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Xeratul

My Take on the RJ/BS Split

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And I do believe the loose outline of Veins of Gold and Tower of Ghenjei were written by Jordan. They are very pivotal plot points. But like the rest of BS' two books they were written by Brandon Sanderson.The elements in the books where you can see the soul of Robert Jordan's plan get eviscerated by BS' relatively poor style are the saddest to me. At least the pulpy chapter with the town Mat explores in TGS were all BS'.

 

Not a loose outline. BS's comments are suggestive that RJ left more like an actual draft of the ToG part of ToM. What it was klacking was the back and forth between Harriett and RJ to produce the final product. That back and forth had to occur between Harriett and BS. Point is, it wasn't an outline, it was actual text.

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And I do believe the loose outline of Veins of Gold and Tower of Ghenjei were written by Jordan. They are very pivotal plot points. But like the rest of BS' two books they were written by Brandon Sanderson.The elements in the books where you can see the soul of Robert Jordan's plan get eviscerated by BS' relatively poor style are the saddest to me. At least the pulpy chapter with the town Mat explores in TGS were all BS'.

I agree with some of what you are saying, but the ToG scene was written by RJ. I guessed that it was when I read it, because it was the first scene from last two books that Mat seemed...for lack of a better word, natural. BS has had a difficult time getting into Mat's character.

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There's plenty of horrible stuff by RJ that saw print. Ask yourself why WoT is mostly not horrible :) (I.e. I'm not going to explain how books are written in general and RJ's methods of writing yet again, and why BS doesn't seem to understand this or at least not care about it in the final product--read Luckers posts on the subject.)

 

I guess I can blanket agree that characterization isn't great, you won't find any Lannisters in WoT generally. That's not to say it isn't horrible either...I have some ideas as to why, but lacking in time to get them into some kind of coherency right now.

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If you guys get the time, there's a great documentary about an outsider artist called "In the Realms of the Unreal" that's great to watch. He was a janitor who lived alone his entire life, and he had little contact with others.

 

I bring this up, because seeing it gave me an appreciation for really great epic fantasy that I never had before. When the guy, Henry Darger, dies; they find a 15,000 page epic fantasy novel amongst his possessions. He also has ledgers and ledgers of notes about all of his characters, what character dies where, when, in what battle etc. He had paintings of pretty much all of his hundreds of characters as well. This movie gave me a real insight into what a listfest making great epic fantasy must be.

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I don't dislike BS writing of the last books of twot. I am sure that he is doing his best to stay true to RJ. My first impression of the first book he wrote-tgs -on my first time reading it , I am not fond of how he wrote Mat's charactor. You can definitely see the change in his charactor. I do like how Rand changes, though. So. It would cettainly have neen better if RJ could have finished his own work. Considering the immensity of twot, I think BS is doing a fair job of it. Looking forward to Amol!

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personally i have no issue with bs taking over, nor was i unhappy with rj. bs writes it a little different, but that is to be expected, and i wouldn't even go so far as to say he writes it a little different, he puts the story together a little different (although at times it is very obvious that he has a different take on the story than rj did, but that is to be expected). i am just happy to see that the story will be finished competently, and i certainly consider what bs has done to be competent. i have no real complaints, and i am happy as hell that i will get to see the end even if someone else is painting from a written description.

 

i have enjoyed the two books that bs has finished, and i hope i will enjoy the third. but i try not to make a habit of comparing apples to oranges.

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And I do believe the loose outline of Veins of Gold and Tower of Ghenjei were written by Jordan. They are very pivotal plot points. But like the rest of BS' two books they were written by Brandon Sanderson.The elements in the books where you can see the soul of Robert Jordan's plan get eviscerated by BS' relatively poor style are the saddest to me. At least the pulpy chapter with the town Mat explores in TGS were all BS'.

 

Not a loose outline. BS's comments are suggestive that RJ left more like an actual draft of the ToG part of ToM. What it was klacking was the back and forth between Harriett and RJ to produce the final product. That back and forth had to occur between Harriett and BS. Point is, it wasn't an outline, it was actual text.

 

Yes, but draft form is draft form. After reading the Fallon books, I realized that RJ's draft writing is probably very similar to Brandon's final draft writing. RJ had a tendency to tweak and tweak and tweak until he felt the language was right; I'm guessing that nothing he left behind was up to his standards, and the Moiraine scene was clearly either in rough draft form or altered by Brandon because Moiraine uses contractions in her dialogue. Also, the impact of Veins of Gold was in large part due to the immense set-up in previous books.

