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How does Brandon Sanderson do in emulating Rober Jordan


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Personally, I think Brandon does a better job than he often credited for amongst the hard core fans. No one can replace Robert Jordan, whose world building, character development, plot weaving, and prose are all at least 9.5 on a 10 point scale. I feel that Brandon (along with Team Jordan) has a good grasp on the spirit of the series. I think he is good at writing big scenes are are memorable and dramatic and fit the narrative. For all the judgements on his skills in understanding certain characters, he makes some better (Perrin, and I would say, Nynaeve too) as well.

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The problem to me being that's where it stalled out. I haven't read TWoK mind so someone can step in If there was a good deal of progress made there.

 

WoK is much, much better writing than Mistborn. You can see the influence of writing WoT. It is vastly improved, although still has problems. The problems in WoT are actually less prevalent in WoK, probably because it is his own story, he can be a lot more confident writing -without having to step twice because a mob of WoT-freaks will scrutinize the book. :tongue:

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Re: chongjasmine

 

Keep in mind that Elantris is Brandon's first published work, so if you want to test more refined version of his writing, check out Mistborn or the Stormlight Archive.

 

Indeed. There is a definate evolution in skill between Elantris and the Mistborn Trilogy.

 

I will be reading Mistborn after I am done with Elantris and Warbreaker.

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I guess I never expected BS to match RJ. When RJ passed, (nearly) all that was RJ went with him. Yes, there were notes and some chapters/passages that were already written by RJ, but no one would ever tell the WoT story the same way that RJ did.

 

To me, the writing style of BS doesn't matter. I never needed it to. I am just happy that someone was willing to finish telling the story.

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As author switches go, Sanderson is doing an admirable job. He doesn't really handle Mat very well in TGS, but that irons itself out a bit by the time ToM rolls around. Given the horror stories some other series have experienced after the author passes away, I'm satisfied with this - but I would have loved to see how Jordan would have handled the final book(s). I'm sure all of us would say that, though.

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As someone who's both read and listened to the books, it is much less noticeable in the audiobooks. The readers do such a good job inflecting their voices that I feel that the feel much more true to how they've always been with RJ writing.

 

Really, the only things that have felt out of place at all to me is Mat in TGS and only certain parts.

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Overall he does a good job, and his two contributions thus far are great additions to the series. A couple things to be careful if:

 

- Tempests - they're everywhere.

- He froze. She hesitated.

- Initial pronoun droppage.

- Mat losing some subtlety.

 

That said my complaints are minor and I'm glad he's finishing the series.

He also likes the word "awesome", RJ never used this word but Sanderson seems to like it very much

- the awesome euphoria

- awesome, burning intensity

- an awesome, almost overpowering, torrent of power

- awesome display of Power

- awesome force of Trollocs

- a blow of awesome force

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I really like Sanderson's writing! In my opinion he shuffels from characters faster than Jordan, who tended to get stuck in characters. But I havent read anything by Sanderson outside of WoT so I can't say if his writing style is like this or he is trying to make us Wheel of Time fans freak out by changing to much.

 

I also like how Sanderson keeps up with Jordan writing style in descriptions and feelings of enviroment and character!

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I, unlike pretty much everyone here, picked up the WoT series because I heard Sanderson was finishing it, so I have a completely different experience. So here I am, a week after my first reading of the series, posting on a forum I never would have imagined visiting a year ago.

 

To me BS has a much more conversational way of writing which is inviting to the reader. His words have a way of flowing off the pages into a mental vision and a true sense of excitement. You might consider it theatrical in a way. The flow of his books tends to have big scenes connected by quickly paced story building and world development. The way I see it he gives me enough detail to see the sketch, but allows my own imagination to build the rest. You might consider this amateur writing, but in my opinion it is beautiful because this style ultimately creates a more emotional and intimate story to the individual reader.

 

One reason I would argue that BS was a perfect choice for finishing WoT is that he doesn't need to go into incredible depths of detail because RJ spent 11 books doing that. I agree with some previous posters who mentioned that this isn't BS's story, and indeed he hasn't spent 15+ years developing it. The last thing I will say about BS is that he has put his heart and soul into finishing WoT. If you have read his blog posts and interviews you would know just how much he has worked to give you a great finale. Also to the person who never read the third Mistborn book, you have missed the entire beauty of that trilogy by neglecting the ending.

