. I was surprised by how pretty Spokane was this time of year to boot. If anyone is debating where to put their vote for Worldcon, let me nudge you toward Spokane. I don't know anything about the other Worldcon bid teams, and I'm sure there are plenty of great people on them—but I know for certain the team in Spokane knows what they're doing. The city itself is pushing hard for the convention, even going so far to send city representatives to Worldcon this year to lobby. Hats off to the entire crew. I had a wonderful time, and would love to return in two years for Worldcon. This is a bid to take very seriously. Brandon
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