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A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY
Xeratul

My Take on the RJ/BS Split

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you are entitled to that I for one had never even heard of him before he was picked to write wot and unfortunately people like me are in majority

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So, you would rather a writer who is amazingly successful writing her/his own work to put that down and write someone else's world?

 

Successful creative types are arrogant to a fault in the majority of cases, the more successful the worse the arrogance. With the notes that RJ left, the series was creatively finished. You get someone successful writing it, and there would be substantial deviation from the notes just because they felt they knew better.

 

So you need to get someone who is talented but hasn't really broken through yet so that they are awed enough to stay in the shadow of the notes. Finding that person is hard. Finding that person in a limited time so that you can get the series finished within a few years (there was a lot of fleshing out of the notes to be done, but the framework was there) is next to impossible.

 

Harriet and Team Jordan did amazingly well to find BS as soon as they did, and he has done very good work. The changes he made to characters and language are tiny compared to what could have been done to them.

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you are repeating most of what I have said in various posts before with exception of Team Jordan doing a good job. If they had finished it in the original one book. there would have been no need to flesh it out so much. This is not going to solve anything we had long discussion on it when the original split took place. it is no use rehashing the same old lines. I have always maintained that BS is doing as good a job as possible. My problem is and as Luckers said that he is not trying to make this as good a book as he can. he just shrugs and says that is all i can do

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Then what do you want me to say about the people who selected a burnt out writer to write perhaps the most important epic of 21st century and it should have been part of his contract. it was not like if people were lining up to read his books were they?

 

I think Terez was referring to short-term burn out, like after after long writing periods. Probably referencing the "drawing of lines" where he probably decides it's "good enough" for him but it's still not "good enough" for some of the fandom. I think Luckers and Terez just want him to stretch a little further, at least make the attempt, even if he doesn't think he can do it, and to use the Beta Readers and Team Jordan more proactively to help with that.

 

I don't see why Team Jordan doesn't rap him over the knuckles. Even if that's not the way that relationship usually works, this is a pretty uncommon situation and I'm sure he'd understand. I just suspect they all know the publisher ultimately set the time lines and that's all based on when they need cash flow. But then Luckers wants the show of being denied so he at least knows everything was tried, and I suppose that would be nice.

 

I mean Brandon was a brand-spanking-new writer when he was picked up, pretty much the opposite of a bunt-out (in the general sense) writer, so it's not that.

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I have never blamed BS for anything, he is a writer and he is trying to do as good a job as possible. He is trying to complete a series that can be easily described as the greatest fantasy epic of our times and no I do not think that song of ice and fire or others compare. To cap it he has to contend with rabid fans like me. it is not easy and I appreciate all the effort that he has put in, but I have always had some reservations with way TOR and team Jordan handled everything. Again we have been through all of this before and there is no use crying over spill milk.

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Well thankfully pretty soon this horrible ordeal will be over for all you critics. Maybe you can do a Phantom Edit on the trilogy once its over.

 

A phantom edit would be a terrible idea. The best thing that will happen is that AMoL will make be awesome! Only 5 more months!!!!

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Well thankfully pretty soon this horrible ordeal will be over for all you critics. Maybe you can do a Phantom Edit on the trilogy once its over.

 

A phantom edit would be a terrible idea. The best thing that will happen is that AMoL will make be awesome! Only 5 more months!!!!

 

To a degree I think an edit would help--there is a lot of junky writing in tGS and TofM--but only to a degree. The main problems with either book would need a re-write.

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Well thankfully pretty soon this horrible ordeal will be over for all you critics. Maybe you can do a Phantom Edit on the trilogy once its over.

 

A phantom edit would be a terrible idea. The best thing that will happen is that AMoL will make be awesome! Only 5 more months!!!!

 

To a degree I think an edit would help--there is a lot of junky writing in tGS and TofM--but only to a degree. The main problems with either book would need a re-write.

