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Kansas City this weekend + Updates

Tomorrow I’m off to Kansas City for the ConQuesT convention that starts on Friday. My complete schedule (including a “Play Magic with Brandon” game) down below. Also, copies of the Perfect State/Shadows for Silence in the Forests of Hell con exclusive double hardcover will be available at the Basement Books booth in the dealers’ hall. But first some updates.

I’ve mentioned before that my middle grade humor series that starts with Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians will be republished next year by Tor, leading up to the release of the fifth and final book that Alcatraz will write. Well, there will also be a ton of new illustrations in the book, and Isaac Stewart has written up a post for Tor.com that introduces the illustrations to you. Enjoy!

Over the weekend, Words of Radiance was named the winner of a 2014 Whitney Award for the Speculative category. Thanks to all of the Whitney Awards academy members who found it deserving! And many congratulations to all of the winners and finalists.

There are a couple of Writing Excuses episodes I haven’t yet talked about in the blog. The 19th episode this season talks about Intrigue. What’s the difference between intrigue, suspense, and mystery? We answer this and then talk about what makes intrigue useful as a tool for any story, and how to use it without falling back on idiot character plots, or simply withholding information from the reader. Intrigue is also its own genre, with spy stories and political intrigue stories fitting into this space. We talk a bit about how those stories work and how they’re built. Next, the 20th episode is titled, How Do I Write a Story, Not an Encyclopedia? You’ve done piles of worldbuilding. How do you convey this world to reader without infodumping? We talk about the different skill levels involved, and then the techniques that you’ll be using as you get better and better at what is probably the most critical skill unique to genre fiction writers.

ConQuesT 46

Date: Fri, May 22, 2015 – Sun, May 24, 2015
Address: Kansas City Marriott Downtown
200 West 12th St
Kansas City, MO 64105
Phone: (816) 421-6800

Friday, May 22

4:00 p.m., Count Basie Ballroom A
MidAmericaCon II
MidAmeriCon II is coming to KC in 2016. Learn more about Worldcon and the local fans helping make this happen.
Diane Lacey, Ruth Lichtwardt, George R.R. Martin, Jeff Orth, Mark Oshiro, Brandon Sanderson

5:00 p.m., Count Basie Ballroom A
World Building – Religion and Magic
We’ll discuss creating believable worlds from religion to magic systems. We’ll also look at how you make everything work together and decide what everyone needs to see and what only you need to know.
Kathleen Collins, Gera L. Dean, Brandon Sanderson, Bryan Thomas Schmidt, Thomas Trumpinski

7:00 p.m., Count Basie Ballroom A
Opening Ceremonies

Saturday, May 23

1:00 p.m., Count Basie Ballroom A
Brandon Sanderson Interview

3:00–5:00 p.m., Count Basie Ballroom A
Brandon Sanderson Book Signing

5:00 p.m., Count Basie Ballroom A
Research – How Much Do You Really Need?
Discussion of what to research, where to research, how much to research, when to quit researching. How to determine if the information is legitimate. How to use Google and other serach engines for research.
Holly Messinger, Penny Cockrell, Gera L. Dean, KD McEntire, Brandon Sanderson

7:00 p.m.–midnight, Mary Lou Williams room, 3rd floor
Magic Draft with Brandon Sanderson
This will be a Magic: The Gathering draft of the type that Brandon likes to do at conventions. The cost is $15. Limited to 16 participants. Sign up ahead of time using the signup sheet located in the main gaming area.

Sunday, May 24

12:00 p.m., Bennie Moten A/B
The Story Mind
Neurological research suggests that the human mind is hardwired for stories and that humans remember stories more easily than they remember facts. Panelists discuss this theory and what this means for sf & f tales.
M.C. Chambers, Zo Allen, Marshall Edwards, Lezli Robyn, Brandon Sanderson

5:00 p.m., Count Basie Ballroom A
Closing Ceremonies



New Writing Excuses episode + Updates

In this week’s new Writing Excuses episode, Q&A on Beginnings, we answer some of your questions on the matter. Here are some of the questions: What are there differences between the beginnings in different forms? How do you begin in media res when you’re not writing action? What’s the biggest mistake that can be made Read the full article…




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