Jump to content

DRAGONMOUNT

A WHEEL OF TIME COMMUNITY

Things Brandon Sanderson did better than Robert Jordan


Recommended Posts

Feel free to provide your examples. Ever since LoC the series was progressively growing impossible to read, with longer and longer sequences devoted in excruciating detail to characters basically sitting around doing nothing but reminisce, worry, bicker, and go into annoying hyperbole. Why was it necessary to extend Perrin's Faile rescue over 4 books? Why did we have to read nonsensical sequences with Elaine meeting with every goddamn noble in the kingdom and take three-chapter-long baths? Matt bickering with Tuon, random generals moving their troops through random locations and thinking about their grandmother's stew, every single appearance of Valan Luca - how could anyone possibly think that these things needed to be put into the books?

 

Thankfully, Brandon Sanderson mostly fixed these issues. Sanderson's Rand doesn't JUST drive himself crazy with depression and suppressed emotions - he makes these elements an organic part of the story which affect Rand's judgment, performance, and success. RJ's Rand was worrying about his messiah status almost since book one, but it wasn't until BS took over that this plot element gained a measure of reality.

 

Rand does a great number of things in TGS. We are introduced to him mucking about in his manor and pretending not to care about his lost hand, but things change pretty quickly. His irrational prohibition against killing of torturing Semirage leads to complete disaster which causes him to snap beyond any level of stress endured up to that point. After this, it's a downward spiral of failures as his allies and potential allies are uniformly repulsed by the amount of vileness he exudes, leading to near-total psychosis and his eventual catharsis + retribution.

 

This was a good plotline to follow, and it paid off in the end. RJ never did anything like this with any of his characters. For all of BS' notorious flat delivery, his characters feel more like people and less like carved dolls the author plays with at his leisure.

 

 

Comments of the sort "How dare anyone compare this lowly hack to Lord Robert Jordan" are preemptively shamed.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Replies 127
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

every single appearance of Valan Luca - how could anyone possibly think that these things needed to be put into the books?

 

Obviously you have never read any of Felix Pax's theories on the one true Dragon, Valan Luca himself. :wink:

 

No but seriously great post (for all that it holds some obvious exaggerations) and I see what you did here. Looking forward to diving back in with detail after work when I have time.

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, what BS did in last two books shows his strongest skill - tell a complete story without making it unnaturally forced or choppy. Say what you want but Brandon has an uncanny ability to get to the point without loosing hold on the reader (something that many authors lack these days b/c for some reason it seems more and more the "quality" is judged by length of the story and not by its overall point).

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
Inflammatory and off topic
Link to post
Share on other sites

I do think that Sanderson's pacing was excellent. I also like the way that there was like 95% less exposition; for example, the prolouge of ToM (the "apples first" chapter) was a brilliant example of "show, not tell"; in just a few pages, we were able to see how much Rand had changed, and how he is warps the pattern around him in a "positive" way instead of a negitive way like he did in TGS or a neutral and balanced way like he did for the rest of the series. Sanderson didn't need a lot of exposition to explain that to us, he just showed us and let us figure it out. He did that a lot; he tends to just assume his audience is intellegent enough to pick on what is going on without spelling out every detail multiple times, and it's nice.

Link to post
Share on other sites

He did that a lot; he tends to just assume his audience is intellegent enough to pick on what is going on without spelling out every detail multiple times, and it's nice.

In my opinion Brandon through these two books has ramped up "tell don't show" to unbelievable levels. There are far too many scenes in which people constantly announce intentions or spell out thoughts in great detail. That is one of his biggest flaws as an author, the need to constantly hold our hands in spelling things out and a lack of subtlety.

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites

I've only read TGS and TOM once each, and I read them when they were released and hadn't read any WoT since KoD was released. I found them both to be gripping books that continued the story well. As is well documented Mat was off in TGS and I didn't like the timeline issues with Perrin in ToM, but they were minor annoyances and overall I was very happy with the job Brandon did.

 

I'm on KoD now in my pre aMoL re-read, so we'll see how I find reading them in direct succession with the the Jordan books.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Feel free to provide your examples. Ever since LoC the series was progressively growing impossible to read, with longer and longer sequences devoted in excruciating detail to characters basically sitting around doing nothing but reminisce, worry, bicker, and go into annoying hyperbole. Why was it necessary to extend Perrin's Faile rescue over 4 books? Why did we have to read nonsensical sequences with Elaine meeting with every goddamn noble in the kingdom and take three-chapter-long baths? Matt bickering with Tuon, random generals moving their troops through random locations and thinking about their grandmother's stew, every single appearance of Valan Luca - how could anyone possibly think that these things needed to be put into the books?