 

To tell you the truth I was a little disappointed with some of RJ's writing in WoT. As the flames and hate mail fly my way I will say I'm not calling him a bad writer. My expectations were fairly high in starting the series and I did love the story and world from the beginning. Where I was disappointed was in the readability and excitement. There were many points where I was simply scanning pages of text to find the next segment of the ongoing dialog. The detail was nice, but like I mentioned with BS I don't always need so much of it because I like to imagine my own version of the world (to an extent). The level of nuance was intense and often too deep for casual reading. I can definitely appreciate this nuance in re-reads, but I think something gets lost for a person who simply wants to read it once.

 

So for everyone who wants to critique BS I just say:

Be thankful you got a great upcoming writer who has been a fan since the beginning and who wants nothing more than to give justice to RJ's vision. He certainly doesn't have the exact same refinement or style, but he is doing better than pretty much anyone else I can think of.

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I can sum it up simply.

 

Sanderson's positive contributions to the series far out weigh his negative ones.

 

I very much appreciate his efforts and love for the series. I very much appreciate his openness with the fans as he continued the series. He himself has stated that there was no way he could duplicate RJ. And, no one else should have expected him too. It is unfair to do so.

 

I believe though, that he has improved considerably as a writer just by being involved in the project. His first book in the Stormlight series is a masterpiece in my opinion. I don't think it would have been without his work on WOT.

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I can sum it up simply.

 

Sanderson's positive contributions to the series far out weigh his negative ones.

 

I very much appreciate his efforts and love for the series. I very much appreciate his openness with the fans as he continued the series. He himself has stated that there was no way he could duplicate RJ. And, no one else should have expected him too. It is unfair to do so.

 

I believe though, that he has improved considerably as a writer just by being involved in the project. His first book in the Stormlight series is a masterpiece in my opinion. I don't think it would have been without his work on WOT.

 

Unfortunately the bolded is very much open for debate. We have two installments in the WoT that offer almost zero rereadibility at this point. Unpolished prose, lowest commen denominator plotwork and poor characterization rear their heads all two often. All of that without getting into the numerous mistakes and continuity errors that Team Jordan have admitted exist. No one expects Brandon to write as good as RJ, we do how ever expect him to write as good as Brandon can and that most certainly hasn't been the case. The verdict is still out in regards to his legacy in relation to the WoT.

 

As an aside I am interested to hear how you think he has grown as an author? Most say he stalled out after the first two Mistborn books and the initial praise of TGS(based on intitial fan gratification as the sentiment as shifted hugely sense) hurt him in the long run. Perhaps if fans had offered a more reasoned critique from day one we would be in a different situation than we are now. I hope that AMoL is his best work yet as Team Jordan have owned up to mistakes and claimed they need to get this one "right". RJ deserves no less.

Edited by Suttree
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Has there been any word on what will be corrected in later editions of BS's books? Will there only be minor spelling/name/word corrections, or will there be bigger changes? I'm not talking about serious rewriting here, just the kind of corrections that the team can do itself without really affecting the prose.

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I can sum it up simply.

 

Sanderson's positive contributions to the series far out weigh his negative ones.

 

I very much appreciate his efforts and love for the series. I very much appreciate his openness with the fans as he continued the series. He himself has stated that there was no way he could duplicate RJ. And, no one else should have expected him too. It is unfair to do so.

 

I believe though, that he has improved considerably as a writer just by being involved in the project. His first book in the Stormlight series is a masterpiece in my opinion. I don't think it would have been without his work on WOT.

 

Unfortunately the bolded is very much open for debate. We have two installments in the WoT that offer almost zero rereadibility at this point. Unpolished prose, lowest commen denominator plotwork and poor characterization rear their heads all two often. All of that without getting into the numerous mistakes and continuity errors that Team Jordan have admitted exist. No one expects Brandon to write as good as RJ, we do how ever expect him to write as good as Brandon can and that most certainly hasn't been the case. The verdict is still out in regards to his legacy in relation to the WoT.

 

As an aside I am interested to hear how you think he has grown as an author? Most say he stalled out after the first two Mistborn books and the initial praise of TGS(based on intitial fan gratification as the sentiment as shifted hugely sense) hurt him in the long run. Perhaps if fans had offered a more reasoned critique from day one we would be in a different situation than we are now. I hope that AMoL is his best work yet as Team Jordan have owned up to mistakes and claimed they need to get this one "right". RJ deserves no less.

 

First bold. I had no problems reading the the WOT installments he wrote. Only thing that nagged me was Matt's character in the first book. The voice was wrong. I think many here, and I'm not knocking it, read WOT as though they read a history book studying for an exam. I do not do that. Read for pure enjoyment. And although I love complicated stories, I don't try and figure them out as I read them. I let the story come to me as it is paced in the book. So while I can understand that view point, I disagree in the unreadability claim. Nor have I found a majority to agree with that viewpoint as you insinuate.