Edited by Terez

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Sadly, given that Brandon Sanderson's books have no re-readability, he has ruined the series for me. With the first eleven, I could and did re-read the series every couple of years. After the final book comes out, I probably won't read it for a few years. (Until I've had enough time to forget enough of the series to re-read the first eleven, then I'll skip 12 and 13 to go straight for 14 hoping against hope.) The only way the series can maintain re-readability is if aMoL is pretty decent. I can and will skip 12 and 13 on re-reads in that scenario.

 

I didn't make this post to bash BS freshly and more repeatedly. I really just came to terms in the last hour with how much 12 and 13 turned me off to the series. I can only pray that with the extra effort given to 14, BS manages to capture a whisper of RJ's voice. I don't know why this revelation just came to me, but I believe that if 14 doesn't wow me then I would have been happier over all for the series to be unfinished at 11 books. That way I could have re-read as many times as I wanted and devised my own ending.

 

I really wish Harriet could have chosen a more appropriate author, or at the very least have finished the entire Mistborn trilogy before committing to Brandon Sanderson. (Once again, I am simply wallowing in nostalgia and self-pity thinking of all the potential re-reads I've lost.)

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The wheel of time is llllllllooooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnggggggggggggggggg, which gave RJ time to characterize and subplot all he wanted. BS has to finish it in one three books, which means he cannot.

BS has three lengthy books, and most of the plotting and characterisation is done already. He needs the characters to remain true to themselves, and continue their arcs, not write them all from scratch. There is ample time for characterisation.

 

I'm sorry I put it like that, I just get irritated when good stories are ruined because the authors feel the need give every character 500 dimensions and a kid to make people like them even when they are the villain.

 

Xeratul, you said that BS isn't as good because he writes characters that change in fits and starts, but my favorite scene in many long form fictions is the huge world changing one where a character embraces his power and opens a can on the bad guy. Good characterization nowadays seems to be some girl with supernatural powers whining all day about how she wished to be normal, which has ruined the fantasy genre.

 

I hate people wallowing in self pity, I could go down to the bar at lunch time any day of the week and see it (or hell, look in a mirror some days), I don't need 4 books of it from a guy in charge of one of the great forces in the world. But that is the only sort of thing that critics and publishers seem to like, the weight of the world beating someone down somehow gives it a sense of realism.

 

I would say that the reason Mat is so popular is that this doesn't happen to him, and he is the character with the most sudden increases in power in this series. Even when he is being pseudo raped by Tylin he doesn't descend into the darkness, which is what most authors would do.

You seem to have an odd idea of what constitutes good characterisation. Girls with superpowers whining about wanting to be normal is not something most people would put forward as an example of good characterisation. Wallowing in self pity is not in itself good characterisation, nor is the absence of it bad. A villain doesn't have to be likeable, but a villain who acts from a discernable motivation, no matter how warped, is surely preferable to one who merely kicks puppies for no reason.

 

I don't understand how any of these character changes that people are holding against BS could have been left up to him, given how extensive the notes from RJ are. Those events are major turning points, such as Rand/LTT merging. Could someone please explain to me what I am missing?

While what happens has been laid out, how it happens is in Sanderson's hands. He is in charge of the execution. A given idea might be executed in any number of ways.

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I've said before that I think Brandon is not equipped experientially to write certain characters because he hasn't lived enough to know how a womaniser like Mat or an alpha female like Cadsuane thinks and acts.

So he writes what he interprets them to be. Mat becomes a buffoon, Cadsuane becomes not only a bully but a close-minded and self-destructive one at that; a far cry from "remarkably adaptable".

One sees here the differences that each individual author brings to the work.

Generally, the hope is that Sanderson can improve. I do not hold that view. This is what he is and this is what he always will be. Amol will be about the same as the other 2, I'm pretty sure. Depending on how much is written by who, anyway.

Edited by A. Pseudonym

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Sadly, given that Brandon Sanderson's books have no re-readability, he has ruined the series for me. With the first eleven, I could and did re-read the series every couple of years. After the final book comes out, I probably won't read it for a few years. (Until I've had enough time to forget enough of the series to re-read the first eleven, then I'll skip 12 and 13 to go straight for 14 hoping against hope.) The only way the series can maintain re-readability is if aMoL is pretty decent. I can and will skip 12 and 13 on re-reads in that scenario.

 

I didn't make this post to bash BS freshly and more repeatedly. I really just came to terms in the last hour with how much 12 and 13 turned me off to the series. I can only pray that with the extra effort given to 14, BS manages to capture a whisper of RJ's voice. I don't know why this revelation just came to me, but I believe that if 14 doesn't wow me then I would have been happier over all for the series to be unfinished at 11 books. That way I could have re-read as many times as I wanted and devised my own ending.

