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klye
09-02-2013, 05:59 PM
Well... I've been semi - lurking with these WOT boards since I found them back some 15 (20??) years ago. Every now and then, out of habit, I check here to hear if there is some new nugget. But now I must come to grips with it all. Nothing is going on, and conversation about WOT has effectively died.

It's a strange feeling. Like a good friend has moved away and you've lost touch with them.

I wonder if anyone else has a similar reaction?

Terez
09-02-2013, 06:57 PM
I think WoT pretty much died when RJ did. It's just taken me a while to accept it. Others feel differently, but honestly, it's mostly people who were never all that into discussing the books.

Zombie Sammael
09-02-2013, 07:42 PM
I think WoT pretty much died when RJ did. It's just taken me a while to accept it. Others feel differently, but honestly, it's mostly people who were never all that into discussing the books.

I think that's a bit of a wild assertion. Discussion has died down following the release of AMOL as the true HCFFs move from theorising to analysing. Whether or not that means discussion forums like TL are beyond their point of use is a separate question, but I certainly don't think the series died with RJ, as demonstrated by the excitement and intense discussion just before AMOL was released. A lot of people are re-reading now, or moving on to other things. It's not the end, but it is an end.

Terez
09-02-2013, 09:46 PM
I have been hearing from a lot of people who did a reread. Not pretty stuff.

Great Lord of the Dark
09-02-2013, 10:04 PM
I'm still on my reread, and have hardly read anyone else's comments to date. It's still too much to process. I absolutely loved the last book, and don't understand all the Whitecloak Haters. You get 700 pages of battle, closure, and plenty of answers. However, i suspect the discussion died down because there is little hope for more revelations; most of what will be said in the books, has been said. Sorry for not conversing about the book more yet, but I prefer to be thorough than quick. I'll be back picking at all the old scabs this fall. Check out my reread blog for a few new nuggets.

Morsker
09-03-2013, 12:45 AM
For me it was the ending. The series had firmly established deism, and the Dark One as something inhuman and destructive like a Lovecraftian monster. But the ending replaced the deism with religion, and changed the DO into an omnipresent tempting Satan, something very anthropomorphic.

Also as I learned more about feminist theory, WoT's approach has seemed increasingly naive. WoT makes excuses for slavery, and presents the hazing and bullying of young people as positive. It never connects those forms of domination and exploitation to ones based on gender.

Zombie Sammael
09-03-2013, 06:08 AM
For me it was the ending. The series had firmly established deism, and the Dark One as something inhuman and destructive like a Lovecraftian monster. But the ending replaced the deism with religion, and changed the DO into an omnipresent tempting Satan, something very anthropomorphic.

Also as I learned more about feminist theory, WoT's approach has seemed increasingly naive. WoT makes excuses for slavery, and presents the hazing and bullying of young people as positive. It never connects those forms of domination and exploitation to ones based on gender.

WOT's approach to gender is one of the most interesting and under-discussed areas for me, precisely because of the ways it fails so drastically. It's easy to dismiss those failings as being due to privilege/the series being written by a SWM, but I think it's far more interesting to view it as written by an early feminist and explore the ways gender is constructed in the secondary world and why it doesn't work.

Sarevok
09-03-2013, 06:09 AM
I agree with GLotD: Just about everything has been discussed by now, and there's little to no chance of anything else being published.
The only threads that pop up now and then are new posters asking questions that all the Heroes have known the answers to for ages. Consequently, those questions are answered in a few posts, and stuff dies down again. :(

Hopefully we'll get some discussion on the Sanderson board when Stormlight 2 comes out. :)

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-03-2013, 11:51 AM
and there's little to no chance of anything else being published. :)

The encyclopedia will likey rejuvenate some discussions.


I am doing a full re-read now. I re-read AMoL and found a couple of things that made me go....hmmmmmmm...and were interesting to tie back to the beginning and/or other ideas throughout. I didn't hate AMoL, I didn't love it either, but I don't think the series ended with RJs death...that is of course just my opinion, but because RJ wanted it finished I feel it did continue. Not exactly as anyone wanted, but I would guess there would be unhappy folks even if RJ had been the author of the majority of the words.

Davian93
09-03-2013, 01:11 PM
I have been hearing from a lot of people who did a reread. Not pretty stuff.

Chiming in here...but yes, I agree completely with Terez's assessment. I don't know that any author would have been able to finish it satisfactorily but I feel that BS wasn't the right choice.

Isabel
09-03-2013, 01:14 PM
Chiming in here...but yes, I agree completely with Terez's assessment. I don't know that any author would have been able to finish it satisfactorily but I feel that BS wasn't the right choice.

Pfff, which ever author they choice people wouldnt have been happy about it.

I am gratefull to have read the ending and seen what RJ was planning:)

Do i think this board is dying? I hope not. I hope people continue to post on the wot, non wot etc fora.

Davian93
09-03-2013, 01:18 PM
Pfff, which ever author they choice people wouldnt have been happy about it.

I am gratefull to have read the ending and seen what RJ was planning:)

Do i think this board is dying? I hope not. I hope people continue to post on the wot, non wot etc fora.

I'm happy we got an ending but the jointly written books are really tough to reread. It's not BS's fault as I dont think anyone could have done it to the level needed.

Terez
09-03-2013, 01:38 PM
I'm happy we got an ending but the jointly written books are really tough to reread. It's not BS's fault as I dont think anyone could have done it to the level needed.I think he wasn't ready for it as his prose was about Fallon-level, but that comparison in itself makes it clear it's nothing personal.

Great Lord of the Dark
09-03-2013, 04:43 PM
Just to clarify, I don't think the last book has been well discussed yet at all. There are few threads about it, and they appeared to focus on the ending more than anything else. Only natural given that we are theorizing about the unexplained elements.

I said that most of what will be said in the books, has been said. We still have plenty of discussion to unleash.

Demandred, and Cadsuane's role, and caps-voices, and the three who are one, slavery, and Seanchan garb, sexism, and Ituralde suicide attempts, and sand snaky people, and so on, all are in need of someone to stake out a new position and defend it, even in the face of our supposed complete understanding.

But I'll get there. A theory needs foundation, not a rushed hack job (I prefer professional grade hack jobs in clear plastic binders).

Davian93
09-03-2013, 04:55 PM
Just no interest in it...

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-03-2013, 07:58 PM
Just no interest in it...

Yes. You have made that abundantly clear. Maybe just let people talk then rather than stomping out embers when others may be looking to rekindle a fire. Even a small one?

That may come out harsh but...yeah, we get it

Terez
09-03-2013, 10:57 PM
This thread is about moving on. :p There are other threads for rekindling fires and all...

suttree
09-04-2013, 12:04 AM
I think he wasn't ready for it as his prose was about Fallon-level, but that comparison in itself makes it clear it's nothing personal.

Indeed, the work just simply doesn't hold up under close scrutiny. BS did some things well but overall it was far too uneven and lacked the depth that can sustain long term discussions. Additionally the more I have heard and seen of the process(both in Q&A's and behind the scenes), the more I have soured on it all. I suspect if RJ were alive he wouldn't recognize a fair amount of what we got in the last three books. Not pretty stuff indeed.

Also I find it rather funny that most of the people who come flying to the defense of the work rarely even attempt to articulate WHY Brandon did a good job. They just fly into "ZOMFG your a hater, stop ruining things by critiquing the work!"...on websites dedicated to the discussion of books no less. It also ignores how long Brandon was handled with kid gloves by the fandom, I wonder if it would have made a difference if people had been a bit more realistic with what we had after TGS. It should be very interesting to see how things play out in his own Stormlight Archive.

Terez
09-04-2013, 12:22 AM
I can understand why people think there are still many details to be discussed in the last volume, but for me it just all falls apart due to a web of inconsistencies and retcons. Disbelief has been suspended too far. I have noticed a few threads going on about such details, and I'm not going to rain on anyone's parade, but the discussions just don't interest me any more.

For the record, again, I'm not giving up on the database. I needed a break from it, but it's a responsibility I take seriously. My love for WoT is not gone, but it is changed.

Edit: by the way, there was good reason to believe after TGS that improvements would be made. It was only after TOM that panic set in.

Davian93
09-04-2013, 06:59 AM
This thread is about moving on. :p There are other threads for rekindling fires and all...

Exactly...

suttree
09-04-2013, 10:21 AM
Edit: by the way, there was good reason to believe after TGS that improvements would be made. It was only after TOM that panic set in.

Yeah I really agree with the above. Even then though if you recall after ToM I argued very strongly in favor of the extra time being taken for AMoL. I truly believed at the time that it would make a huge difference in the quality of the work. That is where a good part of the disappointment comes from.

This thread is about moving on. :p There are other threads for rekindling fires and all...

:D

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 04:06 PM
It is interesting because many of the critics of the last three books are most assuredly the same people who would be clamoring for an author to finish the series if Harriet hadn't chosen Brandon.

Obviously, it is very upsetting to think about how amazing the ending to these stories would have been if RJ had lived, but I honestly think Brandon did the best job anyone could have and it doesn't really seem constructive to continue to criticize what he wrote. At some point, you have to accept that it is the way it is and learn to appreciate what you do have, even if it isn't perfect.

I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6. If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

Enter 20 posts about Brandon's prose and inconsistencies, etc...

If someone dies and doesn't leave a will, you don't blame the children for being confused about who gets what. Put the blame where it belongs.

suttree
09-04-2013, 06:23 PM
I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6.

Not sure why you would include ACoS or KoD in the above but RJ got hammered online post CoT so not sure what your point is here. No one has ever held RJ up as infallible.


If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-vwZ2RaM2sIU/Tc7hNDd8Z3I/AAAAAAAADfs/G5kzIhJ2Bbo/s1600/facepalm-homer.jpg

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 06:28 PM
ACOS is still a good book, but that's really where the story bloat begins to take hold, for a variety of reasons I don't really care to spend them time listing for you dismiss offhandedly because it doesn't fit your worldview.

If RJ had left a detailed outline, Brandon and Harriet wouldn't have had to fill in so many details and the story would have been better, what is hard to understand about that? This is the man who once said that if he died before the books were finished he would want his hard drive smashed.

The point is, the last three books are what they are, what is the point of complaining about them now?

Isabel
09-04-2013, 06:28 PM
It is interesting because many of the critics of the last three books are most assuredly the same people who would be clamoring for an author to finish the series if Harriet hadn't chosen Brandon.

Obviously, it is very upsetting to think about how amazing the ending to these stories would have been if RJ had lived, but I honestly think Brandon did the best job anyone could have and it doesn't really seem constructive to continue to criticize what he wrote. At some point, you have to accept that it is the way it is and learn to appreciate what you do have, even if it isn't perfect.

I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6. If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

Enter 20 posts about Brandon's prose and inconsistencies, etc...

If someone dies and doesn't leave a will, you don't blame the children for being confused about who gets what. Put the blame where it belongs.

:mad::eek::mad:

I really cant believe you are saying what you are saying.:mad::eek:

In the last few weeks before he died RJ spend a lot of time dictating for the outline and telling his family what would happen. He could have spend that time also on other more personal things.
I am very gratefull that we got the infomation we got and that someone was allowed to finish the series.

suttree
09-04-2013, 06:40 PM
ACOS is still a good book, but that's really where the story bloat begins to take hold, for a variety of reasons I don't really care to spend them time listing for you dismiss offhandedly because it doesn't fit your worldview.

Still not sure what you are on about as RJ took a great deal of criticism. You seem to be trying to offer some revisionist history on that point. Further there was no offhanded dismissal. You just don't seem to care about supporting how ACoS and KoD fit into the same category of crtitique that the TPoD-CoT sections often face. Further you seem to ignore the amount of bloat and filler in the last three books when doing so.


If RJ had left a detailed outline, Brandon and Harriet wouldn't have had to fill in so many details and the story would have been better, what is hard to understand about that? This is the man who once said that if he died before the books were finished he would want his hard drive smashed.

You are either very uninformed or trolling on this topic. Isabel has the right of it and here is what Brandon had to say:

Interview: Jul 28th, 2008
Brandon Sanderson's Blog: A Gift (Verbatim)
Brandon Sanderson
Recently, I've been reading interviews that Mr. Jordan did before he died. (Thank you to those who have sent these to me.) I had already read some of the questions and answers, but others were fresh to me. I'm very interested in his comments as I want to make extra certain I don't miss-step and contradict anything he said in an interview, even if that information didn't appear in the books or the notes for the final volume.

I've found a lot of his answers very interesting. Among the more tragic are the ones that came when people asked him what would happen to his series if he died before it was finished. It kind of twists my heart a little bit each time I read a question like that, knowing what eventually happened.

In response to most of these situations, Mr. Jordan was joking and whimsical. Common responses were along the lines of "You'd better hope that doesn't happen, otherwise you'll never get to see that last ending I've been planning all these years!" He often indicated that he'd leave instructions to have all of his notes burned and his disc drives wiped, then reformatted six or seven times so that nobody would ever know how the story came out.

Humorous tone set aside, I see something in these responses. Inside, I think the concept of anyone else working on the Wheel of Time was very painful for Mr. Jordan. I really think that early on, he was against the idea of anyone else finishing the last book, should he die.

However, Harriet has talked to me of the last days before his death, and I also have transcripts of the final dictations he made. Transcripts that talk about what should happen, how people should end up, and how the ending should be written. The tone of these writings and of what Harriet talked about is very different from his earlier comments. It's humbling to see how he changed, instead becoming determined—insistent, even—that the last book be finished after he passed away. Harriet mentioned to me that he didn't want to select someone himself. That thought was too hard for him. I can understand why.

In the end, I see this as his last gift to all of us. As an artist, I can completely understand why he wouldn't want someone else to work on his world and his books. And if he had actually decided to leave instructions for the final book not to be completed, I am sure—very sure—that Harriet would have seen to it that his will was followed. But that wasn't what he decided. He demanded that this book be written. Even though I know that the idea brought him pain.

This was his final sacrifice and gift for you all—the decision to give us the last scenes and instructions for the book, rather than taking that knowledge to the grave with him. From what I've heard of the last months of his life, I know that he spent a surprising amount of time giving dictations, telling about places that nobody else knew existed, and explaining how the characters were to end up.


The point is, the last three books are what they are, what is the point of complaining about them now?

Why critique books on a forum dedicated to...a series of books? :confused:

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 07:03 PM
I am thankful he dictated what he did, but considering the scope of the books and the amount left to write, the last few weeks isn't nearly enough.

As I said before, it would be as if someone died without a will and the lawyer was the one being criticized for the way the settlement came out. Brandon's writing clearly has its flaws, but I don't really see how belaboring the same point over and over is constructive in any way. It certainly won't change what happened.


Last time I checked, whining about Brandon ruining the books falls a bit flat in the criticism department.

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 07:10 PM
To say I am ungrateful or angry with Robert Jordan for dying before the books are finished is simply not true, I would argue I am one of the few people here who accepts that, while certainly not perfect, the Brandon books are better than nothing.

All I was saying is that Brandon receives the majority of the criticism here for those books, but RJ included quite a bit of unnecessary bits in books 7-12 (you could even argue 5-12) that slowed the books down and prevented him from finishing them before he died. In addition, he did not leave very detailed notes about a lot of the events found in TOM and AMOL. I think it's fair to put some of the criticism of the last three books at his feet for that reason.

Isabel
09-04-2013, 07:13 PM
I am thankful he dictated what he did, but considering the scope of the books and the amount left to write, the last few weeks isn't nearly enough.

As I said before, it would be as if someone died without a will and the lawyer was the one being criticized for the way the settlement came out. Brandon's writing clearly has its flaws, but I don't really see how belaboring the same point over and over is constructive in any way. It certainly won't change what happened.


Last time I checked, whining about Brandon ruining the books falls a bit flat in the criticism department.

I said weeks, but it could have been longer. However, thats not even the point.

You are really being inaproprite, in essence blaming RJ for getting sick and not leaving enoug outline.

As i said before : you should be gratefull someone else was allowed to finish it and that we have so much. Its certainly not like leaving no will.

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 07:20 PM
Maybe some of the words aren't appearing on your screen or something, so I will write them again:

I would say I am one of the few people that I have seen post on this board that is OK with the Brandon books, they are certainly not perfect, but I am grateful they are finished. Most of the board, this thread included, centers around people bemoaning the end of the books and wishing it was different. Well, it isn't.


To only blame the writer who took on the gargantuan task of finishing the books for their quality but not the man who spent useful time focusing on some unnecessary plot points and left them others completely unfinished is just absurd.


Yes, he did change his mind about finishing the books near his death, but obviously not with enough time to let everyone know what was to happen.

I have read that GRRM has already told the people making the GOT show what happens at the end of his books to specifically avoid a similar situation happening.

If the story was completely outlined for Brandon before he started and they still sucked, you could certainly blame him, but the idea that RJ has no responsibility whatsoever for the quality of the last books is just not being honest.

Zombie Sammael
09-04-2013, 07:20 PM
I said weeks, but it could have been longer. However, thats not even the point.

You are really being inaproprite, in essence blaming RJ for getting sick and not leaving enoug outline.

As i said before : you should be gratefull someone else was allowed to finish it and that we have so much. Its certainly not like leaving no will.

I don't think anyone would blame RJ for getting sick (and, for the record, that isn't the impression I got from Tollingtoy's posts, either) but it is beyond argument that the series became bloated and unwieldy the longer it went on.

I've actually had this discussion a few times with Lupus Deus Est: imagine how different the books would have been if the POV characters had been restricted solely to Rand, Perrin, Mat, and Egwene. RJ would have had to make some very different choices but it might have led to a tighter series. Instead, we have armies of pointless Aes Sedai names to remember and the bad guys thinking, "Aha! The fools. I'm so evil," then getting captured/blown up/otherwise shown to be incompetent. Not everyone needs a POV, and RJ didn't really understand that. You can actually see the same thing happening with GRRM; as the series goes on, he adds more and more POV characters, and the bloat gets bigger and the plot moves slower. It isn't RJ's only fault - while he was capable of brilliant prose he was also capable of downright awful prose, for a start - but in my mind it is the biggest one, certainly the biggest barrier to a satisfying resolution, and probably the biggest hurdle Brandon had to overcome.

Isabel
09-04-2013, 07:20 PM
To say I am ungrateful or angry with Robert Jordan for dying before the books are finished is simply not true, I would argue I am one of the few people here who accepts that, while certainly not perfect, the Brandon books are better than nothing.

All I was saying is that Brandon receives the majority of the criticism here for those books, but RJ included quite a bit of unnecessary bits in books 7-12 (you could even argue 5-12) that slowed the books down and prevented him from finishing them before he died. In addition, he did not leave very detailed notes about a lot of the events found in TOM and AMOL. I think it's fair to put some of the criticism of the last three books at his feet for that reason.

Your first point is completely useless. Its a what if game. For example if RJ had decided to rewrite CoT from scratch, we wouldnt even had KOD.
If he had been hit by a car we also woudnt have the ending.

The second point: rj left whatever was possible to leave in the short time he had left.
Blaming him for not leaving more is completely wrong.

Isabel
09-04-2013, 07:25 PM
I have read that GRRM has already told the people making the GOT show what happens at the end of his books to specifically avoid a similar situation happening.

.

Rofl, if grrm died now you would have an even worse situation.
Do you really think grrm left detailed information?
He probably just said: dany wins, that person dies, the others flee.

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 07:27 PM
Show me where I blamed him? How can you blame someone for getting a disease? What you are saying doesn't even make any sense.


I DID say that if you are going to spend your time on a WOT discussion board criticizing the final three books and ONLY blame Brandon for them, you are not being honest because some of the CRITICISM should also be directed at RJ for missteps that he made

I would counter with saying, how can you ONLY blame Brandon for making three semi-decent books out of the mess that was handed to him?

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 07:28 PM
Rofl, if grrm died now you would have an even worse situation.
Do you really think grrm left detailed information?
He probably just said: dany wins, that person dies, the others flee.

Didn't realize you were in on those conversations. This is obviously ridiculous, if you want to create your own interpretations of the words I have written, I certainly can't stop you.

Have fun!

Isabel
09-04-2013, 07:29 PM
I don't think anyone would blame RJ for getting sick (and, for the record, that isn't the impression I got from Tollingtoy's posts, either) but it is beyond argument that the series became bloated and unwieldy the longer it went on.

I've actually had this discussion a few times with Lupus Deus Est: imagine how different the books would have been if the POV characters had been restricted solely to Rand, Perrin, Mat, and Egwene. RJ would have had to make some very different choices but it might have led to a tighter series. Instead, we have armies of pointless Aes Sedai names to remember and the bad guys thinking, "Aha! The fools. I'm so evil," then getting captured/blown up/otherwise shown to be incompetent. Not everyone needs a POV, and RJ didn't really understand that. You can actually see the same thing happening with GRRM; as the series goes on, he adds more and more POV characters, and the bloat gets bigger and the plot moves slower. It isn't RJ's only fault - while he was capable of brilliant prose he was also capable of downright awful prose, for a start - but in my mind it is the biggest one, certainly the biggest barrier to a satisfying resolution, and probably the biggest hurdle Brandon had to overcome.

Thats a what if game. Things could have been different, but there would have been no Theoryland and you wouldnt have met LDE......

I agree that the scope of the series makes it impossible for somone else to finish it perfectly. But we should be gratefull that it is finished. Gratefull to RJ, team jordan and brandon.

Isabel
09-04-2013, 07:33 PM
Show me where I blamed him? How can you blame someone for getting a disease? What you are saying doesn't even make any sense.



To me blaming RJ for not leaving more notes and a bigger outline is the same as blaming him for getting ill. Don't you think that if RJ could have, he ould have left more?

Tollingtoy
09-04-2013, 07:35 PM
To me blaming RJ for not leaving more notes and a bigger outline is the same as blaming him for getting ill. Don't you think that if RJ could have, he ould have left more?



This has become laughable, truly. Maybe you should go back and reread what I wrote for good measure.

Terez
09-04-2013, 07:38 PM
It is interesting because many of the critics of the last three books are most assuredly the same people who would be clamoring for an author to finish the series if Harriet hadn't chosen Brandon. Probably a bad assumption to make. Many of us were around between RJ's death and the Brandon announcement, you know. We're on the record. I was one of the people who said I'd rather they just publish the notes. Isabel was too, though clearly she's evolved on that; I did too, but I'm back to where I was before. I don't really blame Brandon for the way things turned out, even though I think he wasn't up to the task. It's just an unfortunate situation. I think RJ left more in the way of notes than any other author would have.

Zombie Sammael
09-04-2013, 07:46 PM
Thats a what if game. Things could have been different, but there would have been no Theoryland and you wouldnt have met LDE......

I agree that the scope of the series makes it impossible for somone else to finish it perfectly. But we should be gratefull that it is finished. Gratefull to RJ, team jordan and brandon.

Oh, I am. That doesn't mean I can't criticise it. Any form of critique is essentially a what if game: what if things had been better? If RJ had reduced the scope of the series somewhat, he might have finished it sooner, and we wouldn't be having this debate. It's all what if. Dismissing every criticism as being a what if game essentially precludes any form of criticism whatsoever. We'll never stop wondering what the series would have been if RJ had finished it. That doesn't change the fact that what we have is what we have, for better or for worse.

(incidentally, I choose to believe that Lupus and I would have met whether through this or through some other mutual interest; Light knows we have enough. That doesn't change the fact that it was through WOT and TL that we met, nor does it diminish the impact WOT has had on both of our lives from very young ages)

Davian93
09-04-2013, 08:51 PM
Probably a bad assumption to make. Many of us were around between RJ's death and the Brandon announcement, you know. We're on the record. I was one of the people who said I'd rather they just publish the notes. Isabel was too, though clearly she's evolved on that; I did too, but I'm back to where I was before. I don't really blame Brandon for the way things turned out, even though I think he wasn't up to the task. It's just an unfortunate situation. I think RJ left more in the way of notes than any other author would have.

And I was the exact opposite and ardently defended BS after TGS and even after ToM were published...as you'd see if you look through the archives.

I dont even blame him for this quagmire either...as I stated a couple times earlier in the thread. In hindsight, however, it appears that even the best intentions and efforts were simply not up to snuff to finish RJ's work. I'm grateful to RJ that he spent his last days dictating what he could (and honestly last months to years from the moment he was diagnosed with a terminal illness to his death if you'll recall) but saddened deeply that he couldnt finish the masterpiece that he wrote for nearly 30 years and one that I started reading when I was 12...over 20 years in the past now.

Blaming RJ for getting sick is just pathetic and sad.

Blaming BS for not completing an impossible task is also sad.

Isabel
09-04-2013, 11:01 PM
This has become laughable, truly. Maybe you should go back and reread what I wrote for good measure.
This is what you said:
he iis also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

If RJ had left a detailed outline, Brandon and Harriet wouldn't have had to fill in so many details and the story would have been better, what is hard to understand about that? This is the man who once said that if he died before the books were finished he would want his hard drive smashed.

All I was saying is that Brandon receives the majority of the criticism here for those books, but RJ included quite a bit of unnecessary bits in books 7-12 (you could even argue 5-12) that slowed the books down and prevented him from finishing them before he died. In addition, he did not leave very detailed notes about a lot of the events found in TOM and AMOL. I think it's fair to put some of the criticism of the last three books at his feet for that reason.

If you didnt mean to blame RJ for getting ill and thus leaving an incomlpete outline do say so.

suttree
09-04-2013, 11:48 PM
If the story was completely outlined for Brandon before he started and they still sucked, you could certainly blame him, but the idea that RJ has no responsibility whatsoever for the quality of the last books is just not being honest.

So essentially you are saying Brandon as an author has skills equivalent to a ghost writer and nothing more?

When I was handed this project by Harriet [Harriet McDougal, Robert Jordan's wife and editor], she handed it to me as a collaborator, not as a ghost writer. It's not like building a shelf from Ikea, which is good, because otherwise my creativity wouldn't have been engaged. She handed me full creative control for the first draft, and then we went into the editing phase where we really worked on it to make sure that it fit her vision and Robert Jordan's vision for the series. But going into it, nothing was off-limits. So I wrote them like I write any novel. Nothing is taken for granted, nothing is sacrosanct.

Seriously stop making borderline offensive excuses for a professional author. Simply judge Brandon in a realistic manner on the work he did.


Last time I checked, whining about Brandon ruining the books falls a bit flat in the criticism department.

This is just flat out disingenuous. Name one person here who hasn't offered a detailed critique at one time or another(something ironically that the people defending Brandon's work rarely bother to do), taking that a step further name one person who hasn't thanked him for the work done on the series. The reality is things had to hit a pretty extreme point before fans even started calling out the issues.

In addition you have the gall to accuse others of "whining" when you are crying about RJ not spending more time working on the notes when he was on his deathbed as opposed to being with his loved ones?!. Imagine the toll it took on the man to get this final gift out to the fans. Listen to what you are saying for fucks sake. You are calling out a man who was terminally ill for not doing more to get you the ending to this story. Frankly the posts you have made do not speak all that well for your character.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-05-2013, 01:33 AM
quite obviously several people have not moved on.

Terez
09-05-2013, 01:48 AM
In a sense, I know I never will. But a part of me has, and it's an important part. I won't engage in this conversation every time it comes up, but every now and then I will.

Davian93
09-05-2013, 07:41 AM
quite obviously several people have not moved on.

Remember how many times we went around on Asmo before BS went and spoiled our fun with his glossary entry?

BTW, I was so right about Graendal being the killer.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-05-2013, 08:06 AM
Remember how many times we went around on Asmo before BS went and spoiled our fun with his glossary entry?

BTW, I was so right about Graendal being the killer.

not really, I always found that particular discussion to be extremely assinine (pun intended. not a good pun, but still intended), so I pretty much ignored all those threads. I also do not care At All about the number of souls; and I find single-character-bashing (be it Perrin or Berelain) tiring if it keeps cropping up over and over again. It almost forces me to take an opposite stance.

me, I like the Parallel and Mirror worlds discussions, and the T'A'R and the OP stuff. And cultural things.

GonzoTheGreat
09-05-2013, 08:16 AM
Remember how many times we went around on Asmo before BS went and spoiled our fun with his glossary entry?

BTW, I was so right about Graendal being the killer.
I thought that was just a bit of slander made up by Ishamael/Moridin in order to defeat a rival. Sure, the DO bought into it, but his view isn't authoritative, is it?

klye
09-05-2013, 10:45 AM
quite obviously several people have not moved on.

Yep. I was just thinking the same thing. ;)

suttree
09-05-2013, 11:10 AM
quite obviously several people have not moved on.

Nothing like a bit of flamebaiting to drive up the post count.

Davian93
09-05-2013, 11:45 AM
Nothing like a bit of flamebaiting to drive up the post count.

It

Davian93
09-05-2013, 11:45 AM
saddens me

Davian93
09-05-2013, 11:46 AM
when people do things to drive up their post counts.

suttree
09-05-2013, 11:57 AM
when people do things to drive up their post counts.

Ha... indeed. I mean Tolling has to know exactly what he is doing with posts like:
he iis also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

Yellowbeard
09-05-2013, 12:37 PM
I personally liked the last 3 books, but I wasn't expecting RJ-esque WoT books. RJ couldn't write them, unfortunately.

BS said at the very beginning that he wasn't RJ and would not try to emulate him because he'd never be able to do that successfully.

Would RJ have done a better job? Very likely. Am I happy with what we got instead? Considering the alternative of the story never being finished due to RJ's tragic illness and passing, I'm very happy that we got to see how the story wrapped up. I'm sure a bunch of plot details would have been different, but I guess I'm not one to quibble over it.

One example I liked, that I know not everyone did, was how BS used gateways in the end. I respected BS trying to write something being done that we hadn't seen before in terms of use/abilities of the OP. Without things like that, we're just reading rehashing of things from before.

Tollingtoy
09-05-2013, 03:27 PM
This is what you said:






If you didnt mean to blame RJ for getting ill and thus leaving an incomlpete outline do say so.


For the last time, I said if you are going to CRITICIZE the final three books, some of the CRITICISM should be leveled at the author of the books who left an incomplete outline when he died, not just the person who finished them.

How can you blame someone for being sick? What am I even blaming him for? What don't you understand about that?

Tollingtoy
09-05-2013, 03:31 PM
It doesn't show some degree of hubris to tell millions of readers you plan on smashing your hard drive and destroying the ending of a story read by millions of people?

If I dedicated most of my life to creating something, I probably would make sure that it was properly taken care of and I know that once he realized the gravity of his illness, he did the best he could, but from what I understand, there were still many holes and gaps in the final books.

People on here just love to be outraged, so that's fine if you want to misconstrue what I said.

+1 post on a message board no one posts on anymore

Go me!

suttree
09-05-2013, 04:52 PM
It doesn't show some degree of hubris to tell millions of readers you plan on smashing your hard drive and destroying the ending of a story read by millions of people?

See now you are trying to move the goal posts from what you said earlier. The above is not at all the same as your initial "hubris" quote. Additionally you must have missed this from Brandon's post:

In response to most of these situations, Mr. Jordan was joking and whimsical. Common responses were along the lines of "You'd better hope that doesn't happen, otherwise you'll never get to see that last ending I've been planning all these years!" He often indicated that he'd leave instructions to have all of his notes burned and his disc drives wiped, then reformatted six or seven times so that nobody would ever know how the story came out.


If I dedicated most of my life to creating something, I probably would make sure that it was properly taken care of and I know that once he realized the gravity of his illness, he did the best he could, but from what I understand, there were still many holes and gaps in the final books.

So once he learned the gravity of his illness he did the best he could, yet you still blame him for not doing more? After all you did say:

...kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't.


People on here just love to be outraged, so that's fine if you want to misconstrue what I said.


No one has misconstrued a thing, nice job trying to backpedal off what you originally said though.

Southpaw2012
09-05-2013, 05:26 PM
Remember how many times we went around on Asmo before BS went and spoiled our fun with his glossary entry?

BTW, I was so right about Graendal being the killer.


I'm still disappointed that the revelation was in the glossary.

Southpaw2012
09-05-2013, 05:34 PM
As to responding to the overall topic at hand, it doesn't matter what we think of Brandon's work on books 12-14. Bottom line is, no one should be putting blame in any way on RJ for not putting out enough notes/outline before he died. He had a horrible disease and we should all be thankful we got any info whatsoever post-KoD. Brandon is a great author who undertook the task of completing one of the biggest fantasy series every written. Was it perfect? Definitely not. Was it good? People clearly have differing opinions on that but I think we can all agree that he did some great stuff. Overall we need to keep the blame off RJ (for books 12-14) because he could not have done anything more with the disease he had.

Tollingtoy
09-05-2013, 08:02 PM
It is interesting because many of the critics of the last three books are most assuredly the same people who would be clamoring for an author to finish the series if Harriet hadn't chosen Brandon.

Obviously, it is very upsetting to think about how amazing the ending to these stories would have been if RJ had lived, but I honestly think Brandon did the best job anyone could have and it doesn't really seem constructive to continue to criticize what he wrote. At some point, you have to accept that it is the way it is and learn to appreciate what you do have, even if it isn't perfect.

I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6. If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

Enter 20 posts about Brandon's prose and inconsistencies, etc...

If someone dies and doesn't leave a will, you don't blame the children for being confused about who gets what. Put the blame where it belongs.



Since no one really seems to have actually read what I originally said, I will quote it here. With the exception of the last sentence, which in hindsight was probably a poor choice of words, what I was saying was taken out of context.

I was certainly not "blaming" RJ for being sick or angry that he spent his last days on Earth doing something else besides telling me how Perrin got from Malden to Camelyn, so if you choose to twist my words to make them mean that, then that's your prerogative.

The point of my post was to express how tired I am of seeing every post here talking about how bad the last three books were.

Since the title of the thread is "Moving On", I was suggesting that if we are truly going to move on, we need to accept that the ending is what it is, and if you choose to continue to complain about TGS, TOM and AMOL then SOME of that CRITICISM should go to RJ and not be solely placed on Brandon--for dragging out books 7-12 and for not leaving a more complete outline.

As I said in my original post, I am OK with the last three books and don't blame anyone for anything.

If you had read what I actually said instead of cherry picking certain parts to get outraged about, that would probably be pretty obvious.

Zombie Sammael
09-05-2013, 08:30 PM
Since no one really seems to have actually read what I originally said, I will quote it here. With the exception of the last sentence, which in hindsight was probably a poor choice of words, what I was saying was taken out of context.

I was certainly not "blaming" RJ for being sick or angry that he spent his last days on Earth doing something else besides telling me how Perrin got from Malden to Camelyn, so if you choose to twist my words to make them mean that, then that's your prerogative.