 

If we're going to be honest about it, there are large sections of books written entirely by Jordan that could do with a stringent editing.

Edited by randsc

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I've seen many people refer to the "timeline" What exactly is BS doing wrong that RJ did right?

nothing. RJ screwed around with the timeline as well. It is simply more noticeable with BS because perrin is obviously at least half a book behind. Had the timeline been correct, we probably would have had huge chunks of the book with little to no action or plot resolution

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I've seen many people refer to the "timeline" What exactly is BS doing wrong that RJ did right?

 

Ok, the timeline under BS has been much worse. That's just a fact. Perrin and the BT are crazy out of sync just to use a couple examples. This falls under one of those things that Brandon doesn't feel he's good at so he doesn't worry about it while writing. There is no way that method could ever be saved even by the best editing. On top of that there are major continuity errors and many people also complain about contradictions making it impossible to tell the passage of time between certain events.

Edited by Suttree

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I've seen many people refer to the "timeline" What exactly is BS doing wrong that RJ did right?

There is no way that method could ever be saved even by the best editing.
just put KoD, tGS, and ToM together. The ripples perrin feels match up with rand's mega balefire. He saw VoG and he was also there for the Mesana battle. Everything lines up. RJ had him ahead because there is only so much woe is me filler to be put in. BS had him behind because he needed to get through Mat and Rand before FoM in aMoL. It all makes perfect sense, but more than one book would need to be involved in the edit

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If we're going to be honest about it, there are large sections of books written entirely by Jordan that could do with a stringent editing.

 

Yes, and no. Yes, I do agree there are things that RJ should have condensed--Nynaeve and Elayne's trip between Tanchico and Salidar, for instance, I think should have had about half as much material as it did. Elayne claiming the Lion Throne is another clear example of where fat could have been trimmed plot-wise.

 

But simply cutting wouldn't work, like it would with the fat in Brandon's books (note, when I speak of cutting the fat that was the element that I said could be fixed by a simple edit, but it still wouldn't in my opinion, resolve the main issues). Brandon's fat is simply superfluos conversation and events--things that if they disapeared would alter nothing--for instance in Mat's first POV in TGS you could simply carve out the first three pages and not only would it not confuse things, it actually leaves that entire POV as a stronger (and much more in character) chapter.

 

Jordan's writing on the other hand is too layered, and in so many ways even the slow scenes informed the world and the plot in the ways that paid off in later climaxes--partially this is what he called cinematic writing, purely in the sense of granting a clear image of the world (which later held us, especially in the swifter action scenes), and partially its about setting up for pay off--for instance people complain often about CoT specifically as being superfluos fat were nothing happens, but in so many ways CoT did the leg work that allowed KoD the pay offs it had (with, say, Egwene, for instance--in CoT we see her come to master the role of the political leader, allowing her to take her next step in KoD where she comes to become a leader simply in her own sheer right, cut off from the basis of her political power).

 

So whilst I do agree that much of CoT could have been done different--and for that matter RJ himself stated that he would have done things different if he had it to do over--and concievably CoT and KoD could have been condensed into one, stronger, faster novel, it would take more than simply carving the slow parts out of CoT, because the development and bits and pieces that occur in CoT still need to happen, and thus to tell both books in a condensed single work, it would require extensive re-writes and restructuring of both.

 

In Brandon's the fat tends to be just fat, superfluos and easily cut out. This would mend a lot of the timeline problems because, for instance, if you cut the fat out of tGS you would then have space to move Perrin and the Black Tower arcs back in sync with the rest of the story. That being said, other problems would require more serious reworking (such as the Dream Battle Disaster).

 

So yeah, I don't disagree, RJ's work could have used some streamlining, though very little to none of his work is actually superfluos, for all that some of its boring, and streamlining would require re-working those scenes more than it would simply cutting. Brandon on the other hand does have scenes that could simply be carved out, and this would have left space for expansion on other points, and for a more cohesive timelines.

 

In my opinion, of course.