 

I really wish Harriet could have chosen a more appropriate author, or at the very least have finished the entire Mistborn trilogy before committing to Brandon Sanderson. (Once again, I am simply wallowing in nostalgia and self-pity thinking of all the potential re-reads I've lost.)

 

Someone is a touch bitter. You only attack, and attack BS, there is no call for that. It's unfair, and unwarranted. You seem to think RJ infallible. When he isn't. No author is. They all have weak points, and good points. You seem to only attack BS and not RJ. A lot of the middle to latter books are very bad in parts. Most of the fans will tell you, you could remove huge chunks and crunch books 8-10 into one. Yes, BS does have a tendency to slap a scene down, however, how much sniffing, and smoothing of skirts do we get? For me, personally books 12-13 do not make me want to leave them out of re-reads. You can skip them should you wish, except you'll miss out on major plot lines that come to bear fruit.

 

Just who would you have got to finish the series? Bear in mind, if they are a major player you'd be asking them to leave aside their own work for 5 years. Not many would do that, BS has managed to work alongside with his own. We should be grateful we got the series finished. At one point it would not have happened. I am just glad the greatest fantasy series ever is being finished. Roll on January 8th.

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I'm afraid I agree with Xeratul regarding the lack of re-readability of Brandon's works. Whilst, yes, the plot gratification that came through the first reading of tGS and TofM held them, and held them very well, it was the quality and layering of the prose that lent RJ's works their re-readability. When it comes down to it, whatever flaws RJ had and whatever skills Brandon has, does not change that the writing of both books is unpolished, clunky, and superficial.

 

Plot-gratification will suffice the first read. Maybe the second... Brandon's work does not hold up to the third.

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I'm afraid I agree with Xeratul regarding the lack of re-readability of Brandon's works. Whilst, yes, the plot gratification that came through the first reading of tGS and TofM held them, and held them very well, it was the quality and layering of the prose that lent RJ's works their re-readability. When it comes down to it, whatever flaws RJ had and whatever skills Brandon has, does not change that the writing of both books is unpolished, clunky, and superficial.

 

Plot-gratification will suffice the first read. Maybe the second... Brandon's work does not hold up to the third.

 

That about sums it up. I have said much the same in various threads in the past. I do have hope for AMoL however. Team Jordan seems to be aware of at least some of the issues. The extra polish and Jordan's finish will hopefully be enough to make this a great book. RJ certainly deserves more than what he got with the last two.

 

As an aside when people talk about the increased pace you do realize that this is just where we are in the arc of the books correct? Yes 8-10(they would have been regardless of who wrote them

) were slow but KoD showed clearly that RJ had things pointed in the right direction. it's not as if these last two books would have been similar to CoT as we are in a vastly different part of the story. The argument that they would have suffered in pace if RJ had been the author is absurd.

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I somewhat agree about tGS not being very re-readable. The biggest reason for this is Mat's character. I had stopped browsing forums like this by that time, and ended up logging back on to WoT sites simply to find out of other's noticed Mat's "strangeness" in the book. Lo and behold, there it was. That being said, for the most part I thought BS did a great job with Perrin and Rand in tGS, outside of a few places where I think events were rushed a tad.

 

In ToM, I felt BS finally starting finding Mat's Voice again, and so enjoyed the book much more.

 

One of the things I had somewhat set myself to experience when I found out the series was going to be finished by an outside author was that some of the events would be somewhat shortened. Regardless of what RJ said, I feel if he had been perfectly healthy, the series most likely would have gone another five or six books. Authors of Epic Series notoriously under-estimate the number of books it will take them to finish all of the plot-lines. When you bring in an outside author to finish something like this, the key word is FINISH. While the original "one" book got expanded into three, most avid readers knew that had to happen. There were just too many plot-threads weaving around to finish this series in one book. So, they expanded it the SMALLEST amount of books possible in order to finish the series, and tie up all major plot-threads. When has RJ ever used the SMALLEST amount of ANYTHING in writing his books. WoT has re-termed the genre "Epic Fantasy." In the end, the focus on plot-gratification and loss of subtle characterization are all a result of the fact that an outside author took over the series, and would have been present regardless of the author, because the ending of the series was truncated to end it as quickly as allowable just to ensure that the series was finished.

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I would rather reread "See Spot Run" than reread CoT which if i recall correctly was 100% RJ and zero BS. Does anyone have the link to the interview where someone on team jordan said it was funny how many things people complained about BS ruining was actually all RJ and somethings being praised were all BS?