The point of my post was to express how tired I am of seeing every post here talking about how bad the last three books were.

Since the title of the thread is "Moving On", I was suggesting that if we are truly going to move on, we need to accept that the ending is what it is, and if you choose to continue to complain about TGS, TOM and AMOL then SOME of that CRITICISM should go to RJ and not be solely placed on Brandon--for dragging out books 7-12 and for not leaving a more complete outline.

As I said in my original post, I am OK with the last three books and don't blame anyone for anything.

If you had read what I actually said instead of cherry picking certain parts to get outraged about, that would probably be pretty obvious.

I read your initial post and agree with what you said, for whatever it's worth. Just wanted to publicly acknowledge that.

Terez
09-05-2013, 08:41 PM
Since the title of the thread is "Moving On", I was suggesting that if we are truly going to move on, we need to accept that the ending is what it is...The thread is more accurately about why the message board is not very active any more. If you have a problem with people expressing their opinions about why it's not active any more, then I suggest avoiding this thread (and any others like it).

Zombie Sammael
09-05-2013, 11:39 PM
The thread is more accurately about why the message board is not very active any more. If you have a problem with people expressing their opinions about why it's not active any more, then I suggest avoiding this thread (and any others like it).

Ironically, this thread has now run to four pages and spawned an off-shoot. Clearly people do want to discuss things, it's just a case of what we discuss. Which I think I pretty much said would happen before AMOL (and said was happening in this thread).

suttree
09-06-2013, 11:36 AM
Since no one really seems to have actually read what I originally said, I will quote it here. With the exception of the last sentence, which in hindsight was probably a poor choice of words, what I was saying was taken out of context.

Cherry picking and taking something out of context that you went on to reiterate multiple times. :rolleyes:


I was certainly not "blaming" RJ for being sick or angry that he spent his last days on Earth doing something else besides telling me how Perrin got from Malden to Camelyn, so if you choose to twist my words to make them mean that, then that's your prerogative.

The point of my post was to express how tired I am of seeing every post here talking about how bad the last three books were.

So you accuse others of trying to find things to be "outraged" about yet you come in to this thread flamebaiting and "outraged" that people frequently critique the last three books? Nice work there.

Look the thread is about "moving on" and people were given their reasons for why. A big part of that is the inconsistencies, mistakes, retcons and lack of polish in ToM and AMoL. Instead of railing against the unfairness of people offering their opinions on Brandon's work perhaps try and be constructive. Articulate why you disagree and what you feel Brandon did well.


Since the title of the thread is "Moving On", I was suggesting that if we are truly going to move on, we need to accept that the ending is what it is, and if you choose to continue to complain about TGS, TOM and AMOL then SOME of that CRITICISM should go to RJ and not be solely placed on Brandon--for dragging out books 7-12 and for not leaving a more complete outline.


Why would an author make a complete outline with every detail filled in when there is no reason to think he isn't going to finish the series himself? RJ had had more worldbuilding notes than perhaps any other author in fantasy. In blaming him for not having every detail mapped out you are blaming him for not doing more once he was terminally ill. More so you don't seem to understand how he went about his writing process.

It is fair game to critique RJ's writing in the books he was responsible for(and he was critiqued heavily online for that WH-CoT stretch). As I quoted Brandon was brought on and given creative control specifically because he is a professional author and not just a ghost writer. By attempting to deflect blame you are essentially saying he wasn't up to the task.

Ironically, this thread has now run to four pages and spawned an off-shoot. Clearly people do want to discuss things, it's just a case of what we discuss. Which I think I pretty much said would happen before AMOL (and said was happening in this thread).

Well flamebaiting was the driver for the majority of those posts so...

Tollingtoy
09-07-2013, 10:09 AM
Indeed, the work just simply doesn't hold up under close scrutiny. BS did some things well but overall it was far too uneven and lacked the depth that can sustain long term discussions. Additionally the more I have heard and seen of the process(both in Q&A's and behind the scenes), the more I have soured on it all. I suspect if RJ were alive he wouldn't recognize a fair amount of what we got in the last three books. Not pretty stuff indeed.

Also I find it rather funny that most of the people who come flying to the defense of the work rarely even attempt to articulate WHY Brandon did a good job. They just fly into "ZOMFG your a hater, stop ruining things by critiquing the work!"...on websites dedicated to the discussion of books no less. It also ignores how long Brandon was handled with kid gloves by the fandom, I wonder if it would have made a difference if people had been a bit more realistic with what we had after TGS. It should be very interesting to see how things play out in his own Stormlight Archive.



Funny from a guy who writes stuff like this pretty regularly

suttree
09-07-2013, 11:01 AM
Funny from a guy who writes stuff like this pretty regularly

Your point is? I was giving reasons for moving on. Which is you know...what this thread was about until you did almost exactly what I outlined in the post you just quoted. I hope you're not one of those silly people that equates any criticism with some sort of an attack on the author. What about the above do you have an issue with?

Also why not address any of the actual points made.

SamJ
09-07-2013, 03:23 PM
I wish Daniel Abraham had been chosen to write the last 3 books. All his fantasy books have been excellent in my opinion (I know some others don't share my tastes). For me, Brandon's own works tend to be 'meh'. Outside WOT I've never wanted to reread anything he wrote. I find his WOT books a bit painful. Part of this is because I spend too much time parsing what has been written by Brandon and what by RJ – like I'm trying to work out in my head which bits are really canon and which not. It doesn't make for fun reading. I've had Unfettered sitting on my bookshelf for months and haven't read it, because it's just more of the same.

I wish there was more here to read – I would be interested in some long discussions on the series as a whole, how the character arcs fit, how all the underlying mythlogy and symbolism played out in the end, where all those repeating patterns and structures in the books went. But tbh, not sure theoryland is the place for those discussions (feels a bit more Linda's style over at 13th depository). Guess I could start them off myself if I really wanted, but there are so many new books to think about . . . so, after all those years reading wotmania, 13th depository, and theoryland I'm kinda shoulda shorta half-heartedly moving on.

fionwe1987
09-07-2013, 09:53 PM
For the last time, I said if you are going to CRITICIZE the final three books, some of the CRITICISM should be leveled at the author of the books who left an incomplete outline when he died, not just the person who finished them.
Criticism implies that the person being criticized had some level of control over the sequence of events you're criticizing him for. You cannot possibly tell us it isn't deeply offensive to imply that how much time RJ dedicated to outlining the final events was under his control, or that the way he spent the time he did have was incorrect. Short of doing those two, there is no other way to criticize RJ for the last three books.

As for myself, I'm mostly out of it. I think someday I'll read WoT again, and maybe even enjoy it. But aMoL just... ended it, for me. There were so many threads that weren't fully tied up. That's how RJ intended it, but they were left open ended in such a way that there's no room for discussion, only pure speculation. And that gets old really soon.

What is sorely missing is the way RJ used to layer in inane-seeming information in various PoVs that could all be collected into theories. You can't do that with the way the final three books were written.

This is the series where people could have a genuine debate on whether Selene was actually Mesaana and not Lanfear. Where we had wild discussions on Verin's motives and allegiances. This is the series where we could come up with several legitimately compelling ways the end game would go down. We could wonder about the secret plans of the Foresaken, because while obviously secret, there were hints in the most unexpected of sources.

Most importantly, after a major reveal, we could go back a few books and trace the hints. So, when we found out Demandred's whereabouts, we could finally understand how his outburst in WH was related to Rand laying a false trail pointing to Shara in Rhuidean. Same with Verin, or Egwene's death, etc.

But there's no new material like that in the last 3 books. If the first 11 books were onions, the last three are spinach leaves, everything plain to see. And that is because Brandon writes like that.

When he was picked, it seemed to make sense because he was a young writer who we thought might be able to mould his writing to WoT's style without necessarily aping RJ. But as the books came out, we found they needed someone to actually write substantial portions of the book. Maybe they didn't appreciate this in the beginning.

Whatever the true sequence of events, the fact remains the final three books are very alien to the WoT series. And so its both easy and hard to move on. Easy because there is genuinely nothing much to discuss. Hard, because I spent years expecting otherwise.

Uno
09-08-2013, 12:13 AM
For me, Brandon's own works tend to be 'meh'. Outside WOT I've never wanted to reread anything he wrote.

I don't think Sanderson's work is bad at all. I liked Way of Kings. Not enough to reread it, admittedly, but there are very few fantasy or sci-fi books (with due exception for WOT and anything by Pratchett) I can envision rereading at all, so that's hardly a valid measure.

Terez
09-08-2013, 12:53 AM
I don't think Sanderson's work is bad at all. I liked Way of Kings. Not enough to reread it, admittedly, but there are very few fantasy or sci-fi books (with due exception for WOT and anything by Pratchett) I can envision rereading at all, so that's hardly a valid measure.I think I feel the same about it. I am more interested in reading Words of Radiance than I am in reading "River of Souls". I desperately need to reread Malazan so I can finish it, but it's a chore so I'm not sure I will manage it any time soon.

Rand al'Fain
09-08-2013, 03:25 AM
The Wheel of Time series is long enough that once you finish the series, you can go back and re-read it.

Just curious, anyone have any suggestions for good fantasy novels? And not the RuneLords series, or whatever its called, read the first book and didn't care for it much. But something along the lines of WOT with action, comedy, romance, but also deep character development and parts in the story that actually have importance and not just filler.

And not LOTRs and The Hobbit, already read those, loved them, but I'm looking for a new series.

GonzoTheGreat
09-08-2013, 04:25 AM
The Amber series by Roger Zelazny.

Sarevok
09-08-2013, 06:02 AM
Mistborn? Stormlight Archives? (both Brandon Sanderson)

Tollingtoy
09-08-2013, 10:59 AM
Your point is? I was giving reasons for moving on. Which is you know...what this thread was about until you did almost exactly what I outlined in the post you just quoted. I hope you're not one of those silly people that equates any criticism with some sort of an attack on the author. What about the above do you have an issue with?

Also why not address any of the actual points made.


The vast majority of opinions expressed here are very negative toward the last three books and critical of Brandon's writing, which is fine--I think a lot of it had some truth to it. But, (and again, this is MY impression, I am certainly not going to spend an hour of my life combing through every obscure sentence people have uttered) most of the time here is spent bemoaning the Brandon's style or prose instead of discussing the content of the books. When I saw the title--Moving On--it made me think of a thing I'd like people to move on from.

It is interesting that there has been a minimal amount of posting here since shortly after AMOL came out, but the second someone expresses an opinion not approved by the intelligentsia here it is like chum in the water full of hungry sharks.

I know a lot of the "old school" posters here wear their elitism and rigidity to their ideology proudly, like a badge of honor, but its also probably why no one posts here anymore.

If you are essentially saying the same thing you've been saying since TOM came out, how are you really moving on?

GonzoTheGreat
09-08-2013, 11:47 AM
Some may not agree that Demandred wasn't Taim, but the majority of the intelligentsia here are too intelligent to try to take up that particular debate. Same with most other things, for that matter. Which leaves the issue you're complaining about; that is one of the few remaining things from the books one can stil argue about. So when there's an opportunity, people do argue about it.

Seeker
09-08-2013, 04:14 PM
Just... Just wow.

I mean this is enough to make me come out of retirement. Would you all just wait patiently for a moment? There's someone I need to go fetch.

Seeker
09-08-2013, 05:19 PM
So, about six months ago, I was in Limeridge Mall, reading several Memory of Light threads on my mobile phone because the ending honestly left me confused. "Wait, Callandor is a True Power sa'angreal?" I said to myself. "That makes no sense. Who made it? And how can you make a True Power sa'angreal without the Dark One knowing? And if he knew, why on Earth would he let Moridin channel through it in the final battle? It's like he wanted to be trapped."

While I was musing on this, I crossed paths with the brother of an old high school friend, who also loved fantasy novels. We made smalltalk and he noticed that I was reading Theoryland. Having scanned through some of the posts, he looked up at me and said, "Wow, these people really lay into Sanderson."

We proceeded to talk about some of the things we enjoyed about the last few books, including the faster pace, tighter storytelling and greater emphasis on character growth. We agreed that Sanderson had done a good job of bringing WOT back to its roots, that he rekindled the sense of adventure that had been absent from the latter half of the series and that he made us care about the characters again.

At one point, John looked at me and said, "So, why don't you point out some of the improvements that Sanderson brought to this franchise?"

"Trust me," I replied. "These people are determined to make that poor man their scapegoat and nothing I can say will change their minds. Ten percent of their gripes are legitimate. The other ninety percent are nothing more than a way to make themselves feel powerful by tearing someone else down.

Because Sanderson is one of their own. He was a Wheel of Time fan long before he was a published author and by choosing him to complete the series, Harriet sent a message. She didn't want just any other competent author; she wanted someone who loved the Wheel of Time as much as her late husband had.

Sanderson was the one fan who was elevated above the fandom, who was allowed to become part of the creative process. And each and every one of the people who lambast him - whether they admit it or not - secretly wonder, "Why couldn't it have been me? I love the Wheel of Time!"

They talk about all the things Sanderson should have done differently as a way to prove that they were the better choice, that they were more intuitively in sync with RJ's vision. Sure, as a writer, he has his faults but most of the things people on Theoryland complain about are just trumped up bullshit. It's all about fan envy.”

When I was done, my friend looked at me and said, "surely it can't be that bad. You must be exaggerating. I bet you could convince them with some well-reasoned arguments."

I said, "You're welcome to try but I'll expect a good meal when you inevitably fail."

He took the challenge.

Now, with that story out the the way, tell me...

Seeker
09-08-2013, 05:21 PM
I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6. If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

Enter 20 posts about Brandon's prose and inconsistencies, etc...

If someone dies and doesn't leave a will, you don't blame the children for being confused about who gets what. Put the blame where it belongs.

Tell me, John, is that not pretty much point for point your EXACT ARGUMENT?

Terez
09-08-2013, 05:23 PM
Everyone knows that people have different opinions about this, but apparently the people who enjoyed the last 3 books are not keeping Theoryland alive, which is what this thread is about.

Garak
09-08-2013, 05:23 PM
Yes, Rich, yes it is.

Seeker
09-08-2013, 05:25 PM
And, correct me if I'm wrong, but wasn't TollingToy one of your biggest detractors? I admit I only followed it with halfhearted interest but didn't he say you were ruining the site or something?

Garak
09-08-2013, 05:32 PM
He called me a fanboy troll. Though I must admit that he did so after I said that RJ was capable of making errors and that the interview quotation they were using may not have been intended to mean what they thought it meant. I suspect he thought I was trying to win an argument by equivocation. My biggest detractors were Suttree and Fionwe

Seeker
09-08-2013, 05:48 PM
Well, I guess I owe you a meal, Garak, because you seem to have convinced TollingToy. Or maybe he came to that conclusion on his own.

Anyway, I'm actually here - surprise, surprise - to get TollingToy's back because it seems to me like he's been mistreated. The man's exact words:

I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6. If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

No where does he say that RJ ruined the series by getting sick; so the people who are claiming as much are just making straw-man arguments. Isabel, you of all people should know better. I mean, come on, you're part of the 20th Century Crew.

TollingToy is not blaming RJ for getting sick.

His point is that RJ caused problems in the series by means of the words he put on paper, by allowing the scope of the story to expand exponentially without any plan for how to resolve the major plotlines. And for those who say "Oh no, he had a plan all along!"

Then how come this was originally supposed to be a trilogy? And how come, after the third book, he insisted that he'd be able to finish it in six? Why is it that after the fifth book, that number got bumped to eight? Then ten? Then twelve? Not the sign of someone with a detailed plan.

RJ had his strengths as a writer - we wouldn't be here if he didn't - but he is not infallible. And both TollingToy and Garak are correct when they say that it's not fair to blame Brandon for problems that existed prior to his involvement in the series.

Garak
09-08-2013, 06:02 PM
Why create a subplot of six generic Aes Sedai hunting the Black Ajah if your plan was to have Verin be the architect of their downfall? Once created, those characters cannot simply disappear. So now Sanderson it's saddled with the deadweight of useless secondary characters. Personally, I thought Pevara was a prop until she had a love story with Androl. It was the only thing that humanized her, in my humble opinion. Before that, she was a DnD character sheet. But the point remains that the BA hunters were a useless subplot that used up wordcount with no payoff.

fionwe1987
09-08-2013, 06:18 PM
Why create a subplot of six generic Aes Sedai hunting the Black Ajah if your plan was to have Verin be the architect of their downfall? Once created, those characters cannot simply disappear. So now Sanderson it's saddled with the deadweight of useless secondary characters. Personally, I thought Pevara was a prop until she had a love story with Androl. It was the only thing that humanized her, in my humble opinion. Before that, she was a DnD character sheet. But the point remains that the BA hunters were a useless subplot that used up wordcount with no payoff.

That's funny, because the lack of payoff is exactly what people on the "other side" of this argument are complaining about. As of KoD, the BA hunters were in an interesting situation. They'd discovered that they couldn't trust that Elaida wasn't Black, after all. Some of them had run into Egwene. And they had been noticed by Alviarin, who was suspicious of their activity.

Then enter tGS, where suddenly, Alviarin is no longer a character central to the BA plot. She just disappears, more or less. Meanwhile, the BA hunters do absolutely nothing for about a month after discovering that Elaida may well be Black. The fact that Doesine Healed Egwene, and did not call her down for claiming to be Amyrlin in KoD is completely ignored. The Black Ajah hunters' realization that the Ajah Heads were scheming together and had placed Sitters of their choice in the Hall is also completely ignored.

They basically sit it out till Egwene comes across them, and then those of them who've met her act as if they haven't.

Sure, all this implies RJ didn't leave detailed notes on these issues. But Brandon is on record saying he was picked not just as a ghost writer but as someone who would actually fill the gaps in the plot. That he failed to notice these aspects of the plot is whose fault, exactly?

ETA: And, of course, there's a reason they were created even with the fact that Verin would eventually reveal most of the BA. The reason is that there needed to be a group in the Tower that was both influential and disillusioned with Elaida, who had strong reasons to be suspicious of her leadership, and would therefore be the first set of people in the Tower to give serious thought to Egwene as Amyrlin. They're the bridge between her and the Tower AS, and they were meant to serve as a way for Egwene to heal the divide between the Tower and the Rebels, because but for her having reliable advisers from the Tower, her new administration would have been too reliant on Rebels, and therefore likely to be polarizing. By creating a group within the Tower that was likely to appeal to Egwene because of their work and cross-Ajah unity, and who were likely to find Egwene appealing based on their suspicions of and frustrations with Elaida, RJ prevented the need for a last-minute retcon where random sisters in the Tower suddenly support Egwene, chastise Elaida, and work to get her free from her dungeon so she can meet Verin, and fight the Seanchan at the right time.

Zombie Sammael
09-08-2013, 06:29 PM
That's funny, because the lack of payoff is exactly what people on the "other side" of this argument are complaining about. As of KoD, the BA hunters were in an interesting situation. They'd discovered that they couldn't trust that Elaida wasn't Black, after all. Some of them had run into Egwene. And they had been noticed by Alviarin, who was suspicious of their activity.

Then enter tGS, where suddenly, Alviarin is no longer a character central to the BA plot. She just disappears, more or less. Meanwhile, the BA hunters do absolutely nothing for about a month after discovering that Elaida may well be Black. The fact that Doesine Healed Egwene, and did not call her down for claiming to be Amyrlin in KoD is completely ignored. The Black Ajah hunters' realization that the Ajah Heads were scheming together and had placed Sitters of their choice in the Hall is also completely ignored.

They basically sit it out till Egwene comes across them, and then those of them who've met her act as if they haven't.

Sure, all this implies RJ didn't leave detailed notes on these issues. But Brandon is on record saying he was picked not just as a ghost writer but as someone who would actually fill the gaps in the plot. That he failed to notice these aspects of the plot is whose fault, exactly?

To be fair he doesn't have a lot to work with, especially if the notes state that Verin giving the book to Egwene - neither of whom are major parts of the hunters' storyline - is what causes the purge. He has another problem, as well: the purpose of the hunters was to show what was going on inside the Tower, all the dissent and back-stabbing and division Elaida and the BA had caused. He doesn't need them for that anymore, since he has Egwene, and he can't simply give over points of view and real estate on the page to every minor character because he needs to get this wrapped up (as at writing TGS) in one or two books. When you bear all that in mind, it's understandable that he quietly drops the hunters plot; it isn't going anywhere and doesn't serve any further purpose. So is it Brandon's fault for dropping it or RJ's for building it up then failing to resolve it in the first place?

Garak
09-08-2013, 06:37 PM
That's funny, because the lack of payoff is exactly what people on the "other side" of this argument are complaining about. As of KoD, the BA hunters were in an interesting situation. They'd discovered that they couldn't trust that Elaida wasn't Black, after all. Some of them had run into Egwene. And they had been noticed by Alviarin, who was suspicious of their activity.

Then enter tGS, where suddenly, Alviarin is no longer a character central to the BA plot. She just disappears, more or less. Meanwhile, the BA hunters do absolutely nothing for about a month after discovering that Elaida may well be Black. The fact that Doesine Healed Egwene, and did not call her down for claiming to be Amyrlin in KoD is completely ignored. The Black Ajah hunters' realization that the Ajah Heads were scheming together and had placed Sitters of their choice in the Hall is also completely ignored.

They basically sit it out till Egwene comes across them, and then those of them who've met her act as if they haven't.

Sure, all this implies RJ didn't leave detailed notes on these issues. But Brandon is on record saying he was picked not just as a ghost writer but as someone who would actually fill the gaps in the plot. That he failed to notice these aspects of the plot is whose fault, exactly?

ETA: And, of course, there's a reason they were created even with the fact that Verin would eventually reveal most of the BA. The reason is that there needed to be a group in the Tower that was both influential and disillusioned with Elaida, who had strong reasons to be suspicious of her leadership, and would therefore be the first set of people in the Tower to give serious thought to Egwene as Amyrlin. They're the bridge between her and the Tower AS, and they were meant to serve as a way for Egwene to heal the divide between the Tower and the Rebels, because but for her having reliable advisers from the Tower, her new administration would have been too reliant on Rebels, and therefore likely to be polarizing. By creating a group within the Tower that was likely to appeal to Egwene because of their work and cross-Ajah unity, and who were likely to find Egwene appealing based on their suspicions of and frustrations with Elaida, RJ prevented the need for a last-minute retcon where random sisters in the Tower suddenly support Egwene, chastise Elaida, and work to get her free from her dungeon so she can meet Verin, and fight the Seanchan at the right time.

Yes, but you seem to be missing the point, Fionwe, which is that if there had been instructions for what to do with them, Sanderson would have carried them out. This would seem to imply that RJ didn't know what he planned to do with them either. For the rest, I think ZS said it best.

Davian93
09-08-2013, 07:27 PM
I was with BS until the entire Androl subplot which was 100% his creation. It was just terrible.

Also, if you think that the final 3 books were even close to the level of RJ's prose, you are insane. BS simply isn't that level of writing. Granted, I might have trouble TELEGRAPHING such a thing to you but just reading it creates a TEMPEST of emotion in me so I won't bother.


Mind you, I like BS's other works.

fionwe1987
09-08-2013, 07:49 PM
To be fair he doesn't have a lot to work with, especially if the notes state that Verin giving the book to Egwene - neither of whom are major parts of the hunters' storyline - is what causes the purge. He has another problem, as well: the purpose of the hunters was to show what was going on inside the Tower, all the dissent and back-stabbing and division Elaida and the BA had caused. He doesn't need them for that anymore, since he has Egwene, and he can't simply give over points of view and real estate on the page to every minor character because he needs to get this wrapped up (as at writing TGS) in one or two books. When you bear all that in mind, it's understandable that he quietly drops the hunters plot; it isn't going anywhere and doesn't serve any further purpose. So is it Brandon's fault for dropping it or RJ's for building it up then failing to resolve it in the first place?

Sure, Verin would be the one to really solve the BA issue. But even there, the Hunters weren't uninvolved. They're the ones who get Egwene freed of her prison in time.

And I agree the Hunters were to show how things were in the Tower. But I don't agree that Egwene's arrival removed that need. Egwene's perspective on the Tower was important, but the entire scenario would have been more rounded out if we got others' perspectives too.

As for real estate, we know for a fact that Brandon added tons of extra plot to that story. We know RJ intended for there to be only one dinner with Elaida, and had set it up to happen immediately after Egwene's chapter in KoD, time-wise. We know Brandon added multiple Egwene chapters between that dinner and the one where it all went to hell with Elaida. We also know several of those chapters were repetitive exercises where Egwene gains the respect of the AS.

Basically, when it came to presenting the Tower conflic, Brandon chose to give more time to building up Egwene's rep than giving us multiple perspectives that would capture the events in a more RJ-esque manner.

And while you can say you agree with his choice and argue the books are better for it (I'd, of course, argue the opposite. I found many of the Egwene chapters where the Aes Sedai start respecting her to be repetitive, covering ground RJ had successfully covered in a single chapter in KoD), you can't say that it wasn't his choice to do it this way. He sidelined the secondary characters important to Egwene's storyline, from the Hunters to Alviarin so he could build her up. He did that with many other characters too. This is a feature of his writing, and you can't argue that in a discussion of his work on WoT, these features cannot be critiqued.

Nor can you argue RJ was wrong to focus on secondary characters. You may personally dislike it, but there's no arguing that that was his style. He didn't like to just focus on the main characters, but instead used a ton of satellite characters to give depth to these plot arcs. Brandon eschewed that style, making many of the earlier plot points and characters RJ introduced feel pointless. And this style also left the final three books less amenable to theorizing and discussion, quite apart from the inconsistencies and retcons. So why can't we criticize Brandon for this choice?

Yes, but you seem to be missing the point, Fionwe, which is that if there had been instructions for what to do with them, Sanderson would have carried them out. This would seem to imply that RJ didn't know what he planned to do with them either. For the rest, I think ZS said it best.
Because it is out of the realm of possibility that a man who was dying from a pretty painful disease couldn't write down several aspects of his story because he was suffering and didn't have all the time in the world?

RJ didn't choose to leave Brandon with fewer notes. That's what happens when you contract a disease that is hugely taxing on your body. And if Brandon had worked these storylines to the best of his abilities, then fair enough. We might argue over how well he did it, but we couldn't argue that he tried. But he specifically chose to go a different way. He was hired to fill in the gaps, and he chose to do so by ignoring the secondary characters RJ typically used to flesh out various storylines. Among the Aes Sedai, Egwene and Pevara got more airtime, but everyone else was forgotten. Among the Asha'man, Brandon's creations Naeff and Androl took over, and secondary characters like Flinn, Narishma, and most importantly Logain were completely ignored.

These were Brandond's choices, and obviously his readers can criticize those choices. I'm mystified that we're still having a debate about that fact. It isn't like there were zero clues to the purpose of some of these characters from the previous books.

fionwe1987
09-08-2013, 07:52 PM
I was with BS until the entire Androl subplot which was 100% his creation. It was just terrible.

Also, if you think that the final 3 books were even close to the level of RJ's prose, you are insane. BS simply isn't that level of writing. Granted, I might have trouble TELEGRAPHING such a thing to you but just reading it creates a TEMPEST of emotion in me so I won't bother.


Mind you, I like BS's other works.

"Telegraphing" really was the worst of the bad word choices (though "arabesque also came close). It didn't throw me out of the story and world so much as kick me out with considerable force. I suppose we should be glad that Egwene didn't email Darlin, or Skype with Rand...

Zombie Sammael
09-08-2013, 08:29 PM
This might be a bit quotealicious, so bear with me.

Sure, Verin would be the one to really solve the BA issue. But even there, the Hunters weren't uninvolved. They're the ones who get Egwene freed of her prison in time.

And I agree the Hunters were to show how things were in the Tower. But I don't agree that Egwene's arrival removed that need. Egwene's perspective on the Tower was important, but the entire scenario would have been more rounded out if we got others' perspectives too.

As for real estate, we know for a fact that Brandon added tons of extra plot to that story. We know RJ intended for there to be only one dinner with Elaida, and had set it up to happen immediately after Egwene's chapter in KoD, time-wise. We know Brandon added multiple Egwene chapters between that dinner and the one where it all went to hell with Elaida. We also know several of those chapters were repetitive exercises where Egwene gains the respect of the AS.

To be absolutely clear, this is the quote where Brandon goes into the most detail about the split in the dinner scenes:

GALENBLADE ()
I know that Jordan left a lot of material behind, but have you ever run across something in that material that you've really wanted to change? Something you felt that thematically or otherwise didn't really fit?
BRANDON SANDERSON
Because of the nature of RJ's notes and writing process, there are a lot of things I can (and was told I should) change. Harriet didn't say specifically "Change this." She told me "Jim (RJ) would not have done it exactly like this. You do what you think is best for the story first—that is your primary charge. Don't feel completely beholden to his notes, but respect his story."

That's kind of how I've done it. If the notes say something that I feel needs to change, I change it, but try to be respectful. An example is Egwene's dinner with Elaida. RJ had this planned as a single event. I split it into two chapters, separated by further discovery by Egwene and growth to earn the second half of the dinner.

There are many things like that. Places where RJ said "I'm going to do this, or maybe I'll do this, or maybe neither." I choose what fits for the story. It's usually one of the two, sometimes neither one works. I can be more specific once the last book is out.

That said, I wasn't particularly hip on writing Cadsuane spanking Semirhage. There was no good reason to change it, though. Jim had outlined the scene, and it was in line with the characters.

Basically, when it came to presenting the Tower conflict, Brandon chose to give more time to building up Egwene's rep than giving us multiple perspectives that would capture the events in a more RJ-esque manner.

And while you can say you agree with his choice and argue the books are better for it (I'd, of course, argue the opposite. I found many of the Egwene chapters where the Aes Sedai start respecting her to be repetitive, covering ground RJ had successfully covered in a single chapter in KoD), you can't say that it wasn't his choice to do it this way. He sidelined the secondary characters important to Egwene's storyline, from the Hunters to Alviarin so he could build her up. He did that with many other characters too. This is a feature of his writing, and you can't argue that in a discussion of his work on WoT, these features cannot be critiqued.

What Brandon specifically says is that he wanted to earn that dinner scene. It's a matter of opinion as to whether the additional development scenes were all necessary, but it's difficult to say that RJ had truly "earned" the fateful, inevitable confrontation between the Amyrlins in a single chapter in KOD. It's clear from the end of KOD that there is more to do on Egwene's part. TGS goes to lengths in showing us that.

Nor can you argue RJ was wrong to focus on secondary characters. You may personally dislike it, but there's no arguing that that was his style. He didn't like to just focus on the main characters, but instead used a ton of satellite characters to give depth to these plot arcs. Brandon eschewed that style, making many of the earlier plot points and characters RJ introduced feel pointless. And this style also left the final three books less amenable to theorizing and discussion, quite apart from the inconsistencies and retcons. So why can't we criticize Brandon for this choice?

If you can criticise Brandon for his choice in paring down the number of POVs, you can also criticise RJ for over-using secondary characters. In fact, I frequently do, as far from truly giving depth to the world and plotlines, it instead hands us a few half-developed caricatures with plotlines that don't go anywhere, who it's difficult to care about while we're wondering what's happening to the main characters. It's hardly a problem unique to RJ, btw; I'd argue GRRM has started suffering from a similar problem in his later books, and it always has the same effect: the reader (in this case me) starts wondering, "Who are you? Why am I reading about you? I don't care! Give me Rand/Jon Snow/Fitz (well, okay, Robin Hobb never gives us anything but Fitz).

Brandon is clearly more conservative with his POVs, and the best example is Way of Kings, where he is able to introduce us to a rich, deep, intriguing world in the space of a single book whilst confining himself (mainly) to three POV characters, so it isn't as simple as more POVs = better world-building/storytelling. I outlined above by reference to the hunters' story why he would have made the choices he did with WOT, and it largely seems to apply across the board: the secondary characters just don't have the resolution in their plotlines that they need to make devoting space in books where space is at a premium worthwhile. Doing so would have increased the size of the books at a point when it wouldn't have paid any real dividend in development story-wise or world-wise.

It is also flat-out wrong to argue that the last three books had less room for theorising than earlier books: we had more mysteries and things to discuss on a per book basis over the last three than we did for the directly preceding three; prior to that we were generally either discussing the exact same mysteries or too bored of doing so to bother (I was). Brandon did a pretty good job at answering questions in TGS and TOM in a way that only led to further questions, but in the end, it was also his job to bring the series to a close, and that means resolutions.

Now, I don't intend any of this as a criticism of RJ for not doing more whilst on his deathbed to try and resolve a series of books as opposed to, say, spending time with his family and loved ones, and I have the greatest of respect for the enormous sacrifice he made in giving us what he did; it demonstrates the extent to which WOT was his life's work that he was able, close to death, to give us mysteries like the blank in the Blight. But none of that shields him from criticism for the decisions he made before that point, such as allowing the series to become so sprawling by introducing so many secondary and even tertiary characters, and those decisions may have precluded even RJ - with his final book that needed the invention of a new binding process and a specially designed case to carry out of the store - from resolving every plot thread satisfactorily, especially when one plot thread's resolution seems to preclude another, as in the case of the hunters and Egwene.

In the end, what we have is what we have. The only reason I chose to participate in this discussion is because I could see the possibility of uncovering some reasons why what we have is what we have, but the question of who is more to blame for the perceived unsatisfactory nature of that is one that go on forever. RJ did what he did, so Brandon did what he had to do; Brandon did what he did because he couldn't do what RJ would have.

Garak
09-08-2013, 08:29 PM
I was with BS until the entire Androl subplot which was 100% his creation. It was just terrible.

Also, if you think that the final 3 books were even close to the level of RJ's prose, you are insane. BS simply isn't that level of writing. Granted, I might have trouble TELEGRAPHING such a thing to you but just reading it creates a TEMPEST of emotion in me so I won't bother.


Mind you, I like BS's other works.

Are you speaking to me, Davian? If so, then as I've said many times before, Sanderson's prose is consistently mediocre while Jordan's is like a sine wave; there are moments of excellence and moments where he makes me cringe. Sanderson also has moments where he makes me cringe but in different ways. Jordan's flaws are his overly long sentences where clauses are mashed together. Sanderson's flaws are his clunky similes and poor choice of words.