 

Thankfully, Brandon Sanderson mostly fixed these issues. Sanderson's Rand doesn't JUST drive himself crazy with depression and suppressed emotions - he makes these elements an organic part of the story which affect Rand's judgment, performance, and success. RJ's Rand was worrying about his messiah status almost since book one, but it wasn't until BS took over that this plot element gained a measure of reality.

 

Rand does a great number of things in TGS. We are introduced to him mucking about in his manor and pretending not to care about his lost hand, but things change pretty quickly. His irrational prohibition against killing of torturing Semirage leads to complete disaster which causes him to snap beyond any level of stress endured up to that point. After this, it's a downward spiral of failures as his allies and potential allies are uniformly repulsed by the amount of vileness he exudes, leading to near-total psychosis and his eventual catharsis + retribution.

 

This was a good plotline to follow, and it paid off in the end. RJ never did anything like this with any of his characters. For all of BS' notorious flat delivery, his characters feel more like people and less like carved dolls the author plays with at his leisure.

 

 

Comments of the sort "How dare anyone compare this lowly hack to Lord Robert Jordan" are preemptively shamed.

So is this thread about things Sanderson does well or things Jordan did that were annoying? I mean, I agree with just about everything in your first paragraph, but I don't see how Jordan's faults make Sanderson's writing better.

 

Insofar as criticisms about the structure of the story are concerned, I'm not sure how we could compare the two. It doesn't seem like BS would have been prone to meander off into digressions of the kind you mention, but even if he were, it's extremely unlikely that Team Jordan would have approved a bunch of books that just piddled around with no plot advancement. My point is that since he wasn't responsible for the conception of major story structure( total plot direction across his multiple books) the way that Jordan was there's really nothing to compare. This is not to take away from the fact that when Jordan did digress in such a way it was irritating, but you can't give BS points for something he couldn't have done if he'd wanted to. For better or worse, RJ wanted those books in the series that contained all that boring stuff you mentioned. If he'd passed before they were done and left notes about them, then we might have had BS writing COT. I doubt it would have been better. The two men had different jobs to do. We have to remember that BS is coming in on the climax of the whole series. He gets to write a lot of exciting stuff no matter what.

 

I'd agree that I loved Rand in TGS, and that the build up to and culmination in Veins of Gold was great. That's the best thing I've read by BS so far - assuming he wrote this, of course. His Lan has also been pretty alright with me so far. I don't know how much of the Ituralde stuff in TOM he wrote, but I thought that was exciting and fluid. Post-TGS Rand I do not like very much. I don't see any Rand in him, despite his protestations to the contrary. And I find it a little too heavy with the religious imagery, which I have nothing against other than feeling bored with it as this kind of literary tool.

 

I really do think BS gets WOT, but being able to write it is much more difficult.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Within the Wheel of Time, it's hard for me to pick any areas where Brandon is better than Jordan (though if we were to broaden the discussion to all of Brandon's works there are some strengths I could highlight). What I do like is how Sanderson's characters sit down and discuss things. He overdoes it a bit in The Wheel of Time, but it always felt unnatural how little characters talked things through under Jordan. The lack of communication seemed as if it was done to keep things convenient. That's not to say I expect characters to talk about everything under the sun. People have secrets, things they're ashamed of, things they forget, etc . . .

Link to post
Share on other sites

That's true. Some of the lack of communication did seem a little too deliberate at times. It made things more realistic, but it could easily flip and work to the opposite effect too.

Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to think of any area in WoT where BS has shown himself to be superior to RJ. In terms of prose, he is a far less polished writer, and would admit as much himself. He is far more inclined to blunt exposition - a problem that manifests in his own work as well. He seems to feel a need to explain things to the audience, even in the thoughts of his characters at times when it doesn't make a lot of sense for them to think like that. He much prefers to tell than show. In terms of characterisation, both in his own works and in WoT he doesn't match up. If we compare his output as a whole, he has produced some good characters, but his works tend to feature fewer characters - and he has stuggled, even with those reduced casts, to find something for everyone to do (some of the crew in the Mistborn books suffer this problem - he says in the annotations that he tried to give each of them at least one scene. No-one gets forgotten, but some people do really only get to shine in one or two scenes for the entire book). Compare that with RJ, and we have a much larger cast of characters, and many of those characters are more developed than the BS equivalents would be. If BS had written the entire series, a lot of the more minor characters we enjoy would likely be shoved even further into the background - speaking roles becoming extras, roles being merged, a less populated world of more flat people. That said, there are some characters who he does do very well, where he has clearly been able to identify exactly what makes them tick, to find their voice and help them shine - in some cases, allowing them to shine brighter than they did under RJ. So, while he might be weaker across the board, he can write some characters very well.