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Being on my 5th or so reread of ToM I cannot say I agree with the lack of rereadability. But maybe that's just me. All the glaring, frustrating, lack of communication leading to serious problems is at least somewhat alleviated, with Perrin, Mat and Elayne talking, and everyone gathering in one place by the end. Even Morgase's survival finally comes out. (I don't count Rand/Egwene. That wasn't problem-solving communication)

 

I may just be bad at this whole picking things up on the first few reads thing, but I don't see any reduction in reread ability. If anything it's much better compared to the last RJ books when I began reading (7-9; KoD was certainly more worth rereads), which I only ever reread as part of a full reread. The early and late books I sometimes reread separately.

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Ive only read ToM once, sad to say. Not one of my favorite books, I think the Ghenji and vs Slayer parts both didnt live up the hipe. The fact that the ashandarei could cut through the walls and THATS how they got out, seemed like the biggest copout ever. Not impressed at all. Yea sure the fabric of space and time is wierd there, but, I just dont like how it played out.

 

That isnt to say I dont like what Brandons doing though. While Lord of Chaos is my favorite book, TGS has my favorite Rand phase by far. The personality transferal was done perfectly in my oppinion, and I refuse to believe that all of that was written by RJ. I dont think there was a single issue with Rand in TGS, even the two immediate transformations were done realistically, so I think Brandon did a great job with that book. Only issue was Mat, but who cares, it was a Rand book. Everything Mat did after helping invade Illian means nothing to me so Im not really bothered about the Ghenji mission (IMO) falling flat.

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Sadly, given that Brandon Sanderson's books have no re-readability, he has ruined the series for me. With the first eleven, I could and did re-read the series every couple of years. After the final book comes out, I probably won't read it for a few years. (Until I've had enough time to forget enough of the series to re-read the first eleven, then I'll skip 12 and 13 to go straight for 14 hoping against hope.) The only way the series can maintain re-readability is if aMoL is pretty decent. I can and will skip 12 and 13 on re-reads in that scenario.

 

I didn't make this post to bash BS freshly and more repeatedly. I really just came to terms in the last hour with how much 12 and 13 turned me off to the series. I can only pray that with the extra effort given to 14, BS manages to capture a whisper of RJ's voice. I don't know why this revelation just came to me, but I believe that if 14 doesn't wow me then I would have been happier over all for the series to be unfinished at 11 books. That way I could have re-read as many times as I wanted and devised my own ending.

 

I really wish Harriet could have chosen a more appropriate author, or at the very least have finished the entire Mistborn trilogy before committing to Brandon Sanderson. (Once again, I am simply wallowing in nostalgia and self-pity thinking of all the potential re-reads I've lost.)

 

Someone is a touch bitter. You only attack, and attack BS, there is no call for that. It's unfair, and unwarranted. You seem to think RJ infallible. When he isn't. No author is. They all have weak points, and good points. You seem to only attack BS and not RJ. A lot of the middle to latter books are very bad in parts. Most of the fans will tell you, you could remove huge chunks and crunch books 8-10 into one. Yes, BS does have a tendency to slap a scene down, however, how much sniffing, and smoothing of skirts do we get? For me, personally books 12-13 do not make me want to leave them out of re-reads. You can skip them should you wish, except you'll miss out on major plot lines that come to bear fruit.

 

Just who would you have got to finish the series? Bear in mind, if they are a major player you'd be asking them to leave aside their own work for 5 years. Not many would do that, BS has managed to work alongside with his own. We should be grateful we got the series finished. At one point it would not have happened. I am just glad the greatest fantasy series ever is being finished. Roll on January 8th.

 

If I were to choose an author to finish the series, I wouldn't choose someone famous. I would make the decision based on writing style, something Harriet clearly didn't do. I don't like BS' writing, but it's not his fault that he is not right for the job. When you read one of his books, it is very clear that he is not compatible for this series. I've heard Tad Williams mentioned as someone who would do this series well. Personally I don't really enjoy Tad's writing, but I do believe that he would do this series well. His descriptive and measured writing style would work well for this series.

 

I think the best thing to do would be to choose a relatively unknown writer. Someone who has a compatible writing style but who can't really cut it on their own very well. That way, finishing this series would be a much appreciated job and paycheck. And they would put their own writing on the backburner for the duration.

 

I used to have some bad things to say about RJ's writing...I don't anymore. I would rather read CoT than TGS or ToM. It's hard to criticize what RJ has done anymore, because I have been to the other side of the fence. The grass is NOT green.

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I cannot fathom how anyone would rather read CoT than pretty much anything, It's simply awful. You can skip 90 percent of the book and not miss anything significant.

