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Thisguy's Topic on Brandon's Work

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You've got to be kidding me?

 

Go tell your professor on a term paper on your boss on a report he has assigned you exactly what you just said to me regarding whose responsibility the verification process is and then get back to me. Talk to me like I'm your boss or teacher.

 

You've REALLY got to be kidding me with your post about Harriet. It doesn't matter WHO it was said to, my point - that was clearly made - was that HARRIET DEFENDED BRANDON AND SAID HE GOT MAT ''RIGHT.'' ... Caps used for emphasis, not anger ...what is really hilarious is your exact quote STRENGHTENED the poit I made, lol - so I thank you for that ;-)

 

The issue isn't where the remark was made - or to who - but that Harriet said it.

 

If you disagree with that - then serious problems exist.

 

Sorry, but you're off on a few points here, Fisher.

 

Burden of proof in any form of actual debate lies in the hands of the person making a claim. You're the one stating Harriet was defending Brandon, so burden of proof is on you to support that statement. (I don't actually disagree with your thought there, but fair is fair, and your interpretation of the situation is just that, how you read it, it's not 100% factual). Your arguement regarding a professor does not apply here, a professor is in a setting where he is teaching to others and trying to instill not only knowledge but also certain habits, doing their own research is part of that. This is not a classroom, this is a discussion forum where various people are debating various topics. The boss line also doesn't work, one because s/he is delegating to me, not discussing with me, two because ultimately verification is their responsibility if the report goes any higher than them, and three, in that type of scenario, you're the employee giving information to the boss, so again, burden would be on you.

 

If all you want to do is say your piece and leave it up to other people to do their homework and judge what you said, that's fine, but the point remains regarding burdens of proof.

 

To the specific point regarding what Harriet said about Mat, context is absolutely critical to it. Harriet telling the fans "Brandon got Mat Perfect" is a statement that is in Brandon's defense, read various ways depending on your feelings. Harriet telling Brandon to his face in private that he got Mat right is reassuring him. While both are "Defending" him in the sense of preventing a negative outlook, one is a pep talk type of issue with an individual, so no, if that's the quote you're building this thought on, she wasn't defending him, not in terms of defending him against us.

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I understand what you are saying, Kakita, and I appreciate much of it, but I think it is just a case of semantics. Should someone be able to back up some crucial claim of pertinent information? Of course - depending on the situation. My point is that I am not (nor does anyone) going to take the time to research and post the link to a source for every single thing I reference here. That's beyond ridiculous. One reason for that is that I can honestly say that anytime I post something it is **to the best of my knowledge at that time** correct. When I have made mistakes on this Board, Ihave never had a problem owning up to them. We all mistake things sometimes. If some noobie runs around spamming the Board with false statements, I am going to start needing sources on EVERYTHING they post therafter. If someone like Terez or Luckers (just as examples) post something, I am going to be more inclined to trust their post without needing validation from them. I like to think that since I have a history here of (for the most part - we all make mistakes now and then) being accurate in what I say, that leeway is given. I maintain though, that SOME responsibility is sometimes on the person challenging a point. You think Im wrong? Show me!

 

Whats funny is that the exact quote by Harriet actually strengthened the point I was making - in the CONTEXT of the conversation being had about Mat and Brandon and Harriet. Protection takes many forms. If said in public, it can be to protect from the lynchmobs. If in private, then it is to give reassurance, as you said. The point I originally made stays the same. When Harriet said that Brandon did a great job with Mat, she made a statement I disagree with and believe was said to protect him publicly and privately reassure him and pep him up.

 

Ok, enough about semantics (for me, at lease ;-)

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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A lot of food for thought in this thread, I appreciate the background I've learned here and all the different perspectives.

 

I'm another who thinks Sanderson hasn't done a great job and that it's legitimate to criticise him for it. I just didn't enjoy reading TGS and ToM the way I have other books in the series, and at times they were flat-out painful. Plot action isn't enough, a book needs to be well written for me to enjoy it. I think a lot of my frustration with the last two books in the series is because I, like so many others, can't understand how they're not better.