 

I've seen many people refer to the "timeline" What exactly is BS doing wrong that RJ did right?

 

He's basically just getting it wrong. Characters referring to hearing rumours of events that timeline was hadn't occurred yet for them. Tam being in two different places (with Rand and with Perrin) at the same time.

 

Jordan had skewed timelines at times, but he never lost track of them--they never crossed each other at the wrong point, or lost cohesion with the greater integrity of the Timeline. Brandon's timelines are quite simply all over the place. This is part of what I was saying before--when it came to timeline Brandon realised he couldn't do as good a job as Jordan and just shrugged his shoulders and went on, leaving it up to Alan and Maria to try and work something from it.

 

I've seen many people refer to the "timeline" What exactly is BS doing wrong that RJ did right?

nothing. RJ screwed around with the timeline as well. It is simply more noticeable with BS because perrin is obviously at least half a book behind. Had the timeline been correct, we probably would have had huge chunks of the book with little to no action or plot resolution

 

Actually, that's not correct. RJ did play around with the timeline, but with the sort-of exception of the duplicate scene in the Eye of the World where Rand and Mat hang out with the same farmer twice (later he stated that this was a failed attempt at a flashback), he never lost the integrity of the timeline. Things always fit within their own context.

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Adding in useless stuff is Brandon's authorial reward though. Everything that isn't useless has been pointed out as an essential plot element. You need to give him something to allow the creative juices to flow, otherwise it is just fleshing out notes.

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The ripples perrin feels match up with rand's mega balefire.

 

Not sure what you mean when you say they match? IIRC Rand balefired Natrins Barrow well over a month after the ripples.

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I've always been unhappy with the way that Brandon completely abandoned simple reference points like the moon phases. I know he was in a hurry to get things done, but it still could have been done. It was a relatively unnoticed part of RJ's genius that he kept things so in line with each other that Stephen Cooper was able to make an incredibly detailed day-by-day timeline with so few contradictory entries. People have tried to do similar things with George Martin's books and they cannot because certain events just don't fit in with others no matter what they do. I'd have to guess Erikson's Mazalan books are orders of magnitude worse. :tongue:

 

I'll admit that there were a few times when Jordan was overly verbose, but for the most part his descriptions served more than the purpose of drawing the reader a very complete picture of how people or things looked at any given point. They were there for people to find carefully hidden clues and some foreshadowings that make the series nearly infinitely re-readable. Almost none of it was completly superfluous. Things like figuring out who Mesaana was posing as or Siuan's mystery of the Too-Young Sitters are icing on the already delicious cake that one gets on a first readthrough. RJ was able to tell you what was happening so that you knew what was going on and didn't have to hold your hand by referencing stuff you should have remembered anyway and if you pay attention, you can maybe work out what may happen in the future. Brandon seems to have characters remember things simply to remind readers of things we already read. It's like watching Mission F***ing Impossible II after enjoying the hell out of the first movie.

 

 

The ripples in KoD aren't really explained, but I've seen theories about Demandred 'USING THE BALEFIRE IN MY SERVICE' somewhere in the same general neighborhood of Perrin and Faile and causing balescream-like ripples that way...

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He's basically just getting it wrong. Characters referring to hearing rumours of events that timeline was hadn't occurred yet for them. Tam being in two different places (with Rand and with Perrin) at the same time.

 

Jordan had skewed timelines at times, but he never lost track of them--they never crossed each other at the wrong point, or lost cohesion with the greater integrity of the Timeline. Brandon's timelines are quite simply all over the place. This is part of what I was saying before--when it came to timeline Brandon realised he couldn't do as good a job as Jordan and just shrugged his shoulders and went on, leaving it up to Alan and Maria to try and work something from it.

 

The overlapping was a complete mess, but that was a choice made given the circumstances. The options would be to have expanded tGS tremendously, added another "catch-up" book in the series, or (my favorite) would have been to just devote the first half of tGS to catching up the characters that were behind. Divide the book into two parts, if necessary, though that hasn't been done before in the series. Brandon made a stylistic choice to resolve that issue. I don't think it was the best one, but he seemed to have felt it was the better way to pace the events of the book.