However, I think it's important to look at the whole package and a writer brings much more to the table than just prose. Sanderson has demonstrated superior skill when it comes to weaving narrative threads, not just in WOT but in his own works as well. His dialogue is often sharper and funnier and he seems to understand both the purpose of his genre and the limitations of his medium. Sanderson has written some of the best action I've ever read, where fights are tactical and characters must use their wits to survive. I cannot say the same for Jordan. He tends to gloss over the actual conflict. On the other hand, he has a remarkable attention to detail that Sanderson lacks. His worlds are bigger and grander. Both men have their own unique strengths and weaknesses. However,I think Jordan needed someone to reign him in. He went overboard at the end.

Sanderson's descriptions were very sparse and lacked some of the nuance Jordan provided. This is a minor flaw, in my opinion, for two reasons.

1) We were at the end of the story and less description was needed.

2) The scant, minimalistic style that he employed was largely a reaction to the series bloat and the need to tell six books worth of story in three. Had prior books focused more on story and less on pointless detail, this would have been avoided.

Davian93
09-08-2013, 08:51 PM
His dialogue is often sharper and funnier and he seems to understand both the purpose of his genre and the limitations of his medium.

He utterly destroyed Mat and Talmanes as characters with his "sharper" and "funnier" dialogue...but yeah.

Also, much like his own books, most of his characters end up sounding the same.

His action is good but its completely different than the feel of WoT. It works really well in Mistborn (besides the atrocious ending) and tWoK though...because it's his world.

Zombie Sammael
09-08-2013, 09:20 PM
He utterly destroyed Mat and Talmanes as characters with his "sharper" and "funnier" dialogue...but yeah.

Also, much like his own books, most of his characters end up sounding the same.

His action is good but its completely different than the feel of WoT. It works really well in Mistborn (besides the atrocious ending) and tWoK though...because it's his world.

He admitted he didn't really get Mat's character in TGS and TOM. His writing of Mat in AMOL was better.

Seeker
09-08-2013, 09:32 PM
He utterly destroyed Mat and Talmanes as characters with his "sharper" and "funnier" dialogue...but yeah.

Also, much like his own books, most of his characters end up sounding the same.

His action is good but its completely different than the feel of WoT. It works really well in Mistborn (besides the atrocious ending) and tWoK though...because it's his world.

I don't know, Dav. To me, the scene where Mat faces the gholam in the streets of Caemlyn is the best fight scene in the entire series. It's so intense and visceral and you can picture every moment from the staff exchanges to the men coming out with lanterns to the part where Mat lures it into the burning house. The manner in which he kills the gholam is just brilliant. "Personally, I hope you fall forever." I remember thrusting my fist into the air and shouting "Yes!" That's the sort of emotion a good action scene should produce.

And it was all Brandon.

Personally, I think WOT would have benefited from more scenes like that.

If you were to ask me which of RJ's fight scenes I liked best, it would probably be the one where Rand chases Asmo through Rhuidean, followed closely by Rand's duel with Lanfear on the docks, and this is because they were the most vivid. Buildings collapsing around Rand, waves of fire coming at him from all directions. There's a real sense of genuine danger.

Everyone talks about Dumai's Wells but frankly, I was bored through most of that scene. Bored on the first time and on each of my rereads. Yes, the scene is very visual - and normally I applaud that - but for the most part, Rand is just standing around. There's some tension when he breaks out of the box and takes out a few Aes Sedai but after that, he's really just standing around and watching the battle.

The battles in the later books were very lethargic and sometimes RJ just skipped them altogether. The cleansing is just so anti-climactic. (Insert Forsaken here) is wandering through the woods when she/he encounters (insert Rand's followers here) and fires an opening salvo. Cut away to...

(Insert forsaken here) is wandering through the woods when she/he encounters...

Wash, rinse, repeat.

So, yes, Brandon changed the feel of the battles but to me this is a very very good thing. And the thing of it is, RJ is capable of some bad-ass fight scenes. The ones I mentioned above - Rand v Lanfear and Rand v Asmodean - are just spectacular. So, I'm not sure why he stopped writing that kind of scene. It might have been because his illness was plaguing him for years and years and he had no clue as to what the problem was. If so, he has my sympathies.

But whether from illness or just apathy, the action in WOT saw a drop in quality and I think Brandon corrected that.

Isabel
09-08-2013, 10:23 PM
No where does he say that RJ ruined the series by getting sick; so the people who are claiming as much are just making straw-man arguments. Isabel, you of all people should know better. I mean, come on, you're part of the 20th Century Crew.

TollingToy is not blaming RJ for getting sick.

He is blaming RJ for not having a complete outline of all the plots and subplots.
The reason he idnt have that because normally its not needed and while being ill you focuss on the most essential points.
So yes, he and you are blaming RJ for not creating a bigger outline while being ill


His point is that RJ caused problems in the series by means of the words he put on paper, by allowing the scope of the story to expand exponentially without any plan for how to resolve the major plotlines. And for those who say "Oh no, he had a plan all along!"

Then how come this was originally supposed to be a trilogy? And how come, after the third book, he insisted that he'd be able to finish it in six? Why is it that after the fifth book, that number got bumped to eight? Then ten? Then twelve? Not the sign of someone with a detailed plan.


You really should know better. RJ had planned a lot about what was going to happen. He had the major points that needed to happen. However, the things in between were more fluid and decided by RJ when he was writing it.

Isabel
09-08-2013, 10:26 PM
I don't know, Dav. To me, the scene where Mat faces the gholam in the streets of Caemlyn is the best fight scene in the entire series. It's so intense and visceral and you can picture every moment from the staff exchanges to the men coming out with lanterns to the part where Mat lures it into the burning house. The manner in which he kills the gholam is just brilliant. "Personally, I hope you fall forever." I remember thrusting my fist into the air and shouting "Yes!" That's the sort of emotion a good action scene should produce.


Well, lets say we both had a very different reaction to the killing of the gholam. To be it felt like Brandon read the FAQ and selected one of te ways people thought you could kill the gholam.
The batle itself didnt make any lasting impression.

Zombie Sammael
09-09-2013, 12:28 AM
He is blaming RJ for not having a complete outline of all the plots and subplots.
The reason he idnt have that because normally its not needed and while being ill you focuss on the most essential points.
So yes, he and you are blaming RJ for not creating a bigger outline while being ill

I know you're not addressing my points, but I am roughly aligned with Tollingtoy and Seeker here, and I think you're missing the point. The point is that even if Brandon had had a complete outline of all the plots and subplots, he could not have possibly resolved every single one to satisfaction, because RJ allowed them to grow so uncontrollably and there were so many of them. Brandon was on a much tighter limit than RJ; he didn't have the luxury of continuously pushing back the end of the series. He was lucky to even get three books out of what was originally meant to be one. Whilst there are ways of resolving some of those plots better - Lupus and I came up with one we quite liked over lunch, for the hunters - the responsibility for the fact that there were so many and therefore that the decisions had to be left to Brandon about how to resolve them rests with RJ. It's not RJ's fault for getting sick, but it is his fault for writing such a sprawling epic.

Seeker
09-09-2013, 01:00 AM
He is blaming RJ for not having a complete outline of all the plots and subplots.
The reason he idnt have that because normally its not needed and while being ill you focuss on the most essential points.
So yes, he and you are blaming RJ for not creating a bigger outline while being ill.


No, my dear, that's not correct. What I am saying is that there were major problems in the quality of this series prior to Brandon Sanderson's arrival. Long before anyone even knew that RJ was ill, long before anyone ever heard the name Brandon Sanderson, there were problems with WOT. When Brandon took over, he had to deal with the consequences to some of those problems.

Now, TollingToy did say that RJ should have made more extensive notes and you are correct; there was no reason that Robert Jordan should have anticipated the need for such notes. He thought he was going to finish it himself, so it made perfect sense to keep certain details in his head. When his illness became a factor, it was already too late. Nobody is faulting him for that.

But when TollingToy talks about hubris - and forgive me, bud, if I'm putting words in your mouth - I'm pretty sure that what he's trying to say is, "Robert Jordan bit off more than he could chew." The hubris was the belief that he could create dozens of subplots and hundreds of characters and bring them all to a satisfactory conclusion. Issues like space restrictions and word-count limits - things that every other author has to consider - just didn't factor into his calculations. The man said straight out, "I don't care if they have to invent a new binding system, it will be published in one book." Even for a New York Times Bestselling author, that's still being a bit of a diva.

How many plots were left to stagnate by the end of Crossroads?

The mystery of Lews Therin
The Black Ajah Hunters
The quest for the Crown of Andor.
The mystery of Asmodean
The fate of Moiraine.
The fate of Faile.
The Faile/Berelain/Perrin triangle.
The growing tension at the Black Tower
The White Tower civil war.
The Seanchan threat
The Mat/Tuon courtship.
The gholam
Birgitte's memories.
Daved Hanlon and Lady Shaiaine.
Egwene has been captured.
Aviendha becoming a Wise One.
Lan's last heroic journey.
The Great Stump / Loial's subplot.
Alliances between Asha'man and Aes Sedai.
What to do with the Kin?
Alviarin (Who hunts the Hunters?)
Division between the Ajahs.
The fake Tuon subplot. (introduced in CoT)
What is Cadsuane going to teach the Asha'man?
The Cooramoor prophecy.
Aram's inevitable betrayal.
The Shaido
Galad and the Whitecloaks.
Gawyn and the Younglings.
Siuan and Gareth.
Graendel in Arad Domon.
Moghidien and Cyndane.
Masema, the prophet.
Rand learns laughter and tears.
Where is Demandred?
Rand reunites with Tam.
The Morgase reveal.
The Borderland Army.
Ituralde
Recovering the seals.

Every single one of these plots was created by RJ. Even counting the ones that he resolved in Knife of Dreams - which is like five or six at best - is it reasonable to assume that anyone, anyone, could tackle that list in just three books? Most of those subplots would need hundreds of pages for a satisfactory resolution.

How is this Brandon's fault?

The massive expansion and the sluggish pace of books 7 - 10 had ramifications for everything that followed. Some of those subplots were handled badly. Some of them were handled badly in Knife of Dreams. Aram, for example. Most people I know consider that to be a total letdown.

Garak said it best when we were chatting earlier.

RJ made promises, more promises than he could realistically expect to keep. When Brandon took over, he inherited the obligation to make good on those promises. But if RJ himself didn't expect to make good on all of them - he said as much when I met him in 2003; his exact words were "many subplots will be left unresolved." - then why should we blame Brandon for not doing so?

So, you get people like Fionwe saying things like:

Then enter tGS, where suddenly, Alviarin is no longer a character central to the BA plot. She just disappears, more or less. Meanwhile, the BA hunters do absolutely nothing for about a month after discovering that Elaida may well be Black. The fact that Doesine Healed Egwene, and did not call her down for claiming to be Amyrlin in KoD is completely ignored. The Black Ajah hunters' realization that the Ajah Heads were scheming together and had placed Sitters of their choice in the Hall is also completely ignored.

And to them, I say: "I'm sorry, this was inevitable." Given the sheer scope of plot threads left hanging and the fact that he had only three books to work with, something was gonna get cut. Resolving all of those threads was a mathematical impossibility.

So, if Sanderson had made different choices - let's say, he chose to focus more on the Black Ajah Hunters and made space for their subplot by cutting down on say... Rand's attempts to locate and kill Graendel - all he would get is a different set of complaints. People would say, "RJ gave us the perfect set up with Graendel, showing us all of her subtle planning in Lord of Chaos and Path of Daggers. And then, after all that, Rand goes in and kills her in a single chapter with no set up. What a waste! Sanderon completely ignored the foundation that RJ laid out for us."

Robert Jordan set up more plot threads than anyone could resolve. Anyone who stepped into that role was doomed to failure before typing the very first word because nobody - not even Robert Jordan himself - could resolve that many plot threads in the space provided.

Brandon had to use his judgement to decide what to cut and for the most part, he did a good job. He kept the focus on the main characters. He created a blend of fast-paced action and deep interpersonal conflicts. He resolved most of the plot lines on that list.

Rand al'Fain
09-09-2013, 02:42 AM
The Amber series by Roger Zelazny.

Mistborn? Stormlight Archives? (both Brandon Sanderson)

Thanks for the suggestions!

As for the rest of the thread;

Are people REALLY getting their panties in a twist over minor plotholes that may never be resolved?

The major, and actually important plots were at least finished. Yes it took 3 books, and yes Sanderson has a different style, but he still got it done the best way Brandon Sanderson could get it done.

You want plotholes and unresolved storylines? My favorite book series as a kid was Animorphs, 50 some books in the series, even a short lived TV show. And for the ending, to this day, that "ending" drives me crazy. You know why? The remaining main characters were about to ram an enemy alien's ship on what may have been a suicidal mission or not, in order to find out what happened to another main character. And you know what happens next? The book ends, and so does the series. You never find out what happens to the main characters, you never find out what happens to the missing main character, and you never find out if their actions cause a galactic war.

Don't even get me started on "Sister Alice". The whole book is a big, endless, loop. One of the main reasons I don't do much sci-fi books anymore.


So yeah, minor plotholes will exist, but the main ones at least had resolved endings. And lets face it, Robert Jordan was most likely planning outriggers sometime after the end of the main series to help wrap up several plots, but sadly, those may never happen.

So before anymore whining about minor plotholes, look at books that left major plotholes without ANY resolutions, or the whole thing is just an infinite loop where no matter what the main character does, they cannot stop a mega disaster happening, and it just keeps happening over and over.

And before people get on Brandon's case about finishing the series, be glad someone DID finish the series. I have 2 series I may never be able to finish because the main/one of the authors died. And one was kind of picked up, but I haven't heard anything on it in a couple years, and the other was co-authored and looks like it will never be finished.

fionwe1987
09-09-2013, 02:45 AM
This might be a bit quotealicious, so bear with me.



To be absolutely clear, this is the quote where Brandon goes into the most detail about the split in the dinner scenes:





What Brandon specifically says is that he wanted to earn that dinner scene. It's a matter of opinion as to whether the additional development scenes were all necessary, but it's difficult to say that RJ had truly "earned" the fateful, inevitable confrontation between the Amyrlins in a single chapter in KOD. It's clear from the end of KOD that there is more to do on Egwene's part. TGS goes to lengths in showing us that.
That depends on your reaction to "Honey in the Tea". To me, that one chapter covering a month of Egwene's captivity did more to sell her as ready for the job of leading a united Tower than all the retreading of the same ground that Brandon did in tGS. After Egwene's reveal to Bennae that there was a 13th Depository with mentions of previous rebellions, which already left us at a point where Bennae had shown respect to Egwene, did we need to see another scene where Bennae is shown to be comically inept in handling her new knowledge, where Egwene completely negates the hoped for effect of her revelation? After showing us that Adelorna had been suitably impressed by Egwene, and Serancha somewhat less so, did we need to see two other Ajah heads have a similar set of reactions?

Based on RJ's plan, when Egwene would be imprisoned, she would already have at the very least intrigued, and in other cases favorably impressed, several Sitters, Ajah Heads, the Mistress of the Novices, and the Keeper of the Chronicles (though this was offscreen, since we only got Tarna musing on Egwene, and refusing to share those musings with Elaida). Exactly what was the need to show several more Sitters and Ajah Heads? Isn't this the definition of bloat? Are we not capable of inferring that in one month, Egwene met many Aes Sedai, and we got to see a few seminal meetings that served as general examples of how things went down with others?

I guess the same set of people who were miffed that we didn't see Semirhage on screen in the Cleansing would have been miffed that Egwene's interaction with every Sitter and Ajah Head wasn't shown. But for the rest, "Honey in the Tea" did a lovely job of showing us that Egwene had "earned" the debate with Elaida.


If you can criticise Brandon for his choice in paring down the number of POVs, you can also criticise RJ for over-using secondary characters.
Sure you can, but that isn't how this debate began. It began with criticism of RJ for not making a detailed enough plot outline whilst he was sick. That wasn't your position, but that's how this began.

In point of fact, RJ has been criticized, extensively, for the so-called overuse of secondary characters.

In fact, I frequently do, as far from truly giving depth to the world and plotlines, it instead hands us a few half-developed caricatures with plotlines that don't go anywhere, who it's difficult to care about while we're wondering what's happening to the main characters. It's hardly a problem unique to RJ, btw; I'd argue GRRM has started suffering from a similar problem in his later books, and it always has the same effect: the reader (in this case me) starts wondering, "Who are you? Why am I reading about you? I don't care! Give me Rand/Jon Snow/Fitz (well, okay, Robin Hobb never gives us anything but Fitz).
Well, we clearly have a different view of this. I generally dislike books where only the primary characters are the point of focus because we're then forced to read about complex situations through one single perspective, which strips away a lot of nuance. More importantly, authors who use secondary PoVs are better able to give us a look at the effects of the actions of the primary characters. In their own PoV, of course their actions make sense. But we need to see others reactions and thoughts on these acts to get a clearer perspective on what's going on.

On the flip side, this means we end up with many PoVs who aren't going to have shining moments of awesome in the end of the books that "justifies" their existence. But that's okay. Their purpose is not to be heroes we root for. Their purpose is to give us perspective on out heroes.

Take Romanda's PoV in KoD. This did not signal an increase in her importance. And given her rather abrupt and meaningless end, she was never meant to be anything like a protagonist. There wasn't going to be a story arc centered on her. She wasn't going to develop into something vastly different. Nonetheless, her PoV was important. It helped us gage a change in the way some Aes Sedai viewed Egwene, which we couldn't easily get from Egwene's or Siuan's PoVs. It allowed us to see how some of Egwene's proclamations, so easy to sympathize with from her own perspective, were so hard for others' to swallow.

RJ could have stopped right there with Romanda, and it would have been perfectly fine. She wouldn't drop off the radar, just be seen from our usual viewpoints of Siuan and Egwene. But now that we had some idea of her views, those scenes would take on deeper meaning.

Brandon is clearly more conservative with his POVs, and the best example is Way of Kings, where he is able to introduce us to a rich, deep, intriguing world in the space of a single book whilst confining himself (mainly) to three POV characters, so it isn't as simple as more POVs = better world-building/storytelling. I outlined above by reference to the hunters' story why he would have made the choices he did with WOT, and it largely seems to apply across the board: the secondary characters just don't have the resolution in their plotlines that they need to make devoting space in books where space is at a premium worthwhile. Doing so would have increased the size of the books at a point when it wouldn't have paid any real dividend in development story-wise or world-wise.
Sure, WoK has fewer perspectives. Do you know what that results in? More scenes where the author has to clumsily show us how the character is perceived by others, where some secondary character has to tell them how other's thought of them. That kind of thing can work every now and then, but you don't want it to be the standard for your writing.

Actually, though, WoK isn't the best example in Brandon's writing. There were three main PoVs, but we got plenty of others to flesh things out a bit. Not all of those other PoVs had plot or character arcs. But that was fine. That wasn't their purpose.

See, it boils down to this. You think each character needs to have some "resolution" to make it worthwhile to have their PoV. But I'd argue that its perfectly fine to have snippet PoVs that don't add up to some grand character arc.

Take the BA hunters. RJ didn't even pick one of them and focus on one Hunter. We got PoVs from Seaine, Pevara, Saerin, Yukiri... none of them got deep character arcs (except Pevara, I suppose, in so much as getting a completely new personality is character development). But that wasn't the point. We got these PoVs based on which was convenient as a perspective for the grander story of the Tower conflict. So we got Seaine in the beginning, then Sarein when we needed some perspective on their thoughts on Siuan. Then Pevara when we needed some insight into the changes in the Red Ajah. RJ could have picked up one of them, planned a heroic end for her in the Last Battle, and given us only her perspective. But the complexity of the Tower struggle would have suffered for it. It would have been more one note.

A story doesn't just need heroes, in short.

It is also flat-out wrong to argue that the last three books had less room for theorising than earlier books: we had more mysteries and things to discuss on a per book basis over the last three than we did for the directly preceding three; prior to that we were generally either discussing the exact same mysteries or too bored of doing so to bother (I was). Brandon did a pretty good job at answering questions in TGS and TOM in a way that only led to further questions, but in the end, it was also his job to bring the series to a close, and that means resolutions.
He certainly answered questions. But there just couldn't be anything resembling theorizing because there was so much that was inconsistent, and so much stripping away of the finer points. One thing that was genuinely handled in a way that left a lot of questions, and enough hints for there to be genuine debate, was Graendal's "death" at Natrin's Barrow. But there wasn't much more. Take Shaidar Haran at the manor in Arad Doman, and the stealing of the Sad Bracelets. That situation is still unclear, simply because the little throwaway details in RJ's writing were not there, and what was presented was so stripped of facts that only wild speculation can prevail.

Now, I don't intend any of this as a criticism of RJ for not doing more whilst on his deathbed to try and resolve a series of books as opposed to, say, spending time with his family and loved ones, and I have the greatest of respect for the enormous sacrifice he made in giving us what he did; it demonstrates the extent to which WOT was his life's work that he was able, close to death, to give us mysteries like the blank in the Blight. But none of that shields him from criticism for the decisions he made before that point, such as allowing the series to become so sprawling by introducing so many secondary and even tertiary characters, and those decisions may have precluded even RJ - with his final book that needed the invention of a new binding process and a specially designed case to carry out of the store - from resolving every plot thread satisfactorily, especially when one plot thread's resolution seems to preclude another, as in the case of the hunters and Egwene.
They may or may not have been resolved satisfactorily. But they wouldn't have dropped off the face of the earth as if they never existed. Someone mentioned the conclusion to Aram's storyline. I agree that it is certainly open for debate whether that was a satisfactory conclusion. But note that he didn't suddenly fade away.
In the end, what we have is what we have. The only reason I chose to participate in this discussion is because I could see the possibility of uncovering some reasons why what we have is what we have, but the question of who is more to blame for the perceived unsatisfactory nature of that is one that go on forever. RJ did what he did, so Brandon did what he had to do; Brandon did what he did because he couldn't do what RJ would have.
That's the thing though. He certainly couldn't have done exactly as RJ would have. But the question is whether he was the right choice to complete the novels in a way that was true to the spirit of RJ's writing. In that, he certainly failed, to a large extent. We got to know how the story ends, for the most part, and certainly, there are those for whom his style works better. But you can't deny that the ending doesn't jive with the rest of WoT. Which, one would have thought, was pretty important.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-09-2013, 03:11 AM
I was with BS until the entire Androl subplot which was 100% his creation. It was just terrible.

Also, if you think that the final 3 books were even close to the level of RJ's prose, you are insane. BS simply isn't that level of writing. Granted, I might have trouble TELEGRAPHING such a thing to you but just reading it creates a TEMPEST of emotion in me so I won't bother.


Mind you, I like BS's other works.

I for one actually liked the Androl sub-plot. It resurrected something from the earlier books, this sort of new wonder about the OP, and how to use it. Remember all those discoveries in books 2-7? Traveling, eavesdropping, Healing, tracking someone by tagging an item, Foretelling, shields of air, balls of fire, swords of fire, working metals, Compulsion, Balefire, making new ter'angreal...

The thing is though, if it had been any of the already established main characters, the experimentation with Gateways would have been out of character and absolutely not believable. "oh, Elayne/Rand/Egwene/Nynaeve comes up with *yet another* clever thing out of nothing, when she/he had no need for it, really? okay then" While I thought Brandon took the idea a bit too far, I very much appreciated seeing a new application of the OP. Yes, I know, this new application of the OP was also all BS, and well done for him!

if you want to fixate on words, how about "scrollwork" and "embroidery" and "sniff". Every author has their own voice and vocuabulary, and BS said from the get-go that he would not even try to imitate RJ, because it would come out wrong. Therefore it's somewhat strange that the most criticism he gets is for the fact that his prose is not the same as RJ. well, duh, it's not supposed to be. What's supposed to be consistent is the feel of the series, and in that I think he succeeded in much more than he failed. He wrote good Rand, he wrote good Egwene, he wrote good Elayne, Ituralde and Perrin and Faile and Aviendha and Sorilea and Cadsuane and Thom and Birgitte... and all everybody ever talks about is how Mat's dialogue isn't quite right.

GonzoTheGreat
09-09-2013, 03:32 AM
Sanderson was the one fan who was elevated above the fandom, who was allowed to become part of the creative process. And each and every one of the people who lambast him - whether they admit it or not - secretly wonder, "Why couldn't it have been me? I love the Wheel of Time!"
Have you actually, like, you know, read the Wheel of Time series?
Sanderson became Nae'blis, and that automatically made him the primary target of all the other Chosen. I thought everyone knew that.

Why create a subplot of six generic Aes Sedai hunting the Black Ajah if your plan was to have Verin be the architect of their downfall? Once created, those characters cannot simply disappear. So now Sanderson it's saddled with the deadweight of useless secondary characters. Personally, I thought Pevara was a prop until she had a love story with Androl. It was the only thing that humanized her, in my humble opinion. Before that, she was a DnD character sheet. But the point remains that the BA hunters were a useless subplot that used up wordcount with no payoff.
The BA hunters showed that not all AS were entirely incompetent, and it also showed that at least some of them were human enough to be willing to strive to do good. And, furthermore, it showed that they were fallible, that not all attempts to oppose the Shadow actually worked out.

If the BA hunters had not been there, then my argument that the WT should have been disbanded would have been far stronger still than it already was.
If they had succeeded, then there would have been a very good question "Why didn't any AS do this a thousand years earlier?" left unanswered.

As it was, it fitted in with the idea that the series was portraying reality, instead of a story where all the heroes had to do was show up and win.

fionwe1987
09-09-2013, 03:44 AM
But whether from illness or just apathy, the action in WOT saw a drop in quality and I think Brandon corrected that.
I'm a fan of Brandon's action scenes in his own work. But they have a very different sensibility to the action in WoT. RJ never was about the technical aspects of the action. It was always more about emotions with him writing, and making broader points. So the Cleansing was more about the importance of mixed gender circles. Dumai's Wells was about the emergence of the Asha'man, and an exhibition of the sheer destruction the One Power can cause. Cairhein was about the chaos of battle and the role of chance, the Damona campaign was about the thin line between victory and defeat. We rarely got a blow by blow of the action.

And while Brandon's style can be great for a few scenes, it is atrocious when a substantial portion of the book is all action. Makes the entire thing soulless. There's something deeply wrong when the flanking movement of some army near some hill is described in loving detail, but the reaction to the death of some major characters is perfunctory at best. Then it becomes battle-porn, and nothing else.


But when TollingToy talks about hubris - and forgive me, bud, if I'm putting words in your mouth - I'm pretty sure that what he's trying to say is, "Robert Jordan bit off more than he could chew." The hubris was the belief that he could create dozens of subplots and hundreds of characters and bring them all to a satisfactory conclusion. Issues like space restrictions and word-count limits - things that every other author has to consider - just didn't factor into his calculations. The man said straight out, "I don't care if they have to invent a new binding system, it will be published in one book." Even for a New York Times Bestselling author, that's still being a bit of a diva.
You do know the man was kidding about that right? Or are you saying that he literally planned to force Tor to invent a new binding method, and ask readers to bring along a shopping cart to take the book home?

How many plots were left to stagnate by the end of Crossroads?

The mystery of Lews Therin
The Black Ajah Hunters
The quest for the Crown of Andor.
The mystery of Asmodean
The fate of Moiraine.
The fate of Faile.
The Faile/Berelain/Perrin triangle.
The growing tension at the Black Tower
The White Tower civil war.
The Seanchan threat
The Mat/Tuon courtship.
The gholam
Birgitte's memories.
Daved Hanlon and Lady Shaiaine.
Egwene has been captured.
Aviendha becoming a Wise One.
Lan's last heroic journey.
The Great Stump / Loial's subplot.
Alliances between Asha'man and Aes Sedai.
What to do with the Kin?
Alviarin (Who hunts the Hunters?)
Division between the Ajahs.
The fake Tuon subplot. (introduced in CoT)
What is Cadsuane going to teach the Asha'man?
The Cooramoor prophecy.
Aram's inevitable betrayal.
The Shaido
Galad and the Whitecloaks.
Gawyn and the Younglings.
Siuan and Gareth.
Graendel in Arad Domon.
Moghidien and Cyndane.
Masema, the prophet.
Rand learns laughter and tears.
Where is Demandred?
Rand reunites with Tam.
The Morgase reveal.
The Borderland Army.
Ituralde
Recovering the seals.

Every single one of these plots was created by RJ. Even counting the ones that he resolved in Knife of Dreams - which is like five or six at best - is it reasonable to assume that anyone, anyone, could tackle that list in just three books? Most of those subplots would need hundreds of pages for a satisfactory resolution.
There's strong reason to believe RJ could indeed have resolved these in one massive book split into two volumes. What you're ignoring is that several of the plots in your list were of the type that RJ had regularly solved before in the background, without spending much page space on it. Then there's the fact that several of these plots were designed to intersect. Egwene being captured, the Ajah's being divided, the Black Ajah hunters, Elaida, Verin, the Seanchan attack on the Tower... these were all bound up.

Same with Aram, the Perrin/Faile/Berelain thing, the Shaido and Faile's fate. They were all resolved fairly quickly, and their resolutions impacted each other.

Now, I'm not saying there would be no mysteries left, and no plot thread left open. As RJ said, that was intentionally going to be true. But that's massively different from plot threads simply disappearing. Take the Tower: Alviarin's suspicion of the BA hunters, their own suspicion of Elaida, and Alviarin's interactions with Egwene about an escape... these were all simply ignored. Not resolved unsatisfactorily. Not retconned. Simply ignored, even though its pretty clear resolving them doesn't need many pages, and they're all closely related.

With RJ, we'd likely have gotten a throwaway detail here saying that Alviarin is having the BA hunters watched, and she'd hear that some of them had met Egwene in her cell. One of the Hunters (likely Seaine) would have discussed their motivation for starting the hunt with Egwene, at which point Egwene's info about Alviarin's letter to Rand, Seiaine's knowledge that Elaida suspected Alviarin of secret communication with Rand, and Egwene's memory of how it was Galina (who the Hunters knew was Black) who answered Rand's question about Alviarin, would direct their own suspicions towards Alviarin.

Meanwhile, Alviarin panics, speaks to Mesaana, who orders the BA to be alert, and also increases her influence in the Rebel camp.

You don't need more resolution than that. The entire situation exists to add tension to the BA storyline, and the fallout would be that Alviarin's caution allows her to make good the escape of the Tower BA when word of Egwene's actions reaches her. This doesn't take many pages, doesn't change the story as it stands on bit, and doesn't leave the holes in the story that now exist.

RJ made promises, more promises than he could realistically expect to keep. When Brandon took over, he inherited the obligation to make good on those promises. But if RJ himself didn't expect to make good on all of them - he said as much when I met him in 2003; his exact words were "many subplots will be left unresolved." - then why should we blame Brandon for not doing so?
Because what Brandon did wasn't leave plots unresolved at the end. He simply dropped them in between, then resurrected them when/if convenient. Not only that, but he added scenes/plot points to the mix, many of which were trading the same ground the characters had been through before (special mention for Perrin in tGS, and early ToM).

So, you get people like Fionwe saying things like:

And to them, I say: "I'm sorry, this was inevitable." Given the sheer scope of plot threads left hanging and the fact that he had only three books to work with, something was gonna get cut. Resolving all of those threads was a mathematical impossibility.
No it wasn't because your idea of "resolution" is vastly different from mine. And Alviarin did get a resolution. The issue was that she simply disappeared between KoD and the point where that happened. That's not how RJ did it.

So, if Sanderson had made different choices - let's say, he chose to focus more on the Black Ajah Hunters and made space for their subplot by cutting down on say... Rand's attempts to locate and kill Graendel - all he would get is a different set of complaints. People would say, "RJ gave us the perfect set up with Graendel, showing us all of her subtle planning in Lord of Chaos and Path of Daggers. And then, after all that, Rand goes in and kills her in a single chapter with no set up. What a waste! Sanderon completely ignored the foundation that RJ laid out for us."
Ummm... these storylines don't even intersect. He could have focussed a bit more on the BA hunt at the cost of Egwene meeting and impressing yet another Sitter/Ajah Head, though.

And its funny you should mention Graendal. In early tGS, she promises Moridin that she'll bring Rand pain of heart, and then she simply does nothing at all for the rest of the book, except poison a messenger and a noble. Graendal doesn't live up to her promise of being a master manipulator. And its not like Brandon gave up on that to focus on the BA plot either. He just left that plot thread also by the wayside.

Robert Jordan set up more plot threads than anyone could resolve.
No, he didn't.
Anyone who stepped into that role was doomed to failure before typing the very first word because nobody - not even Robert Jordan himself - could resolve that many plot threads in the space provided.
Actually, RJ himself could have done so in less space than three books. How? By not having an insane number of Gawyn chapters that achieve nothing. By not shoehorning needless Perrin chapters just so he'd appear in a book. By not adding 5-6 extra Egwene chapters before she really confronts Elaida. By not inventing a new character called Androl who suddenly becomes more important to the Black Tower's resolution than many well established Asha'man like Logain, Flinn and Narishma. By not adding a zombie adventure to Mat's storyline.
Brandon had to use his judgement to decide what to cut and for the most part, he did a good job. He kept the focus on the main characters. He created a blend of fast-paced action and deep interpersonal conflicts. He resolved most of the plot lines on that list.
Deep personal conflicts? This is a joke, right?

fionwe1987
09-09-2013, 03:57 AM
if you want to fixate on words, how about "scrollwork" and "embroidery" and "sniff". Every author has their own voice and vocuabulary, and BS said from the get-go that he would not even try to imitate RJ, because it would come out wrong. Therefore it's somewhat strange that the most criticism he gets is for the fact that his prose is not the same as RJ. well, duh, it's not supposed to be.
That's not the problem with Brandon's prose. The criticism isn't that it isn't RJ like, but that certain words used have no place in any medieval setting in a secondary world.

And for the rest, the problem is more that Brandon's dialogue is stilted, and many times lacking physical cues. So, a character will begin a conversation seated, and sudden;y will be standing in the other end of the room. Long stretches of dialogue will have nothing but the character's words in quotation marks, and we have no clue how they're reacting to what they hear (in terms of expressions on their faces, or their thoughts). These read like the script of a play, not actual book dialogue.

RJ was hardly a paragon of great prose. But his dialogue is consistently better, simply by way of not being two disembodied voices flinging sentences at each other.

The dialogue issue, by the way, is very present in Brandon's own work too.

What's supposed to be consistent is the feel of the series, and in that I think he succeeded in much more than he failed. He wrote good Rand, he wrote good Egwene, he wrote good Elayne, Ituralde and Perrin and Faile and Aviendha and Sorilea and Cadsuane and Thom and Birgitte... and all everybody ever talks about is how Mat's dialogue isn't quite right.
Good Egwene who inexplicably changed her mind about the Seals between the end of ToM and the beginning of aMoL with no rhyme or reason? Aviendha, who had to completely relearn the lessons that she learned in Lord of Chaos?