 

In terms of plot work, well. He is a bit hit and miss. Take, for example, the BA Hunters - a plotline set up by RJ, but one that ended up going nowhere. Granted, the end of the plotline involved Verin and her book of secrets, but there was still potential for the Hunters, and that potential never emerged. RJ gave BS an A and a B, and BS just had to find the way from the one to the other, and there are a few places where he seemed to think that the best way was the most direct, leaving us with blunt and somewhat unsatisfactory plotwork. He gives us padding, often in the form of scenes which don't end up adding anything to the books. What was the point of Hinderstap? Compare this to RJ's problem of simply padding scenes that have a reason to be there. It's like RJ went out and bought an overly elaborate suit, with far too much detailing, ornate cufflinks to go with it, tailor made, and with an awful lot of lace, while Sanderson bought two much plainer suits, but never wore the second. RJ, in KoD already began the increase of the pace. Some people are very eager to give credit to BS for doing what was already being done. How would Sanderson have fared writing the middle books? Frankly, I doubt they would be furiously paced. He has shown that he can have issues with pace as well, and he doesn't have a series anywhere like as sprawling and vast. He has written his two (so far) books as stories in their own right - something which RJ tended to do as well with the earlier (and generally better received) volumes in the series, so that's not a bad choice. It made TGS a very strong book - cutting someof Rand or Egwene's arcs and adding more Perrin and Mat would have diluted things. However, this has presented problems - the Two Tams in ToM is a notable one. BS doesn't have RJ's tight grip on the timelines. These problems could have been caught and sorted, and the fault doesn't lie entirely with Brandon, but it's a problem nonetheless. (Some of the problems with ToM do, to my mind, give some backing to RJ's stated reason for being against a split - he didn't think that he could split the book and produce two coherent books. Sure enough, we've had the coherent TGS, and the semi-coherent ToM.)

 

Now, let me be clear. Sanderson is not a hack, he is not untalented, or unskilled. Some of his flaws are things he can work on and improve. There are areas in which he performs admirably, he cuts back on some of RJ's favoured tics (at this juncture I will tug my braid, snort and would fold my hands beneath my breasts if I had any), although has a couple of his own (tempests for all!). But he doesn't truly outshine RJ in any area. His WoT is not as vivid and real, not as well characterised, not as well plotted, not as well written. At times he has acquitted himself well, at others he has fallen short of what he could do and left us with something rushed and somewhat disappointing. One can but hope he will learn the right lessons going forward, and that in the future he will produce something which is better than Robert Jordan. But thus far, he hasn't.

Link to post
Share on other sites

BS managed the impossible and allowed me to like Perrin (and even Faile, for which if I knew a word stronger than impossible I'd use it - although in both cases I'm using the word impossible in the way it's used in Mission Impossible, that is to say merely very very very very difficult.) again :)

 

He hasn't mentioned Valan Luca once yet (that I remember)

Link to post
Share on other sites

Rand does a great number of things in TGS. We are introduced to him mucking about in his manor and pretending not to care about his lost hand, but things change pretty quickly. His irrational prohibition against killing of torturing Semirage leads to complete disaster which causes him to snap beyond any level of stress endured up to that point. After this, it's a downward spiral of failures as his allies and potential allies are uniformly repulsed by the amount of vileness he exudes, leading to near-total psychosis and his eventual catharsis + retribution.

 

This was a good plotline to follow, and it paid off in the end. RJ never did anything like this with any of his characters.

 

Well, Rand is still RJ-s character. And he set the whole thing up. So that´s a pretty shaky claim. Rand plotline spans the entire series. All of their plotlines do.

 

For all of BS' notorious flat delivery, his characters feel more like people and less like carved dolls the author plays with at his leisure.

