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  #1  
Old 02-11-2014, 08:50 PM
Seeker Seeker is offline
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Default Garbage. (Because that's what it is)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Davian93
As far as we know, the Others cannot climb, swim or use boats...and there is a massive fvcking wall of magical ice in the way that they can't pass through.

Thus, they haven't come South yet...there's also about 1000 hints that they can only really attack South during winter which up until the very end of the last book, it wasn't yet that season.
Then make winter come sooner.

Create a plot device that brings down the wall, employ it and quit wasting our time with incest misogyny and character derailment.
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2014, 12:03 AM
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No offense, but I think you're missing the point of asoiaf if you think the Others attacking is more central to the story then everything else going on.
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Old 02-12-2014, 02:34 AM
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That is but one, one flaw with this very horrible series. I could write a dissertation on this piece of trash. If you think I was hard on WOT, you haven't seen anything. (Remember, I think that overall WOT was a success).

So, I'll give you the bullet points of why I think this is a horrible piece of writing.

1) Misogyny.

2) Glorification of rape/violence against women.

3) Padding

4) Character derailment. (Specifically Jon Snow)

5) Issues with tone.

6) Overuse/poor use of the "anyone can die" trope.

7) Lack of coherent narrative. (By the fourth book, it really seems to be a story about random stuff that happened and not a focused narrative, which leads to...)

8) Overuse of shock-value. (Basically, much of the series's appeal is rooted in "I can't believe he went there." And since that's really the only trick that Martin knows to keep his audience interested, he has to go to greater and greater extremes with each book).

9) A complete lack of understanding of the "Law of Conservation of Detail."

10) Two many thin, two-dimensional characters. Not enough time and attention given to the few three-dimensional characters.

I'll stop there for now.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
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Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #4  
Old 02-12-2014, 03:23 AM
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10) Two many thin, two-dimensional characters. Not enough time and attention given to the few three-dimensional characters.
Two many? Are you sure it isn't three many, or even four many?
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  #5  
Old 02-12-2014, 10:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
Then make winter come sooner.

Create a plot device that brings down the wall, employ it and quit wasting our time with incest misogyny and character derailment.

There is a plot device for bringing down the wall, and it was hinted quite heavily in the last couple books. I actually think that is soon to occur. Soon being a relative term in the world of GRRM though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rand
No offense, but I think you're missing the point of asoiaf if you think the Others attacking is more central to the story then everything else going on
Errrrrm. The name of the series is A SONG of ICE and FIRE
THE focus from the first book was the ice and the danger/threat from the Others. Fire slowly made its way into the conversation by book 3 (if you discount the dragons and Dany earlier as the Fire bit)

Either way, I am reading just to finish what I started. I absolutely LOVED the first book. LOVED. I have lost a ton of respect for GRRM over the years now though, and the padding Seeker refers to is my major issue. He has his eyes on the television series now...which is understandable as that is his background and more of a passion (assumed, anyway) for him. The last book just pissed me off.
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  #6  
Old 02-12-2014, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by SauceyBlueConfetti View Post
I absolutely LOVED the first book. LOVED. I have lost a ton of respect for GRRM over the years now though, and the padding Seeker refers to is my major issue. He has his eyes on the television series now...which is understandable as that is his background and more of a passion (assumed, anyway) for him. The last book just pissed me off.
I only read the first book, when I thought it was a completed trilogy. I really enjoyed it. But when I found out it is another series with a million books planned, I stopped there. After WoT and the heartbreak of Jordan's death, I was reluctant to read any more series until they are completed. I am not so reluctant now (time has passed), but I am not sure I will pick this series up again. I am not big on shock for shock's sake- like...at all.
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Old 02-12-2014, 12:37 PM
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Originally Posted by SauceyBlueConfetti View Post
There is a plot device for bringing down the wall, and it was hinted quite heavily in the last couple books. I actually think that is soon to occur. Soon being a relative term in the world of GRRM though.
I know. It's a horn. My point was that a lot of people justify bad writing (in this case padding) by appealing to the dynamics of the fictional universe. itself. But the author set up those dynamics, so if there's a problem, it's still on him. If the logistics of your fictional universe force you to pad the story, it's a world building fail.



Quote:
Errrrrm. The name of the series is A SONG of ICE and FIRE
THE focus from the first book was the ice and the danger/threat from the Others. Fire slowly made its way into the conversation by book 3 (if you discount the dragons and Dany earlier as the Fire bit)

Either way, I am reading just to finish what I started. I absolutely LOVED the first book. LOVED. I have lost a ton of respect for GRRM over the years now though, and the padding Seeker refers to is my major issue. He has his eyes on the television series now...which is understandable as that is his background and more of a passion (assumed, anyway) for him. The last book just pissed me off.
Exactly. The threat of winter is the overarching plot. It's the single narrative thread that binds everyone together. Which is why executing that thread would bring about a big improvement in the story. As I've said many times, characters need to be making choices and for that, the plot has to move forward.