 

As for the timeline actually conflicting each other, I believe it, but I didn't pick up on it on my read through. Anybody have some examples?

 

While the moon phases was a nice touch of Jordan's, when we start using the inattention to them by a different author as an example of a lack of effort I feel like we've reduced ourselves to complaining for the sake of complaining. Luckers has been in the vanguard of the intelligent critics. He makes fair points, has displayed knowledge and intelligence with regards to the WoT for some time, and he's a right to his opinion, but I can't help but feel he's taken the opinion of this board too far in the other direction. The excessive harping of the "slam it down on the table" line, which I don't see nearly as much now, is one example of excessive criticism. I'm starting to feel like I'm watching political advertisements where one candidate makes a statement and the other candidate grabs it and takes it much further than was meant and strips it of any possible nuance. Jordan left behind an incredibly complicated series. It would take a miracle worker to capture every detail. Sanderson has stumbled in some cases, but the expectations some fans have would require Sanderson to lock himself up in tower with the series and Jordan's notes for ten years to meditate in the hopes of reaching some type of enlightened state before committing himself to writing.

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Luckers has been in the vanguard of the intelligent critics. He makes fair points, has displayed knowledge and intelligence with regards to the WoT for some time, and he's a right to his opinion, but I can't help but feel he's taken the opinion of this board too far in the other direction.

 

There may well be some validicy to this position, though how much I can be credited for a shift in the entire fandom remains to be seen. I think, more likely, that as the honeymoon period wears off and people become cogniscent of flaws they have heretofore overlooked, they tend to focus on those newly percieved flaw and lose sight of the elements they appreciated at the beginning. Certainly I have been guilty of doing this, at times.

 

If that is so, only time will tell how the balance with resolve itself. I have stated in the past that as the books stand now, I do not believe they will stand up to the test of time. Largely though that will depend on aMoL.

 

The excessive harping of the "slam it down on the table" line, which I don't see nearly as much now, is one example of excessive criticism.

 

Whilst there may well be some truth in the claim that my 'harping' has been excessive--or as Brandon phrased it so recently, that I have an axe to grind and an opinion on everything--I don't personally feel that this particular criticism is, in itself, excessive. To be fully honest, if I were to lock down on my main concern with Brandon's work, it has to do with this sense within his work--pretty much all of the major complaints tie into it. My oft-stated greatest problem with a character--Cadsuane of course--is based around the blunt assessment Brandon has of her character, and subsequently blunt portrayal. The plotline that most troubles me is Graendal's attack on Perrin which reads like a plan drawn up in crayon by a two year old who recieved a spanking at the end. Even just the issue of gratuitousness within the scenes that is endemic of Brandon's treatment of the wheel can be tied back to this, and that if I were pressed into making a single sentence that summed up my concerns, it would be that last sentence.

 

So yes, whilst I could see that the frequency and consistancy of my criticisms may well be excessive, as you have suggested, the particular criticism at its core is not at all excessive to my mind, but is rather the basis of all my criticisms. And whilst my particular stringency may be unfair toward Brandon--especially in relation to that quote--I do not think the criticism itself unfair, nor blown out of proportion, as is the underlying premise of your point.

 

I'm starting to feel like I'm watching political advertisements where one candidate makes a statement and the other candidate grabs it and takes it much further than was meant and strips it of any possible nuance.

 

I'm not sure how I feel about the inference in this post. Are you accusing me of twisting things intentionally to sustain my arguments against Brandon? I like to believe that the core of my arguments are always assessment of the work, and my utilisation of quotes a function of extension, not subversion. Certainly, the political framework of your comment suggests that I have some sort of personal agenda, but Brandon and I are not opposing candidates for the same position. I achieve nothing by tearing him down, which is why I'm not trying to tear him down, but help him. Some of this I cannot talk about, some you already know--but everything I know has been made availliable to Brandon, at his unsolicited request.

