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I have noticed small differences in Sanderson's writng style.


Dagon Thyne
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I have been reading TGS for a few weeks now...and I have noticed some words and gramar that are diferenct than RJ's wriring style....

 

For example, I don't never remember ever seeing RJ use the word mansion to describe a noble's house....He woule either use palace or manor or manor-house.....Sanderson uses it often.......

 

Then there is the fact that Sanderson often uses more modern sentence structure while RJ would almost always use the grammar and sentence structure that would be used in the middle ages....

 

 

Has anyone else noticed these differences?

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Brandon said he was not going to try and imitate RJ's writing style, a decision that I agree on. I really like the way that the 2 new books have turned out so far. I can easily overlook any discrepancies; I'm just glad we have such a capable writer with a love for the series to finish it.

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Brandon said he was not going to try and imitate RJ's writing style, a decision that I agree on. I really like the way that the 2 new books have turned out so far. I can easily overlook any discrepancies; I'm just glad we have such a capable writer with a love for the series to finish it.

 

 

He is doing more than finishing it....RJ has some notes on Prequels and even a sequel based on Mat and Tuon that Sanderson may write for him.

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I have been reading TGS for a few weeks now...and I have noticed some words and gramar that are diferenct than RJ's wriring style....

 

For example, I don't never remember ever seeing RJ use the word mansion to describe a noble's house....He woule either use palace or manor or manor-house.....Sanderson uses it often.......

 

Lord Of Chaos: five uses can be found in IdealSeek. There's actually a sixth. All in Egwene's POV when she's spying on Elaida's embassy. Oddly, he uses manor there too, but only once.

 

TGS it's used 34 times, almost all referring to where Rand stays in Arad Domon. Manor too is used, a total of 61 times, which is more than it appears in any other single book in the series. Given how much of this book takes place in and around that manor/mansion, I don't find this particularly odd. Sanderson seems to have simply decided to vary the vocabulary some to provide a little, well, variety.

 

While there are definite differences, I don't think you can say this one is particularly "un-Jordanian" because, in comparison, so little of the previous books took place in manors/mansions/whatever. Far more often, we were dealing with palaces, or exteriors in cities, forests, etc.

 

Also, if you look at things that RJ referenced very frequently, you'll notice he too would often have a "go to" alternate that popped up far less often: Aes Sedai --> sister, sword --> blade, lord/lady --> noble, Power/One Power --> saidin/saidar , etc. Basically, RJ never really had much reason to avoid overusing the word because he'd barely used it at all in the course of eleven books.

 

Really, this is more of a generic writer thing: words, especially ones that aren't overly common in day-to-day language, can wear out their welcome. Just look how much people can fixate on sniffed/sniff, and then look at how seldom either actually appears in terms of the word-count of the entire series.

 

For some actual "Sandersonisms", look to the words "random" and "pawn". The former is often encountered in TGS as an adjective (e.g. "random backwater"), which Jordan rarely did. Instead he typically used it in the prepositional phrase "at random" (something Sanderson does too), or would separate it from the noun it was modifying. The latter is found in TGS in the figurative sense derived from chess, which RJ never did.

Edited by didymos
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Single most annoying aspect of Sanderson's style: "This day."

 

Jordan used that too. Sanderson does use it more (in tGS at least. I can't search ToM), but in absolute terms the difference isn't that significant. Jordan's record was 9 times in LoC. Sanderson deploys it 19 times in tGS. Personally, I find these little stylistic markers more interesting than annoying. I really wish IdealSeek was fully updated with tGS and would also allow proper phrase searches like Google.

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One thing I noticed with TGS was the use of the word "blasted" all the time. I'd never noticed it in previous books. And if it was used, I don't think it was used as much. Anyone else notice this? Or know if it was used in earlier books?

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One thing I noticed with TGS was the use of the word "blasted" all the time. I'd never noticed it in previous books. And if it was used, I don't think it was used as much. Anyone else notice this? Or know if it was used in earlier books?

 

There were a couple occurrences of "light-blasted" as a pejorative according to IdealSeek, both in LoC, but all the uses of "blasted" were in reference to actual (if sometimes figurative) blasting or the Blasted Lands. He really ought to have used "bloody", especially in dialogue. Failing that "fool" or "flaming" would have worked in many cases too. "Blasted" is consistent with WOT-style profanity, but at best, it's a vanishingly rare one. In tGS it's used that way 23 times.

Edited by didymos
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Jordan was a genius, one of the best writers ever. However, his writing style became much "dryer" towards the end.

 

Sanderson is finishing the work with a faster pace, more character development, and more exciting style.

 

Compare Jordan's writing of Rand's madness...Rand became more apart from others. He no longer noticed the aiel or bantered with the maidens. Subtle signs were more Jordan's style, with madness by omission. Sanderson's version made Rand into a homicidal lunatic.

 

Sanderson is doing well, his writing is every bit as good as Jordan's when the series began.

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Sanderson's version made Rand into a homicidal lunatic.