Edited by Rulius

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I somewhat agree about tGS not being very re-readable. The biggest reason for this is Mat's character. I had stopped browsing forums like this by that time, and ended up logging back on to WoT sites simply to find out of other's noticed Mat's "strangeness" in the book. Lo and behold, there it was. That being said, for the most part I thought BS did a great job with Perrin and Rand in tGS, outside of a few places where I think events were rushed a tad.

 

In ToM, I felt BS finally starting finding Mat's Voice again, and so enjoyed the book much more.

 

One of the things I had somewhat set myself to experience when I found out the series was going to be finished by an outside author was that some of the events would be somewhat shortened. Regardless of what RJ said, I feel if he had been perfectly healthy, the series most likely would have gone another five or six books. Authors of Epic Series notoriously under-estimate the number of books it will take them to finish all of the plot-lines. When you bring in an outside author to finish something like this, the key word is FINISH. While the original "one" book got expanded into three, most avid readers knew that had to happen. There were just too many plot-threads weaving around to finish this series in one book. So, they expanded it the SMALLEST amount of books possible in order to finish the series, and tie up all major plot-threads. When has RJ ever used the SMALLEST amount of ANYTHING in writing his books. WoT has re-termed the genre "Epic Fantasy." In the end, the focus on plot-gratification and loss of subtle characterization are all a result of the fact that an outside author took over the series, and would have been present regardless of the author, because the ending of the series was truncated to end it as quickly as allowable just to ensure that the series was finished.

 

It was RJ that said that there was 1 more book, only one, and one it was going to be. Because he died, we've gotten 3 instead. And, of course, a plethora of people blaming BS for RJ's failings as an author

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As has been stated before, RJ made this comment about one more book when he was already looking imminent Death in the Eye, and so the pressure was on to Finish the series. If RJ had been completely healthy, I tend to agree with others that WoT would have ended up being an even longer series. As stated in my previous post, author of Epic Fantasy series often seriously under-estimate the amount of books it will take them to finish the series. RJ said it would only be one more, sure, but he's also given much lower estimates when asked earlier in the series about how many total the series would entail. It's just what happens.

 

My main point isn't to blame BS or RJ for their flaws as writers, but rather to say that from the beginning when I heard another author was going to complete the series, I already expected the higher plot gratification compared to characterization because the new author's primary goal is to finish the series, not necessarily to complete it. Because of this, the series of WoT has changed from the original books which were character driven stories, to become plot-driven stories here at the end. Part of this is BS's writing style, but also key is the perspective any author in that situation comes into it having. While I wouldn't say that the new way is my preferred way, given the circumstances, it's a bloody lot better than absolutely nothing. I appreciate very much that all the parties involved have decided to take this work on, and ensure that we have a real ending to this epic series. (Of course, real discontents of BS may view him finishing the series like the original ending to Neon Genesis Evangelion, something better left undone than done in the way it was, I suppose).

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It was RJ that said that there was 1 more book, only one, and one it was going to be. Because he died, we've gotten 3 instead. And, of course, a plethora of people blaming BS for RJ's failings as an author

 

The 1 book claim has been explained many times in this thread. Care to expand on the bolded part though? How do you figure?

Edited by Suttree

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Again let me say that I love this series and i truely enjoyed each book in it, including the last 2.

And i would read this series if 10 more books were scheduled.

But the series is so long because RJ liked to ramble on about stuff that was not so important.

 

Show of hands here:

Who really gives two shits that Elayne learned how to tightrope walk (kind of) and has some sudo creepy daddy issues with Thom.

 

Hey, we'll escape with this traveling circus. Great idea, lets go. The end.

I havent read that portion of the books in awhile but did anything really important happen while they were with Luca's traveling band that we had to spend so much time with it?

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Again let me say that I love this series and i truely enjoyed each book in it, including the last 2.

And i would read this series if 10 more books were scheduled.

But the series is so long because RJ liked to ramble on about stuff that was not so important.

 

Show of hands here:

Who really gives two shits that Elayne learned how to tightrope walk (kind of) and has some sudo creepy daddy issues with Thom.

 

Hey, we'll escape with this traveling circus. Great idea, lets go. The end.

I havent read that portion of the books in awhile but did anything really important happen while they were with Luca's traveling band that we had to spend so much time with it?

 

 

I would have been able to do nothing buy agree you about any other part with Elayne. She is an unlikable character that adds nothing to the story, but imo, RJ has fewer of those than most other series out there. However, I loved that part of the series. I liked her daddy issues with Thom, for what they showed us about Thom. Further, I liked the Circuis subplot because there was a lot of Mat development and interaction with Tuon, Aes Sedai, and Wise Women.

Edited by Xeratul

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