 

To be honest i see it quite the other way around. Sure, some storylines were a bit excessive. Not that i think they shouldn´t have been there, Just that they could have been resolved slightly faster. But those little slices of life and the stretched out storylines really gave you a chance to see through the characters eyes. They gave the world depth. They made the people feel like people. Well, i didn´t like Perrins extended emo period. I freakin love Perrin, but damn.

 

And isn´t that the point? Build up your world, characters etc and then move to the climax (even if the climax spans 3 books)? If it wasn´t for those, what some would call dragging and unnecessary, parts then the characters would be cardboard cutouts who no-one cares about.

 

Sanderson, i feel, is trying to force the characters into roles. They have been growing toward these roles through the series but they´ve always had these bits that don´t quite fit the mold. And i guess that in trying to write it the way, that he thought RJ would want it written, BS has been filing away those bits eventhough they are what give the characters depth.

 

Still great that the series is being finished. Thanks, Brandon.

 

what´s with Valan hate?

Edited by waffle
Link to post
Share on other sites

My biggest complement of Brandon is his cinematic scenes. I don't say he did it better than RJ, RJ went for a different approach, but I think that Brandon approaches action sequences with flair and it is a strength he possesses.

 

RJ was more a realist when it came to combat, so his action sequences are not as cinematic.

 

I appreciate both approaches, I am not saying Brandon did them better, just that he did them very well, in my opinion.

 

Unless it is a clear cut topic like prose or spelling or something, I don't want to say "better" because they took two different approaches that are not comparable in terms of quality. It is a matter of opinion.

 

I just think that Brandon does action scenes well, which may be his biggest strength for aMoL.

Link to post
Share on other sites

The single best thing about Brandon's authorship is he isn't RJ.

 

I like Robert Jordan and his writing. However, by the 3rd or 4th book, I was so sick and tired of reading the same paragraphs over and over again. I don't need the topless towers, or Morgase's throne room described for 3 paragraphs EVERY SINGLE TIME a character enters that room.

 

Brandon's writing may lack some of those details, but at least it moves you along the story. Details are great, but all those books could have been cut by 25% at least if RJ hadn't felt the need to describe everything, down to what color bugs were in the scene (an exaggeration, yes).

 

 

 

edit: It's morning, and I have a headache... can't even remember the B in BS is Brandon.

Edited by Koranis
Link to post
Share on other sites

Brian's writing may lack some of those details, but at least it moves you along the story.

 

Whose Brian? Is he doing some sort of fan fic somewhere? Whoever it is I'm sure it's easier for him to move things along simply based on where we are in the story arc.

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry Barid but he does not do battle scenes well. He does it like Elayne uses swear words without understanding what he is doing. Reading him you will never put your book down after a scne like Moir's story of mantheren or Dumai's well and take a deep breath after every reread so far I haven't don a single reread of BS books, but I dont think there is much to reread.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Though I don't know for certain that BS actually does this better than RJ, the major battle between Perrin & Slayer I thought was really awesome, and likely extremely different from how RJ would have done it. RJ wrote battle scenes from the POV of terror, as one who had been in war and lived through horrible times - BS wrote/writes battles scenes like someone who came of age when the Matrix came out. This isn't better or worse, but it was a really neat way to write that particular battle scene and I couldn't have seen RJ writing it that way.

 

Annnnd, that's honestly as far as I can goon this subject I think. :(

Edited by TankSpill
Link to post
Share on other sites

. RJ, in KoD already began the increase of the pace. Some people are very eager to give credit to BS for doing what was already being done. How would Sanderson have fared writing the middle books? Frankly, I doubt they would be furiously paced. He has shown that he can have issues with pace as well, and he doesn't have a series anywhere like as sprawling and vast.

 

This is a very important piece to consider. It will be interesting to see how Brandon fares in his own series when reaching a similar point.

 

As for the rest of your post that was a nice reasoned take and well said as always Mr Ares.

Link to post
Share on other sites
In terms of plot work, well. He is a bit hit and miss. Take, for example, the BA Hunters - a plotline set up by RJ, but one that ended up going nowhere. Granted, the end of the plotline involved Verin and her book of secrets, but there was still potential for the Hunters, and that potential never emerged. RJ gave BS an A and a B, and BS just had to find the way from the one to the other, and there are a few places where he seemed to think that the best way was the most direct, leaving us with blunt and somewhat unsatisfactory plotwork. He gives us padding, often in the form of scenes which don't end up adding anything to the books. What was the point of Hinderstap? Compare this to RJ's problem of simply padding scenes that have a reason to be there. It's like RJ went out and bought an overly elaborate suit, with far too much detailing, ornate cufflinks to go with it, tailor made, and with an awful lot of lace, while Sanderson bought two much plainer suits, but never wore the second.