 

I thought that immersing yourself in the published and unpublished material would have had the atmosphere and characters flowing out of you, the details buzzing round in your brain demanding to be checked and matched up. But it didn't happen that way. So much was inconsistent and felt off in TGS and ToM compared to the previous books. And if the author can't or won't get those elements correct off their own bat, I thought the editorial team would use its influence and knowledge to make them come out right. But that hasn't happened, either. Even so, I could live with some inconsistencies of detail and a different interpretation of the characters if the prose flowed and the story had a life and depth to it beyond words on a page. But for me, that's exactly where Sanderson's talents fall short of Jordan's. His grasp of the craft of writing is nowhere near as good.

 

Another factor, it seems to me, is that Jordan had a story to tell which just happened to have a fantasy setting, while Sanderson self-consciously decided to write Fantasy. That being the case, there was always going to be a gap between their outputs, but overall I think it could have been very much narrower.

 

It can feel awful to be criticised over something as personal as writing, I know, so I don't say any of this lightly. But Sanderson put himself in this position by taking on the job.

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FWIW, I think the thing that bugs me most about Sanderson's writing is the fact that he completely skims over what could otherwise be great, memorable scenes. For example, when Sheriam is unmasked before the entire hall as black ajah. You'd think this would be a dramatic scene that you would want to read over and over. She was the second in command of the rebel Aes Sedai, a character in the story almost from the beginning, and a friend of some of the main protagonists. I wanted her reaction to be something memorable. Instead, Egwene quizzes her, she trips up (sorta) and then she asks with "sad eyes" who betrayed her. That's it. Basically her whole reaction to having her greatest secret revealed, career ruined and life effectively ended in front of her peers is to have sad eyes. She ought to have done or said *something* memorable. She could have denounced the hall as hypocrites given her worldview that the BA doesn't do anything that the regular Aes Sedai don't do, the BA just does it better. She could have laid into Egwene and called her a little chit who wouldn't be anything without Sheriam. Something. And what little drama there was in that scene was undercut by her entirely unnecessary POV as a black sister, so we knew what was coming. Really, there was nothing in her scene with Mesaana that we couldn't have done without. We could have learned she stole ter'angreal after she was taken into custody or what have you. She still could have admitted to meeting a Forsaken before she was executed. What was the point? Maybe we had to know that Sheriam was black before her official unmasking because Egwene reads the list of black sisters and wouldn't gloss over her own keeper. But then, having a Sheriam point of view undercut the drama of *that* scene. We should have felt Egwene's shock at seeing her keeper revealed. We shouldn't have just nodded our heads along and kept reading.

 

Ugh. I need to stop complaining...

 

I don't know enough about Brandon's other writings to know if what I perceive to be his faults in WOT are due to lack of ability or laziness. If it's lack of ability, I feel bad critiquing him. The fault in that case should be the people who chose him for the job. If it's laziness, though, he's broken his contract with the readers.

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I'm a long-time lurker, rare poster, but 17+ year WOT fan and re-reader. I come on here usually to find out the latest, get some insights, etc.

 

That being said, I've never even picked up another Sanderson piece of work and rarely read anything else in the entire genre. So bear that in mind when I say....

 

...

 

I find some of the arguments on here ridiculous and/or backwards. To pick some of the latest:

 

"Dreamshard" - I found this fit perfectly. It's a type of scene we've rarely encountered and even more rarely encountered from the narration of a forsaken or someone who was around when the knowledge to create such was commonplace. I see no reason that "Dreamshard" disrupted my reading - it was cool. It was formalizing the fact that a mixture of reality and tel'aran'rhiod could be created by someone and have others invited to join it. The precedent was there, but not the name.

 

"Dreadbane" - this to me was incredibly disruptive to the reading. Since tEotW we have a master gleeman/court bard traveling with a party of people routinely encountering and slaying fades. Mat, Perrin, Rand - lots of Fade slaying. Many other places too. Borderlanders kill Fades left and right (not typically in single-handed combat).