 

Yeah, 'cause aPoD "I am the storm...that causes massive amounts of lethal friendly fire" Rand wasn't homicidal or crazy. Or tDR "I shall make headless corpses kneel to me" Rand. Or WH "Asha'man Bounty Hunter: Far Madding" Rand. Or tFoH "Must personally smite Couladin, and barring that, nearly kill myself by trying to win the entire battle of Cairhien myself" Rand. Or aCoS "Must find every dead woman at Dumai's Well's for the list and then have a megalomanic episode after freaking out on the Sea Folk ship" Rand. Or LoC "Terrorize an entire inn of girls from the Two Rivers" Rand. Sanderson didn't make Rand into anything: Rand was heading for that sort of disaster for a long time, there was just as much bombastic and overt lunacy in his RJ-written behavior, and he'd been sharing headspace with a homicidal lunatic for ages (half of LTT's dialogue consisted of exhortations to kill people and wreck stuff. The other half was mostly insane wailing and weeping, with the occasional useful tidbit tossed in). Sanderson just happened to end up being the one who wrote the moment when it all finally fell apart and Rand really went too far.

 

Saying that's Rand's madness pre-Sanderson was "subtle" or "by omission" is...madness. It merely had subtle aspects. Some subtle aspects. And little was omitted.

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One thing I noticed with TGS was the use of the word "blasted" all the time. I'd never noticed it in previous books. And if it was used, I don't think it was used as much. Anyone else notice this? Or know if it was used in earlier books?

 

There were a couple occurrences of "light-blasted" as a pejorative according to IdealSeek, both in LoC, but all the uses of "blasted" were in reference to actual (if sometimes figurative) blasting or the Blasted Lands. He really ought to have used "bloody", especially in dialogue. Failing that "fool" or "flaming" would have worked in many cases too. "Blasted" is consistent with WOT-style profanity, but at best, it's a vanishingly rare one. In tGS it's used that way 23 times.

 

Ah, thanks for that it's been bugging me for a while. I agree that "bloody" and "flaming" should have been used instead, and I don't really get why they weren't. I could understand if RJ had used more offensive language which Brandon felt uncomfortable with using, but I don't think anyone can be so offended by bloody and flaming that they would refuse to write the words. Maybe it was meant as a clue to which parts were written by Brandon?

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One thing I noticed with TGS was the use of the word "blasted" all the time. I'd never noticed it in previous books. And if it was used, I don't think it was used as much. Anyone else notice this? Or know if it was used in earlier books?

 

There were a couple occurrences of "light-blasted" as a pejorative according to IdealSeek, both in LoC, but all the uses of "blasted" were in reference to actual (if sometimes figurative) blasting or the Blasted Lands. He really ought to have used "bloody", especially in dialogue. Failing that "fool" or "flaming" would have worked in many cases too. "Blasted" is consistent with WOT-style profanity, but at best, it's a vanishingly rare one. In tGS it's used that way 23 times.

 

Ah, thanks for that it's been bugging me for a while. I agree that "bloody" and "flaming" should have been used instead, and I don't really get why they weren't. I could understand if RJ had used more offensive language which Brandon felt uncomfortable with using, but I don't think anyone can be so offended by bloody and flaming that they would refuse to write the words. Maybe it was meant as a clue to which parts were written by Brandon?

 

 

Nice name. There's a charecter in my book named "Feral".

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After reading ToM I was thinking about the differences. Then I came to the conculsion it is like when writers and artist for a comic book series gets changed. The story and themes doesn't change much but storytelling and artistic styles are different so it is noticable.

 

When I was reading ToM I would picture places we've seen before but at different angles and characters are dressed little differently.

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For me, the largest bump was the description of the farm in TGS. Most farms previously had been described similarly to various European locations. The prologue held a farm description that felt like it belonged in the American dustbowl. Once i accepted that difference and was able to move on, All of the grammatical differences fell to insignificance, leaving a new darker, grittier tone in the book. This tone was a departure from the previous feel of the series, but an excellent change up for the escalating action.

 

Was anyone else thrown by the localities and tone, or are most of the writers on this forum more thrown with diction and grammar?

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I also notice that Brandon has some trouble writing Aiel dialogue or other such things regarding the Aiel, I wish I had book on me but there is a point ToM where Perrin tells Aiel to "ride" ahead, and other points where Aiel dialogue sounds too much like wetlander talk.

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I also notice that Brandon has some trouble writing Aiel dialogue or other such things regarding the Aiel, I wish I had book on me but there is a point ToM where Perrin tells Aiel to "ride" ahead, and other points where Aiel dialogue sounds too much like wetlander talk.

 

 

 

Well Perrin does not know much about Aiel so he may speak differently to them then Rand would....but I have oticed that Sanderson puts alot less differnece in the dialogs than RJ did.......especially on Aviendha

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"riled up", "tempest" are Brandon trademarks.