And I'm mystified Cadsuane is on that list. Cadsuane died after KoD, and some parallel world version of her was inserted into the books. I though this was well known by now?

yks 6nnetu hing
09-09-2013, 05:08 AM
That's not the problem with Brandon's prose. The criticism isn't that it isn't RJ like, but that certain words used have no place in any medieval setting in a secondary world. last I checked, WoT was not mediaeval. That was actually one of the main reasons I love the series so much, it's not your standard mediaeval kights and princesses story. If anything, it's comparable to the Reneissance or Early Modern period of [European] history - think 1500-1700. Think Macchiavelli and Louis XIV, think the Spanish Armada and Queen Elizabeth, think Cardinal Richelieu and the frickin' musketeers. All of that's after Leonardo invented the helicopter During his lifetime Leonardo was valued as an engineer. In a letter to Ludovico il Moro he claimed to be able to create all sorts of machines both for the protection of a city and for siege. When he fled to Venice in 1499 he found employment as an engineer and devised a system of moveable barricades to protect the city from attack. He also had a scheme for diverting the flow of the Arno River, a project on which Niccolò Machiavelli also worked.[98][99] Leonardo's journals include a vast number of inventions, both practical and impractical. They include musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, finned mortar shells, and a steam cannon.[11][17]

In 1502, Leonardo produced a drawing of a single span 720-foot (220 m) bridge as part of a civil engineering project for Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II of Constantinople. The bridge was intended to span an inlet at the mouth of the Bosporus known as the Golden Horn. Beyazid did not pursue the project because he believed that such a construction was impossible. Leonardo's vision was resurrected in 2001 when a smaller bridge based on his design was constructed in Norway.[100][101]

For much of his life, Leonardo was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, producing many studies of the flight of birds, including his c. 1505 Codex on the Flight of Birds, as well as plans for several flying machines, including a light hang glider and a machine resembling a helicopter.[17] The British television station Channel Four commissioned a documentary Leonardo's Dream Machines, for broadcast in 2003. Leonardo's machines were built and tested according to his original designs.[102] Some of those designs proved a success, whilst others fared less well when practically tested.


The first computer program was developed by Ada Lovelace in 1842 - just because there were no computers for it to run on doesn't make the program any less valid.

So there are some words that don't fit the mediaeval world [/scorny sarcasm]; such as "telegraph"?
At the risk of sounding like part of the intelligentia, please learn your historical periods, and then compare them to WoT.
And for the rest, the problem is more that Brandon's dialogue is stilted, and many times lacking physical cues. So, a character will begin a conversation seated, and sudden;y will be standing in the other end of the room. Long stretches of dialogue will have nothing but the character's words in quotation marks, and we have no clue how they're reacting to what they hear (in terms of expressions on their faces, or their thoughts). These read like the script of a play, not actual book dialogue.

RJ was hardly a paragon of great prose. But his dialogue is consistently better, simply by way of not being two disembodied voices flinging sentences at each other.

The dialogue issue, by the way, is very present in Brandon's own work too. that's all a matter of personal taste. You're entitled to your opinion.


Good Egwene who inexplicably changed her mind about the Seals between the end of ToM and the beginning of aMoL with no rhyme or reason? Aviendha, who had to completely relearn the lessons that she learned in Lord of Chaos?

And I'm mystified Cadsuane is on that list. Cadsuane died after KoD, and some parallel world version of her was inserted into the books. I though this was well known by now?

uh, what? Egwene changed her mind just like that because RJ wanted Moiraine to come back from the death and resolve the conflict between Egwene and Rand. That was the reason why Moiraine had to be rescued from the 'finns in the first place; just so she could show up and say "now, play nice you two". For the record, I was quite disappointed by that decision (by RJ) and by that entire scene in aMoL (whoever wrote that). Aviendha is stubborn and extremely traditional, what else is new? Cadsuane died???

Zombie Sammael
09-09-2013, 07:11 AM
If you're going to quibble about anachronistic words, RJ said Semirhage was sadistic. And he described Thom's juggling as "like magic". Both of those are more jarring to me than telegraph, but it is a matter of opinion.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-09-2013, 07:20 AM
If you're going to quibble about anachronistic words, RJ said Semirhage was sadistic. And he described Thom's juggling as "like magic". Both of those are more jarring to me than telegraph, but it is a matter of opinion.

technically Marquis de Sade lived in a time period that matches. barely, but it matches - late 18th century. Though I believe the word sadistic came into wider (and not in exclusively sexual) use much later, that is true.

eta: magic existed in much the same meaning and usage since the 14th century; though it originates from the Persian Magos which denotes a priest, a highly educated an intelligent person who (presumably) has access to the supernatural.

eta2: "tempest" (see: Shakespeare play ca. 1611) is actually a more fitting word than "sadistic"

GonzoTheGreat
09-09-2013, 07:27 AM
Yeah, obviously Semirhage should have been described as "semirhagic"; that'd fitted the situation a lot better.

suttree
09-09-2013, 10:56 AM
Every author has their own voice and vocuabulary, and BS said from the get-go that he would not even try to imitate RJ, because it would come out wrong. Therefore it's somewhat strange that the most criticism he gets is for the fact that his prose is not the same as RJ. well, duh, it's not supposed to be. What's supposed to be consistent is the feel of the series, and in that I think he succeeded in much more than he failed.

There is a huge difference between trying to mimic RJ's voice and simply having unpolished prose.



"Trust me," I replied. "These people are determined to make that poor man their scapegoat and nothing I can say will change their minds. Ten percent of their gripes are legitimate. The other ninety percent are nothing more than a way to make themselves feel powerful by tearing someone else down.

Ok...I'll bite. 90% of the criticism isn't legitimate? If you don't mind could you please pull some of the breakdowns and quality discussions from Dom, Terez, myself etc. to give us examples of what you mean.

I for one would have welcomed a healthy debate in the quality threads. If you were to break down scenes in order address the actual points being made I'm sure people would be open to differing views.

Robert Jordan set up more plot threads than anyone could resolve. Anyone who stepped into that role was doomed to failure before typing the very first word because nobody - not even Robert Jordan himself - could resolve that many plot threads in the space provided.


I'm sorry but are you saying space was used wisely in these last three books? There was a huge amount of filler and bloat in a portion of the story that should have been much more streamlined. Brandon's "tell don't show" style and seeming inability to use literary devices like ellipsis to advance the action made for a ton of wasted space.

And for those who say "Oh no, he had a plan all along!"

Then how come this was originally supposed to be a trilogy? And how come, after the third book, he insisted that he'd be able to finish it in six? Why is it that after the fifth book, that number got bumped to eight? Then ten? Then twelve? Not the sign of someone with a detailed plan.


Has anyone actually claimed the above? RJ knew where he wanted to end up but anyone who says he should have had every detail mapped out doesn't understand how he worked as an author. Additionally not sure why you make the "infallible" comment. No one has ever held RJ up as perfect, basically the two authors have different strengths and weaknesses. The key is being realistic about what they are. Saying 90% of the criticism is "trying to tear someone else down" is quite simply not being realistic. It's an attempt to avoid actually discussing the very real issues in Sanderson's work.

So, yes, Brandon changed the feel of the battles but to me this is a very very good thing. .

To be clear, you are talking about duel type fights? This isn't in relation to what we go in AMoL for the Last Battle?

As for faster pace and tighter storytelling that is what one would expect from the point we've reached in the story arc post KoD correct? Comparing that to the TPoD-CoT stretch is apples and oranges. I've said it before but we have no idea if these type of things will be strengths for Brandon until we see a comparable mid-late portion(A place I might mention that has challenged a fair number of talented authors) in his own Stormlight Archives.

Davian93
09-09-2013, 11:14 AM
eta2: "tempest" (see: Shakespeare play ca. 1611) is actually a more fitting word than "sadistic"


And Brandon made sure we all knew it by using it approximately 3,405,203 times in the final 3 books.


Also, Telegraph is really bad and it was jarring.

Seeker
09-09-2013, 09:05 PM
I'm a fan of Brandon's action scenes in his own work. But they have a very different sensibility to the action in WoT. RJ never was about the technical aspects of the action. It was always more about emotions with him writing, and making broader points. So the Cleansing was more about the importance of mixed gender circles. Dumai's Wells was about the emergence of the Asha'man, and an exhibition of the sheer destruction the One Power can cause. Cairhein was about the chaos of battle and the role of chance, the Damona campaign was about the thin line between victory and defeat. We rarely got a blow by blow of the action.

And while Brandon's style can be great for a few scenes, it is atrocious when a substantial portion of the book is all action. Makes the entire thing soulless. There's something deeply wrong when the flanking movement of some army near some hill is described in loving detail, but the reaction to the death of some major characters is perfunctory at best. Then it becomes battle-porn, and nothing else.

I suspect that has a lot to do with the fact that anything cool gets boring if it's overused. Watching Keanu Reeves kick the crap out of Hugo Weaving is really exciting for the first five minutes but if the battle lasted half an hour, we'd all be yawning no matter how impressive the choreography was.

Most of the fight scenes in A Memory of Light were fine on their own - some were downright epic - but 500 pages of battle, (whether in the form of one on one duels or huge armies converging) is just emotionally exhausting. So, if the decision to make a large chunk of the last book one very long battle was Brandon's idea, then I agree it was a misstep. However, I'm not sure Brandon was the brains behind the decision.

I remember several interviews in the late 90s and early 00s where RJ said he wanted an entire book dedicated to that Last Battle. I don't know what he had in mind but I remember being skeptical of the idea even then. A story needs peaks and valleys. Nirvana gained immense popularity by relying on a simple formula: "quiet verses, loud chorus." The quiet parts of the song make the loud parts more epic.

Same with action vs drama in a story.

You do know the man was kidding about that right? Or are you saying that he literally planned to force Tor to invent a new binding method, and ask readers to bring along a shopping cart to take the book home?

I know that the comments about shopping carts were a joke but the sentiment that he would publish it "his way" seemed quite genuine. And there was a real backlash when Team Jordan decided to split the books because it wasn't true to RJ's vision.

There's strong reason to believe RJ could indeed have resolved these in one massive book split into two volumes. What you're ignoring is that several of the plots in your list were of the type that RJ had regularly solved before in the background, without spending much page space on it.

In other words, bad writing. Show don't tell.

Then there's the fact that several of these plots were designed to intersect. Egwene being captured, the Ajah's being divided, the Black Ajah hunters, Elaida, Verin, the Seanchan attack on the Tower... these were all bound up.

Almost all subplots in any story intersect in some way, that doesn't mean they don't all require space to flesh them all out. Even if space fleshes out two or more plots simultaneously, the sheer number in the list would make it a Herculean task.

Same with Aram, the Perrin/Faile/Berelain thing, the Shaido and Faile's fate. They were all resolved fairly quickly, and their resolutions impacted each other.

Resolved quickly by means of sloppy writing.

Now, I'm not saying there would be no mysteries left, and no plot thread left open. As RJ said, that was intentionally going to be true. But that's massively different from plot threads simply disappearing. Take the Tower: Alviarin's suspicion of the BA hunters, their own suspicion of Elaida, and Alviarin's interactions with Egwene about an escape... these were all simply ignored. Not resolved unsatisfactorily. Not retconned. Simply ignored, even though its pretty clear resolving them doesn't need many pages, and they're all closely related.

With RJ, we'd likely have gotten a throwaway detail here saying that Alviarin is having the BA hunters watched, and she'd hear that some of them had met Egwene in her cell. One of the Hunters (likely Seaine) would have discussed their motivation for starting the hunt with Egwene, at which point Egwene's info about Alviarin's letter to Rand, Seiaine's knowledge that Elaida suspected Alviarin of secret communication with Rand, and Egwene's memory of how it was Galina (who the Hunters knew was Black) who answered Rand's question about Alviarin, would direct their own suspicions towards Alviarin

Meanwhile, Alviarin panics, speaks to Mesaana, who orders the BA to be alert, and also increases her influence in the Rebel camp.

Except that's an ad hoc argument. There's no way you could possibly know what RJ would have done if he had had the chance. That said, most of that lacks any kind of emotional 'umph' - though, in the interest of fairness, I'll concede that it may have something to do with the fact you've presented it as a summary.


Because what Brandon did wasn't leave plots unresolved at the end. He simply dropped them in between, then resurrected them when/if convenient. Not only that, but he added scenes/plot points to the mix, many of which were trading the same ground the characters had been through before (special mention for Perrin in tGS, and early ToM).

This was caused by the fact that Tor wanted a book on the shelves in 2009 and Brandon had most of the Rand/Egwene stuff written. So, of course Perrin doesn't feature in The Gathering Storm, that was Egwene and Rand's story.

As for Towers of Midnight, that book is all Perrin from start to finish and every piece of it an excellent step in his character arc.

Ummm... these storylines don't even intersect. He could have focussed a bit more on the BA hunt at the cost of Egwene meeting and impressing yet another Sitter/Ajah Head, though.

I disagree. Removing Egwene's interactions with the Sitters/Ajah Heads would have made the dinner scene nonsensical. We'd all be wondering why these women were so eager to support Egwene.

On top of that, those meetings are some of Egwene's finest moments.

And its funny you should mention Graendal. In early tGS, she promises Moridin that she'll bring Rand pain of heart, and then she simply does nothing at all for the rest of the book, except poison a messenger and a noble. Graendal doesn't live up to her promise of being a master manipulator.

Has she ever?

Graendel's skill with Machiavellian politics was always more of an informed ability. We were often told that she had several schemes on the back burner but the only time she displayed real competence was the trap for Perrin in Towers.

It was a good plan even if he escaped it.


And its not like Brandon gave up on that to focus on the BA plot either. He just left that plot thread also by the wayside.

Not sure what you're referring to.

No, he didn't.

Actually, RJ himself could have done so in less space than three books. How? By not having an insane number of Gawyn chapters that achieve nothing.

No, he'd just give us sweat tent scenes and bath scenes that accomplish nothing, combined with lots of pointless scenes where Merise contemplates the bond with her warders (as if anyone cares) and Alviarin takes three pages to walk up a flight of stairs. (It happened. COT, "A Mark.")

But you're right; I've always considered Gawyn to be a waste of space. I could never figure out why Brandon spent so much time on him.

By not shoehorning needless Perrin chapters just so he'd appear in a book.

Five minutes ago, you were complaining about a lack of Perrin. Make up your mind.


By not adding 5-6 extra Egwene chapters before she really confronts Elaida.

All of which were necessary because a single chapter in Knife of Dreams was not sufficient to establish Egwene's competence and charisma. Leaving it as it was would have been sloppy writing.

By not inventing a new character called Androl who suddenly becomes more important to the Black Tower's resolution than many well established Asha'man like Logain, Flinn and Narishma.

Oh, yes, so very important. Let us not forget the way we cheered when Flinn and Narishma stood around in the background.

I'm not sure why he didn't use Logain - whether that was his decision or not - but to be honest, I wouldn't have liked that either. I felt that the Black Tower should have been Rand's storyline and that onus for cleaning house there should have fallen on his shoulders. Prophecies of Logain's glory could refer to him taking leadership of the Tower after the Last Battle. But I'd have been more than happy to have less Logain in the story.


By not adding a zombie adventure to Mat's storyline.

Granted, this wasn't technically necessary. It was a whole lot of fun, though.

Deep personal conflicts? This is a joke, right?

I'm very droll.

Davian93
09-09-2013, 09:20 PM
Granted, this wasn't technically necessary. It was a whole lot of fun, though.

No, it wasn't. It was stupid and out of character. And him shoehorning that subplot further into the books with their appearance in aMoL was up there with Jar Jar for annoyingness.

We get it, Brandon, you liked your ghost story.

Seeker
09-09-2013, 09:36 PM
Ok...I'll bite. 90% of the criticism isn't legitimate? If you don't mind could you please pull some of the breakdowns and quality discussions from Dom, Terez, myself etc. to give us examples of what you mean.

I'd rather not go pawing through old threads, so let me just summarize. Criticisms of Brandon's writing style have some validity but they're often exaggerated.

Criticisms of the choices he made in allocating space to certain subplots are almost always bullshit. I've already articulated the reasons for this in previous posts. Brandon did a good job of bringing the story into focus and putting the main characters back on centre stage. That was his job and he did it well.

Criticisms about Brandon changing the "feel of WOT" are bullshit for several reasons.

1) The "feel" of WOT changed dramatically several times before anyone had ever heard of Brandon Sanderson.

2) This was an inevitability no matter who took over; so suck it up, children. Sorry but a new writer means new direction.

The rest is usually just pointless nit-picking and some of it is "I didn't like ________" so that must be Brandon's fault. He often gets flack for decisions made by Harriet, Team Jordan or RJ himself.


I'm sorry but are you saying space was used wisely in these last three books?

Yes.

There was a huge amount of filler and bloat in a portion of the story that should have been much more streamlined. Brandon's "tell don't show" style and seeming inability to use literary devices like ellipsis to advance the action made for a ton of wasted space.

Brandon shows. RJ tells. This is almost always the case.

Fionwe was just talking about how RJ would have resolved many of the plots off-screen and informed of their resolution in the form of a quick reveal in someone's POV. That is a form of telling.

RJ has Elayne think about how much she loves Rand over and over to the point where I want to gag myself.

Brandon writes a scene where they share a quiet meal together and the nature of their emotional connection becomes obvious simply by how they act around one another. Without a single clunky word about "golden veins."

That is showing.

Showing requires more space than telling.

Has anyone actually claimed the above? RJ knew where he wanted to end up but anyone who says he should have had every detail mapped out doesn't understand how he worked as an author.

No author could write that way. The act of mapping out every relevant detail of a story is called "writing the book."

The relevance of my point is that Brandon had only a skeleton to work with. Only the bare bones of the story. He had to flesh out the rest and that means, a lot of it had to become his story. Sorry but it was that or no ending at all. I prefer the former.


Additionally not sure why you make the "infallible" comment. No one has ever held RJ up as perfect.

No, but you leap to the defense of his bad decisions and criticize Brandon's good decisions. Just five minutes ago, I had to explain why you had the show vs tell thing reversed.

Saying 90% of the criticism is "trying to tear someone else down" is quite simply not being realistic. It's an attempt to avoid actually discussing the very real issues in Sanderson's work.

The issues in Sanderson's work are that his narrative voice is often flat and his prose is usually there to "get the job done" without much in the way of creativity in the way he chooses to describe things. That said, this is a minor issue and not a make-or-break. Sanderson has a plethora of other skills that make him an excellent author.


To be clear, you are talking about duel type fights? This isn't in relation to what we go in AMoL for the Last Battle?

The Last Battle contained many one-on-one duels, so in that sense it does pertain to what we got in the last battle.

As for faster pace and tighter storytelling that is what one would expect from the point we've reached in the story arc post KoD correct? Comparing that to the TPoD-CoT stretch is apples and oranges. I've said it before but we have no idea if these type of things will be strengths for Brandon until we see a comparable mid-late portion(A place I might mention that has challenged a fair number of talented authors) in his own Stormlight Archives.

Knife of Dreams was still full of lots of wasted space. It was certainly an improvement but many chapters added nothing of value to the story. Though I take your point about Stormlight. It's very possible that Brandon will get bogged down in his own series bloat.

Seeker
09-09-2013, 09:40 PM
No, it wasn't. It was stupid and out of character. And him shoehorning that subplot further into the books with their appearance in aMoL was up there with Jar Jar for annoyingness.

We get it, Brandon, you liked your ghost story.

Actually that was kind of brilliant. Why not use the people who cannot be killed? It's an awesome advantage.

I don't think killing zombies is out of character for Mat.

Zombie Sammael
09-10-2013, 12:06 AM
Actually that was kind of brilliant. Why not use the people who cannot be killed? It's an awesome advantage.

I don't think killing zombies is out of character for Mat.

I do! He should leave me, er, us, er, them alone! We - er, they aren't hurting anyone!

Seeker
09-10-2013, 01:58 AM
Once upon a time, the Wheel of Time was some of the most brilliant fantasy on the market and the series owed it all to one thing: the characters. Robert Jordan made some brilliant, brilliant characters, particularly Rand al'Thor. Rand wasn't just your standard fantasy hero, Rand was inspirational.

There is something in the field of creative writing called the Law of Conservation of Detail. This is something that comes up in writers groups, this is something that established professionals like Joss Whedon or Phillip K. Dick talk about when they host panels at science fiction conventions. This is not just a fan thing, this is a common term in the industry.

The Law of Conservation of Detail works like this:

If you have a story with three primary characters, you can flesh them all out in vivid detail. You can spend enough time with each of them to allow them to grow and develop.

If you have a story with ten primary characters, you can still flesh them out, though you may use up more page-space/screen-time and you can still spend plenty of time with each of them if you're particularly skilled at weaving narrative threads. If your touch is deft enough, you can develop each character by allowing their subplots to intersect.

If you have a story where twenty or more characters are all vying for the spotlight - and now we're getting into Game of Thrones territory - then an inevitable consequence will be that many of these characters start to feel flat. The more characters you create, the less time you can spend with each individual character and there comes a point where the story starts to suffer for it. The more subplots you add, the slower each individual sub-plot moves.

The problem with series bloat is that when the story moves at a snail's pace, characters aren't doing anything. And that means they aren't making choices. Choices are the only thing that make a story worth reading.

A lot of authors try to compensate for this by offering tonnes and tonnes of detail under the mistaken belief that detail is what makes a flat character round. It isn't. Detail is important but ultimately useless if the character doesn't make choices. The author's job is to put a character into a situation that stretches his limits or tests his conscience and then force that character to make a decision. That is the only way to get three-dimensional characters.

Take Romanda. We learned a lot about Romanda in Knife of Dreams. She likes to read about Gaidal and Birgitte but she's mortified by the thought of anyone finding out, which means she's vain. She's also a bit of a romantic. She's set in her ways and very dismissive of the changes that she sees happening around her. We already knew she was power hungry and she seems to be a pragmatist. So there's no denying that RJ crafted a minor character with a very unique personality. I applaud the level of detail he gave us. But she's still a two dimensional character. Because a character isn't defined by what the author says about him, he is defined by what he does.

We don't bond with Rand because he is a callow youth from a farm in the ass-end of nowhere. We don't bond with him because he's your typical teenage boy. We don't bond with him because he didn't know his biological parents or because he is really the son of a strange and foreign culture. We don't bond with him because he can channel and we most certainly don't bond with him because the Creator says he is the Chosen One.

We bond with Rand because he is continually put in situations where following his conscience will come at great personal cost to him and despite that, he always chooses to do the right thing. The world asks more and more of Rand and each time, he rises to the challenge no matter how much it pains him. That is what made the Wheel of Time brilliant. That was Robert Jordan's crowning achievement, the fact that he could portray this struggle with such honesty, with such passion and conviction. The fact that he took one of the most basic concepts of heroism and made it feel fresh and new again. This is what changed the Wheel of Time from an adventure book involving swords and magic into a masterpiece.

It's all about choices.

And then he did it again with Perrin, with Egwene and with Mat, in a different way each time. I may disagree with some of his later decisions but I will never deny that Robert Jordan wrote some of the best fantasy in the history of the genre.

I was saddened by the fact that the story seemed to change from a focus on people making choices to an examination of every aspect - mundane and fantastical - of this fictional world, when the narrative focused more on furniture than on choices and consequences. I'm not sure why it happened but I often feel sorry for RJ because I think his illness was a factor long before he was aware of its existence.

The reason I think Brandon deserves credit is because he brought the focus back to people making choices. He didn't just speed up the plot, he forced scenes to be about characters working their way through tough situations and thereby growing as people.

I'd rather read 1000 pages of Mat fighting zombies than 100 pages of Alviarin analyzing the intricacies of Ajah politics and not because I like grand, epic action scenes. (Which I do). Because even killing zombies is forcing Mat to think tactically and make decisions and live with the consequences whereas Alviarin's analysis is nothing more than a list of facts about an abstract organization in a fictional universe. Does it really matter what we call the head of the Green Ajah? Does it really matter who was pillow friends with whom before attaining the shawl? Without choices and consequences, all of this is just random, irrelevant data.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-10-2013, 04:00 AM
little specification: if a character does not grow in their actions, then no amount of endless spectacular fight scenes will make him/her interesting.

Thus, Mat spending 1000 pages fighting zombies and nothing else will get really boring because he'll just do the one thing that he does (see complaint about aMoL being all one big battle). However if at some point he were to give up and become a farmer, that'd be personal growth and therefore interesting.

GonzoTheGreat
09-10-2013, 05:15 AM
Mat did change and became a lord. And a bit earlier, he caught a badger not because he thought it was great fun, but because he remembered the times when he and Perrin thought that doing so was great fun.

Davian93
09-10-2013, 07:08 AM
Mat fighting zombies was the equivalent of tossing a "monster of the week" episode into a story arc focused on the show's finale. It had no place whatsoever and Harriet should have nixed it as editor. It was up there with the DS9 episode where they play the Vulcans in baseball in the holosuite right in the middle of the final Dominion War story arc. The whole time you're thinking "WTF is this?!?" That's not a good thing.

Yes, I went there.

GonzoTheGreat
09-10-2013, 07:51 AM
On the other hand the zombies did fit in well with the "lord of the grave" idea about the DO. That had been around quite a while, even though no one seemed to know that Forsaken could be recycled if they were incompetently killed.

suttree
09-10-2013, 10:35 AM
No, but you leap to the defense of his bad decisions and criticize Brandon's good decisions. Just five minutes ago, I had to explain why you had the show vs tell thing reversed.


What? Just....what? Brandon's "tell don't show" style is one of the most frequent critiques from both fans and reviewers alike. With RJ we were often subtly showed info by other peoples reactions, observations etc. With Brandon we are bluntly told exactly what they are thinking, their decision making process, intentions etc. The later most certainly takes up more space. For instance an example Dom gave concerning Gawyn:

It's appalling how many POVs and pages Brandon has needed to write that story. Typically, we might have gotten one Gawyn shortish POV in Dorlan (typically prologue stuff) where he learned Egwene's captive, and he is thorn, and then nothing until suddenly he interrupted a Siuan/Bryne scene with a sudden arrival, his growing frustration mentioned only via observations of Siuan from then on (we didn't need a Lelaine scene making completely irrelevant and stupid inquiries about orchards in Andor (!) we just needed a reference by Siuan that Lelaine was manipulating Gawyn, until as a last resort Siuan went to him for the rescue. For the rest, we needed one confrontation with Egwene, and one conversation with Elayne or Bryne or Siuan, not three scenes of the same whining and self-pity, with each of them in turn...

Further it is rather disengenious claiming I "leap to the defense" of RJ's bad decisions. I have always been very realistic about his work. It is somehat shocking that you refuse to even aknowledge the wasted space in a portion of the story arc that should have been much tighter. I certainly wouldn't call that being "realistic". Maybe all the extraneous Perrin scenes and endless wave after wave of trolloc fodder worked for you. Shrug.

As for "pointless nitpicking" I guess that is a YMMV situation. I don't feel as if blunt plotwork, characters turning into cardboard cutouts, or all the mistakes/timeline issues can be considered "nitpicking".

Seeker
09-10-2013, 10:47 AM
little specification: if a character does not grow in their actions, then no amount of endless spectacular fight scenes will make him/her interesting.

Thus, Mat spending 1000 pages fighting zombies and nothing else will get really boring because he'll just do the one thing that he does (see complaint about aMoL being all one big battle). However if at some point he were to give up and become a farmer, that'd be personal growth and therefore interesting.


Oh I very much agree, Yks, 1000 pages of Mat killing zombies is pretty much guaranteed to be a bad story. My point was that as bad as that would be,100 pages of Alviarin's musings would be worse.

yks 6nnetu hing
09-10-2013, 11:13 AM
Oh I very much agree, Yks, 1000 pages of Mat killing zombies is pretty much guaranteed to be a bad story. My point was that as bad as that would be,100 pages of Alviarin's musings would be worse.

I very much disagree with you on that one, but that's because Mat aggravates me to no end

Seeker
09-10-2013, 11:49 AM
Brandon's "tell don't show" style is one of the most frequent critiques from both fans and reviewers alike. With RJ we were often subtly showed info by other peoples reactions, observations etc. With Brandon we are bluntly told exactly what they are thinking, their decision making process, intentions etc.

There is nothing wrong with directly explaining a character's motivations, particularly if those motivations happen to be abstract. That's not what show don't tell means.

Show don't tell means "Make us watch the character do it, don't tell us what he did off stage."

It means, "Don't spend pages pontificating about the depth of his grief/love/outrage, simply have him act on that feeling."

Now, that doesn't mean that you can't mention his thoughts and feelings at all. Exposure to a character's thought process is a very good thing, particularly if those thoughts are spent analyzing the cause/effect dynamics of a situation. "Plan A won't work because of _______, so we're going with plan B." These are things we need to know for the character's motivations to make sense.



(quoting Dom)

It's appalling how many POVs and pages Brandon has needed to write that story. Typically, we might have gotten one Gawyn shortish POV in Dorlan (typically prologue stuff) where he learned Egwene's captive, and he is thorn, and then nothing until suddenly he interrupted a Siuan/Bryne scene with a sudden arrival, his growing frustration mentioned only via observations of Siuan from then on (we didn't need a Lelaine scene making completely irrelevant and stupid inquiries about orchards in Andor (!) we just needed a reference by Siuan that Lelaine was manipulating Gawyn, until as a last resort Siuan went to him for the rescue. For the rest, we needed one confrontation with Egwene, and one conversation with Elayne or Bryne or Siuan, not three scenes of the same whining and self-pity, with each of them in turn...

That would have been bad writing. Now, as a caveat, just because this is what Dom thinks RJ would have done doesn't mean this is what RJ actually would have done. So, this is a critique of Dom's idea and Dom's idea alone.

Writing the story as outlined above would reduce Gawyn to the role of a prop. He wouldn't be a character under those circumstances, he'd be a plot device, a vehicle to move Egwene's story forward. Now, maybe that's not such a bad thing. Personally, I hate Gawyn and the less I read about him the better. But I can't deny that RJ spent a lot of time fleshing him out in the first four books and there are probably a lot of Gawyn fans out there who felt that he was short-changed in the Crown of Swords to Knife of Dreams era. Shouldn't their wants be considered too?

If you want Gawyn to be a full character, you have to give him an arc.

Brandon gave him an arc.

It is somehat shocking that you refuse to even aknowledge the wasted space in a portion of the story arc that should have been much tighter. I certainly wouldn't call that being "realistic". Maybe all the extraneous Perrin scenes and endless wave after wave of trolloc fodder worked for you. Shrug.

To respond to that, I'd have to know what you mean by wasted space.

As for "pointless nitpicking" I guess that is a YMMV situation. I don't feel as if blunt plotwork, characters turning into cardboard cutouts, or all the mistakes/timeline issues can be considered "nitpicking".

Blunt plotwork is a meaningless term.

The characters became less like cardboard cutouts under Brandon's administration. He forced them into situations where they were required to make choices and this is what allowed them to grow.

As for the timeline, I'll give you that one. I've always hated books that can't just tell their damn story in chronological order (or something close to it) and Gathering Storm/Towers of Midnight were all over the place. Then again, so were Path of Daggers,Winter's Heart. and Crossroads of Twilight.

I mean, look at this.

http://www.stevenac.net/wot/tl1000.htm#book9

You've got the Crossroads of Twilight prologue intersecting with the middle chapters of Winter's Heart and the end of Path of Daggers, creating an overlap between THREE books.

So, what? It's only wrong when Brandon does it?

Though I will say that choosing to put Rand's return to the Stone (after Dragonmount) and meeting with Tam prior to the scene where Tam leaves Perrin's camp was... stupid. There was no reason why Rand's chapters couldn't have been moved to a later part of the book. So, that was one of Brandon's bigger missteps.

suttree
09-10-2013, 12:04 PM
So, what? It's only wrong when Brandon does it?


Steven Cooper threw his hands up in disgust and walked away from the project due to the mistakes and inconsistencies under Brandon so...

As for Brandon adding depth to characters(especially extended cast) we are so far apart on that point it doesn't even merit discussion.

Oh and for "show don't tell". As Hemingway said:

If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an ice-berg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water.

Brandon being overly blunt has been much remarked upon as well. I enjoy this discussion but your attempts to waive off something like that as "meaningless" are a bit confusing. As I said though YMMV.

Seeker
09-10-2013, 01:51 PM
Yeah, that's a nice Hemingway quote but it's really just fluff in relation to the discussion.

Sure, the writer may omit things and the reader will have a sense of them being there but which things should the writer omit? Brandon writes a scene where Rand and Aviendha take a shower together and he doesn't talk very much about the bond and he doesn't directly state Rand's feelings but the sense of affection is palpable in their playful dialogue.

Show don't tell.

He omitted direct descriptions of their emotions and yet the nature of those emotions is obvious to the reader. If this scene had been written in the style that was typically employed in the post Lord of Chaos era, the narrative would have talked about "veins of gold," which I consider to be heavy-handed.

I can use the Hemingway quote to my advantage just as easily as you can.

suttree
09-10-2013, 02:34 PM
He omitted direct descriptions of their emotions and yet the nature of those emotions is obvious to the reader. If this scene had been written in the style that was typically employed in the post Lord of Chaos era, the narrative would have talked about "veins of gold," which I consider to be heavy-handed.


Not sure I see any comparison between the two. The initial bonding scene and the shock of those feelings needs to be handled in a much different way.

Seeker
09-10-2013, 03:07 PM
Not sure I see any comparison between the two. The initial bonding scene and the shock of those feelings needs to be handled in a much different way.

Yeah, that's valid but it's hardly the only time we get "veins of gold."

SamJ
09-10-2013, 03:29 PM
Biting (despite my earlier post).

There are some long arguments here. For the record, I have tended to agree with fionwe1987's posts in this thread. Anyway, reading the discussion (contradiction?) made me think about how I reached my judgement on the last three books. For me, it isn't about literary analysis – though that has it's place and I would be interested in an overall discussion of WOT in that light. For me the judgement is about how the books made me feel. It's a balance of a lot of different considerations.

So, for what it is worth, I thought I would set out the things I do like about the last books as well as the things I don't. I'm expressing it this way so it doesn't seem like I'm just weighing in against Brandon. Some things on both sides of the balance scale I think are his choices, some are editiorial/Team Jordan choices and some probably come from RJ.