 

To ascribe a title, from the borderlands of all places, would be ridiculous. Every town would have 25-30+ "dreadbanes". The borderland nations would have thousands.

 

So, ok, MAYBE if the title had come up in book 2. Maybe if it had been an Andoran expression. Maybe then it wouldn't have been disruptive. But to treat is so sincerely, to whisper it, to say it twice...and to be such a cheesy title at that....I really did not like that. And the fact it took place in an absolutely awesome scene for Talmanes AND the band...

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I agree that the dreamshard thing didn't bother me too much. What bothers me about it is that I get the feeling it was a completely unncessary addition that was invented by BS when it didn't have to be at all. So I cringed at that realiziation.

 

The dreadbane was terrible and inexcusable. It has the feeling of "hmm....I need to real quick think of some cool name for a Fade slayer bc I already wrote in the pretext for it....hmmm let me think for 30 seconds...dreadbane...got it, lets go with it!"

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"Dreamshard" - I found this fit perfectly. It's a type of scene we've rarely encountered and even more rarely encountered from the narration of a forsaken or someone who was around when the knowledge to create such was commonplace. I see no reason that "Dreamshard" disrupted my reading - it was cool. It was formalizing the fact that a mixture of reality and tel'aran'rhiod could be created by someone and have others invited to join it. The precedent was there, but not the name.

 

Once you dive in to his work you'll understand a bit better why that one jars. All in all no biggie, just another Brandonism.

Edited by Suttree

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A friend of mine was so upset with Brandon's work that he decided not to read the final book :) Personally, I think this is way too extreme but... kind of understand why he feels this way. And still,,, I would never do that (not reading AMOL I mean) and besides the bad taste of the last two books I am getting more and more excided every day :)

 

and... Hello all, new here :)

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At the end of the day, they're still readable and I am very glad that the last three books were released. I do hope very much that one day we will get the notes/outlines/etc released in some format though.

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"Dreamshard" - I found this fit perfectly. It's a type of scene we've rarely encountered and even more rarely encountered from the narration of a forsaken or someone who was around when the knowledge to create such was commonplace. I see no reason that "Dreamshard" disrupted my reading - it was cool. It was formalizing the fact that a mixture of reality and tel'aran'rhiod could be created by someone and have others invited to join it. The precedent was there, but not the name.

 

Once you dive in to his work you'll understand a bit better why that one jars. All in all no biggie, just another Brandonism.

 

That was my point: not diving into his work, nor having any desire too, Dreamshard didn't jar at all.

 

I don't think it's fair, at all, to ping Sanderson because you happen to have read his other work and some of his carryover affected your read. I understand it happening, but I don't get opining on it publicly :)

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At the end of the day, they're still readable and I am very glad that the last three books were released. I do hope very much that one day we will get the notes/outlines/etc released in some format though.

 

I'd love to read them too, but I have to think that would be extremely unlikely. If they thought their decisions were scrutinized now, just think of if we could actually see what they had to go by.

 

@Brenna - Welcome to Dragonmount! I can relate to how your friend feels, but like you I cannot miss how it all ends either. Just a little over 100 days to go...

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Ultimately, I think it just comes down to what some people have said, everyone reads books differently. Reading through all the pages in this thread, I guess I can say that I'm different from a lot of people here in that of all the problems people have that have been mentioned in this thread, none bother me. Maybe some of that could be from only having found out about the series this past May, so I haven't had the years of waiting and countless amounts of re-reads as most here, but knowing how I am, that still wouldn't make a difference. The most recent example of popular critism I can think of and might better relate to would be the Mass Effect 3 ending. Sure, I can understand the issues surrounding it, but personally it just wasn't something that bothered me and I was okay with it. That's kind of how I am with a lot of things so, maybe I'm weird.