 

Second bold. I found the Mistborn series entertaining. Not great works. I found Warbreaker somewhat entertaining, less than Mistborn. While he is great at creating unique magic systems, they don't enhance a story imo.

 

The Way of Kings is far and above any of his other work including his WOT additions. I think his work on WOT has influenced his prose in TWOK greatly. By having to pick up RJ's torch he has learned a great deal about writing. After reading TWOK and being thoroughly impressed with it I have great confidence that AMOL will be by far his best WOT work.

 

All that said, it's opinion. I'm just offering mine.

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The Way of Kings is far and above any of his other work including his WOT additions. I think his work on WOT has influenced his prose in TWOK greatly. By having to pick up RJ's torch he has learned a great deal about writing. After reading TWOK and being thoroughly impressed with it I have great confidence that AMOL will be by far his best WOT work.

 

All that said, it's opinion. I'm just offering mine.

 

That's good to hear actually. Its nice to hear about growth amidst some of the negative views on his work. Based on TGS and ToM I haven't given TWoK a shot but maybe ill pick it up. I truly hope you are correct about AMoL.

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My feelings on Brandon Sanderson's role in finishing the WoT are very conflicted. First, and foremost, I am very thankful that something is being done to ensure that the end of this epic series is told, something that I did not think was possible after Robert Jordan's death. I have never expected the new author's writing to perfectly match, or really equal, that of Robert Jordan. That being said, it is reasonable to expect a certain level of skill and continuity even when the series is continued by a different author. Brandon Sanderson has met some of those expectations, but failed in others.

 

In many ways, Brandon Sanderson's writing of Rand & Perrin actually somewhat revitalized the characters compared to Robert Jordan's most recent writing of those characters. I thought Brandon's portrayal of “Darth Rand” was very good, and really sent chills down my spine in some occasions. In contrast, I almost feel like Robert Jordan didn't know what to do with Rand in his final written books, as he seemed to appear less and less. In terms of Perrin, I think this is the character than Brandon writes best. Some of this is his already stated love of Perrin, but also I think a big boost comes just from the fact that Perrin's plot-line becomes more interesting. Perrin's black smithing scene in Towers of Midnight is one of my all time favorites throughout the entire series. Brandon's action sequences are written differently than Robert Jordan's, but still done fairly well, and are fitting with the epic nature of the ending that is coming in these last books.

 

However, the reason I first came back to the online WoT fanbases, most notably DM, was when I first read Mat's first PoV chapter in The Gathering Storm. In point of fact, I didn't even make it past the first three pages in his first chapter, On a Broken Road, before I put the book down, and logged on to see if other readers had noticed that Mat's voice seemed off. He went from a reluctant hero with a strong sense of responsibility coupled with an equally strong streak of mischievousness. And while he may not have been the most “well read” character, I never thought of him as uneducated, either. The new Mat seemed whiny instead of reluctant, and his mischievousness had gone from funny and clever to petty and immature. Mat has been my favorite character for much of the series, although the other two of the three ta'veren in the stories have never been far behind, and equal at times.

 

I will say that Brandon improved in his writing of Mat in Towers of Midnight. That is to say, except for his letter to Elayne. I suppose he could have written it this way as a joke, but it still seemed to make Mat much dumber than I had ever thought him to be. I almost felt affronted on Mat's behalf.

 

I will also admit that I have found re-reads of The Gathering Storm and Towers of Midnight less gratifying than those written by Robert Jordan. I have re-read most books in the series more than twenty times, and am continually finding new things in each re-read, from the fore-shadowing to being able to really see the subtle ways in which all of the characters change throughout the series; much of this is missing in Brandon's work. It took me many re-reads to really begin to understand when Rand started going insane, and see his gradual fall into full insanity. I know we are coming to the end of the series, and so some things must speed up in character development, but at times Brandon's writing seemed to be forcing these characters to change (most especially, I think, with Rand's turning from “Darth Rand” to “Rand Sedai”). This means there is not as much to gain with each re-read of his books, which subsequently makes them not as much fun to re-read.

 

All that being said, though, I am still very thankful for the job that Brandon Sanderson has done in finishing the Wheel of Time. I have found his books enjoyable, and to have met my expectations in most, if not all, instances. It appears that many of the errors that were in the first two of his books have been admitted by Team Jordan, and that work is being done to make A Memory of Light the truly epic and glorious ending that the Wheel of Time deserves. I look forward to A Memory of Light with bittersweet anticipation, for we finally get to see Tar'Mon Bloody Gaidin, but it also means the ending to this Turning of the Wheel, and while there are neither beginning nor endings to the Wheel of Time, we will get no further glimpses into Robert Jordan's vision of them.