Do like

Uses of legends/symbolism – e.g. Perrin as mythical shaman/werewolf fighting the moon goddess; or the resolution of the Lancelot and Guenevere parallels
Repetition with variation of patterns from earlier books, eg Tarwin's gap
Dramatic irony, eg Mat becoming a lord or Faile as protector of the horn, Siuan's death
Verin verin verin
Rescue of Moiraine – because I had been waiting for so damn long
Seafolk having a role in the last battle
Rand's dark arc and revelation
Aviendha's way forwards vision
Nynaeve's medical skills being used in the SG
Gaul rocking the LB
Forging of mah'alleinir
The ending

Don't like

Similies, anachronistic language and any descriptive passage where the writer is trying to be poetic but ends up overdoing it (see the wind arose passages or Thom outside Shayol Ghul) – there are some truly jarring examples of all of these
Little annoying mistakes – eg Leilwin thinking that Nynaeve was odd without her braid when she wore multiple plaits in Tanchico; numbers involved in LB didn't add up (what happened to all the Aiel?)
Mat deciding to run away from the LB – can see how he could have talked himself into it but the way it was done felt so out of charcater I was spitting nails
Weird actions by characters – eg Aviendha pointlessly sneaking up on Elayne at start of AMOL; Pevara not mentioning that the Black Tower was her fight because she was dedicated to fighting darkfriends
Changes to major charcaters – Mat written as a sexist buffoon rather than a trickster; Cadsuane written as dim and bossy rather than a smart matriarch; Tuon as stupid and evil rather than ambiguous
Dropping of subplots – BA hunters covered here ad inf; also no Dobraine; nothing interesting from Graendal; not much Logain
Androl – I absolutely hated this Mary Stu
Too much manouvering in LB and too little emotion
People telling each other they were being clever rather than letting me judge for myself
Repeition and slow sub-plots such as Gawyn
Weird lack of plot arc in TOM as a result of choices which made TGS work
Way some of the prohecies play out, such as three in a boat
Shaidar Haran (sp) ending


In my judgement, the things I liked were often set up, written or built up by RJ – and, where I know BS was involved, he delivered them well. The things I disliked, however, were often choices and things included and/or missed by BS and Team Jordan. Some of them could have been resolved by more time and more editing, some I presumed they decided to live with because, as BS said, he wasn't going to try and ape RJ's style.

So that's why I feel disappointed in the last 3 books. Personally, I loved RJ's style. I even love the Perrin chapters at the start of COT for a slow winding up of tension, I love the way we saw battles in elliptical flashes, I love the characters and places. It was never going to be the same after he died. I prefer having the books to the notes. But it feels like flashes of good stuff amidst lots of other stuff that disappoints me because some of it could have been fixed.

Garak
09-10-2013, 03:34 PM
I'm not sure why he didn't use Logain - whether that was his decision or not - but to be honest, I wouldn't have liked that either. I felt that the Black Tower should have been Rand's storyline and that onus for cleaning house there should have fallen on his shoulders. Prophecies of Logain's glory could refer to him taking leadership of the Tower after the Last Battle. But I'd have been more than happy to have less Logain in the story.

I don't know, Seeker. I rather liked the Androl storyline; though, I'm well aware of the fact that I happen to be in the minority on this issue. For one thing, I felt it transformed Pevara from a character who was just carrying out the will of the plot into a full, flesh-and-blood protagonist. Androl himself was a bit of sunshine; I felt it was nice to have the perspective of a channeler who wasn't particularly strong in the Power and therefore had to solve problems by other means.

We've spoken about this once or twice before – and you've come close to convincing me that Rand ought to have been the central character in the Black Tower story – but I felt Androl added some much needed flavour. For one thing, I would have liked to have had more perspectives from male channelers other than Rand. In most cases, we see the Asha'man from a third-party point of view. We witness Flinn Healing someone but never get his thought process. There are perhaps half a dozen primary female characters who channel but only one male in the main cast.

Seeker
09-10-2013, 05:14 PM
I don't know, Seeker. I rather liked the Androl storyline; though, I'm well aware of the fact that I happen to be in the minority on this issue. For one thing, I felt it transformed Pevara from a character who was just carrying out the will of the plot into a full, flesh-and-blood protagonist. Androl himself was a bit of sunshine; I felt it was nice to have the perspective of a channeler who wasn't particularly strong in the Power and therefore had to solve problems by other means.

We've spoken about this once or twice before – and you've come close to convincing me that Rand ought to have been the central character in the Black Tower story – but I felt Androl added some much needed flavour. For one thing, I would have liked to have had more perspectives from male channelers other than Rand. In most cases, we see the Asha'man from a third-party point of view. We witness Flinn Healing someone but never get his thought process. There are perhaps half a dozen primary female characters who channel but only one male in the main cast.

I like Androl as a character but I can see why there are some people who think of him as a Marty Stu. Sorry, bud, but your argument is based on the flawed assumption that Androl is weak in the Power. He isn't. He's actually quite strong in the Power, just in a different way. So, you can imagine why it might irritate some people that he manages to outclass characters who should have been able to burn him to cinders.

Then again, his character arc serves to prove that skill is more important then strength when it comes to the One Power and I think we really needed a firm demonstration of that fact.

If the Black Tower couldn't be saved by Rand, for whatever reason, then I'm happy with Androl as the lead protagonist. I certainly didn't want to read about Logain. I hated Logain the minute Gabrelle had sex with him (because of the rape overtones) and every word that came out of his mouth at Lord Algarin's Manor only made it worse. By the end, I was honestly wishing to see Androl in charge of the Black Tower.

Logain's glory could have referred to some glorious heroic death.

Rand created the Black Tower. That's why it should have been him who saved it. It would also solidify him as Egwene's counterpart and reinforce the themes of repetition. (Rand and Egwene butting heads just as Lews Therin and what's her face did in the previous age).

Zombie Sammael
09-11-2013, 12:02 AM
I've said before that for me, Androl and Pevara's story makes AMOL more complete as a book. Since they are characters whose arcs take place largely within AMOL and have a clear beginning, middle, and end within that book, the arc elevates the book beyond being simply the final book of a huge series and makes it feel complete as a novel in its own right. The fact that Androl is so much more likeable than Logain might be seen as a misstep, but Logain was always a bit of a bastard anyway, so it might be important to have a sympathetic character at the Black Tower in the end.

SamJ
09-11-2013, 02:29 AM
I've said before that for me, Androl and Pevara's story makes AMOL more complete as a book. Since they are characters whose arcs take place largely within AMOL and have a clear beginning, middle, and end within that book, the arc elevates the book beyond being simply the final book of a huge series and makes it feel complete as a novel in its own right. The fact that Androl is so much more likeable than Logain might be seen as a misstep, but Logain was always a bit of a bastard anyway, so it might be important to have a sympathetic character at the Black Tower in the end.

My problem with him is not so much that he has an arc - it's that, apart from his lack of strength in the power he's made to be good at anything. Want a master craftsman? A leader? A player of the great game? Friend of Jain? Person who broke the block over the black tower and defeated Taim? Discoverer of a new form of channeling and practical telepath? Winner of the battle at Cairhien? Recoverer of the seals?

This is a character from fan fiction. One of he people involved should have known better.

Rand al'Fain
09-11-2013, 02:55 AM
Rand created the Black Tower. That's why it should have been him who saved it. It would also solidify him as Egwene's counterpart and reinforce the themes of repetition. (Rand and Egwene butting heads just as Lews Therin and what's her face did in the previous age).

Other stuff aside, as I don't really have any problem with it, Rand, or really, Egwene, was never meant to be Rand's counterpart. Egwene, like Mat, Perrin, Aviendha, Elayne, Min, and even Loial all found themselves in positions of power/influence throughout Randland. Rand however was destined to fight Shaitan in order to restore balance and stability to the world. That's on a whole other level than just founding a faction. And to add on to that, Egwene didn't found the White Tower, she was only a (short lived) leader in a long line of leaders going back about 3000 years.

Is her role important? Yes, but so is Mat's, Perrin's, Elayne's, Min's, and Aviendha's. Her role is on par, maybe slightly above, that of her friends. Rand's though is on a whole other level, because he's the one who has to save the world. Not the Amyrlin, the Queen of Andor, the King of Sladea, the Prince of the Ravens, or the Doomsayer. It's the Dragon Reborn.

Davian93
09-11-2013, 07:05 AM
My problem with him is not so much that he has an arc - it's that, apart from his lack of strength in the power he's made to be good at anything. Want a master craftsman? A leader? A player of the great game? Friend of Jain? Person who broke the block over the black tower and defeated Taim? Discoverer of a new form of channeling and practical telepath? Winner of the battle at Cairhien? Recoverer of the seals?

This is a character from fan fiction. One of he people involved should have known better.

There's that and the fact that the entire sequence reads like terrible, terrible fan fiction from the new gateways to the text message telepathy bond to their stupid relationship to the prose etc. If it were a SW expanded universe novel, I would put the Androl/Pevara storyline up there with The Truce At Bakura or The Courtship of Princess Leia for sheer awfulness. I actually cringed when reading it...and that was before I knew it was completely Brandon's creation.

Seeker
09-11-2013, 09:57 AM
I've said before that for me, Androl and Pevara's story makes AMOL more complete as a book. Since they are characters whose arcs take place largely within AMOL and have a clear beginning, middle, and end within that book, the arc elevates the book beyond being simply the final book of a huge series and makes it feel complete as a novel in its own right. The fact that Androl is so much more likeable than Logain might be seen as a misstep, but Logain was always a bit of a bastard anyway, so it might be important to have a sympathetic character at the Black Tower in the end.

That is a very good point. Not only did it give the last book its own self-contained story, it's clear that both Androl and Pevara are different people by the end of the story. It's also nice to see a Red portrayed as something other than a man-hating hose beast.

And yes. Logain is nobody's friend. If Logain were an ice cream flavour, he'd be pralines and dick.

GonzoTheGreat
09-11-2013, 10:16 AM
Logain was a spare Taim. If Taim hadn't made it to Chosen status, then Logain would have stepped in. Because Taim did manage it, Logain could take another route.

Seeker
09-11-2013, 12:47 PM
My problem with him is not so much that he has an arc - it's that, apart from his lack of strength in the power he's made to be good at anything. Want a master craftsman? A leader? A player of the great game? Friend of Jain? Person who broke the block over the black tower and defeated Taim? Discoverer of a new form of channeling and practical telepath? Winner of the battle at Cairhien? Recoverer of the seals?

This is a character from fan fiction. One of he people involved should have known better.

Want a skilled surgeon? A natural leader? Who bests Forsaken in single combat? An inventor of a new form of Healing who accomplishes feats thought impossible for over three thousand years? Hey, that's Nynaeve!

Want a skilled channeler? And master political strategist? Field general? A woman who rediscovers the lost art of crafting ter'angreal? Friend to the legendary hero Birgitte? Wow, that's Elayne!

This is why Brandon-bashing drives me crazy.

It's the hypocrisy. Ninety percent of the flack thrown at him is bullshit because in the vast majority of cases, something is only wrong if Brandon was the one who did it.

Davian93
09-11-2013, 12:59 PM
Want a skilled surgeon? A natural leader? Who bests Forsaken in single combat? An inventor of a new form of Healing who accomplishes feats thought impossible for over three thousand years? Hey, that's Nynaeve!

Want a skilled channeler? And master political strategist? Field general? A woman who rediscovers the lost art of crafting ter'angreal? Friend to the legendary hero Birgitte? Wow, that's Elayne!

This is why Brandon-bashing drives me crazy.

It's the hypocrisy. Ninety percent of the flack thrown at him is bullshit because in the vast majority of cases, something is only wrong if Brandon was the one who did it.

Maybe a caretaker writer shouldn't have added his own somwhat major character to the series at such a later juncture considering his role could have easily been handled by a character already created by RJ like Logain and because it was an arrogant addition that had no place in the story.

Also, trying to compare Androl to one of the inner circle primary characters like Nynaeve or Elayne is really a reach...even for you.

Isabel
09-11-2013, 01:56 PM
Maybe a caretaker writer shouldn't have added his own somwhat major character to the series at such a later juncture considering his role could have easily been handled by a character already created by RJ like Logain and because it was an arrogant addition that had no place in the story.

Also, trying to compare Androl to one of the inner circle primary characters like Nynaeve or Elayne is really a reach...even for you.

Exactly. He made Androl do too much. If you had asked about the black tower and the last battle after KOD than you couldnt hve predicted this.
He basicly replaced the whole setup RJ had in place.

For me he also took the changes with the one power too far. It felt too much Brandon than WoT.

Davian93
09-11-2013, 02:35 PM
Exactly. He made Androl do too much. If you had asked about the black tower and the last battle after KOD than you couldnt hve predicted this.
He basicly replaced the whole setup RJ had in place.

For me he also took the changes with the one power too far. It felt too much Brandon than WoT.

The worst part was when Androl starting burning copper to avoid being Compelled...that really crossed the line for me.

fionwe1987
09-11-2013, 05:24 PM
This thread has exploded, and I just had no clue that the reply per day count here would go up so quickly. So for now, I'm going to respond to just one statement.


Show don't tell means "Make us watch the character do it, don't tell us what he did off stage."

No, no it doesn't. It means don't tell us what a character is, don't tell us someone is a genius or a dolt... show them acting in such a way, and leave it to the readers to determine what they actually are. And it means letting the text speak for itself, rather than the narrator inserting their viewpoint into the story.

Making us watch as a character does something is not a necessity in a book. You always have to prioritize. You don't have to have a character do everything on screen. Its perfectly okay to show us a character merely walking up the stairs as they think about a situation if those thoughts are important. Similarly, it is okay to skip a massive battle if it shows us nothing new about the plot or character.

The corollary to "show, don't tell" (SDT), at least with respect to plot, is that it isn't a call for constantly showing. You only "show" those parts of the story you want to emphasize. You need to trust the reader to be able to figure out the rest. RJ did this a lot. We had such convoluted theories of the series precisely because there wasn't a monotonous stream of "shows". Instead, it was interspersed with "telling", but through the PoVs of various characters, so we needed to take their biases and beliefs into account.

With characters, there is a call for SDT to be more permanent. And here is where Brandon fails. There are long stretches of dialogue where a characters thoughts and reactions are completely missing. With the result that the text reads like the script of a play.

Now, this can be taken too far in the other direction, which RJ did do from time to time. But that's far preferable to having no clue at all how a character is reacting to a conversation. A disembodied voice has no place in a good book.

Another issue with Brandon's writing is that too often, the characters editorialize. Because his dialogue so often doesn't add in a few sentences describing character reactions, we're presented with way more instances of characters simply collecting all their beliefs and notions and exposing them to us in a paragraph or two.

So, we end up with a case of Nynaeve thinking how things have changed, and she actually respects Rand, and thinks of him as a mature adult (by equating him to Tam). First of all, such sudden realizations with no resistance are very contrary to her core character. But most importantly, it comes at the expense of us actually realizing this ourselves. Never once did she come out and say, "I have a mommy complex. I compensate for the way I was treated as a new Wisdom by having a super-charged sense of duty". But we figured that out, based on how she behaved around her fellow villagers.

We also knew she had deep issues with the way the Tower handled itself, that she prioritized action over appearance, and that her duties to her friends and husband far superseded any loyalties she may have to the Tower. She never told us this, but we saw it in how she behaved with the Kin. We saw it in how she stuck with Rand for so long. Did we need a couple of chapters showing her Aes Sedai test to restate these points? And did we really need her to come straight out and tell us all this by thanking Egwene for her final test? The very idea that she only then realized she valued Lan more than her status as Aes Sedai is beyond ridiculous. Not only were we being told stuff we'd already been shown, some of the stuff being told flat out contradicts what we've seen before.

Seeker
09-11-2013, 05:32 PM
Maybe a caretaker writer shouldn't have added his own somwhat major character to the series at such a later juncture considering his role could have easily been handled by a character already created by RJ like Logain and because it was an arrogant addition that had no place in the story.

Why the hell not? The man invested six years of his life on this project. Why shouldn't he be allowed to have a little creative input?

Also, trying to compare Androl to one of the inner circle primary characters like Nynaeve or Elayne is really a reach...even for you.

Are you saying that Nynaeve is not a competent surgeon? Was it inaccurate to say that she has bested one of the Forsaken? Did she or did she not discover a new method of Healing and perform feats that were long thought impossible.

Is it wrong to say that Elayne is a skilled channeler, that she has an intuitive grasp of the nuances of politics? Did she or did she not rediscover the lost skill of crafting ter'angreal and befriend the legendary Birgitte Silverbow?

Any criticisms about Androl's abilities and accomplishments can be applied to just about every other main character in this story. On paper, he's no different from any of them. Your only problem with him is that he was Brandon's creation. That's stupid.

The man is not a walking typewriter. You seem to think that his job was to take the notes and translate them into prose. If so, you're mistaken. Harriet didn't want a ghost writer, she wanted an author who would bring his own unique ideas to the table.

Harriet was smart enough to realize that an writer can't function if his hands are tied. To some degree, he has to follow the muse. Now, of course, that means negotiating his ideas with the script that RJ left behind but the man still needs some latitude.

I mean, if your criticism is that the Black Tower sub-plot should have gone to a main character, then I agree; it should have gone to Rand. And I agree that choosing a secondary character over a primary character was a mistake on Brandon's part.

But if we're dead-set on the idea of giving this story to a secondary character – and for all I know, that's what the notes called for – then I would actually prefer a new character over Logain or Damer Flinn or Narishma. Why? Because Logain's an unsympathetic character and the other two are locked into roles that just don't fit with what the story would need. From the scant little we've seen from him, can you honestly say you picture Damer Flinn as the leader of a revolution? The quiet old man who trips over his own words and pretty much goes wherever Corelle points? How 'bout Narishma, the kid who glares at everyone?

This way, we got a character that would fit into that role.

You want to see some legitimate criticism of Brandon Sanderson's work on WOT? I'll give you some in my next post.

fionwe1987
09-11-2013, 05:34 PM
Ohk... I guess I'll break my self-imposed restriction.

Want a skilled surgeon? A natural leader? Who bests Forsaken in single combat? An inventor of a new form of Healing who accomplishes feats thought impossible for over three thousand years? Hey, that's Nynaeve!
Nyneave is a natural leader? And yes, she does invent new ways to Heal. That's what she is, and her skill at that field has been slowly and steadily built up. It wasn't like she was introduced to us as a master Healer in the final two books!

Want a skilled channeler? And master political strategist? Field general? A woman who rediscovers the lost art of crafting ter'angreal? Friend to the legendary hero Birgitte? Wow, that's Elayne!
Yes. She's been there forever, in the series. Your point is?

And you know what else Elayne is? Someone who arrogantly believes in her own infallibility. She's a person with all manner of flaws which, along with her skills and positives, have been well explored before she was given the task of General of the Forces of the Light.

11 books of development vs. one book of development. Its all the same, eh?


It's the hypocrisy. Ninety percent of the flack thrown at him is bullshit because in the vast majority of cases, something is only wrong if Brandon was the one who did it.
No, its wrong because a character was shoehorned into the series and we're simply told he's a master of this, and a master of that, and ends up doing things well established characters had been set up to do for a long time.

And please, don't give your dislike of Logain as an excuse. I don't like him either. That's not the point. He was a character who was built, from the first book. He's not a last minute cameo who turned into a major character.

fionwe1987
09-11-2013, 05:46 PM
Why the hell not? The man invested six years of his life on this project. Why shouldn't he be allowed to have a little creative input?
No one denies Brandon had creative input in the series. But he was also completing someone else's work. If he introduced a character who did somewhat inconsequential things that were tangential to major events, I think people would complain less. But he took over long established plot arcs.

Are you saying that Nynaeve is not a competent surgeon? Was it inaccurate to say that she has bested one of the Forsaken? Did she or did she not discover a new method of Healing and perform feats that were long thought impossible.

Is it wrong to say that Elayne is a skilled channeler, that she has an intuitive grasp of the nuances of politics? Did she or did she not rediscover the lost skill of crafting ter'angreal and befriend the legendary Birgitte Silverbow?
He was saying Elayne and Nynaeve were main characters, I believe.

Any criticisms about Androl's abilities and accomplishments can be applied to just about every other main character in this story. On paper, he's no different from any of them. Your only problem with him is that he was Brandon's creation. That's stupid.
On paper he is different because he was introduced in ToM. Nybnaeve did not become a master Healer overnight. She did not invent her new methods out of nowhere. She had help, and a well explored resistance to the establishment which allowed her to make her new inventions. Elayne was hardly the first to make ter'angreal. She was just the first to realize that ability to copy a'dam was not a restricted ability, and she was sufficiently apart from her hidebound teachers in the Tower to explore her ideas on her own. And she developed her abilities slowly, not in the span of a few chapters.

Davian93
09-11-2013, 06:38 PM
I believe FIonwe covered everything...

Seeker
09-11-2013, 06:54 PM
No, no it doesn't. It means don't tell us what a character is, don't tell us someone is a genius or a dolt... show them acting in such a way, and leave it to the readers to determine what they actually are.

Which generally requires that we get to witness that character's actions and decisions.

Making us watch as a character does something is not a necessity in a book. You always have to prioritize.

Well, obviously it would depend on what actions we're talking about. Because you're right; no one needs to read a chapter about Perrin taking an inventory of his supplies. That doesn't mean it didn't happen and that doesn't mean that it's not important to Perrin but it's the kind of thing that can be mentioned in a brief sentence or two.

You don't have to have a character do everything on screen. Its perfectly okay to show us a character merely walking up the stairs as they think about a situation if those thoughts are important.

If you're talking about Alviarin, her thoughts in that scene were focused on a salt-mining village that we will never see, the annoyance of having to gate into a dusty room and her burning hatred of Mesaana. The rest were several variations of "I am evil, hear me roar!"

In other words, stuff we already knew and stuff we didn't need to know in the first place.

More to the point, there should be at least SOME correlation between the narrative flow and real-time. Exactly how many thoughts can you think while going up a flight of stairs? I tried this yesterday and managed a sentence and a half. And if you're going to assume that I'm talking about her trek all way from the basement to Elaida's study, no. The narrative specifies that it was a SINGLE flight of stairs.

The best authors find a way of having characters think important thoughts while they're DOING something important. Each scene should justify its existence by furthering the story.


Similarly, it is okay to skip a massive battle if it shows us nothing new about the plot or character.

Absolutely.

If that battle doesn't happen to be the climax of your story. (And if it is, why would it not be showing us something new about plot and character?)


The corollary to "show, don't tell" (SDT), at least with respect to plot, is that it isn't a call for constantly showing. You only "show" those parts of the story you want to emphasize. You need to trust the reader to be able to figure out the rest. RJ did this a lot. We had such convoluted theories of the series precisely because there wasn't a monotonous stream of "shows". Instead, it was interspersed with "telling", but through the PoVs of various characters, so we needed to take their biases and beliefs into account.

Right.

I agree with you in principle. My point is that RJ didn't follow that principle nearly as much as you seem to think.

He often told us about things he should have shown. (Having Elayne and Rand wax poetic about their undying love for each other instead of giving them scenes together that would establish their feelings. They spent all of two days together in as many years).

He often showed us things he should have told. (Alviarin's long, LONG trek through the Tower with lots of description of tapestries and floor tiles. Why couldn't this scene have started just outside Elaida's study? If he wanted to add some flavour by showing us how annoyed she was about having to gate into the sub-basement, why not just say that in a single sentence? Did we really need to see her channeling dust out of the air?)


With characters, there is a call for SDT to be more permanent. And here is where Brandon fails. There are long stretches of dialogue where a characters thoughts and reactions are completely missing. With the result that the text reads like the script of a play.

I will not dispute that there are scenes in the last three books that are primarily long stretches of dialogue with very little description and internal narrative. However, I don't lay blame for this at Sanderson's feet. The man came right out and said that he had six books worth of material and he was trying to squeeze it all into three.

Again, the more bloat you have in book 2, the more plot-resolutions get pushed back to book 3. The more plot-resolutions you have in book 3, the less time you can spend on each narrative thread. So this situation forces Brandon to focus less on description (both mental and physical) and more on the nuts and bolts of the story.

This is what I mean when I say that Brandon inherited problems that already existed prior to his involvement in the series. The level of attention to minutiae that RJ employed from A Crown of Swords to Knife of Dreams was not sustainable from a story perspective. At one point, one of two things was going to happen.

Either important scenes that the reader deserved to see would be handled off screen, with certain sub-plots dropped altogether.

Or there would be a massive contraction in the level of detail in order to create the necessary space, resulting in a style similar to the one Brandon employed in the last three books.

If RJ had remained in perfect health and continued to write in the style that we saw in aCoS through KoD, the series would have gone to 20 books and by that point, I guarantee you, no one would care.

Now, this can be taken too far in the other direction, which RJ did do from time to time. But that's far preferable to having no clue at all how a character is reacting to a conversation.

That's debatable. There are times when the reaction is obvious given the context.

Another issue with Brandon's writing is that too often, the characters editorialize. Because his dialogue so often doesn't add in a few sentences describing character reactions, we're presented with way more instances of characters simply collecting all their beliefs and notions and exposing them to us in a paragraph or two.

That's a very subjective criticism. It's hard to even quantify what you're talking about. If Rand and Egwene are on opposing sides of an argument, is there some reason they shouldn't present their reasoning?

So, we end up with a case of Nynaeve thinking how things have changed, and she actually respects Rand, and thinks of him as a mature adult (by equating him to Tam). First of all, such sudden realizations with no resistance are very contrary to her core character.

That may have something to do with the fact that Rand's change was remarkably sudden. (Perhaps too sudden.) There were also several bits of playful dialogue where Nynaeve reminds Rand that she will always see him as one of her charges and he admits that he will always need her advice. Because in the end, he is a bit of a woolhead.

This revelation might even be the cause for Nynaeve's sudden change. For the first time, Rand admits that he needs her help and readily accepts her guidance.

It's a testament to Branon's remarkable subtlety as a writer that he can lay out all these pieces for us and allow us to figure it out for ourselves.

We also knew she had deep issues with the way the Tower handled itself, that she prioritized action over appearance, and that her duties to her friends and husband far superseded any loyalties she may have to the Tower. She never told us this, but we saw it in how she behaved with the Kin. We saw it in how she stuck with Rand for so long. Did we need a couple of chapters showing her Aes Sedai test to restate these points?

Absolutely we did. Because that was the real test. Over the course of the series, Nynaeve went from hating Aes Sedai to coveting the respect and authority that they commanded. She often talked a good game about how she didn't support the Tower's philosophies but it was talk. Often with trusted friends.

So, now the real test comes. Not the test of how well she can weave but the test of her character. Did she mean it? Is she willing to give up all of the things she's earned to stand by her principles? She can huff and puff all she likes about how wrong the Tower is but it doesn't mean jack until there are some actual stakes. Then we'll see if she's willing to put her money where her mouth is.

And did we really need her to come straight out and tell us all this by thanking Egwene for her final test? The very idea that she only then realized she valued Lan more than her status as Aes Sedai is beyond ridiculous.

Oh, I'm not so sure.

Nynaeve was pretty damned concerned with her status as an Aes Sedai. Remember how she reacted to Cadsuane's abrupt dismissals? Remember how pissed she was when the Kin refused to believe that she was a full sister? Prior to that test, did she ever have occasion to weigh her love for Lan against her desire to become Aes Sedai? Or did she always operate under the assumption that she was going to have both with no inkling that she would ever have to choose?

Seeker
09-11-2013, 07:19 PM
Legitimate criticism of Brandon Sanderson's work on the Wheel of Time.

For a guy who specializes in magic systems, Brandon Sanderson does not understand the One Power. Now, this might have something to do with the fact that I am comparing my own personal understanding of the One Power to Brandon's portrayal of it. And my own personal understanding of the One Power might be limited by the fact that I don't have access to RJ's notes.

BUT...

Brandon does not do a good job of portraying the differences in perspective between people who are initiated in the ways of the One Power and people are not. He'll often have characters like Perrin think things like "Grady hurled weaves at the oncoming trollocs," when Perrin would have no way of seeing the weaves. Perrin would see only the effects. So, Perrin would see something like "Grady raised his hand and fireballs sped from his open palm. Dozens of them in quick succession."

Yes, Perrin is aware that those fireballs were generated by something called a weave but not being able to channel, Perrin would have no idea what those weaves look like. Sometimes Brandon compensates for this by using phrases like "unseen weaves" but Perrin wouldn't even think in those terms. He'd just take note of the physical effects.

And the physical effects are often more vivid. "Hurled a weave at the trolloc" is very generic. What kind of weave? What should I expect it to do when it hits? In truth, I prefer it when we get to see the physical effects even from the point of view of a channeler. It makes things a lot more interesting.

The reason I feel this is legitimate is that, of all people, Brandon Sanderson should have had this down cold. Magic is his specialty. This is the guy who wrote some of the most vivid action scenes I've ever read.

SamJ
09-12-2013, 01:59 AM
Well, obviously it would depend on what actions we're talking about. Because you're right; no one needs to read a chapter about Perrin taking an inventory of his supplies. That doesn't mean it didn't happen and that doesn't mean that it's not important to Perrin but it's the kind of thing that can be mentioned in a brief sentence or two.

If you're talking about Alviarin, her thoughts in that scene were focused on a salt-mining village that we will never see, the annoyance of having to gate into a dusty room and her burning hatred of Mesaana. The rest were several variations of "I am evil, hear me roar!"

In other words, stuff we already knew and stuff we didn't need to know in the first place.

Are you referring to Perrin buying supples at Sol Habor? It's a great example that proves the opposite of your point about the subtlety of RJ vs BS. Sol Habor is a bubble of evil and he walks away from it - big character implications there alongside a huge sign the world is failing. This isn't just a few minutes and one person, it's been around a while and it's a whole town. The veil of parting is raised - fulfilling one of the prophecies. Meanwhile we see the food failing – think about what that means. People are going to starve on a large scale. In the meantime there are all the tensions between the groups in Perrin's party. There's the mystery of why Masema directed him there, presumably to try and trap him or hurt him. This is what I mean by the ratcheting up of tension in COT. The world is falling apart, Perrin is on a quest that he thinks has nothing to do with the last battle and he's even failing at that as he falls further behind.

Alviarin. Are you talking about the scene where she returns from witnessing the mass suicide/murders on Tremalking? If so, it is not unnecessary to me. It creates a mystery. A mystery that links one of the Forsaken to a horrific event we later learn about. We also see the Sea Folk librarians. Knowing more about how they feel about Aes Sedai were you not a little chilled about the implications of them being where they could find all the AS secrets (presumably on orders). In the interests of even handedness I will say that the Aymar events were not the best example of RJ's writing. I remember at the time it didn't have the 'GASP' reaction he expected. I think he was caught here between wanting to indicate the horror of the world falling apart, and to show that even wonderful events like the Cleansing have nasty unintended consequences, and wanting to show that everyone else just had to get on with it. It would have worked better I think if we had had a brief scene in the Prologue of the sea folk messanger we met in (KOD) rushing to her ship trying to stop something dreadful. That would have added the twist. So I am by no means claiming RJ was perfect.

In contrast to the above, often with Brandon there is only one thing conveyed per scene. I wonder if this would have changed if he had more time to rewrite? We'll never know.

And back to Androl. You cannot compare him to the main cast characters for all the reasons people have discussed above. And frankly, even if you could, it's not Brandon's place to introduce a MAIN character. SECONDARY characters would be fine, if well handled. But Androl is paper thin. He would be interesting and ok to me if he had been a failure all his life - a man who wandered the world driven to travel but mastering nothing and blaming everyone else until he found the Black Tower. Then he could have become confident having found his home and gained a real skill. One simple change would have given his character an arc (rather than just a plot arc). But he was dropped in as a jack if all trades and master of all, and all round good chap. That's what I mean by saying he's fan fiction. As well as all the stuff about how excruciating his sections were to read (the nachi (?) simile capping it for me).

Also, Portal is a fun game but I never wanted to be reading what and thinking "the cake is a lie!"

Daekyras
09-12-2013, 04:27 AM
And please, don't give your dislike of Logain as an excuse. I don't like him either. That's not the point. He was a character who was built, from the first book. He's not a last minute cameo who turned into a major character.

Quick question on the whole dislike for logain thing- When did this start to happen? I dont want to be an ass or to carry out "senseless" bashing of Brandon but....until aMoL we know very little about him and then he turns out to be an absolute cock.

Is this why everyone else dislikes him or was it from the previous books where he pretty much isnt all that involved...

Daekyras
09-12-2013, 04:33 AM
Or did she always operate under the assumption that she was going to have both with no inkling that she would ever have to choose?

yes

maacaroni
09-12-2013, 05:10 AM
I think people would have criticised whomever finished the series. One had to accept that certain elements would jar and that a different writing style mean a different telling of the same story.

If GRRM finished it, he would have got slagged off too.

One simply had to accept that Harriet wanted to finish the story for the fans. I doubt it was a financial thing, she always comes across in interviews as an 'art for art's sake' sort of person. This was her late husband's magnum opus she was trying to finish - she made the gamble, and lets be honest it was a gamble, to back an up-and-coming author who was a WoT fanatic (like you or I!!) to do it.

Was it the book RJ would have written? No.
Does the book adhere to the major plot points that RJ left? Yes.
Could anybody have written it like RJ? No.
Are there better authors who could've given this amount of time and knew the series inside and out to finish it? Unlikely.

I thought Brandon did a great job, considering he was on a hiding to nothing. He knew he had a sceptical audience of HCFFs to win over, so he was collaborative in his process to a degree not seen with authors.

As for what happens here? Well, there's the encyclopaedia...and there's always other series out there.

Who says it has to remain Theoryland of WoT?
Where else will I see people get slapped down by Terez?

That's my ha'pennies worth kids.

Terez
09-12-2013, 05:31 AM
One simply had to accept that Harriet wanted to finish the story for the fans.Of course we have to accept it. That does not mean we have to pretend to like it.

GonzoTheGreat
09-12-2013, 08:02 AM
Quick question on the whole dislike for logain thing- When did this start to happen? I dont want to be an ass or to carry out "senseless" bashing of Brandon but....until aMoL we know very little about him and then he turns out to be an absolute cock.

Is this why everyone else dislikes him or was it from the previous books where he pretty much isnt all that involved...
Nitpick: he's not actually an absolute cock, just someone who is close to that. And he does have good reason for it, as you may know.

Rand already disliked him, or at least did not trust him very much. Which, admittedly, was a result of Rand's madness, so once again a male character can't be faulted too much for a potential character flaw. Apart from that, Logain hadn't been too nice while traveling Min (who is everyone's darling), Siuan and Leane, though he did treat them fair. They, of course, had him locked up again as soon as they were in a position to do so.