 

The best way for me to say it would be that when I read, I just read. I don't think about lowest denominator plotwork or blunt prose or whatever, just the characters and the story. Some of the problems mentioned, like Aviendha calling Rand by only his first name (which I agree with KakitaOCU about, Aviendha being comfortable enough to use Rand's name would be the next logical step for her, at least to me), or words being used a lot (like tempest), or two word combos like dreamshard, they sound like nitpicking to me. Now, I'm not saying that it is, and I understand that some readers might have a legitimate gripe about stuff like that but personally, I just don't understand how things like that can pull someone out of a story. I guess some people are just so immersed that when they see something like that it pulls them out, and some are like me, who don't think it's that big of a deal or really even have a problem with it.

 

Anyway, I do like Brandon Sanderson's work on TGS and ToM. I was able to tell that his writing style was different not that long into the prologue which I found surprising, since I don't read a lot, and I didn't have any problems with it. I liked the pacing and directness of his writing. Having said that, I loved the way Robert Jordan wrote. There's an elegance to his writing, a way with words, that's the best way I can desbribe it, and it sucks that he couldn't finish this. I'm glad we get to see the ending and can only imagine what it's been like for those who've been fans since the beginning, waiting for a conclusion. You can say that's kind of a benefit for those like me I guess. I wish I'd found out and been a part of the Wheel of Time sooner, but at the same time the wait can't be as excrutiating as for those who've been here for years.

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The Dreadbane thing was horrible if for no other reason than that we've seen plenty of Borderlanders interact with characters known to have killed a Fade and never once did that title come up.

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Just for fun, I caught an RJ use of "tempest" in the first chapter of The Fires of Heaven," could help but chuckle when I read it:

 

The real trouble was that Siuan was not going to give up. Weeks of utter failure, and now this, yet any mention of heading for Tear, which was sensible, set off a tempest that quailed even Logain.
Edited by Theodril

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Rereading KoD, I realized that Avi calls Elayne by her first name only but she called other women by their full name. I don't remember (and maybe I'm wrong) any line in the book or discussion about her only calling Elayne by her first name. And, since she's first sisters with Elayne and Elayne calls Rand only by his first name, I have no problem with Avi going to a first name basis with him.

 

 

edited for naming the wrong book.

Edited by thisguy

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Rereading KoD, I realized that Avi calls Elayne by her first name only but she called other women by their full name. I don't remember (and maybe I'm wrong) any line in the book or discussion about her only calling Elayne by her first name. And, since she's first sisters with Elayne and Elayne calls Rand only by his first name, I have no problem with Avi going to a first name basis with him.

 

 

edited for naming the wrong book.

 

The Aiel custom is that calling someone by first name is "intimate." But Rhuarc calls Rand by his first name in The Shadow Rising. So, the thing seems to be relative.

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Rereading KoD, I realized that Avi calls Elayne by her first name only but she called other women by their full name. I don't remember (and maybe I'm wrong) any line in the book or discussion about her only calling Elayne by her first name. And, since she's first sisters with Elayne and Elayne calls Rand only by his first name, I have no problem with Avi going to a first name basis with him.

 

 

edited for naming the wrong book.

 

The Aiel custom is that calling someone by first name is "intimate." But Rhuarc calls Rand by his first name in The Shadow Rising. So, the thing seems to be relative.

I agree. But, just looking at Aviendha alone, it stands to reason that she would start calling him Rand, especially around Elayne, instead of Rand Al'Thor after they've bonded him and discussed marriage. I don't need every little thing to be spelled out for me. Just my opinion.

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The instance we're talking about in the prologue was a bit out of line. In the past, she would've referred to him as the Caracarn to the Wise Ones. Never as Rand - even if she would refer to Elayne or Rand himself that way.

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Rj used "Tempest", "Froze", and "Rubbed his chin" several times which is why its more difficult to criticize the overuse of them later, but for me personally, "Tempest" DID bug me in TGS. It was like RJ used it - and BS KILLED it, lol.

 

Those things still are minor to me. I made it through TGS. I even liked it.