I liked the first book. I thought it was very well done but subsequent volumes have demonstrated that Martin is a one-trick pony.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.

Last edited by Seeker; 02-12-2014 at 03:03 PM.
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  #8  
Old 02-12-2014, 03:17 PM
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I'm certainly not going to defend GRRM, because I agree with a lot of Seeker's points. That said, I still don't think the main focus of the series is ultimately about the Others. Yes, it will probably come down to that in the last book, but as of now there's like, what...two or three pages devoted to the Others? It's not like WoT where pretty much each and every PoV is in some way related to defeating the DO (some obviously more distantly related than others). The vast majority of the characters in asoiaf are either ignorant of or couldn't care less about the Others. I think the final confrontation between the good guys and the bad guys is ultimately just a secondary focus compared to all the confrontations between the real characters in the story. That's why I enjoy it, at least--if it was just about the Others, then it would just be another good vs. evil story.
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  #9  
Old 02-12-2014, 04:11 PM
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I think you're making the mistake of assuming that a story is about whatever topic occupies the most pages. That's not how it works. A story is organized around a central plot-line which is almost always set up early in the first book/film/episode. There are sub-plots that are related to the main plot by varying degrees. (Some have almost nothing to do with it) but every story has a central focus. (Or it's not a story).

Now, there can be diversions from the main plot and in many cases those diversions are wonderful. Rand and Min in WOT. That relationship was not necessary to tell the story of defeating the Dark One but it made the story so much better by its presence. Sometimes these diversions mean that large chunks of the book are not delving into the main plot line. This can be a good thing; however, the audience will only tolerate it for so long.

The central plot line is almost always something that affects all the characters involved. (In the case of epic fantasy, that means the entire world). It's almost never something that is specific to only one character. The exception, of course, being stories that are about one character and JUST one character.

So, if it happens that the vast majority of your pages (over 90% where ASOIAF is concerned) are not focused on your central plot, then you're fucking up.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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  #10  
Old 02-12-2014, 05:21 PM
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The central plot (as set up halfway through book 1 or so) is "who will rule Westeros after King Robert is killed?" Granted, you can add a "and how will they deal with the threat of the Others?" to the end of that, but the conflict regarding the rule of Westeros (the "game of thrones") is the main point of the story, and is what each of the five books is about. I think you can blame GRRM for continuously adding new contenders for the throne, even in book 5, but I also think it's hard to deny that this conflict is more central to asoiaf then the Others.
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Old 02-12-2014, 05:49 PM
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The central plot (as set up halfway through book 1 or so) is "who will rule Westeros after King Robert is killed?" Granted, you can add a "and how will they deal with the threat of the Others?" to the end of that, but the conflict regarding the rule of Westeros (the "game of thrones") is the main point of the story, and is what each of the five books is about. I think you can blame GRRM for continuously adding new contenders for the throne, even in book 5, but I also think it's hard to deny that this conflict is more central to asoiaf then the Others.
That would work if there weren't constant allusions to the coming of the "others" as some apocalyptic event. As a rule, the central plot is the "biggest" blot in the story, the one that affects everyone. Who will become King or Queen of Westeros is a moot point when you're looking at the end of the world. The structure of the first three books makes it clear that the War of Five Kings was a side conflict. The humans use up all their forces fighting each other, leaving them weak and helpless when it comes time for the invasion. It's a classic villain's gambit, similar to what we saw with the White Tower conflict in WOT. Why waste your forces slaughtering the good guys when you can turn the good guys against each other. Now, the Others do not appear to be directly responsible for the War of Five Kings but the structure of the story still has that as a prelude to the main event.

So even if we accept "Who will be King" as the main story, there's still a problem. If you're central story is overshadowed by something as big as the god damn Apocalypse (or some variation thereof) you're fucking up.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
If his bride didn't like it, St. Peter wouldn't mind.

Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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Old 02-13-2014, 12:13 AM
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So even if we accept "Who will be King" as the main story, there's still a problem. If you're central story is overshadowed by something as big as the god damn Apocalypse (or some variation thereof) you're fucking up.
I don't think it is overshadowed by it, though. You could completely cut out every mention of the Others and still have more or less the exact same story that's already in the books. Yes, I know the Others will enter the main story eventually and have a role to play, but I think that role is second fiddle to all the battles/murders/betrayals, etc. that have been the main (and only, really) focus of the story.

Or put it this way. If book 1 had introduced the Others and explained their diabolical plan to take over the world or whatever, and then shown them directly sparking conflict in Westeros, and then had everyone all up in arms about what to do about the Others, you'd have a point. But that's no what happens. There is almost zero focus on the Others. I honestly don't think GRRM intended his books to focus on good vs. evil. It kind of cheapens the story to think of it that way IMO, so I can see why you're disappointed with it if you're waiting for the Others to attack Westeros any second and thinking of all the other PoVs as filler.
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Old 02-13-2014, 02:40 AM
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GRRM's stuff is one of the prime examples of how NOT to do Darker and Edgier, Kill 'em All, and Anyone Can Die.* I continue to be shocked by how much people enjoy those books. I gave the series a fair shake - read books 1-3. Book 1 was great. 2 and 3, however... blegh. Completely monotonous. The guy has zero concept of tone.