 

In my opinion it's been clear for over a decade that much of the content that went into books 8-10(and 11, for all it's praise is little more then a clean up effort) was over indulgence from a writer who was popular enough to get away with it.

 

There is a reason why you go back and read interviews and Q&A's and Jordan is constantly saying that the series is just going to be a few more books. Not to say that I think anything remotely similar to what became WoT could have been done in Jordan's very early estimates of just 5 or 6 books, there's a lot of room between plot outlines and what the story ultimately needs. However, when you look at TGS and TOM it's striking just how much better it fits thematically with the early books in the series then does books 8-11.

 

Quite simply, Jordan wasn't giving us what we came to see. No one reas tEotW expecting or hoping to see a multi-book arc of Elayne squabbling with Andoran nobles or Perrin doing not much. Or mysteries about the too young sitters, black ajah hunters, the vileness, the agony of reading virtually any Sea Folk section, and the list goes on and on.

 

I don't really find the argument convincing that Brandon replaced Jordan's questionable content with his own. I suppose we'd have to do a detailed comparison of content but Brandon is generally focused like a laser beam on Rand and Egwene's story in TGS, and not much less so for Perrin and Mat in TOM. Arguing the few times where Brandon may have stuck in a not entirely necessary passage in comparison to Jordan's literary diareahea that constitute large parts of 3-4 books seems like a cop out.

 

Brandon has written 3 books and nearly a million words off an outline that Jordan claimed/promised could be finished in one book and done so in a way which is often complained in itself to be too truncated(I myself would argue that it has been in some cases). To argue that Brandon should have dealt more fully with these superfluous, unnecessary, and indulgent loose ends that Jordan built up over the books because....you know....Hindersnap!....seems unfair.

 

 

 

RJ, in KoD already began the increase of the pace. Some people are very eager to give credit to BS for doing what was already being done. How would Sanderson have fared writing the middle books? Frankly, I doubt they would be furiously paced.

 

I have said myself that I think Brandon is much better suited to finish the series then he would have been to take it over, say, about halfway through. There's no doubt Brandon doesn't have a knack for intricate plot that Jordan did(few do) but I think there is more then a little revisionist history here.

 

I have been away from Dragonmount for a time, and coming back I have been surprised in the change in opinion on Sanderson, but also Jordan. It amuses to think that Jordan, if he is in heaven, must be gratified that his memory has indeed turned to legend....and in under a decade!

 

Mainly, while I like it, I think KoD is often over rated simply because it came after three books that had such flaws. KoD is no TSR or LoC...it just feels that way after an interval of nearly a decade and several flawed books. I mean, when you consider that book 8 and 10 themselves had virtually no stand alone climax as individual entries the double whammy endings in KoD of two main storylines must be great....right?! Well, that is dulled somewhat by the fact that they were the climaxes to two largely unneeded storylines that hardly anyone cared about all that much to begin with.

 

I think Jordan himself showed how much he had boxed himself into a corner over the years(as if increasingly less relevant content in overall shorter books released in longer and longer intervals wasn't enough to show that) with a few of his plot devices in KoD. Lan's decision to up and abandon Nyn in favor of suicide in the Blight shows as much sloppy "cut to the chase" writing as anything Brandon has done imho. It's about as thin an excuse for getting a character where he needs to be as the entire series has had.

 

 

 

He has shown that he can have issues with pace as well, and he doesn't have a series anywhere like as sprawling and vast. He has written his two (so far) books as stories in their own right - something which RJ tended to do as well with the earlier (and generally better received) volumes in the series, so that's not a bad choice. It made TGS a very strong book - cutting someof Rand or Egwene's arcs and adding more Perrin and Mat would have diluted things. However, this has presented problems - the Two Tams in ToM is a notable one. BS doesn't have RJ's tight grip on the timelines. These problems could have been caught and sorted, and the fault doesn't lie entirely with Brandon, but it's a problem nonetheless. (Some of the problems with ToM do, to my mind, give some backing to RJ's stated reason for being against a split - he didn't think that he could split the book and produce two coherent books. Sure enough, we've had the coherent TGS, and the semi-coherent ToM.)

 

Well I can't disagree with anything you say, here.