 

It was TOM that made me angry. Between Elayne and Master Crimson's wacky adventures I felt like I was reading a Scooby Doo novel with typos. The "Naming" of everything with "cool" labels (that usually made me cringe) bothered me greatly. To me, TOM and Chapter 11 of AMOL and brief parts of TGS (which I overall liked) read like silly, cartoon fluff pieces whereas Jordan had mastered the PG 13 tone.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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***CORRECTION***

 

I wanted to correct something I posted earlier that I now believe was in error. Earlier, in this thread, conversation arose about the dinner scenes between Elaida and Egwene in TGS and I made a statement about the writing of it. I now think what I said was in error. HERE is what I found on the matter:

 

''BRANDON wrote the scenes of Egwene's dinner with Elaida in The Gathering Storm. RJ's notes suggested just one dinner scene, but BS decided it would work better if it was split in two.''

 

I had said earlier that RJ wrote the scene and Brandon just put half of it in one chapter and the other half in another chapter. I had thought this due to the numerous times Brandon has said that ''almost all'' of Egwene in TGS was written by RJ. My bad.

 

This quote was from ''Polaris Con'' and I found it on The WOT Interview Database - which is where I find A LOT of things, ;)

 

FYI: That was also the Con where BS confirmed that HE had written the chapter titled ''The last that could be done.''

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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Taken out of context or paraphrased, many interview quotes can take on an different meaning—I've seen a lot of paraphrased quotes in this thread that were wrong or gave a very misleading impression. It isn't fair to either Brandon or other posters to misrepresent anyone's words, even by accident. We have a great interview database now with a search function, so it's relatively quick and easy find a quote.

 

Such as?

 

I can say for myself(and everyone can attest to it) I am constantly posting Q&A's as support. Sometimes it's better to encourage research. It's a great resource after all.

 

I would love to, where can I find these Q&As.

 

http://www.theorylan...view-search.php

 

If you would like an example of the process here is one quote...

 

Jennifer Liang

 

You and Harriet had a great way of describing it at one of the book signings for The Gathering Storm. You said that you had a map of the United States and you knew that at the end of the book that Perrin ends up in Chicago, but he starts off in like Orlando, and you know that he has to go to Los Angeles before he can get to Chicago, but you don’t know all the other steps in between and why he’s going to Los Angeles, so they had to figure out all the in-between parts.

Brandon Sanderson

 

Yeah, there are great things where there’s just like a line from his notes. “And then Perrin is here doing this.” And you’re like “What? Perrin’s in Malden, how is he gonna get there? And he’s going to do what? And then he’s got to be up here to do what?” And then we know the ending, what he’s doing there. So, there was a lot of that. So, this all became the book, where I built an outline out of this, I took the scenes that he had said. The thing about the notes is that a lot of the notes were to him, and so he would say things like “I’m going to do this or this” and they’re polar opposites. And so there are sequences like that, where I decide what we’re going to do, and stuff like that. And this all is what became the trilogy that you’re now reading.

 

Suttree, thanks for posting the link and the excerpt I will check it out when I get time. I am wondering though, in your research did you find anything pertaining to RJ's Fireside chat? Back in 2007 I remember someone (I believe it was his cousin, Wilson) posting that RJ had sat by the fireside and told the rest of the story to some of his closest friends. In light of this I find it odd that Brandon has had to make so many decisions concerning the direction of the plot. If RJ did infact have this fireside chat then it seems like Team Jordan would know where he intended to take the story and which scenes he intended to include (so why did Brandon have to choose from alternatives). Just wondered if your research might have shed any light on this discrepency.

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In defense of Brandon, I can easily see figuring out HOW to make something happen still being quite challenging despite knowing WHAT it is that happens.

 

 

Fish

Edited by The Fisher King

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Saw this in the Q&A...

 

BS

And balancing when he's playing the fool, and when he's just being awesome is very hard to get that balance down, because you don't want it to be silly, you know he can play the fool a bit but he shouldn't be silly.

 

That to me is one of Brandon's largest missteps. He missed that balance by a wide margin.

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