Daekyras
09-12-2013, 10:21 AM
Nitpick: he's not actually an absolute cock, just someone who is close to that. .

I dont recall him being close to gawyn in aMoL....

GonzoTheGreat
09-12-2013, 10:42 AM
I dont recall him being close to gawyn in aMoL....
He considers just dumping all that is important and going off to do his own thing. Gawyn did that, then whined about it. So Logain came close enough to consider it, but then decided to go save some little kiddies, rather than just being an annoying idiot.

Zombie Sammael
09-12-2013, 09:11 PM
1. Declares himself Dragon Reborn knowing full well that he is not; leads armies to war, devastating countryside and displacing families; is finally captured by Aes Sedai and still manages to remain defiant.

2. Found not to be Dragon Reborn; gentled; mopes.

3. Escapes with three other alleged criminals, aided by Gawyn*; causes serious property damage and evades justice.

4. Conspires with renegade Aes Sedai in campaign to smear innocent Red Ajah members who were just doing their job.

5. Healed; escapes at first opportunity, aided by Egwene**; joins Asha'man.

6. Bonds Aes Sedai against their will; has sexual relations with captives.

7. Captured by Shadow; somehow manages to resist being turned; sources put this down to "strong will" but it might just be because it's difficult to corrupt someone who's already pretty corrupt.

He sounds like a bit of an ass to me.

*This in itself is an indictment, surely?

**Some would say this is definitely an indictment on his character.

GonzoTheGreat
09-13-2013, 02:26 AM
Fun!

1. Considering how vague the KC is, Logain could be excused for not knowing that he couldn't be the DR.

2. Moping after being gentled seems understandable, all things considered.

3. Who at the time alleged that Min was a criminal? As far as I know,she could do what she did because no one actually thought that.

4. Or maybe he just told the truth. That has never been settled conclusively.

5. Fair cop. That's a big point against him.

6. Standard practice, though ordinarily it is the AS who do the capturing.

7. If he'd been that corrupt, then he wouldn't have needed to be turned, he would have taken the side of the Shadow automatically.

He is indeed a bit of an ass; much (maybe all) of that is a result of the AS policy of "torture men who can channel; that'll teach them". It did indeed teach him, and then he started putting what he had learned into practice.

Davian93
09-13-2013, 09:31 AM
I've always thought that Logain's story about the Red Ajah had a huge kernal of truth about it...that the only real lies were maybe, just maybe Elaida's personal involvement. After all, none of the Red would deny it as the 3 Oaths likely prevented them from doing so without obfuscation.

As for the rest, I tend to think Logain honestly thought he was the Dragon Reborn and he was doing what he thought he was supposed to. It never seemed like he was power hungry until AFTER his capture/torture by the Shadow. Even in the end of that, he turned out to be a good guy who came down on the right side of the fence despite massive personal traumas. Sure, he was a bit of a prick but considering all the crap that happened to him, that's not really much of a surprise. Also, Rand was a massive a-hole at that point in the story so you could see Logain (an older, more experienced man who is also a powerful channeler) getting his back up. Logain never knew the good Rand....he only met the ahole Rand thus he could say to himself "Well, he's a good guy under a ton of stress so I'll giveh im some leeway here" To Logain, Rand just seems like a power hungry controlling jerk. Even with all that, Logain still stays on the side of the Light...unlike many of LTT's top generals in the AoL who apparently liked working with LTT so much that they jumped ship to the Shadow. Perhaps LTT has some issues working with other people that can come close to challenging him politically and in One Power strength, eh? Maybe he always had to be the center of attention and cock of the walk?

Also, from what I recall, Gabrelle had to seduce him, not the other way around. He didn't exactly force himself on a prisoner by any means. Sure, the situation is a bit unusual but its not nearly the level you are trying to make it.

As for escaping...let's see, he's being imprisoned for the mere fact that he's a male that can channel (total BS considering the Dragon is reborn and collecting male channelers to fight the Shadow), he's been told that he will be gentled again (basically mind raped and left for dead) as a result of something he was born with (the ability to channel) and the leader of the Aes Sedai offers and even fully arranges the escape (one of Egwene's finest moments actually).

You all are crazy to hate on Logain like that...if anything, the only reason to hate on his character is because BS miffed it when he wrote him in the later books.

suttree
09-13-2013, 10:07 AM
6. Bonds Aes Sedai against their will; has sexual relations with captives.


As opposed to what? They had been sent to gentle and kill them all outside of WT law. Even then Logain stated straight out he didn't care for the "extra bit" in the bond although RJ said they thought it was an absolute necessity.

GonzoTheGreat
09-13-2013, 10:25 AM
As opposed to what?
He could have stilled them, hung them in public, and then dumped the corpses from 2 miles high onto Tar Valon. That would have sent the message quite clearly that messing with the BT was not particularly safe.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-13-2013, 11:13 AM
He could have stilled them, hung them in public, and then dumped the corpses from 2 miles high onto Tar Valon. That would have sent the message quite clearly that messing with the BT was not particularly safe.

Disagree. Holding a Red Ajah member against her will, bonding (which is seen as rape) and KEEPING them to use as they wish would be the more horrifying scenario to Aes Sedai. Being stilled, yes, OMG, horrible, but being stilled then killed would be seen as a mercy.

Of course, then turning them to the shadow AFTER bonding them is even more horrifying althought it wasn't shared.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-13-2013, 11:26 AM
So, we end up with a case of Nynaeve thinking how things have changed, and she actually respects Rand, and thinks of him as a mature adult (by equating him to Tam). First of all, such sudden realizations with no resistance are very contrary to her core character. But most importantly, it comes at the expense of us actually realizing this ourselves. Never once did she come out and say, "I have a mommy complex. I compensate for the way I was treated as a new Wisdom by having a super-charged sense of duty". But we figured that out, based on how she behaved around her fellow villagers.

We also knew she had deep issues with the way the Tower handled itself, that she prioritized action over appearance, and that her duties to her friends and husband far superseded any loyalties she may have to the Tower. She never told us this, but we saw it in how she behaved with the Kin. We saw it in how she stuck with Rand for so long. Did we need a couple of chapters showing her Aes Sedai test to restate these points? And did we really need her to come straight out and tell us all this by thanking Egwene for her final test? The very idea that she only then realized she valued Lan more than her status as Aes Sedai is beyond ridiculous. Not only were we being told stuff we'd already been shown, some of the stuff being told flat out contradicts what we've seen before.

Strongly Disagree with this evaluation. Nynaeve spent the entire series growing, very slowly. She would doubt herself, yes, but never, ever admit to it. She grew from always being a stubborn stick in the mud, to allowing herself to doubt her decisions, to acknowleging in her own mind that maybe she had done something a little wrong...the next steps for her were logically to recognize her prior opinions were wrong without trying to rationalize them to others OR HERSELF(see: Rand) and to actually SAY IT OUT LOUD to the person (see: Egwene). It showed the full circle of her growth.

I recall her making small steps towards this with Elayne in Fires of Heaven (too lazy to search right now). She told Elayne she was right about something, but still rationalized.

Seeker
09-13-2013, 01:55 PM
Ohk... I guess I'll break my self-imposed restriction.


Nyneave is a natural leader? And yes, she does invent new ways to Heal. That's what she is, and her skill at that field has been slowly and steadily built up. It wasn't like she was introduced to us as a master Healer in the final two books!

I don't see why point of introduction should matter. The initial objection was that Androl has too many talents and accomplishments. My point is that he really doesn't have any more than those of the main cast.


Yes. She's been there forever, in the series. Your point is?

And you know what else Elayne is? Someone who arrogantly believes in her own infallibility. She's a person with all manner of flaws which, along with her skills and positives, have been well explored before she was given the task of General of the Forces of the Light.

Androl's flaws were self-doubt and a tendency to sell himself short. He was also somewhat aloof. These flaws were explored as part of his arc as well.

I would also note that Androl was not made General of the Forces of the Light. He wasn't even the de facto leader of his little band of rebels. It seemed to be more of a joint partnership between Androl, Pevara and Emarin where Androl mostly played the role of mediator.


No, its wrong because a character was shoehorned into the series and we're simply told he's a master of this, and a master of that, and ends up doing things well established characters had been set up to do for a long time.

The guy can work with leather, knows a little field medicine and has a talent for gateways. He's all but useless for any other type of channeling.

As for characters who were "established," I'm not so sure how well established they really were.

And please, don't give your dislike of Logain as an excuse. I don't like him either. That's not the point. He was a character who was built, from the first book. He's not a last minute cameo who turned into a major character.

How was he built from the first book? Simply by being mentioned? Throughout the vast majority of the series, he was just kind of in the background. He never really have an arc.

I think the fact that you don't like him - that a lot of people don't like him - is the point. If you want someone to be the central character in a story, you have to make them a sympathetic character. Well, I suppose you don't have to if you know that people will buy your book in droves regardless of what you do - that's a major point here - but under normal circumstances, you want to make a sympathetic character or people will get fed up with your story.

Seeker
09-13-2013, 01:59 PM
Are you referring to Perrin buying supples at Sol Habor?

I was not referring to any specific scenes in the books. Only a hypothetical scene that I had imagined of Perrin literally sitting in a tent and counting knives one by one.

Seeker
09-13-2013, 02:01 PM
Quick question on the whole dislike for logain thing- When did this start to happen? I dont want to be an ass or to carry out "senseless" bashing of Brandon but....until aMoL we know very little about him and then he turns out to be an absolute cock.

Is this why everyone else dislikes him or was it from the previous books where he pretty much isnt all that involved...

In my case, I dislike him because he chose to indulge Gabrelle's affections - even if she initiated it - while knowing that she was physically incapable of refusing him anything. It's not exactly rape but there's a sick feeling.

Add to that the way he acts like a complete ass to Rand for no reason.

Seeker
09-13-2013, 02:13 PM
I think people would have criticised whomever finished the series. One had to accept that certain elements would jar and that a different writing style mean a different telling of the same story.

If GRRM finished it, he would have got slagged off too.

One simply had to accept that Harriet wanted to finish the story for the fans. I doubt it was a financial thing, she always comes across in interviews as an 'art for art's sake' sort of person. This was her late husband's magnum opus she was trying to finish - she made the gamble, and lets be honest it was a gamble, to back an up-and-coming author who was a WoT fanatic (like you or I!!) to do it.

Was it the book RJ would have written? No.
Does the book adhere to the major plot points that RJ left? Yes.
Could anybody have written it like RJ? No.
Are there better authors who could've given this amount of time and knew the series inside and out to finish it? Unlikely.

I thought Brandon did a great job, considering he was on a hiding to nothing. He knew he had a sceptical audience of HCFFs to win over, so he was collaborative in his process to a degree not seen with authors.

As for what happens here? Well, there's the encyclopaedia...and there's always other series out there.

Who says it has to remain Theoryland of WoT?
Where else will I see people get slapped down by Terez?

That's my ha'pennies worth kids.

Brandon is not perfect but he did a generally good job by focusing on the general principles of how to tell a good story. He put the characters into situations that required them to make hard choices and forced them to grow as people. This allowed us to bond with them emotionally as we did in the first six books. He brought back some of the epic feel that RJ gave us - and that IS important since this IS epic fantasy - by making some truly inspired climactic moments.

His prose, while not horrible, is a little bland and he makes small continuity errors. Perhaps this is the result of my being a science-fiction fan since the age of five, but I don't find these errors to be a major issue. Because, in my mind, these errors are an inevitable part of any kind of genre fiction.

I think he did about as good a job as anyone could do given the constraints that he was working with and the problems that existed prior to his arrival.

Seeker
09-13-2013, 02:23 PM
Strongly Disagree with this evaluation. Nynaeve spent the entire series growing, very slowly. She would doubt herself, yes, but never, ever admit to it. She grew from always being a stubborn stick in the mud, to allowing herself to doubt her decisions, to acknowleging in her own mind that maybe she had done something a little wrong...the next steps for her were logically to recognize her prior opinions were wrong without trying to rationalize them to others OR HERSELF(see: Rand) and to actually SAY IT OUT LOUD to the person (see: Egwene). It showed the full circle of her growth.

I recall her making small steps towards this with Elayne in Fires of Heaven (too lazy to search right now). She told Elayne she was right about something, but still rationalized.

I agree.

Towers of Midnight was pretty much the culmination of Nynaeve's arc. I'm pretty sure what we got was exactly what RJ had planned for her.

maacaroni
09-16-2013, 05:54 AM
Of course we have to accept it. That does not mean we have to pretend to like it.

I put the question to you then...

would you have been happier that it was unfinished?
would any other writer have fit the bill?

suttree
09-16-2013, 11:48 AM
I put the question to you then...

would you have been happier that it was unfinished?
would any other writer have fit the bill?

I'm actually pretty interested to hear how various people answer the above.

1. Now that I have seen how things played out I would have been more than happy with the notes. We would have gotten RJ's ending and the reality is many of the details in the last three books are likely fairly different than what RJ had in mind.

2. Out of the Tor authors I always thought J.V. Jones who writes the "Sword of Shadows" series would have been a much better fit stylistically. Of course she has had delays on her own series and she isn't being marketed as Tor's "next big thing" so...

Tollingtoy
09-16-2013, 03:22 PM
Well, I guess I owe you a meal, Garak, because you seem to have convinced TollingToy. Or maybe he came to that conclusion on his own.

Anyway, I'm actually here - surprise, surprise - to get TollingToy's back because it seems to me like he's been mistreated. The man's exact words:



No where does he say that RJ ruined the series by getting sick; so the people who are claiming as much are just making straw-man arguments. Isabel, you of all people should know better. I mean, come on, you're part of the 20th Century Crew.

TollingToy is not blaming RJ for getting sick.

His point is that RJ caused problems in the series by means of the words he put on paper, by allowing the scope of the story to expand exponentially without any plan for how to resolve the major plotlines. And for those who say "Oh no, he had a plan all along!"

Then how come this was originally supposed to be a trilogy? And how come, after the third book, he insisted that he'd be able to finish it in six? Why is it that after the fifth book, that number got bumped to eight? Then ten? Then twelve? Not the sign of someone with a detailed plan.

RJ had his strengths as a writer - we wouldn't be here if he didn't - but he is not infallible. And both TollingToy and Garak are correct when they say that it's not fair to blame Brandon for problems that existed prior to his involvement in the series.



I stayed away from this thread for awhile because of the sheer lunacy contained in some of the responses. Thanks for helping to put this a different way Seeker. Garak, I don't really remember what you are talking about, but maybe I didn't see your point quite the same way I do now that the series is completed

Tollingtoy
09-16-2013, 03:29 PM
In the end, what we have is what we have. The only reason I chose to participate in this discussion is because I could see the possibility of uncovering some reasons why what we have is what we have, but the question of who is more to blame for the perceived unsatisfactory nature of that is one that go on forever. RJ did what he did, so Brandon did what he had to do; Brandon did what he did because he couldn't do what RJ would have.



Well said

Tollingtoy
09-16-2013, 03:38 PM
Sure you can, but that isn't how this debate began. It began with criticism of RJ for not making a detailed enough plot outline whilst he was sick. That wasn't your position, but that's how this began.



I definitely never said that. He spend over 20 years writing this story, and did not have a very detailed outline, that does not necessarily have anything to do with him being sick. To the best of my knowledge, once he was sick he tried as hard as could to outline as much as possible.

Tollingtoy
09-16-2013, 03:42 PM
By not adding a zombie adventure to Mat's storyline.

Deep personal conflicts? This is a joke, right?



Also, pretty sure the "zombie adventure" was Harriet's idea because it "wasn't creepy enough" but I don't have the direct quote.

Which would again support the idea that Brandon is not solely responsible for everything that people seem to find objectionable about the last three books

Ieyasu
09-16-2013, 04:05 PM
Also, pretty sure the "zombie adventure" was Harriet's idea because it "wasn't creepy enough" but I don't have the direct quote.

Which would again support the idea that Brandon is not solely responsible for everything that people seem to find objectionable about the last three books

Negative. Harriet had him rewrite Pandan Fain because he wasnt insane enough. had nothing to do with the zombies

suttree
09-16-2013, 04:52 PM
I definitely never said that. He spend over 20 years writing this story, and did not have a very detailed outline, that does not necessarily have anything to do with him being sick. To the best of my knowledge, once he was sick he tried as hard as could to outline as much as possible.

Since you dodged this earlier:

Why would an author make a outline with every detail filled in when there is no reason to think he isn't going to finish the series himself? RJ had had more worldbuilding notes than perhaps any other author in fantasy. In blaming him for not having every detail mapped out you are blaming him for not doing more once he was terminally ill. More so you don't seem to understand how he went about his writing process.

Also no, Hinderstrap was not Harriet's idea.

Ieyasu
09-16-2013, 05:23 PM
Also no, Hinderstrap was not Harriet's idea.

I would be curious to see if this was ever in the notes. I personally think it was a pure BS addition.

Ieyasu
09-16-2013, 05:28 PM
actually tolling toy was referencing this quote I believe:


Question
Where did the idea for the zombies come from?
Brandon Sanderson

Are you speaking of Hinderstap? (Questioner explains further.) ...Yes you're speaking of Hinsderstap. Hinderstap came out of working with bubbles of evil and things like this, and Harriet saying to me at one point, "The book’s not creepy enough." [laughter] She said, "Go read..."—she gave me the scene with the dead rat from early—is it Eye of the World, that has that scene, where they're in the dreams, and things?—she's like, "Get me some more creepy. It's supposed to be getting worse and worse." And so I'm like, "Alright, creepy it is." And that was where it came from.
Harriet McDougal

Thus is the nature of inspiration.

So maybe she did have some influence on the zombies...

but it was purely a BS addition:


Question

Who was Hinderstap?
Brandon Sanderson

Hinderstap was me, that was one of my additions. Entered in because Harriet actually said, we need things to be scarier, it's the end of the world. Come up with some really cool bubbles of evil, Brandon. And here are some examples of things that Robert Jordan came up with. Be freaky. And I did my best.

Tollingtoy
09-16-2013, 06:34 PM
Since you dodged this earlier:



Also no, Hinderstrap was not Harriet's idea.


No?

Question
Where did the idea for the zombies come from?

Brandon Sanderson
Are you speaking of Hinderstap? (Questioner explains further.) ...Yes you're speaking of Hinsderstap. Hinderstap came out of working with bubbles of evil and things like this, and Harriet saying to me at one point, "The book’s not creepy enough." [laughter] She said, "Go read..."—she gave me the scene with the dead rat from early—is it Eye of the World, that has that scene, where they're in the dreams, and things?—she's like, "Get me some more creepy. It's supposed to be getting worse and worse." And so I'm like, "Alright, creepy it is." And that was where it came from.

Harriet McDougal
Thus is the nature of inspiration.

http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/archive/index.php/t-7776.html

Tollingtoy
09-16-2013, 06:39 PM
Since you dodged this earlier:

How could I possibly dodge something that was posted after I stopped looking at your ridiculous responses?

You seem to have a very hard time accepting the fact that someone could see the world differently than you do. We all get that you don't like the Brandon books, I think you've made it pretty clear.

suttree
09-16-2013, 06:47 PM
No?

Question
Where did the idea for the zombies come from?

Brandon Sanderson
Are you speaking of Hinderstap? (Questioner explains further.) ...Yes you're speaking of Hinsderstap. Hinderstap came out of working with bubbles of evil and things like this, and Harriet saying to me at one point, "The book’s not creepy enough." [laughter] She said, "Go read..."—she gave me the scene with the dead rat from early—is it Eye of the World, that has that scene, where they're in the dreams, and things?—she's like, "Get me some more creepy. It's supposed to be getting worse and worse." And so I'm like, "Alright, creepy it is." And that was where it came from.

Harriet McDougal
Thus is the nature of inspiration.

http://www.theoryland.com/vbulletin/archive/index.php/t-7776.html

That doesn't say what you seem to think it does.


We all get that you don't like the Brandon books, I think you've made it pretty clear.

We just have to be realistic about what we have. I have discussed both the good and bad in great detail. This thread is about moving on and people were answering why...until you jumped into derail things.


How could I possibly dodge something that was posted after I stopped looking at your ridiculous responses?

That's funny considering you responded to me the day after I made that post. I see you still refuse to address your original statement concerning the outline and RJ's sickness however.

Tollingtoy
09-16-2013, 08:22 PM
And you refuse to read the words I actually wrote or the multiple explanations I provided.

I see we are at an impasse...

suttree
09-16-2013, 08:54 PM
And you refuse to read the words I actually wrote or the multiple explanations I provided.

I see we are at an impasse...

Ok mate, humor me then. Please respond directly to what I quoted and you claimed to have missed. Lets start there.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-17-2013, 01:20 PM
Who the F***K cares where the zombie idea came from. Brandon and Harriet created it. Together. Writer...Editor..Writer...Editor...Writer...legacy holder.

If you don't like it, take it up with them. Brandon CLEARLY explains the creepy factor being requested. By the editor. And Brandon then added creepy factor. Because he was the writer. And because it was a fairly large scene in the book it was obviously acceptable. TO THE EDITOR. Fine, if you don't like it, that is understandable. But horse = beaten. Accept the fact some folks DID like it, some folks felt it was fine.

And to the point of the thread...no, it was originally a comment that a loss was felt, and questioning if others also felt that way. Period. Pretty short first post. It turned into a "I MOVED ON, BECAUSE IT SUCKED but please let me list in excrutiating detail how it sucked in my opinion" clearly proving, no, you didn't move on. Tollingtoy is being called out for derailing this? Let's be realistic and take a little responsibility here folks.

For the record, Tollingtoy never once said wow RJ was an asshole who screwed up the books and it was his fault. He said he takes part of the blame for not leaving clearly defined direction. In my mind, yes, that was his (RJs) intent--as has been proven in quotes by Harriet, Brandon and team Jordan---until he had a change of heart. As many are wont to do when death becomes clearer, and acceptance of mortality becomes part of your life. THEN he started working towards clarifications. RJ isn't to blame, because BLAME is a stupid way of looking at this. But his thought process played a part. Is it WRONG? No. These are his books. Not ours. Is it SAD? Yes, but even being SAD doesn't make it a non-issue.

suttree
09-17-2013, 02:51 PM
And to the point of the thread...no, it was originally a comment that a loss was felt, and questioning if others also felt that way. Period. Pretty short first post.

Well... I've been semi - lurking with these WOT boards since I found them back some 15 (20??) years ago. Every now and then, out of habit, I check here to hear if there is some new nugget. But now I must come to grips with it all. Nothing is going on, and conversation about WOT has effectively died.

It's a strange feeling. Like a good friend has moved away and you've lost touch with them.

I wonder if anyone else has a similar reaction?

He noted how the conversation had died and talked about his reaction. People then shared there own reactions and why they had moved on from posting as much/why they thought theory discussions had died. Tollingtoy then flew in with the typical ZOMG you Brandon haters attack. The breakdowns started after that point. That is what derailed this thread. End of. It is very easy to go back and look at how it went down. Why try and be disingenuous?

BTW thank you Seeker for at least breaking down why you thought Brandon did well in his work. That is a step in the right direction that the overzealous Brandon brigade(Saucey for Prez!) never even attempts to take.


For the record, Tollingtoy never once said wow RJ was an asshole who screwed up the books and it was his fault. He said he takes part of the blame for not leaving clearly defined direction.

He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on.



In my mind, yes, that was his (RJs) intent--as has been proven in quotes by Harriet, Brandon and team Jordan---until he had a change of heart.

I have seen all of the quotes(I've even provided the most pertinent one from Brandon when he talks about RJ's joke responses) and never once does anything say what you claim above. It was not in his writing process to have a detailed outline and there was no reason for him to think anyone else would finish the story until he became terminally ill. Why would he have needed to fill in more details before he knew he was sick? In blaming him for not doing so, he is being blamed for not doing more in the last stages of his life. Trying to make it sound as if there was some conspiracy to keep the details secret before that point is beyond absurd.

Tollingtoy
09-17-2013, 03:38 PM
All you are doing is reinforcing my original point, that this place is overflowing with a few posters repeatedly complaining about how Brandon ruined the books.

On the positive side though, I have really enjoyed some of the other opinions/POVs in this thread though...better than we've seen here in a long time.

suttree
09-17-2013, 04:48 PM
All you are doing is reinforcing my original point, that this place is overflowing with a few posters repeatedly complaining about how Brandon ruined the books.


?

I thanked another poster for supporting his view and adding to the debate in a constructive way.

BTW thank you Seeker for at least breaking down why you thought Brandon did well in his work.

Seeker's breakdown was very different than the typical "you're a Brandon hater" posts that we get. Also as mentioned both the good and bad have been discussed in detail by most people offering a critique of the work. Giving a realistic breakdown does not equal hate or complaining. It's a very sad statement on our present society that any critique or differing opinion defaults to "people complaining". By all means though feel free to pull quotes highlighting where you think people have been unfair.


Oh and while you are responding.

Ok mate, humor me then. Please respond directly to what I quoted and you claimed to have missed. Lets start there.

Here I'll make it easy for you.

Why would an author make a outline with every detail filled in when there is no reason to think he isn't going to finish the series himself? RJ had had more worldbuilding notes than perhaps any other author in fantasy. In blaming him for not having every detail mapped out you are blaming him for not doing more once he was terminally ill. More so you don't seem to understand how he went about his writing process.

&

It was not in his writing process to have a detailed outline and there was no reason for him to think anyone else would finish the story until he became terminally ill. Why would he have needed to fill in more details before he knew he was sick? In blaming him for not doing so, he is being blamed for not doing more in the last stages of his life. Trying to make it sound as if there was some conspiracy to keep the details secret before that point is beyond absurd.

I look forward to you explaining your thoughts about the above.

Seeker
09-18-2013, 12:57 AM
Seeker's breakdown was very different than the typical "you're a Brandon hater" posts that we get. Also as mentioned both the good and bad have been discussed in detail by most people offering a critique of the work. Giving a realistic breakdown does not equal hate or complaining. It's a very sad statement on our present society that any critique or differing opinion defaults to "people complaining". By all means though feel free to pull quotes highlighting where you think people have been unfair.

Thank you, sir.

Though, I should point out that, as far as theoryland is concerned, yours is not a dissenting opinion. In a perfect world, I'd go back to 1990 and get the RJ of that time to finish the story.

Seeker
09-18-2013, 01:01 AM
Who the F***K cares where the zombie idea came from. Brandon and Harriet created it. Together. Writer...Editor..Writer...Editor...Writer...legacy holder.

If you don't like it, take it up with them. Brandon CLEARLY explains the creepy factor being requested. By the editor. And Brandon then added creepy factor. Because he was the writer. And because it was a fairly large scene in the book it was obviously acceptable. TO THE EDITOR. Fine, if you don't like it, that is understandable. But horse = beaten. Accept the fact some folks DID like it, some folks felt it was fine.

And to the point of the thread...no, it was originally a comment that a loss was felt, and questioning if others also felt that way. Period. Pretty short first post. It turned into a "I MOVED ON, BECAUSE IT SUCKED but please let me list in excrutiating detail how it sucked in my opinion" clearly proving, no, you didn't move on. Tollingtoy is being called out for derailing this? Let's be realistic and take a little responsibility here folks.

For the record, Tollingtoy never once said wow RJ was an asshole who screwed up the books and it was his fault. He said he takes part of the blame for not leaving clearly defined direction. In my mind, yes, that was his (RJs) intent--as has been proven in quotes by Harriet, Brandon and team Jordan---until he had a change of heart. As many are wont to do when death becomes clearer, and acceptance of mortality becomes part of your life. THEN he started working towards clarifications. RJ isn't to blame, because BLAME is a stupid way of looking at this. But his thought process played a part. Is it WRONG? No. These are his books. Not ours. Is it SAD? Yes, but even being SAD doesn't make it a non-issue.

See, this is why you don't argue with SBC because she's just made of awesome.

Mat and Elayne forever!

Zombie Sammael
09-18-2013, 02:30 AM
For the record, Tollingtoy never once said wow RJ was an asshole who screwed up the books and it was his fault. He said he takes part of the blame for not leaving clearly defined direction. In my mind, yes, that was his (RJs) intent--as has been proven in quotes by Harriet, Brandon and team Jordan---until he had a change of heart. As many are wont to do when death becomes clearer, and acceptance of mortality becomes part of your life. THEN he started working towards clarifications. RJ isn't to blame, because BLAME is a stupid way of looking at this. But his thought process played a part. Is it WRONG? No. These are his books. Not ours. Is it SAD? Yes, but even being SAD doesn't make it a non-issue.

SBC, your post roused my feelings about the direction this thread has taken and prompted me to articulate them. Part of the reason I bowed out of the thread was because I realised the anti-Brandon crowd were essentially forcing me to defend one thing I love (the writing of Brandon Sanderson) by trashing another thing I love (the writing of Robert Jordan). That just seemed destructive and unnecessary to me, and I don't see that one precludes the other. Unfortunately, to those who are determined to hate the final books, those of us who didn't are seemingly presented with this impossible choice: either admit that the works of Robert Jordan are not without their own flaws, or admit that everything wrong with the ending is down to Brandon. It's a false dichotomy, of course, but ironically, whilst it's impossible to prove a negative, it appears far easier to argue it. The truth is RJ was a very good writer who had his foibles, as all flawed human beings do; Brandon is also a very good writer, but with a quite different set of flaws and foibles. The likes of Suttree will argue it's possible to rank those flaws on some sort of scale and place RJ higher than Brandon, but ultimately it's a matter of simple taste and they cannot truly dispute that.

GonzoTheGreat
09-18-2013, 03:47 AM
I have seen all of the quotes(I've even provided the most pertinent one from Brandon when he talks about RJ's joke responses) and never once does anything say what you claim above. It was not in his writing process to have a detailed outline and there was no reason for him to think anyone else would finish the story until he became terminally ill. Why would he have needed to fill in more details before he knew he was sick? In blaming him for not doing so, he is being blamed for not doing more in the last stages of his life. Trying to make it sound as if there was some conspiracy to keep the details secret before that point is beyond absurd.
Small nitpick about this: RJ did not start filling in all those details in an "advance plot line" when he became terminally ill. He only started doing so when he realised that he would not have the time to finish the story himself and yet did want it to be finished.

At first, when he knew he was terminally ill, he just kept writing (albeit somewhat slower), intending to finish the series before he died. He even had some hope of writing unrelated books afterwards. But finishing it took longer than planned (which, face it, is standard practice for humans) and his sickness got worse than he'd planned.

When he did start with the preparations for letting someone else continue, he had to prioritise what he wanted to write himself, what he wanted to leave clear notes on, and what he would have to leave entirely for whoever followed after.
I think that if RJ had lived another three months, then there would have been a lot more of an outline on which BS could have hung his additions. But I do not think that we can really fault RJ too much for not making it any longer than he did.

Davian93
09-18-2013, 08:54 AM
SBC, your post roused my feelings about the direction this thread has taken and prompted me to articulate them. Part of the reason I bowed out of the thread was because I realised the anti-Brandon crowd were essentially forcing me to defend one thing I love (the writing of Brandon Sanderson) by trashing another thing I love (the writing of Robert Jordan). That just seemed destructive and unnecessary to me, and I don't see that one precludes the other. Unfortunately, to those who are determined to hate the final books, those of us who didn't are seemingly presented with this impossible choice: either admit that the works of Robert Jordan are not without their own flaws, or admit that everything wrong with the ending is down to Brandon. It's a false dichotomy, of course, but ironically, whilst it's impossible to prove a negative, it appears far easier to argue it. The truth is RJ was a very good writer who had his foibles, as all flawed human beings do; Brandon is also a very good writer, but with a quite different set of flaws and foibles. The likes of Suttree will argue it's possible to rank those flaws on some sort of scale and place RJ higher than Brandon, but ultimately it's a matter of simple taste and they cannot truly dispute that.

Overall, I like Brandon's writing quite a bit...I own all of his own books (well the adult ones at least) and enjoy them. I just didn't care for some of his stylistic and plot choices in WoT...for the reasons articulated previously.

suttree
09-18-2013, 10:17 AM
I realised the anti-Brandon crowd were essentially forcing me to defend one thing I love (the writing of Brandon Sanderson) by trashing another thing I love (the writing of Robert Jordan).

Why not judge Brandon's work on it's own merits? It really doesn't need to to be an either/or situation.

It is rather funny however that people are saying "blame RJ's hubris" for not leaving more detailed notes. Brandon was hired specifically because they needed a real author, not just a ghost writer. In saying "blame RJ" people are essentially saying Brandon wasn't up to the task.

Unfortunately, to those who are determined to hate the final books, those of us who didn't are seemingly presented with this impossible choice: either admit that the works of Robert Jordan are not without their own flaws, or admit that everything wrong with the ending is down to Brandon.

Determined to hate the final books? Again offering a realistic critique does not equal hate. There are very real issues with the work Brandon did.

Further not sure why people continue to attempt some revisionist history. RJ was criticized heavily and rightly so at times. I have not seen a single poster put him on a pedestal as some literary great. They way you try and spin things you would thing people have held him up with the likes of Pynchon, McCarthy or DeLillo.


It's a false dichotomy, of course, but ironically, whilst it's impossible to prove a negative, it appears far easier to argue it. The truth is RJ was a very good writer who had his foibles, as all flawed human beings do.

No one has ever made points to the contrary. Not sure why you feel the need to present a straw man argument.

klye
09-18-2013, 10:24 AM
And this is how a post - aimed at expressing my sense of loss - gets derailed.

I like both authors work. I also notice each has weakness.

I wish RJ lived a long and healthy life well into his 10000s. He did not - and I thank him for finishing what he could.

I wish Brandon had the same writing style AND could perfectly mimic RJ presentation of the characters and plot development. He did not / could not - and I thank him for bringing his particulair writing style to the fore.

Anyway - Im sad that the series is over. And I'm somewhat sad that all the interesting debates and conversations have all but died regarding the WOT.

Tollingtoy
09-18-2013, 03:23 PM
?

I thanked another poster for supporting his view and adding to the debate in a constructive way.



Seeker's breakdown was very different than the typical "you're a Brandon hater" posts that we get. Also as mentioned both the good and bad have been discussed in detail by most people offering a critique of the work. Giving a realistic breakdown does not equal hate or complaining. It's a very sad statement on our present society that any critique or differing opinion defaults to "people complaining". By all means though feel free to pull quotes highlighting where you think people have been unfair.


Oh and while you are responding.



Here I'll make it easy for you.



&



I look forward to you explaining your thoughts about the above.