 

I wonder, has there been any discussion at all of restructuring Brandon's trilogy into a single volume somewhere down the line? I am sure it's unlikely, but some kind of special edition that manages to fit all 900,000 odd words along with restructuring the chronology of the scenes into a more coherent, digestible sequence would be amazing.

 

I think due to the reality of the situation at the time, there was pretty much no alternative to the split, and I don't really blame anyone for it, but there's no doubt it hurts the narrative. Not just dueling Tams, but also how a combination and intermingling of scenes within the same volume of, for instance, Rand and Perrin's meetup on Dragonmount could have been so much more powerful then they turned out to be with a real world year and hundreds of pages separating them.

 

 

 

Now, let me be clear. Sanderson is not a hack, he is not untalented, or unskilled. Some of his flaws are things he can work on and improve. There are areas in which he performs admirably, he cuts back on some of RJ's favoured tics (at this juncture I will tug my braid, snort and would fold my hands beneath my breasts if I had any), although has a couple of his own (tempests for all!). But he doesn't truly outshine RJ in any area. His WoT is not as vivid and real, not as well characterised, not as well plotted, not as well written. At times he has acquitted himself well, at others he has fallen short of what he could do and left us with something rushed and somewhat disappointing. One can but hope he will learn the right lessons going forward, and that in the future he will produce something which is better than Robert Jordan. But thus far, he hasn't.

 

I think his pacing is better then the later Jordan novels. For all his bluntness, I still think his writing of characters gives them a more personable, textured quality then Jordan's at times. Where others see great characterization from Jordan, I see characters whose inner workings are often overshadowed by overly descriptive prose and whose actions and thoughts are often given no depth beyond what the next plot point insists of them.

 

You could say he was also better at severing ties to the minutia of the series and cutting to the chase. For all the complaining about Brandon's books not being as rereadable or intricate as Jordan's(not entirely unjustified, but also not quite fair) I have never seen anyone explain how Jordan's supposed one remaining volume would have been possible when it took Sanderson 4 years, 3 books, and almost a million words to do it. It's easy to overlook this quality now that the final book is 2 months away, but I think it's worth considering.

 

Quite frankly, Jordan never gave a realistic estimate of when the series would end. Ever. And reasoning such as "but KoD was marginally better" does nothing to change the fact that his estimate of one more book was never going to happen. When you compare Brandon's 3 novels in about 4 years at nearly a million words to Jordan's pace starting with aCoS it becomes clear just how much of a problem Jordan's pace was.

 

Jordan released 5 novels in a row that each took 2 years and change in between. All of them other then KoD were shorter then any of Brandon's trilogy, aPoD and WH being significantly so. Even being generous and including the time that it took to pick Brandon and allow him to become up to speed on the series before he ever wrote a word of the series AND granting that Jordan would have ended the series in the same amount of words that Brandon did(which he almost certainly wouldn't have....maybe even couldn't have) that means Jordan probably would have needed four more books to Brandon's three(going by word count) and even if you reject that and accept Jordan's claim of one more book it means about 8 years to finish the volume. Unless Jordan magically started pumping out content quicker....even KoD took 2 years.

Link to post
Share on other sites

For all the complaining about Brandon's books not being as rereadable or intricate as Jordan's(not entirely unjustified, but also not quite fair) I have never seen anyone explain how Jordan's supposed one remaining volume would have been possible when it took Sanderson 4 years, 3 books, and almost a million words to do it. It's easy to overlook this quality now that the final book is 2 months away, but I think it's worth considering.

 

This one is easy IMO. There is a large amount of filler in TGS and ToM. You could quite literally cut away whole sections without having to rewrite a thing(as opposed to places in WH-CoT that still held vital info and foreshadowing). The pace of KoD is easily equal to the two Sanderson books so not sure why you woul dreference it as being only a slight improvement. I started a thread about this but I believe given the repitition and filler we have seen from Brandon, RJ could have finished in 1 more book broken into 2 WH sized volumes.

 

Let me be clear, I am not one of these people that thinks RJ is some master. His work doesn't hold up outside of genre and even in, there are many I rate above him. Fantasy has taken a step up with authors such as Bakker in recent times and looking back EotW can almost seem quaint in comparison.

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites

Please keep this positive. This thread is about what people think Brandon did better, not how terrible he is.

 

Shrug. It's a thread for two way dialogue on the topic of what Brandon does better. If a mod thinks it inapropriate they will say something. In addition it is pretty obvious what Lummox did here(although still a clever statement), your claim is somewhat odd given the wording in the first post that quite clearly show the OP is talking positives/negatives.