* In particular I get annoyed at how much credit he gets for doing these tropes "well", when he handles them about as deftly as, I dunno, Microsoft handled PR for the Xbox One. He's horrible at them, and yet gets all kinds of accolades for it. Boggles the mind.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:07 AM
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That is but one, one flaw with this very horrible series. I could write a dissertation on this piece of trash. If you think I was hard on WOT, you haven't seen anything. (Remember, I think that overall WOT was a success).

So, I'll give you the bullet points of why I think this is a horrible piece of writing.

1) Misogyny.

2) Glorification of rape/violence against women.

3) Padding

4) Character derailment. (Specifically Jon Snow)

5) Issues with tone.

6) Overuse/poor use of the "anyone can die" trope.

7) Lack of coherent narrative. (By the fourth book, it really seems to be a story about random stuff that happened and not a focused narrative, which leads to...)

8) Overuse of shock-value. (Basically, much of the series's appeal is rooted in "I can't believe he went there." And since that's really the only trick that Martin knows to keep his audience interested, he has to go to greater and greater extremes with each book).

9) A complete lack of understanding of the "Law of Conservation of Detail."

10) Two many thin, two-dimensional characters. Not enough time and attention given to the few three-dimensional characters.

I'll stop there for now.
Quoted for truth.

If you write a series that relies on "subverting the common tropes of the genre" as Martin has said he is doing then pretty quickly you BECOME a Trope.

Recently I have read dozens of book reviews with references to the author "doing a GRR Martin" etc and even Brandon referring to his "moment" which i assumed was Birgitte and not Egwene.

In the end his own limitations have held him back and the last two books were exercises in time wasting.

I loved the first book, enjoyed the next(two) but it has since fallen into close to unreadble territory.

Edit: I dont like agreeing with you seeker so i felt the need to go write a half assed response to your Love of mistborn in the "Does the one Power work" thread. Keeping the world in one piece is a delicate job
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:13 AM
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I loved the first book, enjoyed the next(two) but it has since fallen into close to unreadble territory.
Which is a good reason for not judging a series until it is actually finished, unless the books can also be read stand alone. There are authors who seem to have good ideas and write mainly good books, but then totally fail at the end. There may also be writers who write lousy books but save it all with a perfect ending, but I can't remember having read such a case, which may of course be because I didn't finish such a book. And there's Arthur C. Clarke, who has brilliant ideas and writes boring books; dunno how to rate him.
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Old 02-13-2014, 08:22 AM
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Which is a good reason for not judging a series until it is actually finished, unless the books can also be read stand alone. There are authors who seem to have good ideas and write mainly good books, but then totally fail at the end. There may also be writers who write lousy books but save it all with a perfect ending, but I can't remember having read such a case, which may of course be because I didn't finish such a book. And there's Arthur C. Clarke, who has brilliant ideas and writes boring books; dunno how to rate him.
Bolded bit: Orson Scott Gard and the whole Ender world - book 1 reads excellently as a stand-alone but....
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Old 02-13-2014, 09:32 AM
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I was thinking of the Discworld series, where basically every book is at least good, but the series won't have any actual "last battle" or the like.
But I do admit that Ender's Game is a good book too.
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Old 02-13-2014, 01:31 PM
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If you write a series that relies on "subverting the common tropes of the genre" as Martin has said he is doing then pretty quickly you BECOME a Trope.
Except that he's using tropes that were already in existence, already prevalent, and already done better. He's not subverting anything - he was just using a different (yet already in existence in moderate quantities) collection than what was mainstream at the time. Clumsily. He hasn't become a trope - he's simply become the face for tropes he mangled.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seeker View Post
Who will become King or Queen of Westeros is a moot point when you're looking at the end of the world.
Not necessarily. Not if having the rightful king on the throne is central to preventing the coming doom. The idea that the world will be out of order and nothing can truly be right until the true monarch returns is older than your average hill, though that's more along the lines of Tolkien's thinking than Martin's.
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Old 02-13-2014, 07:53 PM
Seeker Seeker is offline
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Sure.

But that doesn't change the fact that nothing has happened for three books now.

I mean maybe the plot of the Others is directly tied to who wins the throne but he's still bungling it with pointless padding.
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He bought two fifths of lead-free gasoline.
Said the bottle is dusty, but my engine is clean.
He bought a nice blue suit with the money he could find.
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Well, now I lie here so out of breath and... over opiated.
Maybe I couldn't catch up no, but maybe she could have waited.
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