What purpose would filling the board up with another multi-quote diatribe accomplish. We obviously disagree, you have spent thousands of words trying to hammer me for things I didn't say. I'm obviously not going to change your mind, so I think I'll just...ahem....move on instead

It's been fun

Seeker
09-18-2013, 03:30 PM
It is rather funny however that people are saying "blame RJ's hubris" for not leaving more detailed notes. Brandon was hired specifically because they needed a real author, not just a ghost writer. In saying "blame RJ" people are essentially saying Brandon wasn't up to the task

No.

They're saying that once Brandon took over, that part of the story became his and that most of your so-called issues are highly subjective. In many cases, you're not blaming Brandon because what he did was wrong but because it wasn't something you liked and not in line with your notion of what RJ would have done. Which is something you can't prove in the slightest. How do you know RJ wouldn't have given us zombies or a scene where Nynaeve defies the White Tower in her test for the shawl?

I have no doubt that those scenes would have read differently but different from RJ does not necessarily equal "wrong." In some cases it does but then in some other cases, different from RJ equals "better." Both men have their strengths and weaknesses. If RJ wanted something in particular, the onus was on him to make that clear in the notes. Otherwise, Brandon has the latitude to do what HE thinks is best for the story.

suttree
09-18-2013, 03:53 PM
What purpose would filling the board up with another multi-quote diatribe accomplish. We obviously disagree, you have spent thousands of words trying to hammer me for things I didn't say. I'm obviously not going to change your mind, so I think I'll just...ahem....move on instead


So at this point you are not even attempting to make up stories about missing the post, just dodging the issue outright. Shocker.

As for the bolded, the quotes more than speak for themselves so let's just go with some more as an answer to Seeker(who in rationally stating his case has made me change my mind on a couple of things, although I sitll disagree with much of what he said).

No.


No?


I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6. If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

If RJ had left a detailed outline, Brandon and Harriet wouldn't have had to fill in so many details and the story would have been better, what is hard to understand about that?


In addition, he did not leave very detailed notes about a lot of the events found in TOM and AMOL. I think it's fair to put some of the criticism of the last three books at his feet for that reason.

Would you care to see more?

Seeker
09-18-2013, 04:02 PM
Shocker. So at this point you are not even attempting to make up stories about missing the post, just dodging the isse outright.

As for the bolded, the quotes more than speak for themselves so let's just go with another quote as an answer to Seeker(who in rationally stating his case has made me change my mind on a couple of things, although I sitll disagree with much of what he said).



No?







Would you care to see more?

Oh I don't dispute that TollingToy said those things. It's your corollary that I disagree with. Saying that RJ should have left better notes is not the same as saying that Brandon wasn't up to the task. Most of your objections are based on personal dislike of certain scenes / plot points and the assumption that RJ would have given you something you liked better. Maybe he would have but that is not a reflection on Brandon's abilities.

suttree
09-18-2013, 04:06 PM
Maybe he would have but that is not a reflection on Brandon's abilities.

But see you are attempting to move the goal posts to a position which the issues in these final three books are purely subjective. That is unequivicolly false. Further tolling says flat out:

Brandon and Harriet wouldn't have had to fill in so many details and the story would have been better, what is hard to understand about that?

So how is my corollary off?

Seeker
09-18-2013, 04:10 PM
But see you are attempting to move the goal posts to a position which the issues in these final three books are purely subjective. That is unequivicolly false. Further tolling says flat out:

Many of your complaints are subjective. Many of the things that you call issues are not actually issues.

Tollingtoy
09-18-2013, 05:39 PM
So at this point you are not even attempting to make up stories about missing the post, just dodging the issue outright. Shocker.

As for the bolded, the quotes more than speak for themselves so let's just go with some more as an answer to Seeker(who in rationally stating his case has made me change my mind on a couple of things, although I sitll disagree with much of what he said).



No?







Would you care to see more?



Feel free to read and repost everything I've written over again. I fully support everything I wrote there, so what is there to argue about? Your posts are becoming increasingly unhinged I'm afraid

suttree
09-18-2013, 05:48 PM
Your posts are becoming increasingly unhinged I'm afraid

:rolleyes: Ok guy...feel free to actually address what is being discussed and leave off with the peevish responses any time now.

Seeker
09-18-2013, 07:05 PM
BTW thank you Seeker for at least breaking down why you thought Brandon did well in his work. That is a step in the right direction that the overzealous Brandon brigade(Saucey for Prez!) never even attempts to take.

You're new here - relatively speaking - so I'll give you the benefit of a little backstory. SBC is one of the most cogent, well-reasoned people on this board. She doesn't argue with you the way I argue with you because unlike me, she probably doesn't enjoy spending her off-hours dissecting comments on the Internet. I, on the other hand, love logic for logic's sake and will debate someone even after a hard day. That and my off-hours don't involve children.

But to assume that SBC hasn't carefully stepped through her every opinion is to underestimate someone who could probably talk circles around you if she really wanted to. Walk soft.

And listen. You might learn something.


I have seen all of the quotes(I've even provided the most pertinent one from Brandon when he talks about RJ's joke responses) and never once does anything say what you claim above. It was not in his writing process to have a detailed outline and there was no reason for him to think anyone else would finish the story until he became terminally ill. Why would he have needed to fill in more details before he knew he was sick? In blaming him for not doing so, he is being blamed for not doing more in the last stages of his life. Trying to make it sound as if there was some conspiracy to keep the details secret before that point is beyond absurd.

What she's referring to are the numerous interviews throughout the late 90s where RJ states that if something were to happen to him - god forbid - the Wheel of Time would remain an unfinished project. At the time, he probably couldn't bear the thought of someone else touching his intellectual property. And that was his prerogative.

He changed his mind when his illness became a factor. That was also his prerogative. However, it doesn't change the fact that his previous decisions - as justified as they were at the time - made it harder for Brandon to take over. It's a simple acknowledgement of the factors in the situation, not a form of scapegoating.

suttree
09-18-2013, 07:28 PM
You're new here - relatively speaking - so I'll give you the benefit of a little backstory. SBC is one of the most cogent, well-reasoned people on this board. She doesn't argue with you the way I argue with you because unlike me, she probably doesn't enjoy spending her off-hours dissecting comments on the Internet. I, on the other hand, love logic for logic's sake and will debate someone even after a hard day. That and my off-hours don't involve children.

Oh I agree, her posts are generally well thought out and reasoned. Except of course when it comes to the overzealous defense of any imagined slight or critique aimed at Brandon's work.


And listen. You might learn something.

Ay good advice.


What she's referring to are the numerous interviews throughout the late 90s where RJ states that if something were to happen to him - god forbid - the Wheel of Time would remain an unfinished project. At the time, he probably couldn't bear the thought of someone else touching his intellectual property. And that was his prerogative.

He changed his mind when his illness became a factor. That was also his prerogative. However, it doesn't change the fact that his previous decisions - as justified as they were at the time - made it harder for Brandon to take over. It's a simple acknowledgement of the factors in the situation, not a form of scapegoating.

Yes I am very familiar with all of that and have already addressed it/provided quotes earlier in thread. Some pertinent parts:


Interview: Jul 28th, 2008
Brandon Sanderson's Blog: A Gift (Verbatim)
Among the more tragic are the ones that came when people asked him what would happen to his series if he died before it was finished. It kind of twists my heart a little bit each time I read a question like that, knowing what eventually happened. In response to most of these situations, Mr. Jordan was joking and whimsical. Common responses were along the lines of "You'd better hope that doesn't happen, otherwise you'll never get to see that last ending I've been planning all these years!" He often indicated that he'd leave instructions to have all of his notes burned and his disc drives wiped, then reformatted six or seven times so that nobody would ever know how the story came out...

Humorous tone set aside, I see something in these responses. Inside, I think the concept of anyone else working on the Wheel of Time was very painful for Mr. Jordan. I really think that early on, he was against the idea of anyone else finishing the last book, should he die...

However, Harriet has talked to me of the last days before his death, and I also have transcripts of the final dictations he made. Transcripts that talk about what should happen, how people should end up, and how the ending should be written. The tone of these writings and of what Harriet talked about is very different from his earlier comments. It's humbling to see how he changed, instead becoming determined—insistent, even—that the last book be finished after he passed away. Harriet mentioned to me that he didn't want to select someone himself. That thought was too hard for him. I can understand why.


You skipped over this in the last post but I'm not sure how you can say no scapegoating is going on when someone says RJ needs to take some blame for these last three books and that the "story would have been better" if Brandon and Harriet didn't have to fill in so many details? Some people don't seem to understand that RJ was a "discovery" writer.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-19-2013, 10:24 AM
I actually am not on the Brandon Brigade ad you so cleverly veil your insults. I had big problems with the last book in particular. I prefer however to see the series as a whole and recognize ALL the issues rather than hefting the huge crappile of blame and finger pointing at Brandon. The next step is always to squash ANYONE who remotely liked (all or parts of) the books. That pisses me off.


But thanks for not making this personal
I know how you abhor that

suttree
09-19-2013, 01:39 PM
Sorry you feel that way. Brandon certainly did some things well and I have discussed those in detail over the years. In fact it wasn't until after ToM that we saw the general sentiment start to shift in the fandom. Even then I argued over and over that AMoL would be his best work in the wheel so not really sure where the "squash" part comes from. Also as has been mentioned no one is holding RJ up on a pedestal. I just refuse to make excuses for Brandon. His work needs to be judged on its own merits.

Tollingtoy
09-19-2013, 03:07 PM
:rolleyes: Ok guy...feel free to actually address what is being discussed and leave off with the peevish responses any time now.

You don't always have to hammer your point into the ground over and over to make it heard...

Zombie Sammael
09-19-2013, 09:54 PM
Sorry you feel that way. Brandon certainly did some things well and I have discussed those in detail over the years. In fact it wasn't until after ToM that we saw the general sentiment start to shift in the fandom. Even then I argued over and over that AMoL would be his best work in the wheel so not really sure where the "squash" part comes from. Also as has been mentioned no one is holding RJ up on a pedestal. I just refuse to make excuses for Brandon. His work needs to be judged on its own merits.

I'm trying not to be rude here and to engage you about this because I've just clocked that it is the single thing that annoys me most about your posts: you always talk about "the general fandom" and "most people", but I really struggle to see it as being as clear cut as that. I mean, it's pretty clear from where I'm sitting that the fandom is divided almost evenly. In this very thread you have roughly 7-10 people participating and at any given time, if we divide the issue into a simple binary, about half are satisfied with Brandon's writing and about half are arguing he stuffed up. It reads like an appeal to popularity but to me that's transparent because it's obvious that the popular opinion is divided - and as SBC says also pretty nuanced. When you say "most people" are you referring to the fandom in general, the HCFFs of Theoryland, the folks at Dragonmount, your own circle of friends, or what? Like I said I'm really trying not to be incendiary but you seem to throw that out so much, I just think it might help if you expanded on it.

Seeker
09-20-2013, 01:30 AM
I'm trying not to be rude here and to engage you about this because I've just clocked that it is the single thing that annoys me most about your posts: you always talk about "the general fandom" and "most people", but I really struggle to see it as being as clear cut as that. I mean, it's pretty clear from where I'm sitting that the fandom is divided almost evenly. In this very thread you have roughly 7-10 people participating and at any given time, if we divide the issue into a simple binary, about half are satisfied with Brandon's writing and about half are arguing he stuffed up. It reads like an appeal to popularity but to me that's transparent because it's obvious that the popular opinion is divided - and as SBC says also pretty nuanced. When you say "most people" are you referring to the fandom in general, the HCFFs of Theoryland, the folks at Dragonmount, your own circle of friends, or what? Like I said I'm really trying not to be incendiary but you seem to throw that out so much, I just think it might help if you expanded on it.

I'd say the dividing line is in whether people see "similarity to RJ" as the defining issue. If you see RJ's approach as the pinnacle of fantasy writing, then you'll probably not like what Brandon has to offer. If, however, you see RJ as a man with a lot of successes and some missteps, you'll probably be more comfortable with someone who takes a different approach.

Rand al'Fain
09-20-2013, 02:31 AM
I guess I'd be somewhere in the middle. I like them both pretty well. But I can definitly tell which parts RJ wrote and which parts Sanderson wrote. Both work in their own way. Would I have preffered RJ not die and finish his series? Of course, that goes without saying. But considering the position that Sanderson found himself in, I think he did pretty well.

Though my favorite is still J.R.R. Tolkein. Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit for the win!

Zombie Sammael
09-20-2013, 02:39 AM
I'd say the dividing line is in whether people see "similarity to RJ" as the defining issue. If you see RJ's approach as the pinnacle of fantasy writing, then you'll probably not like what Brandon has to offer. If, however, you see RJ as a man with a lot of successes and some missteps, you'll probably be more comfortable with someone who takes a different approach.

Well, as I said in GLOTD's thread about the bloat on GenWOT, I do feel RJ's writing is revolutionary. It represents the culmination of a certain tradition of fantasy writing into the most comprehensive and complete fantasy epic of its kind. It opens the way for the likes of Brandon Sanderson and George RR Martin and even China Mieville to write different kinds of fantasy epics less concerned with the heroic high fantasy tropes; they've been done, first by JRR Tolkien and best by Robert Jordan. So I don't think it's as simple as if you think RJ is the best you're going to hate Brandon, because Brandon in his own works is an entirely different beast; one spawned from Robert Jordan but drawing on completely different, arguably more inventive and diverse, ideas.

That doesn't change the significance of RJ for writing WOT, but neither does it account for his flaws. Perhaps the best example of that is Mat. Mat is IMO at his best and most entertaining in TDR and TSR, but later on loses some of his luster. He's a very humorous character and RJ is an uneasy humorist, and I think this is why. People then complain about Brandon's characterisation of Mat in TGS and TOM (I would argue it's significantly closer to RJ in AMOL), but his portrayal of the character is much more comical and from the perspective of humour might arguably be better. So the character isn't quite the same, but if you looked at it from a pure writing and humour POV, you could argue he's actually better written, even though he doesn't "feel" the same. So is Brandon's writing at fault because he's not capturing RJ's essence entirely, or is RJ at fault because his comedy sucks? I find myself siding with Brandon purely because he stated outright he wasn't trying to ape RJ's style but adapt his own to WOT, and I can't blame him for doing that.

Now, you can argue until you're blue in the face about whether Mat is actually at his best in TDR and TSR and whether RJ's humour is actually funnier than Brandon's or not, but the substance of the point is that there are areas where the authors' skills differ, and inevitably there are some areas where Brandon actually exceeds RJ. What those areas are and whether they outnumber those where he does not are certainly matters for debate, but the point is that it isn't fair to criticise Brandon for failing to be exactly like RJ because even though that's what we may have wanted, it's not what he set out to do. To go beyond that we have to criticise Harriet for choosing him, a position I find very difficult to accept. Therefore, even though I think Robert Jordan is one of the best fantasy writers of all time, I can't help but be satisfied with the job Brandon Sanderson did finishing the story. So it is more nuanced than simply whether you think RJ was the best or not. It's about how you regard the process and how you go about criticising the authors.

SamJ
09-20-2013, 07:20 AM
Well, as I said in GLOTD's thread about the bloat on GenWOT, I do feel RJ's writing is revolutionary. It represents the culmination of a certain tradition of fantasy writing into the most comprehensive and complete fantasy epic of its kind. It opens the way for the likes of Brandon Sanderson and George RR Martin and even China Mieville to write different kinds of fantasy epics less concerned with the heroic high fantasy tropes; they've been done, first by JRR Tolkien and best by Robert Jordan. So I don't think it's as simple as if you think RJ is the best you're going to hate Brandon, because Brandon in his own works is an entirely different beast; one spawned from Robert Jordan but drawing on completely different, arguably more inventive and diverse, ideas.

That doesn't change the significance of RJ for writing WOT, but neither does it account for his flaws. Perhaps the best example of that is Mat.g Mat is IMO at his best and most entertaining in TDR and TSR, but later on loses some of his luster. He's a very humorous character and RJ is an uneasy humorist, and I think this is why. People then complain about Brandon's characterisation of Mat in TGS and TOM (I would argue it's significantly closer to RJ in AMOL), but his portrayal of the character is much more comical and from the perspective of humour might arguably be better. So the character isn't quite the same, but if you looked at it from a pure writing and humour POV, you could argue he's actually better written, even though he doesn't "feel" the same. So is Brandon's writing at fault because he's not capturing RJ's essence entirely, or is RJ at fault because his comedy sucks? I find myself siding with Brandon purely because he stated outright he wasn't trying to ape RJ's style but adapt his own to WOT, and I can't blame him for doing that.

Now, you can argue until you're blue in the face about whether Mat is actually at his best in TDR and TSR and whether RJ's humour is actually funnier than Brandon's or not, but the substance of the point is that there are areas where the authors' skills differ, and inevitably there are some areas where Brandon actually exceeds RJ. What those areas are and whether they outnumber those where he does not are certainly matters for debate, but the point is that it isn't fair to criticise Brandon for failing to be exactly like RJ because even though that's what we may have wanted, it's not what he set out to do. To go beyond that we have to criticise Harriet for choosing him, a position I find very difficult to accept. Therefore, even though I think Robert Jordan is one of the best fantasy writers of all time, I can't help but be satisfied with the job Brandon Sanderson did finishing the story. So it is more nuanced than simply whether you think RJ was the best or not. It's about how you regard the process and how you go about criticising the authors.

I completely agree with you re the impact and position of RJ and BS. I think your point on humour is well made too – it really depends on your own personal sense of the comic. So for someone who prefers BS ‘open’ sense of humour (eg where characters crack jokes) then it’s weird Mat’s not the same, but at least he’s really funny. For someone who prefers RJs ‘sly’ sense of humour (eg where the laughter often relies on inference) then it’s weird Mat’s not the same and he’s not funny. You could apply the same to lots of the differences between the two writers.

Where it gets controversial I think is that some of the things RJ was better at than BS are conventionally things that are accorded higher status in any attempted literary reading. Personally, I think that approach often comes down to people saying ‘if it’s harder and requires more effort from the reader, then it’s better’. So BS is a more modern cinematic writer and RJ was a more classical American writer. This is both a matter of personal taste (I personally prefer RJ’s style because I like unreliable narrators), and more than a matter of personal taste because currently there is a widely held set of standards around what counts as good on a literary level.

Ultimately, I think RJ’s work is like a cathedral – I love that I can stand back and admire the intricacies and interwoven patterns, even if some bits don’t work together perfectly. And I think BS’s own work is like very good modern commercial architecture – it is designed very effectively and ergonomically and gets the reaction the designer wants, but you’re not there to admire the spandrels. But BS on RJ is a decent effort to make something that fits with the older style – it’s not always the most sensitive, but it is innovative.

Seeker
09-20-2013, 09:52 AM
Well, as I said in GLOTD's thread about the bloat on GenWOT, I do feel RJ's writing is revolutionary. It represents the culmination of a certain tradition of fantasy writing into the most comprehensive and complete fantasy epic of its kind. It opens the way for the likes of Brandon Sanderson and George RR Martin and even China Mieville to write different kinds of fantasy epics less concerned with the heroic high fantasy tropes; they've been done, first by JRR Tolkien and best by Robert Jordan. So I don't think it's as simple as if you think RJ is the best you're going to hate Brandon, because Brandon in his own works is an entirely different beast; one spawned from Robert Jordan but drawing on completely different, arguably more inventive and diverse, ideas.

That doesn't change the significance of RJ for writing WOT, but neither does it account for his flaws. Perhaps the best example of that is Mat. Mat is IMO at his best and most entertaining in TDR and TSR, but later on loses some of his luster. He's a very humorous character and RJ is an uneasy humorist, and I think this is why. People then complain about Brandon's characterisation of Mat in TGS and TOM (I would argue it's significantly closer to RJ in AMOL), but his portrayal of the character is much more comical and from the perspective of humour might arguably be better. So the character isn't quite the same, but if you looked at it from a pure writing and humour POV, you could argue he's actually better written, even though he doesn't "feel" the same. So is Brandon's writing at fault because he's not capturing RJ's essence entirely, or is RJ at fault because his comedy sucks? I find myself siding with Brandon purely because he stated outright he wasn't trying to ape RJ's style but adapt his own to WOT, and I can't blame him for doing that.

Now, you can argue until you're blue in the face about whether Mat is actually at his best in TDR and TSR and whether RJ's humour is actually funnier than Brandon's or not, but the substance of the point is that there are areas where the authors' skills differ, and inevitably there are some areas where Brandon actually exceeds RJ. What those areas are and whether they outnumber those where he does not are certainly matters for debate, but the point is that it isn't fair to criticise Brandon for failing to be exactly like RJ because even though that's what we may have wanted, it's not what he set out to do. To go beyond that we have to criticise Harriet for choosing him, a position I find very difficult to accept. Therefore, even though I think Robert Jordan is one of the best fantasy writers of all time, I can't help but be satisfied with the job Brandon Sanderson did finishing the story. So it is more nuanced than simply whether you think RJ was the best or not. It's about how you regard the process and how you go about criticising the authors.

What I meant is that I never considered it to be Brandon's job to write in RJ's style or to do what RJ would have done. New author = new approach. I was okay with that. That is not a slam at RJ's approach, though we all know my opinions on bloat. That said, RJ was a damn good writer.

Seeker
09-20-2013, 09:56 AM
I completely agree with you re the impact and position of RJ and BS. I think your point on humour is well made too – it really depends on your own personal sense of the comic. So for someone who prefers BS ‘open’ sense of humour (eg where characters crack jokes) then it’s weird Mat’s not the same, but at least he’s really funny. For someone who prefers RJs ‘sly’ sense of humour (eg where the laughter often relies on inference) then it’s weird Mat’s not the same and he’s not funny. You could apply the same to lots of the differences between the two writers.

Where it gets controversial I think is that some of the things RJ was better at than BS are conventionally things that are accorded higher status in any attempted literary reading. Personally, I think that approach often comes down to people saying ‘if it’s harder and requires more effort from the reader, then it’s better’. So BS is a more modern cinematic writer and RJ was a more classical American writer. This is both a matter of personal taste (I personally prefer RJ’s style because I like unreliable narrators), and more than a matter of personal taste because currently there is a widely held set of standards around what counts as good on a literary level.

Ultimately, I think RJ’s work is like a cathedral – I love that I can stand back and admire the intricacies and interwoven patterns, even if some bits don’t work together perfectly. And I think BS’s own work is like very good modern commercial architecture – it is designed very effectively and ergonomically and gets the reaction the designer wants, but you’re not there to admire the spandrels. But BS on RJ is a decent effort to make something that fits with the older style – it’s not always the most sensitive, but it is innovative.


That's brilliant.

GonzoTheGreat
09-20-2013, 10:20 AM
What I meant is that I never considered it to be Brandon's job to write in RJ's style or to do what RJ would have done. New author = new approach. I was okay with that. That is not a slam at RJ's approach, though we all know my opinions on bloat. That said, RJ was a damn good writer.
If BS could have done a proper job of writing in RJ's style, then he should have done that. If he had a choice between either a bad imitation of RJ's style or a reasonably good own approach to writing, then he was right to opt for the latter.
I never expected him to manage to copy RJ; I'm glad he did a better job than the ones who finished Frank Herbert's Dune cycle.

suttree
09-20-2013, 12:23 PM
I'm trying not to be rude here and to engage you about this because I've just clocked that it is the single thing that annoys me most about your posts: you always talk about "the general fandom" and "most people", but I really struggle to see it as being as clear cut as that.

Think part of the problem here is the terminology being used. Not sure if I've said "most people" at some point in the past but you've misquoted me twice in your post. The key part is "general sentiment". After TGS it seemed as if people were basking in the glow of "plot gratification" and it wasn't until after ToM that the fandom started a rdiscussion around the issues in his work(I don't think anyone disputes those exist). Brandon was handled with kid gloves up until that point so when I say "general sentiment" it's speaking to people actually starting to discuss the flaws in a realistic manner as opposed to just being excited to get the ending.

As for the second part Terez brought it up earlier but it can't really be disputed that the conversation has died off in the fandom. People I communicate with off the boards really don't have an all together positive view on how things turned out(both the work and how the process went down). I wouldn't try and put a number on that however, not sure where you get a 50/50 break from? As for me I think Brandon did some things well...overall the work was far too uneven however.

I'd say the dividing line is in whether people see "similarity to RJ" as the defining issue. If you see RJ's approach as the pinnacle of fantasy writing, then you'll probably not like what Brandon has to offer. If, however, you see RJ as a man with a lot of successes and some missteps, you'll probably be more comfortable with someone who takes a different approach.

Don't know what the above has to do with anything? Has anyone claimed he is the pinnacle of fantasy writing? Look RJ was a very good fantasy writer. That said he had his issues and I'm not sure if I had come to the story later in life it would have had the same impact. IMO the current crop of fantasy authors such as R. Scott Bakker have really raised the bar.

So the character isn't quite the same, but if you looked at it from a pure writing and humour POV, you could argue he's actually better written, even though he doesn't "feel" the same.

Except for you know...Brandon admitting he botched the character.

I didn't understand Mat. I tried so hard to make him funny, I wrote the HIM out of him.

A bit confused at this point as to why why posters seem to be arguing against points no one has even raised? As far as I can recall not a single person has faulted Brandon for "failing to be exactly like RJ". We all knew from day one he wasn't going to try and go that route. For me it's not even about whether Brandon did as good a job as RJ was capable of, it's did he do as good a job as Brandon was capable of?

Take prose for instance, people can have preferred styles but Brandon has stated he is not ask skilled as RJ in this ctaegory. In his own words his prose is merely "serviceable". That's fine, what isn't fine is when Team Jordan has to change Brandon's writing process after ToM because the prose is so lacking in polish. That's when it goes from "different styles" to why would that step even need to be taken?

Where it gets controversial I think is that some of the things RJ was better at than BS are conventionally things that are accorded higher status in any attempted literary reading. Personally, I think that approach often comes down to people saying ‘if it’s harder and requires more effort from the reader, then it’s better’. So BS is a more modern cinematic writer and RJ was a more classical American writer. This is both a matter of personal taste (I personally prefer RJ’s style because I like unreliable narrators), and more than a matter of personal taste because currently there is a widely held set of standards around what counts as good on a literary level.


This is a very good call Sam. Admittedly I may be guilty in terms of what I prioritize when judging the work.

Seeker
09-20-2013, 03:05 PM
Don't know what the above has to do with anything? Has anyone claimed he is the pinnacle of fantasy writing? Look RJ was a very good fantasy writer. That said he had his issues and I'm not sure if I had come to the story later in life it would have had the same impact. IMO the current crop of fantasy authors such as R. Scott Bakker have really raised the bar.

R. Scott Bakker's work is a convoluted mess of haphazard plot-threads and POVs that actively seek to intimidate the reader with fantasy jargon. Every aspect of those books - from the unpronounceable names to the way the author throws terms around without defining them in the narrative - is designed to alienate readers under the flawed assumption that "inaccessible = deep." In the end, the themes and concepts that Bakker articulates are no more profound than anything found in the works of Jim Butcher or John Scalzi or Brandon Sanderson but Bakker tries to hide that fact with dense prose and a writing style that tries to force you to check the glossary every ten seconds.

There's a trick some people learn in college-level English classes. (My degree is in Math but I took a few). This is where they use lots and lots of words to express simplistic concepts and hope that elegant prose can be used to cover up the scent of banal ideas. Their goal is to be as vague as possible in the hopes that people who don't catch their meaning start to feel self-conscious and stifle the urge to call them out on their bullshit for fear of being perceived as stupid.

That's R. Scott Bakker in a nutshell.

His work is trash.

Worst of all, there are professors who reward this kind of deliberate vagueness and so there are some lit majors who come out of school with the skill to use lots and lots of words to say nothing at all. Vague isn't deep.

I'm a literate adult with the ability to express complex ideas and analyze logical arguments made by noted professionals in the arts and sciences. My IQ is 138. If I can't understand what you're trying to say, that's a flaw in your writing style not my reading skills.

Seeker
09-20-2013, 03:28 PM
A bit confused at this point as to why why posters seem to be arguing against points no one has even raised? As far as I can recall not a single person has faulted Brandon for "failing to be exactly like RJ". We all knew from day one he wasn't going to try and go that route. For me it's not even about whether Brandon did as good a job as RJ was capable of, it's did he do as good a job as Brandon was capable of?

Take prose for instance, people can have preferred styles but Brandon has stated he is not ask skilled as RJ in this ctaegory. In his own words his prose is merely "serviceable". That's fine, what isn't fine is when Team Jordan has to change Brandon's writing process after ToM because the prose is so lacking in polish. That's when it goes from "different styles" to why would that step even need to be taken?

A more relevant question might be "If it was really that bad, why didn't they change his writing process while he was doing Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight?" Maria, Harriet and the rest of Team Jordan saw his work before it went to the printing press. They're the editors. That's their job.

So, I can only conclude that Harriet read his work on Gathering Storm and thought, "Yes, this is acceptable." It wasn't until guys like you started huffing and puffing on the fan sites - and let's face it, guys like you were gonna huff and puff no matter what we got - that they decided to change the process in order to appear accountable to the fans. Squeaky wheels and grease and all that.

suttree
09-20-2013, 04:55 PM
R. Scott Bakker's work is a convoluted mess of haphazard plot-threads

So it's ok to claim the above but a term like "blunt plot work" is meaningless? There is nothing haphazard about it, might be time for a reread.



In the end, the themes and concepts that Bakker articulates are no more profound than anything found in the works of Jim Butcher or John Scalzi or Brandon Sanderson...


His work is trash.


Lol. So tell us how you really feel Seeker. Also curious do Butcher, Scalzi or Sanderson have PHD's in philosophy and explore those themes in their work? It's pretty easy to see the influence Nietzsche has over the whole and he may borrow a bit too much from McCarthy at times with his style but that certainly doesn't detract. People can argue over the degree to which Bakker succeeds but he certainly aspires for his work to be something more. That should be lauded and it is. Bakker gets a good mount of critical acclaim for things like prose and metaphyics.

IMO Bakker has a superb style of prose(one of the few modern fantasy authors that hold up out of genre), it's not overly difficult and yet it rewards the type careful reading that is usually reserved for "literary texts". I find it humorous that you would have had your whole "subjective" rant in judging Sanderson and then toss around much of what you do in that last post. Guess you want to have it both ways?

Never thought I would see the day where someone with a math degree who took a "few" entry level courses would attempt to write off a portion of lit majors with the type of nonsense you claim above. Can only speak to what goes on at UCSB and Berkeley but that type of behavior does not fly. It made for a funny read however, I'll give you that much. The author's fault indeed...heh.


So, I can only conclude that Harriet read his work on Gathering Storm and thought, "Yes, this is acceptable." It wasn't until guys like you started huffing and puffing on the fan sites - and let's face it, guys like you were gonna huff and puff no matter what we got - that they decided to change the process in order to appear accountable to the fans.

:rolleyes:

Even you can't seriously believe that.

Also I find it troubling that you would waive away the issues as people "were gonna huff and puff no matter what we got". For someone who claims to love critical thinking in the arts and logical debate that just comes across as a major cop out.

Seeker
09-20-2013, 08:16 PM
Dude... You're like a fish on a beach who keeps flapping his tail, hoping that if he flops about enough he might learn to walk.

So it's ok to claim the above but a term like "blunt plot work" is meaningless? There is nothing haphazard about it, might be time for a reread.

Actually yes. The very fact that you can say "There is nothing haphazard about it" implies that you knew perfectly well what I meant.

Explain to me what you mean by "blunt plotwork" and I'd be happy to work within that definition. When I was five years old, I once told my mother that my birthday cake tasted like "upside-down rainbows." She stared at me in confusion because "upside-down rainbows" is not a descriptive term that can be applied to food. Similarly, "blunt" is not a term that can be applied to plot. Plots can be slow or they can be fast. They can be complex or they can be simple. They can be chronological or non-chronological but I have never seen a plot described as "blunt."

Also, I don't know if you make a distinction between the word "plot" and "plotwork" - which is not an actual word - and therefore I don't even know if I'm thinking about what you're saying in the right terms. If you would like to explain your meaning, I would be happy to offer you a response. If you would like to speak the English language, we can have a discussion.


Lol. So tell us how you really feel Seeker. Also curious do Butcher, Scalzi or Sanderson have PHD's in philosophy and explore those themes in their work? It's pretty easy to see the influence Nietzsche has over the whole. He may borrow a bit too much from McCarthy at times with his style but that certainly doesn't detract. People can argue over the degree to which Bakker succeeds but he certainly aspires for his work to be something more. That should be lauded.

I'm not going to discuss Bakker or any of those other authors beyond my initial comments because that would not be in keeping with the topic of this thread. If you want to critique them, make a thread in "Other Books," and I'll read what you write.


Never thought I would see the day where someone with a math degree who took a "few" entry level courses would attempt to write off a portion of lit majors with the type of nonsense you claim above. Can only speak to what goes on at UCSB and Berkeley but that type of behavior does not fly. It made for a funny read however, I'll give you that much. The author's fault indeed...heh.

I never said "entry-level courses," my friend, because I technically have a minor in English Lit as a second teachable subject. Which means that I did at least three Lit courses each year - including senior level courses - along with my maths and other electives. And I've read some of the trash that passes for cogent thought among literary analysts. I've also read some brilliant analyses.

Now, since you're so eager to suggest what I should be reading, why don't you check out a book called Death of the Liberal Class by Chris Hedges. Among other things, Hedges will explore the ways in which educational institutions teach their students to cloak sophistry in eloquence in the hopes of getting credit for saying nothing. And he will present hard evidence to verify his claims. Since I've seen it with my own eyes, I'd be willing to believe it even without the documentation.


Even you can't seriously believe that.

Also I find it troubling that you would waive away the issues as people "were gonna huff and puff no matter what we got". For someone who claims to love critical thinking in the arts and logical debate that just comes across as a major cop out.

And that was the first thing I saw when scrolling to the bottom of this page. You realize that not two pages ago, you were complimenting my well thought out analyses. And now we're down to "even you?"

That little comment makes me wish that Frenzy was still here because I would love to see her sharpen her claws on you. There were times, when I was a younger man, when I would continue to verbally flail about even after someone older and wiser - usually Frenzy - had completely disarmed my every point. This is what you're doing right now.

You, really, really, really wanna be right. But you're not. You see, if your position had any merit, you'd tell me why I shouldn't believe that Harriet approved of Brandon's work. Because there's no other possible conclusion; she obviously gave it the go-ahead or it wouldn't have ended up on paper. Did it ever occur to you that maybe Harriet knows what she's doing? That over thirty years of experience and an intimate knowledge of her industry has given her an eye for talent? Did it ever occur to you that Harriet might judge a writer by different standards than the ones you use? Or that she's probably right to do so?