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites
This one is easy. There is a shocking amouunt of filler in TGS and ToM. You could quite literally cut away whole sections without havin to rewrite a thing(as opposed to places in WH-CoT that still held vital info and foreshadowing). The pace of KoD is easily equal to the two Sanderson books so not sure why you woul dreference it as being only a slight improvement. I started a thread about this but I believe given the repitition and filler we have seen from Brandon, RJ could have finished in 1 more book broken into 2 WH sized volumes.

 

I suppose we will just have to agree to disagree. We'll never know for sure what he would or could have done, but I find your confidence that Jordan could have finished the series in 450,000 words to be baffling. You're obviously a very intelligent and well informed person on the series, but I can't see how anyone who spent years waiting for WH or CoT can read your last line without doing a spit take.

 

Crossroads of Twilight barely managed to move the timeline ahead two weeks in 270,000 words! There's so much payoff in TGS and TOM for the main characters, without even taking into account aMoL I don't see how anyone wraps that up in a book not much longer then The Shadow Rising, much less Robert "Lemme Tell You About Her Dress" Jordan.

 

Also, I guess I should have been more clear. My criticism of KoD was mainly in it's content, and it's being viewed more favorably then I think it should be probably because of it's place in the series. Hell, I like the book a lot, too. I agree that it's pacing was stepped up(I wouldn't put it at the level of Brandon's books or 1-4...but would consider it close enough to not be worth arguing about). Indeed, that's why I pointed out that Jordan himself, with his intimate knowledge of his own universe and meticulous writing style, seemed to be cutting to the chase.

 

I just find it naive to take it for granted that KoD is proof that Jordan could have returned to the pacing and content of books 4-6(and honestly, encompassing TGS-aMoL in one 450,000 volume would top even the stuff Jordan did at his best). Even with all other things being equal, the plot had turned into a Gordian Knot of complexity that no one was going to finish in under 1,000,000 words without cutting through some of the minutia and detail.

 

Is there a thread where this filler in TGS and ToM is discussed? I am kinda surprised to hear that. The only stuff that I recall kind of wishing he had cut was stuff that was probably too integral to the outline to just cut(everything to do with Gawyn, I'm looking in your direction).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I just find it naive to take it for granted that KoD is proof that Jordan could have returned to the pacing and content of books 4-6(and honestly, encompassing TGS-aMoL in one 450,000 volume would top even the stuff Jordan did at his best). Even with all other things being equal, the plot had turned into a Gordian Knot of complexity that no one was going to finish in under 1,000,000 words without cutting through some of the minutia and detail.

 

Yeah you make some great points over all bale, as I said above though I believe it will be an interesting exercise to look at Brandon's series when he hits that late/middle spot that threw things off. I mean if we had judged things at TFoH we would have said pace was one of RJ's strongest points. For me we really don't know how Brandon will do in a similar situation until we get there in Stormlight. We are quite simply in far too different a place in the story arc to draw any legitimate comparisons between the two on this mark.

 

Is there a thread where this filler in TGS and ToM is discussed? I am kinda surprised to hear that. The only stuff that I recall kind of wishing he had cut was stuff that was probably too integral to the outline to just cut(everything to do with Gawyn, I'm looking in your direction).

 

Interesting that you brought up Gawyn as that was one of the examples...

 

Dom

It's appalling how many POVs and pages Brandon has needed to write that story. Typically, we might have gotten one Gawyn shortish POV in Dorlan (typically prologue stuff) where he learned Egwene's captive, and he is thorn, and then nothing until suddenly he interrupted a Siuan/Bryne scene with a sudden arrival, his growing frustration mentionned only via observations of Siuan from then on (we didn't need a Lelaine scene making completely irrelevant and stupid inquiries about orchards in Andor (!) we just needed a reference by Siuan that Lelaine was manipulating Gawyn, until as a last resort Siuan went to him for the rescue. For the rest, we needed one confrontation with Egwene, and one conversation with Elayne or Bryne or Siuan, not three scenes of the same whining and self-pity, with each of them in turn...

 

Unfortunately the thread got locked. As with many issues on these topic people don't seem to be able to carry on a rational discourse without flying in to attack. It's unfortunate as contrasting two authors was one of my favorie things to do at university and I think it is a fascinating topic.

Edited by Suttree
Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...