 

I may be too passionate at times. I concede that element of your comment. But I mean well, by Brandon and by the Wheel.

 

Jordan left behind an incredibly complicated series. It would take a miracle worker to capture every detail. Sanderson has stumbled in some cases, but the expectations some fans have would require Sanderson to lock himself up in tower with the series and Jordan's notes for ten years to meditate in the hopes of reaching some type of enlightened state before committing himself to writing.

 

This I disagree with, rather strongly. Firstly because it's a weak argument--by suggesting that the people offering the criticisms had unrealistic ideas about what should have been produced from the beginning you inherently invalidate their criticism of what WAS produced, and all without actually having to address the validacy of their actual comments.

 

The second reason I disagree with this, and the reason I disagree with it so strongly, is that this sort of logic tacitly agrees that Brandon is not a good writer. Oh, not intentionally, invariably those that make it believe they have protected Brandon out of respect--both for him and the difficulties that he is facing in completing Jordan's work--but the fact is they never follow the thought through to its inevitable end, which is that if we allow ourselves to go past forgiving him from not BEING Jordan to forgiving him for all flaws BECAUSE he is not Jordan, we are in fact saying that we both never expected him to do a good job on the Wheel, and that there is no low to which he could sink which would surprise us simply because we were never expecting quality from him in the first place. He brought us plot gratification, and that, folks, is surely enough.

 

Brandon is not Jordan. He is not as good a writer as Jordan was. But that does not mean he is not, or cannot be, a good writer. Blanketing his work with pre-emptive forgiveness for any flaws based on him not being Jordan is EVERY BIT as unfair to him as a writer as expecting him to be Jordan from the outset.

 

I don't expect him to be Jordan. I do expect him to be a good writer, in his own way. I think anything less than both of those beliefs from the fans is insulting to him.

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The difference between good enough to be readable and good enough to be obsessed over for decades is the problem. For the vast majority of people who read WoT, BS's work is good enough to finish the series, just name recognition will guarantee it a place in the Times best sellers, if not number one. For the people who come to places like here, people who have taken significant time out of their lives to think about WoT, the prose and subtleties are what make the series readable after the tenth time.

 

I love the series, I have read it many times. I enjoy the last few books, but I believe I am in the minority of obsessive fans who enjoy it for the plot rather than anything else. Of the people I know RL who read WoT, seven of the eleven gave up on it during the gap between books eight and nine, because they couldn't see it going anywhere. They weren't obsessive, they read it for a good story and when the story became so convoluted they couldn't see an end they gave up. When it is finished I will convince them to read it just so I can discuss it with them, but for now they have washed their hands of it. I believe they will think BS's books are some of the best in the series, because things actually happen.

 

But BS isn't at the Tolkien, Shakespere, other author who is a must read if you know how to speak English level. If RJ had of finished the WoT it would of been along the lines of War and Peace, something everyone says you have to read but is too long for most people to do so. With BS finishing it, it is still one of the greatest fantasy epics written, but it isn't really something that will get a lot of traction outside of fantasy circles.

 

But I still love it, I love spoilers in most cases too because I much rather knowing what is happening and watching people get to that critical turning point. I am in the minority of most Internet nerds, I know.

 

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The ripples perrin feels match up with rand's mega balefire.

 

Not sure what you mean when you say they match? IIRC Rand balefired Natrins Barrow well over a month after the ripples.

i was under the impression that perrin was ahead in the timelines. There is enough time for him to save faile, and meet the whitecloaks before Tam is taken and he sees VoG in TAR. There is not much timeline progression for perrin in TGS because he is ahead already. When rand uses mega balefire, perrin who was closer than anyone who commented on it felt nothing in the BS books. That is because he already felt it. The slight differences in description is the difference in the authors or distance from the balefire.

 

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