No?

I think "yes."

I think you already know these things and you're well aware of the fact that you don't have a leg to stand on; so, you fall back on the only trick you have left, which is a clumsy ad hominem.

I do love the logical arts, Suttree; you don't. You like to hear yourself talk. And as of this moment, it is no longer worth my time and trouble to listen to it. If you want to get out of this with any shred of dignity intact, I think it's time to scuttle off and leave debate to the big kids. You're not ready to sit at this table yet.

suttree
09-20-2013, 10:38 PM
Look, If the logical arts include moving the goal posts, simply ignoring points when they show you to be wrong, quibbling over a spelling mistake on message boards(the last refuge of someone who knows they are flailing) and yes ad hominem attacks then you are doing quite well. If you go back through the posts it's clear where those started. Not sure why you would attempt to feign ignorance on that mark? Further it is rather funny how you insist I want to be "right" and yet you are the only one trying to draw up sides on that mark.

Much like Brandon's writing you have to "tell us" that you are smart. You have to "tell us" that you have the upper hand. Instead of "showing us" or letting your posts speak for themselves you insecurely drop credentials, make condescending references to join dates, name check other posters and largely come across as the pimply teen that is unsure of his place. Now I did indeed congratulate you on a couple good points, I also made clear that I disagree with the majority of what you have said. The streak of Brandon fanboism just runs a bit too deep for me to take much of it seriously. That is where the "even you" comes in. Really once you began to ignore cut and dry quotes, such as tolling engaging in scapegoating, simply because it didn't fit with your view was when I started reassessing things a bit. The increasingly peevish nature of your responses didn't help much either. Shrug.

As for Harriet, yes I do believe she knows what she is doing. Hence the need to change Brandon's process after ToM due to the issues in that work and as Team Jordan said they needed "to get things RIGHT in this final book". There seems to be a huge disconnect between some fan's thoughts on how the process went down and the reality of what happened behind the scenes. You aren't doing yourself any favors by blindly defending something you clearly don't have any insight into.

Lastly in regards to Hedges, his co-opted brand of Malthusian pessimism is absolutely atrocious. "Death of the Liberal Class" was an entirely unimpressive work, one that has been ripped to shreds by numerous critics. Not sure if a more myopic and contradictory jeremiad has ever been presented.

Tollingtoy
09-21-2013, 10:16 AM
A more relevant question might be "If it was really that bad, why didn't they change his writing process while he was doing Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight?" Maria, Harriet and the rest of Team Jordan saw his work before it went to the printing press. They're the editors. That's their job.

So, I can only conclude that Harriet read his work on Gathering Storm and thought, "Yes, this is acceptable." It wasn't until guys like you started huffing and puffing on the fan sites - and let's face it, guys like you were gonna huff and puff no matter what we got - that they decided to change the process in order to appear accountable to the fans. Squeaky wheels and grease and all that.


I agree 100% and this was the crux of my argument that I apparently did not present all that well. The criticism of the Brandon Books seems to be complaining for complaining's sake, and you are probably right, they would have been complaining no matter what.

Tollingtoy
09-21-2013, 10:21 AM
Much like Brandon's writing you have to "tell us" that you are smart. You have to "tell us" that you have the upper hand. Instead of "showing us" or letting your posts speak for themselves you insecurely drop credentials, make condescending references to join dates, name check other posters and largely come across as the pimply teen that is unsure of his place. Now I did indeed congratulate you on a couple good points, I also made clear that I disagree with the majority of what you have said. The streak of Brandon fanboism just runs a bit too deep for me to take much of it seriously. That is where the "even you" comes in. Really once you began to ignore cut and dry quotes, such as tolling engaging in scapegoating, simply because it didn't fit with your view was when I started reassessing things a bit. The increasingly peevish nature of your responses didn't help much either. Shrug.

As for Harriet, yes I do believe she knows what she is doing. Hence the need to change Brandon's process after ToM due to the issues in that work and as Team Jordan said they needed "to get things RIGHT in this final book". There seems to be a huge disconnect between some fan's thoughts on how the process went down and the reality of what happened behind the scenes. You aren't doing yourself any favors by blindly defending something you clearly don't have any insight into.

Lastly in regards to Hedges, his co-opted brand of Malthusian pessimism is absolutely atrocious. "Death of the Liberal Class" was an entirely unimpressive work, one that has been ripped to shreds by numerous critics. Not sure if a more myopic and contradictory jeremiad has ever been presented.




Wow, a real-life person actually wrote this? The "Brandon fanboyism" part might be my favorite, but MAN this whole thing is really a gem

suttree
09-21-2013, 10:46 AM
Wow, a real-life person actually wrote this? The "Brandon fanboyism" part might be my favorite, but MAN this whole thing is really a gem


You don't always have to hammer your point into the ground over and over to make it heard...

So you've continued the random sniping for how many posts in a row now. Do you have anything to add around the recent points made concerning Sanderson's work?

No?


Ok how about Bakker or Hedges?

No?

Are you ready to stop dancing a merry jig in order to avoid actually addressing those quotes I asked you about?

Ermmm let me guess...no.

So what exactly do you have to add aside from crying about people discussing Brandon's work or taking potshots at a discussion you are no longer involved in. Come on toy, you can do better.

EvilChani
09-21-2013, 04:06 PM
In my case, I dislike him because he chose to indulge Gabrelle's affections - even if she initiated it - while knowing that she was physically incapable of refusing him anything. It's not exactly rape but there's a sick feeling.

Add to that the way he acts like a complete ass to Rand for no reason.

I'm making my way through this thread, trying to hold my comments until I reach the end, but I had to say something here...

First, I'm probably one of Rand's biggest fans. He kept my sympathy, empathy, and the desire to protect him from anyone who wished him harm (or was an ass to him) throughout the entire series, but even I can recognize that Logain had very good reasons for acting like an ass to Rand. Logain tried to warn Rand about Taim, but Rand refused to listen - from Logain's POV, that means that Rand could not give less of a damn about the men at the BT and just saw them as things to be used (which is, up until Rand's epiphany, the Creator's truth).

Why in the name of all that is holy would Logain have even the slightest feeling of kindness toward him once he realized that??? You hunt your leader down, feeling in your heart that, once he realizes the huge clusterf!ck that the organization he built has become, he will take care of things. That he will make things right and show these men that he actually considers them to be human beings. Instead, he shrugs it off, acts like Logain is a huge pain in his ass for bothering him with that info, berates him - after finding out the AS showed up to kill every freaking man there - for bonding said AS, despite the fact that he gave direct orders not to physically harm AS, which gave the men very little choice in how to handle the matter. If they had let the women go, they'd have come back in greater numbers and slaughtered them all, so they could either try to find a way to survive - and protect against another attack - or they could bend over and let the AS ass rape them before they slit their throats. Logain went there hoping to find a leader and instead found what appeared to be an AS lapdog who thought all Asha'man were nothing but garbage for him to burn at TG. If there was ever a reason to be an ass to someone, I think Logain had it here.

Toss in the fact that he saw how Rand allowed AM to be bonded - and how Narishma was treated like an outright slave, Damer was treated like an adored pet, and the other guy was dead because his life meant nothing when compared to the chick who owned him - and it became clear to Logain that, not only did Rand think the AM were not worth his time, he wouldn't think twice about selling them into slavery to appease AS for something the AS themselves caused! Honestly, if Logain had walked away from Rand and never looked back when Rand sent Caddy to the rebels with that "offer", I wouldn't have blamed the man one bit.

As for him screwing Gabrelle, she knew what she was doing. She was significantly older than him and thought she could use sex to bring about his ruin. That he finally gave in and screwed her doesn't reflect poorly on him. In fact, that he gave her what she wanted, then showed her he wouldn't be turned into her pawn just because she put out, showed just what a complete and utter tool Gabrelle was, and that Logain was far stronger willed than the AS gave him credit for.

Seeker
09-21-2013, 04:07 PM
A hush fell over Theoryland, broken only by the distant wail of a cold wind that pushed gray clouds in front of the sun. Posters froze with fingertips caressing their keyboards and turned their faces up to the darkening sky. Zombie Sammael shivered, wincing as a familiar chill ran down his spine. Covering her mouth with the tips of her fingers, Saucy Blue Confetti let out a gasp. TollingToy glanced about in confusion and wondered whether he had imagined this eerie stillness.

And all the while, Seeker hid in the shadows, cackling madly at the storm he had loosed.

Something wicked this way comes. :D :D

Frenzy
09-21-2013, 04:21 PM
Something wicked this way comes. :D :D

Someone borrowed the Necronomicon and summoned some serious ancient evil. And he asked so nicely, too.

So, i started reading this thread around Fionewe's post on the 8th. i'm not reading the rest unless someone convinces me there's pertinent info up there.

Three things jump out at me:

1) Are people really, straight-faced, honestly berating RJ for not leaving more detailed notes than the thousands of pages he already had when he discovered he was fighting for his life against a disease with 100% mortality rate in about 4 years? Because if you are, with all due respect, go fuck yourself. Seriously.

2) Suttree, what goalposts have been moved? You mentioned it twice, but i'm not seeing it.

3)
Not sure if a more myopic and contradictory jeremiad has ever been presented.

Wow. Someone is either showing off their education or playing Words with Friends while cheating.

Seeker
09-21-2013, 04:27 PM
I'm making my way through this thread, trying to hold my comments until I reach the end, but I had to say something here...

First, I'm probably one of Rand's biggest fans. He kept my sympathy, empathy, and the desire to protect him from anyone who wished him harm (or was an ass to him) throughout the entire series, but even I can recognize that Logain had very good reasons for acting like an ass to Rand. Logain tried to warn Rand about Taim, but Rand refused to listen - from Logain's POV, that means that Rand could not give less of a damn about the men at the BT and just saw them as things to be used (which is, up until Rand's epiphany, the Creator's truth).

Why in the name of all that is holy would Logain have even the slightest feeling of kindness toward him once he realized that??? You hunt your leader down, feeling in your heart that, once he realizes the huge clusterf!ck that the organization he built has become, he will take care of things. That he will make things right and show these men that he actually considers them to be human beings. Instead, he shrugs it off, acts like Logain is a huge pain in his ass for bothering him with that info, berates him - after finding out the AS showed up to kill every freaking man there - for bonding said AS, despite the fact that he gave direct orders not to physically harm AS, which gave the men very little choice in how to handle the matter. If they had let the women go, they'd have come back in greater numbers and slaughtered them all, so they could either try to find a way to survive - and protect against another attack - or they could bend over and let the AS ass rape them before they slit their throats. Logain went there hoping to find a leader and instead found what appeared to be an AS lapdog who thought all Asha'man were nothing but garbage for him to burn at TG. If there was ever a reason to be an ass to someone, I think Logain had it here.

Toss in the fact that he saw how Rand allowed AM to be bonded - and how Narishma was treated like an outright slave, Damer was treated like an adored pet, and the other guy was dead because his life meant nothing when compared to the chick who owned him - and it became clear to Logain that, not only did Rand think the AM were not worth his time, he wouldn't think twice about selling them into slavery to appease AS for something the AS themselves caused! Honestly, if Logain had walked away from Rand and never looked back when Rand sent Caddy to the rebels with that "offer", I wouldn't have blamed the man one bit.

As for him screwing Gabrelle, she knew what she was doing. She was significantly older than him and thought she could use sex to bring about his ruin. That he finally gave in and screwed her doesn't reflect poorly on him. In fact, that he gave her what she wanted, then showed her he wouldn't be turned into her pawn just because she put out, showed just what a complete and utter tool Gabrelle was, and that Logain was far stronger willed than the AS gave him credit for.

All valid points except for your last paragraph. Unlike the warder bond, the AM bond forces obedience. We've seen on several occasions how Narishma defies Merise. Gabrelle is incapable of denying Logain anything. Now I recognize the necessity of such coercion on a woman who - depending on her power level - might as well be a walking five kilotonne bomb but I would never have sex with her even if she threw herself at me.

Imagine if, after a heated argument, Logain muttered, "Given that I saved her life, she should treat me better than most women treat their husbands." Not realizing that Gabrelle heard him and that to her, it was a command. Then he forgets ever speaking those words. A few days later, the overtures start.

Now I'm not saying that's what did happen but the very fact that it could have happened makes what Logain did despicable. Logain has no reason to think her advances are genuine.

Seeker
09-21-2013, 07:07 PM
Something wicked this way comes. :D :D

Someone borrowed the Necronomicon and summoned some serious ancient evil. And he asked so nicely, too.

You like that do you?

I almost went with, “Mommy's home, children. Behave.”

So, i started reading this thread around Fionewe's post on the 8th. i'm not reading the rest unless someone convinces me there's pertinent info up there.

Three things jump out at me:

1) Are people really, straight-faced, honestly berating RJ for not leaving more detailed notes than the thousands of pages he already had when he discovered he was fighting for his life against a disease with 100% mortality rate in about 4 years? Because if you are, with all due respect, go fuck yourself. Seriously.

Okay, here's the back story in a nutshell. The initial complaint was that Brandon #@$%ed up by not creating satisfactory endings to many of the sub-plots that RJ had set in motion. On the second page, Tollingtoy made the unfortunate mistake of saying this:

I also find it interesting that there is very little criticism of RJ when discussing the final books. Remember, he is the one that allowed books 7-11 to become bloated shells of the first 6. If he hadn't let the story get too big, he could have arguably finished it before he died. He is also the one whose hubris kept many of the plot lines of the story so secret that Brandon had to fill in many of the holes with little to go on. He could have left a very clear outline of what was to happen and didn't. That's certainly not Brandon's fault.

This being Theoryland, there was an uproar and the poor kid spent the next page and a half or so trying to explain that he was not faulting RJ for getting sick and that he was not claiming that RJ should have written out more notes while he was sick, merely that the man made questionable decisions while still in good health and that those decisions had long-lasting consequences. Now, you can disagree with him but he's certainly not slamming the dead. This is where I came in.

No where does [TollingToy] say that RJ ruined the series by getting sick; so the people who are claiming as much are just making straw-man arguments. Isabel, you of all people should know better. I mean, come on, you're part of the 20th Century Crew.

TollingToy is not blaming RJ for getting sick.

His point is that RJ caused problems in the series by means of the words he put on paper, by allowing the scope of the story to expand exponentially without any plan for how to resolve the major plotlines.

And this

Now, TollingToy did say that RJ should have made more extensive notes and you are correct; there was no reason that Robert Jordan should have anticipated the need for such notes. He thought he was going to finish it himself, so it made perfect sense to keep certain [plot-related]details in his head. When his illness became a factor, it was already too late. Nobody is faulting him for that.

But when TollingToy talks about hubris - and forgive me, bud, if I'm putting words in your mouth - I'm pretty sure that what he's trying to say is, "Robert Jordan bit off more than he could chew." The hubris was the belief that he could create dozens of subplots and hundreds of characters and bring them all to a satisfactory conclusion. Issues like space restrictions and word-count limits - things that every other author has to consider - just didn't factor into his calculations. The man said straight out, "I don't care if they have to invent a new binding system, it will be published in one book." Even for a New York Times Bestselling author, that's still being a bit of a diva.

How many plots were left to stagnate by the end of Crossroads?

[A very long list of sub-plots]

Every single one of these plots was created by RJ. Even counting the ones that he resolved in Knife of Dreams - which is like five or six at best - is it reasonable to assume that anyone, anyone, could tackle that list in just three books? Most of those subplots would need hundreds of pages for a satisfactory resolution.

You can find that on page 5.

As to your point about the fact that there were already thousands of pages of notes, that's valid. And something I don't think we've considered. Still, we don't really know what was IN those notes so, it's hard to say if they would have been of use or not.

Anyway, continuing with the story.

TollingToy later thanked me and agreed that I had summarized his point. So, for just about everyone else in the thread, the issue was put to rest. TollingToy was trying articulate what he believed to be flaws in RJ's writing – which, since this is a critique thread, is allowed – and he never ever meant to insinuate that RJ should have done more while he was ill.

Suttree, however, won't let this go because – in his capacity as “Seeker Junior” – he wants to turn this into some kind of moral crusade. He's been hounding TollingToy for about a week now and TollingToy responds with various forms of, “I've already explained this, I never meant to say that he did wrong by getting sick or that he should have done more while he was sick.” So, if you came in at page 8, that's probably what you were exposed to.

And the whole thing took me back to those good old days at the turn of the millennium when I was an arrogant young prat who kept who kept snarling like a rottweiler puppy long after his arguments had been driven into the ground. I remembered the way an older and wiser Dark Mistress of the Netherworld would carefully and logically dissect everything I had to say until I was standing there with my mouth hanging open. And then I would flail about in my impotent rage.

By the way, I'm not sure if I ever said thank you.

The thing about Suttree is I actually kinda like him. He reminds me of me. But there are several lessons I've learned over the last decade. One of which is, “Know when to bow out gracefully.” Another one is, “Simply rephrasing the same point in different language doesn't make your position any more valid.” And a final point is, “When a thread has reached a consensus on any given issue – or has reached the conclusion that there will be no consensus – reintroducing arguments that everyone has already heard won't get you anywhere.”

Suttree, the points that you've brought up in the last five pages of this thread are identical to the points that you brought up in the first five pages of this thread. Those of us who disagree with you are not going to be convinced by hearing the same arguments and reading the same quotes that you gave us three weeks ago. We've already analyzed those arguments and we've dismissed them for various reasons. This is why people like SBC don't reply to you with the kind of in depth analysis that you want. I guarantee you her reaction is “We've been over this...” And even I'm not going to reiterate the same arguments that I gave you on pages 5, 6 and 7.

Hounding TollingToy is not going to convince him to suddenly agree with you. I can see why his initial sentiments could have been taken in the wrong light but he has clarified his position several times now. And you've been antagonizing him.

Brandon Sanderson is not your cup of tea. You know what? I sympathize. If I had to read “The Wheel of Time” as presented by George R. R. Martin, I would have screamed. But there comes a point when you need to recognize that the people who liked the ending aren't victims of a flawed taste in literature. Your opponents in this debate aren't stupid and they aren't willfully blind.

If you learn to master those three guidelines I mentioned above, I guarantee you that people around here are going to start taking you a lot more seriously. If you want to sit at the big kids table, you have to learn the etiquette.

Seeker
09-21-2013, 07:42 PM
I agree 100% and this was the crux of my argument that I apparently did not present all that well. The criticism of the Brandon Books seems to be complaining for complaining's sake, and you are probably right, they would have been complaining no matter what.

Not a problem, my friend.

If I were held accountable for all the times that something I said came out wrong, I'd still need about 30 000 rep points to break even.

Though I'd advise you not to antagonize Suttree.

suttree
09-21-2013, 08:44 PM
1) Are people really, straight-faced, honestly berating RJ for not leaving more detailed notes than the thousands of pages he already had when he discovered he was fighting for his life against a disease with 100% mortality rate in about 4 years? Because if you are, with all due respect, go fuck yourself. Seriously.


QFT

Funny thing about dusting off the Necronomicon. When that ancient evil arrives...you don't always get what you want.

@Seeker

Frenzy is quite capable of seeing how things played out(she said she started at Fionwe's post on the 8th btw, not page 8). No reason to try and put your spin on it.


Okay, here's the back story in a nutshell. The initial complaint was that Brandon #@$%ed up by not creating satisfactory endings to many of the sub-plots that RJ had set in motion.


What? Sorry but it seems as if you are just fabricating things in an attempt to bolster your case at this point. Please provide a quote of someone making that complaint before tollingtoy's post(actually has anyone made that complaint in this thread at all?)

Next since you conveniently omitted the scapegoating I'm forced to post it again:

If I dedicated most of my life to creating something, I probably would make sure that it was properly taken care of and I know that once he realized the gravity of his illness, he did the best he could, but from what I understand, there were still many holes and gaps in the final books.


For the last time, I said if you are going to CRITICIZE the final three books, some of the CRITICISM should be leveled at the author of the books who left an incomplete outline when he died, not just the person who finished them.


If RJ had left a detailed outline, Brandon and Harriet wouldn't have had to fill in so many details and the story would have been better, what is hard to understand about that?

Interesting how those didn't make it into your "summary".


As to your point about the fact that there were already thousands of pages of notes, that's valid. And something I don't think we've considered. Still, we don't really know what was IN those notes so, it's hard to say if they would have been of use or not.


Actually I brought up that point long ago.

Why would an author make a outline with every detail filled in when there is no reason to think he isn't going to finish the series himself? RJ had more worldbuilding notes than perhaps any other author in fantasy.

Oh and as you asked what those notes consist of here is the breakdown:

Brandon: Well, okay, this is going to be kind of long.

To understand my next step, you have to understand what we mean by "Notes." There are really three groups of these.

1) Robert Jordan's Worldbuilding Notes. These were in a series of dozens, maybe hundreds of files embedded chaotically inside of files inside of files, using his own system of notation. The notes reach all the way back to early books he was working on, as he was working on them. They aren't intended to be read by anyone other than him, and are sometimes very difficult to figure out. This is the group that Harriet has said, in her estimation, include a total wordcount equal to or greater to that of the published series.

2) The notes for the last book, gathered by his assistants Maria and Alan, with Harriet's help. These are far more focused on the last book, notes that RJ wrote specifically focusing on the last book. This is a much more manageable amount, maybe fifty or a hundred pages. It includes interviews that Alan and Maria did with RJ before he died, asking him what was to happen to certain characters.

3) Scenes for the last book, either in written form or dictated during his last months. This includes some completed scenes. (The last sequence in the book, for example. Also a lot of prologue material, including the scene with the farmer in TGS, the Borderlander Tower scene in TOFM, and the Isam prologue scene from AMOL.) A lot of these are fragments of scenes, a paragraph here and there, or a page of material that he expected to be expanded to a full chapter. This is different from #2 to me in that these are direct scene constructions, rather than "notes" explaining what was to happen.

Together, #2 and #3 are about 200 pages. That is what I read the night I visited Harriet, and that is what I used to construct my outline.

As for the rest you're just embarrassing yourself at this point. A few more years tenure on one of the the WoT sites does not give you some high ground to talk down from. Overcompensating with that type of false bravado almost makes me feel bad for you.

Terez
09-21-2013, 08:50 PM
If you learn to master those three guidelines I mentioned above, I guarantee you that people around here are going to start taking you a lot more seriously. If you want to sit at the big kids table, you have to learn the etiquette.lol. For the record, I take suttree more seriously than I take you. I'm quite sure you don't care, being predictable as you are, but your condescension is amusing.

John Snow
09-21-2013, 10:48 PM
I observed Seeker's summoning ritual and thought I'd pop over here to see what resulted. Most amusing. Well. Back to politics in Korea. I like Brandon's writing, by the way. And Terez, play nice. :D

Zombie Sammael
09-21-2013, 10:51 PM
I observed Seeker's summoning ritual and thought I'd pop over here to see what resulted. Most amusing. Well. Back to politics in Korea. I like Brandon's writing, by the way. And Terez, play nice. :D

QFT

Funny thing about dusting off the Necronomicon. When that ancient evil arrives...you don't always get what you want.

.

John Snow
09-21-2013, 11:06 PM
Although I can't remember the last time I was called an ancient evil. :eek:

EvilChani
09-22-2013, 12:13 AM
All valid points except for your last paragraph. Unlike the warder bond, the AM bond forces obedience. We've seen on several occasions how Narishma defies Merise. Gabrelle is incapable of denying Logain anything. Now I recognize the necessity of such coercion on a woman who - depending on her power level - might as well be a walking five kilotonne bomb but I would never have sex with her even if she threw herself at me.

I understand your point, but there is one glaring problem with the whole "forces obedience" thing - Logain never orders her to have sex with him. That's on her. He never demands her to return to his bed to do it again; that's on her. We never saw Logain giving her any orders save for "don't attack a man wearing a black coat, don't try to escape and don't channel unless I give you permission". That's it. None of it was unreasonable, and certainly no worse than any AS has demanded from her Warder. More than that, he went out of his way to protect both of his Warders, even Toveine, who he could've left out to dry by releasing the orders she had from Elaida. He worried about them after the Trolloc attack with Rand, said they were tired and clearly worried about their well-being. This is not a man who abused the power he held over them, far from it. He clearly believed it to be his responsibility to take care of them, not as though they were his property (which is how most AS seem to view their Warders) but as women he was bound to protect due to the bond...and all this despite the fact that they fully intended to torture him (by severing him) right before they murdered him. He owed them none of that, and had every reason to despise all AS tot he point of feeling no sympathy whatsoever for them being overworked or beaten (or worse) by anyone who found their orders, so, in my opinion, it's a true testament to his character that he was so kind to them and refrained from using the bond to order them to do anything other than refrain from killing him and his friends.

Imagine if, after a heated argument, Logain muttered, "Given that I saved her life, she should treat me better than most women treat their husbands." Not realizing that Gabrelle heard him and that to her, it was a command. Then he forgets ever speaking those words. A few days later, the overtures start.

Now I'm not saying that's what did happen but the very fact that it could have happened makes what Logain did despicable. Logain has no reason to think her advances are genuine.

First of all, Logain muttering something under his breath about what he'd like Gabrelle to do does not constitute an order. You know full well how AS try to weasel out of anything they don't want to do. This was the whole point of Gabrelle bedding him, if you recall - she and the other bonded women decided to bed the men to learn enough to destroy the BT from the inside. That was their plan, sickening as it was, because they evaluated their orders and realized that the men didn't order them not to destroy the BT by turning them all against each other or some other manipulative crap the AS are so famous for. So, again, Logain did nothing wrong, never abused the bond, and showed more compassion and genuine ability to care for someone else than any AS ever showed him. That says a great deal about him, none of which is negative. Furthermore, he knew full well what Gabrelle was doing and she knew he knew since she sensed it through the bond, yet she returned to his bed again and again. Whether she did it because he was such a stallion in the sack (which she implied in her thoughts) or because she had not given up hope to destroy him and the other AM is beside the point (personally, I believe it was the latter).

Do I think he should've slept with Gabrelle? No, but that's because I think he deserved better than a manipulative bitch who had intended to murder him and his friends, not because I think it's sick on his part.

And the one thing I think it's easy to forget is that he can feel her feelings (and desires) too. Saying you'd have sent her away even if she jumped, naked, into your bed and started seducing you is all fine and good, but when you're bonded to someone and not only sense that they want you but feel their desire for you more intensely through the bond, I'm not so sure it'd be easy to resist for long.

Zombie Sammael
09-22-2013, 08:40 AM
Although I can't remember the last time I was called an ancient evil. :eek:

Weren't you possessed by Mordeth for a bit a while back?

Frenzy
09-22-2013, 11:54 PM
Evil never gets you what you want. That's why it's best to go in wanting nothing & expecting the worst. That way all your surprises are pleasant. [/Verin]

Suttree, you didn't attribute your 4th quote box to anyone, so i'm going to assume from context that it's from Seeker. I'm also going to assume, given the rest of what i've read, that Seeker was attempting to say that literary criticisms for the last three books should also be targeted at RJ because he DID write some of it, and he DID leave notes for some (not all) of it, and Sanderson WAS constrained by the notes and the canon. It may not have come out that way, but that's how i'd interpret it, given the clarifications i've read. But i may be wrong.

I don't think any of us were ever shy about criticizing parts of RJ's writing or directions his plots took. In fact, i think it'd be disrespectful to NOT continue that criticism now that he's dead, because that would imply that it was wrong to do it, whether he was alive or dead. But there's a world of difference between that criticism and berating a dying man for not doing enough before he died.

Are those the goalposts you were referring to?

I'm quite sure you don't care, being predictable as you are, but your condescension is amusing.
now THAT's comedy!

yks 6nnetu hing
09-23-2013, 02:19 AM
Frenzy, having read the whole thing and not participated that much, here's the summary:

The pots and kettles are frothing at the top and Seeker won't stop stirring.




from my point of view: it is what it is and there's no point in hashing over and over and over again those things that one wishes were different. It can't be undone and it can't be changed. Nobody can please everybody; and Seeker is right in his assessment that The Fandom is split when it comes to evaluating Brandon's contribution. There WILL NOT be a consensus about it so... personally, I don't understand why the fuss is still going on. It's not like any of us can change the books now that they're written, and it's not like any of us can change the personal taste of anyone else - because this is what it comes down to: personal taste. It's just as likely you'll get your opponent to hate cinnamon or love brussel sprouts and it's unreasonable to expect such. So you ate a bit of bad fish, and it gave you food poisoning. Why on earth are you arguing about the particular taste of bile at the back of your throat with someone who did not have that reaction?

GonzoTheGreat
09-23-2013, 04:24 AM
It's not like any of us can change the books now that they're written, ...
Why not?
Leave Bela's death and the damn pipe at the end; rewrite all the rest. That'd do it, wouldn't it?

Frenzy can even have Moiraine be an Eelfinn impersonator in her version, thus getting rid of her pet peeve in the bargain.

suttree
09-23-2013, 10:50 AM
Suttree, you didn't attribute your 4th quote box to anyone, so i'm going to assume from context that it's from Seeker.

Yeah sorry about that. Those three middle quotes not attributed to anyone(including the 4th) were tollingtoy. They were all directly relating to blame on RJ for not leaving detailed enough notes before he got sick. I honestly am baffled as to why Seeker would have left them out and given such an off base recap of what went down.


I don't think any of us were ever shy about criticizing parts of RJ's writing or directions his plots took. In fact, i think it'd be disrespectful to NOT continue that criticism now that he's dead, because that would imply that it was wrong to do it, whether he was alive or dead.

Oh I agree completely. Feel like people in the fandom somehow forget what the mood was like post CoT and how much criticism RJ actually received. What' strange is how some people that should know better actually try to act like posters analyzing Brandon's work are holding up RJ as some literary giant without flaws(or that if you dislike some of Brandon's work you must think RJ is the "pinnacle" of fantasy writing). It's really a copout argument that allows one to dodge addressing the real issues.

Again it doesn't have to be an either/or situation. Everyone just needs to be realisitic about what we have with both authors and look at the entire body of work. What gets tiring is everytime someone posts a criticism, no matter how well though out and detailed, they are invariably shouted down as being a "hater".

So you ate a bit of bad fish, and it gave you food poisoning. Why on earth are you arguing about the particular taste of bile at the back of your throat with someone who did not have that reaction?

Ahh but here is the crux...food poisoning doesn't come down to personal taste. Often times it can be due to mistakes in the preparation of the dish. Much in the same way that not all of the issues people discuss are subjective.

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-23-2013, 03:44 PM
What gets tiring is everytime someone posts a criticism, no matter how well though out and detailed, they are invariably shouted down as being a "hater".

Right back atcha. (From a non member of your Brandon Brigade)



Ahh but here is the crux...food poisoning doesn't come down to personal taste...

It does actually. You CHOOSE to eat the food just as you chose to read the book

Much in the same way that not all of the issues people discuss are subjective.

Thank you for acknowledging there are subjective issues. Maybe now understand your idea of what is or is not subjective is not necessarily on target regardless of your "credentials"

suttree
09-23-2013, 04:04 PM
Right back atcha. (From a non member of your Brandon Brigade)

Well you and "the one who Death has known" are far and away the two most frequent culprits so....

If you don't like that type of discussion don't follow along. It's pretty simple. Better yet give detailed reasons for why you disagree at any given time.


It does actually. You CHOOSE to eat the food just as you chose to read the book

Sigh.


Thank you for acknowledging there are subjective issues. Maybe now understand your idea of what is or is not subjective is not necessarily on target regardless of your "credentials"

Oh I have always said there are both objective and subjective issues. Think you are confusing topics here. As for what is subjective I'm happy to have that conversation with you. What do you disagree with?

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-23-2013, 04:31 PM
You continue to make foolish comments

Pull my posts. Ive have posted in this thread what 4 times? Where exactly th am I one of the most frequent "culprits" ? Your passive aggressive insults are getting tiring with their inaccuracy.

Sigh? Really? It was your analogy not mine. If it doesn't hold up in rebuttal you should try harder

I am hardly confused regarding the terms. I am confused by your continued flailing of Tollingtoy when he tried repeatedly to explain himself. Your self importance required you to not let up and was somehow meant to be excused because what...you weren't a math major? The mods don't want to be bothered but you are acting like an ass and cloaking it as critical thinking.

Step back and reevaluate your approach rather than taking swipes at those you feel are beneath you.

suttree
09-23-2013, 04:57 PM
Pull my posts. Ive have posted in this thread what 4 times? Where exactly th am I one of the most frequent "culprits"?

It's not just about this thread. Why would you even pretend to not know what I'm talking about?


Your passive aggressive insults are getting tiring with their inaccuracy.

Pot meet kettle.


Sigh? Really? It was your analogy not mine. If it doesn't hold up in rebuttal you should try harder

Yes really and I'm certainly not the one that needs to try harder. Keep at it...you'll get there.


I am confused by your continued flailing of Tollingtoy when he tried repeatedly to explain himself.

No he tried to spin what he said after the fact. Frenzy called it out right away for exactly what it was. Here is your chance though. Look at those quotes from my last response to Frenzy and explain how he didn't accuse RJ of not leaving more notes before he got sick. If you can do that I'll drop it. Deal?


The mods don't want to be bothered but you are acting like an ass and cloaking it as critical thinking.
Step back and reevaluate your approach rather than taking swipes at those you feel are beneath you.

Lol. You're thinking of Seeker.

The funny thing is this thread was actually starting to get civil again and now you've dragged it right back down. Bravo?

SauceyBlueConfetti
09-23-2013, 05:52 PM
See my PM. I am no longer engaging with you on this

Marie Curie 7
09-23-2013, 09:03 PM
The mods don't want to be bothered but you are acting like an ass and cloaking it as critical thinking.

Oh, we're watching. ;) We have been trying to be patient and let things run their course, but the wrath of the Chosen may not be far off.

For now, everyone knock off the personal insults!

Read the forum rules again (they're stickied up near the top of the forum) and play nice. Otherwise, this thread is likely to be locked (and it might be anyway).

Remember, the Chosen are always watching...

yks 6nnetu hing
09-24-2013, 01:20 AM
Ahh but here is the crux...food poisoning doesn't come down to personal taste. Often times it can be due to mistakes in the preparation of the dish. Much in the same way that not all of the issues people discuss are subjective.

when everybody else ate that same fish? from the same cook, prepared in the same kitchen at the same time? Let's face it, maybe it's you? Maybe you have an allergy to something in the sauce? It's unfair to blame the cook for your allergies, now isn't it?