 

Really? I only found one use of "riled up" in tGS. "Rile" and "riled" though, minus the "up", show up ten times altogether. RJ used "rile" once. "Tempest"...yeah that one shows up a lot in tGS. Nineteen times. RJ only used it about six or seven times in eleven books.

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For some actual "Sandersonisms", look to the words "random" and "pawn". The former is often encountered in TGS as an adjective (e.g. "random backwater"), which Jordan rarely did. Instead he typically used it in the prepositional phrase "at random" (something Sanderson does too), or would separate it from the noun it was modifying. The latter is found in TGS in the figurative sense derived from chess, which RJ never did.

I never noticed "pawn" but I definitely noticed, in TGS, when Cadsuane took off her hood in a bar in Bandar Eban and said something to the effect of, "Well, if he happens to look in some random bar I guess he'll just have to kill me." I don't know this for sure, but I don't think "random" was used that way in the 16th-17th centuries, the period most closely matching the technological level of the books. Same for when Mat described the residents of Hinderstap as "homocidal". Those instances, and a few others, did briefly pull me out of the scene.

 

It gave me some appreciation for Jordan's very careful use of language. I hadn't really ever realized it before but he's excellent at his word choice in dialogue and internal monologue -- language that preserves a milieu, without ever being too self-consciously archaic. It doesn't sound the way people ACTUALLY talked in the 17th century, but it sort of gives the impression without being difficult to read.

 

It's about the only complaint I have with Sanderson's writing style, though, so I'm not upset about it. It just made me appreciate one of Jordan's talents, one I'd never really thought about.

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I noticed the word "juxtaposed" in ToM, as well as several uses of "undulation" in various forms. Sanderson seemed quite fond of "undulation" in Way of Kings, and he used juxtaposed there as well. It kind felt like he'd found some new favourite words ... I'm fairly certain those were Sanderson's. Felt like it.

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For some actual "Sandersonisms", look to the words "random" and "pawn". The former is often encountered in TGS as an adjective (e.g. "random backwater"), which Jordan rarely did. Instead he typically used it in the prepositional phrase "at random" (something Sanderson does too), or would separate it from the noun it was modifying. The latter is found in TGS in the figurative sense derived from chess, which RJ never did.

I never noticed "pawn" but I definitely noticed, in TGS, when Cadsuane took off her hood in a bar in Bandar Eban and said something to the effect of, "Well, if he happens to look in some random bar I guess he'll just have to kill me." I don't know this for sure, but I don't think "random" was used that way in the 16th-17th centuries, the period most closely matching the technological level of the books.

 

Actually it was in the narration and it said:

 

If al'Thor randomly happened to visit this particular inn, then he'd just have to hang her.

 

It still comes off a little too current, though the OED (which does require a subscription. Sorry) has a usage example dating to 1765, so it's not that anachronistic (especially considering that things can take awhile to make it into printed English). As for that usage of "random" itself, it actually has been around for quite awhile. The OED has examples from 1655 and 1661.

 

Same for when Mat described the residents of Hinderstap as "homocidal". Those instances, and a few others, did briefly pull me out of the scene.

 

Again, not so anachronistic as it seems: 1725.

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I noticed the word "juxtaposed" in ToM, as well as several uses of "undulation" in various forms. Sanderson seemed quite fond of "undulation" in Way of Kings, and he used juxtaposed there as well. It kind felt like he'd found some new favourite words ... I'm fairly certain those were Sanderson's. Felt like it.

 

"Juxtaposition" appears in the prologue to TEoTW, though.

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The most striking difference between the two writers for me is the prevalence of contractions in Sanderson's prose. Not just in dialogue either - the whole writing is peppered with "haven't", "wouldn't", "didn't", etc. etc. It was used far less regularly in Jordan's writing.

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The most striking difference between the two writers for me is the prevalence of contractions in Sanderson's prose. Not just in dialogue either - the whole writing is peppered with "haven't", "wouldn't", "didn't", etc. etc. It was used far less regularly in Jordan's writing.

 

Not really. IdealSeek results for common contractions (subtract a few for duplicate texts like the Legends version of New Spring, the Guide version of tSaSG, the Guide itself, and what little of TGS and ToM are searchable)

can't : 1153 hits

didn't: 803 hits

doesn't: 559 hits

don't: 3093 hits

haven't: 236 hits

shouldn't: 152 hits

won't: 1002 hits

wouldn't: 454 hits

Looking at the ebook of TGS:

 

can't: 100 matches

didn't: 100 matches

doesn't: 45 matches

don't: 100 matches

haven't: 36 matches

shouldn't: 38 matches

won't: 93 matches

wouldn't: 100 matches

 

Only "shouldn't" and "wouldn't" have counts significantly larger than the range of variation shown in the RJ-written novels, and with "shouldn't" it's all of 15 more than RJ's record. If there's any significant difference, other than "wouldn't", it'd have to be in the patterns of usage, not frequency. The only ones I've found that RJ really did use very seldom are "he'd" and "she'd", both which Sanderson uses frequently.

Edited by didymos
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