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Brandon has his own style and he has done a terrific job so far.

 

The only complaint I have is about Mat, it just does not sound like Jordan's Mat. But replicating Jordan's Mat is a tall task.

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Brandon has his own style and he has done a terrific job so far.

 

The only complaint I have is about Mat, it just does not sound like Jordan's Mat. But replicating Jordan's Mat is a tall task.

 

Brandon is not very good at funny characters. I guess he favors serious ones such like Perrin and Egwene much more. The interesting thing is that though he was not able to improve Mat,Mat kinds of improved him. Wayne in The Alloy of Law was much better than his "funny" characters before. I guess that's what he'd learned from Jordan's Mat.

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If as an author you emulate another author "perfectly well" you put both your career and his legacy in

jeopardy.

 

Think about it, if you were Jordan and someone else was able to do exactly what you have

done, where would that leave you?

 

I think Sanderson has done an exceptionally good job. And I also think that as

the books progressed he got better at it.

 

We also need to keep in mind that it's not just Sanderson, I am guessing the whole team, editors and what not, may

have a more than usual hand in how the books come through. And then lets not forget Jordan's wife, Harriet Rigney.

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I certainly agree, Brandon should not be "blamed" for everything. Team Jordan ultimately call the shots.

 

One thing that should be noted perhaps is that RJ didn't necessarily disclose everything to Team Jordan. Several instances he surprised Harriet with content she had not known about.

 

Also, Team Jordan's opinions on certain things are not necessarily RJ's opinions. Each have their own individual opinions on various subjects, and are not omniscient in regards to this. They made the best decisions they could with the information they had.

 

I am not saying that I believe Team Jordan have failed in any way, nor do I suggest they have lied or inserted their own personal opinions on certain matters. My point is that Team Jordan are not perfect, just because they approved something, it doesn't necessarily mean that is how RJ would have liked it to be done.

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And I also think that as

the books progressed he got better at it.

 

Curious as to how you see ToM progressing from TGS? Most seem to think it was a hot mess and significant step backwards.

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In my opinion, BS writes as if his intended audience are younger people and I assume this is what you all mean when you say prose. To me that makes little difference because if the story is interesting I will read it.

 

I actually liked the BS books more that the previous two of RJs because "stuff" happened. I almost stopped reading because of the 18 books of "Elayne being pregnant and in her castle." Quite possibly the most annoying part of a story I have ever read and I hope BS and team decide to kill of some of the more annoying characters in the final book.

 

In any event, keep reading because you will be rewarded thoroughly and as someone else mentioned the audio books provide a pretty seemless transition between RJ and BS.

 

BTW, the Mat letter was hilarious. I LOL'ed

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Brandon has his own style and he has done a terrific job so far.

 

The only complaint I have is about Mat, it just does not sound like Jordan's Mat. But replicating Jordan's Mat is a tall task.

 

Brandon is not very good at funny characters. I guess he favors serious ones such like Perrin and Egwene much more. The interesting thing is that though he was not able to improve Mat,Mat kinds of improved him. Wayne in The Alloy of Law was much better than his "funny" characters before. I guess that's what he'd learned from Jordan's Mat.

 

I thought Wayne was hilarious and their interaction was excellent.

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Also, I think that some of the problem he has with Mat may be that Mat is a smooth, smartass ladies' man, very suave and cocky and what not, and BS himself is a big nerd. Not as an insult, he just is. I mean, he's a bookworm who plays Magic and stuff. That's about as un-Mat as possible. It has to be difficult to write a character that you can't relate to in any way. I think he does a good job, overall.

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Also, I think that some of the problem he has with Mat may be that Mat is a smooth, smartass ladies' man, very suave and cocky and what not, and BS himself is a big nerd. Not as an insult, he just is. I mean, he's a bookworm who plays Magic and stuff. That's about as un-Mat as possible. It has to be difficult to write a character that you can't relate to in any way. I think he does a good job, overall.

 

Agreed, he, especially in TGS, writes Mat almost as a sitcom character, which I didn't like (kind of ruined Mat for me). The biggest problem I see with BS is simply his writing of some of the interpersonal relations (just some) however, in most other aspects, his writing is excellent.

 

I do honestly think that Harriet could have made a much better choice to finish the series, In particular George R.R. Martin would probably have done the best job possible.

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